Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Non-Compaction Cardiomyopathy in 17 yo
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Non-Compaction Cardiomyopathy in 17 yo

We just got back from the Cardiologist and our son was diagnosed with non-compaction cardiomyopathy in the left ventrical.  The dr said that there is not a lot of information on this, so I am looking for more guidance.  His heart does not contract well (like a soft squeeze instead of a snap) and the left ventrical is enlarged on both pediatric and adult standards.  He ECG appears normal.  He has been playing football and running track, but has been pulled from both.  Can someone shed any more light on this condition? Is it recommended to stay out of sports?  His blood pressure is in the normal range, he is in great shape, and otherwise a very healthy teenage boy.

Thank you for any help you can offer!
Lisa
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Dear Lisa,

Since left ventricular non-compaction has been relatively recently identified (as compared to the other cardiomyopathies), much less is known about it.  What can be said is that it is a variable cardiomyopathy, meaning that some people can stay the same, and some can worsen.  There is felt to be an increased risk of both arrhythmias as well as easy blood clot formation, although this can be variable, as well.  The fact that your son's heart is dilated, however, is probably an increased risk factor that would support the fact that he should not be playing competitive sports, as there is definitely felt to be an increased risk of lethal arrhythmias associated with dilated cardiomyopathy.  Some patients with noncompaction are treated with aspirin or other anticoagulation agents, which again would preclude him from competitive contact sports.  However, at this point in time, there is no reason to believe that patients with noncompaction who do not have progression of their disease cannot live to an otherwise normal lifespan.  Without evaluating your son, I cannot speak to his specific risks, though.
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