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Which of the following is a genetic condition in which abnormal growth of the heart muscle fibers occurs, leading to the thickening of these fibers?
a. Dilated cardiomyopathy
b. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
c. Restrictive cardiomyopathy
d. Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy
Answer: (b). Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
1. Dilated cardiomyopathy: Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common form of the disease. It typically occurs in adults between the ages of 20 and 60 years.
The disease often starts in the left ventricle, but it can eventually also affect the right ventricle.
Dilated cardiomyopathy can affect the structure and function of the atria, too.
2. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy:
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic condition in which abnormal growth of the heart muscle fibers occurs, leading to the thickening or "hypertrophy" of these fibers. The thickening makes the chambers of the heart stiff and affects blood flow. It can also increase the risk of electrical disturbances, called arrhythmias.
According to the Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation, it is the second most common form of cardiomyopathy in children. In about one-third of affected children, diagnosis occurs before the age of 1 year.
3. Restrictive cardiomyopathy:
Restrictive cardiomyopathy occurs when the tissues of the ventricles become rigid and cannot fill with blood properly. Eventually, it may lead to heart failure. It is more common in older adults and can result from infiltrative conditions - those involving the accumulation of abnormal substances in bodily tissues - such as amyloidosis.
4. Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy:
In arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, fibrotic and fatty tissue replaces the healthy tissues of the right ventricle, which may cause irregular heart rhythms. In some cases, this process can also occur in the left ventricle.
According to research in the journal Circulation Research, arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy increases the risk of sudden cardiac death, especially in young people and athletes. It is a hereditary genetic condition.
In some cases, usually mild ones, there are no symptoms of cardiomyopathy.
However, as the condition progresses, a person may experience the following symptoms with varying degrees of severity: