Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Alternative Names

Cardiomyopathy – hypertrophic (HCM); IHSS; Idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis; Asymmetric septal hypertrophy; ASH; HOCM; Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy

Definition of Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes thick. The thickening makes it harder for blood to leave the heart, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is often asymmetrical, meaning one part of the heart is thicker than the other parts. The condition is usually passed down through families (inherited). It is believed to be a result of several problems (defects) with the genes that control heart muscle growth.

Signs and tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and listen to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope. Listening with a stethoscope may reveal or a murmur. These sounds may change with different body positions.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to control symptoms and prevent complications. Some patients may need to stay in the hospital until the condition is under control (stabilized).

Expectations (prognosis)

Some people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may not have symptoms and live a normal lifespan. Others may get worse gradually or rapidly. The condition may develop into a in some patients.

Review

Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/17/2010

Heart, section through the middle
Heart, front view
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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