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Heart enlargement. Gross clinical specimen of a sectioned human heart, showing left ventricular hypertrophy. This is the enlargment of the lower chamber of the heart and can be associated with hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure). The heart muscle has to work harder to pump blood to the tissues, because arterial pressure is high. It compensates for the increased work by enlarging. Another cause is mitral incompetence, the failure of the mitral (bicuspid) heart valve that controls the one-way flow of blood into the left ventricle. Severe ventricular heart disease is associated with the term "heart failure", and carries a poor prognosis.
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