Cardiomyopathies

Cardiomyopathies are cardiac disorders that affect the vigor or pattern of the contractile function of the heart. Regional myocardial wall motion and wall thickness can be studied by echocardiography which helps to differentiate dilated, hypertrophic, and ischemic cardiomyopathy. Quantitative methods can be employed to assess ventricular function and to document the progression or regression of disease under different therapeutic strategies. Doppler echocardiography can offer important information about diastolic function using the mitral inflow signal and pulmonary venous flow information. Radionuclide ventriculography should be initiated when measurements of ejection fraction independent of geometric assumptions are needed to quantitate or monitor ventricular function. Coronary angiography may need to be employed to document or exclude an ischemic etiology of cardiomyopathy.

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