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Cardiology Related Terms

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  • A Fib

  • Atrial fibrillation.

  • A Flt

  • Atrial flutter.

  • A&Ox3

  • Alert and oriented to person place and time.

  • AACP

  • American academy of cardiovascular perfusion.

  • A-aDO2

  • Alveolar arterial oxygen gradient.

  • ABCP

  • American board of cardiovascular perfusion; the national body regulating and managing certification (ccp) of perfusion technologists.

  • ABG

  • Arterial blood gas, a collection of po2, pco2, ph, be and hb sao2 measurements from an arterial blood sample.

  • Ablation

  • A surgical or electrophysiological technique used to repair interrupted abnormal electrical pathways in the heart. These abnormal pathways can be the cause of abnormal heart rhythms, such as Atrial Fibrillation or atrial flutter. Ablation can be accomplished with a variety of energies, and through a variety of surgical approaches.

  • ABO blood group system

  • The most important of several systems for classifying human blood used in transfusion therapy.

  • ACE

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme.

  • Achalasia

  • A condition where the lower esophageal sphincter cannot relax or open upon swallowing, resulting in the inability to pass food from the esophagus into the stomach.

  • Acid-base balance

  • The maintanence of a normal level of acid and base in the blood and plasma.

  • Acidemia

  • Abnormally high level of acid in the blood, low ph (< 7.35).

  • Acidosis

  • A pathologic condition resulting from accumulation of acid in, or loss of base from the body.

  • ACLS

  • Advanced cardiac life support.

  • ACT

  • Activated clotting time.

  • ACTH

  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone.

  • Acute myocardial infarction

  • An acute process of myocardial ischemia with sufficient severity and duration to result in permanent myocardial damage.

  • Adventitia

  • The outside coat of a tissue or structure (see t. Adventitia).

  • AF bypass

  • Aortofemoral bypass.

  • Affinity

  • The force of attraction holding two elements together, such as hemoglobin affinity for oxygen.

  • Agglutination

  • The process of blood cells clumping together as result of antibody interactions.

  • AICD

  • Automatic internal cardioverter/defibrillator.

  • AIVR

  • Accelerated idioventricular rhythm.

  • Alkalemia

  • Abnormally high level of base in the blood, high ph.

  • Alkalosis

  • A pathologic condition resulting from accumulation of base in, or loss of acid from the body.

  • Allograft

  • Tissue graft from animal of the same species, not same genotype.

  • Alpha stat

  • A ventilation scheme that allows the non-temperature corrected ph to be 7.40 despite the cpb temperature, this promotes respiratory alkalosis (about 0.01465 ph units per oc rise; rosenthal correction factor) in the cpb blood.

  • Alveoli

  • The small, sac-like structural unit of the lung where oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide.

  • AmSECT

  • American society of extra-corporeal technology; the largest professional organization representing perfusion technologists.

  • Anaphylactic shock

  • A severe hypersensitivity reaction to the injection or ingestion of a substance to which the organism has been previously exposed.

  • Anastomosis

  • The connection between two blood vessels or two hollow organs, such as the intestines.

  • Ancrod

  • Anticoagulant derived from malayan pit viper venom, depletes fibrinogen.

  • Anemia

  • A condition in which the oxygen-carrying component of blood, a protein called hemoglobin, falls below normal levels. Anemia can be caused by many factors, such as blood loss, chronic disease states such as renal failure, and secondary to some medications such as chemotherapy.

  • Aneurysm

  • The abnormal dilation or out-pouching of a blood vessel or ventricle.

  • Aneurysm / Aortic Aneurysm

  • Aneurysm refers to an abnormal expansion of an artery. Aortic aneurysm refers to an abnormal expansion of a section of the aorta, which is the main artery of the body. Aneurysms result from a weakened part of the artery wall expanding over time to an abnormal size.

  • Angina / Angina Pectoris

  • The pain, discomfort, or symptoms associated with the heart muscle not getting enough blood and oxygen. Angina is not typically a sharp pain like that associated with, for example, hitting your thumb, but more of a pressure-like sensation. The classic description of angina is when the patient experiences pressure, usually on the front of the chest just underneath the breast bone, or to the left of the breast bone. The discomfort can travel to the neck or down the arm. Sometimes the patient will describe some numbness of the arm. The pain is usually brought on by some kind of stress or exercise and often dissipates with rest. Angina, however, can also be confused with indigestion, gallbladder symptoms, or in some cases, flu-like symptoms. Angina is not the same as having a heart attack but can be a waring sign of a potential heart attack.

  • Anginapectoris

  • A clinical syndrome typically characterized by a deep, poorly localized chest or arm discomfort that is reproducibly associated with physical exertion or emotional stress and relieved promptly by rest or sublingual ntg.

  • Angiogram

  • An x-ray test in which the radiologist injects a dye into a blood vessel and takes an x-ray while the dye is being injected. The angiogram is used to distinguish the vascular anatomy of a part of the body, such as the heart. The dye, sometimes referred to as 'contrast', does not actually color the blood vessels, but instead blocks x-rays from passing through it, thereby helping to create an image of the artery or vein on an x-ray. Some angiograms are done with still pictures, while others, like heart angiograms, are done using moving pictures.

  • Angiographically significant CAD

  • Cad is typically judged 'significant' at coronary angiography if there is at least a 70 percent diameter stenosis of one or more major epicardial coronary segments or at least a 50 percent diameter stenosis of the left main coronary artery.

  • Angioplasty / Balloon Angioplasty

  • The term used to describe a procedure that opens a blocked or narrowed artery. During an angioplasty, a small wire, under x-ray guidance, is passed through a narrowed artery.

  • Antegrade

  • With the normal direction of flow.

  • Antibody

  • Important in the bodyís defense against infections, an antibody is a blood protein that is produced by the bodyís immune system in response to a foreign body or foreign protein. These foreign bodies/proteins include bacteria, viruses, as well as other foreign tissues, such as a transplanted heart, lung, liver or kidney. Immunization against measles, mumps, and chicken pox is done to expose the body to the inactivated organism so the body can manufacture antibodies that will, in the future, recognize the live organism and help the body fight off the infection. Antibodies are very specific, so an antibody that is protective against measles would not fight off tetanus. In transplantation surgery, some medications are used to blunt the patientís immune system response to the foreign transplanted organ. Rejection of the transplant is often the result of antibodies that are formed to combat the perceived foreign tissue.

  • Anticoagulant

  • Any agent that inhibits coagulation, see; heparin, ancrod, hirudin.

  • Antigen

  • Any substance percieved as foreign by the body that induces antibody production.

  • Antiseptics

  • Substances that hinder the growth and activity of microorganisms, or germs. In surgery, the use of antiseptics is essential, especially in disinfecting instruments and other materials used in operations.

  • Anxiolytic therapy

  • Treatment to counteract or diminish anxiety.

  • Aorta

  • The human body has two main kinds of blood vessels, arteries and veins. The aorta is the main artery of the body. The arteries, with only two exceptions, transport oxygen-rich blood from the heart and lungs to the rest of the body. The veins transport the blood that has been used by the bodyís organs to the heart and lungs so that it can be re-oxygenated and pumped back to the rest of the body. The aorta starts just above the heart and travels down to about the level of your navel. There, it divides into smaller branches, which then progress down the lower extremities. The aorta is the largest artery of the body and can be divided into 4 sections: the ascending aorta, the aortic arch, the descending thoracic aorta, and the abdominal aorta.

  • Aortic

  • Of or pertaining to the aorta.

  • Aortic atresia

  • Small or undeveloped aortic valve.

  • Aortic Valve

  • The aortic valve is one of the 4 valves located in the human (mammalian) heart. All of the valves in the heart are one-way valves and, if functioning normally, allow blood flow in only one direction. The aortic valve is located at the beginning of the ascending aorta and allows newly oxygenated blood to leave the left ventricle and be transported to the bodyís organs. The aortic valve is typically made up of three leaflets, which open and close with the heart cycle. The aortic valve can cause problems by either becoming too narrow, a condition known as aortic valve stenosis. If the valve leaflets do not close properly, the aortic valve can leak and no longer function as a one-way valve, which is referred to as aortic valve insufficiency or regurgitation. Aortic stenosis or insufficiency can be treated successfully with surgery.

  • Aortotomy

  • A surgical incision into the aorta.

  • Apheresis

  • The separation or removal of a blood component or chemical to treat a disease or condition.

  • APPT

  • Activated partial thromboplastin time.

  • ARDS

  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome; a disease process where the patient's lung fail to remove sufficient carbon dioxide and provide sufficient oxygen during ventilation.

  • Arrhythmia

  • The heart beats or pumps at a certain speed and in a certain way, depending on the needs of the patientís body. When the heart is pumping normally, the heart is said to be in a normal (sinus) rhythm. Any deviation from a normal rhythm is defined as an arrhythmia, where the heart is beating too fast, too slow, beating irregularly or a combination of these abnormal rhythms. Arrhythmias are generally divided between atrial arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias. Most arrhythmias can be treated with medications, but some require surgery. While most arrhythmias are not life-threatening, some, such as ventricular fibrillation, are fatal if not treated quickly. Arrhythmias can be secondary to many causes, such as heart attack, medications, and electrolyte imbalances.

  • Arteriole

  • A small artery branching off of an artery giving rise to the capillary network.

  • Arteriosclerosis / Atherosclerosis

  • A generalized condition affecting the walls of the arteries. It is commonly referred to as 'Hardening of the arteries'. The cause of arteriosclerosis is not 100% defined, but major risk factors for developing arteriosclerosis include genetics, family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet, cigarette smoking, and lack of exercise. Arteriosclerosis is a slow process that begins early in life and develops over time. The end result is usually narrowing of the arteries by a build up of minerals and fatty deposits. The narrowing can progress to occlusion (obstruction or a closure of a passageway or vessel). Heart attacks and strokes are often the end result of severe arteriosclerosis of the arteries which supply the heart and brain with oxygen-rich blood.

  • Artery

  • A blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart; arteries usually carry oxygenated blood.

  • AS

  • Aortic valvular stenosis:narrowing of the normal aortic valve area causing a pressure drop across the aortic valve during ventricular systole.

  • ASCVP

  • Australasian society of cardiovascular perfusionists, represents all perfusionists in australia and new zealand.

  • Aspiration

  • The act of taking in a breath. However, the term aspiration is more commonly used to define the act of removing fluid or air from a body cavity using suction. Example: 'We aspirated 100 ccís of fluid from the chest.' Aspiration may also refer to a condition that occurs when a patient vomits and some of the stomach content is sucked into the lungs by the patient when taking a breath. Example: 'The patient was drunk, vomited and aspirated.' Aspiration of gastrointestinal contents can cause a severe pneumonia.

  • ASPVD

  • Atherosclerotic peripheral vascular disease.

  • Asthma

  • A disorder of the upper respiratory tract involving the lungs and the bronchi, characterized by wheezing, coughing, choking and shortness of breath. Asthma is a symptom and not a disease; therefore remedial measures involve locating, isolating and eliminating the cause rather than treatment of the condition itself.

  • ASV

  • Autogenous saphenous vein.

  • Atelectasis

  • A term used to describe a complete or partial collapse of a portion of the lung. The lungs are made up of millions of tiny air sacs called alveoli. Different conditions can cause these alveoli to collapse, which can result in impaired breathing and can lead to pneumonia. Atelectasis can be detected on chest x-ray and is treated by taking measures to re-expand the collapsed alveoli. These measures may range from encouraging the patient to take slow deep breaths, to mechanical ventilation.

  • Atherosclerosis

  • A form of arteriosclerosis in which atheromas containing cholesterol, lipoid material and lipophages are formed within the intima and inner media of large and medium-sized arteries.

  • ATIII

  • Antithrombin iii, an albumin cofactor that normally binds free thrombin in the blood, heparin catalyzes the anti-thrombin action of atiii 1000 times normal.

  • ATN

  • Acute tubular necrosis:ischemic damage to the tubule cells of the kidney causing renal failure.

  • Atrial

  • Of or referring to the atrium or atria.

  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

  • A congenital, abnormal opening between the left and right atria of the heart. The heart is divided into the right and the left heart, and is made up of 4 chambers. On each side of the heart there is an atrium and a ventricle. The right atrium and the left atrium lay side by side and are separated by a muscular wall referred to as the septum. While in the motherís womb, there is an opening in the septum, but at birth this opening quickly closes. An atrial septal defect is an abnormal opening in the septum. These should be closed since they can cause a variety of problems later in life. There are a variety of methods that can be used to close an ASD, depending on the size, location and the patientís condition.

  • Atrialization

  • Appearing or becoming atrial like.

  • Atrium

  • A chamber affording entrance to another structure or organ;.

  • ATS

  • Autotransfusion system; an extracorporeal circuit designed to collect a patient's shed blood during a surgical procedure and reinfuse the blood back to the patient; blood may be collected by pre-donation, intraoperative salvage or post operative wound drainage.

  • Autograft

  • A surgical transplantation of any tissue from one part of the body to another location on the same individual.

  • Autologous

  • Referring to self, or tissue coming from the self.

  • Autoregulation

  • The ability of an organ system to dilate or constrict the arteriols that enter it in order to control the blood flow to the organ to meet it's metabolic needs.

  • AV canal

  • Atrioventricular canal.

  • Av Fistula

  • A fistula connecting an artery and vein bypassing the capillary bed, often surgically placed in patients undergoing renal dialysis.

  • AV node

  • Atrioventricular node.

  • AVA

  • Aortic valve area.

  • AVB

  • Atrio-ventricular block.

  • AVG

  • Aortic valve gradient.

  • AVR

  • Aortic valve replacement; open heart surgery to replace a diseased aortic valve with a prosthetic, artificial valve.


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