High risk for sudden death in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Some people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are at high risk for sudden death. If you are at high risk, you may want to ask your doctor about an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), which can identify life-threatening arrhythmias and successfully restore a normal heartbeat.

Your doctor may suggest an ICD if you are at high risk for sudden death. You are at high risk for sudden death if you:1

  • Have had cardiac arrest or ventricular tachycardia in the past.
  • Had a family member with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who died suddenly or you have any of the genetic abnormalities associated with sudden death.
  • Have fainted (syncope).
  • Have had low blood pressure during or after exercise.
  • Have extreme left ventricle thickness (more than 30 millimeters).

Citations

  1. Epstein AE, et al. (2008). ACC/AHA/HRS 2008 Guidelines for Device-Based Therapy of Cardiac Rhythm Abnormalities: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Revise the ACC/AHA/NASPE 2002 Guideline Update for Implantation of Cardiac Pacemakers and Antiarrhythmia Devices): Developed in Collaboration With the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Circulation, 117(21): e350–e408.

Last Updated: December 12, 2008

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