In-depth

Causes

Heart disease

Heart disease, usually thought of as blockages in the arteries that can cause a heart attack, can describe any medical condition affecting your heart.

Complications

Aortic valve regurgitation

In aortic valve regurgitation, the aortic valve doesn't close tightly, causing blood to leak back into your heart.

Aortic valve stenosis

In aortic valve stenosis, the aortic valve narrows, blocking blood flow. The aortic valve connects your heart to the aorta, your body's main artery.

Mitral valve regurgitation

Mitral valve regurgitation occurs when blood flows backward in your heart because the mitral valve closes improperly.

Mitral valve stenosis

In mitral valve stenosis, the mitral valve is narrowed, obstructing blood flow between the chambers on the left side of the heart.

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.

CT scan

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

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.

Jun. 08, 2012

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