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Borderline Left Atrial Enlargment

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#1 BlueJeen



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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:47 PM

Hi All,

I had some lung tests and an echocardiogram last week - the lungs came back with normal function, but I was told that I have a borderline enlargement of the left atrium. I haven't had a chance to talk to my rheumatologist yet (I spoke with his nurse), so should I be worried? Does anyone have this and what's usually the treatment required?

Thanks so much!


#2 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 04:42 PM

Hello Erika

I understand wanting to know what's what straight away when it comes to your heart! Well from googling it I found out that an enlarged left atrium means that the left upper chamber of the heart is working harder than it ought to, causing it to enlarge. There are various causes and the treatment depends upon the cause.

In April last year I was diagnosed with myocardial fibrosis and class 3 limited heart failure, there are 4 categories of heart failure and I went straight in at 3, a bit of a shock I can tell you. Well at least I knew why I was so short of breath all the time. Anyway I had a bi ventricular implantable cardioverter defibrillator put in in September and feel so much better!

The moral of the story is that heart problems are not necessarily the end of the world or something you can't recover from. Oh yes Ma has recently lived through heart attack number 3!

Take care and keep posting.
Amanda Thorpe
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#3 judyt


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Posted 24 January 2011 - 06:29 PM

Hi Erika,

In November 2009 I went through the usual list of routine checks, Echocardiogram, Lung Function, Colonoscopy etc. and at the end when I went back to my Gastro man who was the one orchestrating the whole palaver he announced that I had Pulmonary Hypertension - I went home feeling that I had received a death sentence.

NOT SO, when I got to the Cardiologist in January it turns out that I also have Rheumatic Heart disease and the PH was caused by a faulty Mitral valve. In May I had a repair to my mitral valve and everything is back to normal - as normal as you can expect with Sclero.

Like Amanda I went from feeling the end was in sight to being more or less OK for the time being.

So don't panic - see a cardiologist if you can and take the next step from there.

Warm (and Humid) Hugs from NZ,


#4 mando621


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Posted 24 January 2011 - 09:17 PM

Hi Erika,

I also had a bit of a shock as a result of a recent echo. They found a hole in my heart and there is left to right shunting. I don't know if this is serious or not, but when the results were sent to me, the nurse said don't worry.

I've changed to a new doctor and I will see her in a few weeks and hopefully she will have the rest of my records. Lots of things can cause PH, like Judy said. This is one thing that can cause PH too.

At first I did panic. I'm a little calmer and just waiting to see what my doctor has to say. I hope you find out what is happening and until then, don't do too much worrying. It is hard to do, I know.

Luckily you found this out. There is some trouble in my search for answers since I don't have a definite diagnosis, they are a little reluctant to order these kinds of tests. I really hope to find out why things are worse on this echo report.

Best wishes.


#5 BlueJeen



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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:19 PM

Thanks for both of your replies - this board is such a warm respite from the chaos in fighting this temperamental disease! I appreciate all your generous words!