Hypertrophy

Overview
  • Hypertrophy refers to an increase in the physical size of cells. When hypertrophy occurs simultaneously in a population of adjacent cells this can lead to increased tissue or organ size. In certain clinical settings, the word "Hypertrophy" is loosely used in reference to any increase in tissue or organ size even if the increase is due to cellular Hyperplasia. Such conflation of hypertrophy and hyperplasia is difficult to avoid since most cases hyperplasia and hypertrophy occur concurrently. The few cases in which an increased organ size occurs purey due to cellular hypertrophy (and includes no component of hyperplasia) is in expansion of skeletal muscle and the myocardium whose cells cannot divide.
Etiologies
  • In general, hypertrophy is due to increased functional demand on a tissue or due to specific hormonal stimulation. Use the search function for specific examples.