What Are the Symptoms of a Thickened Heart?


Quick Answer

The symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or a thickened heart muscle, include chest pain, fatigue, palpitations and dyspnea, states MedlinePlus. Other symptoms are dizziness, lightheadedness and syncope. Some individuals with this condition are asymptomatic and only learn about the condition during a medical exam. In young adults, this condition potentially causes sudden collapse and death.

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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is usually an inherited condition and stems from faulty genes, explains Mayo Clinic. The thickened heart muscle makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood. In some cases, the ventricular septum enlarges, impeding blood flow from the heart. Myofiber disarray, the name for the irregular arrangement of heart muscle cells, sometimes results in arrhythmia.

Physical examination of individuals with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy usually reveals abnormal heart sounds, irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure, notes MedlinePlus. The condition is diagnosed through echocardiography, cardiac catheterization, chest X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging of the heart. Blood tests are sometimes carried out to eliminate the possibility of another disease.

The treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy depends on the functional capacity of the heart and whether the heart’s outflow tract is narrowed, according to WebMD. The presence of arrhythmias is also taken into consideration. Treatment of the condition is directed toward relieving symptoms and preventing complications, and includes medications, lifestyle changes and surgical procedures.

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