The assessment of cardiac hypertrophy at autopsy

Histopathology. 1985 Dec;9(12):1295-306. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.1985.tb02811.x.


The total weight of the normal adult human heart as well as that of each ventricle is proportional to body size. Body weight is superior to height as a predictor of total heart and isolated ventricular weights. Ventricular wall thickness is an insensitive means of assessing ventricular hypertrophy. Heart weight is a poor predictor of isolated right ventricular mass but a slightly better predictor of isolated left ventricular mass. The only method of determining the presence or absence of hypertrophy with confidence is to use the Fulton technique for isolated ventricular weights. The use of an arbitrary upper and lower limit, as currently used, for isolated ventricular weights obtained by Fulton's method may, however lead to errors in determining the presence or absence of ventricular hypertrophy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Biometry
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Cardiomegaly / pathology*
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microcomputers
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Organ Size
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Software