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enlarged left ventricle
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enlarged left ventricle

Hello, I was told about a year ago that the walls of my left ventricle were slightly thickened. I had a full cardiac workup done. I had extensive blood tests, stress test, echo, holter monitor and ecg. A few months later another echo and then the test were they go down your esophagus to look at the heart. I can't remember the name of it. The last tests showed that the thickness had come down close to normal. The cardiologists I had seen told me I may have had a virus or high blood pressure that caused the problem. Anyway they told me I should be fine and to go on with my normal life and I should not have any problems. My question is that I have done some bodybuilding and am very active. I am 26 with normal blood pressure and cholesteral levels and I do not smoke. I was wondering if I am at a risk of sudden cardiac death or cardiac arrest because of this. I have had a lot of anxiety over this and have some skipped heart beats now and then. I am worried when working out or when I am active I am going drop dead. Am at high risk because of the thickened ventricle walls?
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"Am at high risk because of the thickened ventricle walls"

In a word "no". Your cardiologist has said they are virtually back to normal which means there is nothing to worry about. As time continues, they will continue to resolve themselves back to a normal size. I would continue with life as you want it to be and just forget about the problem. Exercising will certainly give huge benefits to your heart and make it stronger. With the body building, STAY AWAY FROM STEROIDS. These will enlarge your heart and cause long term problems. So just three words of advice "work that heart".
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for the response. I have a follow up with one of the cardiologists in late January. Two cardiologists I had seen told me I would be fine last March, but I have just been freaked out about all of it. All the tests they ran were normal except for the first echo over a year ago which showed the left ventricle walls to be 1.1cm and normal range was up to 1.0 I believe they said. The last cardio I saw ran the test down my esophagus and said my heart looked perfectly normal for someone my age. My original cardiologist did the first echo, blood tests, stress test, and holter monitor. Everything was normal except for the LV size he said and he wanted to further investigate it. I've read stuff on the internet about cardiac arrest being a concern for an enlarged LV and I can't get it out of my mind. The skipped or extra heart beats don't help any. I have them occasionally and have had them since I was young. Thanks again.
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Avatar_f_tn
Is there anyone in your family who has died suddenly at an early age? The nomal wall thickeness for a grown man is 1cm. The walls can thicken due to body building and is something known as "Athlets Heart". It's easy to tell if that's the problem because ALL of the walls are too thick, unlike HCM where only one or a few walls are too thick.
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976897_tn?1379171202
I've often wondered this. Does body building which is mainly weight lifting cause enlargement of the heart? From what I remember, weight lifting is not anerobic but is anerobic?
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367994_tn?1304957193
It is true an athlete's heart can increase in size, but the condition is not pathological.  Stopping the rigorous activities, will return the heart to normal size.  

For some insight, the heart adapts to physical demands by enlarging, especially the left ventricle. Enlargement increases the cardiac output, the amount of blood pumped with each beat of the heart. The exact type of adaptation depends on the nature of the physical demand. There are two types of demand, static and dynamic. Static demand involves smaller groups of muscles under extreme resistance for brief period. An example is weight lifting.

Dynamic training involves larger groups of muscles at lower resistance for extended periods of time. Examples are aerobic training and tennis. Cardiac enlargement is associated with dynamic training. The heart's response to static training is hypertrophy, thickening of the muscle walls of the heart. As the wall of the heart adapts, there are changes in the electrical conducting system of the heart...this could result in a rhythm
problem.

Because of the larger volume of blood being pumped with each heart beat, the heart rate when at rest decreases below the normal level for nonathletes.  Resting heart rate is below 60 hpm at rest.

Sudden unexpected death (SUD) is the death of an athlete, usually during or shortly after physical activity. Often, there is no warning that the person will experience SUD, although in some cases, warning signs appear which cause the person to seek medical advice. Importantly, cases of death occurring during physical activity are not caused by athletic heart syndrome, but by undiagnosed heart disorders.


Causes and symptoms

Athletic heart syndrome is the consequence of a normal adaptation by the heart to increased physical activity. The changes in the electrical conduction system of the heart may be pronounced and diagnostic, but should not cause problems. In the case of SUD, other heart problems are involved. In 85-97% of the cases of SUD, an underlying structural defect of the heart has been noted.


Diagnosis

The changes in the heart beat caused by the electrical conduction system of the heart are detectable on an electrocardiogram. Many of the changes seen in athletic heart syndrome mimic those of various heart diseases. Careful examination must be made to distinguish heart disease from athletic heart syndrome
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Avatar_f_tn
Great write-up Ken. The only thing I would add is that when a person dies suddenly that is an athlete, the cause is, in the vast majority of cases, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. That is usually found at autopsy.
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Avatar_f_tn
yes it can all be fully read here....

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g2601/is_0001/ai_2601000162/
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Avatar_m_tn
thank you for the responses. I feel a little better now haha. my cardios told me I am not at higher risk of sudden cardiac death because my heart was not diseased or structurally abnormal, but things you read on the internet can scare you some. thanks again
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976897_tn?1379171202
I dont know what it is about the internet, but whenever you have a medical condition the first sites that spring up are always the ones with dire outlooks.
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159619_tn?1318997813
That's so true about the Internet, but it makes sense. People that don't have problems don't post, usually only the ones with bad test results, bad experiences ect...

Not too many web sites about not having any problems:)

Jon
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5025255_tn?1362501765
Ryan, when I read your posts I felt like I was the one writing them except for the bodybuilding and the non-smoking part. I am not very active, although I do a lot of walking everyday, and I smoke. I lowered down my smoking habit from 1 pack a day to 3-5 sticks a day and by next week I will lower it down further to 1 or zero. In other words, I am about to quit smoking. I have hypertension and that's the main reason why my left atrium dilated and my left ventricle thickened. My doctor ran some tests (ECG, Holter Monitor and Echocardio Gram) after I was rushed to the ER because of a very bad panic attack. At the ER my blood samples are normal, my ECG was normal, although I had sinus tachycardia due to the panic attack and a slightly elevated blood pressure (140/70) still due to the panic attack. I also had a chest Xray for the fear of having COPD or Lung Cancer but it showed normal. My 24-hour Holter Monitor was normal although it recorded a couple of arrhythmias which still fell under the normal limits. During the monitor, I recorded a series of light headedness, dizziness and chest pains but they did not do anything with the arrythmias or any cardiac events. My doctors said they were just sets of anxiety attacks calling for panic attacks. Then my 2D Echo / Echocardiogram showed that my left atrium is dilated and my left ventricle is thickened - due to hypertension. My doctors then prescribed Perindopril - Amlodipine 5/5 before breakfast, and Metoprolol Tartrate 50mg after supper. Right now I feel a lot better but I still experience chest pains, probably heartburn because I was also diagnosed of GERD. I had another panic attack about a week ago so I rushed to my cardio. She did an ECG and she said it was the best ECG reading I ever had. Sorry for writing this "novel". I am just so scared to die! I am 26 years old, 5'5 and I weigh 230lbs. Well I lost 40lbs because I am now on a diet. Should I panic again? Can anyone assure me that with the food I eat now: bitter melons, apples, bananas, tuna, salmon, chicken, wheat crackers, beans, and lots of water, I will not die with cardiac arrest? I also walk a lot now and I am planning to work out next month. Thank you.
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5025255_tn?1362501765
Hi cath! I have a similar problem with Ryan. I am not very active, although I do a lot of walking everyday, and I smoke. I lowered down my smoking habit from 1 pack a day to 3-5 sticks a day and by next week I will lower it down further to 1 or zero. In other words, I am about to quit smoking. I have hypertension and that's the main reason why my left atrium dilated and my left ventricle thickened. My doctor ran some tests (ECG, Holter Monitor and Echocardio Gram) after I was rushed to the ER because of a very bad panic attack. At the ER my blood samples are normal, my ECG was normal, although I had sinus tachycardia due to the panic attack and a slightly elevated blood pressure (140/70) still due to the panic attack. I also had a chest Xray for the fear of having COPD or Lung Cancer but it showed normal. My 24-hour Holter Monitor was normal although it recorded a couple of arrhythmias which still fell under the normal limits. During the monitor, I recorded a series of light headedness, dizziness and chest pains but they did not do anything with the arrythmias or any cardiac events. My doctors said they were just sets of anxiety attacks calling for panic attacks. Then my 2D Echo / Echocardiogram showed that my left atrium is dilated and my left ventricle is thickened - due to hypertension. My doctors then prescribed Perindopril - Amlodipine 5/5 before breakfast, and Metoprolol Tartrate 50mg after supper. Right now I feel a lot better but I still experience chest pains, probably heartburn because I was also diagnosed of GERD. I had another panic attack about a week ago so I rushed to my cardio. She did an ECG and she said it was the best ECG reading I ever had. Sorry for writing this "novel". I am just so scared to die! I am 26 years old, 5'5 and I weigh 230lbs. Well I lost 40lbs because I am now on a diet. Should I panic again? Can anyone assure me that with the food I eat now: bitter melons, apples, bananas, tuna, salmon, chicken, wheat crackers, beans, and lots of water, I will not die with cardiac arrest? I also walk a lot now and I am planning to work out next month. Thank you.
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159619_tn?1318997813
Don't be surprised if they don't respond, this is a three year old thread.
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