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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Compared with age-matched WKY rats, PET acquisition showed an increase in myocardial [sup.18]F-FDG uptake in SHRs at 14 months old, an age when SHRs displayed stable compensated concentric hypertrophy, diastolic dysfunction, and concomitant supernormal systolic function [19].
The compensated response to pressure overload is LV concentric hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction, characterized as increased wall thickening and stiffness.
Fifty children (31.2%) presented a normal geometric pattern, 11 (6.9%) presented concentric hypertrophy, and 99 children (61.9%) presented concentric remodeling.
LV adaption to arterial hypertension results in LV geometry responses such as concentric remodeling or concentric hypertrophy. The concentric remodeling has been associated with a poor prognosis compared with individuals who have normal LV geometry, and it is independently related to adverse cardiovascular events (Verdecchia et al.
We used these parameters to appreciate the LV geometry as normal, concentric remodeling, concentric hypertrophy or eccentric hypertrophy as follows:
Concentric hypertrophy: increased LV mass index and increased RWT (RWT >0.42);
Based on the criteria set out above, we defined the LV geometry as normal, concentric remodeling, concentric hypertrophy or eccentric hypertrophy.
In the hypertensives group, most of them (147/237, 62%) have ventricular hypertrophy: 82/237 (34.5%) have concentric hypertrophy, 65 (27.5%) have eccentric hypertrophy.
The most common form of adaptive geometry to high BP, we found to be the concentric hypertrophy, that was diagnosed by echocardiography in about one-third (34.5%) of hypertensives.
Structural modifications (perivascular fibrosis and collagen deposition in the interstitium), correlated with geometrical changes, especially the concentric hypertrophy, are responsible for the subclinical dysfunction associated to the LV hypertrophy.
Thereby, the patients with concentric hypertrophy have the highest risk of subsequent cardiovascular events.