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Glossary

Ablation

Destroying tissue by killing cells. Surgical excision or amputation of a body part or tissue.

Accessory Pathway

An abnormal group of modified muscle fibers in the heart which conduct electrical depolarization signals.

Angiogenesis

Development of blood vessels.

Angiogenic growth factor

New investigational treatments for patients with severe coronary and peripheral vascular atherosclerosis.

Arrhythmia

An irregularity in the force or rhythm of the heartbeat. This can be uneven, too slow, or too fast.

Arrhythmogenic

Causing arrhythmia.

Atherectomy

The removal or flattening of fatty deposits (atherosclerotic plaque) on the walls of arteries or vessels to increase blood flow. This procedure may be accomplished using a balloon-tipped catheter (angioplasty), a laser, a small drill-tipped catheter or by

Atherosclerotic plaque

A form of arteriosclerosis characterized by the deposition of atheromatous plaques containing cholesterol and lipids on the innermost layer of the walls of large and medium-sized arteries.

Atrial Fibrillation

Tachyarrhythmia characterized by a very rapid and chaotic beating of the atria.

Atrial Tachycardia

Rapid heartbeat arising from an atrial focus.

Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

A device surgically implanted in patients at high risk for arrhythmia-induced sudden cardiac death. The device will automatically function to detect and treat life-threatening arrhythmias, restoring the normal heartbeat.

AV Nodal Reentry Tachycardia (AVNRT)

Rapid heartbeat caused by an aberrant pathway at the AV node.

AV Node

Atrio-ventricular node of the heart; a group of specialized cells located between the atria and the ventricles which slows down each electrical impulse before it passes through to the ventricles.

Catheter

A long, fine tube passed into the body especially designed for evacuating or injecting fluids into the body cavities or to perform a specific function. Usually made of rubber, glass, metal or plastic.

CE Mark

Regulatory approval to commercially sell a medical device in the European Community.

Congenital heart defects

A malformation of the heart or of its major blood vessels which is present at birth.

Cryo-

Concerning very cold temperatures (normally less than 0 degrees C).

CryoAblation

Ablation by freezing.

Cryocatheter

A catheter for performing CryoAblation/CryoTherapy.

Cryogenic

Producing temperatures below 0 degrees C.

Cryolesion

An area destroyed (for therapeutic reasons) by freezing.

CryoMapping

Determining the origin of arrhythmogenic activity by test-cooling the suspected tissue.

Cryoprobe

A hand-held device (specifically not a catheter) for applying cold to tissue. Liquid nitrogen, freon, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide or Argon are the coolants frequently used.

Direct Myocardial Revascularization (DMR)

An approach which involves the stimulation of the heart to grow new blood vessels.

Elastic Recoil

The vessel mechanically returning to a smaller size.

Electrophysiology (EP)

A branch of physiology that deals with the relationship of body functions to electrical phenomena such as the effects of electrical stimulation upon the tissues, the production of electric currents by organs and tissues, and the therapeutic use of electri

Endocardial

Within or on the inside surface of the heart.

Endocardium

The thin serous membrane, composed of endothelial tissue, that lines the interior of the heart.

Epicardium, Epicardial adj.

Outside or on the outside surface of the heart.The inner layer of the pericardium that is in actual contact with the surface of the heart.

FDA

Food and Drug Administration (USA). FDA's mission is to promote and protect the public health by helping safe and effective products reach the market in a timely way, and monitoring products for continued safety after they are in use.

Fibrillation

The primary mechanism and arrhythmia seen in sudden cardiac arrest. Organized electrical activity and synchronized mechanical pumping activity is absent. If not terminated rapidly with defribrillation, brain damage will occur due to lack of blood flow to

Flutter

Abnormally rapid pulsation of a heart chamber, especially of the atria or ventricles of the heart. More coordinated than fibrillation.

Heart attack

A sudden decrease in blood flow to the heart muscle resulting in impaired heart functioning.

Heart block

Partial or complete interruption of electrical impulses between the atria and ventricles.

Intimal hyperplasia

The proliferation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel wall which reduces or blocks blood flow.

Investigational Device Exemption (IDE)

Approval by the FDA to perform clinical trials (human testing) with a medical device.

Ischemia

A decrease in the blood supply to a bodily organ, tissue, or part caused by constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels often resulting in chest pain.

Lumen

The inner open space or cavity of a tubular organ such as an artery, vessel, or intestine.

Mapping

Determining the origin of an arrhythmia by stimulating the heart electrically and analyzing the resulting electrocardiogram (ECG).

Myocardial infarction

Development of an infarct in the myocardium ( middle muscular layer of the heart wall), usually the result of myocardial ischemia following occlusion of a coronary artery.

Necrosis

Death of tissue.

Pacemaker

An electronic device that is surgically implanted into the patient's heart and chest to regulate heartbeat.

Pacing threshold

The minimum electrical current required to trigger a heartbeat.

Palpitations

Irregular heartbeats that are felt as a skip or momentary interruption of the heartbeat.

Percutaneous

Effective through the skin.

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty

A minimally invasive therapy where a balloon is inserted into the vessel and expected to enlarge the narrowed passageway.

Peripheral vascular disease

Encompasses a broad spectrum of arterial and venous stenoses, occlusions, aneurysms or malformations outside the immediate domain of the coronary and cerebral circulatory systems.

Pre-Marketing Approval

Approval by the FDA to actively market a device in the U.S.

Premature contraction

A beat that comes too soon and momentarily interrupts the heart rhythm.

Radiofrequency (RF)

A form of energy used to perform catheter ablations.

Radiofrequency ablation

The use of radiofrequency energy to generate heat to destroy heart tissue responsible for generating or distributing abnormal electrical currents in the heart.

Re-entry

A tachycardia characterized by the circular diversion of a depolarization/repolarization wave in the heart leading to a continuing series of premature beats.

Restenosis

The narrowing of arteries following balloon angioplasty.

Sinus node

A group of specialized cells in the right atrium where the heartís electrical impulse normally begins.

Site confirmation

Determining the origin of arrhythmogenic activity by cooling the suspected tissue to achieve reversible electrical effect.

Stenosis

Constriction or narrowing of a passage or orifice; a stricture.

Stents

Expandable metal tubes permanently inserted at the treated site to mechanically keep the diseased vessel open.

Supraventricular

Which originates above the ventricles, in the atria or AV node.

Supraventricular Tachycardia

Rapid heartbeat with site of origin above the ventricles.

Tachyarrhythmia

Irregularity of heartbeat with a rapid rate.

Tachycardia

Abnormally rapid heart rate.

Tamponnade

Pressure on the outside of the heart due to unintended bleeding.

Thrombus

A fibrinous clot that forms in, and obstructs, a blood vessel or a chamber of the heart.

Valve disease

A degenerative disease that causes the valve not to open or close properly.

Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)

Rapid heartbeat arising from one or more arrhythmogenic foci in the ventricle. The foci are caused by electrical malfunctioning of scar tissue resulted from a previous myocardial infarction.

Wolfe-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW)

An accessory pathway SVT.