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.
Acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor that grows on the balance and hearing nerve in the head. Pressure on the nerve may cause hearing loss.
Acromegaly is an uncommon hormonal disorder caused by the overproduction of growth hormone. It typically causes signs such as enlarged hands and feet.
Acute coronary syndrome occurs when there isn't enough blood flowing through your heart. It can be felt as chest pain (angina) or a heart attack.
Acute kidney failure is the sudden loss of your kidneys' ability to filter waste from your bloodstream. Correcting the underlying cause increases the likelihood of recovery.
Acute lymphocytic leukemia is a type of leukemia that affects immature white blood cells. It's the most common cancer in children and adolescents.
Acute sinusitis occurs when your sinus cavities become inflamed. Antibiotics, decongestants and corticosteroids may relieve pain and congestion and prevent development of chronic sinusitis.
Addison's disease occurs when your adrenal glands produce insufficient amounts of certain important hormones. Treatment may include taking corticosteroids.
Daily fevers, achy joints and an intermittent, salmon-pink rash may be an indication that you have a rare inflammatory disorder called adult Still's disease.
Alcohol can severely damage your liver — even moderate drinkers aren't immune. Learn more about this serious liver disease.
Although the absence of menstruation (amenorrhea) is seldom serious, the condition can often be linked to an underlying problem requiring treatment.
Though anal cancer is rare, incidence of anal cancer is increasing. Find out the symptoms and causes of cancer of the anal canal.
Angina is a common type of chest pain caused by coronary artery disease. Unstable angina can be a warning sign of a heart attack.
Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory arthritis that affects your spine and nearby joints. Over time, your spine may become stiff and immovable.
Aortic dissection occurs when blood leaks through a tear in the inner layer of the aorta. Left untreated, the condition is usually fatal.
People with aphasia have difficulty speaking, comprehending speech, reading or writing. Read tips to make communication easier.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a sudden and serious lung failure that develops in people who are critically ill or have major injuries.
An arteriovenous fistula is a treatable blood vessel condition in which your blood doesn't flow normally through your capillaries. Untreated, it can lead to complications.
Asbestosis is a lung disease resulting from prolonged exposure to asbestos, a product once commonly used in the building and manufacturing industries.
Ascariasis is a common type of roundworm infection found worldwide. It's spread by poor hygiene and improper sanitation. Infections are effectively treated with medication.
Asthma occurs when the main air passages of the lungs become inflamed, causing wheezing and difficulty breathing. Knowing warning signs can help you manage this chronic condition.
Ataxia describes lack of muscle coordination while performing voluntary movements. A sign of an underlying condition, ataxia can affect any part of your body.
Atelectasis, or collapsed lung, is a possible complication of many respiratory conditions. Find out what causes it and how it's treated.
Back pain is a common reason for health care visits and missed work. Home treatment and proper body mechanics can help you feel better.
Bell's palsy occurs when an impaired nerve results in facial weakness or paralysis. Most people experience a full recovery.
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.
Bladder stones are small masses of minerals in your bladder — often forming as a result of an enlarged prostate, nerve damage or infection.
A microscopic parasite causes Blastocystis hominis infection. Experts disagree as to whether this infection causes diarrhea and other associated signs and symptoms.
Blind loop syndrome occurs when a portion of bowel is bypassed. The condition is most often a complication of abdominal surgery.
Bone cancer is an uncommon type of cancer that begins in a bone. It can affect both adults and children.
Bone metastasis occurs when cancer spreads to the bones.
Bone spurs can sometimes interfere with joint function or press on nerves.
Breast cancer is the disease that many women fear most. But early detection and lifestyle changes may reduce your risk.
Broken arm? If your arm hurts too much to use normally, seek prompt medical care.
A broken collarbone, a common bone fracture during childhood and adolescence, can typically be treated with ice, pain relievers, a sling and physical therapy.
Broken leg — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this type of fracture.
A broken rib, or fractured rib, is a common injury that occurs when one of the bones in your rib cage breaks or cracks.
Brucellosis is an infectious disease that spreads from animals to people, mainly via unpasteurized dairy products. Travelers should take special care to avoid infection.
Burning mouth syndrome can feel as if you scalded your mouth with hot coffee. Treatment depends on the cause, which can be difficult to identify.
C. difficile can be a life-threatening infection. It typically develops when antibiotics destroy other bacteria in your intestines, allowing C. difficile to flourish.
Learn about cancer, what it looks like and what causes it.
Carcinoid tumors sometimes secrete chemicals that cause the signs and symptoms of carcinoid syndrome. Carcinoid tumors are rare. Carcinoid syndrome is even rarer.
Carcinoid tumors are rare, slow-growing cancerous tumors that most often occur in the gastrointestinal tract or in the lungs.
Cerebral palsy — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes and treatment of this movement disorder.
Cervical cancer is a common and often preventable reproductive cancer. Find out what cervical cancer is and how it's treated.
Cervical spondylosis is a chronic degeneration of the bones and disks of the neck, most likely caused by aging and wear and tear.
Chest pain can be frightening, but it doesn't always indicate a heart attack.
Chiari malformation is an uncommon condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal, causing headaches and other potentially serious symptoms.
Chondromalacia patella is a knee condition that plagues many runners. It's often caused by overuse or injury.
More than an annoyance, a chronic cough can significantly affect your quality of life. Find out how it's diagnosed and treated.
Chronic daily headaches strike nearly every day. Aggressive initial treatment and steady, long-term management can help reduce pain and lead to fewer headaches.
Don't ignore exercise-related pain, pressure or numbness, because it may indicate chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Proper treatment can get you back to your favorite sport.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Unlike other cancers, this form of leukemia doesn't always initially require treatment.
Chronic pelvic pain is pain in your pelvic region — the area below your bellybutton and between your hips — that lasts six months or longer.
Chronic sinusitis involves long-term inflammation or infection of the sinus cavities. Medications can help, and in rare cases surgery can treat this painful condition.
Churg-Strauss syndrome is a rare disorder marked by blood vessel inflammation that affects organs throughout the body. Asthma is the most common sign.
Cluster headaches usually occur repeatedly on one side of your head and cause intense pain that feels like a stabbing sensation in your eye.
Colon cancer and rectal cancer combined are the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Regular screening tests can help reduce your risk.
Coma is often a complication from a severe brain injury that leaves a person unconscious and unresponsive. Many people recover from this condition.
Concussions can be serious injuries that need sufficient time to heal.
Cough headaches — so named because they're triggered by coughing — are sometimes harmless, but they may be a symptom of a serious condition.
Craniosynostosis is a birth defect in which one or more of the bony plates of a baby's skull fuse prematurely, misshaping the head.
Cushing syndrome is caused by an excess of the hormone cortisol, originating from your adrenal glands or from corticosteroid medications you're taking for another illness.
Cyclic vomiting syndrome can last for hours or days and shares many triggers with migraines.
Earlier detection and better treatments have improved the outlook for people with cystic fibrosis.
Dementia — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes and treatments of this mental deterioration.
DISH most often occurs in the spine, but it can affect other joints in your body. Get the basics on this condition.
Dysarthria is a speech disorder caused by an inability to control or coordinate the muscles used for speaking.
Dystonia causes involuntary, sustained muscle contractions, resulting in repetitive movements, twisting and abnormal posture.
Eisenmenger syndrome, a complication of congenital heart defects, can be life-threatening if not properly treated. Find out more.
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.
Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain usually caused by a viral infection. Severe cases can cause brain damage, even death.
Endometrial cancer is one of the most common cancers in women. If detected early, this cancer is often successfully treated.
Enlarged heart is often a sign of a serious heart condition. Find out causes and treatments for enlarged heart.
You can get an enlarged liver from a number of medical problems or personal habits. Treatment depends on what's causing the enlargement.
An enlarged spleen is usually a sign of an underlying problem. Treatment varies, depending on what's causing the enlargement.
Epilepsy disrupts the normal electrical activity inside your brain. Symptoms and causes can vary, but medication is usually very effective.
Reduce your risk of esophageal cancer by eating more fruits and vegetables.
Esophageal varices — enlarged veins in the esophagus — are a serious complication of liver diseases such as cirrhosis.
You know exercise is good for you. But did you know that exertion can leave you with a pounding headache?
Although melanoma is commonly a type of skin cancer, it can also occur in your eye. Eye exams can often detect this rare cancer.
Foot drop is a general term used to describe difficulty lifting the front part of the foot. Treatment depends on the underlying cause.
Gallstones often don't cause symptoms. But if you have a gallbladder attack, you're not likely to forget it.
Glomerulonephritis affects your kidneys' filtering function. Complications include high blood pressure, protein in the urine (proteinuria) and kidney failure.
The extra flexibility of children's bones makes them more prone to greenstick fractures — an injury in which a bone bends and cracks.
Growth plate fractures can interfere with your child's normal bone growth, resulting in a stunted or twisted limb. Prompt, proper care is essential.
Gynecomastia, enlarged breasts in males, is a common problem. Find out about treatments and how to cope.
Hairy cell leukemia is a rare blood cancer that has no cure. However, treatments can keep hairy cell leukemia at bay for years.
Children of all ages experience headaches, but the causes aren't all the same. Here's how to help your child.
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 means your heart can't efficiently pump blood throughout your body. Medications, and sometimes devices or surgery, can help you manage this condition.
This whooshing sound in your heart is usually harmless, but in some cases heart murmurs can alert your doctor to specific heart conditions.
Back pain may mean you have a herniated disk — but not always. In fact, you can have disk herniation without pain. Here are the facts.
Caused by contractions of your diaphragm, hiccups are usually harmless. But rarely, hiccups may signal an underlying medical condition that requires treatment.
A hip fracture is a serious injury, potentially life-threatening. But many people are able to make a good recovery.
Hirsutism refers to excessive hair growth in women. Possibly a result of elevated male hormones, hirsutism is often caused by an underlying condition.
Hurthle cell cancer is a rare type of thyroid cancer. Surgical removal of the thyroid gland is usually required.
A hydrocele is a generally harmless fluid-filled sac that surrounds a testicle, causing scrotal swelling. However, it may indicate a more serious condition.
Indigestion can ruin meals and make you feel uncomfortable. Take steps to prevent symptoms like upset stomach, bloating and pain.
Inflammatory bowel disease can be painful and debilitating, and it can cause life-threatening complications. Find out more about treating this digestive system disorder.
Inflammatory breast cancer occurs when cancer cells clog lymphatic vessels in the skin of the breast. It's a rare but deadly form of cancer.
Intestinal ischemia occurs when the blood supply to your digestive system is reduced. Abdominal pain is a common symptom. Several treatment options are available.
Intestinal obstruction — a serious condition that requires prompt medical attention — occurs when a blockage of the intestine prevents food or fluid from passing through.
A rare but serious disorder, intussusception occurs when one part of the intestine slides into an adjacent part, often causing intestinal obstruction.
Invasive lobular carcinoma is a form of breast cancer that develops in a milk-producing lobule of breast tissue.
Ischemic colitis is a disorder in which the colon becomes inflamed, usually due to a disruption of blood flow.
When kidney cancer is diagnosed and treated early, the chances for recovery are better.
Kidney stones often recur. Find out what causes kidney stones and how to prevent them.
Find out what could cause knee pain.
Krabbe disease is a rare, inherited disorder — most often affecting infants — that impairs functioning of the central nervous system and usually leads to early death.
Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of pneumonia, is caused by bacteria that can live in water in air conditioning systems, showers and spas.
This type of dementia often causes hallucinations, delusions and fluctuating alertness.
A lipoma is a fatty tumor located just below the skin. Treatment usually isn't necessary.
The risk of liver cancer may be reduced by protecting yourself from serious liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis B and C.
Liver hemangioma is the most common type of noncancerous (benign) liver mass. Learn how doctors treat liver hemangioma.
Smoking increases your risk of lung cancer. Quit now and reduce your risk.
Lymphedema causes swelling in an arm or a leg. It occurs when an obstruction in your lymphatic system causes a backup of lymph fluid.
For male breast cancer, awareness and early diagnosis are key to successful treatment.
Your kidney's filtering system is damaged and valuable proteins leak from the body.
Meniere's disease is an inner ear disorder that causes vertigo, hearing loss and other sensory problems. Treatment and self-care tactics can lessen its effects.
Fever, headache and stiff neck are common signs and symptoms of meningitis — an infection of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
A monthly period is bad enough. Add in painful menstrual cramps, and you may be cursing this thing called womanhood. How do you get relief?
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 is a type of cancer closely linked to asbestos exposure. Find out the signs and symptoms of malignant mesothelioma and how to protect yourself.
Microcephaly — Comprehensive overview covers causes and management of this rare neurological condition.
A migraine isn't an ordinary headache. In addition to severe head pain, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine with aura is a usually severe headache that's accompanied by visual disturbances, such as flashes of light, zigzagging patterns or blind spots.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a transition stage between the cognitive changes of normal aging and dementias such as Alzheimer's disease.
Mouth cancer includes cancer that occurs in the mouth or on the lips.
Myasthenia gravis is a condition of muscle weakness caused by a breakdown in communication between nerves and muscles. Treatments can help relieve muscle weakness.
Summertime freshwater swimming may put you at risk of this rare but often fatal infection. Learn more about your risks and how to protect yourself.
Nasal polyps, inflammation-related growths in the nasal passages or sinuses, can block the flow of air and fluid in your nose.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is rare in the United States but more common in some other parts of the world.
Although often eased with simple techniques at home, neck pain can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious problem requiring medical treatment.
Neuroblastoma most commonly affects children age 5 and younger. It's the most common form of cancer in babies.
Neurofibromatosis — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this genetic disorder.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with obesity and diabetes. Lifestyle changes may prevent it from becoming serious.
Nonallergic rhinitis is a condition in which the lining of your nose swells, causing a stuffy nose — but no identifiable allergy is involved.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is cancer originating in the lymphatic system. It's caused by abnormal white blood cells, and often the only sign is swollen lymph nodes.
Osteochondritis dissecans occurs when a piece of and bone loosens and separates from the bone.
Osteomyelitis is a bone infection that commonly affects the long bones in the arms and legs in children, and the spine and pelvis in adults.
Osteoporosis — developing fragile bones with age — threatens the independence of many older people, especially women. Learn how to avoid bone loss and fractures.
Pancreatic cancer is often fatal. Find out which new treatments offer hope.
Most cysts in the pancreas aren't malignant, but tests are needed to determine the best course of treatment.
The pain of pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, can last for days, or in chronic cases, for years. Pancreatitis can lead to serious complications.
Pericardial effusion, the accumulation of excess fluid in the sac-like structure around the heart, can decrease heart function and can be life-threatening.
Peripheral neuropathy symptoms can range from annoying to disabling. Learn how to deal with the burning, numbness and tingling.
Peritonitis is an infection of the membrane that lines your inner abdominal wall and covers the organs within your abdomen (peritoneum).
Pituitary tumors are abnormal growths in the pituitary gland in the brain. Most are noncancerous (benign). Some may cause overproduction of hormones and associated problems.
Pleurisy is the painful inflammation of the membranes that surround your lungs. The cause can be one of a number of underlying conditions.
Pneumonitis is a general term for lung inflammation. It can cause difficulty breathing, often accompanied by a cough.
A pneumothorax, which is a partial or complete collapse of a lung, can result from a chest injury, lung disease or certain medical procedures.
Primary aldosteronism is a condition in which your adrenal glands overproduce a hormone that, in excess, can cause high blood pressure. Effective treatments are available.
Primary biliary cirrhosis begins with inflammation in the liver's small bile ducts, but eventually can lead to damage and scarring in the liver itself.
Prostate cancer is a common cancer affecting men. But with early detection, you improve your chances of successful treatment.
Pseudotumor cerebri — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of increased pressure inside the skull.
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 results from scar tissue that forms in your lungs. This affects your ability to breathe and obtain enough oxygen.
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.
Pulmonary valve stenosis is a narrowing of the valve that controls blood flow from your heart to your lungs. It's usually present at birth.
Rectovaginal fistula — Comprehensive overview explains treatment of this complication due to childbirth, Crohn's disease, cancer or other causes.
Retinoblastoma is a cancerous tumor of the eye that generally affects young children. If retinoblastoma is detected early, a cure is possible.
Parenting a child with Rett syndrome can be challenging. Here's what to expect and steps you can take to help your child.
A ruptured spleen is a medical emergency. Immediate surgery is needed to prevent life-threatening bleeding.
Sacroiliitis is one cause of low back pain and discomfort. It's an inflammation of the sacroiliac joints, which connect the lower spine and pelvis.
Salivary gland cancer is a rare form of cancer that often begins with a painless lump in the mouth, throat or neck.
Sarcoidosis starts in your lungs but can cause inflammation in any part of your body. It can last a lifetime, or disappear in a few years.
Schizophrenia causes delusions, hallucinations and behavior changes. The good news is that new medications can often effectively manage schizophrenia symptoms.
The pain of acute sciatica can be excruciating, but it usually goes away in about six weeks. Learn how to feel better in the meantime.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. Most cases are mild, but severe cases may require treatment with braces or surgery.
Sex headaches are usually nothing to worry about. But they can sometimes be associated with bleeding problems inside and around the brain.
Shaken baby syndrome — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment of this serious brain injury.
Sheehan's syndrome is a rare pituitary gland disorder that occurs in women usually as a result of severe blood loss during childbirth.
Sinus headaches are often confused with migraines. Proper diagnosis and treatment are the keys to relief.
Snoring may be just a nighttime annoyance, or it may indicate a more serious health condition. It can also disrupt your life and relationships.
Soft tissue sarcomas are uncommon cancers that originate in the soft tissues of your body.
A spinal cord injury affects the nerves that carry impulses to and from your brain. Permanent disability commonly results.
A spinal tumor can cause back pain, loss of sensation — even paralysis. But recent advances offer more treatment options than ever before.
Find out about this rare cause of heart attack in young, healthy people.
Reduce your risk of stomach cancer by eating more fruits and vegetables.
Stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Stroke is a medical emergency.
Swollen lymph nodes usually indicate an infection, particularly in children. However, there are many causes, ranging from the common cold to cancer.
Syringomyelia is the development of a fluid-filled cyst within your spinal cord. It can cause a variety of neurological symptoms, including pain, weakness and stiffness.
Tapeworms most commonly enter your body through contaminated food or water. Symptoms aren't always present, but the prognosis is good with prompt diagnosis and treatment.
A tension headache is the most common form of headache. A number of treatments are available to help you deal with the pain.
Testicular cancer is highly treatable, even when it has spread beyond the testicle.
The most common throat cancers are linked to smoking and excessive alcohol use.
Thrombophlebitis occurs when a blood clot and swelling develop in a vein, typically in your leg. The cause often is prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
Thumb arthritis (basal joint arthritis) occurs when the joint at your wrist and the base of your thumb develops osteoarthritis.
Thunderclap headaches strike suddenly. Immediate medical attention is essential. Some thunderclap headaches signal a life-threatening condition.
Head noise — also called ringing in the ears (tinnitus) — is common. Although often annoying, tinnitus is rarely a warning of a serious health problem.
TMJ disorders are painful conditions centered where your jawbone attaches to your skull. The pain may be temporary or chronic.
Tooth abscess — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of this painful tooth condition.
Toxic hepatitis is liver damage that occurs when your liver isn't able to break down certain toxins — including common pain relievers such as Tylenol.
While mild traumatic brain injury generally results in few long-term problems, more severe injury can cause several physical, emotional, behavioral, communication and cognitive problems.
Tuberous sclerosis is a rare genetic disease. With appropriate treatment, many people who have tuberous sclerosis lead full, productive lives.
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors of the uterus. Medical therapy and surgical procedures can shrink or remove uterine fibroids.
Vaginal cancer is a rare cancer that typically occurs in older women.
Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels. It can affect people of any age. Treatment depends on the type of vasculitis.
Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening heart rhythm disturbance that requires immediate treatment. Find out more.
Vocal cord paralysis occurs when one or both of your vocal cords don't open or close properly.
Cancer of the vulva, the outer part of the female genitalia, is rare. It occurs most often in older women.
Whiplash is a neck injury often linked to auto accidents. Discover which treatments work and which don't.
Wilms' tumor is a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children.
Sometimes it really is all in the wrist. Learn more about what causes wrist pain and how it's treated.
In Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, tumors in the pancreas or duodenum secrete a hormone called gastrin that leads to excessive stomach acid and ulcers.
Mar. 23, 2012
- CT — Body. RadiologyInfo.org. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=bodyct. Accessed Feb. 24, 2012.
- Smith-Bindman R, et al. Radiation dose associated with common computed tomography examinations and the lifetime attributable risk of cancer. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2009;169:2078.
- Adam A, et al. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-10163-2..X5001-5&isbn=978-0-443-10163-2&uniqId=319273617-2. Accessed Feb. 24, 2012.
- Contrast materials. RadiologyInfo.org. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/safety/index.cfm?pg=sfty_contrast. Accessed Feb. 24, 2012.