There are two types of heart conditions – structural and electrical. Most of the time, they are congential, or genetic. However, sometimes conditions develop as a result of an outside factor, like a virus. Myocarditis is one of these conditions.

A structural defect prevents the heart from working properly – it’s too big or the parts are in the wrong place. The more common structural conditions are anomalous coronary artery, arrythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), left ventricular non-compaction, and Marfan syndrome.

An electrical defect interrupts the heart’s rhythm. The more common electrical conditions are Brugada syndrome, complete heart block, Long QT syndrome, and Wolff-Parkinson White syndrome (WPW).

Commotio cordis is the one condition that has no warning signs and is not genetic. It occurs from a blow to the chest by a ball or other blunt object. It strikes at the exact wrong time causing the heart to go into a fatal heartbeat (arrhythmia).

Most conditions can be detected with an electrocardiogram (ECG), but many of the structural conditions can only be diagnosed with an echocardiogram (Echo). The treatment varies by condition and severity. Many can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes. The more severe cases may be treated with a pacemaker, implanted defibrillator (ICD), or corrective surgery.

For more information on any of these conditions, visit our Best Resources Page.