Right Atrial Enlargement – Symptoms, Causes, ECG, Treatment, Prevention

The right atrium is the cardiac chamber which usually receives deoxygenated blood from the systemic venous and coronary sinus return.

It is located to the right of the left atrium and superior to the much larger and more muscular right ventricle.

Right atrial enlargement (RAE) means the heart’s right atrium has increased in size. Also, any changes in right atrial pressure reflect pericardial pressure changes.

It is defined by a P-wave (a summation wave generated by the depolarization front as it transits the atria) height greater than 2.5 mm.

Enlargement of the right atrium may occur alone or may be combined with enlargement of the left atrium (LAE).

In any case, RAE points to a serious condition.


  • RAE is common in children, usually owing to rare congenital abnormalities.
  • pulmonary hypertension – it is a complex problem described by nonspecific symptoms and signs and having numerous different potential causes.
  • tricuspid regurgitation, also known as “tricuspid valve insufficiency,” is a life-threatening condition in which a valve does not close tight enough. This disorder causes blood to flow backward into the right upper heart chamber when the right lower heart chamber contracts.
  • tricuspid stenosis is a narrowing of the tricuspid valve opening. Tricuspid stenosis restricts blood flow between the upper and lower part of the right side of the heart, or from the right atrium to the right ventricle.
  • atrial septal defect is portrayed by a problem in the interatrial septum allowing pulmonary venous return from the left atrium to pass straight into the right atrium.
  • right ventricular failure.
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States and is strongly linked with multiple cardiovascular diseases, particularly angina, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, and myocardial infarction.

Symptoms Of Right Atrial Enlargement

  • a reduced ability to practice physical exercise;
  • weakness and fatigue;
  • feeling lightheaded or faint;
  • dizziness and confusion;
  • tightness or pressure in the chest;
  • shortness of breath.


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RAE can be recognized in an electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG or EKG, that records the electrical activity of the heart by placing electrodes on the chest.


Treatment depends on the underlying cause and may require an operation to correct the abnormality.

However, regulating blood pressure is essential to control heart problems. Therefore, doctors may recommend prescription medications to control high blood pressure.


#1 Be Physically Active

woman exercising outside
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Physical exercise makes blood-vessel walls more flexible and, in turn, helps prevent hardening of the arteries.

A daily practice of exercise may also help you keep your weight down as well as lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Half an hour per day (some experts suggest 90 minutes) is most likely the minimum to gain health benefits from exercise.

Nevertheless, you do not have to do this all at once. For instance, cycling to work and back fifteen minutes each way adds up to a total of 30 minutes.

However, doctors advise pushing till you’re modestly out of breath. For example, if you can’t talk, you’re overdoing it. If you can sing, you’re not working out hard enough.

#2 Don’t Smoke

One of the best things you can do for your overall health is to not use tobacco in any form. Tobacco use is a hard-to-break habit that can make you sick, slow you down, and shorten your life.

Even individuals who smoke fewer than 5 cigarettes per day can have early signs of heart disease. Start now. In just one year you can lower your risk of a heart attack.

Note – you should avoid others who smoke due to the fact that secondhand smoke can also negatively impact your health.

#3 Eat A Healthy Diet

Eating foods low in trans fat (usually found in processed foods), saturated fats (such as meats, eggs, and dairy products), and cholesterol and high in dietary fiber so that you can prevent high total and LDL cholesterol.

There are lots of methods to incorporate more dietary fiber in your diet. For example, legumes (like – lentils, red kidney beans, mung beans, white beans, chickpeas, soybeans), whole grains (such as – barley, oatmeal, amaranth, brown rice, quinoa) seeds (flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds), vegetables (broccoli, zucchini, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage) nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts), and fruits (apples, mangoes, papayas, berries, pineapples, pears, tomatoes) are high in fiber content and easy to be integrated into your daily diet.

In addition, according to a study issued in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal, consuming vegetables and fruits, especially vitamin C-rich fruits and green leafy vegetables, seems to have a protective effect against coronary heart disease.

Note – you should limit the amount of salt (due to high sodium content) you intake to no more than 3g per day as too much sodium will increase your blood pressure.

#4 Get Enough Quality Sleep

Sleep deprivation (means sleeping less than five hours per night) can do more than leave you yawning throughout the day; it can harm your health.

Individuals who don’t get enough quality sleep have a higher risk of high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart attack, and depression.

#5 Reduce Your Stress Levels

man meditating

Stress contributes to cardiovascular disease and, if severe, may lead to sudden death or a heart attack. Anxiety, depression, anger, anxiety, social isolation, and hostility, also affect cardiovascular health.

Try different methods to lower stress, like – mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, Tai Chi, or walks in nature.

You should also prioritize your commitments and do not be afraid to turn down invitations or say no so that you can protect time for the things that matter most to you.

#6 Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol

Moderate drinking may be ok, nevertheless, more than that isn’t bringing any benefits for your physical and mental health. What’s moderate drinking?

Up to 2 drinks (a drink is 4 oz. of wine, one 12 oz. beer, 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits, or 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits) a day for men, and up to 1 drink a day for women.

More importantly, individuals who are taking antibiotics, antidepressants, pain medications, and prescription medicines should speak to their healthcare specialist before consuming alcohol. In addition, you should not drink alcohol if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

#7 Maintain A Normal BMI

According to the American Heart Association, more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are obese or overweight.

Your shape, as much as your weight, can affect your health considerably.

Fat around your middle can increase your risk of getting cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

This happens because fat cells produce toxic compounds that cause considerable damage to your body.


Despite all that is known about it, according to the CDC, in the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both women and men, claiming more than 630,000 lives every year.



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