Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Because HCM is an inherited disease, some patients are diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) after one of their family members is diagnosed with HCM. If one or both parents have HCM, the children have between a 50 and 75 percent chance of inheriting the genetic mutation for the disease. Other possible causes include aging and high blood pressure. In some cases, the cause of HCM is never identified.

One of the earliest indicators of HCM is a heart murmur (abnormal sound caused by turbulent blood flow in the diseased heart) or an abnormality seen on an electrocardiogram (ECG).

An echocardiogram, which uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart, is the most accurate way to confirm the diagnosis of HCM in most patients. In some patients, further testing with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be required to make the diagnosis and to fully evaluate the amount and location of muscle thickening.

Tests

As HCM is hereditary, many people are diagnosed with this condition because a family member has the disease. A number of different clinical methods can be combined to diagnose HCM.

Six niche centers within the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, please call 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:

Referring Physicians
Open communication and cooperation with referring physicians is a critical component of achieving high-quality care and minimizing the challenges that come with treating cardiovascular conditions. For physician-to-physician consultation regarding the best patient care, please contact the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).

Six niche centers within the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, please call 847.53.HEART (534.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:

Six niche centers within the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital or Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, please call 630.232.0280

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:

Related Resources

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition that affects the way the heart muscle works.