In-depth

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a dangerous condition in which a part of your body's main artery (aorta) is enlarged and in danger of rupturing.

Angina

Angina is a common type of chest pain caused by coronary artery disease. Unstable angina can be a warning sign of a heart attack.

Anthrax

Anthrax is a deadly bacterial illness that normally affects animals. But in rare instances, humans can contract the disease.

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.

ARDS

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a sudden and serious lung failure that develops in people who are critically ill or have major injuries.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a lung disease resulting from prolonged exposure to asbestos, a product once commonly used in the building and manufacturing industries.

Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is often diagnosed early — when it's most treatable. But even with successful treatment, bladder cancer survivors need follow-up tests for years to come.

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the disease that many women fear most. But early detection and lifestyle changes may reduce your risk.

Broken heart syndrome

Broken heart syndrome, also called stress cardiomyopathy, mimics a heart attack. Discover how stress could trigger this puzzling condition.

Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis is an infection of the lungs' airways that starts out like a cold but progresses to coughing and wheezing. It's common in infants.

Bronchitis

Bronchitis often develops after a cold. Learn how to prevent this potentially serious lung infection.

Burns

Burns — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatments and self-care tips. Includes burn pictures.

Cardiogenic shock

Cardiogenic shock is a life-threatening complication usually of a heart attack. Cardiogenic shock treatments can be effective, but must be provided immediately.

Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease. Treatment options depend on what type of cardiomyopathy you have.

Chest pain

Chest pain can be frightening, but it doesn't always indicate a heart attack.

Chronic cough

More than an annoyance, a chronic cough can significantly affect your quality of life. Find out how it's diagnosed and treated.

Coarctation of the aorta

Coarctation of the aorta is a cardiovascular defect resulting in a narrowing of the aorta, the blood vessel that delivers oxygen-rich blood to your body.

Congenital heart defects in children

Children who have a congenital heart defect have a structural flaw in the heart. Congenital heart defects in children are rare, but often treatable.

Congenital heart disease in adults

Even if your congenital heart disease was treated during childhood, be sure to take care of your condition as an adult.

Diabetic ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious diabetes complication. Learn the warning signs — and know when to seek emergency care.

Dilated cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart in which the heart's main pumping chamber becomes enlarged and doesn't pump blood efficiently.

Dressler's syndrome

Dressler's syndrome is a complication of a heart attack, heart surgery or other traumatic injury to the heart.

Ebstein's anomaly

Ebstein's anomaly is a rare heart defect. Some people may not have any symptoms, but others may need treatment, including surgery.

Eisenmenger syndrome

Eisenmenger syndrome, a complication of congenital heart defects, can be life-threatening if not properly treated. Find out more.

Emphysema

Tobacco smoke causes most cases of emphysema. Although quitting smoking can't reverse the damage, it can help keep this serious lung disease from becoming worse.

Endocarditis

Endocarditis is an infection of the heart's inner lining. Find out who's at risk.

Endometrial cancer

Endometrial cancer is one of the most common cancers in women. If detected early, this cancer is often successfully treated.

Enlarged heart

Enlarged heart is often a sign of a serious heart condition. Find out causes and treatments for enlarged heart.

Epiglottitis

Epiglottitis occurs when the small "lid" above your windpipe swells, blocking the flow of air into your lungs. Emergency care can prevent life-threatening complications.

Eye melanoma

Although melanoma is commonly a type of skin cancer, it can also occur in your eye. Eye exams can often detect this rare cancer.

Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia, enlarged breasts in males, is a common problem. Find out about treatments and how to cope.

Heart attack

A heart attack is an injury to heart muscle caused by reduced blood supply. Heart attack symptoms and treatments are discussed here.

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.

Heart failure

Heart failure means your heart can't efficiently pump blood throughout your body. Medications, and sometimes devices or surgery, can help you manage this condition.

Heart murmurs

This whooshing sound in your heart is usually harmless, but in some cases heart murmurs can alert your doctor to specific heart conditions.

Heart palpitations

Heart palpitations are skipped, fluttering or racing heartbeats that aren't usually a symptom of a serious heart problem. Discover the causes and symptoms of this condition.

Hiccups

Caused by contractions of your diaphragm, hiccups are usually harmless. But rarely, hiccups may signal an underlying medical condition that requires treatment.

Horner syndrome

Horner syndrome occurs when certain nerves that travel from your brain to your eyes and face are damaged.

Hunter syndrome

Hunter syndrome, a rare metabolic disorder, occurs when the body can't break down certain complex sugars. Complications occur as these sugars accumulate in the body.

Hypercalcemia

Hypercalcemia is a higher than normal calcium level in your blood. The most common causes are an overactive parathyroid gland and certain cancers.

Itchy skin (pruritus)

Whether it affects a small or large area of your body, itchy skin can be uncomfortable and persistent. Here's how to stop the itch.

Legionnaires' disease

Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of pneumonia, is caused by bacteria that can live in water in air conditioning systems, showers and spas.

Liver cancer

The risk of liver cancer may be reduced by protecting yourself from serious liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis B and C.

Merkel cell carcinoma

Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare, aggressive skin cancer. Chronic sun exposure or a weak immune system may increase your risk of developing it.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer closely linked to asbestos exposure. Find out the signs and symptoms of malignant mesothelioma and how to protect yourself.

Mitral valve prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse occurs when the valve separating two of your heart's chambers malfunctions. The disorder usually isn't serious and often doesn't require surgical treatment.

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.

Myocarditis

Myocarditis is a disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed and swollen, often as the result of an infection.

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a persistent, abnormal opening between the aorta and pulmonary artery. If it doesn't resolve on its own, it's readily treated.

Pectus excavatum

Pectus excavatum — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, complications of this deformity of the chest.

Pericardial effusion

Pericardial effusion, the accumulation of excess fluid in the sac-like structure around the heart, can decrease heart function and can be life-threatening.

Pleurisy

Pleurisy is the painful inflammation of the membranes that surround your lungs. The cause can be one of a number of underlying conditions.

Pneumonia

There are at least 50 kinds of pneumonia — a serious lung infection that takes the lives of more than 60,000 Americans every year.

Pneumonitis

Pneumonitis is a general term for lung inflammation. It can cause difficulty breathing, often accompanied by a cough.

Pneumothorax

A pneumothorax, which is a partial or complete collapse of a lung, can result from a chest injury, lung disease or certain medical procedures.

Pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema occurs when air sacs in the lungs fill with fluid. It's often a life-threatening emergency.

Pulmonary embolism

Pulmonary embolism occurs when one or more arteries in your lungs become blocked. Surgery, cancer, family history and long airplane trips may place you at risk.

Pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis results from scar tissue that forms in your lungs. This affects your ability to breathe and obtain enough oxygen.

Pulmonary hypertension

High blood pressure affecting only the arteries in your lungs is known as pulmonary hypertension. Discover the symptoms, risk factors and treatment for this condition.

Q fever

Q fever is a rare bacterial infection causing flu-like symptoms and sometimes harmful consequences. Most at risk are those who work with farm animals.

Recurrent breast cancer

Recurrent breast cancer — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer recurrence.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects most children by age 2. Signs and symptoms of the virus typically mimic a cold, but it can be serious.

Sjogren's syndrome

Sudden cardiac arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest is a medical emergency. Rapid treatment improves your chances of survival.

Swollen lymph nodes

Swollen lymph nodes usually indicate an infection, particularly in children. However, there are many causes, ranging from the common cold to cancer.

Tetralogy of Fallot

Tetralogy of Fallot, a cause of "blue baby" syndrome, is a congenital heart condition resulting in oxygen-poor blood leaving the heart and entering the body.

Thoracic aortic aneurysm

An often silent killer, a thoracic aortic aneurysm may cause no symptoms until it ruptures, causing life-threatening bleeding.

Transposition of the great arteries

Transposition of the great arteries is a congenital heart defect in which the placement of the aorta and the pulmonary artery is switched.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is making an alarming comeback. You're especially at risk if you have a weakened immune system.

Ventricular fibrillation

Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening heart rhythm disturbance that requires immediate treatment. Find out more.

Ventricular septal defect

A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is an abnormal opening between the heart's lower chambers. Untreated, this congenital defect may cause heart failure and pulmonary hypertension.

Wegener's granulomatosis

Wegener's granulomatosis is an uncommon disease that causes blood vessel inflammation that can damage lungs, kidneys and other organs. Untreated, it can be fatal.

Whooping cough

Whooping cough is a serious lung infection that's especially dangerous in young infants.

Wilms' tumor

Wilms' tumor is a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children.

May. 21, 2011