I had an EKG for pre op purposes and the results were defined as borderline and possible left atrial enlargment. What does this mean and what causes it? I do not have high blood pressure, usually 110/80. Not overweight, but do smoke.
EKG's are a great diagnostic but I wouldn't want to depend on one to determine atrial size. You really need an echocardiogram, x-ray or CT scan to determine that. So I wouldn't worry about it until you have such tests and atrial enlargement if definitely confirmed.
My understanding is that, besides high BP, mitral valve prolapse or regurgitation is the main cause of atrial enlargement. Typically, with an enlarged atria, one is prone to atrial fibrillation. Since you didn't mention that among your symptoms, it's likely any enlargement you have is borderline (between normal and enlarged).
It seems left atrium enlargement is due conditions related to the left side of the heart such left side valve disease, decreased left ventricle functionality, etc. these conditions increase either pressure or volume loading on the atria leading to enlargement and/or hypertrophy.
COPD is rightside heart issue and presents a higher than normal resistance the right ventricle pumps against and enlarge the rt ventricle, etc.
Any factor that contributes to high blood pressure taxes the heart and can enlarge the left atrium. These include aging, high blood pressure, obesity and diseases such as cardiomyopathy, or a thickening of the aorta, which is the large artery leaving the heart.
A common cause of left atrial enlargement is a faulty mitral valve. If the valve doesn't close properly, the left atrium can't pump blood completely into left ventricle. Blood make back up into the left atrium, causing pressure that enlarges it. The mitral valve can be damaged due to rheumatic fever, a birth defect, calcium deposits, tumors, radiation therapy to the chest or some medicines.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.