Abbreviations and acronyms: Hi all, We... - British Heart Fou...

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Abbreviations and acronyms

Hi all,

We've been asked to share a post and pin it to the top explaining abbreviations, acronyms and medical jargon that are commonly used in relation to heart and circulatory diseases/heart health.

I hope this helps but if there’s any others we've missed, please feel free to comment below!

Arrhythmia - means an abnormal heart rhythm

ICD - stands for internal cardioverter defibrillator, usually used to identify and treat life threatening arrhythmias.

AF/Afib - atrial fibrillation

CPR - cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Hypertension – medical term for high blood pressure.

DBP - diastolic blood pressure (this is the lowest level of your blood pressure, when your heart relaxes between beats)

Systolic blood pressure - this is the highest level of your blood pressure, when your heart beats and contracts to pump blood through your arteries.

Heart block – a type of abnormal heart rhythm when there is a delay in the electrical conduction system of the heart between the top and bottom chamber.

HF – heart failure

Ischaemic heart disease (or coronary heart disease) - the word 'ischaemic' means there is a lack of oxygenated blood supply to a part of the body.

MI – myocardial infarction (this is the medical term for a heart attack)

ECG - an electrocardiogram is test which records the rhythm, rate and electrical activity of your heart.

Stemi - this stands for 'ST-elevation myocardial infarction' – it’s a type of heart attack. ST-elevation refers to the area of the heart affected on the ECG reading.

SVT - supraventricular tachycardia (this is a condition when the top chambers of your heart suddenly beats much faster than usual)

TIA - transient ischaemic attack (also known as a mini-stroke)

7 Replies

Very interesting! I personally tend to click out of posts which use initials with no obvious or recognisable meaning

However I have a flash-card with a number I have collected not mentioned above:

CABG-coronary artery bypass graft

CA-coronary arrest

MIDCAB-minimally invasive CABG

CPR-cardio pulmonary resuscitation

ICU-intensive care unit

HDU-high dependency unit

CHD-coronary heart disease

CAD-coronary artery disease

RESUS-resuscitation unit

PAD-peripheral arterial disease

MRI-magnetic resource imaging

CVD-cardio vascular disease

COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

HBR-heart beat rate

JCC-joint cardiology conference

(some use of initials seems to be local or peculiar to one hospital or group)


Thanks. That has answered a couple of questions I had.


It’s a great idea, thank you. In addition to Dickyticker’s list, can we add

DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy) to the list together with

AVR (Aortic Valve Replacement).


1 like

This is very helpful list, thanks for sharing! I would also add HCM for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, DCM for dilated CM.



I would add:

MVA- MicroVascular Angina

MVD- MicroVascular Disease

CCU- Coronary Care Unit

POBA- Plain Old Balloon Angioplasty (or Ordinary)

Patent- working/flowing well


What about PAD Peripheral Artery Disease and PVD Peripheral Vascular Disease

1 like

Hi Helen do you have a contact for patients with H A Stent then overactive thyroid please


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