In medical terms what is a cardiomegaly?

Last Update: April 20, 2022

This is a question our experts keep getting from time to time. Now, we have got the complete detailed explanation and answer for everyone, who is interested!

Asked by: Prof. Peyton Hodkiewicz
Score: 4.6/5 (31 votes)

Enlarged heart, in heart failure
An enlarged heart (cardiomegaly) isn't a disease, but rather a sign of another condition. The term "cardiomegaly" refers to an enlarged heart seen on any imaging test, including a chest X-ray.

Is cardiomegaly serious?

The conditions that cause cardiomegaly can damage the heart muscle. They can lead to complications if left untreated. This includes: Heart failure.

What is the cause of cardiomegaly?

Cardiomegaly can be caused by many conditions, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, infections, inherited disorders, and cardiomyopathies. Dilative cardiomyopathy: This type is characterized by a wide, poorly functioning left ventricle, which is the heart's primary pumping chamber.

Can enlarged heart go back to normal?

Some people have an enlarged heart because of temporary factors, such as pregnancy or an infection. In these cases, your heart will return to its usual size after treatment. If your enlarged heart is due to a chronic (ongoing) condition, it usually will not go away.

Why is cardiomegaly bad?

It's a symptom of a heart defect or condition that makes the heart work harder, such as cardiomyopathy, heart valve problems, or high blood pressure. An enlarged heart can't pump blood as efficiently as a heart that's not enlarged. This can lead to complications like stroke and heart failure.

Cardiomegaly - Medical Meaning

31 related questions found

How long can someone live with an enlarged heart?

Most with severe heart disease die within a few years. The treatment for an enlarged heart also depends to some extent on its cause.

What 3 foods cardiologists say to avoid?

Foods That Are Bad for Your Heart
  • Sugar, Salt, Fat. Over time, high amounts of salt, sugar, saturated fat, and refined carbs raise your risk for a heart attack or stroke. ...
  • Bacon. ...
  • Red Meat. ...
  • Soda. ...
  • Baked Goods. ...
  • Processed Meats. ...
  • White Rice, Bread, and Pasta. ...
  • Pizza.

What an enlarged heart feels like?

Chest pain. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. Severe shortness of breath. Fainting.

What is the symptoms of heart enlargement?

Symptoms of an enlarged heart
  • breathing problems.
  • shortness of breath.
  • dizziness.
  • irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • heart palpitations.
  • fluid retention.

How do you live with an enlarged heart?

Your doctor may recommend the following lifestyle changes:
  1. Quit smoking.
  2. Lose excess weight.
  3. Limit salt in your diet.
  4. Control diabetes.
  5. Monitor your blood pressure.
  6. Get modest exercise, after discussing with your doctor the most appropriate program of physical activity.
  7. Avoid or stop using alcohol and caffeine.

Can ECG detect enlarged heart?

An ECG (electrocardiogram) records the electrical activity of your heart at rest. It provides information about your heart rate and rhythm, and shows if there is enlargement of the heart due to high blood pressure (hypertension) or evidence of a previous heart attack (myocardial infarction).

Is it OK to exercise with an enlarged heart?

Exercise may reduce more than your waist size. It also may help shrink a thickened and enlarged heart. Regular exercise can be at least as beneficial as blood pressure medication when treating an enlarged heart.

What drugs should be avoided in heart failure?

Drugs that can exacerbate heart failure should be avoided, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), calcium channel blockers (CCBs), and most antiarrhythmic drugs (except class III).

Does cardiomegaly cause chest pain?

Symptoms of cardiomegaly depend on the cause. Sometimes, cardiomegaly may not cause symptoms. In other cases it can cause signs and symptoms like edema (water retention) with weight gain, arrhythmia, palpitations, tiredness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

How do I know my heart is failing?

Heart failure signs and symptoms may include: Shortness of breath with activity or when lying down. Fatigue and weakness. Swelling in the legs, ankles and feet.

Can cardiomegaly be reversed?

Sometimes, such as with athletes and pregnant women, cardiomegaly is normal and reversible, meaning that the heart can go back to its normal size. Other cases could be a sign of a serious heart condition that could quickly become life threatening.

Should I worry about an abnormal EKG?

An abnormal EKG can mean many things. Sometimes an EKG abnormality is a normal variation of a heart's rhythm, which does not affect your health. Other times, an abnormal EKG can signal a medical emergency, such as a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or a dangerous arrhythmia.

Can anxiety cause enlarged heart?

Increased blood pressure – Stress and anxiety cause cortisol levels to spike which increases blood pressure and heart rate. Frequent spikes in blood pressure weaken the heart muscle and could eventually lead to coronary disease.

Can emotional stress cause an enlarged heart?

Sudden stress can cause a cardiac event that feels like a heart attack, called takotsubo cardiomyopathy or “broken heart syndrome.” This stress-induced cardiomyopathy isn't associated with the artery blockages that lead to a heart attack, though it may cause your heart to pump inefficiently for up to a month.

Will losing weight help an enlarged heart?

People who lose weight actually improve their hearts by decreasing the thickness of the heart muscle, and that probably lowers their risk for heart failure, he added.

Which drink is good for heart?

Drink: Tea

Tea is also full of heart-healthy compounds that help fight inflammation and cell damage. Black and green tea are associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, and short-term studies suggest it's good for your blood vessel health.

Which fruit is best for heart?

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are jam-packed with important nutrients that play a central role in heart health. Berries are also rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins, which protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to the development of heart disease ( 12 ).

Are eggs bad for the heart?

Eggs and cholesterol

While egg yolks are high in cholesterol and are a major source of dietary cholesterol, it is saturated fatty acids that have a greater effect on our blood cholesterol levels and, therefore, heart disease risk.

How do I know if my heart failure is getting worse?

Signs of Worsening Heart Failure
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Weight gain of three or more pounds in one day.
  • Weight gain of five pounds in one week.
  • Unusual swelling in the legs, feet, hands, or abdomen.
  • A persistent cough or chest congestion (the cough may be dry or hacking)

Can alcoholism cause an enlarged heart?

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is due to drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time, which can weaken your heart so it can no longer pump blood efficiently. Your heart then becomes enlarged. This is a form of dilated cardiomyopathy.