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New York State Department of Health December 2010 - page 51 / 62





51 / 62


angina pectoris - e pain or discomfort felt when blood flow to the heart muscle is impeded by blockages in the coronary arteries. is can also be caused by an arterial spasm.

arteriosclerosis - e group of diseases characterized by thickening and loss of elasticity of the arterial walls, popularly called “hardening of the arteries.” Also called atherosclerotic coronary artery disease or coronary artery disease.

atherosclerosis - One form of arteriosclerosis in which plaques or fatty deposits form in the inner layer of the arteries.

cardiac catheterization - Also known as coronary angiography, a procedure for diagnosing the condition of the heart and the arteries connecting to it. A thin tube threaded through an artery to the heart releases a dye, which allows doctors to observe blockages with an x-ray camera. is procedure is required before PCI is performed.

cardiovascular disease - Disease of the heart and blood vessels, the most common form is coronary artery disease.

coronary arteries - e arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood. When they are narrowed or blocked, oxygen-rich blood cannot flow freely to the heart muscle or myocardium.

coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) - A procedure in which a vein or artery from another part of the body is used to create an alternate path for blood to flow to the heart, bypassing the arterial blockage. Typically, a section of one of the large saphenous veins in the leg, the radial artery in the arm or the mammary artery in the chest is used to construct the bypass. One or more bypasses may be performed during a single operation. When no other major heart surgery (such as valve replacement) is included, the operation is referred to as an isolated CABG.

  • e average number of bypass grafts created during

coronary artery bypass graft surgery is three or four. Generally, all significantly blocked arteries are bypassed unless they enter areas of the heart that are permanently damaged by previous heart attacks. Five or more bypasses are occasionally created. Multiple bypasses are often performed to provide several alternate routes for the blood flow and to improve the long-term success of the procedure, not necessarily because the patient’s condition is more severe.

ischemic heart disease (ischemia) - Heart disease that occurs as a result of inadequate blood supply to the heart muscle or myocardium.

lesion - An irregular growth of fiber and tissue.

myocardial infarction - Partial destruction of the heart muscle due to interrupted blood supply, also called a heart attack.

percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) (angioplasty or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty) – Typically in this procedure, a balloon catheter is threaded up to the site of blockage in an artery in the heart, and is then inflated to push arterial plaque against the wall of the artery to create a wider channel in the artery. Other procedures or devices are frequently used in conjunction with the catheter to remove plaque. In particular, stents are used for most patients and procedures such as atherectomies and ultrasound are sometimes used.

plaque - Also called atheroma, this is the fatty deposit in the coronary artery that can block blood flow.

risk factors for heart disease - Certain risk factors have been found to increase the likelihood of developing heart disease. Some are controllable or avoidable and some cannot be controlled. e biggest heart disease risk factors are heredity, gender and age, all of which cannot be controlled. Men are much more likely to develop heart disease than women before the age of 55, although it is the number one killer of both men and women.

Some controllable risk factors that contribute to a higher likelihood of developing coronary artery disease are high cholesterol levels, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, a sedentary lifestyle or lack of exercise, diabetes and poor stress management.

ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) - is heart attack, or MI, is caused by a prolonged period of blocked blood supply and affects a large area of the heart muscle, and so causes changes on the EKG as well as in blood levels of key chemical markers.

stenosis - e narrowing of an artery due to blockage. Restenosis is when the narrowing recurs after PCI or surgery.


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