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A Glossary of Heart Failure Terms

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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.

Transtelephonic Monitor: A small monitor is attached to electrode leads (usually on your finger or wrist) and measures your heart beat and rhythm. This information is then 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 angina 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 to address it.

Valve: Structures that maintain the proper direction of blood flow. 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.

Valvuloplasty: A procedure to improve valve function. Balloon valvuloplasty is when a balloon is used to at the time of cardiac catheterization to increase the area of a narrowed valve.

Variant Angina: A type of angina that occurs at rest most often due to coronary spasm.

Vasodilator: A type of drug that relaxes and dilates the blood vessels, allowing increased blood flow.

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