Sudden Cardiac Death: A Modern Pathology Approach to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is one of the most common causes of sudden cardiac death among young adults and adolescents. Unfortunately, the first manifestation of the condition may be sudden death during exertion, such as sporting activities. Other clinical symptoms include exertional dyspnea, angina, and syncope. Postmortem examination often reveals asymmetrical septal thickening and mural plaque formation in the left ventricular outflow tract. Histologic analysis shows cardiac myocyte hypertrophy, myofiber disarray, and interstitial and replacement fibrosis. Molecular analysis for known genetic abnormalities is essential to genetic counseling of living relatives of decedents to assess and reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
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