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Re: Enlarged Heart

Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - MTR on September 18, 1998 at 11:04:16:

In Reply to: Enlarged Heart posted by Lora on September 16, 1998 at 13:21:04:

I am hoping someone can help me with the symptoms of an enlarged heart:
What are they?
I've been looking at as many heart websites that I could find and haven't found a lot of help with it.
My mother, who is 52, feels she may be having symptoms of it, but isn't sure.  Her father had it when he was her age.  If someone could explain what the symptoms are of this condition, I'd be most appreciative!!
Thank you!!

All my best,

Dear Lora, thank you for your question.  An enlarged heart is a radiographic diagnosis.  For example, an enlarged heart can be seen on a chest x-ray or an ultrasound of the heart called an echocardiogram.  Congestive heart failure is the clinical syndrome that can result from an enlarged heart since an enlarged heart usually doesn't pump blood efficiently like a normal heart.  Symptoms of congestive heart failure include shortness of breath with exertion, when lying down, and while resting.  Additionally, the legs/ankles may swell.  These findings occur because blood backs up into the lungs and venous system when the heart doesn't pump blood efficiently.  If you are worried about your mother having an enlarged heart, then you should have her evaluated by her physician.  If she is not experiencing the symptoms I mentioned, then it's doubtful that she has congestive heart failure.
I hope you find this information useful.  Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provided specific diagnoses and therapies.  Please feel free to write back with additional questions.

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