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autopsy for HCM???


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  • autopsy for HCM???

    Hi All----

    I saw in another post that people were talking about a family with several cases of men in their 50's dying suddenly--they were mentioning the possibility of an autopsy----

    My Dad died in his nineties last year 2 days after I was told I had HCM. I quickly realized that the only way for me to know if my Dad had it would be to get an autopsy, pronto---didn't know if this was warranted or not---didn't know anything much about anything.

    I spoke with a cardiologist about it, who didn't think it was such a good idea. Subsequently, I discovered that this Dr. really didn't know anything about HCM. I also spoke with my Funeral Director about it, and we decided against it. I knew that would put an end to it, since I certainly wasn't going to concern myself with it after he was laid to rest.

    After that, my mother and my brother were tested, and no evidence was found of HCM. I guess that my Dad didn't have it either, since he was a very strong man who lived to be almost 94, despite numerous minor heart attacks and geriatric diabetes.

    It certainly was an uncomfortable conjunction of events for me---the diagnosis coming while my Dad was on his death-bed, and then the uncertainty about an autopsy.

    Any thoughts?

    Do people do autopsies to discover if HCM was present? It seems very different when a man dies in his 50's. My Dad died as his body broke down due to extreme old age, so I doubt very much if an autopsy would have meant anything------

  • #2
    Re: autopsy for HCM???

    we have an HCMer here who is 90 something, so it isn't impossible that your dad had HCM. the majority of HCMers live a full life span.

    autopsy's aren't always 100% definiative but if he had an obviously thick septum or left ventricle, they would have been able to call it.

    BUT HCM can skip generations, too, so even if the autopsy had turned up nothing, it wouldn't mean that he wasn't a carrier.

    you made the best decision you could and it is unlikely that doing it differently would have made any difference.

    take care,



    • #3
      Re: autopsy for HCM???

      Please do not worry about this, you are putting a great deal of stress on yourself. IF your dad had HCM this is GOOD news for you, as he lived a long and normal life. If he did not have HCM, he had a long and normal life.

      The question now is for the generation to follow you - IF your dad had HCM it simply shows a family history that had no premature deaths. In the event children are involved we are dealing with a 50/50 chance that they too carry the gene. The true meaning of what a particular gene means...well we have no idea at this point, therefore it has no significant value at this time.

      Take care...and I am very sorry about the timing of your diagnosis and your dads death, that must have been very hard for you.

      Be well,
      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)


      • #4
        Re: autopsy for HCM???


        Not to worry about children---my brother and I don't have any------ the genes stop here!!!


        • #5
          Re: autopsy for HCM???

          My parents had an autopsy performed on my brother when he died at age 23 eventhough they knew he had HCM since just after birth. The postmortem report I have stated his average LV was 2.5cm and the aortic area of the LV was 4.0cm. He had a myectomy when he was 13 with a 100mm pressure gradient, so they also found 1.0cm fibrotic scars from the surgery. The Medical Examiner stated he died from HCM. It is truly very interesting reading and I have given this report and the clinical summary of my brother's five cardiac caths to my Cardiologist. I guess this is one of the reasons they put the ICD in my mom and I so quickly.
          Believe in the goodness of mankind.