Cardiomegaly is a catch-all term to refer to enlargement of the heart, and should not be confused with causes of enlargement of the cardiomediastinal outline, or enlargement of the cardiac silhouette.
Although in most cases merely 'eye-balling' a chest x-ray will be sufficient in detecting cardiomegaly (as in most cases the heart is either clearly normal in size or clearly abnormally enlarged) when unsure one can measure the cardiothoracic ratio.
Causes of cardiomegaly
There are many aetiologies for cardiomegaly. The list includes:
- congestive heart failure
- ischaemic heart disease
- hypertension (with left ventricular hypertrophy)
- valvular disease
- congenital heart disorders
- pulmonary disease (leading to right-sided enlargement)
- systemic disease / physiology
Synonyms & Alternative Spellings
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