Clinical and morphologic expression of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in patients ≥ 65 years of age

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The American Journal of Cardiology








Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC) is most often identified in patients in the second through fifth decades of life, but has been increasingly recognized in older patients. The present report characterizes morphologic and clinical features of HC in 134 consecutively studied patients aged ≥ 65 years referred to a tertiary center. Echocardiographic or clinical evaluation, or both, was performed in 134 patients aged 65 to 85 years (mean 72) at most recent evaluation. Selected findings were compared with those in 64 youthful patients with HC aged 15 to 35 years (mean 25). Most elderly patients (120 of 134, 90%) developed marked symptoms that usually became evident after age 55 years; 94 of 120 experienced sustained improvement with medical treatment or operation. Elderly patients had relatively mild left ventricular (LV) wall thickening (20 ± 3 mm), generally confined to the septum. In most (i.e., 68%), septal hypertrophy was uniformly distributed with parallel right and left borders and associated with elliptical LV cavity shape; however, in 32%, an inhomogeneously hypertrophied septum bulged into the left ventricle, disrupting normal cavity shape. Dynamic subaortic obstruction was present under basal or provocable conditions in a particularly small LV outflow tract in 103 of 134 patients (77%), and was usually produced by relatively restricted excursion of the anteriorly displaced mitral leaflets and posterior septal motion. HC is characterized by age-related differences in both clinical and morphologic expression. Elderly patients with HC characteristically demonstrate onset of cardiac symptoms late in life, as well as distinctive LV morphology and dynamics of outflow obstruction. © 1994.