Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) has had a long history and many different names. Probably the first descriptions of HOCM were by Liouvielle in 1869 [1] and Hallopeau [2] in the same journal. Schminke [3] described severe hypertrophy of the septum in two patients in 1907. The disease then disappeared from view until revisited by Brock 50 years later [4], who described it as “functional obstruction of the left ventricle”, although Evans in 1949 [40] had reported familial cardiomegaly and Davies in 1952 [5] had described a family prone to sudden death, many members of which had systolic murmurs. One patient upon necropsy showed “diffuse subaortic stenosis”, associated with left ventricular hypertrophy [4, 5]. As pointed out by Roberts [6], no measurements of the comparative thickness of the septum were made in these cases and, therefore, the diagnosis must remain presumptive. In 1958 Teare [7] reported the pathological features of this disease and applied the descriptive title “asymmetrical hypertrophy of the heart”. In 1960 Braunwald and his colleagues in the United States of America described the condition as “idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis” (IHSS) [8], while in the same year in London Goodwin et al. [9], believing the disease to be more extensive than one merely producing outflow tract obstruction, called it “obstructive cardiomyopathy”. The importance of “hypertrophy”, rather than “obstruction”, led us to revise the name to “hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy” [10].


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. Goodwin
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Postgraduate Medical SchoolLondonUK

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