About Aortic Stenosis

Glossary Terms

Glossary Terms

Aortic Valve – A valve found in the left ventricle, where blood is ejected via the aorta to the rest of the body. The aortic valve opens and closes to allow blood to leave the heart1.

Aortic Stenosis – A narrowing/thickening (which can occur most commonly) due to calcification of the leaflets of the aortic valve, which consequently adds pressure on the heart to pump blood out to the rest of the body. As the condition worsens, the narrowed or thickened aortic valve makes the heart work harder to eject blood through the narrowed opening of the diseased valve2.

Asymptomatic – Not presenting any symptoms. Patients may typically be considered asymptomatic if they have recovered from a condition and no longer have symptoms, or if they have a condition in the early stages and are not presenting symptoms yet3.

Balloon Valvuloplasty –In this procedure, a balloon is positioned and inflated within the aortic valve itself to separate or expand the narrowed leaflets, before then deflating and removed from the body4.

Biological Tissue Valve – A type of valve replacement created from animals tissue, typically a pig or cow5.

Calcification – The process of calcium deposits building up in body tissue and causing the tissue to harden6.

Cardiac Catheterization –cardiac catheterization is a procedure where catheters are introduced into the patients’ heart/arteries to assess the structures within the heart7.

Cardiac Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan – A test used to take images of your heart with an X-ray. These scans have the capability to indicate calcium build-up and blockages in arteries8.

Cardiac MRI – A test that can produce detailed images of the heart and its structures, including blood vessels, valves, muscle, and chambers9.

Cardiac Output – The amount of blood that is pumped out of the heart. When referring to a “decreased cardiac output” this refers to a decreased amount of blood being pumped out of the heart during this 1 min time period and therefore less blood being pumped out into the body10.

Cardiac Sonographer – A person trained in performing cardiac imaging tests11.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon – A specialist surgeon who performs surgical procedures on the heart, lung, esophagus and other organs within the chest region12.

Cardiologist – A specialist doctor who provides medical care specific to heart conditions/diseases13.

Cardiology – The study of the heart conditions and treatments related to the heart and heart structures14.

Chest X-Ray – Produces images of the heart, lung or bone structures in the chest15.

Classic Triad – A medical classic triad refers to a group of three things that have something in common. For example, the classic triad of symptoms, refers to the three typical symptoms that relate to a disease or condition16.

Echocardiography (Echo) – An ultrasound that uses sound waves to produce images of heart structures and identify anomalies within the heart17.

Electrocardiogram (ECG) – A test that is used to record the electrical activity of the heart18.  

Exercise or Stress Tests – A specific cardiac test that measures and records heart activities during exercise19.

Heart Failure – A term used when cardiac output is unable to meet metabolic demands on the body20.

Heart Lung Machine – A machine commonly used in open heart surgery to oxygenate a patient during cardiac surgery21.

Heart Team – A multi-disciplinary team of professionals who are responsible for the decision making and outcomes of a patient undergoing a heart procedure such as a TAVI procedure. The heart team includes a broad range of medical professionals to collaborate on patient therapy22.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) –  An Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a designated ward in a hospital designated to specifically cater for patients with potentially life-threatening injuries, illnesses or complications23.

Interventional Cardiologist A Cardiologist with specific training in the treatment and diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases, Congenital and Structural heart conditions through catheter-based procedures24.

Leaflet – Part of a valve that is designed to open and aid blood flow or close to prevent backflow of blood25.

Left Ventricle – The lower, left chamber of the heart that receives oxygenated blood from the left atrium and pumps blood to the rest of the body via the aorta26.

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy – An enlargement and thickening of the left ventricle27

Mechanical Valve – A mechanical valve is made from durable materials to create a long-lasting type of valve replacement28

Mortality – The state of being mortal. Also used as a term for the death rate of a number of deaths in a certain group of people in a certain period of time29.

Ejection Fraction – The percentage and measurement of blood leaving the heart when it contracts. To have a reduced ejection fraction, it may imply that the percentage of blood contracting out into the body is reduced30.

Rheumatic Fever – An illness which occurs following a Streptococcus infection or Scarlet fever. It can cause long-lasting effects on the skin, heart, joints, and brain31.

Sheath – An enveloping structure of tubular case for the covering of a muscle, nerve or blood vessel. It can also refer to a piece of medical equipment used in various procedures32.

Sternum – A plate of bone which forms in the middle of the anterior wall of the thorax and articulating with the clavicles and cartilages of the first seven ribs33.

Symptomatic – To show symptoms or concerning a single symptom34.

Transapical – A surgical entry point or incision made under the left breast, below the heart35.

Transaortic – Surgical procedures that are performed in the aorta or aortic valve36.

Transcatheter – A procedure that is performed through the lumen of a catheter37.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation – A procedure whereby a prosthetic valve is implanted inside the diseased aortic heart valve38.

Transducer – A device which translates one physical quantity to another. For example, temperature to an electrical signal39.

Transfemoral – Surgical entry point through the femoral artery, which is a large artery located in the groin40.

Warfarin – A prescription medicine to prevent blood clotting or clots growing larger41

Patient Disclaimer: All content on the Hope For Hearts site is created and published online for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Please see your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.