Enlarged Heart In Adults: Causes, Symptoms Of Cardiomegaly In Adults

Enlarged Heart In Adults

Heart is made of muscle; an enlarged heart is the result of hypertrophy of the muscles of the heart. In medical terms it is also called as cardiomegaly.

In certain conditions where the work load of the heart increases such as in coronary artery diseases, or in respiratory disease such as emphysema, the heart has to increase the function to compensate the deficit. In doing this the muscles of the heart gets enlarged resulting into enlarged heart.

Causes of Enlarged Heart

The enlarged heart can result due to pathological or physiological reasons.

Associated with heart disease:

  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Diseases of the valves such as mitral valve disease, aortic valve disease

Heart muscle damage due to toxic materials:

  • Ethanol ( alcohol)
  • Cobalt
  • Anthracyclines


  • Viral cause, such as cytomegalovirus, HIV
  • Bacterial as in tubercular pericarditis
  • Parasitic: toxoplasmosis, trichinosis

Metabolic disease:

  • Nutritional deficiencies such as thiamine deficiency, anemia
  • Thyrotoxicosis , hypothyroidism

Systemic disorder:

  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Symptoms of Cardiomegaly or Enlarged Heart

  • Palpitation
  • Breathlessness
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Swelling in legs, face.
  • Cough with mucus.
  • Chest pain.
  • High blood pressure.

Treatment of enlarged heart:

Treatment will depend on the outcome of the investigations done such as stress test, Echocardiogram, and plain X- ray of the chest.

From this we may come to know about valvular disease, coronary artery disease, emphysema of the lungs, and muscle performance of the heart.

  • Medications for hypertension.
  • Weight reduction if obese.
  • Low fat diet to reduce cholesterol.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Apples are known to strengthen the heart.
  • Vitamin C protects the capillary walls and regulates the cholesterol levels.
  • Honey is said to strengthen the heart muscles.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking

Heart when enlarged can be prevented further deterioration, by taking above preventive measures.