Enlargement of the left ventricle of the heart: what it is, signs, diagnosis and treatment
The myocardium is the most important muscle layer of the heart. It is formed by special cells - cardiomyocytes. This tissue is in the atria and ventricles, but it is reduced in a different way. The myocardium has its own conductive system, which explains the consistent work of various parts of the main muscle of the body. The disease of left ventricular hypertrophy of the heart can be both a precursor and a consequence of serious problems of the vascular system. It is about this pathology, its main causes and treatment options that will be discussed in today's article.
Hypertrophy or enlargement of the left ventricle of the heart is a specific disease in which there is a thickening of the wall of the main muscle of the body. Normally, its thickness can vary from 7 to 11 mm.When this indicator reaches 12 mm and more, they talk about the development of pathology.
The disease entails an increase in the volume of the heart muscle, problems with its full functioning. The consequences can be catastrophic, ranging from myocardial infarction and ending with a fatal outcome. To prevent their occurrence, it is necessary to promptly treat the hypertrophied organ. Completely overcome the disease is possible only through surgery.
The main causes of the disease
The reasons for the increase in the left ventricle of the heart are varied. Hypertrophy should not be considered as a separate variant of the pathology, but as a consequence of serious heart disorders. These are the following disorders:
- Hypertension or hypertension. Against the background of these disorders, the ventricle is constantly forced to work in a heightened mode. As a result, the heart muscle grows and gradually increases.
- Stenosis of the aortic valve. Due to the development of pathology, a barrier to normal blood flow occurs. Therefore, the ventricle begins to contract more efficiently, and the wall thickens.
- Atherosclerosis of the aorta. With this violation, an increase in the left ventricle of the heart is also observed.
What is this disease, many athletes know.Because of the severe physical exertion, their heart almost always works in an enhanced mode. Hypertrophy is often found in overweight people. Against the background of obesity, the heart is forced to pump a few large volumes of blood, with the result that its expansion occurs. The reasons for the disease, doctors also include low-active lifestyle, the presence of bad habits. Hereditary predisposition plays an important role in the development of pathology.
For indirect reasons, doctors include sleep apnea. This violation is caused by unconscious respiratory arrest during a night's rest. This period can last from a few seconds to 2-3 minutes. The disorder occurs in women in the postmenopausal period. It entails an increase in blood pressure and an increase in the load on the heart muscle.
The reasons for the increase in the left ventricle of the heart, what it is - these issues we discussed a little higher. What are the symptoms of the disease?
- Labored breathing.
- Increased fatigue.
- Pain in the chest.
- Low pulse.
- Swelling of the face, which is growing in the afternoon.
- Insomnia or excessive sleepiness.
Signs of an increase in the left ventricle of the heart are not always clearly manifested. Often people are not even aware of the presence of a problem. If during pregnancy the fetus developed with anomalies, hypertrophy is not excluded. Such cases must be observed from the very birth of the child and to prevent the occurrence of complications.
The disease can be recognized by routine medical examination. The doctor should suspect a hypertrophy already at the first inspection. In patients with such a diagnosis, cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle, rapid breathing, and severe edema are often observed. After the physical examination, a deeper examination is appointed.
An increase in the left ventricle of the heart can be seen during:
- MRI Tomography allows you to accurately determine the pathological area, the degree of increase in the ventricle. In addition, with the help of MRI it is possible to examine all the anatomical features of the heart, all its departments.
- ECG. This is a very common method of examination, which allows us to estimate the thickness of the heart muscle.However, it is not entirely correct to base only on its results. An incorrect diagnosis of an increase in the left ventricle of the heart may be made. On an electrocardiogram, symptoms characteristic of a disease are sometimes observed in a perfectly healthy person, but with an overweight or special constitution. In this case, an additional echocardiographic examination is appointed.
- Ultrasound. The advantage of this diagnostic method is that it can not only identify but also determine the features of the course of the disease.
After determining the cause and degree of development of the pathological process, treatment is selected.
Principles of therapy
How to properly treat an increase in the left ventricle of the heart, what it is, whether it is possible to prevent the disease - these questions should be answered by a cardiologist at the primary appointment. Therapy of this disease can be both medical and surgical. In more detail about each of the options will be described below.
However, the first thing that is recommended to begin the fight against the disease - is to eradicate all harmful habits. It's about smoking and alcohol abuse.Also, some time will have to follow a fairly strict diet. Its main purpose is to normalize blood pressure.
After consulting a doctor, you should diversify your usual lifestyle with cardiac loads. You can go to the pool or more often to walk. Exercise should not be excessive.
Treatment of an increase in the left ventricle of the heart with medications is effective only if the drugs are taken under the constant supervision of a physician. Completely stop the symptoms is not possible. However, the use of antihypertensive drugs allows you to deal with the cause of violations and prevent the development of complications.
Medicines from the following groups are prescribed for the treatment of hypertrophy:
- Beta-blockers ("Atenolol", "Nadolol"). They allow to reduce the need of myocardium for oxygen, to normalize rhythm and pressure.
- ACE inhibitors ("Diroton", "Enalapril"). These drugs help lower blood pressure, stop the development of hypertrophy.
- Calcium channel blockers (Verapamil, Diltiazem). They are prescribed for severe atherosclerosis.
- Sartans ("Lozartan", "Kandesartan"). Reduces the load on the heart.
If the doctor has diagnosed an increase in the left ventricle of the heart in a child, the treatment is selected individually. Often, drugs that are suitable for adults are ineffective and even dangerous for children.
When an increase in the ventricle is provoked by heart disease, surgery is recommended. Surgical treatment can be of two types:
- Prosthetic aortic valve with its stenosis. In this case, without the help of the operation simply can not do. Without treatment in 95% of cases, life expectancy is no more than 5 years.
- Aortic stenting in atherosclerosis. When an atherosclerotic plaque overlaps the vessel by 50% or more, surgery is required. At the initial stage of the disease you can get by taking medication.
Usually, surgery is recommended for stopping the pathology that provoked left ventricular hypertrophy. If it progresses rapidly, the excess tissues of the “overgrown” muscle are excised.
Help traditional medicine
First of all, it should be noted that the recipes of folk healers should not be used as an alternative to traditional treatment. It can only be used as a supplement to the prescribed course of therapy and to eliminate unpleasant symptoms.
For example, in the fight against chest pain, various herbal preparations have proven themselves well. As the main ingredient, you can use St. John's wort, motherwort or flowers of cornflower. Garlic honey copes with weakness. For its preparation, you will need to mix honey and finely chopped garlic in a 1: 1 ratio, leave in a dark place for a week. It is recommended to accept means on the table spoon three times a day, and it is better to the main meal.
With ventricular hypertrophy, all patients without exception are prescribed a strict diet. The first step is to eliminate the consumption of fatty, fried and salty. You should also abandon dairy products and food with "fast" carbohydrates. Banned drinks with caffeine, sweet soda.
The daily ration should primarily consist of lean foods.It can be a variety of seafood, low-fat cottage cheese, kefir. Be sure to add more raw vegetables and fruits to the diet. Herbal teas and plain non-carbonated water are allowed.
Observing such a diet for only a few weeks allows normalizing blood pressure and reducing the likelihood of ventricular hypertrophy.
What is dangerous disease?
Moderate hypertrophy is not considered dangerous. This is a kind of compensatory reaction of the body, designed to improve blood circulation in organs and tissues. Most often, this form of disorder is observed in athletes.
Hypertrophy due to pathological processes in the heart and blood vessels can provoke the following complications:
- angina pectoris;
- myocardial infarction.
What threatens to increase the left ventricle of the heart in the absence of adequate treatment? The most dangerous complication of the disease is the death of a person. That is why it is so important to periodically undergo a preventive examination, and if necessary, immediately begin therapy.
Is it possible to prevent an increase in the left ventricle of the heart? What is this disease, we have already told. Now you need to consider the basic ways to prevent it.
Standard prevention is reduced to the motivation of the patient to a healthy lifestyle. To do this, he needs to eliminate all harmful habits, eat right and engage in feasible sports. If there are problems with the heart system, it will be necessary to undergo an annual examination by a cardiologist and take prescribed medications.