Glossary of Terms

Aneurysm
Saccular or fusiform dilation of a blood vessel (usually an artery but sometimes a vein)
Angiogram/Angiography
An X-ray of the blood vessels after injection of a contrast substance
Aorta
The largest artery in the human body, carrying blood from the heart to branch arteries throughout the body
Atherectomy
Endovascular removal of plaque from within a blood vessel by a catheter with a rotating cutting blade
Atherosclerosis
Deposits inside the arteries that cause narrowing or complete blockage
Atrial Fibrillation
A rapid and irregular heart rate and rhythm that can decrease efficiency of the heart
Balloon Angioplasty
An endovascular procedure that positions a catheter with a deflated balloon on its tip into the narrowed segment of an artery; the balloon is then inflated and compresses the plaque against the vessel wall (Also known as Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTLA), Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA), Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), Balloon Angioplasty, and Coronary Artery Balloon Dilation)
Claudication
Pain or a tired feeling in the legs during physical activity
Dissection
A split in the layers of tissue that comprise the aortic wall - blood can then "dissect" between the layers and cause bleeding or obstruction of blood flow
Embolism
When a blood clot or other plaque debris moves through the bloodstream until it lodges in a narrowed vessel and blocks the flow of blood (circulation)
Embolization
  1. Obstruction of a blood vessel or organ when a blood clot or other plaque debris moves through the bloodstream until it lodges in a narrowed vessel and blocks the flow of blood
  2. Also an operation in which coils (or other permanent synthetic material) are introduced into the circulatory system in order to clot off or close specific abnormal blood vessels, such as in Uterine Artery Embolization
Endovascular
A minimally invasive procedure designed to access various regions within the body via major blood vessels using catheters, guidewires, balloons, stents, etc.
Hemorrhage
Bleeding from a ruptured or injured vessel
Ischemia
Insufficient blood flow due to an obstructed artery
Saphenous vein
The primary superficial veins of the lower extremity
Stent deployment
A short, narrow metal or plastic tube in the form of a mesh that is inserted into a blood vessel, especially to keep a previously blocked passageway open
Takayasu's disease
A chronic inflammation of the large or small blood vessels
Thrombosis
The formation or presence of a blood clot within a vessel
Vascular
Pertaining to blood vessels
Vasculitis
Inflammation of blood vessels
Venogram
An X-ray after the injection of a contrast substance into a vein
Venous reflux
A condition that develops when the valves that normally keep blood flowing out of your legs become diseased and don't function properly