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NUR 246 Vocabulary List Unit 1


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The load, or resistance against which the left ventricle must eject its volume of blood during contraction. The resistance is produced by the volume of blood already in the vascular system and by the constriction of the vessel walls.
A localized dilation of the wall of a blood vessel. A sign of large arterial anurysm is murmur on auscultation. Small aneurysms may produce no sound at all.
Angina Pectoris
A paroxysmal thoracic pain caused most often by myocardial anoxia as a result of atheroscleros or spasm of the coronary arteries. Pain usually radiates along the neck, jaw, and shoulder and down the inner aspect of the left arm.
The xray visualization of the internal anatomy of the heart and blood vessels after the intravascular introduction of radiopaque contrast medium.
The reconstruction of blood vessels damaged by disease or injury.
Any deviation from the normal pattern of the heartbeat.
A common disorder characterized by thickening, loss of elasticity, and calcification of arterial walls. Results in decreased blood supply, especially to cerebrum and lower extremities.
A life threatening cardiac condition characterized by the absence of electrical and mechanical activity in the heart. Clinical signs include apnea and lack of pulse. ???? cardiac monitoring, asystole cannot be distinguished from ventricular fibrillation.
Atrial Fibrillation
A cardiac arrhythmia characterized by disorganized eletrical activity in the atria accompanied by an irregular ventricular response that is usually rapid. Atria quiver instead of pumping in an organized fashion, resulting in comprimised ventricular filling and reduced stroke volume. AF is called uncontrolled and controlled if ventricular response is less than 100. Uncontrolled AF if 100 or more. Controlled AF is less than 100.
Atrial Flutter
A type of atrial tachycardia characterized by contraction rates between 230/min and 380/min. Two kinds: they are distinguished from each other by their rates and electrocardiographic EEGG patterns. Typical & Atypical Atrial flutter.
Typical Atrial Flutter
The atrial Rate is between 290/min and 310/min and produces "fence post" or "sawtooth" ECG waves.
Atypical Atrial Flutter
Atrial rate is higher and the ECG waves lack sawtooth appearance and are often sinusoidal. For both types ventricular contractions usually follw atrial contraction in a 1:2, 1:3, 1:4 or variable ration.
Atrioventricular Node (AV Node)
An area of specialized cardiac muscle that receives the cardiac impulse from the sinoatrial (SA) node and conducts it to the AVE bundle and thence to the Purkinje fibers and walls of the ventricles the AV node is located in the septal wall between the L and R atria.
A property of specialized excitable tissues that allows self-activation through spontaneous development of an action potential, as in the pacemaker cells of the heart.
A condition in which the heart rate is less than 60/min
An abnormal blowing or swishing sound or murmur heard while auscultating a carotid artery, organ, or gland. Resulting from blood flowing through a narrow or partially occluded artery. The specific character of the bruit, it's location, and the time of its occurance in a cycle of other sounds are all of diagnostic importance.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
An abnormal condition that may affect the heart's arteries and produce various pathologic effects, especially the reduced flw of oxygen and nutrients to the nyocardium.
Cardia Output (CO)
The volume of blood expelled by the ventricles of the heart with each beat (the stroke volume) multiplied by the heart rate. Cardiac output is commonly measured by the thermodilution technique. A normal resting adult has a cardiac output of 4 to 8 L per minute.
Cardiac Tamponade
Compression of the heart produced by the accumulation of blood or other fluid in the pericardial sac.
Cardiomyopathy (see myocardiopathy)
Any disease of the myocardium causing enlargement.
The reestoration of the heart's normal sinus rhythm through an electric shock delivered by a defibrillator. Application of the shock is synchronized to the QRS complex. It is used to slow the heart or to restore the heart's normal sinus rhythm when drug therapy is ineffective and doing so. (also called cardiovert)
An abnormal enlargement of the distal phalanges.
The ability of an electric or other system to transmit sound, heat, light, or electromagnetic energy.
Creatine Kinase (CK)
An enzyme of the transferase class in muscle, brain, and other tissues. It catalyzes the transfer of a phosphate group from adenosine triphosphate to creatine. The reaction stores energy in muscle and brain tissue.
C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
A protein not normally detected in the serum but present in many acute inflammatory conditions & with necrosis.
Termination of ventricular fibrillation (inefficient, asynchronous contraction) by delivery of an electric shock to the patient's precordium.
The reduction of a membrane potential to a less negative value.
The secretion of sweat, especially the profuse secretion associate with an elevated temperature, physical exertion, exposure to heat, and mental or emotional stress.
The period between contractions of the atria or the ventricles during which blood enters the relaxed chambers from the sytemic circulation and the lungs. Ventricular diastole begins with the onset of the second heart sound & ends with the first heart sound.
Any disturbance or abnormality in a normal rhythmic pattern, specifically irregularity in the brain waves or cadence of speech.
A diagnostic, noninvasive procedure for studying the structure and motion of the heart.
Electrocardiography (ECG)
The study of records of electric activited??? generated by heart muscle.
Inflammation of the endocardium and heart valves. Condition is characterized by lesions caused by a variety of diseases. Are rapidly lethal if untreated.
The lining of the heart chambers, containing small blood vessels and a few bundles of smooth muscle. It is continuous with the endothelium of the great blood vessels.
The layer of simple squamous epithelial cells that lines the heart, the blood and lymph vessels, and the serous cavities of the body. It is highly vascular, heals quickly, and is derived from the mesoderm.
Involuntary recurrent contraction of a single muscle fiber or of an isolated bundle of nerve fibers. Fibrillation of a chamber of the heart results in inefficient random contraction of that chamber and disruption of the normal sinsu rhythm of the heart.
An amino acid containg sulfur and a homolog of cysteine, produced in the demethylation of methionine.
Greater than normal amounts of carbon dioxide in the blood. Also calle hypercarbia.
Jugular Venouse Pressure (JVP)
Blood pressure in the jugular vein, which reflects the volume and pressures of venous blood. JVP is estimated by postioning the head of a supine pt. at a 45 degree angle & observing the neck veins. If the neck veins are filled only to a point a few millimeters above the clavicle at the end of exhalation JVP is usally normal. With an elevated JVP the neck veins may be distended as high as the angle of the jaw.
A thick contractile middle layer of uniquly constructed and arranged muscle cells that forms the bulk of the heart wall.
A pounding or racing of the heart
Inflammation of the pericardium associated with trauma, malignant neoplastic disease, infection, uremia, myocardial infarction, collagen disease, or unknown causes.
A fibroserous sac that surrounds the heart and the roots of the great vessels.
Point of Maximal Impulse (PMI)
The place where the apical pulse is palpated as strongest, often in the 5th intercostal space of the thorax, just medial to the left midclavicular line.
The part of the front of the chest wall that overlays the heart and the epigastrium.
The dropping, falling, sinking, or sliding of an organ from it's normal position or location in the body.
Pulse Pressure
The differrence between the systolic and diastolic blood pressures, normally 30 to 50 mmHg.
Pulsus Alternans
A pulse characterized by a regular alternation of weak and strong beats with changes in the pulse rate.
Purkinje Fibers
One of the myocardial fibers that are the termination of the bundle branches. The fibers compromise part of the conduction system of the heart.
Orthostatic (Postural) blood pressure
Blood pressure is taken when patient is in a supine position. After 3 minutes has passed the patient goes to a sitting or standing position. Wait 1-5 minutes before checking blood pressure. Normally systolic pressure drops slightly or remains the same as the patient rises, whereas diastolic pressure rises slightly.
The backward flow from the normal direction as the return of swallowed food into the mouth. The backward flow of blood through a defective heart valve, named for the affected valve.
The process by which the mebrane potential of a neuron or muscle cell is restored to the cell's resting potential.
Sinoatrial Node
A cluster of hundreds of cells located in the R atrial wall of the heart near the opening of the superior vena cava. Pacemaker is introduced when SA node fails.
An abnormal condition characterized by the constriction or narrowing of an opening or passageway in a body structure.
Stroke Volume
The amount of blood ejected by a ventricle during contraction.
A brief lapse in consciousness caused by transient cerebral hypoxia.
The contraction of the heart, driving blood into the aorta & pulmonary arteris. Occurance of systole is indicated by the first heart sound heard on auscultation, by the palpable apex beat & by the peripheral pulse.
A condition in which the heart contracts at a rate greater than 100/min.
Transesophageal Echo (TEE)
An endoscopic ?US?? test that provides ultrasonic imaging of the heart from a retrocardiac vantage point, thus preventing the interposed subcutaneous tissue, bony thorax, and lungs from interfering with the US.
A protein in the strated cell ultrastructure that modulates the interaction between actin and myosin molecules. It is believed to be part of the calcium binding complex of the thin myofilaments.

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