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Am I Obstructed?


About the Author


angusjcampbell Retired from Healthcare Telecomm in NY City in 2004. Diagnosed with HCM in 2005, moved to Golden Isles region of SE Georgia in 2006. Now working for a non-profit ministry called International Seafarers Center at the busy seaport in Brunswick .
Barely Heart
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  • Am I Obstructed?

    Thanks Reenie for your response to my "progression of HCM" I cannot respond to a post directly here, so hence th new thread.

    I seem to remember being told I was obstructed, but at the same time my muscle was not very thick. I thought they were related and mutually inclusive but am getting the sense not.

    I was told that curiously, I develop something of a pressure gradient just standing up. Is a "pressure gradient" a form of obstruction?

    I was told that told my case was not severe, and I see indeed that I am able to be more active than many, but on the other hand, obstruction seems to add a level of complication if not risk. Is this true?

    Clearly I was taking in so much at my last appointment that I left before formulating a lot of useful questions, but I suppose that is normal. I am clearly learning a new language.
    Angus Campbell
    Golden Isles Region, Southeast Georgia, USA

    Dx'd HOCM at St Luke's Roosevelt, New York City, 2005
    Myectomy Jan 9th 2014 at Cleveland Clinic
    Drs Lever and Smedira

  • #2
    From what you're telling me it does appear that you're obstructed. I haven't heard of someone with a gradient who isn't obstructed. The thickness of the septum doesn't necessarily have anything to do with whether or not you're obstructed, though. The key is where the thickness is. If it's high enough on the septum to interfere with blood flow, and particularly with the mitral valve function, then there is obstruction, even if the measurement is only 1.5 cm. There are others who have severe hypertrophy but it's in a different part of the septum, either mid-septal or apical, and these patients aren't obstructed. An example is my husband. His measurement is 3.8 cm, but it's in the middle of the septum and doesn't affect the function of the mitral valve. He has no gradient either. I hope I've explained this well enough. Others will likely jump in here to help more than I can.


    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


    • #3

      I would suggest you get a copy of your echo report from your doctor. Call the HCMA office and we can walk you through the report and help you understand the numbers and there meaning.

      Yes, I am sure you are obstructed based on two issues:
      You have a gradient - which is "obstruction"
      You are being started on Norpace by Dr. Sherrid.

      Best wishes,
      Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
      YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

      Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
      lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
      Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
      Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
      Currently not obstructed
      Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


      Today's Birthdays