Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treatment for left ventricular hypertrophy depends on the underlying cause, and may involve medication or surgery.

Treating high blood pressure

Your doctor is likely to recommend lifestyle changes, including:

  • Regular exercise
  • Low-sodium, low-fat diet
  • Smoking cessation

Blood pressure medication might also help prevent further enlargement of the left ventricle and even shrink your hypertrophic muscles. Your doctor might recommend:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These medications widen blood vessels to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and decrease the heart's workload. Examples include Captopril, Enalapril and Lisinopril.  Side effects might include an irritating dry cough.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). Medications such as losartan (Cozaar) have benefits similar to ACE inhibitors but don't cause a persistent cough.
  • Beta blockers. Medications such as atenolol (Tenormin) can lower your heart rate, reduce blood pressure and prevent some of the harmful effects of stress hormones. Beta blockers aren't usually given as an initial treatment for hypertension. Your doctor might recommend adding a beta blocker if another type of medication isn't effective alone.
  • Calcium channel blockers. These medications prevent calcium from entering cells of the heart and blood vessel walls, resulting in lower blood pressure. Examples include amlodipine (Norvasc) and diltiazem (Cardizem).
  • Diuretics. Medications known as thiazide-type diuretics can facilitate blood flow, lowering hypertension. Examples include chlorthalidone and hydrochlorothiazide.

Treating sleep apnea

If you've already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, treating this sleep disorder can lower your blood pressure and help reverse left ventricular hypertrophy.

If you haven't been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but your partner tells you that you snore or that you stop breathing momentarily while you sleep, talk with your doctor about getting tested for sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea treatment involves using a machine that provides continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) while you sleep. CPAP keeps your airways open, allowing you to get the oxygen you need to keep your blood pressure at a normal level.

Aortic valve repair or replacement

Left ventricular hypertrophy that is caused by aortic valve stenosis might require surgery to repair the narrow valve or to replace it with an artificial or tissue valve.

June 06, 2015