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General Cardiology — Conditions We Treat

The following conditions are some of the most common conditions treated by specialists in this area. These specialists offer expert care for many other related medical problems. If you need care for a condition not listed here, please call (888) 352-RUSH (7874) to find a doctor who can help you.

  • Amyloidosis is a rare condition caused by the buildup of a protein called amyloid in one or more organs or tissues. Clumps of the abnormal proteins, called amyloid deposits, lead to damage of the affected area.
  • Angina is chest pain or discomfort that occurs when the heart isn’t receiving enough blood. It is a symptom of an underlying heart problem, usually coronary artery disease.
  • An aortic aneurysm is a bulging section in the aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the heart into the chest and abdomen.
  • At the Rush Electrophysiology, Arrhythmia and Pacemaker Program, you'll find electrophysiologists who specialize in caring for heartbeat irregularities and provide second opinions. They offer all of the most advanced treatment options, including cardiac ablation and leadless pacing (e.g., Micra).
  • Atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia, is a serious condition that causes an irregular, and often fast, heartbeat. This makes the heart pump blood less effectively, weakening the heart and potentially leading to blood clots, stroke or congestive heart failure.
  • Cardiomyopathy

    Cardiomyopathy refers to diseases of the heart muscle. Cardiomyopathy can make heart muscle larger or more rigid, which can make it harder for the heart to pump blood properly and maintain a normal rhythm. This can lead to heart failure or arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).
  • Claudication

    Claudication is painful cramping of the leg while walking, climbing stairs or exercising that generally goes away with rest. Claudication is the most common symptom of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). PVD is hardening of the arteries. PVD is also known as peripheral artery disease (PAD) or atherosclerosis.
  • Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart weakens and can’t pump enough blood throughout the body. It doesn’t mean your heart has stopped working or is about to stop working, but it is a serious condition that needs immediate medical attention.  
  • Coronary artery disease, also known as ischemic heart disease, occurs when the heart can’t get enough blood and oxygen. This is caused by atherosclerosis a buildup of cholesterol and other material, called plaque, along the inner walls of the arteries.
  • Edema refers to swelling caused by an extra build-up of fluid in your body’s tissues. Most often, it affects the feet, ankles, legs arms, hands and face, but it can affect any part of the body.
  • Endocarditis

    Endocarditis is an infection in the lining of heart chambers and valves. The infection occurs when bacteria or other germs make their way through the blood to abnormal areas of the heart. Endocarditis occurs more often in people who have congenital heart defects (ones they are born with) or other heart damage.
  • A heart attack (myocardial infarction) occurs when part of your heart muscle is damaged or dies due to a lack of blood flow to the area, which deprives it of oxygen.
  • A heart murmur is an abnormal or extra sound from a heartbeat. While the majority of cases are harmless, some signal underlying problems that require medical attention.
  • Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when that force is too high and begins harming the heart and blood vessels.
  • High cholesterol, having too much cholesterol in your bloodstream, can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and other heart problems.
  • Triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood, are an important measure of your health, especially your heart. If your triglyceride levels are too high, you may have a higher risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes or heart disease.  
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can cause abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia) or a blockage of blood flow out of the ventricle. It is a common cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes.
  • Infiltrative Cardiomyopathies

    Infiltrative cardiomyopathies are acquired and inherited diseases characterized by the deposition of abnormal biological substances within the heart that can lead to cardiac dysfunction, arrhythmias or heart failure. Cardiomyopathies can cause the heart muscle to become larger or more rigid, which can make it harder for the heart to pump blood properly and maintain a normal rhythm. These diseases can result in symptoms of heart failure (breathlessness, lower extremity swelling, exercise intolerance, fatigue), as well as symptoms related to electrical disturbances (lightheadedness, palpitations, syncope), such as ventricular/atrial arrhythmias.comes.
  • Marfan syndrome is an inherited disorder affecting the connective tissue that supports the body and plays a role in how it grows and develops.
  • Mitral valve prolapse occurs when the mitral valve, which controls blood flow in the left side of the heart, doesn’t close tightly.
  • Mitral valve stenosis — also called mitral stenosis — is a heart condition where the valve controlling the flow of blood from the upper chamber to the lower chamber on the left side of your heart is blocked. When your blood can't flow easily, it backs up into the upper chamber of your heart, then into your lungs.
  • Pericarditis

    Pericarditis is infection or inflammation in the sac around the heart. This condition tends to cause a sharp, steady pain in the neck and shoulder.
  • Peripheral vascular disease, also known as peripheral artery disease, occurs when a buildup of plaque and other substances blocks or narrows arteries, limiting or halting blood flow.
  • A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that lodges in one of the lung's arteries. This results in shortness of breath and chest pain. If not treated, it can be fatal.
  • Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the arteries that lead from the heart to the lungs.
  • Pulmonary stenosis is a rare heart defect that results in a narrowing of the pulmonary valve, the one-way opening that lets blood flow from the heart to the lungs. The areas just before or after the pulmonary valve might also be affected.
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease

    Rheumatic heart disease is heart disease caused by rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that can develop in people who have had strep throat, scarlet fever or other infections caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. It often damages heart valves, leading to lifelong heart disease.
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome

    Sick sinus syndrome is the name for a group of arrhythmias involving the heart’s natural pacemaker that can cause heart rhythms to be too fast, too slow, and/or include long pauses. Most often, sick sinus syndrome occurs in people over the age of 50. Treatment may involve implanting a pacemaker to stabilize the heart’s rhythm.  
  • Syncope

    Syncope is the medical name for fainting, or temporarily losing consciousness. Possible causes of fainting include emotional stress, heart problems, neurological issues, dehydration and standing up too fast, among many others.
  • Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)

    Ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a rapid heartbeat (a pulse rate of more than 100 beats per minute, with at least three irregular heartbeats in a row) that originates in the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles). It can develop after a heart attack or in people with heart failure, cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, heart valve disease or congenital heart disease. Symptoms — including pounding heart, shortness of breath, chest pain and dizziness — often come on suddenly and go away on their own.