Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a medical condition wherein the myocardium or the heart muscle tends to thicken. As a result of the thickening of this heart muscle, it becomes increasingly difficult for the heart to pump blood, thereby causing the heart to work even harder.
Additionally, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is also known to affect the electrical system of the heart. Many a times, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy tends to result in the thickening of the septum which is the wall that divides the two lower heart chambers. This thickening of the septum then results in the reduction of blood flow in as well as out of the heart.
Very often individuals who are suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may not experience any symptoms or may experience only minor symptoms which may allow them to continue to lead a normal life. On the other hand, individuals may also develop symptoms which tend to progress and gradually worsen as the performance of the heart worsens
Some of the commonly observed symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are:
Typically the diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is done by an echocardiogram which is the most common test used to diagnose this medical condition. By using the images obtained with the help of an echocardiogram, the doctor is able to check on the thickness of the wall of the heart and also if the blood is moving around normally or if the flow of blood is obstructed. The echocardiogram is an effective and helpful diagnostic tool that helps the doctor keep check of any abnormalities in the valves and muscles of the heart. Some of the other diagnostic tools available for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are an electrocardiogram, holter monitor, cardiac MRI and also a cardiac catheterization.
There have also been studies that link genetic factors to an individual developing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As part of the diagnosis, the doctor may also administer related tests on immediate family members to check for symptoms of this medical condition.
The primary aim of the treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is to provide the individual with relief from the associated symptoms and to also try and prevent a case of sudden death amongst those who are at a high risk. The various treatment options for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include: