Joondalup Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Cardiology Services terminology

Some common terms and tests explained.

  • Coronary arteries – arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle.
  • Cardiac –relating to the heart.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) – a recording of the electrical activity of the heart using electrodes placed on the skin. These electrodes painlessly detect electrical changes within the heart muscle.
  • Myocardial infarction – heart attack.
  • Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) - a group of conditions due to decreased blood flow in the coronary arteries. This includes angina and heart attacks.
  • Angina – chest pain, chest tightness or discomfort in the chest due to inadequate blood supply to the heart.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia – any abnormal heart rhythm including bradycardia (slow rhythm), tachycardia (fast rhythm) and atrial fibrillation (irregular rhythm).
  • Pacemakers –A medical device that uses painless electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate.
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) – a pacemaker capable of delivering a life-saving electric shock when necessary.
  • Cardiomyopathy – a weak heart muscle.
  • Hypertension - high blood pressure. If unmanaged high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke or death.
  • Valvular heart disease – disease of one of four heart valves. These valves can narrow (stenosis) or leak (regurgitation). There are many causes and differing severity of valvular heart disease.
  • Aortic stenosis - narrowing of the aortic valve, which impedes the delivery of blood from the left ventricle of the heart through the aorta to the body.
  • Coronary angiogram – a diagnostic x-ray of the heart using iodine contrast dye to show any narrowing or blockages of the coronary arteries.
  • Coronary angioplasty / stenting - a percutaneous non-surgical procedure used to treat narrowed and blocked heart arteries. It involves inserting and inflating balloons and stents to help widen the artery.
  • Stent - is a tube placed inside a coronary artery to keep it open.
  • Coronary catheterisation - the insertion of a tube (catheter) into the heart through an artery or vein. This can be performed through the groin (femoral artery or vein) or wrist (radial artery).
  • Transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE) – a procedure where a probe is inserted into the oesophagus under sedation in order to better assess heart muscle and valves.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation - is a medically supervised program for people with heart disease to educate, reassure and help reduce future heart risk.
  • Telemetry – cardiac signals (ECGs) are transmitted to a central location for display and monitoring.
  • Echocardiogram (Echo) – is a painless ultrasound scan of the heart to assess the heart muscle and valves.