Heart 101 glossary of terms

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center wants everyone to lead the healthiest life possible. In support of building a healthy community, we've packaged wellness information in an easy-to-understand program called You101.

For patients of our Heart and Vascular Center, we have created Heart101, a special glossary of terms to help you understand the messages from your heart. Check here to learn more about keeping your heart healthy.
  • Angiogram: an X-ray test that uses a special dye and camera to take pictures of the blood flow in an artery or a vein. Learn more
  • Angioplasty: a procedure in which a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through an artery and guided to the place where the artery is narrowed. Learn more
  • Arrhythmia: a condition in which the heart beats too fast, too slow, or with a skipping (irregular) rhythm. Learn more
  • Atherosclerosis: sometimes called "hardening of the arteries," it occurs when fat (cholesterol) and calcium build up in the inner lining of the arteries, forming a substance called plaque. Learn more
  • Bypass Surgery: a procedure in which diseased sections of the coronary arteries are bypassed with healthy artery or vein grafts to increase blood flow to the heart muscle tissue. Learn more
  • Cardiac Catheterization: a test to check the heart. Learn more
  • Catheter: thin, flexible wires inserted into a vein, typically in the groin or neck. Used in procedures such as catheter albation. Learn more
  • Exercise Stress Test: a test that checks for changes in the heart during exercise. Learn more
  • Invasive: a procedure in which the body is "invaded" or entered by a needle, tube, device, or scope.
  • Non-Invasive: a procedure that does not involve tools that break the skin or physically enter the body. Examples include x-rays, a standard eye exam, CT scan, MRI, ECG, and Holter monitoring.
  • PAD: narrowing or blockage of arteries that causes poor blood flow to the arms and legs. Learn more
  • Stent: a small, expandable tube that can be inserted into a blood vessel and expanded using a small balloon. A stent is used to open a narrowed or clotted blood vessel. Learn more 

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You can also click here to search for other health terms at our Online Health Information Center.