Heart Arrhythmia – Definition, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Arrhythmia Arrhythmia is irregularity or abnormality of the heart’s contractions. Arrhythmias can result from numerous causes including electrical disturbances of the heart’s pacing mechanisms, physical damage to the heart such as might occur with heart attack, interruptions of the heart’s blood supply that cause myocardial hypoxia (oxygen depletion), severe electrolyte imbalances, and medication side effects. Cocaine use can initiate sudden […]

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Heart Attack – Symptoms, Treatment and Definition

Definition of Heart Attack Heart attack is the interruption of cardiovascular function. The most common cause of heart attack is myocardial infarction, a blockage of the coronary arteries, usually with a blood clot, that disrupts the flow of blood to the heart (myocardium). Other causes of heart attack include arrhythmia, systemic hypoxia (such as may occur with drowning or carbon monoxide poisoning), […]

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Pericarditis – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Pericarditis Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, the membranous sac that surrounds and protects the heart. Pericarditis can be acute (comes on suddenly) or chronic (intermittent symptoms over a period of time), the result of an infection or an autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis. Infections are usually viral, with the coxsackie virus and echovirus the most common culprits, though viral pericarditis […]

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Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

Definition of Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome – An inherited arrhythmia disorder in which an extra conduction pathway, called an accessory pathway, exists between the heart’s atria and ventricles. The accessory pathway allows the heart’s electrical pacing impulse to bypass the normal conductive route, reaching the ventricles before the atria have completed their contraction cycle. While many people […]

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Heart Failure – Symptoms and Treatment and Definition

Definition of Heart Failure The inability of the heart to adequately pump blood – may affect the right heart (pulmonary circulation), left heart (body circulation), or total heart. Heart failure, occasionally called by its antiquated name dropsy, is a consequence of longstanding cardiovascular disease (cvd) that has damaged the structure of the heart. About 5 million Americans live with heart failure […]

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Peripheral Vascular Disease – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) Atherosclerosis that affects the peripheral arteries, notably those in the legs. Atherosclerotic plaque infiltrates the inner wall of the arteries, the intima. This causes the intima to thicken and stiffen, restricting the flexibility of the artery as well as narrowing the passage for blood (arterial lumen). Peripheral Vascular Disease can affect […]

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Aneurysm Definition and Symptoms

Definition of Aneurysm Aneurysm is a weakened and often distended (stretched) area in the wall of an artery. Though an aneurysm may develop in any artery, the most common location is the descending or abdominal aorta. An aneurysm is potentially life-threatening. The continual pressure of the blood flowing through the artery pressures the weakened area, which can cause the […]

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Heart Murmur – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Definition of Heart Murmur Heart Murmur is the sound of blood flowing through an abnormal opening in the heart. Heart murmur is a sign rather than a condition. Transient heart murmurs are common and benign, generally signaling an occasional or circumstantial incomplete valve closure, and do not require further evaluation or treatment. Transient heart murmurs may be present during fever, […]

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Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVC)

Definition of Premature Ventricular Contraction An early heartbeat that causes the sensation of a skipped beat. Most often premature ventricular contractions are harmless. They may occur spontaneously, without apparent cause, and are most noticeable at rest or following strenuous exercise. Caffeine, pseudoephedrine (a vasoconstrictor and stimulant common in cold and allergy products), nicotine (tobacco), and […]

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Angina Pectoris – Definition, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Angina Pectoris Angina Pectoris – chest discomfort originating from the Heart, usually resulting from restricted blood flow due to coronary artery disease (cad) that occludes (blocks) one or more of the coronary arteries. Coronary artery spasm, especially that resulting from cocaine use, may also cause angina. Some people experience a crushing pressure that radiates into the left shoulder, arm, and […]

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