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(hīpûr`trəfē), 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 hypertensionhypertension
or high blood pressure,
elevated blood pressure resulting from an increase in the amount of blood pumped by the heart or from increased resistance to the flow of blood through the small arterial blood vessels (arterioles).
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 (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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Anthropometric and physiologic characteristics of control group (CG), athletes with normal heart dimension (LVN), and athletes with heart hypertrophy (LVH).
Echocardiographic data were available for 201 patients: the prevalence of LVH was >50% in all 3 CKD stages.
In the present study, prevalence of microalbuminuria in those without LVH and with LVH were 9.3% and 68.1% respectively and there was statistically significant association between the prevalence of microalbuminuria and the presence of LVH (p < 0.001) in hypertensive patients.
The typical cardiac type of AFD presents with concentric or sometimes asymmetric LVH, with or without RVH.
Only 23.1% of the doctors selected guidelines recommended ARB as preferred agents in treating hypertension with LVH. Upon evaluation of the actual prescribing practices, we found only 23.1% of hypertensive patients with LVH were on guidelines compliant therapy.
LVH is often a silent symptom and most people do not know they have it prior to experiencing a heart attack or stroke.
Sixty-three (42%) children were assessed for LVH, of whom 21 (33%) were found to have this.
The effect of pulse pressure on the formation of a certain LVH type requires further research, particularly in relation to systolic blood pressure.
A novel strategy to prevent development of LVH and to halt its progression is of great importance, especially for a large population suffering from chronic co-morbid illnesses like ischaemic heart disease (IHD), DM, HTN, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and obesity.
The study included 241 patients with acute ischemic stroke except cardioembolic stroke with known sources (AF or any cardiac pathology); patients with normal echocardiography findings except for LVH, without cardiac arrhythmia, acute or chronic MI history, long QT syndrome, and valvular heart disease were included.
Her initial ECG showed sinus rhythm, left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) by Cornell criteria, and inferior Q waves (Figure 1).
Routine electrocardiogram (EKG) showed 3rd-degree heart block (TDHB) and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) with strain pattern (Figure 1).