The dangers of an abnormal heart muscle -- Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute

Author: PennStateHershey

The biggest complication we worry about when we have an abnormal heart muscle is the heart muscle becoming progressively weaker and the symptoms of heart failure becoming progressively worse, and heart failure does put people at risk for dieing. So, the major thing we worry about is the function of the heart in those situations. We also worry about the risk of a sudden, unexpected change in the heart rhythm that could lead to a dangerous heart rhythm that could cause someone to die suddenly and unexpectedly. So we're quite concerned about those and, in fact, those are the two most common complications that we have that lead to people dieing who have heart failure.

However, there are a number of other complications that can occur. When a heart becomes weakened, it typically enlarges, as well. An enlarged heart that where blood isn't moving very fast leaves some areas of blood that are sitting still for periods of time. One of things that we become concerned about is that when blood sits still, a clot can form, and when that clot's in the circulation, a blood clot can go anywhere and if it goes to the brain it can cause a stroke. And we're quite worried about that.

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