What makes the heart get bigger?

1 Answer
Nov 10, 2016

There are many possible causes for an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly).


Here are some of the causes of cardiomegaly.

High Blood Pressure (hypertension)

With hypertension, your heart has to pump harder to deliver blood to the rest of your body.


The left ventricle can become quite thick as it tries to pump more blood to your body.

Coronary Artery Disease

Blockages in the blood supply to the heart muscle cause the heart to pump harder than usual.


The ventricles and atria become thin and stretched, and the heart becomes enlarged.

Heart Valve Disease

For example, aortic regurgitation occurs when the aortic valve fails to close completely and blood flows back from the aorta into the left ventricle.

The heart has to work harder to expel the increased volume of blood,

Over time the atria and ventricles dilate so that the increased volume does not cause an increased pressure.

Fluid around the heart (pericardial effusion).

Pericardial effusion compresses the heart but causes it to appear enlarged on an X-ray.