Source: British Heart Foundation
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Date of publication: August 2019
Publication type: Research
In a nutshell: HCM is an inherited heart condition that causes the heart muscle to become thicker. It can lead to life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms and sudden cardiac arrest, which is the leading cause of death in children with the condition. Most people with HCM have few, if any, symptoms. Although there are tools which can help predict the risk of sudden death in adults with the condition, until now they haven’t existed for children.
Scientists at University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital collected anonymised medical records from cardiac centres around the world to find out which factors are associated with a higher risk of sudden death in children with HCM. They used this to develop a tool that means doctors can identify children with HCM who may need to be fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) which can shock the heart back into a normal rhythm if they experience a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm. The new tool could also help to reassure families of those children with HCM who are found to be unlikely to experience a cardiac arrest.
Length of publication: 1 webpage
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Acknowledgement: British Heart Foundation