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pertaining to the heart and blood vessels


hollow muscular organ located between the lungs


double-walled membranous sac that encloses the heart

percardial fluid

found in the space between the layers of the pericardium prevents friction when the heart beats


external layer of the heart and is also part of the inner layer of the pericardial sac


middle and thickest of the three layers and it consists of specialized cardiac muscle


lining of the heart

coronary arteries and veins

supply the blood needs of the myocardium


two upper chambers of the heart; returning chambers

interarterial septum

seperates atria


two lower chambers of the heart

interventricular septum

seperates ventricles

cardiac apex

narrow tip of the heart

tricuspid valve

opening between right atrium and right ventricle

pulmonary semilunar valve

located between right ventricle and pulmonary artery

mitral/bicuspid valve

between left atrium and left ventricle

aortic semilunar valve

located between left ventricle and aorta

systemic circulartion

includes flow of blood to all parts of the body except the lungs

pulmonary circulation

flow of blood between the heart and lungs

sinatrial nodes

located in the posterior wall of the right atrium near the entrance of the superior vena cava; natural pacemaker

atriventricular node

located on the floor of the right atrium near the interatrial septum

Bundle of His

named for discoverer Wilhelm His Jr.; located within interventricular septum; branches off

Purkinje fibers

branches of Bundle of His fibers that surround ventricles

P wave

due to contraction of the atria

QRS complex

contraction of ventricles

T wave

relaxation of ventricles


opening in blood vessels


pertaining to the lining of the artery


largest blood vessel in the body


smaller, thinner branches of arteris; carry blood to capillaries


small veins that join to form larger veins

deep veins

located within the tissues and away from the surface

superficial veins

located near body surface

venae cavae

two large veins that return blood to the heart

superior vena cava

brings blood from the upper portion of the body

inferior vena cava

brings blood from the lower portion of the body

blood pressure

measurement of the amount of pressure exerted against the walls of the vessels

systolic pressure

occurs when the ventricles contract, is the highest pressure exerted against the walls of the blood vessels

diastolic pressure

occurs when the ventricles are relaxed, lowest pressure exerted on the walls of the blood vessels


straw-colored fluid that contains nutrients, hormones, and waste products; 91% water, 9% proteins

fibrinogen and prothrombin

clotting proteins found in plasma


plasma with clotting proteins removed

formed elements

aka blood corpsules; include erythrocytes (red blood cells), leukocytes (white blood cells), thrombocytes (platelets)


WBC formed in the red blood marrow; most common; fight infection by phagocytosis


formed in red bone marrow; responsible for symptoms of allergies


formed in red bone marrow; destroy parasitic organisms and play a major role in allergic reactions


formed in red bone marrow, lymph nodes, and the spleen; important role in protecting the body against foriegn invaders


formed in red bone marrow, lymph nodes, and spleen; protect against disease; high concentration means chronic disease

blood gases

oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen

coronay artery disease

atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries that may cause angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and sudden death

end stage coronary artery disease

characterized by unrelenting angina pain and a severly limited lifestyle


hardening and narrowing of the arteries caused by a buildup of cholesterol plaques




deposit of plaque within the arterial wall


temporary deficiency in blood supply due to either the constriction (narrowing) or the obstruction (blockage) of a blood vessel

ischemic heart disease

groupd of cardiac disabilities resultign from insufficient supply of oxygenated blood to the heart that are usually associated with coronary artery disease

angina pectoris

episodes of severe chest pain due to inadequate blood flow to the myocardium

myocardial infarction

is the occlusion (blockage) of one or more coronary arteries resultign in an infarct fo the affected myocardium


sudden insufficiency of blood that causes necrosis


resulting localized area of necrosis

congestive heart failure (CHF)

syndrome in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's need for oxygen and nutrients; in turn kidneys retain more fluid


abnormal enlargement of the heart


inflammation of the heart


inflammation of the inner lining of the heart

bacterial endocarditis

inflammation of the lining or valves of the heart


inflammation of the myocardium


inflammation of the pericardium


inflammation of a heart valve

valvular prolapse

abnormal protrusion of the valve that results in the inability of the valve to close completely


abnormal narrowing of the valve ; named for the affected valve

cardiac arrhythmia

dysrrhythmia; change int eh rhythym of the heartbeat


describes rapid, random, quivering and ineffective contractions of the heart


abnormally slow heartbeat; <60 bpm


abnormally fast heartbeat; >100 bpm


pounding or racing heart with or without irregularity in rhythym

paroxysmal atrial tachycardia

PAT; episodes that begins and ends abruptly during which there are rapid and regular heartbeats from the atria; caused by abnormality in the electrical system

atrial fibrillation

A fib; rapid irregular twitching of the muscular wall causing an irregular and quivering action of atria

ventricular fibrillation

V-fib; rapid, irregular and useless contractions of the ventricles; usually fatal


vasculitis; inflammation of a blood or lymph vessel


spasmodic contraction of blood vessels


narrowing of a blood vessel


benign tumor made up of newly formed blood vessels


is a deficiency of blood passing through an organ or body part


flow of blood through an organ or body part

peripheral vascular disease

refers to disorders of blood vessels outside the heart and brain; most commonly of the arms and legs


localized weak spot, or balloon like enlargement, of the wall of an artery


any group of diseases that are characterized by thickening and the loss of elasticity of arterial walls


inflammation involving several arteries at the same time

Paynaud's phenomenon

consists of intermittent attacks of pallor (paleness), cyanosis (blue color), and redness of the fingers and toes; may be due to cold or emotion


inflammation of a vein

varicose veins

abnormally swollen veins, usually occuring in the legs


abnormal condition of having thrombus


blood clot attached to the interior wall of an artery or vein

thrombotic occlusion

blocking of an artery by a thrombus

coronary thrombosis

damage to the heart muscle caused by a thrombus blocking a coronary artery

deep vein thrombosis

condition of having a thrombus attached to the wall of a deep vein; in the legs when the patient is bedridden; fear is that it will break and travel where it can be fatal


sudden blockage of a blood vessel by an embolus


foreign object object, such as a blood clot, quantity of air or gas, or a bit of tissue or tumor that is cirulating in the blood


any pathologic condition of the cellular elements of the blood


genetic disorder in which the intestines absorb too much iron; aka iron overload disease


aka blood poisoning, systemic disease caused by the spread of microorganisms and their toxins via the circulating blood

hemlytic reaction

aka transfusion reaction; destruction of erythrocytes that occurs when a patient recieves a transfusion of mismatched blood


waxy fat like substance that travels in the blood in packages called lipoproteins

low-density lopoprotein cholesterol

BAD; contribute to plaque buildup

high-density lipoprotein cholesterol

GOOD; carries unneeded cholesterol back to the liver for processing and does not contribute to plaque


combinations of fatty acids attached to glycerol that are also found normally in blood in limited quantities


amino acid nornally found in blood and used by the body to build and maintain tissues; can be damaging to walls if too high


hyperlipemia; general term for the condition of elevated plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoproteins

myelodysplastic syndrome

preleukemia; progressive condition of dysfunctional boen marrow that may eventually develop into leukemia; treated with transfusions


malignancy characterized by a progressive increase in the number of abnormal leukocytes found in hemopoietic tissues, other organs, and in the circulating organs; treated with bone marrow transplants


disorder characterized by lower than normal levels of red blood cells in the blood

aplastic anemia

characterized by an absence of all formed blood elements; failure to produce in red bone marrow

hemolytic anemia

red blood cells are destroyed mroe rapidly than the bone marrow can replace them

iron-deficiency anemia

decrease in the red cells of the blood that is caused by too little iron

megaloblastic anemia

blood disorder in which red blood cells are larger than normal; deficiency of folic acid (B12)

pernicious anemia

autoimmune disorder in which the red blood cells are abnormally formed, due to an inability to absorb vitamin B12

sickle cell anemia

genetic disorder that causes abnormal hemoglobin, resulting in red blood cells that assume an abnormal sickle shape


Cooley's anemia; diverse group of genetic blood diseases that are characterized by absent or decreased production of normal hemoglobin

essenital hypertension

primary/idiopathoc hypertension; consistently elevated blood pressure of unknown cause

secondary hypertension

caused by a medical problem; kidney disorder or tumor of adrenal glands

malignant hypertension

characterized by sudden onset of severely elevated blood pressure


lower than normal blood pressure

orthostatic hypotension

postural hypotension; low blood pressure that occurs in a standing posture


radiographic study of the blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium

digital subtraction angiography

diagnostic technique that combines video with computer-assisted enhancement of images obtained by conventional angiography

cardiac catheterization

diagnostic procedure in which a catheter is passed into a vein or artery and then guided into the heart; contrast medium is introduced


venography; technique of preparing an x-ray image of veins injected with contrast medium

coronary calcium screening

utilizes computerized tomography (CT), identifies the presence and quantity of coronary artery calcium deposits


process of recording the electrical activity of the myocardium

Holter monitor

portable electrocardiograph that is worn by an ambulatory patient to continuously monitor the heart rates and rhythms over a 24-hour period

stress tests

electrocardiography used to assess cardiovascular health and function during and after stress such as exercise on a treadmill

thallium stress test

the flow of blood through the heart during activity is assessed through the use of the radionuclide thallium during a stress test

ACE inhibitors

angiotensin converting enzyme; treat hypertension and congestive heart failure; interfere with the action of the kidney enzyme renin that causes the heart to contract


reduce blood pressure by slowing the heart beat

calcium channel blockers

reduce the contraction of the muscles that squeeze blood vessels tight; treat hypertension, angina, arrhythmia


increase urine secretion to rid the body of excess sodium and water; treat hypertension and CHF

cholesterol-lowing drugs

statins; combat hyperlipidemia


digitalis; slows and strengthens the heart muscle contractions and is used in the treatment of atrial fibrillation and CHF


vasodilator that is prescribed to relieve the pain of angina pectoris


slows coagulation and prevents new clots from forming


causes the dissolving or breaking up of a thrombus


adminsitered to control irregularities of the heartbeat

tissue plasminogen activator

thromoblytic that is administered to certain patients having a heart attakc or stroke


constricts or narrows blood vessels


dilates (expands) blood vessels

percutaneous tansluminal coronary angioplasty

balloon angioplasty; small balloon on the end of a catheter is used to open a partially blocked coronary artery by flattening the plaque deposit and stretching the lumen


wiremesh tube


surgical removal of a plaque from the interior lining of an artery


surgical removal of the lining of an artery that is clogged with plaque

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