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Cardiopulmonary Procedures

alternating current (AC) interference

Electrical interference that appears as small, uniform spikes on ECG tracing.


Device on the electrocardiograph that magnifies or enlarge the heart's electrical impulses so they can be recorded.


Abnormal heart rate, rhythm, and conductionsystem; also called dysrhythmia


Unwanted changes in an ECG tracing caused by movement, machine malfunction, or other factors.

Atrioventricular (AV) node

Knot of specialized cells in the lower portion of the right atrium that produces the heart's electrical impulses

Augmented Leads

Leads that measure cardiac activity from one electrode on the body at a time; recordings are augmented (made larger) so they can be read.


Line that separates the various cardiac waves

Bipolar Leads

Standard limb leads

Bundle branches

Branches of cardiac fibers that receive electrical impulses from the bundle of His.

Bundle of His

Small band of atypical cardiac muscle fibers that receive electrical impulses from the AV node

Cardiac cycle

one heartbeat; one contraction/relaxtion phase of the heart

chest (precordial) leads

Leads that measure in only one direction.


Discharge of electrical energy that causes contraction, such as in heart muscle.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Graphic picture of the heart's electrical activity


Machine that records the electrical activity of the heart.


Noninvasive procedure used to detect the heart's electrical activity.


Devices made of a conductive material to pick up the electrical activity of the heart; sensors.

Forced vital capacity (FVC)

Measurement of the maximum volume of air that can be expired when the patient exhales forcefully.


Device that detects and converts the amplified electrical signal into a tracing on the ECG machine

Holter monitor

Ambulatory heart monitor that records heart activity during a 24- to 48- hour period.


ECG pattern that shows the length of a wave with a segment.


Poor blood supply to body tissue causing a lack of oxygen to that tissue.


Covered wires that carry electrical impulses from the sensors to the ECG machine.

Myocardial infarction (MI)

Heart attack; death of heart tissue caused by blockage of the heart's blood vessels.

Normal sinus rhythm (NSR)

Rhythm measurement that starts at the SA node, occurs within an established time frame, and follows an expected, est pattern.

Oximetry sensor

Device attached to a patient's finger that detects oxygen content in arterial blood

P Wave

ECG pattern that shows atrial contraction originating at the SA node


Device that delivers electrical impulses to the heart muscle when the SA node is unable to do so

paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT)

Sudden onset and ending of atrial tachycardial, 150 to 250 beats per min

Peak flow meter (PFM)

A hand-held device that measures expiratory flow.


Device that records the percentage of oxygen in the blood after a light source passes through arterial blood


Phase when the heart is in a ready state to contract

PR interval

time interval from atrial contraction to ventricular contraction

PR segment

Time interval necessary for an electrical impulse to cause contraction of the atria and begin contraction of the ventricles

Premature atrial contraction (PAC)

Condition in which an electrical impulse in the atria starts before the next expected heartbeat

Premature ventricular contraction (PVC)

Condition in which the ventricles receive an impulse prematurely and contract early

Pulmonary function tests (PFTs)

Tests done to assess lung function

Pulse oximetry

Method to measure the amount of oxygen in a patient's blood

Purkinje fibers

fibers from bundle branches that spread throughout ventricles carry electrical impulses, causing them to contract

QRS complex

ECG pattern that shows when the impulse moves through the ventricles and reaches the Purkinje fibers, depicting contraction of both ventricles

QT interval

Time interval on ECG that shows the time needed for the ventricles to contract and recover


rest phase of the ECG cycle

Rhythm strip

Lead II recording on ECG that shows the hearts rhythm


ECG pattern between two waves

Sinoatrial (SA) node

Pacemaker of the heart, located in the right atrium

Sinus bradycardia

Slow heart rate, less than 60 beats per minute

Sinus tachycardia

Rapid heart rate, 100 to 180 beats per minute

Somatic tremor

Body tremor caused by voluntary or involuntary muscle movement


Type of test that measures lung volume and capacity over time

ST segment

Time interval between the ventricular contraction and the beginning of ventricular relaxation

Standard limb lead

Device that carries the electrical impulses to the ECG and traces the electrical impulse of the heart in two different directions simultaneously


The process of making a test or procedure the same for everyone so that results can be compared to each other.

Standardization mark

mark made on ECG paper that indicates the ECG is standardized


Heated device that records the heart's activity on heat sensitive graph paper

T wave

wave represents the Ventricles resting ;(repolarization)


recording of the ECG cycle.

Treadmill test

The use of exercise during electrocardiography to examine heart function under stress

U wave

normal, small upward curve that occasionally follows a complete ECG cycle after the PQRST; has unknown indication.

Unipolar leads

Augmented leads

V leads

Chest (precordial) leads

Ventricular fibrillation

Disorganized, and ineffective twitching of the ventricles, resulting in no blood flow and a state of cardiac arrest

Ventricular tachycardia

Three or more consecutive PVCs with heart rate exceeding 100 beats per minute

Vital capacity

Measurement of the volume of air that can be expired when the patient exhales completely

Wandering baseline

Shift on the ECG tracing from the baseline or center of the paper


ECG pattern that represents specific electrical heart activity

How many leads on a standard ECG

12 leads

Augmented limb leads

aVR, aVL, aVF

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