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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)?

HCM is a disease that causes heart muscle cells to become large. As the cells get larger, 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, but it may develop over time. High blood pressure, thyroid disease, or diabetes increase your risk for HCM.

Heart Chambers

What are the signs and symptoms of HCM?

You may have no signs or symptoms, or you may have any of the following:

How is HCM diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will listen to your heart and lungs. He or she may check your abdomen, ankles, and feet for swelling. Tell your provider if you have other health conditions or family members with heart disease. Also tell him or her if you smoke, drink alcohol, or take drugs. You may need the following tests:

How is HCM treated?

Treatment of HCM depends on how much the disease has affected your health. The goal of treatment is to stop the problems caused by HCM and keep the disease from getting worse. You may need any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

How can I manage HCM?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone call if:

When should I call my doctor?

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. 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.

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