A Glossary of Heart Failure Terms
Heart Lung Bypass Machine: A machine that oxygenates the blood and circulates it throughout the body during surgery.
Heart Surgery: Heart surgery is any surgery that involves the heart or heart valves.
Heart Valves: There are four valves in the heart: the tricuspid and the mitral valve, which lie between the atria and ventricles, and the pulmonic and aortic valves, which lie between the ventricles and the blood vessels leaving the heart. The heart valves help to maintain one-way blood flow through the heart.
Hemoglobin: A protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen and carbon dioxide and gives blood its red color.
Hibernating Myocardium: Hibernating myocardium is heart muscle that does not pump normally due to decreased blood flow, usually from a coronary artery blockage or heart attack. If normal blood flow is restored (for example, by angioplasty of a coronary blockage), then the myocardium may be able to return to normal function.
High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL): Lipoprotein particle in the blood. HDL is known as "good" cholesterol because it removes cholesterol from the bloodstream and deposits it in the liver where it is excreted by the body. High HDL is thought to protect against coronary artery disease.
Holter Monitor: A small recorder (monitor) that monitors for abnormal heartbeats. It is attached to electrodes on your chest. It records the heart's rhythm continuously for 24 to 48 hours. After the monitor is removed, the heart's beats are counted and analyzed by a technician with the aid of a computer. Your doctor can learn if you are having irregular heartbeats, what kind they are, how long they last, as well as what may cause them.
Homocysteine: An amino acid. High levels of homocysteine are a risk factor for coronary artery disease.
Hydrogenation: A process used to harden unsaturated liquid vegetable oils into saturated fats.
Hyperlipidemia: High levels of fat in the blood, such as cholesterol and triglycerides.
High blood pressure.
Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy (HOCM): See IHSS below.
Hypertrophy: An abnormal enlargement of an organ or thickening of its tissue. Ventricular hypertrophy is the name given to a thickened ventricle.