Left ventricular hypertrophy is enlargement of the left ventricle of the heart . Enlargement of the left ventricle of the heart is usually caused by high blood pressure or hypertension .
The left ventricle or ventricle of the heart is the last harbor for oxygen-rich blood before it leaves the heart. The left ventricle of the heart will pump blood throughout the body to deliver oxygen, having previously passed through a heart valve called the aorta.
When the load on the left ventricle increases, for example due to hypertension or narrowing of the aortic valve, the left ventricle muscles of the heart will work harder. This condition causes the left ventricle of the heart to thicken and the size of the chambers to enlarge.
Left ventricular hypertrophy or left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) will also cause the heart muscle tissue to become inelastic. This causes a decrease in the function of the heart in pumping blood so that blood flow throughout the body is disrupted.
Causes of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Left ventricular hypertrophy occurs when the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body. Some conditions that can cause this include:
Left ventricular hypertrophy is often caused by hypertension. More than a third of people diagnosed with left ventricular hypertrophy also have high blood pressure.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic disorder that occurs when the heart muscle thickens abnormally but blood pressure remains normal. As a result, the heart has difficulty pumping blood.
Aortic valve stenosis
This disease causes narrowing of the aortic valve, the heart valve that is located after the left ventricle. The narrowing of the aortic valve makes the left ventricle or ventricle of the heart have to work harder to pump blood.
Physical exercise Physical
exercise that is carried out intensively and continuously can make the heart work harder, causing left ventricular hypertrophy. This condition often occurs in athletes or soldiers.
In addition, there are a number of factors that put a person at increased risk of developing left ventricular hypertrophy, namely:
- Age 50 and over
- Having excess body weight
- Have diabetes
- Female gender
Symptoms of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Initially, patients with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) did not experience any specific symptoms. New symptoms will appear when the condition is getting worse. When the condition of left ventricular hypertrophy gets worse, sufferers can feel the following symptoms:
- Get tired
- Heart beat
- Chest pain, usually after exercise
- Hard to breathe
When to see a doctor
Left ventricular hypertrophy is a complication that often occurs due to hypertension . Both hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy do not initially cause symptoms, so they are often only detected when the size of the left ventricle is very large.
Therefore, it is important to have blood pressure checked regularly, especially in people who smoke or are obese . Hypertension sufferers also need to carry out periodic checks to the doctor so that blood pressure remains well controlled.
This condition can develop into heart disease . Symptoms of heart disease that need to be treated immediately in the emergency room (ER) are:
- Chest pain for more than a few minutes
- Shortness of breath that doesn't get better with rest
- Very dizzy to the point of losing consciousness
Diagnosis of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
The doctor will ask about the patient's symptoms and medical history, then do a physical examination, especially blood pressure, and examine the heart organ. Then the doctor will carry out additional tests, such as:
Enlargement of the left ventricle of the heart will result in changes in the heart's electrical flow, especially if left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) results in a decrease in heart function. This condition can be detected with an electrocardiogram.
echo Through cardiac echo , doctors can detect muscle thickening in the left ventricle of the heart and see abnormal heart conditions associated with left ventricular hypertrophy.
Cardiac MRI An MRI scan
will show a picture of the overall condition of the heart.
Treatment of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
The treatment for left ventricular hypertrophy is to address the cause, so that the left ventricular muscle of the heart does not enlarge further, resulting in heart failure .
Left ventricular hypertrophy caused by hypertension can be treated by changing lifestyles, such as following a diet low in fat and salt, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, exercising regularly, and stopping smoking.
In addition to lifestyle changes, hypertension needs to be treated with drugs to treat high blood pressure, for example:
- ACE inhibitor drugs , such as captopril and ramipril
- ARB drugs , such as losartan
- Calcium antagonist drugs, such as amlodipine
- diuretic drugs, such as hydrochlorothiazide
- Beta blockers, such as atenolol
Apart from hypertension, the following are methods of treating left ventricular hypertrophy according to the underlying cause:
Treatment of left ventricular hypertrophy due to aortic valve stenosis
In patients with this condition, doctors will perform surgery to repair the aortic valve or replace it with an artificial valve.
Handling of left ventricular hypertrophy due to excessive physical activity
In this condition, the doctor will advise the patient to stop physical exercise for 3 to 6 months. After that, the doctor will perform a heart echo examination to monitor left ventricular enlargement.
Treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
This condition can be treated with medications, lifestyle changes, surgical procedures, and implanting special devices in the heart.
Left ventricular hypertrophy complications
Left ventricular hypertrophy can change the structure and work of the heart. This condition can also cause the heart to weaken, harden, and reduce the function of the heart in pumping blood. This condition is called heart failure.
Besides causing heart failure, left ventricular hypertrophy can cause several other complications below:
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias), eg atrial fibrillation
- Sudden cardiac arrest
Prevention of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
One way that can be done to prevent left ventricular hypertrophy is to keep blood pressure always within normal limits. The following are some efforts that can be made to control blood pressure, while preventing hypertension:
- Carry out periodic checks of blood pressure
- Always maintain ideal body weight
- Exercise regularly, ideally 30 minutes every day
- Adopting a healthy diet, such as eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding foods high in fat and salt
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, because they can increase blood pressure and calorie intake
- Stop smoking, because smoking can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of hypertension
- Manage stress well