A study has shown how molecular imaging can help determine the cause of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a cardiovascular disorder that causes a thickening of the heart muscle, and provide an effective treatment.
The study on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is proving that the effects of a genetic mutation may be an important key to understanding the disease.
Also in a related study, a treatment called alcohol septal ablation is being revealed as an effective treatment for severe cases of HCM.
"These studies show that molecular imaging has great potential for clinical use in the field of cardiology," Stefan Timmer, MD, Free University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, said.
"HCM is usually asymptomatic, and one of the first symptoms is acute death due to arrhythmia, which demonstrates how essential it is to detect this disease.
"We used molecular imaging to gauge the heart's efficiency in subjects with a pathogenic mutation linked to HCM. Unexpectedly, we found that carriers of the mutation already have a less efficient heart despite the absence of any symptoms.
"In addition, the research provides a suggestion why a frequently used therapy, alcohol septal ablation, is an effective treatment for symptomatic patients who remain symptomatic despite optimal medical treatment," he added.
The study was presented at SNM's 58th Annual Meeting.