Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a common genetically transmitted disease, defined clinically by the presence of unexplained left ventricular hypertrophy. The disease has a varied clinical course and outcome; many patients have little or no discernible cardiovascular symptoms, whereas others have profound exercise limitation and recurrent arrhythmias. The overall risk of disease-related complications such as sudden death, endstage heart failure, and fatal stroke is roughly 1-2% per year, but the absolute risk in individuals varies as a function of underlying genetic abnormality, age, myocardial pathology, and other pathophysiological abnormalities such as impaired peripheral vascular responses. Genetic counselling and clinical risk stratification are relevant to all patients, but many therapeutic interventions, including septal alcohol ablation, septal myectomy, and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, are appropriate only in particular patient subsets. We review the management of patients with unexplained myocardial hypertrophy, considering the influence of underlying genetic and pathophysiological substrates on clinical decision-making.