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Moderatley Dilated Left Atrium during pregnancy?
I am a 28 year old female pregnant for the 1st time and have developed tachycardia. My doctor decided to do an ECHO and found that I have a moderately dilated left atrium. The left atrium measured 3.5 cm which I was told was normal but the Left atrial volume index 46 ml/m2. Should I be worried?
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367994 tn?1304957193
It is my understanding that volume index for the left atrium provides better information regarding a diastolic dysfunction of the left ventricle and is indicative of higher intra-ventricular pressure.  Diastolic dysfunction is a condition that inhibits normal filling of the left ventricle (pumping chamber) and reduced cardiac output...the heart will pump faster to compensate.  

There is an inconsistency in your doctor's report when saying there is moderately dilated left atrium (upper chamber that receives blood from the lungs), but then saying 3.5 cm is normal...normal according to tables is 1.9 to 4.0 cm...heart size varies with gender and physical size as well.  

What is normal for pregnancy may have different parameters as the heart will be pumping for two circulatory systems.  It seems the added burden would increase dimensions of the left ventricle and left atrium and volume would be increased as well. Tachycardia increases the heart's output per minute and that should not be unexpected.  

If you have a concern, you should consult with your doctor as (s)he has medical information regarding health history, concomitant health issues, etc.

Thanks for you question, and I wish you well going forward with healthy outcomes for you and your child.  Take care,

Ken
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