There are different types of cardiomyopathies, capable of altering the structure and function of the heart muscle making it thicker, stiffer or more dilated than normal. This results in possible serious consequences for the cardiovascular function itself: heart failure, arrhythmias or cardiac arrest can be possible consequences of a cardiomyopathy. In many cases, cardiomyopathies arise as a result of viral infections or, as mentioned above, result from other morbid conditions (for example, metabolic disorders or complex syndromes), from congenital and non-congenital heart defects (for example, rhythm disturbances), heart disease, severe nutritional deficiencies or the use of certain medications. In other cases, however, the etiology is unknown.
Among the various types of cardiomyopathies, the main affecting the adult population are: hypertrophic, dilated and restrictive cardiomyopathy. The rst is characterised by
pathological thickening of the walls of the left ventricle; often genetic etiology, has a rather low incidence, but can have serious consequences.
In dilated cardiomyopathy, the ventricular cavities undergo an enlargement which is associated with a decreased myocardial contraction force. It can be a consequence of
chronic alcohol and drug abuse. The last form of cardiomyopathy, the restrictive one, consists in a stiffening of the myocardium, which will not allow a physiological correct contraction. This form is often related to systemic disorders such as amyloidosis, hemochromatosis or sarcoidosis. Finally, a particular typeof cardiomyopathy, called "Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia", involves the replacement, in the right ventricle, of the normal myocardial tissue with adipose or bro-adipose tissue. Arrhythmia is the main consequence of this typeof disorder, at the base of which there are genetic alterations concerning the cellular organisation. This panel analyzes the main genes linked to primary cardiomyopathies and related syndromes
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