Hypertrophy of the left ventricle, its causes, varieties and consequences
The increase in left ventricular myocardium is called left ventricular hypertrophy, which is also not an independent disease, but only the manifestation of certain diseases or their syndrome. And not all the muscles grow in size, but special cells - cardiomyocytes, which normally make up 15-25% of the entire myocardial tissue. The larger part of the myocardium of the left ventricle consists of a collagenous framework or connective tissue.
Even in healthy people, hypertrophy of the left ventricle can be observed - this is mainly the case with people who play sports and lead an active lifestyle. This happens because with increased physical activity the heart muscle requires more free oxygen, because it is from here that the blood enters the large circle of the blood circulation.
Thickening of the wall of the left ventricle does not occur due to a decrease in the space inside it, but increases, mainly, the septum between the left and right ventricles, which subsequently affects the course of the disease.
Causes of left ventricular hypertrophy
Most often left ventricular hypertrophy of the heart occurs with prolonged course of hypertension, and age has no significance for the emergence of this condition.
In addition, there are predisposing factors and other causes of left ventricular hypertrophy, which include:
- Stenosis( constriction) or incomplete closure( flaw) of the aortic aperture, in which there is either incomplete emptying of the left ventricle or difficulty in discharging blood into the aorta.
- Cardiomyopathy, in which, for unknown reasons, there is an increase in the walls of the left ventricle.
- Frequent and prolonged physical activities, which are due to professional activity( athletes, loaders).
- Excess weight( obesity).
- The presence of bad habits( smoking, alcohol).
- A sedentary lifestyle and sharp intense loads.
In conclusion, it can be said that the cause of the appearance of an enlarged left ventricular muscle arises from the disturbance or difficulty of the outflow of blood into the large circulation. The heart, one way or another, must adapt to new conditions, and the only way out of the situation is to strengthen the walls of the ventricle.
Many people initially determine moderate left ventricular myocardial hypertrophy, which does not deliver clinically any definite complaints and is determined quite accidentally on an electrocardiogram. If this person does not have serious illnesses( hypertension, stenosis, etc.), then there are no special reasons for concern. Most likely, this condition of the walls of the left ventricle appeared due to an active lifestyle and due to age-related changes.
But such people dramatically increase the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease in the future. It is proved that the percentage of deaths in people with left ventricular hypertrophy is several times greater than in people who have cardiovascular diseases, but without an increase in the myocardial wall.
For example, with angina, myocardial ischemia and heart attack, the risk increases by 2-6 times, and for chronic heart failure and stroke, the risk of mortality increases by 6-17 times. Due to hypertrophy of the left ventricle in the prime of life, hockey player Alexey Cherepanov and actor and bodybuilder Vladimir Turchinsky were killed.
Especially great risk for people actively involved in sports is the abrupt termination of sports, resulting in partial muscle atrophy( including in the heart muscle).In the heart, muscle tissue is replaced by a connective and fatty tissue.
What is concentric hypertrophy of the left ventricle?
During regular sports activities athletes have a natural adaptation of the heart muscle and increase it in size, as the rate of oxygen consumption by myocardium sharply increases. Moreover, there are differences in the increase in the muscular wall in athletes with a power orientation and in athletes whose activities are associated with endurance. And all kinds of sports are conditionally divided into static and dynamic.
This means that when a static athlete takes more pressure, and with dynamic - the amount of physical exertion.
In general, athletes distinguish 2 types of hypertrophy of the left ventricle - eccentric and concentric. Concentric hypertrophy of the left ventricle occurs without changes in the cavity and occurs due to an increase in the size of the components of cardiomyocytes( myofibrils and mitochondria).
Eccentric hypertrophy of the left ventricle is characterized by an expansion of the cavity with proportional expansion of the walls of the myocardium. With this form of hypertrophy myocardial muscle fibers increase in length and width.
Concentric hypertrophy of the left ventricle most often occurs in athletes who are engaged in playing sports and in athletes with static load, and eccentric hypertrophy develops in athletes who are engaged in sports that require endurance-swimming, long-distance running, ski racing, and so on. Further.
Mixed type of hypertrophy( eccentric and concentric hypertrophy of the left ventricular myocardium) are observed in athletes engaged simultaneously in both dynamic and static sports. These include such things as rowing, skating and cycling.
All those athletes who, for one reason or another, develop hypertrophy of the left ventricle, it is not recommended to sharply throw physical or force loads, as this can eventually lead to complications. Instead, doctors recommend a smooth transition from high loads to less high, and reduce their intensity gradually. But this in no way means that it is harmful to engage in sports.
In conclusion, hypertrophy of the left ventricle may be the cause for the development of heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke and other diseases, and be a consequence of the above diseases.
The diagnosis of the condition is based on the patient's examination, his complaints and electrocardiography data. If necessary, you can do a chest X-ray and echocardiography.