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Heart Disease Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Heart Disease

  1. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Types - Topic Overview

    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic disease in which the heart muscle grows abnormally, making the heart muscle thicken. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is described as either obstructive or nonobstructive. Nonobstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle is abnormally thick but not to the extent that any part of it crowds the lower heart chambers (ventricles). The thicker muscle simply cannot relax properly. This means that less blood can enter the chambers and less blood is circulated to the body. Also, abnormal heart rhythms may develop. Most people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy have this type. Obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Portions of the heart muscle become so thick that they bulge out into the lower heart chambers (ventricles). Blocked blood flow and smaller, less effective ventricles result, especially during exercise, when the heart has less time to relax and fill. Thickened heart muscle may also interfere with how the heart valves open and close,

  2. Medications

    You probably will need to take a combination of medicines to treat heart failure, even if you do not have symptoms yet. Medicines do not cure heart failure. However, they can help you manage your symptoms.The goals of drug treatment are to relieve or control symptoms of heart failure, improve daily function and quality of life, slow the progression of the disease, and reduce the risk of ...

  3. Heart Attack and Unstable Angina - Surgery

    On rare occasions, coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is done on an emergency basis to treat a heart attack. Coronary artery bypass grafting, also called bypass surgery or "cabbage, " may be needed when a heart attack cannot be safely and effectively treated with medicine or angioplasty. For example, bypass surgery may be done when there are blockages in the coronary arteries that cannot

  4. Aortic Valve Regurgitation - Exams and Tests

    You should have a physical exam periodically, with the frequency depending on your age, overall health, and risk factors for various conditions. Most heart valve problems are discovered by a doctor while listening to the heart with a stethoscope. If your doctor finds aortic valve regurgitation during a routine physical, the condition will likely not have progressed to the point of being severe ...

  5. Heart Problems: Living With an ICD

    An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) helps protect you against dangerous heart rhythms. It's important to know how this device works and how to keep it working right. Learning a few important facts about ICDs can help you get the best results from your device.You may have a device that combines an ICD with a pacemaker, which keeps your heart from beating too slowly. For more information on pacemakers, see Heart Problems: Living With a Pacemaker.Key pointsAvoid strong magnetic and electrical fields. These can keep your device from working right. Most office equipment and home appliances are safe to use. Learn which things you should use with caution and which you should stay away from.Know what to do when you get a shock from your ICD. Be sure that any doctor, dentist, or other health professional you see knows that you have an ICD. Always carry a card in your wallet that tells what kind of device you have. Wear medical alert jewelry that says you have an ICD. Have your

  6. Ventricular Tachycardia - Topic Overview

    If you have supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), go to the topic Supraventricular Tachycardia.What is ventricular tachycardia?Ventricular tachycardia is a fast heart rhythm that starts in the lower part of the heart (ventricles). If left untreated, some forms of ventricular tachycardia may worsen and lead to ventricular fibrillation, which can be life - threatening. What causes ventricular ...

  7. Echocardiogram

    An echocardiogram (also called an echo) is a type of ultrasound test that uses high - pitched sound waves that are sent through a device called a transducer.

  8. Mitral Valve Disease: Heart Rhythm Problems - Topic Overview

    A complication of mitral valve stenosis or mitral valve regurgitation (MR) is an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).This irregular heartbeat is created by a disruption in a web of nerves covering the surface of the heart. These nerves send electrical signals that cause your heart to contract and pump blood out of the heart. This web of nerves is controlled by a collection of cells on the right atrium called the sinoatrial node. As it fires, so do the rest of the nerves, causing all of the muscle cells in your heart to contract, producing one forceful pump.As mitral valve stenosis or MR stretches out your heart, it too can disrupt this web of nerves. Communication pathways may weaken because the sinoatrial node is no longer working correctly. Without clear signals from this node, the nerves begin to fire randomly, creating a chaotic network of electrical signals. When this happens, the heart is no longer able to pump with one motion, and instead it starts beating irregularly

  9. Mitral Valve Prolapse - Medications

    People with mitral valve prolapse (MVP) usually do not need medications, especially if they do not have mitral valve regurgitation. Medications cannot correct bulging (prolapse) of the mitral valve or prevent many of the complications that can develop. However, medication is sometimes used to control symptoms or prevent infection.Medication choicesMedications may help relieve certain symptoms ...

  10. Cardiac Arrest - Topic Overview

    In cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly stops beating. This causes blood to stop pumping to the body. If the heartbeat is not restarted within minutes, the person will die. This problem is also called sudden cardiac arrest.Cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, which happens when part of the heart muscle dies because blood flow to it has been blocked.What causes it?Cardiac arrest is usually caused by a problem with the heart's electrical system. In most cases, the heart's rhythm is too fast and irregular. This problem is called ventricular fibrillation (say ven-TRICK-yuh-ler fib-ruh-LAY-shun). The lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) quiver very fast and can't pump blood.But cardiac arrest often happens to people who didn't know they had a heart problem. Some other health problems can increase the chance of a deadly heart rhythm. They include:Heart disease (coronary artery disease).A heart attack.Heart failure.Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (say hy-per-TROH-fik

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