Preventing sudden death in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

29th March 2018

A new worldwide study has validated the ESC recommendations of predicting and preventing sudden cardiac death in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

The study was originally presented in 2014 at ESC Congress where the European Society of Cardiology recommended using a special risk prediction tool called the HCM Risk-SCD to identify which patients are at highest risk for sudden death and would benefit most from having a prophylactic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Since then, researchers have trialled the model outside of Europe and found the model worked across other healthcare systems across the world and within varied patterns of heart disease.  

The study showed 3,703 patients were assessed to see if their HCM Risk-SCD score accurately predicted whether they eventually went on to suffer SCD. The patients were followed for an average of 5 years and of which 73 sudden cardiac events occurred. The model introduced the factor of age which then helped determine the risk and assess whether was needed in patients.

The conclusions found that the tool could distinguish well between high - and low- risk patients, with good agreement between what it predicted and their actual 5-year SCD rates.

The study also found that the HCM Risk-SCD calculator can be used to avoid unnecessary ICD implants in low risk patients, supporting the 2014 ESC recommendation not to implant ICDs in these individuals.

Professor Perry Elliott, President of Cardiomyopathy UK and Professor of Medicine at University College London (UCL) said: “The original model was based on a relatively smaller number of European centres and we felt it was essential to test this internationally across regions for further insights and across a more diverse population We are delighted to see the study has performed well and has given us reassurances that the tool developed can be used in different healthcare settings.”

Joel Rose, Chief Executive of Cardiomyopathy UK said: "This new research shows that this tool, which is already making a real difference to the lives of people with cardiomyopathy, should now be rolled out worldwide so more people can make informed decisions about the treatment options that are best for them.”