According to a recently published study by doctors in Copenhagen, Denmark, myocardial crypts (clefts, cracks or fissures in the myocardium) are found in the general population. Therefore, this article concludes that crypts seen on scans of the heart are not necessarily an indicator of HCM and do not warrant further investigation.
This paper is a departure from a 2012 paper by doctors at Tufts, which concluded that myocardial crypts were associated with HCM, and that they were often found in relatives of HCM patients found to be gene positive for HCM, but lacking the hallmark thickening of the ventricle.
Here is an example of what the crypts look like on MRI.
An article by doctors at the Cleveland Clinic recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association advocates for earlier surgical intervention for patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
According to this article, obstructed HCM patients who undergo myectomy earlier have better long term survival. Therefore, these doctors take the position that patients should not wait until they become severely symptomatic and/or have run out of medical options to undergo myectomy surgery.
Meanwhile, an accompanying editorial by Dr. Mark Sherrid of NYU Langone Health is to the contrary. Dr. Sherrid argues that medications like disopyramide (Norpace) are effective in reducing symptoms and that the inherent risks from open heart surgery are not outweighed by a theoretical improvement in longevity.
Regardless of the timing of surgery, Dr. Sherrid points out that with multiple companies now developing novel treatments for HCM, visibility of the disease will increase which will ultimately result in better patient outcomes for all with HCM.
If you are looking for a good survey of current practices in the treatment of HCM, a recent article published in the journal Structural Heart by Dr. Ahmad Masri and the team at Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) provides an informative overview of thirty controversies and considerations in the treatment of HCM. This article explains in some detail how the doctors at this HCM Center approach these situations.
Continue reading “HCM Treatment: The View from OHSU”
Cytokinetics announced this week the progression of REDWOOD-HCM, its ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of CK-274, a cardiac myosin inhibitor for the treatment of HCM.
According to the press release, preliminary results show substantial reductions in left ventricular outflow tract gradients (LVOT), with only modest decreases in left ventricular ejection fraction. (LVEF).
Based on this early positive data, the study will continue and will enroll a second group of approximately 18 patients.
Cytokinetics hopes to have results from REDWOOD-HCM in the middle of 2021, and hopes to begin a Phase 3 trial for CK-274 by the end of 2021.
For detailed information about this trial see ClinicalTrials.gov.
A recent retrospective study by researchers using data from the SHaRe Registry found that women with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy have an increased risk of death and/or severe heart failure symptoms when compared to their male counterparts. This study also found that women tended to be older when diagnosed with HCM than men.
This study echoes a 2017 study from Mayo Clinic with similar findings.
Editor’s Note: It is clear that serious research into gender differences in HCM is needed. And, it is vitally important that women with HCM be persistent and diligent in obtaining expert care for their HCM. Their lives depend on it!
The highly anticipated 2020 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy have been released.
This document, drafted with reference to published HCM literature, and with input from a committee of HCM experts with broad expertise, updates the prior version published in 2011. It contains clinical practice guidelines for the broad spectrum of issues which may confront medical professionals as they approach the diagnosis and treatment of patients and families affected by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Continue reading “2020 AHA/ACC HCM Diagnosis & Treatment Guidelines Released”
This morning MyoKardia announced that it was being acquired by drug company Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) for $13.1 billion. BMS plans to continue MyoKardia’s development of mavacamten as the first drug specifically intended to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The deal is expected to close before the end of 2020.
Last month, MyoKardia published positive results from its Stage 3 EXPLORER trial for obstructive HCM. Earlier this year, the FDA granted mavacamten breakthrough therapy designation which could shorten the FDA approval process by about 4 months. If all goes well, the drug could be available to HCM patients by the end of 2021.
The merger strengthens BMS’ cardiac offerings. Mavacamten will join Eliquis, a blood thinner that will go generic in 2026.
This is not MyoKardia’s first tie to Big Pharma. The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi invested $230 million into MyoKardia in 2014 but after their agreement expired in 2018, MyoKardia bought back the U.S. rights to its drugs for $80 million.
You can read a press release about the merger from MyoKardia here or a press release from BMS here. You can also read about it in the Wall Street Journal here.
DISCLOSURES: HCMBEAT HAS RECEIVED UNRESTRICTED EDUCATIONAL GRANTS FROM MYOKARDIA. ADDITIONALLY, CYNTHIA BURSTEIN WALDMAN OF HCMBEAT SERVED AS A PATIENT ADVISOR ON THE STEERING COMMITTEE OF MYOKARDIA’S EXPLORER TRIAL AND IS CREDITED AS AN AUTHOR OF THE STUDY AS PUBLISHED IN THE LANCET. CYNTHIA ALSO SERVES ON MYOKARDIA’S PATIENT ADVISORY BOARD.
A recent study published in Clinical Research in Cardiology found that atrial fibrillation is a frequent complication of HCM and can be an important predictor of negative outcomes.
These findings suggest that practitioners should aggressively screen for and treat atrial fibrillation in HCM patients to improve long term outcomes.
The European Society of Cardiology recently published new guidelines for exercise for patients with HCM.
These guidelines offer more flexibility for HCM patients that past guidelines, stating that exercise may be permissible for HCM patients, but that it depends on individual situations. The focus should be on the shared decision process between patient and doctor to determine whether exercise may be appropriate for each individual patient. Additionally, annual follow up for adults, with more frequent follow up for adolescents and young adults is also recommended.
Section 5.5.1 of the guidelines focuses on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. These guidelines state:
- The risk of sudden cardiac death or arrest (SCD or SCA) during exercise is likely lower than previously thought and therefore, a total ban on exercise is not warranted.
- Exercise for physical and psychological well-being should be encouraged, following a careful baseline assessment of patients with HCM which should include:
- Personal and family history
- Risk Factors for SCD/SCA
- EKG at rest and during exercise
- Echocardiogram/Degree of Obstruction
- Degree of late gadolinium enhancement indicative of cardiac fibrosis as seen on cardiac MRI
- Exercise testing and blood pressure response to exercise
- ESC Score of HCM Risk