Cardiology

 

  • Angina: chest pain usually caused by a lack of oxygen from restricted blood flow to the heart.
  • Angioplasty: a procedure for the treatment of narrowed arteries. A balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into an artery, most commonly the coronary arteries, to press plaque back against the vessel wall widening and unblocking the artery to restore blood flow.
  • Artherosclerosis: a disease in which the arteries are hardened and narrowed, due to the gradual build-up of plaque on the inner walls.
  • Arrhythmia: an abnormal heartbeat resulting from a change, deviation or malfunction of the heart’s electrical system. An arrhythmia may be abnormally fast (tachycardia) or abnormally slow (bradycardia).
  • Atrial Fibrillation: a rapid, irregular heart rhythm caused by abnormal electrical impulses that begin in the upper chambers of the heart. As a result, the heart’s lower chambers beat rapidly and irregulary.
  • Cardiac Arrest: the abrupt, immediate stopping of the heart. Without treatment with a defibrillator, sudden cardiac death in unavoidable.
  • Congestive heart failure: a chronic condition where at least one chamber of the heart is not pumping well enough to meet the body’s needs. This leads to congestion in the lungs or pulmonary fluid backup or swelling in the lungs, legs and ankles.
  • Coronary artery disease: a chronic disease in which there is a hardening of the arteries.
  • Echocardiogram: a test that uses sound waves to produce a moving image of the patient’s beating heart on a video screen. Used to study the heart’s thickness, size and function, as well as the motion pattern and structure of the four heart valves.
  • EKG (electrocardiogram): a test that records the hearts electrical activity as a graph.
  • Exercise stress tests: an EKG test that monitors cardiac activity while elevating the heart rate to certain levels through controlled treadmill exercise. Helps to detect heart irregularities, disease and damage.
  • Heart attack: (also known as an MI or myocardial infarction). Scarring or death of heart muscle due to lack of oxygen. Oxygen-rich blood is blocked by a blood clot in a coronary artery, usually due to plaque-related narrowing of the artery.
  • Holter monitoring: a temporarily attached EKG that records the heart’s electrical activity as patients go about their daily routines for 24-hours.
  • Mitral valve prolapse: a condition in which the flaps of the mitral valve are too large and cannot close properly causing blood to leak back through the valve (regurgitation) when it should only flow forward.
  • Nuclear cardiology (nuclear stress tests): imaging tests that introduce tiny amounts of radionuclide substance into the body to emit energy used by cameras to take very clear pictures of the heart.
  • Pacemaker: implanted in the chest, an artificial pacemaker is a battery-powered device that monitors and if necessary, corrects an abnormal heart rhythm by sending electrical charges to the heart.
  • Ventricular fibrillation: a condition where the heart no longer beats but "quivers" very rapidly. A person must receive defibrillation within minutes to survive.

 

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