Writer: Prof. Dr. Yavuz Besogul
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease in which the heart muscle (myocardium) becomes abnormally thick (hypertrophic). Thickened heart muscle can make it harder for the heart to pump blood.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy often goes undiagnosed because many people with the disease have few, if any, symptoms and can lead normal lives without significant problems. However, in a small number of people with HCM, the thickened heart muscle can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, or problems with the heart's electrical system, which can lead to life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
Symptoms of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
It is possible to list some of the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as follows.
- Shortness of breath, especially during exercise
- Chest pain, especially during exercise
- Fainting, especially during or immediately after exercise or exertion
- Sensation of fast, fluttering or pounding heartbeats (palpitations)
- Heart murmur, which your doctor can detect when listening to your heart
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Treatment
There is no need for treatment in patients who do not have the above symptoms. Drug treatments can be applied to reduce complaints. There are two different treatment methods in cases that do not respond to drug treatment:
1. Alcohol septal ablation using angiographic method to the muscle causing narrowing
2. Surgical removal of the blockage in the muscle causing the narrowing (myectomy operation).
Heart transplantation may be necessary in patients with advanced heart failure.