Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common inherited cardiac disease, which generally manifests during adolescence. Adolescents may be diagnosed incidentally, following the investigation of symptoms, or during family screening. Early recognition may prevent sudden cardiac death. First-degree relatives of an adolescent with HCM should be screened for the condition.
The objectives of this article are to review the genetic basis for HCM and discuss clinical presentations of HCM in adolescents, so that general practitioners:
- develop confidence in requesting investigations in adolescents with suspected or proven HCM
- consider early referral to a paediatric cardiology department for any adolescent with left ventricular hypertrophy
- understand family screening guidelines for HCM.
HCM is a complex cardiac disease with marked heterogeneity. Management strategies should be individually tailored, including avoidance of competitive sports, but encouragement of lower intensity physical activities. Adolescents with HCM should be regularly reviewed in a paediatric cardiology department; however, general practitioners should understand the diagnostic and treatment principles for this condition.