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Body Sys2-CardioPath

Medical Terminology

TermDefinition
hypoxia a level of oxygen in the blood that is below normal
angina pectoris pain in the chest due to inadequate delivery of oxygen to the heart muscle
myocardial infarction (MI) the death of heart muscle caused by lack of oxygen due to a blockage in a coronary artery; also known as a heart attack
cardiomyopathy a chronic (long-lasting) disease of the heart muscle characterized by muscle that is thick, stiff, weak, and irritable, resulting in symptoms such as congestive heart failure
congestive heart failure (CHF) a disease in which the heart fails to pump strongly enough, causing blood to back up into the lungs or body
myocarditis a disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed, weak, and irritable, typically due to a viral infection
atherosclerosis the buildup of a waxy material called plaque in a blood vessel wall, leading to stiffening (hardening) and narrowing, as well as reduced blood flow
peripheral artery disease (PAD) atherosclerosis in the arteries supplying parts of the body other than the heart or brain
coronary artery disease (CAD) atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries, which are the arteries that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle
arrhythmia an abnormal heart rhythm, either too fast, too slow, and/or irregular
tachycardia a heart rate that is too fast, defined as a resting heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute
bradycardia a heart rate that is too slow, defined as a resting heart rate of fewer than 60 beats per minute
anemia a condition in which there are not enough red blood cells
leukemia a general term that describes a variety of cancers in which there are too many white blood cells
stenosis an abnormal narrowing, such as that found in diseased blood vessels or heart valves
auscultation the process of listening to the sounds of the body for diagnostic purposes
palpation the process of touching or feeling a patient’s body to determine the physical characteristics of an organ or structure
pulse oximetry a diagnostic test using an electronic sensor that can measure the oxygen saturation of a patient’s blood based on its color
cardiac monitor an electronic device that is attached to a patient in order to visualize, over time, the rate and rhythm of his or her heart; alarms can be set based on abnormal readings
complete blood count (CBC) a laboratory test in which a sample of blood is examined for a variety of measures, including the quantity and types of white and red blood cells and platelets
cardiac enzymes chemicals produced by the heart that can be measured in a blood sample and that can provide information about the health of the heart
electrocardiogram (ECG) a recording of the electrical activity generated by the heart as it pumps; useful for diagnosing diseases
cardiac stress test a test that involves the continuous recording of measures such as heart rate, the electrocardiogram, and blood pressure while the patient exercises to evaluate the health of the heart
Doppler flow study a test that uses sound waves to generate images to evaluate blood vessels and blood flow;
echocardiogram a test that uses sound waves to generate images to evaluate the structure of the heart
Holter monitor a heart test that evaluates the electrical activity of the heart by monitoring and recording it over a 24-hour period as the patient goes about his or her normal activities;
electrophysiology study an extensive study of the electrical activity of the heart using recording probes passed into the heart via an artery
angiogram a test used to evaluate the health of an artery by taking X-ray images while injecting into the artery a substance that can be seen by the X-ray
coronary catheterization a procedure used to diagnose or treat conditions of the coronary arteries by threading a catheter from a leg artery into a coronary artery; can be used to make an angiogram or administer treatments such as stents
heart biopsy a test that involves the taking of a small sample of heart tissue to evaluate the health of the heart muscle
cardioversion a procedure in which either drugs or a pulse of electricity applied to a patient’s chest to restore a normal heart rhythm
defibrillation a procedure in which a pulse of electricity is applied to a patient’s chest to restore a normal heart rhythm
pacemaker an electrical device that can sense cardiac electrical activity and deliver pulses of electricity to the heart muscle to initiate contractions to maintain an acceptable rhythm
implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) a medical device implanted into a patient’s chest to monitor the electrical activity of the heart and administer pulses of electricity as necessary to restore a normal heart rhythm
coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) a procedure in which a blood vessel is harvested, usually from the patient’s leg, and surgically attached to a coronary artery to divert blood flow around (bypass) an obstruction
cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) a procedure in which the normal activities of the heart and lungs are taken over by a machine to permit surgeries such as cardiac transplant, valve replacement, or coronary artery bypass grafting
cardiac transplant a procedure in which a patient’s diseased heart is surgically replaced using a heart from a recently deceased organ donor
stent a tubular mesh structure that can be inserted into a blood vessel and left in place to hold a narrow vessel open, improving blood flow
valve replacement a surgical procedure in which one or more diseased heart valves are replaced using natural or artificial replacement valves
vascular graft a procedure in which a diseased segment of an artery is replaced, or grafted, using either natural or artificial material
antihypertensive a drug used to lower a patient’s blood pressure
statin a drug used to treat or prevent atherosclerosis by altering the levels of certain fats circulating in the blood
anticoagulant a drug used to reduce the ability of the blood to form clots
digitalis a drug used to slow and regularize certain abnormal heart rhythms and to strengthen the pumping of a weak heart
immunosuppressant a drug used to weaken the immune system, such as to prevent it from attacking (rejecting) a transplanted organ
Created by: rleroux