Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
199 Doctors are Online

Can an enlarged heart be detected at birth?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 12794 Questions
My two month old grand daughter recently died. Preliminary reports indicated an enlarge heart: Background: Two days prior to her death, the pediatrician was informed that my grand daughter was not eating and anything she attempted to take she vomitted (not normal vomitting, but volcano like). The next day, she was seen by the pediatrician and was told she appeared to be stress, but vomitting, gave her immunizations, and sent her home. Later that same day, my grand daughter continued with not eating and vomitting, so she was taken to the emergency room. Upon her arrival she was monitored and checked out and nothing was found. Some time during the examination and monitoring, she required a blood transfusion. Because her blood type was not known, she was given blood type that could be used by "anyone". Almost immediately following transfusion, she went into cardiac arrest. She was revived, stabilized and 8 - 10 hours later transferred to another hospital where she later died. My questions are: 1. If she had an enlarged heart at birth, is this something easily detected by physical examination? 2. If she was already ill, would giving her immunization cause stress on her heart to the point of enlargement? 3. Would receiving the wrong blood type cause heart to become enlarged?
Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 49 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

The exact cause of death and the conditions which lead to those circumstances can best be judged by the doctor who treated her last. Still as you want , I will try my level best to satisfy your queries.

1.Enlarged heart is not a very common finding so if the physician does not look for it specifically he is likely to miss it. This is looked for only if the patient complains of symptoms like shortness of breath, palpitation, bluish discoloration of face on crying, etc. Investigations like chest X-ray are more confirmatory of enlarged heart.

2. Immunization only triggers the response by body's immune system and does not produce any extra load on the heart.

3.Receiving the wrong blood type or excessive amount of blood does increase the cardiac work and if it exceeds the cardiac capacity, it can cause cardiac dilatation followed by heart failure.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Medical Procedures
Lab Tests

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask a Cardiologist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor