Pericarditis Glossary of Terms

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

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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Adenovirus: One of a group of viruses that can cause infections of the lung, stomach, inte...

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Analgesic: A drug that relieves pain.

Analysis: In psychology, a term for conversation-based therapeutic processes used to gain ...

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

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Aortic: Pertaining to the aorta, the largest artery in the body.

Aortic dissection: A progressive tear in the aorta. The inner lining (intima) of the aorta...

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

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

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

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Blood count: The calculated number of white or red blood cells (WBCs or RBCs) in a cubic m...

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

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Breast cancer: Breast cancer is diagnosed with self- and physician-examination of the brea...

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

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C-reactive protein: An acute-phase plasma protein whose blood concentration reflects the p...

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

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Cancer causes: In most individual cases of cancer, the exact cause of cancer is unknown. T...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Cardiac tamponade: A life-threatening situation in which there is such a large amount of f...

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CBC: A commonly used abbreviation in medicine that stands for complete blood count, a set...

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

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Complete blood count: A set values of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These meas...

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Compression: 1. The act of pressing together. As in a compression fracture, nerve c...

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Constrictive pericarditis: Scarring of the pericardial sac. This limits the ability of the...

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Contusion: Another name for a bruise. What is a bruise ? A bruise, or contusion, is caused...

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CRP: C-reactive protein.

CT scan: Computed tomography scan. Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this...

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

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Dialysis: The process of removing waste products and excess fluid from the body. Dialysis ...

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Dilating: The widening and opening of an opening, such as the cervix or esophagus. For exa...

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Dissection: The process of cutting apart or separating tissue as, for example, in the stud...

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Distention: The state of being distended, enlarged, swollen from internal pressure.

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

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Effusion: Too much fluid, an outpouring of fluid. For example, a pleural effusion is an ab...

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

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Embolism: The obstruction of a blood vessel by a foreign substance or a blood clot that tr...

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Endocarditis: an inflammation of one or more of the heart valves and lining tissues of the...

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Enzymes: Proteins that act as a catalysts in mediating and speeding a specific chemical re...

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Epstein-Barr virus: A virus in the herpes family that is best known as the cause of infect...

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Erythrocyte: A cell that contains hemoglobin and can carry oxygen to the body. Also called...

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Esophagitis: Inflammation of the esophagus.

Esophagus: The tube that connects the pharynx (throat) with the stomach. The esophagus lie...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Fungi: Plural of fungus.

Gastritis: Inflammation of the stomach.

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 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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Herpes: A family of viruses. Herpes also refers to infection with one of the human herpesv...

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Herpes simplex type 1: A herpes virus that causes cold sores and fever blisters in and aro...

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HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

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Human immunodeficiency virus: HIV, the cause of AIDS. HIV has also previously been called ...

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

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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

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Immunodeficiency: The inability to form a normal immune response. Immunodeficiency can be ...

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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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Influenza: Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses Mo...

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

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Jugular vein: The jugular veins are in the neck and drain blood from the head, brain, face...

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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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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells. Strictly speaking, leukemia should refer only to canc...

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

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Lung cancer: Cancer of the major organ of respiration - the lung. Lung cancer is one of th...

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

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Lymphoma: A tumor of the lymphoid tissue. The major types of lymphoma are Hodgkin's diseas...

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Malaise: A vague feeling of discomfort, one that cannot be pinned down but is often sensed...

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Measles: An acute and highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, runny nose,...

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Membrane: A very thin layer of tissue that covers a 'surface.

Mononucleosis: Infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV, human herpesvirus 4, HHV-4) in...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Mumps: An acute (sudden, shortlived) viral illness that usually presents with inflammation...

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

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

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

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Parietal: Adjective from the Latin "parietalis" meaning "belonging to the wall" that the a...

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Pericardial: Referring to the pericardium, the sac of fibrous tissue that surrounds the he...

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Pericardial effusion: Too much fluid within the pericardium, which normally contains a sma...

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Pericardial sac: A conical sac of fibrous tissue which surrounds the heart and the roots o...

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Pericardial tamponade: A life-threatening situation in which there is such a large amount...

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Pericarditis: Inflammation of the lining around the heart (the pericardium) that causes ch...

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

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

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

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulmonary artery: One of the two vessels which are formed as terminal branches of the pulm...

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Pulmonary embolism: Sudden closure of a pulmonary artery or one of its branches, caused by...

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Pulmonary vein: One of four vessels that carry aerated blood from the lungs to the left at...

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Radiate: To spread out from a central area. For example, sciatic pain may radiate outward ...

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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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Recur: To occur again; to return. For example, a symptom, sign, or disease can recur.

Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission. The reappearance ...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

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

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

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Sedimentation rate: A blood test that detects and monitors inflammation in the body. Abbre...

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

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Shoulder: A structure made up of two main bones: the scapula (shoulder blade) and the hume...

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Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in the fluid surrounding cells in the body. The ch...

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Stethoscope: An instrument that is used to transmit low-volume sounds such as a heartbeat ...

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

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Syncope: Partial or complete loss of consciousness with interruption of awareness of one...

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

Tachypnea: Abnormally fast breathing.

Therapeutic: Relating to therapeutics, the branch of medicine that is concerned specifical...

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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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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Tuberculin: A protein extracted from Mycobacterium tuberculosis that is used in a skin tes...

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Tuberculosis: A highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium called Mycobacteriu...

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

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Urea: A nitrogen-containing substance normally cleared from the blood by the kidney into t...

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Uremia: The presence of excessive amounts of urea¬ in the blood, which may be a sign of ki...

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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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Vena cava: The superior vena cava is the large vein which returns blood to the heart from ...

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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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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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

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Visceral: Referring to the viscera, the internal organs of the body, specifically those wi...

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

White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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White blood cell count (leukocyte count): The number of white blood cells (WBCs) in the b...

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