Left ventricular hypertrophy of the heart, causes and risk factors

Left ventricular hypertrophy, the treatment of which is always necessary with the normalization of lifestyle, is often a reversible condition. It is important to give up smoking and other intoxications, reduce weight, correct hormonal imbalance and dyslipidemia, and optimize physical activity. In the treatment of left ventricular hypertrophy, there are two directions:

  • Prevention of LVH Progression
  • An attempt to remodel myocardium with a return to normal cavity sizes and thickness of the heart muscle.

Further, the main cause leading to hypertrophy is treated (correction of arterial hypertension and treatment of myocardiopathy).

  • Beta-adrenergic blockers can reduce the load by volume and pressure, reduce myocardial oxygen demand, solve some of the problems with rhythm disturbances and reduce the risks of heart catastrophes – Atenolol, Metoprolol, Betolok-Zok, Nadolol.
  • Calcium channel blockers become the drugs of choice for severe atherosclerosis. Verapamil, Diltiazem.
  • ACE inhibitors are drugs that lower blood pressure and significantly inhibit the progression of myocardial hypertrophy. Enalapril, Lisinopril, Diroton are effective for hyperonia and heart failure.
  • Sartans (candesartan, losartan, valsartan) very actively reduce the load on the heart and remodel the myocardium, reducing the mass of hypertrophied muscle.
  • Antiarrhythmic drugs are prescribed in the presence of complications in the form of heart rhythm disorders. Disapiramide, Quinidine.
  • decreases obstruction at the exit of the left ventricle
  • patient’s life expectancy is increasing
  • rhythm disturbances, fainting, angina pectoris do not develop
  • heart failure does not progress
  • quality of life improves.

Thus, left ventricular hypertrophy should be suspected, diagnosed and corrected as early as possible. This will help to avoid serious complications with reduced quality of life and sudden death.

Problems such as: thickening of the heart muscle can cause problems:

  1. Hypertension – in 90% of cases in people suffering from arterial hypertension.
  2. Heart defects – both congenital and acquired.
  3. Excessive physical activity.
  4. Diabetes.
  5. Overweight.
  6. Psycho-emotional unstable states – stress, anxiety, excitement, etc.
  7. Sedentary lifestyle.
  8. Наследственность.
  9. Bad habits – alcoholism, smoking, drug addiction.

LVH therapy comes down to three points:

  1. Elimination of the symptoms of the problem.
  2. Improving health status.
  3. Prevention of relapse, disease progression.

Since in most cases, LVH is the result of arterial hypertension, then under the supervision of a doctor, such drugs are prescribed to the patient that can normalize his condition:

  • ACE inhibitors – tablets “Lisinopril”, “Quadripril” and others. These drugs build pressure, and if you take them for a long time (at least six months), you can achieve normalization of the myocardial wall thickness.
  • Beta-blockers – Metoprolol, Bisoprolol medicines. These pills reduce the load on the heart, reduce the heart rate.
  • Means based on nitroglycerin. They are able to expand the vessels of the myocardium, thereby reducing the load on the muscle.

If the cause of the thickening of the wall is a heart defect, then get rid of the pathology by surgery. Moreover, it can take the form of:

  1. Aortic stenting.
  2. Prosthetics (heart transplant).
  3. Extraction of the part of the muscle that blocks the access of blood to the aorta.

Home methods only cope with LVH, which was caused by hypertension. You should resort to the help of non-traditional means after obtaining the approval of a doctor.

Among folk methods, one can distinguish such recipes:

  • Hypericum medicine – per 100 g of dry grass 2 l of water. Boil the raw materials, boil for 10 minutes. Insist, add honey (200 g). Take 2 tablespoons per day for a month. St. John’s wort calms, cleanses blood vessels, prevents arrhythmia.
  • Cranberry gruel. Grind fresh berries with honey or sugar. Take 1 tbsp. l after meal. Cranberries improves blood flow, restores vascular elasticity, reduces blood pressure, and has a general strengthening effect. It is advisable to make gruel daily to take the medicine fresh.
  • Garlic based product. Grind the peeled cloves in the garlic. Add honey (1: 1 ratio). Put to insist in a dark place for 5-7 days, periodically shaking the contents of the jar. Use a tablespoon three times a day. Regular intake of garlic cleanses and strengthens blood vessels, helps eliminate arrhythmias, is useful for hypertension, heart failure.
  • Decoction of blueberry shoots. Mix 10 g of raw material with 250 ml of water. Boil for 10 minutes, cool, strain. Take a tablespoon before each meal.

About cardiomyopathies

Pathological processes in myocardial cells are based on a hereditary predisposition (idiopathic cardiopathy) or dystrophy and sclerosis. Myocarditis, allergies and toxic damage to heart cells, endocrine pathologies (excess of catecholamines and growth hormone), immune malfunctions lead to the latter.

Differences between different types of LVH

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Arterial hypertension

Sports heart

Ageyounger thanolder than 35from 30Полboth sexesboth sexesmore often than menHeredityhypertensiveburdened by cardiomyopathynot burdenedComplaintsdizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, heart pain, rhythm disturbanceheadaches, less dyspneastitching pains in the heart, bradycardiaType LVHasymmetricuniformsymmetricalMyocardial thicknessmore than 1,5 cmless than 1.5 cmdecreases upon cessation of loadsLV expansionrarely, often decreaseperhapsmore than 5,5 cm


Before diagnosing “LVH of the heart”, a cardiologist at the initial appointment should:

  1. Interview the patient – find out what complaints he has, what he does, whether he leads an active lifestyle, whether there are bad habits, etc.
  2. Perform an examination using palpation, establish the borders of the heart, their displacement, find out the width of the vascular bundle, etc.
  3. Listen to the patient, identify breathing disorders, amplification or muffled tones of the “engine”.

An electrocardiogram is one of the most common diagnostic methods. An ECG determines the thickness of the myocardium, as well as pronounced signs: cardiac output, pressure gradient, etc. However, LVH of the heart on an ECG does not give a % guarantee when making a diagnosis, because general symptoms can also be characteristic of a healthy person.

More extensive and deeper analysis of the heart muscle. With its help it is possible to determine how thickened the myocardium and its septum are, what areas are observed with reduced contractility, the general state of the heart muscle.

This is echocardiography with the Doppler effect, thanks to which you can determine the speed, direction of blood through the vessels. With its help, a specialist can see the shape and size of the heart cavities, the work of heart valves, evaluate the contractility of the myocardium.

This is an accurate research method, thanks to which a specialist has the opportunity to get high-resolution images, assess myocardial contractility, and make a final diagnosis. Using MRI, the doctor can conduct dynamic monitoring of the patient’s health during drug treatment or analyze the results of surgery.

To evaluate the work of the myocardium, a specialist can prescribe samples to the patient with a change in body position, atmospheric pressure, ambient temperature, and others.

Depending on the condition of the patient, diagnostic methods can be supplemented by coronarography, fluorography, etc.

Complications of LVH

Moderate left ventricular hypertrophy is usually harmless. This is a compensatory reaction of the body, designed to improve blood circulation to organs and tissues. For a long time, a person may not notice hypertrophy, since it does not appear in any way. As it progresses, the following may develop:

  • myocardial ischemia, acute myocardial infarction,
  • chronic cerebrovascular accidents, strokes,
  • severe arrhythmias and sudden cardiac arrest.

Thus, left ventricular hypertrophy is a marker of heart overload and indicates the potential risks of cardiovascular catastrophes. The most unfavorable are its combinations with coronary heart disease, in the elderly and smokers with concomitant diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome (overweight and lipid metabolism disorders).

Features of food

To strengthen the walls of the ventricle, as well as to restore the functioning of the myocardium, it is very important to follow a diet:

  • Reduce salt intake. It increases pressure, and this can cause strokes and ischemia.
  • Take seafood daily – squid, shrimp, mussels, oysters, fish. They improve the condition of blood vessels, reduce the likelihood of a heart attack.
  • Eat fresh vegetables, fruits, and dried fruits regularly. Bananas, dried apricots, dates, figs, apples, plums, pomegranates – all these products make the vessels elastic, relieve cramps with arterial hypertension, and remove harmful cholesterol.
  • Exclude smoked meats, fatty foods from the diet – it increases the risk of heart disease due to trans fats.

Patients need to eat fractionally, little by little, consume carrot juice, give preference to mashed cereals. Exclude spices and spices from the diet.


  • Heart LVH is often recorded in patients aged 20-40 years.
  • Women suffer from LVH less often than men.
  • Thickening of the left ventricle with time and in the absence of treatment leads to an increase in the right atrium.
  • A fatal outcome from this ailment occurs in 2–8% of cases.
  • At the initial stage of hypertrophy, the patient has a favorable prognosis for recovery.
  • It is important for patients to rest at least 7 hours a day, abandon products that lead to intoxication, slagging, constantly monitor blood pressure, and reduce physical activity.

Heart LVH is a dangerous pathology, because at first it may not manifest itself in any way and only on an ECG, ultrasound and MRI, a cardiologist will see changes in the work of the heart muscle. If the doctor finds LVH, then he will definitely begin to treat the patient: medically or surgically. Depending on the cause of the pathology and its severity. With timely contact with a cardiologist, the prognosis is favorable.

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.