What is heart hypertrophy?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics

Hypertrophic heart disease is the abnormal thickening of the walls of the left ventricle. This can be congenital, related to valvular heart disease, autoimmune, or, most commonly, related to elevated blood pressure. The hypertrophy initially causes diastolic abnormalities. Because the thickened heart muscle is not as compliant as normal, the pressure inside the left ventricle may become elevated, and blood can back-up in the lungs. The left atrium may enlarge, which can lead to abnormalities such as atrial fibrillation. As the disease progresses, systolic dysfunction may ensue, leading to poor cardiac output and heart failure.

Heart hypertrophy is a condition where the muscular wall of the heart becomes thickened. The heart wall is a muscle. It can thicken as a result of high blood pressure do to the heart having to pump against a higher blood pressure or it can thicken due to valvular problems especially when the aortic valve is narrowed. The heart can also thicken for unknown reasons which is termed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is also called IHSS and is a common cause for sudden death in young people.


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