Arterial line n. a thin catheter inserted into an artery. It is most commonly used in intensive care medicine to monitor the blood pressure real-time (rather than by intermittent measurement), and to obtain samples for arterial blood gas measurements. It is not generally used to administer medication. An arterial line is usually inserted in the wrist (radial artery), armpit (axillary artery), groin (femoral artery), or foot (pedal artery).
Bronchoscopy n. an examination using a scope through the mouth or the nose into the airway for any abnormality such as foreign bodies, bleeding, a tumor, or inflammation. The doctor uses either a rigid bronchoscope or flexible bronchoscope.
Coumadin (crystalline warfarin sodium) is an anticoagulant which acts by inhibiting vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors.
Endotracheal intubation n. a procedure by which a tube is inserted through the mouth down into the trachea (the large airway from the mouth to the lungs).
Heparin n. an anticoagulant. It is used to decrease the clotting ability of the blood and help prevent harmful clots from forming in the blood vessels. This medicine is sometimes called a blood thinner, although it does not actually thin the blood. Heparin will not dissolve blood clots that have already formed, but it may prevent the clots from becoming larger and causing more serious problems
Histoplasmosis n. a disease caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Its symptoms vary greatly, but the disease primarily affect the lungs. Occasionally, other organs are affected. This form of the disease is called disseminated histoplasmosis, and it can be fatal if untreated.,More Information
Ischemia (Greek ισχαιμία, isch- is restriction, hema or haema is blood) is a restriction in blood supply, generally due to factors in the blood vessels, with resultant damage or dysfunction of tissue.
Larynx (plural larynges)n. commonly called the voicebox, is an organ in the neck of mammals involved in protection of the trachea and sound production. The larynx houses the vocal cords, and is situated just below where the tract of the pharynx splits into the trachea and the esophagus.
Mediastinoscopy n. a surgical procedure that allows physicians to view areas of the mediastinum, the cavity behind the breastbone that lies between the lungs. The organs in the mediastinum include the heart and its vessels, the lymph nodes, trachea, esophagus, and thymus.Read more
Mediastinum n. the thoracic cavity between pleural cavities, from sternum to spine, thoracic inlet to diaphragm.
MRI (or magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a radiology technique that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures. The MRI scanner is a tube surrounded by a giant circular magnet. The patient is placed on a moveable bed which is inserted into the magnet. The magnet creates a strong magnetic field which aligns the protons of hydrogen atoms, which are then exposed to a beam of radio waves. This spins the various protons of the body, and they produce a faint signal that is detected by the receiver portion of the MRI scanner. The receiver information is processed by a computer, and an image is then produced. The image and resolution produced by MRI is quite detailed and can detect tiny changes of structures within the body. For some procedures, contrast agents such as gadolinium are used to increase the accuracy of the images.
PICC line n. a long, thin, flexible tube known as a catheter. It is inserted into one of the large veins of the arm near the bend of the elbow. It is then pushed into the vein until the tip sits in a large vein just above the heart. Reference
Pulmonary angiogram n. an X-ray test that uses fluoroscopy to take pictures of the blood flow within the blood vessels of the lung. A thin flexible tube called a catheter is usually placed into a blood vessel in the groin or just above the elbow and guided through the heart to the lungs. Then a dye (contrast material) that contains iodine is injected into the vessel being studied to make it more visible on the X-ray pictures. More on pulmonary angiogram
Pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) arterial hypertension (PAH) a continuous high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery. The average blood pressure in a normal pulmonary artery is about 14 mmHg when the person is resting. In PAH, the average is usually greater than 25 mmHg.
PAH is a serious condition for which there are treatments but no cure. Treatment benefits many patients. Reference
Pulmonary embolism (PE) n. a blockage of an artery in the lungs by a blood clot, fat, air or clumped tumor cells. By far the most common form of pulmonary embolism is a thromboembolism, which occurs when a blood clot, generally a venous thrombus, becomes dislodged from its site of formation and embolizes to the arterial blood supply of one of the lungs. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, pain during breathing, and more rarely circulatory instability and death. Treatment is with anticoagulant medication, such as warfarin. Other rarer forms of pulmonary embolism occur when material other than a blood clot is responsible. More about pulmonary embolism
Stent n. a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty. The stent is collapsed to a small diameter and put over a balloon catheter. It's then moved into the area of the blockage. When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands, locks in place and forms a scaffold. This holds the artery open. The stent stays in the artery permanently, holds it open, improves blood flow to the heart muscle and relieves symptoms (usually chest pain) Reference