Cardiology is a branch of medicine that deals with disorders of the heart and some parts of the circulatory system.
Cardiology is concerned with the normal functionality of the heart and the deviation from a healthy heart. Many disorders involve the heart itself, but some are outside of the heart and in the vascular system. Collectively, the two together are termed the cardiovascular system, and diseases of one part tend to affect the other.
The field includes medical diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure, valvular heart disease, and electrophysiology.
A long tube-like device with an inflatable balloon at its tip end. The balloon can be threaded through an artery to enlarge a narrow opening or passage within the body. Used in angioplasty or valvuloplasty.
Also called valvotomy, is a procedure to repair a heart valve. A balloon-tipped catheter is threaded through an artery and into the heart. The balloon is inflated to open and separate any narrowed or stiffened flaps (called leaflets) of a valve.
An antihypertensive that reduces the blood level by inhibiting the activity of epinephrine (a cardiac enzyme).
A jelly-like mass of blood tissue formed by clotting factors in the blood. Clotting is a necessary process that can prevent you from losing too much blood in certain instances, such as when you’re injured or cut. Clots can also form inside an artery when the artery’s walls are damaged by atherosclerotic buildup, possibly causing a heart attack or stroke.
Body mass index (BMI)
A number indicator of high body fatness an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. BMI is calculated using a formula of weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (BMI =W [kg]/H [m2]).
Bridge to transplant
Use of mechanical circulatory support to keep heart failure patients alive until a donor’s heart becomes available.
Calcium channel blocker (or calcium blocker)
An antihypertensive that reduces the blood level by regulating calcium-related electrical activity in the heart.
Complex substances capable of speeding up certain biochemical processes in the heart muscle. Abnormal levels of these enzymes signal a heart attack.
The amount of blood the heart pumps through the circulatory system in one minute.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
A general term referring to conditions affecting the heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular system). May also simply be called heart disease. Examples include coronary artery disease, valve disease, arrhythmia, peripheral vascular disease, congenital heart defects, hypertension, and cardiomyopathy. Refer to specific conditions for detailed explanations.
A major artery (right and left) in the neck supplying blood to the brain.
A fine, hollow tube that can be inserted into a body cavity, duct, or vessel. A catheter is used to treat diseases or perform a surgical procedure.
A lipid naturally part of the eukaryotic plasma membrane, the body tissues of all animals, and in the blood plasma of vertebrates. Limited amounts are essential for the normal development of cell membranes. Excess amounts can lead to coronary artery disease.
The technique of using moving pictures to show how a special dye passes through blood vessels, allowing doctors to diagnose total or partial obstruction and its exact situation.
Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan)
It is a medical device that uses x-ray images taken from different angles to create cross-sectional images of the body.
Congenital heart defects
Structure malformation of the heart or of its major blood vessels presents at birth.
Congestive heart failure
A chronic progressive condition in which the heart cannot pump all the blood returning to it, leading to a backup of blood in the vessels and an accumulation of fluid in the body’s tissues, including the lungs.
A medical device that helps restore a normal heart rhythm by delivering an electric shock.
Diabetes (diabetes mellitus)
A disease in which the body doesn’t produce (type I diabetes) or properly use insulin (type II diabetes). Insulin introduces glucose (sugar) into the cells and prevents its accumulation in the blood.
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
A medical device that monitors the electric activity associated with heartbeat through several electronic sensors are placed on the body.
A test that can detect and record the brain’s electrical activity. The test is done by pasting metal disks, called electrodes, to the scalp.
Electrophysiological study (EPS)
A medical test used to diagnose patients who have or may have abnormal heart rhythms. An electrical current, by catheterization, stimulates the heart in an effort to provoke an arrhythmia, determine its origin, and test the effectiveness of medicines to treat the arrhythmias.