What is Cardiomyopathy? Cardiomyopathy is a term used to describe a disease that affects the structure and function of the heart muscle that is not secondary to a cardiovascular disorder, such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, valvular disease, or congenital heart disease.

What Are the Types of Cardiomyopathy?

There are several different types of cardiomyopathies which are classified as primary or secondary.


Primary cardiomyopathies arise from disease processes that are primarily confined to the heart. These disorders may be caused by chromosomal genetic abnormalities, acquired, or influenced by genetics and external factors.

  • Genetic primary cardiomyopathies include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, ion channel disorder, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, left ventricular compaction, and mitochondrial myopathies.
  • Acquired primary cardiomyopathies include myocarditis, peripartum cardiomyopathy, tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy, and Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
  • Mixed etiology cardiomyopathies include dilated and restrictive cardiomyopathies.


Secondary cardiomyopathies refers to those in which the heart disease is a manifestation of a systemic disease and processes.

  • Autoimmune disorders, such as dermatomyositis, polyarteritis nodosa, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, scleroderma, SLE.
  • Endocrine disorders, including acromegaly, diabetes mellitus, hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, obesity.
  • Infections, including Chagas disease, hepatitis C, HIV
  • Infiltrative disorders, such as amyloidosis, Gaucher disease, Hunter syndrome, and Hurler syndrome.
  • Neuromuscular and storage disorders, such as glycogen storage disorders, muscular dystrophy, and neurofibromatosis.
  • Nutritional deficiencies, including Kwashiorkor and deficiencies in l-carnitine, niacin, selenium, thiamine, and Vitamin C.
  • Toxicity from alcohol, anabolic steroids, chemotherapy, chloroquine, heavy metals, iron excess, radiation, and stimulants.

Source: Brieler, J., Breeden, M. A., & Tucker, J. (2017). Cardiomyopathy: An Overview. American family physician, 96(10), 640–646.