Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is the name for diseases of the heart muscle. These diseases enlarge your heart muscle or make it thicker and more rigid than normal. In rare cases, scar tissue replaces the muscle tissue.

Some people live long, healthy lives with cardiomyopathy. Some people don't even realize they have it. In others, however, it can make the heart less able to pump blood through the body. This can cause serious complications, including

  • Heart failure
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Heart valve problems
  • Sudden cardiac arrest

Heart attacks, high blood pressure, infections, and other diseases can all cause cardiomyopathy. Some types of cardiomyopathy run in families. In many people, however, the cause is unknown. Treatment might involve medicines, surgery, other medical procedures, and lifestyle changes.

Programs + Services


Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center and Research Institute

Explore the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston which offers a full suite of cardiomyopathy treatment and diagnostic options.
More information about programs and services


Changing the narrative on a once grim genetic cardiac disease

Cardiovascular specialists at Tufts MC are spreading the word that Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is now a treatable disease compatible with normal longevity and good quality of life.
More information about programs and services

Doctors + Care Team

James E. Udelson, MD

James E. Udelson, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Chief, Division of Cardiology; Director, Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8066
Fax #: 617-636-7175

Cardiac imaging, heart failure

View Full Profile for James E. Udelson, MD

Ayan R. Patel, MD

Ayan R. Patel, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Director, Cardiovascular Imaging and Hemodynamic Laboratory; Director, Women's Heart Center; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-2273
Fax #: 617-636-8070

Echocardiography, heart failure, women's heart disease, cardiac amyloidosis

View Full Profile for Ayan R. Patel, MD

Ethan  Rowin, MD

Ethan Rowin, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Co-Director, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center; Director of Cardiac MR Imaging; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8066
Fax #: 617-636-7175

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

View Full Profile for Ethan Rowin, MD

Hassan Rastegar, MD

Hassan Rastegar, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Senior Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, CardioVascular Center, Cardiac Surgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5590
Fax #: 617-636-6410

Surgical treatment of acquired heart disease, surgical repair of valvular heart disease, surgical repair of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, minimally invasive surgery, arrhythmia surgery, heart transplantation, circulatory assist devices

View Full Profile for Hassan Rastegar, MD

Martin S. Maron, MD

Martin S. Maron, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Director, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center; Co-Director, Cardiac CT and MRI; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8066
Fax #: 617-636-7175

Cardiac imaging, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), cardiac magnetic resonance imaging

View Full Profile for Martin S. Maron, MD

Research + Clinical Trials


Prevalence of Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloidosis (ATTR-CM) Among Patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a genetic disease where the heart muscles become thicker because of the disease.   We use electrocardiogram, echocardiogram or cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) tests to see if someone might have HCM.  Another disease, transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis (ATTR-CM) can also cause the heart to become thick and look similar to HCM on these tests (usually in patients who are over 60 years old).

Recent research suggests that up to 10% of patients ≥ 60 years of age who have been diagnosed with HCM, may actually have ATTR-CM.  However, no formal research study has been done to confirm if this is what is happening.   Standard practice at Tufts is that patients ≥ 60 years of age have routine testing for HCM (including electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, and CMR) and a special test (called a pryophosphate scan) specifically to evaluate for ATTR-CM.  This is important as ATTR-CM is treated differently than HCM.

The research team is inviting participants to be included in a registry in order to look at the difference between the two diseases and how they are diagnosed.  This study's registry is a compilation of various cardiac images, lab tests, and medical histories of patients with HCM and ATTR-CM. If they choose to participate, they will be included in a  registry using the following information: clinical history, lab tests, echocardiogram, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR), and pyrophosphate scan.   We will look at this information to understand how often patients originally diagnosed with HCM were later diagnosed with ATTR-CM instead.

 

 


More information about research and clinical trials


How Does Body Composition Change after Placement of a Left Ventricular Assist Device in Advanced Systolic Heart Failure?

Many patients with advanced heart failure describe loss of muscle mass and strength in their arms and legs. This process is known as ‘sarcopenia’ and has not been well studied in heart failure. In particular it is unknown whether the sarcopenia process can reverse after a heart failure patient receives a left ventricular assist device (LVAD, a surgically implanted heart pump). Therefore we are partnering with experts in nutrition and body composition at Tufts University to study changes in muscle mass, physical activity, food intake and metabolism in patients receiving an LVAD. Muscle mass is measured by two methods in the study, to help us determine which is the most accurate in heart failure patients: a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan and a non-radioactive isotope dilution technique. There are 3 study visits which each take a maximum of 4 hours, performed around the time of LVAD implant (30 days before to 21 days after), and at 3 months and 6 months after LVAD implantation.
More information about research and clinical trials


Entrestotm (LCZ696) In Advanced Heart Failure (LIFE Study) (HFN-LIFE)

The purpose of this study is to test whether EntrestoTM, a newly approved drug for heart failure that combines sacubitril and valsartan, improves symptoms and outcomes in persons with advanced heart failure in comparison to treatment with valsartan alone over 24 weeks. EntrestoTM has been studied in only a very small number of patients with advanced heart failure, like you. This study is being done to obtain more information on the benefits and risks of EntrestoTM in patients with advanced heart failure. Both EntrestoTM and valsartan have previously been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)for people with heart failure and are available by prescription from a licensed medical doctor. Currently EntrestoTM is only available under the brand name EntrestoTM, there is no generic form of EntrestoTM. You do not have to take part in this study in order to receive EntrestoTM.
More information about research and clinical trials


Non-Invasive Measurement of Capillary Oxygenation during Exercise in Ambulatory Advanced Heart Failure Patients

At Tufts Medical Center, we are continually evaluating different approaches to monitor and improve the care of our patients with advanced systolic heart failure. We are currently partnering with a company that has developed a non-invasive probe that measures capillary oxygenation through the skin. The probe attaches to the skin with a temporary adhesive and records the amount of oxygen in the blood cells passing through the skin. This technology may help us to detect when patients with abnormal heart pumping function (heart failure) are not circulating enough blood to their body. We have designed a study using this non-invasive probe to measure capillary oxygenation during exercise stress tests in patients with systolic heart failure and without systolic heart failure. Both groups of patients will have already been scheduled to undergo a treadmill exercise tests for standard clinical indications at Tufts Medical Center. We attach the adhesive probe to the skin on the base of the thumb and on the forearm during the exercise test. Study participation ends at the conclusion of the stress test, and the adhesive probe is removed. We hope to identify the differences between blood supply to the skin during exercise in patients with normal heart function versus those with systolic heart failure.
More information about research and clinical trials


A phase III randomized, double-blind trial to evaluate efficacy and safety of once daily empagliflozin 10 mg compared to placebo, in patients with chronic Heart Failure with reduced Ejection Fraction (HFrEF).

This is a prospective, multicenter, phase III randomized, double-blind trial to evaluate efficacy and safety of once daily empagliflozin 10 mg compared to placebo, in patients with chronic Heart Failure (HF) with reduced Ejection Fraction (HFrEF). The objective of this event-driven trial is to demonstrate superiority of empagliflozin 10 mg versus placebo in patients with symptomatic, chronic HF and preserved ejection fraction (LVEF ≤40%) under stable treatment of HF symptoms. Empagliflozin is an orally available, potent, and selective inhibitor of the renal SGLT-2. Its selective inhibition reduces renal reabsorption of sodium and glucose. This leads to both increased urinary sodium and glucose excretion. While the urinary sodium excretion returns to normal within few days of empagliflozin administration, the effect on urinary glucose continues. The study treatment period will run for approximately 20- 38 months, until the required number of adjudicated primary events are reached. In Addition to the treatment period there is a 4-21 day screening period and a 30 day follow up visit.
More information about research and clinical trials