The medical team at Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Associates (HCM) are experts in treating hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, as well as Amyloid heart disease, Fabry's disease and left ventricle noncompaction.
We meet with patients and family members to discuss diagnosis and options for cardiovascular treatment. We treat patients age 10 and older. Patients can develop two different forms of HCM:
Most HCM patients have the obstructive form of the disease. This means their mitral valve is too long and causes it to contact with the thickened heart muscle septum. This partially obstructs or prevents blood flow out of the heart. In some patients, this obstruction to blood flow is present at rest. In other patients it occurs only during exercise, requiring an exercise stress test be performed at the time of the clinical evaluation.
The obstruction to blood flow is responsible for what we refer to as “limiting” symptoms. These include: shortness of breath with activity, exertional fatigue, chest pressure, heart pounding and occasionally lightheadedness Most of the symptoms can be managed with specific medications. If the medications are not effective, patients are considered for for invasive treatment options to relieve the obstruction—via either surgical myectomy or alcohol ablation.
The remaining patients are considered non-obstructive HCM. This means their heart muscle is thickened but there is no obstruction to blood flow out of the heart at rest or with exercise. Symptoms of non-obstructive HCM are often controlled well with medications. These patients do not benefit from invasive treatments such as surgical myectomy or alcohol septal ablation.
Severity of symptoms and risk of complications vary greatly between HCM patients. Many individuals with HCM never experience serious problems or symptoms. In contrast, others develop symptoms similar to other forms of heart disease including:
- Chest pain with exercise
- Swelling in the lower extremities
- Exercise intolerance
Our physician practice works closely with the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center, which offers patients world-class medical experts and award-winning cardiovascular diagnostic and treatment services.