Enlarged Heart and AF

I have been really really breathless - couldn't drink a "cuppa" without several stops to take some more breaths. I had a mini stay in hospital last week and they confirmed I have an enlarged heart. My question is - does anyone else with AF have an enlarged heart and what is the treatment please? Also any ideas on how to help the breathlessness would be much appreciated.

Due to be called back in two/three weeks for a heart scan.

I am currently on Diltiazem for bp and heart rate.

6 Replies

  • Hi. Enjoy

    When I was first diagnosed with AF 1998 they also found I had Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) in my case Dilated. In fact my first symptom and the reason I sought help was my breathlessness. Since stopping drinking alcohol my heart gradually reduced to normal, but left with AF. The treatment is generally either or both or all being : alphablockers, ace inhibitors, and most deciedely diuretics, being bumetinide for me. Fortunately I no longer need these medications.

    Before I came to AF association I went to cardiomyopathy.org/ and became a member and it was invaluable as a resource. I suggest you check it out for further info.



  • Enlarged left atrium is quite a common side effect of AF but the good news is that if you get rid of the AF (ablation or suitable anti-arrhythmic drugs) then this can be reversed.

  • I had an original diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) & AF. My cardiologist at Harefield said that either might have been the cause of the other & vice versa. Initially cardioversion didn't work, but a year of exercise plus drugs got my heart back to near normal size even though I was still in AF. I also had breathlessness but this improved with moderate exercise. All this was done as part of a cardiac rehab programme which I was put on. See if you have access to one locally


  • Same as above. My AF contributed towards my DRM but the heart became smaller after ablation when in SR. When in AF it gets larger again

  • DCM

  • Thank you so much for your replies. Harefield is only 5 miles away - I just wonder if I can ask for a referral there. I currently see a Cardiologist at another hospital (very awkward busy 6 miles away) and only get a brief consultation once a year - and in fact I have just had a letter from them to push it to 15 months. I just wonder if I will get a follow-up from the recent mini-visit.

    I have just finished another AF this lunch time -I am paroxymal.

    How I wish I had the courage to ask for what I would like.

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