Glossary

This glossary provides descriptions and other names for the cardiac services and medications you can search for in the Find Your Heart a Home tool.

Cardiac Services*

* Note: Not all hospitals offer all of these services.

Service Name Also Known As Description
Acute myocardial infarction treament
  • Heart attack treatment
  • STEMI treatment
Emergency treatment to get blood flowing back to the heart as quickly as possible with the goal of limiting permanent heart muscle damage.
Atrial fibrillation ablation
  • Pulmonary vein isolation ablation
  • Convergent procedure (also known as hybrid procedure)
  • MAZE procedure
A catheter or other device using different types of energy destroys small areas of the heart muscle that are causing irregular heartbeats.
Cardiac Defibrillator Implantation
  • Automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD)
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is a battery-powered device that can fix an abnormal heart rate or rhythm and prevent sudden death.
Cardiac Surgery Program
Hospitals identifying that they offer a Cardiac Surgery Program may or may not include the following:
  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery
  • CABG
  • Heart bypass surgery
  • Open heart surgery
  • Valve surgery
  • Convergent procedure (also known as hybrid procedure)
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)
  • Aneurysm Surgery
  • Atrial Septal Defect Repair
  • Ventricular Septal Defect Repair
  • Congenital Heart Disease Surgery
  • Fontan procedure
  • Blalock-Taussig procedure
  • Pulmonary Artery Banding
  • Aortic Coartation Surgery
  • Surgery to correct transposition of the great arteries
  • MAZE Procedure
Surgery is performed to correct heart problems including procedures to bypass blocked coronary arteries, repair or replace heart valves that control blood flow or implant devices to control heartbeats. Surgeons also can work with a cardiologist to eliminate signals causing an irregular heart rhythm in a convergent procedure.
Carotid Artery Stenting
  • Carotid angioplasty
  • CAS
Carotid artery stenting (CAS) is a procedure that can be used to open narrowed carotid arteries in the neck by inserting a small expandable tube called a stent.
Carotid Endarterectomy
  • CEA
Carotid endarterectomy is surgery to remove plaque buildup in the carotid arteries in the neck.
Congenital Heart Defect Intervention
  • Congenital cardiovascular malformation treatment
  • Heart birth defect treatment
  • Treatment of holes in the heart
Congenital heart defect intervention is a general term for a procedure to address a heart problem that was present from birth.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery
  • CABG
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Heart bypass surgery
  • Open heart surgery
  • Bypass surgery
Surgery is performed to attach a healthy blood vessel to the heart to bypass a blocked artery and improve blood flow to the heart muscle.
Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization
  • Angiogram
  • Cardiac cath
  • Diagnostic cath
Cardiac catheterization is a test to check your heart where a thin tube called a catheter is placed in an artery of your arm or leg and gently threaded up into your heart.
Electrophysiology Studies
  • EP studies
An electrophysiology study, or EP study, is a test to see if there is a problem with your heartbeat (heart rhythm) and to find out how to fix it.
Left atrial appendage occlusion
  • Closure of left atrial appendage
A basket-like device or other catheter closure system is used to seal off a small pouch in the wall of the heart’s top left chamber. The goal is to prevent blood clots from developing there and lower the chances of a stroke.
Pacemaker Implantation
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) 
A pacemaker is a small battery-powered device that is placed under the skin in the upper chest. The pacemaker can send weak electrical impulses to the heart in order to keep a regular heartbeat. 
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention for Acute Myocardial Infarction
  • PCI treatment for heart attack
  • STEMI treatment
  • Angioplasty of the heart
  • Atherectomy of the heart
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Stenting of the heart
Percutaneous coronary intervention can be used to open a blocked coronary artery. The priority in this emergency treatment is to get blood flowing back to the heart quickly to limit damage to the heart muscle during a heart attack.
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention for Elective and Emergency Cases
  • PCI treatment
  • Angioplasty of the heart
  • Atherectomy of the heart
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Stenting of the heart
Percutaneous coronary intervention for an elective case can be done on an outpatient basis or a later hospital visit without significant risk of heart attack. PCI for an emergency case should be performed as soon as possible.
Percutaneous Peripheral Vascular Intervention
  • Balloon Angioplasty
  • Angioplasty of the leg
  • Atherectomy of the leg
  • PVI
  • Stenting of the leg
During a peripheral vascular intervention a small thin tube called a catheter is inserted through a blood vessel in the groin and guided to the affected artery. When the catheter reaches the narrowed part of the artery a device such as a balloon or stent is used to open the vessel and improve blood flow.
Transcatheter Valve Replacement
  • TAVR
Transcatheter valve replacement is a minimally invasive procedure that uses catheters in blood vessels to replace the aortic valve with a specially designed artificial valve.

Medications

Medication Brand Names Description
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors     Atacand, Avapro, Benicar, Cozaar, Diovan, Teveten ARBs are medications used to control blood pressure. They make blood vessels relax and open up, helping lower blood pressure. These drugs also fight against some of the harmful substances that are made by the body in response to heart failure.
Aspirin     Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin     Everyone has small elements in their blood that help the blood clot—these are called blood platelets. If you cut your finger, platelets help stop the bleeding. However, in a heart attack, stroke, or when a new stent is placed, the same mechanisms that make blood platelets form a clot can be very harmful. Aspirin fights some of the mechanisms that cause a blood clot, so it is given to patients to reduce blood clot formation. Taken daily, aspirin can help reduce the risk for a first or second heart attack or stroke, especially for people with risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
Beta-Blockers Coreg, Corgard, Inderal, Levatol, Lopressor, Sectral, Tenormin, Toprol, Trandate Beta-blockers are a class of drugs used to control symptoms of heart failure that are made worse by certain hormones called catecholamines. The body releases these hormones as part of its response to heart failure. For this and other reasons, beta-blockers have been shown to be effective for treating most people who have heart failure. Beta-blockers also may help lower blood pressure and lower heart rate, which may have additional benefits in some patients. Slowing the heart rate allows the left ventricle (the main pumping chamber of the heart) to fill more completely and this can help some patients with heart failure.
P2Y12 Inhibitor Medication Brilinta, Effient, Plavix Like aspirin, a P2Y12 inhibitor medication is used to reduce the formation of blood clots. These medications work by a different mechanism and thus are often used in combination with aspirin. This helps lower the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or blood clots forming in a new stent.
Statins Altoprev, Crestor, Lescol, Lipitor, Livalo, Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor Statins are used to lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and can help lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.