The objective of this work is to establish a generic continuum-based computational concept for finite growth of living biological tissues. The underlying idea is the introduction of an incompatible growth configuration which naturally introduces a multiplicative decomposition of the deformation gradient into an elastic and a growth part. The two major challenges of finite growth are the kinematic characterization of the growth tensor and the identification of mechanical driving forces for its evolution. Motivated by morphological changes in cell geometry, we illustrate a micromechanically motivated ansatz for the growth tensor for cardiac tissue that can capture both strain-driven ventricular dilation and stress-driven wall thickening. Guided by clinical observations, we explore three distinct pathophysiological cases: athlete's heart, cardiac dilation, and cardiac wall thickening. We demonstrate the computational solution of finite growth within a fully implicit incremental iterative Newton-Raphson based finite element solution scheme. The features of the proposed approach are illustrated and compared for the three different growth pathologies in terms of a generic bi-ventricular heart model. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.