Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a disease in which the heart muscle becomes thickened (enlarged). An enlarged heart muscle may make it difficult for the heart to pump blood.

hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy often goes undiagnosed because many people with the disease have few or no symptoms. 

But in a small number of people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the enlarged heart muscle can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, or changes in the heart's electrical system, leading to an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or sudden death.


Signs and symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may include one or more of the following:

Chest pain, especially when exercising

Fainting, especially during or immediately after exercise or exertion

A heart murmur, which your doctor may detect while listening to your heartbeat

The feeling of a fast, pounding, or strong heartbeat (palpitations)

Shortness of breath, especially during exercise

When should you see a doctor?

There are medical conditions that cause symptoms of shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, and palpitations. 

That's why it's important to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis and get the proper care. Consult your doctor if you have a family history of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or any associated symptoms.

Call 911 (in the United States) or the emergency number in your country if you have any of the following symptoms for more than several minutes:

fast or irregular heartbeat

breathing difficulties

pain in chest

the reasons

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is usually caused by changes in genes (gene mutations) that cause the thickening of the heart muscle.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy usually affects the muscular wall (septum) between the heart's two lower chambers (ventricles). 

The thickened wall may prevent blood from flowing out of the heart. This is known as hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy.

If there is no significant obstruction to blood flow, the condition is called hypertrophic non-obstructive cardiomyopathy. 

However, the heart's main pumping chamber (the left ventricle) may harden. This makes it difficult for the heart to relax and reduces the amount of blood that the ventricle can hold and send to the body with each heartbeat.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is also associated with a rearrangement of heart muscle cells (muscle fiber scattering) in many people. This can trigger arrhythmia in some people.

risk factors

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy usually runs in families (hereditary). If one parent has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the risk of developing the genetic mutation that causes the disease is 50%.

Parents, children, or siblings of people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy should consult doctors about screening for the disease.


Complications of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can include:

Atrial fibrillation. Myocardial hypertrophy and associated changes in the composition of heart cells may cause changes in the heart's electrical system, resulting in a rapid or irregular heartbeat. 

Atrial fibrillation can also increase the chances of a blood clot that can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.

obstruction of blood flow; Often, the enlarged heart muscle can block blood flow out of the heart, causing shortness of breath on exertion, chest pain, dizziness, and fainting spells.

Mitral valve disease. If the enlarged heart muscle obstructs blood flow out of the heart, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle (mitral valve) may not close properly. 

As a result, blood may leak back into the left atrium (mitral regurgitation), which can worsen symptoms.

Dilated cardiomyopathy. In a small number of people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the enlarged heart muscle may become weak and lethargic, at which point the ventricle becomes enlarged (dilated) and its ability to pump blood is impaired.

heart failure; The enlarged heart muscle may end up being so stiff that it prevents the heart from filling with blood. As a result, the heart is unable to pump blood to meet the body's needs.

Loss of consciousness (fainting). An irregular heartbeat or obstructed blood flow can sometimes lead to fainting. Idiopathic syncope can be associated with sudden cardiac arrest, especially if it has occurred recently or in a young person.

sudden cardiac arrest Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can, in rare cases, cause sudden cardiac death in people of all ages. 

Because many people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are unaware of their condition, sudden cardiac arrest may be their first indication of the condition. 

It may occur in seemingly healthy young adults, including athletic high school students and other lively young adults.


There's no known way to prevent hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is therefore important to discover the condition as soon as possible to guide treatment and prevent complications.

If a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, your doctor may refer you for genetic testing for this condition. 

But not all people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy have a currently detectable mutation. Also, some insurance companies do not cover genetic testing.

If genetic testing isn't done, or if its results aren't helpful, your doctor may recommend repeat echocardiograms if one of your relatives has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. 

Teens and competitive sports should be screened once a year. For adults who do not exercise in Competitive sports, they should be checked every five years.

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