The pumping chamber of the heart can thicken or "hypertrophy" for a number of reasons. This thickening can be detected on echocardiograms and electrocardiograms (EKG). Overall, the most common reason for hypertrophy is high blood pressure. Hope that this helps.
Is it the left or right ventricle or both?
I am not a Doctor but if Ischemia is the cause, then I would have thought a ''slight' blockage wouldn't be the cause, it would have to be substantial. Substantial enough to force the rest of the ventricle to compensate for the work load.
I ask if it's the right/left or both because there can be different reasons for each side. What is your blood pressure like? What are you symptoms if any?
This subject is oftened discussed on the heart disease forum for registered members who share their experience with a heart disorder, and you appear to be referring to the left ventrical (pumping chamber), and thickening refers to the heart wall, and the condition is referred to cardiomyopathies. A thickened wall will not relax very well and the rigidity will reduce the filling capacity.
Extrinsic cardiomyopathies – cardiomyopathies where the primary pathology is outside the myocardium itself. Most cardiomyopathies are extrinsic, because by far the most common cause of a cardiomyopathy is ischemia. Also, there is what is called an Athlete's heart. This condition is not pathological, but the heart wall is enlarged and the heart pumps more effieciently. An athlete's heart can be distinquished by a resting heart rate less than 60bpm.
The World Health Organization calls these specific cardiomyopathies:
Coronary artery disease
Congenital heart disease
Nutritional diseases affecting the heart
Ischemic (or ischaemic) cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy can be genetic disorder caused by various mutations in genes encoding sarcomeric proteins. In HCM the heart muscle is thickened, which can obstruct blood flow and prevent the heart from functioning properly.
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