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Heart Care

St. Luke's Hospital Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center

The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center
The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center at St. Luke's Hospital offers a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating patients throughout the state and region with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). Located in the Mr. and Mrs. Theodore P. Desloge, Jr. Outpatient Center, our patients and families will receive comprehensive care from medical experts spanning numerous disciplines. The goal of our Center is to provide personalized care to patients with known or suspected HCM as well as their families. By choosing us, our patients have convenient access to specialists, the latest in imaging and diagnostics and the latest interventions to treat this condition.

What is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, or HCM, is the leading cause of heart-related sudden death in people under the age of 35. In short, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a condition where the myocardium (heart muscle) becomes enlarged which makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood efficiently. As a result, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy can interfere with the heart's electrical system causing those with the condition to suddenly experience several life-threatening symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?
Although HCM is rare, it is potentially deadly. Many people with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy have no symptoms. However, symptoms to be aware of include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Heart murmurs and arrhythmias
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath

Who is at risk?
HCM can be genetic, so anyone whose relative has been diagnosed or treated for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy should seek medical advice and get screened. In other instances, there is no genetic relationship. Because of this, all adults who are physically active or play sports should be screened.

What causes Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?
Mutations of the heart muscle genes cause the walls within the heart to grow substantially larger than normal, which restricts blood flow. In addition, the heart muscle's cells may become disorganized, causing electrical malfunctions and the bouts of arrhythmia common with this condition.

Typically, following a thorough examination of the patient's history and a physical examination, tests are given to determine if someone is at risk for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. They include a limited view echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) that focuses on assessing the thickness and function of the heart and an electrocardiogram (tests electrical activity of the heart).

Treatment is given on an individualized basis. Various options, depending on the severity of the condition, include monitoring, medications (beta-blockers) and specialized surgery which resects or removes the muscle tissue that may be obstructing the heart function.

Our team is comprised of Keith Mankowitz, MD, FACC and Jeremy Leidenfrost, MD. All have a special interest in the condition and bring extensive experience to those seeking diagnosis or treatment. All active adults or athletes should get screened for this life-threatening condition.

To make an appointment at the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center of Excellence or for more information, please contact us at
314-43-HEART (434-3278).

121 St. Luke's Center Dr.
Suite 303
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Phone: 314-434-3278 (314-43-HEART)
Fax: 314-590-5949

Keith Mankowitz, MD, FACC, discusses symptoms and treatment options for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy