ablation - elimination or removal.
ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor - a medication
that lowers blood pressure.
aneurysm - a sac-like protrusion from a blood vessel or the
angina pectoris (Also called angina.) - recurring chest pain
or discomfort that happens when some part of the heart does not receive
angiography - an x-ray that uses dye injected into arteries
so that blood circulation can be studied.
angioplasty - a non-surgical procedure for treating diseased
anticoagulant - a medication that keeps blood from clotting.
antihypertensive - a medication or other therapy that lowers
aorta - the largest artery in the body and the primary blood
vessel leading from the heart to the body.
aortic valve - the valve that regulates blood flow from the
heart into the aorta.
aphasia - the inability to speak or understand due to brain
injury or disease.
arrhythmia (Also called dysrhythmia.) - an abnormal
arterioles - small branches of arteries.
arteriosclerosis - commonly called "hardening of the arteries;"
a variety of conditions caused by fatty or calcium deposits in the
artery walls causing them to thicken.
artery - a blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood away
from the heart to the body.
atherectomy - a non-surgical procedure that involves removing
plaque from the walls of arteries with a rotating blade.
atherosclerosis - a type of arteriosclerosis caused by a build-up
of plaque in the inner lining of an artery.
atrioventricular block - an interruption of the electrical
signal between the atria and the ventricles.
atrioventricular (AV) node - a cluster of cells between the
atria and ventricles that regulate the electrical current.
atrium (atria pl.) - one of two upper chambers in the heart.
beta blocker - an antihypertensive medication that limits the
activity of epinephrine (a hormone that increases blood pressure).
biopsy - the procedure of taking a small tissue sample for
blood clot - a gelled mass of blood tissue.
blood pressure - the force or pressure exerted by the heart
when pumping blood; also, the pressure of blood in the arteries.
blood pressure cuff - a device usually placed around the upper
of the arm to measure blood pressure.
brady... - prefix meaning slow.
bradycardia - abnormally slow heartbeat.
bundle-branch block - a condition in which the heart's electrical
system is unable to normally conduct the electrical signal.
calcium channel blocker (or calcium blocker) - a medication
that lowers blood pressure.
capillaries - tiny blood vessels between arteries and veins
that distribute oxygen-rich blood to the body.
cardiac - pertaining to the heart.
cardiac arrest - the stopping of heartbeat.
cardiac catheterization - a diagnostic procedure in which a
tiny, hollow tube (catheter) is advanced from a vessel in the groin
through the aorta into the heart in order to image the heart and blood
cardiac output - the amount of blood that goes through the
circulatory system in one minute.
cardiology - the clinical study and practice of treating the
cardiomyopathy - a disease of the heart muscle that causes
it to lose its pumping strength.
cardiovascular (CV) - pertaining to the heart and blood vessel
cardioversion - the procedure of applying electrical shock
to the chest to change an abnormal heartbeat into a normal one.
carotid artery - the major arteries in the neck that supply
blood to the brain.
cerebral embolism - a blood clot from one part of the body
that is carried by the bloodstream to the brain where it blocks an
cerebral hemorrhage - bleeding within the brain.
cerebral thrombosis - formation of a blood clot in an artery
that supplies blood to the brain.
cerebrovascular - pertaining to blood vessels in the brain.
cerebrovascular accident - apoplexy or stroke; an impeded blood
supply to the brain.
cerebrovascular occlusion - an obstruction in the blood vessel
in the brain.
cholesterol - a waxy substance that is produced in the human
body, animal fats, and in dairy products and is transported in the
cineangiography - the procedure of taking moving pictures to
show the passage of dye through blood vessels.
circulatory system - pertaining to the heart and blood vessels,
and the circulation of blood.
claudication - pain or fatigue in arms and legs due to poor
supply of oxygen to the muscles.
computed tomography (Also called a CT or CAT scan.) - a diagnostic
imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology
to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally
and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any
part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT
scans are more detailed than general x-rays.
congenital - present at birth.
congestive heart failure - a condition in which the heart cannot
pump out all of the blood that enters it, which leads to an accumulation
of blood in the vessels and fluid in the body tissues.
coronary arteries - arteries that come from the aorta to provide
blood to the heart muscle.
coronary artery bypass graft (CAB or CABG) - a surgical procedure
in which a healthy blood vessel is transplanted from another part
of the body into the heart to replace or bypass a diseased vessel.
coronary artery spasm - a sudden closing of an artery, which
cuts off blood flow to the heart and causes symptom of angina or heart
coronary heart disease - a condition in which the coronary
arteries narrow from an accumulation of plaque (atherosclerosis) and
cause a decrease in blood flow.
coronary occlusion - an obstruction of one of the coronary
arteries that decreases flow to the heart muscle.
coronary thrombosis - the formation of a clot in one of the
arteries that carry blood to the heart muscle.
cyanosis - insufficient oxygen in the blood.
defibrillator - an electronic device used to establish normal
diastolic blood pressure - the lowest blood pressure measure
in the arteries, which occurs between heartbeats.
diuretic - a medication that lowers blood pressure by causing
excess fluid to be excreted.
Doppler ultrasound - A procedure that uses sound waves to evaluate
heart, blood vessels, and valves.
dyspnea - shortness of breath.
dysrhythmia - an abnormal heart rhythm.
echocardiography - a procedure that evaluates the structure
and function of the heart by using sound waves recorded on an electronic
sensor that produce a moving picture of the heart and heart valves.
edema - swelling.
ejection fraction - the measurement of the blood pumped out
of the ventricles.
electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) - a test that records the electrical
activity of the heart, shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias or dysrhythmias),
and detects heart muscle damage.
electrophysiological study (EPS) - a cardiac catheterization
to study electrical current in patients who have arrhythmias.
endarterectomy - the surgical removal of plaque or blood clots
in an artery.
endocardium - the membrane that covers the inside surface of
endocarditis - a bacterial infections of the heart lining.
enlarged heart - a condition of the heart in which it is abnormally
larger than normal.
epicardium - the membrane that covers the outside of the heart.
estrogen - a hormone produced by the ovaries.
fibrillation - rapid contractions of the heart muscles.
flutter - ineffective contractions of the heart muscles.
gated blood pool scan - a nuclear scan to see how the heart
wall moves and how much blood is expelled with each heart beat.
heart attack (Also called myocardial infarction.) - damage
to the heart muscle due to insufficient blood supply.
heart block - interrupted electrical impulse to heart muscles.
heart-lung machine - a machine that pumps blood during open
heart valve prolapse - a condition of the heart valve in which
it is partially open when it should be closed.
high blood pressure - blood pressure that is above the normal
high-density lipoprotein (HDL) - a protein in the blood
plasma (the "good" cholesterol) that promotes breakdown and removal
of cholesterol from the body.
Holter monitor - An EKG recording done over a period of 24
or more hours.
hypertension - high blood pressure.
hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) - a bulge in
the ventricle that causes impeded blood flow.
hypoglycemia - low levels of blood sugar.
hypoxia - abnormally low oxygen content in the organs and tissues
of the body.
immunosuppressive medications - medications that suppress the
body's immune system used to minimize rejection of transplanted organs.
impedance plethysmography - a test to evaluate blood flow through
inferior vena cava - the large blood vessel (vein) that returns
blood from the legs and abdomen to the heart.
inotropic medications - medications that increase strength
of the contractions in the heart.
intravascular echocardiography - echocardiography used in cardiac
ischemia - decreased flow of oxygenated blood to an organ due
to obstruction in an artery.
ischemic heart disease - coronary artery disease or coronary
heart disease caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries and decreased
blood flow to the heart.
jugular veins - veins that carry blood from the head back to
lesion - an injury or wound.
lipid - a fatty substance in the blood.
lipoproteins - transporters of fatty substances in the blood.
low density lipoprotein (LDL) - the primary cholesterol carrying.
lumen - the hollow area within a tube.
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic procedure that
uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer
to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
mitral valve - the valve that controls blood flow between the
left atrium and left ventricle in the heart.
mitral valve prolapse - a bulge in the valve between the left
atrium and left ventricle of the heart that causes backward flow of
blood into the atrium.
monounsaturated fats - dietary fats, such as olive oil or canola
oil, that do not seem to have any affect on blood cholesterol.
murmur - a blowing or rasping sound heard while listening to
the heart that may or may not indicate problems within the heart or
myocardial infarction (Also called heart attack.) - occurs
when one of more regions of the heart muscle experience a severe or
prolonged decrease in oxygen supply caused by a blocked blood flow
to the heart muscle.
myocardial ischemia - insufficient blood flow to part of the
myocardium - the muscle wall of the heart.
necrosis - pertaining to the death of tissue.
nitroglycerin - a medication used to relax or dilate arteries.
noninvasive procedures - a diagnostic effort or treatment that
does not require entering the body or puncturing the skin.
obesity - overweight by 30 percent of the ideal body weight.
occluded artery - an artery that is narrowed by plaque that
impedes blood flow.
open heart surgery - surgery that involves opening the chest
and heart while a heart-lung machine performs for the heart.
pacemaker - an electronic device that is surgically implanted
into the patient's heart and chest to regulate heartbeat.
palpitation - irregular heartbeat that can be felt by a person.
pericardiocentesis - a diagnostic procedure that uses a needle
to draw fluid from the pericardium.
pericarditis - inflammation of the membrane that surrounds
pericardium - the membrane that surrounds the heart.
plaque - deposits of fat or other substances attached to the
platelets - cells found in the blood.
polyunsaturated fat - a type of fat found in vegetable oils
and margarines that does not appear to raise blood cholesterol levels.
positron emission tomography (PET) - a nuclear scanning device
that gives a three-dimensional picture of the heart to provide information
about the flow of blood through the coronary arteries to the heart
pulmonary - pertains to lungs and respiratory system.
pulmonary edema - a condition in which there is a fluid accumulation
in the lungs caused by an incorrectly functioning heart.
pulmonary valve - the heart valve located between the right
ventricle and the pulmonary artery that controls blood flow to the
pulmonary vein - the vessel that carries newly oxygenated blood
to the heart from the lungs.
pulse oximeter - a device that measures the amount of oxygen
in the blood.
radioisotope - a radioactive material injected into the body
so that a nuclear scanner can make pictures.
radionuclide ventriculography - a diagnostic procedure used
to determine the shape and size of the heart's chambers.
regurgitation - backward flow of blood caused by a defective
renal - pertains to kidneys.
rheumatic fever - a childhood disease that may damage the heart
valves or the outer lining of the heart.
risk factor - a condition, element, or activity that may adversely
affect the heart.
saturated fat - fat that is found in foods from animal meats
and skin, dairy products and some vegetables.
septal defect - a hole in the wall of the heart.
septum - the muscle wall that divides the heart chambers.
shock - impaired body function due to blood loss or a disturbance
in the circulatory system.
shunt - a connector to allow blood flow between two locations.
silent ischemia - ischemia not accompanied by chest pain.
sinus node - the cells that produce the electrical impulses
that cause the heart to contract.
sphygmomanometer - the instrument used to measure blood pressure.
stent - a device implanted in a vessel used to help keep it
stenosis - the narrowing or constriction of a blood vessel
or valve in the heart.
sternum - the breastbone.
stethoscope - the instrument used to listen to the heart and
other sounds in the body.
streptokinase - a clot-dissolving medication.
stress - mental or physical tension that results from physical,
emotional, or chemical causes.
stroke - the sudden disruption of blood flow to the brain.
subarachnoid hemorrhage - bleeding on the surface of the brain.
sudden death - death that occurs unexpectedly or immediately
after onset of symptoms.
superior vena cava - the large vein that returns blood to the
heart from the head and arms.
syncope - light-headedness or fainting caused by insufficient
blood supply to the brain.
systolic blood pressure - the highest blood pressure measured
in the arteries.
tachycardia - rapid heart beat.
tachypnea - rapid breathing.
telemetry unit - a small transmitter that is used to send information
about the heart via radio transmission to healthcare professionals
thallium stress test - a study in which a radioactive substance
is carried by the blood and its progress through the circulation of
a specific body area is followed by x-ray pictures.
thrombolysis - the breaking up of a blood clot.
thrombosis - a blood clot formed in a blood vessel or in the
thrombolytic therapy - the use of a medication that dissolves
tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) - a medication used to dissolves
trans fat - vegetable oil that has been treated with hydrogen
in order to make it more solid and give it a longer shelf life.
transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) - a diagnostic test
that is used to measure the sound waves that bounce off of the heart.
transient ischemic attack (TIA) - a stroke-like event that
lasts for a short period of time and is caused by a blocked blood
transplantation - replacing a damaged organ with one from a
tricuspid valve - the heart valve that controls blood flow
from the right atrium into the right ventricle.
triglyceride - a fat-like substance found in the blood.
ultrasound - a diagnostic tool used to measure high-frequency
valves (the heart valves are tricuspid, pulmonic, mitral, and aortic)
- the "doors" between the chambers of the heart.
valvuloplasty - the repair of a heart valve using a balloon
catheter inside the valve.
varicose vein - an abnormally dilated vein.
vascular - pertaining to blood vessels.
vasodilator - a medication that dilates or widens the opening
in a blood vessel.
vasodepressors - a medication that raises blood pressure.
vein - a blood vessel that carries blood from the body back
into the heart.
ventricle - one of the two lower chambers of the heart.
ventricular fibrillation - a condition in which the ventricles
contract in rapid and unsynchronized rhythms and cannot pump blood
into the body.
ventricular tachycardia - a condition in which the ventricles
cause a very fast heartbeat.
vertigo - dizziness.
Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome - An extra electrical pathway
that connects the atria and ventricles and causes rapid heartbeat.
x-ray - a machine that uses radiation to produce pictures of
the inside of the body.