In-depth

Acute coronary syndrome

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.

Adult Still's disease

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.

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.

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.

Atrial septal defect

Atrial septal defect (ASD) is an abnormal opening between the heart's upper pumping chambers. It's common and readily treated.

Atrioventricular canal defect

Atrioventricular canal defect is a congenital heart defect involving a hole in the center of the heart and abnormal valves between the heart's chambers.

Broken heart syndrome

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

Brucellosis

Brucellosis is an infectious disease that spreads from animals to people, mainly via unpasteurized dairy products. Travelers should take special care to avoid infection.

Bundle branch block

Bundle branch block is a disorder that affects the electrical impulses traveling to your heart. It may be a sign of underlying heart disease.

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.

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.

Conjoined twins

Conjoined twins are identical twins most often joined at the chest, head or pelvis. In some cases, conjoined twins can be surgically separated.

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.

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) includes a group of uncommon genetic disorders that mainly affect the joints, skin and walls of blood vessels.

Eisenmenger syndrome

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

Enlarged heart

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

Heart arrhythmias

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

Heart attack

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 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.

High blood pressure in children

High blood pressure in children and adolescents is often caused by another health condition, but is usually treatable with diet and exercise.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic disorder in which heart muscle becomes abnormally thick. It's the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young people.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a rare and complex congenital heart condition in which the left side of the heart is underdeveloped.

Kawasaki disease

Kawasaki disease — the leading cause of acquired coronary disease in children — causes artery wall inflammation throughout the body. It affects children younger than age 5.

Left ventricular hypertrophy

Left ventricular hypertrophy, thickening of the wall of your heart's main pumping chamber, increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Low blood pressure (hypotension)

Low blood pressure (hypotension) can be a sign of good health or of a life-threatening condition. Find out more about hypotension's causes and treatment options.

Lupus

Lupus is a chronic disease that can affect your skin, joints and organs. With proper care, most people with lupus live relatively active, healthy lives.

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.

Myocardial ischemia

Myocardial ischemia is a heart problem that occurs when blood flow to your heart muscle is decreased, reducing the heart's oxygen supply.

Myocarditis

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

Noonan syndrome

Noonan syndrome is caused by a mutation in one of the genes responsible for normal development in many parts of the body, including the heart.

Orthostatic hypotension (postural hypotension)

Orthostatic hypotension (postural hypotension) is a form of low blood pressure that occurs when you stand up.

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.

Patent foramen ovale

Patent foramen ovale, an opening between the heart's upper chambers, usually doesn't require treatment.

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.

Premature birth

Having a preemie can be overwhelming. Here's what you need to know about your baby's care and the possible complications of a premature birth.

Pulmonary atresia

Pulmonary atresia is a heart defect that you're born with. Fortunately, treatment soon after birth and ongoing throughout childhood and adulthood greatly improve your prognosis.

Pulmonary edema

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

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.

Pulmonary valve stenosis

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.

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.

Rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever, an inflammatory disease triggered by untreated or poorly treated strep throat, can cause permanent heart damage.

Stroke

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.

Sudden cardiac arrest

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

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.

Tricuspid atresia

A heart with tricuspid atresia doesn't have a tricuspid valve. This heart defect prevents blood flow from the right atrium to the right ventricle.

Tuberous sclerosis

Tuberous sclerosis is a rare genetic disease. With appropriate treatment, many people who have tuberous sclerosis lead full, productive lives.

Vasovagal syncope

Vasovagal syncope (fainting) is a sudden and brief loss of consciousness that occurs when the blood flow to your brain is markedly reduced.

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.

Nov. 06, 2012