AHN Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

What is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? 

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is sometimes known as hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) or idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis (IHSS). It is a condition where the heart’s walls become abnormally thickened and, as a result, the heart is no longer able to do its job as efficiently.  

In most cases, HCM is a genetic or inherited type of heart disease. Though patients rarely have thickening at birth, they are often born with the genetic instructions that encourage their heart to thicken abnormally over the course of their lifetime. For a small subset of patients with this condition, it can even lead to sudden cardiac death. HCM can be diagnosed at any age, but typically symptoms develop by middle age.

AHN is prepared to diagnose and treat people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, giving them the ability to lead a normal life once again.

Dr. Pietro Bajona, the Director of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program at AHN Cardiovascular Institute discussing the genetic component to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

"In general, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is genetically linked. As we know now, there are several genes that are linked to this disease. But it does not always run through families."

Pietro Bajona, MD, PhD — Director, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program

View on YouTube how HCM is diagnosed
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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy symptoms

While many HCM patients do not experience any symptoms from this thickening of the heart muscle, others may experience one or more of the following: 

  • Chest pain, often during physical exertion, especially during quick bursts of activity or heavy lifting
  • Shortness of breath with physical exertion
  • Swelling in th