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Term Definition

Abnormally fast heartbeat, one of the two main types of arrhythmias, or disorders of heart rhythm. See also Paroxysmal tachycardia.

target heart rate

the goal number of beats per minute to be sure your heart is working hard during an exercise test; your target heart rate is based on a formula that takes into account your age, height, and weight

Thallium stress test (nuclear scan)

This test shows the working of the heart muscle as blood flows through the heart. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein, usually in the arm, and a camera records how much is taken up by the heart muscle.

Thiazide diuretic

a type of diuretic medication that works by causing more salt to be excreted than other diuretics; the most commonly used diuretic to treat high blood pressure

thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA)

an aneurysm in the upper part of the aorta, where it runs through the chest behind the heart; 1 in 4 aortic aneurysms are this type

Thrombectomy devices

Devices that remove a thrombus (blood clot).


The smallest blood cells responsible for clotting. Also known as platelets.


A dangerously low level of platelets (also called thrombocytes), blood cells involved in clotting.

Thrombolytic agents

See Clot busters.


a blood clotting problem that causes clots to form too easily; women with blood clotting problems are at risk for deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, and stroke


A blood clot.

thyroid stimulating hormone test

a standard blood test that determines how well your thyroid gland is working; the hormones produced by your thyroid gland affect all parts of the body, including the heart

tip-toe test

a test to diagnose PAD in women who cannot have the standard exercise ankle-brachial index (ABI) test because they are unable to exercise on a treadmill; during this test you will exercise by standing flat-footed and using your calf muscles to lift your heels off the floor

Tissue plasminogen activator (TPA)

A drug that dissolves blood clots to restore blood flow to a blocked artery; the first-choice treatment for patients with blocked-vessel (ischemic) stroke; it must be given within a few hours of when stroke symptoms first appeared. Can also be used to treat heart attacks.

toe-brachial index (TBI)

a test used to diagnose PAD in women whose leg arteries are too stiff to get an accurate ankle-brachial index (ABI) reading; a TBI test compares the blood pressure in your big toe to that in your arm; if your blood pressure is lower in your toe than in your arm, PAD may be restricting blood flow to your legs

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