for Patients and Visitors

Simply explained

In our Medical Glossary we explain medical terms associated with your treatment, in simple language.



Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)

Operation to bypass a narrowed coronary artery using vein material

Short Form: CABG

Academy for Cardiac Perfusion

Training institution for cardiac perfusionists at the Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin.

Abkürzung: AfK 

Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (AICD)

The AICD is a special device that recognizes and treats abnormally fast heart rates. It delivers a high-energy electric shock to restore the normal heart rhythm. The AICD system usually consists of an implanted impulse generator and one or more leads.

Abkürzung: AICD  

Aortic valve replacement

Replacement of the valve between the left ventricle and the aorta, the main artery of the body.

Abkürzung: AKE 

Atrial septal defect (ASD)

The ASD is a hole in the wall dividing the two atria (“hole in the heart”).

Abkürzung: ASD 

Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD)

Malformation affecting the septum and valve level between the atria and ventricles (endocardiac cushion defect).

Abkürzung: AVSD 

Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR)

Method of collecting images of the heart and blood vessels. See also: MRI.

Abkürzung: CMR 

Drug eluting Stents (DES)

Vessel stents coated with active substances, e.g. glucocorticoids, cystostatic agents, immune modulators or antiproliferative agents.

Abkürzung: DES  


Abbreviation for Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin.

German Foundation for Organ Transplantation (Deutsche Stiftung für Organtransplantation, DSO)

The DSO is a non-profit foundation under German civil law, with headquarters in Frankfurt am Main. It is designated by German transplantation law as the organization coordinating organ transplantation in Germany. The DSO is divided into seven regions and employs more than 200 people. It is one of the largest national organ transplant organizations worldwide.

Abkürzung: DSO

Grown-ups with congenital heart disease (GUCH)

Thanks to medical progress, over 90 percent of patients with congenital heart defects live to become adults. These GUCH patients require highly specialized, lifelong medical care. In the ideal case this is provided by GUCH centers. Our Department of Pediatric Cardiology has such a GUCH center.

Abkürzung: EMAH 

Gender research in medicine

The systematic study of gender differences in medicine and their introduction into medical training.

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT)

A disease in which antibodies to a complex of heparin and a blood coagulation factor are formed.

Abkürzung: HIT 

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)

In HLHS one or more structures of the left side of the heart are too small. The result is that the ventricle cannot supply the body’s circulation or can do so only partially.

Abkürzung: HLHS

Heart lung machine (HLM)

The HLM is a medical device that can replace the pumping function of the heart and the lung function for a limited time. The heart lung machine is used most frequently in heart surgery.

Abkürzung: HLM

Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension

See: Primary pulmonary hypertension.



Implantable cardioverter/defibrillator (ICD)

The ICD is a medical device that is implanted in the body and regulates the heart rhythm.

Abkürzung: ICD

Self-Help Group for Organ Transplant Patients (Interessengemeinschaft Organtransplantierter Patienten, (IOP)

The IOP is a German self-help group for organ transplant patients that was established for mutual support.

Abkürzung: IOP

Ventricular septal defect (VSD)

The VSD is a defect of the dividing wall between the right and left ventricle.

Abkürzung: VSD 

Cooperation for Transparency and Quality in Health Care

Kooperation für Transparenz und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen (KTQ, Cooperation for Transparency and Quality in Health Care) is a recognized certification procedure for hospitals. External assessors determine the quality standard of an institution. Award of the certification confirms the high standards of the DHZB.

Abkürzung: KTQ

Mechanical circulatory support (MCS)

Support of the body’s circulation by an implantable mechanical ventricular assist device.

Abkürzung: MCS 

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of the internal organs and tissues for diagnostic purposes.

Abkürzung: MRT

Persisting ductus arteriosus (PDA)

Connection between the left pulmonary artery and the descending aorta present in the embryo. It normally closes naturally in the first weeks of life, but may persist.

Abkürzung: PDA 

Patent foramen ovale (PFO)

A persisting opening in the septal wall that divides the right and left atrium.

Abkürzung: PFO 

Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH)

High pulmonary artery pressure without a clear cause is known as primary pulmonary hypertension or, following the most recent nomenclature, idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH).

Abkürzung: PPH

Psychosomatic medicine

There is a close connection between physical and mental health. A serious physical illness is an exceptional situation for the patient and can affect his or her psychological well-being.
Our Psychosomatic Medicine team supports our patients before, during and after their treatment to help them deal psychologically with their illness and to assist them in the healing process.


Small blood vessel prostheses usually made of metal (stainless steel, nitinol, tantal).

Truncus arteriosus communis (TAC)

The truncus arteriosus is a congenital heart defect in which only one blood vessel arises from the heart chambers. Usually this common vessel (truncus) overrides a ventricular septal wall defect.

Abkürzung: TAC 

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)

Safe means of treating elderly patients and patients with severe concomitant diseases. The aortic valve replacement is introduced into the heart via a groin artery or arm artery or via the heart apex. Procedures range from percutaneous valve implantation under local anesthetic to complex combined operations.

Abkürzung: TAVI 

Tissue Engineering (TE)

The principle of tissue engineering is to use cells from the patient’s own body to produce vital, functional replacement tissue, which has the potential to become integrated into surrounding tissue and to grow with the patient.

Abkürzung: TE


Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)

Ultrasound examination of the heart with a flexible probe that is introduced into the gullet.

Abkürzung: TEE 

Valvuloplasty of the mitral valve

Procedure to mold or shape the valve to treat a mitral valve stenosis.

Abkürzung: PTV 

Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

See: Mechanical circulatory support.

Abkürzung: VAD