The Heart & Vascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) leads the way in providing innovative and compassionate care of the highest quality for the entire spectrum of cardiovascular diseases and conditions.
From more common cardiovascular conditions, such as coronary heart disease and heart rhythm disorders, to lesser-known diseases, such as cardiac amyloidosis, we have the physician and nursing expertise and advanced technologies necessary to provide outstanding care. We also specialize in providing cardiovascular care for patients who have other health concerns, including women who are pregnant and patients who are being treated for cancer.
Diseases and Conditions
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Many patients with a congenital heart defect, the most common type of birth defect, should be followed for life by a specialist. Learn more about adult congenital heart disease.
Amyloid Heart Disease
This condition involves the accumulation of amyloid, an abnormal protein, in the heart, which causes the heart to stiffen. Learn more about amyloid heart disease.
Aneurysm: Abdominal, Aortic, Thoracic, and Peripheral
An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of a blood vessel, resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of the vessel's normal diameter. Learn more about abdominal, aortic, thoracic, and peripheral aneurysms.
This condition involves the buildup of plaque (mainly cholesterol deposits) within the arteries, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to vital body organs and extremities. Learn more about atherosclerosis.
When this condition occurs, the upper chambers of the heart beat in an unorganized rhythm, and the heart rate may increase from the normal range of 60 to 100 beats per minute to 150 to 200 beats per minute. Learn more about atrial fibrillation.
Cancer and the Heart
Many cancer patients develop some type of heart complication as a result of cancer therapy, such as heart failure, arrhythmia, hypertension, and ischemia (decreased blood flow to the heart). Learn more about cancer and the heart.
Cardiovascular Genetic Diseases
Patients whose blood relatives have certain cardiovascular diseases are also at risk of developing the condition and should be screened. Learn more about cardiovascular genetic diseases.
Carotid Artery Disease
This disease is characterized by the narrowing of the carotid arteries, the main blood vessels for carrying oxygenated blood to the brain, which increases the risk of a stroke. Learn more about carotid artery disease.
Cerebrovascular disease refers to conditions that adversely affect blood flow to the brain. Learn more about cerebrovascular disease.
Congestive Heart Failure/Cardiomyopathy
The heart’s failure to sufficiently pump oxygenated blood needed by the body's other organs may lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath, swelling of the legs and ankles, fatigue and weakness, loss of appetite, and a persistent cough. Learn more about congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy.
Coronary Heart Disease
If blood flow is completely blocked by plaque or by a blood clot that forms inside the narrowed coronary artery, a heart attack may occur. Learn more about coronary heart disease.
Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism
Blood clots in the deep leg veins that break off from vein walls may travel through the heart and block an artery in the lung. Learn more about deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
This condition occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream, multiplies, and causes an infection in the heart. Learn more about endocarditis.
Heart Rhythm Disorders
Disturbances in the normal rhythmic beating of the heart, causing it to beat too slowly (bradycardia) or too quickly (tachycardia), are caused by a problem with the heart’s electrical system. Learn more about heart rhythm disorders.
Heart Valve Disease
This disease involves two main types of malfunctions: regurgitation (leakage of the valve) and stenosis (narrowing of the valve). Learn more about heart valve disease.
Hyperlipidemia (High Blood Cholesterol)
Patients who have high levels of lipids (bad cholesterol and triglycerides) in their blood, who are often (but not always) obese, are at greater risk for experiencing a heart attack or stroke. Learn more about hyperlipidemia.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
This condition, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, can damage and weaken the arteries and cause the heart to pump harder. Learn more about hypertension.
When the pericardium becomes inflamed, the amount of fluid between its two layers often increases, which can impair the ability of the heart to fill and function properly. Learn more about pericardial disease.
Peripheral Artery Disease
This slow and progressive circulation disorder affecting the arteries that supply the legs or arms with blood is usually caused by atherosclerosis. Learn more about peripheral artery disease.
Pregnancy and Heart Disease
Pregnancy increases stress on a woman’s heart and circulatory system, posing significant, sometimes life-threatening, risks for mothers and their babies. Learn more about pregnancy and heart disease.
High blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs occurs when the small blood vessels that go through the lungs become thicker, constrict, or become plugged. Learn more about pulmonary hypertension.
Renal Artery Stenosis
This condition involves a blockage of an artery to the kidneys, which may ultimately lead to kidney failure and hypertension (high blood pressure). Learn more about renal artery stenosis.
A stroke can be caused by a blockage in one of the vital blood vessels in the brain (ischemic stroke), or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into surrounding tissues (hemorrhagic stroke). Learn more about stroke prevention.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Compression of nerves or vessels in the thoracic outlet – a small area between the collarbone, first rib, and vertebrae – can cause pain in the neck and shoulder, numbness and tingling of the fingers, and a weak grip. Learn more about Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
Venous and Lymphatic Disorders
Left untreated, these conditions can lead to significant pain, itching, swelling, and medical complications. Learn more about venous and lymphatic disorders.
An abnormally fast heartbeat, like other types of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), is caused by a problem with the heart’s electrical system. Learn more about ventricular tachycardia.
This page was last modified on 5/26/2016