Terms you need to know
Keep this glossary handy so you can refer to it while managing your heart valve disease.
Angioplasty: A procedure that uses a tiny balloon to help open a narrowed or hardened blood vessel.
Aortic valve: One of the four heart valves; it helps blood flow to your aortic artery, which sends it to the rest of your body.
Atrioventricular valve: One of the two types of heart valve that control the flow of blood in the heart. They make the “heartbeat” sound you hear as they open and close.
Atrium: The two upper chambers of the heart.
Bileaflet valve: A type of artificial heart valve.
Calcification: When calcium deposits build up on heart valves, making them work improperly.
Diastole: The period when the heart muscle relaxes between contractions.
Echocardiogram: A test that uses sound waves to produce an image of your heart.
Electrocardiogram: A painless test that shows how quickly, strongly and regularly your heart is beating.
Fibrillation: A rapid or irregular heartbeat.
Mitral valve: One of the four heart valves; it separates the left atrium from the left ventricle.
Myocardial infarction: A heart attack.
Pulmonary valve: One of the four heart valves; it helps blood flow to your pulmonary artery, which sends it to the rest of your body.
Systole: The part of the heartbeat when the heart contracts.
Tricuspid valve: One of the four heart valves; it separates the right atrium from the right ventricle.
Ventricle: The lower two chambers of the heart.