Cardiomegaly pathophysiology

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Cardiomegaly Microchapters

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]

Overview

Cardiomegaly involves two main processes in the heart muscle. Hypertrophy causes the heart to enlarge due to thickening to the cardiac muscle, and dilation causes enlargement due to stretching of the heart muscle. Dilation occurs as a result of volume overload in the heart.

Pathophysiology

The left ventricle can be enlarged from two broad underlying conditions: dilation and hypertrophy.

Left Ventricular Dilation

Left ventricular dilation can occurs as a result of volume overload. Conditions that cause volume overload can be further broken down as follows:

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy

Left ventricular hypertrophy occur due to factors that can cause the heart to work harder than normal. Cardiac hypertrophy is seen in the following condtions:

Pathology

Gross Pathology

Image courtesy of Professor Peter Anderson DVM PhD and published with permission © PEIR, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Pathology

Biventricular Hypertrophy


Biventricular Hypertrophy


Gross excellent example of concentric left ventricular hypertrophy


Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: Gross natural color anterior view intact heart showing disproportionate size of left ventricle by its inferior extent much below the right ventricle apex (quite good example)


Myocardial Infarct: Gross natural color apical section showing large left ventricle infarct and right ventricular hypertrophy


Right ventricular hypertrophy


Right ventricular enlargement due to a patent ductus arteriosus in a patient with hyaline membrane disease


References


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