What is dextrocardia?

Also known as: dextrocardia of embryonic arrest, dextrocardia and situs inversus, birth defect of the heart.

Usually a baby is born with the heart in the left chest. Babies with dextrocardia, have their heart’s on the right side of the chest instead, and frequently have other congenital (before birth) heart abnormalities too (it’s rare - “isolated dextrocardia”- for there to be no other cardiac abnormalities). There is a range of types of dextrocardia; e.g. a normal heart placed further into the right chest than normal (dextrose-position), to where the position of the heart and its major blood vessels are totally reversed from normal, and others. Depending on the form of dextrocardia, the abdominal organs (like the liver) may be positioned on the opposite side of the abdomen from where it is normally found.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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