Dextrocardia

Dextrocardia is a congenital cardiac malrotation in which the heart is situated on the right side of the body (dextroversion) with the apex pointing to the right.

Dextrocardia is believed to occur in approximately 1 in 12,000 people 2.

There are two main types of dextrocardia :

  • dextrocardia of embryonic arrest (also known as isolated dextrocardia)
    • the heart is simply placed farther right in the thorax than is normal.
    • commonly associated with severe defects of the heart, including abnormalities such as pulmonary hypoplasia 1.
  • dextrocardia with situs inversus.
    • dextrocardia situs inversus refers to the heart being a mirror image situated on the right side.
    • for all visceral organs to be mirrored, the correct term is dextrocardia situs inversus totalis.
    • although persons with dextrocardia situs inversus tend not have any medical problems from the disorder, some are prone to a number of bowel, esophageal, bronchial and cardiac problems where some of these conditions can be life threatening if uncorrected.
Associations

Medical diagnosis of the two forms of congenital dextrocardia may be made by ECG.

Technical dextrocardia

Technical dextrocardia refers to an ECG reading that has no basis in the patient's anatomy. This apparent presentation of dextrocardia is caused usually by the technician inadvertently swapping the limb leads on a 12 lead ECG. Usually this would show as an extreme axis deviation.

ECG leads must be placed in reversed positions on a person with dextrocardia. In addition, when defibrillating someone with dextrocardia, the pads should be placed in reverse positions. That is, instead of upper right and lower left, pads should be placed upper left and lower right.

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Article Information

rID: 14781
System: Cardiac
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and Figures

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    Case 1
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    Case 2: with situs inversus
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    Dextrocardia
    Case 3: with situs inversus
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    Case 4: with Kartagener syndrome
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    Inverse position ...
    Case 5
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    Case 6
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    Case 8: with situs inversus
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    Truncus arteriosu...
    Case 9: with situs inversus
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    Case 10
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