Echocardiography: Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues. The standard approach is transthoracic.Echocardiography, Transesophageal: Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues using a transducer placed in the esophagus.Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional: Echocardiography amplified by the addition of depth to the conventional two-dimensional ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY visualizing only the length and width of the heart. Three-dimensional ultrasound imaging was first described in 1961 but its application to echocardiography did not take place until 1974. (Mayo Clin Proc 1993;68:221-40)Echocardiography, Doppler: Measurement of intracardiac blood flow using an M-mode and/or two-dimensional (2-D) echocardiogram while simultaneously recording the spectrum of the audible Doppler signal (e.g., velocity, direction, amplitude, intensity, timing) reflected from the moving column of red blood cells.Echocardiography, Stress: A method of recording heart motion and internal structures by combining ultrasonic imaging with exercise testing (EXERCISE TEST) or pharmacologic stress.Echocardiography, Doppler, Color: Echocardiography applying the Doppler effect, with the superposition of flow information as colors on a gray scale in a real-time image.Echocardiography, Doppler, Pulsed: Echocardiography applying the Doppler effect, with velocity detection combined with range discrimination. Short bursts of ultrasound are transmitted at regular intervals and the echoes are demodulated as they return.Dobutamine: A catecholamine derivative with specificity for BETA-1 ADRENERGIC RECEPTORS. It is commonly used as a cardiotonic agent after CARDIAC SURGERY and during DOBUTAMINE STRESS ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY.Ventricular Function, Left: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the left HEART VENTRICLE. Its measurement is an important aspect of the clinical evaluation of patients with heart disease to determine the effects of the disease on cardiac performance.Ventricular Dysfunction, Left: A condition in which the LEFT VENTRICLE of the heart was functionally impaired. This condition usually leads to HEART FAILURE; MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION; and other cardiovascular complications. Diagnosis is made by measuring the diminished ejection fraction and a depressed level of motility of the left ventricular wall.Mitral Valve: The valve between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart.Heart Ventricles: The lower right and left chambers of the heart. The right ventricle pumps venous BLOOD into the LUNGS and the left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood into the systemic arterial circulation.Stroke Volume: The amount of BLOOD pumped out of the HEART per beat, not to be confused with cardiac output (volume/time). It is calculated as the difference between the end-diastolic volume and the end-systolic volume.Mitral Valve Insufficiency: Backflow of blood from the LEFT VENTRICLE into the LEFT ATRIUM due to imperfect closure of the MITRAL VALVE. This can lead to mitral valve regurgitation.Heart Diseases: Pathological conditions involving the HEART including its structural and functional abnormalities.Heart Atria: The chambers of the heart, to which the BLOOD returns from the circulation.Heart Septal Defects, Atrial: Developmental abnormalities in any portion of the ATRIAL SEPTUM resulting in abnormal communications between the two upper chambers of the heart. Classification of atrial septal defects is based on location of the communication and types of incomplete fusion of atrial septa with the ENDOCARDIAL CUSHIONS in the fetal heart. They include ostium primum, ostium secundum, sinus venosus, and coronary sinus defects.Heart Valve Diseases: Pathological conditions involving any of the various HEART VALVES and the associated structures (PAPILLARY MUSCLES and CHORDAE TENDINEAE).Diastole: Post-systolic relaxation of the HEART, especially the HEART VENTRICLES.Observer Variation: The failure by the observer to measure or identify a phenomenon accurately, which results in an error. Sources for this may be due to the observer's missing an abnormality, or to faulty technique resulting in incorrect test measurement, or to misinterpretation of the data. Two varieties are inter-observer variation (the amount observers vary from one another when reporting on the same material) and intra-observer variation (the amount one observer varies between observations when reporting more than once on the same material).Predictive Value of Tests: In screening and diagnostic tests, the probability that a person with a positive test is a true positive (i.e., has the disease), is referred to as the predictive value of a positive test; whereas, the predictive value of a negative test is the probability that the person with a negative test does not have the disease. Predictive value is related to the sensitivity and specificity of the test.Systole: Period of contraction of the HEART, especially of the HEART VENTRICLES.Cardiac Catheterization: Procedures in which placement of CARDIAC CATHETERS is performed for therapeutic or diagnostic procedures.Heart Defects, Congenital: Developmental abnormalities involving structures of the heart. These defects are present at birth but may be discovered later in life.Heart Neoplasms: Tumors in any part of the heart. They include primary cardiac tumors and metastatic tumors to the heart. Their interference with normal cardiac functions can cause a wide variety of symptoms including HEART FAILURE; CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS; or EMBOLISM.Electrocardiography: Recording of the moment-to-moment electromotive forces of the HEART as projected onto various sites on the body's surface, delineated as a scalar function of time. The recording is monitored by a tracing on slow moving chart paper or by observing it on a cardioscope, which is a CATHODE RAY TUBE DISPLAY.Exercise Test: Controlled physical activity which is performed in order to allow assessment of physiological functions, particularly cardiovascular and pulmonary, but also aerobic capacity. Maximal (most intense) exercise is usually required but submaximal exercise is also used.Myocardial Contraction: Contractile activity of the MYOCARDIUM.Sensitivity and Specificity: Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Aortic Valve: The valve between the left ventricle and the ascending aorta which prevents backflow into the left ventricle.Cardiotonic Agents: Agents that have a strengthening effect on the heart or that can increase cardiac output. They may be CARDIAC GLYCOSIDES; SYMPATHOMIMETICS; or other drugs. They are used after MYOCARDIAL INFARCT; CARDIAC SURGICAL PROCEDURES; in SHOCK; or in congestive heart failure (HEART FAILURE).Fetal Heart: The heart of the fetus of any viviparous animal. It refers to the heart in the postembryonic period and is differentiated from the embryonic heart (HEART/embryology) only on the basis of time.Echocardiography, Four-Dimensional: Dynamic three-dimensional echocardiography using the added dimension of time to impart the cinematic perception of motion. (Mayo Clin Proc 1993;68:221-40)Contrast Media: Substances used to allow enhanced visualization of tissues.Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular: Enlargement of the LEFT VENTRICLE of the heart. This increase in ventricular mass is attributed to sustained abnormal pressure or volume loads and is a contributor to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.Prospective Studies: Observation of a population for a sufficient number of persons over a sufficient number of years to generate incidence or mortality rates subsequent to the selection of the study group.Feasibility Studies: Studies to determine the advantages or disadvantages, practicability, or capability of accomplishing a projected plan, study, or project.Heart Septum: This structure includes the thin muscular atrial septum between the two HEART ATRIA, and the thick muscular ventricular septum between the two HEART VENTRICLES.Hemodynamics: The movement and the forces involved in the movement of the blood through the CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM.Blood Flow Velocity: A value equal to the total volume flow divided by the cross-sectional area of the vascular bed.Coronary Circulation: The circulation of blood through the CORONARY VESSELS of the HEART.Heart Valve Prosthesis: A device that substitutes for a heart valve. It may be composed of biological material (BIOPROSTHESIS) and/or synthetic material.Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency: Backflow of blood from the RIGHT VENTRICLE into the RIGHT ATRIUM due to imperfect closure of the TRICUSPID VALVE.Aortic Valve Insufficiency: Pathological condition characterized by the backflow of blood from the ASCENDING AORTA back into the LEFT VENTRICLE, leading to regurgitation. It is caused by diseases of the AORTIC VALVE or its surrounding tissue (aortic root).Tricuspid Valve: The valve consisting of three cusps situated between the right atrium and right ventricle of the heart.Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.Aortic Valve Stenosis: A pathological constriction that can occur above (supravalvular stenosis), below (subvalvular stenosis), or at the AORTIC VALVE. It is characterized by restricted outflow from the LEFT VENTRICLE into the AORTA.Reproducibility of Results: The statistical reproducibility of measurements (often in a clinical context), including the testing of instrumentation or techniques to obtain reproducible results. The concept includes reproducibility of physiological measurements, which may be used to develop rules to assess probability or prognosis, or response to a stimulus; reproducibility of occurrence of a condition; and reproducibility of experimental results.Mitral Valve Prolapse: Abnormal protrusion or billowing of one or both of the leaflets of MITRAL VALVE into the LEFT ATRIUM during SYSTOLE. This allows the backflow of blood into left atrium leading to MITRAL VALVE INSUFFICIENCY; SYSTOLIC MURMURS; or CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIA.Cardiomyopathies: A group of diseases in which the dominant feature is the involvement of the CARDIAC MUSCLE itself. Cardiomyopathies are classified according to their predominant pathophysiological features (DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY; HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY; RESTRICTIVE CARDIOMYOPATHY) or their etiological/pathological factors (CARDIOMYOPATHY, ALCOHOLIC; ENDOCARDIAL FIBROELASTOSIS).Mitral Valve Stenosis: Narrowing of the passage through the MITRAL VALVE due to FIBROSIS, and CALCINOSIS in the leaflets and chordal areas. This elevates the left atrial pressure which, in turn, raises pulmonary venous and capillary pressure leading to bouts of DYSPNEA and TACHYCARDIA during physical exertion. RHEUMATIC FEVER is its primary cause.Heart Failure: A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (VENTRICULAR DYSFUNCTION), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION.Myocardial Infarction: NECROSIS of the MYOCARDIUM caused by an obstruction of the blood supply to the heart (CORONARY CIRCULATION).Atrial Function, Left: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the LEFT ATRIUM.Dipyridamole: A phosphodiesterase inhibitor that blocks uptake and metabolism of adenosine by erythrocytes and vascular endothelial cells. Dipyridamole also potentiates the antiaggregating action of prostacyclin. (From AMA Drug Evaluations Annual, 1994, p752)Cardiac Volume: The volume of the HEART, usually relating to the volume of BLOOD contained within it at various periods of the cardiac cycle. The amount of blood ejected from a ventricle at each beat is STROKE VOLUME.Ventricular Remodeling: The geometric and structural changes that the HEART VENTRICLES undergo, usually following MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION. It comprises expansion of the infarct and dilatation of the healthy ventricle segments. While most prevalent in the left ventricle, it can also occur in the right ventricle.Myocardial Ischemia: A disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart. The decreased blood flow may be due to narrowing of the coronary arteries (CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE), to obstruction by a thrombus (CORONARY THROMBOSIS), or less commonly, to diffuse narrowing of arterioles and other small vessels within the heart. Severe interruption of the blood supply to the myocardial tissue may result in necrosis of cardiac muscle (MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION).Ventricular Function, Right: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the right HEART VENTRICLE.Pericardial Effusion: Fluid accumulation within the PERICARDIUM. Serous effusions are associated with pericardial diseases. Hemopericardium is associated with trauma. Lipid-containing effusion (chylopericardium) results from leakage of THORACIC DUCT. Severe cases can lead to CARDIAC TAMPONADE.Ventricular Dysfunction, Right: A condition in which the RIGHT VENTRICLE of the heart was functionally impaired. This condition usually leads to HEART FAILURE or MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION, and other cardiovascular complications. Diagnosis is made by measuring the diminished ejection fraction and a depressed level of motility of the right ventricular wall.Coronary Angiography: Radiography of the vascular system of the heart muscle after injection of a contrast medium.Coronary Disease: An imbalance between myocardial functional requirements and the capacity of the CORONARY VESSELS to supply sufficient blood flow. It is a form of MYOCARDIAL ISCHEMIA (insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle) caused by a decreased capacity of the coronary vessels.Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation: Surgical insertion of synthetic material to repair injured or diseased heart valves.Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic: A form of CARDIAC MUSCLE disease, characterized by left and/or right ventricular hypertrophy (HYPERTROPHY, LEFT VENTRICULAR; HYPERTROPHY, RIGHT VENTRICULAR), frequent asymmetrical involvement of the HEART SEPTUM, and normal or reduced left ventricular volume. Risk factors include HYPERTENSION; AORTIC STENOSIS; and gene MUTATION; (FAMILIAL HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY).Heart Murmurs: Heart sounds caused by vibrations resulting from the flow of blood through the heart. Heart murmurs can be examined by HEART AUSCULTATION, and analyzed by their intensity (6 grades), duration, timing (systolic, diastolic, or continuous), location, transmission, and quality (musical, vibratory, blowing, etc).Follow-Up Studies: Studies in which individuals or populations are followed to assess the outcome of exposures, procedures, or effects of a characteristic, e.g., occurrence of disease.Myocardium: The muscle tissue of the HEART. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC) connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow.Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular: Developmental abnormalities in any portion of the VENTRICULAR SEPTUM resulting in abnormal communications between the two lower chambers of the heart. Classification of ventricular septal defects is based on location of the communication, such as perimembranous, inlet, outlet (infundibular), central muscular, marginal muscular, or apical muscular defect.Myxoma: A benign neoplasm derived from connective tissue, consisting chiefly of polyhedral and stellate cells that are loosely embedded in a soft mucoid matrix, thereby resembling primitive mesenchymal tissue. It occurs frequently intramuscularly where it may be mistaken for a sarcoma. It appears also in the jaws and the skin. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Cardiomyopathy, Dilated: A form of CARDIAC MUSCLE disease that is characterized by ventricular dilation, VENTRICULAR DYSFUNCTION, and HEART FAILURE. Risk factors include SMOKING; ALCOHOL DRINKING; HYPERTENSION; INFECTION; PREGNANCY; and mutations in the LMNA gene encoding LAMIN TYPE A, a NUCLEAR LAMINA protein.Embolism: Blocking of a blood vessel by an embolus which can be a blood clot or other undissolved material in the blood stream.Heart Aneurysm: A localized bulging or dilatation in the muscle wall of a heart (MYOCARDIUM), usually in the LEFT VENTRICLE. Blood-filled aneurysms are dangerous because they may burst. Fibrous aneurysms interfere with the heart function through the loss of contractility. True aneurysm is bound by the vessel wall or cardiac wall. False aneurysms are HEMATOMA caused by myocardial rupture.Cardiac Surgical Procedures: Surgery performed on the heart.Atrial Appendage: Ear-shaped appendage of either atrium of the heart. (Dorland, 28th ed)Fluorocarbons: Liquid perfluorinated carbon compounds which may or may not contain a hetero atom such as nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur, but do not contain another halogen or hydrogen atom. This concept includes fluorocarbon emulsions and fluorocarbon blood substitutes.Hypertension, Pulmonary: Increased VASCULAR RESISTANCE in the PULMONARY CIRCULATION, usually secondary to HEART DISEASES or LUNG DISEASES.Heart Function Tests: Examinations used to diagnose and treat heart conditions.Ultrasonography, Prenatal: The visualization of tissues during pregnancy through recording of the echoes of ultrasonic waves directed into the body. The procedure may be applied with reference to the mother or the fetus and with reference to organs or the detection of maternal or fetal disease.Endocarditis: Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart (ENDOCARDIUM), the continuous membrane lining the four chambers and HEART VALVES. It is often caused by microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and rickettsiae. Left untreated, endocarditis can damage heart valves and become life-threatening.Treatment Outcome: Evaluation undertaken to assess the results or consequences of management and procedures used in combating disease in order to determine the efficacy, effectiveness, safety, and practicability of these interventions in individual cases or series.Pulmonary Artery: The short wide vessel arising from the conus arteriosus of the right ventricle and conveying unaerated blood to the lungs.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Foramen Ovale, Patent: A condition in which the FORAMEN OVALE in the ATRIAL SEPTUM fails to close shortly after birth. This results in abnormal communications between the two upper chambers of the heart. An isolated patent ovale foramen without other structural heart defects is usually of no hemodynamic significance.Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon: A method of computed tomography that uses radionuclides which emit a single photon of a given energy. The camera is rotated 180 or 360 degrees around the patient to capture images at multiple positions along the arc. The computer is then used to reconstruct the transaxial, sagittal, and coronal images from the 3-dimensional distribution of radionuclides in the organ. The advantages of SPECT are that it can be used to observe biochemical and physiological processes as well as size and volume of the organ. The disadvantage is that, unlike positron-emission tomography where the positron-electron annihilation results in the emission of 2 photons at 180 degrees from each other, SPECT requires physical collimation to line up the photons, which results in the loss of many available photons and hence degrades the image.Thrombosis: Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel.Myocardial Stunning: Prolonged dysfunction of the myocardium after a brief episode of severe ischemia, with gradual return of contractile activity.Prognosis: A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual's condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations.Severity of Illness Index: Levels within a diagnostic group which are established by various measurement criteria applied to the seriousness of a patient's disorder.Ventricular Dysfunction: A condition in which HEART VENTRICLES exhibit impaired function.Phonocardiography: Graphic registration of the heart sounds picked up as vibrations and transformed by a piezoelectric crystal microphone into a varying electrical output according to the stresses imposed by the sound waves. The electrical output is amplified by a stethograph amplifier and recorded by a device incorporated into the electrocardiograph or by a multichannel recording machine.Natriuretic Peptide, Brain: A PEPTIDE that is secreted by the BRAIN and the HEART ATRIA, stored mainly in cardiac ventricular MYOCARDIUM. It can cause NATRIURESIS; DIURESIS; VASODILATION; and inhibits secretion of RENIN and ALDOSTERONE. It improves heart function. It contains 32 AMINO ACIDS.Chordae Tendineae: The tendinous cords that connect each cusp of the two atrioventricular HEART VALVES to appropriate PAPILLARY MUSCLES in the HEART VENTRICLES, preventing the valves from reversing themselves when the ventricles contract.Tissue Survival: The span of viability of a tissue or an organ.Atrial Fibrillation: Abnormal cardiac rhythm that is characterized by rapid, uncoordinated firing of electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart (HEART ATRIA). In such case, blood cannot be effectively pumped into the lower chambers of the heart (HEART VENTRICLES). It is caused by abnormal impulse generation.Endocarditis, Bacterial: Inflammation of the ENDOCARDIUM caused by BACTERIA that entered the bloodstream. The strains of bacteria vary with predisposing factors, such as CONGENITAL HEART DEFECTS; HEART VALVE DISEASES; HEART VALVE PROSTHESIS IMPLANTATION; or intravenous drug use.Intraoperative Care: Patient care procedures performed during the operation that are ancillary to the actual surgery. It includes monitoring, fluid therapy, medication, transfusion, anesthesia, radiography, and laboratory tests.Pulmonary Veins: The veins that return the oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart.Cardiac Output: The volume of BLOOD passing through the HEART per unit of time. It is usually expressed as liters (volume) per minute so as not to be confused with STROKE VOLUME (volume per beat).Ventricular Function: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the HEART VENTRICLES.Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted: Methods developed to aid in the interpretation of ultrasound, radiographic images, etc., for diagnosis of disease.Cineangiography: Motion pictures of the passage of contrast medium through blood vessels.Pulmonary Wedge Pressure: The blood pressure as recorded after wedging a CATHETER in a small PULMONARY ARTERY; believed to reflect the PRESSURE in the pulmonary CAPILLARIES.Cardiac Tamponade: Compression of the heart by accumulated fluid (PERICARDIAL EFFUSION) or blood (HEMOPERICARDIUM) in the PERICARDIUM surrounding the heart. The affected cardiac functions and CARDIAC OUTPUT can range from minimal to total hemodynamic collapse.Blood Pressure: PRESSURE of the BLOOD on the ARTERIES and other BLOOD VESSELS.Heart Valves: Flaps of tissue that prevent regurgitation of BLOOD from the HEART VENTRICLES to the HEART ATRIA or from the PULMONARY ARTERIES or AORTA to the ventricles.Heart Rate: The number of times the HEART VENTRICLES contract per unit of time, usually per minute.Monitoring, Intraoperative: The constant checking on the state or condition of a patient during the course of a surgical operation (e.g., checking of vital signs).Ventricular Pressure: The pressure within a CARDIAC VENTRICLE. Ventricular pressure waveforms can be measured in the beating heart by catheterization or estimated using imaging techniques (e.g., DOPPLER ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY). The information is useful in evaluating the function of the MYOCARDIUM; CARDIAC VALVES; and PERICARDIUM, particularly with simultaneous measurement of other (e.g., aortic or atrial) pressures.Pulmonary Embolism: Blocking of the PULMONARY ARTERY or one of its branches by an EMBOLUS.Retrospective Studies: Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Non-invasive method of demonstrating internal anatomy based on the principle that atomic nuclei in a strong magnetic field absorb pulses of radiofrequency energy and emit them as radiowaves which can be reconstructed into computerized images. The concept includes proton spin tomographic techniques.Ventricular Outflow Obstruction: Occlusion of the outflow tract in either the LEFT VENTRICLE or the RIGHT VENTRICLE of the heart. This may result from CONGENITAL HEART DEFECTS, predisposing heart diseases, complications of surgery, or HEART NEOPLASMS.Aortic Diseases: Pathological processes involving any part of the AORTA.Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine: A type of imaging technique used primarily in the field of cardiology. By coordinating the fast gradient-echo MRI sequence with retrospective ECG-gating, numerous short time frames evenly spaced in the cardiac cycle are produced. These images are laced together in a cinematic display so that wall motion of the ventricles, valve motion, and blood flow patterns in the heart and great vessels can be visualized.Esophagus: The muscular membranous segment between the PHARYNX and the STOMACH in the UPPER GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT.Rheumatic Heart Disease: Cardiac manifestation of systemic rheumatological conditions, such as RHEUMATIC FEVER. Rheumatic heart disease can involve any part the heart, most often the HEART VALVES and the ENDOCARDIUM.Diatrizoate Meglumine: A versatile contrast medium used for DIAGNOSTIC X-RAY RADIOLOGY.Heart Septal Defects: Abnormalities in any part of the HEART SEPTUM resulting in abnormal communication between the left and the right chambers of the heart. The abnormal blood flow inside the heart may be caused by defects in the ATRIAL SEPTUM, the VENTRICULAR SEPTUM, or both.Ultrasonography, Interventional: The use of ultrasound to guide minimally invasive surgical procedures such as needle ASPIRATION BIOPSY; DRAINAGE; etc. Its widest application is intravascular ultrasound imaging but it is useful also in urology and intra-abdominal conditions.Heart Injuries: General or unspecified injuries to the heart.Pulmonary Valve: A valve situated at the entrance to the pulmonary trunk from the right ventricle.Atrial Function, Right: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the RIGHT ATRIUM.Sulfur Hexafluoride: Sulfur hexafluoride. An inert gas used mainly as a test gas in respiratory physiology. Other uses include its injection in vitreoretinal surgery to restore the vitreous chamber and as a tracer in monitoring the dispersion and deposition of air pollutants.Risk Assessment: The qualitative or quantitative estimation of the likelihood of adverse effects that may result from exposure to specified health hazards or from the absence of beneficial influences. (Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 1988)Coronary Vessels: The veins and arteries of the HEART.Catheterization, Swan-Ganz: Placement of a balloon-tipped catheter into the pulmonary artery through the antecubital, subclavian, and sometimes the femoral vein. It is used to measure pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary artery wedge pressure which reflects left atrial pressure and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure. The catheter is threaded into the right atrium, the balloon is inflated and the catheter follows the blood flow through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle and out into the pulmonary artery.Risk Factors: An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.Cardiac Pacing, Artificial: Regulation of the rate of contraction of the heart muscles by an artificial pacemaker.Coronary Artery Disease: Pathological processes of CORONARY ARTERIES that may derive from a congenital abnormality, atherosclerotic, or non-atherosclerotic cause.Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi: A technetium imaging agent used to reveal blood-starved cardiac tissue during a heart attack.Cardiomegaly: Enlargement of the HEART, usually indicated by a cardiothoracic ratio above 0.50. Heart enlargement may involve the right, the left, or both HEART VENTRICLES or HEART ATRIA. Cardiomegaly is a nonspecific symptom seen in patients with chronic systolic heart failure (HEART FAILURE) or several forms of CARDIOMYOPATHIES.ROC Curve: A graphic means for assessing the ability of a screening test to discriminate between healthy and diseased persons; may also be used in other studies, e.g., distinguishing stimuli responses as to a faint stimuli or nonstimuli.Image Enhancement: Improvement of the quality of a picture by various techniques, including computer processing, digital filtering, echocardiographic techniques, light and ultrastructural MICROSCOPY, fluorescence spectrometry and microscopy, scintigraphy, and in vitro image processing at the molecular level.Tetralogy of Fallot: A combination of congenital heart defects consisting of four key features including VENTRICULAR SEPTAL DEFECTS; PULMONARY STENOSIS; RIGHT VENTRICULAR HYPERTROPHY; and a dextro-positioned AORTA. In this condition, blood from both ventricles (oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor) is pumped into the body often causing CYANOSIS.Image Processing, Computer-Assisted: A technique of inputting two-dimensional images into a computer and then enhancing or analyzing the imagery into a form that is more useful to the human observer.Angiocardiography: Radiography of the heart and great vessels after injection of a contrast medium.Tomography, X-Ray Computed: Tomography using x-ray transmission and a computer algorithm to reconstruct the image.Septal Occluder Device: A CATHETER-delivered implant used for closing abnormal holes in the cardiovascular system, especially HEART SEPTAL DEFECTS; or passageways intentionally made during cardiovascular surgical procedures.Fetal Diseases: Pathophysiological conditions of the FETUS in the UTERUS. Some fetal diseases may be treated with FETAL THERAPIES.Cineradiography: Motion picture study of successive images appearing on a fluoroscopic screen.Chi-Square Distribution: A distribution in which a variable is distributed like the sum of the squares of any given independent random variable, each of which has a normal distribution with mean of zero and variance of one. The chi-square test is a statistical test based on comparison of a test statistic to a chi-square distribution. The oldest of these tests are used to detect whether two or more population distributions differ from one another.Sinus of Valsalva: The dilatation of the aortic wall behind each of the cusps of the aortic valve.Ductus Arteriosus, Patent: A congenital heart defect characterized by the persistent opening of fetal DUCTUS ARTERIOSUS that connects the PULMONARY ARTERY to the descending aorta (AORTA, DESCENDING) allowing unoxygenated blood to bypass the lung and flow to the PLACENTA. Normally, the ductus is closed shortly after birth.Aortic Aneurysm: An abnormal balloon- or sac-like dilatation in the wall of AORTA.Dilatation, Pathologic: The condition of an anatomical structure's being dilated beyond normal dimensions.Aorta, Thoracic: The portion of the descending aorta proceeding from the arch of the aorta and extending to the DIAPHRAGM, eventually connecting to the ABDOMINAL AORTA.Radionuclide Ventriculography: Imaging of a ventricle of the heart after the injection of a radioactive contrast medium. The technique is less invasive than cardiac catheterization and is used to assess ventricular function.Evaluation Studies as Topic: Studies determining the effectiveness or value of processes, personnel, and equipment, or the material on conducting such studies. For drugs and devices, CLINICAL TRIALS AS TOPIC; DRUG EVALUATION; and DRUG EVALUATION, PRECLINICAL are available.Thallium Radioisotopes: Unstable isotopes of thallium that decay or disintegrate emitting radiation. Tl atoms with atomic weights 198-202, 204, and 206-210 are thallium radioisotopes.Cor Triatriatum: A malformation of the heart in which the embryonic common PULMONARY VEIN was not incorporated into the LEFT ATRIUM leaving behind a perforated fibromuscular membrane bisecting the left atrium, a three-atrium heart. The opening between the two left atrium sections determines the degree of obstruction to pulmonary venous return, pulmonary venous and pulmonary arterial hypertension.Chest Pain: Pressure, burning, or numbness in the chest.Fibroma: A benign tumor of fibrous or fully developed connective tissue.Transposition of Great Vessels: A congenital cardiovascular malformation in which the AORTA arises entirely from the RIGHT VENTRICLE, and the PULMONARY ARTERY arises from the LEFT VENTRICLE. Consequently, the pulmonary and the systemic circulations are parallel and not sequential, so that the venous return from the peripheral circulation is re-circulated by the right ventricle via aorta to the systemic circulation without being oxygenated in the lungs. This is a potentially lethal form of heart disease in newborns and infants.Cardiology: The study of the heart, its physiology, and its functions.Embolism, Paradoxical: Blockage of an artery due to passage of a clot (THROMBUS) from a systemic vein to a systemic artery without its passing through the lung which acts as a filter to remove blood clots from entering the arterial circulation. Paradoxical embolism occurs when there is a defect that allows a clot to cross directly from the right to the left side of the heart as in the cases of ATRIAL SEPTAL DEFECTS or open FORAMEN OVALE. Once in the arterial circulation, a clot can travel to the brain, block an artery, and cause a STROKE.Pericardium: A conical fibro-serous sac surrounding the HEART and the roots of the great vessels (AORTA; VENAE CAVAE; PULMONARY ARTERY). Pericardium consists of two sacs: the outer fibrous pericardium and the inner serous pericardium. The latter consists of an outer parietal layer facing the fibrous pericardium, and an inner visceral layer (epicardium) resting next to the heart, and a pericardial cavity between these two layers.Heart Rupture: Disease-related laceration or tearing of tissues of the heart, including the free-wall MYOCARDIUM; HEART SEPTUM; PAPILLARY MUSCLES; CHORDAE TENDINEAE; and any of the HEART VALVES. Pathological rupture usually results from myocardial infarction (HEART RUPTURE, POST-INFARCTION).Vasodilator Agents: Drugs used to cause dilation of the blood vessels.Atrial Septum: The thin membrane-like muscular structure separating the right and the left upper chambers (HEART ATRIA) of a heart.Cardiac Imaging Techniques: Visualization of the heart structure and cardiac blood flow for diagnostic evaluation or to guide cardiac procedures via techniques including ENDOSCOPY (cardiac endoscopy, sometimes refered to as cardioscopy), RADIONUCLIDE IMAGING; MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING; TOMOGRAPHY; or ULTRASONOGRAPHY.Heart Failure, Diastolic: Heart failure caused by abnormal myocardial relaxation during DIASTOLE leading to defective cardiac filling.Bioprosthesis: Prosthesis, usually heart valve, composed of biological material and whose durability depends upon the stability of the material after pretreatment, rather than regeneration by host cell ingrowth. Durability is achieved 1, mechanically by the interposition of a cloth, usually polytetrafluoroethylene, between the host and the graft, and 2, chemically by stabilization of the tissue by intermolecular linking, usually with glutaraldehyde, after removal of antigenic components, or the use of reconstituted and restructured biopolymers.Myocardial Revascularization: The restoration of blood supply to the myocardium. (From Dorland, 28th ed)Dogs: The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, comprising about 400 breeds, of the carnivore family CANIDAE. They are worldwide in distribution and live in association with people. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1065)Torsion, Mechanical: A twisting deformation of a solid body about an axis. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Intraoperative Period: The period during a surgical operation.Mitral Valve Annuloplasty: A type of heart valve surgery that involves the repair, replacement, or reconstruction of the annulus of the MITRAL VALVE. It includes shortening the circumference of the annulus to improve valve closing capacity and reinforcing the annulus as a step in more complex valve repairs.Endocardium: The innermost layer of the heart, comprised of endothelial cells.Microbubbles: Small encapsulated gas bubbles (diameters of micrometers) that can be used as CONTRAST MEDIA, and in other diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Upon exposure to sufficiently intense ultrasound, microbubbles will cavitate, rupture, disappear, release gas content. Such characteristics of the microbubbles can be used to enhance diagnostic tests, dissolve blood clots, and deliver drugs or genes for therapy.Catheter Ablation: Removal of tissue with electrical current delivered via electrodes positioned at the distal end of a catheter. Energy sources are commonly direct current (DC-shock) or alternating current at radiofrequencies (usually 750 kHz). The technique is used most often to ablate the AV junction and/or accessory pathways in order to interrupt AV conduction and produce AV block in the treatment of various tachyarrhythmias.Ventricular Septum: The muscular structure separating the right and the left lower chambers (HEART VENTRICLES) of the heart. The ventricular septum consists of a very small membranous portion just beneath the AORTIC VALVE, and a large thick muscular portion consisting of three sections including the inlet septum, the trabecular septum, and the outlet septum.Radionuclide Angiography: The measurement of visualization by radiation of any organ after a radionuclide has been injected into its blood supply. It is used to diagnose heart, liver, lung, and other diseases and to measure the function of those organs, except renography, for which RADIOISOTOPE RENOGRAPHY is available.Computer Systems: Systems composed of a computer or computers, peripheral equipment, such as disks, printers, and terminals, and telecommunications capabilities.Infant, Newborn: An infant during the first month after birth.Linear Models: Statistical models in which the value of a parameter for a given value of a factor is assumed to be equal to a + bx, where a and b are constants. The models predict a linear regression.Hypertension: Persistently high systemic arterial BLOOD PRESSURE. Based on multiple readings (BLOOD PRESSURE DETERMINATION), hypertension is currently defined as when SYSTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently greater than 140 mm Hg or when DIASTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently 90 mm Hg or more.Pericarditis, Constrictive: Inflammation of the PERICARDIUM that is characterized by the fibrous scarring and adhesion of both serous layers, the VISCERAL PERICARDIUM and the PARIETAL PERICARDIUM leading to the loss of pericardial cavity. The thickened pericardium severely restricts cardiac filling. Clinical signs include FATIGUE, muscle wasting, and WEIGHT LOSS.Coronary Vessel Anomalies: Malformations of CORONARY VESSELS, either arteries or veins. Included are anomalous origins of coronary arteries; ARTERIOVENOUS FISTULA; CORONARY ANEURYSM; MYOCARDIAL BRIDGING; and others.Albumins: Water-soluble proteins found in egg whites, blood, lymph, and other tissues and fluids. They coagulate upon heating.Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: A transient left ventricular apical dysfunction or ballooning accompanied by electrocardiographic (ECG) T wave inversions. This abnormality is associated with high levels of CATECHOLAMINES, either administered or endogenously secreted from a tumor or during extreme stress.Myocardial Reperfusion: Generally, restoration of blood supply to heart tissue which is ischemic due to decrease in normal blood supply. The decrease may result from any source including atherosclerotic obstruction, narrowing of the artery, or surgical clamping. Reperfusion can be induced to treat ischemia. Methods include chemical dissolution of an occluding thrombus, administration of vasodilator drugs, angioplasty, catheterization, and artery bypass graft surgery. However, it is thought that reperfusion can itself further damage the ischemic tissue, causing MYOCARDIAL REPERFUSION INJURY.Aortic Coarctation: A birth defect characterized by the narrowing of the AORTA that can be of varying degree and at any point from the transverse arch to the iliac bifurcation. Aortic coarctation causes arterial HYPERTENSION before the point of narrowing and arterial HYPOTENSION beyond the narrowed portion.Pulmonary Valve Insufficiency: Backflow of blood from the PULMONARY ARTERY into the RIGHT VENTRICLE due to imperfect closure of the PULMONARY VALVE.Analysis of Variance: A statistical technique that isolates and assesses the contributions of categorical independent variables to variation in the mean of a continuous dependent variable.Aorta: The main trunk of the systemic arteries.Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Gated Blood-Pool Imaging: Radionuclide ventriculography where scintigraphic data is acquired during repeated cardiac cycles at specific times in the cycle, using an electrocardiographic synchronizer or gating device. Analysis of right ventricular function is difficult with this technique; that is best evaluated by first-pass ventriculography (VENTRICULOGRAPHY, FIRST-PASS).Coronary Stenosis: Narrowing or constriction of a coronary artery.Pulmonary Valve Stenosis: The pathologic narrowing of the orifice of the PULMONARY VALVE. This lesion restricts blood outflow from the RIGHT VENTRICLE to the PULMONARY ARTERY. When the trileaflet valve is fused into an imperforate membrane, the blockage is complete.Catheterization: Use or insertion of a tubular device into a duct, blood vessel, hollow organ, or body cavity for injecting or withdrawing fluids for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. It differs from INTUBATION in that the tube here is used to restore or maintain patency in obstructions.Dyspnea: Difficult or labored breathing.Case-Control Studies: Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.Thermodilution: Measurement of blood flow based on induction at one point of the circulation of a known change in the intravascular heat content of flowing blood and detection of the resultant change in temperature at a point downstream.Preoperative Care: Care given during the period prior to undergoing surgery when psychological and physical preparations are made according to the special needs of the individual patient. This period spans the time between admission to the hospital to the time the surgery begins. (From Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)Pulmonary Circulation: The circulation of the BLOOD through the LUNGS.Vena Cava, Superior: The venous trunk which returns blood from the head, neck, upper extremities and chest.Heart Auscultation: Act of listening for sounds within the heart.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Pacemaker, Artificial: A device designed to stimulate, by electric impulses, contraction of the heart muscles. It may be temporary (external) or permanent (internal or internal-external).Regression Analysis: Procedures for finding the mathematical function which best describes the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. In linear regression (see LINEAR MODELS) the relationship is constrained to be a straight line and LEAST-SQUARES ANALYSIS is used to determine the best fit. In logistic regression (see LOGISTIC MODELS) the dependent variable is qualitative rather than continuously variable and LIKELIHOOD FUNCTIONS are used to find the best relationship. In multiple regression, the dependent variable is considered to depend on more than a single independent variable.