Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Treatments
While HCM cannot be cured, measures can be taken to alleviate symptoms, improve survival rates and enhance the patient's quality of life. Our multidisciplinary HCM Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia accomplishes this using a three-tiered approach.
- Lifestyle Changes
Patients with cardiomyopathy should avoid cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol intake, excessive salt consumption, and drugs that may have a toxic effect on the heart. Maintaining normal weight and blood pressure are important because this reduces the heart's workload. In some cases of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, stressful physical activity should be limited.
- Drugs for Cardiomyopathy
In cases of congestive, restrictive, and ischemic cardiomyopathy, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving function. Drugs include digitalis (digoxin), diuretics, steroids (to relieve inflammation), and ACE inhibitors. For hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, drugs include beta-blockers and calcium-channel blockers.
- Pacemakers and Defibrillators
Pacemakers and Defibrillators may be used as a preventive measure in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who are at risk for sudden cardiac death or to control life-threatening arrhythmias.
- Surgery for Cardiomyopathy
Ventricular assist devices may be employed for some patients as either a bridge-to-transplantation or as a destination therapy. When used as a bridge-to-transplantation, the assist device helps to keep a critically ill patient alive until a suitable donor heart organ can be identified. For patients who are too sick or otherwise ineligbile for a transplant, certain assist devices can be used as a destination, or final, therapy