Coronary microvascular dysfunction in hypertrophy and heart failure

Paolo G. Camici, Carsten Tschöpe, Marcelo F. Di Carli, Ornella Rimoldi, Sophie Van Linthout

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (LVH) is a growth in left myocardial mass mainly caused by increased cardiomyocyte size. LVH can be a physiological adaptation to physical exercise or a pathological condition either primary, i.e. genetic, or secondary to LV overload. Patients with both primary and secondary LVH have evidence of coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD). The latter is mainly due to capillary rarefaction and adverse remodelling of intramural coronary arterioles due to medial wall thickening with an increased wall/lumen ratio. An important feature of this phenomenon is the diffuse nature of this remodelling, which generally affects the coronary microvessels in the whole of the left ventricle. Patients with LVH secondary to arterial hypertension can develop both heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). These patients can develop HFrEF via a 'direct pathway' with an interval myocardial infarction and also in its absence. On the other hand, patients can develop HFpEF that can then progress to HFrEF with or without interval myocardial infarction. A similar evolution towards LV dysfunction and both HFpEF and HFrEF can occur in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the most common genetic cardiomyopathy with a phenotype characterized by massive LVH. In this review article, we will discuss both the experimental and clinical studies explaining the mechanisms responsible for CMD in LVH as well as the evidence linking CMD with HFpEF and HFrEF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-816
Number of pages11
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Coronary vasculature
  • Heart failure
  • Hypertrophy
  • Left ventricle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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