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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition where the heart’s walls have excessively thickened, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood.

In most cases, HCM is a congenital heart disease — something you’re born with.
It’s a serious condition that can possibly lead to sudden cardiac death, even in young people. But AHN is prepared to diagnose and treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients, giving them the ability to lead a normal life.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy symptoms

While many HCM patients experience no symptoms from this thickening of the heart muscle, others may experience any of the following: 

  • Chest pain, often due to physical exertion
  • Shortness of breath resulting from physical exertion
  • Swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen, and veins in the
    neck
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting 

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy care at AHN: Why choose us?

Patients have access to expert cardiologists who specialize in cardiomyopathy care. They are experienced, highly trained providers who have access to the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies and techniques, including medical and surgical interventions. 

How we diagnose hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 

The most common way to diagnose HCM is through an echocardiogram. This is a noninvasive, painless test that uses sound waves to produce a picture of the various chambers of your heart and evaluate how well it’s functioning.

Another option is an electrocardiogram in which sensors detect abnormal heart rhythm and can detect thickening of the heart walls. 

AHN Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program

Learn about our team-based approach to diagnosing and care for your HCM.

How we treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

HCM is most often treated with medication that can help control your heart’s rhythm and pumping intensity. 

  • Beta blockers. These are designed to slow the heart by blocking the effects of hormones like adrenaline.
  • Calcium channel blockers. These lower your blood pressure by preventing calcium from entering your heart and arteries.
  • Heart rhythm drugs. These are used to promote a more natural rhythm and are often used alongside other interventions like cardioverter defibrillators. 

If medication alone isn’t enough to fully treat your condition, AHN surgeons are experienced at performing procedures that can thin your heart’s walls. They can also implant small devices that monitor your heart’s rhythm and bring it under control if a life-threatening arrhythmia occurs.  

Contact us

Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 or request an appointment to learn more about AHN cardiovascular services.