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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

The Only Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program in New Jersey

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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common hereditary medical condition that afflicts one in 500 Americans. HCM results in the walls of the heart becoming excessively thick and it may obstruct blood flow from leaving the heart. Symptoms often overlap other medical ailments and treating it can be complex. It is a genetic disease and more than one family member may be affected.

Chanin T. Mast Center for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center, part of Atlantic Health System Heart Care, has the only HCM center in New Jersey. The Chanin T. Mast Center for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, which provides nurturing, specialized, world-class care to patients for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of those with known or suspected of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). Symptoms of HCM can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Inability to exercise
  • Chest pressure or pain
  • Fainting

We provide the following services:

  • Convenient access to specialists and our world-renowned co-medical directors
  • Individualized coordinated multidisciplinary evaluation, management and patient/family support
  • Imaging and diagnostics as well as access to interventions including implantation of defibrillators and catheter-based interventions
  • HCM screenings and community outreach to help protect young athletes from sudden cardiac death

Working with HCM patients and letting them know they’re not alone is my dream come true. I tell them not to let HCM define you. My brother and I are proof that you can have HCM and still live a normal life.

Sara, HCM patient and CMA at Atlantic Medical Group HCM Associates
Read Sara's Story

Diagnostic Tests and Services

Our center provides convenient access to specialists and our world-renowned co-medical directors, as well as individualized coordinated multidisciplinary evaluation, management and patient/family support.  We provide HCM screenings, community outreach, as well as imaging and diagnostics. In addition to a comprehensive physical exam,  the following tests to confirm and manage your HCM:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram (Echo)
  • Stress (exercise) echocardiogram
  • Cardiac MRI

Treatment for Patients with HCM

To prevent sudden cardiac death in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an implantable defibrillator may be necessary.  Defibrillators have eliminated the vast majority of sudden death events in HCM. To identify those patients who will likely benefit from all HCM patients undergo risk stratification, to determine which patients should receive defibrillators. 

If you are found to be high risk, we will discuss with you implanting a cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), designed to identify and terminate these arrhythmias thus preventing sudden cardiac death events. 

Only a very small proportion of patients with HCM are at increased risk for sudden cardiac death.

Learn more about our center and how it was named by the generous donation by the Adam R. and Chanin T. Mast Foundation >

Physician services are provided by Atlantic Medical Group >

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Morristown Medical Center featured on WNBC's "The Good Fight with Pat Battle."

In addition to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the staff also treats left ventricular non-compaction which is a muscle disorder of the lower left chamber of the heart (left ventricle) that does not develop correctly. Instead of the muscle being smooth and firm, it is thick, spongy and mesh like. Symptoms from non-compaction range widely, but can include:

  • Breathlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the lower extremities
  • Exercise intolerance

In patients with low heart function, tachyarrhythmias and clotting of the blood, can occur.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) Medical Team

The Chanin T. Mast Center for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is composed of a multidisciplinary team of international leaders in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The team includes physician experts in cardiac imaging, rhythm disorders, cardiac surgery, catheter-based interventions and genetics, as well as nurses, nurse practitioners and social workers.

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Community Conversation: Dr. Damion Martins and Dr. Matthew Martinez

Important Guidelines for Returning to Sports and Activities

Wednesday, June 24 at 12:30pm — After the last few months it’s understandable we’re itching to restart our old fitness routines or get back to the sports activity we love. But there are some important guidelines to know before hitting the gym or the playing field.

During this Community Conversation, Damion Martins, MD, medical director of Sports Medicine for Atlantic Health System, team physician for New York Jets and a leading voice in the reopening of sports activities, and Matthew Martinez, MD, director of Atlantic Health System Sports Cardiology at Morristown Medical Center, will discuss the latest steps to begin organized sports across New Jersey for student athletes and some general fitness best practices for “weekend warriors” as they return to activity. 

Genetic Testing

If you have a family history of cardiomyopathy, aortic root enlargement or structural cardiac abnormalities, a genetic evaluation may be helpful.

Sara's Story

As a working mom with two daughters—one of whom had health issues from an early age—Sara always puts her children and her husband, Raul, first. Unfortunately, that meant she ignored her own health concerns, which included shortness of breath, dizziness, heart palpitations and sometimes debilitating chest pains. But when her younger brother received a surprising diagnosis of a life-threatening heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), she realized she had it, too. Five years later, her HCM is under control, and she’s helping others realize that they can have the condition and still lead a normal life.