angiogram – x-ray image of an artery or a vein filled with contrast media; a diagnostic procedure is generally referred to as an angiogram.
angioplasty – the use of an inflatable balloon catheter to internally dilate a narrowed blood vessel.
anticoagulant – a drug which prevents the clotting of blood
aortic valve – the valve between the left ventricle and the aorta
arteries – blood vessels which carry blood away from the heart
atrioventricular valve – valve between each atrium and ventricle (tricuspid and mitral valves)
atrium – the upper receiving chambers of the heart
calcification – calcium present in the blood may collect and deposit calcified masses in body tissues, such as the leaflets of heart valves, which reduce the flexibility of the leaflets
cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) – a machine used during certain surgical heart procedures that takes over the function of your heart and lungs on a temporary basis. Also called the heart-lung machine.
catheter – a tube, either flexible or non flexible, that is used to add, remove or transfer fluids or instruments used in minimally invasive procedures.
catheterization – to insert a slender tube into a body passage, vessel or cavity
commissures – regions where the individual valve leaflets come together
congenital – existing from time of birth
deoxygenated – free of oxygen
diastole – period of the cardiac cycle when the heart relaxes to allow blood flow into the ventricles.
echocardiography – ultrasonic waves directed through the chest wall to graphically record the position and motion of the heart walls, valves and internal heart structures
electrocardiography – a tracing showing the changes in electric activity associated with contractions of the heart
endocarditis – inflammation or infection of the lining of the heart and valve leaflets
endovascular – vascular procedures performed using (minimally invasive) catheter-directed techniques from within blood vessels.
fibrillation – rapid irregular contractions of the heart
hypertrophy – a considerable increase in the size of an organ or tissue
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – a diagnostic test that uses a magnetic field to transmit signals from the hydrogen ions in your body. These are processed through a computer and produce a tissue image, often without the use of a contrast medium.
minimally invasive procedures – procedures that can be performed through small incisions that usually result in more rapid patient recovery.
mitral valve – the valve that separates the left atrium from the left ventricle
myocardial infarction – death of myocardial tissue, usually resulting from a disruption in oxygen supply to the tissue. Also called a heart attack.
myocardium – the muscle of the heart
oxygenated – combined with oxygen
pericardial valve – tissue valve made from bovine (cow) pericardial tissue
porcine valve – tissue valve made from a pig’s aortic valve
pulmonary valve – the valve between the right ventricle and pulmonary artery
regurgitation – backward flow of blood
sinus rhythm – when the heart contracts in a normal, coordinated manner. Also called “normal sinus rhythm.”
stenosis – narrowing of an opening
superior and inferior venae cavae – the two largest veins in the body, returning deoxygenated blood to the right side of the heart
systole – period of contraction in the cardiac cycle when the ventricles in the heart squeeze or pump
transcatheter heart valve – a tissue heart valve that is compressed on a balloon catheter. The valve can be pushed through your blood vessel from a cut in your leg. The new valve is expanded within your diseased valve. The new valve will push the leaflets of your diseased valve aside.
transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) – echocardiography provides your doctor with moving pictures of your heart and heart valves so he or she can assess their function. In a TTE, a probe is placed on your chest to provide this image.
transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) – echocardiography provides your doctor with moving pictures of your heart and heart valves so he or she can assess their function. In a TEE, a probe is placed down your throat into your esophagus to provide your doctor with a more detailed picture of your heart and heart valves.
tricuspid valve – the valve that separates the right atrium from the right ventricle
ultrasound – very high-frequency sound waves which are “bounced off” structures and moving blood to obtain images and flow signals.
veins – blood vessels that return blood to the heart
ventricle – the large lower pumping chambers of the heart