Left ventricular non-compaction, the most recently classified form of cardiomyopathy, is characterised by abnormal trabeculations in the left ventricle, most frequently at the apex. It can be associated with left ventricular dilation or hypertrophy, systolic or diastolic dysfunction, or both, or various forms of congenital heart disease. Affected individuals are at risk of left or right ventricular failure, or both. Heart failure symptoms can be induced by exercise or be persistent at rest, but many patients are asymptomatic. Patients on chronic treatment for compensated heart failure sometimes present acutely with decompensated heart failure. Other life-threatening risks of left ventricular non-compaction are ventricular arrhythmias or complete atrioventricular block, presenting clinically as syncope, and sudden death. Genetic inheritance arises in at least 30-50% of patients, and several genes that cause left ventricular non-compaction have been identified. These genes seem generally to encode sarcomeric (contractile apparatus) or cytoskeletal proteins, although, in the case of left ventricular non-compaction with congenital heart disease, disturbance of the NOTCH signalling pathway seems part of a final common pathway for this form of the disease. Disrupted mitochondrial function and metabolic abnormalities have a causal role too. Treatments focus on improvement of cardiac efficiency and reduction of mechanical stress in patients with systolic dysfunction. Further, treatment of arrhythmia and implantation of an automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator for prevention of sudden death are mainstays of therapy when deemed necessary and appropriate. Patients with left ventricular non-compaction and congenital heart disease often need surgical or catheter-based interventions. Despite progress in diagnosis and treatment in the past 10 years, understanding of the disorder and outcomes need to be improved.
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