Difference Between Hypertrophy and Hyperplasia


Main Difference

The main difference between Hypertrophy and Hyperplasia is that Hypertrophy means to increase in the size of the cell, whereas Hyperplasia means to increase in cell numbers.

Hypertrophy vs. Hyperplasia

Hypertrophy mainly occurs in non-dividing cells, such as skeletal and cardiac muscles. Hyperplasia usually occurs in liable cells. Hypertrophy is regulated without the ability of replication. Hyperplasia is regulated with the ability of replication. When a person constantly works out, hypertrophy may cause, and the muscle becomes larger from the normal size. During hyperplasia, muscle fibers start to increase in number in a certain area of worked out muscle.

Hypertrophy is a physiological process. Hyperplasia is a growth process that is mostly controlled by growth hormones. Term hypertrophy derived from a Greek word, which means “excess nourishment.” Term hyperplasia is also derived from a Greek word, which means “over the formation.” Hypertrophy further leads to an increase in the size of the organ. Hyperplasia leads to the enlargement of the organ. The process of hypertrophy is due to the increased production of cellular protein—however, the process of hyperplasia results due to the increase of growth fraction proliferation of mature cells.


The process of hypertrophy is the result of when there is an increase in the cytoplasm of the cell and other cytoplasmic organelles. Contrary, the process of hyperplasia is the result of the mitotic division of the cell. Hypertrophy in myocardial tissues is basically associated with the abnormal tissues of the heart. Hyperplasia in endometrial cells is normally associated with the level of estrogen production. During hypertrophy in contractile cells, there is an increase in muscle fibers instead of cell organelles. Hyperplasia in thyroid cells is regulated by the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

Comparison Chart

Increase in the tissue volume is called hypertrophyIncrease in the amount of tissue is called hyperplasia
Provoked By
Increased demandExcessive cell stimulation
Results From
Cell enlargementCell proliferation
Mechanism Due To
Increased protein productionIncreased growth factors
Mainly Occurs In
Permanent cellsStable dividing cells

What is Hypertrophy?

Word hypertrophy means the increase in the volume of permanent cells to enlarge the tissues of a specific organ. Hypertrophy is of two types. One is physiological hypertrophy and other pathological hypertrophy. An increase in the tissue volume due to hypertrophy is the reason for swelled tissue cells. An increase in the volume of tissue of an organ doesn’t occur due to the enriching of adhesions amassing of fat or multiplication of cells. The solid reason for hypertrophy is the enlargement of the cell of a tissue of an organ. It happens in permanent cells of the body i.e., skeletal muscles, etc.

Mainly due to increase demand for muscle size, hypertrophy occurs. According to the demand, tissue shows two different activities regarding muscle size. Tissue shows physiological hypertrophy and returns to their original state after when the demand for increasing muscle size removed. As the demands changed, the type of hypertrophy is also changed. But if the pathological hypertrophy occurs on specific tissue, then after the removal of demand, the tissue doesn’t come back to its original or initial size.

Categories of Hypertrophy

  • Compensatory Hypertrophy: Occurs in case of increased load.
  • Regenerative Hypertrophy: One part of an organ has died, and the remaining part starts to increase the volume of the cells to work properly—for instance, cells of the liver after disease or therapy.
  • Vicarious Hypertrophy: Loss of one side of the organ the other healthy side of the organ assures to work efficiently, such as the kidney after the removal of one kidney.

What is Hyperplasia?

Hyperplasia is the mitotic division of cells, and cells proliferate to increase the number of tissues. Hyperplasia often leads to the growth of the tissue. Hyperplasia is a response to a chemical stimulus. When the cells get stimulus, they start to grow. In the absence of a stimulus cell, it stops to giving response to the action and eventually stop growing or dividing cells. So that’s why it is concluded that the process of hyperplasia is under the control of growth hormones. An increase in the tissue is the result of a gradual increase in the number of cells, which may lead to the size enlargement of certain organs.

Hyperplasia also occurs in the liver, which is named “compensatory hyperplasia.” In this type of hyperplasia, the liver gets stimulus to divide their cells and to produce more cells to perform the function efficiently after the acute injury. Another form of hyperplasia is the “sebaceous hyperplasia.” In this type of hyperplasia after injury, the soft yellowish skin of new cells starts to appear on the skin. The stimulus of dividing cells doesn’t obtain by the special cells, but it is obtained by the normal cells, which further increased in numbers.

Hemihyperplaisa is also an example of hyperplasia. In such a kind of hyperplasia, any affecting or damaged site of the body starts to regenerate the limbs, skin, etc. Another example of hyperplasia is the multiplication of glandular milk-secreting cells of the female breast at the time of pregnancy, which is the time to preparing the breast for feeding the baby.

Key Differences

  1. Cells don’t have the ability to divide show hypertrophy, whereas cells that have the ability to divide only can show the property of hyperplasia.
  2. Non-dividing cells are affected due to hypertrophy; on the other hand, dividing cells are affected due to hyperplasia.
  3. Hypertrophy is caused by increased hormonal stimulation; conversely, hyperplasia increased by the requirement of cell G0 phase.
  4. An important feature of hypertrophy is an enlargement; on the flip side, an important feature of hyperplasia is cell division.
  5. Hypertrophy is referring to increased demand, while hyperplasia is referring to by excessive cell stimulation.
  6. Hypertrophy is associated with the increase of cytoplasmic material, although hyperplasia is associated with the mitotic division.
  7. Hypertrophy isn’t regulated with the level of the hormone as compared to hyperplasia, which is mainly regulated by the level of hormone.
  8. The process of hypertrophy is less synchronizing compared to the process of hyperplasia, which is more synchronized.
  9. Hypertrophy mostly happens in myocardial tissues. However, hyperplasia mostly happens in thyroid cells.
  10. Hypertrophy is integrated into abnormality. On the other side, hyperplasia is affiliated to normal cell division.


It is concluded that hypertrophy deals with size and hyperplasia to deal with the number of cells.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White