Endocardial fibroelastosis (EFE) is a rare heart disorder that affects infants and children. It is characterized by a thickening within the muscular lining of the heart chambers due to an increase in the amount of supporting connective tissue (inelastic collagen) and elastic fibers. The normal heart has four chambers. Two chambers, known as atria, are separated from each other by a partition called the atrial septum. The other two chambers, known as ventricles, are also separated by a septum. Valves connect the atria (left and right) to their respective ventricles.
The symptoms of endocardial fibroelastosis are related to the overgrowth of fibrous tissues causing abnormal enlargement of the heart (cardiac hypertrophy), especially the left ventricle. Impaired heart and lung function eventually lead to congestive heart failure. Endocardial fibroelastosis may occur for no apparent reason (sporadic) or may be inherited as an X-linked (EFE2) or autosomal recessive (EFE1) genetic trait.
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