Left ventricular hypertrabeculation/noncompaction

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2004 Jan;17(1):91-100. doi: 10.1016/S0894-7317(03)00514-5.


In normal human hearts the left ventricle (LV) has up to 3 prominent trabeculations and is, thus, less trabeculated than the right ventricle. Rarely, more than 3 prominent trabeculations can be found at autopsy and by various imaging techniques in the LV. For this abnormality, different synonyms are used such as spongy myocardium, LV noncompaction, and LV hypertrabeculation (LVHT). In this review it is stated that: (1) LVHT has a higher prevalence than previously thought and the prevalence of LVHT seems to increase with the improvement of cardiac imaging; (2) because LVHT is most frequently diagnosed primarily by echocardiography, echocardiographers should be aware and trained to recognize this abnormality; (3) LVHT is frequently associated with other cardiac and extracardiac, particularly neuromuscular, disorders; (4) there are indications that the cause of LVHT is usually a genetic one and quite heterogeneous; and (5) controversies exist about diagnostic criteria, nomenclature, prognosis, origin, pathogenesis, and the necessity to classify LVHT as a distinct entity and cardiomyopathy by the World Health Organization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathies / epidemiology
  • Cardiomyopathies / etiology
  • Cardiomyopathies / therapy
  • Echocardiography
  • Heart Ventricles / abnormalities
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular* / diagnosis
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular* / epidemiology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular* / etiology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular* / therapy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Prevalence
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnosis
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / etiology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / therapy