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A Glossary of Heart Disease Terms

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Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis: A narrowing of the flow of blood below the aortic valve in the left ventricle. It is usually caused by a membrane or thickening in the muscle in this area.

Syncope: Fainting.

Systole: The portion of the cardiac cycle in which the heart muscle contracts, forcing the blood into the main blood vessels.

Systolic Pressure: The pressure of the blood in the arteries when the heart pumps. It is the higher of two blood pressure measurements (for example, 120/80, where 120 is the systolic pressure).

Tachycardia: Rapid heartbeat. A heart rate above 90 beats per minute.

Thallium Exercise Stress Test (Stress thallium test, Perfusion scan): A type of nuclear scanning technique that uses the radioactive substance thallium. A thallium stress test combines nuclear scanning with exercise on a treadmill or stationary bicycle to assess heart function and determine if there is adequate blood flow to the myocardium.

Thrombolytic Medication (clot-buster drug): Medication used to dissolve any clots that may be blocking blood flow in arteries and veins.

Thrombus: A blood clot.

Total Cholesterol: The total amount of cholesterol in the blood.

Transesophogeal Echocardiogram (TEE): An invasive imaging procedure that creates a picture of the heart's movement, valves, and chambers using high frequency sound waves that come from a small transducer passed down your throat. TEE provides clear images of the heart's movement because the transducer is close to the heart and limits interference from air in the lungs. Echo is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart's valves.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): A stroke-like event lasting minutes, or hours, that occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen-rich blood, but in which the effects wear off completely after resumption of blood flow.

Trans-Myocardial Revascularization (TMR): A procedure used in people with severe heart disease who are not candidates for bypass surgery. In this procedure, an incision is made in the chest. The heart is exposed and small holes are drilled through the wall of the heart with a laser. The benefits of TMR have not been proven.

Transtelephonic Monitor: A small monitor is attached to electrode leads (usually on your finger or wrist). Your heart's rhythm is transmitted over the phone line with the aid of this device to your doctor's office.

Tricuspid Valve: The tricuspid valve is the valve that separates the right atrium from the right ventricle and prevents blood from flowing back into the right atrium during contraction of the ventricle.

Triglyceride: A fat found in the blood. Most fat found in the diet and body is in the form of triglycerides.

Unstable Angina: This type of chest painĀ is considered an acute coronary syndrome. It may be a new symptom or a change from stable angina. It may come more often, occur at rest, or feel more severe. Although this angina can be relieved with oral medications, it is unstable and may progress to a heart attack. Usually medical treatment or a procedure is required in the near future.

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WebMD Medical Reference

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