UVA is Virginia's only designated HCM Center of Excellence by the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association. We offer cardiovascular screening, genetic testing and a range of treatment options to help you and your family manage congenital heart defects.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a genetic disease that leads to abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, which makes it harder to pump blood and strains the heart.
The thickened muscle can get in the way of the blood leaving the heart and cause a blockage. HCM can also cause uneven muscle growth, which makes the heart pump in a disorganized way. These abnormal heart rhythms can be fatal.
HCM Treatment Options
You may not need treatment if you're not experiencing symptoms, but your cardiologist might advise you to avoid strenuous exercise and sports.
HCM symptoms can include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
You may be able to manage your symptoms with medication. We also provide the following treatment options for patients with HCM symptoms.
You may need an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) if you're at increased risk for cardiac arrest.
Patients with significant thickening of the heart may need a type of heart surgery called a myectomy, which increases the heart's blood flow.
A small number of HCM patients have advanced heart failure and need a heart transplant.
UVA is leading a five-year international effort to find better ways to predict which patients are at greatest risk of heart failure and sudden death from HCM. We received $14.4 million from the National Institutes of Health for this study.
If researchers can better predict who's at risk, they may be able to target treatments for those patients, says Christopher Kramer, MD, co-principal investigator of the project. Get more details about the HCM registry.
Traveling to UVA for Treatment
Since HCM often runs in families, we'll make every effort to coordinate appointments with parents, siblings and children.
If you're traveling from far away, we'll work with you to schedule your appointments at times that are convenient for you. Get information about lodging options.