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Cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure: From the case to review of literature [Eastern J Med]
Eastern J Med. 2016; 21(4): 191-196 | DOI: 10.5505/ejm.2016.27247  

Cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure: From the case to review of literature

Francesco Massoni, Lidia Ricci, Claudio Simeone, Emanuela Onofri, Serafino Ricci
Departments of Anatomical Sciences, Histological, Legal Medicine, and Locomotor Apparatus, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

In response to an increased workload due to physiological or pathological stimuli, the heart may undergo a process of growth with increased muscle mass called cardiac hypertrophy. It is a particular mechanism of long term compensation used by the heart to adapt permanently to a greater workload. Although, through its peculiar structural, molecular and metabolic characteristics, in early stage the hypertrophy allows to maintain an adequate cardiac function, after a variable period of time, the same characteristics promote the evolution to contractile dysfunction and heart failure. The latter represents an important cause of death and so the cardiac hypertrophy increases the cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In this paper we report a rare case of extremely high degree of concentric cardiac hypertrophy, with a heart weight of 1050 g and longitudinal diameter of 16.5 cm, transverse diameter of 16 cm and antero-posterior diameter of 9 cm. The thickness of the left ventricle free wall was 4.2 cm, of the septum 4.3 cm and at the apex level 3.5 cm. These data, compared with those described in scientific literature, indicate the exceptional nature of our necropsy finding of a huge cardiac hypertrophy. The analysis of the pathogenetic mechanisms, which may determinate the fatal event in case of cardiac hypertrophy, shows that in the described case the death cause can be the onset of heart failure in presence of cardiomegaly.

Keywords: Cardiac hypertrophy, cardiomegaly, heart failure, heart weight


Francesco Massoni, Lidia Ricci, Claudio Simeone, Emanuela Onofri, Serafino Ricci. Cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure: From the case to review of literature. Eastern J Med. 2016; 21(4): 191-196

Corresponding Author: Francesco Massoni, Türkiye


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