Glossary of Terms

This glossary of terms has been compiled for your reference. Select the first letter of the word you’re searching for to begin.

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Bacterial Endocarditis

See Endocarditis.

Balloon Angioplasty

See Angioplasty.

Beta Blocker

A medicine to treat high blood pressure and some other heart conditions by reducing the heart rate and the heart’s output of blood.

Bicuspid Aortic Valve

A congenital heart defect in which the aortic valve has only two flaps (cusps) instead of the normal three.

Blood Clot

A jelly-like mass of blood tissue formed by clotting factors in the blood. Clots stop the flow of blood from an injury. Blood clots also can form inside an artery whose walls are damaged by atherosclerotic buildup, or inside the atria if blood isn’t pumped out completely and pools. Blood clots that block an artery can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Blood Pressure

The force or pressure exerted by the heart in pumping blood; the pressure of blood in the arteries.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

A formula to assess a person’s body weight relative to height. It correlates highly with body fat in most people. Weight in kilograms is divided by height in meters squared (kg/m2).

Bradycardia

Slowness of the heart rate (less than 60 beats per minute).