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What does having a slightly enlarged heart means?

I had a chest x-ray done today after I was involved in a car accident and the doctors told me that it showed a slightly enlarged heart.  I was in the hospital about a 16 months ago with a viral infection of the heart cavity and recently spent 16 days in the hospital taking heavy doses of antibiotics and pain medication for diverticulitis.  I'm still in some discomfort from hitting my chest against the wheel today in the car accident but I'm home and the ER doctors just told me to follow up with my pcp.
I'm curious and somewhat worried because someone close to me die of a heart attack at 28 yrs old and the autopsy revealed that he had an enlarged heart. I'm 35 yrs old, don't smoke, never did, don't drink or use drugs.  Should I be concerned? What type of questions should I ask my Dr about this?
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Avatar universal
The explanation for an enlarged heart could be as simple as having a history of playing sports or other demanding physical activity. Best thing for you to do is see a heart specialist and ask your question.
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Avatar universal
I am only 15 and for school you need to get an X-ray so I did and the doctor told me I have a slightly enlarged heart. I haven't been so sick I had to stay in the hospital and the last I was sick it was only a cold and that was in January of last year! I am really nervous and I am not sure if I should do anything in my daily life to make it so my heart won't get any worse! If you have any help I would love to hear it.
                    Thanks a bunch Katja
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Avatar universal
Hello.  I'm glad you're ok after your car accident.  You could have a type of cardiomyopathy.  If it was caused from the virus, it would be viral cardiomyopathy, but if the person you spoke of who died w/ an enlarged heart is related to you, you could have a heriditary form.  You need to see a cardiologist and have an echocardiogram done.  They can measure your heart and tell you your measurements and if you have any type of CM.  Was the person who died related to you?  Did they die suddenly?  If yes to either of these, you may also need to consider seeing an electrophysiologist, who is a heart rhythm specialist.  Sometimes when the heart is enlarged you can have arrythmias.  I am 36 and have familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  My heart is enlarged on echo and x-ray.  I had an uncle who died suddenly at the age of 24 and my dad also had HCM.  Based on my family history, I had an implantable cardiac defibulator (ICD) put in 6 yrs. ago.  I've never needed it, but it's nice to know it's there if I ever did.  Let me know if you have any other questions or if none of this makes sense!! :-)

Heather
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Hi, how are you doing now?
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