Lymphatic Disorders

Changes in the lymphatic system often are related to infection and may consist of inflammation and enlargement of the nodes, called lymphadenitis, or inflammation of the vessels, called lymphangiitis. Obstruction of lymphatic vessels because of surgical excision or infection results in tissue swelling, or lymphedema. Any neo-plastic disease involving lymph nodesis termed lymphoma. These neoplastic disorders affect the white cells found in the lymphatic system, and they are discussed more fully in Chapter 10.

Key Clinical Terms




A localized abnormal dilation of a blood vessel, usually an artery, caused by weakness of the vessel wall; may eventually burst

angina pectoris an-JI -na PEK-to-ris

A feeling of constriction around the heart or pain that may radiate to the left arm or shoulder, usually brought on by exertion; caused by insufficient blood supply to the heart

arrhythmia a-RITH-me-a

Any abnormality in the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat (literally "without rhythm"; note doubled r). Also called dysrhythmia.

atherosclerosis ath-er-o-skle-RO-sis

The development of fatty, fibrous patches (plaques) in the lining of arteries, causing narrowing of the lumen and hardening of the vessel wall. The most common form of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Root ather/o means "porridge" or "gruel."

bradycardia brad-e-KAR-de-a

A slow heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute

cerebrovascular accident (CVA) ser-e-bro-VAS-ku-lar

Sudden damage to the brain resulting from reduction of blood flow. Causes include atherosclerosis, embolism, thrombosis, or hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm; commonly called stroke.



Enlargement of the ends of the fingers and toes caused by growth of the soft tissue around the nails (see Fig. 7-10). Seen in a variety of diseases in which there is poor peripheral circulation.

cyanosis si -a-NO-sis

Bluish discoloration of the skin caused by lack of oxygen

deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Thrombophlebitis involving the deep veins

diaphoresis di -a-fo-RE-sis

Profuse sweating

dissecting aneurysm

An aneurysm in which blood enters the arterial wall and separates the layers. Usually involves the aorta (see Fig. 9-9).

dyslipidemia dis-lip-i-DE-me-a

Disorder in serum lipid levels, which is an important factor in development of atherosclerosis. Includes hyperlipidemia (high lipids), hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides).



Difficult or labored breathing (-pnea)

edem a e-DE-ma

Swelling of body tissues caused by the presence of excess fluid. Causes include cardiovascular disturbances, kidney failure, inflammation, and malnutrition.



Obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot or other matter carried in the circulation

Cardiovascular Disorders, continued



A mass carried in the circulation. Usually a blood clot, but may also be air, fat, bacteria, or other solid matter from within or from outside the body.

fibrillation fi-bri-LA-shun

Spontaneous, quivering, and ineffectual contraction of muscle fibers, as in the atria or the ventricles

heart block

An interference in the conduction system of the heart resulting in arrhythmia (see Fig. 9-13). The condition is classified in order of increasing severity as first-, second-, or third-degree heart block. Block in a bundle branch is designated as a left or right bundle branch block (BBB).

heart failure

A condition caused by the inability of the heart to maintain adequate circulation of blood



A varicose vein in the rectum

hlypertension hi -per-TEN-shun

A condition of higher-than-normal blood pressure. Essential (primary, idiopathic) hypertension has no known cause.

infarct in-FARKT

An area of localized necrosis (death) of tissue resulting from a blockage or a narrowing of the artery that supplies the area

ischlemila is-KE-me-a

Local deficiency of blood supply caused by obstruction of the circulation (root hem/o)


An abnormal heart sound

myocardial infarction (MI) mi -o-KAR-de-al in-FARK-shun

Localized necrosis (death) of cardiac muscle tissue resulting from blockage or narrowing of the coronary artery that supplies that area. Myocardial infarction is usually caused by formation of a thrombus (clot) in a vessel (see Fig. 9-12).

occlus_ion o-KLU-zhun

A closing off or obstruction, as of a vessel

patent ductus arteriosus

PA-tent DUK-tus ar- ter-e-O-sus

Persistence of the ductus arteriosus after birth. The ductus arteriosus is a vessel that connects the pulmonary artery to the descending aorta in the fetus to bypass the lungs.

phlebitis fle-Bl-tis

Inflammation of a vein

plaque plak

A patch. With regard to the cardiovascular system, a deposit of fatty material and other substances on a vessel wall that impedes blood flow and may block the vessel. Atheromatous plaque.

rhleumatic heart disease ru-MAT-ik

Damage to heart valves after infection with a type of streptococcus (group A hemolytic streptococcus). The antibodies produced in response to the infection produce scarring of the valves, usually the mitral valve.

Cardiovascular Disorders, continued


Circulatory failure resulting in inadequate supply of blood to the heart. Cardiogenic shock is caused by heart failure; hypovolemic shock is caused by a loss of blood volume; septic shock is caused by bacterial infection.

steno_sis ste-NO-sis

Constriction or narrowing of an opening


See cerebrovascular accident

syncope siN-ko-pe

A temporary loss of consciousness caused by inadequate blood flow to the brain; fainting

tachycardia tak-i-KAR-de-a

An abnormally rapid heart rate, usually over 100 beats per minute

thrombophleb_itis throm-bo-fle-BI-tis

Inflammation of a vein associated with formation of a blood clot

thrombo_sis throm-BO-sis

Development of a blood clot within a vessel



A blood clot that forms within a blood vessel (root thromb/o)

varicose_ vein VAR-i-kos

A twisted and swollen vein resulting from breakdown of the valves, pooling of blood, and chronic dilatation of the vessel (root varic/o); also called varix (VAR-iks) or varicosity (var-i-KOS-i-te)




A procedure that reopens a narrowed vessel and restores blood flow. Commonly accomplished by surgically removing plaque, inflating a balloon within the vessel, or installing a device (stent) to keep the vessel open.

artificial pacemaker

A battery-operated device that generates electrical impulses to regulate the beating of the heart. It may be external or implanted, may be designed to respond to need, and may have the capacity to prevent tachycardia (see Fig. 9-14).


KAR-d e-o-ver-zhun

Correction of an abnormal cardiac rhythm. May be accomplished pharmacologically, with antiarrhythmic drugs, or by application of electric current (see defibrillation).

coro nary angiography an-je-OG-ra-fe

Radiographic study of the coronary arteries after introduction of an opaque dye by means of a catheter

coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)

Surgical creation of a shunt to bypass a blocked coronary artery. The aorta is connected to a point past the obstruction with another vessel or a piece of another vessel, usually the saphenous vein of the leg or the left internal mammary artery (see Fig. 9-11).

Diagnosis and Treatment, continued

defibrillation de-fib-ri-LA-shun

Use of an electronic device (defibrillator) to stop fibrillation by delivering a brief electric shock to the heart. The shock may be delivered to the surface of the chest or be delivered directly to the heart through wire leads.

echocardiography (E CG)


A noninvasive method that uses ultrasound to visualize internal cardiac structures


~e-lek-tfo-kar-de-OG-ra-f e

Study of the electrical activity of the heart as detected by electrodes (leads) placed on the surface of the body. The components of the ECG include the P wave, QRS complex, T wave, ST segment, PR (PQ) interval, and the QT interval (Fig. 9-16). Also abbreviated EKG from the German electrokardiography.

lipo prot_ein lip-o-PRO-ten

A compound of protein with lipid. Lipoproteins are classified according to density as very low density (VLDL), low density (LDL), and high density (HDL). Relatively higher levels of HDLs have been correlated with health of the cardiovascular system.

percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)

Dilatation of a sclerotic blood vessel by means of a balloon catheter inserted into the vessel and then inflated to flatten plaque against the artery wall (see Fig. 9-10)


lymphoma lim-FO-ma

Any neoplastic disease of lymphoid tissue

lymphadenitis lim-fad-e-NI-tis

Inflammation and enlargement of lymph nodes, usually as a result of infection

lymphangii tis lim-fan-je-I-tis

Inflammation of lymphatic vessels as a result of bacterial infection. Appears as painful red streaks under the skin. (Also spelled lymphangitis.)

lymphed ema lim-fe-DE-ma

Swelling of tissues with lymph caused by obstruction or excision of lymphatic vessels

Lymphatic Medical TermsNormal Sinus Rhythm
FIGURE 9-16. (A) ECG tracing showing normal sinus rhythm. (B) Commonly measured components of an ECG tracing. (Reprinted with permission from Smeltzer SC, Bare BG. Brunner & Suddarth's Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing. 9th Ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000.)
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    How to read normal sinus rhythem?
    6 years ago

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