Dizziness is one of the most common health concerns. However, few cases of dizziness are due to serious conditions.
Sick to your stomach? Nausea and vomiting usually pass quickly but sometimes result from long-term or serious conditions.
Shortness of breath can be frightening. Most of the time, a heart or lung condition is the cause.
Tachycardia, a rapid heart rate, is caused by an abnormality in your heart's electrical impulses. Tachycardia can cause serious complications, including sudden cardiac arrest.
Tests and diagnosis
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 computerized tomography (CT) angiogram could tell if your heart's arteries are blocked. These tests aren't for everyone, and some experts worry about radiation risks.
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.
Treatments and drugs
Coronary angioplasty and stents can reopen clogged heart arteries if buildup of plaques is causing chest pain, shortness of breath or a heart attack.
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) can control abnormal, life-threatening heart rhythms and prevent cardiac arrest.
Nov. 01, 2011
- Ventricular fibrillation. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/AboutArrhythmia/Ventricular-Fibrillation_UCM_324063_Article.jsp. Accessed Aug. 17, 2011.
- Olgin JE, et al. Specific arrhythmias: Diagnosis and treatment. In: Bonow RO, et al. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0398-6..C2009-0-59734-6--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0398-6&about=true&uniqId=236798031-10. Accessed Aug. 17, 2011.
- ACC/AHA/ESC 2006 guidelines for management of patients with ventricular arrhythmias: A prevention of sudden cardiac death — Executive summary. Circulation. 2006;117:e350.
- Srivathsan K, et al. Ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. Expert Reviews in Cardiovascular Therapy. 2009;7:801.
- Automated external defibrillator. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/aed/aed_all.html. Accessed Aug. 18, 2011.
- Field JM, et al. Part 1: Executive summary - 2010 American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care. Circulation. 2010;122(suppl):S640.
- How the heart works. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/hhw/hhw_all.html. Accessed Aug. 17, 2011.