Skip to main content
Explore URMC


Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

IC VideoCardiomyopathy refers to a condition in which the heart muscle is weakened and not able to maintain normal circulation of your blood.

Ischemic cardiomyopathy is due to blockages in the arteries which supply oxygen to the heart muscle. Over time this leads to damage of the heart muscle, or heart attack, and causes the muscle to weaken.

 The most common complication of ischemic cardiomyopathy is congestive heart failure. This is a condition in which fluid builds up in the lungs and feet, causing swelling and difficulty breathing.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Click on image to enlarge


  • Chest discomfort, or angina, due to lack of oxygen to your heart muscle.
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling in your feet or ankles

Diagnostic Tests

There are several  tests used to diagnose ischemic cardiomyopathy.  The most common tests include:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) This a test measuring electrical activity of the heart, and may help determine if you’ve suffered a previous heart attack
  • Echocardiogram  This uses sound waves to measure your heart function.
  • Angiogram. This is done by your doctor inserting a narrow hollow tube into a large artery in your leg or arm and directing the tube up to your heart. X-ray dye is then injected through the tube, allowing your doctor to look for blockages in the vessels supplying blood to the heart.


  • Medications called diuretics are prescribed to remove extra fluid in your lungs, making it easier for you to breathe.
  • Other medications may be prescribed to help strengthen the heart muscle.
  • Procedures to improve blood flow to the heart muscle. This may include angioplasty or bypass surgery.


Print this information

For Additional Information


Your feedback helps improve this site!

How helpful was the information on this page?: