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Medical terminology

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  • Category: Medicine

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Aneurysm (AN-ū-rizm) A thin, weakened section of the wall of an artery or a vein that bulges outward, forming a balloonlike sac. Common causes are atherosclerosis, syphilis, congenital blood vessel defects, and trauma. If untreated, the aneurysm enlarges and the blood vessel wall becomes so thin that it bursts. The result is massive hemorrhage with shock, severe pain, stroke, or death. Treatment may involve surgery in which the weakened area of the blood vessel is removed and replaced with a graft of synthetic material.

Aortography (ā′-or-TOG-ra-fē) X-ray examination of the aorta and its main branches after injection of a radiopaque dye.

Carotid endarterectomy (ka-ROT-id end′-ar-ter-EK-tō-mē) The removal of atherosclerotic plaque from the carotid artery to restore greater blood flow to the brain.

Claudication (klaw′-di-KĀ-shun) Pain and lameness or limping caused by defective circulation of the blood in the vessels of the limbs.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) The presence of a thrombus (blood clot) in a deep vein of the lower limbs. It may lead to (1) pulmonary embolism, if the thrombus dislodges and then lodges within the pulmonary arterial blood flow, and (2) postphlebitic syndrome, which consists of edema, pain, and skin changes due to destruction of venous valves.

Doppler ultrasound scanning Imaging technique commonly used to measure blood flow. A transducer is placed on the skin and an image is displayed on a monitor that provides the exact position and severity of a blockage.

Femoral angiography An imaging technique in which a contrast medium is injected into the femoral artery and spreads to other arteries in the lower limb, and then a series of radiographs are taken of one or more sites. It is used to diagnose narrowing or blockage of arteries in the lower limbs.

Hypotension (hī-pō-TEN-shun) Low blood pressure; most commonly used to describe an acute drop in blood pressure, as occurs during excessive blood loss.

Normotensive (nor′-mō-TEN-siv) Characterized by normal blood pressure.

Occlusion (ō-KLOO-zhun) The closure or obstruction of the lumen of a structure such as a blood vessel. An example is an atherosclerotic plaque in an artery.

Orthostatic hypotension (or′-thō-STAT-ik; ortho- = straight; -static = causing to stand) An excessive lowering of systemic blood pressure when a person assumes an erect or semierect posture; it is usually a sign of a disease. May be caused by excessive fluid loss, certain drugs, and cardiovascular or neurogenic factors. Also called postural hypotension. Phlebitis (fle-BĪ-tis; phleb- = vein) Inflammation of a vein, often in a leg. Thrombectomy (throm-BEK-tō-mē; thrombo- = clot) An operation to remove a blood clot from a blood vessel. Thrombophlebitis (throm′-bō-fle-BĪ-tis) Inflammation of a vein involving clot formation. Superficial thrombophlebitis occurs in veins under the skin, especially in the calf. Venipuncture (VEN-i-punk-chur; vena- = vein) The puncture of a vein, usually to withdraw blood for analysis or to introduce a solution, for example, an antibiotic. The median cubital vein is frequently used. White coat (office) hypertension A stress-induced syndrome found in patients who have elevated blood pressure when being examined by health-care personnel, but otherwise have normal blood pressure.

2. Hypertension, or persistently high blood pressure, is among about 50 million Americans. It is the most common disorder affecting the hear and blood vessels and can cause heart failure, kidney disease, and stroke. Under systolic and diastolic, you are considered normal if less than 120/80, prehyp at 120-139/80-89, stage 1 hyp 140-159/90-99, and stage 2 hyp at above 160/ above 100. The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, but several factors and conditions may play a role in its development, including: Smoking, Being overweight or obese,Lack of physical activity, Too much salt in the diet, Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day), Stress, Older age, Genetics, Family history of high blood pressure, Chronic kidney disease, Adrenal and thyroid disorders. The effects of hypertension are great and include: damage to the arteries, heart, brain, and kidneys. Treatment for hypertension comes in many forms — from lifestyle changes to medication.

3. An artery is an elastic blood vessel that transports blood away from the heart. There are two main types of arteries: pulmonary arteries and systemic arteries. Pulmonary arteries carry blood from the heart to the lungs where the blood picks up oxygen. The oxygen rich blood is then returned to the heart via the pulmonary veins. Systemic arteries deliver blood to the rest of the body. The aorta is the main systemic artery and the largest artery of the body. It originates from the heart and branches out into smaller arteries which supply blood to the head region, the heart itself, and the lower regions of the body.

A vein is an elastic blood vessel that transports blood from various regions of the body to the heart. Veins can be categorized into four main types: pulmonary, systemic, superficial, and deep veins. Pulmonary veins carry oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart. Systemic veins return deoxygenated blood from the rest of the body to the heart. Superficial veins are located close to the surface of the skin and are not located near a corresponding artery. Deep veins are located deep within muscle tissue and are typically located near a corresponding artery with the same name. A capillary is a small blood vessel that permits the diffusion of gases, nutrients, and wastes between plasma and other fluids.

4. Shock can be of four different types: (1) hypovolemic shock (hī-pō-vō-LĒ-mik; hypo- = low; -volemic = volume) due to decreased blood volume, (2) cardiogenic shock (kar′-dē-ō-JEN-ik) due to poor heart function, (3) vascular shock due to inappropriate vasodilation, and (4) obstructive shock due to obstruction of blood flow. A common cause of hypovolemic shock is acute (sudden) hemorrhage. The blood loss may be external, as occurs in trauma, or internal, as in rupture of an aortic aneurysm. Loss of body fluids through excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting also can cause hypovolemic shock. Other conditions—for instance, diabetes mellitus—may cause excessive loss of fluid in the urine. Sometimes, hypovolemic shock is due to inadequate intake of fluid. Whatever the cause, when the volume of body fluids falls, venous return to the heart declines, filling of the heart lessens, stroke volume decreases, and cardiac output decreases. Replacing fluid volume as quickly as possible is essential in managing hypovolemic shock. In cardiogenic shock, the heart fails to pump adequately, most often because of a myocardial infarction (heart attack). Other causes of cardiogenic shock include poor perfusion of the heart (ischemia), heart valve problems, excessive preload or afterload, impaired contractility of heart muscle fibers, and arrhythmias.

Even with normal blood volume and cardiac output, shock may occur if blood pressure drops due to a decrease in systemic vascular resistance. A variety of conditions can cause inappropriate dilation of arterioles or venules. In anaphylactic shock (AN-a-fil-lak′-tik), a severe allergic reaction—for example, to a bee sting—releases histamine and other mediators that cause vasodilation. In neurogenicshock, vasodilation may occur following trauma to the head that causes malfunction of the cardiovascular center in the medulla. Shock stemming from certain bacterial toxins that produce vasodilation is termed septic shock. In the United States, septic shock causes more than 100,000 deaths per year and is the most common cause of death in hospital critical care units. Obstructive shock occurs when blood flow through a portion of the circulation is blocked. The most common cause is pulmonary embolism, a blood clot lodged in a blood vessel of the lungs.

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