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Ventricular tachycardia and sudden cardiac death in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Causes
Thickening of the heart muscle is not always caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle can also thicken because of other conditions that increase pressure on the heart, including longstanding high blood pressure. Other genetic and non-genetic conditions that cause heart thickening and cardiomyopathy can look somewhat like HCM. An experienced HCM team will consider other possible causes of heart thickening to ensure that the diagnosis is accurate. If a person has an accurate HCM diagnosis, it is likely that there is an underlying genetic cause.
A number of genes have been shown to cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and there are likely more that researchers have not yet discovered. The genes that have been identified provide instructions for the structure and contraction of the heart muscle cells. When there is a problem with one of these genes, it leads to abnormal heart muscle cells that can eventually cause thickening of the heart, resulting in symptoms. Genetic testing looks at the known genes to see if we can find the one that causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in your family.