Observational studies have identified left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) as a strong, independent risk factor for the development of heart failure (HF), coronary heart disease and stroke. LVH develops in response to hemodynamic overload. Classical conceptualization has it that LVH would start as an adaptive, beneficial response in order to normalize wall stress. With progression of the disease, deterioration to maladaptive hypertrophy, and further on to HF could occur. Recent experiments in animal models of pressureoverload and myocardial infarction now challenge this concept by demonstrating that blunting the hypertrophic response is actually associated with preserved cardiac function, and with improved survival. These findings may have profound therapeutical implications.
Keywords: Hypertrophy, ventricle, pathway, function, pressure overload, myocardial infarction, adaptive, maladaptive
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