The diagnosis is based on the information collected from the patient history; organic cardiopathic signs such as dyspnea, pulmonary stasis, tachycardia, galloping rhythm, coughing with hemoptoic sputum etc,  are all symptoms related to the left ventricle. Cyanosis, liver enlargement, edemas, transudates in serous cavities, swollen jugulars, increase of venous pressure, etc, are all symptoms of the right ventricle.

Radiological examinations of the chest indicate about a heart enlargement, a swelling of the blood vessels in the lungs, which suggests that there has been an increase of  pulmonary venous pressure. The electrocardiogram always presents with anomalies. It can indicate rhythm disorders, such as atrial fibrillation, ventricular arrhythmia, blockage of the left branch, etc.

A two-dimensional echocardiography is a very useful examination in order to definitely determine the diagnosis of cardiomyopathy and cardiac insufficiency. The echo also serves to differentiate from other diagnoses such as restrictive cardiomyopathy, valve diseases or those of the pericardium, etc. Angiograms are used only if necessary.

Differential diagnosis

Physicians run differential diagnosis against the following conditions:

  1. Cardiac disease which lead to insufficiency such as heart ailments, hypertonic disease, ischemic cardiopathies, etc.
  2. Bronchopulmonary diseases accompanied by dyspnea, such as brochial asthma, chronic obstructive bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema, lung cancer.
  3. Renal diseases.
  4. Hepatic cirrhosis decompensated by ascites and edema.

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 19 Jun 2018
Medical Author: Dr. med. Diana Hysi