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Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy

Babies with cardiomyopathy may have these symptoms:

  • Working hard to breathe
  • Having poor appetite or trouble feeding
  • Failure to thrive 

In older children, often the first symptoms are being short of breath when active and feeling more tired than normal. Some children develop arrhythmia or palpitations. Other possible symptoms include fainting and chest pain.

If your child has an infection that causes cardiomyopathy, you may first notice symptoms of the infection. Your child may have a fever or chills or feel weak or achy.

As the heart gets weaker, other symptoms of congestive heart failure may develop, like edema, or swelling in the legs or abdomen.

Cardiomyopathy Diagnosis

To diagnose this condition, your doctor will examine your child and use a stethoscope to listen to their heart.

The doctor will ask for details about any symptoms your child has, their health history and your family health history.

To get more information about how their heart looks and works, your child will need some tests. Your doctor may use echocardiography and an electrocardiogram to aid in the diagnosis. Sometimes the doctor needs more information and will order chest X-rays or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the heart or use cardiac catheterization.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)