Ask The Doctors: October 2009

This expression is synonymous with the clinical term "cardiomegaly," a very general term indicating that the hearts diameter is greater than the upper limit of normal, a number determined by your age and sex. Although any or all of the hearts four chambers can be increased in size, cardiomegaly implies more specifically that one or both of the ventricles are too large, and that their pumping function is reduced. It is usually discovered by echocardiography (ultrasound exam of the heart). Enlargement or "dilatation" of the left ventricle (LV), which pumps to the body, or the right ventricle (RV), which pumps to the lungs, can come in two major forms.
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