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Dilated cardiomyopathy is a serious condition that weakens your heart muscle and causes it to stretch, or dilate. The heart's upper and lower chambers (atria and ventricles) are larger than normal.
When your heart muscle is weak, it can't pump out blood as well as it should, so more blood stays in your heart after each heartbeat. As more blood fills and stays in the heart, the heart muscle stretches even more and gets even weaker.
Last Revised: July 24, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & George Philippides, MD - Cardiology
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