Objectives: We investigated the long-term prognosis of completely asymptomatic adult patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC). Diagnosis of HC was suspected because of an abnormal electrocardiogram and/or cardiac murmur and confirmed by echocardiography and/or left ventricular angiography, and hemodynamic investigation.
Background: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy shows marked heterogeneity in clinical expression and prognosis. The prognosis of asymptomatic patients with HC has not been fully defined.
Methods: Of 128 consecutive adult patients with HC, 58 asymptomatic patients (Group 1, mean age 42.8 years) and 70 symptomatic patients (Group 2, mean age 50.4 years) were studied to assess cardiac mortality. Mean follow-up periods were 11.0 years for Group 1 and 9.1 years for Group 2.
Results: At presentation, Group 1 patients were younger and had smaller left atrial dimensions than did Group 2 patients. The annual cardiac mortality rate and the rate for sudden death alone in Group 1 were significantly lower than in Group 2 (0.9% vs. 1.9%, p < 0.05, 0.1% vs. 1.4%, p < 0.05, respectively). Although about one-third of the survivors in Group 1 had cardiac symptoms at their most recent evaluation, only one patient died suddenly compared with eight in Group 2. The annual mortality rate due to heart failure was similar in each group. Only a syncopal episode was associated with both cardiac death and sudden death for both groups combined.
Conclusions: The cardiac mortality rate for completely asymptomatic adult patients with HC was very low, significantly lower than that of symptomatic patients, and there was a disproportionately low incidence of sudden death.