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electrocardiography
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The process by which a graphic pattern is created to reflect the electrical impulses generated by the heart as it pumps.


pulmonary function test

(PFT)


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A test that evaluates a patient's lung volume and capacity; used to detect and diagnose pulmonary problems or to monitor certain respiratory disorders and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.


cardiac cycle
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The sequence of contraction and relaxation that makes up a complete heartbeat.


polarity


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The condition of having two separate poles, one of which is positive and the other, negative.


depolarization
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The loss of polarity, or opposite charges inside and outside; the electrical impulse that initiates a chain reaction resulting in contraction.


electrode
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A sensor that detect electrical activity.


electrocardiogram

(ECG)


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The tracing made by an electrocardiograph.


electrocardiograph
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An instrument that measures and displays the waves of electrical impulses responsible for the cardiac cycle.


deflection
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A peak or valley on an electrocardiogram.


stylus


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A pen-like instrument that records electrical impulses on ECG paper.


lead
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A view of a specific area of the heart on an electrocardiogram.


calibration syringe
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A standardized measuring instrument used to check and adjust the volume indicator on a spirometer.


sleep apnea
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A condition characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep.


holter monitor
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An electrocardiography device that includes a small portable cassette recorder worn around a patient's waist or on a shoulder strap to record the heart's electrical activity.


spirometry
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A test used to measure breathing capacity.


spirometer
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An instrument that measures the air taken in and expelled from the lungs.


forced vital capacity

(FVC)


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The greatest volume of air that a person is able to expel when performing rapid, forced expiration.


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