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Previous EKG readings


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Roscoe Find out more about Roscoe
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  • Previous EKG readings


    Last June I was tested for sleep apnea and the EKG was showing some poor readings. Along with a few EGKs, stress tests, Echo and a couple of other assessments I was diagnosed with Apical HCM. During the previous 15 years I was told my asthma was causing my problems. I do believe I have some asthma, but I never believed it was the full diagnose.

    I was having a couple of bad weeks, so I made another appointment with my cardiologist to see if my medication needed to be adjusted. In truth, work has been a bit stressful and I believe that was part of the issue. Anyways, I’m a retired military member and I’ve had EKGs and other related tests before and had complained about my symptoms. I reviewed my old records and found the EKGs and brought them with me to my appointment.

    My cardiologist was surprised when he read them. My first EKG was when I was around 23. I had another couple in my early 30s, and I don’t recall the how old I was for another. Anyways, they all showed up as normal. The reading did not show any unusual spikes. Now approximately 11 – 12 years later, all of my EKGs I’ve had over the past year (approximately 5) all show the problem.

    My cardiologist seemed perplexed. He made a comment that he is now unsure if I have HCM, because the EKG should have always shown the weird spikes. There is obviously something wrong. He said my left ventricular thickness was at 17mm. That is the only number I can remember from the conversation.

    I though I should post here and ask those who have been dealing with HCM the following question…..

    If I have HCM, should my EKGs been reading problems all along or it is common for the thickness to happen over time? If I have HCM I want to have my kids tested.


  • #2
    Hello Roscoe,
    Thickness can occur at a very young age or appear later on.....Every case is a bit different. EKGs are a very poor screening mechanism for HCM. The definitive test for HCM Is the echocardiogram. So if you had several echocardiogram to compare that might be relavent. There are several values that are looked at on the echo that define the diagnosis of HCM Thickness is just one of the points to look at. Overall, most Cardiologists have limited experience with HCM and its wide variety of symptoms and presentations. That is why we recommend getting evaluated at an HCM Center of Excellence. There is a directory for HCM Centers of Excellence on the home page of this website. Although there is not one in WA there is one in Oregon. You might want to get a copy of the book on HCM sold on this site and/or call the HCMA office for advice on what to do next they can even help you understand your echocardiogram if you have the results.
    After years of symptoms:
    Officially Diagnosed HOCM 2006
    Myectomy 3/11/13 at non-COE
    Extended Myectomy 7/23/14
    At Mayo with Dr. Joseph Dearani


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