In consultation with numerous HCM specialists across the U.S., the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association has compiled a document of guidelines for HCM patients to follow during the current coronavirus crisis.
Some of the specific recommendations are as follows:
- Patient with class 3 or 4 heart failure – specifically those with depressed ejection fractions and those awaiting transplantation – should be advised to stay close to home and minimize exposure in social gatherings.
- All patients should be encouraged to practice good personal hygiene including frequent hand washing and to use of disinfectants on all surfaces, doorknobs and banisters.
- If a HCM patient tests positive for the virus, they should contact their HCM specialist immediately in order to coordinate care with their local physicians and HCM team.
You can find the whole document here.
A study by researchers from Mayo Clinic published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that an artificial intelligence algorithm was able to detect hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, commonly known as HCM, from EKG results with impressive accuracy, particularly among younger patients.
In order to “teach” the computer, the researchers used digital 12-lead ECGs from 2,448 patients with HCM along with 51,153 age- and sex-matched controls. The technology was then tested on 612 HCM patients and 12,788 controls.
The findings showed that the technology was able to identify HCM in a high number of cases, even where the EKG appeared “normal” to the human eye.
The researchers believe that this technology, when refined, may prove to be an efficient tool for HCM screening in the future. The team plans to continue testing the technology in greater subject samples in order to further refine its performance.
Mayo Clinic News Network
In November at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions held in Philadelphia, AHA announced that it would be starting a three-year initiative focused on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, also known as HCM. The initiative is sponsored by MyoKardia, a San Francisco based company that is currently in clinical trials for mavacamten, the first drug specifically intended to treat HCM.
Last week, Cynthia Waldman of HCMBeat had the opportunity to speak with Amy Schmitz, AHA’s National Corporate Relations Director and Alexson Calahan, a Communication Manager for AHA.
What follows is a summary of their conversation about the forthcoming HCM initiative that has been edited for clarity.
Continue reading “AHA Seeking Patient Input for New HCM Initiative”
A small study of 29 patients conducted recently in the U.K. found that the use of a biventricular pacing in patients with non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy improved symptoms of breathlessness and improved exercise capacity as demonstrated during oxygen consumption testing.
Medications are the only treatments currently available to non-obstructed patients. The authors of this study hypothesized that biventricular pacing could be a viable way to address exercise limitations in non-obstructed patients if medications have been ineffective.
Larger trials may establish biventricular pacing as a viable treatment for non-obstructed patients in the future.
Dr. Stephen Heitner, together with his colleagues at Oregon Health & Sciences University, published an article last week in the European Journal of Heart Failure which gives a glimpse into the treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in the future. Although recent publications have stated that the majority of HCM patients today have a favorable prognosis when receiving appropriate treatment, a heavy disease burden continues to be placed upon patients. Hence, better and more effective treatments for HCM are still needed in order to lessen this burden.
Continue reading “The Future of HCM Care”
Cytokinetics today announced that its Phase 2 double-blind study of its experimental drug CK-274 entitled “REDWOOD-HCM” (Randomized Evaluation of Dosing With CK-274 in Obstructive Outflow Disease in HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) has begun enrollment. The trial will enroll patients with symptomatic, obstructive HCM.
CK-274 is a next-generation cardiac myosin inhibitor which the company hopes will prove to be beneficial for the treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
There are currently two companies in clinical trials for HCM: Cytokinetics and MyoKardia. You can read more about their efforts here and here.
A recent study in Europe found that HCM patients’ risk of death continues to exceed the risk in the general population.
This study looked at 4893 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy treated at 7 different European HCM centers between 1980 and 2013. Although the statistics improved for those who were treated more recently, this study makes it clear that there is still much room for improvement in risk stratification and treatment for patients with HCM.
This Medscape article highlights the extraordinary efforts of Dr. Harry Lever, Director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center, in educating patients and physicians alike about quality issues with generic drugs. Dr. Lever has been instrumental in publicizing the fact that generic drugs are NOT always the same as their name brand counterparts, and that foreign generics are not put through the same level of scrutiny as drugs in the U.S.
Continue reading “Dr. Harry Lever Speaks Out About Problems With Generic Drugs”
A recent study by Canadian researchers published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation found a much lower incidence of HCM related sudden death than expected. The study included deaths in individuals that occurred between the ages of 10 and 45 in the Canadian province of Ontario between 2005 and 2016. According to lead author Dr. Paul Dorian of the University of Toronto, the expectation was that 1 incident of sudden cardiac death would be identified in every 100 to 200 people who had HCM. Instead, researchers found that the likelihood of sudden death of HCM patients was instead only about 1 in 3,000 people/year.
The study also found that found 7 in 10 HCM-related sudden deaths occurred in people not previously diagnosed with the condition. Men had more than 5 times the risk of sudden cardiac death than women, and most deaths occurred during rest or light activity: only about 17% happened during or immediately after exercise.
As a result of the study, according to Dr. Dorian, “our findings allow us to lower the temperature on our degree of worry about the condition.”
Another clinical take away from the study, according to the researchers, is that current exercise guidelines for HCM patients may be too restrictive.