Left ventricular hypertrophy occurs when the walls of the heart's left ventricle become enlarged and thickened. The left ventricle thickens as a response to one or more factors that makes it work harder than it usually would. An increase in workload causes the muscular tissues in the walls of the ventricle to become thicker, and subsequently, the overall size of the ventricle increases. This overall size increase causes the muscle of the heart to lose its elasticity, and it fails to pump as hard as it should. Additionally, the thickened left ventricle can compress the coronary arteries or the blood vessels that supply the chamber with blood. This compression causes a blood flow restriction to the left ventricle, reducing its function. Common symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, fainting, breathlessness, chest pain, and palpitations.
Various factors can increase an individual's risk for developing left ventricular hypertrophy, and several conditions can cause it to form. Learn about these now.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease that results in the thickening of one or more parts of the heart muscle. It is a disease that is usually an inherited gene mutation present in the heart muscle proteins. It is also possible for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy to develop over some time in an individual who has long-term high blood pressure. Other diseases such as thyroid disease and diabetes can also cause this condition to develop. In individuals who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the septum or the wall that separates the left and right sides of the heart may become thickened. The walls of one or both ventricles may become thickened, but in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the ventricles often stay a normal size overall. The result of this mechanism is a compromise of space in the interior of the ventricles. A decreased amount of space inside of the ventricles will not allow the blood to flow out of one or both of them effectively. When hypertrophic cardiomyopathy develops in just the left ventricle, it can cause left ventricular hypertrophy. When this condition affects other regions of the heart, left ventricular hypertrophy is likely also to develop. This increased risk is a result of the left ventricle working harder to compromise for the functional shortcomings of the parts of the heart affected by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Get the details on more causes and risk factors of left ventricular hypertrophy now.