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How to Treat Dextrocardia

How to treat dextrocardia? Dextrocardia is a rare disease. In patients with dextrocardia the position of the heart is in the right chest cavity, while normally the heart is in the left chest cavity. Some cases of dextrocardia can be without interference, it can also be accompanied by disorders of the heart and changes in the location of other body organs such as the liver, spleen, and stomach. This condition accompanied by the disorder is referred to as dextrocardia with situs inversus.

How to Treat Dextrocardia

What Is the Cause of Dextrocardia

The cause of the occurrence of dextrocardia until now is still not known for sure. However, some studies have shown that it is most likely that dextrocardia occurs as a result of disturbances in the formation of the heart while it is still in the womb, more precisely at the time of the early trimester of pregnancy. This can occur due to hereditary or genetic factors.

Dextrocardia, sometimes can be accompanied by disorders of other organs. One of them is Kartagener's syndrome or primary ciliary dyskinesia, in which the fine hair cells found in the respiratory tract do not function. Genetic disorders like this cause sufferers to be unable to remove mucus, dirt, and germs from the respiratory tract.

Dextrocardia Symptoms

Can a person live with dextrocardia? Although people with dextrocardia have an abnormal heart location, some people with dextrocardia generally do not experience heart function abnormalities, so they can live with dextrocardia because they don't feel any symptoms and feel healthy.

However, in certain cases, dextrocardia may be accompanied by disturbances in:

Heart and blood vessels

Abnormalities in the heart and blood vessels that can occur with dextrocardia are:

  • The heart only has 1 atrium or 1 ventricle, whereas normally the heart has 2 atria and 2 ventricles.
  • There is a gap or hole in the wall between the right and left ventricles of the heart.
  • The dividing wall between the atria and the ventricles of the heart is not completely formed or even absent.
  • The large artery (aorta) is connected to the right ventricle of the heart, whereas normally it is connected to the left ventricle.
  • There is an abnormality in the heart valves so that blood flow can reverse.

Babies who suffer from dextrocardia who also have some of these disorders can show several symptoms such as weakness, shortness of breath, abnormal heart sounds, bluish skin, and impaired growth and development.

Liver and bile ducts

Patients with situs inversus dextrocardia can also experience liver and bile duct disorders such as biliary atresia and the location of the liver in the left abdominal cavity, whereas normally it is in the right abdominal cavity. People with dextrocardia with this disorder may develop jaundice.


Situs inversus dextrocardia can cause the lungs and respiratory tract to be unable to properly filter bacteria and viruses from the air. This causes dextrocardia sufferers to be more susceptible to lung diseases, such as pneumonia and ARI.


Some people with dextrocardia are also born without a spleen, even though the spleen is an organ that plays an important role in forming the immune system. That is the reason why babies with dextrocardia who are born without a spleen are very susceptible to infection.

Digestive tract

Changes in the position of organs in the body in people with dextrocardia can also have an impact on the position of the digestive tract. This can lead to the risk of disorders of the digestive system.

Abnormalities in the location of the intestines can cause twisting of the intestines or malrotation of the intestines. Usually this condition can cause symptoms in the form of abdominal pain and swelling, diarrhea or constipation, bloody stools, and vomiting of bile.

How to Treat Dextrocardia

Dextrocardia can be diagnosed by a doctor by undergoing a physical examination and supporting examinations such as an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, CT scan, X-ray, or MRI of the heart.

Is dextrocardia harmful? If dextrocardia is not accompanied by impaired function of the heart or other organs, then it is not dangerous and does not require any treatment. However, if dextrocardia is accompanied by impaired organ function or other health problems, treatment is required in the form of:


Can dextrocardia be corrected? Dextrocardia can be treated with surgery. However, a surgical procedure will be considered by a doctor if dextrocardia is accompanied by congenital abnormalities, such as congenital heart defects, biliary atresia or digestive tract disorders.


To treat disorders that occur as a result of situs inversus dextrocardia , the doctor may give medications, including:

  • ACE inhibitors, to lower blood pressure and ease the work of the heart.
  • Inotropic, to stimulate the heart muscle to pump blood more strongly in people with dextrocardia with a weak heart.
  • Diuretics, to remove excess water and salt from the body due to abnormal heart function.
  • Antibiotics, to treat and prevent infection in patients with dextrocardia with impaired spleen absence or Kartagener's syndrome.

Although people with dextrocardia have an abnormal heart location, some people with dextrocardia can live normally and have good heart function. However, if dextrocardia is accompanied by disorders of the heart or other organs, then immediate treatment is required by a cardiologist. That's an explanation of how to treat dextrocardia, hopefully the explanation is useful.

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