Pediatric HCM

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) often affects children differently from adults and the causes, symptoms and disease progression may vary considerably.

HCM can be detected prenatally, and studies show that in the first year of life, children are roughly 10 times more likely to develop cardiomyopathy than at any time from age two to 18.

HCM is a chronic illness requiring children to observe certain lifestyle restrictions.

One in 200 to 500 people carry a gene for HCM. This estimate is conservative, as children who have few or no symptoms often fail to be diagnosed.

Among adolescents, HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death during sports or sudden bursts of exercise. In rare cases, children can experience heart failure symptoms seen typically in adult HCM patients.

The HCM team includes members of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center who assess, monitor and treat pediatric patients with known or suspected HCM. This division is known for its tradition of groundbreaking state-of-the-art pediatric diagnostic and therapeutic interventions as well as innovative scientific research and medical education in these areas.

Diagnostic and treatment services include:

  • Advanced pediatric cardiac imaging, including 3D-echocardiography and MRI
  • Fetal echocardiography
  • Pediatric cardiopulmonary exercise laboratory
  • Pediatric cardiac catheterization laboratory
  • Arrhythmia management and electrophysiology services
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Interventional cardiology program
  • Pediatric heart failure and cardiomyopathy program
  • Pediatric heart transplant program
  • Pulmonary hypertension center
  • Congenital heart program
  • Preventive cardiology program

We also work closely with genetics counselors at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York to offer genetic screening to determine if any other first-degree family members, such as parents or siblings, are carriers of the HCM gene, and are therefore at risk for developing certain arrhythmias or for sudden death.

NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is among the nation's top three largest pediatric heart transplant programs and has the capability to treat those few children with HCM who progress to heart failure.

Learn more about how the Congenital Heart Center cares for children with congenital heart disease.