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Left ventricular hypertrophy of the heart, what is it and how can it be treated?

Considering the question: “Left ventricular hypertrophy of the heart, what is it and how can it be treated?” I just want to note that hypertrophy is a manifestation of a disease, and not a separate pathology.

Most often it is a symptom of a problem with the cardiovascular system, it is detected in all age groups, including at a young age and in children, while the mortality rate is up to 4% of all cases. Persons with ventricular hypertrophy have stable hypertension.


What it is?

Left ventricular hypertrophy

The hypertrophy of the left ventricle of the heart is a thickening of the wall of this section compared with the norm. At the same time, the volume of the inner space remains unchanged, and the thickness of the muscle layer increases towards the outer side. In hypertrophy, the septum between the ventricles often changes as well.

The wall loses its elasticity, and the thickening is even or is present only in some of its areas. Often, the myocardium expands irregularly in violation of the heart valves - aortic and mitral.

Thickening can also affect only the upper part of the myocardium (apical hypertrophy), be symmetrical or circular.

The causes of left ventricular hypertrophy are two groups of factors:

  • Physiological, associated with excessive loads in athletes and people whose work is associated with heavy physical labor.
  • Pathological, among them congenital disorders (poor outflow of blood from the ventricle, improper structure of partitions and walls) and acquired (obesity or overweight, hypodynamia, bad habits, diseases).

From diseases of myocardial thickening most often provoke:

  • hypertension, in which the left ventricle contracts with great force to push the blood;
  • stenosis of the aortic valve prevents normal blood flow, which also serves as a load on the myocardium;
  • atherosclerosis of the aorta;
  • pulmonary edema;
  • heart failure;
  • glomerulonephritis;
  • myocardial infarction.

An important factor is the influence of heredity - the risk of hypertrophy is increased if this problem is present in the family history of the disease.

Signs and symptoms of left ventricular hypertrophy

symptoms of left ventricular hypertrophy

When hypertrophy of the walls of the left ventricle symptoms may not be for a long time, and the person does not feel any pain or discomfort. This is due to the fact that in the early stages, the increasing walls are still quite elastic and do a good job with the task of pumping blood. In this case, the thickening can be detected by chance during the passage of the ECG. However, symptoms may appear in the early stages of the development of the problem.

A characteristic symptom of hypertrophy of the walls of the left ventricle is angina. It arises due to the constant compression of blood vessels, which supply nutrients and oxygen to the heart muscle.

Angina pectoris is manifested by pain in the chest, heart area and shortness of breath - these are two of its most important signs. The pain is usually constricting, it can be given in the left arm or shoulder, under the collarbone. Attacks of angina at first lasts about 5 minutes, and as the walls of the ventricle thicken, their duration increases. Often they can provoke physical exertion, overeating.

Dyspnea most often accompanies pain and appears due to the fact that the contractile activity of the heart is disturbed, which is facilitated by the development of left atrial insufficiency. In the later stages, it occurs not only under load, but also at rest.

Other symptoms of hypertrophy are:

  • dizziness;
  • fatigue, weakness;
  • high blood pressure;
  • poor sleep;
  • arrhythmia;
  • heart sinking;
  • headaches;
  • fainting.

All these manifestations serve as a compelling reason to go to a cardiologist and undergo an electrocardiographic examination.

What is dangerous left ventricular hypertrophy?

Hypertrophy of the walls of the left ventricle is dangerous because it can provoke a heart attack or stroke, and in the worst case, a sudden cardiac arrest and death (about 4% of all patients).

The risk group includes overweight people, smokers and alcohol abusers.

The situation when an untrained person with a sedentary lifestyle exposes himself to intense physical exertion also poses a great danger.


In the diagnosis of left ventricular hypertrophy, such methods are used:

  • ECG;
  • Echocardiogram (Doppler and two-dimensional);
  • PET (positron emission tomography);
  • MRI ;
  • The degree of hypertrophy is determined by calculating the myocardial mass index.

On an ECG with left ventricular hypertrophy, the deviation of the electrical axis of the heart to the left and the high RV5, V6 wave are characteristic (see ECG transcript ).

Treatment of left ventricular hypertrophy

Treatment of left ventricular hypertrophy

To treat left ventricular hypertrophy of the heart begin to identify and eliminate its causes. Of the drugs in the case of acquired diseases of the cardiovascular system, means are used to improve the performance of the myocardium and its nutrition, to restore the correct rhythm.

Among them:

  1. Calcium channel blockers - Diltiazem, Verapamil (for heart attack, angina, rhythm disturbance), Amlodipine, Nimotop (for hypertension);
  2. Beta-adrenergic blockers - Betaxolol, Sotalol, Bisoprolol, Atenolol and others - reduce the need of myocardium for oxygen, in particular, during stresses and physical exertion, stop pain syndrome during angina attacks;
  3. Antihypertensives - Ramipril, Enalapril.

Reception of beta-blockers is carried out with a gradual increase in dose and strict control of blood pressure and heart rate.

If the drugs fail, they resort to surgical treatment, it is also indicated for congenital heart defects leading to hypertrophy.

The operation is to give the ventricular wall a normal shape and thickness. In the postoperative period, symptomatic therapy is carried out.

The success of the treatment of left ventricular hypertrophy largely depends on the patient's lifestyle. It is important to give up bad habits, not to forget about daily moderate activity (walking, swimming, aerobics). The diet should be rich in vitamins, easily digestible vegetable fats, calcium, magnesium, fiber and contain a minimum of salt, sugar, muffin and fatty foods.

People with ventricular hypertrophy should carefully monitor their health and be systematically examined by a cardiologist.


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