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What is heart hypertrophy?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Heart hypertrophy, also known as cardiac hypertrophy or a thickened heart, means that the muscle of the heart has thickened. One common cause is high blood pressure, which forces the heart to pump harder. This causes the heart muscle to become thicker and stiffer. Dr. Oz explains heart hypertrophy in this video.


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.

 

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.

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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.