Restrictive Cardiomyopathy Oakville

Restrictive Cardiomyopathy

illustration of a human heart

What is Restrictive Cardiomyopathy?

Restrictive cardiomyopathy is a type of cardiomyopathy where the muscles in the bottom chambers (ventricles) of the heart become rigid. Every time the heart contracts, this rigidity prevents the ventricles from relaxing and subsequently filling back up with adequate blood volume for the next heartbeat.  In the early stages, the pumping function of the heart may be normal, but as the disease progresses, the pumping function gradually begins to decline. Fortunately, restrictive cardiomyopathy is the rarest type of cardiomyopathy, representing only about 5% of all cardiomyopathies.

What are the symptoms of Restrictive Cardiomyopathy?

In the early stages, there may be no symptoms. However, once heart failure develops, the symptoms include:

man holding his knee in pain due to Restrictive Cardiomyopathy

What causes Restrictive Cardiomyopathy?

There are many causes, but some of the more frequently encountered causes include:

What are the complications of Restrictive Cardiomyopathy?

How is Restrictive Cardiomyopathy treated?

The goal of managing restrictive cardiomyopathy is to diagnose and manage it in the early stages, before the heart function becomes compromised.  In the early stages, management of restrictive cardiomyopathy will depend on the cause of the restrictive cardiomyopathy and tailoring therapy accordingly. Once the heart function declines, it is managed in a very similar fashion as other non-ischemic cardiomyopathies.

Chahal Cardiovascular Centre in Oakville Favicon

Frequently Asked Questions

Restrictive cardiomyopathy is the rarest form of cardiomyopathy, accounting for about 5% of all cardiomyopathies. There are three major types of cardiomyopathies: Dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and restrictive cardiomyopathy. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common, and restrictive cardiomyopathy is the least common. 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for restrictive cardiomyopathy. Management focuses on mitigating the risk factors and treating the specific cause, if known. Once heart failure develops, management is then focused on symptom control and improving the heart function. Some patients will progress to needing a mechanical circulatory support device or cardiac transplant to improve survival. Our goal at the Chahal Cardiovascular Centre, is to recognize and manage restrictive cardiomyopathy early and prevent the progression to the end-stages, if possible.

Still have a question about restrictive cardiomyopathy? Speak to your doctor about a referral to the Chahal Cardiovascular Centre for an Advanced Heart Failure consultation.