Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is the heart disorder that took the life of 15-year old Louis Savino, III.
What is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)?
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy consists of a thickening of the heart muscle, which disrupts the main pumping chamber of the heart. It is also referenced as an “enlarged heart”.
- The heart muscle may thicken in normal individuals as a result of high blood pressure or prolonged athletic training. In Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy however, the muscle thickening occurs without an obvious cause.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is often clinically silent. The most
common symptoms associated with HCM are:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- HCM may be suspected because of symptoms, a murmur or an abnormal ECG/EKG. An individual with the condition may exhibit any of the symptoms described previously.
- Because such symptoms could be caused by a large number of other conditions, further tests ( EKG or ECG and ECHO ) are necessary.
- 90% of the fatalities caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occur in association with exercise. It continues to be the leading cause of non-traumatic sudden death in young athletes.