Medical Terminology: A Short Course Appendix Cardiovascular System DMA


vessel CF


aorta CF


artery CF


arteriole CF

cardi/o coron/o

heart (2) CF

phleb/o ven/o

vein (2) CF


venule CF


a widening; bulging of the wall of the heart, the aorta, or an artery caused by congenital defect or acquired weakness


condition in which fatty deposits called plaque build up on the inner walls of the arteries

Angina (pectoris)

Chest pain caused by decreased blood flow to the heart muscle


abnormal heartbeat (rhythm)


chaotic, irregular contractions of the heart


abnormally rapid beating of the auricles of the heart (especially in a regular rhythm)

Congestive heart failure

inability of the heart to pump its required amount of blood, causes blood to accumulate in the lungs


high blood pressure

Essential Hypertension

high blood pressure with no apparent cause

Secondary Hypertension

another illness (kidney disease or adrenal gland disorder) causes high blood pressure

myocardial infarction

Necrosis (death) of the myocardium caused by an obstruction in a coronary artery; commonly known as heart attack


a group of signs and symptoms (paleness of skin, weak and rapid pulse, shallow breathing) indicating poor oxygen supply to tissues and insufficient return of blood to the heart


recording (via x-ray images) blood vessels after the injection of contrast into the bloodstream

Cardiac catheterization

introducing a catheter into a vein or artery to measure pressure and flow patterns of blood

Cardiac enzyme test

measurement of enzymes released into the bloodstream after a heart attack (MI)

Doppler ultrasound

measuring blood flow in vessels via sound waves


producing images of the heart via sound waves or echoes


recording electricity flowing through the heart

Holter monitoring

detection of abnormal heart rhythms that involves having a patient wear a compact version of an electrocardiograph for 24 hours

Lipid tests

measurements of cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood

Lipoprotein tests

measurement of HDL and LDL in the blood

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

producing and= image, by beaming magnetic waves at the heart, that gives detailed information about congenital heart disease, cardiac masses, and diseases within large blood vessels

MUGA scan

imaging the motion of the heart wall muscles and assessing the function of the heart via a multiple-gated acquisition scan, which uses radioactive chemicals

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan

radioactive chemicals, which release radioactive particles, are injected into the blood stream and travel to the heart. Cross-sectional images show the flow of blood and the functional activity of the heart muscle

Stress test

an electrocardiogram plus blood pressure and chart rate measurements shows the heart's response to physical exertion (treadmill test)

Technetium Tc 99m sestamibi scan

this radiopharmaceutical is injected intravenously and traced to the heart muscle. If an exercise tolerance test (ETT) is used with it it becomes an ETT-MIBI scan.

Thallium-201 scan

concentration of a radioactive substance (thallium 201) is measured in the myocardium to show evidence of an infarction ("cold spots")


breif discharges of electricity passing across the chest to stop a cardiac arrhythmia (also called defibrillation)

coronary artery bypass graft CABG

Surgical procedure that uses a vessel graft from another part of the body to bypass the blocked part of a coronary artery and restore blood supply to the heart muscle


surgical removal of the innermost lining of an artery to remove fatty deposits and clots

Heart transplantation

a donor heart is transferred to a recipient

Percutaneous coronary intervention PCI

a balloon-tipped catheter is threaded into coronary artery to compress fatty deposits and open the artery. Stents create wider openings that make the recurrence of blockages less likely (also called balloon angioplasty)

Thrombolytic therapy

drugs such as tPA and streptokinase are injected into patients bloodstream to dissolve clots that may cause heart attack


acute coronary syndromes


acute myocardial infarction


blood pressure


coronary artery bypass graft


coronary artery disease


coronary care unit


congestive heart failure








percutaneous coronary intervention (balloon angioplasty)