Ischemic cardiomyopathy is the most common type of dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a heart muscle disease. It happens when coronary artery disease or a heart attack damages the arteries in your heart enough to block oxygen-rich blood from reaching your heart muscle. To compensate, your left ventricle, your heart’s main pumping chamber, enlarges or “dilates.” As it does this, its walls get thin and weak.


Ischemic cardiomyopathy symptoms include:

  • Chest pain (angina), especially with physical activity or after eating
  • Cough and congestion
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue or inability to do normal activities
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in your ankles, feet and legs
  • Weight gain


If you have any of these symptoms – especially if you have coronary artery disease or have had a heart attack – talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. He or she may also order diagnostic tests, such as: 

Service & Treatments

If you’re diagnosed with ischemic cardiomyopathy, your doctor will work with you on a treatment plan. It may include healthy lifestyle changes or medications such as blood thinners or diuretics. 

Your doctor may also recommend implantable devices such as:

If more conservative options aren’t effective, your doctor may recommend surgery. This may include:

Your doctor will discuss all options with you, and recommend the treatment that best fits your individual needs. 

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Aurora Health Care offers coordinated care for preventing, diagnosing and treating heart and vascular disease. World-renowned heart and vascular specialists diagnose and treat all types of cardiovascular conditions and disorders, using the most advanced state-of-the-art tools and technologies available today. 

We have 15 hospitals and 155 clinics throughout eastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois so you can find a location that's closest to you. 

What’s all this mean to you? Convenient, coordinated and expert care. 

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