Too Big to be Good

A Brief Discussion on Enlarged Heart

Is having an enlarged heart serious?
Enlargement of heart is a serious condition which is always pathological and can cause progressive cardiac deterioration. It may lead to symptoms of breathlessness, palpitations, chest pain or swelling over the body.

What does it mean when your heart is enlarged?
This means that there is abnormal dilatation (enlargement) of normal chambers of the heart. There are four chambers in the heart, the most common one to be involved is the left ventricle.

Can you die from an enlarged heart?
Enlarged heart is associated with increased morbidity and mortality which may shorten or hamper the quality of life.

Can an enlarged heart subside?
There are certain reversible conditions like hyperthyroidism, certain infections which if treated promptly and adequately can cause regression of an enlarged heart.

What are the causes and different types of enlarged heart?
There are various reasons that cause heart enlargement. It can be caused by coronary artery heart disease, abnormalities of cardiac muscle (cardiomyopathies), structural defect in heart valve causing narrowing or leakage of heart, some defects from birth (atrial septal defect). Sometimes, rare condition after pregnancy and abuse of alcohol and chemotherapy drugs can also cause enlarged heart.

Explain the treatment options for enlarged heart?
Treatment options differ as per primary cause. They can vary from medical management which includes diuretics, anti-hypertensives, antianginals etc, to surgical correction (CABG, valve replacements, closure of heart defects etc) including cardiac transplantation.

Can enlarged heart be prevented?
Enlarged heart can be prevented only in specifi c condition like hypertension wherein one has to keep the blood pressure under control. Most of the times it is a sequela of underlying heart disease and may not be totally preventable.

What are the chances of occurrence of enlarged heart and are
there any specifi c symptoms involved with enlarged heart?

Certain group of population are more susceptible to develop enlarged heart like those with congenital heart disease. Symptoms like breathlessness, palpitations, chest pain, syncope, swelling over the body may be present.

Dr. Salil Shirodkar

Dr. Salil Shirodkar

Sr. Consultant
Cardiology
Nanavati Super Speciality
Hospital, Mumbai

Dr. Jaideep Rajebahaddur

Dr. Jaideep Rajebahaddur

Clinical Associate
Cardiology
Nanavati Super Speciality
Hospital, Mumbai




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