Mild cardiomegaly refers to a less severe form of cardiomegaly, which is an enlargement of the heart. The heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the circulatory system to ensure that all tissues and organs of the body are adequately supplied with oxygenated blood. Cardiomegaly is a condition where the heart becomes larger or hypertrophied due to being overworked.

What causes mild cardiomegaly?

General hypertrophy: The heart is a muscle, and much like other muscles of the body, working harder makes them grow in size to compensate for the increased demand. This comes in the form of the heart pumping more frequently or with increased force. Having high blood pressure will result in the heart having to do more work to circulate blood throughout the body, causing cardiac muscles to hypertrophy or get bigger.

Left ventricular hypertrophy: A form of mild cardiomegaly that affects only one chamber of the heart, the left ventricle. Normally, the left ventricle does the majority of blood pumping in healthy individuals. This makes most heart valve problems affect this chamber more harshly.

Heart attack: Also known as a myocardial infarction, it is generally due to coronary artery disease. Sustaining a heart attack deprives heart muscle cells of oxygen-rich blood, leading to their damage and/or death. This can result in the heart to expand with the inability to contract normally.

Congestive heart failure: A condition where not enough blood is reaching the rest of the body. Causes include past heart attacks, narrowed arteries, high blood pressure, heart disease, or an infection of the heart. Congestive heart failure results in the heart having to work harder to maintain the perfusion of blood, however, it often is insufficient and leads to cardiomegaly.

Cardiomyopathy: Inflammation of the heart muscles caused by a variety of heart problems or a viral infection. This causes them to grow weaker, making the heart work harder to pump the same volume of blood throughout the body. This extra work leads to cardiomegaly.

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