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Cardiac Word List with Definitions

anastomosis Surgical attachment of one end of a hollow structure to another end.
angina Intermittent chest pain, usually of short duration.
angiorrhaphy Suturing of a blood vessel.
aorta Largest artery in the body which collects blood from the left ventricle, and delivers it to all parts of the body via smaller arteries.
artery A vessel that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to body tissues and organs.
arteriole A small artery.
bicuspid valve A valve with two cusps, through which blood passes from the left atrium to the left ventricle. Also known as the mitral valve.
bradycardia Slow heart action.
bundle of His Specialized muscle fibres in the walls of the heart, between the ventricles, that carry the electrical impulses to the ventricles.
capillaries Microscopic blood vessels connecting arterioles and venules.
cardiomegaly Enlargement of the heart.
cardiovascular system System composed of the heart, blood vessels and their function within the body.
carditis Inflammation of the heart.
conductive tissue Highly specialized cardiac tissue which initiates and continues contraction impulses.
congential septal defect Small hole(s) within the atrial or ventricular septums, which are present at birth.
congestive heart failure Failure of the heart to pump an adequate amount of blood to the tissues and organs.
coronary artery disease Any disease which alters the ability of the coronary artery to deliver the amount of blood that is required by the heart muscle.
diaphoresis Profuse sweating.
diastole The relaxation phase of the heart.
dyspnea Difficult breathing.
endocardium Innermost layer of the heart.
epicardium Outermost layer of the heart.
heart A hollow, muscular organ that pumps blood through the arteries, capillaries and veins.
inferior vena cava Large vein which collects and carries deoxygenated blood from the lower portion of the body and enters the right atrium.
insufficiency Inability of valves to close properly.
left atrium Chamber which receives oxygenated blood from the lungs.
left ventricle Chamber which pumps oxygenated blood to the body via the aorta.
myocardial infarction Life-threatening condition characterized by necrosis in the myocardium due to a lack of oxygen.
myocardium Muscular layer of the heart.
necrosis Destruction (death) of tissue.
pallor Paleness.
pericardium Fibrous sac which encloses the heart.
phlebitis Inflammation of a vein.
pulmonary artery Carries deoxygenated blood from the right ventricle to the lungs.
pulmonary vein Carries oxygenated blood back to the heart from the lungs.
pulmonic valve Prevents the backflow of blood into the right ventricle.
Purkinje fibers Extend up the walls of the ventricles and transmit electrical impulses to both ventricles, causing them to contract.
right atrium Chamber which collects deoxygenated blood from the body.
right ventricle Chamber which pumps deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs.
septum Muscular wall which divides the right and left sides of the heart.
shunt A passage between two blood vessels or between two sides of the heart.
sphygmomanometer Instrument for measuring blood pressure.
stenosis Narrowing.
superior vena cava Large vein which collects and carries deoxygenated blood from the top portion of the body and enters the right atrium.
systole The contraction phase of the heart.
tachycardia Rapid heart action.
thrombophlebitis Inflammation of a vein wall, which may cause clots to form.
thrombosis Abnormal condition of a blood clot in the blood vessel.
tricuspid valve A valve with three cusps, located between the right atrium and right ventricle, which allows blood to pass into the right ventricle.
varicose veins Condition which develops when the valves of the veins are damaged. Characterized by enlarged veins and edema of the surrounding tissues.
vein A vessel that carries deoxygenated blood to the heart from the body organs and tissues.
venule A small vein.
Created by: Barbara Ross