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advanced HCM- afib

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  • advanced HCM- afib

    "Atrial fibrillation develops in 10% of patients and has been reported to be a sign of advanced disease (Marian, 1995). "


    this scares me. what exactly does this mean by "advanced"?
    \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • #2
    Re: advanced HCM- afib

    Cynthia, In HCM, there is more back pressure from the left ventricle than in the normal heart due to the hcm heart's inability to relax completely. There are other causes such as possible valve abnormalities that are also common in HCM. All these things put extra pressure on the left atrium, located just above the left ventricle. That back pressure stretches the left atrium and enlarges it. As it becomes larger, atrial fib is more likely to occur. The left atrial size is very critical information to be looking for with an echo. Reducing the pressure/relaxing the heart muscle during the relaxation phase (diastole) of the contraction is one of the goals of med management. This helps preserve the left atrium in it's best condition. Unfortunately, it's not always as controlled as we would like. When the author you quoted reports Atrial Fib to be a sign of "advanced disease", he's not incorrect. But then remember that you could also consider a person's HCM to have advanced if their septum has enlarged from 2 to 2.5 or if they have not been obstructed and now are obstructed. It seems reasonable to think that the HCM has advanced if the person was asymptomatic and now has pain and SOB. Don't read too much into the way things are written. As you can see from previous postings, many here have atrial fib. I'm certainly not trying to minimize the seriousness of atrial fib, it's a serious complication, but can be dealt with. My real point is that text books rarely point out the best picture, they show the worst case to give the most info. I hope this helps explain things a little for you. Linda

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    • #3
      Re: advanced HCM- afib

      thank you for your explaination, Linda! I appreciate it
      \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

      Ralph Waldo Emerson

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      • #4
        Re: advanced HCM- afib

        advanced, as in, it got somewhat worse.

        NOT advanced as in, burnt out or end stage.

        b/c afib, while not a good way to be, is certainly something many millions of people live with for a long time.

        afib (unrelated to HCM) is the number one arrhythmia in america, with 5 million people having it.

        here is a good article...http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/200...2/hlsa0112.htm

        take care,

        s

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