How is DCM diagnosed?

DCM is diagnosed based on your medical history, physical exam, and other tests. Specific tests may include blood tests, electrocardiogram (ECG), chest X-ray, echocardiogram, exercise stress test, cardiac catheterization, CT scan, MRI scan, and radionuclide studies.

Occasionally, a myocardial biopsy may be performed to determine the cause of cardiomyopathy. During a myocardial biopsy, small tissue samples are taken from the heart and examined under a microscope to determine the cause of the cardiomyopathy.

Family members with familial idiopathic DCM should be screened for DCM. Testing would be the same as mentioned above (medical history, physical exam, ECG, echocardiogram, etc.). Genetic testing is available to identify abnormal genes; researchers are looking into identifying abnormal genes. You should speak to your doctor about family screening.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/29/2019.

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