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hypertrophy (hīpûrˈtrəfē), enlargement of a tissue or organ of the body resulting from an increase in the size of its cells. Such growth accompanies an increase in the functioning of the tissue. In normal physiology the growth in size of muscles (e.g., in an athlete as a result of increased exercise) and also the enlargement of a uterus in pregnancy are caused by hypertrophy of muscle cells. In pathology the thickening of the heart muscle from overstrain, as in hypertension (high blood pressure), is the result of hypertrophy. An organ subjected to extra work (e.g., the one kidney left to function after surgical removal of the other) usually compensates by enlarging; in such cases hyperplasia, an increase in the number of cells, generally accompanies hypertrophy.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an increase in the volume of a body organ or of any of its parts.

Hypertrophy in man (or in animals) may occur either as the result of the enlargement of the individual component elements of an organ (cells and tissues) or as the result of an increase in their quantity (hyperplasia). True hypertrophy and false hypertrophy are distinguished. The former includes enlargement in volume or mass of specific elements as the result of an increased functional load (so-called functional, or compensatory, hypertrophy) or disruption of the regulatory influences of the nervous and endocrine systems. Functional hypertrophy may appear in healthy persons who are occupied with physical labor, such as in athletes (“physiologic hypertrophy” of the muscles). It may also appear upon affection of a part of any organ, such as after heart failure (compensatory hypertrophy) or after the destruction of a paired organ, such as a kidney (vicarious hypertrophy). Compensation for the impaired functions occurs in all instances of functional hypertrophy. Examples of hypertrophy occurring as a result of the disruption of neuroendocrine influences include acromegaly and gynecomastia; in these cases the hypertrophy has no compensatory significance but is accompanied by considerable disturbances of function. False hypertrophy refers to enlargement of the organ as the result of excessive growth of the interstitial, most often the adipose, tissue in response to atrophy of the parenchyma (the functional tissue). Function of the organ in such cases is usually decreased.


Hypertrophy of plant organs is the result of an increase in the size of their cells. The hypertrophy may be the effect of increased synthesis of the substances of the cell membrane or cytoplasm, deposits of reserve compounds, or the development of polynucleosis or polyploidy. The causes of hypertrophy include disruption of the synthesis and metabolism of phenol compounds, amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as deficiency of trace elements. The condition may also be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, invertebrates, and plant parasites. It may accompany many mutations, grafts, and the effects on the plant of ionizing radiation or ultrasound. Hypertrophy is usually interconnected with hyperplasia and disruptions of tissue differentiation in the organs. In many instances (for example, when there is development of tumors or galls) hypertrophy follows cell division; after mechanical injury and physical or chemical effects, however, it is often primary. Hypertrophy is observed in higher as well as in lower plants.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Increase in cell size causing an increase in the size of an organ or tissue.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


enlargement of an organ or part resulting from an increase in the size of the cells
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Children with nasal obstruction due to adenoid hypertrophy can show some degree of hypoxemia.
(18) appreciate food in children with adenoid hypertrophy pre and post-adenoidectomy Landis et al.
Conclusion: Adenoid hypertrophy is prevalent in adults and is an important cause of nasal obstruction.
(1) studied biofilm formation in patients with adenoid hypertrophy, with and without COME, and introduced adenoid tissue as a cause of chronic infection and reported higher grades of biofilm formation in the group of patients with COME compared with those without COME.
Caption: Figure 2: Adenoid hypertrophy grading system used at West Virginia University for Drug Induced Sleep Endoscopy.
Nasoendoscopy revealed large adenoid blocking the Eustachian tubes and nasal passage and abutting the vomer, which was characterized as Grade 3 adenoid hypertrophy. Otoscopy showed fluid accumulating in the bilateral middle ears and accompanied by conductive hearing loss with an airbone gap (ABG) of 25 dB in the left ear and 30 dB in the right ear.
Medical treatment of adenoid hypertrophy with "fluticasone propionate nasal drops".
[sup][2] pCRS, but not adults, is closely associated with adenoid hypertrophy (AH), which is another common pediatric disease.
Based on 41 available lateral nasopharyngeal x-rays, complete resolution of CR symptoms was reported for 20 of 26 (77%) patients and partial resolution in 4 of 26 (15%) patients with adenoid hypertrophy (ANr >0.8), for an overall rate of improvement of 92%.
At endoscopic examination, 38% presented purulent MM secretion, 18% had obstructive adenoid hypertrophy and 12% had nasal polyps.
Nasal endoscopy was impossible on the left side and was normal on the right side with minimal nasopharyngeal adenoid hypertrophy. A computed tomography (CT) was performed and a left sided mass in the inferior meatus which has demonstrated central calcification was reported (Figure 1).
Tonsillar and adenoid hypertrophy is the most common cause of SDB in children.