Familial congestive cardiomyopathy, also known as familial dilated cardiomyopathy, is a kind of heart disease that runs in families. It happens when the cardiac muscle in at least one heart chamber thins and weakens, leading the open portion of the chamber to become dilated or enlarged. Consequently, the heart cannot pump blood as effectively as it could. To compensate, the heart strives to raise the volume of blood pushed through the heart, which causes the cardiac muscle to weaken and become thinner. This problem eventually leads to cardiac failure.
Furthermore, signs of familial congestive cardiomyopathy generally take several years to manifest as health concerns. They usually start in mid-adulthood, although they also may start at any age, from childhood to late adulthood.