1. A movement of particles in an elastic body, whether solid or fluid, whereby an advancing series of alternate elevations and depressions, or rarefactions and condensations, is produced. 2. The elevation of the pulse, felt by the finger, or represented in the curved line of the sphygmograph. 3. The complete cycle of changes in the level of a source of energy that is repetitively varying with respect to time; in the electrocardiogram and the electroencephalogram, the w. is essentially a voltage-time graph. SEE ALSO: rhythm. [A.S. wafian, to fluctuate]
- A w. 1. the initial negative deflection in the electroretinogram, presumably reflecting retinal photoreceptor activity; 2. an atrial deflection in an electrogram recorded from within the atrium of the heart; 3. the first positive deflection of the atrial and venous pulses due to atrial systole.
- acid w. SYN: acid tide.
- alkaline w. SYN: alkaline tide.
- alpha w. SYN: alpha rhythm.
- B w. the initial positive deflection in the electroretinogram, possibly arising from the inner nuclear layer of the retina.
- beta w. SYN: beta rhythm.
- brain w. colloquialism for electroencephalogram.
- C w. 1. a monophasic positive deflection in the electroretinogram arising in the pigment epithelium of the retina. 2. w. in the venous and atrial pulses occurring during isovolumic ventricular contraction in which the closed atrioventricular valves (mitral and tricuspid) are abruptly displaced into the atria with creation of a pressure transient.
- cannon w. an exaggerated A w. in the jugular pulse caused by right atrial contraction occurring after ventricular contraction has closed the tricuspid valve, as in ventricular premature beats and in complete A-V block.
- D w. a positive or negative deflection in the electroretinogram occurring when a light stimulus is removed (off-response).
- delta w. a premature upstroke of the QRS complex due to an atrial ventricular bypass tract as in WPW syndrome.
- dicrotic w. the second rise in the tracing of a dicrotic pulse. SYN: recoil w..
- electrocardiographic w. a deflection of special shape and extent in the electrocardiogram representing the electric activity of a portion of the heart muscle.
- epsilon w. late R w. (in lead V1) of delayed right ventricular activation in arrhythmogenic RV dysplasia.
- excitation w. a w. of altered electrical conditions that is propagated along a muscle fiber preparatory to its contraction.
- F waves the waves of atrial flutter usually best seen in ECG leads 2, 3, and AVF. (A small f indicates atrial fibrillation).
- f w., ff waves atrial fibrillation w.. SYN: fibrillary waves, fibrillatory waves, flutter-fibrillation waves.
- fibrillary waves SYN: f w..
- fibrillatory waves SYN: f w..
- flat top waves activity in the electroencephalogram having a pattern suggesting a flat top; these waves are often found in temporal lobe discharges.
- fluid w. a sign of free fluid in the abdominal cavity; percussion on one side of the abdomen transmits a w. that is felt on the opposite side.
- flutter-fibrillation waves SYN: f w..
- microelectric waves SYN: microwaves.
- mucosal w. the movement of the mucous membrane of the vocal cord during phonation.
- overflow w. the descending w. of the sphygmogram from the apex to the first anacrotic break.
- P w. the first complex of the electrocardiogram, during sinus and atrial rhythms, representing depolarization of the atria; if the P w. is retrograde or ectopic in axis or form, it is labeled P′.
- postextrasystolic T w. the modified T w. of the beat immediately following an extrasystole.
- pulse w. the progressive expansion of the arteries occurring with each contraction of the left ventricle of the heart.
- Q w. the initial deflection of the QRS complex when such deflection is negative (downward).
- R w. the first positive (upward) deflection of the QRS complex in the electrocardiogram; successive upward deflections within the same QRS complex are labeled R′, R′′, etc.
- random waves waves in the electroencephalogram which occur paroxysmally and asynchronously.
- recoil w. SYN: dicrotic w..
- retrograde P w. the P w. pattern in the electrocardiogram representing retrograde depolarization of the atria, the impulse spreading from the AV junction or the lower atrium upward.
- S w. a negative (downward) deflection of the QRS complex following an R w; successive downward deflections within the same QRS complex are labeled S′, S′′, etc.
- sonic waves audible sound waves, as distinguished from ultrasonic waves.
- supersonic waves sound waves of higher frequency than the level of audibility.
- T w. the next deflection in the electrocardiogram following the QRS complex; represents ventricular repolarization.
- theta w. SYN: theta rhythm.
- tidal w. the w. between the percussion w. and the dicrotic w. in the downward limb of the arterial pulse tracing.
- Traube-Hering waves SYN: Traube-Hering curves, under curve.
- U w. a positive w. following an upright T w. of the electrocardiogram. It is negative following an inverted T w..
- ultrasonic waves the periodic configuration of energy produced by sound having a frequency greater than 30,000 Hz.
- V w. a large pressure w. visible in recordings from either atrium or its incoming veins, normally produced by venous return but apparently becoming very large when blood regurgitates through the AV valve beyond the chamber from which the recording is made. This regurgitant w. is not a true V w., which is a passive (filling) w..
- x w. the negative w. in the atrial and venous pulse curves produced when ventricular ejection moves the floors of the atria toward the ventricular apices.
- y w. the negative w. in the atrial and venous pulse curves reflecting rapid filling of the ventricles just after the atrioventricular valves open.
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Women's Angiographic Vitamin and Estrogen [trial]

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wave 'wāv n
1 a) a disturbance or variation that transfers energy progressively from point to point in a medium and that may take the form of an elastic deformation or of a variation of pressure, electrical or magnetic intensity, electrical potential, or temperature
b) one complete cycle of such a disturbance
2) an undulating or jagged line constituting a graphic representation of an action <an electroencephalographic \wave>

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(wāv) 1. a uniformly advancing disturbance in which the parts move while undergoing a double oscillation. 2. anything having this pattern.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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