AskDefine | Define hypertrophy

Dictionary Definition

hypertrophy n : abnormal enlargement of a body part or organ v : undergo hypertrophy; "muscles can hypertrophy when people take steroids" [also: hypertrophied]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • italbrac RP /haɪˈpɜːtrəfi/
  • italbrac US /haɪˈpɝːtrəfi/


  1. In the context of "countable|medicine": An increase in the size of an organ due to swelling of the individual cells
  2. In the context of "uncountable|bodybuilding": Increase in muscle size through increased numbers of muscle fibers; a result of strict diet, weightlifting, and other exercise.



  1. In the context of "intransitive|of a tissue or organ": : To increase in size



Extensive Definition

Hypertrophy is the increase of the size of an organ or in a select area of the tissue. It should be distinguished from hyperplasia which occurs due to cell division increasing the number of cells while their size stays the same; hypertrophy occurs due to an increase in the size of cells, while the number stays the same.

Examples of hypertrophy

Muscular hypertrophy

One of the most common and visible forms of organ hypertrophy occurs in skeletal muscles in response to strength training (known as muscle hypertrophy). Depending on the type of training, the hypertrophy can occur through increased sarcoplasmic volume or increased contractile proteins.

Ventricular hypertrophy

Ventricular hypertrophy is the increase in size of the ventricles of the heart. Changes can be beneficial or healthy if they occur in response to aerobic or anaerobic exercise, but ventricular hypertrophy is generally associated with pathological changes due to high blood pressure or other disease states.

Hypertrophy of the breasts

Gigantomastia is the extreme growth of the breasts, i.e. 10 pounds (5 kg) per breast and more. In severe cases it is possible for women to have breasts that weigh well in excess of 20 lb (9 kg) each. Gigantomastia can occur as a rare complication of pregnancy, but also with the more frequently juvenile gigantomastia during puberty (virginal breast hypertrophy).

Hypertrophy of the clitoris

In the most pronounced cases, clitoromegaly is a symptom of intersexuality since the large clitoris resembles a penis (the different grade of genital ambiguity is commonly measured by the Prader classification ranging, in ascending order of masculinisation, from 1: Female external genitalia with clitoromegaly through 5: Pseudo-phallus looking like normal male external genitalia).
hypertrophy in Danish: Hypertrofi
hypertrophy in German: Hypertrophie
hypertrophy in Spanish: Hipertrofia
hypertrophy in Italian: Ipertrofia
hypertrophy in Kurdish: Hîpertrofî
hypertrophy in Dutch: Hypertrofie
hypertrophy in Japanese: 肥大
hypertrophy in Norwegian: Hypertrofi
hypertrophy in Norwegian Nynorsk: Hypertrofi
hypertrophy in Polish: Przerost
hypertrophy in Portuguese: Hipertrofia
hypertrophy in Serbian: Хипертрофија
hypertrophy in Swedish: Hypertrofi

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1