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Valvular disease (blood vessels disorders)

Aortic dissection
Aortic dissection is a rare, but potentially fatal, condition in which blood passes through the inner lining and between the layers of the aorta. The dissecting aorta usually does not burst, but has an abnormal second channel within it. Aortic dissection is due to a partial tear in the main artery from the heart (aorta), which causes a separation (dissection) of the layers of the aortic wall and bleeding into and along the wall of the aorta. Aortic dissection is a life-threatening condition. Doctors also refer to it as a dissecting aneurysm. Aortic dissection is caused by a deterioration of the inner lining of the aorta.
Carotid artery disease
Carotid artery disease is a form of disease that affects the vessels leading to the head and brain (cerebrovascular disease). Like the heart, the brain's cells need a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood. This blood supply is delivered to the brain by the 2 large carotid arteries in the front of your neck and by 2 smaller vertebral arteries at the back of your neck. The right and left vertebral arteries come together at the base of the brain to form what is called the basilar artery. A stroke most often occurs when the carotid arteries become blocked and the brain does not get enough oxygen. Carotid artery disease is the blockage or narrowing of the carotid arteries, the main source of blood flow from the heart to the brain.
Economy class syndrome
Economy class syndrome was coined in the late 1990s when it turned out that people who has traveled long distances by aeroplane were at an increased risk for thrombosis, especially deep venous thrombosis and its main complication, pulmonary embolism. Although all these diseases had been recognised for a long time, the possibility of litigation against airline companies brought them into the limelight when this "syndrome" was reported. The mechanism for thrombosis in travellers is probably due to a combination of immobilisation, dehydration and underlying factors.
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
High blood pressure or hypertension means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. The arteries are the vessels that carry blood from the pumping heart to all of the tissues and organs of the body. Hypertension does not mean excessive emotional tension, although emotional tension and stress can temporarily increase the blood pressure. High blood pressure is generally defined as a level exceeding 140/90 mm Hg that has been confirmed on multiple occasions. High blood pressure is far more common in families where other members have this condition. There are also many other factors which are related to high blood pressure.
Hypotension (low blood pressure)
Low blood pressure or hypotension refers to the fall in blood pressure below normal. This may be a direct outcome of a weakened and devitalized system. While the normal limits are defined by the World Health Organisation as 140 mm / gh systolic and 90 mm/gh diastolic, it has now been reduced to 120 mm/gh systolic and 80 mm/gh diastolic in the US. Anything above that is high blood pressure or hypertension. Anything below is the low blood pressure. Low blood pressure that does not cause symptoms is generally considered to be a sign of good cardiovascular health because there is less stress on the heart and blood vessels.

Vasculitis (inflammatory vascular diseases)

Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels that can affect any blood vessel in any part of the body. The inflammation can be limited to one location within a blood vessel, or spread throughout an organ or tissue, so symptoms of vasculitis can affect every major body system. Vasculitis is not a disease, but a process that occurs in the course of many other diseases and disorders. Vasculitis can affect people of all ages. Some age groups are affected more than others, depending on the type of vasculitis. There also are geographical and ethnic differences in the incidence of vasculitis.
A stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is suddenly interrupted by occlusion (an ischemic stroke) or by hemorrhage (a hemorrhagic stroke). The former, ischemia, is a reduction of blood flow due to occlusion (an obstruction). The latter, hemorrhagic stroke, occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding the brain cells or when a cerebral aneurysm ruptures. The effects of a stroke depend on which part of the brain is injured, and how severely it is injured. Strokes may cause sudden weakness, loss of sensation, or difficulty with speaking, seeing, or walking.
Venous diseases
Many veins, particularly those in the arms and legs, have one-way valves. Each valve consists of two flaps with edges that meet. Blood, as it moves toward the heart, pushes the cusps open like a pair of one-way swinging doors. The main problems that affect the veins include inflammation, clotting, and defects that lead to distention and varicose veins. The veins in the legs are particularly affected because when a person is standing, blood must flow upward from the leg veins, against gravity, to reach the heart. If the vein walls are weak and damaged, or if the valve is stretched or injured, the system becomes incompetent and blood is allowed to collect and flow in a retrograde fashion when the muscles relax.
Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a major vein, usually in the legs and/or pelvis. Thrombosis occurs when the blood changes from a liquid to a solid state thereby producing a clot. If the blood clot occurs within a major vein, the condition is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The most common veins affected by DVT are those of the legs or within the pelvis (lower abdomen). Deep vein thrombosis is a common but difficult to detect illness that can be fatal if not treated effectively. Deep vein thrombosis is a major complication in patients who have had orthopedic surgery or pelvic, abdominal, or thoracic surgery.
Superficial thrombophlebitis
Superficial thrombophlebitis (superficial phlebitis) is inflammation and clotting in a superficial vein. Superficial thrombophlebitis occurs in the superficial veins just beneath the skin and may cause severe pain within the vein and adjacent tissues. The surrounding tissues are warm and tender to the touch, reddish in color, firm, and swollen. The vein might feel like a hard cord. Superficial thrombophlebitis can occur after an injury, in a varicose vein, or after irritating intravenous fluids have been infused into the vein. Superficial thrombophlebitis most often affects the superficial veins in the legs but may also affect superficial veins in the groin.
Varicose veins
Varicose veins are veins near the surface of the skin on the legs which have become permanently distended and filled with blood. Veins have valves that are designed to prevent blood from flowing backwards due to gravity. When a valve malfunctions or vein walls weaken, blood collects in the vein, forcing it to bulge. Varicose veins are unsightly, bluish or purple in color and can protrude from the leg. They may cause discomfort such as swelling, throbbing, heaviness, night cramps and long-term complications such as ulcerations or bleeding. Varicose veins are caused by our upright posture.
Arteriovenous fistula
An arteriovenous fistula is an abnormal channel or passage between an artery and a vein. An arteriovenous fistula is a disruption of the normal blood flow pattern. Normally, oxygenated blood flows to the tissue through arteries and capillaries. Following the release of oxygen in the tissues, the blood returns to the heart in veins. An arteriovenous fistula is an abnormal connection of an artery and a vein. The blood bypasses the capillaries and tissues, and returns to the heart. Arterial blood has a higher blood pressure than veins and causes swelling of veins involved in a fistula. There are two types of arteriovenous fistulas, congenital and acquired.
Pulmonary embolism
Pulmonary embolism is an obstruction of a blood vessel in the lungs, usually due to a blood clot, which blocks a coronary artery. A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot, generally a venous thrombus, becomes dislodged from its site of formation and embolizes to the arterial blood supply of one of the lungs, causing vascular obstruction and impaired gas exchange. Pulmonary embolism is the sudden blockage of an artery in the lung. Once the artery is blocked, usually by one or more blood clots, oxygen levels drop, and blood pressure in the lungs rises.

Topics in heart disease and cardiovascular disorders

Coronary circulation disorders
Myocardium disorders
Heart valve disorders
Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
Heart inflammation and infection
Congenital heart disease
Valvular disease (blood vessels disorders)
Procedures done for coronary artery disease
Devices used in cardiology
Diagnostic tests and procedures for heart diseases
Heart transplant

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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005