Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM is a condition where hypertrophy or thickening of the heart muscle occurs. The situation leads to enlargement of the muscle cells, and the scarring grows between the cells. Septum, the muscular wall, separates the left and right ventricles of the heart. The occurrence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes the septum to thicken. The thickened region of the muscular wall bulges into the left ventricle and blocks the smooth blood flow from the left ventricle chamber of the heart. When this occurs, the heart functions harder to pump out the needed blood to the body.
Causes of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is majorly a genetic problem. Patients diagnosed with the disease inherit from the parents. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, as stated above, thickens the muscle wall and bulges into the left ventricle. However, the exact reason behind the occurrence is unknown. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an autosomal dominant. It means that a patient can acquire it from an abnormal gene from any one of the parents. Nonetheless, according to doctors, a few patients may not develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy even if they have an unusual gene. Research is still underway to find additional factors that are responsible for increasing the chances of the occurrence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Who is At Risk?
Individuals diagnosed with first-degree possess a higher degree of risk for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A parent with an abnormal gene increases the chance of transferring the same to a child by over 50%. It is necessary for an individual to follow the screening protocols if an immediate member is suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The screening procedure includes physical examination, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, and study of the family history.
What is the Life Expectancy of Someone with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?
According to research and experts, today’s treatment improved so much that the death rate in adults suffering from the disease is similar to that of the death rate of the general population. The advancement in the medical field over the past decade helped the doctors to analyze the risk factors and the importance of ICDs, which were once thought to be the primary component for causing cardiac arrest.
Individuals suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy show a few or no symptoms at all. Nonetheless, the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy appear in young adulthood or during adolescence. The severity of the symptoms and the onset vary according to the condition of the individual. It includes:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Increased palpitations
- Swelling in the legs
- Swelling in the abdominal region
- Abnormal heartbeats.
The doctor will carry out a thorough analysis to understand the condition of the patient. It includes collecting the information of the family medical history, physical examination, and the following tests:
- Stress echocardiogram
- Continuous portable electrocardiogram monitoring
- MRI of the heart
- Cardiac catheterization
- Coronary angiography
- Genetic testing
The main aim of the treatment is to decrease the symptoms or signs that complicate hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The proper treatment depends on the indications and their severity. A few of the common treatment include:
- Activity restriction
- Avoiding dehydration
- Medicines that help prevent the occurrence of shortness of breath and chest pain
- Medications to prevent abnormal heartbeat
- Septal myectomy
- Alcohol septal ablation
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
Management of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Managing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy varies from one patient to another. However, the common management action includes avoiding drugs such as ACE inhibitors and erectile dysfunction medicines. Besides, the doctor prescribes medicines for producing high cholesterol, modifies lifestyle, and improves diet.
- Cardiomyopathy – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
- Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy or Broken Heart Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
- Causes & Symptoms of Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy or ARVC
- Restrictive Cardiomyopathy: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
- Causes of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy & Its Treatment
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, Prognosis
- Are Cardiomyopathy And Congestive Heart Failure The Same Thing?
- What is the Life Expectancy Of A Woman Who Has Cardiomyopathy?