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Body System: GENERAL




a-: no, not, without, away from

abdomen: The part of the body cavity below the thorax.

aberration: A deviation from a normal condition or behavior.

ablat/o: to remove, to destroy

ablation techniques: Removal or disabling of body tissue by using hot liquids, microwave thermal heating, freezing, chemical ablation, and laser photoablation.

ablution: Washing the body.

ABN: abnormal

abrad/o: to scrape, to wear away

abreaction: An emotional release after recollection of a repressed experience.

abscess: Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection.

absenteeism: Chronic absence from work, school or other duties.

absorption: The processes by which substances, tissue, cells, etc. take up or take in other substances or energy.

abstract: A summary of the facts, ideas and opinions presented in articles, studies, literature or presentations.

-ac: pertaining to

acanth/o: thorny, sharp spine

acar/o: mites

acaridae: Family of mites frequently found in grain and flour.

acceleration: A change in an object's rate of speed or direction.

acclimatization: Adaptation of an organism to a new or changing environment.

accreditation: Certification for voluntary compliance with standards established by non-governmental organizations.

acculturation: Process of accepting or assimilating cultural change.

acetic: Having a sour property of vinegar or acetic acid.

acetone: A colorless liquid used as a solvent and an antiseptic. Present in urine.

acid-base balance: The balance between acids and bases in the body fluids. The pH of the arterial blood provides an index for the total body acid-base balance.

acid/o: acid, sour, bitter

acidosis: A pathologic condition of acidity in body fluids and tissues. The two main categories are respiratory and metabolic acidosis.

act-: drive, do, act

actin/o: radiation, ray

acu-: needle

acute: severe; sudden in onset; lasting a short time

-ad: toward, in the direction of

adip/o: fat

adipose: Connective tissue composed of fat cells.

adiposity: The amount of fat or lipid deposit at a site or an organ.

adolescence: A period beginning with puberty and ending at maturity. Usually from 11-13 years of age and ending at 18-20 years of age.

adrenal: Pertaining to the adrenal glands, which are located atop of the kidneys.

adsorption: The adhesion of gases, liquids, or dissolved solids onto a surface.

adult: A person having attained maturity.

adventitia: The outermost covering of organs, blood vessels and other structures not covered by serosa.

aer-: air

aftercare: Health care provided to a patient after discharge.

aggression: Forceful verbal or physical behavior, or an overt attitude of hostility.

agit/o: rapidity, restlessness

-agogue: simulator, agent causing change

agonal: Relating to conditions and struggles preceding death.

agonistic: A muscle whose contraction causes movement of a body part. Also, a drug that combines with receptors to produce an action.

agoraphobia: Obsessive, intense fear of open places or leaving home..

air: The mixture of gases present in the earth's atmosphere consisting of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases.

Al: aluminum

-al: relating to

albin/o: white, deficient pigmentation

albumin: Proteins found in egg whites, milk, blood, lymph, and other tissues and fluids. They are water soluble and coagulate upon heating.

alcoholism: A primary, chronic disease creating a physical dependence on alcohol. Genetic and environmental factors influence its development.

-algia: pain

alginate: A salt of alginic acid extracted from marine kelp. Used for surgical dressings.

algorithm: A step-by-step protocol for managing health care problems.

alienation: Lack of meaningful relationships with others, leading to estrangement.

alkaloids: Organic nitrogenous bases produced by plants and used to create important, powerful drugs.

alkalosis: A condition of high alkalinity of blood and other body fluids.

allergy: Hypersensitive reaction to common substances that are in the environment or digested. Also, an acquired sensitivity to certain drugs.

allied health personnel: Health care workers specially trained and licensed to provide patient services in specialties such as physical therapy, laboratory sciences, dental hygiene and emergency services.

allo-: other

alloantigen: An antigen that occurs in some but not all members of a species.

allograft: Tissues, cells, or organs transplanted between genetically different individuals of the same species.

allopathy: A medical therapy system in which a disease is treated by creating a second condition in the body that opposes the disease.

alphavirus: A group of small Toga viruses. Can be transmitted from mosquitoes to humans, causing several types of encephalitis.

altitude sickness: Multiple symptoms associated with reduced oxygen at high altitude. These symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, tachycardia and shortness of breath.

alve-: channel, cavity

amalgam: A mixture of mercury, silver and other metals used in dentistry.

amanita: A genus of mushrooms. Some species are poisonous.

amantadine: An antiviral agent used to treat influenza A. Also used as an antiparkinsonian agent.

amber: A hard, yellowish fossil resin from pine trees.

ambient: Pertaining to the environment of an organism or mechanism.

ambivalence: Conflicting feelings or attitudes towards a person, object or idea.

ambul/o: walking

ambulance: A vehicle for transporting patients for treatment.

ambulatory: Able to walk.

ameba: A large genus of protozoa found in water and moist conditions. Several species may be parasitic in humans.

amebiasis: Infection with ameba. Widespread condition in tropical countries.. An asymptomatic condition in most people but diseases ranging from diarrhea to dysentery.

amebicide: A drug or other agent which destroys ameba, particularly parasitic species.

ameloblastoma: A fast growing epithelial tumor of the jaw.

amelogenesis: The formation of dental enamel by ameloblasts.

amino acid: A group of organic compounds that contain an amino and a carboxyl group.

aminoglycoside: Antibiotic that prevents bacteria from producing proteins. Requires monitoring due to side-effects.

amobarbital: A barbiturate sedative-hypnotic.

amoxicillin: An oral semisynthetic penicillin antibiotic.

ampere: A measure of electrical current. One ampere (amp) is equal to the current flowing through a one ohm resistance when an electrical potential of one volt is applied.

amphi-: both sides

ampho-: both sides, double

ampicillin: Semisynthetic penicillin that functions as a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

amyloid: Starch-like.

amyloidosis: A group of infectious diseases cause abnormal protein folding and deposition of amyloid. These amyloid deposits can enlarge and displace normal tissue, impairing function.

-an: pertaining to

an-: not, without, away from

anabolic steroid: A compound derived from testosterone or synthetically that stimulates development of muscle mass, strength, and power.

anaplasia: Loss of structural differentiation and useful function of neoplastic cells. Typical of malignant tumors.

anasarca: Massive swelling (edema) of the legs, truck and genitalia. Occurs in congestive heart failure, renal disease or liver failure.

anatomy: The study of the structure of organisms.

andro-: male

android: Pertaining to something human.

aneroid: A kind of barometer operated by the movement of the elastic lid of a box exhausted of air.

angstrom: A unit of length equal to 0.1 nanometer.

anhidrosis: Absence of sweating in an environment appropriate for sweating.

anion: Negatively charged ion.

anis-: unequal

anomal/o: irregular

anomaly: A variation from normal, particularly congenital defect

anorexia: The lack or loss of appetite with an inability to eat.

anosmia: loss or impairment of the sense of smell. It can be temporary or permanent.

antagonist: A person, muscle or drug that opposes another.

antazoline: A short acting antihistamine

antegrade: Moving forward or moving in the direction of blood or urine flow.

anthrac/o: carbon, coal

anthrop/o: human life

anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation.

antihistamine: An agent that inhibits the actions of a histamine.

antimitotic: Drugs that arrest cell division.

antioxidant: Substances that inhibit oxidation of a substance.

antiparasitic: A drug used to treat or prevent parasitic infections.

antipyretic: A drug used to reduces fever.

antisepsis: The destruction of germs causing disease.

antithyroid: An agent used to treat hyperthyroidism.

antitoxins: Antisera from immunized animals that is purified and used as a passive immunizing agent against specific bacterial toxins.

antr/o: antrum, cavity

antrum: A cavity or chamber.

apache: An acronym for Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation, a scoring system used for classifying the severity of illness in critically ill patients.

apex: The tip of an organ.

-apheresis: separation, removal

aphth/o: ulcer

apic/o: apex

apical: Pertaining to the tip or apex of a structure.

apoptosis: Programmed cell death resulting in the orderly removal of cells.

appendectomy: Surgical removal of the appendix.

aprepitant: A drug used to treat chemotherapy induced nausea.

aque/o: water

-ar: pertaining to

arbor: A tree-like structure with branching.

arbovirus: Viruses transmitted by saliva of insects, bats and rodents.

arch-: beginning, origin, first

argon: An odorless, colorless, inactive gas with atomic number 18.

aromatherapy: The use of fragrances and plant oils to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

arsenic: A shiny gray element with atomic symbol As, atomic number 33. Most forms are toxic.

arthropod: A member of the phylum Arthropoda, composed of organisms having a hard, jointed exoskeleton and paired jointed legs. It includes insects, mites, ticks and spiders.

artifacts: Anything artificially made. An unwanted problem with a medical imaging technique.

-ary: pertaining to

ASC: atypical squamous cells

-ase: enzyme

aspirin: An analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic agent. It also reduces the risk of vascular thrombosis.

assault: A violent physical or verbal attack.

astringent: A drug, usually topical, that cause the contraction of tissues. Used for controlling bleeding or secretions.

athetosis: Slow, continuous slow, flowing involuntary movements of the fingers, toes, tongue and face. Often a form of cerebral palsy. While impairing speech, intelligence in often unaffected.

atmo: steam, vapor

atresia: The absence or abnormal narrowing of a body opening or duct.

atreto-: closed

attenuation: The reduction or dilution of disease producing ability.

attitude: 1) A position or posture of the body. 2) A way or manner of behaving.

attrition: Wearing away.

atypical: Unusual. Not representative of a type or group.

Au: gold

audit: A formal review of data or records.

augmentation: The process of increasing in size or amount.

auscultation: Listening for body sounds usually with a stethoscope.

auto-: self, same

autograft: Transplant comprised of an individual's own tissue, transferred from one part of the body to another.

autolysis: The disintegration of tissues or cells by intracellular enzymes.

automatism: Automatic, mechanical, and apparently undirected behavior which is outside of conscious control.

autonomy: Ability to function independently. Self-governing.

autopsy: Postmortem examination of the body to determine the cause of death.

autosome: Any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome and that occurs in pairs in somatic cells.

autotrophic: Self nourishing. The processes by which organisms use inorganic substances such carbon dioxide and inorganic nitrogen as nutrient sources.

aux/o: growth

avian influenza: A highly contagious disease of poultry and other birds, caused by strains of influenza A virus.

axial: Pertaining to an axis.

axill/o: armpit

azotemia: A biochemical abnormality referring to an elevation of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine.

Ba: barium

bacillus: A large genus of rod-shaped, gram-positive, spore-bearing bacteria.

bacteri-: bacteria

bactericide: A substance that kills bacteria.

bacteriophage: A virus that attacks bacteria.

BADL: basic activities of daily living

bandages: Material used for wrapping or binding any part of the body. Used to secure wound dressing or immobilize a limb.

bar/o: pressure, weight

barotrauma: Injury caused by ambient pressure changes especially to the ear drums and lungs.

bary-: heavy, hard, dull

bas/o: base, bottom

basal metabolism: The minimum amount of energy needed to maintain vital body functions.

basi-: base, foundation

bathy-: depth, deep

battery: 1) The wrongful use of force on a person. 2) A electrical energy source formed by two or more electrolytic cells.

bayes theorem: A probability theorem used in clinical decision analysis for estimating the probability of a particular diagnosis given the appearance of some symptoms or test result.

BBT: basal body temperature

bed rest: Confinement of an patient to bed for therapeutic reasons.

behavior: The observable response of a man or animal to a situation.

behaviorism: A psychologic theory, developed by John Broadus Watson, concerned with studying and measuring behaviors that are observable.

belly: The central fleshy part of a muscle.

beneficence: The act of being kind, charitable, or beneficial. The ethical principle of beneficence requires that researchers should have the welfare of the research participant as a goal of any clinical trial.

benign: Nonmalignant. A non-cancerous tumor.

benzene: Toxic flammable liquid hydrocarbon byproduct of coal distillation.

betahistine: A histamine analog that serves as a vasodilator. Used to reduce the frequency of attacks of vertigo in Meniere's disease.

betamethasone: A glucocorticoid administered by mouth, injection, inhalation or topically to treat disorders in which corticosteroids are indicated.

bi-: double, twice, two

bi/o: life

bias: Systematic deviation of results or inferences from the truth.

bibli/o: books

bidet: A bathroom fixture, similar to a toilet bowel, used for cleaning the genital and rectal areas.

binding sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.

bioassay: Laboratory determination of the potency of a drug or other substance by comparing its effects on living organisms with a standard preparation.

biochemistry: The study of the composition, chemical structures, and chemical reactions of living things.

bioethics: A branch of applied ethics that studies the value implications of practices and developments in life sciences, medicine, and health care.

biofeedback: The therapy technique of providing immediate status of one's own body functions such as skin temperature, heartbeat, brain waves) as visual or auditory feedback in order to self-control related conditions.

biohazard: Biological substances that pose a risk to the health of living organisms.

biology: Studies concerned with the origin, structure, development, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of animals, plants, and microorganisms.

bionics: The science of mechanical and electrical systems that have characteristics of living systems.

biophysics: The study of physical phenomena and physical processes as applied to living things.

biopsy: Removal and pathologic examination of small pieces of tissue from the living body.

biostatistics: The application of statistics to biological systems and organisms involving the retrieval or collection, analysis, reduction, and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data.

biotechnology: Techniques for applying biological processes to the production of materials for use in medicine, food production and industry.

black eye: A contusion around the eye with discoloration and swelling.

blackwater fever: A complication of malaria characterized by acute renal failure and the passage of dark red to black urine.

blast-: bud, germ

blastema: A mass of cells that is still growing and differentiating.

blastocyst: The embryonic form that follows the morula in human development.

blastula: An early non-mammalian embryo that follows the morula stage. A blastula resembles a hollow ball with the layer of cells surrounding a fluid-filled cavity.

blenn-: mucus

BMR: basal metabolic rate

borderline: Relating to health status where the patient has some signs and symptoms of an abnormality but insufficient for a definite diagnosis.

bougie: A thin, cylindrical instrument, somewhat flexible, inserted into body canals in order to examine or dilate them.

brachy-: short

brachytherapy: Radiotherapy that uses small sources that are placed on or near tumor tissues.

braille: A system of printing for visually impaired people, consisting of raised dots that are read by touch.

breast implantation: Surgical insertion of a sac filled with silicone or other material to augment the female form cosmetically.

brom-: bromine, stench

BSA: body surface area

bubonic plague: Caused by the bite of a rat flea that has previously bitten an infected rat.

buccal: Relating to the mouth or inside of the cheek.

buffer: A chemical system that functions to control the levels of specific ions in solution. When the level of hydrogen ion in solution is controlled the system is called a pH buffer.

bullying: Aggressive behavior intended to cause harm or distress. The behavior may be physical or verbal. There is typically an imbalance of power, strength, or status between the target and the aggressor.

bupropion: An antidepressant drug used as an aid to smoking cessation.

butyr-: butter

BW: body weight

BWS: battered woman syndrome

C&S: culture and sensitivity

ca.: about; approximately

cacophony: A harsh, discordant sound or mixture of sounds.

calcification: Process by which organic tissue becomes hardened by the physiologic deposit of calcium salts.

calcinosis: The abnormal deposition of calcium salts in tissues.

calcium: Combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.

calibration: Determination, by measurement or comparison with a standard, of the correct value of each scale reading on a meter or other measuring instrument.

calipers: A measuring instrument consisting of two hinged legs. Used to measure thickness and diameters. Also used to determine time intervals for several EKG features.

calorimetry: The measurement of the quantity of heat involved in various processes or in the determination of the heat capacities of substances.

camphor: A crystalline substance used in topical pain relievers.

canal: A tubular passage.

cancer: General term for malignant neoplasms, sarcoma, carcinoma, leukemia and lymphoma.

cannabis: A drug, also known as marijuana, used to reduce nausea during chemotherapy, to alleviate chronic pain, to improve appetite in HIV/AIDS patients and to treat glaucoma.

cannibalism: Eating individuals of one's own species.

cannula: A flexible tube inserted into a duct or cavity to drain fluid or to deliver medication.

capillary action: A force causing fluids to rise up very fine tubes. This action is due to molecular adhesion of the liquid to the tube.

capit/o: head

caps-: capsule

capsid: The outer protein protective shell of a virus.

carb/o: carbon

carbon tetrachloride: A solvent used in dry cleaning and manufacturing. Poisoning by inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption is possible and may be fatal.

carboplatin: An platinum-containing compound used to treat advanced forms of lung and ovarian cancers.

carcinogen: Substances that increase the risk of neoplasms in humans or animals.

carcinogenesis: The development of a normal cell into an invasive cancer cell. It generally requires multiple steps, which may occur quickly or over a period of many years.

carcinoma in situ: A premalignant neoplasm confined to the epithelium of origin, without invasion of the basement membrane.

carcinomatosis: Carcinoma that has spread throughout the body.

carcinosarcoma: A malignant neoplasm that contains elements of carcinoma and sarcoma.

carrier: A person who carries a microorganism without manifesting signs or symptoms of infection and who can readily transmit the disease to another host.

caseation: The breakdown of diseased tissue into a cheese-like substance. Typical of tuberculosis.

casts: Dressings made of fiberglass, plastic, or bandage impregnated with plaster of Paris used for immobilization of various parts of the body in cases of fractures, dislocations, and infected wounds.

CAT: computerized axial tomography

cat-scratch fever: A bacterial infection that usually arises one or more weeks following a feline scratch. Raised inflammatory nodules can be seen at the site of the scratch.

catabolic illness: A disease marked by weight loss and diminished muscle mass.

catalyst: A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without being consumed or permanently altered by the reaction.

catastrophic illness: An acute or prolonged illness usually considered to be life-threatening or with the threat of serious residual disability. Treatment may be radical and is frequently costly.

catgut: Sterile collagen strands obtained from healthy mammals. Formerly used as absorbable surgical ligatures.

cathar/o: cleansing, purging

catharsis: A purging or cleansing. Release of emotions.

catheter: A hollow, flexible tube that is inserted into narrow body openings so that fluids can be drained or inserted. Also used as to visualize or image a vessel or cavity.

catheterization: Use of a flexible, hollow tube into a duct, blood vessel, hollow organ, or body cavity for injecting or withdrawing fluids for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

cation: A positively charged ion.

causality: The relating of causes to the effects they produce. This influence must be predictable and reproducible.

caustic: A substance that destroys living tissue.

cauter/i: burn

cav/o: cavity, hollow

cavity: A hollow enclosed area.

cavum: Any hollow, enclose area.

cefaclor: Semisynthetic, broad-spectrum antibiotic derivative of cephalexin.

cell: The fundamental unit of all living tissue. They consist of a nucleus, cytoplasm and various organelles enclosed by a plasma membrane.

cellul/o: cell

cement: Fast setting material used to fix prostheses in place.

cementum: Bonelike tissue covering the roots of teeth.

census: An enumeration of a population.

center: The middle point of a geometric entity.

centesis: A puncture of a cavity.

centi-: hundred

centigrade: A thermometric scale.

centigram: A mass of one hundredth of a gram. Ten milligrams.

centiliter: A volume of one hundredth of a liter. Ten milliliters.

centimeter: A length of one hundredth of a meter. Ten millimeters.

centipoise: A measure of viscosity of a liquid. One hundredth of a poise.

centrifugal: A force directed outward from a center or axis.

centrosome: Organelles responsible for the organization and nucleation of microtubules. Found in animals and some plants.

cephalad: Towards the head.

cerc-: tail

cercaria: The free-swimming larval forms of parasites found in an intermediate host.

character: Roughly equivalent to personality. The sum of the relatively fixed personality traits and habits.

charlatan: A medical fraud. A quack.

charts: A patient record including data in tables and graphs.

cheilitis: Inflammation of the lips.

cheiralgia: Pain in the hands.

chem-: chemistry

chem/o: chemical

chemotaxis: The movement of cells or organisms in response to chemicals.

chest: The part of the body between the neck and the abdomen. Thorax.

child: A person between the stages of birth and puberty.

chills: The sudden sensation of being cold.

chimera: An individual that contains cell populations derived from different zygotes.

chlor/o: green

chlorine: A greenish-yellow gas with a strong odor. Used in many solvents and cleaning agents. Poisonous if inhaled or ingested.

chloroform: A commonly used laboratory solvent. It was previously used as an anesthetic, but was banned from use in the U.S. due to its toxicity and safety margins.

choan-: funnel

choanal: A funnel-shaped opening.

chorea: A condition marked by involuntary, purposeless, rapid, jerky movements.

chrom/o: color

chromatography: Techniques used for separating and analyzing a chemical mixture.

chron/o: time

chronic: Prolonged. Long-term.

chrys/o: gold

chyl-: juice

chym/o: juice, to pour

-cide: killing, agent that kills

cili-: eyelid, eyelash

cilia: Thick protuberances from epithelial cells.

cine-: movement

circa: Approximately.

circadian: Relating to biologic rhythms with a cycle time of about 24 hours.

Cl: chlorine

-clast: break

claudication: Limping

claustr/o: closed space

cleft lip: Congenital defect in the upper lip where the maxillary prominence fails to merge with the nasal prominences.

cleft palate: Congenital fissure of the median line of the palate.

clin/o: bend, slope

CO: carbon monoxide

co-: together, jointly

CO2: carbon dioxide

coercion: The use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance.

coinfection: Simultaneous infection of a host organism by two or more pathogens.

cold: A contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Transmitted by coughing and sneezing.

colp-: vagina

com-: jointly, together

-coma: profound unconsciousness

comatose: Pertaining to a state of coma.

communicable: Able to be transmitted, particularly a disease.

complication: A disease or condition arising during the treatment of another disease.

compound: A pharmaceutical preparation composed of two or more ingredients.

compress: A pad of soft material used to apply cold, heat, medication or to control bleeding.

computational biology: A field of biology concerned with the collection and manipulation of biological data, and the use of such data to make biological discoveries or predictions.

con-: with, together

concave: Hollowed or depressed surface.

concierge medicine: An arrangement in which a patient pays an annual fee to a physician in exchange for services over and beyond normal insurance-reimbursed services.

concoction: A mixture of two or more medicinal substances.

condition: The state of being.

conduction: The transmission of electricity, heat, sound or other energy.

conduit: A channel.

confinement: Being restrained to a particular place.

confusion: A mental state characterized by bewilderment, disorientation and emotional disturbance.

congestion: Presence of abnormal amounts of fluids in an organ or vessel.

conjugate: Paired or joined.

consci/o: aware

conscience: Awareness. In a moral sense, self-critical of what is right or wrong.

consciousness: Sense of awareness of self and of the environment.

consensual: Giving permission or agreement.

consent forms: Documents describing a medical treatment or research project, including proposed procedures, risks, and alternatives, that are to be signed by an individual, or the individual's proxy, to indicate his/her understanding of the document and a willingness to undergo the treatment or to participate in the research.

constitution: The overall health of a person, both mental and physical.

constrict/o: narrowing, drawing together

constriction: The abnormal narrowing of a channel or opening.

contagious: A transmissible or communicable disease or a person with such a disease.

contraindication: A factor in a patient's condition that prohibits a specific treatment.

control groups: Groups that serve as a standard for comparison in experimental studies.

controlled substances: Drugs or chemical agents regulated by government. This may include narcotics and prescription medications.

convalescence: The period of recovery following an illness.

convection: Transmission of energy in a liquid or gas involving circulation of particles.

convex: Having a surface that curves outward.

convulsion: A violent spasm of voluntary muscles. A type of seizure.

coping: The process of dealing with to problems in life in a way to work through them.

copr-: feces

corn: A hardened mass of epithelial cells usually found on the sole of the feet.

coroner: A public official who investigates cases of unnatural death.

corpor/o: body

corpse: A dead body. Cadaver.

corpuscle: 1) A blood cell. 2) Any small mass.

correlation: A statistical relationship between variables.

corrosion: The gradual destruction of a substance or tissue, particularly by a chemical action.

cortex: The outer layer of an organ or other structure.

crash cart: A cart carrying emergency medical equipment and supplies. Found in hospitals, particularly in emergency and intensive care departments.

creat-: meat, flesh

cremation: Incinerating a corpse.

crisis: The turning point of a disease.

-crit: separate

critical care: Health care provided to a critically ill patient during a medical emergency or crisis.

crur/o: leg

cry/o: very cold

crypt/o: hidden

Cu: copper

cumulative: To pile on. Increasing by successive additions.

cune/o: wedge, wedge shaped

curettage: An instrument shaped like a spoon, used for scraping material or tissue from a body cavity.

current : The flow of electricity or liquids.

cyan/o: blue

cycl/o: recurring, round

cystic: Characterized by cysts.

cyt/o: cell

-cyte: cell

-cytosis: condition of cells, increase in number of cells

DDx: differential diagnosis

de-: lack of, without, less, down

death: Irreversible cessation of all bodily functions.

deca-: ten

decapitation: Removal of the head.

decay: The gradual decomposition of dead organisms after death.

deceleration: A decrease in the rate of speed.

deci-: one tenth

decibel: A unit for comparing levels of power on a logarithmic scale. Commonly used for measuring sound.

decubitus: The recumbent position. Lying on one's side.

defamation: False written or spoken statements that are known to be false and that are damaging to the reputation of a person, group or organization.

degeneration: The gradual loss of function of a cell, tissue or organ.

dehydration: The condition that results from excessive loss of water from a living organism.

deja vu: A subjective feeling that a current experience is a repetition of a previous experience.

dem/o: people, population

demi: half

denial: Refusal to admit the truth or reality of a situation or experience.

deoxyribonucleic acid: The primary carrier of genetic information. It consists of two chains of nucleotides that are twisted into a double helix and joined by hydrogen bonds between complementary bases.

dependence: The state of reliance or subservience to another person or a substance.

depreciation: Decline in value of capital assets over time.

depression: 1) A sunken or hollow area. 2) Mental state of feeling sad, lonely, discouraged, hopeless or dejected.

deprevation: The loss or lack of something that is needed.

derailment: Mental disorder marked by speech consisting of a sequence of unrelated or remotely related ideas.

derivative: Something produced as a modification of another object or thought.

desicc/o: drying

desiccation: Removal of moisture from a substance.

desmoid tumor: A dense, fibrous neoplasm. Occurs on the abdomen, upper arms, neck and head.

detergent: A cleaning agent.

detoxification: The removal of poisons, alcohol or drugs and their effects from a patient.

detrition: Wearing away by use or friction.

deviant: Pertaining to an object or person that departs from normal. Abnormal.

dew point: The temperature at which water vapor in the air condenses to liquid.

di-: two, twice, double

diagnosis: The determination of the nature of a disease or condition, or the distinguishing of one disease or condition from another.

diagnosis-related groups: A system for classifying patient care by relating common characteristics such as diagnosis, treatment, and age to an expected consumption of hospital resources and length of stay.

diathesis: Genetic predisposition to certain diseases or abnormalities.

dielectric: Insulating material that can be polarized by an applied electric field.

dif-: separation, taking apart, reversal

differential diagnosis: Distinguishing between two or more conditions having similar symptoms by systematic clinical comparison.

differentiation: The acquisition of functions or forms different that the original.

diffusion: The process of particles in gases and liquids to move from areas of high concentration to areas of lower concentration resulting in even distribution of such particles.

digitization: The conversion of images, sounds or text into a digital form.

dilat/o: enlarge, expand

dilation: Causing the increase in the diameter of an organ, vessel or body opening.

dioxin: Highly toxic, persistent environmental pollutant. A contaminant of a widely used herbicide.

dipl/o: double, two-sided

dips-: thirst

dipsomania: Uncontrollable, recurring craving for alcohol.

disc: A rounded, flat plate.

discharge: To release. The substance that is released.

disclosure: The revealing of information.

disease: A disorder of an organ or body function. Characterized by signs and symptoms.

disinfectant: Substance that kills or inhibits harmful microorganisms.

disinfection: Killing pathogens or rendering them harmless.

disorientation: A mentally confused state. Loss of one's bearings.

dissection: The separation of tissues for surgical reasons or for analysis.

dissociation: Separation of a particular of thoughts or emotions from normal consciousness.

dissolve: To disperse a solid in a solution.

distemper: Highly contagious and dangerous viral diseases of animals, particularly dogs.

distillation: A process of separating the components of a liquid mixture by vaporization and condensation.

distortion: A state of being twisted out of shape. A defense mechanism to disguise unacceptable thoughts.

diurnal: Daily or relating to daylight hours.

DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid

DOA: dead on arrival

dolich/o: long

dominant: Exhibiting a ruling influence. In genetics, capable of expression when carried by only one of a pair of homologous chromosomes.

donor: A human, animal or other organism that provides tissue for another body.

doppler effect: Changes in the observed frequency of sound, light, or radio waves due to the relative motion of source and observer.

down syndrome: A congenital disorder characterized by small size, hypotonia, protruding tongue, small ears, short, broad hands and cognitive impairment.

DPL: diagnostic peritoneal lavage

drainage: The removal of fluids or discharges from the body, such as from a wound, sore, or cavity.

-drome: running

dry socket: An inflammation of a tooth socket, that can occur after tooth extraction, caused by the disintegration of a blood clot.

duct/o: to lead

dwarfism: Abnormally short in stature.

DWI: driving while intoxicated

Dx: diagnosis

dynam/o: power, strength

-dynia: pain

dys-: bad, painful, abnormal

dysarthria: Difficulty in articulating words caused by impairment of the pharynx, larynx, tongue, or face muscles.

dysgenesis: Defective development.

dysplasia: Abnormal development in tissues or organs.

dyssomnia: A disorder in which normal sleep patterns are disrupted.

Eaerosols: A liquid or particulate solution dispensed as a mist.

EBL: estimated blood loss

ebola virus: A virus causing acute, often fatal, infections. Transmitted from animals to humans and from human to human.

ec-: outside, out

echin/o: spiny, prickly

echo-: reflected sound

echolalia: The automatic and meaningless repetition of another person's spoken words.

eco-: environment

ecotype: A subspecies that is genetically adapted to a particular habitat.

ectomorph: A slender, lean body type.

-ectomy: removal, excision

ectr/o: congenital absence

edema: Swelling due to excess fluid in the body's tissues.

-edema: swelling

effusion: The escape of fluid.

ego: The part of a person that is conscious and thinks. The self.

elasticity: Resistance and recovery from distortion of shape.

elation: The feeling of euphoria, excitement, joyfulness, satisfaction and optimism.

ele/o: oil

electric impedance: The measure of the opposition that a circuit presents to a current when a voltage is applied.

electro/o: electricity

electrochemistry: The study of combined electrical and chemical activity and changes.

electrode: A conductor through which electric current enters or leaves a non-metallic medium.

electron: A stable elementary particle in orbit around an atom's nucleus.

electrophoresis: The movement of charged particles in an electric field toward an electric pole.

electrophysiology: The study of the generation and behavior of electrical charges in living organisms particularly the nervous system and the effects of electricity on living organisms.

electroplating: Coating with a metal or alloy by electrolysis.

elements: Each of more than one hundred substances that cannot be chemically broken down into simpler substances and are primary constituents of matter.

elephantiasis: A condition characterized by gross enlargement of an area of the body,

elutriation: The removal, by means of a suitable solvent, of one material from another.

emaciation: Abnormal thinness caused by disease or a lack of nutrition.

embalming: Process of preserving a dead body to protect it from decay.

emmetr/o: correct measure

emotion: Any state of arousal in response to external events or memories.

empyema: Presence of pus in a hollow organ or body cavity. Abscess.

enanti/o: opposed, opposite

end-: within, inner

endemic: Present or usually prevalent in a population or geographical area at all times.

endophytic: Pertaining to the tendency to grow inward

endorphin: A natural substance produced in the brain that binds to opioid receptors, dulling pain perception.

endoscope: An instrument for the visual examination of interior structures of the body.

endothelioma: A tumor arising from the endothelial lining of blood vessels.

ent-: within, inside

enzyme: Any protein that acts as a catalyst,

eosin/o: rose-colored

ephemera: Printed matter of passing interest.

epidemic: An rapid, widespread outbreak of a contagious disease.

epidemiology: Field of medicine concerned with the determination of causes, incidence, and characteristic behavior of disease outbreaks affecting human populations.

epithelial cells: Cells that line the inner and outer surfaces of the body by forming cellular layers or masses.

eponym: The name of a disease, procedure or body structure that is based upon the name of the discoverer.

equi-: equal

erethism/o: irritation

erg-: work

ergometry: Measuring the amount of work done by an organism.

erythroplasia: Dysplasia and erythema of the epithelium

ethnology: Cultural anthropology.

ethology: Pertaining to the study of animal behavior.

eti/o: cause

eu-: normal, good

eukaryota: One of the three domains of life (along with bacteria and archaea). Organisms whose cells are enclosed in membranes and possess a nucleus. Also called Eukarya.

euphoria: A strong feeling of happiness, confidence, or well-being.

eury-: wide, broad

euthanasia: The practice of killing someone painlessly, to relieve suffering from an incurable illness. Mercy killing.

excise: To cut out a tumor, tissue or organ.

excision: Removal of tissue using a scalpel.

exhumation: Removal of a dead body from the earth after burial.

exocrine glands: Glands of external secretion that release its secretions to the body's cavities, organs, or surface, through a duct.

exogenous: Originating from outside

extirpation: Surgical removal of a body part or tissue

extraction: Surgical removal of a body part.

-facient: to cause

fascia: Layers of connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.

fastigium: The period of greatest intensity

fat: A substance that stores energy in the body and serves as an insulating material. One of the three primary constituents of food.

fatigue: Tiredness following mental or physical exertion.

Fe: iron

febr/i: fever

febricula: Mild or short-lived.

feline: Belonging or pertaining to the cat family

femininity: Female-associated sex-specific social roles and behaviors unrelated to biologic function.

fenestra: A small opening or transparent spot.

ferr-: iron

fertilization: The fusion of a spermatozoon with an ovum thus resulting in the formation of a zygote.

fever: An abnormal elevation of body temperature, usually as a result of a pathologic process.

fibroid: A benign tumor containing fibrous tissue, particularly in the uterus.

fibroma: A benign tumor consisting of fibrous tissue.

fibrosarcoma: A form of malignant tumor derived from fibrous connective tissue

fibrosis: Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury.

fil/o: thread

fiss-: split

fissure: A slit, cleft or deep furrow; a small tear.

fistula: An abnormal connection between two body parts.

flav/o: yellow

fluctuation: A wavelike motion. A variation.

fluor/o: fluorine, fluoride

fluorescence: The property of emitting radiation while being irradiated.

fluoridation: Practice of adding fluoride to water for the purpose of preventing tooth decay and cavities.

follicle: A small secreting gland, sac or cavity.

forceps: An instrument for compressing or grasping tissues.

-form: form, shape of

formication: A strange sensation of ants crawling on the skin.

formulary: A list of pharmaceutical substances along with their formulas, uses, and methods of preparation. Also, an official list of drugs approved for prescription or administration to patients of a hospital or health maintenance organization

fourier analysis: Use of the Fourier transform, a mathematical technique for describing fluctuating patterns in the physical world in terms of frequencies.

fract-: break

fractals: Patterns (real or mathematical) which look similar at different scales.

freeze drying: Method of preparing a tissue specimen by freezing and then dehydrating in a high vacuum.

frig/o: cold

funct/o: performance

fundus: The base of an organ.

fungicide: An agent that kills or inhibits the growth of fungi.

FUO: fever of unknown origin

fusion: The merging of adjacent parts.

gait: Manner or style of walking.

gam-: marriage, sexual union

ganglioneuroma: A benign neoplasm that usually arises from the sympathetic trunk in the mediastinum.

gangrene: Death and putrefaction of tissue usually due to a loss of blood supply.

ge/o: soil

gel/o: to freeze, congeal

gemell/o: twins

gemin-: double, twin

-gen: producing, origin

gen/o: to become, being born, producing

-genesis: formation, development

-genic: producing, origin

genocide: The deliberate annihilation of a national, ethnic, or religious group.

genome: The complete set of genes in the chromosomes of each cell. The human genome contains an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 genes.

genomics: The systematic study of the complete DNA sequences (genome) of organisms.

genotype: The genetic constitution of the individual.

ger/o: old age

geriatrics: The branch of health care concerned with aging and diseases of the elderly.

germ: Any microorganism, particularly one that causes disease.

germination: The early stages of the growth of seeds. The embryonic shoot and embryonic plant roots emerge.

germinoma: A neoplasm of the germinal tissue of gonads, mediastinum, or pineal region.

gestalt: A physical, mental or symbolic configuration where whole differs from, or is greater than, the sum of its parts.

gesture: A movement that helps express a feeling, idea, intention or opinion.

giardiasis: An intestinal infection caused by the protozoan Giardia lamblia. It is spread via contaminated food and water and by direct person-to-person contact.

giga-: billion

gigant/o: huge

gingiva: Oral tissue surrounding and attached to teeth. Gum.

glabella: The area between the eyebrows immediately above the nose.

glanders: A chronic bacterial infection of horses occasionally transmitted to humans.

glandular fever: Infectious mononucleosis.

globulin: Any of a class of proteins that are found in blood plasma, milk and muscle that are insoluble in pure water but soluble in dilute salt solutions

-grade: step, degree in a scale

graft: Any tissue or organ for transplantation.

-gram: recording, metric unit of weight

gram stain: A method of staining bacteria, which is important in their identification.

granul/o: small grain

granulation tissue: A vascular connective tissue formed on the surface of a healing wound, ulcer, or inflamed tissue. It consists of new capillaries and an infiltrate containing lymphoid cells, macrophages, and plasma cells.

-graph: instrument that records

groin: The external junctural region between the lower part of the abdomen and the thigh.

GSW: gunshot wound

guaifenesin: An expectorant that also has some muscle relaxing action. It is used in many cough preparations.

gutta: One drop.

GXT: graded exercise test

H: hydrogen

H+: hydrogen ion

habit: A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is regularly manifested.

hapl/o: simple, single

heat exhaustion: A clinical syndrome caused by heat stress, such as over-exertion in a hot environment or excessive exposure to sun.

heat stroke: A condition caused by the failure of body to dissipate heat in an excessively hot environment or during physical exertion in a hot environment. The body temperature is dangerously high with red, hot skin accompanied by delusions; convulsions; or coma. It can be a life-threatening emergency and is most common in infants and the elderly. Also called sunstroke.

hect-: one hundred

hemi-: half

hemobilia: Bleeding into the biliary passages.

hepta-: seven

herbicides: Pesticides used to destroy vegetation, particularly weeds and grasses.

heredo-: heir, heredity

hermaphroditic: A plant or animal with both male and female sex organs.

herniorrhaphy: Surgical repair of a hernia

heter-: different, other

heuristics: A set of rules or methods for solving problems other than by algorithm. The solution is not guaranteed to be optimal, but sufficient for a given set of goals.

HEV: hepatitis E

hex-: six

-hexia: condition

Hg: mercury

hiat/o: gap, opening, pause

hiatus: An aperture, gap or opening.

hist/o: tissue

histamine: An amine found in body tissues released in allergic inflammatory reactions. It is a vasodilator, stimulant of heart rate and gastric secretion, constrictor of bronchial smooth muscle and also a centrally acting neurotransmitter.

histiocytes: Macrophages found in the tissues, as opposed to those found in the blood or serous cavities.

histiocytoma: A neoplasm containing histiocytes.

histiocytosis: Abnormal appearance of histiocytes.

histogram: A bar chart.

histology: The study of the structure of tissues on a microscopic level.

hod-: pathway

holo-: entire, complete

holography: The recording of three-dimensional images form using a laser beams.

home/o: same, not changed

homeostasis: The process of maintaining physiological equilibrium.

horm-: impulse, urge

hormone: Substances having a specific regulatory effect on the activity of an organ or organs.

hospice: A facility providing palliative and supportive care to a patient with a terminal illness and to the patient's family.

hospice care: Care provided to a dying person. Care may be provided in the home, in the hospital or in specialized facilities.

hospitalists: Physicians who are employed to work exclusively in hospital settings, often for managed care organizations.

HPI: history of present illness

huntington disease: An inherited disorder characterized by the onset of progressive chorea (involuntary, rapid, irregular, jerky movements) and dementia in middle age.

hx: history

hyal/o: glass-like

hydr-: water

hydr/o: water, fluid

hygiene: The science and practices that promote or preserve health

hyper-: excessive, above

hyperalgesia: An abnormal increased sensation of pain, caused by damage to soft tissue containing nociceptors or injury to a peripheral nerve.

hyperbaric: At a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure.

hyperemia: The presence of an increased amount of blood in a body part due to increase of blood flow into the area or due to obstruction of outflow of blood from the area.

hyperoxia: An excess of oxygen in tissues and organs.

hyperplasia: An abnormal increase in the number of cells in a tissue or organ without tumor formation.

hypersomnia: Excessive sleeping

hypersthenia: Excessive strength or tension.

hypertonic: Having increased tone or tension.

hypertrophy: General increase in volume of a tissue or organ produced entirely by enlargement of existing cells.

hyperuricemia: An abnormally high concentration of uric acid in the blood. It is associated with gout and also hypertension.

hypesthesia: Absent or reduced sensitivity to cutaneous stimulation.

hypo-: deficient, under

hypodermic: Beneath the skin.

hypogeusia: Diminished sense of taste.

hypokinesia: Abnormally diminished movement of body musculature.

hypoplasia: Underdevelopment of a tissue or organ.

hypothermia: Lower than normal body temperature.

hypotonic: Denoting decreased tone or tension.

I: iodine

-ia: condition, state, disease

-iasis: condition, state

iatr/o: treatment, medicine

ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent with analgesic properties used in the therapy of rheumatism and arthritis.

-ic: pertaining to

-ician: specialist, practitioner

icter/o: jaundice

ictus: An attack, blow, stroke, or seizure.

id: The part of the personality structure which harbors the unconscious instinctive desires and strivings of the individual.

ide/o: idea

idi/o: distinct

IED: improvised explosive device

illusion: An error in perception.

immobilization: The restriction of the movement of whole or part of the body.

imperforate: Not open.

implant: To embed.

impulsive behavior: An act performed without delay, reflection, voluntary direction or obvious control in response to a stimulus.

in-: in, not or fiber

incidence: The number of new cases of a given disease during a specified period in a population.

incineration: High temperature destruction of waste by burning with reduction to ashes.

incision: A cut made by a medical professional.

incubation: Maintaining optimal environmental conditions for the growth of microbial or tissue cultures. Also, the time period between exposure to an infectious agent and the appearance of symptoms.

indication: The basis, evidence or rationale for using a particular treatment or diagnostic test.

infant: A child between 1 and 23 months of age.

infection: The invasion of the body by disease causing agents and the body's reaction.

inflammation: The response of body tissues to injury, irritation or infection. Usually manifested by the signs of pain, heat, redness and swelling.

infusion pumps: A device that delivers intravenous fluids at low doses and at a controllable rate.

inj.: injection

injections: Introduction of substances into the body using a needle and syringe.

insecticides: Agents used to control insects.

insomnia: Inability to sleep.

intercellular: Between the cells.

internal medicine: A medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of internal organ diseases.

interphase: The interval between cell divisions during which the chromosomes are not individually distinguishable.

interstitial: Small space(s) between biological structures.

intolerance: A patient's inability to tolerate a drug.

intra-: within

intracellular: Inside a cell.

intracranial: Within the skull.

intrathecal: Within a sheath.

intravenous: Within a vein.

intro-: within

introversion: A state in which attention is largely directed inward upon one's self, with diminished interest in the outside world.

intubation: The insertion of a tube, as into the larynx.

intuition: Knowing without conscious use of reasoning.

invasion: The entry and proliferation of a pathogen or tumor.

invertebrates: Animals lacking a spinal column.

involucrum: An enveloping sheath.

iod/o: iodine

ion: An atom that has a positive or negative electric charge due to a gain or loss of one or more electrons.

ion/o: ion

iontophoresis: Therapeutic introduction of ions of soluble salts into tissues by means of electric current.

-ior: pertaining to

ipecac: An emetic.

iridescence: Shining or glittering with the colors of the rainbow

irradiation: Exposure to ionizing radiation.

irrigation: The washing out of a wound using a continuous flow of water or solution.

is/o: equal

isch/o: suppress

islet: A small island.

-ism: condition, process

-ismus: spasm, contraction

isoantigens: An antigenic substance that occurs only in some individuals of a species, such as the blood group antigens of humans.

isolation: The separation of a person with an infectious disease from other people.

isomorphism: The condition of two or more objects being similar in shape or structure.

isotonic solutions: Solutions having the same osmotic pressure.

isotopes: Atoms of an element species differing in mass number but having the same atomic number.

-ist: person who specializes

isthmus: A narrow part of an organ or body part.

-ite: resembling, the nature of

-ites: like

-itis: inflammation

jealous: Fearful of the loss of affection or position.

jerk: A sudden involuntary movement.

joints: The points of connection between the ends of certain bones. Also known as articulations

jug-: yoke

K: potassium

kal/i: potassium

kary/o: nucleus

kel/o: tumor, fibrous growth

kelp: A type of seaweed.

ken/o: empty

keratin: A family of fibrous proteins that are principle constituents of epidermis; hair; nails; horny tissues, and tooth enamel.

ketosis: Abnormally high concentration of ketone bodies, as in diabetes mellitus.

kilo-: one thousand

kilogram: Unit of mass equal to one thousand grams.

kinesics: The study of body position motion in communication.

kinesis: Movement of an organism in response to a stimulus

kleptomania: An abnormal, strong impulse to steal.

koil/o: hollow, concave

kraur/o: dry

KVO: keep vein open

kym/o: waves

-labile: unstable, subject to change

laceration: A wound, specifically a deep tear or cut of the flesh.

lamella: A thin scale or plate, as of bone.

lancet: A two-edged surgical knife with a sharp point.

lanolin: Wool fat that is refined and used as an emollient, cosmetic, and pharmaceutic aid.

laparoscope: An endoscope for examining the abdominal and pelvic organs in the peritoneal cavity.

laparotomy: Incision into the side of the abdomen between the ribs and pelvis.

larva: Wormlike developmental stage in the life cycle of insects, worms, and other metamorphosing animals.

lavage: Washing out a body cavity with water or medicated solution.

LDH: lactate dehydrogenase

leeching: The application of leeches to the body to draw blood for therapeutic purposes.

-legia: reading

leiomyosarcoma: A malignant neoplasm derived from smooth muscle.

leishmaniasis: A group of infections, caused by the protozoan flagellate Leishmania.

-lemma: sheath, confining membrane

lepid/o: flakes, scales

leprosy: Chronic bacterial infection that affects peripheral nerves in the hands and feet, mucous membranes of the nose, throat and eyes and that causes skin lesions.

lept-: thin, slight, slender

lesion: Any abnormal changes or damage to body tissues.

levocardia: Congenital abnormalities in which the heart is in the normal position in the left side of the chest but some or all of the thorax or abdomen viscera are transposed laterally.

-lexia: reading, word

Li: lithium

lidocaine: A local anesthetic, analgesic and cardiac depressant.

limbic: Edge.

lipid: Organic compounds, including the fats, oils, waxes, sterols, and triglycerides, that are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents.

lipomatosis: A disorder characterized by abnormal tumor-like accumulations of fat in body tissues.

liposarcoma: A malignant neoplasm of fat cells that occurs in the retroperitoneal tissues and the thigh.

liposuction: Plastic surgery that removes subcutaneous fat using a suction tube.

lithiasis: Formation of stones in an internal organ, such as in the gallbladder, kidney, and lower urinary tract.

liver: A large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen with a wide range of function including detoxification, metabolism, synthesis and storage of various substances.

lob/o: lobe

lobe: A major division of an organ.

loc-: place

locomotion: Movement or the ability to move from one place or another.

locus: A place or site.

-log: speech, words, thought

-logist: specialist

-logy: study of

loin: The part of the side and back between the lowest rib and the pelvis.

longevity: An organism's life span.

longitudinal studies: Studies in which variables relating to an individual or group of individuals are assessed over an extended span of time.

loph/o: ridge, crested part

loupe: A magnifying lens.

lozenge: A medicated candy.

lubrication: The use of an agent such as grease to diminish friction between two surfaces.

luc/i: light

-lucent: light admitting

lumen: The channel within a tube or tubular organ.

lumin/o: lumen (channel within a tube)

luminescence: Emission of light from a body as a result of a chemical reaction.

lumpectomy: Surgical excision of a tumor from the breast without removing large amounts of surrounding tissue.

luteoma: An ovarian neoplasm composed of luteal cells derived from luteinized granulosa cells and theca cells.

lyme disease: An subacute inflammatory disorder caused by a spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted chiefly by ticks. It is characterized by fatigue, concentration difficulties or joint pain.

lyso-: dissolution, loosen

maceration: Softening of a solid by soaking in a liquid.

macro-: large

macrocheilia: Abnormally large lips.

macrodactyly: Abnormally large fingers or toes.

macrodontia: Abnormally large teeth.

macroglossia: Enlargement of the tongue, which may be congenital or may develop as a result of a tumor or edema, or in association with hyperpituitarism.

macrognathia: Abnormally large jaw.

macromelia: Abnormally large arms or legs.

macrostomia: Abnormally large mouth.

madarosis: Loss or underdevelopment of eyelashes or eyebrows.

maggot: Larva of a fly.

magnetic resonance imaging: Non-invasive method of imaging internal anatomy a strong magnetic field and pulses of radiofrequency energy. Effective for imaging soft tissue, organs and joints.

mal-: bad, deficient

-malacia: softening

malaise: A general feeling of illness or discomfort or feeling unhealthy.

malformation: An abnormal physical structure in the body.

malingering: Faking symptoms for personal gain or attention.

malpractice: Failure to render proper professional services through reprehensible ignorance or negligence especially when injury occurs.

manometer: A device for measuring gas or liquid pressure.

marsupialization: A surgical procedure for treating cysts. The cyst is widely opened creating a pouch.

mastectomy: Surgical procedure to remove one or both breasts.

mastocytoma: A solid tumor consisting of a dense infiltration of mast cells.

mastocytosis: Disorders characterized by the abnormal increase of mast cells in organs and tissues.

mastodynia: Pain in the breast.

mastoid: Breast-shaped.

masturbation: Sexual self-gratification.

measles: An acute, contagious viral disease characterized by eruption of red spots on the skin, fever, and catarrhal symptoms. Usually occurs in childhood.

meat/o: a natural opening

meatus: An opening or passage.

mediastinitis: Inflammation of the mediastinum.

medicare: Federal program that provides health insurance benefits to persons over the age of 65 and others eligible for Social Security benefits. It consists of hospital insurance (Part A) and supplementary medical insurance (Part B).

meditation: A state of focusing on a single thing, eliminating influences of external stimuli.

medull/o: medulla, marrow

medulla: The inner region of an organ or body structure.

medulloblastoma: A malignant neoplasm that may be classified either as a glioma or as a primitive neuroectodermal tumor of childhood.

meiosis: A type of cell division in which a nucleus divides into four daughter nuclei

membrane: Thin layers of tissue which covers parts of the body, separates adjacent cavities, or connects adjacent structures.

menthol: An alcohol produced from mint oils or prepared synthetically.

-mer: smallest unit of a repeating structure, member of a particular group

mer/o: part, partial

mes-: middle, mean

meso-: middle

mesomorphic: Having a robust, muscular body build.

meta-: beyond, change

metabolism: The chemical reactions that occur within the cells, tissues or an organism.

metagenome: A collective genome representative of the many organisms, primarily microorganisms, existing in a community.

metastasectomy: Surgery to remove one or more neoplasm metastases.

-meter: measurement, instrument to measure

method/o: procedure, technique

-metry: to measure

Mg: magnesium

micro-: small

microbial: Relating to microbes.

microbiology: The study of microorganisms.

microbiota: The full collection of microbes (bacteria, fungi, virus, etc.) that naturally exist within a specific environment.

microcheilia: Abnormally small lips.

microglia: A type of non-nervous tissue found in the central nervous system, that acts as a phagocyte at sites of neural damage or inflammation.

microstomia: A congenital defect of an abnormally small mouth.

microsurgery: Surgical procedures using microscope.

microtia: A congenital deformity of the external ear.

milli-: one thousandth

-mimesis: imitation, simulation

mio-: smaller

mis/o: opposite, aversion

mitochondria: Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells.

MLD: minimum lethal dose

Mn: manganese

modality: A factor that makes a patient's symptoms better or worse.

mon/o: single, one

monosomy: The existence in a cell of only one instead of the normal diploid pair of a particular chromosome.

morals: Standards of conduct that distinguish right from wrong.

morbid: Diseased or abnormal.

morbid obesity: The condition of weighing two or more times the ideal weight. In the body mass index, morbid obesity is defined as having a BMI greater than 40.0 kg/m2.

morbidity: The relative incidence of a particular disease

morph/o: shape, form

morphine: The principal alkaloid in opium and the prototype opiate analgesic and narcotic.

mort/o: death

mortality: The relative frequency of deaths in a specific population.

mot-: move

-motor: motion

MRI: magnetic resonance imaging

MRSA: methicillin resistant staph aureus

muc/o: mucus

mucolipidoses: A group of inherited metabolic diseases in which mucopolysaccharides and lipids accumulate in tissues

mucous membrane: The moist lining of body cavities and hollow organs such as the mouth, the nose, the eyelids, the intestine and the vagina.

mucus: The viscous secretion of mucous membranes. It contains mucin, white blood cells, water, inorganic salts, and exfoliated cells.

multi: many, much

mumps: An acute viral infection characterized by swelling of the salivary glands, especially the parotids. Usually seen in children.

mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the genotype and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.

MVA: motor vehicle accident

mycetoma: A chronic progressive subcutaneous bacterial or fungal infection.

mycology: The study of fungi and fungus diseases.

mycosis: A fungal inflection.

myiasis: The invasion of living tissues by dipterous larvae.

myxoma: A benign neoplasm derived from connective tissue.

Na: sodium

NAD: no acute distress

nails: The thin, translucent, horny plates that cover the dorsal surfaces of the distal phalanges of the fingers and toes

nano-: one-billionth, dwarfism

nanospheres: Spherical particles of nanometer dimensions.

narcissism: Excessive admiration of self.

narcotics: Agents that dull the sense of pain and cause somnolence. They are comprised of natural or synthetic derivatives of opium or morphine or any substance that has such effects.

natr/o: sodium

necr-: death, corpse

necrobiosis: The natural death of cells due to age, use or development.

necrosis: Pathological cell or tissue death, caused by damage, trauma, ischemia or infection.

needle sharing: Usage of a single needle among two or more people for injecting drugs, a high-risk behavior for contracting infectious disease.

nemosis: The process of cell activation and death in fibroblasts.

neo-: new

neoplasia: The formation of a neoplasm

neoplasm: An abnormal new growth of tissue. Also called a tumor.

nephralgia: Pain in the kidney.

nephrectomy: Excision of kidney.

neuroendocrine: Pertaining to the relationships between the nervous and endocrine systems

neuroendocrinology: The study of the relationships between the nervous system and the endocrine system.

neutr/o: neutral

nev/o: mole, birthmark

niacin: A water-soluble vitamin B complex.

nicotine: A highly toxic alkaloid.

night terrors: A sleep disorder characterized by episodes of abrupt awakening suggesting extreme fright. This condition primarily affects children and young adults.

nipple: The conic projection on the breast which provides an outlet for milk from the mammary glands.

nitrogen: An element with the atomic symbol N, atomic number 7, comprising 78% of the earth's atmosphere by volume.

nocebo effect: A negative placebo effect.

noct/i: night

nod/o: knot

nomen-: name, pertaining to names

non-: not

norm-: normal

nos-: disease

nostrums: Medicines whose effectiveness is unproven and whose ingredients are often secret. A quack remedy.

noxae: Anything harmful to the body.

NPO: nothing by mouth

NS: normal saline

nucle/o: nucleus

nucleic acid: Any of a group of long, linear macromolecules, either DNA or various types of RNA, that carry genetic information.

nucleotides: The base units of nucleic acids.

nucleus: The part of a cell that contains DNA and RNA.

nulli-: none

nutation: The act of nodding one's head, especially involuntarily.

nyct/o: night, darkness

ob-: against

obsessive behavior: Repetitive, compulsive behavior.

obstetrician: A medical doctor specialized in the management of pregnancy, labor and birth

oct-: eight

odontoma: A mixed tumor of odontogenic origin,

-oid: resembling

ointments: A medicated formulation with an oil base

-ole: small, little

oleo-: oil

olfact/o: smell

olfactory: Relating to the sense of smell.

olfactory bulb: The area of the forebrain where the olfactory nerves terminate.

olig/o: few, scanty

omphalitis: Inflammation of the umbilicus.

oncocytoma: A rare, benign tumor usually occurring in the parotid glands in older patients.

oncogene: A mutated gene that causes the transformation of normal cells into cancerous cells.

oncolysis: Destruction of a neoplasm.

oncotic: Pertaining to swelling or edema.

onycholysis: Loosening or separation of nail plate from the underlying nail bed.

operculum: A lid or covering.

opiate: A narcotic containing opium or its derivatives.

opium: The air-dried juice of the unripe seed capsule of the opium poppy.

-opsy: process of viewing

organ/o: organ

organelles: Specialized intracellular structure present in eukaryotic cells.

organogenesis: Formation of differentiated cells and complicated tissue organization to provide specialized functions.

orth/o: straight

orthostatic: Pertaining to a erect posture.

oscill/o: swing

-osis: abnormal condition

osmosis: Tendency of fluids to move from the less concentrated to the more concentrated side of a semipermeable membrane.

ossification: The formation of bone.

-ous: pertaining to

oximetry: The determination of oxygen-hemoglobin saturation of blood.

oxygen: An element with atomic symbol O, atomic number 8, and atomic weight [15.99903; 15.99977]. It is the most abundant element on earth and essential for respiration.

oz: ounce

ozone: An unstable, poisonous allotrope of oxygen.

pale/o: early, primitive, old

palliative medicine: A branch of medicine concerned with preventing and relieving the suffering of patients in any stage of disease and improving the quality of the patient's life.

pandemic: A widespread epidemic of infectious disease.

pant/o: whole, all

papill/o: nipple, optic disc

papilla: A small, nipple-like projection.

para-: similar, beside

paradox: A statement, finding or condition, that, despite apparently sound reasoning from true premises, leads to a self-contradictory or a logically unacceptable conclusion.

paraffin: A mixture of solid hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum.

paraganglioma: A neoplasm derived of the tissue composing the paraganglia.

paramedical: Pertaining to certain adjunctive healthcare professions, particularly trained emergency responders.

parametritis: Inflammation of the parametrium, the connective tissue of the pelvic floor.

parametrium: The lateral extension of the uterine connective tissue into the broad ligament.

paraparesis: Weakness or partial paralysis of the lower extremities.

paraphasia: A condition in which the patient uses wrong words, creating unintelligible sentences.

parasomnia: Any of a group of sleep disorders characterized by unwanted behaviors or perceptions that occur during sleep or partial arousal from sleep, including sleepwalking, night terrors, and frequent nightmares.

parathyroid glands: Two pairs of small oval-shaped glands located in the front and the base of the Neck and adjacent to the two lobes of thyroid gland. they secrete parathyroid hormone that regulates the balance of calcium; phosphorus; and magnesium in the body.

paresis: A general term referring to slight or incomplete paralysis.

paroxysm: A spasm or convulsion.

pasteurization: Heating of certain beverages, such as milk, to a specific temperature for a fixed time interval in order to kill microorganisms.

path/o: disease

pathogen: A disease causing microorganism such as bacterium, virus or fungus.

pathologic processes: The abnormal mechanisms and forms involved in the dysfunctions of tissues and organs.

pathological: Pertaining to or caused by disease.

pathology: A medical specialty concerned with the nature of disease and its causes, processes, development, and consequences.

-pathy: disease

patulous: Open or exposed.

Pb: lead

PDR: Physicians' Desk Reference

ped/o: child, foot

pediatrics: A medical specialty concerned with maintaining health and providing medical care to children from birth to adolescence.

pedophilia: An adult abnormal attraction to children for sexual purposes.

peduncle: A stalk like structure that serves as a support or connection.

pellicle: A thin skin, film or organic membrane

penicillin: Any of a group of antibiotics derived from cultures of the mold like fungi Penicillium or produced synthetically.

penta-: five

peptides: Members of the class of compounds composed of amino acids joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures.

perception: The process by which the nature and meaning of sensory stimuli are recognized and interpreted.

percussion: Act of striking a part with short, sharp taps in diagnosing the condition beneath the sound obtained.

percutaneous: Through the skin.

perforation: Abnormal opening in a hollow organ or viscus.

performance anxiety: Anxiety related to the execution of a task, especially with an audience.

periapical: Around an apex, especially the apex of a root of a tooth.

pericoronitis: Inflammation of the gingiva surrounding the crown of a tooth.

perineum: The body region lying between the genital area and the anus on the surface of the trunk, and to the shallow compartment lying deep to this area that is inferior to the pelvic diaphragm. The surface area is between the vulva and the anus in the female, and between the scrotum and the anus in the male.

periodontal: Around a tooth.

periodontics: A dental specialty concerned with the histology, physiology, and pathology of the tissues that support, attach, and surround the teeth, and of the treatment and prevention of disease affecting these tissues.

periodontitis: Inflammation and loss of connective tissues supporting or surrounding the teeth.

peritoneum: The serous membrane that lines the walls of the abdominal cavity and folds inward to enclose the viscera.

peritonitis: Inflammation of the peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity as the result of infectious, autoimmune, or chemical processes.

permeability: Property of membranes and other structures to permit the passage of substances, heat and light.

pernicious: Diseases that are highly dangerous or fatal.

pero-: deformed

peroneal: Pertaining to the fibula.

pest/i: pests, plague

pesticide: A substance used to destroy pests.

PET: positron emission tomography

-petal: moving forward

PH: past medical history

phagocytosis: The engulfing and degradation of microorganisms.

-phagy: eating, devouring

phalanges: Fingers or toes

pharmac/o: drugs

pharmacology: The study of the origin, nature, properties, and actions of drugs and their effects on living organisms.

pharmacy: The art and the facility for the preparation and dispensing of drugs.

pharyngeal: Of, or pertaining to, or coming from the pharynx.

-phasia: speech

phenol: A strong disinfectant.

phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual.

phenylketonuria: Any of a group of autosomal recessive disorders of the ability to metabolize phenylalanine.

pheromones: Chemical substances, excreted by an organism into the environment, that elicit behavioral or physiological responses from other organisms of the same species.

phil/o: attraction

phor/o: to carry

-phore: carrier, processor

photoreceptor cells: Specialized cells that detect and transduce light.

photosynthesis: The synthesis by organisms of organic compounds, especially carbohydrates, from carbon dioxide using energy obtained from light .

phototherapy: Treatment of disease by exposure to light, especially by specific wavelengths.

phototrophic: Capable of deriving energy from light.

phrenic: Pertaining to the diaphragm.

phyl/o: race, species, type

phyllo-: leaf

physi-: physical, natural

physical examination: Systematic and thorough inspection of the patient for physical signs of disease or abnormality.

physicians: Individuals licensed to practice medicine.

physo-: swelling, gas

phyt-: plants

pico-: one trillionth

-piesis: pressure

pigmentation: Coloration or discoloration of a part by a pigment.

pineal gland: A light-sensitive neuroendocrine organ attached to the roof of the Third ventricle of the brain. the pineal gland secretes melatonin, other biogenic amines and neuropeptides.

placebo: Any dummy medication or treatment.

plague: An infectious disease transmitted by the bite of a flea from a rodent infected with the bacillus Yersinia pestis.

-plakia: patches

plan/o: flat, plan, level

plani-: flat, level

plasmacytoma: Any discrete, presumably solitary, mass of neoplastic plasma cells either in bone marrow or various extramedullary sites.

plasmapheresis: Procedure whereby plasma is separated and extracted and the red cells returned to the donor.

plast/o: formation

-plasty: surgical repair

platy-: broad, flat

pledget: A small compress used to medicate, protect, or absorb drainage from a wound

pless/i: striking, percussion

plexus: A network of nerves or blood vessels.

plic/o: fold

pluri-: several, more

PM: afternoon, evening

PMH: past medical history

pneumocephalus: Presence of air or gas within the intracranial cavity usually the result of a fracture.

pneumorrhachis: Presence of air or gas within the spinal canal cavity.

podiatry: A medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of foot disorders and injuries.

-poiesis: production, formation

poikil-: irregular, varied

poison: A substance capable of damaging the structure or function of the body.

poliomyelitis: A highly infectious viral disease that involves the gray matter of the spinal cord, leading to paralysis, muscular atrophy, and deformity.

poly-: many

polymorphism: Occurring in several different forms.

pono-: fatigue, exhaustion, overwork

por/o: passage, opening, duct

prediabetic: The time period before the development of symptomatic diabetes mellitus.

premedication: Preliminary administration of a drug preceding a diagnostic, therapeutic, or surgical procedure.

preneoplastic: Preceding the formation of a tumor.

prevalence: A measure of morbidity based on currents levels of a disease in a population.

primi-: first

prion: A small infectious protein particle causing neurodegenerative diseases including Creutzfeldt-Jakob syndrome.

pro-: before, in front of

probability: The likelihood that an event will occur.

prodrome: An early symptom that precedes the onset of disease.

progeria: An abnormal congenital condition of premature aging.

prognosis: A prediction of a outcome of a disease.

projection: A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, whereby that which is emotionally unacceptable in the self is rejected and attributed (projected) to others. Also called the blaming mechanism.

prokaryote: A unicellular organism lacking a true nucleus and nuclear membrane, having genetic material consisting of a single molecule of double-stranded DNA.

prolapse: The protrusion or sinking down of an organ or part of an organ.

promontory: A projecting part.

prone position: The posture of an individual lying face down.

prosop/o: face

prospective study: A forward looking study of a group over a long period.

prostatic neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the prostate.

prote/o: protein

protein: A large molecule consisting of a long chain or sequence of amino acids that is an essential constituent of the body.

proteinuria: The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases.

proto-: first

protoplasm: The living contents of a cell

protozoa: An animal subkingdom, comprised of primitive, single-celled, microscopic animals able to move by amoeboid action or by means of cilia or flagella. Many protozoa are parasitic on humans.

proxy: A person authorized to decide or act for another person, for example, a person having durable power of attorney.

psamm/o: sand

pseud-: false

pseudo-: false

psychiatry: The medical specialty that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of mental disorders.

psychology: The science dealing with the study of mental processes and behavior in man and animals.

psychosis: A condition characterized by a loss of contact with reality.

psychotherapy: A general term for the treatment of mental illness or emotional disturbances.

-ptosis: drooping, prolapse

pulp: A soft mass of tissue.

-puncture: to pierce a surface

purul/o: pus formation

pykn/o: thick, dense, compact

pyl/e: portal vein

pyogenic: Producing pus.

pyr/o: fire, fever

pyret/o: fever

pyrex/o: fever

quackery: The fraudulent misrepresentation of the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

quadr-: four

quadri-: four

quantum theory: The theoretical basis of modern physics that explains the nature and behavior of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level.

quarantine: The isolation of individuals who have been exposed to an infectious disease in order to prevent its spread.

quasi: virtual, resembling

quinine: An drug derived from the bark of the cinchona tree, used as an antimalarial drug.

quint/i: fifth

R/O: rule out

Ra: radium

radi/o: x-rays, radius

radiation: Electromagnetic energy that travels through empty space with the speed of light.

radicular cyst: A slow growing cyst of the periodonal tissue at the root of a tooth.

radiography: Examination of any part of the body for diagnostic purposes by means of X-rays or gamma rays.

radioisotopes: Isotopes that exhibit radioactivity.

radiology: A medical specialty concerned with the use of x-ray and other forms of radiant energy in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

ram/i: branch

ramus: A branch, as of a nerve, blood vessel or bone.

ranula: A cyst found on the floor of the mouth. Also called sublingual cyst.

rape: Sexual intercourse without consent of the victim.

rationalization: An unconscious defense mechanism in which a person attempts to justify behavior while ignoring the real reasons.

Re: rhenium

re-: again, back

-receptor: receiver

recessive: Describing a gene capable of producing its characteristic phenotype in the organism only when its allele is identical.

rectocele: Herniation of the rectum into the vagina.

recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission.

referred pain: Pain felt at a place in the body different from the injured or diseased part.

regimen: A systematic plan for therapy, often involving diet, exercise and medication.

regurgitation: The return of partly digested food from the stomach to the mouth. Also, the backflow of blood past an abnormal heart valve.

rejuvenation: The restoration of youthfulness, vitality, and freshness.

relapse: The return of disease symptoms after partial recovery.

remission: The abatement or disappearance of a disease as a result of treatment.

renal: Pertaining to the kidneys.

replication: The process by which double-stranded DNA makes copies of itself when the cell divides.

resection: Surgical removal of all or part of a structure, organ or tissue.

resuscit/o: revive

resuscitation: To restore consciousness or other signs of life to one apparently dead.

rete: A network of blood vessels, fibers or nerves.

reticul/o: net, network

reticulocytes: Immature erythrocytes.

reticulocytosis: An increase in circulating reticulocytes, which is among the simplest and most reliable signs of accelerated erythrocyte production.

retractor: A surgical instrument used to draw aside and hold the edges of a wound or structures.

rhabd-: rod

rheumatic fever: A disease occurring as a complication of inadequately treated strep throat infection. Can result in serious damage to heart valves.

rheumatology: A subspecialty of medicine concerned with the study of inflammatory or degenerative processes and metabolic derangement of connective tissue structures which pertain to a variety of musculoskeletal disorders, such as arthritis.

rhinoplasty: Plastic surgery on the nose.

rhytidoplasty: Plastic surgery performed for the elimination of skin wrinkles.

rigor mortis: Muscular rigidity which develops in the cadaver usually from 4 to 10 hours after death and lasts 3 or 4 days.

Rn: radon

rna: Any of a class of nucleic acids that can encode genetic information and play an essential role in protein synthesis.

rot-: wheel, turn

-rrhaphy: suture

-rrhea: discharge, flow

rupture: Forcible or traumatic tear of an organ or other soft part of the body.

sac: A bag-like structure.

sacchar-: sugar

sadism: A condition in which there is pleasure from inflicting pain, discomfort or humiliation on another person.

salicylism: Poisoning by salicylic acid or its compounds.

salvage therapy: A therapeutic approach, involving chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery, after initial regimens have failed to lead to improvement in a patient's condition. Salvage therapy is most often used for neoplastic diseases.

sanatorium: A facility for the treatment of chronic disorders.

sanguineous: Pertaining to blood.

sanit/a: health

sap/o: soap

sapro-: rotten

sarcoid: A fleshy tumor.

satiation: A fulfillment of a need or desire followed by a state of relative insensitivity to that particular need or desire.

saur/o: lizard

scalp: The outer covering of the calvaria. It is composed of several layers: skin, subcutaneous connective tissue, the occipitofrontal muscle , loose connective tissue and the pericranium.

scaph/o: boat-shaped, scapha

scarlet fever: An acute contagious bacterial disease of childhood characterized by tonsillitis and pharyngitis as well as fever, chills, nausea, headache, abdominal pain, malaise and rash.

scat-: dung

schisto-: split, cleft

scint/i: spark

scler-: hard

sclerosis: A pathological process consisting of hardening or fibrosis of an anatomical structure, often a vessel or a nerve.

-sclerosis: abnormal hardening

-scope: instrument used to view

-scopy: process of viewing

sect-: dissect, cut

sedation: The reduction of anxiety, stress or excitement by administration of a sedative drug.

sedative: A drug that calms and relieves anxiety.

sedentary lifestyle: Usual level of physical activity that is less than 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week.

seizures: A sudden attack, spasm, or convulsion.

semantics: Study of the meanings of words (or symbols) and the rules of their use.

semi-: half

senescence: The process of growing old.

sensitivity: The probability that a person having a disease will be correctly identified by a clinical test.

sensor/i: sensory

sept/o: septum, seven

septi-: seven

sequela: Any disorder that results from a preceding disease or accident.

seroma: Tumor-like sterile accumulation of serum in a tissue, organ, or cavity. It most commonly occurs following mastectomy.

seropus: Pus diluted with serum.

serositis: Inflammation of a serous membrane.

serotonin: A compound widely distributed in the tissues that mediates important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity.

serous membrane: A thin layer of tissue that covers a surface, cavity or divides a space. It consists of a single layer of squamous epithelial cells (mesothelium) resting on a thin layer of connective tissue, and covered with secreted clear fluid from blood and lymph vessels. Major serous membranes in the body include pericardium; peritoneum; and pleura.

serratia: A genus of gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria that occurs in soil, water and plant surfaces or as an opportunistic human pathogen.

sesqui-: one and one-half

sex-: six

sheath: A tubular casing that envelops structures such as arteries, nerves, tendons and muscles.

shock: An emergency pathological condition manifested by failure to perfuse or oxygenate vital organs and tissues.

shunt: A passage connecting two anatomical sites or channels.

sibilant: A high pitched hissing or whistling sound heard while auscultating.

sicc-: dry

sign: Objective evidence of a disease.

sign language: A system of hand gestures used for communication by the deaf or by people speaking different languages.

signs and symptoms: Clinical manifestations that can be either objective when observed by a physician, or subjective when perceived by the patient.

silic/o: silica, quartz

simplexvirus: A genus of the family herpesviridae, consisting of herpes simplex-like viruses.

-sis: condition

skeleto-: skeleton

slough: Necrotic tissue separated from living tissue.

smallpox: An acute, highly contagious, often fatal infectious viral disease characterized by fever and skin eruptions. It has been eradicated by vaccination programs worldwide.

smear: A tissue specimen smeared on a microscopic slide.

Sn: tin

socio-: social, society

solution: A homogeneous mixture formed by the mixing of a solid, liquid, or gaseous substance with a liquid (the solvent) in which the substances are completely dispersed.

solvent: A liquid that dissolves other substances (solutes), generally solids.

soma: The body as distinguished from the mind or germ cells.

somat/o: body

somatic: Pertaining to the body.

somatotypes: Categories of body build determined on the basis of certain physical characteristics. The three basic body types are ectomorph (thin physique), endomorph (rounded physique), and mesomorph (athletic physique).

-some: body

somnambulism: A parasomnia characterized by a partial arousal that occurs during stage IV of non-REM sleep. Also called sleep-walking.

-spadia: to tear, cut

span/o: scarce

-spasm: sudden, involuntary muscle contraction

specific gravity: The ratio of the density of a material to water at 4 degrees C.

specificity: The probability that a person who does not have a disease will be correctly identified by a clinical test.

spectr-: image

spectrometry: Measurement of the wavelengths of electromagnetic emissions.

speech: Use of vocal sounds to communicate.

sphen/o: wedge, wedge-shaped

spher/o: sphere, round

spica: A figure-eight bandage.

splanchn/o: viscera

splanchnic: Pertaining to the viscera.

splint: An appliance used to prevent movement of a joint or to fixate displaced or movable parts.

spongi/o: sponge-like

spor/o: spore, seed

spores: The reproductive elements of lower organisms such as bacteria and fungi.

-stabile: stable, fixed

-stalsis: contraction

staphylo-: bunch of grapes

staphylococcus: Any of various spherical gram-positive parasitic bacteria, causing skin and other infections.

-stasis: maintenance of level, prevent increase

-stat: agent or device for keeping something from changing

STAT: immediately

steat/o: fat

stem cells: An unspecialized cell that can give rise to one or more different types of specialized cells, such as blood cells and nerve cells. Stem cells are present in embryos and in various tissues of adult organisms

stenosis: The abnormal narrowing of a passage or opening.

sterc-: feces

stere/o: three dimensional

stereognosis: Perception of shape and form of objects by the sense of touch.

sterilization: The destroying of microorganisms by heat, chemicals, irradiation or other means.

stethoscope: Instrument for listening to body sounds (auscultation).

stich/o: rows

-stomy: new opening

strat/i: layer

strept/o: twisted

stromal: Relating to the foundation-supporting tissues of an organ.

stupor: A state of diminished responsiveness to stimuli. The person is still conscious and can make voluntary movements.

stuttering: A disturbance in the normal fluency characterized by frequent repetitions, pauses or prolongations of syllables.

subclavian: Below the clavicle.

subdural: Below the dura mater.

subdural effusion: Leakage and accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the subdural space which may be associated with an infection, craniocerebral trauma, brain neoplasms, intracranial hypotension and other conditions.

sublimation: A defense mechanism through which unacceptable impulses are diverted into socially acceptable channels.

sublingual: Below the tongue.

subretinal fluid: An exudate between the retina and choroid from various sources including the vitreous cavity, subarachnoid space or abnormal vessels.

suction: The removal of secretions, gas or fluid from hollow or tubular organs or cavities by means of a tube and a device that acts on negative pressure.

sud/o: sweat

sunstroke: Heat stroke caused by exposure to the sun. It is characterized by dangerously high body temperature, red skin, delusions, convulsions or coma. It can be a life-threatening emergency and is most common in infants and the elderly.

suppository: Medicated dosage that is designed to be inserted into the rectal, vaginal, or urethral orifice of the body for absorption.

suppuration: A pathologic process consisting in the formation of pus.

surface tension: The force acting on the surface of a liquid, tending to minimize the area of the surface.

susceptibility: Vulnerable to a disease.

suspension: A preparation of an undissolved substance dispersed in a liquid.

sutures: A stitch or stitches used to close a wound.

symbiosis: A Relationship between different species where both of the organisms in question benefit from the presence of the other.

symptom: Subjective evidence of disease. For example, a patient's complaints.

syn-: together

syndactyly: A congenital anomaly of the hand or foot, marked by the webbing between adjacent fingers or toes.

syndrome: A characteristic set of signs and symptoms of a particular disorder.

synovitis: Inflammation of a synovial membrane.

syphil/o: syphilis

syringe: An instrument used for injecting or withdrawing fluids.

systemic: Affecting the body as a whole.

tact/o: touch

talc: Finely powdered magnesium silicate used as a dusting powder.

tampons: Plugs or cylinders made of cotton, sponge, or other absorbent material used in surgery to absorb fluids.

tarlov cysts: Perineurial cysts commonly found in the sacral region.

taste: The sense of perceiving different flavors in soluble substances that contact the tongue and trigger nerve impulses to special taste centers in the cortex and the thalamus of the brain. The four basic traditional tastes are sweet, salty, sour and bitter.

taste buds: Small sensory organs which contain gustatory receptor cells, basal cells and supporting cells. Taste buds in humans are found in the epithelia of the tongue, palate, and pharynx.

techn/o: skill, art

tect/o: roof

tectum: A roof-like structure of the midbrain.

teg-: cover

tela: Any thin web like structure or tissue.

tele/o: distance, end

telemedicine: Delivery of health services via remote communications. This includes interactive consultative and diagnostic services.

telomere: The end of a chromosome, which is involved in chromosomal replication and stability.

telophase: The final phase of mitosis.

temp/o: time

temperature: The sensible intensity of heat of any substance.

tenaculum: A surgical instrument for lifting and holding tissue or a body part.

tera-: trillion

terat/o: monster, monstrosity

teratoma: A true neoplasm composed of different types of tissue, none of which is normally found the area in which the neoplasm occurs.

terti-: third

tetan/o: tetanus

tetra-: four

thanat-: death

theca: A sheath, case or capsule.

therapeutics: Procedures concerned with the remedial treatment or prevention of diseases.

-therapy: treatment

theri/o: animals, beasts

therm/o: heat, temperature

thermogenesis: The generation of heat in order to maintain body temperature.

thermolysis: Dissipation of body heat by evaporation of sweat, radiation or other means.

thermophore: Any substance that retains heat for a long period of time.

thigm/o: touch

thio-: presence of sulphur

thoracic: Pertaining to the chest.

thoracic cavity: The region of the thorax that includes the pleural cavity and mediastinum.

threshold: The point at which a stimulus produces a sensation or evokes a response.

tick: A blood-sucking acari parasite that penetrates the skin of their host by using a hooked mouth part.

tics: Habitual, repeated, rapid muscle movement or vocalization which are involuntary or semi voluntary.

-tion: process of

tissue: A group of differentiated cells that perform a specific function. There are four basic tissues in the body: epithelium, connective (including bone, blood and cartilage), muscle and nerve.

TKO: to keep open

tom/o: section, slice

-tome: instrument to cut

tomography: Imaging methods that shows a single plane (slice) of the body.

-tomy: cutting, incision

tonsillitis: Inflammation of the tonsils, usually caused by bacterial infection.

top/o: place

topical: Pertaining to a particular area.

topography: The description of a body part in relation to surrounding structures.

torpor: A state of decreased activity characterized by depressed metabolism, reduced body temperature and low sensitivity to external stimuli.

torque: The rotational force about an axis.

tors/o: twisted

torsion: A twisting force.

torso: The central part of the body to which the neck and limbs are attached.

touch: Sensations arising from making physical contact with objects. Tactile stimuli are detected by receptors in the skin and mucous membranes.

toxicity: The degree to which a substance is poisonous.

toxicology: The science concerned with the detection, chemical composition, and biological action of toxic substances or poisons and the treatment and prevention of toxic manifestations.

toxicosis: A diseased condition due to poisoning.

toxin: A poison produced by animals, plants or bacteria.

toxoid: A preparation of poisonous materials made nontoxic and intended for active immunologic prophylaxis.

TPR: temperature, pulse, and respiration

transducer: Any device or element which converts an input signal into an output signal of a different form.

transection: Cutting across the tissue of an organ.

transient: Short lived.

transplantation: Transference of a tissue or organ from either an alive or deceased donor, within an individual, between individuals of the same species, or between individuals of different species.

transudation: Passage of a fluid or solute through a membrane.

transverse: Lying across the long axis. Crosswise.

trauma: Physical or emotional injuries that are severe and of sudden onset.

trematode: Any of a large number of parasitic flatworms of the class Trematoda including flukes.

trench fever: An acute, infectious, bacterial infection characterized by intervals of chills and fever. Transmitted by body lice.

triage: The process of classifying patients into groups based upon need and likely benefit of treatment

trichosporonosis: Fungal infections marked by fever or pneumonia.

troph/o: nourishment, development

-trophy: nourishment, development

-tropia: turn, deviation from normal

tropism: The directional growth of an organism in towards or away from light, touch, or gravity.

trusses: A supportive device designed for retaining a hernia in a reduced state within the abdominal cavity.

TSS: toxic shock syndrome

tuberculoma: A tumor-like mass resulting from the enlargement of a tuberculous lesion.

tubule: A small tube.

tularemia: A plague-like disease of rodents, transmissible to humans, marked by fever, chills, headache, backache and weakness.

-tumescence: swelling

tumor: A new growth of tissue in which cell multiplication is uncontrolled and progressive. A neoplasm.

-type: class

typhus: Any of a group of acute infectious diseases characterized by fever, chills, headache, malaise and rash. Usually transmitted from infected rats by lice, fleas, ticks and mites

tyr/o: cheese

ul/o: scar, gums

ulcer: A lesion on the surface of a organ or tissue, produced by the sloughing of inflammatory necrotic tissue.

-ule: small, small one

ultra-: beyond

ultrasonography: The visualization of deep structures of the body by recording the reflections of ultrasonic pulses directed into the tissues.

ultraviolet: Electromagnetic radiation that has shorter wavelengths than visible light.

-um: structure, tissue

un-: not, reversal of an action

uncus: A hook-shaped structure.

uni-: one

US: ultrasound

UVA: ultraviolet A light

vector: An organism, such as a mosquito or tick, that spreads disease from one host to another.

venoms: Poisonous animal secretions forming fluid mixtures of many different enzymes, toxins, and other substances.

verm/i: worm, wormlike

vertebrate: An animal with a spinal cord surrounded by cartilage or bone

vestiges: A trace of something, usually a nonfunctioning structure or a behavior, that is a remnant of our evolutionary history.

vestigial: Pertaining to vestiges.

vir/o: virus

viral: Pertaining to or caused by a virus.

viremia: The presence of viruses in the blood.

virion: The compete viral particle.

virology: The study of the structure, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of viruses and virus diseases.

virus: A small infectious agent which lacks independent metabolism and is able to replicate only within a living host cell. The individual particle (virion) consists of either DNA or RNA and a protein capsid.

viscer/o: body organs

viscera: the large interior organs in any one of the three great cavities of the body, especially in the abdomen.

viscosity: Resistance to flow.

vit/o: life

vital signs: The signs of life that may be monitored or measured, namely pulse rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.

vitamins: Organic substances that are required in small amounts for maintenance and growth.

vitrification: To convert into a glassy substance.

vivi-: live, alive

vivisection: Experiments performed on living animals involving surgery.

VNA: Visiting Nurse Association

vocal cords: A pair of cone-shaped elastic mucous membrane projecting from the laryngeal wall and forming a narrow slit between them. Each contains a vocal ligament that shortens or relaxes the vocal cord to control sound production.

volar: Pertaining to the palm or sole.

volition: Voluntary activity without external compulsion.

VS: vital signs

VW: vessel wall

W/U: workup

WHO: World Health Organization

WN: well-nourished

WNL: within normal limits

WOP: without pain

xanth-: yellow

xen/o: foreign

xenophobia: Intense or irrational dislike or fear of anything that is strange or foreign, particularly of strange people.

yo: years old

yr: year

zo/o: animal life

zooplankton: Minute free-floating animal organisms which live in practically all natural waters.

zyg/o: union, junction, yoke

zygomycosis: An acute, sometimes fatal fungal infection.


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