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Circulation. 1982 Jan;65(1):7-17.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in infants: clinical features and natural history.


The clinical and morphologic features of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in 20 patients recognized as having cardiac disease in the first year of life are described. Fourteen of these 20 infants were initially suspected of having heart disease solely because a heart murmur was identified. However, the infants showed a variety of clinical findings, including signs of marked congestive heart failure (in the presence of non-dilated ventricular cavities and normal or increased left ventricular contractility) and substantial cardiac enlargement on chest radiograph. Other findings were markedly different from those usually present in older children and adults with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (e.g., right ventricular hypertrophy on the ECG and cyanosis). Consequently, in 14 infants, the initial clinical diagnosis was congenital cardiac malformation other than hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Twelve of the 14 infants who underwent left-heart catheterization showed substantial obstruction to left ventricular outflow (peak systolic pressure gradient greater than or equal to 35 mm Hg). However, unlike older patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, infants with this condition commonly had marked obstruction to right ventricular outflow (35-106 mm Hg) (nine patients); in six patients, the magnitude of obstruction to right ventricular outflow was at least as great as that to left ventricular outflow. Asymmetric hypertrophy of the ventricular septum relative to the left ventricular free wall was present in the 16 patients who had echocardiographic or necropsy examination. Ventricular septal thickening was substantial in patients studied both before and after 6 months of age (mean 16 mm), indicating that in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, marked left ventricular hypertrophy may be present early in life and is probably congenital. The clinical course was variable in these patients, but the onset of marked congestive heart failure in the first year of life appeared to be an unfavorable prognostic sign; nine of the 11 infants with congestive heart failure died within the first year of life. In infants with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, unlike older children and adults with this condition, sudden death was less common (two patients) than death due to progressive congestive heart failure.

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