Cardiomegaly is a medical condition in which the heart is enlarged. It is more commonly referred to as an enlarged heart. The causes of cardiomegaly may vary. Many times this condition results from high blood pressure hypertension or coronary artery disease. An enlarged heart may not pump blood effectively, resulting in congestive heart failure. Cardiomegaly may improve over time, but many people with an enlarged heart need lifelong treatment with medications. Having an immediate family member who has or had cardiomegaly may make you more susceptible to getting this condition.Cardiomegaly is not a disease but rather a condition that can result from a host of other diseases such as obesity or coronary artery disease. Recent studies suggest that cardiomegaly is associated with a higher risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). In some people, an enlarged heart causes no signs or symptoms. Others may have these signs and symptoms: • Shortness of breath • Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) • Swelling (edema) An enlarged heart is easier to treat when it's detected early, so talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your heart. If you have new signs or symptoms that might be related to your heart, consult a doctor. Go for emergency medical care if you have any of these signs and symptoms, which may mean you're having a heart attack: • Chest pain • Severe shortness of breath • Fainting .
Cardiomegaly is found in 5-7% of chest X-ray film evaluations in tropical Africa. However, "cardiomegaly" is a descriptive term, devoid of any aetiological meaning. Therefore, providing information about the aetiological factors leading to heart enlargement in a group of Africans (Nigerians) was the purpose of this study. In the years 2002-2011, 170 subjects (aged 17-80 years, mean age 42 years) in whom "cardiomegaly" was revealed by chest radiographs were studied at the Madonna University Teaching Hospital, Elele. The patients underwent echocardiography, electrocardiography, and several appropriate laboratory tests. Arterial hypertension was found to be most frequently associated with heart enlargement (39.4%), followed by dilated cardiomyopathy (21.76%), endomyocardial fibrosis (14.1%), valvular defects (9.4%), cardiac enlargement in the course of sickle-cell anaemia (6.47%), and schistosomal cor pulmonale (3.52%). This study is a contribution to a better aetiological elucidation of "cardiomegaly" in the tropics and emphasizes the importance of arterial hypertension as one of its causative factors. The dire need for effective treatment of hypertensive patients becomes evident. A high prevalence of elevated blood pressure seems to reflect an impact of civilization-related factors on the African communities.
Treatments for cardiomegaly include a combination of medication treatment and medical/surgical procedures. Some of the treatment options for individuals with cardiomegaly: Medications, Medical Devices. Medications can be done by using Diuretics, Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), Beta blockers, Digoxin, Anticoagulants, Anti-arrhythmics. The only medical devices used are: Pacemaker and Left ventricular assist device. Treatment can be done by some surgical procedures. They are: Heart valve surgery, Coronary bypass surgery, Heart transplant. Cardiomegaly can progress to certain common complications, they are: Heart failure, Blood clots, Heart murmur, Cardiac arrest and sudden death.