Advertisement Upgrade to remove ads

Angiogram

X-ray record of a blood vessel.

Angioplasty

Surgical repair of a blood vessel.

Anoxia

Lack of oxygen in body tissues.

Aorta

Largest artery in the body.

Aortic stenosis

Narrowing of the aorta.

Arrhythmia

Without rhythm; an irregular beat of the heart.

Arterial anastomosis

Surgical connection between two arteries.

Arteriography

X-ray recording of arteries; contrast is injected.

Arteriole

Small artery.

Arteriosclerosis

Hardening of an artery with collection of fatty plaque.

Artery

Largest type of blood vessel.

Atherectomy

Removal of plaque (lipids and clots) that accumulate in the lining of an artery.

Atheroma

Mass of fatty plaque that collects in an artery.

Atherosclerosis

Form of arteriosclerosis in which fatty plaque deposits in the interior lining of an artery.

Atrial

Pertaining to an atrium (upper chamber of the heart).

Atrioventricular bundle

Specialized muscle fibers connecting the atria with the ventricles and transmitting impulses between them; bundle of His.

Atrioventricular node

Specialized tissue in the wall between the atria. Electrical impulses pass from the sino-atrial node (pacemaker) through the atrioventricular node and atrioventricular bundle (bundle of His) toward the ventricles.

Atrium (pl. atria)

Upper chamber of the heart.

Brachial artery

Artery that carries blood to the arm.

Bradycardia

Slow heartbeat.

Bundle of His

Atrioventricular bundle.

Capillary

Smallest blood vessel.

Carbon dioxide

Gas released by body cells and carried by veins to the heart, and then to the lungs for exhalation; CO2.

Cardiomegaly

Enlargement of the heart.

Cardiomyopathy

Disease of heart muscle.

Coronary arteries

Branches of the aorta bringing oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.

Cyanosis

Abnormal condition of blueness of the skin; caused by decreased oxygen and increased carbon dioxide in the blood.

Deoxygenated blood

Blood that is oxygen-poor.

Diastole

Relaxation phase of the heartbeat.

Electrocardiogram

Record of the electricity flowing through the heart.

Endocardium

Inner lining of the heart.

Endothelium

Innermost lining of blood vessels.

Hypercholesterolemia

High levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Hypoxia

Hypoxia is deficiency of oxygen in body tissues.

Interventricular septum

Wall between the ventricles of the heart.

Mitral valve

Valve between the left atrium and left ventricle; bicuspid valve.

Mitral valvulitis

Inflammation of the mitral valve.

Myocardium

Muscular layer of the heart.

Myxoma

Rare neoplasm of connective tissue found in the heart muscle.

Normal sinus rhythm

Heart rhythm originating in the sinoatrial node.

Oxygen

A gas that enters the body through the lungs and travels to the heart to be distributed by arterial blood to all parts of the body.

Pacemaker

Specialized nervous tissue in the wall of the right atrium; it begins the heartbeat; sinoatrial node.

Pericardiocentesis

Surgical puncture to remove fluid within the pericardial space surrounding the heart.

Pericardium

Double-layered membrane surrounding the heart.

Phlebotomy

Incision into a vein.

Pulmonary artery

Blood vessel carrying oxygen-poor blood from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs.

Pulmonary circulation

Flow of blood from the heart to the lungs and then back to the heart.

Pulmonary valve

A valve located between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery.

Pulmonary vein

One of two pairs of vessels carrying oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart.

Pulse

Beat of the heart as felt through the walls of the arteries.

Septum (pl. septa)

Wall or partition. The interatrial septum lies between the atria of the heart and the interventricular septum is between the ventricles of the heart.

Sinoatrial node

Sensitive nervous tissue in the wall of the right atrium; pacemaker of the heart.

Sphygmomanometer

Instrument to measure blood pressure.

Stethoscope

Instrument for listening to sounds in the chest.

Systemic circulation

Flow of blood from body tissues to the heart and from the heart back to the tissues.

Systole

Contraction phase of the heartbeat.

Tachycardia

Rapid heartbeat.

Thrombolysis

Destruction of a clot.

Thrombophlebitis

Inflammation of a vein and formation of a clot within the vein.

Tricuspid valve

A valve located between the right atrium and right ventricle.

Valve

Structure in a vein or in the heart that temporarily closes an opening so that blood flows in the proper direction.

Valvotomy

Incision of a valve.

Valvuloplasty

Surgical repair of a valve.

Vascular

Pertaining to a blood vessel.

Vasoconstriction

Narrowing of a blood vessel.

Vasodilation

Widening of a blood vessel; vasodilatation.

Vein

Thin-walled blood vessel that carries oxygen-poor (deoxygenated) blood from body tissues back to the heart.

Vena cava (pl. venae cavae)

Largest vein in the body. The venae cavae (inferior and superior) return blood to the heart from the body tissues.

Venipuncture

Incision of a vein to remove blood.

Venous

Pertaining to a vein.

Ventricle

One of two lower chambers of the heart.

Venule

Small vein.

ACE inhibitor

Drug that causes dilation of blood vessels and lowers blood pressure, prevents heart attacks, strokes, and congestive heart failure. ACE stands for angiotensin-converting enzyme, which normally constricts blood vessels.

Acute coronary syndromes

Consequences of plaque rupture in coronary arteries; unstable angina and myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Aneurysm

Local widening or ballooning out of a small area of an artery.

Angina

Chest pain associated with myocardial ischemia.

Angiography

X-ray imaging of blood vessels after injection of contrast material.

Atrioventricular block

Failure of conduction of impulses from the AV node to the atrioventricular bundle and ventricles of the heart.

Atrial fibrillation

Electrical impulses move randomly throughout the atria, causing the atria to quiver instead of contracting with a normal rhythm.

Auscultation

Use of a stethoscope to listen for sounds emanating from the heart or other organs.

Beta-blocker

Drug used to treat high blood pressure and control heart rate.

Bruit

An abnormal blowing or swishing sound heard on auscultation of an artery or an organ.

Calcium channel blocker

Drug used to treat chest pain (angina) and high blood pressure (hypertension).

Cardiac arrest

Sudden, unexpected stoppage of the heart; sudden cardiac death.

Cardiac catheterization

Thin, flexible tube is guided into the heart via a vein or an artery and after contrast material is introduced, blood pressure is measured, and x-rays taken to image patterns of blood flow.

Cardiac MRI

Images of the heart are produced with magnetic waves.

Cardiac tamponade

Pressure on the heart caused by fluid in the pericardial space.

Cardioversion

Treatment for serious arrhythmias using brief discharges of electricity to shock the heart so that a normal rhythm can begin; defibrillation.

Claudication

Pain, tension, and weakness in a leg after walking has begun, but absence of pain at rest.

Coarctation of the aorta

Congenital anomaly in which a portion of the aorta near the heart is narrowed or stenosed.

Computerized tomography angiography

X-ray images are combined with computerized tomography to produce a three-dimensional picture of the heart and blood vessels.

Congenital heart disease

Structural heart defects that appear at birth.

Congestive heart failure

Heart is unable to pump its required amount of blood.

Coronary artery disease

Arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become clogged and blocked with deposits of fatty material and cholesterol (plaque).

Coronary artery bypass grafting

Arteries or veins are grafted onto coronary arteries to bypass blocked arteries and bring need blood supply to the myocardium.

Deep-vein thrombosis

Blood clots form in a large vein, usually in the leg.

Digoxin

Drug that increases the strength and regularity of the heartbeat.

Digital subtraction angiography

Video equipment, computer and x-ray machine produce images of blood vessels before and after injecting contrast material.

Doppler ultrasound

Method of focusing sound waves on blood vessels to measure blood flow.

Echocardiography

High-energy sound waves are transmitted into the chest and images recorded of valves, chambers, surfaces and movement of the heart.

Electrocardiography

Process of recording the electricity flowing through the heart.

Electron beam computed tomography

Electron beams and CT identify calcium deposits in and around coronary arteries to diagnose early coronary artery disease.

Embolus (pl. emboli)

A clot or other substance that travels to a distant location and suddenly blocks a blood vessel.

Endarterectomy

Surgical removal of plaque from the inner layer of an artery.

Endocarditis

Inflammation of the endocardium (inner lining of the heart).

Extracorporeal circulation

Use of a heart-lung machine to divert blood from the heart and lungs during open heart surgery.

Fibrillation

Random, rapid, inefficient, irregular contractions of the atria or ventricles.

Flutter

Rapid, but regular contractions of the heart, usually of the atria.

Heart transplantation

Donor heart is transferred to a recipient.

Hemorrhoids

Swollen, twisted veins in the rectal and anal region.

Holter monitoring

Compact version of an electrocardiograph is worn during a 24-hour period to detect cardiac arrhythmias.

Hypertension

High blood pressure.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator

Small electric device implanted inside the chest (near the collarbone) to sense arrhythmias and terminate them to restore normal sinus rhythm.

Infarction

Area of dead tissue.

Ischemia

Holding back blood to an region of the body. Myocardial ischemia is deprivation of blood to the heart muscle.

Left ventricular assist device

Booster pump implanted in the abdomen with a tube inserted into the left ventricle. An LVAD is a "bridge to transplant" or destination therapy when heart transplantation is impossible.

Lipid tests

Measurement of cholesterol and triglycerides (fats) in a sample of blood.

Lipoprotein electrophoresis

Lipoproteins (combinations of fat and protein) are physically separated in a blood sample. Examples of lipoproteins are HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein).

Mitral stenosis

Narrowing of the mitral valve.

Mitral valve prolapse

Abnormal closure of the mitral valve so that blood refluxes backward into the left atrium during ventricular contraction.

Murmur

Extra sound heard between normal beats during auscultation of the heart.

Myocardial infarction

Area of dead (necrotic) tissue in the heart muscle; heart attack.

Nitroglycerin

Drug used in the treatment of angina (pectoris). It dilates coronary arteries so that more blood flows to heart muscle.

Occlusion

Blockage or closure of a vessel or tube.

Palpitations

Uncomfortable sensations in the chest related to cardiac arrhythmias, such as skipped beats.

Patent ductus arteriosus

The ductus arteriosus, a small duct that is open during fetal circulation, fails to close at birth.

Percutaneous coronary

A catheter with a balloon and stent is inserted into a intervention coronary artery to remove collections of plaque. Drug-eluting stents release chemicals to keep debris and plaque from recollecting.

Pericardial friction rub

Scraping or grating sound heard on auscultation of the heart. It is usually symptomatic of pericarditis.

Pericarditis

Inflammation of the pericardium (double-layered outermost membrane of the heart).

Peripheral vascular disease

Blockage of blood vessels outside the heart. Carotid artery occlusion is an example.

Petechiae

Small pinpoint hemorrhages under the skin.

Positron emission tomography

Images show blood flow and myocardial function following uptake of radioactive substances.

Radiofrequency catheter ablation

To treat certain cardiac arrhythmias, radiofrequency energy is delivered from the tip of a catheter inserted through a blood vessel into the heart. The treatment destroys or ablates the tissue causing the arrhythmia.

Raynaud disease

Recurrent episodes of pallor and cyanosis in fingers and toes caused by blood vessel spasms.

Rheumatic heart disease

Heart disease caused by rheumatic fever.

Septal defects

Small holes, present at birth, in the walls between the heart chambers.

Serum enzyme tests

Chemicals measured in the blood as evidence of a heart attack. Examples are creatine kinase (CK), troponin-I (cTnI), and troponin T (cTnT).

Statins

Drugs given to lower cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Stress test

Exercise tolerance test (ETT) is used to determine the heart's response to physical exertion.

Telemetry

Continuous monitoring of a patient's heart rhythm in a hospital.

Tetralogy of Fallot

Four separate defects of the heart occurring at birth.

Technetium 99m sestamibi

Uptake of a radioactive chemical (technetium 99m scan sestamibi) in myocardium reveals evidence of a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

Thallium 201 scan

Concentration of a radioactive substance (thallium 201) is measured in the myocardium to show evidence of an infarction ("cold spots").

Thrill

Fine vibration felt on palpation (touching) the body over a blood vessel that is blocked.

Thrombolytic therapy

Injection of drugs (streptokinase and tPA) to dissolve clots in the bloodstream.

Thrombotic occlusion

Blockage of a blood vessel caused by thrombosis or clot formation.

Varicose veins

Swollen, twisted veins, often occurring in the legs.

Vegetations

Collections of clotted material that accumulate on endocardium and valves of the heart in conditions such as endocarditis and rheumatic heart disease.

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again

Example:

Reload the page to try again!

Reload

Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

NEW! Voice Recording

Create Set