Medical Terminology: Cardiovascular and Lymphatic Root Words - dummies

Medical Terminology: Cardiovascular and Lymphatic Root Words

By Beverley Henderson, Jennifer Lee Dorsey

Once you know the specific parts of the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems a bit better, it’s time to put your medical terminology expertise into practice. Here’s a list of cardio roots, prefixes, and suffixes. It also gives an example medical term for each.

Root Word What It Means Example
Aort/o Aorta Aortic
Angi/o Vessel Angiogram
Arteri/o Artery Arteriosclerosis
Arteriol/o Arteriole Arteriolitis
Ather/o Yellow plaque or fatty substance Atherosclerosis
Atri/o, atri/a Atrium Atrioventricular
Cardi/o Heart Cardiomegaly
Coron/o Heart Coronary
Ox/o, ox/i Oxygen Oximeter
Phleb/o Vein Phlebitis
Pulmon/o Lung Pulmonary
Scler/o Hardening Sclerotherapy
Thromb/o Clot Thrombus
Valv/o, valvul/o Valve Valvular
Vas/o Vessel Vasoconstriction
Ven/o Vein Venotomy
Venul/o Venule Venulitis
Ventricul/o Ventricle Ventricular
Prefix or Suffix What It Means Example
Brady Slow Bradycardia
Tachy Fast Tachycardia
-graph Instrument used to record Electrocardiograph
-graphy Process of recording Electrocardiography
-gram Picture or finished record Electrocardiogram

Check out this list of lymphatic roots and suffixes.

Root Word What It Means
Bas/o Base (opposite of acid)
Eosin/o Red, rosy
Erythr/o Red
Granul/o Granules
Hem/o, Hemat/o Blood
Immun/o Safe, protection
Kary/o Nucleus
Leuk/o White
Lymph/o Lymph
Lymphaden/o Lymph gland
Lymphangi/o Lymph vessels
Mon/o One, single
Morph/o Shape, form
Myel/o Bone marrow
Neutr/o Neither, neutral
Nucle/o Nucleus
Phleb/o Vein
Sider/o Iron
Spher/o Globe or round
Splen/o Spleen
Thromb/o Clot
Thym/o Thymus
Suffix What It Means
-apheresis Removal
-blast Immature
-cytosis Condition of cells
-emia Blood condition
-globin Protein
-globulin Protein
-phoresis Carrying, transmission
-poiesis Formation
-stasis Stop or control

Hundreds of medical terms can be created by using the roots, prefixes, and suffixes mentioned in the previous tables. Here are some common cardiovascular and lymphatic vocabulary words.

Word What It Means
Anticoagulant Agent or drug that slows the clotting process
Aorta Largest artery in the body
Atrium, Atria Upper chambers of the heart
Auscultation Hearing sounds in the body through a stethoscope
Blood pressure Pressure exerted by blood against the vessel walls
Capillary Smallest blood vessel
Cardiac Pertaining to the heart
Cardiologist Physician who studies and treats diseases of the heart
Cardiology Study of the heart and its diseases
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation: (CPR) Emergency procedure consisting of artificial ventilation
and external cardiac massage
Coronary arteries: The blood vessels that branch from the aorta to carry
oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle
Diastole The relaxation phase of the heart beat
Endocardium Inner lining of the heart
Erythrocyte Red blood cell
Hematologist Physician who studies and treats diseases of the blood
Hematology Study of the blood
Hemolysis Breakdown of blood
Hemostasis Stoppage of bleeding
Immunoglobulins Antibodies secreted by plasma cells
Leukocyte White blood cell
Manometer Instrument used to measure pressure of fluid
Mitral valve Valve between the left atrium and left ventricle
Myelogenous Produced by the bone marrow
Occlude To be closed tightly
Percussion Tapping of the body surface with fingers to determine density
of the part beneath
Peyer’s patches Lymphatic filters located in the small intestine
Pulmonary arteries Arteries carrying oxygen-poor blood from the heart to
lungs
Pulmonary circulation Flow of blood from the heart to the lungs and back to the
heart
Pulmonary veins Veins carrying oxygenated blood from the lungs to the
heart
Sinoatrial (S-A) node Pacemaker of the heart
Sphygmomanometer Instrument used to measure blood pressure
Systemic circulation Flow of blood from body cells to the heart and then back out of
the heart to the cells
Systole Contracting phase of the heartbeat
Thrombocyte Clotting cell or platelet
Venae cavae The largest veins in the body; the superior and inferior bring
blood into the right atrium