Date: 09 Jul 2007

Heart failure and cardiac hypertrophy

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Opinion statement

Left ventricular failure is the final common pathway for a wide spectrum of myocardial insults, including systemic hypertension and myocardial infarction. Although left ventricular hypertrophy is an adaptive response to pressure and volume overload, this process becomes maladaptive if left untreated and pathologic cardiac hypertrophy then becomes an important and independent risk factor for the development of heart failure. Despite its importance, the transition from hypertrophy to heart failure in humans is poorly understood. The focus of treatment should be prevention of heart failure and other cardiovascular events, such as stroke and atrial fibrillation. When heart failure is present, treatment with medical and device therapy is then focused on improving functional capacity, increasing survival, and preventing progression to end-stage heart failure.