Dextrocardia historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief:


The first description of dextrocardia was given by an Italian surgeon named Marco Aurelio Severino. Over the years, the definition of dextrocardio has differed among various authors.

Historical Perspective


  • In 1643, Marco Aurelio Severino, an Italian surgeon, gave the first description of dextrocardia.[1]
  • In 1961, Hanson and Tabakin reported that 90% of dextrocardia's were not accompanied by other malformations/defects.[2]
  • The definition of dextrocardia has varied over the years among authors. Some of the definitions include:[3]
  • In 1988, Comstock defined dextrocardia as right cardiac axis.
  • In 2004, Walmsley defined dextrocardia as right-sided position of the heart with most of the heart located in the right hemithorax. The direction of the apex was not a criteria.
  • In 2005, Bernasconi defined dextrocardia as when the major axis of the heart points to the right. The author excluded fetuses with dextroposition.
  • In 2007, Bohun defined it as right-sided embryologic development of the heart with majority of the heart mass positioned in the right hemithorax.
  • In 2008, Falkensammer defined it as the positioning of the heart in the right chest with the apex pointing to the right.
  • In 2011, Ozkutlu defined it as the location of the heart in the right hemothorax with the apex pointing to the right.
  • In 2015, Oztunc defined it as right-sided positioning of the heart. The direction of the apex was not a criteria.


  1. Ogunlade O, Ayoka AO, Akomolafe RO, Akinsomisoye OS, Irinoye AI, Ajao A; et al. (2015). "The role of electrocardiogram in the diagnosis of dextrocardia with mirror image atrial arrangement and ventricular position in a young adult Nigerian in Ile-Ife: a case report". J Med Case Rep. 9: 222. doi:10.1186/s13256-015-0695-4. PMC 4584464. PMID 26411880.
  2. Anselmi, G; Munoz, S; Blanco, P; Machado, I; De la Cruz, M V (1972). "Systematization and clinical study of dextroversion, mirror-image dextrocardia, and laevoversion". Heart. 34 (11): 1085–1098. doi:10.1136/hrt.34.11.1085. ISSN 1355-6037.
  3. Yeo L, Luewan S, Markush D, Gill N, Romero R (2018). "Prenatal Diagnosis of Dextrocardia with Complex Congenital Heart Disease Using Fetal Intelligent Navigation Echocardiography (FINE) and a Literature Review". Fetal Diagn Ther. 43 (4): 304–316. doi:10.1159/000468929. PMC 6105280. PMID 28641300.