Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, is the most common inherited heart condition, affecting 1 out of 500 in the population. In this condition, the heart muscle is abnormally thick. Many individuals with HCM have no symptoms, while others may have shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, lightheadedness, or fainting episodes. Symptoms sometimes occur because of muscle thickening obstructing blood flow from the heart, and this obstruction can be treated with medications or with surgical intervention. Evaluation of the whole family is important since the condition is often passed on to the next generation of a family but may not cause symptoms initially. Some individuals with HCM have a high risk of developing dangerous abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and may benefit from implantable defibrillators. Fortunately, with a thorough evaluation and appropriate management, the majority of individuals with HCM live full and productive lives.

Our HCM program offers expertise in the clinical evaluation of HCM, knowledgeable use of genetic testing, genetic counseling, evaluation of risk for arrhythmias, exercise counseling, defibrillator implantation when needed, and surgical evaluation when needed.

Learn more about our team on the Inherited Cardiomyopathies and Arrhythmias Team page.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Research

Michigan Medicine has a research program dedicated to learning more about HCM. Patient participation in research is a vital part of our missing to advancing our understanding and care for these conditions. If you are a patient interested in contributing to HCM research, visit our Research in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy page to learn more.

Patient Resources

There is a strong patient advocacy group for HCM – find out more at the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association website.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment for expert consultation for a suspected or known inherited cardiomyopathy or arrhythmia condition, contact us toll-free at 888-287-1082 and ask to speak with our program nurse coordinator, Barb Steeves. Please visit our Make a Cardiovascular Appointment page for more information about what to expect when you call us.​