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What is left ventricular hypertrophy?

Hypertrophy is a medical term that means “too much growth because of increased size of cells.” In this case, it refers to excessive thickening of the wall of the lower left chamber of the heart (the left ventricle). As blood travels through the heart, the left ventricle is the last stop before circulating out through the heart’s aortic valve to reach the aorta, which then carries the oxygenated blood to the body.

Left ventricular hypertrophy can be a complication that develops from untreated moderate-to-severe aortic valve stenosis. Aortic valve stenosis is an abnormality that can be present at birth, or acquired later in life, in which the opening of the aortic valve is too narrow and limits blood flow. With moderate or severe narrowing of the valve opening, the heart’s left ventricle must work extra hard to pump blood. This extra work causes the left ventricle to thicken more than it should. Left ventricular hypertrophy can also be cause by abnormal thickening of the muscle cells, such as in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or uncontrolled hypertension.
 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.