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Terminology in Cardiology - C

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Calcium Ion Channel: - Part of the sarcoplasmic reticulum enlarged in the heart where Ca2+ can efflux and/or influx rapidly to allow for contraction of the cardiac muscle cells Capillaries - the smallest vessels between arteries and veins that distribute oxygen - rich blood to the body, Site of gas and nutrient exchange.

Capture: - Effective depolarization of the atria or ventricles by a pacemaker.

Cardiac Arrest: - The sudden stopping of heart beats and respiration – clinical death. Cardiac Cath or Cardiac Catheterization a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the arm or groin (after local anaesthesia) and threaded up to the heart, a dye is injected and X-rays are taken of the heart arteries, to investigate blockages or narrowing of the blood vessels.

Cardiac Output: - The volume of blood pumped from the vessel in one minute (generally referring to the left vetricle).

 Cardiac Tamponade: - Excess fluid between the parietal and visceral layers of the pericardium - this restricts cardiac contraction signs and symptoms – jugular distention + diminished difference between systolic and diastiolic brachial plexuses.

Cardioversion: - The restoration of the heart beat to normal by electrical counter shock or by use of medication.

Cardiomyopathy: - a disease or disorder of the cardiac muscle causing it to lose its pumping strength.

Carotid Artery: - Major artery of the hormones and nerves - from the aorta.

Catecholamines: - Hormones and substances of the sympathetic nervous system = adrenalin + noradrenalin also known as epinephrine + norepinephrine + dopamine.

Catheter: - A thin, flexible tube.

Cholesterol: - A soft, waxy substance found among the lipids or fats in the blood stream and in all the body's cells. It forms cm and some hormones. Cholesterol and other fats are transported to in the blood stream by lipoproteins, and can move in and out of cells because of their fatty nature. There are several kinds of cholesterols, but the most important are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) considered "bad" cholesterol because they carry triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) considered "good".

Cholinergic: - Hormones and substances of the Parasympathetic nervous system = acetylcholine antagonists to the sympathetic nervous system substances.

Chordae Tendineae: - Tendons connecting the atriventricular valves with the papillary muscles.

Chronotropic: - Concerning heart rate Chrono – time.

Complete heart block: - Atria and ventricles fire independently.

Complex - A collection of waveforms QRS complex or electrocardiogram complex.

Computed Tomography (CT or CAT scan): - A method of examining body organs by scanning them with X-rays and using a computer to construct a series of cross-sectional scans along a single axis.

Conduction: - The process of transporting the depolarization stimulus (electrical stimulus) throughout the heart atria and ventricles in a specific pathway.

Conductivity: - The ability to conduct an impulse to another region or another cell.

Congenital: - Existing at birth.

Congestive heart failure: - Blood volume coming in is more than that able to be pumped out - leading to fluid backup - backup from the left ventricle results in fluid overload in the lungs - in the right ventricle results in venous fluid retention - swelling of dependent parts such as ankles and sacrum.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CAB): - Surgery has done to bypass the blocked coronary artery. Uses a vein from the leg or chest to carry the blood as "a bridge" around the blocked coronary artery.

Coronary Arteries: - Two arteries arising from the aorta that arch down over the top of the heart and branch out in additional arteries that provide blood to the heart muscle - the main four being left main coronary artery, Circumflex coronary artery, left anterior descending coronary artery, and right coronary artery. They join to form rings around the heart between the atria and ventricles and between the two ventricles. These are the most commonly blocked arteries of the heart.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): - Conditions that cause narrowing of the coronary arteries, reducing blood flow to the cardiac muscles. Blockage or narrowing may be due to clots, lipids and/or plaques. Severe cases can result in heart attack.

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG): - Heart surgery in which a section of a blood vessel is grafted to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart.


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