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Amyloidosis: variety of conditions in which a protein, called amyloid, is abnormally deposited in any tissue or organ.

Angina: is a pain that comes from the heart. It is usually caused by narrowing of the coronary (cardiac) arteries. The pain can be see, like a heavy weight or a tightening in the upper part of the chest. Pain can irradiate or be present in the neck, jaw, throat, back and arms.

Arrhythmia: heterogeneous group of conditions characterized by an abnormal electrical activity in the heart.

Arterial hypertension: a chronic medical condition characterized by a maintained elevation of blood pressure in the arteries. It is considered that a patient is hypertensive when the systolic blood pressure is = 140 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure = 90 mm Hg. This requires the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels. In most cases the cause is unknown and we speak of essential hypertension. When we know the cause of the hypertension we talk about secondary hypertension.

Atherosclerotic plaque: is a lesion produced by an accumulation of fat and other biological material within the wall of the coronary arteries which reduces the blood flow to some region of the heart. The lesion of the artery wall thickens and occludes, in greater or lesser degree the vessel lumen, and produces a reduction of the blood supply to tissue that artery will irrigate.

Atria: refers to the upper heart chambers in which blood enters the heart. There are two atria, the right that receives the blood from the body and the left atria that receive the blood oxygenated in the lungs. They drive the blood into the ventric les.

Auscultation: allows to hear the sounds of the heart or the vessels blood usually using a stethoscope.

Autonomic nervous system. Part of the peripheral nervous system that function largely below the level of consciousness. It controls visceral function including heart or respiratory rate, digestion, salivation, sweating, pupillary dilation or micturition (urination).

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Bradiarrhythmia: see bradycardia.

Bradycardia: is an abnormally slow heart rate. In adults, it is defined as a heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute.

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Cardiac output: the amount of blood that the ventricles eject within 1 minute.

Cardiovascular risk factors: the majority of cardiovascular diseases are caused by risk factors that can be controlled, treated or modified, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, overweight/obesity, tobacco use, lack of physical activity and diabetes.

Catheter ablation: this invasive technique try to eliminate the cells that can be the origin of the cardiac arrhythmia. This is done using high energy radio frequencies (similar to microwaves) to effectively"cook"the abnormal cells.

Cardiomyopathy: a disease a ffecting the heart muscle that can not function properly. Cardiomyopathy also means weakness of the heart muscle.

Cardiac catheterization: implies the insertion of a thin flexible tube (catheter) into the right or left side of the heart, or a vessel of the heart. The catheter is introduced usually via an artery from the groin or the arm. It allows to measure the pressure in the interior of the cardiac chambers and in the great vessels that connect with the heart, to analyze how the heart contracts or remove a small piece of heart muscle for examination ( cardiac biopsy).

Catheter: is a tube that can be inserted into a body cavity, duct, or vessel

Cell membrane ( plasma membrane): is the structure that separates the interior of the cells from the outside environment.

Cerebrovascular accident/disease: see Stroke.

C ongenital heart desease: a defect in the structure of the heart (atria, ventricles or cardiac valves) and great vessels which is present at birth.

Coronary artery disease: results when the arteries that bring blood and oxygen to the heart are blocked. Usually, this is the result of the progression of atheromatous plaques within the walls of the coronary arteries or thrombus occlude the lumen of the coronary arteries. The reduction in oxygen supply (ischemia) can produce a painful we call angina or death ( necrosis) of heart muscle; in the latter case we speak of myocardial infarction.

Coronary thrombosis: this term describes the obstruction of a coronary artery secondary to blood clotting within the artery.

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Diabetes mellitus: metabolic diseases characterized by an increase in blood sugar (hyperglucemia), either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because the body does not use the insulin properly. As a consequence, insulin is used to treat some forms of diabetes mellitus.

Diastole. The relaxation of the cardiac muscle tissue is called diastole. When the ventricles relax, they make room to accept the blood from the atria; when the atria relax, they are filled with blood coming from the different tissues of the body.

Dilated cardiomyopathy: the heart chambers present a progressive dilatation and the heart muscle doesn't contract normally. It can be produced by a variety of metabolic and infectious diseases, ttoxic agents or drugs.

Dyslipemia: it may be manifested by elevation the total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") and the triglyceride concentrations, and a decrease in the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ("good cholesterol") concentration in the blood.

Dyslipidemia: see dyslipemia.

Disnea: A subjective experience of breathing discomfort, difficulty in breathing, uncomfortable awareness of breathing, breathlessness.

Dizziness: is often caused by a decrease in blood supply to the brain. Dizziness is a word that is used to describe different things, including vertigo, or feeling faint, or feeling light-headed, or feeling weak, or feeling unsteady.

Doppler echocardiography: this diagnostic technique uses ultrasounds to measure variations in blood flow in different parts of the heart or through the blood vessels (arteries or veins). It can assess how well the heart valves are working.

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Echocardiogram: is a noninvasive diagnostic tool that uses high frequency sound waves ( ultrasound frequency 2-7 mHz) to obtain accurate pictures of the heart muscle, heart chambers, and structures within the heart such as the valves. A probe connected by a wire to the ultrasound machine and monitor is placed on your chest. To provide good contract between the probe with the skin lubricating jelly is put on your chest. Pulses of ultrasound are sent from the probe through the skin towards your heart. The ultrasound waves then echo ('bounce back') from the heart and various structures in the heart. The echocardiogram allows to measure the size, hickness, diameter and movement of the cardiac chambers as well as the blood movement throughout these structures

Edema: abnormal accumulation of fluid in or around cells, tissues or serous cavities of the body

Electrocardiogram (ECG): is a simple, painless test that records the electrical activity of the heart to diagnose and assess the risk of any arrhythmia. Small adhesive electrodes are placed on the chest, arms and legs and wires from the electrodes are connected to the ECG machine. The machine detects and amplifies the electrical impulses that occur at each heartbeat and records them on to a paper or computer. A n ECG can help to find the cause of symptoms such as palpitations or chest pain.

Electrical cardioversion: a procedure used to convert an abnormal heart rhythm (such as atrial fibrillation) to a normal rhythm (sinus rhythm). Electrical cardioversion requires the administration of an electrical shock over the chest. This electrical shock stops the abnormal electrical activity of the heart for a brief moment and allows the normal heart rhythm to take over.

Embolism: is a foreign body, such as a blood clot, a peace of an atherosclerotic plaque or an air bubble, that travels through the bloodstream and becomes lodged in a blood vessel, blocking the flow of blood.

Endotelium: the thin layer of cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels forming an interface between circulating blood and the rest of the vessel wall. The endothelium separates the blood from the extravascular space. The endothelium releases several molecules that regulate the vessel diameter and the coagulation of the blood avoiding the thrombus formation.

Extrasystole: a premature cardiac contraction that is independent of the normal rhythm and arises in response to an impulse outside the sinoatrial node. This premature contraction may be perceived as a"skipped beat"or felt as palpitations in the chest. The extrasystole does not indicate the existence of a cardiac disease and its appearance in quite frequency under stress conditions.

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Fainting: see syncope

Fatigue: a feeling of lack of energy and motivation that can be physical (lack of energy, feeling weak or being constantly tired), mental or both.

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Great vessels: this term used to refer to the large vessels that bring blood to and from the heart. They are the superior and the i nferior vena cava, the p ulmonary arteries and veins and the aorta.

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Heart failure: means that your heart can not pump the full amount of blood in each hear beat to meet the demands or needs of the organism. It can result from any structural or functional cardiac disorder.

Heart rate: number of times the heart beats per unit of time; typically expressed as beats per minute ( bpm).

Hemorrhagic stroke: is caused by an intracerebral haemorrhage (the blood vessel bursts inside the brain) or a subarachnoid hemorrhage (the blood vessel bursts in the subarachnoid space, a narrow space between the brain and the skull).

Holter monitor: portable ambulatory electrocardiography device for the continuous monitoring of the electrical activity of the heart for at least 24 hours. Adhesive electrodes are placed on the patient's chest and connected to a small recorder, which generally is placed around the waist. It is used in patients with suspected or diagnosed cardiac arrhythmias.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: It occurs when heart muscle cells enlarge and cause the walls of the ventricles (usually the left ventricle) to thicken. IThe heart muscle is thickened, which can obstruct blood flow and prevent the heart from functioning properly.

Hyperthyroidism: means an overactivity of the thyroid gland (it produces too much thyroxine).

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Ion: is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons. Ions charged negatively are called anions and those cjharged positively are called cations

Isquemia: transient or permanent reduction in blood supply to tissues that reduces the supplyu of oxygen and glucose needed for the cellular metabolism.

Ischemic heart disease: see Coronary artery disease.

Ischaemic stroke: blood supply to part of the brain is decreased, leading to dysfunction of the brain tissue in that area. It is caused by a: a) t hrombosis (obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot forming locally), b) embolism (obstruction due to an embolus from elsewhere in the body); 3) a decrease in blood supply, and 4) v enous thrombosis

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Lightheadedness (Presyncope): feeling like you might faint

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Myocardial infarction (Heart attack): is usually caused by a blood clot or an atherosclerotic plaque within the wall of the coronary arteries, which produce a partial or complete stops the blood flowing to a part of the heart muscle. The result is the death ( necrosis) of the cardiac cells.

Myocardial ischemia: it occurs when there is a partial or complete decrease in the blood flow of the coronary arteries that irrigate the heart. This decrease in blood flow reduces the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. A sudden, severe reduction of coronary blood flow can produce a heart attack and serious cardiac arrhythmias. In most cases, myocardial ischemia is caused by a transient or permanent obstruction of the coronary arteries due to plaque of atheroma or a thrombus.

Myocardiopathy: a progressive disease that alters the structure of t he heart muscle (myocardium), so that it loses its ability to effectively pump the blood. It may result from known causes ( certain infections, drugs and alcohol), genetic alterations or may be due to no identifiable cause.

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Nodo auriculo-ventricular: estructura localizada en la región infero-posterior del tabique interauricular en la aurícula derecha. Under normal conditions, electrical signals from the atria must pass through the AV node to reach the ventricles. Impulse conduction is slowed at this level before the impulses pass down through to the ventricles. This delay ensures that the atria have an opportunity to fully contract before the ventricles are stimulated.

Nutrient: a substance that an organism needs to live and grow or a substance used in an organism's metabolism which must be taken in from its environment.

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Organ: is a structure that contains at least two different types of tissue functioning together to serve a common function.

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Pacemaker: is a small, battery-operated device. Electrodes from the pacemaker are placed in the right side of the heart. Signals are sent to the electrodes to stimulate the heart. It helps to maintain a normal heartbeat by sending electrical impulses to the heart. It is a very effective treatment of the bradycardia. People with implanted pacemakers have a very good prognosis.

Palpitaciones: the sensation of skkiping a heart beat or that the heart is running away.

Physiologic: normal functioning of an organ, tissue or living organism.

Poliuria: excessive secretion of urine.

Presyncope: is a feeling of lightheadedness, muscular weakness, and feeling faint.

Prevalence: is the proportion of individuals in one population having a disease or a risk factor for a given disease.

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Refractory period: this is the period of time during which the heart does not respond to an electrical stimuli which a contractile response

Risk factors: are those that increase the probability of developing a cardiovascular disease ( coronary heart disease and stroke) over time. Risk factors include age ( > 65 years), high blood pressure, cholesterol, overweight/obesity, tobacco use, lack of physical activity and diabet.

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Sino-atrial node: is a small structure located in the upper part of the right atrium. It contains a set of cells that under normal conditions generate electrical pulses or heartbeats, determining the individual 's heart rate. The sino-atrial node is the pacemaker of the heart, i.e. the director or the battery who determines your heart rate adjusting it to the needs of the moment.

Sinus rhythm: is the normal regular rhythm of the heart driven by the activity of the pacemaker of the heart called the sinoatrial (or sinus) node. It means that in the adult, the heart is beating between 60 and 80 beats per minute.

Stethoscope: is an acoustic medical device for auscultation, i.e., listening the heart sounds.

Stroke (brain attack): means that the blood supply to a part of the brain is suddenly reduced or cut off. Because the brain cells need a constant supply of oxygen from the blood, soon after the blood supply is cut off, the cells in the affected area of brain become damaged, or die. A stroke is sometimes called a brain attack. Symptoms depend on the part of the brain affected; the defect in the brain is usually on the opposite side of the body.

Syncope (fainting): temporary loss of consciousness followed by the spontaneous return to full wakefulness without reanimation.

Systole: The contraction of the cardiac muscle tissue (atria or ventricles) is called systole. When the ventricles contract, they pump the blood from their chambers into the arteries, the pulmonary artery the right ventricle and the aorta the left ventricle. The left ventricle empties into the aorta and the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery.

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Tachycardia: this means that the heart rate that exceeds the normal range, i.e. a heart rate over 100 beats per minute.

Thorax: That portion of the body trunk above the diaphragm and below the neck.

Thrombosis: formation of a blood clot ( thrombus) within the wall of a blood vessel or within the heart.

Tricuspide valve: it allows the blood to flow from the right atrium into the right ventricle. It prevents the blood from flowing backwards into the right atria when the right ventricle contracts.

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Valve stenosis: the valve is narrowed and does not open fully. So, there is some restriction in blood flow through the valve.

Valve regurgitation: the valve does not close properly and there is backflow of blood through the leaky valve.

Valvular heart disease: is a disease process that affects one or more valves of the heart. There are four common types of valve problem: mitral stenosis, mitral regurgitation, aortic stenosis and aortic regurgitation.

Veins: Blood vessels that return blood toward the heart from the circulation.

Ventricles: lower heart chambers beneath the atria. They are responsible for pumping blood from the heart to the lungs (right ventricle) or the aorta ( left ventricle).

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