Peer Reviewed
Feature Article Cardiovascular medicine

Dilated cardiomyopathy: a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge

Carmine De Pasquale
Nonischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy is an important and not infrequently encountered presentation in general practice. Diagnosis is often delayed due to the nonspecific nature of early symptoms and a lack of suspicion of ‘cardiac problems’ by both the patient and doctor. GPs play an important role in the management of this chronic disease, which has no cure but can be successfully managed for many years.
Key Points
  • Initial diagnosis of nonischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy is often delayed.
  • Management should have a duel focus on both the cause as well as the heart failure.
  • Cardiomyopathy has no cure but effective treatment will reduce symptoms and increase survival of affected patients.
  • Nonpharmacological, pharmacological and device therapy lead to additive benefit.
  • The complex and chronic nature of the disease and therapy demand engagement by many healthcare professionals with a central role for the GP.
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