Stroke Medical Terminology

Acquired: Not inherited, or present at birth (congenital), but developing after birth.

Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease; an illness that is of short duration, rapidly progressive, and in need of urgent care.

Anemia: A condition marked by deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in an unhealthy pale appearance and weakness.

Aneurysm: A localized widening (dilation) of an artery, vein, or the heart.

Arteriosclerosis: Hardening and thickening of the walls of the arteries.

Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the farthest parts of the body.

Atherosclerosis: A disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of plaques of fatty material on their inner walls.

Atrial Fibrillation (AFIB): A fast, irregular heart rhythm involving the upper heart chambers.

Blood clot: A mass of coagulated blood.

Blood pressure: The pressure of the blood within the arteries. Systolic pressure is measured after the heart contracts and is highest. Diastolic pressure is measured before the heart contracts and is the lowest.

Body Mass Index (BMI): A weight to height ratio, calculated by dividing one’s weight in kilograms by the square of one’s height in meters; used as an indicator of obesity and underweight.

Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. The brain functions as a primary receiver, organizer, and distributor of information for the body.

Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood vessels and carries nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the body and removes carbon dioxide and other wastes from them.

Carotid: Each of the two main arteries that carry blood to the head and neck.

Carotid Endarterectomy: A surgery to remove fatty deposits (plaque) that are narrowing the arteries in your neck.

Cerebral: Of or pertaining to the cerebrum or the brain.

Cerebrovascular accident (CVA): A stroke

Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body.

Chronic: An illness that persists for a long time or is constantly recurring.

Coagulate: To cause a fluid, such as blood, to change into a soft, semisolid, or solid mass.

Computed tomography scan (CT Scan): Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this type of sophisticated x-ray device.

Diabetes: A disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

Emboli: Something that travels through the bloodstream, lodges in a blood vessel and blocks it.

Embolism: Obstruction of an artery, typically by clot of blood or an air bubble.

Hemoglobin: A red protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood of vertebrates.

Hemorrhage: Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

Hemorrhagic stroke: Occurs when a weakened vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.

Hypertension: Abnormally high blood pressure.

Ischemic stroke: Occurs when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain is obstructed.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A procedure that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to create pictures of areas inside the body.

Mechanical Thrombectomy: An emergency procedure used to remove a blood clot from a blood vessel (vein or artery).

Neurologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.

Onset: The first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness.

Paralysis: Loss of voluntary movement (motor function).

Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient’s chance of recovery.

Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who has suffered an illness or injury restore lost skills and regain maximum self-sufficiency.

Sickle Cell Disease: A severe hereditary form of anemia in which a mutated form of hemoglobin distorts the red blood cells into a crescent shape at low oxygen levels.

Sign: Any objective evidence of disease or dysfunction.

Stent: A tube designed to be inserted into a vessel or passageway to keep it open.

Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood flow or rupture of an artery to the brain.

Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease.

Telemedicine: The remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): a temporary blockage of blood supply to the brain (mini stroke).

Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA): An enzyme that helps dissolve clots.

Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back to the heart.

Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug.

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