Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Helping your heartbeat ease back into a normal rhythm

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a rare, congenital heart disease in which the muscles in the walls of the left ventricle are thickened and prevent your heart from beating correctly. This condition can lead to heart failure and increased risk of stroke, heart attack and arrhythmias, which cause sudden death in some cases.

The left ventricle is the chamber of your heart that pumps blood out into your body. When the walls are thickened, blood is not able to effectively leave the heart. If hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes issues with your heart valves, blood also flows backward into the left atrium and pools in the bottom of that chamber.

Symptoms

You may not have any symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Instead, it may be detected during a routine exam. Signs of the condition include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting episodes
  • Heart murmur, especially in young people
  • High blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath

Overview

The left ventricle is the chamber of your heart that pumps blood out into your body. When the walls are thickened, blood is not able to effectively leave the heart. If hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes issues with your heart valves, blood also flows backward into the left atrium and pools in the bottom of that chamber.

Symptoms

You may not have any symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Instead, it may be detected during a routine exam. Signs of the condition include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting episodes
  • Heart murmur, especially in young people
  • High blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath

Advanced diagnostic techniques for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include:

Echocardiogram

Using sound waves, your doctor can see the size and movement of your heart muscles.

Chest X-ray

Your doctor can use chest X-rays to examine you for an enlarged heart.

Electrocardiogram

By monitoring the electrical activity of your heart, your doctor can see if it is having difficulty pumping blood.

Diagnosis

Advanced diagnostic techniques for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include:

Echocardiogram

Using sound waves, your doctor can see the size and movement of your heart muscles.

Chest X-ray

Your doctor can use chest X-rays to examine you for an enlarged heart.

Electrocardiogram

By monitoring the electrical activity of your heart, your doctor can see if it is having difficulty pumping blood.

Many treatments are available to manage hypertrophic cardiomyopathy depending on the severity of your condition. Treatment may include:

Medicine Therapy

Medicines help your heart pump stronger, reduce your risk for stroke by preventing blood clots and get rid of fluids backing up in your body.

Heart Valve Replacement

If your heart valves are damaged by cardiomyopathy, you can have surgery to replace them and improve your heart function.

Implantable Cardioverter

The implantable cardioverter is a device that uses electrical impulses to regulate your heartbeat.

Biventricular Pacing

This pacemaker synchronizes the left and right sides of your heart for more efficient beating.

Septal Myectomy

If medicines do not work, this open heart surgery to remove some of the enlarged tissue may increase your heart’s ability to pump blood.

Septal Ablation

In this minimally invasive procedure, alcohol is injected directly into the left ventricle to destroy tissue and reduce the size of the muscles.

Heart Transplant

If hypertrophic cardiomyopathy leads to severe heart failure, a heart transplant is necessary.

Treatment

Many treatments are available to manage hypertrophic cardiomyopathy depending on the severity of your condition. Treatment may include:

Medicine Therapy

Medicines help your heart pump stronger, reduce your risk for stroke by preventing blood clots and get rid of fluids backing up in your body.

Heart Valve Replacement

If your heart valves are damaged by cardiomyopathy, you can have surgery to replace them and improve your heart function.

Implantable Cardioverter

The implantable cardioverter is a device that uses electrical impulses to regulate your heartbeat.

Biventricular Pacing

This pacemaker synchronizes the left and right sides of your heart for more efficient beating.

Septal Myectomy

If medicines do not work, this open heart surgery to remove some of the enlarged tissue may increase your heart’s ability to pump blood.

Septal Ablation

In this minimally invasive procedure, alcohol is injected directly into the left ventricle to destroy tissue and reduce the size of the muscles.

Heart Transplant

If hypertrophic cardiomyopathy leads to severe heart failure, a heart transplant is necessary.

Patient Stories for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program

This special program at Riley Children's Health offers comprehensive care for adults who have congenital heart disease and provides care for all aspects of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Resources

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program

This special program at Riley Children's Health offers comprehensive care for adults who have congenital heart disease and provides care for all aspects of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.