A 67-year-old man in Florida recently found that he has an uncommon heart disorder in which one chamber of his heart is divided into two, a recent case report states.
Dr. Valeria Duarte, a cardiology fellow at the University of Florida said that this rare congenital heart disorder (that is present at birth) is called double-chambered right ventricle. According to Duarte, the condition is normally diagnosed in infancy or in childhood, and it is very rare for it to be diagnosed only in adulthood.
The man also had another congenital heart defect called ventricular septal defect, but he was unaware of it. Ventricular septal defect is characterised by a hole in the heart’s wall that separates the two lower ventricles (or chambers). In the man’s case, the hole was very small so it did not cause any problems.
Those who have double-chambered right ventricle may experience symptoms like low blood pressure and fatigue. However, these symptoms can also be triggered by other conditions. For instance they can be caused by high pressure in the right ventricle, or low blood flow in the pulmonary artery – which begins at the base of the right ventricle and carries blood from the heart to the lungs.
Patients with double-chambered right ventricles can sometimes suffer right-ventricular failure. Dr. Duarte says it can be fatal. Ventricle failure occurs when the chamber can no longer pump blood normally, according to Duarte.
The man went to the hospital because he had trouble breathing. Doctors used an echocardiogram and found that his right ventricle was enlarged and divided into two parts by a muscle bundle.
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the patient confirmed the doctors’ suspicions. According to Dr. Duarte, the treatment for double-chambered right ventricle, as well as ventricular septal defect is always surgery.
The man underwent surgery and the doctors managed to repair the hole in his heart and his enlarged aorta. After surgery, the 67-year-old man was able to go back to his normal day-to-day life.
The report of the man’s case was presented November 10 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions research meeting.
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