Can a thickened wall of the heart be reduced in size by treatment?
Just like other muscles heart muscle also become thicker with increased strain. When a person has high blood pressure, the increased strain “builds up” the heart muscle. The thickening occurs in an attempt to increases the efficiency of the heart. But beyond a certain limit it becomes counter productive. The blood vessel growth do not keep pace with that of heart muscle. Hence the blood supply suffers and part of the muscle can become necrosed (dead) and fibrosed (replaced by fibre like material). The thickening of the left ventricle in high blood pressure is known as left ventricular hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is known to regress (decrease) with good sustained control of blood pressure. In fact regression is a good sign.
Hypertrophy of the ventricular muscle can also occur when the load is increased by an obstructed or leaky valve as in aortic stenosis or regurgitation. This hypertrophy also regresses if the obstruction or leaky corrected surgically.