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Education Center

At Frontenac Cardiovascular Center, we want to provide you with a useful glossary of definitions that can help you navigate your cardiovascular care.

Please note that this is not a complete list.

  • Artery: A vessel that carries blood away from the heart.
  • Atrium: The heart chamber that accumulates blood returning from the rest of the body. There are two atria: the left and right. The right atrium accumulates deoxygenated blood from the body and passes it to the right ventricle. On the other hand, the left atrium accumulates oxygenated blood from the lungs and passes it to the left ventricle.
  • Arrhythmia:Irregular heartbeat.
  • Bradycardia:Exceptionally slow heartbeat.
  • Cardiomyopathy: A general term that refers to the diseases of the heart muscle.
  • Coronary CTA: A non-invasive, heart-imaging test that determines whether fatty deposits or calcium deposits have built up in the coronary arteries.
  • Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography: A non-invasive, painless procedure that allows a three-dimensional and high-resolution visualization of the heart coronary arteries and other nearby structures.
  • Coronary heart disease (CHD):A heart disease that starts when hard cholesterol substances (plaques) are deposited within a coronary artery, which can lead to angina (chest pain) or heart attack.
  • Diastolic Pressure: This is the minimum blood pressure and it is measured before the heart contracts.
  • Dyspnea: Difficulty in breathing.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG): An electrical recording of the activity of the heart.
  • Hypertension: Abnormally elevated blood pressure.
  • Multi-Detector Computerized Tomography (MDCT): An MDCT is a very fast type of a CT scan. It creates images of the diseased and healthy parts of your heart. The images produced can be viewed from all angles.
  • Tachycardia: Rapid heart rate due to a problem in the heart’s electrical system.