Skip to content

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Make Appointments & Get Care

What is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a complex heart disease that causes abnormally thick or stiff heart muscle. This means the heart needs to pump harder against the thickened muscle, leading to heart rhythm problems and heart valve disease.

HCM is usually an inherited disease, although other problems such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease, and aging may play a role. The disease can cause symptoms at a young age or can develop slowly over time. It is most commonly identified when a heart murmur is heard during a physical exam.

HCM leads to two separate problems:

  • Pressure overload within the heart: the thickened heart muscle can block normal blood flow out of the heart, straining the heart muscle and ultimately leading to heart failure in some cases. A small number of patients might need a heart transplant.
  • Heart rhythm problems: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in people under 30, especially young athletes. Although most patients with HCM have a low risk for this, evaluation to determine the need for defibrillator therapy is vital.

Symptoms of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Some patients have no symptoms or only mild ones when diagnosed. Symptoms you might experience include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness/feeling faint
  • Palpitations during exertion
  • Tiring early with physical activity

UR Medicine's Treatments for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Our team includes cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and cardiac radiologists who are experts in diagnosing and treating hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) as well as expert nurses, advanced practice providers, sonographers, and genetic counselors. We also offer pediatric cardiology at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

We will review your history, your family history, perform a physical exam, and review the cardiac testing that has already been completed. We follow a shared decision-making model involving the patient in the decision-making process for testing and treatment. Together, we balance risks and outcomes with your preferences and values.

Diagnostics at our integrated HCM Center include:

  • Evaluation by a cardiologist who specializes in HCM
  • Echocardiogram/ultrasound of your heart
  • Holter monitor, using temporary monitors to watch your heart rhythm
  • Comprehensive discussion of treatment options
  • Transesophageal Echocardiogram
  • As needed:
    • blood work
    • stress test
    • heart MRI
    • heart catheterization

Treatments include:

  • Medications, including Camzyos, the first of its kind that targets the source of symptomatic obstructive HCM
  • Cardiac device therapy such as pacemaker, implantable cardiovert defibrillator, or implantable loop recorder
  • Minimally invasive alcohol septal ablation, a nonsurgical procedure using alcohol to shrink the enlarged area
  • Septal myectomy, a surgical solution to remove a part of the heart to increase blood flow
  • Referral to our Advanced Heart Failure Clinic if needed

Genetic Counseling

HCM is a genetic disease. Genetic testing is offered to all patients with a diagnosis of HCM. Test results are confidential. If a genetic cause of HCM is found with testing, then screening for that specific gene mutation can be offered to other family members to better understand their risk. Our program includes a medical geneticist and board-certified genetic counselors. We will discuss genetic testing during your office visits.

What Sets Us Apart?

UR Medicine's Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program is the first in the area. We believe it is our shared decision-making philosophy, working with our patients to find the right solution, as well as a team with over 45 combined years’ experience treating HCM patients that has made our center a success.

We have the only program in western New York that meets the American College of Cardiology’s comprehensive HCM center criteria. UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the country that offers alcohol septal ablation. Our team has been performing alcohol septal ablations since 2001 and has treated nearly 300 cases, making us one of the most experienced teams in the country.

We were one of the early prescribing centers for Camzyos, the new targeted medical therapy for HCM. We will determine if Camzyos is the right medication for you based on your cardiac testing and symptoms.

Our experienced electrophysiology team performs many risk assessments and is a leader in defibrillator therapy research.


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

View Providers


We serve you in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

View All Locations

20 locations

Cardiac Care - Brighton

Clinton Crossings, Building G
2400 South Clinton Avenue, 1st Floor
Rochester, NY 14618

Cardiac Care - Dansville

Noyes Memorial Hospital
111 Cara Barton Street
Dansville, NY 14437

Cardiac Care - Canandaigua - Canandaigua

Thompson Professional Building
395 West Street, Suite 307
Canandaigua, NY 14424

Cardiac Care - Clifton Springs

Finger Lakes Cardiology
410 Clifton Springs Professional Park
Clifton Springs, NY 14432

Cardiac Care - Rochester

Highland Hospital
1000 South Avenue
Rochester, NY 14620

Cardiac Care - Irondequoit

999 East Ridge Road, Suite 1000
Rochester, NY 14621

Cardiac Care - Penfield

1835 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road, Suite 200
Penfield, NY 14526

Cardiac Care - Henrietta

Red Creek (Calkins Corporate Park)
600 Red Creek Drive, Suite 100
Rochester, NY 14623

Cardiac Care - Seneca Falls

Lifecare Medical Associates
1991 Balsley Road
Seneca Falls, NY 13148

Cardiac Care - Brockport

Strong West
156 West Avenue, 3rd Floor
Brockport, NY 14420

Cardiac Care - Wellsville

Jones Memorial Hospital
191 North Main Street
Wellsville, NY 14895

Cardiac Rehabilitation - Hornell

St. James Medical Office Building
7309 Seneca Road North, Suite 104
Hornell, NY 14843

Cardiac Rehabilitation Center - Brighton

Canal View Office Complex
140 Canal View Boulevard, Suite 104
Rochester, NY 14623

Paul N. Yu Heart Center - Rochester

Ambulatory Care Center at Strong Memorial Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue, Ground Floor
Rochester, NY 14626

Cardiac Care - Brighton

140 Canal View Boulevard, Suite 102
Rochester, NY 14623

Cardiac Rehabilitation - Canandaigua

FF Thompson Hospital
350 Parrish Street
Canandaigua, NY 14424

Cardiac Rehabilitation - Wellsville

Jones Memorial Hospital
191 North Main St​reet
Wellsville, NY 14895

Related Services & Conditions