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LVH
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LVH

I am 48 years old and my physician says i may have LVH. More tests will be taken to identify the problem.  There is a slight feeling of heaviness on the left side of my upper rib cage and my blood pressure readings are usually between 135/88 and 138/90. while i am being treated for possible LVH is it possible for me to keep up an excercise routine? i presently jog a mile and a half three times per week. during the course of my lifetime, i have been a mild cigarette smoker consuming 6 cigarettes per day and a glass of wine 3 or 4 times per month.  I weigh 187 pounds and stand 5 feet 8 inches tall. I am a male.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear carlton,

Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an enlargement of the left pumping chamber of the heart and may be due to several different things.  The most common cause is high blood pressure.   Other causes are due to exercise (athletic hypertrophy) and congenital (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HOCM).  

The diagnosis of LVH is usually made by echocardiogram.  The walls of the ventricle can be measured and a thickness of greater than 1.5 cm is considered enlarged.  Athletic hypertrophy is usually less than this thickness and will return to normal size with cessation of the activity.  HOCM may be diagnosed in the absence of other causes of LVH and with the presence of a family history.

The treatment of LVH depends on the cause.  Hypertensive LVH is treated by controlling the blood pressure.  Some antihypertensive drugs may cause LVH to regress but this is controversial.  Athletic hypertrophy does not require treatment.  HOCM is a rare condition that should be followed by a cardiologist with expertise in this area.  It may require medical or surgical management.

Long term prognosis of LVH is good.  There is an increased propensity to heart failure (see previous questions on heart failure) so a correct diagnosis and proper treatment is essential to decrease this risk.  

I would follow your doctor's instructions in regard to exercise.  If athletic hypertrophy is suspected then he may ask you to stop exercising for a time.  If the LVH is due to high blood pressure then it may not be necessary to stop exercise.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
My son was just diagnosed with possible LVH yesterday.  He is scheduled for an echocardiogram.  He's never had high blood pressure, but when he stands up, his pulse increases from 60-65 to 95-100.  Does your pulse increase when you stand?  Could this be unrelated to the LVH?
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Avatar_n_tn
I donot experience an elevated pulse upon standing or moving about. I am scheduled for two tests next week and perhaps my doctor will be able to make a more accurate diagnosis after testing is completed. thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have LVH, but its mild and I'm told doesn't need any treatment.  My blood pressure is absolutely normal, but my resting pulse tends to be high. I also have idiopathic mild emphysema, so that may contribute to my higher pulse rate.  You might want to read the archives on LVH as it contains some very helpful info on LVH, causes, degree of severity and what if any treatment may be necessary.
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Avatar_n_tn
Does anyone know the reference ranges for what is normal, slightly elevated and what is actually considered left ventricle hypertrophy?  I recently had an echo, and the measurements in of left ventricle and possibly posterior wall thickness are somewhat enlarged but not sure to what degree and how much of an enlargement is not a bad thing.  The physician really didnt comment, said it was ok and did not list it in his result.  confused.
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