Whether a patient has a family history of HCM or is experiencing symptoms, our physician experts can offer patients the full spectrum of tests. The goal is to develop a comprehensive snapshot of the patient’s condition, including risk of sudden death.
Diagnosing and Assessing HCM
Testing begins with an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) to assess the electrical activity of the heart. An echocardiogram will be used to confirm the diagnosis, using high frequency ultrasound waves to measure the thickness, motion, function and blood flow of the heart.
Based on the preliminary findings, other tests may also be required. Tests frequently used to diagnose hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include:
- Exercise stress testing
- Electrophysiology, or arrhythmia evaluation
- Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Cardiac catheterization
In addition, physicians assessing HCM patients may also request sleep apnea screenings and genetic testing. Due to the hereditary nature of HCM, an evaluation of first degree relatives (siblings, children and parents) of HCM patients may be recommend.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Treatment Options
There is no cure for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Instead, treatment concentrates on minimizing symptoms and reducing the risk of sudden cardiac death. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy treatments may include:
- Lifestyle changes, such as activity restrictions, healthy nutrition and proper hydration.
- Surgery, including mitral valve repair and septal myectomy. Septal myectomy is a procedure to remove excess muscle from the wall between the left and right ventricles. This is a very intricate open heart surgery which is not offered everywhere and requires experienced surgeons such as ours.
- Arrhythmia management, including implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs).
- Genetic screening and counseling for family members.