See: radiofrequency ablation


The state or quality of being abnormal .
An anomaly, deformity, malformation, impairment, or dysfunction


Drugs used to induce loss of sensation for the patient in preparation for operative procedures.

Aneurysm (an-yur-izm)

A ballooning out of a segment of artery caused by disease or weakness in the vessel wall. It may lead to rupture and serious or fatal bleeding.


Too few red blood cells in the bloodstream, resulting in insufficient oxygen to tissues and organs

angiographic (an-jE-O-graf-ik)

Relating to or utilizing angiography.


Radiography of vessels after the injection of a radiopaque contrast material. Unlike angioplasty, which is an invasive procedure, angiography breaks the skin only for the insertion of a needle for administering a radiopaque catheter and positioning under fluoroscopic control. This technique is used to image arteries in the brain, heart, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, aorta, neck, chest, limbs and pulmonary circuit.

angioplasty (an-jE-O-plas-tE)

Reconstitution or reopening of a blood vessel; may involve balloon dilation, mechanical stripping of the inside of the blood vessel, forceful injection of a elastic filamentous protein, or placement of a stent .


A marked deviation from the normal standard, especially as a result of congenital defects .

aorta (A-Or-ta)

The large artery leaving the heart that distributes blood to the entire body through branches.

arteriovenous fistula

The surgical joining of an artery and a vein under the skin for the purpose of haemodialysis . Larger arteriovenous shunts can place strain on the heart since arterial blood is diverted back to the venous circulation before it has a chance to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the body tissues

arteriovenous malformation (AVM)

An abnormal communication between an artery and vein that may be present at birth or may result from injury or infection. Blood may flow directly from the artery to the vein, bypassing the small vessels where oxygen and tissue nutrients are exchanged. These unusual malformations are often found in the brain and spinal cord, but may occur anywhere in the body.
A tangle of dilated blood vessels that disrupts normal blood flow in the brain.


Vessels that carry blood away from the heart.

atherosclerosis (ath-er-O-skler-O-sis)

Arteriosclerosis characterized by irregularly distributed lipid deposits, or plaque, in large and medium-sized arteries; such deposits provoke fibrosis and calcification (hardening of the tissues).

balloon assisted technique

A technique that uses balloons to open narrowed blood vessels.

blood clot

The conversion of blood from a liquid form to solid through the process of coagulation .

blood transfusion

The process of infusing blood products into a patient to raise the individuals concentration of red blood cells . Blood is typed (A, B, O or AB ) and crossmatched ( mixed together to see if its compatible ) prior to transfusion .


An abnormal sound heard when listening with a stethoscope over an organ or blood vessel such as the carotid artery in the neck.

cardiac catheterization

A diagnostic procedure in which a catheter is placed in a large vein in the leg or arm and advanced to the heart to check for blood pressure within the heart, oxygen in the blood, and/or pumping ability of the heart muscle. (Also see angiography and angioplasty.)

carotid artery (ka-rot-id ar-ter-E)

Major vessel(s) running through either side of the neck, which supply blood to the brain.

CAT scan

See: computed tomography (CT)


A tubular instrument to allow passage of fluid from or into a body cavity.
Especially a catheter designed to be passed through the urethra into the bladder to drain it of retained urine.
A flexible, hollow plastic or rubber tube that may be passed into a blood vessel to withdraw fluids or inject medicine or contrast materials.

catheter angiography

An examination of blood vessels by injecting contrast material directly into an artery through a small plastic tube.

chemotherapy (kEm-O-ther-a-pE)

Treatment of disease by means of chemical substances or drugs; usually used in reference to neoplastic (cancer) disease.

cholesterol < biochemistry >

A pearly, fatlike steroid alcohol, C27H45OH, crystallizing in the form of leaflets or plates from dilute alcohol and found in animal fats and oils, in bile, blood, brain tissue, milk, yolk of egg, myelin sheaths of nerve fibres, the liver, kidneys and adrenal glands.
It constitutes a large part of the most frequently occurring type of gallstones and occurs in atheroma of the arteries, in various cysts and in carcinomatous tissue . Most of the bodys cholesterol is synthesised in the liver, but some is absorbed from the diet . It is a precursor of bile acids and is important in the synthesis of steroid hormones.

computed tomography (CT) (tO-mog-ru-fE)

Sometimes referred to as CAT scan (computerized axial tomography).
Imaging anatomical information from a cross-sectional plane of the body, each image generated by a computer synthesis of x-ray transmission data obtained in many different directions in a given plane.
Developed in 1967 by British electronics engineer Godfrey Hounsfield, CT has revolutionized diagnostic medicine. Hounsfield linked x-ray sensors to a computer and worked out a mathematical technique called algebraic reconstruction for assembling images from transmission data. In 1973, the Mayo Clinic began operating the first machine in the U.S. Early machines yielded digital images with at least 100 times the clarity of normal x-rays. Subsequently, the speed and accuracy of machines has improved many times over. CT scans reveal both bone and soft tissues, including organs, muscles, and tumors. Image tones can be adjusted to highlight tissues of similar density, and, through graphics software, the data from multiple cross-sections can be assembled into 3-D images. CT aids diagnosis and surgery or other treatment, including radiation therapy, in which effective dosage is highly dependent on the precise density, size, and location of a tumor.

computed tomography (CT) angiography ( tO-mog-ru-fE an-jE-O-gra-fE)

A method of examining blood vessels utilizing x-rays and injection of iodine-containing contrast medium.

coronary arteries (kOr-o-nAr-E ar-ter-Es)

The arteries that supply freshly oxygenated blood to the heart muscle.

carotid arteries

Paired large calibre vessels that pass on either side of the neck supplying oxygenated blood to the brain . Occlusive disease ( atherosclerosis ) of the vessels can lead to stroke.


Cryotherapy, also known as cryoablation or cryosurgery, is the use of extreme cold for the treatment of disease.

diabetes (diabetes mellitus) (dI-uh-bE-tEs), (dI-uh-bE-tEs mel-I-tus)

A metabolic disease in which carbohydrate utilization is reduced and that of lipid and protein enhanced; it is caused by an absolute or relative deficiency of insulin and is characterized, in more severe cases, by chronic hyperglycemia, glycosuria, water and electrolyte loss, ketoacidosis, and coma; long-term complications include development of disorders of the nervous system, eyes and kidneys ; generalized degenerative changes in large and small blood vessels, and increased susceptibility to infection.

diagnostic imaging

Any visual display of structural or functional patterns of organs or tissues for diagnostic evaluation . It includes measuring physiologic and metabolic responses to physical and chemical stimuli, as well as ultramicroscopy.

diagnostic ultrasound

The use of ultrasound to obtain images for medical diagnostic purposes, typically employing frequencies ranging from 2 MHz to about 12 MHz.

dialysis (dI-al-i-sis)

A method of removing waste materials from the body when the kidneys are not working properly.

doppler ultrasonography

An application of diagnostic ultrasound used to detect moving blood cells or other moving structures and measure their direction and speed of movement. The Doppler effect is used to evaluate movement by measuring changes in frequency of the echoes reflected from moving structures.
In many instances, Doppler ultrasound has replaced x-ray methods such as angiography, as a method to evaluate blood vessels and blood flow. Doppler ultrasound permits real-time viewing of blood flow that cannot be obtained by other methods. Doppler ultrasound has proved a boon in all areas of ultrasound, aiding in the evaluation of the major arteries and veins of the body, the heart, and in obstetrics for fetal monitoring.


The movement of a blood clot, piece of tissue, or pocket of air or gas from where it forms through the bloodstream until it lodges in place, cutting off the flow of blood with its oxygen and tissue nutrients. Catheter embolization is the deliberate introduction of foreign (“embolic”) material such as gelatin sponge or metal coils to stop bleeding or cut off blood flowing to a tumor or arteriovenous malformation.

embolus, pl. emboli, embolism

A plug, composed of a detached blood clot, mass of bacteria, or other foreign body, blocking a vessel.

estrogen < endocrinology, hormone >

A generic term for oestrus producing steroid compounds, the female sex hormones .
In humans, oestrogen is formed in the ovary, possibly the adrenal cortex , the testis and the foetoplacental unit, it has various functions in both sexes . It is responsible for the development of the female secondary sex characteristics and during the menstrual cycle it acts on the female genitalia to produce an environment suitable for the fertilization, implantation and nutrition of the early embryo .

femoral artery (fem-o-ral ar-ter-E)

A major artery that supplies blood to the lower extremity

fibroid (fI-broyd)

Resembling or compo sed of fibers or fibrous tissue.

fibroid tumor

A benign tumor containing fibrous tissue, also called a fibroma or myoma, which is frequently found in the uterus.


Benign uterine tumour also referred to as a uterine fibroid . Uterine fibroids can cause pelvic pain and irregular vaginal bleeding in some females .


fistula (pl. fistulas or fistulae) is an abnormal connection or passageway between organs or vessels that normally do not connect.


A device that projects radiographic (x-ray) images in a movie-like sequence onto a screen monitor.

fluoroscopy (flur-os-ko-pE)

Examination of the tissues and deep structures of the body by x-ray, using the fluoroscope.


Death of tissue, usually in considerable mass and generally associated with loss of vascular ( nutritive ) supply and followed by bacterial invasion and putrefaction .

gastrointestinal (GI) (gas-trO-in-tes-tin-al)

Relating to the stomach and intestines.


Any free (unattached) tissue or organ for transplantation.


A collection of blood formed when small blood vessels are damaged, causing bleeding into the tissues.


A procedure often required at regular intervals by patients whose kidneys no longer are able to remove waste materials from the blood. A machine performs this function instead and the cleansed blood then is returned to the patient.


Persistently high arterial blood pressure . Hypertension may have no known cause ( essential or idiopathic hypertension) or be associated with other primary diseases ( secondary hypertension).
This condition is considered a risk factor for the development of heart disease , peripheral vascular disease, stroke and kidney disease


Surgical removal of the uterus .

hysterosalpingography (his-ter-O-sal-ping-gog-ru-fE)

Radiography of the uterus and fallopian tubes after the injection of radiopaque material.

hysterosonography (his-ter-O-son-og-ra-fE)

Sonography of the uterus and fallopian tubes using a transvaginal probe following the injection of sterile saline into the uterus.

implant (im-plant)

To graft or insert.
Material inserted or grafted into tissues.

implanted port

A catheter connected to a quarter-sized disk that is surgically placed just below the skin in the chest or abdomen. The tube is inserted into a large vein or artery directly into the bloodstream. Fluids, drugs, or blood products can be infused or blood drawn through a needle that is stuck into the disk. Examples of manufacturer’s names: Port-o-cath, Infusaport, Lifeport.

interventional radiologist

A radiologist who specializes in the use of fluoroscopy, CT, and ultrasound to guide passage through the skin by needle puncture, including introduction of wires and catheters for performing procedures such as biopsies, draining fluids, inserting catheters, or dilating or stenting narrowed ducts or vessels.

interventional radiology

The clinical subspecialty that uses fluoroscopy, CT, and ultrasound to guide percutaneous (through the skin) procedures such as performing biopsies,

intravenous (‘inside a vein’)

Frequently a needle will be placed in a vein, often a large arm vein, to deliver fluids and medications, withdraw blood samples, and transfuse blood.

intravenous pyelography (IVP)

Radiography of kidneys, ureters, and bladder following injection of contrast medium into a peripheral vein. For details see the IVP Radiography page.

invasive (in-vA-siv)

Denoting or characterized by invasion.
Denoting a procedure requiring insertion of an instrument or device into the body through the skin or a body orifice for diagnosis or treatment.


Affected by ischaemia

kidney (kid-nE)

One of the two organs that excrete the urine. The kidneys are bean-shaped organs (about 11 cm long, 5 cm wide, and 3 cm thick) lying on either side of the backbone.


A posterior curvature of the thoracic spine usually the result of a disease ( lung disease, Paget’s disease ) or a congenital problem


A device emitting intense, focused light energy that can destroy tissues as an alternative to conventional surgical removal.


Benign uterine tumours also referred to as uterine fibroids . Uterine fibroids can cause pelvic pain and irregular vaginal bleeding in some females .


Multiple leiomyomas, often referred to as uterine fibroids . Uterine fibroids can cause pelvic pain and irregular vaginal bleeding in some females .


The almost colourless fluid that bathes body tissues and is found in the lymphatic vessels that drain the tissues of the fluid that filters across the blood vessel walls from blood . Lymph carries lymphocytes that have entered the lymph nodes from the blood.


Pertaining to, containing, or conveying lymph .

magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) (an-jE-O-gra-fE)

A method of angiography utilizing the magnetic properties of tissues and body fluids rather than x-rays to record images.

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

A diagnostic radiological modality, using nuclear magnetic resonance technology, in which the magnetic nuclei (especially protons) of a patient are aligned in a strong, uniform magnetic field, absorb energy from tuned radiofrequency pulses, and emit radiofrequency signals as their excitation decays. These signals, which vary in intensity according to nuclear abundance and molecular chemical environment, are converted into sets of tomographic (selected planes) images by using field gradients in the magnetic field, which permits 3-dimensional localization of the point sources of the signals.


Cessation of menstruation in the human female, occurring usually around the age of 50.

modality (mO-dal-i-tE)

A form of application or employment of a therapeutic agent or regimen.


A benign fibroid tumour of the uterus


The surgical removal of a uterine fibroid tumour .

nitrous oxide < chemical > Nitrogen oxide (n2o).

A colourless, odourless gas that is used as an anaesthetic and analgesic . High concentrations cause a narcotic effect and may replace oxygen, causing death by asphyxia . It is also used as a food aerosol in the preparation of whipping cream .
Pharmacological action: aerosol propellants, analgesics, non-narcotic, anaesthetics, inhalation .

osteoporosis (os-tE-O-pOr-O-sis)

A condition of reduced bone mass, with decreased outer thickness and a decrease in the number and size of the spongy structures in the bone (but normal chemical composition), resulting in increased fracture incidence. Osteoporosis is classified as primary (Type 1, postmenopausal osteoporosis; Type 2, age-associated osteoporosis)

percutaneous (per-kyU-tA-nE-u)

Denoting the passage of substances through unbroken skin, as in absorption of an ointment containing the active ingredient; also passage through the skin by needle puncture, including introduction of wires and catheters .

peripheral artery disease (PAD)

See peripheral vascular disease (PVD).

peripheral vascular disease (PVD)

Arteriosclerosis in arteries of the arms or legs, which become narrow from the build up of plaque and eventually may cause severe symptoms. The most common form is disease in large vessels supplying the legs, which causes severe pain on walking and may in time make a patient immobile.
PVD is sometimes called peripheral artery disease (PAD).


Hardening of the arteries

pulmonary embolism < cardiology >

The lodgment of a blood clot in the lumen of a pulmonary artery, causing a severe dysfunction in respiratory function .
Pulmonary emboli often have origin in the veins of the lower extremities where clots form in the deep leg veins and then travel to the lungs via the venous circulation .
Symptoms and features include acute onset of shortness of breath, chest pain ( worse with breathing ) and rapid heart rate and respiratory rate . Some individuals may have haemoptysis .
Diagnosis can be made on a ventilation perfusion scan of the lung or on a pulmonary angiogram .


behind the knee joint; as, the popliteal space

radiofrequency ablation

A treatment technique that uses high-frequency alternating electrical current to destroy tissue cells by heating them.


A backward or return flow

renal artery (rE-nal ar-ter-E)

The major artery supplying the kidney .

renal hypertension

When the renal arteries are narrowed by atherosclerosis, not enough blood reaches the kidney tissue and, as a result, substances are released that raise the blood pressure.


saphenous < anatomy >

Manifest; applied to the two principal superficial veins of the lower limb of man .
Of, pertaining to, or in the region of, the saphenous veins ; as, the saphenous nerves ; the saphenous opening, an opening in the broad fascia of the thigh through which the internal saphenous vein passes .


A muscular sac that contains the testes .


Sperm (or spermatozoa) is the male reproductive cell carried by semen through the penis when a man ejaculates.


Narrowing or stricture of a duct or canal


Device used to maintain a bodily orifice or cavity during skin grafting , or to immobilize a skin graft after placement.
Slender thread, rod, or catheter, lying within the space in the interior of a tubular structure, such as an artery or the intestine. Used to provide support during or after opening surgically, or to assure the opening of an intact but contracted lumen .
A semi-rigid tube-like device used to keep an artery open after angioplasty.


The act of placing a stent.


The sudden development of localized disturbances in the nervous system, usually related to reduced blood in the brain.

subclavian vein

A major vein running through the shoulder region which receives blood from the large vein of the upper arm and returns it part of the way to the heart.

superior vena cava

One of the largest veins in the body, it returns blood from the entire upper half of the

targeted cryoablation therapy

See cryotherapy

technologist (tek-nol-a-jist)

One trained in and using the techniques of a profession, art, or science.

testes (plural of testis)

See testis .


See testis .


Denoting a blood vessel that is the seat of thrombosis


A thrombus is a clot which forms inside of a blood vessel . If that clot moves inside the vessel it is referred to as an embolus ( embolism ). The presence of atherosclerotic plaque lining blood vessel walls is a significant stimulus for clot formation .

ultrasound, diagnostic (ul-tra-sownd)

Ultrasound imaging, also known as ultrasound scanning or sonography, is a method of obtaining images from inside the human body through the use of high frequency sound waves. The soundwaves’ echoes are recorded and displayed

uterus (yU-ter-us)

The hollow muscular organ in which the impregnated ovum (egg) is developed into the child; it is about 7.5 cm in length in the nonpregnant woman, and consists of a main portion (body) with an elongated lower part (neck), at the extremity of which is the opening (os). The upper rounded portion of the uterus, opposite the os, is the fundus, at each extremity of which is the horn marking the part where the uterine tube joins the uterus and through which the ovum reaches the uterine cavity after leaving the ovary. The organ is supported in the pelvic cavity by the broad ligaments, round ligaments, cardinal ligaments, and rectouterine (relating to rectum and uterus) and vesicouterine (relating to bladder and uterus) folds or ligaments.

varicose veins

Dilated, twisted veins with nonfunctioning valves, usually found in the legs, in which blood can back up instead of flowing normally back to the heart.

vascular (vas-kyU-lar)

Relating to or containing blood vessels.

vasography (vA-sog-ru-fE)

Radiography of the the secretory duct of the testicle (vas deferens), to determine patency (the state of being freely open), by injecting contrast medium into its opening either through the urethra or by incision into the vas deferens.


One of a large system of branching vessels that collect blood which the arteries have distributed to body tissues and returns it to the heart and then the lungs.

venography (vE-nog-ra-fE)

A type of x-ray in which contrast material is injected into a vein to show the details of its structure and any abnormality that may be present.

venous insufficiency

A condition in which the vein do not channel the flow of blood adequately. most often this condition is seen in the veins of the lower extremities .
Symptoms include leg swelling, leg pain and muscle cramps . This condition can predispose to venous thrombosis


One of the bones that extend from the upper neck to the pelvic level and serve to enclose and protect the spinal cord.


The bony segments of the spinal column which contain and protect the spinal cord .

vertebral compression fractures

Fractures of the vertebrae caused by the compression, or excessive pushing, of one bone against another.


Vertebroplasty is an image-guided, minimally invasive, nonsurgical therapy used to strengthen a broken vertebra (spinal bone) that has been weakened by osteoporosis or, less commonly, cancer.

x-ray (X-Ra)

The ionizing electromagnetic radiation emitted from a highly evacuated tube, resulting from the excitation of the inner orbital electrons by the bombardment of the target anode with a stream of electrons from a heated cathode. • Ionizing electromagnetic radiation produced by the excitation of the inner orbital electrons of an atom by other processes, such as nuclear delay and its sequelae.


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