Heart Transplant Glossary

Anesthesia
A medicine that puts your child to sleep during surgery.

Anesthesiologist
The doctor who puts your child to sleep during surgery.

Cardiac Biopsy
The removal and examination of sample tissue from the heart.

Cardiac Catheterization
Inserting a catheter (a small, thin flexible tube) into the heart.

Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)
A special care area for heart patients.

Cardiologists
Heart doctors.

Cardiomyopathy
A weak or enlarged heart.

Congenital
Present at birth.

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Failure of the heart to pump blood well.

Coronary Arteries
The blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with oxygen.

Denervated
When a body part loses its nerve supply, usually by removing, cutting or blocking nerves.

Dermatologist
Skin doctor.

Echocardiogram
A test that records the heart’s structure and function.

Graft
Tissue used to repair a defect.

Gynecologist
A women’s health doctor.

Haemophilus Influenza
A virus that causes lung and other infections.

Hypertension
High blood pressure.

Immune System
The part of the body that helps fight disease, infection, cancer or foreign matter.

Immunosuppressant
A drug that lowers the body’s ability to fight disease, infection, cancer or foreign matter.

Infective Endocarditis
An infection of the inner lining of the heart and valves.

Inferior Vena Cava
A blood vessel that returns “used” or blood without oxygen from the lower body to the right atrium in the normal heart.

Inotropic Drugs
Medicines that temporarily improve heart function.

Intravenous (I.V.)
In the vein; refers to a small needle or plastic catheter placed in the hand, foot or arm to give fluid and medicine.

Left Atrium
The upper chamber of the heart where oxygen-rich blood from the lungs enters the heart.

Left Ventricle
The lower chamber of the heart where oxygen-rich blood is pumped to the body.

Ophthalmologist
An eye doctor.

Pulmonary Circulation
The movement of blood from the heart, to the lungs, and back to the heart again. During this process, the blood picks up oxygen and gets rid of carbon dioxide.

Pulmonary Function Test
A breathing test.

Region
An area.

Rejection
A natural defensive response of the immune system against foreign, or unknown, matter.

Right Atrium
The upper chamber of the heart; where "used" or oxygen-poor returns to the heart from the body. 

Right Ventricle
The lower chamber of the heart; where oxygen-poor blood is pumped into the lungs. 

Septum
A muscle wall that separates the heart lengthwise. 

Sputum
A substance brought up by coughing or clearing the throat. 

Superior Vena Cava
A blood vessel that returns "used" or blood without oxygen from the upper body to the right atrium in the normal heart. 

Transplant Coronary Artery Disease
The narrowing of coronary arteries in a transplanted heart. 

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
An organization that helps advance organ availability and transplantation by uniting and supporting its communities. It helps patients through education, technology and policy development. 

Valves
One-way .aps that control the .ow of blood through the heart. 

Ventilator
A machine to help breathing. 

Vital Signs
Includes the pulse, body temperature, breathing rate and blood pressure.