Glossary Of Terms - Richard Maddison


  This glossary explains many terms related to heart issues. Our aim is to help inform readers of the meanings and uses of various terms. The contents are not advice, and the BCPA and the author cannot accept any responsibility. The choices of what terms are included are somewhat arbitrary - including terms on prevention, diagnosis, symptoms, treatment, rehabilitation, and research.
  For ease of English style, we have sometimes used 'you' to mean the patient or carer, as well as the reader.


Click on any link with an asterisk to go to that Factsheet. (Opens in a new window or new tab)
Click on any other link to go to that place alphabetically in the Glossary.
Then scroll, and/or use Page_up, Page_down, or the arrow keys. Alt&LeftArrow goes back; Alt&RightArrow goes forward again.
The Factsheets have links to the Glossary in them, and vice versa.


This information was created and edited by Richard Maddison for the BCPA.
Copyright © 1997-2019 The British Cardiac Patients Association, and/or Richard Maddison.
BCPA Head Office: 15 Abbey Road, Bingham, Nottingham NG13 8EE
Reg Charity 289190. Email:

First published in this form 2002, and updated 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2017.
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without written permission from the BCPA Head Office.

We give permission for copies to be stored and made within the BCPA and any UK hospital; and these hospitals may give printed but not electronic copies to patients provided the source and copyright is acknowledged on the copies - eg include the page footer.

Authors, sources and acknowledgements

The main sources are BCPA Journal published articles, other information from authors, and publicly available documents and websites. In many cases the journal articles give sources and further information than the Glossary entries.

Parts of the wordings under ECG and Echocardiogram are adapted with permission from BUPA's health information resources, available at

We hope we have thanked everyone.

Richard Maddison

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