Cardiomegaly is the enlargement of the heart due to any underlying disease condition. An increase in heart weight or ventricular thickness indicates hypertrophy of the myocardium while an enlarged chamber size indicates dilation. An increased weight or size (owing to hypertrophy and/or dilation) of the heart is termed cardiomegaly .
The patient with cardiomegaly may sometimes be asymptomatic for a variable period of time. Depending of the underlying disease and severity of compromise of cardiac function, the presentation may include:
Other symptoms depending on the causative disease may have been present from before, like chest pain in cardiac ischemic disease, systemic symptoms in thyroid dysfunction or renal disease, etc.
A diagnosis of cardiomegaly is frequently based on radiological findings correlated to the clinical picture. A complete medical history and physical examination is mandatory.
Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Treatment options include:
Cardiomegaly leads to reduction in intrathoracic space and limits the ability of the lungs to fill adequately, leading to pulmonary dysfunction. Pulmonary embolism, cardiac arrest and sudden death may occur as complications of cardiomegaly. Congestive heart failure is a common outcome. Prognostic considerations depend on the underlying disease.
Causative and associated factors are    :
Apart from the etiological factors, a family history of cardiomyopathy leads to increased risk of developing cardiomegaly. Specific prevalence of cardiomegaly, it being a sign and not a disease, is difficult to assess, and the epidemiological factors of underlying conditions are relevant.
Cardiomegaly is of two types:
Timely diagnosis and aggressive management of common cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, ischemic heart disease, etc., can prevent the development of cardiomegaly. Regular follow-up during the treatment of the causative diseases can prevent the complications of cardiomegaly. Once cardiomegaly has developed, proper and regular treatment can halt the enlargement and improve cardiac function.
Cardiomegaly is an abnormal enlargement of the heart that can arise from a number of underlying diseases and some physiological factors. Common associations are hypertension, coronary artery disease and cardiac valvular disease, endocarditis and genetic conditions. Exertional dyspnea, palpitations, arrhythmias, fatigue, and pedal edema are common presenting features. Cardiomegaly may lead to congestive cardiac failure .
Definition: Cardiomegaly is the enlargement of the heart due to any underlying disease.
Cause: There are a large number of heart diseases and other diseases that can lead to the enlargement of the heart. These include high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, chronic kidney and liver disease, infections of the heart, anemia, thyroid gland disease, diseases of the valves of the heart, sickle cell disease, and congenital heart diseases, to name a few.
Symptoms: Patient may experience shortness of breath, especially on exertion or lying down. There may be difficulty in breathing. Palpitations and dizziness may be there. In case of acute chest pain, severe difficulty in breathing and fainting, there is a possibility of a myocardial infarction, and one must seek emergency treatment. There may be fluid accumulation and swelling of the feet. Other symptoms may occur according to the underlying disease.
Diagnosis: The doctor will take a detailed history and carry out a detailed physical examination. You may require an electrocardiogram and stress test on a treadmill. The diagnosis of cardiomegaly requires an X-ray of the chest, and other studies of the heart like 2-D and Doppler echocardiography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Rarely, a biopsy of the heart may be required.
Treatment and follow-up: The treatment is according to the causative disease. You will be advised to stop smoking and start certain diet or exercise regimes according to you condition. Medication will be given to control the disease and prevent further enlargement of the heart. Proper and prolonged follow-up is essential and sometimes lifelong treatment may be required. In some cased, medical or surgical procedures may be required.