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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

Explore the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston which offers a full suite of cardiomyopathy treatment and diagnostic options.
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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.
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Doctors + Care Team

James E. Udelson, MD

James E. Udelson, MD

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

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Ayan R. Patel, MD

Ayan R. Patel, MD

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

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Ethan  Rowin, MD

Ethan Rowin, MD

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)

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Hassan Rastegar, MD

Hassan Rastegar, MD

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

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Martin S. Maron, MD

Martin S. Maron, MD

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, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging

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Research + Clinical Trials


A Study of a Technology-enabled Disease Management Program to Reduce Hospitalizations for Heart Failure (SpanCHFIII)

This study will randomize participants with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure and at least one risk factor for hospitalization to either a tablet computer and web based disease management program or a telephone based disease management program. Both interventions are home based with heart failure education and symptom monitoring provided by nurse managers. The nurse managers are in close communication with both the participants and the participants' physicians . The components of the disease management program have been developed at Tufts Medical Center and the New England Quality Care Alliance with studies showing improved clinical outcomes, including reduced hospitalizations. The goal of this study is to transition this successful home monitoring and disease management program to a table computer and web-based implementation to both improve clinical outcomes (reducing hospitalizations and improving self-perceived health status) and improve provider-patient satisfaction. We hypothesize that the tablet computer based disease management will decrease heart failure hospitalizations.
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Mechanical Circulatory Support: Measures of Adjustment and Quality of Life

The purpose of this study is to develop a measurement system to assess adjustment to mechanical circulatory support (MCS) (also referred to as a ventricular assist device [VAD]) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with advanced heart failure who receive a VAD. The investigators refer to this measurement system as Mechanical Circulatory Support: Adjustment and Quality of Life (MCS A-QOL).
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A Phase 2 Open-label Pilot Study to Evaluate Efficacy, Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, Safety, and Tolerability of MYK-461 in Subjects With Symptomatic Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Left Ventricular Outflow Tract Obstruction

The purpose of this phase 2 open-label pilot study is to evaluate the efficacy, pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), safety, and tolerability of MYK-461 in subjects with symptomatic HCM and LVOT obstruction aged 18-70 years.
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A Randomized Parallel-Group, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Event-Driven, Multi-Center Pivotal Phase III Clinical Outcome Trial of Efficacy and Safety of the Oral sGC Stimulator Vericiguat in Subjects With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction (HFrEF) - VerICiguaT Global Study in Subjects With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction (VICTORIA)

This is a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multi-center, double-blind, event driven study of vericiguat (MK-1242) in participants with heart failure reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). The primary hypothesis is vericiguat (MK-1242) is superior to placebo in increasing the time to first occurrence of the composite of cardiovascular (CV) death or heart failure (HF) hospitalization in participants with HFrEF.
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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 pumpt). 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.
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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 beind 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 failurea nd 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.
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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.
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A phase III randomised, double-blind trial to evaluate efficacy and safety of once daily empagliflozin 10 mg compared to placebo, in patients with chronic Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF).

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 preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF). 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.
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A phase III randomised, 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.
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Subcutaneous Furosemide in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure

The purpose of this study is to test if sending you home early from the hospital with a furosemide pump will improve your outcome after a heart failure admission. An investigational pump and drug combination - the sc2WearPump and Furosemide Injection Solution (SCP-101, made scPharmaceuticals), will be used to provide you with the drug you need and the study will also determine if this combination product is safe. "Investigational" means that the combination pump/drug is currently being tested in research studies and is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for standard medical use. Furosemide is already approved by the FDA for the treatment of heart failure, but tihs study will test a furosemide injection given under the skin using a pump (sc2Wear Pump) applied to the belly.
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Dilated Cardiomyopathy Precision Medicine Study

The purpose of this study is to identify gene changes that cause DCM and gene differences that influence the development and severity of DCM. The genetic screening done for this study will be returned to the subject. These genetic studies may identify a change in a gene that has already been linked with DCM, a change in a gene not previously associated with DCM, or these studies may identify a gene or genes that affect the development and severity of the DCM. With this knowledge we hope to have a better understanding of how genes and gene changes cause DCM. We are collaborating with Dr. Ray Hershberger from The Ohio State University in the Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) Precision Medicine Study, a family-based study aimed at enrolling individuals of European or African ancestry, and identifying the genes responsible for idiopathic DCM. Ours is one of several sites forming part of the DCM Consortium, a multi-institutional group established to conduct DCM research. This study requires one in person visit and a 10-15 minute phone call annually.
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Characterizing HIV-related Diastolic Dysfunction

This is a multicenter clinical trial of a cross section of HIV+ patients with and without diastolic dysfunction. Approximately 200 HAART-treated virally suppressed HIV+ subjects (100 HIV+/DD+ & 100 HIV+/DD-) will be enrolled. Currently only accepted patients who have HIV and Diastolic Dysfunction. This study will evaluate biomarkers, phenomapping, metabolomics, cMRI, and echocardiography to determined characteristics unique to this patient population.
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