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Medical Dictionary - Cardiovascular

AAAabdominal aortic aneurysm
abdominal aortaThe part of the descending aorta passing through the diaphragm into the abdomen.
ABIankle-brachial index
ABOthree basic blood groups
abo blood groupA major blood classification system based on the presence or absence of two antigens, A and B. Type O occurs when neither A nor B is present and AB when both are present. A and B are genetic factors that determine the presence of enzymes for the synthesis of certain glycoproteins mainly in the red cell membrane.
aBParterial blood pressure
AC (2)anticoagulent
acanthocytesErythrocytes with spiny projections giving the cell a thorny appearance.
accelerated idioventricular rhythmA type of automatic, not reentrant, ectopic ventricular rhythm with episodes lasting from a few seconds to a minute. The ventricular rate is 50 to 100 beats per minute.
ACE InhibitorDrug that lowers BP by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) allowing increased blood flow
acebutololA beta blocker drug used to treat high blood pressure, irregular rhythms and angina pectoris.
ACLSadvanced cardiac life support
adams-stokes syndromeRecurring fainting spells caused by incomplete heart block.
advanced cardiac life supportThe use of sophisticated methods and equipment to treat cardiopulmonary arrest. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) includes the use of specialized equipment to maintain the airway, early defibrillation and pharmacological therapy.
AEDautomated external defibrillator
AFatrial fibrillation
Afibatrial fibrillation
afibrinogenemiaA deficiency or absence of fibrinogen in the blood.
AHFantihemophilic factor
AIHAautoimmune hemolytic anemia
AIVRaccelerated idioventricular rhythm
alprostadilA potent vasodilator agent that increases peripheral blood flow.
AMIacute myocardial infarction
anacrotismA secondary notch in the pulse curve, obtained in a pulse tracing.
anaerobicTaking place without oxygen.
anemiaBlood lacks enough erythrocytes (RBC) or hemoglobin.ah-ne´me-ah
aneurysmA sac-like dilatation of a blood vessel wall. It indicates a weak spot in the wall which may rupture. an´u-rizm
angi/oblood or lymph vessel
angina pectorisChest pain, pressure, or squeezing, often due to ischemia of the heart´jĭ-nah pĕk′tər-ĭs
angiocardiographyRadiography of the heart and great vessels after injection of a contrast medium.
angiographyAn x-ray study of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium. an″je-og´rah-fe
angioplastyRepair of a blood vessel such as widening a narrowed artery or vein. This procedure is normally performed using catheterization. an´je-o-plas″te
angioscopeAn endoscope used for viewing the interior of blood vessels.
angiostenosisAbnormal narrowing of a blood'jē-ō-stĕ-nō'sis
angiotensinA family of peptides in the blood that causes vasoconstriction and increased blood pressure.
ankle brachial indexThe ankle-arm index. This is the ratio of the higher of the two ankle systolic blood pressures divided by the higher of the two arm systolic pressures. It is a predictor of peripheral arterial disease.
anticoagulantsAgents that slow coagulation and prevent blood clotting.
antifibrinolyticPreventing the breakdown of a blood clot or thrombus.
antihypertensiveDrugs used to reduce high blood pressure.
aortaThe main trunk of the systemic arteries originating at the heart's left ventricle.
aortic aneurysmAn abnormal balloon or sac-like dilatation in the aortic wall.ā-ōr'tik an'yūr-izm
aortic coarctationA congenital heart abnormality where the aorta is narrowed.ā-ōr'tik kō-ahrk-tā'shŭn
aortic stenosisNarrowing of the aortic valve opening, reducing outflow from the left ventricle into the aorta.ā-ōr'tik stĕ-nō'sis
aortic valveThe valve between the left ventricle and the aorta. It prevents back flow of blood into the left ventricle.
aortic valve regurgitationBack flow of blood from the aorta into the left ventricle. re-ger″jĭ-ta´shun
APAantipernicious anemia factor
aplastic anemiaA condition in which bone marrow doesn't produce sufficient blood elements. ah-ne´me-ah
arrhythmiaAbnormal heartbeat rhythm. To learn more, visit arrhythmia page at Practical Clinical Skills website.ah-rith´me-ahz
arterial blood gasesA test that measures the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and acidity (pH) in the blood. Some blood gases devices make additional measurements available.
arteriesThe vessels carrying blood away from the heart.
arteriol/osmall artery
arteriolesThe smallest divisions of the arteries located between the muscular arteries and the capillaries.
arteriolosclerosisThickening of the walls of small arteries or arterioles.
arteriosclerosisThickening and stiffening of arterial walls.ahr-te″re-o-sklĕ-ro´sis
arteriostenosisNarrowing of arterial walls.ahr-te″re-o-stĕ-no´sis
arteritisinflammation of one or more arteries.
ASaortic stenosis
ASDatrial septal defect
asystoleComplete absence of cardiac output and electrical activity in the heart.a-sis´to-le
ather/oplaque, soft fatty deposit
atherectomyEndovascular procedure for removing atheromatous plaque by a cutting or rotating catheter.
atheromaA thickening and loss of elasticity of arterial walls due to plaque deposits. Also called atherosclerosis.ath″er-o´mah
atherosclerosisA thickening and loss of elasticity of arterial walls due to plaque deposits. ath″er-o″sklĕ-ro´sis
atorvastatinA drug used to reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
atriaThe upper chambers of the heart which receive blood flow from the body.a´tre-ah
atrial fibrillationAbnormal cardiac rhythm characterized by rapid, uncoordinated firing of electrical impulses in the atria. Increases risk of stroke and heart disease.ā′trē·əl
atrial flutterA very rapid, irregular heart rhythm. A common form of tachyarrhythmia. ā′trē·əl
atrioventricular nodeA small group of specialized muscle fibers located on the floor of the right atrium. It regulates electrical signals to the ventricles, preventing rapid conduction and ensuring that the atria have emptied.a″tre-o-ven-trik´u-ler
atrium(of the heart). Either of the two upper chambers of the heart.
AULacute undifferentiated leukemia
avascularAn area of the body lacking adequate blood vessels or blood supply.
AVBatrioventricular block
AVRaccelerated ventricular rhythm
bacteremiaThe presence of bacteria in the blood. Fever, chills, tachycardia, and tachypnea are common manifestations of bacteremia.
bacterial endocarditisInflammation of the heart's lining or valves caused by bacteria in the bloodstream. bak-tēr'ē-ăl en'dō-kahr-dī'tis
baroreceptorOne of the blood pressure sensitive nerve ending in heart's atria, aorta and the carotid sinuses.
basophilsGranular leukocytes which stain blue-black with basic dyes. Active in inflammatory responses.
BBBbundle branch block
BCLSbasic cardiac life support
beta blockerDrugs that slow heart rate and reduce pumping force. Used to treat high blood pressure, angina, heart failure, migraines.
bloodThe body fluid that circulates in the vascular system. Whole blood in comprised of blood cells suspended in a liquid medium (plasma).
blood banksCenters for collecting, characterizing and storing human blood.
blood cellAny of the cells found in blood. This includes erythrocytes (red cells), leukocytes (white cells) and thrombocytes (platelets).
blood clotA semisolid mass formed by blood coagulation. Thrombus.
blood coagulationThe process of the interaction of blood coagulation factors that results in an insoluble fibrin clot.
blood countThe number of red or white blood cells in a specified volume of blood.
blood groupClassification of blood based upon antigens on the surface of the red cell. Many blood grouping systems have been developed. The ABO system is one of the most important.
blood plasmaThe liquid part of the blood, free of formed elements and particles.
blood pressurePressure of the blood on the arteries, veins and chambers of the heart.
blood transfusionThe administration of whole blood or a blood component into the blood stream.
blood vesselsAny of the tubular vessels conveying the blood (arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins).
BMTbone marrow transplant
bone marrowThe soft, spongy tissue filling the cavities of bones. Its primary function is to produce erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets.
BPblood pressure
BPdblood pressure diastolic
bpmbeats per minute
BPsblood pressure systolic
brachial arteryThe continuation of the axillary artery; it branches into the radial and ulnar arteries.
bradycardiaCardiac arrhythmias that are characterized by abnormally slow heart rate, usually below 50 beats per minute in adults.brăd′ĭ-kär′dē-ə
bruitA murmur heard while auscultating the carotid artery.
bundle branch blockA type of heart block where the electrical signals to the ventricles are interrupted at the Bundle of HIS, preventing the simultaneous depolarization of the two ventricles.
bundle of hisCells that conduct electrical impulses from the atrioventricular node to the ventricles.
CABGcoronary artery bypass graft
CADcoronary artery disease
calcium channel blockersA class of drugs that inhibit calcium influx through cellular membranes. Used to reduce cardiac workload to treat hypertension or angina.
capillariesThe minute blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells. They connect the arterioles and venules. kap′ĭ-ler″ē
capillary fragilityThe susceptibility of capillaries, under conditions of increased stress, to rupture. Seen as bleeding under the skin.
-cardiacondition of the heart
cardiacOf or pertaining to the heart.
cardiac catheterizationA diagnostic procedure for creating an angiogram using a contrast agent. Also used for treating blocked arteries.
cardiac tamponadeA dangerous compression of the heart by accumulated fluid (pericardial effusion) or blood in the pericardium surrounding the heart.
cardiologyThe study of the heart, its physiology, and its functions.
cardiomegalyAn enlargement of the heart. Multiple causes.kahr″de-o-meg´ah-le
cardiomyopathyDisease of the heart muscle. Can be congenital, or acquired from infections, alcoholism, thyroid disease, toxic drugs.kahr″de-o-mi-op´ah-the
cardiopulmonary resuscitationAn emergency procedure for life support consisting of manual, external heart massage and artificial respiration.
cardiotoxinAn agent that has damaging effect on the heart.
cardiovascular diseaseA pathological condition involving the cardiovascular system including the heart, the blood vessels or the pericardium.
cardiovascular systemThe heart and the blood vessels by which blood is pumped and circulated through the body.
carditisInflammation of the heart. Three types are pericarditis (pericardium), myocarditis (heart muscle) and endocarditis (endocardium).kahr-di´tis
carotid arteriesThe two major arteries of the neck that supply blood to the head; each artery has two branches, internal and external. kah-rot´id
carotid bruitA murmur auscultated over the carotid artery on the neck. It can indicate arterial narrowing and an increased risk of stroke.
carotid stenosisNarrowing of any part of the carotid arteries, most often due to atherosclerotic plaque formation.
cavogramAn angiogram of the vena cava, inferior or superior.
CBCcomplete blood count
celiac arteryThe arterial trunk that arises from the abdominal aorta and after a short course divides into the left gastric, common hepatic and splenic arteries.
central lineIV line inserted for continuous access to a central vein.
cerebrovascular disordersOne of several pathological conditions of impaired blood flow in the brain.
CHBcomplete heart block
CHDcongenital heart disease; coronary heart disease
CHFcongestive heart failure
cholesterolThe principal sterol of the body. Contributes to cell structure and digestive bile. Helps produce vitamin D and some hormones.
circle of willisA vascular network at the base of the brain.
circulationThe circuit of blood through the network of arteries and veins.
clotA soft, insoluble mass formed by blood or lymph.
CoAg.coarctation of the aorta
coagul/ocoagulation, clotting
coagulateTo change a liquid into a gel or solid.
congenital heart defectAn abnormality that is present at birth and can affect the structure and function of an infant's heart. kon-jen´ĭ-t'l de´fekt
congestive heart failureThe heart isn't able to pump sufficient blood. Typical causes are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
coron/oencircle, crown
coronary arterySupplies blood to the heart muscles from the aorta. kor´ŏ-nar″e
coronary artery bypassSurgical procedure which uses a healthy blood vessel segment, such as a vein, to bypass a blocked section of a coronary artery.
coronary artery diseaseReduced blood flow through the coronary arteries, resulting in chest pain and heart damage.
coronary occlusionObstruction of blood flow through one of the coronary arteries.
coronary thrombosisCoagulation of blood in the coronary arteries. Can lead to myocardial infarction.kor´ŏ-nar″e throm-bo´sis
coumadinMedication to treat blood clots and prevent new clots from forming. Commonly used for chronic atrial fibrillation.ko͞o′mə-dĭn
CVPcentral venous pressure
CVScardiovascular system
DBPdiastolic blood pressure
defibrillationUse of an electronic device to give an electric shock to the heart to reestablish normal cardiac″rĭ-la´shun
diastolePart of the heart rhythm when the ventricles passively relax and refill with blood. di-as´to-le
diastolic blood pressureAtrial blood pressure during diastole when the heart is resting. The second number in a blood pressure reading.dī′əstol′ik
DICdisseminated intravascular coagulation
dicroticA heartbeat with two separate peaks.
digitalisMedicines that strengthen heart contraction and to slow heart rates, particularly for atrial fibrillation.dij″ĭ-tal´is
diureticsMedication that promote the excretion of urine, decreasing fluids in the blood vessels and reducing blood pressure. Also known as water pills.
DNRdo not resuscitate
DVTdeep vein thrombosis
ebstein anomalyA congenital heart defect characterized by third and fourth heart sounds and a systolic murmur best heard at the tricuspid position. The tricuspid valve is displaced downward and the right atrium is usually enlarged.
echocardiographyA noninvasive diagnostic procedure that uses ultrasound to study to structure and motions of the heart and blood flow.
ectopic beatsHeartbeat electrical impulses generated from cardiac locations other than the SA node.ek-top´ik
EFejection fraction
ejection clickA sharp clicking sound heard during cardiac auscultation.
ejection fractionThe portion of the total ventricular filling volume that is ejected during a heart beat.
electrocardiogramA recording of the electrical activity of the heart. Within each heartbeat, electrical waves travel through the heart. For a normally functioning heart, the P wave indicates atrial contraction, then after a short pause, the QRS complex indicates ventricular contraction and then a T wave marks the relaxation of the ventricles. EKGs are recorded on a chart paper, displayed on a monitor or digitally captured. e-lek″tro-kahr´de-o-gram″
electrocardiographyThe process of recording the electrical activity of the heart.
elliptocytosisCondition of having an abnormal number of elliptical red cells in the blood.
embolectomyAn emergency surgical removal of an obstructing clot or foreign material.
embolismA blood vessel blockage by a blood clot or other undissolved material in the bloodstream. em´bo-lizm
-emiacondition of the blood
endarterectomyA surgical procedure to remove the plaque material in the lining of an artery.en″dahr-ter-ek´to-me
endarterialRelating to the interior lining of the artery.ĕnd″ăr-tē′rē-ăl
endarteritisInflammation of the inner endothelial lining of an artery.
endocardi/oendocardium (inner lining of the heart)
endocardialSituated or occurring within the heart.
endocarditisInflammation of the inner lining of the heart chamber and valves. Usually caused by bacterial infection.en'dō-kar-dī'tis
endocardiumThe innermost layer of the heart, consisting of endothelial cells. en'dō-kar'dē-ŭm
endotheliumA layer of epithelium that lines the heart, blood vessels, lymph vessels and the serous cavities of the body.
endovascular proceduresWithin a blood vessel.
eosinophilsA type of white blood cell. A granulocyte often increased with allergies and/or parasite infections.ēˑ·ō·si·n·filzˈ
epicardiumThe inner layer of the pericardium, covering the heart. ep″i-kahr´de-um
erythroblastA nucleated immature red blood cell found in bone marrow.
erythrocyt/ored blood cell
erythrocytesCells that contains hemoglobin and that can transport oxygen to body tissues. Commonly called red blood cells.ē·rithˑ·rō·sīts
erythroidReddish color.
erythromelalgiaA rare peripheral arterial disorder occurring in middle aged patients characterized by severe burning pain, reddening, hyperalgesia and sweating of the extremities.
FFPfresh frozen plasma
fibrillationA rapid twitching of muscle fibers, particularly of the heart, caused by the abnormal electrical impulses.
fibrinAn insoluble protein end product of blood coagulation, formed from fibrinogen by the action of thrombin.
fibrinogenA blood plasma protein produced by the liver. It is one of many coagulation factors responsible for normal blood´o-jen
gallopA third heart sound that resembles the sound of a galloping horse.
-globincontaining protein
HBPhigh blood pressure
HDLhigh-density lipoprotein
heartThe hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.
heart arrestCessation of heart beat.
heart blockImpaired conduction of cardiac impulse that can occur anywhere along the conduction pathway, such as between the sinoatrial node and the right atrium (SA block) or between atria and ventricles (AV block).
heart failureA heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body.
heart murmursHeart sounds caused by vibrations resulting from the flow of blood through the heart.
heart septumThis structure includes the thin muscular atrial septum between the two heart atria, and the thick muscular ventricular septum between the two heart ventricles.
heart soundsThe sounds heard over the cardiac region produced by the functioning of the heart.
heart valvesFlaps of tissue that prevent regurgitation of blood from the ventricles to the atria or from the pulmonary arteries or aorta to the ventricles.
hemangiomaA birthmark that commonly appears as a bright red nodule of blood vessels in the skin. Grows during the first year of life and then recedes over time. Also called a strawberry mark.he-man″je-o´mah
hematocritThe percentage by volume of red blood cells in a given sample.
hematologyThe medical specialty focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of blood diseases.he″mah-tol´o-je
hemochromatosisA disorder of iron metabolism where the body absorbs too much iron. Treatment is required to avoid organ damage. A genetic disorder. 8% of population is a carrier.he″mo-kro″mah-to´sis
hemodynamicsThe forces involved in the movement of the blood through the cardiovascular system.
hemoglobinsThe oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes (red blood cells). he´mo-glo″binz
hemorrhageBleeding or escape of blood from a vessel. Bleeding can occur externally or internally to the body.hem´ŏ-rij
hemostasisThe complex body process which spontaneously stops hemorrhages. This includes vessel contraction and blood adhesion, aggregation and coagulation.he-mos´tah-sis
heparinAn endogenous, short-acting anticoagulant.
HFheart failure
high density lipoproteinCholesterol known as HDL that removes harmful cholesterol, reducing risk of heart problems.
holter monitorA device that continuously records EKGs for hours or a few days, used to diagnose abnormal cardiac rhythms.
HRheart rate
hydremiaAn excess of water in the blood.
hyperlipidemiaConditions with excess lipids (fats) in the blood. hi″per-lip″i-de´me-ah
hypernatremiaAn excess of sodium in the blood.
hyperphosphatemiaAbnormally high level of phosphates in the blood.
hypertensionPersistently high systemic arterial blood pressure.hy·per-ten´shun
hypertriglyceridemiaA condition of elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood.
hypocalcemiaAbnormally low levels of calcium in the blood.
hypokalemiaAbnormally low potassium concentration in the blood.
hyponatremiaInsufficient sodium levels in the blood. Can be caused by loss of sodium or by increased and excessive body fluids.hi″po-na-tre´me-ah
hypoperfusionAbnormally low blood flow through an organ.hy-po-per-per-fu´zhun
hypotensionAbnormally low blood pressure that can result in inadequate blood flow to the brain and other organs.hi″po-ten´shun
hypovolemiaAn abnormally low volume of circulating blood.
ICDimplantable cardiac defibrillator
iliac arteryEither of two large arteries originating from the abdominal aorta; they supply blood to the pelvis, abdominal wall and legs.
infarctionTissue death due to lack of oxygenin-fark´ shun
intracranial embolismBlocking of a blood vessel in the skull by an embolus which can be a thrombus or other undissolved material in the blood stream.
ischemiaA hypoperfusion of blood through an organ or tissue caused by a obstruction of blood vessels. is-ke´me-ah
ischemic heart diseaseRecurring chest pain or discomfort when a part of the heart does not receive enough blood. Often triggered by exertion orē'mik
jugular veinsLarge veins in the neck which return blood from the brain, face, and neck to the heart. Each side of the neck has two jugular veins, external and internal.
JVDjugular venous distention
JVPjugular venous pulse
LADleft anterior decending
LBBBleft bundle branch block
LDLlow-density lipoprotein
leukemiaCancer of the blood. The bone marrow then produces abnormal white blood cells which do not function properly.loo-ke´me-ah
leukocyteA white blood cell.
leukocytosisAn abnormally large increase in the number of leukocytes in the blood.
low density lipoproteinCholesterol that collects on blood vessel walls, increasing risk of heart problems.lip'ō-prō'tēn
LVleft ventricle
LVADleft ventricular assist device
LVHleft ventricular hypertrophy
lymphocytesWhite blood cells that help determine the body's immune response to infectious microorganisms.lim´fo-sītz
MAPmean arterial pressure
MCHmean corpuscular hemoglobin
MCVmean corpuscular volume
megaloblastic anemiaA blood disorder in which the number of red blood cells is too low due to abnormally large red blood cell size. Can also be called vitamin B-12 or folate deficiency anemia.meg'ă-lō-blast'ik ă-nē'mē-ah
megaloblastsRed blood cell precursors that are abnormally large and dysfunctional. Found in patients with pernicious anemia. meg'ă-lō-blasts
MImyocardial infarction
microvesselsThe finer blood vessels of the vasculature that are generally less than 100 microns in internal diameter.
mitral valveThe valve between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart. mi´tral
mitral valve prolapseAbnormal protrusion of mitral valve leaflets in the left atria during systole. Results in blood backflow, which causes systolic murmurs, arrhythmia and mitral valve insufficiency.mi´tral
mitral valve stenosisNarrowing of the passage through the mitral value. Caused by fibrosis and calcinosis. Rheumatic fever is a primary cause. mi´tral
monocytesLarge, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes. Monocytes help other white blood cells remove dead or damaged tissues, attack cancer cells and regulate immunity response. Produced in the bone marrow
MRAmagnetic resonance angiography
MS (2)mitral stenosis
MVmitral valve
MVPmitral valve prolapse
myelodysplastic syndromesA group of cancers in which immature blood cells in the bone marrow fail to mature and become healthy.
myocardi/omyocardium (heart muscle)
myocardial infarctionPartial death of heart tissue caused by an obstructed blood supply. Commonly called "heart attack".mi″o-kahr´de-al in-fark´ shun
myocardial ischemiaA disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart.mi″o-kahr´de-al is-ke´me-ah
myocarditisInflammation of the heart muscle. Caused by a wide range of infections and other problems.mi″o-kahr-di´tis
myocardiumThe heart muscle. Its contractions pump blood from heart to the lungs and systemic circulatory system.mi″o-kar´de-um
neovascularizationFormation of new blood vessels.
neutropeniaAbnormally decrease in the numbers of neutrophils in circulating blood.
neutrophilsA type of white blood cell that is an early responder to infections.nerōtrōˑfilz
nitroglycerinA vasodilator which relieves angina″tro-glis´er-in
normotensiveHaving normal blood pressure.
NSRnormal sinus rhythm
occlusionThe blockage of a blood vessel.ŏ-kloo´zhun
p waveMarks atrial depolarization. In a normal EKG, it precedes the QRS complex.
PACpremature atrial contraction
pacemakerA device designed to use electric impulses to simulate heart contractions.
PADperipheral arterial disease
PAFplatelet activating factor
palpationUse of fingers with light pressure as part of a physical exam.pal-pa´shun
PALSpediatric advanced life support
paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardiaA very rapid heartbeat that occurs sporadically. Usually lasts from a few seconds to several hours.par'ok-siz'măl
PATparoxysmal atrial tachycardia
PDApatent ductus arteriosus
PEApulseless electrical activity
perfusionDelivery of blood to the capillaries.
pericardial effusionFluid accumulation within the pericardium. Severe cases can lead to cardiac tamponade. ĕ-fu´zhun
pericardial fluidWatery fluid produced in the serous and visceral pericardium surrounding the surface of the heart
pericardial friction rubAn extra heart sound that resembles squeaky leather. May be heard in pericarditis.
pericardiocentesisPuncture and aspiration of fluid from the pericardium.
pericarditisInflammation of the pericardium, caused by infection, injury, or drugs.per″ĭ-kahr-di´tis
pericardiumA thin layered sac enclosing the heart. Fluid between the layers lubricates the constantly moving surfaces.per″ĭ-kahr´de-um
periphlebitisInflammation of the tissues around a vein
pernicious anemiaVitamin B12 deficiency anemia. A type of megaloblastic anemia.per-nish´us ah-ne´me-ah
-philiaaffinity for
phlebitisInflammation of a vein, commonly a vein in the leg. flĕ-bi´tis
phlebographyAn invasive imaging study of leg veins with a contrast agent injects using a catheter. Phlebography is the most accurate test for detecting deep vein thrombosis.flĕ-bog´rah-fe
phlebotomyThe techniques used to draw blood from a vein for diagnostic purposes.
phonocardiogramA waveform of heart sound amplitude over time, usually a few heartbeats.
plaqueFatty deposits formed on the walls of arteries. plak
plasmaThe part of blood which is not blood cells. Blood plasma also contains glucose and other dissolved nutrients. It also helps blood clot.plaz´mah
plateletsPart of blood that help stop bleeding by clumping and clotting blood vessel injuries.plat′lits
pleocytosisA presence of an abnormally high number of cells in the cerebrospinal fluid.
PMNpolymorphonuclear (neutrophil leukocyte)
PNHparoxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
polycythemiaAbnormal increase in the aggregate red cell mass of the blood. pol″e-si-the´me-ah
PRBCpacked red blood cells
presby/oold age
profundaBlood vessels situated deep in the body tissues they supply.
PSVTparoxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
PTCApercutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
PTTpartial thromboplastin time
pulmonary arteryThe short wide vessel that moves blood from the right ventricle to the lungs. pul´mo-ner″e
pulmonary circulationThe circulation of the blood to and through the lungs pul´mo-ner″e
pulmonary valveThe heart valve at the intersection of the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery. pul´mo-ner″e
pulmonary valve regurgitationBack flow of blood from the pulmonary artery into the right ventricular due to a leaky pulmonary valve. pul´mo-ner″e
pulmonary valve stenosisThe pathologic narrowing of the pulmonary valve opening. Limits blood flow from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery.pul´mo-ner″e
pulmonary veinsThe veins that return the oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart. pul´mo-ner″e
puls/obeating, to beat
pulseThe rhythmical expansion and contraction of an artery, caused by blood pumping from the heart.
purkinje fibersCardiac muscle fibers that conduct the cardiac impulse from the atrioventricular node to the ventricles causing them to contract.pŭr-kin'jē
PVCpremature ventricular contraction
pylethrombosisThrombosis of the portal vein.
qrs complexA segment of an EKG tracing representing ventricular depolarization.
RAD (2)right anterior descending
radial arteryAn artery in the forearm that starts at the bifurcation of the brachial artery and passing in branches to the forearm, wrist, and hand.
Raynaud diseaseAn idiopathic vascular disorder of small arteries and arterioles.rā-nō'
RBBBright bundle branch block
RBCred blood cell; red blood count
reperfusionRestoration of blood supply to tissue which was ischemic.
restenosisThe recurrence of stenosis in an artery after previous″stĕ-no´sis
Rhrhesus factor
rh factorA type of protein on the surface of red blood cells. Most people who have the Rh factor are Rh-positive. Those who do not have the Rh factor are Rh-negative.
RHDrheumatic heart disease
rhe/ostream, flow, electric current
-rrhagebursting forth
s-t segmentThe segment on an EKG tracing that represents the interval between the end of ventricular depolarization and the beginning of ventricular repolarization.
S1first heart sound
S2second heart sound
S3third heart sound
S4fourth heart sound
SBPsystolic blood pressure
-schisiscleft, split
semilunar valveEither the aortic valve or the pulmonary valve, each consisting of crescent-shaped cusps.
sepsisA serious medical condition caused by an overwhelming immune response to infection that triggers widespread inflammation. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock.sep´sis
septal defectA hole in the septum of the heart, usually congenital.
septicemiaA serious bacterial bloodstream infection. It’s also known as bacteremia, or blood poisoning. sep″tĭ-se´me-ah
ser/oblood serum
serumBlood plasma after the removal of clotting´rum
sickle cell anemiaAn inherited form of anemia where red blood cells become rigid, sticky and shaped like sickles. These irregularly shaped cells can get stuck in small blood vessels, which can slow or block blood flow to parts of the body.ah-ne´me-ah
simvastatinA statin used to treat high blood cholesterol levels.
sinoatrial blockThe electrical impulse from the sinoatrial node is inhibited or completely blocked before it reaches the″no-a´tre-al
sinoatrial nodeThe small mass of modified cardiac muscle fibers located in the upper part of the right atrium. Contraction impulses are generated at the SA node and spread over the atrium, then transmitted by the Bundle of HIS to the ventricles. si″no-a´tre-al
sinus rhythmA normal heart rhythm as indicated on an EKG tracing.
souffleA soft blowing sound heard with a stethoscope.
spherocytesSmall, abnormal spherical red blood cells with more than the normal amount of hemoglobin.
spherocytosisA blood disorder characterized by the presence of small, sphere like red blood cells.
sphygmomanometerDevice for measuring arterial blood pressure. Includes an inflatable cuff, inflating bulb and a gauge showing the blood pressure. sfig″mo-mah-nom´ĕ-ter
splenic arteryThe largest branch of the celiac trunk with distribution to the spleen, pancreas, stomach and greater omentum.
SSSsick sinus syndrome
stasisA cessation or diminution of flow of blood or other fluids.
-stenosisabnormal narrowing
stentsA small mesh tube used to treat narrow or weak arteries.
STHsomatotropic hormone
stress testA test to evaluate heart function by monitoring heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and EKG while the patient exercises with a treadmill or exercise bike.
strokeA group of pathological conditions characterized by sudden, non-convulsive loss of neurological function due to brain ischemia or intracranial hemorrhages. It is both common and deadly.
stroke volumeThe amount of blood pumped out of one ventricle of the heart in one beat.
sudden cardiac arrestA sudden and unexpected cessation of cardiac function due to electrical malfunction. Reversible if immediately treated.
sudden cardiac deathSudden, unexpected death caused by loss of cardiac function.
SVTsupraventricular tachycardia
syncopeFainting. Loss of consciousness due to diminished blood flow to the brain.sing´kah-pe
systemic circulationThe circulation of the blood to all parts of the body except the lungs.
systolePeriod of heart contraction when blood is surging from the heart into the systemic circulatory system and the lungs.sis´to-le
systolic blood pressureArterial blood pressure during heart contraction. In blood pressure readings, it is the first number.sis-tol'ik
systolic murmursHeart murmurs which occur during systole. They are heard between the first and the second heart sounds.sis-tol'ik
t waveThe positive deflection after each QRS complex. It indicates ventricular repolarization.
tachycardiaAbnormally rapid heartbeat, usually over 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by an irregular rhythm is called tachyarrhythmia. tak″e-kahr´de-ah
TBVtotal blood volume
temporal arteriesArteries arising from the external carotid or the maxillary artery and distributing to the temporal region.
-tensionstretched, strained
TETtetralogy of Fallot
tetralogy of fallotTetralogy of Fallot is a rare congenital heart defect. It is a combination of four defects which result in oxygen-poor blood flow.
thalassemiaAn inherited blood disorder characterized by an abnormal form of hemoglobin.[thal″ah-se´me-ah
thrillA vibratory, ringing sound. Sometimes used to describe a heart murmur.
thromb/oblood clot
thrombectomySurgical removal of an obstructing clot or foreign material from a blood vessel at the point of its formation.
thrombocytesPlatelets. A blood component helps to stop bleeding by clumping and clotting blood vessel injuries.throm´bosīts
thrombocytopeniaA low level of blood platelets. Platelet count < 150,000/mlthrom″bo-si″to-pe´ne-ah
thrombocytosisHigh blood platelet count. Platelet count > 450,000/mlthrom″bo-si-to´sis
thrombolysisThe dissolution of a thrombus.
thrombolyticDissolving or breaking up a thrombus.
thrombophiliaA disorder of hemostasis in which there is a tendency for the occurrence of thrombosis.
thrombosisThe formation and development of a blood clot in a blood vessel. throm-bo´sis
torsades de pointesA form of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia that is characterized by heart rate between 200 and 250 beats per minute, and QRS complexes with changing amplitude and twisting of the points.
tourniquetA band for the compression of a blood vessel, used to stop bleeding or prevent spread of snake venom.
toxemiaThe presence of bacterial toxins in the blood. Also called blood poisoning.
transfusionThe transfer of blood from one person to another.
tricuspid valveThe heart valve located between the right atrium and right ventricle.tri-kus´pid
tricuspid valve regurgitationBack flow of blood from the right ventricle to the right atrium.tri-kus´pid
tricuspid valve stenosisThe narrowing of the tricuspid valve opening. Tricuspid valve stenosis is almost always due to rheumatic fever.
trigeminyA heart condition where an EKG can be grouped into three beat patterns.
VADvenous assist device
valsalva maneuverForced expiratory effort against a closed windpipe, impeding the return of venous blood to the heart. vahl-sahl'vă
varicose veinsEnlarged, twisted veins. var´ĭ-kōs
vascul/oblood vessel
vascularPertaining to blood vessels.
vasculitisInflammation of a blood vessel.vas″ku-li´tis
vasoconstrictionNarrowing of blood vessels.
vasoconstrictorDrugs used to cause constriction of the blood vessels. vaso-kon-strik´ter
vasodilationWidening of blood vessels.
vasodilatorDrugs used to cause dilation of the blood vessels. vas″o-di-la´tor
VCTvenous clotting time=
veinsThe vessels carrying blood away from the capillary beds.
venae cavaeThe two venous trunks which returns blood to the heart. Inferior venae cavae receives blood from the lower body while superior venae cavae returns blood from the upper body..
venous insufficiencyImpaired venous blood flow or venous return (venous stasis), usually caused by inadequate venous valves. Venous insufficiency often occurs in the legs.
venous thrombosisThe formation or presence of a blood clot within a vein.
ventriclesThe two large heart chambers that receive blood from the atria and pump it out to the systemic and pulmonary circulatory systems. ven´trĭ-k'lz
ventricular fibrillationThe uncoordinated, rapid firing of electrical impulses (400-600/min) in the ventricles. This ventricular quivering prevents cardiac output. Can results in unconsciousness and death if not immediately treated.ven-trik´u-ler
ventricular flutterRapid, unstable ventricular tachycardia (150-300 beats/min) with a large sine-wave appearance. If untreated, ventricular flutter typically progresses to ventricular fibrillation. ven-trik´u-ler
ventricular tachycardiaFast but regular heart rhythm originating in the ventricles. Often caused by heart disease, but may also occur in young people. Some medications and nonprescription decongestants can trigger ventricular tachycardia.ven-trik´u-ler
venul/ovenule (small vein in lungs)
VFventricular fibrillation
Vfibventricular fibrillation
VLDLvery low density lipoprotein
-volemiablood volume
VSDventricular septal defect
VTventricular tachycardia
white coat hypertensionPhenomenon where blood pressure readings are elevated only when taken in clinical settings.
WPWWolff-Parkinson-White syndrome