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HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY: Causes, Signs and Treatments!


Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy Definition: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a morbid thickening of the left ventricle  (LV), which pushes the blood through the main arteries (aorta) into the body ‘s circulation, and the vital organs such as the brain, liver, kidneys, intestines, and Musculature with oxygen-rich blood.

The growth of the heart is caused by an enlargement of the heart muscle cells. In the primary forms, there is the unrestricted growth of the individual cardiac muscle cells. A rebuilding of the cardiac muscle cells takes place in the further course. Thus, in its entirety, the left ventricle can no longer function efficiently. Disorders of the blood ejection into the body cycle follow. A thickness increase of the heart muscle develops in a compensatory manner.

In HOCM, only a part of the muscle is thickened. In most cases, thickening of the cardiac wall in the vicinity of the heart valves and, therefore, obstruction of the blood discharge into the main impact lines occurs. As a result, the left ventricular chamber has to perform more work, which in turn leads to a thickness increase of the chamber. In the case of the HNCM, as a rule, a complete thickness increase of the muscles of the entire left ventricle of the heart occurs, without obstruction of the blood flow into the aorta and consequently to a stiffening of the heart muscle.


Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy Causes: The causes of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are only partially known. This cardiac disease is divided into primary and secondary cardiomyopathies. In the context of primary cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic obstructive (HOCM) and non-obstructive cardiomyopathy (HNCM) is usually isolated to a thickening of the heart muscle. The disease is rare (0.02%). 50% are hereditary diseases. The remaining 50% is due to cases where no cause can be found. Together, the HOCM and the HNCM are a disturbance of the construction of the muscle cells of the heart by uncontrolled growth and thus the overall function of the left ventricular chamber.

In the case of secondary cardiomyopathies, thickening of the heart muscle occurs, the cause of which is to be found in an existing disease of the body. Examples include muscle thickening due to high blood pressure (9 – 24% men, 7 – 33% women).


Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy Symptoms: The majority of patients are symptom-free. The first symptoms are fatigue, fatigue, dyspnea even in light exercise, dizziness, heart rhythm disturbances, and heartache with pressure on the chest ( angina pectoris ). In the advanced stage, syncope (fainting spells) and dyspnoea can lead to sudden cardiac death.

While HNCM and secondary hypertrophic cardiomyopathies are generally associated with increased blood pressure, the blood pressure at HOCM is low, because the thickening of the heart muscle in the area of the cardiac wall in the vicinity of the heart hinders the blood ejection into the main impact lines. Dyspnoea and dizziness are frequently observed symptoms. Cardiac arrhythmia due to disturbed conduction leads to sudden cardiac death in 1 to 3% of patients. The HOCM has been proven to be the most common undetected cause of death in patients under the age of 30!



Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy Treatment: After extensive diagnostics, the HNCM, as well as the secondary hypertrophic cardiomyopathies, are treated as a rule conservatively medication or surgery.

  1. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Medication: The thickening of the heart muscle is counteracted by means of beta-blockers and Ca antagonists and the heart work economizes. The treatment of the HOCM with the hindrance of the blood flow into the main impact lines due to the thick cardiac wall is more elaborate. Severe cardiac arrhythmia and low blood pressure are particularly common. As a result of the above-mentioned dizziness attacks up to fainting. In addition to conservative drug therapy, this disease is usually followed by electrophysiological examination and the left heart catheter.
  2. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy Surgery: In the case of proven severe cardiac arrhythmia, implantation of a cardiac pacemaker or a defibrillator has been established in studies. In severe forms, which can not be controlled by either medical therapy or the implantation of a pacemaker, new procedures are available by means of catheter techniques in addition to the surgical muscle reduction (myectomy).

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