Clinical Features and Echocardiographic Findings in Children with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

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Background: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, one of the most common inherited cardiomyopathies, is a heterogeneous disease resulting from sarcomeric protein mutations, with an incidence in the adult population of 1:500. Current information on the epidemiology and outcomes of this disease in children is limited. Methods: Thirty-four children diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in the Pediatric Cardiology Department from Tîrgu Mureș were evaluated concerning familial and personal history, clinical, paraclinical and therapeutic aspects. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was defined by the presence of a hypertrophied, non-dilated ventricle, in the absence of a cardiac or systemic disease that could produce ventricular hypertrophy. Results: The youngest diagnosed child was a neonate, a total of 10 patients being diagnosed until 1 year of age. In 6 cases a positive familial history was found. Noonan syndrome was found in 2 cases. Only 21 patients were symptomatic, the predominant symptoms being shortness of breath on exertion with exercise limitations. Left ventricular outflow tract obstruction was present in 21 cases (61.7%). Twenty-four patients were on β-blocking therapy, while 4 patients underwent septal myectomy. Conclusions: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a heterogeneous disorder in terms of evolution, age of onset, type and extent of hypertrophy, and the risk of sudden death. It can affect children of any age. There is a need for a complex evaluation, including familial and personal anamnesis, clinical examination, electrocardiogram and echocardiography of all patients. It is highly important to develop screening strategies, including genetic testing, for an early diagnosis, especially in asymptomatic patients with a positive familial background

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