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CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM DISORDERS

Dyslipidaemia

Introduction There is ample evidence linking high blood cholesterol levels to Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) events, including myocardial infarction, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease. On the other hand, there is also evidence for significant reduction in morbidity and mortality from CVDs by reducing blood cholesterol levels in those at risk (primary prevention) and those who have …

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Dizziness and blackouts

Introduction Dizziness and blackouts treatment guidelines – Dizziness is a nonspecific term that refers to abnormal sensation of body orientation or position in space. These include feeling of unsteadiness, light-headedness and vertigo. Patients often find these sensations difficult to describe. Dizziness is almost always associated with other symptoms, therefore a careful history and focused physical …

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Cardiac arrhythmias

Introduction Arrhythmias are disorders of cardiac rate, rhythm and conduction. They can be classified as bradyarrhythmias (heart rate < 60 per minute) and tachyarrhythmias (heart rate > 100 per minute). Bradyarrhythmias include sinus bradycardia, sinus pauses and atrioventricular blocks. The tachyarrhythmias can further be classified into supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias, based on their site of origin. …

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Hypertensive emergencies

Introduction A hypertensive crisis is a severe and potentially life threatening increase in blood pressures (BP) which may result in an acute stroke, subarachnoid haemorrhage, seizures (hypertensive encephalopathy), heart attack, acute dissection of aorta, heart failure, renal damage or eclampsia (during pregnancy). The underlying cause may be primary hypertension; however, secondary causes of hypertension must …

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Rheumatic Heart Disease

Introduction Rheumatic heart disease is a complication of rheumatic fever – a common cause of cardiac failure in Nigeria. In Africa, it manifests later compared to Caucasians. The mitral valve is most affected, followed by the aortic, then the tricuspid The lesions can occur in various combinations of regurgitation and stenosis Clinical features Exertional dyspnoea …

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Rheumatic Fever

Introduction Rheumatic Fever is a result of abnormal reaction of antibodies developed against antigens of group A B-haemolytic streptococcus. Infection is usually of the throat; occasionally the skin in a sensitized individual. Antigen-Antibody complex damages the heart (endocardium, myocardium and pericardium) The commonest streptococcal strains in Africa are C and G Clinical features Duckett-Jones\’ diagnostic …

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Pericarditis

Introduction Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, which may arise from viral, bacterial, fungal or protozoal infections Other causes of pericarditis include: metabolic, malignancy, connective tissue disease, radiation, trauma etc Pericarditis may be acute or chronic Clinical features Acute pericarditis: Chest pain Retrosternal Sharp Radiating to the left shoulder Made worse by breathing or …

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Heart Failure In Children

Introduction: Heart failure is a clinical syndrome in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the metabolic demands of the body despite adequate atrial filling. Causes Unlike adults, the most common causes of heart failure in children are: Congenital heart diseases (CHDs), Non-cardiac causes including Pneumonia Severe anaemia In neonates, metabolic …

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Myocarditis

Introduction Myocarditis is an acute inflammatory process affecting the myocardium that may occur in association with endocarditis and pericarditis. Possible causes: Infections: viral including HIV, bacterial, protozoa Toxins e.g. scorpion sting Poisons e.g. alcohol Drugs/Allergy e.g. penicillin Deficiencies e.g. thiamine Physical agents e.g. radiation Clinical features Largely asymptomatic A few may present with palpitations; symptoms …

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Hypertension

Introduction Hypertension is a persistent elevation of the blood pressure above normal values (≥140/90 mmHg) taken 2-3 times on at least two different occasions. It is the commonest non-communicable disease in the world. Clinical features Largely asymptomatic until complications arise (\”silent killer\”) Symptoms and signs of target organ diseases e.g. cardiac failure, stroke and chronic …

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