The Heart and Its Compartments
The heart is a vital organ and it weighs approximately 200-400 gm. It is usually a size of the fist. The heart consists of the 4 chambers, 2 ventricles and two atria. Only when all 4 chambers are functioning properly the heart in general provides with optimal and desirable function. The heart collects impure blood from the whole body in the right atrium. This blood is then sent through right ventricle to the lungs where it is supposed to be oxygenated. Once the process of oxygenation has finished the blood enters the left atrium and left ventricle and it is then transferred with the system of blood vessels to all the body parts, organs and organ systems.
Right atria enlargement is a condition in which right atrium of the heart becomes bigger due to certain medical conditions of the lungs and heart. This enlargement typically leads to certain symptoms such as fatigue, chest pain and breathing difficulties.
Causes of Right Atrial Enlargement
There are several medical conditions which cause enlargement of the right atrium. They include certain lungs diseases, tricuspid stenosis, mitral stenosis, tricuspid regurgitation, mitral regurgitation and pulmonary embolism.
Certain lung disorders are directly connected to enlargement of the right side of the heart, including the right atrium. Bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are the most responsible for potential enlargement of the right atrium. This can be explained by increased blood pressure in the pulmonary artery which spreads from the lungs and affect the heart and its chambers. High blood pressure, particularly if it lasts for a longer period of time leads to enlargement of this heart chamber.
In tricuspid stenosis the blood cannot be properly transferred from the right atrium to the right ventricle. In order to push all the blood inside the right ventricle the right atrium pumps forcefully. This extra workload affects the right atrium and leads to its enlargement. Similarly to tricuspid stenosis, tricuspid regurgitation is a condition which affects normal flow of the blood from the right ventricle to right atrium. In tricuspid regurgitation the blood returns from the right ventricle and enters the right atrium. Excessive pressure of the blood which is returned into the right atrium eventually leads to right atrial enlargement.
Mitral stenosis and mitral regurgitation are heart condition which affects the mitral cuspis. This cuspis separates the left heart ventricle and atrium. In advanced stage of mitral stenosis there is evident enlargement of the right atrium.
And finally, pulmonary embolism features with improper blood supply of the lungs due to blockage of the lung vessels with clots. The heart pumps the blood forcefully in order to re-establish the interrupted blood flow in the lungs which consequently leads to right atrial enlargement.