Diez J, Lopez B, Gonzalez A, Ardanaz N, Fortuño MA. Myocardial response to biomechanical stress. Rev Esp Cardiol 2001;54:507-515.
Biomechanical stress of the myocardium is the situation resulting from hypoxia, hypertension, and other forms of myocardial injury, that invariably lead to increased demands for cardiac work and/or loss of functional myocardium. As a consequence of biomechanical stress a number of responses develop involving all the myocardial cells, namely cardiomyocytes. As a result some myocardial phenotypic changes develop that are initially compensatory (i.e., hypertrophy) but which may mediate the eventual decline in myocardial function that occurs with the transition from hypertrophy to failure in conditions of persistent stress (i.e., apoptosis and fibrosis). This review focuses on the steps involved in the response of the myocardium to biomechanical stress and highlights the most recent developments in the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of heart failure.