Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

pp 782-783

Heart Hypertrophy

  • Y. James KangAffiliated withDepartments of Medicine, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Louisville School of Medicine


Cardiac hypertrophy; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Definition and Characteristics

The most commonly described heart hypertrophy is an enlarged or oversized but non-dilated left ventricle. The increase in the mass of the left ventricle results from the sum of the individual cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. At the cellular level, an increase in cell size, enhanced protein synthesis, and heightened organization of the sarcomere collectively contribute to cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Atomically, there are two different types of hypertrophy: concentric and eccentric. Concentric hypertrophy is characterized by parallel addiction of sarcomeres and lateral growth of individual cardiomyocytes. Eccentric hypertrophy results from an addition of sarcomeres in series and longitudinal cell growth. Functionally, heart hypertrophy can be described as adaptive or maladaptive. The adaptive or physiological hypertrophy is characterized by an increase in the size of the l ...

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