Atria
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  Atria



Atria

   The upper chambers of the heart that receive blood from the veins and pass it to the lower chambers of the heart.

RELATED TERMS
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Heart
The hollow, muscular organ responsible for pumping blood through the circulatory system.

Blood
The life-maintaining fluid which is made up of plasma, red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets; blood circulates through the body's heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries; it carries away waste matter and carbon dioxide, and brings nourishment, electrolytes, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat, and oxygen to the tissues.

Veins
Blood vessels that carry blood from the arms, legs, head and body organs back to the heart.



SIMILAR TERMS
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Atrial
Pertaining to the atria, the upper chambers of the heart, as in atrial fibrillation and atrial septal defect.

Atrial arrhythmias
See: Arrhythmias, atrial.

Atrial fib
Atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation
Rapid, irregular contractions of the heart muscle fibres.

Atrial fibrillation (AF)
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm in which many impulses begin and spread through the atria. The resulting rhythm is disorganized, rapid and irregular and the atria are not able to fully empty their contents into the ventricles.

Atrial flutter
Well-organized but overly rapid contractions of the atrium of the heart (usually at a rate of 250-350 contractions per minute). Flutter refers to a rapid vibration or pulsation. The difference between flutter and fibrillation is that flutter is well organized while fibrillation is not. Atrial flutter is a serious and potentially unstable rhythm of the heart.

Atrial Myxoma
A myxoma is a tumor of the heart. It resides in the atrial chamber and causes symptoms when its growth produces a tumor so large it obstructs blood flow through the heart chambers.

Atrial septal defect (ASD)
A hole in the septum, the wall, between the atria, the upper chambers of the heart. Commonly called an ASD. ASDs constitute a major class of heart formation abnormalities present at birth (congenital cardiac malformations). Normally, when clots in veins break off, they travel first to the right side of the heart and, then to the lungs where they lodge as an obstruction (embolus). The lungs act as a filter to prevent the clots from entering the arterial circulation. However, when there is an ASD, a clot can cross from the right to the left side of the heart, then pass into the arteries as a paradoxical embolism. Once in the arterial circulation, a clot can travel to the brain, block a vessel there, and cause a stroke (cerebrovascular accident). Because of the risk of stroke from paradoxical embolism, it is usually recommended that even small ASDs be closed (repaired).

Atrial septum
The wall between the two upper chambers (the right and left atrium) of the heart.

Atridox
Atridox is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) legal in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): doxycycline hyclate.

Atriodigital dysplasia
See: Holt-Oram syndrome.

Atrioventricular (AV)
Pertaining to the atria (the upper chambers of the heart) and the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart). The AV node is an electrical relay station between the atria and the ventricles. Electrical signals from the atria must pass through the AV node to reach the ventricles. The AV node is a major element in the cardiac conduction system that generates electrical impulses within the heart, conducts them throughout the muscle of the heart, stimulates the heart to contract and pump blood, and so controls the heart rate.

Atrioventricular (AV) node
A center of special cells located near the center of the heart that helps to regulate the heart rhythm. Here, the electrical current slows for a moment before going on to the ventricles.

Atrioventricular block
An interruption of the electrical signal between the atria and the ventricles.

Atrioventricular node
A cluster of cells between the atria and ventricles that regulate the electrical current.

Atrium
Atria pl. One of two upper chambers in the heart.



PREVIOUS AND NEXT TERMS
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Appendix
A finger-like appendage near the junction of the large intestine and the small intestine.

Arteriovenous malformation
Abnormal group of dilated blood vessels, most often occurring in the brain.

Asbestos
A fibrous material used to make fireproof materials, electrical insulation, roofing and filters. Asbestos has been linked to a type of lung cancer.

Ascorbic acid
Vitamin C.

Atelectasis
Collapsed lung. May occur following surgery or after a rib fracture.

Atria

Allergy testing
Tests (often skin tests) to determine a person?s reaction to some foreign substances that are normally harmless, but that produce reaction in some individuals.

Audiology
The study and testing of hearing, and the provision of hearing aids.

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