Overview

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an inherited disease of the heart muscle. HCM can cause the wall of the heart muscle to thicken. When the walls get too thick, the heart muscle functions inefficiently, causing some patients to have obstruction to blood flow from the heart. HCM is also associated with abnormal heart rhythms, which can sometimes be life threatening.

Our Approach to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Over the past decades, UCSF has helped pioneer breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of genetic heart disorders such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Patients have access to world-class care at our cardiovascular genetics program – the first such program in Northern California and one of a select few across the country. Specialists in inherited heart conditions offer evaluations, genetic testing and counseling, customized treatment plans and help in addressing the complex psychological and familial issues that can accompany a genetic disorder such as HCM.

Treatment for HCM depends on the patient's symptoms, heart function and other factors, and may include medications or surgery. In cases where the disorder is causing irregular heartbeats, we may perform a catheter ablation, a procedure that destroys the portion of heart tissue responsible for the arrhythmia. Other options include surgically implanting a pacemaker or cardioverter defibrillator, devices that use electrical impulses to regulate the heart's rhythm. Our patients may also have access to the latest experimental treatments being evaluated in clinical trials.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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