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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Knockout of toll-like receptors 2 and 4 prevents renal ischemia-reperfusion-induced cardiac hypertrophy in mice.
In cardiomyocytes, the activity of cell cycle controls cell proliferation, which plays an important role in cardiac hypertrophy.[14] These findings intrigued us to investigate the role of miR-24 in cardiac hypertrophy and its potential targets.
Taken together, these results highlight the biocompatibility, suitability and ease of using keratin coated surfaces for neonatal murine cardiomyocyte culture to study cardiac hypertrophy in vitro (6) and also the emphasize the importance of topography in assessing cardiac function.
IUGR results in structural cardiac modifications that include thinning of the myocardium, myocardial and cardiac damage, cardiac hypertrophy, cardiomyocyte hyperplasia, altered microvasculature, and reduced capillary number and length [8].
Wagner, "Inducible conditional vascular-specific overexpression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor beta/delta leads to rapid cardiac hypertrophy," PPAR Research, vol.
Weng et al., "Histone methyltransferase SET1 mediates angiotensin II-induced endothelin-1 transcription and cardiac hypertrophy in mice," Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, vol.
Ji et al., "Anti-Interleukin-22-neutralizing antibody attenuates angiotensin II-induced cardiac hypertrophy in mice," Mediators of Inflammation, vol.
That is, in a setting of pressure overload, activated RASSF1A/MST1 may lead to cardiomyocyte apoptosis, while suppressing the proliferation ability of fibroblast leading to reduced cardiac hypertrophy [19].
(2015), 49 microRNAs are related to cardiac hypertrophy in feline species.
No change in cardiac hypertrophy was noted with pea protein.
TKRs were initially noted to enhance gene expression and protein synthesis involved in cardiac hypertrophy [18].