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left atrium filling late
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left atrium filling late

Hi my son is 4.  He has Left Ventricular Cardiomyopathy, and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.  At his last echo doc said his left atrium is filling with blood late.  Does anyone know what this means?  I have tried to research on the web, but all I get are a bunch of medical terms that I don't understand.  The doc is going to mail or fax me the notes as soon as they are done.  But I can't wait that long.  Anyone know anything?   As far as I understand it, it is a sign of prgression towards heart failure.
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Your son has HCM or, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Left Ventricular Cardiomyopathy can be either a result of systolic dysfunction (dilated cardiomyopathy) or diastolic dysfunction (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) To say: Left ventricular Cardiomyopathy would be kind of a catch-all phrase. Ask your doctor to be more specific about the left atrium filling with blood late. I'm thinking what he means is that because the ventricle is hypertrophied (thickened) it can not pump the blood out as well and therefore, the blood is slowed down. Heart failure is a chronic form of heart disease, it doesn't mean that the heart stops beating. Heart failure in patients with HCM is not the same as with patients who are in Congestive Heart Failure, or CHF. Your son should not participate in sports and should not be in PE in school, once he starts school. Hopefully, you are seeing a good pediatric cardiologist and have accesss to a good University Hospital. HCM is very rare in children, sometimes it is genetic in nature so both you and your husband should be checked out for this disease. Your son should be having Holters done to rule out arrhythmia problems as well as an EP Study done to check out the electrical systems of the heart. This is not going to be an easy road for you to be traveling down. I've been there with my own daughter; she was diagnosed with a VERY severe form of this disease when she was 6 and she was finally transplanted when she was 22.  
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