Glossary Of Cardiovascular Terms Angina: symptoms that occur when the heart muscle can’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. Often appears as pressure, tightness, aching, or pain in the chest, arm, neck, or jaw. Angiogram: a special x-ray of a blood vessel. Aorta: the body’s largest artery. It carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Arrhythmia: an abnormal heartbeat. Arteriosclerosis: when artery walls thicken and lose elasticity. Sometimes called “hardening of the arteries.” Artery: a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body. Atherosclerosis: the buildup of plaque within artery walls. Atria (singular: atrium): the heart’s two upper chambers. They receive blood from the lungs and body. Balloon angioplasty: a procedure that uses a balloon-tipped catheter to open an artery narrowed or blocked by plaque. Blood (serum) cholesterol: a fatty substance produced by the body and carried in the blood. Can build up within artery walls as plaque. Blood pressure: a measurement indicating the force of blood as it presses against artery walls while moving through vessels. Blood vessels: tubes that carry blood throughout the body. Arteries and veins are blood vessels. Bypass: a new pathway for blood flow. CABG (pronounced “cabbage”): another term for coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Cardiomyopathy: weakening of, or structural change in, the heart muscle that reduces the heart’s ability to pump. Catheter: a long, thin, flexible plastic tube. Coronary arteries: blood vessels that wrap around the heart and supply the heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood. Coronary artery disease: blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. Diastolic pressure: the pressure of blood against the inside of artery walls between heartbeats. Appears as the bottom number in a blood pressure measurement. Electrocardiogram: a test that records the way electrical signals move through the heart. Often called an ECG or EKG. Heart attack: an event that occurs when oxygen-rich blood can’t get to part of the heart muscle. Can cause permanent damage. Hypertension: another word for “high blood pressure.” Myocardial infarction: death of heart muscle tissue. Also known as a heart attack. Plaque: a deposit of fatty material (including cholesterol) within artery walls. Pulmonary artery: the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the lungs to get oxygen. Stenosis: the narrowing of an artery, often caused by plaque buildup. Stroke: a blockage or rupture in a blood vessel that cuts off blood flow to part of the brain. May cause brain damage. Also known as a brain attack or CVA (cerebrovascular accident). Systolic pressure: the pressure of blood against the inside of artery walls during a heartbeat (when the heart pumps). Appears as the top number in a blood pressure measurement. Ultrasound: a test that uses sound waves to create images of structures inside the body. Valves: “doorways” that open and close to let blood move and prevent backflow of blood. There are valves between the heart’s chambers. Vein: a blood vessel that carries blood from the body back to the heart. Ventricles: the heart’s two lower chambers. They pump blood to the body and lungs. Locations Patient Forms Hospitals Patient Education Sleep Center CardiaMin Physician Referal Insurance Ask us a question ? Please answer this question7+5=?