Cardiomyopathy Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Cardiomyopathy article.

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acquired: Not inherited, or present at birth (congenital), but developing after birth. For...

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Acromegaly: Condition due to the production of too much growth hormone by the pituitary gl...

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Alcohol abuse: Use of alcoholic beverages to excess, either on individual occasions (binge...

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Amyloid: Any of a number of complex proteins that are deposited in tissues and that share ...

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Amyloidosis: A group of diseases that result from the abnormal deposition of a protein, ca...

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Anatomy: The study of human or animal form, by observation or examination of the living be...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Angiotensin: A family of peptides that constrict blood vessels. Narrowing the diameter of ...

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Angiotensin converting enzyme: Usually abbreviated ACE.

Arsenic: A metallic element that forms a number of poisonous compounds, arsenic is found i...

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Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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Atrium: An entry chamber. On both sides of the heart, the atrium is the chamber that leads...

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Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the...

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Beta blocker: A class of drugs that block the effect of beta-adrenergic substances such as...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Carbon dioxide: A gas which is the byproduct of cellular metabolism and which collects in ...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Cardiac output: The amount of blood the heart pumps through the circulatory system in a mi...

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Cardiomyopathy: Disease of the heart muscle (myocardium).

Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood ve...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Chest X-ray: A type of X-ray commonly used to detect abnormalities in the lungs. A chest X...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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Collagen: The principal protein of the skin, tendons, cartilage, bone, and connective tiss...

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Collagen disease: A disease that damages collagen or other components of connective tissue...

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Congestive heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it, with f...

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Contraction: The tightening and shortening of a muscle.

Defibrillator: A device that corrects an abnormal heart rhythm by delivering electrical sh...

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Dermatomyositis: A chronic inflammatory disease of skin and muscle which is associated wit...

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Diabetes: Usually refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabe...

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Diabetes mellitus: More commonly referred to as "diabetes" -- a chronic disease associated...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Dilatation: The process of enlargement or expansion. Also known as dilation.

Dilated cardiomyopathy: A disorder in which the chambers of the heart are dilated (enlarge...

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

Ejection fraction: The percentage of blood that is pumped out of a filled ventricle as a r...

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Electrocardiogram: A recording of the electrical activity of the heart. Abbreviated ECG an...

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Electrolyte: A substance that dissociates into ions in solution and acquires the capacity ...

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Endocrine: Pertaining to hormones and the glands that make and secrete them into the blood...

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Enzyme: Proteins that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction in a living organism. An e...

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Extrinsic: 1. Not an essential or inherent part of a something such as a structure....

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Fabry disease: A genetic disease caused by a mutation in the GLA gene, resulting in a defi...

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Familial: A condition that tends to occur more often in family members than is expected by...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Fibrillation: In cardiology, an abnormal and erratic twitching of the heart muscle.

Gaucher disease: A series of disorders that are due to deficient activity of the enzyme gl...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Heart muscle: A type of muscle with unique features only found in the heart. The heart mus...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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Heart valves: There are four heart valves. All are one-way valves. Blood entering the ...

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Hemochromatosis: An inherited disorder characterized by abnormally high absorption of iron...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hyperparathyroidism: Too much parathyroid hormone resulting in abnormally high levels of ...

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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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Hypertrophic: Exhibiting hypertrophy (enlargement or overgrowth of an organ or part of the...

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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: A heart defect characterized by increased thickness (hypertro...

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Hypertrophy: Enlargement or overgrowth of an organ or part of the body due to the increase...

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Hypothyroid: Deficiency of thyroid hormone which is normally made by the thyroid gland wh...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Infiltrate: To penetrate. For example, a cancer may grow into, or infiltrate, surrounding ...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Intrinsic: 1. An essential or inherent part of a something such as a structure.
...

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Jugular: The principal vein in the front of either side of the neck. The word comes from t...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Kwashiorkor: A childhood disease that is caused by protein deprivation. Early signs includ...

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Left ventricle: The left lower chamber of the heart that receives blood from the left atri...

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Lethal: Deadly.

Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Lupus: A chronic inflammatory disease that is caused by autoimmunity. Patients with lupus ...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Mortality: Susceptible to death.

Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Muscular: Having to do with the muscles. Also, endowed with above average muscle developme...

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Muscular dystrophy: One of a group of genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakne...

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Myocarditis: Inflammation of the myocardium, the heart muscle.

Myocardium: The heart muscle.

Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Neuromuscular: Pertaining to both nerves and muscles, as in neuromuscular blockade by an a...

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Obese: Well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be ob...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pacemaker: A system that sends electrical impulses to the heart in order to set the hear...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Palpitations: Unpleasant sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart. In ...

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Pericardium: The conical sac of fibrous tissue that surrounds the heart and the roots of ...

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Pituitary: 1. As an adjective, pertaining to the pituitary gland or its hormonal se...

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Polyarteritis nodosa: An autoimmune disease that is characterized by spontaneous inflammat...

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Preeclampsia: A condition in pregnancy characterized by abrupt hypertension (a sharp rise...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Regimen: A plan or a regulated course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment, that is des...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

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Respiratory rate: The number of breaths per minute or, more formally, the number of moveme...

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Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of joint...

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Sarcoidosis: A disease of unknown origin that causes small lumps (granulomas) due to chron...

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Scleroderma: A disease of connective tissue that causes scar tissue (fibrosis) to form in ...

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Scurvy: A disorder that is caused by lack of vitamin C. Symptoms include anemia; soft, ble...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Stem cell: One of the human body's master cells, with the ability to grow into any one of ...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Stroke volume: The amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle of the heart in one contra...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Systemic lupus erythematosus: A chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune di...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Thiamine: Vitamin B1. Thiamine (vitamin B1) acts as a coenzyme in the metabolism of the bo...

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Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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Trimester: In obstetrics, one of the three divisions of three months each during pregnancy...

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Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Unconscious: 1. Interruption of awareness of oneself and one's surroundings, lack ...

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Ventricle: A chamber of an organ. For example, the four connected cavities in the central ...

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Ventricles: 1, The right ventricle and the left ventricle, the lower two chambers o...

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Ventricular: Pertaining to the ventricles, the lower chambers of the heart, as in ventricu...

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Ventricular fibrillation: An abnormal and irregular heart rhythm in which there are rapid ...

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Viral infection: Infection caused by the presence of a virus in the body. Depending on th...

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

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Vitamin B1: Thiamine. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) acts as a coenzyme in the metabolism of the bo...

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Vitamin C: An essential nutrient found mainly in fruits and vegetables. The body requires ...

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Water retention: A nonspecific term meaning the accumulation of excess fluids in body tiss...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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Medical Dictionary