Extent of clinical improvement after surgical treatment of hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy

Robert B. McCully, Rick A. Nishimura, A. Jamil Tajik, Hartzell V. Schaff, Gordon K. Danielson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

198 Scopus citations


Background: A subgroup of patients with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy remain severely symptomatic despite optimal medical therapy. Septal myectomy reduces or eliminates left ventricular outflow obstruction and produces marked symptomatic improvement. With the recent advent of alternative methods for treatment of this disorder, such as dual-chamber pacing, it is necessary to establish the risks and benefits of septal myectomy in the modem surgical era. Methods and Results: The clinical, ECG, echocardiographic, cardiac catheterization, and surgical data were analyzed for 65 patients 20 to 70 years old with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy who had surgical treatment between 1986 and 1992. Specific symptoms and overall functional status were evaluated before surgery and at the end of the first postoperative year. Subsequent long-term clinical postoperative follow-up was also obtained. The extent of postoperative improvement was measured by the presence and severity of persistent symptoms, overall New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class, and patients' self-perceptions of overall improvement. Of the patients, 95% were in NYHA functional class III or IV before surgery: 95% had dyspnea, 62% had angina, 63% had near-syncope, and 23% had syncope. The overall early mortality rate was 4.6%; there was no mortality among the 45 patients who underwent isolated septal myectomy. At the 1-year postoperative evaluation, 89% of survivors were in NYHA functional class I or II, and 47% believed that they had 100% improvement. Significant improvement (as defined) was seen in 67% of patients with dyspnea, 90% with angina, 86% with near-syncope, and 100% with syncope. The 5-year survival rate was 92%. Conclusions: The results of the present study reaffirm the efficacy of surgical treatment of hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy in patients who are severely symptomatic despite optimal medical therapy and serve as a useful reference by which the surgical approach can be compared with new and potentially promising treatment alternatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-471
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • cardiomyopathy
  • echocardiography
  • mortality
  • myectomy
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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