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Alcohol Septal Ablation

Treatment of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Alcohol septal ablation is performed to reduce the amount of tissue blocking blood flow in the heart of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients. The procedure is performed in the catheterization lab at the Barnes-Jewish & Washington University Heart & Vascular Center.

Illustration of Alcohol Septal Ablation Procedure
Copyright 2002 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. N Engl J Med 2002;347:1306-7.

Alcohol septal ablation involves the injection of pure alcohol into a carefully selected blood vessel of the heart. The alcohol kills the segment of muscle tissue that is interfering with the flow of blood out the heart.

Alcohol septal ablation may cause complications, so it is reserved for symptomatic patients who have failed medical treatment.

The procedure is technically very difficult and should only be performed by a skilled cardiologist highly experienced with this procedure.

To make an appointment with a Washington University heart or vascular specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 855.925.0631.