Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

What is the role of ICD in patients with HCM?

ICDs are recommended for people at risk for life-threatening arrhythmias or sudden cardiac death. The ICD constantly monitors the heart rhythm. When it detects a very fast, life threatening heart rhythm, it delivers a shock to the heart muscle leading to restoration of normal rhythm.

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What is the risk of sudden death in patients with HCM?

Patients with HCM are at higher risk for sudden cardiac death. Patients with increased risk include:     * Those with strong family history of sudden cardiac death.     * Patients with HCM who have several episodes of fainting.     * Those with abnormal blood pressure response with exercise.     * Patients with documented history of ventricular arrhythmia.     * Those with severe symptoms and poor heart function.

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What is the recommendation for exercise in HCM?

It is recommended that patient with HCM donot indulge in competitive sports. Most people with cardiomyopathy are able to do non-competitive aerobic exercise. However, your doctor may ask you not to exercise, based on your symptoms and the severity of your disease.

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How is HCM treated?

Treatment of HCM depends on symptoms and whether there is obstruction in the path that blood takes to leave the heart (called the outflow tract); how good the heart muscle is functioning; and if any arrhythmias is present. Treatment is aimed at preventing symptoms and complications, and includes lifestyle changes, medications (such as beta blockers) and if necessary, a surgical procedure such as ethanol ablation or septal myecotomy or an implantable device such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD).

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How is HCM diagnosed?

HCM is diagnosed based on medical history, physical exam, and special heart function tests: such as electrocardiogram, Chest X-ray, echocardiogram, exercise stress test, Cardiac catheterization, CT scan, MRI and radionuclide studies. The test done to determine the cause of a cardiomyopathy is a endo-myocardial biopsy where a tissue sample is taken from the heart to examine the cause of the symptoms.

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What is the cause of HCM?

HCM can be genetic and run in families, but the condition may also be acquired as a part high blood pressure or valvular dysfunction. In other instances, the cause is unknown.

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What are the symptoms of HCM?

Many people with HCM have no symptoms or only minor symptoms. Other people develop symptoms of heart failure, which progress and worsen as heart function gets worse. Symptoms may include: Chest pain or pressure (occurs usually with exercise or physical activity).    1. Shortness of breath    2. Swelling of the lower extremities.    3. Fatigue (feeling overly tired).    4. Dizziness or lightheadedness or Fainting (caused by irregular heart rhythms or abnormal responses of the blood vessels during exercise).    5. Chest pain or pressure (occurs usually with exercise or physical activity, but can also occur with rest or after meals).

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What is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is associated with abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, usually of the septum below the aortic valve and in the left ventricle. This leads to stiffening of the walls of the heart and abnormal heart (mitral) valve function, both of which may impede normal blood flow out of the heart.

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