What are the Signs and Symptoms of Enlarged Heart (Cardiomegaly)?

Tatheer Zehra Zaidi   by Tatheer Zehra Zaidi, M. Pharma    Last updated on April 19, 2021,

symptoms of enlarged heart

Enlarged Heart Symptoms: How to identify enlarged heart signs?

Symptoms of cardiomegaly depend on its cause. In some people, an enlarged heart causes no signs or symptoms. Others may have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath may occur when physically active or lying flat
  • Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) or palpitations
  • Raspy voice may occur when physically active or lying flat
  • Swelling on the legs (edema)
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain around the abdomen
  • Breathing problems
  • Dizziness
  • Fluid retention

When symptoms appear, it may be because the heart fails to pump enough blood properly. This can lead to congestive heart failure.

Symptoms of an enlarged heart are generally similar to the symptoms of congestive heart failure, because the heart is unable to pump blood effectively.

Some patients may never develop any symptoms, so the enlarged heart may remain undiagnosed and only gets detected during an examination for another condition. It is therefore important to meet your doctor if you notice any warning signs so that early diagnosis can help prevent progression of the condition.

Often, depending on the cause of the enlarged heart, other symptoms may be experienced. If you’re not feeling right, it’s always good to meet a doctor for investigation further.

The patient may also experience cough or fluid retention that can cause inflammation. Complications depend on which area of your heart is enlarged and what is the underlying cause for the enlargement.

When to see a doctor

An enlarged heart is easier to treat if it is diagnosed and treated early. You should talk to your doctor if you have troubles in your heart.

If you note signs or symptoms that may be thought due to problems to your heart, you should book an appointment with your doctor.

When do you need a medical emergency?

If you experience a heart attack, it is important to consider it as a medical emergency and seek help immediately.

If you experience the following enlarged heart symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately because this may signal a heart attack:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe difficulty in breathing
  • Fainting or near-fainting

Tatheer Zehra Zaidi

Tatheer Zehra Zaidi is a clinical pharmacist and pharmacologist with a master’s degree in pharmacy practice. She aims to deliver a positive contribution in the field of healthcare and research. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Jamia Hamdard New Delhi and then joined Spirant Communication Private LTD as a Medical content writer.


Currently she is working at Maxinov Solutions Private LTD as a research associate and is associated with DiseaseFix as a medical content writer. Tatheer’s areas of interest include clinical research, clinical trial disclosure, and pharmacovigilance.

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