Welcome to Cleveland Clinic Online Health Chats

Get answers to your health questions and concerns. It's easy to be part of our live chat events, led by Cleveland Clinic physicians and health professionals.

Understanding the Complex Heart Condition: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) - [Video]
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

RSVP for this chat today.RSVP Now

Click Join Chat to join the chat in progress.You will be asked to login if you aren't already logged in.Join Chat

Harry Lever, MD

  • Director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center

Milind Desai, MD

  • Staff Cardiologist
  • Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute

Lisa Salberg

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a complex type of heart disease that causes thickening of the heart muscle, left ventricular stiffness, mitral valve and cellular changes. It affects one in 500 Americans and about 2 to 3 percent of those affected die each year because their heart suddenly stops beating. HCM can be inherited or acquired as a result of high blood pressure or aging. However, often, the cause of hypertrophy is difficult to identify. While many people with HCM live a normal life and do not experience health-related problems, some may develop heart conditions, such as sudden cardiac arrest or heart failure, which can shorten or decrease quality of life. HCM is the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in people under age 30 and is often associated with cardiac arrest and death in young professional athletes.

The Cleveland Clinic Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center is a multidisciplinary specialty treatment group dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment HCM in individuals and family members. We bring together clinicians that specialize in HCM, including physicians and nurses from Cardiovascular Medicine, Genetics, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Pediatric Cardiology, and Psychology with expertise in diagnostic and genetic testing, medical management, and interventional and surgical procedures for patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Take this opportunity to learn more about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), including diagnoses and treatment, and have your questions answered in a secure online setting with Harry Lever, MD, Milind Desai, MD, Christina Rigelsky MS, LGC, and Lisa Salberg from the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association (HCMA).

Harry Lever, MD is a cardiologist in the Section of Cardiovascular Imaging and Director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center in the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. Dr. Lever specializes in echocardiography and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and has one of the largest practices in the country for the treatment of HCM.

Dr. Lever, who is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease, is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Heart Association. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, he completed his residency at Montefiore Hospital in Pittsburgh and his fellowship in cardiology at the University of Rochester in New York.

Milind Desai, MD, is a staff cardiologist in the Section of Cardiovascular Imaging, the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, at the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University. He is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiology, cardiac CT and nuclear cardiology. He holds dual appointment in the departments of cardiovascular medicine and radiology.

Dr. Desai's is an expert in multi-modality cardiovascular imaging, having achieved the highest level of proficiency in all imaging modalities, including Cardiac MRI, Cardiac CT, Echocardiography and Nuclear Cardiology.
His patient-related interests include evaluation and management of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, complex valvular disease, complex coronary artery disease, pericardial diseases and radiation heart disease.

Christina Rigelsky, MS, LGC is a genetic counselor who works in Cleveland Clinic's Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare (CPGH) within the Genomic Medicine Institute.

We are pleased that Lisa Salberg from HCMA will also be joining us to help answer your questions.

This Health Chat is currently open to allow you to submit questions. Click on the Join Chat and type in the question box below. We will try to answer as many questions as possible during the chat. Please create an account to attend the chat and submit your questions.