Alcoholic cardiomyopathy: What is known and what is not known

Published: 21 June 2017
Author(s): Antonio Mirijello, Claudia Tarli, Gabriele Angelo Vassallo, Luisa Sestito, Mariangela Antonelli, Cristina d'Angelo, Anna Ferrulli, Salvatore De Cosmo, Antonio Gasbarrini, Giovanni Addolorato
Issue: June 2017
Section: Narrative Review

Excessive alcohol consumption represents one of the main causes of non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is characterized by dilation and impaired contraction of one or both myocardial ventricles. It represents the final effect of alcohol-induced toxicity to the heart. Several pathophysiological mechanisms have been proposed at the basis of alcohol-induced damage, most of which are still object of research. Unfortunately, symptoms of alcoholic cardiomyopathy are not specific and common to other forms of heart failure and appear when dilatation and systolic dysfunction are consolidated.