Complications of Myopathy

Myopathies can cause a number of serious complications. If heart (cardiac) muscle is affected in later stages of disease, abnormal heart rhythms or weakness of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) may develop. A patient with cardiomyopathy is at risk for congestive heart failure (CHF).

When the muscles involved in breathing weaken, myopathies can cause significant breathing difficulties and an increased risk for pneumonia, flu (influenza), and other respiratory infections. In severe cases, patients often require a machine that assists breathing (respirator). When swallowing muscles are affected, patients with myopathy are at increased risk for choking and malnutrition.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 01 Jan 2000

Last Modified: 25 Sep 2015