What is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?

In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the muscle of the heart becomes thicker than normal, obstructing blood flow to the rest of the body.

The thickened muscle can also affect one of the leaflets of the mitral valve, which separates the left atrium and the left ventricle. The valve leaflets become leaky, allowing blood to move backwards from the left ventricle into the left atrium, instead of forward to the rest of the body.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is often hereditary. One-half of children with the disease have a parent or sibling with varying degrees of left ventricular muscle or ventricular wall enlargement, although relatives may or may not have symptoms.

Children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may have symptoms that increase with exertion or symptoms may be unpredictable.

The following are the most common symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

Specific treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy will be determined by your child's health care provider based on:

  • Your child's age, overall health, and medical history

  • Extent of the disease

  • Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

  • Expectations for the course of the disease

  • Your opinion or preference

Your child's health care provider may recommend medications to accomplish the following:

  • Decrease the workload of the heart

  • Decrease the oxygen requirements of the heart

  • Regulate irregular heartbeats

Surgical treatment may include:

  • Removal of part of the enlarged muscle

  • Implantation of a pacemaker or defibrillator

  • Heart transplantation

Consult your child's health care provider for more information regarding the specific outlook for your child.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 314.454.5437 or 800.678.5437 or email us