Winter 2005
What's In a Word?

Here are a few unfamiliar words you’ll find in this issue of Healthy & Wise.

Electrophysiology: the science of diagnosing and treating conditions that are related to the heart’s electrical system, which controls the heartbeat.

Electrophysiologist: a cardiologist with specialty training in conducting and analyzing electrophysiology tests. Using sophisticated computerized devices and programs, electrophysiologists can map the heart’s electrical system; determine what is causing a faulty heart rhythm; and treat, control, or even cure the disorder.

Pacemaker: A small electronic device implanted under the skin to regulate the heartbeat. It backs up the heart's natural pacemaker and electrical system. Pacemakers "sense" when the heart's natural heartbeat becomes too slow, and send out weak electrical signals to restore the heart rate to normal.

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD): a battery-operated device placed under the skin of the chest, with wires leading to the heart. When any of several faulty, possibly even fatal, rhythms develop, the device shocks the heart back into a normal heartbeat.

Echocardiogram: an ultrasound image used to examine and measure the structure and functioning of the heart and to diagnose abnormalities and disease. It can be used to map blood flow through the chambers of the heart.