Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

December 22 21:03 2019 Print This Article

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a form of cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle to become thick. The thickened heart muscle can interfere with the heart’s electrical system, increasing the risk for life-threatening abnormal heartbeats and, rarely, sudden death. In some cases, the enlarged heart muscle is unable to relax between heartbeats as it normally does, and the heart muscle itself does not get enough blood or oxygen. In rare cases, the thickened heart muscle reduces the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively to the body.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurs in about one in every 500 people and affects men and women equally. The disease can go undiagnosed because many of those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy have few, if any, symptoms.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may be present at birth (congenital) or acquired later in life. Congenital hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is caused by an inherited genetic defect. Acquired hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may be caused by such disorders as acromegaly (excessive growth due to overproduction of growth hormone, usually by a benign pituitary tumor) and a pheochromocytoma (a tumor that overproduces the hormone epinephrine). Neurofibromatosis, a hereditary disorder, may also cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Cardiomyopathy is a serious disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed and doesn’t work as well as it should. There may be multiple causes including viral infections. There are three types of cardiomyopathy: “hypertrophic”, “dilated” and “restrictive”. The main feature of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is an excessive thickening of the heart muscle (hypertrophy literally means to thicken).

Heart muscle may thicken in normal individuals as a result of high blood pressure or prolonged athletic training. In Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), however the muscle thickening occurs without an obvious cause. In addition, microscopic examination of the heart muscle in HCM shows abnormal. The normal alignment of muscle cells is absent and this abnormality is called myocardial disarray.

Causes of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

HCM can run in families, but the condition may also be acquired as a part of aging or high blood pressure. Possible causes of dilated congestive cardiomyopathy include: inflammation of the heart muscle ( myocarditis ) either infectious or non-infectious, excessive alcohol consumption, nutritional deficiencies, complications arising shortly before or after childbirth (postpartum), and genetic disorders. Causes of the hypertrophic and restrictive forms are usually unknown.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Sign and symptoms may include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Light-headedness

Treatment for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Treatment may include:

  • Beta-blockers slow the heart beat and reduce its force of contraction by blocking the nerve signals within the heart that control the heart rhythm.
  • Antiarrhythmics help to prevent or alleviate abnormal heart rhythms and reduce the risks associated with these.
  • lifestyle changes.
  • Surgery.