Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy


What is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease of your heart muscle that causes your ventricles to become thick and stiff. The ventricles are the 2 lower chambers of your heart. They pump blood to your lungs and the rest of your body. When the ventricles are thick or stiff, your heart cannot fill with enough blood. This decreases the blood and oxygen supply to the rest of your body. HCM may be a genetic disease that you are born with.

What are the signs and symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? You may have no signs or symptoms or you may have the following:

How is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy diagnosed? Your caregiver will listen to your heart and lungs. He may check your abdomen, ankles, and feet for swelling. Tell him if you have other health conditions or family members with heart disease. Tell your caregiver if you smoke, drink alcohol, or take drugs. You may need the following tests:

What medicines are used to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? Treatment of HCM depends on how much the disease has affected your health. The goal of treatment is to stop the problems caused by HCM and keep the disease from getting worse. You may have one or more of the following treatments:

What treatments are used to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?

What are the risks of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? You may bleed more than expected or get an infection after surgery. Without treatment, your symptoms may get worse. You may have abnormal heartbeats, trouble breathing, or get a blood clot. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause a heart attack or stroke. Fluid may build up in your lungs and body. This may make it hard for you to breathe. Your liver and kidneys may fail. These problems can be life-threatening.

How can I manage my symptoms?

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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