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Date Published: Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Date Updated: Monday, July 18, 2022

New Medication to Combat Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Approved for Use at Westchester Medical Center

Westchester Medical Center has the only HCM program in the Hudson Valley with FDA approval for the medication's use

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Westchester Medical Center heart specialists are now using a new heart disease therapy – newly approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - they believe is an advancement in the treatment of a genetic condition - hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) - that can lead to severe heart failure. Westchester Medical Center has the only HCM program in the Hudson Valley with FDA approval for the medication's use, thus offering patients with qualifying criteria* a promising alternative to traditional treatments and their side effects.

HCM is caused by abnormal genes that cause the heart muscle to thicken. HCM worsens over time as the thickened muscle restricts blood flow through the heart, leading to shortness of breath, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, and other symptoms. HCM can also result in sudden cardiac arrest and has been identified as a root cause of sudden cardiac death amongst athletes. Surgical interventions such as septal myectomy and alcohol septal ablation are sometimes used as corrective measures to treat HCM.

Srihari S. Naidu, MD, Director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program at Westchester Medical Center, said the new medication, mavacamten, differs from other HCM treatments as it works directly on the affected heart muscle. "Legacy treatments are not targeted and slow the heart, lower blood pressure and can lead to secondary side effects, such as impotence. There are no such non-cardiac side effects with mavacamten and the patient ingests just one pill per day, compared to two or more pills with traditional HCM treatments."

Dr. Naidu also said although mavacamten was only recently approved for use by the FDA, Westchester Medical Center cardiologists are familiar with the medication as the hospital took part in mavacamten clinical trials.

"This is a meaningful addition to the clinical tools to treat a condition that has puzzled physicians for several decades," said Julio Panza, MD, Westchester Medical Center's Director of Cardiology. "Having the expertise and the ability to offer the entire spectrum of therapies for HCM will help us select the patients that are most likely to benefit from this new groundbreaking therapy."

A Leading Program for the Treatment of HCM

The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) Program at Westchester Medical Center is one of only 30 national centers of excellence certified by the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association and one of the few to perform both surgical myectomy and alcohol septal ablation at high volume and with excellent outcomes. Community members with a family history of HCM, and referring physicians, should call 914.598.7651 or email MCMProgram@WMCHealth.org to schedule a consultation. Or visit WestchesterMedicalCenter.org/Hypertrophic-Cardiomyopathy-Program for more information.

About Westchester Medical Center Health Network

The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, with 10 hospitals on eight campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 12,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. The Network has Level I, Level II and Level III trauma centers, the region's only acute care children's hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, homecare services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State. Today, WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated healthcare in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit WMCHealth.org.

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*HCM patients must meet certain physical inclusion criteria, as decided by a physician, to be considered for mavacamten therapies All trademarks herein are the property of their respective owners.