Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a myocardial disorder characterized by left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy without dilatation and without apparent cause (ie, it occurs in the absence of severe hypertension, aortic stenosis, or other cardiac or systemic diseases that might cause LV hypertrophy). Numerous excellent reviews and consensus documents provide a wealth of additional background.1–8 HCM is the leading cause of sudden death in young people and leads to significant disability in survivors. It is caused by mutations in genes that encode components of the sarcomere. Cardiomyocyte and cardiac hypertrophy, myocyte disarray, interstitial and replacement fibrosis, and dysplastic intramyocardial arterioles characterize the pathology of HCM. Clinical manifestations include impaired diastolic function, heart failure, tachyarrhythmia (both atrial and ventricular), and sudden death. At present, there is a lack of understanding of how the mutations in genes encoding sarcomere proteins lead to the phenotypes described above. Current therapeutic approaches have focused on the prevention of sudden death, with implantable cardioverter defibrillator placement in high-risk patients. But medical therapies have largely focused on alleviating symptoms of the disease, not on altering its natural history. The present Working Group of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute brought together clinical, translational, and basic scientists with the overarching goal of identifying novel strategies to prevent the phenotypic expression of disease. Herein, we identify research initiatives that we hope will lead to novel therapeutic approaches for patients with HCM.
Force, Thomas; Bonow, Robert O; Houser, Steven R; Solaro, R John; Hershberger, Ray E; Adhikari, Bishow; Anderson, Mark E; Boineau, Robin; Byrne, Barry J; Cappola, Thomas P; Kalluri, Raghu; LeWinter, Martin M; Maron, Martin S; Molkentin, Jeffery D; Ommen, Steve R; Regnier, Michael; Tang, W H Wilson; Tian, Rong; Konstam, Marvin A; Maron, Barry J; and Seidman, Christine E, "Research priorities in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: report of a Working Group of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute." (2010). Center for Translational Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 5.