How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN Your Own Ques...
Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 890
Experience:  Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
Type Your Health Question Here...
Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

what causes an abnormal heart shadow on a chest xray

Resolved Question:

what causes an abnormal heart shadow on a chest xray?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN replied 6 years ago.



Thank you for writing in today. When a chest x-ray is taken, the heart shows up like a shadow. An abnormal heart shadow can be caused by a number of things; however, the most common abnormality noted is cardiomegaly. This is essentially an enlarged heart. Cardiomegaly can be caused by a number of problems, such as dilation, ventricular hypertrophy, congestive heart failure, obesity, certain autoimmune disorders, hyperthyroidism, and so on. At this point, if you have had a chest x-ray with a questionable heart shadow, I would recommend asking why it is considered abnormal. Again, the most common would be an enlargement. Then, you may want to discuss a plan with your provider about needed evaluation and follow up, perhaps with a cardiologist. Also, discuss it with your primary provider, he/she may actually have some insight, based on your medical history. At this point, don't let this information alarm you. An abnormal heart shadow does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong. It just means that it should be investigated a bit further. I hope this helps. If you have any additional questions or need clarification, please let me know. Lisa

Edited by Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN on 2/22/2010 at 3:27 AM EST
Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN and other Health Specialists are ready to help you