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The part of the largest artery that is located in the region of the body between the thorax & the pelvis; it supplies blood to structures below the diaphragm.

Acute Myocardial Infarction



Natural or surgical joining of 2 or more blood vessels so as to make or become continuous.

Angina Pectoris

a.k.a. Cardiac Pain... It is chest pain, which may radiate to the left arm, jaw, & neck, caused by lack of oxygen to the heart muscle often due to narrowing of the coronary arteries as a result of plaque buildup. Symptoms can be relieved by nitroglycerin tablets, which cause the coronary artieries to dilate allowing more oxygennated blood to reach the heart.

Angioplasty & Stents

An operation to repair a damaged blood vessel or unblock a coronary artery by inserting a small balloon into the vessel or artery. Once positioned, the balloon is inflated which stretches the artery open & flattens the palque mass. Sometimes it is necessary to insert a metal mesh tube (_____) afterwards to keep the vessel/artery from colapsing & becoming blocked again.


The largest artery in the body; it conducts oxygenated blood from the heart to the tissues.

Aortic Semilunar Valve

The valve that connects the ascending aorta to the left ventricle.

Arch of the Aorta (AOTA)

The point where the Ascending & Descending Aortas meet, & the passageway of arteries upper parts of the body.


Irregular Heart Beat... any deviation from a normal heart rhythm - There are several kinds including bradycardia (slow hartrate of less than 60 beats/minute) & tachycardia (fast heartrate of greater than 100 beats/minute)


Blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart.


The smallest arteries; they deliver blood to capillaries.

Atrial Septal Defect


Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease


Ascending Aorta

The portion of the largest artery that emerges from the left ventricle of the heart; it contains the aortic valve & branches off into the 2 coronary arteries that supply the myocardium.


Disease of the artieries in which cholesterol-containing masses called plaque accumulate on the inner walls of the arteries

Atrioventricular (AV) Node

The 2nd major region of specialized nerve tissue in the heart; it is located in the lower portion of the right atrium between the left & right atria. Electrical impulses are delayed for about 0.1 second b4 spreading to both ventricles & causing them to contract.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

C.A.B.G. (cabbage)

Coronary Artery Disease



Microscopic blood vessels which connect the smallest arteries w/ the smallest veins; they facilitate the exchange of carbon dioxide, nutrients, oxygen, & waste betw. blood & tissue cells.

Cerebral Circulation

Blood circulatory route that supplies the brain w/ oxygen & nutrients & disposes of waste.

Congestive Heart Failure


Congenital Heart Disease

Condition that is present at birth in which the heart fails to develop porperly. 2 common defects include Septal Defect (a hole in either septum betw. the left & right sides of the heart - pumping is reduced) & Stenosis Of The Heart Valves (Heart valves develope w/ a narrowed opening - causes ventricles to work harder than normal to pump blood or bloodlflow backup into the left atrium & lungs).

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Loss of ability of the heart to pump an adequate amount of blood to meet the demands of the body, resulting in an accumulation of blood in the ventricles at the end of each cardiac cycle which leads to an increase in intracardiac pressure & usually causes 1 ventricle to fail before the other. When the right ventricle fails 1st, blood swells in vessels leading to the heart - this causes peripheral edema & symptoms such as swelling o fthe feet & ankles; when the left ventricle fails 1st, blood swells in the lungs - this causes pulmonary edema which can lead to suffocation & death.

Coronary Circulation

Blood circulatory route that contains the blood vessels of the heart & supplies nutrients & oxygen via blood to the myocardium (heart muscle tissue).

Coronary Heart Disease

Reduced bloodflow due to the clogging of the coronary arteries that nourish the heart muscle; this can cause pain in the chest, left arm, &/or shoulder known as angina pectoris. This inadequate blood flow can also lead to a myocardial infarction or heart attack. If the area of damaged tissue is large enough, death can result; however if the area is small, the heart can function despite its weakened condition.

Descending Thoracic Aorta

The part of the largest artery that is located in the thorax & runs from the arch of the aorta to the diaphragm; it supplies oxygenated blood to the chest cage & the organs w/i the chest.


Relaxation phase of the heartbeat cycle.






Innermost layer of the heart wall consisting of epithelial cells & connective tissue as well as some specialized muscle tissue that line the heart.


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

Fetal Circulation

Blood circulatory route that exists only between a developing fetus & its mother.


The major pumping organ of the cardiovascular system.

Heart Failure

Progressive weakening of the myocardium (the muscular tissue of the heart) & loss of ability of the heart to pump adequate amounts of blood.

Heart Murmur

An abnormal sound in the heart akin to a fluttering or humming sound like a gentle blowing. It is produced by defects in the chambers or valves such as w/ an incompetent heart valve or when there is a stenosis.


High Blood Pressure, a common disorder in which blood pressure remains abnormally high (a reading of 140/90 mm Hg or greater). It can lead to an enlargement of the heart which can cause heart failure; it can be caused by many factors including anemia, heredity, hyperthyroidism, chronic infections, malnutrition, & old age.

Inferior Vena Cava

Large vein that brings blood to the heart from the smaller veins of the lower body - a.k.a. the posterior ____ ____.

Interventricular Septum

Wall that separates the right & left ventricles of the heart.

Left Anterior Descending (Widowmaker)


Left Atrium

The left upper chamber of the heart that receives blood from the pulmonary veins.

Left Pulmonary Artery

The artery that carries blood from the right ventricle and sends it to the lungs; the only exception where an artery carryies deoxygenated blood.

Left Ventricle

The left lower chamber of the heart. It pumps the blood through the aortic valve into the aorta.


A hollow core or passage inside a tubular body part, such as artery.

Mitral Valve

The bicuspid heart valve betw. the left atrium & the left ventricle

Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome

When 1 or both valves of the bicuspid valves billow upward (________) & project back into the left atrium during systole (contraction of the ventricles). It can be congential or caused by bacterial endocarditis or rheumatic fever. This can be corrected by performing surgery to replacing the defective valve w/ an artificial valve.

Myocardial Infarction

A Heart Attack... The destruction of heart muscle tissue resulting from obstruction of the blood supply to the heart muscle due to blockage of a coronary artery, which can occure from plaque buildup, a coronary spasm, or a thrombosis (unwanted clotting). Symptoms include great crushing pain of pressure in the chest (sometimes referred to by patients as an elephant sitting on their chest), & pain radiating down the left arm or up into the neck & jaw. This is followed by nausea, clamminess, shortness of breath, turning ashen in color, & feling faint.


Inflammation of the the muscular tissue of the heart, which can cause a heart attack.


The muscular tissue of the heart.

Pericardial Cavity

The space between the epicardium & the inner layer of the paricardial sac (layers of the pericardium) that lubricates the membrane surfaces & allows easy heart movement.

Pericardial Fluid

Fluid in the heart cavity that helps reduce friction as the heart moves w/i the pericardial sac.

Pericardial Sac

The membrane surrounding the heart.


Inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart. This is caused by a viral or bacterial infection & is very painful.

Petco unusual pets - purring cuticles, cross-eyed moon, arrid corona (the dryest beer ever), & plastic angel

| Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty


Pulmonary Circulation

Circulatory route that travels from the heart to the lungs & back to the heart.

Pulmonary Semilunar Valve

Valve that lies between the right ventricle & the pulmonary artery & has 3 cusps.

Pulmonary Veins

The vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart.

Right Atrium

The upper right chamber of the heart, where deoxygenated blood is received from the vena cava & then sent to the right ventricle.

Right Ventricle

The lower right chamber of the heart, where deoxygenated blood is received from the right atrium and pumped into the lungs.

Sinoatrial (SA) Node/Pacemaker

Sinus Atrium - A nose has lg room w/ a glass ceiling sticking out of it & there's a bunch of nervous pacemakers waiting for people transplants inside the room
| The 1st major region of specialized nerve tissue in the heart - located in the right atrium. It initiates the cardiac cycle & sets the pace for the heart rate.

Superior (anterior) Vena Cava

Large vein that carries blood from the upper parts of the body (head, neck, & upper shoulder area) to the heart at the right atrium.

Systemic Circulation

Circulatory route between the heart & the rest of the body excluding the lungs.


Contration phase of the heartbeat cycle.

Transesophageal Echocardiogram


Thoracic Aorta

Main artery of the region between the neck & the diaphragm.

Tricuspid Valve

Valve located betw. the right atrium & the right ventricle.


Blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart.


Small vessels that connect capillaries to larger veins.

Ventral Septal Defect


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