Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common and heterogeneous disorder that increases an individual's risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). This review article discusses the relevant factors that are involved in the challenge of preventing SCD in patients with HCM. The epidemiology of SCD in patients is reviewed as well as the structural and genetic basis behind ventricular arrhythmias in HCM. The primary prevention of SCD with implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy is the cornerstone of modern treatment for individuals at high risk of SCD. The focus here is on the current and emerging predictors of SCD as well as risk stratification recommendations from both North American and European guidelines. Issues related to ICD implantation, such as programming, complications and inappropriate therapies, are discussed. The emerging role of the fully subcutaneous ICD and the data regarding its implantation are reviewed.
Keywords: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; implantable cardioverter defibrillator; subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator; sudden cardiac death.