Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Sudden Cardiac Death

World J Cardiol. 2010 Sep 26;2(9):289-98. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v2.i9.289.


Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common genetic cardiovascular disease that affects the left ventricle. HCM can appear at any age, with the majority of the patients remaining clinically stable. When patients complain of symptoms, these include: dyspnea, dizziness, syncope and angina. HCM can lead to sudden cardiac death (SCD), mainly due to ventricular tachyarrhythmia or ventricular tachycardia. High-risk patients benefit from implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. Left ventricular outflow tract obstruction is not a rare feature in HCM, especially in symptomatic patients, and procedures that abolish that obstruction provide positive and consistent results that can improve long-term survival. HCM is the most common cause of sudden death in young competitive athletes and preparticipation screening programs have to be implemented to avoid these tragic fatalities. The structure of these programs is a matter of large debate. Worldwide registries are necessary to identify the full extent of HCM-related SCD.

Keywords: Athletes; Genetics; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Management; Risk-stratification; Sudden cardiac death.