Congestive Heart Failure Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Congestive Heart Failure article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal cavity: The cavity within the abdomen, the space between the abdominal wall and...

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

Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Advance directives: These directives pertain to treatment preferences and the designation ...

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Aerobic: Oxygen-requiring. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen to grow. Aerobic exercise requires...

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Aerobic exercise: Brisk exercise that promotes the circulation of oxygen through the blood...

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Aging: The process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environ...

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Alcoholism: Physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use would b...

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

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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Angioplasty: Procedure with a balloon-tipped catheter to enlarge a narrowing in a coronary...

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

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Aorta: The largest artery in the body, the aorta arises from the left ventricle of the he...

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Arrhythmia: An abnormal heart rhythm.

Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Artificial heart: A human-made heart. An artificial heart is a mechanical pump that is use...

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Ascites: An abnormal accumulation of fluid within the abdomen. There are many causes of as...

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Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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Asymptomatic: Without symptoms. For example, an asymptomatic infection is an infection wit...

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Atherosclerotic: Pertaining to atherosclerosis, the process of progressive thickening and ...

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Atria: The plural of atrium.

Atrial: Pertaining to the atria, the upper chambers of the heart, as in atrial fibrillatio...

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Atrial fibrillation: An abnormal and irregular heart rhythm in which electrical signals ar...

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

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Blood sugar: Blood glucose. See also: High blood sugar; Low blood sugar.

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Bridge: A set of one or more false teeth supported by a metal framework, used to replace ...

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Bronchitis: Inflammation and swelling of the bronchi. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic.

Bypass: An operation in which a new pathway is created for the transport of substances in ...

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CABG: Coronary artery bypass graft; and Coronary artery bypass grafting.

Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Cardiac rehabilitation: A program for people with heart disease designed to reduce future ...

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Cardiologist: A physician who specializes in treating heart disorders.

Cardiology: The study and treatment of heart disorders.

Cardiomyopathy: Disease of the heart muscle (myocardium).

Cardioverter: Although cardioversion (the conversion of one cardiac rhythm to another) may...

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Catheter: A thin, flexible tube.

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

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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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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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: COPD. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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Circulatory: Having to do with circulation, the movement of fluid in a regular or circuito...

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Circulatory system: The system that moves blood throughout the body. The circulatory syste...

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Clinical trial: A study that is intended to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of medic...

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

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Cocaine: A substance derived from the leaves of the coca plant that is a bitter, addictive...

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Complementary medicine: A group of diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines that are used to...

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Congenital: A condition that is present at birth, whether or not it is inherited.

Congestion: An abnormal or excessive accumulation of a body fluid. The term is used broadl...

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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.

Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Coronary arteries: The vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood rich in oxygen. The...

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Coronary artery bypass graft: Abbreviated CABG. A form of bypass surgery that can create n...

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Coronary artery disease: Impedance or blockage of one or more arteries that supply blood t...

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Coronary bypass: A bypass of a plaque within a coronary artery using part of a vein as a g...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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

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

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Diastole: The time period when the heart is in a state of relaxation and dilatation (expan...

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Diastolic: Referring to the time when the heart is in a period of relaxation and dilatatio...

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Diuretic: Something that promotes the formation of urine by the kidney. All diuretics caus...

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Durable power of attorney: A type of advance medical directive in which legal documents pr...

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Dyspnea: Difficult or labored breathing; shortness of breath. Dyspnea is a sign of serious...

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ECG: Electrocardiogram.

Echocardiography: Echocardiography is a diagnostic test which uses ultrasound waves to mak...

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Edema: The swelling of soft tissues as a result of excess fluid accumulation. Edema is oft...

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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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Emphysema: is a lung condition featuring an abnormal accumulation of air due to enlargemen...

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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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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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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.

Flu: Flu is a colloquialism for influenza. The flu is an acute respiratory illness caused ...

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Flutter: Flutter is a rapid vibration or pulsation. The difference between flutter and fib...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Graft: Healthy skin, bone, kidney, liver, or other tissue that is taken from one part of t...

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HDL: High density lipoprotein.

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 transplant: A surgical procedure in which a diseased heart is replaced with a healt...

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

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

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hospice: A program or facility that provides special care for people who are near the end ...

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

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

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Idiopathic: Of unknown cause. Any disease that is of uncertain or unknown origin may be te...

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Infarction: The formation of an infarct, an area of tissue death, due to a local lack of o...

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

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

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Left atrium: The upper right chamber of the heart. The left atrium receives oxygenated blo...

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

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Left ventricular assist device: See: Ventricular assist device.

Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Lipid: Another word for "fat." (Please see the various meanings of fat.) A lipid is chemic...

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

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Living will: An advance medical directive that specifies what types of medical treatment a...

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Low blood pressure: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individua...

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Lower leg: The lower leg is the bottom segment of the leg: the part below the knee.

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

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LVAD: Left ventricular assist device. See: Ventricular assist device.

Magnesium: A mineral involved in many processes in the body including nerve signaling, the...

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Magnetic resonance imaging: A procedure that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer t...

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Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the whole range of biochemical processes that occur wit...

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Metabolic syndrome: A constellation of conditions that place people at high risk for coron...

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Mortality: Susceptible to death.

MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

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

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Myocardial infarction: A heart attack. Abbreviated MI.

Natriuretic: Causing natriuresis, the excretion of an excessively large amount of sodium ...

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Natriuretic peptide: One of the peptides that causes natriuresis, the excretion of an exce...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Orthopnea: The inability to breathe easily except when sitting up straight or standing ere...

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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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Peptide: A molecule consisting of 2 or more amino acids. Peptides are smaller than protein...

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

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Physiologic: Something that is normal, that is due neither to anything pathologic nor sign...

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Pitting edema: Observable swelling of body tissues due to fluid accumulation that may be d...

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Plaque:1. An semi-hardened accumulation of substances from fluids that bathe an are...

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Pneumonia: Inflammation of one or both lungs, with dense areas of lung inflammation. Pneum...

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Potassium: The major positive ion (cation) found inside cells. The chemical notation for p...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulmonary edema: Fluid in the lungs.

Quality of life: The patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Radioactive: Emitting energy waves due to decaying atomic nuclei. Radioactive substances a...

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Receptor: 1. In cell biology, a structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cel...

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Refractory: Not yielding, or not yielding readily, to treatment.

Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who has suffered an illness or injury rest...

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Right atrium: The right upper chamber of the heart. The right atrium receives deoxygenated...

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Right heart: The right atrium and right ventricle.

Right ventricle: The lower right chamber of the heart that receives deoxygenated blood fro...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Scrotum: The pouch of skin that contains the testes, epididymides, and lower portions of t...

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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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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Smooth muscle: Along with skeletal and cardiac muscle, one of the types of muscle tissue i...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stenotic: Narrowed, as in a stenotic artery. From the Greek "stenos" meaning narrow.

Stent: A tube designed to be inserted into a vessel or passageway to keep it open. Stents ...

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Strain: 1. An injury to a tendon or muscle resulting from overuse or trauma. 2. A heredita...

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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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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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

Systolic: The blood pressure when the heart is contracting. It is specifically the maximum...

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Tachycardia: A rapid heart rate, usually defined as greater than 100 beats per minute.

Tenormin: See: Atenolol.

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

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

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Tibia: The larger of the two long bones in the lower leg. The tibia is familiarly known as...

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Tired: A feeling of a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency of accomplishment,...

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Transplant: The grafting of a tissue from one place to another, just as in botany a bu...

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Treadmill: A machine with a moving strip on which one walks without moving forward. A trea...

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Triglycerides: The major form of fat stored by the body. A triglyceride consists of three ...

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

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Vaccination: Injection of a killed microbe in order to stimulate the immune system against...

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Vasoconstriction: Narrowing of the blood vessels that results from contraction of the musc...

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Vasodilators: Agents that act as blood vessel dilators (vasodilators) and open vessels by ...

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Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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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 arrhythmias: Abnormal rapid heart rhythms (arrhythmias) that originate in the ...

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Ventricular assist device: A mechanical pump that takes over the function of the damaged v...

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

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Ventricular tachycardia: An abnormal heart rhythm that is rapid and regular and that origi...

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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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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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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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