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Wilgers Hospital
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Wilgers X4 Pretoria
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Glossary

This page contains the definitions of some common terms used in the context of vascular medicine.
 

Aneurysm

An aneurysm is a stretching of a weakened artery, which balloons out like a worn motor car tyre, making it likely to burst.

Angioplasty

A balloon catheter compresses the plaque against the vessel wall, making a larger opening for the blood to pass through. It is also known as Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTA).

Artery

A vessel taking blood away from the heart.

Atherosclerosis

It is the disease where blood flow in an artery is restricted by a plaque deposit. Less oxygen and other nutrients are able to reach the organs supplied by that artery.

Balloon

This is a very small balloon on a catheter. The balloon is inflated in order to compress the plaque against the artery wall and make a larger opening.

Catheter

A thin plastic tube used to provide access to small parts of the body such as arteries and other vessels.

Chronic Limb Ischaemia (CLI)

It is a deficiency in blood to a limb causing specific symptoms of severe pain or even ulceration.

Embolic Protection Device (EPD)

A small device used during an endovascular procedure to obtain embolic protection.

Embolus

A clot or other obstruction brought by the blood from one vessel and forced into another.

Endarterectomy

A surgical technique whereby and artery is cut open in order to facilitate the removal of plaque.

Fibromuscular Dysplasia

Fibromuscular dysplasia is an arterial occlusive disease in children or young adults caused by the abnormal formation of the smooth muscle cells in arteries during development.

Hypertension

An increase in blood pressure.

Ischaemia

A deficiency of blood supply to an area of tissue.

Lumen

The inner channel of the artery where blood flows.

Occlusion

A complete obstruction of an artery with an interruption of blood flow.

Percutaneous

Through the skin.

Plaque

An accumulation of calcium, cell debris, fatty deposits, cholestrol and/or collagen in the arteries. This usually leads to a narrowing of the lumen.

Restenosis

A recurrent narrowing of the artery due to scar tissue or new plaque after correction of the original narrowing with surgery, angioplasty and/or stent placement.

Stenosis

Narrowing of the artery.

Stent

An expandable metal or alloy mesh tube that pushes open an artery in order to maintain healthy blood flow through the opened artery.

Stroke

Any disorder of the blood supply to the brain resulting in insufficient oxygen and nutrients with subsequent damage to brain tissue.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

A TIA is a stroke-like event that clears up within 24 hours.

Transluminal

Within the lumen of the artery.

Thrombus

A thickening of the blood leading to clot formation.

Varicose Vein

A vein that has become dilated, bulging and twisted.

Vein

A vessel taking blood back to the heart.

Vessel

Vein or artery.