Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

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Approximately, 1 of every 500 people is affected with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, it is important for patients to understand the dynamics of the disease as it could potentially be life threatening. In most cases, the patients quality of life is not affected, but a few will experience symptoms that cause significant discomfort or undetected complications that could lead to sudden cardiac death. With that in mind, it would be beneficial to recognize what it is, specific causes, the steps of diagnoses, and the options for treatment.

What is it?

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an inherited disease that affects the cardiac muscle of the heart, causing the walls of the heart to thicken and become stiff. [1] On a cellular level, the sarcomere increase in size. As a result, the cardiac muscles become abnormally thick, making it difficult for the cells to contract and the heart to pump. A genetic mutation causes the myocytes to form chaotic intersecting bundles. A pathognomonic abnormality called myocardial fiber disarray. [2,12] How the hypertrophy is distributed throughout the heart is varied. Though, in most cases, the left ventricle is always affected. [3] The heart muscle can thicken in four different patterns. The most common being asymmetrical septal hypertrophy without obstruction. Here the intraventricular septum becomes thick, but the mitral valve is not affected. Asymmetrical septal hypertrophy with obstruction causes the mitral valve to touch the septal wall during contraction. (Left ventricle outflow tract obstruction.) The obstruction of the mitral valve allows for blood to slowly flow from the left ventricle back into the left atrium (Mitral regurgitation). Symmetrical hypertrophy is the thickening of the entire left ven...

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...edical Association

[9] "Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy." American Heart Association. ©2014 American Heart Association, Inc., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.

[11] Nishimura, Rick A., Ommen, Steve R., Tajik, A.J., (2003) Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A Patient Perspective. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association,

[12] Ho, Carolyn Y, MD; López, Begoña, PhD; Coelho-Filho, Otavio R, MD; Lakdawala, Neal K, MD; Cirino, Allison L, MS, CGC; Jarolim, Petr, MD, PhD; Kwong, Raymond, MD; González, Arantxa, PhD; Colan, Steven D, MD; Seidman, JG, PhD; Díez, Javier, MD, PhD; Seidman, Christine E, MD. (2010) Myocardial Fibrosis as an Early Manifestation of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Boston, MA: Massachusetts Medical Society

[13] "Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy." The Cleveland Clinic Foundation for Continuing Education. © 2000-2014 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Jan. 2009. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
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