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Term Definition
B-type type natriuretic peptide(BNP)

a blood test that measures the levels of a certain protein in your blood; high levels may be a sign of heart failure

Balloon angioplasty

See Angioplasty.

Balloon-tipped catheter

A type of catheter with a balloon at one end that can be inflated in order to clear a blocked blood vessel. It is used in angioplasty or valvuloplasty.


See Valvotomy or Valvuloplasty.

Bariatric Surgery

A surgical procedure to reduce the size of the stomach and/or shorten the length of the digestive track to induce weight loss. Also called weight loss surgery, gastric bypass surgery is the most common type.

Beta-adrenergic receptors

Nerve receptors whose function is to increase heart rate, dilate blood vessels, and regulate some metabolic functions of the body. Beta-blockers work by hindering their function.


a class of drug that slows the heart rate and decreases the strength of each heartbeat, lowering your blood pressure and reducing stress on your heart; used to treat heart failure, angina, arrhythmias, and high blood pressure.

Bile acid resins, or bile acid sequestrants

Drugs used mainly to lower LDL cholesterol. They also modestly increase HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels e.g., Welchol, Colestid.


a special catheter used to perform a heart biopsy


Of or relating to both ventricles.

biventricular pacemaker

a special type of pacemaker used to provide Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT); this pacemaker has wires that go to both main pumping chambers of the heart, instead of just one

blood clotting tests

routine blood tests that measure how quickly your blood forms clots; blood that clots too quickly may mean that a blood clot in your arteries or veins is causing your symptoms; blood that clots too slowly may be a sign of bleeding problems

Blood pressure

The amount of force exerted by the blood against the walls of the arteries produced by the heart's contractions and dependent on the elasticity of the arterial walls and the volume of blood. When blood pressure is measured, the bottom number is the diastolic pressure and the top number is the systolic pressure. See also Diastole and Systole.

Blood thinners

"see anticoagulants"

blood urea nitrogen (BUN)

a routine blood test that shows how well your kidneys are working

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