Author + information
- Received June 9, 2004
- Accepted August 16, 2004
- Published online November 16, 2004.
- ↵*Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Otto M. Hess, Professor of Cardiology, Swiss Cardiovascular Center, University Hospital, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a primary myocardial disorder with an autosomal pattern of inheritance characterized by inappropriate myocardial hypertrophy. Annual mortality has been reported to be 1% to 2% and sudden death represents the most common cause. Treatment strategies are 1) medical therapy in patients with mild to moderate symptoms, 2) reduction of septal hypertrophy by surgical myectomy or alcohol ablation, and 3) implantation of an automatic cardioverter-defibrillator in the presence of non-sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmias. A debate has been started on whether surgical myectomy or alcohol ablation of the septum is the appropriate treatment for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. Surgical (transaortic) myectomy has been the gold standard in the past 20 to 30 years for treatment of symptomatic patients with significant hemodynamic outflow tract obstruction. However, modern interventional technologies allow reduction of the myocardial septum by injection of alcohol into the first or second septal branch under guidance of two-dimensional (2D)-contrast echocardiography. This percutaneous technique not only has a lower morbidity than surgical myectomy but can be guided precisely by 2D echocardiography. One potential complication is transient (<30%) or permanent (<10%) atrioventricular block III; however, this complication is relatively rare. A randomized trial comparing the two treatment modalities is lacking, and the chance is small that such a trial will be performed because alcohol ablation can be done with high success and low complication rates, leaving only complex interventions (with valvular reconstructions and so on) for surgical myectomy.
- Received June 9, 2004.
- Accepted August 16, 2004.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation