AAA: abdominal aortic aneurysm
abdominal aorta: The part of the descending aorta passing through the diaphragm into the abdomen.
ABI: ankle-brachial index
ABO: three basic blood groups
abo blood group: A 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.
aBP: arterial blood pressure
AC (2): anticoagulent
acanthocytes: Erythrocytes with spiny projections giving the cell a thorny appearance.
accelerated idioventricular rhythm: A 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 Inhibitor: Drug that lowers BP by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) allowing increased blood flow
acebutolol: A beta blocker drug used to treat high blood pressure, irregular rhythms and angina pectoris.
ACLS: advanced cardiac life support
adams-stokes syndrome: Recurring fainting spells caused by incomplete heart block.
advanced cardiac life support: The 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.
AED: automated external defibrillator
AF: atrial fibrillation
Afib: atrial fibrillation
afibrinogenemia: A deficiency or absence of fibrinogen in the blood.
AHF: antihemophilic factor
AIHA: autoimmune hemolytic anemia
AIVR: accelerated idioventricular rhythm
alprostadil: A potent vasodilator agent that increases peripheral blood flow.
AMI: acute myocardial infarction
anacrotism: A secondary notch in the pulse curve, obtained in a pulse tracing.
anaerobic: Taking place without oxygen.
anemia: Blood lacks enough erythrocytes (RBC) or hemoglobin.
aneurysm: A sac-like dilatation of a blood vessel wall. It indicates a weak spot in the wall which may rupture.
angi/o: blood or lymph vessel
angina pectoris: Chest pain, pressure, or squeezing, often due to ischemia of the heart muscle.
angiocardiography: Radiography of the heart and great vessels after injection of a contrast medium.
angiography: An x-ray study of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium.
angioplasty: Repair of a blood vessel such as widening a narrowed artery or vein. This procedure is normally performed using catheterization.
angioscope: An endoscope used for viewing the interior of blood vessels.
angiostenosis: Abnormal narrowing of a blood vessel.
angiotensin: A family of peptides in the blood that causes vasoconstriction and increased blood pressure.
ankle brachial index: The 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.
anticoagulants: Agents that slow coagulation and prevent blood clotting.
antifibrinolytic: Preventing the breakdown of a blood clot or thrombus.
antihypertensive: Drugs used to reduce high blood pressure.
aorta: The main trunk of the systemic arteries originating at the heart's left ventricle.
aortic aneurysm: An abnormal balloon or sac-like dilatation in the aortic wall.
aortic coarctation: A congenital heart abnormality where the aorta is narrowed.
aortic stenosis: Narrowing of the aortic valve opening, reducing outflow from the left ventricle into the aorta.
aortic valve: The valve between the left ventricle and the aorta. It prevents back flow of blood into the left ventricle.
aortic valve regurgitation: Back flow of blood from the aorta into the left ventricle.
APA: antipernicious anemia factor
aplastic anemia: A condition in which bone marrow doesn't produce sufficient blood elements.
arrhythmia: Abnormal heartbeat rhythm.
arterial blood gases: A test that measures the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and acidity (pH) in the blood. Some blood gases devices make additional measurements available.
arteries: The vessels carrying blood away from the heart.
arteriol/o: small artery
arterioles: The smallest divisions of the arteries located between the muscular arteries and the capillaries.
arteriolosclerosis: Thickening of the walls of small arteries or arterioles.
arteriosclerosis: Thickening and stiffening of arterial walls.
arteriostenosis: Narrowing of arterial walls.
arteritis: inflammation of one or more arteries.
AS: aortic stenosis
ASD: atrial septal defect
asystole: Complete absence of cardiac output and electrical activity in the heart.
ather/o: plaque, soft fatty deposit
atherectomy: Endovascular procedure for removing atheromatous plaque by a cutting or rotating catheter.
atheroma: A thickening and loss of elasticity of arterial walls due to plaque deposits. Also called atherosclerosis.
atherosclerosis: A thickening and loss of elasticity of arterial walls due to plaque deposits.
atorvastatin: A drug used to reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
atria: The upper chambers of the heart which receive blood flow from the body.
atrial fibrillation: Abnormal cardiac rhythm characterized by rapid, uncoordinated firing of electrical impulses in the atria. Increases risk of stroke and heart disease.
atrial flutter: A very rapid, irregular heart rhythm. A common form of tachyarrhythmia.
atrioventricular node: A 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.
atrium: (of the heart). Either of the two upper chambers of the heart.
AUL: acute undifferentiated leukemia
avascular: An area of the body lacking adequate blood vessels or blood supply.
AVB: atrioventricular block
AVR: accelerated ventricular rhythm
bacteremia: The presence of bacteria in the blood. Fever, chills, tachycardia, and tachypnea are common manifestations of bacteremia.
bacterial endocarditis: Inflammation of the heart's lining or valves caused by bacteria in the bloodstream.
baroreceptor: One of the blood pressure sensitive nerve ending in heart's atria, aorta and the carotid sinuses.
basophils: Granular leukocytes which stain blue-black with basic dyes. Active in inflammatory responses.
BBB: bundle branch block
BCLS: basic cardiac life support
beta blocker: Drugs that slow heart rate and reduce pumping force. Used to treat high blood pressure, angina, heart failure, migraines.
blood: The body fluid that circulates in the vascular system. Whole blood in comprised of blood cells suspended in a liquid medium (plasma).
blood banks: Centers for collecting, characterizing and storing human blood.
blood cell: Any of the cells found in blood. This includes erythrocytes (red cells), leukocytes (white cells) and thrombocytes (platelets).
blood clot: A semisolid mass formed by blood coagulation. Thrombus.
blood coagulation: The process of the interaction of blood coagulation factors that results in an insoluble fibrin clot.
blood count: The number of red or white blood cells in a specified volume of blood.
blood group: Classification 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 plasma: The liquid part of the blood, free of formed elements and particles.
blood pressure: Pressure of the blood on the arteries, veins and chambers of the heart.
blood transfusion: The administration of whole blood or a blood component into the blood stream.
blood vessels: Any of the tubular vessels conveying the blood (arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins).
BMT: bone marrow transplant
bone marrow: The soft, spongy tissue filling the cavities of bones. Its primary function is to produce erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets.
BP: blood pressure
BPd: blood pressure diastolic
bpm: beats per minute
BPs: blood pressure systolic
brachial artery: The continuation of the axillary artery; it branches into the radial and ulnar arteries.
bradycardia: Cardiac arrhythmias that are characterized by abnormally slow heart rate, usually below 50 beats per minute in adults.
bruit: A murmur heard while auscultating the carotid artery.
bundle branch block: A 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 his: Cells that conduct electrical impulses from the atrioventricular node to the ventricles.
CABG: coronary artery bypass graft
CAD: coronary artery disease
calcium channel blockers: A class of drugs that inhibit calcium influx through cellular membranes. Used to reduce cardiac workload to treat hypertension or angina.
capillaries: The minute blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells. They connect the arterioles and venules.
capillary fragility: The susceptibility of capillaries, under conditions of increased stress, to rupture. Seen as bleeding under the skin.
-cardia: condition of the heart
cardiac: Of or pertaining to the heart.
cardiac catheterization: A diagnostic procedure for creating an angiogram using a contrast agent. Also used for treating blocked arteries.
cardiac tamponade: A dangerous compression of the heart by accumulated fluid (pericardial effusion) or blood in the pericardium surrounding the heart.
cardiology: The study of the heart, its physiology, and its functions.
cardiomegaly: An enlargement of the heart. Multiple causes.
cardiomyopathy: Disease of the heart muscle. Can be congenital, or acquired from infections, alcoholism, thyroid disease, toxic drugs.
cardiopulmonary resuscitation: An emergency procedure for life support consisting of manual, external heart massage and artificial respiration.
cardiotoxin: An agent that has damaging effect on the heart.
cardiovascular disease: A pathological condition involving the cardiovascular system including the heart, the blood vessels or the pericardium.
cardiovascular system: The heart and the blood vessels by which blood is pumped and circulated through the body.
carditis: Inflammation of the heart. Three types are pericarditis (pericardium), myocarditis (heart muscle) and endocarditis (endocardium).
carotid arteries: The two major arteries of the neck that supply blood to the head; each artery has two branches, internal and external.
carotid bruit: A murmur auscultated over the carotid artery on the neck. It can indicate arterial narrowing and an increased risk of stroke.
carotid stenosis: Narrowing of any part of the carotid arteries, most often due to atherosclerotic plaque formation.
cavogram: An angiogram of the vena cava, inferior or superior.
CBC: complete blood count
celiac artery: The arterial trunk that arises from the abdominal aorta and after a short course divides into the left gastric, common hepatic and splenic arteries.
central line: IV line inserted for continuous access to a central vein.
cerebrovascular disorders: One of several pathological conditions of impaired blood flow in the brain.
CHB: complete heart block
CHD: congenital heart disease; coronary heart disease
CHF: congestive heart failure
cholesterol: The principal sterol of the body. Contributes to cell structure and digestive bile. Helps produce vitamin D and some hormones.
circle of willis: A vascular network at the base of the brain.
circulation: The circuit of blood through the network of arteries and veins.
clot: A soft, insoluble mass formed by blood or lymph.
CoAg.: coarctation of the aorta
coagul/o: coagulation, clotting
coagulate: To change a liquid into a gel or solid.
congenital heart defect: An abnormality that is present at birth and can affect the structure and function of an infant's heart.
congestive heart failure: The heart isn't able to pump sufficient blood. Typical causes are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
coron/o: encircle, crown
coronary artery: Supplies blood to the heart muscles from the aorta.
coronary artery bypass: Surgical procedure which uses a healthy blood vessel segment, such as a vein, to bypass a blocked section of a coronary artery.
coronary artery disease: Reduced blood flow through the coronary arteries, resulting in chest pain and heart damage.
coronary occlusion: Obstruction of blood flow through one of the coronary arteries.
coronary thrombosis: Coagulation of blood in the coronary arteries. Can lead to myocardial infarction.
coumadin: Medication to treat blood clots and prevent new clots from forming. Commonly used for chronic atrial fibrillation.
CVP: central venous pressure
CVS: cardiovascular system
DBP: diastolic blood pressure
defibrillation: Use of an electronic device to give an electric shock to the heart to reestablish normal cardiac rhythm.
diastole: Part of the heart rhythm when the ventricles passively relax and refill with blood.
diastolic blood pressure: Atrial blood pressure during diastole when the heart is resting. The second number in a blood pressure reading.
DIC: disseminated intravascular coagulation
dicrotic: A heartbeat with two separate peaks.
digitalis: Medicines that strengthen heart contraction and to slow heart rates, particularly for atrial fibrillation.
diuretics: Medication that promote the excretion of urine, decreasing fluids in the blood vessels and reducing blood pressure. Also known as water pills.
DNR: do not resuscitate
DVT: deep vein thrombosis
ebstein anomaly: A 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.
echocardiography: A noninvasive diagnostic procedure that uses ultrasound to study to structure and motions of the heart and blood flow.
ectopic beats: Heartbeat electrical impulses generated from cardiac locations other than the SA node.
EF: ejection fraction
ejection click: A sharp clicking sound heard during cardiac auscultation.
ejection fraction: The portion of the total ventricular filling volume that is ejected during a heart beat.
electrocardiogram: A 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.
electrocardiography: The process of recording the electrical activity of the heart.
elliptocytosis: Condition of having an abnormal number of elliptical red cells in the blood.
embolectomy: An emergency surgical removal of an obstructing clot or foreign material.
embolism: A blood vessel blockage by a blood clot or other undissolved material in the bloodstream.
-emia: condition of the blood
endarterectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the plaque material in the lining of an artery.
endarterial: Relating to the interior lining of the artery.
endarteritis: Inflammation of the inner endothelial lining of an artery.
endocardi/o: endocardium (inner lining of the heart)
endocardial: Situated or occurring within the heart.
endocarditis: Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart chamber and valves. Usually caused by bacterial infection.
endocardium: The innermost layer of the heart, consisting of endothelial cells.
endothelium: A layer of epithelium that lines the heart, blood vessels, lymph vessels and the serous cavities of the body.
endovascular procedures: Within a blood vessel.
eosinophils: A type of white blood cell. A granulocyte often increased with allergies and/or parasite infections.
epicardium: The inner layer of the pericardium, covering the heart.
erythroblast: A nucleated immature red blood cell found in bone marrow.
erythrocyt/o: red blood cell
erythrocytes: Cells that contains hemoglobin and that can transport oxygen to body tissues. Commonly called red blood cells.
erythroid: Reddish color.
erythromelalgia: A rare peripheral arterial disorder occurring in middle aged patients characterized by severe burning pain, reddening, hyperalgesia and sweating of the extremities.
FFP: fresh frozen plasma
fibrillation: A rapid twitching of muscle fibers, particularly of the heart, caused by the abnormal electrical impulses.
fibrin: An insoluble protein end product of blood coagulation, formed from fibrinogen by the action of thrombin.
fibrinogen: A blood plasma protein produced by the liver. It is one of many coagulation factors responsible for normal blood clotting.
gallop: A third heart sound that resembles the sound of a galloping horse.
-globin: containing protein
HBP: high blood pressure
HDL: high-density lipoprotein
heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.
heart arrest: Cessation of heart beat.
heart block: Impaired 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 failure: A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body.
heart murmurs: Heart sounds caused by vibrations resulting from the flow of blood through the heart.
heart septum: This structure includes the thin muscular atrial septum between the two heart atria, and the thick muscular ventricular septum between the two heart ventricles.
heart sounds: The sounds heard over the cardiac region produced by the functioning of the heart.
heart valves: Flaps of tissue that prevent regurgitation of blood from the ventricles to the atria or from the pulmonary arteries or aorta to the ventricles.
hemangioma: A 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.
hematocrit: The percentage by volume of red blood cells in a given sample.
hematology: The medical specialty focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of blood diseases.
hemochromatosis: A 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.
hemodynamics: The forces involved in the movement of the blood through the cardiovascular system.
hemoglobins: The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes (red blood cells).
hemorrhage: Bleeding or escape of blood from a vessel. Bleeding can occur externally or internally to the body.
hemostasis: The complex body process which spontaneously stops hemorrhages. This includes vessel contraction and blood adhesion, aggregation and coagulation.
heparin: An endogenous, short-acting anticoagulant.
HF: heart failure
high density lipoprotein: Cholesterol known as HDL that removes harmful cholesterol, reducing risk of heart problems.
holter monitor: A device that continuously records EKGs for hours or a few days, used to diagnose abnormal cardiac rhythms.
HR: heart rate
hydremia: An excess of water in the blood.
hyperlipidemia: Conditions with excess lipids (fats) in the blood.
hypernatremia: An excess of sodium in the blood.
hyperphosphatemia: Abnormally high level of phosphates in the blood.
hypertension: Persistently high systemic arterial blood pressure.
hypertriglyceridemia: A condition of elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood.
hypocalcemia: Abnormally low levels of calcium in the blood.
hypokalemia: Abnormally low potassium concentration in the blood.
hyponatremia: Insufficient sodium levels in the blood. Can be caused by loss of sodium or by increased and excessive body fluids.
hypoperfusion: Abnormally low blood flow through an organ.
hypotension: Abnormally low blood pressure that can result in inadequate blood flow to the brain and other organs.
hypovolemia: An abnormally low volume of circulating blood.
ICD: implantable cardiac defibrillator
iliac artery: Either of two large arteries originating from the abdominal aorta; they supply blood to the pelvis, abdominal wall and legs.
infarction: Tissue death due to lack of oxygen
intracranial embolism: Blocking of a blood vessel in the skull by an embolus which can be a thrombus or other undissolved material in the blood stream.
ischemia: A hypoperfusion of blood through an organ or tissue caused by a obstruction of blood vessels.
ischemic heart disease: Recurring chest pain or discomfort when a part of the heart does not receive enough blood. Often triggered by exertion or excitement.
jugular veins: Large 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.
JVD: jugular venous distention
JVP: jugular venous pulse
LAD: left anterior decending
LBBB: left bundle branch block
LDL: low-density lipoprotein
leukemia: Cancer of the blood. The bone marrow then produces abnormal white blood cells which do not function properly.
leukocyte: A white blood cell.
leukocytosis: An abnormally large increase in the number of leukocytes in the blood.
low density lipoprotein: Cholesterol that collects on blood vessel walls, increasing risk of heart problems.
LV: left ventricle
LVAD: left ventricular assist device
LVH: left ventricular hypertrophy
lymphocytes: White blood cells that help determine the body's immune response to infectious microorganisms.
MAP: mean arterial pressure
MCH: mean corpuscular hemoglobin
MCV: mean corpuscular volume
megaloblastic anemia: A 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.
megaloblasts: Red blood cell precursors that are abnormally large and dysfunctional. Found in patients with pernicious anemia.
MI: myocardial infarction
microvessels: The finer blood vessels of the vasculature that are generally less than 100 microns in internal diameter.
mitral valve: The valve between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart.
mitral valve prolapse: Abnormal protrusion of mitral valve leaflets in the left atria during systole. Results in blood backflow, which causes systolic murmurs, arrhythmia and mitral valve insufficiency.
mitral valve stenosis: Narrowing of the passage through the mitral value. Caused by fibrosis and calcinosis. Rheumatic fever is a primary cause.
monocytes: Large, 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
MRA: magnetic resonance angiography
MS (2): mitral stenosis
MV: mitral valve
MVP: mitral valve prolapse
myelodysplastic syndromes: A group of cancers in which immature blood cells in the bone marrow fail to mature and become healthy.
myocardi/o: myocardium (heart muscle)
myocardial infarction: Partial death of heart tissue caused by an obstructed blood supply. Commonly called "heart attack".
myocardial ischemia: A disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart.
myocarditis: Inflammation of the heart muscle. Caused by a wide range of infections and other problems.
myocardium: The heart muscle. Its contractions pump blood from heart to the lungs and systemic circulatory system.
neovascularization: Formation of new blood vessels.
neutropenia: Abnormally decrease in the numbers of neutrophils in circulating blood.
neutrophils: A type of white blood cell that is an early responder to infections.
nitroglycerin: A vasodilator which relieves angina pectoris.
normotensive: Having normal blood pressure.
NSR: normal sinus rhythm
occlusion: The blockage of a blood vessel.
p wave: Marks atrial depolarization. In a normal EKG, it precedes the QRS complex.
PAC: premature atrial contraction
pacemaker: A device designed to use electric impulses to simulate heart contractions.
PAD: peripheral arterial disease
PAF: platelet activating factor
palpation: Use of fingers with light pressure as part of a physical exam.
PALS: pediatric advanced life support
paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia: A very rapid heartbeat that occurs sporadically. Usually lasts from a few seconds to several hours.
PAT: paroxysmal atrial tachycardia
PDA: patent ductus arteriosus
PEA: pulseless electrical activity
perfusion: Delivery of blood to the capillaries.
pericardial effusion: Fluid accumulation within the pericardium. Severe cases can lead to cardiac tamponade.
pericardial fluid: Watery fluid produced in the serous and visceral pericardium surrounding the surface of the heart
pericardial friction rub: An extra heart sound that resembles squeaky leather. May be heard in pericarditis.
pericardiocentesis: Puncture and aspiration of fluid from the pericardium.
pericarditis: Inflammation of the pericardium, caused by infection, injury, or drugs.
pericardium: A thin layered sac enclosing the heart. Fluid between the layers lubricates the constantly moving surfaces.
periphlebitis: Inflammation of the tissues around a vein
pernicious anemia: Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. A type of megaloblastic anemia.
-philia: affinity for
phlebitis: Inflammation of a vein, commonly a vein in the leg.
phlebography: An 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.
phlebotomy: The techniques used to draw blood from a vein for diagnostic purposes.
phonocardiogram: A waveform of heart sound amplitude over time, usually a few heartbeats.
plaque: Fatty deposits formed on the walls of arteries.
plasma: The part of blood which is not blood cells. Blood plasma also contains glucose and other dissolved nutrients. It also helps blood clot.
platelets: Part of blood that help stop bleeding by clumping and clotting blood vessel injuries.
pleocytosis: A presence of an abnormally high number of cells in the cerebrospinal fluid.
PMN: polymorphonuclear (neutrophil leukocyte)
PNH: paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
polycythemia: Abnormal increase in the aggregate red cell mass of the blood.
PRBC: packed red blood cells
presby/o: old age
profunda: Blood vessels situated deep in the body tissues they supply.
PSVT: paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
PTCA: percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
PTT: partial thromboplastin time
pulmonary artery: The short wide vessel that moves blood from the right ventricle to the lungs.
pulmonary circulation: The circulation of the blood to and through the lungs
pulmonary valve: The heart valve at the intersection of the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery.
pulmonary valve regurgitation: Back flow of blood from the pulmonary artery into the right ventricular due to a leaky pulmonary valve.
pulmonary valve stenosis: The pathologic narrowing of the pulmonary valve opening. Limits blood flow from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery.
pulmonary veins: The veins that return the oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart.
puls/o: beating, to beat
pulse: The rhythmical expansion and contraction of an artery, caused by blood pumping from the heart.
purkinje fibers: Cardiac muscle fibers that conduct the cardiac impulse from the atrioventricular node to the ventricles causing them to contract.
PVC: premature ventricular contraction
pylethrombosis: Thrombosis of the portal vein.
qrs complex: A segment of an EKG tracing representing ventricular depolarization.
RAD (2): right anterior descending
radial artery: An artery in the forearm that starts at the bifurcation of the brachial artery and passing in branches to the forearm, wrist, and hand.
Raynaud disease: An idiopathic vascular disorder of small arteries and arterioles.
RBBB: right bundle branch block
RBC: red blood cell; red blood count
reperfusion: Restoration of blood supply to tissue which was ischemic.
restenosis: The recurrence of stenosis in an artery after previous treatment.
Rh: rhesus factor
rh factor: A 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.
RHD: rheumatic heart disease
rhe/o: stream, flow, electric current
-rrhage: bursting forth
s-t segment: The segment on an EKG tracing that represents the interval between the end of ventricular depolarization and the beginning of ventricular repolarization.
S1: first heart sound
S2: second heart sound
S3: third heart sound
S4: fourth heart sound
SBP: systolic blood pressure
-schisis: cleft, split
semilunar valve: Either the aortic valve or the pulmonary valve, each consisting of crescent-shaped cusps.
sepsis: A 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.
septal defect: A hole in the septum of the heart, usually congenital.
septicemia: A serious bacterial bloodstream infection. It’s also known as bacteremia, or blood poisoning.
ser/o: blood serum
serum: Blood plasma after the removal of clotting proteins.
sickle cell anemia: An 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.
simvastatin: A statin used to treat high blood cholesterol levels.
sinoatrial block: The electrical impulse from the sinoatrial node is inhibited or completely blocked before it reaches the atrium.
sinoatrial node: The 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.
sinus rhythm: A normal heart rhythm as indicated on an EKG tracing.
souffle: A soft blowing sound heard with a stethoscope.
spherocytes: Small, abnormal spherical red blood cells with more than the normal amount of hemoglobin.
spherocytosis: A blood disorder characterized by the presence of small, sphere like red blood cells.
sphygmomanometer: Device for measuring arterial blood pressure. Includes an inflatable cuff, inflating bulb and a gauge showing the blood pressure.
splenic artery: The largest branch of the celiac trunk with distribution to the spleen, pancreas, stomach and greater omentum.
SSS: sick sinus syndrome
stasis: A cessation or diminution of flow of blood or other fluids.
-stenosis: abnormal narrowing
stents: A small mesh tube used to treat narrow or weak arteries.
STH: somatotropic hormone
stress test: A test to evaluate heart function by monitoring heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and EKG while the patient exercises with a treadmill or exercise bike.
stroke: A 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 volume: The amount of blood pumped out of one ventricle of the heart in one beat.
sudden cardiac arrest: A sudden and unexpected cessation of cardiac function due to electrical malfunction. Reversible if immediately treated.
sudden cardiac death: Sudden, unexpected death caused by loss of cardiac function.
SVT: supraventricular tachycardia
syncope: Fainting. Loss of consciousness due to diminished blood flow to the brain.
systemic circulation: The circulation of the blood to all parts of the body except the lungs.
systole: Period of heart contraction when blood is surging from the heart into the systemic circulatory system and the lungs.
systolic blood pressure: Arterial blood pressure during heart contraction. In blood pressure readings, it is the first number.
systolic murmurs: Heart murmurs which occur during systole. They are heard between the first and the second heart sounds.
t wave: The positive deflection after each QRS complex. It indicates ventricular repolarization.
tachycardia: Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually over 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by an irregular rhythm is called tachyarrhythmia.
TBV: total blood volume
temporal arteries: Arteries arising from the external carotid or the maxillary artery and distributing to the temporal region.
-tension: stretched, strained
TET: tetralogy of Fallot
tetralogy of fallot: Tetralogy of Fallot is a rare congenital heart defect. It is a combination of four defects which result in oxygen-poor blood flow.
thalassemia: An inherited blood disorder characterized by an abnormal form of hemoglobin.
thrill: A vibratory, ringing sound. Sometimes used to describe a heart murmur.
thromb/o: blood clot
thrombectomy: Surgical removal of an obstructing clot or foreign material from a blood vessel at the point of its formation.
thrombocytes: Platelets. A blood component helps to stop bleeding by clumping and clotting blood vessel injuries.
thrombocytopenia: A low level of blood platelets. Platelet count < 150,000/ml
thrombocytosis: High blood platelet count. Platelet count > 450,000/ml
thrombolysis: The dissolution of a thrombus.
thrombolytic: Dissolving or breaking up a thrombus.
thrombophilia: A disorder of hemostasis in which there is a tendency for the occurrence of thrombosis.
thrombosis: The formation and development of a blood clot in a blood vessel.
torsades de pointes: A 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.
tourniquet: A band for the compression of a blood vessel, used to stop bleeding or prevent spread of snake venom.
toxemia: The presence of bacterial toxins in the blood. Also called blood poisoning.
transfusion: The transfer of blood from one person to another.
tricuspid valve: The heart valve located between the right atrium and right ventricle.
tricuspid valve regurgitation: Back flow of blood from the right ventricle to the right atrium.
tricuspid valve stenosis: The narrowing of the tricuspid valve opening. Tricuspid valve stenosis is almost always due to rheumatic fever.
trigeminy: A heart condition where an EKG can be grouped into three beat patterns.
VAD: venous assist device
valsalva maneuver: Forced expiratory effort against a closed windpipe, impeding the return of venous blood to the heart.
varicose veins: Enlarged, twisted veins.
vascul/o: blood vessel
vascular: Pertaining to blood vessels.
vasculitis: Inflammation of a blood vessel.
vasoconstriction: Narrowing of blood vessels.
vasoconstrictor: Drugs used to cause constriction of the blood vessels.
vasodilation: Widening of blood vessels.
vasodilator: Drugs used to cause dilation of the blood vessels.
VCT: venous clotting time=
veins: The vessels carrying blood away from the capillary beds.
venae cavae: The 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 insufficiency: Impaired venous blood flow or venous return (venous stasis), usually caused by inadequate venous valves. Venous insufficiency often occurs in the legs.
venous thrombosis: The formation or presence of a blood clot within a vein.
ventricles: The two large heart chambers that receive blood from the atria and pump it out to the systemic and pulmonary circulatory systems.
ventricular fibrillation: The 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.
ventricular flutter: Rapid, unstable ventricular tachycardia (150-300 beats/min) with a large sine-wave appearance. If untreated, ventricular flutter typically progresses to ventricular fibrillation.
ventricular tachycardia: Fast 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.
venul/o: venule (small vein in lungs)
VF: ventricular fibrillation
Vfib: ventricular fibrillation
VLDL: very low density lipoprotein
-volemia: blood volume
VSD: ventricular septal defect
VT: ventricular tachycardia
white coat hypertension: Phenomenon where blood pressure readings are elevated only when taken in clinical settings.
WPW: Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome