Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease characterized by an increase in ventricular volume (mainly of the left ventricle) associated with wall thinning and deterioration of systolic function. It is one of the main causes of heart failure and heart transplantation, and it presents a high risk of cardiac sudden death. For many years, the cause was thought to be exclusively autoimmune or viral, where endomyocardial biopsy plays an essential role. However, genetic causes are nowadays known to represent 30%-50% of cases.
The prevalence of the disease was estimated to be 1 in 2,500 individuals, although recent studies suggest that it could be much higher.