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Heart conditions glossary

heart diagram showing arteries

Diagram of the heart showing the coronary arteries

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  • Words in bold are listed individually to allow further understanding.

A

Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor (ACE Inhibitor)

Medication given to reduce the workload of the Heart

Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Irregular Heart Rhythm

Acute Myocardial Infarction

Medical term for a Heart Attack

Angiogram

Procedure for examining the Coronary Arteries

Angioplasty

Procedure to stretch narrowed Coronary Arteries to improve the blood flow to the heart

Angina

Chest pain or breathlessness caused by lack of Blood Flow to the Heart

Anti-arrhythmic

Medication given to treat an Arrythmia

Anti-platelet

Medication which prevents the blood clotting

Arrhythmia

Medical term for irregular Heart Rhythms

Aspirin

Anti-platelet medication

Atrial Septal Defect

Small hole in the top part of the heart

Atheroma

Build up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels which restricts blood flow

Atherosclerosis

Build up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels which restricts blood flow

B

Beta-Blocker

Medication given to control the Heart Rate and Rhythm

Brain N Peptide

Blood enzyme which can be measured to diagnose Heart Failure (HF)

Blood Pressure

Measurement of the pressure within the arteries

Bradycardia

When the Heart Rate (HR) is slow (< 60 beats per minute)

C

Coronary Artery

Blood vessel which supplies blood to the tissues of the heart.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

Surgical treatment for severe heart disease

Coronary Artery Disease

Narrowing of the coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart

Cardiac

Medical term for all things to do with the Heart

Cardiac Arrest

Emergency where the Heart stops beating

Cardiac Enzymes

Found in a blood test to diagnose a heart attack

Cardiology

Medical term for all Heart care

Cardiomyopathy

Disease of the Heart muscle which can impair its movement

Coronary Care Unit

Ward of a hospital where you would be taken with an emergency heart problem

Coronary Heart Disease

Narrowing of the coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart

Chronic Heart Failure

Condition when the heart muscle is weakened and less efficient at pumping blood around the heart

Cholesterol

Fat which leads to fatty deposits in the arteries

Creatinine Kinase

Cardiac Enzyme used to diagnose a Heart Attack

Cardiovascular Disease

Disease affecting the Heart and its circulation

Central Venous Pressure

A measure of the pressure in the internal vessels in the body

Cardiovascular System

Describes the heart and all the blood vessels in the body

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D

Defibrillator

Machine used to deliver an electric shock to the heart to correct abnormal fast Heart Rhythm

Diuretic

Medication used to remove excess fluid from the body in Heart Failure (HF)

E

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

A tracing on paper of the activity of the heart of the Heart Rate and Rhythm.

Echocardiography (ECHO)

An ultrasound to look at the structure and movement of the heart muscle

Embolism

A clot in a blood vessel

Electrophysiological Studies

A detailed look at Heart Rhythm

Electrocardiogram Treadmill Test

A recording of the Heart’s Rate and Rhythm while walking on a treadmill

H

Heart

Muscle which pumps Blood around the body, its Rate and Rhythm are controlled by electrical conduction

Heart Attack

Damage to the heart caused by a clot in the Coronary Arteries—requires emergency treatment in hospital

Heart Block

Interruption of the electrical pathway causing a slowing of the heart rate

Heart Rhythm

The regulatory rhythm with which the Heart is beating

Heart Transplant

Operation which involves replacing diseased Heart with the healthy Heart of a donor

High Blood Pressure

When the pressure within the arteries is too high (hypertension)

Heart Failure

Condition when the heart muscle is weakened and less efficient at pumping blood around the heart

Heart Manual

A manual given to patients which details their cardiac rehabilitation programme after heart illness.

Heart Rate

The speed at which the heart is beating

Hypertension

High Blood Pressure

Hypotension

Low Blood Pressure

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I

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)

A device put inside the chest to correct Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) and Ventricular Fibrillation (VF).

Infarct

Area of tissue damaged by lack of blood and oxygen

Ischaemic Heart Disease

Narrowing of the coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart

M

Myocardial Infarction (MI)

Medical term for a heart attack

Myocardium

The heart muscle

N

Non-ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI)

A ‘smaller’ Heart Attack, not requiring Thrombolysis

P

Pacemaker

Small electrical device implanted surgically to correct an abnormal heart rhythm

Palpitation

Small bursts of fast Heart Rhythms

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

Term for any investigation or procedure which looks at the coronary arteries

Pre-Hospital Thrombolysis

Thrombolysis given by the Scottish Ambulance Service en route to hospital.

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty

Procedure to stretch narrowed coronary arteries to improve the blood flow to the heart

System of referral from Primary Care to Secondary Care for the assessment of chest pain

S

Septum

The area of the Heart which divides the Atria and the Ventricles

Statin

Generic name for cholesterol lowering medications

ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI)

A serious heart attack

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T

Tachycardia

When the Heart Rate (HR) is fast (> 100 beats per minute)

Thrombolysis

A ‘clot busting’ drug used to dissolve a blood clot which is causing a heart attack

Thrombosis

Blockage in a blood vessel due to a blood clot

Trans-Oesphageal Endoscopy

A procedure to view the structure of the heart from the oesophagus (which leads into the stomach)

Troponin 

Cardiac Enzyme used to diagnose a heart attack

V

Valve

Controls the flow of Blood into and out of the Heart

Ventricular Fibrillation

Life threatening irregular heart rhythm

Ventricular Septal Defect

Small hole in the bottom part of the heart

Ventricular Tachycardia

Irregular heart rhythm (can be life threatening)

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