Pronounced: hi-per-TRO-fik car-DEE-o-my-AH-pah-thee
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a form of cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle thickens more than it should because of problems with the genes. The thick muscle can cause several probelms such as:
There are 2 types of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy:
Causes of HCM include:
In people over age 60, HCM is likely to be caused by or related to high blood pressure.
HCM is usually most severe when it occurs in younger people, but it can occur at any age.
Other factors that may increase your chances of HCM include:
These symptoms can be caused by some of the side effects of the condition, including heart arrhythmias. The blocked or reduced blood flow is usually the cause of symptoms like lightheadedness, fainting, and difficulty breathing.
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done.
A blood test may be done to look for changes or possible causes. Amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, coronary artery disease, or valvular heart disease can cause a different type of cardiomyopathy.
A stress test may also be done to see how the heart works under pressure. Images of the heart may be taken with:
Electrical activity of the heart may need to be tracked. This can be done with an ECG that can be worn all day.
Many people with HCM live a normal, healthy life with few symptoms. However, HCM does increase the risk of sudden death.
Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and preventing problems. Treatment may include:
Medicines may be used to help the heart work better. These may include:
Surgery may be needed to remove thickened part of the heart muscle. It may be done if the muscle is blocking too much blood flow from the heart.
Surgery may also be done to repair or replace the mitral valve if it is leaking.
Alcohol is injected into the blood vessels that feed the enlarged heart. It will make part of the tissue shrink back. This should decrease blockage in the heart and improve blood flow out of the heart.
An ICD can help to control abnormal heart rhythms. It send an electrical impulse automatically when needed. It may be done if there is an increased risk for sudden death.
Some chronic heart issues or medical conditions increase the risk of HCM. Following the care plan may help to decrease the risk of HCM developing.
American Heart Association
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Cardiomyopathy in adults. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/Cardiomyopathy/Cardiomyopathy_UCM_444459_SubHomePage.jsp. Accessed September 15, 2020.
Explore cardiomyopathy. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cm. Accessed September 15, 2020.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hypertrophic-cardiomyopathy. Accessed September 15, 2020.
What is HCM? St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center website. Available at: http://www.hcmny.org/whatis/index.html. Accessed September 15, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC Last Updated: 8/14/2020