A

ACB – aorto-coronary bypass

Anemia – a condition without enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. The symptoms are fatigue, pale skin, dizziness, headache, faster breathing, increased heart rate. Blood examination shows decreased hemoglobin levels

Antithrombotic drugs – medications lowering the blood clot formation risk

Anticoagulation – also called blood dilution

Aortic insufficiency (regurgitation, failure)- aortic valve closure failure causing blood to reentry from the aorta into the left ventricle

Aortic stenosis – a narrowing of the aortic valve orifice that prevents blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta

Arterial blood pressure – Blood pressure readings up to 140 (systolic, mmHg) over 90 (diastolic, mmHg (140/90) are considered normal. For patients over 70-80 years, 150 mmHg systolic pressure is also acceptable. Higher values are called arterial hypertension. High blood pressure is classified as either primary (essential) high blood pressure or secondary high blood pressure, when caused by other disease like kidney or endocrine disorders.

A random low blood pressure reading, without any symptoms, is not a cause for alarm. However, when accompanied by fatigue, dizziness or briefly loss of consciousness it is called arterial hypotension and needs to be consulted by cardiologist.  Seek cardiological consultation.

Arterial hypertension – a pathological blood pressure elevation over 140/90 mmHg

Atherosclerosis – a chronic, progressive disease, involving the inner layer of the body’s great and medium arteries.  Fat-based plaque accumulates on the inside of the arteries and causes the vessels to narrow and stiff

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers – antihypertensive medication

ACE inhibitors – blockers of angiotensin converting enzyme. They are one of the main groups of arterial hypertension treatment medications

AV block – a disturbance of the electrical impulses between the atria and ventricles. AV blockers have three degrees and the 3rd is life-threatening and requires a pacemaker implantation.

AVB – atrium ventricular block

AF – atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation – chaotic electrical stimulation of the atrium, with an uncoordinated muscle cells contraction

Atrial flutter – fast, unregular and chaotic stimulation of the atriums with rate 350 – 600 beats/

AVR – aortic valve replacement

ACS – acute coronary syndrome

AMI – acute myocardial infarction

B

B-blockers – heart rate reducing drugs. They are used for hypertension, heart failure, arrhythmias, ischemic heart disease treatment.

Bradycardia – slow heart rate

C

Cardiac arrest – a stop of the heart’s mechanical activity, associated with loss of pulse, no breathing and loss of consciousness.

Ca channel antagonist – drugs blocking the calcium channel in the cells. They have a vascular dilation effect and are used for hypertension treatment.

Chest pain – when present during physical exercise but relieves with rest, usually a symptom of stable angina pectoris – one of the ischemic heart disease types. Seek cardiology consultation right away.

COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Cholesterol – cholesterol is present in all human body cells. It is necessary for their appropriate function and also to produce some vital hormones.

In case of elevated cholesterol levels, there is a risk of fat accumulation in the coronary artery walls, which disturbs the blood flow. This leads to an insufficiently oxygen-rich blood supply to the heart and increases the risk of myocardial infarction. The insufficient blood supply to the brain could cause a stroke. The elevated cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) to a great extent is a preventable and curable condition. Healthy nutrition, regular physical exercise can help,  medications can also be prescribed if needed.

Cardioversion – is a medical procedure by which an abnormally fast heart rate (tachycardia) or other cardiac arrhythmia is converted to a normal rhythm using electricity or drugs.

Computed tomography – a high resolution scanner. It is used for heart structures and coronary arteries examination

Coronary arteries – small arteries, supplying the heart. Coronary artery occlusion leads to myocardial infarction

CPR – cardio-pulmonary resuscitation

CT – computed tomography

D

Dyslipidemia – a disorder of lipoprotein metabolism with an imbalance between the „good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and „bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, increasing the cardiovascular diseases risk

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCMP) – a condition when the heart is enlarged leading to disturbance of its contraction and pump failure

Diuretics – medications that stimulate the urine production. They are used to treat hypertension, heart failure, kidney disease

Doppler echography – ultrasound, sonographic examination

E

Electrocardiogram (ECG) – examination of the heart electrical activity. Electrodes are placed on the patient’s chest, arms and legs to detect the heart’s electrical impulses. It is painless.

ECG stress test – ECG examinations are tests where a patient is tested on a  veloergometer or treadmill with gradual resistance elevationtions, during which the patient is observed for changes in the ECG, heart rate and blood pressure. In case of ECG changes or chest pain the test is terminated.

Extrasystole – a premature contraction of the heart, a heartbeat outside the normal rhythm

Endocardium – The internal surface of the heart

Echocardiography – imaging of the heart chambers and valves with ultrasound waves. It takes ca. 10-15 min and is painless

H

Heart failure (HF) – a pathological condition where a patient has insufficient heart power to pump blood to the rest of the body, causing insufficient oxygen supply to the tissues and metabolism disturbance.

Hypercholesterolemia – elevated cholesterol levels in the blood plasma

Holter ECG – device similar to mobile phone, attached to the patient for 24 hours which continuously records the hearts electrical activity

HHD – hypertensive heart disease

HCHF – chronic congestive heart failure

I

ITA – internal thoracic artery

Isheamic heart disease (IHD) – a condition where one or more coronary artery gets narrowed or occluded, the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen and the heart function is disturbed. IHD is one of the most common heart diseases.

Isheamic cerebrum stroke (ICS)

Infective endocarditis – an infection of the endocardial surface of the heart. In 90 % of the cases, it is caused by a bacterial infection of streptococci or staphylococci. The bacteria enters the blood through different inflammatory sites in the body and reaches the endocardium.

IDD – Insulin dependent diabetes

IID – Insulin independent diabetes

J

JVE – jugular venous edema

L

LAM – Lymphadenomegalia

LBBB – left bundle branch block

LDL – low density lipoprotein, so called “bad” cholesterol

LPHB – left posterior hemiblock

LAHB – left anterior hemiblock

LAD – left anterior descending artery

LIMA – left internal mammary artery

M

Myocardium – heart muscle

Myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium)

DES – drug-eluting stent

MVO – mitral valve orifice

Mitral stenosis – mitral valve orifice stenosis, disturbing the blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle

Mitral insufficiency (regurgitation, failure) – failure of the mitral valve closure during systole, leading to a return of blood flow from the left ventricle to the left atrium

MVR – mitral valve replacement

N

Nitrates – medications (the most famous is nitroglycerine), producing nitric oxide in the blood, acting through vasodilatation and used for hypertension treatment

O

Obesity – the state of being excessively overweight which has an extremely negative effect on a person’s health

P

Palpitations – a condition of an increased heart rate. Usually the patients feel the elevated heart beats and seeks medical help. Heart palpitations are typically experienced in the chest, throat or neck. The palpitations generally disappear on their own.

Pacemaker (electro cardiostimulator) –  a device with the size of a hand watch, implanted in the patients left or right infraclavicular region, which influences the heart rhythm. The main purpose is to support the heart’s rhythm.

PECS – permanent electro cardio stimulator

Pericarditis – inflammation of the pericardium (the fibrous sac surrounding the heart)

Pulmonary embolism – pulmonary artery blockage. Symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pain.

PTE – pulmonary thromboembolism

PWLV – left ventricle posterior wall

R

RBBB – right bundle branch block

RHR – regular heart rate

S

Selective coronary angiography (SCA) – imaging examination- the patient is injected with a contrast material, which helps determine the presence of stenosis in the heart vessels through an x-ray examination.

Stress ECG (stress test) – a method of evaluating the condition and functional capacity of the cardiovascular system during physical exercise. It plays a major role in myocardial ischemia demonstration

Syncope – short-term loss of consciousness due to insufficient blood supply to the brain

SCAG – selective coronary angiography

Stable angina pectoris (SAP) – a reoccurring short-term chest pain, caused by transient insufficient myocardial oxygen delivery. It is provoked by exercise or emotional stress and is relieved by rest and/or nitroglycerin.

Statins – medications, lowering the cholesterol levels

SLN – superficial lymph nodes

T

Tachycardia – an increased heart rate

Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) – heart muscle imaging with a device introduced in the patient’s esophagus

Transient ischemic attack (TIA) – a short term condition (minutes to hours) with neurological symptoms, caused by insufficient blood supply to different cerebrum areas

Troponin T and I (TnT, TnI) – highly specific markers for myocardial infarction. It’s evaluated  through a blood sampling.

TECS – temporary electro cardio stimulator

V

Ventriculography – an examination of the heart chambers through an injection of roentgen positive substances. This allows heart chamber’s evaluation and possible defect investigation.

VT – ventricle tachycardia

Ventricle tachycardia – one of the most serious disorders of the heart rhythm. It is a contraction of the ventricles over 100 b/min and causes hemodynamic collapse. It requires urgent defibrillation.

Ventricle fibrillation – a condition, similar to ventricle flutter but waves that are chaotic (fibrillated) and different in shapes and widths . The ventricle contractions are ineffective, the blood supply is terminated and  death occurs in several minutes. Emergency electroshock is needed.

Ventricle flutter – life-threatening arrhythmia without heart contractions, the patients loses consciousness. Emergency electroshock is needed.

v.s.g. – vena saphena graft