What is Left Ventricular Hypertrophy?
What is Left Ventricular Hypertrophy? Left Ventricular Hypertrophy is a condition when the left ventricular wall of the heart (a main chamber in the heart that pumps blood throughout the body) undergoes enlargement and thickening. This condition can be caused by several factors, one of which is high blood pressure (hypertension) that makes the heart must work harder. With a heavy workload of the heart, the muscle tissue in the heart wall thickens and the size grows larger. As a result, the elasticity of the heart muscle decreases, until finally can not pump blood.
Left ventricular hypertrophy may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Symptoms of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Symptoms of left ventricular hypertrophy usually develop gradually over time. Symptoms include:
- Body feels tired.
- Pain in the chest, especially after exercise.
- Dizzy, the head feels light.
- Breath becomes short.
- The heartbeat feels fast and pounding.
Here are the symptoms to watch out for, and require medical treatment in case of:
- Chest pain is more than a few minutes.
- Hovering sensations will faint, or faint.
- It’s hard to breathe.
Causes of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Left ventricular hypertrophy occurs when the heart works to pump blood throughout the body harder than usual. In addition to being triggered by hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy may also occur due to other factors, such as exercise too hard, aortic valve stenosis, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Exercise too hard or long can make the heart workload becomes more severe so it can trigger left ventricular hypertrophy. So too is the case of aortic valve stenosis where the aortic valve narrows so that the left ventricle must balance it with the effort of pumping harder blood into the aorta. While in cases of cardiomyopathy hypertrophy, the heart muscle becomes thick abnormally so the heart difficulties pumping blood throughout the body.
The risk of left ventricular hypertrophy may also increase with the development of the body and in people who have excess body weight, diabetes, or family history with certain genetic problems.
Diagnosis of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
The initial diagnosis is made based on the patient’s and family’s medical history, as well as physical examinations that include blood pressure and heart function tests. After that, the diagnosis needs to be established with the help of a number of advanced tests. The first test performed is an electrocardiogram (ECG), which is recording electrical signals in the heart to detect cardiac dysfunction and left ventricular tissue thickening. This test can be combined with an MRI scan that displays the heart image.
In order to complete the results of both further tests, doctors may also suggest an echocardiogram that will feature a heart image with the help of sound waves. This test can measure the thickness of the left ventricle wall. The left ventricle is said to be enlarged if its thickness exceeds 1.5 centimeters.
Treatment of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Treatment of left ventricular hypertrophy can be done according to the cause. In the case of left ventricular hypertrophy due to high blood pressure, the handling is done with lifestyle changes, such as a diet low in fat and salt, exercise regularly, and stop smoking. In addition, treatment should be added to cope with high blood pressure. These drugs include medications angiotensin-converting enzyme (captopril, enalapril, lisinopril), the drug inhibiting angiotensin II receptor (losartan), a drug as calcium channel blockers (amilodipine and diltiazem), diuretics (chlorthalidone and hydrochlorothiazide), as well as inhibitors of beta ( Atenonol).
In the case of left ventricular hypertrophy due to aortic valve stenosis, treatment is done through a narrow valve repair or replacement of the aortic valve with an artificial valve through surgery.
In the case of left ventricular hypertrophy due to excessive sporting activities, your doctor will usually advise patients to discontinue the sport for 3 to 6 months. After that, the echocardiogram was again performed to measure the thickness of the ventricular wall.
While in cases of cardiomyopathy hypertrophy, treatment is done through special care or surgery.
Complications of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Complications that can arise due to left ventricular hypertrophy are:
- Ischemic heart disease due to lack of oxygen supply to the heart.
- Sudden cardiac arrest.
- Heart failure.
- Heart rhythm disturbance (cardiac arrhythmias).
- Atrial fibrillation, ie the heartbeat pulse that is very fast but inadequate, so that blood flow to the entire body is reduced.
Prevention of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Left ventricular hypertrophy can be prevented by taking time to exercise, stopping smoking, and adopting a healthy diet, including avoiding fatty foods and high salt foods, and avoiding alcohol. For people with hypertension, maintaining regular blood pressure and taking hypertensive medications as directed by a doctor may reduce the risk of left ventricular hypertrophy.