Physiologic versus pathologic hypertrophy and the pressure-overloaded myocardium

Karl Weber, William A. Clark, Joseph S. Janicki, Sanjeev G. Shroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The myocardium consists of myocytes and capillaries embedded in a connective tissue matrix. Myocardial mass, which is predominantly a function of myocyte size, is determined by systolic tension: when systolic pressure is gradually elevated above the normal range, mass will increase. The hypertrophic process is a continuum consisting of subtle transitions that take place within the muscular, collagenous, and vascular compartments; these transitions, however, need not be temporarily concordant. We would identify three phases to the hypertrophic process. First, there is an evolutionary phase, whereby the structural and biochemical remodeling of the various compartments of the myocardium is in transition, with each compartment having its own rate of adjustment. During this evolutionary phase, myocardial contractility, as reflected by stress-length and stress-velocity relations, may or may not be normal, but ventricular pump function and O2 delivery are preserved. Second, there is a physiologic phase during which the structural and biochemical remodeling of the compartments reaches a coordinated balance. The myocardial stress-length relation and ventricular function are each normal, but rate-dependent indices of contractility may be abnormal. During the physiologic phase of hypertrophy, the remodeled myocardium will revert to normal when the abnormal loading condition is removed. Finally, there is a pathologic phase. In this phase, compartment remodeling is no longer balanced (e.g., the ratio of structural versus maintenance proteins), and length and rate-dependent indices of myocardial contractility are depressed. Ventricular pump function is also abnormal in the pathologic phase: consequently, O2 delivery to the tissues is impaired. This imbalance in O2 demand and supply may be apparent at rest in more advanced expressions of disease or may appear during the physiologic stress of exercise in less severe disease. In the latter case, the patient's aerobic capacity is reduced to the extent that it can be used to grade the severity of heart failure and to predict the cardiac reserve. During the pathologic phase of hypertrophy, the structural and biochemical remodeling of the myocardium may be irreversible, although this may not be the case for each compartment. Finally, it is important to distinguish cardiac (or myocardial) failure from the clinical syndrome of congestive heart failure. The latter arises from congested organs and hypoperfused tissues; its clinical manifestations are dependent on the activation of the adrenergic nervous and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone systems and the presence of a salt-avid kidney. Congestive heart failure is a late clinical feature of chronic pressure overload and pathologic hypertrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S37-S50
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

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Hypertrophy
Ventricular Function
Myocardium
Heart Failure
Pressure
Muscle Cells
Renin-Angiotensin System
Adrenergic Agents
Connective Tissue
Blood Vessels
Reference Values
Salts
Maintenance
Exercise
Blood Pressure
Kidney
Proteins

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Physiologic versus pathologic hypertrophy and the pressure-overloaded myocardium. / Weber, Karl; Clark, William A.; Janicki, Joseph S.; Shroff, Sanjeev G.

In: Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Vol. 10, 01.01.1987, p. S37-S50.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Weber, Karl ; Clark, William A. ; Janicki, Joseph S. ; Shroff, Sanjeev G. / Physiologic versus pathologic hypertrophy and the pressure-overloaded myocardium. In: Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. 1987 ; Vol. 10. pp. S37-S50.
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