ACE inhibitor–A drug that inhibits ACE (angiotensin converting
enzyme), which is important to the formation of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes
arteries in the body to constrict, thereby raising blood pressure. ACE inhibitors
lower blood pressure by inhibiting the formation of angiotensin II. This relaxes
the arteries. Relaxing the arteries not only lowers blood pressure, but also improves
the pumping efficiency of a weak or damaged heart and improves cardiac output in
patients with heart failure.
Advanced Heart Failure–The heart of a person with advanced heart
failure has a hard time pumping blood. This results in the body getting less oxygen.
It makes a person feel tired or weak, even when doing simple things, such as walking
or eating. Advanced heart failure (AHF) is defined as Classes IIIb and IV in the
and Stages C and D in the .
American Heart Association (AHA)/American College of Cardiologists (ACC) Stages
of Heart Failure–A common scale that doctors use to measure heart failure
in 4 stages. This classification system uses the letters A to D to define the heart's
condition. The system includes a category for individuals who are at risk of developing
heart failure. Advanced heart failure (AHF) is defined as Stages C and D.
Anemia–A condition marked by low levels of healthy red blood cells.
Aorta–The main artery from the heart. It carries blood from the
left ventricle of the heart to smaller arteries that flow blood to the rest of the
Arrhythmia–Any loss of rhythm in the heart, most commonly referred
to as an irregular heartbeat.
Arteries–Thick, muscular tubes that carry blood from the heart
to the rest of the body.
Atherosclerosis–Plaque formed inside the arteries that reduce blood
flow and cause blockage. Sometimes called "hardening" of the arteries.
Beta-blocker–A type of drug used to treat high blood pressure or
arrhythmias that decrease the force and rate of heart contractions by blocking receptors
in the heart.
Biventricular–Pertaining to both the left and right ventricles
of the heart.
Blood Clots–A mass or lump caused by the thickening of the blood.
Blood panel–A laboratory test done on blood to gain an appreciation
of how the organs are functioning. Since blood flows throughout the body, providing
oxygen and other nutrients and drawing waste products back to the excretory systems
for disposal, the state of blood is affected by many medical conditions, including
heart failure. Red and white blood cells and blood chemistry are both vital sources
of information about heart conditions.
Blood thinner–Medicine used to prevent blood clots or keep the
blood in a liquid form.
Blood vessels–The network of small tubes that carries blood to
and from the heart and throughout your body. Blood vessels include arteries and
Bridge to Transplantation–Temporary support for people with heart
failure who are waiting for a heart transplant. Bridge to Transplantation involves
the use of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD).
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)–CRT is indicated for Class
III heart failure patients to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. CRT includes
the use of a biventricular pacemaker.
Cardiomyopathy–Any disease of the heart muscle that leads to an
enlarged and damaged heart that has impaired function.
Cardiopulmonary–Pertaining to or affecting both the heart and the
lungs and their functions.
Coronary artery disease–A disease in which deposits containing
cholesterol and fat are deposited within large and medium-sized arteries.
Destination Therapy–Permanent support for advanced stage heart
failure for patients who do not qualify for a heart transplant. Destination Therapy
refers to the implantation of a ventricular assist device (VAD) for long-term use,
rather than as a Bridge to Transplantation.
Diuretics (or water pills)–Drugs that increase the loss of water
and salt from the body through the urine.
Dyspnea–Difficult or labored breathing. A common symptom of numerous
medical disorders, including heart failure.
Echocardiogram–A picture of the heart created through the use of
sound waves that provides an accurate assessment of the heart's function.
Edema–The swelling of soft tissues as a result of excess water.
Edema can occur almost anywhere in the body, but the most common sites are the feet
Ejection fraction–A measurement of the fraction of blood pumped
out of a ventricle with each heartbeat.
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)–An electric measurement of the speed
and manner in which the heart beats. ECGs are a prime tool for the screening and
diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. They are used to determine whether the heart
is performing normally. ECGs are also used as a screening tool for heart disease
during an exercise tolerance test.
Exercise tolerance test (cardiac stress test or exercise stress test)–A
test performed to measure the ability of the arterial blood flow to the heart muscle
to increase during the stress of physical exercise, compared with blood flow while
Heart attack/Myocardial infarction–Destruction of heart tissue
resulting from coronary artery disease.
Heartbeat–One complete contraction of the heart.
Heart chambers–The 4 sections of the heart through which blood
is pumped. The two upper chambers are called the left atrium and
right atrium. The two lower chambers are the left
and right ventricles. Oxygen-rich blood from the lungs enters the
left atrium, while oxygen-depleted blood from the rest of the body flows into the
right atrium. Both atria simultaneously pump blood into the ventricles. The ventricles
then pump the blood to the lungs (from the right ventricle) and to the rest of the
body (from the left ventricle). The left ventricle performs 80% of the heart's work.
Heart failure (HF)–Also called congestive heart failure (CHF),
a condition that can result from any structural or functional cardiac disorder that
weakens or damages the heart and impairs its ability to fill with blood or pump
a sufficient amount of blood throughout the body. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients
to the body's tissues and organs, which are vital for healthy functioning. Heart
failure compromises this delivery system and reduces the body's ability to function.
Heart failure studies–Research studies designed to test the effectiveness
and safety of new devices, therapies, and techniques, or to study new ways of using
existing heart failure treatments. These studies may offer very sick people a chance
to receive newer therapies. The goal of these studies is to develop the best treatments
for heart failure.
Inotropes–Drugs that affect the strength of contraction of the
heart muscle (myocardial contractility). Both positive and negative inotropes are
used in the management of various cardiovascular conditions.
Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)–A device implanted into the
chest to help the heart pump blood.
Mechanical circulatory support (MCS)–A range of treatment options
for acute-, mid-, and long-term circulatory assistance to improve quality and length
of life for people with advanced stage heart failure.
New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification–A common
scale that doctors use to measure heart failure. This scale classifies heart failure
in categories from I to IV based on a patient's symptoms. In NYHA Class I heart
failure, the mildest form, individuals can perform everyday activities and not feel
winded or fatigued. NYHA Class IV is the most severe, and individuals are short
of breath, even at rest.
Orthopnea–Breathing difficulty that occurs when lying flat. It
is a symptom of heart failure.
Risk factors–The list of factors and activities or health habits
that lead to the worsening of heart failure, including drinking alcohol, diabetes,
smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, salt intake, and obesity. These factors
can be reduced or limited by making appropriate lifestyle changes.
6-Minute Walk Test–A standard test that a doctor may use to measure
your heart's tolerance to activity. Before the test, a doctor will record facts
about your heart. During the test, the doctor will see how far you can walk during
a 6-minute period. The results provide a good indicator about your heart's health.
Tachycardia–An abnormally rapid heartbeat. In an average adult,
it is defined as a resting heart rate of 100 or more beats per minute. It can harm
you in 2 ways. First, when the heart beats too rapidly, it performs inefficiently;
there is not enough time for the ventricles to fill completely, causing cardiac
output to diminish. Second, the heart must work harder, causing it to require more
oxygen and reducing the blood flow to the cardiac muscle tissue.
Valves–Flap-like structures that serve to keep blood flowing in
one direction through a canal or tubular structure.
Vasodilators–Medications that cause widening of blood vessels following
the relaxation of the muscle in the vessel wall. Since there is more room for the
blood to flow, blood pressure is reduced.
For indications for use, contraindications,
warnings, and adverse events view our HeartMate II safety information. Individual experiences, symptoms, situations, and circumstances
may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified healthcare provider regarding
your condition and appropriate medical treatment.