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Flashcards in Cardiology definitions Deck (12):


Chaotic electrical and mechanical activity.

Caused because the pumping action of the affected chamber is lost.


Atrial fibrillation 

Irregularly irregular pulse



Reduces efficiency of the heart but does not cause a serious problem in the absence of other heart disease


Ventricular fibrillation 

results in complete loss of cardiac output and is fatal within minutes unless corrected (electrical defibrillation)


concentric hypertrophy

thickening of the wall but no increases in volume, normally seen in high bp or aortic stenosis (results in a stronger apex beat)


eccentric hypertrophy

where there is a thickening of the wall and an increase in volume due to regurgitation or volume overload (displaced apex beat).


Mitral stenosis

Causes: rheumatic fever

Pathophysiology: Narrowed valve reduces flow to LV in diastole, reduced stroke volume. Increased LA pressure causes hypertophy and dilation. Can increase RH pressure, leading to pulmonary hypertension and RH failure

Symptoms: associated with RH failure - dyspnoea, haemoptysis, cough, malar flush

Murmur: low rumbling early diastolic

Associated with atrial fibrillation, causes irregularly irregular pulse and palpitations


Mitral regurgitation

Causes: rheumatic fever, IHD, endocarditis, cardiomyopathy

Pathophysiology: Regurgitation causes an increase in left atrial pressure due to increased volume. Increases pulmonary venous pressure, results in pulmonary oedema >RHF. Can also cause LV hyertophy and failure due to increased volume in ventricle. Cardiac output reduced

Murmur: Pansystolic murmur, S3, forceful apex beat

Symptoms: palpitations, dyspnoea, fatigue


Aortic stenosis

Causes: congenital (bicuspid), rheumatic fever

Pathophysiology: LV outflow obstructed increases pressure and causing LV hypertrophy. Causes ischemia of myocaridum > consequent angina, arrhythmia, LV failure. 

Symptoms: Angina, Worse on exercise because CO cannot increase, Cardiac ischemia worsens. Dyspnoea, syncope

Signs: Ejection systolic murmur, slow rising carotid pulse, S3 sound. Prominent heaving apex, palpable thrill.

ECG: Large R wave (hypertrophy), ST depression/T inversion (ischemia) 


Aortic regurgitation

Causes: endocarditis, rheumatic fever, marfan's syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta

Pathophysiology: Reflux of blood into LV in diastole, causing LV hypertrophy. Diastolic BP falls and coronary perfusion decreased. Cardiac ischemia develops. 

Signs: diastolic murmur heard in tricuspid area in expiration. Forceful lateral apex beat, angina. ECG shows tall R waves and inverted T waves. 


Osler's node

Small, purple tender skin lesions in pads of fingers, toes, palms of hands or soles of feet, caused by immune complexes of infected micro-emboli


Janeway's lesions

Slightly raised but non tender haemorrhagic lesions seen in patients with bacterial endocarditis. Caused by septic emboli.


Name 4 conditions which cause atrial fibrillation


Ischaemic heart disease


Pulmonary embolism


Excess alcohol

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