Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of cardiomyopathy vary. This is further complicated by the fact that infants and young children are often unable to express how they feel. That said, there are a number of symptoms associated with the different forms of cardiomyopathy:

  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) — Symptoms in infants include difficulty breathing, poor appetite and slow weight gain. Older children may also have trouble being physically active and become excessively fatigued when exercising.
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) — Infants with HCM often have trouble breathing, may sweat excessively and have a poor appetite. Older children may have shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain. They also may faint or have trouble being physically active.
  • Restrictive Cardiomyopathy (RCM) — Although the symptoms of RCM tend to be subtle, some children may have a poor appetite, tire easily, and experience chest pain, an upset stomach and a dry cough.
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) — ARVC is very rare in children and symptoms usually don't appear until the teen years or later.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Heart Center

Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
1975 Fourth St., Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-1955
Fax: (415) 353-9144

Cardiothoracic Surgery Program
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-3501
Fax: (415) 353-4144

Pediatric Heart Center Clinic at Mission Bay
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2008
Fax: (415) 353-4144
Appointment information

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