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Cardiology is the branch of medicine that deals with disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Below are some of the cardiovascular conditions that are diagnosed and treated by the cardiologists at Pinehurst Medical Clinic:

  • Aneurysm. A balloon-like bulge in an artery. If a bulge stretches the artery too far, the vessel can burst. Aneurysms can form in arteries of all sizes, but the most serious are those that affect the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body (the aorta), the heart’s pumping chamber (ventricle), and arteries that supply blood to the brain.
  • Angina. A type of chest discomfort caused by inadequate blood flow to the heart. It may be experienced as tightness, heavy pressure, squeezing pain, or crushing chest pain. The most common cause of angina is coronary artery disease, narrowing or blockage of the arteries that supply blood to the heart.
  • Arrhythmia. Any disorder of heart rate or rhythm. Examples of arrhythmias are tachycardia (faster-than-normal heartbeat) and bradycardia (slower-than-normal heartbeat).
  • Atherosclerosis. The buildup of fatty deposits (plaques) in the arteries. The narrowing and stiffening of arteries due to plaque buildup can interfere with blood flow, causing pain in oxygen-starved organs. If a plaque in a coronary artery ruptures, it can cause heart attack or stroke.
  • Atrial fibrillation. A heart rhythm disorder in which the upper chambers of the heart (atria) contract rapidly and in a disorganized manner. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of blood clots that can block the flow of blood to the brain, lungs, or other organs.
  • Bradycardia. An abnormally slow heart rate. Bradycardia may have no symptoms or may cause heart palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, and fainting.
  • Cardiomyopathy. A disease of the heart muscle in which the muscle tone is damaged and the heart’s ability to pump blood is impaired. The most common type is dilated cardiomyopathy, in which one or more of the heart’s chambers is enlarged and its pumping becomes less forceful. Other types include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the walls of the heart muscle thicken, and restrictive cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle becomes more rigid.
  • Chest pain. Discomfort or pain along the front of the body between the neck and upper abdomen. Chest pain may be a symptom of a heart attack or coronary artery disease, but it may also occur due to asthma, pneumonia, muscle strain, anxiety, or digestive problems (e.g., heartburn, ulcers, or gallstones).
  • Claudication. Claudication is pain in the calf or thigh muscle that occurs with exercise and is relieved by rest. The pain is caused by poor blood flow due to narrowing or blockages affecting the arteries that carry blood to the legs. Claudication is the most common symptom in people who have peripheral artery disease.
  • Congestive heart failure. A condition in which the heart is weak and has lost some ability to pump blood. Symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent coughing or wheezing, fatigue, and swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, or abdomen.