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D

Term Definition
D-dimer test

a blood test that measures the levels of a protein produced when blood clots are broken down by the body; it is often the first test performed in women with a suspected deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism because it can quickly rule out blood clots as a cause of your symptoms

DASH diet

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet; a special diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products; designed to lower blood pressure

Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)

The formation of one or more blood clots in the body’s large veins, usually in the lower leg or calf. These clots can partially or completely block the vein, causing pain, swelling, and tenderness.

Defibrillation

a treatment for life-threatening heart rhythm problems that uses a shock to reset the heart's electrical activity; can be provided by an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or by defibrillation paddles in the ambulance or hospital

delayed-enhancement cardiac MRI

a type of magnetic resonance imaging used to evaluate heart damage that may have been caused by heart attack, coronary artery disease, or heart muscle disease

Diabetes

A disease in which the body either cannot produce enough insulin or properly metabolize it. Diabetes causes an excess of sugar in the blood and is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

dialysis

a treatment for kidney disease that uses a machine to filter the blood and compensate for lost kidney function; used in women with severe kidney damage caused by kidney artery disease or other conditions

Diastole

The period in the heartbeat when the heart muscle relaxes, allowing its chambers to fill with blood. Diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number given in a blood pressure reading.

diastolic heart failure

a form of heart failure in which the heart's lower chambers (ventricles) have become too stiff to relax and expand to fill with enough blood (blood-filling problems); this type of heart failure is more common in women than in men; also called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

Digoxin (Digitalis)

a drug that increases the strength of the heart muscle's contractions and slows the heart's rhythm; can relieve heart failure symptoms that have not responded to standard drugs, or treat patients who have atrial fibrillation and heart failure

Dilated cardiomyopathy

heart muscle disease in which the heart muscle wall is stretched and weakened, limiting the heart's ability to pump out blood; a cause of heart failure

Dipyridamole

an antiplatelet drug that prevents the formation of blood clots; combined with aspirin to prevent another stroke in women who have already had one

Direct thrombin inhibitors

A type of blood thinner that helps prevent blood clots from forming and prevents formed clots from getting bigger.

Directional coronary atherectomy

A form of atherectomy that uses a catheter with blades at the tip to chop up plaque. It comes with a tiny collection device to store the bits of plaque.

Dissecting aneurysm

A condition in which blood is forced through a tear in an artery wall and remains between the layers of its lining, causing a bulge in the vessel.

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