The cardiac position in the thorax may be described as:
- levocardia: left-sided heart
- dextrocardia: right-sided heart
- mesocardia: midline heart
These terms purely describe the anatomic position of the heart in the chest and their use does not indicate anything about the structure of the heart or the body situs. Thus, whilst levocardia is 'normal' in situs solitus, it would be regarded as abnormal in situs inversus. Conversely in situs inversus, dextrocardia is usually 'normal', whilst dextrocardia is clearly abnormal in those with normal body orientation.
Conversely the term cardiac displacement is used for any change in the position of the heart caused by extrinsic factors, such as lung collapse or a large pleural effusion. This may occur, of course, to any heart regardless of its cardiac position.
- dextroposition: shift to the right
- mesoposition: central heart
- levoposition: shift to the left
- 1. Stanger P, Rudolph AM, Edwards JE. Cardiac malpositions. An overview based on study of sixty-five necropsy specimens. (1977) Circulation. 56 (2): 159-72. doi:10.1161/01.cir.56.2.159 - Pubmed
- 2. Perloff JK. The cardiac malpositions. (2011) The American journal of cardiology. 108 (9): 1352-61. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.06.055 - Pubmed