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Anatomy of a Failing Heart
DAVID EPSTEIN
December 10, 2007
NORMAL HEART Left Ventricle Wall Right Ventricle Septum Left Ventricle Cavity
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December 10, 2007

Anatomy Of A Failing Heart

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NORMAL HEART
Left Ventricle Wall
Right Ventricle
Septum
Left Ventricle Cavity

HCM HEART
Left Ventricle Wall
Right Ventricle
Septum
Left Ventricle Cavity

In the HCM heart the septum, the muscle wall that separates the ventricles, grows abnormally thick and invades the left ventricular cavity, where oxygen-filled blood collects before being pumped through the body. Normally thinner than 1.2 centimeters, a septum thicker than 1.5 cm is nearly always indicative of HCM. When the septum is between 1.3 and 1.5 cm, however, doctors find it difficult to determine whether the heart has been enlarged from exercise or from HCM.

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