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Old 12-17-2004, 10:04 AM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 434
Jack51 HB User
Re: Hypertension--Damage

Originally Posted by GEORGEP
I keep reading that hypertension can cause an enlarged heart. How would I know if I have any damage?
George, if you had an enlarged heart, you would have symptoms of heart disease, most likely. Different areas of the heart can enlarge, like the left ventricle. This can cause the output and efficiency of the heart to decrease, because the LV is the "big pump" of our heart. You would have shortness of breath, and become tired very easily.

There is a non-invasive test that looks inside of the heart and can really see the 4 valves of the heart, and how they function. This test also measures the size of each of the 4 chambers. They are then compared to normal dimentions of the heart. A diagnosis of an enlarged heart can be made (or not). This test is called and echocardiogram (heart ultrasound), and is painless.

It is usually only done after an abnormal ekg, and symptoms of heart disease. You may cannot get one if your ekg is normal, I think. If you exaggerate your symptoms, then you may could get around this. I don't know. I wouldn't worry about having an enlarged heart, if I had no symptoms of heart disease. Take care.