Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy: Surgical Myectomy and Septal Ablation

Circ Res. 2017 Sep 15;121(7):771-783. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.309348.


Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic disorder characterized by marked hypertrophy of the myocardium. It is frequently accompanied by dynamic left ventricular outflow tract obstruction and symptoms of dyspnea, angina, and syncope. The initial therapy for symptomatic patients with obstruction is medical therapy with β-blockers and calcium antagonists. However, there remain a subset of patients who have continued severe symptoms, which are unresponsive to medical therapy. These patients can be treated with septal reduction therapy, either surgical septal myectomy or alcohol septal ablation. When performed by experienced operators working in high-volume centers, septal myectomy is highly effective with a >90% relief of obstruction and improvement in symptoms. The perioperative mortality rate for isolated septal myectomy in most centers is <1%. Alcohol septal ablation is a less invasive treatment. In many patients, the hemodynamic and clinical results are comparable to that of septal myectomy. However, the results of alcohol septal ablation are dependent on the septal perforator artery supplying the area of the contact between the hypertrophied septum and the anterior leaflet of the mitral valve. There are some patients, particularly younger patients with severe hypertrophy, who do not uniformly experience complete relief of obstruction and symptoms. Both techniques of septal reduction therapy are highly operator dependent. The final decision as to which approach should be selected in any given patient is dependent up patient preference and the availability and experience of the operator and institution at which the patient is being treated.

Keywords: athletes; blood pressure; cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic; dyspnea; hypertrophy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ablation Techniques* / adverse effects
  • Cardiac Imaging Techniques
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / genetics
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / pathology
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / surgery*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Heart Septum / pathology
  • Heart Septum / physiopathology
  • Heart Septum / surgery*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Patient Selection
  • Phenotype
  • Recovery of Function
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Function