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Viral cardiomyopathy strikes country western super star Randy Travis.

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Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013 10:18 am | Updated: 10:29 am, Thu Jul 11, 2013.

Singer Randy Travis continues to recover from viral cardiomyopathy.

it’s a disorder that attacks the muscles of the heart.

Dr. Eileen Hsich is a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic.

she says there are various causes. “The most common cause is actually viral, really infection, and viral being the most common infection, but there are so many other different causes, so when you think about that you think about toxins, such as alcohol or chemotherapy. You also think about systemic diseases like lupus.“

Doctors typically don’t work to fight the infection, but because the heart is weakened, the battle is to keep blood flowing.

So, machines like the impella peripheral left ventricular assist device can be used.

Dr. Hsich said, “The balloon pump provides some. The mechanical heart that Dick Cheney had provides a lot more support and this is in-between.”

A ventricular assist device does not replace the heart.

it helps the patient’s own heart pump blood throughout the body.and recovery time varies.

“It can be several weeks to 1 or 2 months and they’re usually required to be in intensive care for most of that stay.“ said Dr. Hsich and most people recover fully."

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