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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019 Apr 23;73(15):1978-1986. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2019.01.061.

Moving Beyond the Sarcomere to Explain Heterogeneity in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: JACC Review Topic of the Week.

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HCM Institute, Division of Cardiology, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address:


Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) has been considered a heterogeneous cardiac disease ascribed solely to single sarcomere gene mutations. However, limitations of this hypothesis suggest that sarcomere mutations alone do not adequately explain all HCM clinical and pathobiological features. Disease-causing sarcomere mutations are absent in ∼70% of patients with established disease, and sarcomere gene carriers can live to advanced ages without developing HCM. Some features of HCM are also inconsistent with the single sarcomere gene hypothesis, such as regional left ventricular hypertrophy and myocardial fibrosis, as well as structurally abnormal elongated mitral valve leaflets and remodeled intramural coronary arterioles, which involve tissue types that do not express cardiomyocyte sarcomere proteins. It is timely to expand the HCM research focus beyond a single molecular event toward more inclusive models to explain this disease in its entirety. The authors chart paths forward addressing this knowledge gap using novel analytical approaches, particularly network medicine, to unravel the pathobiological complexity of HCM.


genetics; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; network medicine

[Available on 2020-04-23]

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