Cardiac myocytes are the cells responsible for the robust ability of the heart to pump blood throughout the circulatory system. Cardiac myocytes grow in response to a variety of physiological and pathological conditions; this growth challenges endoplasmic reticulum-protein quality control (ER-PQC), a major feature of which includes the unfolded protein response (UPR). ER-PQC and the UPR in cardiac myocytes growing under physiological conditions, including normal development, exercise, and pregnancy, are sufficient to support hypertrophic growth of each cardiac myocyte. However, the ER-PQC and UPR are insufficient to respond to the challenge of cardiac myocyte growth under pathological conditions, including myocardial infarction and heart failure. In part, this insufficiency is due to a continual decline in the expression levels of important adaptive UPR components as a function of age and during myocardial pathology. This chapter will discuss the physiological and pathological conditions unique to the heart that involves ER-PQC, and whether the UPR is adaptive or maladaptive under these circumstances.