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Prog Pediatr Cardiol. 2007 Nov;24(1):59-71.

Nutrition in Pediatric Cardiomyopathy.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Clinical Research, Department of Pediatrics, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL.


Pediatric cardiomyopathies are heterogeneous groups of serious disorders of the heart muscle and are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality among children who have the disease. While enormous improvements have been made in the treatment and survival of children with congenital heart disease, parallel strides have not been made in the outcomes for cardiomyopathies. Thus, ancillary therapies, such as nutrition and nutritional interventions, that may not cure but may potentially improve cardiac function and quality of life, are imperative to consider in children with all types of cardiomyopathy. Growth failure is one of the most significant clinical problems of children with cardiomyopathy with nearly one-third of children with this disorder manifesting some degree of growth failure during the course of their illness. Optimal intake of macronutrients can help improve cardiac function. In addition, several specific nutrients have been shown to correct myocardial abnormalities that often occur with cardiomyopathy and heart failure. In particular, antioxidants that can protect against free radical damage that often occurs in heart failure and nutrients that augment myocardial energy production are important therapies that have been explored more in adults with cardiomyopathy than in the pediatric population. Future research directions should pay particular attention to the effect of overall nutrition and specific nutritional therapies on clinical outcomes and quality of life in children with pediatric cardiomyopathy.

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