Both heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy) and inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) affect the heart muscle. Cardiomyopathy changes the structure of your heart. The muscle may thicken and become stiffer, or the heart may dilate. Myocarditis is an acute inflammation of your heart muscle, usually caused by a viral infection. Acute inflammation may result in a dilated cardiomyopathy. These effects on your heart muscle weaken your heart so that it doesn't pump effectively, leading to heart failure.

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