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Sarcoidosis

Left atrial dilatation moderate at 53mm

08/17/2007

Question:

My echo showed moderate left atrial dilatation at 53mm (normal 19-40mm).I am 50 yrs old and have cardiac sarcoidosis with an AICD.Is left atrial enlargement something than goes along with cardiac sarcoidosis? Other than trace mitral/tricuspid regurgitation all else was ok (EF was 55%).I tried searching online but couldn`t find any info about this.I have never had this show before on echos and am wondering what could be causing this.Thank you for your time.

Answer:

The heart manifestations of sarcoidosis are often difficult to define and are difficult to diagnose. Indeed, I suspect that many cases of sarcoidosis involving the heart are missed or are ascribed to other causes. As a consequence, the clinical manifestations of cardiac sarcoidosis are not well described in the literature. It can manifest as arrhythmias (irregular heart beats or rapid heart beats), loss of contractile function (low EF) or increased "stiffness" of the heart, which would result in dilatation of the left atrium. Increased stiffness of the heart can also be caused by uncontrolled hypertension or other causes. Thus, your doctors may be able to tell you which cause is contributing most to the findings on your echocardiogram.

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Response by:

Elliott D Crouser, MD Elliott D Crouser, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University