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Enlarged heart refers to an increase in the size of the heart. (Read about "The Heart & Cardiovascular System") Left ventricular hypertrophy or LVH refers to enlargement (or hypertrophy) of the left ventricle, which is the main pumping chamber of the heart. Heart enlargement can indicate serious underlying problems. The American Heart Association (AHA) says heart enlargement can be caused by a thickening of the heart muscle due of increased workload caused by another condition. Potential causes include:
An enlarged heart may cause no symptoms. If symptoms are present, they can include:
An enlarged heart can be detected with a physical examination, x-ray, ultrasound, echocardiogram or other imaging tests. (Read about "X-rays" "Ultrasound Imaging" "Cardiovascular Tests") Treatment is aimed at correcting the underlying cause of the enlarged heart.
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