Diseases & Conditions

Cardiac disease and conditions can have many different causes. Some diseases are caused by structural abnormalities in chambers or valves that are congenital (present at birth) or acquired. Other conditions are diseases of the heart muscle itself. Arrhythmias, or irregularities in the force or rhythm of the heartbeat, can cause or be caused by other cardiac conditions. Finally, other conditions such as thyroid disease or cancer can cause cardiac problems.

Blood empties into the right atrium from the body via the vena cava. Passing through the tricuspid valve, it enters the right ventricle then out to the lungs through the pulmonic valve via the pulmonary artery. After being oxygenated in the tissues of the lungs, the blood returns to the heart via the pulmonary veins into the left atrium. It then passes through the mitral valve to the left ventricle where it is pumped out the aorta across the aortic valve to the rest of the body.