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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The leakage that results when a heart valve that doesn’t close properly lets blood leak back into the chamber from which it was pumped.

Reperfusion Therapy

One or more techniques to restore blood flow to part of the heart muscle damaged during a heart attack, or part of the brain injured during a stroke. It may include clot-dissolving drugs (thrombolysis), balloon angioplasty or surgery.


The reclosure of an opening, such as a blood vessel or heart valve, after an angioplasty, stent or other procedure has been performed to open it.

Rheumatic Heart Disease

Damage done to the heart, particularly the heart valves, by one or more attacks of rheumatic fever.

Risk Factor

An element or condition involving certain hazard or danger. When referring to the heart and blood vessels, a positive risk factor is associated with an increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease including stroke. A negative risk factor is associated with a reduced chance of developing heart and blood vessel disease.