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UVA Researchers Uncover Clues To Genetic Heart Condition That Causes Sudden Death

UVA Health Doctor Christopher Kramer
UVA Health's Dr. Christopher Kramer. (Photo: Dan Addison, UVA Communications)

UVA Researchers say they have uncovered important clues to a genetic heart condition that causes sudden death – and they’ve created a registry in the hope more patients can be diagnosed and treated. 

The disease is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, also called HCM. Dr. Christopher Kramer is from UVA.  He is one of the main people overseeing a study with 27 hundred HCM patients in six countries.

Dr. Kramer:  It can affect patients of all ages.  In fact, it is the most common cause of sudden cardiac death among young athletes.

The research has discovered two types of patients, one with genetic scar tissue, another with no scarring, but more obstruction of blood flow. Dr. Kramer says knowing which one can improve outcomes.

Dr. Kramer:  So our hope is at the end of this study that cardiologists will be able to have a smart-phone app that they can input all the data that’s collected on their patient relevant from this study and that will help tailor therapies, new treatments.

The research is supported by a 14 million dollar NIH grant.


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