9 Cardiovascular System – Heart

Topic: Cardiovascular System – Heart

Text Reference: Chapter 9. Cardiovascular System – Heart

Objectives: Students should be able to…

Identify meanings of key word components of the cardiovascular system


a- (absence of, without)

bi- (two)

brady- (slow)

dys- (bad, abnormal, painful, difficult)

endo- (within, in)

epi- (on, upon, over)

hypo- (below, deficient)

hyper- (above, excessive)

inter- (between)

pan- (all, total)

peri- (surrounding, around)

poly- (excessive, over, many)

tachy- (fast, rapid)

tri- (three)

Combining Forms

angi/o (vessel)

ather/o (yellowish, fatty plaque)

arteri/o (artery)

atri/o (atrium)

cardi/o/ (heart)

coron/o (crown or circle, heart)

ech/o (sound)

electr/o (electricity)

isch/o (deficiency, blockage)

my/o (muscle)

myos/o (muscle)

symptomat/o (symptom)

thromb/o (clot)

valv/o (valve)

valvul/o (valve)

vas/o (vessel)

ven/o (vein)

ventricul/o (ventricle)


-ac (pertaining to)

-ade (process of)

-al (pertaining to)

-apheresis (removal)

-ar (pertaining to)

-centesis (surgical puncture to aspirate fluid)

-dynia (pain)

-ectomy (excision, surgical removal)

-emia (condition of blood)

-genic (producing, originating, causing)

-gia (pain)

-gram (record, radiographic image)

-graph (instrument used to record)

-graphy (process of recording, radiographic imaging)

-ia (condition of, diseased state, abnormal state)

-ic (pertaining to)

-ion (process)

-itis (inflammation)

-lysis (loosening, dissolution, separating)

-megaly (enlarged, enlargement)

-logist (specialist, physician who studies and treats)

-oma (tumor)

-osis (abnormal condition)

-ous (pertaining to)

-pathy (disease)

-penia (abnormal reduction in number)

-pexy (surgical fixation, suspension)

-plasty (surgical repair)

-poiesis (formation)

-sclerosis (hardening)

-scope (instrument used to view)

-scopy (process of viewing)

-stasis (stop, stopping, controlling)

-stenosis (narrowing, constriction)

-tomy (cut into, incision)

Apply the rules of medical language to pronounce, break into word parts, and define the following terms.

Label each word part by using the following abbreviations:

P = Prefix
WR = Word Root
CV = Combining Vowel
S = Suffix
CF = Combining Form

Example: osteoarthropathy (ä-stē-ō-är-THROP-ă-thē) – disease of bone and joint

WR     CV    WR     CV     S

oste / o / arthr / o /pathy

     CF               CF

Practice pronouncing and defining these medical terms that are not easily broken into word parts.

aneurysm (AN-yŭ-rizm)

arrhythmia (ā-RITH-mē-ă)

auscultation (os-kŭl-TĀ-shŏn)

bruit (brwē)

congenital (kŏn-JĔN-ĭ-tăl)

diaphoresis (dī-ă-fŏ-RĒ-sĭs)

diastole (dī-AS-tŏ-lē)

occlude (ŏ-KLOOD)

myocardial infarction (MI) (mī-ŏ-kar′dē-ăl in-FARK-shŏn)

sphygmomanometer (sfĭg-mō-măn-ŎM-ĕt-ĕr)

stethoscope (STETH-ŏ-skōp)

syncope (SING-kŏ-pē)

systole (SIS-tŏ-lē)

Practice pronouncing and defining these commonly abbreviated cardiovascular system terms related to the heart.

ACS (acute coronary syndrome)

AED (automated external defibrillator)

AFib (atrial fibrillation)

AI (aortic insufficiency)

AS (aortic stenosis)

ASD (atrial septal defect)

ASHD (arteriosclerotic heart disease)

AV (atrioventricular)

BP (blood pressure)

BPM (beats per minute)

CABG (coronary artery bypass graft

CAD (coronary artery disease)

CCU (coronary care unit, cardiac care unit)

CHD (coronary heart disease; chronic heart disease)

CHF (congestive heart failure)

CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)

DVT (deep vein thrombosis)

ECG, EKG (electrocardiogram)

ECHO (echocardiogram)

HF (Heart Failure)

HHD (hypertensive heart disease)

HTN (hypertension)

HR (heart rate)

ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator)

IV (intravenous)

MI (Myocardial Infarction)

PAD (peripheral artery disease)

PTCA (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty)

SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography)

TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram)

VSD (ventricular septal defect)

Sort the terms from the word lists above into the following categories.

  • Disease and Disorder (terms describing any deviation from normal structure and function)
  • Diagnostic (terms related to process of identifying a disease, condition, or injury from its signs and symptoms)
  • Therapeutic (terms related to treatment or curing of diseases)
  • Anatomic (terms related to body structure)

Use terms related to the cardiovascular system.

Label the following heart anatomy in the diagram below.

aorta | aortic valve | interventricular septum | left atrium | left pulmonary artery | left pulmonary veins | left ventricle | mitral (bicuspid) valve | pulmonary trunk | pulmonary valve | right pulmonary artery | right pulmonary veins | right ventricle | tricuspid valve


Internal structures of the heart
Internal structures of the heart. Image adapted from Betts et al., 2021. CC-BY 4.0.

Place the following medical terms in context to complete the scenario below.

BP | bradycardia | cardiovascular | CBC and Diff | ECG | embolism | hypercholesterolemia | hypertension | implant | intravenous | shortness | venous | WBC



AGE: 52
SEX: Female
DOB: February 27
REQUESTING PHYSICIAN: Trevor Sharpe, MD, Family Medicine
CONSULTING PHYSICIAN: Kevin Palmer, MD, Cardiology

HISTORY: This 52-year-old female was referred to our cardiology clinic by her family physician Dr. Trevor Sharpe. She had visited her physician last month with complaints of persistent fatigue, dizziness, light-headedness, fainting, and an inability to exercise without experiencing ________ of breath. She claims that she is otherwise healthy; however, there is a history of ________ diseases in her family. Her father had developed DVT during a long flight and subsequently suffered from pulmonary ________. Her mother had idiopathic intracranial ________ and died from MI at a relatively young age. The patient has 3 siblings, 2 of them suffering from hypertension and ________.

LABORATORY DATA: The laboratory results show normal ________. Hemoglobin, Hct, ________ count, and platelet count are within normal range. The patient’s PT and partial thromboplastin time are normal.

ALLERGIES: She is not allergic to any medications.

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION: Today the patient is alert and oriented but feels completely exhausted. She is also complaining of a mild chest pain. Her ________ is 180/110. Heart rate is in the high 50s with irregular rate and rhythm. NECK: is supple, without jugular ________ distention or bruits. LUNGS: are clear, without wheezing, rhonchi, or rales.

IMPRESSION: I suspect the patient suffers from ________ and needs a pacemaker to regulate her heart rhythms. However, given the significant history of cardiovascular disorders in her family, I will order more tests before making a definite diagnosis.

PLAN: I will admit the patient to a telemetry bed and monitor her for 48 hours. If her chest pain worsens, she will be moved to CCU and will be treated with ________ nitroglycerin. An ________ has also been ordered to confirm bradycardia. If the ECG results confirm my speculations, the patient will be scheduled for a pacemaker ________ as soon as possible.


Kevin Palmer, MD, Cardiology

Test your knowledge by answering the questions below.

The ability of the blood vessels to dilate and constrict as needed…

  1. LDL
  2. Syncope
  3. Compliance

A disorder in which too many red blood cells are produced…

  1. Polycythemia
  2. Mitral valve
  3. Great vessels

Difficult breathing

  1. Roots of the Great Vessels
  2. Dyspnea
  3. Pacemaker

A condition in which cells receive insufficient amounts of blood and oxygen

  1. Serous
  2. Ischemic
  3. Diaphoresis

Using extreme heat or extreme cold to destroy cells in part of the heart which were causing abnormal rhythms…

  1. Ablation
  2. Congenital
  3. Cyanosis


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Medical Terminology Student Companion Copyright © 2022 by Stacey Grimm; Colleen Allee; Heidi Belitz; Traci Gotz; Micheal Randolph; Elaine Strachota; and Laurie Zielinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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