Topic Overview

Some people who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are at high risk for sudden death. If you have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, your doctor will check your risk.

If you are at high risk, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) might be right for you. An ICD can identify life-threatening arrhythmias and successfully restore a normal heartbeat.

To find out your risk, your doctor will do tests and ask you about your health and family history. Your doctor might check if you:footnote 1

  • Have had cardiac arrest or ventricular tachycardia in the past.
  • Had a close relative who had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and died suddenly.
  • Have fainted (syncope).
  • Have had low blood pressure during or after exercise.
  • Have extreme left ventricle thickness (more than 30 millimetres).

Related Information



  1. Gersh BJ, et al. (2011). 2011 ACCF/AHA guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation, 124(24): e783–e831.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
George Philippides, MD - Cardiology

Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015