Left ventricular hypertrophy

Table of contents:

Left ventricular hypertrophy
Left ventricular hypertrophy

Left ventricular hypertrophy is enlargement of the left ventricle (ventricle) of the heart. Enlargement of the left ventricle of the heart is usually caused by high blood pressure (hypertension)

The left ventricle or left ventricle of the heart is the last port for oxygen-rich blood before it leaves the heart. The left ventricle of the heart will pump blood throughout the body to circulate oxygen, previously passing through a heart valve called the aorta.

Left ventricular hypertrophy
Left ventricular hypertrophy

When the load on the left ventricle increases, for example due to hypertension or narrowing of the aortic valve, the left ventricular muscle of the heart will work harder. This condition causes the left ventricle of the heart to thicken and the size of the heart chambers to enlarge.

Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) will also cause the heart muscle tissue to become inelastic. This causes a decrease in the function of the heart in pumping blood, so that blood flow throughout the body is disrupted.

Left ventricular hypertrophy symptoms

At first, patients with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) do not experience certain symptoms. Symptoms of left ventricular hypertrophy will only be felt when the condition is getting worse. When the condition of left ventricular hypertrophy gets worse, the patient may experience the following symptoms:

  • Tired quickly
  • Dizzy
  • Heart palpitations (palpitations)
  • Pain in the chest, usually after exercise
  • Shortness of breath

When to see a doctor

Left ventricular hypertrophy is a complication that often occurs due to hypertension. Both hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy do not initially cause symptoms, so they are often only detected when the left ventricle is very large.

Therefore, it is important to have regular blood pressure checks, especially for people who smoke or are obese. Patients with hypertension also need to have regular check-ups with a doctor, so that blood pressure is well controlled.

This condition can develop into a dangerous heart disease. Symptoms of heart disease that need to be treated immediately in the ER (emergency installation) are:

  • Chest pain for more than a few minutes
  • Shortness of breath that doesn't get better with rest
  • I was so dizzy that I lost consciousness

Causes of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy

Left ventricular hypertrophy can occur when certain conditions cause the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. These conditions include:

  • Hypertension

    Left ventricular hypertrophy is often caused by hypertension. More than a third of people diagnosed with left ventricular hypertrophy also have hypertension.

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic disorder that occurs when the heart muscle thickens abnormally, but blood pressure remains normal. As a result, the heart has difficulty pumping blood.

  • Aortic valve stenosis

    This disease causes narrowing of the aortic valve, the heart valve located after the left ventricle. A narrowed aortic valve makes the ventricles or left ventricle of the heart have to work harder to pump blood.

  • Physical exercise

    Strength and physical endurance training that is carried out intensively and continuously can make the heart work harder and cause left ventricular hypertrophy. This condition often occurs in athletes or soldiers.

In addition, there are also a number of factors that make a person more at risk of developing left ventricular hypertrophy, namely:

  • Over 50 years old
  • Being overweight
  • Suffering from diabetes
  • Female

Left ventricular hypertrophy diagnosis

Based on the symptoms you complain about, the doctor will ask for a medical history and perform a physical examination, especially checking blood pressure and examining the heart. Then the doctor will perform additional tests, such as:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

    Enlargement of the left ventricle of the heart will result in changes in the electrical flow of the heart, especially if left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) results in decreased heart function. This condition can be detected with an electrocardiogram.

  • Heart echo

    Through cardiac echo, doctors can see if there is muscle thickening in the left ventricle of the heart, and see abnormal heart conditions associated with left ventricular hypertrophy.

  • MRI of the heart

    Imaging with MRI will show a picture of the overall condition of the heart.

Left ventricular hypertrophy treatment

The main step in the treatment of left ventricular hypertrophy is to treat the cause, so that the left ventricular muscle of the heart does not get bigger and causes heart failure. Left ventricular hypertrophy due to hypertension is treated by changing lifestyle, such as following a diet low in fat and s alt, increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, and stopping smoking.

In addition to lifestyle changes, hypertension needs to be treated with drugs to treat high blood pressure, for example:

  • ACE inhibitor drugs, such as captopril and ramipril.
  • ARB drugs, such as losartan.
  • Calcium antagonist drugs, such as amlodipine.
  • Diuretic drugs, such as hydrochlorothiazide.
  • Beta-blocking drugs, such as atenolol.

In addition to hypertension, here are the methods of treating left ventricular hypertrophy according to the underlying cause:

  • Treatment of left ventricular hypertrophy due to aortic valve stenosis

    In this condition, the patient will need to undergo surgery to repair the aortic valve or replace it with an artificial valve.

  • Treatment of left ventricular hypertrophy due to excessive exercise

    In this condition, the doctor will advise the patient to stop physical exercise for 3 to 6 months. After that, the doctor will perform a cardiac echo examination to monitor left ventricular enlargement.

    Treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

    This condition can be treated with medication, lifestyle changes, surgical procedures, as well as implantation of special instruments in the heart.

Left ventricular hypertrophy complications

Left ventricular hypertrophy can change the structure and work of the heart, including causing the heart to weaken, harden, and reduce the heart's function of pumping blood. This condition is called heart failure.

Besides causing heart failure, left ventricular hypertrophy can cause several other complications below:

  • Coronary heart disease.
  • Heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias), such as atrial fibrillation.
  • Stroke.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest.

Prevention of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy

One way that can be done to prevent left ventricular hypertrophy is to keep blood pressure within normal limits. Here are some ways that can be done to control blood pressure, while preventing hypertension:

  • Perform periodic checks of blood pressure.
  • Always maintain ideal body weight.
  • Exercise regularly, ideally for 30 minutes every day.
  • Applying a he althy diet, such as eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding foods high in fat and s alt.
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure and calorie intake.
  • Quit smoking, because smoking can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of hypertension.
  • Manage stress well.

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