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.Ventricular Dysfunction: A condition in which HEART VENTRICLES exhibit impaired function.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.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.Echocardiography: Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues. The standard approach is transthoracic.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.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.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).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.Hemodynamics: The movement and the forces involved in the movement of the blood through the CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM.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.Myocardial Contraction: Contractile activity of the MYOCARDIUM.Myocardial Infarction: NECROSIS of the MYOCARDIUM caused by an obstruction of the blood supply to the heart (CORONARY CIRCULATION).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.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.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.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.Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.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.Systole: Period of contraction of the HEART, especially of the HEART VENTRICLES.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.Myocardial Stunning: Prolonged dysfunction of the myocardium after a brief episode of severe ischemia, with gradual return of contractile activity.Diastole: Post-systolic relaxation of the HEART, especially the HEART VENTRICLES.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).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.Erectile Dysfunction: The inability in the male to have a PENILE ERECTION due to psychological or organ dysfunction.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.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).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.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.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.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.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.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.Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors: A class of drugs whose main indications are the treatment of hypertension and heart failure. They exert their hemodynamic effect mainly by inhibiting the renin-angiotensin system. They also modulate sympathetic nervous system activity and increase prostaglandin synthesis. They cause mainly vasodilation and mild natriuresis without affecting heart rate and contractility.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.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.Enalapril: An angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor that is used to treat HYPERTENSION and HEART FAILURE.Ventricular Function, Right: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the right HEART VENTRICLE.Coronary Circulation: The circulation of blood through the CORONARY VESSELS of the HEART.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.Coronary Artery Bypass: Surgical therapy of ischemic coronary artery disease achieved by grafting a section of saphenous vein, internal mammary artery, or other substitute between the aorta and the obstructed coronary artery distal to the obstructive lesion.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.Heart Diseases: Pathological conditions involving the HEART including its structural and functional abnormalities.Biological Markers: Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.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.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.Cardiac Output, Low: A state of subnormal or depressed cardiac output at rest or during stress. It is a characteristic of CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES, including congenital, valvular, rheumatic, hypertensive, coronary, and cardiomyopathic. The serious form of low cardiac output is characterized by marked reduction in STROKE VOLUME, and systemic vasoconstriction resulting in cold, pale, and sometimes cyanotic extremities.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.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.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.Pulmonary Embolism: Blocking of the PULMONARY ARTERY or one of its branches by an EMBOLUS.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.Blood Pressure: PRESSURE of the BLOOD on the ARTERIES and other BLOOD VESSELS.Chronic Disease: Diseases which have one or more of the following characteristics: they are permanent, leave residual disability, are caused by nonreversible pathological alteration, require special training of the patient for rehabilitation, or may be expected to require a long period of supervision, observation, or care. (Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)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.Arrhythmias, Cardiac: Any disturbances of the normal rhythmic beating of the heart or MYOCARDIAL CONTRACTION. Cardiac arrhythmias can be classified by the abnormalities in HEART RATE, disorders of electrical impulse generation, or impulse conduction.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)Myocardial Revascularization: The restoration of blood supply to the myocardium. (From Dorland, 28th ed)Heart Rate: The number of times the HEART VENTRICLES contract per unit of time, usually per minute.Atrial Function, Left: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the LEFT ATRIUM.Cardiac Pacing, Artificial: Regulation of the rate of contraction of the heart muscles by an artificial pacemaker.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.Tissue Survival: The span of viability of a tissue or an organ.Heart Function Tests: Examinations used to diagnose and treat heart conditions.Cardiac Catheterization: Procedures in which placement of CARDIAC CATHETERS is performed for therapeutic or diagnostic procedures.Heart Atria: The chambers of the heart, to which the BLOOD returns from the circulation.Defibrillators, Implantable: Implantable devices which continuously monitor the electrical activity of the heart and automatically detect and terminate ventricular tachycardia (TACHYCARDIA, VENTRICULAR) and VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION. They consist of an impulse generator, batteries, and electrodes.Atrial Natriuretic Factor: A potent natriuretic and vasodilatory peptide or mixture of different-sized low molecular weight PEPTIDES derived from a common precursor and secreted mainly by the HEART ATRIUM. All these peptides share a sequence of about 20 AMINO ACIDS.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.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.Tachycardia, Ventricular: An abnormally rapid ventricular rhythm usually in excess of 150 beats per minute. It is generated within the ventricle below the BUNDLE OF HIS, either as autonomic impulse formation or reentrant impulse conduction. Depending on the etiology, onset of ventricular tachycardia can be paroxysmal (sudden) or nonparoxysmal, its wide QRS complexes can be uniform or polymorphic, and the ventricular beating may be independent of the atrial beating (AV dissociation).Coronary Angiography: Radiography of the vascular system of the heart muscle after injection of a contrast medium.Adrenergic beta-Antagonists: Drugs that bind to but do not activate beta-adrenergic receptors thereby blocking the actions of beta-adrenergic agonists. Adrenergic beta-antagonists are used for treatment of hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, angina pectoris, glaucoma, migraine headaches, and anxiety.Vasodilator Agents: Drugs used to cause dilation of the 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.Mitral Valve: The valve between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart.Aortic Valve: The valve between the left ventricle and the ascending aorta which prevents backflow into the left ventricle.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).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)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)Myocytes, Cardiac: Striated muscle cells found in the heart. They are derived from cardiac myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, CARDIAC).Fibrosis: Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury.Preexisting Condition Coverage: Insurance coverage of a physical or mental health condition, disability, or illness existing before health insurance is applied for or enrolled in.Hypertension, Pulmonary: Increased VASCULAR RESISTANCE in the PULMONARY CIRCULATION, usually secondary to HEART DISEASES or LUNG DISEASES.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).Atrial Pressure: The pressure within the CARDIAC ATRIUM. It can be measured directly by using a pressure catheter (see HEART CATHETERIZATION). It can be also estimated using various imaging techniques or other pressure readings such as PULMONARY CAPILLARY WEDGE PRESSURE (an estimate of left atrial pressure) and CENTRAL VENOUS PRESSURE (an estimate of right atrial pressure).Coronary Artery Disease: Pathological processes of CORONARY ARTERIES that may derive from a congenital abnormality, atherosclerotic, or non-atherosclerotic cause.Endocardial Fibroelastosis: A condition characterized by the thickening of ENDOCARDIUM due to proliferation of fibrous and elastic tissue, usually in the left ventricle leading to impaired cardiac function (CARDIOMYOPATHY, RESTRICTIVE). It is most commonly seen in young children and rarely in adults. It is often associated with congenital heart anomalies (HEART DEFECTS CONGENITAL;) INFECTION; or gene mutation. Defects in the tafazzin protein, encoded by TAZ gene, result in a form of autosomal dominant familial endocardial fibroelastosis.Anti-Arrhythmia Agents: Agents used for the treatment or prevention of cardiac arrhythmias. They may affect the polarization-repolarization phase of the action potential, its excitability or refractoriness, or impulse conduction or membrane responsiveness within cardiac fibers. Anti-arrhythmia agents are often classed into four main groups according to their mechanism of action: sodium channel blockade, beta-adrenergic blockade, repolarization prolongation, or calcium channel blockade.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.Coronary Vessels: The veins and arteries of the HEART.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.Ventricular Function: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the HEART VENTRICLES.Troponin I: One of the three polypeptide chains that make up the TROPONIN complex. It inhibits F-actin-myosin interactions.Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumping: Counterpulsation in which a pumping unit synchronized with the patient's electrocardiogram rapidly fills a balloon in the aorta with helium or carbon dioxide in early diastole and evacuates the balloon at the onset of systole. As the balloon inflates, it raises aortic diastolic pressure, and as it deflates, it lowers aortic systolic pressure. The result is a decrease in left ventricular work and increased myocardial and peripheral perfusion.Survival Rate: The proportion of survivors in a group, e.g., of patients, studied and followed over a period, or the proportion of persons in a specified group alive at the beginning of a time interval who survive to the end of the interval. It is often studied using life table methods.Death, Sudden, Cardiac: Unexpected rapid natural death due to cardiovascular collapse within one hour of initial symptoms. It is usually caused by the worsening of existing heart diseases. The sudden onset of symptoms, such as CHEST PAIN and CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS, particularly VENTRICULAR TACHYCARDIA, can lead to the loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest followed by biological death. (from Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 7th ed., 2005)Echocardiography, Stress: A method of recording heart motion and internal structures by combining ultrasonic imaging with exercise testing (EXERCISE TEST) or pharmacologic stress.Cardiopulmonary Bypass: Diversion of the flow of blood from the entrance of the right atrium directly to the aorta (or femoral artery) via an oxygenator thus bypassing both the heart and lungs.Cardiac Surgical Procedures: Surgery performed on the heart.Acute Disease: Disease having a short and relatively severe course.Autonomic Nervous System Diseases: Diseases of the parasympathetic or sympathetic divisions of the AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM; which has components located in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM and PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. Autonomic dysfunction may be associated with HYPOTHALAMIC DISEASES; BRAIN STEM disorders; SPINAL CORD DISEASES; and PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES. Manifestations include impairments of vegetative functions including the maintenance of BLOOD PRESSURE; HEART RATE; pupil function; SWEATING; REPRODUCTIVE AND URINARY PHYSIOLOGY; and DIGESTION.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.Heart-Assist Devices: Small pumps, often implantable, designed for temporarily assisting the heart, usually the LEFT VENTRICLE, to pump blood. They consist of a pumping chamber and a power source, which may be partially or totally external to the body and activated by electromagnetic motors.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.Postoperative Complications: Pathologic processes that affect patients after a surgical procedure. They may or may not be related to the disease for which the surgery was done, and they may or may not be direct results of the surgery.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.Survival Analysis: A class of statistical procedures for estimating the survival function (function of time, starting with a population 100% well at a given time and providing the percentage of the population still well at later times). The survival analysis is then used for making inferences about the effects of treatments, prognostic factors, exposures, and other covariates on the function.Myocarditis: Inflammatory processes of the muscular walls of the heart (MYOCARDIUM) which result in injury to the cardiac muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC). Manifestations range from subclinical to sudden death (DEATH, SUDDEN). Myocarditis in association with cardiac dysfunction is classified as inflammatory CARDIOMYOPATHY usually caused by INFECTION, autoimmune diseases, or responses to toxic substances. Myocarditis is also a common cause of DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY and other cardiomyopathies.Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi: A technetium imaging agent used to reveal blood-starved cardiac tissue during a heart attack.Multivariate Analysis: A set of techniques used when variation in several variables has to be studied simultaneously. In statistics, multivariate analysis is interpreted as any analytic method that allows simultaneous study of two or more dependent variables.Heart Valve Prosthesis: A device that substitutes for a heart valve. It may be composed of biological material (BIOPROSTHESIS) and/or synthetic material.Pulmonary Artery: The short wide vessel arising from the conus arteriosus of the right ventricle and conveying unaerated blood to the lungs.Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological: Physiological disturbances in normal sexual performance in either the male or the female.Exercise Tolerance: The exercise capacity of an individual as measured by endurance (maximal exercise duration and/or maximal attained work load) during an EXERCISE TEST.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.Double-Blind Method: A method of studying a drug or procedure in which both the subjects and investigators are kept unaware of who is actually getting which specific treatment.Milrinone: A positive inotropic cardiotonic agent with vasodilator properties. It inhibits cAMP phosphodiesterase type 3 activity in myocardium and vascular smooth muscle. Milrinone is a derivative of amrinone and has 20-30 times the inotropic potency of amrinone.Tachycardia: Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a HEART RATE above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia.Endomyocardial Fibrosis: A condition characterized by the thickening of the ventricular ENDOCARDIUM and subendocardium (MYOCARDIUM), seen mostly in children and young adults in the TROPICAL CLIMATE. The fibrous tissue extends from the apex toward and often involves the HEART VALVES causing restrictive blood flow into the respective ventricles (CARDIOMYOPATHY, RESTRICTIVE).Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation: Surgical insertion of synthetic material to repair injured or diseased heart valves.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.Postoperative Period: The period following a surgical operation.3-Iodobenzylguanidine: A guanidine analog with specific affinity for tissues of the sympathetic nervous system and related tumors. The radiolabeled forms are used as antineoplastic agents and radioactive imaging agents. (Merck Index, 12th ed) MIBG serves as a neuron-blocking agent which has a strong affinity for, and retention in, the adrenal medulla and also inhibits ADP-ribosyltransferase.Chagas Cardiomyopathy: A disease of the CARDIAC MUSCLE developed subsequent to the initial protozoan infection by TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI. After infection, less than 10% develop acute illness such as MYOCARDITIS (mostly in children). The disease then enters a latent phase without clinical symptoms until about 20 years later. Myocardial symptoms of advanced CHAGAS DISEASE include conduction defects (HEART BLOCK) and CARDIOMEGALY.Oxidative Stress: A disturbance in the prooxidant-antioxidant balance in favor of the former, leading to potential damage. Indicators of oxidative stress include damaged DNA bases, protein oxidation products, and lipid peroxidation products (Sies, Oxidative Stress, 1991, pxv-xvi).Diabetic Cardiomyopathies: Diabetes complications in which VENTRICULAR REMODELING in the absence of CORONARY ATHEROSCLEROSIS and hypertension results in cardiac dysfunctions, typically LEFT VENTRICULAR DYSFUNCTION. The changes also result in myocardial hypertrophy, myocardial necrosis and fibrosis, and collagen deposition due to impaired glucose tolerance.Proportional Hazards Models: Statistical models used in survival analysis that assert that the effect of the study factors on the hazard rate in the study population is multiplicative and does not change over time.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.Radiopharmaceuticals: Compounds that are used in medicine as sources of radiation for radiotherapy and for diagnostic purposes. They have numerous uses in research and industry. (Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p1161)Tomography, Emission-Computed: Tomography using radioactive emissions from injected RADIONUCLIDES and computer ALGORITHMS to reconstruct an image.Atrioventricular Block: Impaired impulse conduction from HEART ATRIA to HEART VENTRICLES. AV block can mean delayed or completely blocked impulse conduction.Disease Progression: The worsening of a disease over time. This concept is most often used for chronic and incurable diseases where the stage of the disease is an important determinant of therapy and prognosis.Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological: Disturbances in sexual desire and the psychophysiologic changes that characterize the sexual response cycle and cause marked distress and interpersonal difficulty. (APA, DSM-IV, 1994)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.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).Endothelium, Vascular: Single pavement layer of cells which line the luminal surface of the entire vascular system and regulate the transport of macromolecules and blood components.Electrocardiography, Ambulatory: Method in which prolonged electrocardiographic recordings are made on a portable tape recorder (Holter-type system) or solid-state device ("real-time" system), while the patient undergoes normal daily activities. It is useful in the diagnosis and management of intermittent cardiac arrhythmias and transient myocardial ischemia.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.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).Arterial Pressure: The blood pressure in the ARTERIES. It is commonly measured with a SPHYGMOMANOMETER on the upper arm which represents the arterial pressure in the BRACHIAL ARTERY.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.Technetium Tc 99m Pyrophosphate: A radionuclide imaging agent used primarily in scintigraphy or tomography of the heart to evaluate the extent of the necrotic myocardial process. It has also been used in noninvasive tests for the distribution of organ involvement in different types of amyloidosis and for the evaluation of muscle necrosis in the extremities.Propanolamines: AMINO ALCOHOLS containing the propanolamine (NH2CH2CHOHCH2) group and its derivatives.IodobenzenesBlood Flow Velocity: A value equal to the total volume flow divided by the cross-sectional area of the vascular bed.Captopril: A potent and specific inhibitor of PEPTIDYL-DIPEPTIDASE A. It blocks the conversion of ANGIOTENSIN I to ANGIOTENSIN II, a vasoconstrictor and important regulator of arterial blood pressure. Captopril acts to suppress the RENIN-ANGIOTENSIN SYSTEM and inhibits pressure responses to exogenous angiotensin.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Mice, Inbred C57BLCardiovascular Agents: Agents that affect the rate or intensity of cardiac contraction, blood vessel diameter, or blood volume.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Kaplan-Meier Estimate: A nonparametric method of compiling LIFE TABLES or survival tables. It combines calculated probabilities of survival and estimates to allow for observations occurring beyond a measurement threshold, which are assumed to occur randomly. Time intervals are defined as ending each time an event occurs and are therefore unequal. (From Last, A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 1995)Cohort Studies: Studies in which subsets of a defined population are identified. These groups may or may not be exposed to factors hypothesized to influence the probability of the occurrence of a particular disease or other outcome. Cohorts are defined populations which, as a whole, are followed in an attempt to determine distinguishing subgroup characteristics.Recovery of Function: A partial or complete return to the normal or proper physiologic activity of an organ or part following disease or trauma.Oxygen Consumption: The rate at which oxygen is used by a tissue; microliters of oxygen STPD used per milligram of tissue per hour; the rate at which oxygen enters the blood from alveolar gas, equal in the steady state to the consumption of oxygen by tissue metabolism throughout the body. (Stedman, 25th ed, p346)Echocardiography, Transesophageal: Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues using a transducer placed in the esophagus.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.Vascular Resistance: The force that opposes the flow of BLOOD through a vascular bed. It is equal to the difference in BLOOD PRESSURE across the vascular bed divided by the CARDIAC OUTPUT.Central Venous Pressure: The blood pressure in the central large VEINS of the body. It is distinguished from peripheral venous pressure which occurs in an extremity.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.Endocardium: The innermost layer of the heart, comprised of endothelial cells.Amiodarone: An antianginal and class III antiarrhythmic drug. It increases the duration of ventricular and atrial muscle action by inhibiting POTASSIUM CHANNELS and VOLTAGE-GATED SODIUM CHANNELS. There is a resulting decrease in heart rate and in vascular resistance.Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy: The restoration of the sequential order of contraction and relaxation of the HEART ATRIA and HEART VENTRICLES by atrio-biventricular pacing.Death: Irreversible cessation of all bodily functions, manifested by absence of spontaneous breathing and total loss of cardiovascular and cerebral functions.Dilatation, Pathologic: The condition of an anatomical structure's being dilated beyond normal dimensions.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.Troponin T: One of the three polypeptide chains that make up the TROPONIN complex. It is a cardiac-specific protein that binds to TROPOMYOSIN. It is released from damaged or injured heart muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC). Defects in the gene encoding troponin T result in FAMILIAL HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY.Myocardial Reperfusion Injury: Damage to the MYOCARDIUM resulting from MYOCARDIAL REPERFUSION (restoration of blood flow to ischemic areas of the HEART.) Reperfusion takes place when there is spontaneous thrombolysis, THROMBOLYTIC THERAPY, collateral flow from other coronary vascular beds, or reversal of vasospasm.Asymptomatic Diseases: Diseases that do not exhibit symptoms.Heart Transplantation: The transference of a heart from one human or animal to another.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.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.Diuretics: Agents that promote the excretion of urine through their effects on kidney function.Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency: Backflow of blood from the RIGHT VENTRICLE into the RIGHT ATRIUM due to imperfect closure of the TRICUSPID VALVE.Statistics, Nonparametric: A class of statistical methods applicable to a large set of probability distributions used to test for correlation, location, independence, etc. In most nonparametric statistical tests, the original scores or observations are replaced by another variable containing less information. An important class of nonparametric tests employs the ordinal properties of the data. Another class of tests uses information about whether an observation is above or below some fixed value such as the median, and a third class is based on the frequency of the occurrence of runs in the data. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed, p1284; Corsini, Concise Encyclopedia of Psychology, 1987, p764-5)Heart Block: Impaired conduction of cardiac impulse that can occur anywhere along the conduction pathway, such as between the SINOATRIAL NODE and the right atrium (SA block) or between atria and ventricles (AV block). Heart blocks can be classified by the duration, frequency, or completeness of conduction block. Reversibility depends on the degree of structural or functional defects.Heart Valve Diseases: Pathological conditions involving any of the various HEART VALVES and the associated structures (PAPILLARY MUSCLES and CHORDAE TENDINEAE).Heart Failure, Systolic: Heart failure caused by abnormal myocardial contraction during SYSTOLE leading to defective cardiac emptying.Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists: Drugs that bind to and block the activation of MINERALOCORTICOID RECEPTORS by MINERALOCORTICOIDS such as ALDOSTERONE.Spironolactone: A potassium sparing diuretic that acts by antagonism of aldosterone in the distal renal tubules. It is used mainly in the treatment of refractory edema in patients with congestive heart failure, nephrotic syndrome, or hepatic cirrhosis. Its effects on the endocrine system are utilized in the treatments of hirsutism and acne but they can lead to adverse effects. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p827)Postoperative Care: The period of care beginning when the patient is removed from surgery and aimed at meeting the patient's psychological and physical needs directly after surgery. (From Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)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.Heart Defects, Congenital: Developmental abnormalities involving structures of the heart. These defects are present at birth but may be discovered later in life.Shock, Cardiogenic: Shock resulting from diminution of cardiac output in heart disease.Comorbidity: The presence of co-existing or additional diseases with reference to an initial diagnosis or with reference to the index condition that is the subject of study. Comorbidity may affect the ability of affected individuals to function and also their survival; it may be used as a prognostic indicator for length of hospital stay, cost factors, and outcome or survival.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.Coronary Sinus: A short vein that collects about two thirds of the venous blood from the MYOCARDIUM and drains into the RIGHT ATRIUM. Coronary sinus, normally located between the LEFT ATRIUM and LEFT VENTRICLE on the posterior surface of the heart, can serve as an anatomical reference for cardiac procedures.Enoximone: A selective phosphodiesterase inhibitor with vasodilating and positive inotropic activity that does not cause changes in myocardial oxygen consumption. It is used in patients with CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE.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).Xamoterol: A phenoxypropanolamine derivative that is a selective beta-1-adrenergic agonist.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.Puerperal Disorders: Disorders or diseases associated with PUERPERIUM, the six-to-eight-week period immediately after PARTURITION in humans.Norepinephrine: Precursor of epinephrine that is secreted by the adrenal medulla and is a widespread central and autonomic neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is the principal transmitter of most postganglionic sympathetic fibers and of the diffuse projection system in the brain arising from the locus ceruleus. It is also found in plants and is used pharmacologically as a sympathomimetic.Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac: Methods to induce and measure electrical activities at specific sites in the heart to diagnose and treat problems with the heart's electrical system.Age Factors: Age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and TIME FACTORS which refers only to the passage of time.Tomography, X-Ray Computed: Tomography using x-ray transmission and a computer algorithm to reconstruct the image.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Hospitalization: The confinement of a patient in a hospital.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Natriuretic Peptides: Peptides that regulate the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE in the body, also known as natriuretic peptide hormones. Several have been sequenced (ATRIAL NATRIURETIC FACTOR; BRAIN NATRIURETIC PEPTIDE; C-TYPE NATRIURETIC PEPTIDE).