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G Ital Cardiol. 1997 Nov;27(11):1133-43.

[Clinical course of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in a non selected population. The Experience of the Italian Multicenter Cardiomyopathy Study].

[Article in Italian]

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  • 1Unità di Cardiologia, S. Luca Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi, Firenze.



Most of the information available on the clinical course and prognosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is based on data generated from international referral centres and as a result, it constitutes a potentially biased perspective of the disease process in this complex and diverse condition. A multicentric study was therefore set up with the aim of providing information on unselected patient populations with HCM.


The study group comprised 330 patients from 5 non-referral hospitals (mean age 42 +/- 16 years, M/F 226/104, 74-22%-obstructive, 299-91%-in NYHA class I-II) who were followed up regularly for 9.5 +/- 5.6 years.


The vast majority of patients (n = 272, 82%) remained asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic during the follow-up period, whereas the remaining patients (n = 58, 18%) experienced clinical deterioration or died. Of the 18 patients (5%) who died of cardiovascular causes related to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, 14 had progressive congestive heart failure and only 4 died suddenly. The annual mortality rate for cardiovascular disease was 0.57%, while the mortality rate due to sudden cardiac death was only 0.1%. The cumulative survival rate was 98, 95 and 93%, at 5, 10 and 15 years of follow-up respectively. Atrial fibrillation proved to be a relatively common (n = 81, 24%) and particularly unfavourable clinical feature, with higher mortality rate for cardiovascular causes related to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Syncope occurred in 47 patients (14%) but did not appear to have prognostic significance.


In an unselected population, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy had a relatively benign prognosis that was inconsistent with its prior characterization as a generally progressive disorder, based primarily on the experience of selected referral institutions. Sudden unexpected cardiac death was distinctly uncommon, although a sizable proportion of patients, particularly the subset prone to atrial fibrillation, did experience clinical deterioration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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