The electrocardiogram in the diagnosis and management of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Heart Rhythm. 2020 Jan;17(1):142-151. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2019.07.019. Epub 2019 Aug 10.


In an era of rapid technological development and evolving diagnostic possibilities, the electrocardiogram (ECG) is living an authentic "renaissance" in myocardial diseases. To date, the ECG remains an irreplaceable first step when evaluating patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and an abnormal ECG may be the only manifestation of disease at an early stage. In some instances, specific electrical anomalies may differentiate HCM from phenocopies such as cardiac amyloidosis and glycogen storage diseases. The exponential growth in knowledge of the complexity of HCM has led to new challenges in terms of early identification of the disease, differential diagnosis, risk stratification, and development of targeted therapies. In this scenario, the apparently "old fashioned" ECG and the array of ECG-based techniques, ranging from Holter monitoring and loop recorders to exercise testing, are as contemporary as ever. In the present review, we discuss the current role of the ECG in the diagnosis and management of HCM, focusing on various clinical settings where its appropriate use and interpretation can make a difference.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Electrocardiogram; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / diagnosis*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / therapy
  • Disease Management*
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Humans