Treatment is aimed at improving heart function and reducing symptoms. The most common treatments include medication, surgery and lifestyle changes.
Medications are used to treat symptoms, reverse heart damage and prevent further damage to the heart muscle. Medications such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors are used in most cases. Other medications may be given to manage symptoms or to prevent abnormal heart rhythms.
Some patients may need to have a device placed during surgery to help improve the blood supply to the heart. These devices can include an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or a pacemaker.
If cardiac function continues to worsen, a mechanical device may be needed to help the heart pump and supply blood to the body. The device used for young children is called the Berlin heart device. For older children and adults there are multiple devices that could be surgically placed to provide cardiac support. In severe cases, a heart transplant may be considered.
Doctors also recommend lifestyle changes to ease symptoms, decrease hospitalizations and improve quality of life. Changes involving a heart-healthy diet and exercise are recommended.