“Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, also known as HCM, can be a challenging disease, requiring care from a wide range of clinical specialists covering general cardiology, cardiac imaging, electrophysiology, heart failure and genetics,” said Jorge A. Gonzalez, M.D., director of advanced cardiovascular imaging and co-director of the Scripps Clinic Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. “Our program brings together experts in all of these fields who apply the latest diagnostics and treatments to patients who require long-term, follow-up care for this progressive condition.”
HCM, which often goes undetected for decades, is the second most common form of heart muscle disease, affecting up to 1 million people in the United States and 1 in 300 in the general population. HCM often is inherited within families, and several gene mutations have been linked to the disease.
In HCM, the walls of the main pumping chamber of the heart (the left ventricle) become enlarged, restricting blood flow and sometimes causing leakage from the mitral valve and interruption of the heart’s electrical system. Symptoms can vary widely from chest pains, dizziness and irregular heart rhythms to more serious life-threatening conditions such as heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest.
The disease can affect children and adults of any age. In fact, HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young competitive athletes, accounting for 36 percent of all cases, according to a study published by the journal Circulation in 2009.
Diagnosis can involve an echocardiogram (ultrasound imaging), an electrocardiogram (EKG) and blood tests. Treatments include beta-blocking drugs or other medications that slow the heartbeat, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and surgery to remove heart muscle tissue blocking blood flow.
Multidisciplinary team approach
“This prestigious designation as a Center of Excellence recognizes our commitment to provide a multidisciplinary approach to our patients that produces a continuum of care leading to the best possible outcomes for our patients,” said Ajay Srivastava, M.D., a heart failure specialist and the program’s other co-director.
Other clinical members of the Scripps HCM team include:
- Rajeev Mohan, M.D., heart failure specialist
- Matthew Price, M.D., director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory
- Michael Smith, M.D., echocardiography laboratory director
- Curtiss Stinis, M.D., director of vascular interventions
- J. Thomas Heywood, M.D., director of heart failure
- John Rogers, M.D., director of pacemaker clinic
- Nicholas Olson, M.D., electrophysiologist
- Paul Teirstein, M.D., chief of cardiology
- George Wesbey III, M.D., cardiovascular radiologist
For more information about the Scripps Clinic Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program, call 858-824-2018 or visit www.scripps.org/hcm.
ABOUT THE HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY ASSOCIATION
The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association, HCMA, was founded in 1996 as an international resource for patients, families and the medical community on matters of importance to the HCM community. HCM is a genetic heart muscle disorder affection 1 in 300 people worldwide. The HCMA provides service to enhance understanding, provide support, foster research, ensure high quality health care and support public policies of importance to the community. The HCMA is a 501c(3)with offices in Denville, N.J., and online at www.4hcm.org. For more information contact us at 973-983-7429.
ABOUT SCRIPPS HEALTH
Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a nonprofit integrated health care delivery system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats more than 750,000 patients annually through the dedication of 3,000 affiliated physicians and more than 15,000 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, 27 outpatient centers and clinics, and hundreds of affiliated physician offices throughout the region.
Recognized as a leader in disease and injury prevention, diagnosis and treatment, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research. With three highly respected graduate medical education programs, Scripps is a longstanding member of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Scripps has been ranked five times as one of the nation’s best health care systems by Truven Health Analytics. Its hospitals are ranked No. 1 in San Diego County and among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Scripps also is regularly recognized by Fortune and Working Mother magazine as one of the best places in the nation to work. More information can be found at www.scripps.org.