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|How Is It Treated?
There are various treatments for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. These include medications such as beta blockers and calcium channel blockers, which slow the heart rate and minimize the symptoms. Children are restricted from vigorous exercise.
For those patients with more serious symptoms or disease progression, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may be treated with a pacemaker to optimize heart function. Another option to relieve obstruction is the surgical reduction (septal myectomy) of the ventricular septum during open heart surgery (see animation at left).
It is important to identify those patients who are at risk of sudden death. A history of cardiac arrest, a family history of sudden death from HCM, arrhythmia, recurrent fainting spells (syncope), abnormal vascular function during exercise - all are reasons for caution. Treatments to ward off sudden death involve medication with amiodarone and the implantation of ICDs (implantable cardioverter defibrillators, which will shock the heart to restore normal rhythm if necessary), both of which protect against fatal arrhythmias.