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action potential the electrical signal that causes a muscle to contract
afterload arterial impedance, or the force against which cardiac muscle shortens; along with preload and contractility, determines cardiac output
angina pectoris spasmodic or suffocating chest pain caused by an imbalance between oxygen supply and oxygen demand
anticoagulant a drug that prevents clot formation by affecting clotting factors
antiplatelet a drug that reduces the risk of clot formation by inhibiting platelet aggregation
arrhythmia any variation from the normal heartbeat
ascites the accumulation of fluids in the abdominal organs and the lower extremities
atherosclerosis accumulation of lipoproteins and fats on the inner surfaces of arteries, eventually clogging the arteries and leading to MI, stroke, or gangrene
atrioventricular (AV) node part of the conduction system of the heart that carries the action potential from the atria to the ventricles with a delay
beta blocker a Class II antiarrhythmic drug that competitively blocks response to beta adrenergic stimulation and therefore lowers heart rate, myocardial contractility, blood pressure, and myocardial oxygen demand; used to treat arrhythmias, MIs, and angina
blood pressure (BP) the result of the heart forcing the blood through the capillaries; measured in millimeters of mercury, both when the heart is contracting and forcing the blood (systolic) and when the heart is relaxed and filling with blood (diastolic)
bradycardia abnormally slow heart rate (below 60 beats per minute)
calcium channel blocker a Class IV antiarrhythmic drug that prevents the movement of calcium ions through slow channels; used for most supraventricular tachyarrhythmias and in angina
cardiomegaly enlargement of the heart due to overwork from overstimulation
cardiovascular (CV) pertaining to the heart and blood vessels
cholesterol an odorless, white, waxlike, powdery substance that is present in all foods of animal origin but not in foods of plant origin; circulates continuously in the blood for use by all body cells
clotting cascade a series of events that initiate blood clotting, or coagulation
congestive heart failure (CHF) a condition in which the heart can no longer pump adequate blood to the body's tissues; results in engorgement of the pulmonary vessels
contractility the cardiac muscle's capacity for becoming shorter in response to a stimulus; along with preload and afterload, determines cardiac output
depolarization reversal of the negative voltage across a heart or nerve cell membrane, caused by an inflow of positive ions
diastolic blood pressure the blood pressure measurement that measures the pressure during the dilation of the heart
ectopic pacemaker a pacemaker other than the SA node
fibrinolytic an agent that dissolves clots
glycoprotein antagonist an antiplatelet agent that binds to receptors on platelets, preventing platelet aggregation as well as the binding of fibrinogen and other adhesive molecules
hematocrit the proportion of a blood sample that is red blood cells
high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) lipoproteins containing 5% triglyceride, 25% cholesterol, and 50% protein; "good cholesterol"
hypercholesterolemia excessive cholesterol in the blood
hyperlipidemia elevation of the levels of one or more of the lipoproteins in the blood
hypertension elevated blood pressure, where systolic blood pressure is greater than 140 mm Hg and diastolic pressure is greater than 90 mm Hg
International Normalized Ratio (INR) a method of standardizing the prothrombin time (PT) by comparing it to a standard index
ischemic stroke a cerebral infarction, in which a region of the brain is damaged by being deprived of oxygen
lipoprotein a spherical particle containing a core of triglycerides and cholesterol, in varying proportions, surrounded by a surface coat of phospholipids that enables it to remain in solution
low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) lipoproteins containing 6% triglycerides and 65% cholesterol; "bad cholesterol"
membrane stabilizing agent a Class I antiarrhythmic drug that slows the movement of ions into cardiac cells, thus reducing the action potential and dampening abnormal rhythms and heartbeats
myocardial hypertrophy thickening of the heart muscle in response to overstimulation
myocardial infarction (MI) a heart attack; occurs when a region of the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen
partial thromboplastin time (PTT) a test that measures the function of the intrinsic and common pathways in blood clotting; affected by heparin
preload the mechanical state of the heart at the end of diastole; along with afterload and contractility, determines cardiac output
prothrombin time (PT) a test that assesses the function of the extrinsic pathways of the coagulation system; affected by warfarin
pulmonary embolism (PE) sudden blocking of the pulmonary artery by a blood clot
repolarization restoration of the negative voltage across a heart or nerve cell membrane, caused by an outflow of positive ions
reversible ischemic neurologic deficit (RIND) a neurologic change, caused by a temporary shortage of oxygen, that reverses spontaneously but less rapidly than a TIA
sinoatrial (SA) node the normal pacemaker area of the heart
stable angina a type of angina characterized by effort-induced chest pain from physical activity or emotional stress; usually predictable and reproducible
statin an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, a drug that inhibits the rate-limiting step in cholesterol formation
stroke the result of an event (finite, ongoing, or protracted occurrences) that interrupts oxygen supply to an area of the brain; usually caused by cerebral infarction or cerebral hemorrhage
systolic blood pressure a blood pressure measurement that measures the pressure during contraction of the heart
tachycardia excessively fast heart rate
thrombus blood clot
thrombocytopenia a decrease in the bone marrow production of blood platelets
transient ischemic attack (TIA) temporary neurologic change that occurs when part of the brain lacks sufficient blood supply over a brief period of time; may be a warning sign and predictor of imminent stroke
triglycerides Neutral fats synthesized from carbohydrates for storage in adipose cells
unstable angina a type of angina characterized by chest pain that occurs with increasing frequency, diminishes the patient's ability to work, and has a decreasing response to treatment; may signal an oncoming MI
variant angina a type of angina characterized by chest pain due to coronary artery spasm; usually not stress induced
very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDLs) lipoproteins containing 60% triglycerides and 12% cholesterol
Created by: softcrylic