Cardiology Terminology: Medical-Speak in Plain Language

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Cardiology terminology doesn't have to be scary.Being diagnosed with heart disease can be frightening. One source of the fear is that all of a sudden it seems like your doctor is speaking a foreign language. You're hearing terms you've never heard before, and he or she is talking about body parts you've never thought of. I'm here to clear up that confusion for you, and maybe relieve some of the fear. 

Your doctor isn't trying to confuse you. It's just that every field has its own special language. From the stock market to texting, we all shorten lengthy words and sometimes substitute abbreviations to make things quicker and simpler for those working in that particular area to share information with each other.

This "lingo" also occurs in the world of medicine. However, I’ve found that, when medical professionals use this shorthand with patients, it can be a bit confusing. So I thought a little Heart 101 may help make some complex communications with your doctor or healthcare provider a bit less formidable.

Below are some common terms you may hear your doctor use.

 

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