Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. They help to inhibit the production of chemicals in the body which constrict blood vessels, and are commonly used in the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure.
A hormone which is secreted by the adrenal medulla in response to stress and which increases the heart rate, pulse rate, and blood pressure.
Short for angina pectoris. Pain in the chest caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle.
Another term for coronary angiography. A method of detecting whether a person’s coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked. A dye is first introduced into the patient’s coronary arteries and heart through a catheter. X-rays are then taken as the dye moves through the heart and coronary arteries.
Short for percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA); also referred to as “coronary angioplasty” or “balloon angioplasty”. A procedure used to widen a blocked coronary artery at the point of narrowing by means of a small balloon attached to the tip of a catheter.
Medicines used to treat heart rhythm disorders.
An agent which retards the clotting of blood, but which does not dissolve existing clots. It tends to prevent new clots from forming and existing clots from becoming larger.
A substance which prevents or delays the deterioration of an object, by the action of oxygen in the air.
Drugs which reduce the tendency of blood to clot. They act by reducing the “stickiness” of the platelets in blood.
The largest artery in the body; also the artery which carries oxygenated blood out of the heart for distribution to other parts of the body.
Abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve. It may arise as a congenital heart defect.
The valve separating the aorta from the left ventricle of the heart.
An irregular heart rhythm.
A vessel which conveys blood away from the heart to other parts of the body. It generally carries blood which is rich in oxygen. The exception in humans is the pulmonary artery which transports deoxygenated blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs.
The accumulation of fatty deposits on the walls of arteries.
The upper cavities of the heart. They receive blood that is being returned to the heart. The left atrium contains oxygen-rich blood flowing back from the lungs, while the right atrium contains deoxygenated blood from other parts of the body.
An irregular heartbeat caused by the atria failing to contract as they should. In patients with this condition, the atria merely “flutter” instead of contracting.
A congenital heart defect in the form of a hole between the two atria.