Enlarged Heart: What are its causes?
Enlarged heart condition is also called as Cardiomegaly, which is not a disease but a signal for a possible disorder or health issue. An x-ray of the heart reveals the change in the shape of the heart, little oversize than normal. A few other tests are also prescribed to study the heart’s enlargement. A heart may be swollen or enlarged due to medical conditions viz. pregnancy, abnormal heart rhythm, weak heart muscle, heart valve problem and other heart conditions.
Enlarged heart condition is characterized by symptoms of shortness of breath, abnormal heart rhythm and swelling. It is better to consult a doctor, or seek emergency medical care if there are signs and symptoms of heart attack viz. chest pain, shortness of breath and fainting.
A heart may enlarge due to many causes. First and foremost reason may be congenital heart disease, seen in some who are born with a heart condition. It may be due to arrhythmia, which refers to abnormal heartbeat, leading the heart to enlarge. Other lesser prominent causes for heart enlargement include,
High Blood Pressure: During BP, the heart is under greater pressure to pump harder and deliver blood to the different parts of the body.
Heart valves: If the four heart valves are damaged, it may result in an enlarged heart. The dysfunction of the heart valves is primarily due to rheumatic fever, infectious endocarditis, connective tissue disorders, reactive medications or radiation treatments for cancer.
Fluid around the heart: Accumulation of fluid around the heart (pericardium) may also result in heart enlargement.
Anemia: Very few red blood cells in the blood reduce the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Chronic anemia may lead to irregular heartbeat, and other problems.
Thyroid: Thyroid problems may deteriorate the heart condition and an enlarged heart.
Hemochromatosis: When the body cannot metabolize iron, it leads to excessive iron in the body. Iron builds up in various organs including the heart, weakening the heart muscles and leading to the heart’s enlargement.
Amyloidosis: When abnormal proteins circulate in the blood and get deposited in the heart it is called Amyloidosis. The abnormal proteins interfere with the heart’s function and cause it to enlarge.
Risk Factors & Complications
The risk factors that lead to an enlarged heart are many. A history of high blood pressure and cardiomyopathy (family history of enlarged heart disease), blocked arteries, congenital heart disease, valvular heart disease, and heart attacks.
Enlarged heart condition may lead to heart failure, blood clots, heart murmur and cardiac arrest. An enlarged heart may dangerously lead to sudden cardiac arrest. During heart enlargement, the left ventricle bulges leading to weakening of the heart muscles. This affects the heart’s condition leading to heart failure.
Test & Diagnosis
The right hospital for diagnosis center in hyderabad will help in identifying the heart condition, and the possible heart enlargement. The diagnosis for heart conditions include,
Chest X-ray: X-ray helps the doctors to know about the condition of lungs and heart
Electrocardiogram: Electrocardiogram helps to diagnose heart rhythm problems and damage to the heart
Echocardiogram: Echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce a video image of the heart
Stress Test: While walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike the heart rhythm, BP and breathing are monitored
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI uses magnetic field and radio waves to create images of the heart
Blood Tests: To check the levels of certain substances in the blood
Cardiac catheterization: A thin catheter is used to extract sample (biopsy) of the heart, and sent to laboratory analysis
Treatments and Procedures
The standard medications for heart attack treatment in hyderabad include diuretics, Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), Beta blockers, Digoxin, Anticoagulants, and Anti-arrhythmics. The medical procedures and surgeries include medical devices to regulate your heartbeat, heart valve surgery, coronary bypass surgery, left ventricular assist device (LVAD), and heart transplant.