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Enlarged Heart: The Underlying Conditions and Common Diagnostic Procedures

Enlarged Heart: The Underlying Conditions and Common Diagnostic ProceduresAn enlarged heart often has several causes associated with it. The most common cause, however, remains high blood pressure or coronary artery disease. The heart may be unable to pump blood effectively, which could bring about congestive heart failure. This may improve over time, though most people will require life-long treatments and medications to simply go about their day.

Conditions and Symptoms

More often than not, an enlarged heart will have no symptoms associated with the problem. Should the muscle be unable to pump blood, some symptoms of congestive heart failure may occur, including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the leg
  • Weight gain, especially around your midsection
  • A constant tired feeling
  • Skipped heartbeats

That being said, some victims may never experience symptoms of their own. Others may have very little changes in their bodily functions for years at a time. Others still will find shortness of breath as their first symptom that grows continuously worse over the years.

There are various reasons why someone may suffer from an enlarged heart, namely high blood pressure, heart valve disease, fluid surrounding the heart, or simply because the individual was born with a congenital heart defect. Heart attacks are also a common cause of an enlarged heart, which should be examined by a doctor soon after experiencing an attack.


You should always speak to your doctor regarding any symptoms you may experience that relate to congestive heart failure. These symptoms may be discovered through other testing, such as via an ultrasound – sometimes known as an echocardiogram – a physical exam, or a simple chest X-ray.

You should write down your symptoms before speaking with a doctor to offer as much information as possible.

Should you have any further questions, contact Brookhaven Heart at 631-654-3278.