Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition where the heart muscle thickens (hypertrophies). This thickening typically affects the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber. The thickened muscle can become stiff and hinder the heart's ability to:

  • Relax and fill with blood properly
  • Pump blood efficiently throughout the body

HCM can be inherited (familial) or occur due to unknown causes (non-familial). It's important to note that many people with HCM experience no symptoms at all.

There are two main types of HCM:

  • Obstructive HCM: The most common type, where the thickened wall (septum) between the ventricles blocks or reduces blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta.
  • Non-obstructive HCM: The heart muscle thickens but doesn't significantly block blood flow. However, the thickened muscle can still stiffen the ventricle, making it difficult to relax.