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Cardiovascular Volume

Image Number 034 - Left ventricular hypertrophy, heart

Hypertrophy of the left ventricle refers to an increase in the size of the ventricle due to an increase in the size of the individual myocytes. More specifically, it is an increase in the components of the cells. By contrast, hyperplasia is an increase in the number of the cells in a tissue. In the case of the heart, hypertrophy of the left ventricle is defined as a wall thickness greater than 1.5 cm with an increased heart weight. Note the immense thickening of the ventricle in this heart: use the ruler as a guide. When referring to an organ, hypertrophy means increased size of the organ and may be due to hypertrophy and/or hyperplasia of individual cells.

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