Non-compaction cardiomyopathy – an unusual cause of heart failure

  • Jure Dolenc
  • Mirta Koželj


Introduction: Non-compaction cardiomyopathy is a rare inborn anomaly caused by disorder of endomyocardial morphogenesis. The diagnosis is based on echocardiographic criteria. The prevalence in the adult population is not known. The symptoms are atypical. Three main groups of clinical signs exist: heart failure, thromobembolic events and arrhythmias. In the group of patients with reduced left ventricular function the prognosis is poor and the treatment options are limited. Patients and methods: In the recent 10 years, 7 patients with non-compaction cardiomyopathy were diagnosed at the Department of Cardiology of the University Medical Centre Ljubljana. Results: All seven patients were males, their mean age at the last follow-up being 39 ± 20.3 years (range 20 to 70 years). Five patients were diagnosed in adulthood. All of them fulfilled the echocardiographic diagnostic criteria of noncompaction cardiomyopathy. Five patients had depressed function of both ventricles, two patients had isolated left ventricular dysfunction. Three patients had decreased left ventricular ejection fraction, six patients showed left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. Only three patients had normal physical capacity. Two patients presented with clinical signs of overt heart failure. During follow-up, one patient died from heart failure. We observed thromboembolic events in one patient. Three patients suffered from nonsustained ventricular tachycardias and two patients had rhythm conduction abnormalities. Conclusions: Non-compaction cardiomyopathy is a rare disorder. We observed all common complications in our group of patients. The majority of patients displayed dysfunction of the affected ventricle and the dysfunction was more pronounced in older patients. Treatment of complications is an important factor in long-term survival of these patients.


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Dolenc J, Koželj M. Non-compaction cardiomyopathy – an unusual cause of heart failure. ZdravVestn [Internet]. 1Mar.2011 [cited 22Sep.2019];80(3). Available from:
Original article