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Question:

What is biatrial enlargement and is an EKG accurate on predicting it? 

I had a normal echo done in early 2009. Also had chest x ray, event monitor, Holter monitor studies done. All normal. Blood work is always good, LDL usually 75-90 range, but HDL little low, usually 34-38. I had recent EKG done, it read sinus tachycardia, below it read biatrial enlargement...The funny thing is I only saw that when my MD left the office for a minute...I picked up the print out and glanced over it...While we were talking he was comparing that EKG to one done about 10 months ago when I went to ER w/palpitations...That one said sinus tachycardia, otherwise normal EKG...This EKG had the enlargement comment. Anyway, when my MD returned I asked about this biatrial enlargement.  He was NOT concerned at all.  I asked if we should repeat echo, and his answering was a resounding no.
What is biatrial enlargement and is an EKG accurate on predicting it?  If an echo was "perfectly normal" (those were my MD's words describing my echo study) two years ago, could significant atrial size have increased since then? Sorry to be so long winded. Thanks.

submitted by Richard from Pennsylvania on 7/2/2011

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Patrick J. Cook, MD  

Patrick J. Cook, MDYes, they (the two atrial chambers of your heart) COULD have increased in size, but an echo is a much better gauge of atrial size than a computer algorithm driven report on an ECG tracing.  

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Updated July 2011
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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