Atrial Function, Left: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the LEFT ATRIUM.Atrial Function: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the HEART ATRIA.Atrial Function, Right: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the RIGHT ATRIUM.Heart Atria: The chambers of the heart, to which the BLOOD returns from the circulation.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.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.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.Pericardiectomy: Surgical excision (total or partial) of a portion of the pericardium. Pericardiotomy refers to incision of the pericardium.Electric Countershock: An electrical current applied to the HEART to terminate a disturbance of its rhythm, ARRHYTHMIAS, CARDIAC. (Stedman, 25th ed)Myocardial Contraction: Contractile activity of the MYOCARDIUM.Heart Function Tests: Examinations used to diagnose and treat heart conditions.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.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 Function: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of 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).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.Blood Flow Velocity: A value equal to the total volume flow divided by the cross-sectional area of the vascular bed.Hemodynamics: The movement and the forces involved in the movement of the blood through the CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM.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)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.Hypothermia, Induced: Abnormally low BODY TEMPERATURE that is intentionally induced in warm-blooded animals by artificial means. In humans, mild or moderate hypothermia has been used to reduce tissue damages, particularly after cardiac or spinal cord injuries and during subsequent surgeries.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.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.Cognition: Intellectual or mental process whereby an organism obtains knowledge.Cognition Disorders: Disturbances in mental processes related to learning, thinking, reasoning, and judgment.Heart Arrest, Induced: A procedure to stop the contraction of MYOCARDIUM during HEART SURGERY. It is usually achieved with the use of chemicals (CARDIOPLEGIC SOLUTIONS) or cold temperature (such as chilled perfusate).Physical Endurance: The time span between the beginning of physical activity by an individual and the termination because of exhaustion.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.Exercise: Physical activity which is usually regular and done with the intention of improving or maintaining PHYSICAL FITNESS or HEALTH. Contrast with PHYSICAL EXERTION which is concerned largely with the physiologic and metabolic response to energy expenditure.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.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.Aortic Valve Prolapse: The downward displacement of the cuspal or pointed end of the trileaflet AORTIC VALVE causing misalignment of the cusps. Severe valve distortion can cause leakage and allow the backflow of blood from the ASCENDING AORTA back into the LEFT VENTRICLE, leading to aortic regurgitation.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).Pleural Effusion: Presence of fluid in the pleural cavity resulting from excessive transudation or exudation from the pleural surfaces. It is a sign of disease and not a diagnosis in itself.Liver Function Tests: Blood tests that are used to evaluate how well a patient's liver is working and also to help diagnose liver conditions.Pleurodesis: The production of adhesions between the parietal and visceral pleura. The procedure is used in the treatment of bronchopleural fistulas, malignant pleural effusions, and pneumothorax and often involves instillation of chemicals or other agents into the pleural space causing, in effect, a pleuritis that seals the air leak. (From Fishman, Pulmonary Diseases, 2d ed, p2233 & Dorland, 27th ed)Pleural Effusion, Malignant: Presence of fluid in the PLEURAL CAVITY as a complication of malignant disease. Malignant pleural effusions often contain actual malignant cells.Talc: Finely powdered native hydrous magnesium silicate. It is used as a dusting powder, either alone or with starch or boric acid, for medicinal and toilet preparations. It is also an excipient and filler for pills, tablets, and for dusting tablet molds. (From Merck Index, 11th ed)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.Liver Diseases: Pathological processes of the LIVER.Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy: The restoration of the sequential order of contraction and relaxation of the HEART ATRIA and HEART VENTRICLES by atrio-biventricular pacing.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.Cardiac Pacing, Artificial: Regulation of the rate of contraction of the heart muscles by an artificial pacemaker.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.Iron-Dextran Complex: A complex of ferric oxyhydroxide with dextrans of 5000 to 7000 daltons in a viscous solution containing 50 mg/ml of iron. It is supplied as a parenteral preparation and is used as a hematinic. (Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1292)Aldosterone: A hormone secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX that regulates electrolyte and water balance by increasing the renal retention of sodium and the excretion of potassium.Lithium: An element in the alkali metals family. It has the atomic symbol Li, atomic number 3, and atomic weight [6.938; 6.997]. Salts of lithium are used in treating BIPOLAR DISORDER.Receptors, Atrial Natriuretic Factor: Cell surface proteins that bind ATRIAL NATRIURETIC FACTOR with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. They contain intrinsic guanylyl cyclase activity.Renin: A highly specific (Leu-Leu) endopeptidase that generates ANGIOTENSIN I from its precursor ANGIOTENSINOGEN, leading to a cascade of reactions which elevate BLOOD PRESSURE and increase sodium retention by the kidney in the RENIN-ANGIOTENSIN SYSTEM. The enzyme was formerly listed as EC 18.104.22.168.Natriuretic Peptide, C-Type: A PEPTIDE of 22 amino acids, derived mainly from cells of VASCULAR ENDOTHELIUM. It is also found in the BRAIN, major endocrine glands, and other tissues. It shares structural homology with ATRIAL NATRIURETIC FACTOR. It has vasorelaxant activity thus is important in the regulation of vascular tone and blood flow. Several high molecular weight forms containing the 22 amino acids have been identified.