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Term Definition
Pacemaker (artificial)

A surgically implanted device that maintains the heart rhythm with timed electrical impulses. It is used in people who have disorders of the electrical system in the heart.

Pacemaker Lead

The wires that connect the battery to the electrodes in a pacemaker.


small electrical impulses provided by a pacemaker or ICD that tell your heart when to beat; used in patients who have or are at risk for abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)

Palliative therapy

Treatments that are aimed at relieving the symptoms of an illness rather than curing the ailment itself; provided to women with advanced heart disease near the end of life


A feeling that the heart is pounding against the chest. It is often caused by irregular, strong, or rapid heartbeats.


Inability to move a part of the body; common on one side of the body after a stroke


Describes a symptom that comes and goes; one kind of atrial fibrillation

Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea

A difficulty in breathing, occurring intermittently and suddenly when a person is lying down.

Paroxysmal tachycardia

A sudden increase in heart rate from the normal 60 to 80 beats per minute to 130 to 260 beats per minute. It can last anywhere from a few minutes to several days.

Patency rate

The likelihood that a vessel will remain open, or patent.

Patent foramen ovale (PFO)

A common congenital heart defect found in 1 in 4 adults; may be responsible for many unexplained strokes


a medication to treat peripheral artery disease by relieving leg pain symptoms and improving walking ability; less effective than cilostazol


Performed through the skin.

Percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI)

A general term used for balloon angioplasty, stent implantation, and atherectomy procedures.

Percutaneous transmyocardial revascularization (PMR)

A nonsurgical procedure used as a last resort to treat chest pain, similar to TMR. See Transmyocardial revascularization (TMR).

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