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Term Definition
Sick sinus syndrome

A condition where the heart's natural pacemaker doesn't function properly.

Silent heart attack/MI

A heart attack that occurs without any chest pain or other recognized symptoms. These attacks are more common in women than men, especially in people with diabetes. It may only be recognized weeks or months later during ECG testing.

Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT scan)

A three-dimensional imaging technique used by all radionuclide imaging tests. It is used to provide pictures of the heart's structure and functions. Often they are done to determine whether a person should undergo further cardiac testing.

Sinus node

The heart's natural pacemaker. It consists of a bundle of cells in the right atrium and is the origin of the electrical impulse that controls the heartbeat. Also known as the sinoatrial (SA) node.

six (6) minute walk test

a test used to determine how much PAD is limiting your movement in women who cannot perform the tip-toe test or exercise ankle-brachial index (ABI) test

Sleep Apnea

A temporary cessation of breathing during sleeping, often associated with obesity. It is characterized by heavy snoring, followed by a silent period when breathing stops, interrupted by a loud snort and gasp and a return to snoring.

Social support

the physical and emotional comfort we get from our family, friends, and the community; an important part of stroke recovery


An abnormal, sudden, and involuntary contraction. See Coronary spasm.


a condition in which muscles become stiff and resist stretching; common in the arms, hands, and legs after a stroke

Speech and language therapy

Therapy that addresses communication difficulties after a stroke


The device often used to measure blood pressure consisting of an inflatable rubber cuff, an air pump, and a column of mercury or dial that registers air pressure.

spider veins

small veins that rise above the surface of the skin and may appear flesh colored, blue, or dark purple; similar to varicose veins, but smaller and closer to the surface

Spinal tap

see "lumbar puncture"

ST-segment elevation

A rise in a specific section of the electrocardiogram (ECG) pattern, which indicates a heart problem.

Stable angina

Chest pain with predictable onset, duration, and severity that occurs during or after a predictable trigger such as exercise, smoking, or stress.

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