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Dilated cardiomyopathy 

Dilated cardiomyopathy
Dilated cardiomyopathy

Fausto Rigo

, Covadonga Fernández-Golfín

, and Bruno Pinamonti

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date: 20 May 2022

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is characterized by a globally dilated and dysfunctioning left ventricle (LV). Therefore, echocardiographic diagnostic criteria for DCM are a LV end-diastolic diameter greater than 117% predicted value corrected for age and body surface area and a LV ejection fraction less than 45% (and/or fractional shortening less than 25%). Usually, the LV is also characterized by a normal or mildly increased wall thickness with eccentric hypertrophy and increased mass, a spherical geometry (the so-called LV remodelling), a dyssynchronous contraction (typically with left bundle branch block), and diastolic dysfunction with elevated LV filling pressure. Other typical echocardiographic features of DCM include functional mitral and tricuspid regurgitation, right ventricular dysfunction, atrial dilatation, and secondary pulmonary hypertension. Several echocardiographic parameters, measured both at baseline and at follow-up, are valuable for prognostic stratification of DCM patients. Furthermore, re-evaluation of echocardiographic parameters during the disease course under optimal medical therapy is valuable for tailoring medical treatment and confirming indications for invasive treatments at follow-up. The stress echo can play a pivotal role in the different phases of DCM helping us in stratifying the prognosis of these patients. Finally, familial screening is an important tool for early diagnosis of DCM in asymptomatic patients.

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