The heart is a beating muscle that continually pumps blood to the lungs and organs ... read more ↘ of the body. Inside the heart are four chambers: two upper chambers, or atria, and two lower chambers, or ventricles. The ventricular septum is the muscle which separates the two ventricles.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a genetic heart disease where there is increased thickness of the left ventricle, predominantly affecting the ventricular septum. There are two types of HCM—nonobstructive and obstructive.
Obstructive HCM occurs when the mitral valve makes an abnormal motion and contacts the thickened septum obstructing the flow of blood from the left ventricle out of the heart, as well as causing leakiness (or regurgitation) of blood back into the left atrium. This obstruction to blood flow and mitral regurgitation creates high pressures in the heart and is the main cause of limiting symptoms in patients with obstructive HCM. Symptoms may include: shortness of breath with exertion, chest pain, dizziness, or exertional fatigue.
Although there is no cure for HCM, there are several effective treatment options available to improve symptoms.