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Left atrial dilatation?


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  • Left atrial dilatation?

    "Left atrial dilatation" - can anyone translate this gibberish into english for me?

    Thanks much,

  • #2
    Hi Wade,
    Let me see if I can make some sense of this for you. The heart is divided into four chambers. The top two are the Atria, or Atrial chambers, while the bottom two are the Ventricles. The function of the atrium chambers is to collect the blood and to supply it to the ventricles - or super pumpers if you will. Obviously, with the greater task to perform the ventricles are bigger and stronger then the atria’s.

    Now let’s divide the heart into left and right sides. The right side collects the blood from the veins and pumps it to the lungs where it basically gives off the carbon dioxide it is carrying from the cells in the body (from ‘burning’ the food/fuel) and exchanges it for oxygen which the cells need to continue burning the fuel, also distributed by the bloodstream.

    The oxygenated blood is then collected in the left atria and supplied to the left ventricle which pumps it to the rest of the body – excluding the lungs of course. Along the way the blood flow also interfaces with other organs such as the kidneys which extract urea and other waste products, and the digestive system where it picks up the fuel for the cells.

    Finally the word ‘Dilate’ is to make wider. Sooo – Left Atrial (the chamber that collects the oxygenated blood from the lungs to be sent to the left ventricle for distribution to the body) Dilation (is made wider [bigger] either by natural or interventional [drug] means.)

    Now all you have to do is to find out in what sense ‘Left Atrial Dilation’ was used, and you should be able to discern what the good doctor was talking about. Simple – right?


    • #3
      Thanks for the easy explaination. It really helps.

      Good to see you post Burton. How you feeling these days...

      " Real Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling-Up Anyway "


      • #4
        It isn't uncommon for people with HCM to have some dilation of the left atria, either.


        Husband has HCM.
        3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


        • #5
          Interestingly enough they say that my right atria is also slightly enlarged.
          God Squad co-moderator
          Nothing is as gentle as strength and nothing is as strong as gentleness


          • #6
            Thanks Burt. I assumed dilatation=dilation but wasn't sure. I guess my doc's echo machine has a built in thesaurus.


            • #7
              It is very common to have your atrium enlarge when you have HCM, mine is at the upper end of normal also, i believe it is from the the heart being over worked

              Diagnosed 2003
              Myectomy 2-23-2004
              Husband: Ken
              Son: John diagnosed 2004
              Daughter: Janet (free of HCM)

              Grandchildren: Drew 15,Aaron 13,Karen 9,Connor 9


              • #8
                Yes this is not too uncommon in HCM hearts that have been working very hard . In time the backward pressures contribute to this widening of the atria.

                Burt , welcome back.

                Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
                Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
                Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
                SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
                [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
                Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
                Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
                Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


                • #9
                  My atrial was measured at 4.5

                  I understand that, that is at the high end.

                  Hi Burt !!!!!
                  It is so wonderful to see you post.

                  49 yrs. old
                  Diagnosed at 31.
                  Cardiac Arrest 2003, RF Ablation in AZ, no positive result -
                  First ICD 2003 - In 2006 lead went bad, abandoned lead, threaded new one & new generator
                  Myectomy 5-5-05 at The Cleveland Clinic - Dr. Lever & Dr. Smedira -heart surgeon.
                  Currently have Grade 2 Diastolic Dysfunction with pulmonary hypertension & pulmonary edema.
                  My brother passed away suddenly at 34 yrs old from HCM.
                  2 teenage children, ages 17 and 15.


                  • #10

                    I missed you! I was worried about you-how are you?
                    We all want to know, what's going on with you.


                    • #11
                      OK, OK, I’ll fess up.

                      The real reason I wasn’t posting was that the dentist put jackets on my eye teeth - and I could no longer see what I was saying.

                      - - - -

                      Not to long ago in our town a young, rag-a-muffin lad broke into the Chan Lumber Company – a firm that specializes in rare, exotic woods, usually supplied to the artist and sculptor community. It seems this child walked off with an expensive block of teak that was to be used by a renowned sculptor in an upcoming exhibit.

                      So now our overworked police are looking for - a barefoot boy with teak of Chan.

                      - - - - - - -

                      A scientist/professor was working on the project of trying to communicate with dolphins, when one day a dolphin stuck his head out of the pool, and speaking in perfect English, conveyed some startling information to the scientist.

                      Among the things he said was that, barring accidents, dolphins lived forever - and during their long lives they not only became exceedingly intelligent, they had made some remarkable discoveries. Their scientists had actually developed a drug which could greatly improve an animal’s intelligence. Since dolphins were already so very intelligent they wanted a dumb subject to test the drug on. If the professor would search out the dumbest human, and supply him to the dolphins in one year off the coast of Madagascar, they would extract from the sea and present to the professor for his assistance, a cubic foot of pure gold.

                      Well, the professor was thunderstruck to say the least, but after considering that the dolphin spoke perfect English, and actually made some sort of sense – and the promise of a cubic foot of pure gold sounded interesting – Well, to make a long story shorter, he decided to take on the task. He searched and searched, and in time found the perfect subject in the depths of Africa. This man was in his twenties and so far had not yet even learned to walk on his own. After two decades of dealing with him, his parents were more then willing to let him be the subject of the test – to maybe even make him a little smarter.

                      The professor picked him up and started down the trails to the town where he had a boat waiting to take them to meet the dolphins. All this walking while carrying the subject slowed the professor down so much that he became concerned about getting to the boat on time. At last he was on the final path to the town where the boat was waiting. Suddenly, in a clearing across the path he spotted a pride of lions sleeping away the afternoon heat. It was too late to retrace his steps and take an alternate path and still be able to make it to the boat on time. He carefully examined the lions and assured himself that they were all asleep, so he hitched up the subject and started tiptoeing through the lions with the subject in his arms.

                      He had just made it to the other side of the clearing and heaved a great sigh of relief, when the police jumped out from behind the trees and arrested him. The charge? Are you ready? They arrested him because he was - “Transporting dope across staid lions for immortal porpoises.”

                      Are you still glad I’m back?