Computational models of cardiac hypertrophy

Kyoko Yoshida, Jeffrey W. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiac hypertrophy, defined as an increase in mass of the heart, is a complex process driven by simultaneous changes in hemodynamics, mechanical stimuli, and hormonal inputs. It occurs not only during pre- and post-natal development but also in adults in response to exercise, pregnancy, and a range of cardiovascular diseases. One of the most exciting recent developments in the field of cardiac biomechanics is the advent of computational models that are able to accurately predict patterns of heart growth in many of these settings, particularly in cases where changes in mechanical loading of the heart play an import role. These emerging models may soon be capable of making patient-specific growth predictions that can be used to guide clinical interventions. Here, we review the history and current state of cardiac growth models and highlight three main limitations of current approaches with regard to future clinical application: their inability to predict the regression of heart growth after removal of a mechanical overload, inability to account for evolving hemodynamics, and inability to incorporate known growth effects of drugs and hormones on heart growth. Next, we outline growth mechanics approaches used in other fields of biomechanics and highlight some potential lessons for cardiac growth modeling. Finally, we propose a multiscale modeling approach for future studies that blends tissue-level growth models with cell-level signaling models to incorporate the effects of hormones in the context of pregnancy-induced heart growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health ( U01 HL127654 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cardiac biomechanics
  • Computational modeling
  • Growth
  • Hypertrophy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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