Clinical Profile of Nonresponders to Surgical Myectomy with Obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Published:January 15, 2018DOI:



      Surgical myectomy reverses heart failure symptoms in the vast majority of obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients. However, a small subgroup fails to experience sustained postoperative improvement despite relief of obstruction. Clinical profile of such patients has not been well defined.


      Consecutive obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients undergoing myectomy at Tufts Medical Center for drug-refractory New York Heart Association III/IV heart failure symptoms, 2004 to 2017, were followed postoperatively for 2.5 ± 2.8 years and assessed for outcome.


      Of the 503 patients, there were 4 postoperative deaths (0.8%); 480 patients (96%) had sustained improvement to New York Heart Association classes I or II (responders), but 19 (3.8%) developed advanced symptoms (classes III or IV) in the absence of obstruction (nonresponders). Compared with responders, nonresponders were younger (40 ± 13 vs 53 ± 14 years; P < .001) and had greater septal thickness (25 ± 9 vs 20 ± 4 mm; P < .001). Massive hypertrophy (≥30 mm) was 5-fold more common in nonresponders (P < .01). Seven nonresponders developed systolic dysfunction (ejection fraction 20%-47%), 2 days to 6.1 years postoperatively. Four nonresponders underwent heart transplant 3.4 to 9.2 years after myectomy, and 2 others have been listed.


      Surgical myectomy is highly effective at reversing heart failure symptoms in the vast majority of patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. However, a small minority experience persistent functional limitation despite surgical relief of outflow obstruction. Predictors of adverse postoperative course were substantial/massive septal thickness and youthful age. Patients who failed to respond symptomatically to myectomy were considered for advanced heart failure treatment, including heart transplantation.


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