Medical, Surgical, & Viewing Terms and Abbreviations

Medical Careers & Professional Terminology

cardiology: the study of the heart and its disorders

cardiology technologists: perform diagnostic tests such as electrocardiography, stress testing, Holter monitor testing, and ambulatory blood pressure testing, as well as pacemaker monitoring and programming

cardiologist: a physician specializing in cardiology

cardiovascular perfusionists: responsible for operation of the heart-lung bypass machine during open heart surgery; also monitor the patient’s vitals, administering IV fluids and other drugs

Imaging Techniques/Procedures for the Organ System

coronary angiogram: a visual record of coronary angiography

coronary angiography: a procedure that uses contrast dye, usually containing iodine, and x-ray pictures to detect blockages in the coronary arteries that are caused by plaque buildup

Surgical Techniques/Medical Procedures/Diagnostic Procedures/Medications Used with the Organ System

artificial cardiac pacemaker: a small, battery-operated medical device that generates electrical impulses delivered by electrodes to cause the heart muscle chambers to contract and pump blood

auscultation: listening to a patient’s heart sounds

automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator: an electronic implant that provides an automatic shock to convert a dangerous heart rhythm to a normal heart rhythm

cardiac catheterization: a procedure in which a thin, flexible tube is guided through a blood vessel to the heart to diagnose or treat certain heart conditions

catheter ablation: Using extreme heat or extreme cold to destroy cells in parts of the heart that were causing abnormal rhythms

coronary artery bypass graft: a nonvital superficial vessel from another part of the body (often the great saphenous vein) or a synthetic vessel is inserted to create a path around the blocked area of a coronary artery

coronary stent: a tiny coil of wire mesh that supports the walls of a coronary artery and helps prevent it from re-narrowing after angioplasty

echocardiogram: a visual record using sound to record the heart

echocardiography: Process of using sound to record the heart.

electrocardiogram: a visual record of the electrical impulses in the heart

electrocardiograph: a device used to create an electrocardiogram

electrocardiography: the process of recording the electrical impulses of the heart

exercise stress test: a test that shows how the heart works during physical activity

pericardiocentesis: removal of pericardial fluid for treatment or testing

valvuloplasty: surgical repair of a heart valve

Abbreviations Commonly Used with the Organ System

ACS: acute coronary syndrome

Afib: atrial fibrillation

AICD: automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator

AV: atrioventricular

CAD: coronary artery disease

CPR: cardiopulmonary resuscitation

ECG/EKG: electrocardiogram

ECHO: echocardiogram

HF: heart failure

HHD: hypertensive heart disease

MI: myocardial infarction

Medical Terms Practice

For each card, click the speaker icon to hear the correct pronunciation of the listed term. Practice saying the term to yourself, then attempt to define the term from memory. Click “Turn” to flip the card and see the definition. Use the right and left arrows to toggle through the cards in each set.


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Medical Terminology: An Interactive Approach Copyright © 2022 by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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