Updated January 25, 2007
Explain it to me in plain English!
A - H I - Z
IABP
see Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump 
ICD
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator -- see this page 
ICU
Intensive Care Unit, where clinically unstable patients are watched 
IDCM
Idiopathic Dilated CardioMyopathy - cardiomyopathy of unknown cause 
idiopathic
cause unknown 
IGF-1
Insulin-like Growth Factor-1. Regulated by human growth hormone from the pituitary gland, IGH-1 causes growth in the human body 
IHSS
Idiopathic Hypertrophic Subaortic Stenosis. Now it is called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM for short. One possible therapy may be dual-chamber pacemakers 
incidence
rate at which new cases of a particular disease occur. Usually new cases diagnosed per year 
induction therapy
immediately before and/or after organ transplant, using heavy-duty doses of powerful immunosuppressive (anti-rejection) drugs to stop early organ rejection 
infusion
usually means giving a drug or solution straight into a vein; intravenously, IV 
INR
International Normalized Ratio - the time it takes blood to clot. Previously called PT time, this measurement is used to check that blood thinner levels in your blood are safe and effective 
inotropic
increasing the heart's beating strength - how hard it squeezes 
intermittent
not continuously, off and on. Referring to IV inotrope therapy, intermittent means taking the drug every X number of days per week or month, but not continuously 
intimal
pertaining to the innermost layer - as in, a blood vessel consists of a layer of endothelial cells backed by layers of other tissue 
intravenous (IV)
giving a drug or solution straight into a vein 
interstitial
located in - but not like - an organ or tissue. For example, could be a connecting tissue or growth between two organs 
Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump (IABP)
a balloon placed inside the aorta - the body's main artery. The balloon is rapidly inflated and deflated in time with the heart's pumping, to increase pumping strength. Normal length of IABP support is hours to days. As heart function improves, IABP support is slowly reduced, then removed. May also be used to reduce complications during angioplasty in high-risk patients - see this page 
in vitro
isolated from the organism. An in vitro experiment is done in a test tube in a lab, not on an animal or person 
in vivo
in the living organism. An in vivo experiment is done in an animal, plant or person 
ion
an electrically charged particle. See anion and cation 
ischemia
partial or complete stopping of blood flow (to the heart, in CHF). In CHF, ischemia usually means blocked arteries or long-term too-fast heart rate depriving the heart of blood 
ischemic
tissue or heart damage from not enough blood flow (like what happens when an artery is blocked, or your heart rate is too fast for a long time)  
isotope ventriculogram
MUGA. See this page. 
IU
International Unit. Unit of measuring activity for vitamins 
IVG
Isotope VentriculoGram. Same as MUGA. See this page. 
JVD
Jugular Venous Distension - when you retain fluid, your neck's jugular vein stands up higher 
K
potassium 
kg or kilogram
a metric unit of weight. One kg = 1000 grams = 2.21 pounds American 
Killip class
Class 1 : no signs of heart failure
Class 2 : some fluid in the lungs, third heart sound gallop, and high jugular (neck) vein pressure
Class 3 : obvious fluid in the lungs
Class 4 : cardiogenic shock, systolic blood pressure under 90 mmHg, and signs of vasoconstriction throughout the body such as reduced urine output, and a blue or purple discoloration of the skin from lack of oxygen in the blood 
L (l)
liter or litre, a metric unit of volume. One L = 1.057 quarts = 33.8 ounces = 0.27 gallons American 
LAE
Left Atrial Enlargement - enlargement of the heart's upper left chamber, which fills the left ventricle 
laparoscopy
surgery using a tiny scope/camera inserted into the abdomen through a small incision. Gas is used to inflate the internal abdominal area during this procedure 
LBBB
Left Bundle Branch Block, an electrical disorder of the heart. See this page 
LAD
Left Anterior Descending artery of the heart. Often involved in bypass surgery 
LDL
Low Density Lipoprotein -- "bad cholesterol" 
leukocyte
white blood cell 
leukocytosis
abnormally high white blood cell count 
leukopenia
abnormally low white blood cell count 
lightheaded
feeling like you are going to faint. See dizzy 
LIMA
Left Internal Mammary Artery. Used in some bypass surgeries 
LV
left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber 
LVAD
Left Ventricular Assist Device - see this page 
lymphoma
cancer of the lymph system 
mean
average 
macrophage
cell derived from a white blood cell that protects the body against infection 
mEq
milliEquivalent. mEq measures a substance's ability to combine with another substance. One mEq = 39 mg of potassium or 23 mg of sodium or 20 mg of calcium or 35 mg of chlorine. One mEq equals about 75 mg of potassium chloride - what we often get as a supplement. One mEq is roughly equivalent to one milliosmole (mOsm). 
METs
Metabolic Equivalent Unit. One MET = your oxygen uptake at rest - roughly 3.5 ml oxygen/kg body weight/minute. Doctors may prescribe exercise by MET values for cardiac rehab 
mg
milligram, a metric unit of weight. One mg = 1/1000th gram = 0.000035 ounces American
mg
magnesium 
MIDCAB
Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass - bypass surgery (CABG) that is done without cutting open the entire chest cavity 
MI
Myocardial Infarction - heart attack 
microalbuminuria
too-low rate of albumin passed in the urine (30 to 300 mg per 24-hour period) - usually a symptom of kidney disease 
microemboli
multiple very small particles in the blood (as in air bubbles) 
MICS
Minimally Invasive Coronary Surgery. See this page 
mitochondria
one of a cell's "organs" that exist outside the cell nucleus. There are from one to several hundred mitochondria in each cell. They perform many cell metabolism functions including producing energy through breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and oxygen 
ml
milliliter, a metric unit of volume. One ml = 1/1000th liter = 0.0012 quart = 0.0338 ounce American 
mmHg
millimeters of mercury - a unit of measuring pressure. Also called "torr" See this page 
mmol
millimole, a metric unit of volume. One mmol = 1/1000th of a mole 
mole
one mole is the molecular weight of a substance in grams. For example, the molecular weight of calcium is 40, and one mole of calcium equals 40 grams 
morbidity
resulting from a disease or procedure. Morbidity could be "complications" from a surgery or drug therapy 
morphology
form and structure (of an organism, regarded as a whole) 
mortality
death rate, risk of death (usually from a disease, surgery, or procedure) 
mOsm
milli-Osmole - 1/1000th of an osmole 
mph
mile per hour, as in walking on the treadmill at 3 mph 
MRI
Magnetic Resonance Imaging - see this page 
MRSA
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus - an antibiotic-resistant infection  
ms
millisecond or 1/1000th of one second. QRS interval is measured in ms - see this page 
mug
actually means micrograms, and should be shown as µgm or mcg 
MUGA
Multiple Gated Acquisition or radionuclide ventriculography. A test of heart function using an injection of radioactives and an x-ray machine. See this page 
MVP
Mitral Valve Prolapse - The mitral valve controls blood flow from the left atrium into the left ventricle. When the valve's two leaflets do not completely close, there is backflow, or regurgitation, of blood. See this page 
myocarditis
inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall (myocardium) 
myocardium
muscular middle layer of the heart wall 
narcolepsy
a condition that includes brief, unexpected attacks of deep sleep 
NASPE
North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology, now called NASPE Heart Rhythm Society - see www.naspe.org 
natriuresis
salt elimination by peeing, lowering blood pressure 
natriuretic
causing salt to be eliminated from the body through urine, lowering blood pressure 
naturopathy
system of treating disease that avoids drugs and surgery. It uses natural agents such as air, water, and sunshine; and physical means such as manipulation (chiropractic) and electrical treatment 
NBG code
A 3 to 5 letter code describing the mode used by a pacemaker. The first position in the code tells the chamber paced, the second the chamber sensed, the third the response to sensing, the fourth programmable functions such as rate modulation and the fifth anti-tachyarrhythmia functions. Each letter also means something: A = atrium, D = dual, I = inhibited, O = neither, R = rate modulation, T = tracking, V = ventricle. For example, a VVIR pacemaker paces in the ventricle, senses in the ventricle, has an inhibited response to sensing and offers rate modulation. 
NE
NorEpinephrine 
necrosis
cell death caused by outside factors, such as heart cells killed in a heart attack by lack of blood flow to them (ischemia) 
nephron
the primary unit of which the kidney is made 
neurohormones
the body's chemical messengers, these hormones stimulate the cells they attach to. Neurohormones are too active in heart failure and cause a great deal of harm 
neuron
An excitable cell that transmits electrical signals over long distances in the body. Neurons both receive and send signals. They connect with each other via synapses. Neurons can be the longest cells known, with a single one several meters (yards) in length 
NIH
National Institutes of Health 
nitric oxide
compound produced from L-arginine by the enzyme nitric oxide synthase. Called NO, it has vasodilator properties. It is also called endothelium derived relaxation factor 
NKA
no known allergies 
NKDA
no known drug allergies 
norepinephrine
also called noradrenaline. A neurohormone, this is the primary chemical messenger of the sympathetic nervous system. It binds very strongly to adrenergic receptors on cell walls 
NPO
Patient must take "nothing by mouth" - no food or water - for a specified time 
NSAID
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug - Ibuprofen, prednisone, and naprosen are examples. Not usually good for CHFers because they make you retain fluid, among other effects 
NSVT
Non-Sustained Ventricular Tachycardia - an intermittent too-rapid heart beat 
O2
oxygen 
occlusion
blockage, as in blocked arteries 
OD
every day - as in, take this pill once every day 
OKT3
Muromonab-CD3 (called Orthoclone) is a potent drug for fighting organ rejection - see this page 
oliguria
reduced, too-low urine output 
oncotic
the pressure caused by blood pushing against blood vessel walls - can also mean "caused by swelling" 
ophthalmia
inflammation of the eyeball or its mucous membrane 
OR
Operating Room, a "clean room" where surgery is done 
orthostatic
from standing - orthostatic hypotension is low blood pressure when you're standing 
orthopnea
inability to breathe except in an upright position 
osmole
a unit of measure of osmotic pressure, based on a one mole concentration of an ion in a solution 
osmosis
movement of a substance through a cell into a solution with a higher concentration of that substance, thus equalizing the concentration on the two sides of the cell membrane 
OTC
Over The Counter (as in non-prescription drugs) 
oxidation
removal of an electron from a substance, changing the substance losing the electron, for better or worse. Oxidation cause oxidative stress 
oxidative stress
injury caused to a molecule when an oxygen free radical steals an electron from it 
PAC
Pre-Atrial Contraction - heart's atrium chamber beats prematurely 
PAD
Peripheral Arterial Disease - see peripheral vascular disease 
palliative
to reduce the ill effects of disease without curing it. This is "end of life" care to improve quality of life when dying 
palpitation
a heart beat you feel very strongly. Your heart may feel like it is "in your throat" Commonly felt after a PVC 
panic value
abnormal lab test result that requires you to be immediately retested 
PAP
Pulmonary Artery Pressure - see this page 
paracentesis
a surgical puncture of the abdomen to suck out excess fluid 
parenteral
occurring outside the intestine. For example, giving a drug by intravenous or intramuscular injection. The opposite of enteric 
paresis
partial paralysis 
paresthesia
sensation of burning, prickling, tingling, etc,... 
patency
openness, as in how open an artery is, so blood can flow through it normally 
pathophysiology
the changes in function that are caused by a condition or disease 
PC
after eating, as in "take this pill PC" 
PCP
Primary Care Physician - your regular doctor 
PCWP
Pulmonary Capillary Wedge Pressure - see this page. Normal range is 5 to 13 mmHg 
peptide
compound made of two or more amino acids. In heart failure, peptide usually refers to natriuretic peptides like ANP, BNP and CNP 
perfusion
blood flow into the heart muscle. On the other hand, blood flow into a blood vessel, such as blood flow from the heart into the aorta is just called flow or output 
pericardial
having to do with the pericardium, which is the sac or membrane that encloses the heart. It has 2 layers, with pericardial fluid in between the layers 
perioperative
happening between the time you are put in the hospital before surgery to the time you leave the hospital after surgery 
peripheral arterial disease
see peripheral vascular disease 
peripheral vascular disease
blockage inside any arteries in the body except the coronary (heart) arteries. This can have serious implications and must be treated. Symptoms include chronic burning, aching, numbness, and tingling, especially in the arms, hands, legs, and feet 
peritoneum
smooth membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen. It has an outer layer close to the walls of the abdomen and an inner layer that folds over the internal organs 
PH
Pulmonary Hypertension, too-high pressure as measured in the pulmonary artery. See this page 
phenotype
the visible properties of something. Can apply to people, cells, organisms, whatever 
phosphodiesterase inhibitors
drugs that make the heart beat more strongly, usually IV drugs like milrinone or saterinone - see this page 
PLAATO
Percutaneous Left Atrial Appendage Transcatheter Occlusion from Appriva Medical. See this page 
placebo
a non-active substance that looks like a real drug or treatment - used in place of a real drug to keep a patient from knowing whether he is taking a real drug or not 
plaque
the gunk that can build up in your blood vessels, causing coronary artery disease 
plasma
the pale yellow fluid part of human blood made up of water and dissolved substances such as proteins, electrolytes, sugars, lipids, waste products, amino acids, hormones, and vitamins 
plasmapheresis
separating out one part of the blood from whole blood and returning all other parts back to the patient's circulatory system - see this page 
pleural effusion
collection of fluid or blood in the pleural space - the space between tissues and organs in the chest cavity around the lungs 
PMH
Previous Medical History 
PND
Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea. A particular type of shortness of breath that can be part of heart failure. It often shows up as spasms of coughing and shortness of breath during the night or whenever lying down. Anxiety also often occurs 
PO
orally (by mouth) - as in take this pill PO means take this pill once a day by mouth 
post-
after - as in, post-MI means after a heart attack 
postural hypotension
lightheadedness when moving suddenly, as in standing up, or bending over and then straightening up. Often caused by ACE inhibitors or beta-blockers 
PPCM
PostPartum or PeriPartum CardioMyopathy. Weakened heart due to the physical stress of pregnancy - develops within the last month of pregnancy or the first 5 months after giving birth. See this page 
preeclampsia
a toxic condition in late pregnancy including sudden rise in blood pressure, excessive weight gain, edema, albuminuria, severe headache, and visual disturbances 
preload
how far heart fibers stretch when the heart is fullest, just before it pumps blood out into the body (vein pressures) 
prevalence
how many people have a disease right now. The percentage of a population affected with a particular disease at a given time 
PRN
as needed - as in take this painkiller only when you need one 
prognosis
the prospect of survival or recovery from a disease - a bad prognosis means you're going to get worse or die; a good prognosis means you may get better or be cured 
proximal
nearest - the opposite of distal 
pruritis
itching 
PSM
Patient Self-Management, often meaning that a person manages their own anti-coagulant (blood thinner) therapy, using a home blood monitoring device to measure INR 
PT or PTT
ProThrombin Time - the time it takes blood to clot. Now called INR, this measurement is used to check that blood thinner levels in your blood are both safe and effective 
PTCA
Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty -- "balloon angioplasty" -- see this page 
pulmonary
lung or lungs, or relating to the lungs. A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in a lung 
pulmonary atresia
lack of a pulmonary heart valve - the only corrections are surgical 
pulmonary hypertentsion
too-high pressures in the pulmonary artery, affecting right heart function - see this page 
pulse pressure
the difference between your systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements. A very large pulse pressure indicates higher risk for heart problems 
pump failure
slow weakening of the heart over time, causing death when the heart finally just gives out 
PVC
PreVentricular Contraction - heart's ventricles contract too quickly, sometimes called a skipped beat. These are not supposed to be really dangerous but they can drive you nuts. A PVC is usually followed by a pause as your heart resets its electrical system. The next beat is often felt very strongly - a palpitation. 
PVD
Peripheral Vascular Disease 
PVR
Pulmonary Vascular Resistance - the general pressure against which the right heart must pump to push blood through the lungs. See this page 
pyelonephritis
inflammation of part of the kidney and the kidney's pelvic lining 
q
every - as in qd means every day 
qd
every day - as in "take this pill once every day" 
qh
every hour - as in "take this pill once every hour" 
qid
four times per day - as in, "take this pill four times a day" 
qod
every other day - as in, "take this pill once every other day" 
QOL
Quality Of Life 
QRS
part of an EKG tracing -- see this page 
RAD
ant-rejection drug Tacrolimus (ProGraf, FK506) See this page 
rales
an abnormal sound heard in the lungs when listening to the chest through a stethescope. Rales can be sibilant (whistling), dry (crackling) or wet (sloshy) depending on the amount and density of fluid moving in the lung's air passages 
RAP
Right Atrial Pressure 
RAS
Renin Angiotensin System - chemical system in the human body, made up of renin, ACE, and angiotensin II. Renin is an enzyme produced in the kidney. It acts on angiotensinogen (produced by the liver) forming angiotensin I. The converting enzyme contained in the lung (ACE) converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is not a good thing in heart failure. More technical info available here 
refractoriness
when a cell quits responding to stimulation (as in, by the nervous system) as a result of too much previous stimulation 
refractory
illness or symptom that does not respond to medicines or treatment; Can also refer to refractory period 
refractory period
the brief period right after the response of a cell to stimulation. Occurs after the cell is stimulated but just before it recovers the capacity to make another response. Basically, this is the resting period that happens once in each cycle of repeated stimulations 
remodeling
as the heart weakens, remodeling occurs: its main pumping chamber - the left ventricle - enlarges and changes shape, getting rounder. The heart also undergoes changes at the cell level, further weakening it. See this page 
renal
kidney, relating to the kidneys. Renal failure is kidney failure 
renin
enzyme in the blood that changes angiotensinogen to angiotensin one. Angiotensin one can be changed to angiotensin II, which is not good for heart failure patients. See this page for more on that 
rep
repetition - in weight lifting each time you do a movement it is called a repetition, while a group of continuous reps is called a set 
restenosis
re-blockage. An artery that has been cleared out by angioplasty or bypass surgery but closes up later has restenosed 
resynchronization
using a pacemaker to make the heart's chambers beat properly as a team -- see this page 
retrograde
going in the "wrong" direction - the direction opposite to the usual direction 
revascularization
restoring normal blood flow. Done for the heart's arteries with bypass surgery, angioplasty, TMLR, DCA or other methods 
RFA
RadioFrequency Ablation - similar to cath, but after the catheter is in place inside the heart, tiny areas of the heart are "killed" by radio-frequency energy to cure arrhythmia. See this page 
RHGH
recombinant human growth hormone, also abbreviated rGH or just GH, since all RHGH for medical treatment in the USA is now a "grown" or "recombinant" form. RHGH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that "activates" insulin-like growth factor one (IGF-1), which causes growth in the human body. See this page 
RLS
Restless Legs Syndrome - condition causing leg twitching, pain, discomfort, crawling or tingling sensations in the lower legs, and also sleeplessness. See this page, this page, and this page 
RN
Registered Nurse, a nurse who after graduating nursing school or typical 4 year college degree, passes the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) examination 
R/O
Rule Out - as in rule out all othe causes 
RyR2
ryanodine-receptor channel - a calcium channel in heart cells that may control the heart's beating by regulating calcium ion release. See this page 
S3
third heart sound. Often heard in children and CHFers. See this page 
SCD
Sudden Cardiac Death. Many CHFers die from SCD caused by arrhythmia 
sclerosis
condition of hardening tissue 
septal
having to do with the septum, which in heart terms is the wall separating the right and left chambers of the heart 
serous
having a thin, watery constitution 
serum
the watery part of the blood, without clotting factors or cells. This is the part of blood that remains liquid after blood stands long enough to clot 
set
in weight lifting, one group of continuous reps 
SHF
Systolic Heart Failure - heart failure caused by lack of heart pumping power. Most CHFers have SHF 
SG
Swan-Ganz - a type of catheter used in right-heart (pulmonary) cath procedures 
skeletal muscle
muscles you can consciously control, such as biceps. Called skeletal because these muscles attach to the skeleton, they are made of fibers that can contract 
sl
sublingual - taken under the tongue instead of swallowed, like a nitro tablet for chest pain (angina) 
SOB
Shortness Of Breath 
SPECT
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography - imaging test very similar to a MUGA. It uses injected radioactive tracers. A "gated" SPECT just means lots of pictures are taken, each view called a gate 
SRL
anti-rejection drug Rapamune (rapamycin, sirolimus) 
SSD
Social Security Disability. See this page 
stat
immediately 
statin
a class of cholesterol lowering drugs including simvastatin, atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, and pravastatin 
stenosis
blockage. A stenosed artery is a blocked artery 
stent
A small metal coil, slotted tube, or mesh cylinder placed in a collapsing artery to keep it open. It is a permanent implant. Think of a tiny Slinky made of chicken wire - see mbbnet.umn.edu/icons/stent.jpeg 
stomatitis
imflammatory disease of the mouth 
stroke volume
amount of blood pushed into the aorta with each heart beat. Stroke volume = EDV (end-diastolic volume) minus ESV (end-systolic volume) 
SV
Stroke Volume 
SVR
Systemic Vascular Resistance 
SVT
Supra Ventricular Tachycardia 
sx
symptoms 
synapse
junctions at which a neuron communicates with another cell 
syncope
fainting due to reduced blood flow to the brain 
systole
the part of the heart's pumping cycle when the ventricles contract and push blood out into the body 
systolic (blood pressure)
the first number in your blood pressure reading 
T-cell
white blood cell with special cell surface receptors - highly involved in immune system responses 
T-wave
part of the heart's electrical signal as seen on an EKG. See this page for EKG info and see this page for T-wave alternans 
tachycardia
abnormally fast heart rate 
tachyphylaxis
less response after repeated applications. If you take certain drugs long-term, you must raise the dose after awhile to get the same effect. This is tachyphylaxis 
TDI
Tissue Doppler Imaging - a type of echocardiogram used to see if your heart chambers are beating properly as a team. If not, a BiV pacemaker will probably help. 
TEE
Trans-Esophageal Echocardiogram. An echocardiogram in which the transducer is temporarily "swallowed" for better internal pictures 
thrombocytopenia
chronic low level of blood platelets, also called thrombopenia. Can cause bleeding complications 
thromboembolism
blockage of an artery caused by a blood clot moving into an artery too small to carry it. Can cause heart attack or stroke 
thrombolytic
used to break up a thrombus (stationary blood clot) 
thrombus
blood clot that has not broken loose into the blood stream - it is attached to a blood vessel wall or organ wall 
thymus
a gland in the upper chest/lower neck where T cells develop, part of the immune system 
TIA
Transient Ischemic Attack - small, sometimes undiagnosed strokes caused by tiny blood clots 
tid
three times per day - as in, take this pill three times a day 
titrate
raise drug dose over time to desired target dose 
TMR
TransMyocardial Revascularization - see TMLR 
TMLR
TransMyocardial Laser Revascularization - surgery done to relieve angina (chest pain) where a laser burns dozens of tiny holes in your heart to let blood reach more heart tissue 
TNF
Tumor Necrosis Factor. Produced in the heart, this protein can cause or worsen inflammation and heart failure, and can trigger muscle cell death called apoptosis. 
TNTC
Too Numerous To Count 
trigeminy
an arrhythmia where heart beats are grouped in a repeating pattern of threes, usually 2 normal beats followed by one beat where the heart contracts too soon - a PVC or PAC. This is often followed by a pause while your heart resets its electrical system, resulting in a palpitation 
troponin I
set of peptides that along with calcium help regulate the heart's beating. Troponin I is only found in heart muscle and blood levels are high for between 6 hours and a few days after heart muscle damage. High blood level, along with high level of creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) suggest that you have had a heart attack 
vascular
having to do with blood vessels (can also mean the vessels lymph fluid moves through) 
vasoconstriction
narrowing of blood vessels. This raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder 
vasodilation
widening or relaxing of blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure and eases the heart's workload 
vasopressin
a hormone that is secreted by the pituitary gland, it raises blood pressure and makes the body retain fluid - also called ADH 
vasopressor
causing the muscular part of blood vessels to contract - see vasoconstrictor 
VEGF
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor - substance produced by genes that stimulates growth of new blood vessels 
ventricular fibrillation
fast, uncoordinated, fluttering beats of the heart's ventricles, causing heart beat and pulse beat to go out of synch. This is exremely dangerous 
VF
Ventricular Fibrillation 
viscera
internal organ such as heart, liver, kidney 
visceral
relating to an internal organ such as the heart, liver, kidney 
Vo2max Stress Test
Oxygen consumption exercise test - see this page. Also called CPX (cardiopulmonary stress test), mVo2, and peak Vo2 
volume overload
state where heart is too weak to keep up with the amount of blood coming to it from the lungs - when you are volume-overloaded, you are "in" heart failure 
VRT
Ventricular Resynchronization Therapy, an internal pacemaker used to force the heart's chambers to beat properly as a coordinated team. Also called CRT for Cardiac Resychronization Therapy. See this page 
VT
Ventricular Tachycardia - a too-fast heart rate. Can be "sustained" (long runs, possibly dangerous) or "nonsustained" (intermittent short runs) 
V-tach
Ventricular Tachycardia - a too-fast heart rate. Can be "sustained" (long runs, possibly dangerous) or "nonsustained" (intermittent short runs) 
warm
referring to heart failure patients, warm means blood is flowing in sufficient amounts to your internal organs for those organs to function properly. Opposite of cold 
WD
Well Developed 
wedge pressure
See PCWP 
WPWS
Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome 
xenotransplant
transplanting an animal (non-human) organ into a human, usually from a pig

More terms defined here

All information on this site is opinion only. All concepts, explanations, trials, and studies have been re-written in plain English and may contain errors. I am not a doctor. Use the reference information at the end of each article to search MedLine for more complete and accurate information. All original copyrights apply. No information on this page should be used by any person to affect their medical, legal, educational, social, or psychological treatment in any way. I am not a doctor. This web site and all its pages, graphics, and content copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Jon C.

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