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heart disease any disease that affects the heart
cardiovascular system the system, which includes the heart and blood vessels, that moves blood throughout the body
artery a blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart
vein a blood vessel that carries blood back to the heart from the tissues
capillary tiny blood vessels where oxygen and nutrient exchange between blood and tissues occurs
oxygen a colorless tasteless odorless gas constituting 21% of the air we breathe
carbon dioxide a colorless, odorless, incombustible gas present in the atmosphere and formed during respiration
cardiac muscle fibers that make up the walls of the heart
atrium a chamber of the heart that receives the blood brought to the heart
ventricle a lower chamber of the heart that receives blood from the atria and pumps it out of the heart
systole the time period during which the heart is contracting and actively pumping blood
diastole the time period when heart muscle relaxes, allowing blood to passively flow in and fill up the heart chambers
sinoatrial (SA) node a bundle of conduction fibers in the right atrium that starts the electrical charge to initiate each heart beat; often called the heart’s natural pacemaker
atrioventricular (AV) node an area of tissue that conducts electrical signal from the atria to the ventricles
bundle of His a bundle of heart muscle cells that conducts electrical signals from the atrioventricular node to the Purkinje fibers
Purkinje fibers fibers in the heart that stretch into the ventricles to contract the lower—and largest—part of the heart
heart rate (HR) the number of heart beats, or contractions, per minute
beats per minute (BPM) the measurement of heart beats, or contractions, per minute
pulse another term for heart rate; measured by feeling for heart beats in an artery through the skin
electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) a mechanical measurement of electrical signal flowing through the heart then depicted graphically
blood pressure (BP) the force of blood that fills the circulatory system
capacitance how much blood is held in the circulatory system
peripheral vascular resistance (PVR) how constricted or relaxed the blood vessels are
cardiac output (CO) the force and volume of blood coming from the heart
renin-angiotensin system a feedback mechanism that is regulated by the kidneys and balances fluid volume and vessel constriction
shock a condition during which vital organs are not perfused with blood and begin to die; usually related to a drastic drop in blood pressure
sphygmomanometer an instrument used to measure blood pressure
systolic reading the first or upper number reported in a blood pressure reading when the blood starts flowing again after being briefly cut off with a blood pressure cuff
diastolic reading the lower number in a blood pressure result, taken at the point at which the cuff is loose enough that blood freely flows without turbulence through the artery
stepped therapy a systematic method of using drug therapy that starts with one drug and then other agents are added one by one, based on a patient’s conditions
hypertension high blood pressure (140/90 or higher )
angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors a class of drugs that regulate blood pressure through the renin–angiotensin system
renin an enzyme produced by the kidneys and is converted to angiotensin I in the bloodstream
angiotensin I a vasoconstrictor that narrows blood vessels
angiotensin II a potent vasoconstrictor that narrows blood vessels
angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) an enzyme that converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II
angioedema a rare but serious side effect of some drugs that causes an allergic-like reaction wherein swelling of the tongue and face are severe enough to threaten breathing
hypotension low blood pressure (90/60 or lower)
angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) a class of drugs that block the action of angiotensin II, preventing constriction and causing blood vessels to relax, which lowers blood pressure
calcium-channel blockers a class of drugs used to decrease blood pressure by preventing calcium from entering into smooth muscle cells in arterial walls
diuretics drugs that help the kidneys eliminate sodium and fluid from the body, which decreases blood volume and lowers blood pressure
adrenergic inhibitors drugs that block alpha and beta receptors, adrenaline receptor types found in the body
beta blockers a class of drugs that block beta receptors on sympathetic nerves which lowers blood pressure and slows heart beat; used to treat hypertension, angina, and arrhythmias
alpha blockers a class of drugs that block alpha receptors in arteries and smooth muscle to produce lower blood pressure; used to treat hypertension
sinus rhythm normal heart rhythm set by the sinus node, or pacemaker
arrhythmia any deviationin heart rhythm from normal, regular (sinus) rhythm
tachycardia an increased heart rate
bradycardia a decreased heart rate
flutter an irregular heart rhythm occurring when select portions are slightly out of sync with the rest of the heart
fibrillation an irregular heart rhythm that can be life threatening and occurs when large portions of the heart beat out of sequence
antiarrhythmic agents four classes of arrhythmia drugs categorized by their mechanisms of action
membrane stabilizing agents (class I) an antiarrhymthmic group of drugs containing a few different drug classes that all happen to block sodium channels in cardiac muscle cells
beta blockers (class II) a class of an antiarrhymthmic drugs containing certain beta blockers that inhibit beta-one receptors on the heart
potassium-channel blockers (class III) a class of antiarrhymthmic drugs that block potassium channels in cardiac muscle cells
calcium-channel blockers (class IV) a class of drugs, used for atrial fibrillation, that block calcium, another cation, from entering cardiac muscle cells
angina pectoris a chest pain caused by inadequate blood flow to a portion of the heart
myocardial ischemia a condition that occurs as a result of a blockage in the coronary arteries that supply the heart itself with blood; literally means heart tissue death
stable angina a predictable pattern of chest pain and tightness that happens in response to specific triggers, such as exercise, physical pain, emotional stress, exposure to cold, or smoking
unstable angina chest pain and tightness that occurs with increasing frequency and less predictability
variant angina a type of chest pain that involves spasm of the coronary blood vessels, rather than blockage
myocardial infarction (MI, heart attack) the death of heart muscle due to a blockage
cardiac catheterization a procedure to reopen blocked arteries in the heart
coronary bypass surgery a procedure where a vessel from the leg is used to create an arterial bypass around a blockage in a coronary artery, thus restoring blood flow to previously blocked off heart tissue
stents supportive structures made of metal wire mesh used to keep coronary arteries open
emergency room drug kits part of a crash cart or othey emergency kit that contains drugs and equipment needed to aid in cardiac arrest or other emergencies like siezure
crash carts a portable unit containing all equipment and medications most likely needed to aid in cardiac arrest or other emergencies like siezure
nitrates a class of drugs are used to treat and prevent angina attacks by dilating blood vessels to reduce stress on the heart
vasodilators drugs used to relax smooth muscle and dilate blood vessels, which relieves chest pain and ischemia
heart failure when heart function is so weak that it cannot circulate blood adequately; symptoms include weakness, fatigue, severe fluid retention, and difficulty breathing due to pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in the lungs)
hyperlipidemia a condition of elevated cholesterol, phospholipids, and/or triglycerides in the blood and leads to cardiovascular disease and coronary artery blockage
cholesterol a substance made within the body and ingested with foods which is used to build cell membranes and form hormones; excess of it contributes to atherosclerosis and heart disease
low-density lipoproteins (LDL) the worst type of cholesterol that contributes to artery blockages
high-density lipoproteins (HDL) the good kind of cholesterol that helps to break up plaques and blockages in blood vessels
triglycerides a kind of lipid molecule, contributing to atherosclerosis (blocking and hardening of artery walls due to fat buildup
HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors a drug class that lowers LDL cholesterol and can have beneficial effects on other lipids as well; used to treat hyperlipidemia
statins a class of drugs that reduces the amount of cholesterol made in the body by blocking an enzyme HMGCoA reductase
HMG-CoA reductase an enzyme which is required for cholesterol production
fibrates "a class of drugs used daily to lower high cholesterol, especially elevated triglycerides"
niacin (vitamin B3, nicotinic acid) a dietary supplement that reduces triglycerides and LDL cholesterol while raising HDL cholesterol
omega 3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA) polyunsaturated fatty acids available in a variety of fish oil products; used to treat high cholesterol, hypertension, and coronary artery disease
plant sterol esters a dietary supplement that canhelp to lower LDL cholesterol; can be a helpful adjunct to diet and drug therapy for hyperlipidemia
beta-sitosterol a plant sterol similar in chemical structure to cholesterol used in food products for cardiovascular disease
alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) an antioxidant that protect cells against the effects of free radicals; can be used for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetic neuropathy
garlic a plant containing organosulfur compounds that have antihyperlipidemic, antihypertensive, and antifungal effects
allicin the odorous, active ingredient produced upon crushing garlic cloves
Created by: softcrylic



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