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Ablation

(ah-BLAY-
shun)
elimination or removal
Acidosis (ass-i-DOH-sis) build-up of acid in the blood
Adventitia
(ad-ven-TISH-
ah)
outer layer in the wall of an artery
Alveoli (al-VEE-o-li)
air sacs in the lungs where oxygen and carbon dioxide
are exchanged
Amyloidosis
(am-i-loy-
DOE-sis)
rare condition in which certain blood cells produce
excessive protein deposits in the tissues. If the deposits
are in the heart, heart failure can result
Anastomosis
(an-ass-ti-
MOE-sis)
connection of two vessels or conduits
Aneurysm (AN-yu-riz-em)
a bulge in a blood vessel's wall, which can weaken the
vessel to the point where it eventually tears, causing
rapid, sometimes fatal blood loss
Angina pectoris
(an-JI-nah or
AN-ji-nah pek-
TOR-is)
chest pain or discomfort caused by too little blood flow
in the coronary arteries to meet the oxygen needs of the
heart muscle
Angiogram
(AN-jee-o-
gram)
X-ray picture of any arteries or veins
Angiography
(an-jee-AHG-
ra-fee)
a diagnostic test in which a catheter is inserted through
a small incision in a blood vessel in the groin or wrist
and guided up into a heart artery; a dye is then be
injected through the catheter to trace the blood flow in
the artery so blockages can be detected method for
taking X-ray pictures of the coronary arteries
Angioplasty
(AN-jee-o-plas-
tee)
a surgical procedure used to open a partly blocked
blood vessel by passing a balloon catheter through a
small incision in a blood vessel in the groin or wrist,
and then up along the vessel to the site of the blockage,
where the tip of the catheter is inflated to push aside the
blockage; often done immediately after angiography
using the same catheter
Annulus (AN-yu-lus)
the ring around a heart valve where the valve leaflet
merges with the heart muscle
Anterior (an-TIR-e-er) front
Anticoagulant
(an-ti-co-AG-u-
lant)
medication that keeps blood from clotting; blood
thinner
Aorta (ay-OR-tah)
the artery carrying oxygen-containing blood from the
heart itself out to the body
Aortic valve
(ay-OR-tik)
valve
valve between the left ventricle and the aorta
APGAR
A score is given for each sign (Activity, Pulse,
Grimace, Appearance, Respiration) at one minute and
five minutes after the birth. If there are problems with
the baby an additional score is given at 10 minutes. A
score of 7-10 is considered normal, while 4-7 might
require some resuscitative measures, and a baby with
APGARs of 3 and below requires immediate
resuscitation. See
http://www.childbirth.org/articles/apgar.html for more
information.
Arrhythmia
(ah-RITH-mee-
ah)
an abnormal rhythm of the heart (too slow, too fast, or
uneven), which can cause the heart to pump less
effectively
Arteriogram
(ar-TEER-e-o-
gram)
angiogram (x-ray) of arteries; a coronary arteriogram is
an angiogram of the coronary arteries
Arteriole
(ar-TEER-ee-
ole)
smaller branch of an artery
arteriosclerosis
(ar-TEER-ee-o-
skla-ROE-sis)
a chronic disease in which there is abnormal thickening
and hardening of the artery walls, causing arteries to
lose their ability to stretch and contract
Arteritis
(art-ah-
WRITE-us)
inflammation of arteries
Artery (ART-er-ee)
a blood vessel carrying blood away from the heart to
the body or lungs
Ascending aorta
(ah-SEN-ding
ay-OR-tah)
the first part of the aorta that emerges from the left
ventricle
Ascites (uh-SIGH-teez) buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity
Aspiration
(ass-per-AY-
shun)
removal of fluid by suction
asymptomatic
(ay-simp-to-
MAT-ic)
showing no symptoms
Atherectomy
(a-ther-EK-toh-
mee)
surgical removal of plaque deposits inside an artery
done by threading a catheter with a rotating cutting
blade through an artery to the point of the blockage and
using the blade to shave away the plaque
Atherosclerosis
(ath-e-roe-
skleh-ROE-sis)
a form of arteriosclerosis in which there are abnormal
fatty deposits in the inner layer of an artery that can
interfere with blood flow
Atresia (ah-TREE-zhia)
absence or non-development of a valve (e.g. pulmonary
atresia is absence of the pulmonary valve)
atrial fibrillation
(AY-tree-al fill-
i-BRAY-shun)
very rapid uncoordinated contractions of the atria of the
heart
Atrial Septectomy
(AY-tree-al
sep-TEK-toe-
me
surgical removal of the wall between the right and left
atria
Atrioventricular
(ay-tree-o-ven-
TRIK-yu-lar)
between the atria and ventricles
Atrioventricular
block

block of the electrical signal between the atria and
ventricles; can vary in severity from first, second, or
third degree (complete heart block)
Atrioventricular
Valve

valve between atrium and ventricle. The mitral valve is
on the left side of the heart and the tricuspid valve on
the right
Atrium
(AY-tree-um)
Plural = atria
one of the two upper chamber of the heart that receive
blood from the veins and pump it into a ventricle
autologous
donation
(ah-TOL-oh-
gus)
Giving one's own blood in advance of surgery to be
used for transfusions if needed
AV node
Atrioventricular
node
cluster of cells between the atria and ventricles that
slows the electrical current of the heart rhythm as it
passes through to the ventricles
Bacterial
Endocarditis
(en-doe-car-
DIE-tus)
An infection of the lining of the inside of the heart or
the heart valves. Bacterial endocarditis occurs when
bacteria in the bloodstream lodge on abnormal heart
valves or most structural abnormalities of the heart.
Certain bacteria normally live on parts of the body,
such as the mouth and upper respiratory system, the
intestinal and urinary tracts, and the skin. When
someone is having one of the dental or surgical
procedures that can cause these bacteria to enter the
bloodstream, antibiotics are prescribed to prevent the
bacteria from surviving in the bloodstream.
balloon angioplasty SEE angioplasty
balloon catheter
a catheter with a balloon at the tip, which can be used to
open a blocked heart artery . Also used sometimes to
open blocked valves.
Betadine (BAY-ta-dine) an orange-colored skin disinfectant
Bicuspid (by-CUS-pid)
Having two leaflets (or flaps). All of the heart valves
except the aortic are bicuspid (having 2 leaflets (or
flaps) that close the valve; the aorta has 3 cusps (3
leaflets to close the valve). See also bicuspid aortic
valve
Biopsy (BY-op-see)
method of taking a small sample of tissue for
examination
Bradycardia
(bray-de-KAR-
dee-ah)
slow heartbeat
Bundle-branch
block

condition in which portions of the heart's conduction
system become defective and are unable to conduct the
electrical signal normally (can be right or left bundle-
branch block)
Bypass
see Cardiopulmonary bypass and Coronary artery
bypass graft
bypass machine heart-lung machine
CABG operation
Coronary artery
bypass graft
an operation that reroutes the blood supply by
bypassing blocked coronary arteries
CAD coronary artery disease
Cannulation
(can-u-LAY-
shun)
inserting a tube into a duct, cavity, or vessel
Capillaries
(KAP-ih-ler-
ees)
smallest blood vessels connecting arteries and veins
where oxygen and nutrients are exchanged for waste
products
Cardiac output
the amount of blood the heart pumps through the
circulatory system in 1 minute (stroke volume
multiplied by heart rate)
Cardiomegaly
(car-dee-oh-
MEG-a-lee)
abnormal enlargement of the heart
Cardiomyopathy
(kar-dee-oh-
my-OP-ah-
thee)
abnormal conditions of the heart muscle, including
hypertrophy of cardiac muscle, enlargement of the
heart, and/or rigidity and loss of flexibility of the heart
walls, and which are not associated with other heart
defects or caused by a birth defect, coronary
atherosclerosis, valve problems, or high blood pressure
Cardiopulmonary
(car-dee-oh-
PUL-muh-nar-
ee)
having to do with the heart and lungs
Cardiopulmonary
bypass
(car-dee-oh-
PUL-mah-ner-
ee BY-pass)
method by which a machine takes over the function of
the heart and lungs so the heart can be stopped for
surgery
Cardiopulmonary
resuscitation
(car-dee-oh-
PUL-mah-ner-
ee ree-suss-ih-
TAY-shun)
use of rescue breathing and chest compressions to
supply oxygen and blood to a person whose heartbeat
and breathing have stopped
cardiovascular
disease

disease of the heart and blood vessels that nourish the
heart
Cardioversion
(car-dee-o-
VER-zhun
An electrical shock is applied to the chest to convert an
abnormal heartbeat to normal. In addition to that, the
medical team will give the patient drugs to help him/her
relax and forget about the procedure.
Carotid
(ka-RAH-tid)
arteries
main arteries supplying blood to the head
Catheter (KATH-et-er)
long, thin flexible, hollow tube inserted through an
incision or needle prick into blood vessels, or through
openings in the body
Catheterization
(kath-et-er-ih-
ZA-shun)
Any procedure in which a catheter is inserted into the
body; it can be used to assess the condition of coronary
arteries, valves, and heart muscle and to open blocked
arteries and reshape heart valves. Also, a diagnostic
procedure which is a comprehensive examination of
how the heart and its blood vessels function.
CCU cardiac (or coronary, in some hospitals) care unit
Cerebral embolism
(seh-REE-bral
EM-boe-liz-
em)
a clot that travels through blood vessels from the site
where it formed and blocks blood flow in the brain
Cerebral
hemorrhage
(seh-REE-bral
HEH-mor-ij)
bleeding into the brain
CHF
Congestive
Heart Failure
CHF is a condition in which the heart is unable to
circulate enough oxygenated blood to the body because
it's not pumping strongly. This inefficient pumping
causes the blood to back up in the veins. The body then
retains fluids.
Chordae tendineae
(KOR-dee ten-
DIN-eeah)
strong chords that stretch from the tricuspid and mitral
valve edges to the heart muscle and restrict how far the
valve leaflets swing when they close
Claudication
(claw-dih-
KAY-shun)
limb pain or tiredness due to inadequate oxygen supply
to the muscles; caused by narrowed arteries
Coarctation
(co-ark-TAY-
shun)
narrowing of a blood vessel; usually referring to the
aorta
Coil
stainless steel device permanently placed in extra blood
vessels going into the lungs, in order to block blood
flow
Collateral
(ko-LAT-er-al)
vessels
extra, small, secondary (accessory) blood vessels that
develop to bypass narrowed or blocked veins or arteries
on the heart
Compensatory
(com-PEN-sah-
tor-ee) Pause
after a premature contraction, the heart waits a little
longer before it beats
Conduction system
special muscle fibers that conduct electrical impulses
throughout the muscle of the heart
Conduction
velocity

the speed with which an electrical impulse transmits
through the tissue in the heart
Congestive heart
failure
(also called
heart failure,
CHF)
condition caused when the heart is unable to pump
enough blood to meet the needs of the body; also
characterized by fluid collecting in various parts of the
body (such as legs, lungs, liver)
Coronary arteries arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle itself
Coronary sinus
the main coronary vein that drains blood into the right
atrium from the smaller coronary veins
Coronary veins
veins returning blood from the heart muscle to the
coronary sinus
Cusp a heart valve leaflet
CVD cardiovascular disease
Cyanosis
(sigh-ah-NO-
sis)
bluish coloring of skin, nails, lips, or tongue due to lack
of oxygen-rich blood
Defibrillation
(dee-fih-brih-
LAY-shun)
electrical shock applied to the chest to stop fibrillation
Defibrillator
(dee-FIH-brih-
lay-tor)
machine used to deliver an electrical shock to the chest
to stop fibrillation; it may be internal (implanted) or
external
Deoxygenated
(dee-OX-ee-
jen-ay-ted)
without much oxygen
Dextrocardia
(dex-tro-CAR-
dee-ah)
Dextrocardia litterally means "heart on the right". If the
developing heart tube bends to the left instead of the
right, then the heart is displaced to the right and
develops in a mirror image of its normal state. Having
dextrocardia does not mean the heart is defective, it just
means that it is on the right instead of the left side of the
body. Assuming there are no associated vascular
abnormalities, then the heart functions normally. In
cases where the heart is the only organ which is
transposed, known as isolated dextrocardia, there are
usually other severe cardiac abnormalities.
Diastole
(die-ASS-toe-
lee)
relaxation phase of the heartbeat allowing heart
chambers to refill
diastolic pressure
the lower of the two numbers used to measure blood
pressure; indicates pressure as the heart relaxes
Digoxin (aka
Digitalis and
Lanoxin)

a medicine used to strengthen contractions of the heart
muscle
dilate open; widen
Distal farther from the heart
Diuretic (die-ur-EH-tik) a medicine used to increase urine output
Dyspnea (DISP-nee-a) shortness of breath
Echocardiography
(ECHO)
(eh-ko-kar-dee-
OG-ra-fee)
use of ultrasound to "look" directly at the heart without
penetrating the skin
Edema (eh-DEEM-a)
a buildup of fluid in body tissues, causing swelling and
other problems
Effusion (eh-FEW-zhun)
the escape of a fluid from anatomical vessels by rupture
or exudation
Ejection fraction
the portion of blood that is pumped out of a filled
ventricle (normal is 50 percent or more)
Electrocardiogram
(EKG)
(ee-lek-troe-
KAR-dee-o-
gram)
recording of the electrical activity of the heart
Endocarditis
(en-doe-kard-
EYE-tis)
inflammation of the membrane that lines the chambers
and valves of the heart, usually caused by an infection
of the valve
Endocardium
(en-doe-
CARD-ee-um)
smooth membrane covering the inside surfaces of the
heart
Endothelium
(en-doe-THEE-
lee-um)
a layer of cells on the inner surface of the blood vessels
Endotracheal
(en-doe-TRAY-
kee-al) tube
tube inserted into the trachea (windpipe) to allow
assisted breathing with a ventilator
Epicardium
(eh-pih-KAR-
dee-um)
thin membrane covering the outside surface of the heart
muscle
Fenestration
(fen-iss-TRAY-
shun)
an opening or window made in surgery
Fenestrated Fontan
a version of the Fontan procedure which utilizes a
fenestration to serves as a pop-off valve in order to
relieve pressure in the heart
Fetal Arrhythmias
transient fetal cardiac rhythm disturbances are not
uncommon during pregnancy. The rhythm problems
which can occur in utero include, but are not limited to,
bradycardia and tachycardia. Fetal arrhythmias can
range from benign to causing in-utero death. See
Irregular Fetal Heartbeat Indicates Serious Problem in
Small Number of Cases for more information.
Fetal
Echocardiography
method for diagnosing some heart defects in utero
fibrillation
(fih-brih-LAY-
shun)
rapid, irregular, contractions of the muscle fibers of the
heart resulting in a lack of coordination between atria
and ventricles; causes an ineffective heartbeat
Fluoroscopy
(flur-OS-ko-
pee)
use of X-rays to see motion, as opposed to still X-ray
films
Flutter
rapid, ineffective beating of a heart chamber, but more
coordinated than fibrillation
Fontan Procedure
the final surgical step in a series of operations for
patients with single ventricle, HLHS and some other
CHDs which converts the heart from a 4-chamber
pumping heart to a 2- chamber pumping heart
Foramen Ovale
normal opening between the right and left atria of the
fetal heart
Heart Cath
(catheterization)

a test in which a catheter (or thin tube) is passed
through a blood vessel into the heart to study the heart
anatomy and the function of the heart
heart-lung machine
a machine that supplies blood with oxygen and pumps
it throughout the body while the heart is stopped during
open-heart surgery
Hemochromatosis
(hee-mo-kro-
mah-TOE-sis)
a defect in iron metabolism that permits iron to build up
in the body
Hemodynamics
(hee-mo-die-
NA-mics)
information about blood flow and pressures
Hepatic (heh-PAT-ic) having to do with the liver
Heterotaxy
(HET-er-oh-
tax-ee)
Heterotaxy syndome involves abnormal organ
placement in the body, including the heart. Oftentimes,
the liver is in the midline, the stomach and heart may be
on the right side, and the splenic tissue may be multiple
(polysplenia syndrome) or absent (asplenia syndrome).
The congenital heart disease associated with heterotaxy
is usually severe and is associated with high infant and
childhood mortality. ( From Grants Awarded by The
Children's Heart Foundation )
Holter monitor
(HOLE-ter)
monitor
a portable device that continuously records the heart's
electrical activity; can be worn at home during daily
activities to detect fleeting episodes of faulty heart
rhythms
homocysteine
(ho-mo-SIS-
teen)
an amino acid of animal origin that, when present in
excess, has been shown to cause blockages in the blood
vessels that supply the heart
hypertension
(hi-per-TEN-
shun)
high blood pressure
hypertensive
(hi-per-TEN-
siv)
having high blood pressure
Hypertrophy (HI-per-tro-fee) abnormal enlargement.
Hypoperfusion
(hi-po-per-
FEW-zhun)
poor blood flow to body tissues
Hypoplastic
(hi-po-PLA-
stic)
underformed with lack of normal function
Hypotension
(hi-po-TEN-
shun)
low blood pressure.
ICD (Implantable
Cardioverter-
Defibrillator)

a small defibrillator that can be permanently implanted
under the skin to regulate heart rhythms that are too fast
or uncoordinated
ICU intensive care unit
Immunosuppressant
(im-yu-no-suh-
PRESS-ant)
a medicine used to prevent transplant organ rejection
which somewhat lowers the bodys ability to fight
disease
infarct
an area of tissue death in an organ (such as the heart)
caused by blockage of the blood vessel that supplies
oxygen and nutrients
Inferior below
Intubation placement of a breathing tube in the windpipe
Ischemia (is-KEE-mee-a)
lack of oxygen in body tissue (usually the heart or
brain) caused by blockage or damage to the artery
carrying oxygen-rich blood to that part of the body
I.V. Intravenous
within a vein; refers to catheters and tubing used to give
fluid and medicine
IVC
inferior vena
cava
the large vein that returns blue blood from the lower
body to the right atrium in the normal heart
jugular veins (JUG-yu-lar) veins that carry blood back from the head to the heart
Korotkoff sounds (ko-ROT-kof)
sounds made by the pulse that are heard when a blood
pressure is taken
Lasix a diuretic
Left heart failure
blood flow to the body is decreased and fluid
accumulates in the lungs
Ligated tied off
Lumen (LU-men) the channel within blood vessels in which blood flows
Lung scanning
a test designed to assess the circulation and air flow
through the lungs
Mitral valve (MY-tral) valve between the left atrium and left ventricle
MRI
magnetic
resonance
imaging
uses magnetic fields and radio waves to construct
images of internal body structures
Murmur
sounds made by turbulent blood moving through the
chambers and valves of the heart or through the blood
vessels near the heart usually signifying an abnormality
of blood flow caused by a structural defect in the heart
or valves
Myocardial (myo-Kar-dee- heart attack; an area of heart tissue dies because its
infarction al in-FARK-
shun)
blood supply is blocked
Myocarditis
(my-o-kard-
EYE tis)
inflammation of the heart muscle
Myocardium
(my-o-KAR-
dee um)
the middle, muscular layer of the heart wall
N.P.O.
these letters stand for nothing by mouth (in Latin).
When you are N.P.O., you cannot eat or drink for a
certain amount of time
Necrosis
(neh-KROE-
sis)
dead areas of tissue
NG Tube
nasogastric
tube
a tube placed through the nose and ending in the
stomach, used for feedings
normal sinus
rhythm

the rhythm of a healthy heartbeat, produced by
electrical impulses that start in the sinoatrial node of the
heart, measured by an electrocardiogram
Nuclear heart
scanning
(NU-klee-ar)
test used to show features o heart function and blood
flow; it involves injection of radioactive material
("tracers") into the bloodstream
Occlusion (oh-KLU-zhun) total blockage of a blood vessel
Orthopnea
(or-THOP-nee-
a)
difficulty breathing except in an upright position (ortho
means "straight" or "upright")
Orthostatic
hypotension
(or-thoe-STAT-
ik hy-poe-TEN-
shun)
low blood pressure upon standing that may lead to
light-headedness or passing out
pacemaker
a small device implanted under the skin (usually in the
shoulder area) to regulate the heartbeat
Palliative (PAL-e-at-iv)
treatment and/or an operation that does not cure a
problem but makes adjustments to improve the situation
Palpitations
(pal-pi-TAY-
shuns)
uncomfortable sensations of your heartbeat in your
chest
Patent (PAY-tent) open
Percutaneous
transluminal
coronary
angioplasty
per-kew-TAY-
nee-us
trans-LUE-mih-
nal
KO-ro-nair-ee
the use of catheters to reopen obstructed coronary
arteries
AN-jee-o-plas-
tee; PTCA
Perfusion
(pur-FEW-
zhun)
circulation of blood through organs or tissues
Perfusion scanning
(pur-FEW-
zhun) scanning
This is a test that produces an image of the heart muscle
with radioactive tracers. It can show areas of the heart
muscle that do not receive adequate blood flow.
Pericardial Effusion fluid buildup around the heart
pericardiectomy
(pair-ih-kar-
dee-EK-tah-
mee)
removal of the pericardium
pericardiocentesis
(pair-ih-kar-
dee-o-sen-TEE-
sis)
withdrawing excess fluid (pericardial effusion) from the
pericardium through a needle
pericarditis
(pair-ih-kard-
EYE-tis)
This is an inflammation of the pericardium. It can be
caused by an infection, by severe kidney disease, by a
myocardial infarction (heart attack) or by several other
disorders. Pericarditis typically produces a sound called
a "pericardial friction rub," a characteristic grating
"leathery" heart murmur.
Pericardium
(pair-ih-KAR-
dee-um)
the sac or membrane surrounding the heart
Perioperative
(pair-ih-OP-er-
a-tiv)
refers to time period before and after an operation
PFO
patent foramen
ovale
an opening in the wall between the upper two chambers
of the heart that is present at birth, but doesn't close
completely. It is much smaller than an ASD
PGE1
prostaglandin
E1
I.V. medicine used to keep the ductus arteriosus open
Pleural Effusion fluid buildup around the lungs
Positron Emission
Tomagraphy
(PA-zih-tron
ee-MIH-shun
toh-MAH-gra-
fee); PET
scanning
investigational imaging technique used for measuring
blood flow and the metabolism of the tissues of the
body, including the heart
Posterior (post-EAR-i-or) back or rear
PPH
primary
pulmonary
The blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries is
abnormally high, resulting in damage to the small
hypertension arteries in the body, over-development of the heart, and
often kidney damage
Premature
contraction
a heartbeat that comes too soon
Prophylaxis
(pro-fi-LAX-
iss)
a preventive measure (e.g., to prevent infection or
disease)
Prothrombin time
test
(pro-THROM-
bin)
test that measures the activity of certain clotting factors;
it is often used to determine whether a person is
receiving the correct dose of the anticoagulant warfarin
(Coumadin)
Proximal (PROX-i-mal) closer to the heart
PTCA SEE percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
Pulmonary
(PUL-mah-
nair-ee)
having to do with the lungs
Pulmonary Arteries
(PUL-mah-
nair-ee)
blood vessel that carries blue (deoxygenated) blood to
the lungs from the right ventricle in the normal heart
Pulmonary edema
(PUL-mah-
nair-ee eh-
DEE-mah)
fluid buildup in the lungs
Pulmonary valve
(PUL-mah-
nair-ee) valve
valve at the opening from the right ventricle to the
pulmonary artery
Pulmonary vein
(PUL-mah-
nair-ee) vein
blood vessel that carries red (newly oxygenated) blood
from the lungs back to the left atrium of the heart
pulmonic valve (pul-MON-ic) SEE pulmonary valve
Pulse Oximeter (ock-SIM-i-ter)
a machine that uses light to measure the amount of
oxygen the blood is carrying through your body
Radio frequency
ablation
(RFA)
a technique utilizing radio energy (using a wire placed
through a catheter in the heart) to kill off heart tissue to
prevent or treat arrhythmias
Radionucleotide
ventriculography
(ray-dee-o-NU-
klee-o-tide
ven-trik-u-
LOG-ra-fee)
a test used to determine the size and shape of the hearts
pumping chambers, the ventricles
Regurgitation
(re-gurge-i-
TAY-shun)
a condition in which blood leaks backwards through
heart valves that do not close fully; also called leakage
Rejection
the bodys refusal to tolerate a donor organ leading to
the organs failure
Renal (REE-nal) having to do with the kidneys
Reperfusion
(ree-per-FEW-
zhun)
return of normal blood flow after a period of poor blood
flow
Repolarization
(ree-pole-er-i-
ZAY-shun)
the process by which the heart is restored to its
electrical resting state between heart beats
Rheumatic Fever
(rue-MAT-ik)
fever
inflammatory illness that sometimes follows strep
throat and may damage the heart valves
Right heart failure
decreased blood flow resulting in swelling in the legs
and abdominal organs, including the liver
rotoblator
(RO-toe-blay-
der)
a catheter with a hard tip which rotates at 2000 rpm to
pulverize plaque deposits during atherectomy
Septal defect (SEP-tal)
hole in the wall separating the atria or in the wall
separating the ventricles
Septum (SEP-tum)
wall separating the left and right atria and the left and
right ventricles
Shunt
connection allowing abnormal blood flow between two
locations
Sick sinus
syndrome

This is the failure of the sinus node to perform its
normal function of regulating the heartbeat. It often
results in periods of fast heartbeat and periods of slow
heartbeat.
Silent ischemia (is-KEE-mee-a)
insufficient amounts of blood and oxygen reach
portions of the heart muscle, but angina is not produced
sinoatrial node
(si-no-AY-tree-
al)
Sinus node
a small mass of tissue that is embedded in the right
atrium of the heart, and that originates the electrical
impulses that stimulate the heartbeat
Stable angina
(an-JI-nah or
AN-ji-nah)
chest pain caused by myocardial ischemia and with a
predictable pattern
Stenosis (steh-NO-sis)
a narrowing, usually refers to a valve or blood vessel
other than the aorta (adjective = stenotic
stent
a stainless steel mesh tube placed inside an artery to
hold it open after angioplasty has pushed aside a
blockage
Sternotomy
(ster-NAH-tah-
mee)
incision down the breastbone
Strain gauge
plethysmography
(ple-thiz-MOG-
ra-fee)
a test used to evaluate how efficiently blood is flowing
through a leg artery
stress test
a test of heart function measured before, during, and
after a period of increasingly strenuous exercise such as
walking on a treadmill
Stroke
a brain injury that is caused by an inadequate supply of
blood to the brain or by leak of blood inside the skull
that compresses the brain
Stroke volume
the actual amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle
with one contraction
Sudden cardiac
death
cardiac arrest; usually caused by ventricular fibrillation
Superior
(su-PEER-ee-
or)
above
Superior vena cava
(SVC)
(VEE-na CAY-
va)
large vein returning blood from the upper body to the
right atrium in the normal heart
Swan-Ganz
catheter

a monitoring catheter; used to assess the cardiac output
and pressures in the right heart chambers and
pulmonary artery
Systemic (sis-TEM-ic) having to do with the body
Systole (SIS-toe-lee)
the contraction phase of the heartbeat when the heart
muscle squeezes
systolic pressure (sis-TAHL-ic)
the higher of the two numbers used to measure the
blood pressure; indicates pressure as the heart contracts
Tachycardia
(tack-eh-KAR-
dee-ah)
rapid heartbeat
Tachypnea (ta-KIP-nee-ah) rapid breathing
Tamponade
(tam-pon-
ODD)
excess fluid in the pericardium prevents the heart from
expanding enough during diastole to fill sufficiently
Thrills vibrations in the chest from abnormal blood flow
Thrombolysis
(throm-bol-
LIE-sis)
use medication to dissolve blood clots
Thrombolytic
agents
(throm-boe-
LIH-tik) agents
drugs that dissolve clots
Thrombophlebitis
(throm-boe-fle-
BY-tis)
clotting of blood and inflammation in a vein, most
commonly in a leg
Thrombosis
(throm-BOE-
sis)
This is a blood clot that forms within a blood vessel.
When the blockage occurs in a heart artery, it is called a
coronary thrombosis.
Transcutaneous
oximetry
(trans-kew-
TAY-nee-us
oks-IH-meh-
tree)
measurement of the amount of oxygen in a region of
skin with a special patch attached to the skin
transesophageal
(trans-eh-sof-
ah-JEE-al)
across the esophagus
Transesophageal
echocardiography
(trans-eh-sof-
ah-JEE-al eck-
oh-car-dee-OG-
ra-fee)
echocardiography in which a transducer is placed in the
esophagus to gain clearer images of the heart
transient ischemic
attack
TIA
(TRANS-ee-ant
iss-KEY-mic)
temporary lack of circulation to part of the brain
causing stroke-like symptoms
transthoracic
(trans-thor-
ASS-ic)
through the chest wall
Tricuspid valve
(try-KUS-pid)
valve
valve between the right atrium and ventricle
Unstable angina
(an-JI-nah or
AN-ji-nah)
new or increasing angina
valve
parts of the heart and veins that act like doors to keep
blood from flowing backwards; see aortic valve,
tricuspid valve, pulmonic valve, mitral valve
Valvuloplasty
(VAL-vue-lo-
plas-tee)
reshaping of a heart valve with surgical or catheter
techniques
Variant angina
(VAIR-ee-ant
an-JI-nah or
AN-ji-nah)
chest pain caused by spasm of the muscle encircling the
coronary arteries (a.k.a. Prinzmetal's angina)
Varicose veins (VAIR-ih-cose) abnormally dilated veins
varix (VAIR-icks)
an abnormally widened and lengthened vein or artery;
for example, a varicose vein
Vascular system (VAS-cue-lar) blood vessels; arteries and veins
Vasodilators
(vay-so-DIE-
lay-tors)
medications that widen or dilate the arteries
Vasopressors
(vay-so-PRES-
ors)
drugs that elevate blood pressure
Vein a blood vessel that returns blood to the heart from the
body or lungs
Venogram (VEN-oh-gram) angiogram of veins
Ventricle (VEN-trih-kel) one of two large lower pumping chambers of the heart
Ventricle Inversion congenital reversal of the right and left ventricles
ventricular
fibrillation
(ven-TRIK-u-
lar fib-ri-LAY-
shun)
very rapid, uncoordinated, fluttering contractions of the
ventricles of the heart
Ventricular Septal
Defect
(VSD)
a hole in the wall that separates the right and left
ventricles of the heart allowing crossover of blood
ventricular
tachycardia
(ven-TRIK-u-
lar tack-i-CAR-
dee-ah)
a very rapid, dangerous heartbeat that is stimulated by
faulty electrical impulses within the ventricles, leaving
them unable to pump blood to the rest of the body
Wolff-Parkinson-
White syndrome

condition in which an extra electrical pathway connects
the atria and ventricles; it may cause a rapid heartbeat