Cardiovascular Institute > Glossary of Vascular Terms

Glossary of Vascular Terms

Aneurysm

An abnormal, balloon-like bulging of the wall of an artery.

Angiography

Radiography of blood vessels using the injection of material opaque to x-rays, to better define the vessels.

Anticoagulant

Any medicine that keeps blood from clotting; a blood thinner.

Antihypertensive

Any medicine or other therapy that lowers blood pressure.

Arteriovenous

Relating to both arteries and veins.

Artery

A blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the body.

Atherosclerosis

A disease process that leads to the buildup of fat and cholesterol, called plaque, inside blood vessels.

Brain attack

Another name for stroke.

Bruit

A sound made in the blood vessels resulting from turbulence, perhaps due to a buildup of plaque or damage to the vessels.

Carotid artery

A major artery on the right and left side of the neck supplying blood to the brain.

Cerebral embolism

A blood clot from one part of the body that is carried by the bloodstream to the brain, where it blocks an artery.

Cerebral hemorrhage

Stroke caused by bleeding within the brain resulting from a ruptured blood vessel, aneurysm, or head injury.

Cerebral thrombosis

Formation of a blood clot in an artery that supplies blood to part of the brain.

Cerebrovascular

Pertaining to the brain and the blood vessels that supply it.

Cerebrovascular occlusion

The blocking or closing up of a blood vessel in the brain.

Endarterectomy

Removal of fatty or cholesterol plaques and calcified deposits from the internal wall of an artery.

Endovascular

Blockage in the lymphatic vessels can lead to significant leg or arm swelling.  These blockages can be inherited or occur due to previous surgery, injury or infection.

Hydrocephalus

a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up within the ventricles (fluid-containing cavities) of the brain and may increase pressure within the head.

Ischemia

Inadequate circulation of blood generally due to a blockage of an artery.

Ischemic stroke

A stroke caused by interruption or blockage of blood flow to the brain.

Jugular veins

The veins that carry blood back from the head to the heart.

Plaque

A deposit of fatty (and other) substances in the inner lining of the artery wall, which usually leads to atherosclerosis.

Stent

A device made of expandable, metal mesh that is placed (by using a balloon catheter) at the site of a narrowing artery. The stent is then expanded and left in place to keep the artery open.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

Blood in, or bleeding into, the space under the arachnoid membrane, most commonly from trauma or from rupture of an aneurysm.

Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

A temporary interruption of the blood supply to an area of the brain; also called a mini-stroke. It usually lasts only a few minutes and causes no permanent damage or disability.

Vasospasm

Spasm of blood vessels which decreases their diameter.

For more information about vascular disease and treatment options, call LifeBridge Health at 410-601-WELL (9355).