Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

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
    • Palpitation
    • Light-headedness
    • Blackouts
  • 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.

For more information:

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association

American Heart Association