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Pulmonary Hypertension

Left atrium dilatation moderate

09/10/2007

Question:

I have a trace of tricuspid amd mitral regurgitation and my echo showed moderate left atrial dilatation (53mm). My EF is 55%. Should I be concerned? This is a new finding. Could this be an indication that I am developing PH? I do have cardiac sarcoidosis with an ICD. Thank you.

Answer:

Left atrial dilatation (essentially enlargement) is commonly observed as a consequence of either systemic hypertension (high blood pressure), mitral valve disease, or other problems with the function of the left ventricle. These diseases cause the pressure in the left atrium to increase which results in dilatation. Longstanding increases in left atrial pressure, and in some patients, can lead to the development of pulmonary hypertension. However, left atrial dilatation in itself is not a sign of pulmonary hypertension.

You have trace tricuspid regurgitation on your echocardiogram, which can be a sign of pulmonary hypertension. However, your doctor would need to fully review your echocardiogram results as well as your medical history and physical examination to determine if more evaluation should be performed.

You mentioned that you have sarcoidosis which, as you likely know, can cause lung disease and can also be associated with pulmonary hypertension. I would recommend that you discuss this issue with your treating physician.

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Response by:

Douglas W Haden, MD Douglas W Haden, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University