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excessive overload of left atrium
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excessive overload of left atrium

Dear Doctor,
On waking up this morning I experienced sustained skipping heart beats. When lying down for the ecg, the heart returned to normal, but the ecg report stated "excessive overload of left atrium". What does this mean and what is its significance?
I am 50, male, with a history of non-sustained skipping beats, irregular beats, tachycardia as well as bradycardia. Morning resting pulse rate is 53. One holter reading stated nsvt, but otherwise I have experienced no symptoms when on the holter. The echos have indicated a structurally normal heart.
My question is whether one can have a structurally normal heart in the presence of all the symptoms indicated above? Also how safe would it be to exercise,given the above symptoms?
Thanks very much for taking the time to go through this.
Malan
2 Comments
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
"Excessive overload of left atrium" may mean left atrial dilatation or left sided strain findings on EKG, but without seeing it myself it is difficult to say.  The report may have been generated by a computer for the EKG (which is overread and corrected by a physician) and may not be entirely accurate if it was the computer generated report.  You can have a structurally normal heart with arrhythmias in some cases (especially non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT), supraventricular tachycardia, atrial flutter, etc).  NSVT is a common finding in many folks and in most cases is not clinically significant.  Skipped heart beats is usually not a contraindication to exercising unless they are occuring in the setting of complete heart block, structural/valvular problems in the heart, or sustained ventricular tachycardia.  It would be a good idea to review the EKG and the Holter results in more detail with your physician to make sure there is nothing else wrong.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks very much doctor for the post. Just one more question: is it possible to wrongly interpret the echo reading as "structurally normal" in the presence of diastolic heart failure?
Thanks again for allowing me your time
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