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April 1963

The Right-Sided Heart: A Report of Forty-Seven Cases

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville General Hospital and Louisville Childrens Hospital.; John and Mary R. Markle Scholar in Medical Science (Dr. McGaff).

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(4):483-487. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620280083013

As described in the medical literature, the right-sided heart is an enigma. Confusion arises from the many variations which this anomaly presents and from the commonly associated intrinsic cardiac abnormalities which accompany it and which further confound clinical description. Little agreement exists among authors concerning the basic nomenclature of the established lesion, and there is even less agreement about the embryological defects of development involved. Descriptive terms are perplexing in their similarity, i.e., dextroversion, dextroposition, dextrorotation, dextrotorsion, and dextrocardia.

Categories  This communication concerns our experiences with 47 right-sided hearts over the past 20 years and presents a descriptive categorization of this rare anomaly. The cases have been divided into the following subgroups:

Type I. Dextrocardia with Situs Inversus.—  In these instances the abdominal viscera are reversed; the stomach is on the right and the liver is on the left. The heart and its apex are definitely in the right chest