Heterocyclic declination was a condition, the prevention of which was a necessary precondition to the successful outcome of a cardiac implant.

According to the Starbase 515 surgeon, the inability to reverse heterocyclic declination – and the lack of metabilation occlusion – were primarily responsible for the initial failure of Captain Jean-Luc Picard's secondary implant surgery. These failures forced the doctor to seek additional help from a biomolecular physiologist, who was able to recommend that Katherine Pulaski correct the issues. (TNG: "Samaritan Snare")

"het-ah-row-SYK-lik dek-lah-NAY-shun" was the pronunciation of this medical condition's name from the script pronunciation guide. [1]

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