Thursday, April 28, 2011

Left Ventricular Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy

Left ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy is a heart condition in which the muscular wall of the left ventricle appears to be spongy and non-compacted, consisting of a meshwork of numerous muscle bands called trabeculations. Left ventricular non-compaction of is a rare disorder characterized by an altered structure of the myocardial wall as a result of intrauterine arrest of compaction of the myocardial fibres in the absence of any coexisting congenital lesion. There is continuity between the left ventricular cavity and the intratrabecular recesses without evidence of communication to the epicardial coronary artery system. Non-compaction cardiomyopathy was described initially in paediatric patients but recent studies have characterized it in adults.

The symptoms caused by this condition are not specific and are mainly determined by how much the heart function is affected. Individuals who have the described structural features but normal performance of the heart may be entirely free of symptoms. And recent studies and reports have demonstrated a more mild outcome and clinical course of this condition than shown in the initial observations. The whole spectrum of the outcome of this condition, therefore, is still not fully defined. Presuming that a halt in cardiac development is the cause of this condition, these features should be present in the heart from birth. It is not entirely clear how, when and to what degree the heart function is becoming affected. As soon as the pumping performance of the heart is reduced, symptoms typically related to heart insufficiency may appear.