Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hospital hallway

To speak with a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy specialist, call 410-328-7877.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurs because of a thickening of the heart muscle which shrinks the blood's path through the heart, forcing the heart to work harder while pumping blood. It is often associated with sudden death in athletes and generally doesn't show symptoms prior to an episode.

Meet the Hypertrophic
Cardiomyopathy Team

The University of Maryland Medical Center's Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program has a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, geneticists, electrophysiologists, nutritionists and physical therapists ready to treat you and guide you towards healthy lifestyle choices as you learn to live with this disease.

We are currently seeing patients in Baltimore, Columbia, Owings Mills and Westminster. View our list of Heart and Vascular Center locations here.

Symptoms of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic disorder and typically doesn't present any symptoms. Sometimes people do not know they have the condition until they have cardiac arrest. If you are concerned that you have the disorder, you can undergo cardiogenetic testing to determine if you are at risk.

Many can live with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy without it affecting their lives. When symptoms do present, it can cause:

  • Altered heart rhythms
  • Fatigue
  • Faiting (Syncope)
  • Heart murmers
  • Shortness of breath (especially during physical activities)

If these symptoms are present, we can use several diagnostic tools to see if you have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, including:

  • At-home heart monitoring (Event or Holter monitors)
  • Exercise stress test (running on a treadmill during an ECHO)
  • Genetic Testing
  • Heart electrical activity scan (electrocardiogram, or EKG)
  • Heart ultrasound (echocardiogram, or ECHO)
  • Heart Catheterization
  • MRI

Treating Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

There are a variety of treatment options, including:

  • Ablation - destroying abnormal heart cells with heat or cold
  • Alcohol septal ablation - a minimally invasive procedure used to shrink the enlarged muscle
  • ICDs - an implantable device to prevent sudden death
  • Myectomy - a surgical procedure to shave the enlarged muscle

Before and After Your Visit

We will provide a questionnaire for you to fill out before the first visit. We will contact your primary care physician and your cardiologist to obtain all your medical records. Please bring all other medical records that you may have with you at the visit. You can also mail or fax the records to us beforehand.

Depending on your condition, you maybe followed by us quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. If your symptoms change or worsen, call us at 410-328-7877 immediately.