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Left ventricle wall thickness
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Left ventricle wall thickness

I am 23 year old mother of one. I am overweight, am a smoker, have high blood pressure, (I don't remember which was which) but my bad cholesterol is 156.  Most of my mother's side of the family all have some sort of heart disease.

I have been having series of palpitations (which I have read a lot about on this board -- and it really eases my mind).  I went for an echo 2 years ago and in my left ventricle both my septal wall thickness and the post wall thickness were 1.1 (normal is 0.6 - 1.1).  This time my echo showed both the septal wall thickness and the post wall thickness as being 1.2.  Also that I have a MVP but he said that was no big deal.

After talking to the doctor he assured me that if I ate correctly, exercised, lowered my blood pressure (with meds), lowered my cholesterol (with meds) that all would be well and I wouldn't have anything to worry about.

My question is.  If I so everything the doctor said (lost weight, quit smoking, did exercise, lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure) would the walls thin out back into the normal range or would they just not get any worse?

Also how thick can these walls get without having major complications from it?  I understanbd that I am not in the normal range, but it would ease my mind (A LOT) if I knew that I was still far away from having a major problem.

Thank you so much.
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74076_tn?1189759432
Hi Mistieroze,

There is not a great answer to this question.  There are two reason to be concerned about LVH.  The first is a disorder called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  It sounds like this one does not apply to you.  Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an inherited disorder that may lead to sudden cardiac death or significant symptoms of heart failure (shortness of breath, chest pains, passing out, etc).  If you don't have a family history of sudden cardiac death, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and your doctor is not concerned, this is unlikely to a be a problem for you.  The second concern is prolong high blood pressure can lead to thick LV walls and eventually lead to heart failure symptoms.  This progression can by stopped and potentialy reversed by diet, exercise, blood pressure control and very importantly -- STOP SMOKING!!!!!  Smoking is a major risk factor that is completely in your hands.

It is impossible to say if you will reverse or simply improve.  Only time will tell -- but the least you should progress.

I hope this answers your question and please stop smoking!!!
4 Comments
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84483_tn?1289941537
reducing the B/P and losing weight might cause the developing left ventricular hypertrophy to regress, 12mm as far as understand would be called bordeline, marginal, or mild. Nip it in the bud before it get roses.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had 3 echos over a 20 year period.  

First Echo: LV Posterior Wall = 8mm, IVS = 7mm
Second Echo: LV Posterior Wall = 11mm, IVS = 11mm
Third Echo: LV Posterior Wall = 9.5mm, IVS= 8.8mm

My point is that the reported figures can vary significantly as this is not an accurate means of measuring wall thickness.  So many factors can lead to error based upon my readings. I may be wrong, but I thought it took years of high blood pressure before you got thickening.  I always present with high blood pressure when I see the doctor (white coat syndrome) and based upon my second echo my cardiologist told me I had thickening due to high blood pressure and I was put on high blood pressure medications. In actual fact my resting blood pressure when I am at home is 105/60.  My regular doctor took me off the high blood pressure medications and many years later when I had the third echo you can see that his decision was justified.  I would recommend that you have another echo at some point to really see if you have thickening.  If you do have high blood pressure then eventually it will lead to thickening so it is best to treat it now.
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Avatar_n_tn
An IVSd thickness of 1.2cm is really nothing to worry about. If you're obese, that's a somewhat normal finding. Also, it's harder to visualize the heart walls using a transthrocic echocardiogram on larger people.

If you're having symtoms (symptoms) like shortness of breathe, palpations, chest pain ect.., it might be a good idea to have a cardiogist that specializes in echocardiology to rule out IHSS (or Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy). A stress echo would be a good starter.
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