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Found enlarged heart. What are the complication?

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I have been told i one of my small chambers of my heart is enlarged and been referred to a cardiologist in six weeks wait should i worry?
Posted Thu, 28 Feb 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
 
 
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 41 minutes later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

The heart is divided into 2 sides, the right and left. The right side of the heart receives blood from the body that is depleted of oxygen and sends it to the lungs and the left side receives the blood from the lungs and sends it back to the body to be used.

The right side is composed of the atria and the ventricles, the atria is the smaller part and receives the blood first, it passes to the ventricles and then to the lungs.

The left side is also composed of atria and ventricle. The atria receives the blood from the lungs first, pass it to the ventricles which then pump it to the body.

Enlargement of the atria can occur in any setting that may increase the pressure between the atria and ventricle.
The enlargement can occur with enlargement of the ventricle.
Right atrial enlargement is less common than left and may occur if there is any obstruction to flow from the right atria to right ventricle resulting in increased pressure in the atria with eventually enlargement. It may also occur in some conditions of the lungs that affect blood flow in the right atria and right ventricle.

Left atrial enlargement is more common and has been associated with increased complications such as abnormal heart rhymth, stroke and heart failure, but this all depends on what the cardiologist finds on examination and investigation.
Increased weight and high blood pressure are the most common risk factors associated with enlargement of the left atrium.

To assess the atria the cardiologist may conduct tests including: echo to look at the volume of the atria, doppler to assesss blood flow, treadmill to assess impact on function.

The prognosis is influenced by the (1)degree of enlargement, (2)control of any risk factors such as hypertension, smoking, weight, cholesterol (3) heart function on the investigations (4) adequate use of medication

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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