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Left Ventricular Hypertrophy

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: Causes and Treatment

Left ventricular hypertrophy is a common contributor to potentially serious heart complications, affecting an estimated 15% of the United States population. At CardioVascular Health Clinic, we help our diverse patient population address this and other heart care issues effectively and compassionately.

What Is Left Ventricular Hypertrophy?

Your heart's left ventricle is its main chamber; it pumps oxygen-rich blood into the largest artery in the body, known as the aorta. If the heart exerts too much effort to pump blood, the left ventricle's muscles become thicker. This condition is called left ventricular hypertrophy. 

Left ventricular hypertrophy reduces the ability of the heart to pump blood effectively. The condition can deprive the heart muscle of needed oxygen and result in abnormalities in the conduction system, causing heartbeat irregularities (arrhythmia).

Left ventricular hypertrophy commonly develops as a consequence of other cardiovascular conditions. Combined, they can heighten your risk of life-threatening health issues. Left untreated, it affects your heart's ability to pump blood efficiently. The inability to pump blood effectively raises the risk of serious heart problems, including the following: 

  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  • Heart failure
  • Heart palpitations (arrhythmia)
  • Stroke

Who Is at Risk for Left Ventricular Hypertrophy?

Approximately one in five people suffer from left ventricular hypertrophy. You might have an elevated risk if you are obese, have high blood pressure, or are over 65. The African American population is also at increased risk compared to other ethnic and racial categories.

What Causes Left Ventricular Hypertrophy?

Generally, left ventricular hypertrophy occurs due to high blood pressure, known clinically as hypertension. Your heart works harder when you have high blood pressure, and the additional strain leads to the thickening of the left ventricle walls.

Though high blood pressure is the most common contributing factor, in some instances, aggressive exercise and intense physical training can cause the left ventricle walls to become thicker. However, exercise-related left ventricular hypertrophy won't require the same aggressive treatment often needed when high blood pressure is the cause. 

Additional factors that contribute to elevated heart strain that can cause left ventricular hypertrophy include the following: 

  • Heart arrhythmia: The heart may beat faster than usual when it has an irregular rhythm. An elevated heart rate can cause damage to the heart, resulting in impeded blood flow. 
  • Aortic valve stenosis: A narrowing of the aortic valve makes blood circulation less efficient.
  • Diabetes: Elevated blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) contribute to increased blood viscosity, which can elevate the risk of cardiovascular disease.

What Are the Symptoms of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy?

Mild cases are often symptomless. As the disease progresses, however, you might develop the following signs:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • Elevated or irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

How Is Left Ventricular Hypertrophy Treated?

A standard heart screening can detect left ventricular hypertrophy regardless of symptoms. The most common tests include the following:

  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Addressing the primary cause of left ventricular hypertrophy can slow or stop the development of the disease. A variety of treatment options could be appropriate based on the cause, which might include:

  • Blood pressure medication: Reducing your blood pressure will help keep the disease from progressing. Maintaining blood pressure at a safe level can minimize your risk of potentially dangerous conditions, including heart attack and stroke.
  • Surgical intervention: When left ventricular hypertrophy results from aortic valve stenosis, aortic valve surgery might be required. The procedure repairs the blocked valve, permitting proper blood flow.
  • Lifestyle changes: If your lifestyle contributes to your high blood pressure and narrowed arteries, adopting healthy habits could significantly reduce your risk of life-threatening complications. A heart-healthy diet combined with regular exercise is crucial to managing cardiovascular disease.

If you have concerns about your cardiovascular health, please contact the team at CardioVascular Health Clinic for a full heart screening today.

Patient Resources

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I’m about one month out and things are so much better. At my two week evaluation my symptom score had gone from a 27 to a 7, and I’m sure it’s even better now. That speaks volumes. Now that I’m post recovery, there is no incontinence, I go to the bathroom much less and there are no ED side effects like there are with other procedures. In regard to my quality of life, well, I don’t maintain my life based on my proximity to a bathroom anymore.

Blaine P., M.D.
Professional staff working in a beautiful facility with great doctors who sincerely care about their patients. Without Dr. Schmidt's skill, I would have needed heart bypass surgery instead of a stent. Follow-up has been thorough. I can't recommend them highly enough.
LeAnn H.

Dr. Jim Melton and all the staff are fantastic. He is an excellent surgeon and his team is GREAT!!!! I just had surgery at the surgery center, I have only great things to say about my experience. Without him I really don't think I would be here to write this. If you’re looking for a good cardiovascular team, they are a 5 star for sure.

Susie H.

Dr. Parsons and staff are amazing. He truly listened to me from the consult. Staff showed genuine care for my progress post procedure. I had my follow up appointment today so satisfied with results. Blake made me comfortable from the start. He is an activist for uterine fibroids treatment beyond the standard.

Tamara M.

Professional and caring staff. Dr. Smith is very knowledgeable and shows genuine concern for your personal health. I enjoyed the background music in the procedure room, it really adds to the relaxing atmosphere.

David L.

Dr. John Schrader is the most personable doctor we know. He stays on top of my dads health care and is genuinely concerned about his health. We never leave his office with questions. He answers them all. Even questions we don’t think of. Always professional but never cold or bad bedside manner. In our opinion he is THE BEST around.
Thank you Dr Schrader.

Kathy J.

I came to Dr. Warren by a self referral for mals when it took me 8yrs 50+ doctors and thousands of dollars spent on no answers. My first visit I was scared I was just going to be gaslighted just like the past however I was pleasantly shocked when Dr. Warren immediately believed me. She took the time to review many disk I had brought from past tests. She never once dismissed me and listened to ever word I had to say. She scheduled one last test to confirm the diagnosis then I was scheduled for surgery right away. Surgery was a success and I can’t thank her and her staff enough. Dr. Warren truly saved my life.

Angie W.

Dr. Garner literally saved my life 18 months ago and I've followed him to his new practice with Cardiovascular Health. He explains things so clearly, listens and is just a very nice person. His staff is great, too! I highly recommend!

D Watts

Some of the nicest staff that I have ever dealt with!! They have been so incredibly awesome to my mom!! Would definitely recommend them to anyone!! Thank you so much for being so great with her!!

Christy G.

The staff, the nurses, and Dr. Parsons were all amazing. Everything was simple and went well – very Bravo Zulu (military phrase meaning "well done"). In addition to the great staff at CardioVascular Health Clinic, the facilities were clean and well maintained. I have no complaints about anything. The whole experience was A1. I would recommend Dr. Parsons to anyone. He made a huge impact on my life.

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