Giant right atrium: a long-term complication of rheumatic heart disease


Department of Internal Medicine, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center


Giant right atrium (RA) is a rare entity often seen during childhood due to congenital anomalies. Limited literature has reported such finding in patients with rheumatic valvular heart disease. Here we present a case of a 68-year-old female with a history of rheumatic valve disease treated with a Starr Edwards mechanical ball-in-cage mitral valve replacement and tricuspid valve annuloplasty ring procedures. The patient developed heart failure and had multiple hospital admissions over three decades for heart failure exacerbations mostly triggered by medication and dietary non-compliance. She eventually developed a giant RA that filled most of her thorax. This case demonstrates an extreme form of cardiac remodeling caused by long-term rheumatic valvular heart disease.

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