Terminology Problems

1. What are the differences between cardiac hypertrophy, dilatation, enlargement, and overload?

ANS: The term hypertrophy refers to the thickening of the ventricular chambers. Dilatation refers to an increase in chamber volume. The terms enlargement and overload are not specific because they refer to either hypertrophy and/or dilatation. However, enlargement tends to be used as a synonym for dilatation.

Pure LVH causes an encroachment inward on the cavity and has been called "concentric" hypertrophy. Dilatation with proportionate hypertrophy has been called "eccentric" hypertrophy but is a confusing term that is best avoided.

2. What is meant by concentric vs eccentric hypertrophy?

ANS: Concentric hypertrophy refers to uniform hypertrophy of the ventricle. The opposite of concentric used to be eccentric hypertrophy, which, unfortunately, has many meanings. Eccentric hypertrophy has been applied to hearts with asymmetric septal hypertrophy, to dilated hearts that shifted the center eccentrically to the left, and to dilated hearts in which the hypertrophy was not proportional to the degree of dilatation. It should be apparent that the term eccentric hypertrophy should be avoided.

Note: Proportionate hypertrophy accompanies almost all chronically dilated ventricles.

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Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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