Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is condition that is caused due to abnormal thickening of the myocardium or heart muscle. As a result the heart struggles in pumping blood and ultimately leads to a heart attack. This is not a common heart condition and hence this condition many a times goes unnoticed. Furthermore, some people who suffer from it might or might not experience any symptoms and are able to live routine normal lives. Only a few might experience symptoms like chest pain, issues with the heart’s electrical system , shortness of breath leading to abnormal heart rhythms of dangerous nature.
CAUSES & RISK FACTORS
Thickening of the heart muscle is a condition which is genetic. It has been found that people with this condition do have their heart muscle cells abnormally arranged, thus causing arrhythmia in them.
Well, as the condition is a hereditary condition there is almost over 50% chance that a child may inherit it from the parent or first degree relative like siblings and hence a screening is advisable if anyone in the family is having the condition.
Not everybody suffering from the condition experience symptoms but the ones who do may experience the following –
1. Chest pain particularly while exercising
2. Palpitations of rapid pounding heart beats
3. Shortness of breath more during exercising
4. Fainting particularly after exertion or exercise
5. Heart murmur detectable by the doctor
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) can cause serious heart complications resulting into life threatening situation and hence it’s wise to act fast as far as treatment is concerned.
Sudden Death – People suffering from the condition are at a high risk of suffering from a cardiac death due to Ventricular Fibrillation and Ventricular tachycardia, though the chances are extremely rare. It usually affect people at a younger age much below 30 but can occur in all ages.
Atrial Fibrillation – Due to the abnormal structure of the hear cells or thickened muscle it can affect the heart’s electrical system causing irregular heart-beats.
Mitral Valve Problems – Due to the thickened heart muscle, the space for blood flow is limited and hence it could cause the blood to rush or move forcefully into the heart. As a result the hearts left and right ventricle will not close properly further causing the blood to flow in the reverse direction into the left atrium and worsening the symptoms
Dilated Cardiomyopathy – This condition can occur in a very few chunk of people due to the weakening to the heart muscle after it thickens. It can further enlarge the ventricle and decrease the pumping ability.
Heart Failure – Thickening can sometimes lead to making the heart muscle stiff thus avoiding any sort of blood accumulation into it and further as the heart is not able to pump blood, it can cause heart failure.
As the cause of the condition primarily is genetic, it can’t be prevented but taking care and carrying out procedures like cardioverter-defrillator transplant can help you avoid risks like sudden death. Further, the symptoms clearly pin point to the fact that when doing strenuous exercise or exertions these symptoms pop up, hence it’s advisable to get your heart checked if someone in the family is having this condition and avoid participating in exercises and sport competitions which can cause exertion to the body.
Vydehi Institute of Cardiac Sciences is a well equipped super speciality centre located in Vydehi Hospital designed to serve your hearts needs. It is equipped to treat all cardiac, cardiothoracic and vascular cases. It uses all the latest equipment and technology coupled with the years of experience in its faculty. All surgeries conducted at the department have been successful resulting in a 100% success rate.