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In diagnosing hypertrophic cardiomyosis, your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and family history and will listen to your heart and lungs. He or she will likely also order one or more tests. These include:


This test uses sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. An echocardiogram provides information about the size and shape of your heart and how well your heart chambers and valves are functioning. The test also can identify areas of poor blood flow to the heart, areas of heart muscle that aren't contracting normally, and previous injury to the heart muscle caused by poor blood flow. The test is noninvasive and is performed by placing a probe on your chest wall. It is the same technique used in sonograms in pregnant women.

Chest X-ray

This may be used to show the heart's size and position.

Stress Test

During a stress test, you exercise to make your heart work hard and beat fast while heart tests are done. The test can reveal abnormal changes to your heart rate or blood pressure, symptoms such as shortness of breath, or abnormal changes to your heart's electrical activity. Sometimes, the test is given using a radioactive dye, sound waves, or other imaging devices to take pictures of your heart when it's working hard and when it is resting.

Coronary Catheterization

To see the blood flowing to your heart, your doctor may perform a coronary catheterization. This involves injecting a dye into your arteries in what is called an angiogram. The dye is delivered through a long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter that is threaded through a leg artery into the coronary arteries. This is called catheterization. The dye outlines areas of blockages on x-ray images.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

This test scans the body using magnetic fields to create computer images of the body's soft tissues.

Blood Tests

These can be used to detect specific genetic mutations associated with HCM.

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215