Cardiac remodelling is classified as physiological (in response to growth, exercise and pregnancy) or pathological (in response to inflammation, ischaemia, ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, biomechanical stress, excess neurohormonal activation and excess afterload). Physiological remodelling of the heart is characterized by a fine-tuned and orchestrated process of beneficial adaptations. Pathological cardiac remodelling is the process of structural and functional changes in the left ventricle (LV) in response to internal or external cardiovascular damage or influence by pathogenic risk factors, and is a precursor of clinical heart failure (HF). Pathological remodelling is associated with fibrosis, inflammation and cellular dysfunction (e.g. abnormal cardiomyocyte/non-cardiomyocyte interactions, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, autophagy alterations, impairment of metabolism and signalling pathways), leading to HF. This review describes the key molecular and cellular responses involved in pathological cardiac remodelling.

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