In-depth

Causes

Heart arrhythmias

A heart arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. Arrhythmias can be a byproduct of damage to the heart from disease or age.

Symptoms

Edema

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

Shortness of breath can be frightening. Most of the time, a heart or lung condition is the cause.

Tests and diagnosis

Cardiac catheterization

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.

Chest X-rays

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.

CT scan

A CT scan is an imaging test that uses X-rays to produce detailed images of the inside of your body.

Echocardiogram

Echocardiogram allows your doctor to see your heart in motion. Here's what you need to know about the test.

Electrocardiogram

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

MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within your body.

Stress test

A stress test is used to diagnose coronary artery disease and heart arrhythmias, as well as guide treatment of heart disorders.

Treatments and drugs

Heart transplant

A heart transplant can help both adults and children with severe heart problems who don't benefit from other treatment options.

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) can control abnormal, life-threatening heart rhythms and prevent cardiac arrest.

 

Pacemaker

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.

Ventricular assist devices

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.

Apr. 03, 2014