An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small device that's placed in the chest or abdomen. This device uses electrical pulses or shocks to help control life-threatening, irregular heartbeats, especially those that could lead the heart to suddenly stop beating (sudden cardiac arrest). If the heart stops beating, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. This usually causes death if it's not treated in minutes. [Read More]
Cardiomyopathy refers to diseases of the heart muscle. These diseases have a variety of causes, symptoms, and treatments. In cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle becomes enlarged or abnormally thick or rigid. In rare cases, the muscle tissue in the heart is replaced with scar tissue.
As cardiomyopathy progresses, the heart becomes weaker and less able to pump blood through the body. This can lead to heart failure, arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), fluid buildup in the lungs or legs, and, more rarely, endocarditis (a bacterial infection of the lining of the heart). The weakening of the heart also can lead to other severe complications.
Cardiomyopathy can affect people of all ages, from babies to older adults. However, certain age groups are more likely to have certain types of cardiomyopathy. Treatment may involve medicines, surgery, nonsurgical procedures, and lifestyle changes. [Read More]
Dofetilide is a prescription drug that is prescribed to patients with irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation/flutter). It enables the heart to beat more regularly. Dofetilide is marketed as Tikosyn by Pfizer. [Read More]
Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is the reverse flow (reflux) of urine back into the ureters and kidney from the bladder where urine is stored just before it is released from the body (urination). Normally, there should be no backflow of urine. This protects the kidney from any possible infected urine stored in the bladder. The abnormality in VUR is incompetent valves at the junction between the bladder and ureters. There is weakness of bladder at the site of ureteral entry and the trigone. This condition may lead to recurrent urinary tract infections UTI and inevitably infections of the kidney (pyelonephritiis). The ureteral orifices enter at the outer edges of a ridge, and this ridge forms the upper portion of the trigone. [Read More]
Hookworm is an intestinal parasite of humans that usually causes mild diarrhea or cramps. Heavy infection with hookworm can create serious health problems for newborns, children, pregnant women, and persons who are malnourished. Hookworm infections occur mostly in tropical and subtropical climates and are estimated to infect about 1 billion people -- about one-fifth of the world's population.
One of the most common species, Ancylostoma duodenale, is found in southern Europe, northern Africa, northern Asia, and parts of South America. A second species, Necator americanus , was widespread in the southeastern United States early in this century. The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission was founded in response, and hookworm infection has been largely controlled. [Read More]