An enlarged heart may be caused by a thickening of the heart muscle because of increased workload. (This increased workload can be due to heart valve disease or high blood pressure, for example.) This is called hypertrophy (hi-PER'tro-fe), which refers to enlargement of an organ or tissue due to an increase in cell size.
Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is the medical term for enlargement of the left ventricle. (The left ventricle is the heart's main pumping chamber.) Hypertrophy also occurs in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (hi"per-TRO'fik kar"de-o-mi-OP'ah-the). Enlarged heart may also be a dilation (expansion) of the heart due to damage that weakens the heart muscle.
An enlarged heart can be fairly benign or it can be serious. It depends on the extent of the enlargment and whether or not a cause is identifiable. If you have an enlarged heart that was discovered via x-ray, you will be asked to undergo multiple tests to determine the cause of your particular issue. An enlarged heart can be fairly benign, but in other instances it can be quite serious. Until your doctor knows more about your specific situation, anything we tell you would be pure conjecture.
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.