Cocaine-induced Cardiomyopathy

Kearston A. S. Barnes, PharmD; Esther O. Fasanmi, PharmD; Ogechi P. Iwuorie, PharmD; Patrick S. Simon, PharmD; Ericka V. Hylick, PharmD


US Pharmacist. 2015;40(2):HS11-HS15. 

In This Article

Types of Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscles become thickened and enlarged. In advanced cases, the myocardium is weakened and can no longer support adequate organ perfusion.[7] The four types of cardiomyopathy are dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, restrictive cardiomyopathy, and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. Each type is summarized in Table 1.[7,8]

Dilated cardiomyopathy, the most common type, can lead to several complications, such as heart failure, arrhythmias, and heart-valve deficiencies.[7] In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the heart muscles thicken, but the ventricles remain normal in size.[7,8] The thickness of the lower chambers prevents blood from flowing out of the ventricles; the lower chambers compensate by working harder, resulting in symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness.[7] Complications of this physiological change may lead to valve leakage and arrhythmias.[7]Restrictive cardiomyopathy is characterized by the presence of scar tissue caused by extreme thickening of the endocardium and can lead to heart failure and arrhythmias.[7,8]Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, which is rare, confers the risk of arrhythmias and palpitations.[7]