A heart arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. Arrhythmias can be a byproduct of damage to the heart from disease or age.
Edema — swelling caused by excess fluid in tissues — can affect any part of your body. Treating the underlying cause is key to resolving edema.
Shortness of breath can be frightening. Most of the time, a heart or lung condition is the cause.
Tests and diagnosis
Cardiac catheterization is used as a test for some heart conditions and as a procedure to treat some types of heart disease. Find out more.
Even with today's high-tech medical devices, the basic chest X-ray remains an important tool in diagnosing various conditions. Here's a look at how it works.
A CT scan is an imaging test that uses X-rays to produce detailed images of the inside of your body.
Echocardiogram allows your doctor to see your heart in motion. Here's what you need to know about the test.
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a test that provides valuable clues about your heart health. Here's what you need to know about the test.
MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within your body.
A stress test is used to diagnose coronary artery disease and heart arrhythmias, as well as guide treatment of heart disorders.
Treatments and drugs
A heart transplant can help both adults and children with severe heart problems who don't benefit from other treatment options.
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) can control abnormal, life-threatening heart rhythms and prevent cardiac arrest.
A pacemaker can correct a heartbeat that's too slow. Find out the risks, results and recovery time of the procedure to implant a pacemaker.
Having a ventricular assist device (VAD) can help you survive while waiting for a heart transplant, or can serve as a long-term treatment for heart failure. Find out more.
Jul. 21, 2011
- Enlarged heart. American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4517. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Cardiomyopathies. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec07/ch084666/ch084666a.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- What is cardiomyopathy? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/cm/cm_all.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Cardiomegaly on chest X-ray. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00065-2--s0020&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&sid=1093880434&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00065-2--s0020&uniqId=229713866-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00065-2--s0020. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 3, 2011.