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Glossary of Terms Related to Congenital Muscle Disease

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Term Definition

A group of medications that cardiologists use to decrease the heart rate by slowing down the speed at which the heart beats. These medications also help open the blood vessels and lower the blood pressure. Some common beta-blockers used in the United States are atenolol, nadolol (Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal), but there are also many other options your child’s cardiologist may choose. Beta-blockers are also used for other conditions not related to the heart.


Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-Pap) is one of the most commonly used forms of noninvasive ventilation respiratory support used to provide oxygen and pressure to the lungs to make it easier for a patient to breathe. Bi-PAP has two levels of airway pressure: a high pressure when the person breathes in and a low pressure when the person breathes out. A Bi-PAP machine can be programmed to cycle when the person breathes, or it can be set to a timed cycle.

Blood Gases

A test to measure the concentrations of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood, along with blood pH and bicarbonate level.

Breath Stacking Technique

A type of respiratory therapy. The patient uses a special bag equipped with a one-way valve and mouthpiece to take a series of breaths without exhaling, expanding the lungs beyond what he or she can accomplish with a single breath. This stretches the lungs and opens clogged airways.

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