I was recently diagnosed by echocardiogram to have mild right ventricular hypertrophy and aortic sclerosis. I have been unable to find any general information about either of these. I can find plenty about left ventricular hypertrophy so I assume that the left is more serious. Could you help me with some general information about right ventricular hypertrophy? Thank you.
Dear Clara, thank you for your question. Aortic sclerosis is a benign condition of the aortic valve leaflets that is quite common. The leaflet tips thicken and cause a slight turbulence to blood flow out of the left ventricle that is not hemodynamically significant. A murmur is sometimes heard with aortic sclerosis, but again it is a benign condition. Aortic stenosis, however, is a different problem. Aortic stenosis results from a congenitally abnormal valve with two leaflets rather than the normal three leaflets or from calcification of the valve leaflets. An echocardiogram can accurately differentiate these two conditions, so there's no evidence that you have aortic stenosis. Aortic stenosis usually requires aortic valve replacement at some point. Right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH) is a rare condition, if it truly exists in your case. If the pulmonic valve is stenosed, RVH can develop from chronic pressure overload to the RV. Another cause could be infiltrative diseases like amyloidosis that cause the right ventricular walls to thicken (hypertrophy). However, both of these conditions are very rare. The normal response of the right ventricle to chronic pressure overload is to dilate since it's a much thinner walled structure than the left ventricle. LVH has important prognostic significance while RVH relates more to the underlying disorder. I suggest that you speak to the cardiologist who interpreted your echocardiogram and ask about RVH. It could be that your echo images were suboptimal so RVH may be a false positive result. I hope you find this information useful.
Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only. Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies.
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