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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease of your heart muscle cells. As the cells enlarge, they cause the walls of your ventricles to become thick and stiff. The ventricles are the 2 lower chambers of your heart. They pump blood to your lungs and the rest of your body. When the ventricles are thick or stiff, your heart cannot fill with enough blood. This decreases the blood and oxygen supply to the rest of your body. HCM is usually inherited. HCM may also develop over time. High blood pressure, thyroid disease, and diabetes may cause HCM to develop.

Heart Chambers

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Monitoring:

  • A heart monitor is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.
  • Pulmonary artery (PA) catheter is a balloon-tipped catheter (thin tube) inserted through a vein in your neck or groin. The PA catheter goes into the right side of your heart and continues to your pulmonary artery. The balloon is inflated to wedge the catheter in place. The PA catheter has a device in it that measures the pressure in your heart and lungs. The catheter is attached to a monitor that shows the pressure measurements. The measurements can also show healthcare providers how your heart responds to certain heart medicines.
  • A pulse oximeter is a device that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. A cord with a clip or sticky strip is placed on your finger, ear, or toe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine.

Tests:

  • An EKG or ECG records the electrical activity of your heart. It may show abnormal heartbeats or signals from changes to the heart muscle.
  • A chest x-ray will show enlarged ventricles or a large left atrium.
  • An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound. Sound waves are used to show the structure and function of your heart.
  • A cardiac MRI may show the size of your heart and the thickness of your ventricles. It can also show if you have iron buildup in your heart. You may be given contrast liquid to help the pictures show up better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
  • Cardiac catheterization is a procedure used to look for or treat a heart condition. A catheter is inserted in your arm, neck, or groin and moved into your heart. Contrast liquid is injected into an artery and x-rays of your blood flow are taken. Tell a healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.
  • A stress test will show your heart's response to exercise.

Medicines:

  • Heart medicine helps strengthen or regulate your heartbeat.
  • Blood thinners help prevent blood clots. These include aspirin and warfarin. Blood thinners may cause you to bleed or bruise more easily. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric shaver.
  • Blood pressure medicine is given to lower your blood pressure. A controlled blood pressure helps protect your organs, such as your heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys.

Treatment:

  • An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small device that monitors your heart rate and rhythm. It is placed inside your chest or abdomen. An ICD can give a shock to your heart to make it start beating again. It can also make your heart beat faster or slower.
  • Open heart surgery may be needed to remove part of the thickened muscle that separates the left and right ventricles. You may also need to have a heart valve repaired or replaced so your heart can pump enough blood to your body. Heart valves allow blood flow between the chambers of your heart.
  • Septal ablation is a procedure to help shrink the affected part of the muscle. The procedure also increases the amount of blood the heart can pump. Healthcare providers use a catheter to inject a solution of alcohol into the thickened part of the heart wall (septum).

Activity:

  • You may need to rest in bed.
  • Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is okay to get out of bed. Call your healthcare provider before you get up for the first time. If you ever feel weak or dizzy, sit or lie down right away.

You may need to wear inflatable boots after surgery.

The boots have an air pump that tightens and loosens different areas of the boots. This device improves blood flow and helps prevent clots.

Take deep breaths and cough 10 times each hour.

This will decrease your risk for a lung infection. Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can. Let the air out and then cough strongly. Deep breaths help open your airway. You may be given an incentive spirometer to help you take deep breaths. Put the plastic piece in your mouth and take a slow, deep breath, then let the air out and cough. Repeat these steps 10 times every hour.

RISKS:

You may develop heart failure. You may get an infection in your heart. HCM can be life-threatening if your symptoms are severe.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Mayo Clinic Reference

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