Glossary

( A – B ) ( C – D ) ( E – L ) ( M – Z )

 

A – B

Angina Pectoris: Chest pain caused by an inadequate supply of blood to the heart.

Angiography: A diagnostic procedure in which catheters are passed through the arteries of the heart. Pressures are measured and blood samples are taken from within the heart and its major blood vessels.

Angioplasty: A minimally invasive procedure where a balloon dilation catheter is passed through to the blocked area of an artery. Once inflated, the catheter compresses the plaque against the blood vessel wall. An angioplasty can also be performed with a stent and/or atherectomy.

Ankle Brachial Index (ABI): A non-invasive test that evaluates the ratio of blood pressure measurements in ankles and arms to screen for presence of peripheral vascular disease.

Anticoagulant: A substance that slows down the clotting of blood.

Artery: Blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to various parts of the body. Arteries usually carry oxygenated blood, except for the pulmonary artery, which carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs for oxygenation.

Atherectomy: A minimally invasive intervention procedure that involves the excision and removal of blockages by catheters with miniature cutting systems.

Atherosclerosis: Narrowing or blockage of arteries caused by a build-up of fat (cholesterol) within the artery wall. The build-up is sometimes referred to as “plaque.”

Balloon Dilation Catheter: An inflatable device used for stretching and compressing plaque against blood vessel walls during angioplasty.

Brachial: Pertaining to the arm.

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C – D

Cardiac Catheterization Lab (Cath Lab): A sterile x-ray theatre in which heart catheterization is performed.

Cardiologist: A physician skilled in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease.

Catheter: A hollow, flexible tube used to withdraw or inject fluid into the body.

Cholesterol: A waxy substance found only in food that comes from animals.

Circulation: The movement of blood through the vessels of the body, which is induced by the pumping action of the heart, enabling the flow of nutrients and oxygen through the body.

Claudication: Pain in the legs that occurs with work or exercise.

Coronary: Of, relating to, or being the the arteries of the heart.

Coronary Arteries: The blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the aorta to the heart muscle. There are three major coronary arteries – The right coronary artery, the left anterior descending, and the circumflex.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): The formation of blockages or atherosclerotic lesions within coronary arteries that result in restricted blood flow.

Diabetes: A disease in which the body doesn’t produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is needed to convert sugar and starch into the energy needed in daily life. The full name for this condition is diabetes mellitus.

Dilation: The gradual opening of the narrowed coronary artery by cracking and compressing the narrowing or obstructing plaque.

Dilation Catheter: (See Balloon Dilation Catheter)

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E – L

Femoral: Pertaining to the thigh.

Fluoroscope: An x-ray monitor that reveals the arteries.

Guidewire: A device used to guide the placement of a catheter into a vessel.

Guiding Catheter: A hollow tube through which fluids or objects can be introduced or removed from the body.

Heart Attack: A condition in which a blocked artery prevents sufficient blood flow to the heart muscle, causing the tissue to die. Also called myocardial infarction (MI), it can result in cardiac arrest.

Hypertension: High blood pressure, usually ranging from 140/90 to 200/110.

Left Coronary Artery (LCA): One of the two main coronary arteries that supplies blood to the heart. The LCA supplies about 65 percent of the heart’s blood.

Local Anesthetic: A substance used to numb the area to which it is applied.

Lumen: The inner channel or cavity of a vessel or tube.

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M – Z

Percutaneous: Performed through the skin.

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI): A non-surgical procedure using catheters to open narrowed or blocked arteries in order to restore blood flow.

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA): Also referred to as Angioplasty. See Angioplasty.

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD): Disease which affects the arterial systems outside the heart, especially those of the extremities.

Plaque (or Atherosclerosis): An accumulation or build-up of fatty deposits, calcium and/or cell debris in an artery that leads to narrowing of the lumen.

Stent: A tiny, latticed metal tube that is implanted into an artery during an angioplasty, providing necessary scaffolding to hold the artery open to ensure blood flow to the heart.

Transluminal: Passing across or performed by way of a lumen.

Transradial: Through the radial artery, near the wrist.

Vein: Blood vessel that returns blood to the heart from various parts of the body. Veins usually carry deoxygenated blood, except for the pulmonary vein, which carries oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart.

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Information presented in this Patient Healthcare Guide is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent disease, and should not be used in place of a visit to your doctor or healthcare provider. Discuss this information with your physician or healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.