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Right Atrial Enlargement: Everything You Need to Know

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Right Atrial Enlargement: Everything You Need to Know

Cardiology | by Dr. Sabyasachi Pal | Published on 07/12/2022

Most people don’t understand that high blood pressure and blood volume lead to health conditions like right atrial enlargement. An individual suffering from this problem means that their heart is experiencing an abnormally large atrium. The upper chamber of the heart receives blood that is not oxygen-rich and is poor also. Hence, as a result, people can suffer from problems with their hearts or lungs.

It is important for every individual, specifically heart patients, that they gain information on the right atrial enlargement so that timely treatment can be received. So, let’s begin with a discussion on everything linked to the problem in this write-up.

What is right atrial enlargement?

It is a heart condition and is an abnormally large heart’s upper chamber. This condition occurs when there is excessive blood and the right atrium is seeing too much pressure. It is also an indication of problems with the heart and lungs. While an individual experiencing left atrial enlargement can observe symptoms like chest pain, right atrial enlargement comes with no symptoms. It becomes hard to observe the symptoms of this condition. Hence, the finest way to diagnose the problem and get in touch with the doctor on time.

What are the symptoms of right atrial enlargement?

Individuals suffering from the condition don’t notice any severe symptoms, however, it can occur in people who experience growth of complications from the disease. So, here are some of the right atrial symptoms people with cardiac conditions can experience:

  • Abnormal heart rhythm is one of the signs that shouldn’t be overlooked in any case.
  • Secondly, the most common symptom an individual with cardiac issues can observe is breath shortness.
  • Heart racing, pounding, or heart palpitations are among other primary signs that must not be ignored.
  • There can be swelling in the legs or edema.
  • Fatigue is usually experienced by individuals with cardiac problems turning into right atrial enlargement.

There is an emergency right atrial enlargement symptoms as well that include:

  • When an individual experiences chest pain even after taking rest or medication.
  • Experiencing breath shortness while resting.
  • Feeling dizzy every time.
  • Cough with phlegm or blood
  • Consciousness loss
  • Unresponsiveness

What causes right atrial enlargement?

The possible causes include:

  • Atrial fibrillation is among the major causes as it involves irregular heart rhythm that is a result of abnormal electrical heart impulses.
  • Congestive heart failure also causes right atrial enlargement. It involves decreasing the efficiency of the heart to pump blood efficiently.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is there which is a chronic respiratory health condition. It leads to causing strain on the heart.
  • Pulmonary hypertension also is the right atrial enlargement caused by augmented pressure in the artery can cause heart failure.
  • Tetralogy of Fallot is also among other causes as it involves the congenital heart failure defect with particular anomalies in the heart anatomy.
  • Septal defects also cause the right atrial enlargement problem. It comprises tiny holes that grow during heart formation.
  • Heart valve disorders involve issues with varied heart valves controlling the blood hence resulting in right atrial enlargement.

How serious is the right atrial enlargement?

This Condition reflects that there is an abnormally large right atrium. The heart's upper chamber receives poor oxygen blood from the body which results in the condition. The condition also involves high blood pressure and blood volume. It is also an indication of problems with the heart and lungs which means it is a serious problem.

This can be fatal as the enlarged heart becomes inefficient to pump blood and doesn’t go where it is supposed to go. It experiences disturbances in its normal electrical impulses. As a result, the condition can get serious and even sometimes lead to heart failure, heart rhythm, and even death.

Is right atrial enlargement reversible?

There is no way that it can be reversed however; it is probable to treat the primary cause of the problem. It is important to diagnose whether it has occurred due to high blood pressure or a bad valve.

The doctor might recommend the surgery as a treatment option but that is also a rare case. With surgery, the doctor will initiate making the right atrium smaller. Once it is done, the doctor recommends medicines to prevent abnormal heart rhythms and blood clots. If the surgery is not recommended, then the doctor may prescribe low-dose aspirin. He/she will also discuss other medications but that depends on the right atrial enlargement cause.

Can stress cause right atrial enlargement?

Yes, stress is identified to be a huge factor in contributing to right atrial enlargement as it even causes sudden heart attack conditions. There are aspects like anger, social isolation, and anxiety that impact the cardiovascular system. Hence, usually, the doctor recommends reducing stress and including activities that can help patients suffering from right atrial enlargement.

Final words

Right atrial enlargement is a condition that occurs when the right atrium is filled up with more excessive blood than usual. The negative side is that there are no symptoms of this condition in normal people, so by the time they realize it becomes untreatable. However, people with cardiac problems can observe symptoms beforehand. Hence, it becomes important to visit the doctor on time so that they can offer the right treatment options such as surgery and medications.


Is right atrial enlargement a heart disease?

Yes, right atrial enlargement means a heart disease as it reflects an abnormally shaped large right atrium and that upper heart chamber is receiving oxygen-poor blood.

Can anxiety cause right atrial enlargement?

Yes, it is found that both stress and anxiety are contributing factors in right atrial enlargement. Hence, to prevent this disease it is important to involve some habits and lifestyle activities that can help in reducing both stress and anxiety.

Can ECG detect right atrial enlargement?

The ECG or electrocardiogram is linked to enhanced congestive heart failure risk and enhanced mortality among patients. With ECG, it becomes easy to diagnose the disease and evaluate patients with cardiac problems.

Can sleep apnoea cause right atrial enlargement?

Yes, it can also contribute to causing the right atrial enlargement disease. It also causes other cardiac-related issues such as high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnoea, abnormal heartbeats, recurrent heart attacks, and atrial fibrillation