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Chapter 5

TermDefinition
ACE inhibitor a medication that lowers blood pressure.
anemia a condition marked by a deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness.
aneurysm An abnormal blood-filled swelling/enlargement of an artery or vein, resulting from a localized weakness in the wall of the vessel
angina A condition marked by severe pain in the chest, often also spreading to the shoulders, arms, and neck, caused by an inadequate blood supply to the heart
angioplasty Surgical repair or unblocking of a blood vessel, esp. a coronary artery
anticoagulant Having the effect of retarding or inhibiting the coagulation of the blood
aplastic anemia Deficiency of all types of blood cells caused by failure of bone marrow development
arrhythmia A condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm
atherectomy A method of removing plaque from the inside of an artery/arteries using a rotary blade or drill.
atheroma Degeneration of the walls of the arteries caused by accumulated fatty deposits and scar tissue, and leading to restriction of the circulation and a risk of thrombosis
atherosclerosis A disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of plaques of fatty material on their inner walls
atrial fibrillation An abnormal rhythm of the heart that can result in an increased risk of stroke due to the formation of emboli (blood clots) in the heart.
automated external defibrillator AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is able to treat them through defibrillation
beta-blocker Any of a class of drugs that prevent the stimulation of the adrenergic receptors responsible for increased cardiac action. Beta blockers are used to control heart rhythm, treat angina, and reduce high blood pressure
blood dyscrasia Any abnormal condition of the blood/blood forming organs
bradycardia Abnormally slow heart action
cardiac arrest A sudden, sometimes temporary, cessation of function of the heart
cardiac catheterization A diagnostic procedure in which a tiny, hollow tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery to go to the heart in order to image the heart and blood vessels.
cardiomyopathy Chronic disease of the heart muscle
carotid endarterectomy A surgical procedure used to prevent stroke, by correcting stenosis (narrowing) in the common carotid artery. Endarterectomy is the removal of material on the inside end of an artery.
cholesterol A compound of the sterol type found in most body tissues, including the blood and the nerves. Cholesterol and its derivatives are important constituents of cell membranes and precursors of other steroid compounds, but high concentrations in the blood (mai
chronic venous insufficiency a medical condition where the veins cannot pump enough oxygen-poor blood back to the heart
coronary thrombosis A blockage of the flow of blood to the heart, caused by a blood clot in a coronary artery
defibrillation The stopping of fibrillation of the heart by administering a controlled electric shock in order to allow restoration of the normal rhythm
diuretic (chiefly of drugs) Causing increased passing of urine
electrocardiogram A record or display of a person's heartbeat produced by electrocardiography
embolism Obstruction of an artery, typically by a clot of blood or an air bubble
embolus A blood clot, air bubble, piece of fatty deposit, or other object that has been carried in the bloodstream to lodge in a vessel and cause an embolism
endocarditis Inflammation of the endocardium
erythrocytes A red blood cell that (in humans) is typically a biconcave disc without a nucleus. Erythrocytes contain the pigment hemoglobin, which imparts the red color to blood, and transport oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the tissues
hemoglobin A red protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood of vertebrates. Its molecule comprises four subunits, each containing an iron atom bound to a heme group
hemolytic anemia Anemic condition characterized by the destruction of red blood cells
hemostasis The stopping of a flow of blood
ischemic heart disease The most common form of heart disease, in which narrowed or blocked coronary arteries have difficulty supplying sections of the heart muscle with the blood they need (ischemia).
leukemia A malignant progressive disease in which the bone marrow and other blood-forming organs produce increased numbers of immature or abnormal leukocytes. These suppress the production of normal blood cells, leading to anemia and other symptoms
leukocytes A colorless cell that circulates in the blood and body fluids and is involved in counteracting foreign substances and disease; a white (blood) cell. There are several types, all ameboid cells with a nucleus, including lymphocytes, granulocytes, monocytes,
leukopenia A reduction in the number of white cells in the blood, typical of various diseases
megaloblastic anemia Megaloblastic anemia (or megaloblastic anaemia) is an anemia (of macrocytic classification) that results from inhibition of DNA synthesis in red blood cell production. This is often due to deficiency of vitamin B and/or folic acid
myelodysplastic syndrome AKA PRE-LEUKIMIA an abnormal development of the cells produced in the bone marrow. This might be an abnormality in shape, size or organization of adult cells. Abnormal proliferation of cells CAN progress to leukemia.
myocardial infarction irreversible injury to the heart muscle (heart attack).
orthostatic hypotension Orthostatic hypotension is a particular kind of blood pressure drop. It happens when a person is lying or sitting down. When the person stands up then, the blood pressure drops a lot. This can cause dizziness or even fainting.
paroxysmal atrial tachycardia a rapid rhythm of the heart which involves an accessory pathway.
pericardium The membrane enclosing the heart, consisting of an outer fibrous layer and an inner double layer of serous membrane
pernicious anemia A deficiency in the production of red blood cells through a lack of vitamin B12
phlebitis Inflammation of the walls of a vein
raynaud's phenomenon Raynaud's phenomenon, sometimes called Raynaud's syndrome or disease, is a disorder of blood circulation in the fingers. This condition is aggravated with cold exposure. Exposure to cold abnormally reduces blood circulation causing the fingers to become p
septicemia Blood poisoning, esp. that caused by bacteria or their toxins
sickle cell anemia A severe hereditary form of anemia in which a mutated form of hemoglobin distorts the red blood cells into a crescent shape at low oxygen levels. It is commonest among those of African descent
tachycardia An abnormally rapid heart rate
thallium stress test A specialized kind of exercise stress test which is done after the patient receives a injection of a harmless radioactive substance (thallium) into the bloodstream. Its purpose is to show how well blood flows to the heart muscle during exercise.
thrombocytopenia Deficiency of platelets in the blood. This causes bleeding into the tissues, bruising, and slow blood clotting after injury
thrombolytic a kind of pharmaceutical that can break up clots blocking the flow of blood to the heart muscle
thrombosis Local coagulation or clotting of the blood in a part of the circulatory system
thrombotic occlusion the blocking of an artery by a thrombus
thrombus A blood clot formed in situ within the vascular system of the body and impeding blood flow
transfusion reaction A group of symptoms that may appear after a transfusion of blood products. Symptoms may be mild to severe and may include side effects such as: chills, fever, rash and, in severe cases, organ failure and death.
valvulitis Inflammation of the valves of the heart
varicose veins Swollen twisted and dilated veins, usually visible on the legs.
ventricular fibrillation a condition in which the ventricles contract in rapid and unsynchronized rhythms and cannot pump blood into the body.
ventricular tachycardia is a tachycardia, or fast heart rhythm, that originates in one of the ventricles of the heart. This is a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia because it may lead to ventricular fibrillation, asystole, and sudden death.
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