PR. M. FOREST - CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PR. M. FOREST - CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Enlarged heart. Section through a heart affected by ventricular hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is the increase in size of the heart muscle brought about by the enlargement of its cells rather than by cell multiplication (as occurs in normal growth). The considerable thickening of the muscle walls causes abnormal contractions and rhythms and is a relatively common cause of sudden death. In most cases the condition is inherited.
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