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GLOSSARY

WOMEN & HEART DISEASE

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Heart Disorders Glossary

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Mitral Valve: Valve that separates the left atrium and the left ventricle. The mitral valve contains two cusps, or flaps, and prevents blood from flowing backwards into the atrium.

Myocardial Infarction (MI): Also called a heart attack. A blood clot forms on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque to suddenly block a coronary artery. The portion of the heart muscle supplied is deprived of oxygen and may be irreversibly damaged if the artery is closed long enough.

Myocarditis: Inflammation of the heart muscle, usually caused by a virus or bacteria.

Open Heart Surgery: Surgery performed on the heart while the blood flow is redirected through a cardiopulmonary bypass (heart-lung) machine.

Palpitations: Symptoms of irregular and/or unusually rapid heart rate. Occasionally described as heart pounding.

Pericarditis: Inflammation of the sac (pericardium) that surrounds the heart.

Plaque: Fatty deposits in the arteries that cause narrowing and reduced blood supply.

Premature Atrial Contractions (PAC): Irregular heart rate in which electrical impulses originate from either atrium outside of the natural pacemaker tissue. Possible cause of palpitations.

Prolapse: Condition where the seal of a heart valve does not close properly. Sometimes called a floppy valve. Prolapsed valves can cause regurgitation, or back-flow of blood.

Pulmonary: Relating to the lungs.

Pulmonary Hypertension: Condition where the blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs is abnormally high.

Pulmonary Valve: Valve located between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary valve contains three half-moon shaped flaps, and prevents blood from flowing back into the right ventricle from the pulmonary artery.

Restenosis: Renarrowing of a coronary artery after intervention with a balloon or stent.