Broad Survey of HCM by Dr. Barry J. Maron

The August 16, 2018 online version of the New England Journal of Medicine contains an broad overview of the current state of clinical knowledge and treatment of HCM written by HCM expert Dr. Barry Maron.  It is entitled “Clinical Course and Management of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.” 

Dr. Maron discusses the many advances that have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy since it was first described 55 years ago, noting that life expectancy and qualify of life have dramatically improved in this period of time.  According to Dr. Maron, the contemporary management paradigm for HCM have reduced “the risk of adverse cardiovascular events and death to levels below the levels among patients with other cardiac or non-cardiac disorders.”

 

New Treatment for Arrhythmias

As reported in this New York Times article, radiation has been used as a successful treatment in five patients with ventricular arrhythmias who had previously failed standard treatment using catheter radiofrequency ablation.  The complete study was published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Because long term effects of radiation to the heart are unknown, this method is still quite experimental and could potentially cause long term side effects such as lung and heart damage.  Science Daily reported that the researchers have performed the procedure on 23 patients to date, and are currently enrolling patients in a clinical trial.