Dilated Cardiomyopathy is when the heart becomes enlarged and weakened, and can't pump blood efficiently. It is a CHRONIC heart muscle disease.
DCM is the most common form of myocardial disease that is characterized by ventricular and sometimes atrial dilation, with normal or reduced wall thickness that eventually leads to varying degrees fo impaired systolic function.
Coxsackie B Virus is responsible for half of all DCM cases each year in the United States.
The presence of Enterovirus RNA at different stages of DCM suggests continued replication of the virus is involved in the progression of the disease.
Enterovirus replication was correlated with worse clinical outcomes.
The decreased heart function can affect the lungs, the liver, and other body systems.
The only approved treatment for DCM is heart transplantation.
The only way to diagnose DCM is by biopsy of the heart tissue.
DCM is the leading cause of heart failure in young patients. It account for 50,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths each year in the United States.
DCM patients are likely to experience symptoms when the disease has caused heart failure or arrhythmias, they include:
Fatigue and weakness
Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
Reduced ability to exercise
Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
Persistent cough or wheezing
Swelling in legs, ankles, or feet
Swelling of abdomen (ascites)
Weight gain from fluid retention
Lack of appetite and nausea
Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness
Sensation of rapid, pounding heartbeats (palpitations)
If patient's must undergo heart transplants, they will be screened for CVB infections. EV Infected patients will be placed on lower priority lists due to their lower success rates and poorer prognosis.
The associated economic and social costs with DCM and heart transplants are enormous.