Cardiology Vocabulary

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  1. aneurysm
    localized widening of artery due to weakness in arterial wall; common in abdominal aorta and cerebral arteries.
  2. angina pectoris
    severe chest pain caused by myocardial ischemia
  3. arrhythmia
    irregular heart beat
  4. auscultation
    listening to sounds within body, such as heart or lungs, by using a stethoscope.
  5. bacterial endocarditis
    inflammation of inner lining of heart (endocardium) caused by bacteria; may result in visible accumulation of bacteria called vegetation
  6. blood pressure (BP)
    measurement of pressure exerted by blood against walls of blood vessel.
  7. bradycardia
    abnormally slow heart rate below 60 beats per minute (bpm)
  8. cardiac arrest
    complete stoppage of all heart activity, both electrical signals and muscle contractions.
  9. cardiac catheterization (CC)
    Passage of thin tube (catheter) through veins or arteries leading into heart; used to detect heart abnormalities, to collect cardiac blood samples, and to determine pressure within heart.
  10. cardiac enzymes
    Complex proteins released by heart muscle when it is damaged; taken by blood sample to determine amount of heart disease or damage; most common cardiac enzymes are CK, GOT, and LDH.
  11. CK
    creatine kinase
  12. GOT
    glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase
  13. LDH
    lactate dehydrogenase
  14. cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
    applying external compressions to rib cage in order to maintain blood flow and air movement in and out of lungs during cardiac and respiratory arrest.
  15. congenital septal defect (CSD)
    birth defect in wall separating two chambers of heart allowing blood to pass between two chambers; there can be atrial septal defect (ASD) or ventricular septal defect (VSD)
  16. congestive heart failure  (CHF)
    condition that develops when heart muscle is not able to pump blood forcefully enough, reducing blood flow to body; results in weakness, dyspnea, and edema.
  17. coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
    open-heart surgery in which blood vessel, often leg vein, is grafted to route blood around occluded coronary artery
  18. coronary artery disease (CAD)
    chronic heart disease caused by arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis of coronary arteries; also called arteriosclerotic heart disease (ASHD)
  19. deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
    • formation of blood clots in deep veins; usually occurs in legs; pieces of clot may break away forming an emboli
  20. defibrillation
    using instrument called a defibrillator to give electrical shock to heart for purpose of converting arrhythmia back to normal heart beat; also called cardioversion
  21. doppler ultrasonography
    imaging technique using ultrasound to create moving image; utilized to evaluate blood flow through blood vessels, movement of heart valves, and movement of heart muscle during contraction.
  22. electrocardiography
    diagnostic procedure that records electrical activity of heart; used to diagnose damage to heart tissue from coronary heart disease or myocardial infarction
  23. endarterectomy
    surgical removal of inner lining of artery in order to remove plaques
  24. fibrillation
    abnormal quivering or contractions of heart fibers; occurrence within fibers of ventricle of heart result in cardiac arrest and death; emergency equipment to defibrillate, or convert heart to normal beat, is necessary.
  25. heart murmur
    abnormal heart sound such as soft blowing sound or harsh click; they may be soft and heard only with stethoscope or so loud they can be heard several feet away.
  26. heart transplantation
    replacement of diseased or malfunctioning heart with donor's heart.
  27. heart valve prolapse
    cusps or flaps of heart valve are too loose and fail to shut tightly, allowing blood to flow backwards (regurgitation) through valve when heart chamber contracts; most commonly occurs in mitral valve, but may affect any valve.
  28. heart valve stenosis
    cusps or flaps of heart valve are too stiff an unable to open fully, making it difficult for blood to flow through; condition may affect any of heart valves but most often affects mitral valve.
  29. Holter monitor
    portable ECG monitor worn by patient for period of few hours to few days to assess heart and pulse activity as person goes through activities of daily living; used to assess patient who experiences chest pain and unusual heart activity during exercise and normal activities.
  30. hypertention (HTN)
    blood pressure above normal range; usually systolic pressure above 140 mmHg or diastolic pressure above 90 mmHg
  31. hypotention
    decrease in blood pressure; can occur in shock, infection, cancer, anemia, or as death approaches.
  32. implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
    electrical device implanted in chest cavity with electrodes to heart; applies shock to heart to stop potentially life-threatening arrhythmias such as fibrillation
  33. infarct
    area of tissue necrosis that develops from ischemia
  34. intravascular thrombolytic therapy
    treatment for clots occluding blood vessel; drugs, such as streptokinase (SK) or tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), are injected into blood vessels to chemically dissolve clots; commonly referred to as clot-busters
  35. myocardial infarction (MI)
    infarct of heart muscle caused by occlusion of one or more coronary arteries; symptoms include angina pectoris and shortness of breath; also referred to as heart attack
  36. myocardial ischemia
    loss of blood supply to heart muscle tissue of myocardium due to occlusion or coronary artery; may cause angina pectoris or myocardial infarction
  37. occlusion
    blockage of blood vessel or other hollow structure; may be caused by thrombus, plaque, or embolus
  38. pacemaker
    electrical device that artificially stimulates contraction of heart muscle; treatment for bradycardia
  39. percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)
    method for treating coronary artery narrowing; balloon catheter is inserted into coronary artery and inflated to dilate narrow blood vessel
  40. peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
    disease of blood vessels away from central region of body, most typically in legs; symptoms include pain, numbness, and impaired circulation
  41. sphygmomanometer
    instrument for measuring blood pressure; also referred to as blood pressure cuff
  42. stent
    stainless steel tube placed within blood vessel or duct to widen lumen; may be placed in coronary artery to treat myocardial ischemia due to atherosclerosis
  43. stress test
    method for evaluating cardiovascular fitness; patient is placed on treadmill or a bicycle and then subjected to steadily increasing levels of work; EKG and oxygen levels are taken while patient exercises; test is stopped if abnormalities occur on EKG
  44. tachycardia
    abnormally fast heart rate more than 100 bpm
  45. transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)
    specialized echocardiography procedure in which patient swallows ultrasound head in order to better visualize internal cardiac structures, especially cardiac valves
  46. varicose veins
    swollen and distended veins, most commonly in legs
  47. venipuncture
    puncture into vein to withdraw blood or inject medication or fluids
Card Set
Cardiology Vocabulary
Cardiology Vocabulary
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