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Cardiomegaly
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Cardiomegaly

   My father recently passed away suddenly.  The cause of death was ruled to be cardiomegaly.  Three weeks prior to his death he was in a car accident.  His neck and back were injured and he was referred to a specialist.  Also, there were contusions on his chest.   He had a chest x-ray on that day.  The results say "moderate underinflation with mild cardiomegaly and superior mediastinal widening."  These results were found to be similar to those found nearly 5 years prior.  So, the questions I have are:  

   After 5 years, or perhaps longer, of his heart being in a stable condition with cardiomegaly, is it natural for it to have reached a point to cause his death within just 3 weeks?  Or is it possible that injuries sustained in the accident or drugs prescribed during treatment of his back injury could have led to his death?

The medications he received in the ER the night of the accident were:
Toradol
Morphine
Valium
Norflex

He was prescribed the following for his pain throughout the 3 weeks between the accident and his death:
Ibuprofen
Flexeril
Darvocet
Morphine
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I'm sorry for your loss. To answer your question, your father died suddenly from a cardiac arrhythmia which was secondary to the cardiomyopathy. This is a risk for anyone with this form of heart disease. The drugs, the car accident, had nothing to do with it. SDE happen in young children and teens as well as adults. It is important for you to find out whether your father had HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: heart walls too thick) or DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy: heart walls too thin). HCM, more times than not is genetic in nature so it can run in families, without skipping generations.  
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