-ac: pertaining to
-ad: toward, in the direction of
-agogue: simulator, agent causing change
-agra: severe pain
-al: relating to
-an: pertaining to
-apheresis: separation, removal
-ar: pertaining to
-ary: pertaining to
-atresia: closure, occlusion
-capnia: carbon dioxide
-cardia: condition of the heart
-cele: swelling, hernia
-chroia: skin coloration
-cide: killing, agent that kills
-clasis: breaking a bone
-coma: profound unconsciousness
-crasia: mixture, loss of control
-crine: to secrete
-cytosis: condition of cells, increase in number of cells
-desis: bind, fixation
-ectasis: dilation, stretching
-ectomy: removal, excision
-emia: condition of the blood
-esthesia: sensation, feeling
-facient: to cause
-form: form, shape of
-gen: producing, origin
-genesis: formation, development
-genic: producing, origin
-globin: containing protein
-grade: step, degree in a scale
-gram: recording, metric unit of weight
-graph: instrument that records
-graphy: process of recording
-ia: condition, state, disease
-iasis: condition, state
-ic: pertaining to
-ician: specialist, practitioner
-ior: pertaining to
-ism: condition, process
-ismus: spasm, contraction
-ist: person who specializes
-ite: resembling, the nature of
-labile: unstable, subject to change
-lemma: sheath, confining membrane
-lexia: reading, word
-lipsis: omit, fail
-lithiasis: presence of stones
-lithotomy: incision for stone removal
-log: speech, words, thought
-logy: study of
-lucent: light admitting
-lysis: loosening, separating
-mania: obsession with
-masesis: chewing, mastication
-mer: smallest unit of a repeating structure, member of a particular group
-meter: measurement, instrument to measure
-metry: to measure
-mimesis: imitation, simulation
-noia: mind, will
-ole: small, little
-oma: tumor, neoplasm
-opia: vision condition
-opsy: process of viewing
-ose: a carbohydrate
-osis: abnormal condition
-ous: pertaining to
-para: to bear offspring
-paresis: weakness, slight paralysis
-petal: moving forward
-pexy: surgical fixation
-phagia: eating, swallowing
-phagy: eating, devouring
-philia: affinity for
-phobia: abnormal fear
-phore: carrier, processor
-physis: growth, growing
-plasty: surgical repair
-poiesis: production, formation
-porosis: decrease in density
-posia: drinking, fluid intake
-praxia: to perform, action
-pterygium: abnormality of conjunctiva
-ptosis: drooping, prolapse
-puncture: to pierce a surface
-rrhage: bursting forth
-rrhea: discharge, flow
-sarcoma: cancer of connective tissue
-schisis: cleft, split
-sclerosis: abnormal hardening
-scope: instrument used to view
-scopy: process of viewing
-sepsis: decay caused by
-spadia: to tear, cut
-spasm: sudden, involuntary muscle contraction
-stabile: stable, fixed
-stasis: maintenance of level, prevent increase
-stat: agent or device for keeping something from changing
-stenosis: abnormal narrowing
-stomy: new opening
-stroma: connective or supportive tissue of an organ
-taxia: ordering, arrangement
-tension: stretched, strained
-thorax: chest, pleural cavity
-thymia: state of mind
-tic: pertaining to
-tion: process of
-tocia: condition of birth, labor
-tome: instrument to cut
-tomy: cutting, incision
-tresia: perforation, opening
-tripsy: to crush
-trophic: food, nutrition
-trophy: nourishment, development
-tropia: turn, deviation from normal
-ule: small, small one
-um: structure, tissue
-volemia: blood volume
/d: per day
A&D: ascending & descending
A&W: alive and well
a-: no, not, without, away from
AAA: abdominal aortic aneurysm
AAD: antibiotic associated diarrhea
AAL: anterior axillary line
ab-: away from
abdomen: The part of the body cavity below the thorax.
abdominal aorta: The part of the descending aorta passing through the diaphragm into the abdomen.
abdominal pain: Discomfort, distress, or agony in the abdominal cavity. Can be acute or chronic. A significant clinical symptom.
abdominal quadrants: Four segments of the abdomen divided by horizontal and vertical lines intersecting at the umbilicus.
abdominal thrusts: A maneuver for treating choking by using quick, forceful thrusts of fisted hands upward and inward toward the diaphragm. Commonly known as the Heimlich maneuver.
abdominal wall: The boundaries of the abdomen, consisting of multiple layers: skin, subcutaneous fat, superficial fascia, muscles, transversalis fascia, extra peritoneal fat, and the parietal peritoneum. Extends from the thoracic cage to the pelvis.
abdominoplasty: Surgical removal of excess abdominal skin and fat and tightening of the abdominal wall. Commonly called a tummy tuck.
abducens nerve: A small cranial nerve which originates in the pons and sends motor fibers to the lateral rectus muscles of the eye. It provides horizontal eye movement control.
abduction: Movement of a limb away from the midline or axis of the body.
aberration: A deviation from a normal condition or behavior.
ABG: arterial blood gas
ABI: ankle-brachial index
ablat/o: to remove, to destroy
ablation: Removal of tissue by vaporization, abrasion, freezing or other methods.
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.
ABO: three basic blood groups
abo blood group: A major blood classification system based on the presence or absence of two antigens, A and B. Type O occurs when neither A nor B is present and AB when both are present. A and B are genetic factors that determine the presence of enzymes for the synthesis of certain glycoproteins mainly in the red cell membrane.
abortifacient: An agent, usually a medication, that causes abortion.
aBP: arterial blood pressure
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: adrenal cortex
AC (2): anticoagulent
ac (3): before a meal
acanth/o: thorny, sharp spine
acanthocytes: Erythrocytes with spiny projections giving the cell a thorny appearance.
acarbose: A drug prescribed in treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. It retards the digestion of complex carbohydrates.
acaridae: Family of mites frequently found in grain and flour.
accelerated idioventricular rhythm: A type of automatic, not reentrant, ectopic ventricular rhythm with episodes lasting from a few seconds to a minute. The ventricular rate is 50 to 100 beats per minute.
acceleration: A change in an object's rate of speed or direction.
accessory nerve: Either of two cranial nerves which are important for swallowing, speech and some head and shoulder movements.
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.
ACE Inhibitor: Drug that lowers BP by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) allowing increased blood flow
acebutolol: A beta blocker drug used to treat high blood pressure, irregular rhythms and angina pectoris.
acetabulum: Concave surface of pelvis where the head of the femur lies
acetic: Having a sour property of vinegar or acetic acid.
acetone: A colorless liquid used as a solvent and an antiseptic. Present in urine.
achilles tendon: The tendon connecting the muscles in the back of the calf to the calcaneus (heel bone).
achlorhydria: Absence of hydrochloric acid in gastric secretion.
achondroplasia: A disorder that is a form of short-limb dwarfism.
acid etching: Preparation of tooth surfaces with etching agents, such as phosphoric acid, to roughen the surface to increase adhesion.
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.
ACLS: advanced cardiac life support
acne: A common inflammation of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles.
acne conglobata: Severe, chronic acne characterized by large, burrowing abscesses associated with disfigurement. Also called cystic acne.
acne keloid: A disorder in which secondary pyogenic infection in and around pilosebaceous structures ends in keloid scarring. Often develops at the hairline on the back of the neck.
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome: An acquired defect of T-cell immunity associated with infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
acr/o: extremities, top
acrodermatitis: Chronic inflammation of the skin of the hands and feet. Caused by a parasitic mite. A manifestation of Lyme disease.
acromegaly: A hormonal disorder that results when the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone.
acromioclavicular joint: The gliding joint formed by the outer extremity of the clavicle and the inner margin of the acromion process of the scapula. This joint has six ligaments.
acromion: The lateral extension of the spine of the scapula and the highest point of the shoulder.
acrophobia: Fear of heights
acrosome: The cap-like structure covering the anterior portion of spermatozoon. It contains enzymes necessary for sperm penetration of the egg.
act-: drive, do, act
ACTH: adrenocorticotropic hormone
actin/o: radiation, ray
actinic keratosis: Pre-cancerous patch of thick, scaly, or crusty skin secondary to extensive sun exposure
actinomycosis: A chronic bacterial disease, often found on the abdomen, thorax and jaw. Characterized by lumpy, deep abscesses that discharge pus.
actomyosin: A protein complex of actin and myosin occurring in muscle. It is the essential contractile substance of muscle.
acupuncture: Therapy for treating pain and disease by inserting needles along specific pathways or meridians.
acute: severe; sudden in onset; lasting a short time
acute respiratory distress syndrome: A lung condition that causes low oxygen levels in the blood. It can be life threatening.
AD: Alzheimer disease
ad-: toward, increase
adams-stokes syndrome: Recurring fainting spells caused by incomplete heart block.
ADD: attention deficit disorder
Addison disease: A rare disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormones cortisol and/or aldosterone.
adduction: Movement of a limb toward the midline or axis of the body
adductor: A muscle that moves a body part toward the midline or axis of the body.
adenitis: Inflammation of a lymph node resulting in swelling or pain.
adenocarcinoma: A malignant epithelial tumor with a glandular growth pattern.
adenoidectomy: Surgical removal of the adenoids.
adenoids: A collection of lymphoid nodules on the posterior wall and roof of the nasopharynx..
adenoma: A benign epithelial tumor with a glandular structure
adenovirus: Virus responsible for upper respiratory tract infections, conjunctivitis, cystitis or GI infection.
ADH: antidiuretic hormone
ADHD: attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder
adhesion: Bands of scar tissue that can develop after surgery.
adipose: Connective tissue composed of fat cells.
adiposity: The amount of fat or lipid deposit at a site or an organ.
adjustment disorders: Maladaptive reactions to a stressful event.
ADL: activities of daily living
adnexa: Appendages of an organ (e.g. eyelids to the eyeball)
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.
adren/o: adrenal glands
adrenal: Pertaining to the adrenal glands, which are located atop of the kidneys.
adrenalectomy: Surgical removal of one or both adrenal glands.
adrenalitis: Inflammation of the adrenal glands,
adrenarche: A development stage when the adrenal glands mature, leading to the increased production of adrenal androgens, dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione. Adrenarche usually begins at about 7 or 8 years of age before the signs of puberty and continues throughout puberty.
adrenergic fibers: Nerve fibers liberating catecholamines at a synapse after an impulse.
adrenergic neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is epinephrine.
adsorption: The adhesion of gases, liquids, or dissolved solids onto a surface.
adult: A person having attained maturity.
advanced cardiac life support: The use of sophisticated methods and equipment to treat cardiopulmonary arrest. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) includes the use of specialized equipment to maintain the airway, early defibrillation and pharmacological therapy.
adventitia: The outermost covering of organs, blood vessels and other structures not covered by serosa.
AE: above elbow
AED: automated external defibrillator
aerobics: Sustained strenuous exercise that improves cardiovascular and respiratory fitness.
aerophagia: Excessive swallowing of air.
aerophagy: Excessive swallowing of air caused by anxiety or improper eating habits.
AF: atrial fibrillation
AFB: acid-fast bacillus
affect: The emotional reaction to an experience or thought.
Afib: atrial fibrillation
afibrinogenemia: A deficiency or absence of fibrinogen in the blood.
afterbirth: The placenta, umbilical cord and membranes that are expelled from the uterus after birth
aftercare: Health care provided to a patient after discharge.
ageusia: Loss of the sense of taste.
aggression: Forceful verbal or physical behavior, or an overt attitude of hostility.
agit/o: rapidity, restlessness
agnosia: The inability to comprehend or recognize the importance of various forms of stimulation.
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..
agraphia: Inability to write due to a cerebral injury or less commonly, due to emotional factors.
AHA: American Hospital Association
AHF: antihemophilic factor
AIDS: acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
AIHA: autoimmune hemolytic anemia
air: The mixture of gases present in the earth's atmosphere consisting of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases.
air sacs: Thin-walled spaces including the alveoli connected to one terminal bronchiole.
airway: Tubular passages in the lungs through which air passes during breathing.
AIVR: accelerated idioventricular rhythm
AK: above the knee
akinetic mutism: A syndrome characterized by a silent and inert state without voluntary motor activity despite alertness.
alacrima: Dry eye.
albin/o: white, deficient pigmentation
albinism: Genetic disorders causing the skin, hair, or eyes to have little or no color.
albumin: Proteins found in egg whites, milk, blood, lymph, and other tissues and fluids. They are water soluble and coagulate upon heating.
albuminuria: The presence of albumin in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases.
albuterol: A short-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist that is primarily used as a bronchodilator agent to treat asthma.
alcoholism: A primary, chronic disease creating a physical dependence on alcohol. Genetic and environmental factors influence its development.
aldosterone: A hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex that acts on the kidneys to regulate electrolyte and water balance.
aldosteronism: A disease that causes the adrenals to produce too much of the hormone aldosterone.
alexia: Inability to read despite preservation of the ability to write. The patient cannot recognize letters and words.
ALF: assisted living facility
algid: Cold, clammy skin associated with some types of malaria.
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.
alimentary canal: The passage for the digestion and absorption of food. Extends from mouth to anus.
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.
ALL: acute lymphocytic leukemia
allergen: Antigen-type substance that produce immediate hypersensitivity.
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.
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.
allopurinol: A xanthine oxidase inhibitor that decreases uric acid production. Used to treat gout and kidney stones.
aloe: The dried juice of aloe plant leaves. Used to treat minor wounds, burns and skin irritations.
alopecia: A disorder in which the immune system attacks hair follicles in the scalp.
alphavirus: A group of small Toga viruses. Can be transmitted from mosquitoes to humans, causing several types of encephalitis.
alprazolam: A compound used to treat anxiety.
alprostadil: A potent vasodilator agent that increases peripheral blood flow.
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
alveoli: Air sacs in the lung which allow exchange of blood oxygen and carbon dioxide.
alveolitis: An inflammation of the alveoli. Caused by inhalation of an allergen.
Alzheimer disease: Type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior.
AMA: American Medical Association
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.
amaurosis: Partial or complete blindness caused by a disease.
amber: A hard, yellowish fossil resin from pine trees.
ambi-: both, both sides, around
ambient: Pertaining to the environment of an organism or mechanism.
ambivalence: Conflicting feelings or attitudes towards a person, object or idea.
ambly/o: dull, dim
amblyopia: Decrease of vision due to abnormal development during childhood. Also known as lazy eye.
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.
amenorrhea: Absence of menstruation.
ametropia: An eye problem caused by faulty refraction.
AMI: acute myocardial infarction
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.
aminophylline: A bronchodilator. Used to treat asthma and COPD.
AML: acute myelogenous leukemia
amnesia: Loss of memory due to brain injury or emotional trauma.
amni/o: amnion, sac around embryo
amniocentesis: Diagnostic test for chromosomal abnormalities and fetal infections. A small amount of fluid is removed from the amniotic sac.
amniotic fluid: A clear, yellowish liquid that surrounds the fetus, protecting it from injury.
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.
amphetamine: A powerful group of drugs that stimulate the central nervous system. Amphetamines reduce feelings of fatigue and increase alertness.
amphi-: both sides
ampho-: both sides, double
ampicillin: Semisynthetic penicillin that functions as a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
amputation: The removal of a limb or other body appendage.
amylase: A group of enzymes that help digest starches.
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.
amylose: The soluble constituent of starch.
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A neurological disease causing muscle weakness and impacting physical function. Commonly called ALS.
an-: not, without, away from
an/o: anus, ring
ANA: antinuclear antibody
ana-: up, apart, again
anabolic steroid: A compound derived from testosterone or synthetically that stimulates development of muscle mass, strength, and power.
anacrotism: A secondary notch in the pulse curve, obtained in a pulse tracing.
anaerobic: Taking place without oxygen.
anal canal: The terminal segment of the large intestine ending at the anus.
analgesia: Without pain or decreased pain.
analgesics: A compound that relieves pain.
anaphylaxis: A severe immune system reaction to a previously encountered antigen. Can sometimes be fatal.
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.
anastomosis: A surgical connection between two structures.
anatomy: The study of the structure of organisms.
anconeus: A small triangular muscle behind the elbow. Its function is to extend the forearm.
androgen: Steroid hormones that stimulate development of male reproductive organs, beard growth, voice changes and muscles.
android: Pertaining to something human.
andropause: Male menopause.
androsterone: A metabolite of testosterone or androstenedione.
anemia: Blood lacks enough erythrocytes (RBC) or hemoglobin.
aneroid: A kind of barometer operated by the movement of the elastic lid of a box exhausted of air.
anesthesia: The loss of feeling or sensation, particularly pain.
anesthesiology: A specialty concerned with the study of anesthetics and anesthesia.
anesthetic: Medication that causes temporary loss of sensation.
anesthetics: Agents that are capable of inducing a total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensation and pain. They may act generally or locally.
anetoderma: Benign dermatosis caused by a loss of dermal elastic tissue resulting in localized sac-like areas of flaccid skin.
aneurysm: A sac-like dilatation of a blood vessel wall. It indicates a weak spot in the wall which may rupture.
anger: A strong emotional feeling of displeasure aroused by being interfered with, injured or threatened.
angi/o: blood or lymph vessel
angina pectoris: Chest pain, pressure, or squeezing, often due to ischemia of the heart muscle.
angiocardiography: Radiography of the heart and great vessels after injection of a contrast medium.
angioedema: Swelling involving the deep dermis, subcutaneous, or submucosal tissues, representing localized edema. It often occurs in the face, lips, tongue, and larynx.
angiography: An x-ray study of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium.
angiokeratoma: A benign vascular, horny neoplasm of the skin often found on the legs and feet.
angioma: A usually benign tumor consisting of blood vessels and lymph nodes.
angiomyoma: A benign tumor consisting of vascular and smooth muscle elements.
angioplasty: Repair of a blood vessel such as widening a narrowed artery or vein. This procedure is normally performed using catheterization.
angioscope: An endoscope used for viewing the interior of blood vessels.
angiostenosis: Abnormal narrowing of a blood vessel.
angiotensin: A family of peptides in the blood that causes vasoconstriction and increased blood pressure.
angstrom: A unit of length equal to 0.1 nanometer.
anhedonia: Inability to experience happiness or pleasure. It is a symptom of many psychotic disorders.
anhidrosis: Absence of sweating in an environment appropriate for sweating.
anion: Negatively charged ion.
anisocoria: Unequal pupil sizes. Affects 20% of the population.
ankle: The region between the foot and leg.
ankle brachial index: The ankle-arm index. This is the ratio of the higher of the two ankle systolic blood pressures divided by the higher of the two arm systolic pressures. It is a predictor of peripheral arterial disease.
ankyl/o: bent, stiff
ankylosis: Fixation and immobility of a joint.
anodontia: Congenital absence of most or all teeth.
anomaly: A variation from normal, particularly congenital defect
anomia: An inability to name people and objects that are correctly comprehended.
anorexia: The lack or loss of appetite with an inability to eat.
anorexia nervosa: An eating disorder characterized by a loss of appetite and an excessive fear of becoming overweight.
anosmia: loss or impairment of the sense of smell. It can be temporary or permanent.
anovulation: Suspension or cessation of ovulation by the ovaries.
anoxia: Absence of oxygen in body tissues despite adequate blood flow.
antacids: Substances that neutralize acidity in the stomach.
antagonist: A person, muscle or drug that opposes another.
antazoline: A short acting antihistamine
ante-: forward, before
antegrade: Moving forward or moving in the direction of blood or urine flow.
antepartal care: Health care provided during pregnancy.
anterior chamber: The space between the cornea and the iris, filled with aqueous humor.
anterior cruciate ligament: A strong ligament of the knee that extends from the anterior intercondylar area of the tibia to the posterior part of the medial surface of the lateral condyle of the femur. Responsible for controlling stability during knee rotation.
anthelmintics: Agents that destroy or prevent development of parasitic worms.
anthrac/o: carbon, coal
anthracosis: A chronic lung disease caused by inhaled coal dust. Occurs in coal miners but also in tobacco smokers.
anthrax: An acute infectious disease of hoofed animals and humans. Infection in humans often involves the skin , lungs or gastrointestinal tract.
anthrop/o: human life
anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation.
antibiotics: An infection fighting protein made by blood plasma cells in response to an antigen. It helps destroy bacteria, viruses and toxins.
antibodies: Immunoglobulin molecules produced in lymphoid tissue that attack the antigen that induced their synthesis.
antibody: Protein produced by B cells as primary immune defense.
anticoagulants: Agents that slow coagulation and prevent blood clotting.
anticonvulsants: Drugs used to prevent seizures or reduce their severity.
antidepressants: Drugs that prevent or relieve depression.
antidiabetic: Drugs that help control diabetes mellitus.
antidiarrheal: A drug or food for treating diarrhea.
antidiuretic hormone: A hormone produced by the hypothalamus and stored in the pituitary gland. This hormone controls the amount of water excreted in the urine.
antidromic: Conducting nerve impulses in a direction opposite from normal.
antiemetics: Drugs used to prevent nausea or vomiting.
antifibrinolytic: Preventing the breakdown of a blood clot or thrombus.
antifungal: Substances that destroy fungi.
antigen: Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction.
antigens: Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction.
antihistamine: An agent that inhibits the actions of a histamine.
antihypertensive: Drugs used to reduce high blood pressure.
antimitotic: Drugs that arrest cell division.
antioxidant: Substances that inhibit oxidation of a substance.
antiparasitic: A drug used to treat or prevent parasitic infections.
antiperspirants: Agents that are put on the skin to reduce sweating.
antipruritic: An agent that relieves itching. Usually topical.
antipsychotic: An agent used to control severe mental disorders.
antipyretic: A drug used to reduces fever.
antisepsis: The destruction of germs causing disease.
antisocial : A personality disorder characterized by a disregard for individual rights or laws.
antispasmodic: A drug used to treat smooth muscle spasms in the digestive system, uterus or urinary tract.
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.
antitussive agents: Cough medicine that acts centrally on the medullary cough center.
antiviral: Destroying a virus or suppressing replication.
antr/o: antrum, cavity
antrum: A cavity or chamber.
anuria: Absence of urine formation.
anus: The distal opening of the alimentary canal, lying in the fold between the buttocks.
anxiety: Feeling or emotion of dread, apprehension, or fear without apparent stimulus.
anxiety disorders: A group of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear.
AODM: adult-onset diabetes mellitus
aorta: The main trunk of the systemic arteries originating at the heart's left ventricle.
aortic aneurysm: An abnormal balloon or sac-like dilatation in the aortic wall.
aortic coarctation: A congenital heart abnormality where the aorta is narrowed.
aortic stenosis: Narrowing of the aortic valve opening, reducing outflow from the left ventricle into the aorta.
aortic valve: The valve between the left ventricle and the aorta. It prevents back flow of blood into the left ventricle.
aortic valve regurgitation: Back flow of blood from the aorta into the left ventricle.
APA: antipernicious anemia factor
apache: An acronym for Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation, a scoring system used for classifying the severity of illness in critically ill patients.
apathy: Lack of emotion or emotional expression; disinterest.
apex: The tip of an organ.
Apgar score: Newborn health assessment score (0-10).
Two points each: Appearance of skin color, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration.
aphakia: Absence of the eye's lens.
aphasia: Impairment of language or speech comprehension.
aphonia: Inability of the larynx to produce speech sounds.
aphrodisiac: An agent that stimulates sexual desire.
apical: Pertaining to the tip or apex of a structure.
aplasia: Defective development of an organ or tissue.
aplastic anemia: A condition in which bone marrow doesn't produce sufficient blood elements.
apnea: A temporary cessation of spontaneous respiration.
apo-: separate, away from
apocrine glands: Sweat glands that only occur in hairy parts of the body.
apophysis: An outgrowth or projection from a bone.
apoptosis: Programmed cell death resulting in the orderly removal of cells.
appendectomy: Surgical removal of the appendix.
appendicitis: Acute inflammation of the vermiform appendix.
appendix: A worm-like blind tube extension from the cecum.
appetite: Natural recurring desire, e.g. for food.
apraxia: Disorders characterized by the inability to make skilled, purposeful movements due to a cerebral disease.
aprepitant: A drug used to treat chemotherapy induced nausea.
aptitude tests: Standardized tests designed to predict an individual's learning ability or performance.
aquaphobia: An irrational fear of water.
aqueous humor: The clear, watery fluid circulating in the anterior and posterior chambers of the eye.
arachnoid: A delicate membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. It lies between the pia mater and the dura mater.
arachnoiditis: Acute or chronic inflammation of the arachnoid membrane, resulting in pain and neurological abnormalities.
arbor: A tree-like structure with branching.
arbovirus: Viruses transmitted by saliva of insects, bats and rodents.
ARC: AIDS-related complex
arch-: beginning, origin, first
ARDS: acute respiratory distress syndrome
areola: A ring of pigmented skin surrounding a nipple.
ARF: acute renal failure
argon: An odorless, colorless, inactive gas with atomic number 18.
argyria: A permanent ashen-gray discoloration of the skin, conjunctiva, and internal organs due to ingestion of or exposure to silver salts.
arm: The superior part of the upper limb between the shoulder and the elbow.
ARMD: age-related macular degeneration
aromatherapy: The use of fragrances and plant oils to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
arousal: A state of alertness due to stimulation.
arrhythmia: Abnormal heartbeat rhythm.
arsenic: A shiny gray element with atomic symbol As, atomic number 33. Most forms are toxic.
arterial blood gases: A test that measures the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and acidity (pH) in the blood. Some blood gases devices make additional measurements available.
arteries: The vessels carrying blood away from the heart.
arteriol/o: small artery
arterioles: The smallest divisions of the arteries located between the muscular arteries and the capillaries.
arteriolosclerosis: Thickening of the walls of small arteries or arterioles.
arteriosclerosis: Thickening and stiffening of arterial walls.
arteriostenosis: Narrowing of arterial walls.
arteritis: inflammation of one or more arteries.
arthralgia: Joint pain.
arthritis: Inflammation of joints, characterized by pain, swelling and diminished range of motion.
arthrocentesis: Aspiration of fluid (e.g., synovial fluid) from a joint cavity.
arthrodesis: The surgical fixation of a joint by a procedure designed to accomplish fusion of the joint surfaces by promoting the proliferation of bone cells.
arthrography: Imaging of a joint, usually after injection of a contrast medium.
arthrolysis: Surgical restoration of mobility in stiff, ankylosed joints.
arthroplasty: Surgical reconstruction of a joint to relieve pain or restore motion.
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.
arthroscopy: Examination, therapy and surgery of a joint using an endoscope.
articulation: The junction of two or more bones. Also, forming sounds into meaningful speech.
artifacts: Anything artificially made. An unwanted problem with a medical imaging technique.
artificial limbs: Prosthetic replacements for arms and legs.
AS: aortic stenosis
ASA: acetylsalicylic acid
asbestosis: Lung disease characterized by interstitial fibrosis. Caused by inhalation of asbestos particles.
ASC: atypical squamous cells
ASC-US: atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance
ascites: Abnormal accumulation of free fluid within the peritoneal cavity.
ascorbic acid: A water soluble compound. As vitamin C, it naturally occurs in citrus fruits and many vegetables.
ASD: atrial septal defect
aspartame: Artificial sweeter, metabolized as phenylalanine and aspartic acid.
asperger syndrome: A developmental disorder whose essential features are persistent impairment in reciprocal social interactions, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities and impairment in language and communications skills.
aspermia: A condition characterized by the complete absence of semen.
asphyxia: Condition caused by lack of oxygen, leading to loss of consciousness and death. Causes include drowning, suffocation, choking and inhaling carbon monoxide.
aspirin: An analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic agent. It also reduces the risk of vascular thrombosis.
assault: A violent physical or verbal attack.
assertiveness: Strongly insistent, self-assured behavior.
assimilation: The transformation of food into living tissue.
astasia: The inability, without physical cause, to stand or sit without assistance.
asthma: Chronic bronchial inflammatory disorder. Characterized by breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing and dyspnea.
astigmatism: A common and generally easily treatable imperfection in the curvature of the eye.
astringent: A drug, usually topical, that cause the contraction of tissues. Used for controlling bleeding or secretions.
astrocyte: A large, star shaped cell. Found throughout the central nervous system.
astrocytoma: A type of brain tumor.
asystole: Complete absence of cardiac output and electrical activity in the heart.
ataxia: Inability to coordinate voluntary muscle movements, not due to muscle weakness.
atc: around the clock
atelectasis: Partial or complete failure of a lung to expand due to alveoli deflation. Can occur after surgery, trauma, infections.
ateliosis: A form of dwarfism.
atelo-: incomplete, imperfect
ather/o: plaque, soft fatty deposit
atherectomy: Endovascular procedure for removing atheromatous plaque by a cutting or rotating catheter.
atheroma: A thickening and loss of elasticity of arterial walls due to plaque deposits. Also called atherosclerosis.
atherosclerosis: A thickening and loss of elasticity of arterial walls due to plaque deposits.
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.
ATL: adult T cell leukemia
atmo: steam, vapor
atonic: Without normal muscle tone or strength
atorvastatin: A drug used to reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
atresia: The absence or abnormal narrowing of a body opening or duct.
atria: The upper chambers of the heart which receive blood flow from the body.
atrial fibrillation: Abnormal cardiac rhythm characterized by rapid, uncoordinated firing of electrical impulses in the atria. Increases risk of stroke and heart disease.
atrial flutter: A very rapid, irregular heart rhythm. A common form of tachyarrhythmia.
atrioventricular node: A small group of specialized muscle fibers located on the floor of the right atrium. It regulates electrical signals to the ventricles, preventing rapid conduction and ensuring that the atria have emptied.
atrium: (of the heart). Either of the two upper chambers of the heart.
atrophy: Diminished size or wasting away of body tissue, for example muscles.
attention: Mentally focusing on a specific object, issue or activity. The act of concentrating.
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.
audiology: The study of hearing and hearing impairment.
audiometry: A noninvasive test that measures the ability to hear different tones and intensities.
audit: A formal review of data or records.
augmentation: The process of increasing in size or amount.
AUL: acute undifferentiated leukemia
aural: Refers to the ear or hearing.
auranofin: A drug for treating rheumatoid arthritis.
auscultation: Listening for body sounds usually with a stethoscope.
autism: A group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral problems.
auto-: self, same
autoantibody: An antibody that react with self-antigens of the organism that produced them.
autoantigens: Endogenous tissue constituents that have the ability to interact with autoantibodies and cause an immune response.
autograft: Transplant comprised of an individual's own tissue, transferred from one part of the body to another.
autoimmune: Disorder of the immune system in which an immune response is created against the body's own tissues.
autoimmune disorder: Immune system attacks on healthy cells by mistake.
autoimmunity: Process whereby the immune system reacts against the body's own tissues.
autologous: One individual being both donor and recipient (e.g. blood).
autolysis: The disintegration of tissues or cells by intracellular enzymes.
automatism: Automatic, mechanical, and apparently undirected behavior which is outside of conscious control.
autonomic: The ability to function without external influence.
autonomic nervous system: The part of the nervous system that regulates involuntary body functions. The enteric nervous system; parasympathetic nervous system; and sympathetic nervous system taken together.
autonomy: Ability to function independently. Self-governing.
autophagia: Biting or eating one's own flesh.
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.
autosuggestion: Suggestion coming from the subject himself.
autotrophic: Self nourishing. The processes by which organisms use inorganic substances such carbon dioxide and inorganic nitrogen as nutrient sources.
avascular: An area of the body lacking adequate blood vessels or blood supply.
AVB: atrioventricular block
aversion therapy: A treatment that suppresses undesirable behavior by simultaneously exposing the subject to unpleasant consequences.
avian influenza: A highly contagious disease of poultry and other birds, caused by strains of influenza A virus.
avitaminosis: Disease caused by vitamin deficiency.
avoidance: A psychological or physical defense mechanism for avoiding a noxious experience.
AVR: accelerated ventricular rhythm
axial: Pertaining to an axis.
axon: Nerve fiber that conduct impulses away from the neuron cell body.
azoospermia: A complete absence of sperm in the ejaculate.
azotemia: A biochemical abnormality referring to an elevation of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine.
b.i.d.: bid twice a day
BAC: blood alcohol concentration
bacilli: A rod-shaped bacterium.
bacillus: A large genus of rod-shaped, gram-positive, spore-bearing bacteria.
back: The rear surface from the shoulders to the hip.
baclofen: A muscle relaxing drug.
bacteremia: The presence of bacteria in the blood. Fever, chills, tachycardia, and tachypnea are common manifestations of bacteremia.
bacteria: Single cell living things. One of the three domains of life.
bacterial endocarditis: Inflammation of the heart's lining or valves caused by bacteria in the bloodstream.
bactericide: A substance that kills bacteria.
bacteriophage: A virus that attacks bacteria.
bacteriuria: The presence of bacteria in the urine. Bacteriuria can be symptomatic or asymptomatic.
BADL: basic activities of daily living
balan/o: glans penis
balanitis: Inflammation of the glans penis.
balanoposthitis: Inflammation of the glans penis in uncircumcised males.
ballism: Abnormal involuntary movements of the limbs.
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
barbiturate: A sedative that depresses respiratory rate, blood pressure, temperature and the central nervous system.
bariatric surgery: Surgical procedures aimed at producing major weight reduction in patients with morbid obesity.
bariatrics: Activities related to weight reduction in patients with obesity including diet, exercise, medication and surgery.
baroreceptor: One of the blood pressure sensitive nerve ending in heart's atria, aorta and the carotid sinuses.
barotrauma: Injury caused by ambient pressure changes especially to the ear drums and lungs.
barrier cream: Lotions and ointments used to protect the skin from allergens and irritants.
bary-: heavy, hard, dull
bas/o: base, bottom
basal cell carcinoma: A malignant tumor. A common form of skin cancer. Metastasis is rare.
basal ganglia: Large grey masses at the base of the cerebral hemisphere.
basal metabolism: The minimum amount of energy needed to maintain vital body functions.
basi-: base, foundation
basilar membrane: A basement membrane in the cochlea that supports the hair cells of the organ of Corti.
basophils: Granular leukocytes which stain blue-black with basic dyes. Active in inflammatory responses.
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.
BBB: bundle branch block
BBT: basal body temperature
BCLS: basic cardiac life support
BE: below elbow
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.
Bell's Palsy: Temporary facial paralysis, 7th cranial nerve. Sudden onset. Usually one-side asymmetry.
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.
benzocaine: A local anesthetic applied topically.
beriberi: A disorder caused by a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1) and characterized by heart failure and edema.
beta blocker: Drugs that slow heart rate and reduce pumping force. Used to treat high blood pressure, angina, heart failure, migraines.
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.
bezoar: A mass of swallowed hair, fruit or vegetable fibers, or similar substances found in the alimentary canal.
bi-: double, twice, two
bias: Systematic deviation of results or inferences from the truth.
biceps: A muscle having two heads. Commonly used to refer to the muscles that extend from the shoulder joint to the elbow.
biconcave: Concave on both sides, as in a lens design.
biconvex: Convex on both sides, particularly in a lens design.
bicuspid: A premolar tooth used for grinding food.
bidet: A bathroom fixture, similar to a toilet bowel, used for cleaning the genital and rectal areas.
bil/i: bile, gall
bile: An emulsifying fluid produced in the liver, stored in the gall bladder and secreted into the duodenum.
biliary: Pertaining to bile, the gall bladder or bile ducts.
bilirubin: The orange-yellow pigment of bile.
binaural: Relating to the use of both ears.
binding sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.
binocular: Relating to the use of both eyes.
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.
biotin: A water-soluble, enzyme co-factor present in minute amounts in every living cell. It is abundant in liver, kidney, pancreas, yeast, and milk.
bipolar disorder: A major affective disorder marked by severe mood swings (manic or major depressive episodes) and a tendency to remission and recurrence.
birthmark: A benign skin blemish present at birth.
bisexuality: An individual who is sexually attracted to both sexes.
BK: below the knee
black eye: A contusion around the eye with discoloration and swelling.
blackhead: A plug of fatty material in the outlet of the sebaceous gland in the skin. Comedo.
blackwater fever: A complication of malaria characterized by acute renal failure and the passage of dark red to black urine.
bladder: A hollow, expandable muscular sac that stores urine produced by the kidneys until excretion.
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.
blepharitis: Inflammation of the eyelids.
blepharoplasty: Cosmetic eyelid surgery. Also called eyelid lift.
blepharospasm: Spasmodic winking caused by the involuntary contraction of an eyelid muscle.
blindness: The inability to see.
blinking: Brief closing and reopening of the eyelids by involuntary or voluntary action.
blister: Visible accumulations of watery fluid within or beneath the epidermis.
blood: The body fluid that circulates in the vascular system. Whole blood in comprised of blood cells suspended in a liquid medium (plasma).
blood banks: Centers for collecting, characterizing and storing human blood.
blood cell: Any of the cells found in blood. This includes erythrocytes (red cells), leukocytes (white cells) and thrombocytes (platelets).
blood clot: A semisolid mass formed by blood coagulation. Thrombus.
blood coagulation: The process of the interaction of blood coagulation factors that results in an insoluble fibrin clot.
blood count: The number of red or white blood cells in a specified volume of blood.
blood glucose: The concentration of glucose in the blood. Also called blood sugar. Measured regularly in diabetes patients.
blood group: Classification of blood based upon antigens on the surface of the red cell. Many blood grouping systems have been developed. The ABO system is one of the most important.
blood plasma: The liquid part of the blood, free of formed elements and particles.
blood pressure: Pressure of the blood on the arteries, veins and chambers of the heart.
blood sugar: The concentration of glucose in the blood. Measured regularly in diabetes patients.
blood transfusion: The administration of whole blood or a blood component into the blood stream.
blood urea nitrogen: A measure of the concentration of urea in the blood
blood vessels: Any of the tubular vessels conveying the blood (arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins).
BM: bowel movement
BMD: bone mineral density
BMI: body mass index
BMR: basal metabolic rate
BMT: bone marrow transplant
body mass index: A formula for determining obesity based upon a person's weight and height.
boil: A tender, inflamed area of skin that contains pus.
bolus: A soft mass of chewed food ready to be swallowed.
bonding: The emotional attachment of mother-child or individuals to pets.
bone: A dense, hard connective tissue that forms the framework of the skeleton.
bone density: The amount of mineral per square centimeter of bone. Bone density is an important predictor for osteoporosis.
bone marrow: The soft, spongy tissue filling the cavities of bones. Its primary function is to produce erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets.
borderline: Relating to health status where the patient has some signs and symptoms of an abnormality but insufficient for a definite diagnosis.
botulism: A rare, but potentially fatal form of food poisoning caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
bougie: A thin, cylindrical instrument, somewhat flexible, inserted into body canals in order to examine or dilate them.
BP: blood pressure
BPd: blood pressure diastolic
BPH: benign prostatic hyperplasia
bpm: beats per minute
BPs: blood pressure systolic
brachial: Relating to the arm.
brachial artery: The continuation of the axillary artery; it branches into the radial and ulnar arteries.
brachytherapy: Radiotherapy that uses small sources that are placed on or near tumor tissues.
bradycardia: Cardiac arrhythmias that are characterized by abnormally slow heart rate, usually below 50 beats per minute in adults.
bradykinesia: Abnormally slow body movement.
bradypnea: Slow breathing.
braille: A system of printing for visually impaired people, consisting of raised dots that are read by touch.
brain: A highly developed part of central nervous system that is contained within the cranium. It consists of cerebrum, cerebellum and other structures in the brain stem.
breast: A mammary gland of women.
breast implantation: Surgical insertion of a sac filled with silicone or other material to augment the female form cosmetically.
breastfeeding: Feeding a baby milk from the breast.
breath sounds: Sounds heard over the lungs and airways, usually with a stethoscope.
breathing: The repeating cycle of inhaling and exhaling air into and out of the lungs.
bregma: The juncture of the coronal and sagittal sutures on the top of the cranium.
brom-: bromine, stench
bronch/o: bronchial tube
bronchi: The two large air tubes of the lungs branching from the trachea. Secondary bronchi, called bronchioles, branch from bronchi.
bronchi/o: bronchial tube
bronchiectasis: Persistent abnormal dilatation of the bronchi caused by chronic infection and inflammation.
bronchitis: Inflammation of the large airways often caused by bacterial and viral infections and by cigarette smoke.
bronchoconstriction: Narrowing of the lumen of the bronchi restricting airway into and out of the lungs.
bronchodilator: Substance that expands the bronchi and bronchioles, increasing airflow to the lungs.
bronchopulmonary: Pertaining to the bronchi and lungs.
bronchorrhea: Abnormal discharge of mucus from the bronchi.
bronchoscopes: Endoscopes for the visualization of the interior of the bronchi.
bronchoscopy: Visual examination and possibly treatment of the bronchi, throat, larynx and trachea using a fiber optical device.
bronchospasm: Excessive narrowing of the smooth muscles of the bronchi. Can be heard as a wheezing sound.
bruise: A contusion.
bruit: A murmur heard while auscultating the carotid artery.
bruxism: A disorder characterized by grinding and clenching of the teeth.
BSA: body surface area
BSE: breast self-examination
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.
bulimia: Eating an excess amount of food in a short period of time. It is caused by an abnormal craving for food.
Bulimia Nervosa: An eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by inappropriate purging (e.g. vomiting or using laxatives) to avoid weight gain.
bulla: A fluid-filled blister with a diameter over 5 mm.
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.
BUN: blood urea nitrogen
bundle branch block: A type of heart block where the electrical signals to the ventricles are interrupted at the Bundle of HIS, preventing the simultaneous depolarization of the two ventricles.
bundle of his: Cells that conduct electrical impulses from the atrioventricular node to the ventricles.
bunion: An area of thick tissue over the metatarsal phalangeal joint at the base of the great toe.
bupropion: An antidepressant drug used as an aid to smoking cessation.
burn: Tissue injury caused by heat, cold, chemicals, electricity, radiation and ultraviolet light.
burs/o: bursa (fluid sac near joints)
bursitis: Inflammation of a bursa, the fibrous sac that acts as a cushion between moving structures of bones, muscles, tendons or skin.
butter: The fatty part of milk, separated when milk or cream is churned. A soft, solid, yellowish substance.
buttocks: Either of two fleshy protuberances at the lower posterior section of the trunk or hip consisting of gluteal muscles and fat.
BW: body weight
BWS: battered woman syndrome
C: Calorie (kilocalorie)
C&S: culture and sensitivity
ca.: about; approximately
CABG: coronary artery bypass graft
cachexia: General ill health, malnutrition, and weight loss, usually associated with chronic disease.
cacophony: A harsh, discordant sound or mixture of sounds.
CAD: coronary artery disease
caffeine: An alkaloid drug, found in coffee and tea that simulates the central nervous system increasing alertness. It is also a diuretic.
CAH: chronic active hepatitis
Cal: large calorie
calamine: A lotion or ointment used as mild astringent on the skin.
calcaneus: The largest of the tarsal bones, situated at the lower and back part of the foot, forming the heel.
calcification: Process by which organic tissue becomes hardened by the physiologic deposit of calcium salts.
calcinosis: The abnormal deposition of calcium salts in tissues.
calcitonin: A hormone secreted by the thyroid gland. It helps regulate calcium levels.
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.
calcium channel blockers: A class of drugs that inhibit calcium influx through cellular membranes. Used to reduce cardiac workload to treat hypertension or angina.
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.
candidiasis: An infection of moist skin areas caused by yeast. Often due to a weakened immune system or heavy antibiotic use.
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.
capillaries: The minute blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells. They connect the arterioles and venules.
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.
capillary fragility: The susceptibility of capillaries, under conditions of increased stress, to rupture. Seen as bleeding under the skin.
capillary hemangioma: A common benign tumors of infancy caused by an abnormal buildup of blood vessels under the skin. Also called a 'strawberry mark'.
capn/o: carbon dioxide
capnography: Continuous recording of the concentration of carbon dioxide in exhaled air.
capsid: The outer protein protective shell of a virus.
capsule endoscopes: A pill sized video camera encased in a capsule, designed to be swallowed and subsequently traverse the gastrointestinal tract while transmitting diagnostic images.
capsulitis: Inflammation of the capsule surrounding a joint.
carbohydrates: The largest class of organic compounds, including starch, glycogen, cellulose, polysaccharides, and simple monosaccharides. They constitute a main source of energy for body functions.
carbon dioxide: A colorless, odorless gas formed in body tissues during metabolism. It is carried in the blood to the lungs and then exhaled.
carbon monoxide: A colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is very poisonous.
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.
carbuncle: A skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles. The infected material forms a lump, which occurs deep in the skin and may contain pus.
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: Cancer that originates in skin cells or tissue lining organs.
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.
cardia: That part of the stomach close to the opening from esophagus into the stomach. The cardia is so named because of its closeness to the heart.
cardiac: Of or pertaining to the heart.
cardiac catheterization: A diagnostic procedure for creating an angiogram using a contrast agent. Also used for treating blocked arteries.
cardiac tamponade: A dangerous compression of the heart by accumulated fluid (pericardial effusion) or blood in the pericardium surrounding the heart.
cardiology: The study of the heart, its physiology, and its functions.
cardiomegaly: An enlargement of the heart. Multiple causes.
cardiomyopathy: Disease of the heart muscle. Can be congenital, or acquired from infections, alcoholism, thyroid disease, toxic drugs.
cardiopulmonary resuscitation: An emergency procedure for life support consisting of manual, external heart massage and artificial respiration.
cardiotoxin: An agent that has damaging effect on the heart.
cardiovascular disease: A pathological condition involving the cardiovascular system including the heart, the blood vessels or the pericardium.
cardiovascular system: The heart and the blood vessels by which blood is pumped and circulated through the body.
carditis: Inflammation of the heart. Three types are pericarditis (pericardium), myocarditis (heart muscle) and endocarditis (endocardium).
carotene: A red or yellow organic compound found in sweet potatoes, egg yolk, carrots, spinach, broccoli and other leafy vegetables.
carotid arteries: The two major arteries of the neck that supply blood to the head; each artery has two branches, internal and external.
carotid bruit: A murmur auscultated over the carotid artery on the neck. It can indicate arterial narrowing and an increased risk of stroke.
carotid stenosis: Narrowing of any part of the carotid arteries, most often due to atherosclerotic plaque formation.
carotid ultrasonography: A diagnostic imaging technique to reveal structural details of the carotid arteries.
carpal: Relating to the wrist.
carpal bones: The eight bones of the wrist: scaphoid bone; lunate bone; triquetrum bone; pisiform bone; trapezium bone; trapezoid bone; capitate bone; and hamate bone.
carpal tunnel syndrome: A common source of hand numbness and pain. Can be associated with repetitive occupational trauma, wrist injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, and pregnancy.
carrier: A person who carries a microorganism without manifesting signs or symptoms of infection and who can readily transmit the disease to another host.
cartilage: A non-vascular form of connective tissue composed of chondrocytes embedded in a matrix. There are three major types: hyaline cartilage; fibrocartilage; and elastic cartilage.
caseation: The breakdown of diseased tissue into a cheese-like substance. Typical of tuberculosis.
casein: A nutritive milk protein containing all of the common amino acids and rich in the essential ones.
castration: Removal of the sex glands.
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.
cataract: A clouding of the eye's lens.
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.
catatonia: A neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by the patient becoming mute or immobile with extreme muscular rigidity.
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.
cauda equina: The lower part of the spinal cord consisting of the lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal nerve roots.
caul: Amniotic sac that encloses the fetus.
caus/o: burn, burning
causalgia: A complex regional pain syndrome characterized by burning pain and marked sensitivity to touch in the distribution of an injured peripheral nerve.
causality: The relating of causes to the effects they produce. This influence must be predictable and reproducible.
caustic: A substance that destroys living tissue.
cav/o: cavity, hollow
cavity: A hollow enclosed area.
cavogram: An angiogram of the vena cava, inferior or superior.
cavum: Any hollow, enclose area.
CBC: complete blood count
CBT: cognitive behavioral therapy
CC: chief complaint
CCU: coronary care unit; critical care unit
CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
cec/o: cecum, first section of colon
cecum: The outpouching area of the large intestine that is below the entrance of the small intestine. It has a worm-like extension, the vermiform appendix.
cefaclor: Semisynthetic, broad-spectrum antibiotic derivative of cephalexin.
celiac: Pertaining to the abdominal cavity.
celiac artery: The arterial trunk that arises from the abdominal aorta and after a short course divides into the left gastric, common hepatic and splenic arteries.
celiac disease: A disease whose symptoms are precipitated by foods containing gluten, characterized by inflammation of the small intestine. An autoimmune disease.
cell: The fundamental unit of all living tissue. They consist of a nucleus, cytoplasm and various organelles enclosed by a plasma membrane.
cellulitis: A common skin infection caused by bacteria. It affects the middle layer of the skin (dermis) and the tissues below. S
cellulose: The chief constituent of plant fiber. Indigestible roughage.
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.
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.
central line: IV line inserted for continuous access to a central vein.
central nervous system: The main information-processing organs of the nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges.
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.
cephalic: Cranial. Relating to the head.
cercaria: The free-swimming larval forms of parasites found in an intermediate host.
cerclage: Binding together the ends of an oblique bone fracture or the chips of a broken patella.
cerebell/o: cerebellum (posterior section of brain)
cerebellum: The part of brain located behind the brainstem in the posterior base of skull (posterior cranial fossa). It coordinates voluntary muscle activity, balance and tone.
cerebral contusion: A bruise of the brain tissue . Frequently caused by a blow to the head.
cerebral edema: An abnormal accumulation of fluid in brain tissue. Brain swelling.
cerebral hemorrhage: Bleeding into one or both cerebral hemispheres.
cerebral palsy: A chronic childhood disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills.
cerebrospinal fluid: A watery fluid that is continuously produced in the choroid plexus and circulates around the surface of the brain, the spinal cord and in the cerebral ventricles.
cerebrovascular accident: A stroke. It is caused by the interruption of the brain’s blood supply, usually because a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by a clot, or a space-occupying lesion such as a tumor.
cerebrovascular disorders: One of several pathological conditions of impaired blood flow in the brain.
cerebrum: The largest, uppermost part of the brain. Responsible for initiating and coordinating all voluntary body activity. The cerebral cortex is responsible for intellectual activities.
cerumen: The yellow or brown waxy secretions produced by sweat glands in the external ear canal. Earwax.
cervic/o: neck, cervix
cervical: Pertaining to the neck.
cervical cancer: A neoplasm of the cervix of the uterus.
cervical dysplasia: The abnormal growth of precancerous cells on the surface of the cervix.
cervical radiculopathy: A pinched nerve. It occurs when a nerve in the neck is irritated as it leaves the spinal canal.
cervicitis: An inflammation of the cervix
cervix uteri: The neck portion of the uterus between the lower isthmus and the vagina forming the cervical canal.
cesarean section: A surgical incision through the abdominal wall and uterus, performed to deliver a fetus.
CF: cystic fibrosis
chafing: Irritation of the skin due to rubbing against skin or clothing.
chalazion: A small bump on the eyelid that forms due to blockage and swelling of an oil gland at the base of the eyelash.
chancre: The primary sore of syphilis. A painless ulcer occurring at the site of entry of the infection.
chancroid: Acute, highly contagious bacterial disease usually acquired through sexual contact. A venereal ulcer.
chapped: Relating to a dry, cracked, reddish skin condition, usually of the hands, caused by excessive moisture evaporation or cold.
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.
CHB: complete heart block
CHD: congenital heart disease; coronary heart disease
cheilitis: Inflammation of the lips.
cheiralgia: Pain in the hands.
chemotaxis: The movement of cells or organisms in response to chemicals.
chemotherapy: Treatment of cancer and other diseases by means of chemical agents.
chest: The part of the body between the neck and the abdomen. Thorax.
cheyne-stokes respiration: An abnormal pattern of breathing characterized by apnea followed by increasingly deep, rapid breathing.
CHF: congestive heart failure
chigger: A blood sucking stage of mites.
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.
chin: The prominence formed by the anterior projection of the mandible and the soft tissue covering it.
chlamydia: A common sexually transmitted disease.
chloasma: A condition in which brown patches appear on the face. Can be caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy or from sun exposure.
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.
choanal: A funnel-shaped opening.
choking: A condition of the respiratory airways being blocked by an obstruction or constriction of the neck or swelling of the larynx.
chol/e: bile, gall
cholangi/o: bile vessel
cholangitis: Inflammation of the bile ducts due to bacterial infection or blockage.
cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder.
choledoch/o: common bile duct
cholelithiasis: Presence or formation of gallstones in the gallbladder.
cholera: An acute diarrheal disease endemic in India and Southeast Asia.
cholestasis: Impairment of bile flow.
cholesterol: The principal sterol of the body. Contributes to cell structure and digestive bile. Helps produce vitamin D and some hormones.
chondral: Pertaining to cartilage.
chondrocyte: Polymorphic cells that form cartilage.
chondrogenesis: The development of cartilage.
chondroma: A benign tumor derived from mesodermal cells that form cartilage
Chondromalacia: Abnormal softening or degeneration of cartilage. A common runner's injury in the knees.
chondrosarcoma: A slowly growing malignant neoplasm of cartilage cells, occurring most frequently in pelvic bones, scapula or in long bones.
chordoma: A rare, malignant tumor that develops from the embryonic remains of the notochord.
chorea: A condition marked by involuntary, purposeless, rapid, jerky movements.
chori/o: chorion (outer fetal sac)
chorion: The embryonic membrane surrounding the developing embryo. The chorion evolves into the fetal contribution of the placenta.
chorionic villus sampling: A prenatal diagnostic test to detect chromosomal problems
choroid: The thin, highly vascular layer between the retina and sclera.
choroiditis: Inflammation of the choroid layer of the eye.
chromatography: Techniques used for separating and analyzing a chemical mixture.
chronic: Prolonged. Long-term.
chronic fatigue syndrome: A debilitating disorder characterized by extreme fatigue or tiredness that doesn't go away with rest.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Respiratory diseases which affect bronchial air movement, causing breathing problems. Includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
chyle: The opaque, milky-white fluid consisting mainly of emulsified fats that passes through the lacteals of the small intestines into the lymphatic system.
chylothorax: An accumulation of chyle in the pleural space.
chym/o: juice, to pour
cicatrix: A scar left after the healing of a wound.
cili-: eyelid, eyelash
cilia: Thick protuberances from epithelial cells.
circadian: Relating to biologic rhythms with a cycle time of about 24 hours.
circle of willis: A vascular network at the base of the brain.
circulation: The circuit of blood through the network of arteries and veins.
circumcision: Surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis.
circumduction: A conical movement of a limb extending from the joint.
cirrhosis: A chronic, progressive liver disease in which liver cells are replaced by scar tissue.
cis-: on the same side, on the near side
claustr/o: closed space
claustrophobia: The irrational fear of confined spaces.
clavicle: The collar bone.
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
clitoris: An erectile structure homologous with the penis, situated beneath the anterior labial commissure, partially hidden between the anterior ends of the labia minora.
CLL: chronic lymphocytic leukemia
clot: A soft, insoluble mass formed by blood or lymph.
clubfoot: A congenital deformed foot in which the patient cannot stand with sole flat on the ground.
CME: continuing medical education
CML: chronic myelogenous leukemia
CNS: central nervous system
CO: carbon monoxide
co-: together, jointly
CO2: carbon dioxide
CoAg.: coarctation of the aorta
coagul/o: coagulation, clotting
coagulate: To change a liquid into a gel or solid.
coarse crackle: An abnormal breath sound that is discontinuous, brief and popping.
COBRA: Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
coccyg/o: coccyx (tailbone)
cochle/o: cochlea (inner part of ear)
cochlea: The part of the inner ear (labyrinth) that is concerned with hearing.
cochlear implant: An electronic device that provides a sense of sound to deaf or severely hard of hearing people.
coercion: The use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance.
coinfection: Simultaneous infection of a host organism by two or more pathogens.
coitus: Sexual intercourse.
cold: A contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Transmitted by coughing and sneezing.
colitis: Inflammation of the colon.
collagen: A fibrous protein comprising about one third of the total protein in the body. It is a main constituent of skin, bone, ligaments and cartilage.
colon: The main segment of large intestine.
colonoscopy: Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon.
color blindness: A weakness or inability to distinguish colors. A common form is the inability to distinguish red from green.
colorectal cancer: A malignant neoplasm of the large intestine.
colostomy: The surgical construction of an opening between the colon and the surface of the body.
colostrum: Milk produced in late pregnancy. High in protein and antibody content.
colposcopy: The examination of the cervix and vagina by means of an endoscope introduced vaginally.
colpotomy: An incision in the vagina.
com-: jointly, together
coma: A deep state of unconsciousness. No voluntary motor signs.
comatose: Pertaining to a state of coma.
comedo: A blackhead.
communicable: Able to be transmitted, particularly a disease.
complexion: The color, texture and overall appearance of facial skin.
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.
conception: When a spermatozoon enters an ovum. The beginning of pregnancy.
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.
concuss/o: shaken together
concussion: A traumatic brain injury. Measure severity by universal Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)
condition: The state of being.
conditioning: Learning that takes place when a conditioned stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus.
condom: A sheath that is worn over the penis during sex in order to prevent pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted disease.
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.
congenital heart defect: An abnormality that is present at birth and can affect the structure and function of an infant's heart.
congestion: Presence of abnormal amounts of fluids in an organ or vessel.
congestive heart failure: The heart isn't able to pump sufficient blood. Typical causes are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
conjugate: Paired or joined.
conjunctiv/o: mucous membrane that lines the inner surface of eyelids
conjunctiva: The mucous membrane that covers the posterior surface of the eyelids and the anterior pericorneal surface of the eyeball.
conjunctivitis: An inflammation of the clear tissue that lines the white part of the eye. Also called pink eye.
Conn syndrome: Associated with increased secretion of the hormone aldosterone by the adrenal glands.
consanguinity: Kinship. The hereditary relationship between persons.
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.
consolidation: The state of the lung when alveoli are filled with fluid, as in pneumonia.
constipation: Infrequent or difficult evacuation of feces.
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.
contra-: against, opposite
contraception: Prevention of impregnation.
contraction: A shortening or increase in tension. In labor, the rhythmic tightening of the uterus.
contracture: A condition that occurs when normally elastic tissues are replaced by inelastic fiber-like tissue.
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.
contus/o: to bruise
contusion: Injury caused by a blow to the body but that does not break the skin. A bruise. Characterized by swelling, pain and discoloration.
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.
cool down: Gradually decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and body temperature after exercise.
COPD: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
coping: The process of dealing with to problems in life in a way to work through them.
copulation: Sexual union.
corn: A hardened mass of epithelial cells usually found on the sole of the feet.
cornea: The transparent, convex, anterior part of eye. It is the main refractory structure of the eye.
corneal edema: An excessive amount of fluid in the cornea due to damage of the epithelium or endothelium causing decreased visual acuity.
coron/o: encircle, crown
coronary artery: Supplies blood to the heart muscles from the aorta.
coronary artery bypass: Surgical procedure which uses a healthy blood vessel segment, such as a vein, to bypass a blocked section of a coronary artery.
coronary artery disease: Reduced blood flow through the coronary arteries, resulting in chest pain and heart damage.
coronary occlusion: Obstruction of blood flow through one of the coronary arteries.
coronary thrombosis: Coagulation of blood in the coronary arteries. Can lead to myocardial infarction.
coroner: A public official who investigates cases of unnatural death.
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.
cortic/o: cortex, outer section
cortisol: The primary stress hormone.
costal: Pertaining to the ribs.
costochondritis: A benign inflammation of one or more of the costal cartilages. Usually caused by overuse of chest wall muscles.
cough: A sudden, audible exhalation of air from the lungs through a partially closed glottis. It serves to clear the airways or lungs of irritants or to prevent aspiration of foreign materials.
coumadin: Medication to treat blood clots and prevent new clots from forming. Commonly used for chronic atrial fibrillation.
CP: cerebral palsy
CPAP: constant positive airway pressure
CPR: cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CPT: Current Procedural Terminology
CR: conditioned reflex
cranial: aPertaining to the cranium.
cranium: The skeleton of the head, holding the brain.
crash cart: A cart carrying emergency medical equipment and supplies. Found in hospitals, particularly in emergency and intensive care departments.
craving: An intense desire to consume a substance.
creat-: meat, flesh
cremation: Incinerating a corpse.
crepitation: A crackling sound that occurs in joints.
CREST: calcinosis, Raynaud phenomenon, esophageal dysfunction, sclerodactyly, telangiectasia
cretinism: A congenital condition caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormone.
crisis: The turning point of a disease.
critical care: Health care provided to a critically ill patient during a medical emergency or crisis.
Crohn disease: Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract thought to be caused by inherited and environmental factors and a defect in the immune system.
croup: Pediatric respiratory infection causing swelling near the vocal cords. It is characterized by a barking cough or stridor.
cry/o: very cold
CSD: cat scratch disease
CSF: cerebrospinal fluid
CSH: combat support hospital
CT: computed tomography
cubit/o: elbow, forearm
cubital: Pertaining to the elbow or forearm.
CUC: chronic ulcerative colitis
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.
Cushing syndrome: A condition when abnormally high levels of a hormone called cortisol are present.
cuspid: A tooth with one cusp. In particular, he third tooth to the left and to the right of the midline of either jaw.
CVA: cerebrovascular accident
CVP: central venous pressure
CVS: cardiovascular system
CXR: chest x-ray
cyanosis: A bluish or purplish discoloration of the skin or mucous membranes due to inadequate oxygen in the blood.
cycl/o: recurring, round
cyst/o: urinary bladder, cyst, sac of fluid
cystic: Characterized by cysts.
cystic fibrosis: A genetic disease of the exocrine glands. Large amounts of thick mucus clog the lungs and obstruct the airways.
cystitis: Inflammation of the urinary bladder.
cystocele: A prolapse of the bladder into the vagina.
cytokines: Substances, such as interferon, interleukin, and growth factors, that are secreted by certain cells of the immune system that act as intercellular mediators.
cytomegalovirus: A virus that can be inactive within healthy people, but can cause severe pneumonia when immune systems are suppressed. Symptoms similar to mononucleosis.
D&C: dilatation and curettage
D&V: diarrhea & vomiting
dacryoadenitis: Inflammation of the lacrimal glands (the eye’s tear-producing glands).
dacryocystitis: Inflammation of the lacrimal sac.
dactyl/o: fingers, toes
dactylitis: Painful inflammation of the fingers or toes.
dander: Fine, dry scales from the scalp.
dandruff: Excessive shedding of dry scaly material from the scalp.
dantrolene: Muscle relaxant drug.
dark adaptation: Adjustment of the retina and pupil of the eyes under conditions of low light enabling increased sensitivity to light.
DAW: dispense as written
DBP: diastolic blood pressure
DDx: differential diagnosis
de-: lack of, without, less, down
DEA: Drug Enforcement Agency
deafness: A general term for the complete loss of the ability to hear from both ears.
death: Irreversible cessation of all bodily functions.
debridement: A procedure used to remove dead tissue and contaminated substances from a wound, by soaking or excising.
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.
decidua: The membrane lining the wall of the uterus during pregnancy.
decongestant: A substance that reduces nasal congestion.
decubitus: The recumbent position. Lying on one's side.
deep: Below the surface of the skin or within body cavity or limbs.
deet: A common insect repellent.
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.
defibrillation: Use of an electronic device to give an electric shock to the heart to reestablish normal cardiac rhythm.
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.
delirium: A state of mental confusion that can occur due to illness, surgery or using certain medications.
delirium tremens: The most severe form of alcohol withdrawal, causing confusion, irregular heart rate, and sweating.
deltoid: Thick triangular muscle in the shoulder whose function is to abduct, flex, and extend the arm.
delusion: A belief that is clearly false.
dem/o: people, population
dementia: A group of symptoms caused by brain disorder. Not a specific disease. Causes are peripheral vascular disease, stroke, toxins, or Alzheimer's.
dendrite: Short branches of the nerve cell body that receive stimuli from other neurons.
dengue: An acute febrile disease transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. It occurs in tropical regions and is characterized by fever, severe pain, headache and rash.
denial: Refusal to admit the truth or reality of a situation or experience.
dentin: The main material of teeth. It is surrounded by pulp, covered by enamel on the crown and cementum on the root.
deodorant: A substance that represses or masks odors.
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.
depersonalization: A feeling of unreality concerning the self or the environment.
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.
dermatitis: Inflammation of the skin. May be caused by allergic reaction, drugs, infection or sun exposure.
dermatology: A medical specialty concerned with the structure, functions, diseases and treatment of the skin.
dermis: A layer of vascularized connective tissue underneath the epidermis. Embedded in or beneath it are glands, hair follicles, nerves and lymphatic vessels.
desiccation: Removal of moisture from a substance.
desmoid tumor: A dense, fibrous neoplasm. Occurs on the abdomen, upper arms, neck and head.
desmosomes: An area of contact between adjacent cells, particularly epithelia.
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: diabetes insipidus
di-: two, twice, double
dia-: complete, through
diabetes insipidus: A hormonal condition that causes the individual to have excessive and frequent urination. Inadequate ADH secretion.
diabetes mellitus: A grouping of diseases that affect how the body uses glucose. Type I is lack of insulin, Type II is insulin resistance.
diabetic retinopathy: The most common diabetic eye disease. It occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged. Leading cause of blindness in working age adults.
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.
dialysis: A therapeutic procedure used in patients with kidney failure for removal of harmful wastes and fluids from the blood.
diaper rash: Dermatitis of the buttocks and thighs due to contact with urine or feces.
diaphoresis: Profuse sweating that is artificially induced.
diaphragm: The muscle sheet that that separates the thoracic cavity from the abdomen. The diaphragm's contraction and relaxation changes the volume of the thoracic cavity, aiding breathing.
diarrhea: The onset of three or more loose or liquid bowel movements in a day.
diastole: Part of the heart rhythm when the ventricles passively relax and refill with blood.
diastolic blood pressure: Atrial blood pressure during diastole when the heart is resting. The second number in a blood pressure reading.
diathesis: Genetic predisposition to certain diseases or abnormalities.
DIC: disseminated intravascular coagulation
dicrotic: A heartbeat with two separate peaks.
dielectric: Insulating material that can be polarized by an applied electric field.
dietary fiber: Indigestible carbohydrate materials. Can be soluble or insoluble in water.
dietetic: Pertaining to food and nutrition.
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.
dig: digitalis; digoxin
digestion: The process of converting food into absorbable substances for metabolism and use by the body.
digestive system: A group of structures, organs and glands stretching from the mouth to the anus, that breakdown food substances, absorb nutrients and remove waste.
digit/o: finger, toe
digitalis: Medicines that strengthen heart contraction and to slow heart rates, particularly for atrial fibrillation.
digitization: The conversion of images, sounds or text into a digital form.
dil: dilute; diluted
dilat/o: enlarge, expand
dilation: Causing the increase in the diameter of an organ, vessel or body opening.
diopter: A unit of measurement of the refractive power of a lens.
dioxin: Highly toxic, persistent environmental pollutant. A contaminant of a widely used herbicide.
diphtheria: A bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract that causes a thick web to form in the back of the throat. May be fatal. Preventable with immunization. Can also damage heart muscle and nerves.
dipl/o: double, two-sided
diplegia: Paralysis involving both sides of the body.
diplopia: Double vision.
dipsomania: Uncontrollable, recurring craving for alcohol.
dis-: twice, apart, not
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.
dislocation: Displacement of a body part from its normal position. Commonly used to refer to a bone displaced from a joint.
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.
dist/o: distant, far
distal: farthest from the origin
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.
diuresis: Increased excretion of urine.
diuretics: Medication that promote the excretion of urine, decreasing fluids in the blood vessels and reducing blood pressure. Also known as water pills.
diurnal: Daily or relating to daylight hours.
diverticulitis: An inflammation in the diverticula of the intestinal tract.
diverticulosis: The presence of multiple pouches, usually in the colonic or gastric wall.
diverticulum: A pouch or sac developed from a tubular or saccular organ, such as the gastrointestinal tract.
DJD: degenerative joint disease
DKA: diabetic ketoacidosis
DM: diabetes mellitus
DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid
DNR: do not resuscitate
DOA: dead on arrival
DOB: date of birth
DOE: dyspnea on exertion
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.
dopamine: A central nervous system neurotransmitter.
doppler effect: Changes in the observed frequency of sound, light, or radio waves due to the relative motion of source and observer.
dors/o: back of body
dorsal: Pertaining to the back or posterior.
dorsiflexion: The movement of the ankle joint that brings the dorsal (top region) of the foot towards the shin.
dorsum: top of the foot
down syndrome: A congenital disorder characterized by small size, hypotonia, protruding tongue, small ears, short, broad hands and cognitive impairment.
DPL: diagnostic peritoneal lavage
DPT: diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (vaccine)
drainage: The removal of fluids or discharges from the body, such as from a wound, sore, or cavity.
DRE: digital rectal examination
DRG: diagnosis-related group
dry eye syndrome: Corneal and conjunctival dryness due to deficient tear production.
dry socket: An inflammation of a tooth socket, that can occur after tooth extraction, caused by the disintegration of a blood clot.
DSB: drug-seeking behavior
DTR: deep tendon reflex
DTs: delirium tremens
DUB: dysfunctional uterine bleeding
duct/o: to lead
duodenitis: Inflammation of the duodenum section of the small intestine.
duodenum: The proximal (first) portion of the small intestine, extending from the pylorus to the jejunum.
dur/o: hard, dura mater
dura mater: The dense, leathery membrane covering and protecting the brain and spinal cord.
DVT: deep vein thrombosis
dwarfism: Abnormally short in stature.
DWI: driving while intoxicated
dynam/o: power, strength
dys-: bad, painful, abnormal
dysarthria: Difficulty in articulating words caused by impairment of the pharynx, larynx, tongue, or face muscles.
dysentery: Acute inflammation of the intestine marked by frequent watery stools, often with blood and by pain, fever, and dehydration.
dysgenesis: Defective development.
dyskinesia: Involuntary muscle movements of the face, trunk, neck and extremities and difficulty with voluntary movements. Often associated with the use of certain medications.
dyslexia: A common condition that affects the way the brain processes written and spoken language.
dysmenorrhea: Painful cramps that can occur immediately before or during the menstrual period.
dyspepsia: Impaired digestion, especially after eating.
dysphagia: Difficulty in swallowing.
dysphonia: Difficulty in speaking.
dysplasia: Abnormal development in tissues or organs.
dysplastic nevi: Unusual, benign moles that may resemble melanoma.
dyspnea: Difficult or labored breathing. Can indicate heart failure or a respiratory abnormality.
dyssomnia: A disorder in which normal sleep patterns are disrupted.
dystocia: Difficult childbirth.
dystonia: A disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause slow repetitive movements or abnormal postures.
dystrophy: Any abnormal condition caused by defective nutrition
dysuria: Painful or difficult urination.
Eaerosols: A liquid or particulate solution dispensed as a mist.
ear: The hearing and equilibrium system of the body. Sound vibration is transduced to nerve signals that pass through the acoustic nerve to the central nervous system. The inner ear contains the vestibular organ that responsible for equilibrium.
earache: Pain in the ear.
EBL: estimated blood loss
ebola virus: A virus causing acute, often fatal, infections. Transmitted from animals to humans and from human to human.
ebstein anomaly: A congenital heart defect characterized by third and fourth heart sounds and a systolic murmur best heard at the tricuspid position. The tricuspid valve is displaced downward and the right atrium is usually enlarged.
EBV: Epstein-Barr virus
ec-: outside, out
ecchymosis: Discolored skin due to subcutaneous bleeding larger than 1cm. Commonly called a bruise.
eccrine glands: Simple sweat glands that secrete sweat directly onto the skin.
ECF: extended care facility
echin/o: spiny, prickly
echo-: reflected sound
echocardiography: A noninvasive diagnostic procedure that uses ultrasound to study to structure and motions of the heart and blood flow.
echoencephalography: The use of ultrasound waves to study brain structures.
echolalia: The automatic and meaningless repetition of another person's spoken words.
eclampsia: A toxic disorder characterized by convulsions and possibly coma during or immediately after pregnancy
ECMO: extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
ecotype: A subspecies that is genetically adapted to a particular habitat.
ECT: electroconvulsive therapy
ecto-: out, outward
ectomorph: A slender, lean body type.
ectopic beats: Heartbeat electrical impulses generated from cardiac locations other than the SA node.
ectopic pregnancy: When a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus.
ectr/o: congenital absence
ectropion: A condition where the lower eyelid droops away from the eye and turns outwards.
eczema: Inflammation of the skin. Multiple causes.
ED: emergency department
ED (2): erectile dysfunction
EDD: estimated date of delivery
edema: Swelling due to excess fluid in the body's tissues.
EENT: eye, ear, nose, and throat
EF: ejection fraction
efferent pathways: The route of nerve structures carrying impulses away from a nerve center toward a peripheral site.
effusion: The escape of fluid.
EGF: epidermal growth factor
egg: A female reproductive cell prior to fertilization.
ego: The part of a person that is conscious and thinks. The self.
EIA: exercise-induced asthma
eidetic: Pertaining to the ability to accurately visualize events or objects from experience.
ejaculation: The sudden emission of semen from the male urethra.
ejection click: A sharp clicking sound heard during cardiac auscultation.
ejection fraction: The portion of the total ventricular filling volume that is ejected during a heart beat.
elasticity: Resistance and recovery from distortion of shape.
elation: The feeling of euphoria, excitement, joyfulness, satisfaction and optimism.
elbow joint: A hinge joint connecting the forearm to the arm.
electric impedance: The measure of the opposition that a circuit presents to a current when a voltage is applied.
electrocardiogram: A recording of the electrical activity of the heart. Within each heartbeat, electrical waves travel through the heart. For a normally functioning heart, the P wave indicates atrial contraction, then after a short pause, the QRS complex indicates ventricular contraction and then a T wave marks the relaxation of the ventricles. EKGs are recorded on a chart paper, displayed on a monitor or digitally captured.
electrocardiography: The process of recording the electrical activity of the heart.
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.
electroencephalography: A test to measure the electrical activity of the brain.
electrolysis: Destruction by using a galvanic electric current.
electrolyte: A substances that dissociates into two or more ions and can then conduct an electric current.
electrolytes: Minerals in the blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge.
electromyography: A test of the health of the muscles and the nerves that control the muscles.
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,
elimination: Removal of waste products from the body.
ELISA: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
elliptocytosis: Condition of having an abnormal number of elliptical red cells in the blood.
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.
embolectomy: An emergency surgical removal of an obstructing clot or foreign material.
embolism: A blood vessel blockage by a blood clot or other undissolved material in the bloodstream.
embryo: Any organism in the earliest stages of development.
embryo-: related to embryo
embryology: The study of the development of an organism during the embryonic and fetal stages of life.
emetics: Pertaining to or causing vomiting.
emmetr/o: correct measure
emmetropia: A state when rays are focused correctly on the retina of a relaxed eye.
emotion: Any state of arousal in response to external events or memories.
emphysema: A chronic lung disease characterized by decreased numbers of alveoli and eventual destruction of alveoli walls. Caused by genetic defects and smoking.
empyema: Presence of pus in a hollow organ or body cavity. Abscess.
EMS: emergency medical service
en-: in, within
enanti/o: opposed, opposite
enarthrosis: A ball and socket joint.
encephalitis: A inflammation of the brain. Symptoms include headache, fever, vomiting, stiff neck and lethargy.
encopresis: The loss of the ability to control bowel movements.
end-: within, inner
endarterectomy: A surgical procedure to remove the plaque material in the lining of an artery.
endarterial: Relating to the interior lining of the artery.
endarteritis: Inflammation of the inner endothelial lining of an artery.
endemic: Present or usually prevalent in a population or geographical area at all times.
endocardi/o: endocardium (inner lining of the heart)
endocardial: Situated or occurring within the heart.
endocarditis: Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart chamber and valves. Usually caused by bacterial infection.
endocardium: The innermost layer of the heart, consisting of endothelial cells.
endocervicitis: Inflammation of the mucous lining of the uterine cervix.
endocrine system: The system of glands that release their secretions (hormones) directly into the circulatory system.
endocrinology: A subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with the metabolism, physiology, and disorders of the endocrine system.
endoderm: The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo.
endometri/o: endometrium (mucous membrane lining the uterus)
endometriosis: A painful, chronic disease where the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside it. May spread anywhere in the abdominal cavity.
endometrium: The mucous membrane comprising the inner layer of the uterine wall.
endomorph: A body type that is relatively soft and round.
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.
endothelium: A layer of epithelium that lines the heart, blood vessels, lymph vessels and the serous cavities of the body.
endovascular procedures: Within a blood vessel.
enema: A solution or compound that is introduced into the rectum with the purpose of cleansing the colon or for diagnostic procedures.
ENT: ear, nose, and throat
ent-: within, inside
enter/o: small intestines
enteritis: Inflammation of any segment of the small intestine.
enterocolitis: Inflammation of the mucous membrane of both small and large intestines.
enterocytes: Columnar cells of the small intestine responsible for the final digestion and absorption of nutrients, electrolytes and water.
enterostomy: Creation of an artificial external opening or fistula in the intestines.
entropion: The eyelid is rolled inward toward the eye.
enuresis: Involuntary discharge of urine after completed development of urinary control.
enzyme: Any protein that acts as a catalyst,
EOM: extraocular muscles
eosinophils: A type of white blood cell. A granulocyte often increased with allergies and/or parasite infections.
ependyma: A thin membrane that lines the cerebral ventricles and the central canal of the spinal cord.
ephemera: Printed matter of passing interest.
epi-: above, on, following
epicardium: The inner layer of the pericardium, covering the heart.
epicondylitis: Tennis elbow. Occurs from partial or complete tears of the tendons of the forearm, or from overuse, a strain.
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.
epidermis: The superficial avascular layers of the skin,
epididym/o: epididymis (structure within the scrotum that stores sperm)
epididymis: The convoluted cordlike structure attached to the posterior of the testis.
epididymitis: Inflammation of the epididymis.
epidural: On or over the dura mater.
epidural anesthesia: A regional anesthesia that blocks pain.
epiglott/o: epiglottis (cartilage that prevents food from entering the trachea)
epiglottis: Cartilage that prevents food from entering the trachea.
epiglottitis: Inflammation of the epiglottis.
epilation: Removal of a hair by its roots.
epilepsy: A general term for conditions with recurring seizures.
epimysium: The fibrous connective tissue surrounding a skeletal muscle.
epinephrine: A hormone secreted by the medulla of the adrenal glands. Commonly called adrenaline.
epineural: On a neural arch of a vertebra.
epineurium: The sheath of a peripheral nerve.
epiphora: Overflow of tears due to obstruction of the lacrimal duct.
episclera: The loose connective tissue between the sclera and the conjunctiva.
episcleritis: An inflammation of the sclera, causing redness of the eye.
episiotomy: An incision made in the perineum to widens the opening of the vagina during childbirth.
epispadias: A birth defect due to malformation of the urethra.
epistaxis: Nose bleed.
epithelial cells: Cells that line the inner and outer surfaces of the body by forming cellular layers or masses.
epithelium: layers of cells that line hollow organs and glands. It is also those cells that make up the outer surface of the body
epitope: Any site on an antigen that interact with specific antibodies.
eponym: The name of a disease, procedure or body structure that is based upon the name of the discoverer.
epulis: A swelling on the gum.
ER: Emergency Room,
ERBF: effective renal blood flow
ERCP: endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
erectile dysfunction: The consistent inability in the male to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Impotence.
ergo-: work, energy
ergometry: Measuring the amount of work done by an organism.
ergonomics: Design work that reduces stress and eliminates injuries associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture and repeated tasks.
eructation: To belch.
ERV: expiratory reserve volume
erysipelas: An acute infection of the skin characterized by fever, headache, vomiting, and purplish raised lesions.
erythema: Redness of the skin that results from capillary congestion.
erythrasma: A chronic bacterial infection of major folds of the skin.
erythroblast: A nucleated immature red blood cell found in bone marrow.
erythrocyt/o: red blood cell
erythrocytes: Cells that contains hemoglobin and that can transport oxygen to body tissues. Commonly called red blood cells.
erythroderma: An intense and usually widespread reddening of the skin.
erythroid: Reddish color.
erythromelalgia: A rare peripheral arterial disorder occurring in middle aged patients characterized by severe burning pain, reddening, hyperalgesia and sweating of the extremities.
erythroplasia: Dysplasia and erythema of the epithelium
eschar: A dry scab formed on the skin following a burn or cauterization of the skin
esophageal achalasia: Failure of the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, resulting in functional obstruction of the esophagus, and dysphagia.
esophageal varices: Abnormally dilated veins of the esophagus. High risk of spontaneous bleeding. Associated with alcohol abuse.
esophagitis: Inflammation of the esophagus.
esophagus: The muscular membranous passage between the pharynx and the stomach in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
esotropia: An inward turning of one or both eyes.
ESR: erythrocyte sedimentation rate
ESRD: end-stage renal disease
EST: electroshock therapy
esthes/o: nerve sensation, feeling
estrogen: Hormones that are important for sexual and reproductive development in females.
ethnology: Cultural anthropology.
ethology: Pertaining to the study of animal behavior.
ETU: emergency trauma unit
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
eustachian tube: A narrow canal extending from the middle ear to the pharynx.
euthanasia: The practice of killing someone painlessly, to relieve suffering from an incurable illness. Mercy killing.
ex-: out, away from
exanthem: A widespread rash that is usually accompanied by symptoms that include fever, malaise and headache.
exanthema: Eruption on the skin occurring as a symptom of a disease
excise: To cut out a tumor, tissue or organ.
excision: Removal of tissue using a scalpel.
excoriation: An abraded area where the skin is torn or worn off
exfoliation: To remove a layer of skin.
exfoliative dermatitis: A widespread scaling of the skin, often with itching (pruritus), skin redness (erythroderma), and hair loss.
exhalation: Breathing out.
exhumation: Removal of a dead body from the earth after burial.
exo-: outside, outward
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
exophthalmos: A bulging eyeball, associated with hyperthyroidism.
exoskeleton: The exterior protective or supporting structure or shell of many animals.
exostoses: Abnormal bony outgrowth from the surface of a bone
exotropia: One or both of the eyes turn outward.
extensor: Any muscle that extends a limb or other body part.
extirpation: Surgical removal of a body part or tissue
extra-: outside of, beyond
extraction: Surgical removal of a body part.
eye: The organ of vision.
eyebrow: The bony ridge extending over the eye and the row of hair located on it.
eyelashes: The hairs which project from the edges of the eyelids.
eyelids: Each of the upper and lower folds of skin which cover the eye when closed.
factitious disorder: Conditions in which a person deliberately and consciously acts as if he or she has a physical or mental illness when he or she is not really sick. Known as Munchausen Syndrome.
fallopian tubes: A pair of highly specialized muscular canals that conduct the ovum from the ovary to the uterus.
fasci/o: fascia (layer of fibrous tissue)
fascia: Layers of connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.
fasciitis: Inflammation of the fascia, which is the connective tissue surrounding muscles, blood vessels and nerves.
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.
FBS: fasting blood sugar
FDA: (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration
febricula: Mild or short-lived.
feces: Excrement from the intestines, containing unabsorbed solids, waste products, secretions, and bacteria.
FEF: forced expiratory flow
feline: Belonging or pertaining to the cat family
femininity: Female-associated sex-specific social roles and behaviors unrelated to biologic function.
femor/o: femoral (thigh bone)
femoral: Pertaining to the thigh or femur.
femur: The longest and largest bone of the skeleton, it is situated between the hip and the knee.
fenestra: A small opening or transparent spot.
fertilization: The fusion of a spermatozoon with an ovum thus resulting in the formation of a zygote.
fetal: Of, pertaining to, or having the character of a fetus.
fetus: The embryo of a mammal in the later stages of development
FEV: forced expiratory volume
fever: An abnormal elevation of body temperature, usually as a result of a pathologic process.
FFP: fresh frozen plasma
FHR: fetal heart rate
FHT: family history
fibrillation: A rapid twitching of muscle fibers, particularly of the heart, caused by the abnormal electrical impulses.
fibrin: An insoluble protein end product of blood coagulation, formed from fibrinogen by the action of thrombin.
fibrinogen: A blood plasma protein produced by the liver. It is one of many coagulation factors responsible for normal blood clotting.
fibroadenoma: Benign tumors composed of stromal and epithelial tissue.
fibrocystic breast disease: A painful, lumpy breast disease.
fibroid: A benign tumor containing fibrous tissue, particularly in the uterus.
fibroma: A benign tumor consisting of fibrous tissue.
fibromyalgia: A common, chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, chronic fatigue, and other symptoms.
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.
FISH: fluorescence in situ hybridization
fissure: A slit, cleft or deep furrow; a small tear.
fistula: An abnormal connection between two body parts.
fl oz: fluid ounce
flatulence: Production of gas in the gastrointestinal tract which may be expelled through the anus.
flexion: The act of bending a limb or the position that a limb assumes after it is bent.
flexor: Any muscle that causes a limb to bend.
floater: A speck or string that appears to be drifting across the eye just outside the line of vision.
fluctuation: A wavelike motion. A variation.
fluor/o: fluorine, fluoride
fluorescein angiography: An eye test that uses a special dye and camera to look at blood flow in the retina and choroid.
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.
flush: A transient reddening of the face. A blush.
focus: The point at which rays of line converge after passing through a lens.
follicle: A small secreting gland, sac or cavity.
follicle-stimulating hormone: A hormone released by the pituitary gland. It regulates the development, maturation and reproductive processes of the body.
follicul/o: follicle (small cavity)
folliculitis: An infection in the hair follicles.
foot: The distal extremity of the leg, consisting of the tarsus, metatarsus, phalanges and the soft tissues surrounding the bones.
forceps: An instrument for compressing or grasping tissues.
fore-: before, in front
forearm: Part of the arm in humans extending from the elbow to the wrist.
forehead: The part of the face above the eyes.
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.
FP: family practice
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.
FROM: full range of motion
frontal bone: The bone that forms the frontal aspect of the skull.
frontal coronal plane: Separates the body's anterior and posterior
frontal lobe: The part of the cerebral hemisphere anterior to the central sulcus, and anterior and superior to the lateral sulcus.
FSH: follicle-stimulating hormone
FTND: full term normal delivery
FTT: failure to thrive
fundus: The base of an organ.
fungicide: An agent that kills or inhibits the growth of fungi.
FUO: fever of unknown origin
furuncles: A boil, which are bacterial or fungal infections of hair follicles.
fusion: The merging of adjacent parts.
FVC: forced vital capacity
gait: Manner or style of walking.
galactorrhea: Inappropriate lactation.
galactose: One of the two simple sugars in the protein, lactose, found in milk. The other sugar is glucose.
gallbladder: A reservoir for bile located under the right lobe of the liver.
gallop: A third heart sound that resembles the sound of a galloping horse.
gallstone: A hard mass that precipitates in the biliary tract, usually in the gallbladder.
gam-: marriage, sexual union
gamete: A mature sex cell.
ganglion: A structure containing an aggregation of nerve cell bodies located in the peripheral nervous system.
ganglion cyst: Swelling or tumor on a joint or tendon sheath due to trauma.
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.
gastralgia: Pain in the stomach or abdomen
gastrectomy: Excision of part or all of the stomach.
gastric: Pertaining to the stomach.
gastric absorption: Uptake of substances via the stomach.
gastritis: The painful inflammation of the stomach's lining.
gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
gastroenterology: A subspecialty of medicine concerned with diseases of the digestive system and related structures including the esophagus, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.
gastrointestinal tract: Generally refers to the digestive structures stretching from the mouth to anus, but does not include the accessory glandular organs (liver; biliary tract; pancreas).
gastroparesis: Chronic delayed gastric emptying.
gastrostomy: Creation of an artificial external opening into the stomach for nutritional support or gastrointestinal compression.
gavage: Forced feeding a patient especially through a tube passed into the stomach
GDM: gestational diabetes mellitus
gel/o: to freeze, congeal
gemin-: double, twin
gen/o: to become, being born, producing
gene: A unit of inheritance carrying a single trait occupying a certain location on a chromosome.
genetic: Pertaining to reproduction or to birth or origin.
genitalia: The male and female reproductive organs.
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.
genu varum: An outward slant of the thigh in which the knees are wide apart and the ankles close together.
ger/o: old age
GERD: gastroesophageal reflux disease
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.
gest/o: to bear
gestalt: A physical, mental or symbolic configuration where whole differs from, or is greater than, the sum of its parts.
gestation: The time period of development from fertilization to birth.
gesture: A movement that helps express a feeling, idea, intention or opinion.
GFR: glomerular filtration rate
GH: growth hormone
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.
gigantism: Abnormal growth due to an excess of growth hormone during childhood.
gingiva: Oral tissue surrounding and attached to teeth. Gum.
gingivitis: Inflammation of gum tissue.
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.
glare: A bright, dazzling light which produces discomfort and impairs vision.
glasgow coma scale: A scale for measuring level of consciousness, especially after craniocerebral injury
glaucoma: A disease that damages the optic nerve. Often caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye.
gleason score: A method of classifying malignancy of prostate cancers.
glenoid cavity: A depression in the lateral angle of the scapula that articulates with the head of the humerus.
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
globus: A sphere. A spherical structure.
glomerulus: A small tuft of blood capillaries in the kidney that is an integral part of the nephron, the basic unit of the kidney.
glossitis: Inflammation of the tongue.
glottis: The vocal apparatus of the larynx, situated in the middle section of the larynx.
glucagon: A peptide hormone produced in the pancreas that opposes insulin.
gluco-: relating to glucose
glucose: Sugar in the blood that supplies energy to cells.
glyc/o: glucose, sugar
glycemic index: A numerical system of measuring the rate of blood glucose generation from a particular food item.
glycemic load: A quantitative value of a measured amount of a specific food that is equal to the glycemic index of that food multiplied by the carbohydrate content of that food.
glycine: A non-essential amino acid that is a major component of gelatin and silk fibroin. It used therapeutically as a nutrient.
glycosuria: The appearance of an abnormally amount of glucose in the urine.
gnath-: jaw, cheek
GnRH: gonadotropin-releasing hormone
goiter: Enlargement of the thyroid gland causing a swelling in the front part of the neck.
gon-: seed, genital
gonad/o: sex glands
gonadal: Pertaining to or arising from a gonad.
gonads: The sex glands, ovary or testis.
gonorrhea: A sexually transmitted bacterial disease, mostly seen in young adults.
gout: Acute arthritis that causes severe pain and swelling in the joints due to the accumulation of urate crystals.
GP: general practitioner
graft: Any tissue or organ for transplantation.
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.
granuloma: A clump of cells that forms when the immune system fights harmful substance but cannot remove it from the body. Often foreign bodies stimulate these cells.
Graves disease: An immune disease that causes hyperthyroidism.
groin: The external junctural region between the lower part of the abdomen and the thigh.
GSW: gunshot wound
GTT: glucose tolerance test
guaifenesin: An expectorant that also has some muscle relaxing action. It is used in many cough preparations.
Guillain-Barre syndrome: A disorder in which the immune system attacks the nerves. A rare disease, usually preceded by a viral infection
gutta: One drop.
GVHD: graft-versus-host disease
GXT: graded exercise test
gynec/o: woman, female
gynecology: The branch of medicine dealing with diseases unique to women, especially those of the genital tract and breasts.
gynecomastia: Non-cancerous swelling of the breast tissue in males due to an imbalance of hormones. Common in pre-adolescence, benign and self-limiting.
gyr-: ring, circle
H+: hydrogen ion
h/o: history of
habit: A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is regularly manifested.
hair: A threadlike specialized epidermal structure developing from a papilla sunk in the dermis.
hair follicle: A tube-like invagination of the epidermis from which the hair shaft develops and into which the sebaceous glands open. The hair follicle is lined by a cellular inner and outer root sheath of epidermal origin and is invested with a fibrous sheath derived from the dermis.
halitosis: A foul breath odor resulting from poor oral hygiene, dental or oral infections, or the ingestion of certain foods.
hallucination: Sensing things while awake that appear to be real, but instead have been created by the mind, common in delirium.
hallux valgus: A bunion. A deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot.
hand: The distal part of the arm beyond the wrist consisting of the carpus, metacarpus, and fingers.
hapl/o: simple, single
HAV: hepatitis A virus
HBP: high blood pressure
HBV: hepatitis B virus
HCG: human chorionic gonadotropin
HCP: health care professional
HCV: hepatitis C virus
HD: hearing distance
HDL: high-density lipoprotein
HDV: hepatitis D
head: The upper part of the body containing the brain, mouth, and sense organs.
headache: Pain in the cranial region.
hearing: The ability to perceive sounds.
heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.
heart arrest: Cessation of heart beat.
heart block: Impaired conduction of cardiac impulse that can occur anywhere along the conduction pathway, such as between the sinoatrial node and the right atrium (SA block) or between atria and ventricles (AV block).
heart failure: A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body.
heart murmurs: Heart sounds caused by vibrations resulting from the flow of blood through the heart.
heart septum: This structure includes the thin muscular atrial septum between the two heart atria, and the thick muscular ventricular septum between the two heart ventricles.
heart sounds: The sounds heard over the cardiac region produced by the functioning of the heart.
heart valves: Flaps of tissue that prevent regurgitation of blood from the ventricles to the atria or from the pulmonary arteries or aorta to the ventricles.
heartburn: Substernal pain or burning sensation, usually associated with regurgitation of gastric juice into the esophagus.
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
heel spur: A bony outgrowth on the lower surface of the heel bone.
hemangioma: A birthmark that commonly appears as a bright red nodule of blood vessels in the skin. Grows during the first year of life and then recedes over time. Also called a strawberry mark.
hemarthrosis: Bleeding into the joints.
hematemesis: Vomiting blood.
hematocolpos: An accumulation of menstrual blood in the vagina.
hematocrit: The percentage by volume of red blood cells in a given sample.
hematology: The medical specialty focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of blood diseases.
hematoma: An abnormal collection of blood outside of a blood vessel. A bruise.
hematometra: An accumulation of menstrual blood in the uterus.
hematospermia: Blood in the semen.
hematuria: Red blood cells in the urine.
hemianopia: The loss of part of the field of view on the same side, in both eyes. A common side effect of stroke or brain injury.
hemiparesis: Weakness or paralysis of the entire left or right side of the body. Caused by congenital conditions, trauma, stroke or tumors.
hemiplegia: Paralysis of one side of the body.
hemobilia: Bleeding into the biliary passages.
hemochromatosis: A disorder of iron metabolism where the body absorbs too much iron. Treatment is required to avoid organ damage. A genetic disorder. 8% of population is a carrier.
hemodialysis: A therapeutic procedure used with kidney failure involving removal of harmful wastes and fluids from the blood.
hemodynamics: The forces involved in the movement of the blood through the cardiovascular system.
hemoglobins: The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes (red blood cells).
hemopneumothorax: Collection both blood and air in the pleural cavity.
hemoptysis: Coughing up blood or blood-stained mucus from the respiratory tract.
hemorrhage: Bleeding or escape of blood from a vessel. Bleeding can occur externally or internally to the body.
hemorrhagic stroke: A stroke that occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures. Also called an aneurysm.
hemorrhoids: Swollen veins in the lower part of the rectum or anus.
hemospermia: Blood in the semen, often due to inflammation of the prostate or the seminal vesicles.
hemostasis: The complex body process which spontaneously stops hemorrhages. This includes vessel contraction and blood adhesion, aggregation and coagulation.
hemothorax: Hemorrhage within the pleural cavity, often from chest trauma.
heparin: An endogenous, short-acting anticoagulant.
hepatic: Pertaining to the liver.
hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver caused by viral agents.
hepatoblastoma: A malignant neoplasm occurring in young children, primarily in the liver,
hepatocytes: A parenchymal liver cell.
hepatoma: A malignant tumor of the liver
hepatomegaly: Having an enlarged liver.
herbicides: Pesticides used to destroy vegetation, particularly weeds and grasses.
heredity: The transmission of traits encoded in genes from parent to offspring.
heredo-: heir, heredity
hermaphroditic: A plant or animal with both male and female sex organs.
hernia: Abnormal protrusion of tissue, structure, or part of an organ through the bone, muscular tissue, or the membrane by which it is normally contained.
herniorrhaphy: Surgical repair of a hernia
herpes: An infection caused by a herpes simplex virus. Can affect the genitals, buttocks or anal areas. Oral herpes causes cold sores on the face or mouth.
herpes labialis: Cold sores caused by herpes simplex I.
heter-: different, other
heterophoria: A tendency for deviation of the eyes from parallelism, prevented by binocular vision.
heterosexuality: The sexual attraction between members of the opposite sex.
heterosis: Greater vigor of the first generation hybrid than is shown by either parent.
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
HF: heart failure
HFOV: high frequency oscillatory ventilation
HGF: human growth factor
HGSIL: high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
hiat/o: gap, opening, pause
hiatus: An aperture, gap or opening.
hiccup: A spasm of the diaphragm that causes a sudden inhalation followed by rapid closure of the glottis which produces a sound. Also called singultus.
hidrocystoma: A cystic form of sweat gland adenoma, created by the cystic proliferation of apocrine secretory glands.
hidrosis: The production and excretion of sweat.
hidrotic: Relating to or causing sweating.
high density lipoprotein: Cholesterol known as HDL that removes harmful cholesterol, reducing risk of heart problems.
hip: The region of the body around the joint between the top of the femur and side of the pelvis.
HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
hippocampus: A curved elevation of gray matter extending the entire length of the floor of the temporal horn of the lateral ventricle (see also temporal lobe). It has a central role in memory processes.
hippus: Rhythmic pupillary dilation and constriction, independent of changes in illumination or convergence.
hirsutism: Excessive hairiness in women, usually caused by hormonal imbalance.
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.
hiv: Human immunodeficiency virus.
hoarseness: An unnaturally rough quality of voice.
Hodgkin's lymphoma: A type of lymphoma, a cancer of tissue in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and bone marrow. The first sign is often an enlargement of lymph node.
holo-: entire, complete
holography: The recording of three-dimensional images form using a laser beams.
holter monitor: A device that continuously records EKGs for hours or a few days, used to diagnose abnormal cardiac rhythms.
home/o: same, not changed
homeostasis: The process of maintaining physiological equilibrium.
homosexuality: The sexual attraction or relationship between members of the same sex.
hordeolum: Blockage of an eyelid gland causing a small inflamed cyst at the lid margin. Also called a stye.
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
HR: heart rate
HRT: hormone replacement therapy
HSIL: high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
HSV: herpes simplex virus
humerus: The bone of the upper arm. It extends from the shoulder joint to the elbow joint.
huntington disease: An inherited disorder characterized by the onset of progressive chorea (involuntary, rapid, irregular, jerky movements) and dementia in middle age.
hyalin: A translucent substance occurring in pathological degeneration of tissues.
hydr/o: water, fluid
hydremia: An excess of water in the blood.
hydrocele: Buildup of the normal fluid around the testicle, common in infants, self-resolving.
hydrocephalus: The buildup of excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the brain.
hydronephrosis: Abnormal enlargement of a kidney, sometimes caused by blockage of the ureter.
hygiene: The science and practices that promote or preserve health
hymen: A thin fold of mucous membrane situated at the orifice of the vagina.
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.
hypercalcemia: Too much calcium in the blood.
hypercalciuria: Excretion of abnormally high level of calcium in the urine.
hypercapnia: Abnormal increase in carbon dioxide in the blood.
hyperemesis gravidarum: Severe, intractable vomiting during early pregnancy. Often needs IV fluids and anti nausea agents.
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.
hyperesthesia: Hyperesthesia is a condition in which someone becomes highly sensitized to sensory stimuli.
hyperglycemia: High blood sugar. A serious problem for diabetics.
hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating.
hyperinsulinism: Abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.
hyperkalemia: Abnormally high potassium concentration in the blood, usually due to acute renal failure.
hyperkinesia: Spontaneous involuntary movements.
hyperkinesis: Excessive movement of muscles of the body.
hyperlipidemia: Conditions with excess lipids (fats) in the blood.
hypernatremia: An excess of sodium in the blood.
hyperopia: Farsightedness. Distant objects can be seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus.
hyperostosis: Abnormal thickening or growth of bone.
hyperoxaluria: Abnormally high amounts of oxalates in the urine.
hyperoxia: An excess of oxygen in tissues and organs.
hyperphosphatemia: Abnormally high level of phosphates in the blood.
hyperpigmentation: Excessive pigmentation of the skin, usually as a result of increased epidermal or dermal melanin pigmentation, hypermelanosis. The condition may arise from exposure to the sun.
hyperpituitarism: Excessive hormone production by the pituitary gland.
hyperplasia: An abnormal increase in the number of cells in a tissue or organ without tumor formation.
hyperpnea: Deep breathing. Can be normal during exercise or abnormal due to anemia or sepsis.
hypersensitivity: Abnormally high response to an antigen.
hypersomnia: Excessive sleeping
hypersthenia: Excessive strength or tension.
hypertension: Persistently high systemic arterial blood pressure.
hyperthyroidism: Excessive hormone production by the thyroid.
hyperthyroxinemia: Abnormally elevated thyroxine level in the blood.
hypertonic: Having increased tone or tension.
hypertrichosis: Excessive hair growth at inappropriate locations.
hypertriglyceridemia: A condition of elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood.
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.
hyperventilation: Breathing faster or deeper than is metabolically necessary causing an excessive intake of oxygen and a reduction carbon dioxide level in arterial blood.
hypesthesia: Absent or reduced sensitivity to cutaneous stimulation.
hyphema: Bleeding in the anterior chamber of the eye.
hypnosis: A state of increased receptivity to suggestion and direction, initially induced by the influence of another person.
hypo-: deficient, under
hypocalcemia: Abnormally low levels of calcium in the blood.
hypocapnia: Deficiency of carbon dioxide in arterial blood.
hypochondria: Anxiety about one's own health and belief that one is likely to become ill even though there is no medical evidence of illness.
hypochondriasis: An overwhelming fear of having a serious disease.
hypodermic: Beneath the skin.
hypogeusia: Diminished sense of taste.
hypoglycemia: Abnormally low blood glucose (blood sugar) levels, usually less than 70 mg/dl.
hypogonadism: Abnormally low functional activity of the gonads, with diminished growth and sexual development
hypohidrosis: Abnormally low or absent perspiration.
hypokalemia: Abnormally low potassium concentration in the blood.
hypokinesia: Abnormally diminished movement of body musculature.
hypomenorrhea: Extremely light menstrual blood flow.
hyponatremia: Insufficient sodium levels in the blood. Can be caused by loss of sodium or by increased and excessive body fluids.
hypoperfusion: Abnormally low blood flow through an organ.
hypoplasia: Underdevelopment of a tissue or organ.
hypopnea: Shallow or abnormally slow breathing.
hypospadias: A birth defect due to malformation of the urethra in which the urethral opening is below its normal location.
hypotension: Abnormally low blood pressure that can result in inadequate blood flow to the brain and other organs.
hypothermia: Lower than normal body temperature.
hypotonia: Poor muscle tone usually detected at birth or during infancy. It is reflected in the APGAR score.
hypotonic: Denoting decreased tone or tension.
hypotrichosis: Less than the normal amount of hair.
hypoventilation: Deficient ventilation of the lungs resulting is low oxygen levels and high carbon dioxide levels in the blood.
hypovolemia: An abnormally low volume of circulating blood.
hypoxemia: Oxygen deficiency in arterial blood.
hypoxia: Insufficient oxygen levels in body organs and tissues.
hysterectomy: Surgical removal of the uterus.
hysteria: Excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic.
hysterosalpingography: Fluoroscopic examination of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
hysteroscopy: Examination of the uterine cavity using an endoscope.
hysterotomy: An incision in the uterus, performed through either the abdomen or the vagina.
Hz: hertz (cycles per second)
iatr/o: treatment, medicine
IBD: inflammatory bowel disease
IBS: irritable bowel syndrome
ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent with analgesic properties used in the therapy of rheumatism and arthritis.
IBW: ideal body weight
IC: inspiratory capacity
ICD: implantable cardiac defibrillator
ICF: intermediate care facility
ichthyosis: A family of skin disorders characterized by dry, thickened skin.
ICP: intracranial pressure
ICS: intercostal space
ICSH: interstitial cell-stimulating hormone
ictus: An attack, blow, stroke, or seizure.
ICU: intensive care unit
id: The part of the personality structure which harbors the unconscious instinctive desires and strivings of the individual.
IDM: infants of diabetic mothers
IED: improvised explosive device
IGT: impaired glucose tolerance
ile/o: ileum (final section of small intestine)
ileal: Of or pertaining to the ileum.
ileectomy: Surgical removal of the ileum.
ileitis: Inflammation of any segment of the ileum.
ileostomy: A surgical construction of an opening into the ileum on the abdominal wall.
ileum: The distal and narrowest portion of the small intestine, between the jejunum and the ileocecal valve of the large intestine.
Ileus: Impairment of the normal flow of the intestinal contents within the bowel.
ili/o: ilium (uppermost and largest bone of the pelvis)
iliac artery: Either of two large arteries originating from the abdominal aorta; they supply blood to the pelvis, abdominal wall and legs.
ilium: The largest of three bones that make up each half of the pelvic girdle.
illusion: An error in perception.
immobilization: The restriction of the movement of whole or part of the body.
immun/o: immune, safe
immunity: Protection from diseases, particularly infectious diseases.
immunization: A process for building or augmenting resistance to an infectious disease.
immunoglobulins: An infection-fighting protein in the blood or secretory fluids that helps destroy bacteria, viruses and toxins.
immunosuppressant: Deliberate prevention or diminution of the host's immune response.
immunotherapy: Manipulation of the host's immune system in treatment of disease.
imperforate: Not open.
impetigo: A contagious skin condition common in children, caused by streptococcus, staphylococcus.
impingement syndrome: The result of chronic and repetitive compression of the rotator-cuff tendons in the shoulder.
implant: To embed.
impotence: The inability to sustain a penile erection to allow normal vaginal intercourse.
impulsive behavior: An act performed without delay, reflection, voluntary direction or obvious control in response to a stimulus.
IMV: intermittent mandatory ventilation
in vitro: In a glass. In an artificial environment outside a living organism
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.
incisor: Any of the four maxillary and four mandibular teeth, having a sharp incisal edge.
incontinence: The inability to control the flow of urine from the bladder.
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.
IND: investigational new drug
indication: The basis, evidence or rationale for using a particular treatment or diagnostic test.
induction: Causing to occur.
infant: A child between 1 and 23 months of age.
infarction: Tissue death due to lack of oxygen
infection: The invasion of the body by disease causing agents and the body's reaction.
infectious myringitis: An infection causing painful blisters on the eardrum. More often seen in children than adults. Causal agent is Mycoplasma.
infertility: Inability to conceive and produce viable offspring.
inflammation: The response of body tissues to injury, irritation or infection. Usually manifested by the signs of pain, heat, redness and swelling.
influenza: Acute, contagious viral infection of the respiratory system.
infra-: below, down, under
infusion pumps: A device that delivers intravenous fluids at low doses and at a controllable rate.
inguinal canal: A tunnel in the abdominal wall through which a testis descends into the scrotum.
inhalation: Breathing in.
injections: Introduction of substances into the body using a needle and syringe.
insecticides: Agents used to control insects.
insemination: The deposit of seminal fluid within the vagina.
insomnia: Inability to sleep.
insulin: A hormone produced in the pancreas. Regulates glucose levels.
insulinoma: A neoplasm of the pancreas that is one of the chief causes of hypoglycemia.
integumentary system: The outer covering of the body composed of the skin and the skin appendages, which are the hair, the nails; and the sebaceous glands and the sweat glands and their ducts.
intercellular: Between the cells.
interferon: A class of small protein and glycoprotein cytokines produced by T cells, fibroblasts, and other cells in response to viral infection and other biologic and synthetic stimuli.
interferons: Proteins that are produced by the body's cells as a defensive response to pathogens.
intermittency: A urinary tract disorder in which urine flow is not continuous but stops and starts.
intermittent claudication: Muscle pain caused by too little blood flow, usually during exercise.
internal medicine: A medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of internal organ diseases.
interneurons: Groups or combinations of neurons between sensory and motor neurons that govern coordinated activity.
interphase: The interval between cell divisions during which the chromosomes are not individually distinguishable.
interstitial: Small space(s) between biological structures.
interstitial cystitis: Painful bladder syndrome.
intertrigo: A superficial dermatitis occurring in areas where skin surfaces come into contact with, and chafe, each other. The condition is caused by moisture and friction.
intestines: The section of the alimentary canal from the stomach to the anal canal.
intolerance: A patient's inability to tolerate a drug.
intracellular: Inside a cell.
intracranial: Within the skull.
intracranial embolism: Blocking of a blood vessel in the skull by an embolus which can be a thrombus or other undissolved material in the blood stream.
intracranial hematoma: Blood accumulation within the brain or between the brain and the skull,
intraductal papilloma: Benign tumors that grow within the breast ducts
intrathecal: Within a sheath.
intrauterine: Within the uterine cavity.
intravenous: Within a vein.
intrinsic muscle: A muscle whose origin and insertion are both in the same part or organ.
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.
intussusception: The movement of a bowel segment into an adjacent segment in the manner of a telescope. The condition is commonest in children.
inulin: A starch found in the tubers and roots of many plants. It is used as a diagnostic aid in tests of kidney function
invasion: The entry and proliferation of a pathogen or tumor.
invertebrates: Animals lacking a spinal column.
involucrum: An enveloping sheath.
iodine: A nonmetallic element of the halogen group that is represented by the atomic symbol I, atomic number 53. In a solution, it is anti-infective and is used topically.
ion: An atom that has a positive or negative electric charge due to a gain or loss of one or more electrons.
iontophoresis: Therapeutic introduction of ions of soluble salts into tissues by means of electric current.
ipecac: An emetic.
IPPB: intermittent positive pressure breathing
IQ: intelligence quotient
IRB: institutional review board
iridectomy: Surgical removal of part of the iris.
iridescence: Shining or glittering with the colors of the rainbow
iridoplegia: Paralysis of the sphincter muscle of the iris or the dilator muscle
iris: The circular pigmented membrane behind the cornea of the eye that gives the eye its color. The iris surrounds a central opening called the pupil.
iritis: Inflammation of the iris.
irradiation: Exposure to ionizing radiation.
irrigation: The washing out of a wound using a continuous flow of water or solution.
IRV: inspiratory reserve volume
ischemia: A hypoperfusion of blood through an organ or tissue caused by a obstruction of blood vessels.
ischemic heart disease: Recurring chest pain or discomfort when a part of the heart does not receive enough blood. Often triggered by exertion or excitement.
ischemic stroke: The main type of stroke. Occur when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot.
ischium: The inferior, dorsal portion of the hip bone.
islet: A small island.
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 contraction: Muscle contraction with negligible change in the force of contraction but shortening of the distance between the origin and insertion.
isotonic solutions: Solutions having the same osmotic pressure.
isotopes: Atoms of an element species differing in mass number but having the same atomic number.
isthmus: A narrow part of an organ or body part.
ithy-: erect, straight
IU: a international unit
IUCD: intrauterine contraceptive device
IUD: intrauterine device
IUFD: intrauterine fetal distress
IUP: intrauterine pregnancy
IVF: in vitro fertilization
IVP: intravenous pyelogram
IVPB: intravenous piggyback
jaundice: Yellowing of the skin and eyes due to excessive bilirubin in body
jaw: Bony structure of the mouth consisting of the mandible and the maxilla.
jealous: Fearful of the loss of affection or position.
jejun/o: jejunum (second part of the small intestines)
jejunal: Pertaining to the jejunum
jejunum: Part of the small intestine, connecting the duodenum to the ileum.
jerk: A sudden involuntary movement.
JOD: juvenile onset diabetes
joint capsule: The sac surrounding a joint. It is composed of an outer fibrous articular capsule and an inner synovial membrane.
joints: The points of connection between the ends of certain bones. Also known as articulations
JRA: juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
jugular veins: Large veins in the neck which return blood from the brain, face, and neck to the heart. Each side of the neck has two jugular veins, external and internal.
juxta-: near, close
JVD: jugular venous distention
JVP: jugular venous pulse
kel/o: tumor, fibrous growth
keloid: An overgrowth of scar tissue that develops around a wound
kelp: A type of seaweed.
kerat/o: cornea, horny, hard
keratin: A family of fibrous proteins that are principle constituents of epidermis; hair; nails; horny tissues, and tooth enamel.
keratitis: Inflammation of the cornea
keratoconjunctivitis: Inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva.
keratoconus: A conical protrusion of the central part of the cornea.
keratosis: Any horny growth of the skin such as a wart or callus.
ketonuria: Presence of ketone bodies in urine.
ketosis: Abnormally high concentration of ketone bodies, as in diabetes mellitus.
kidney: One of a pair of organs that filter blood for the secretion of urine and that regulates ion concentrations.
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
kinetics: The study of the interrelationships that exist between body parts and how those connections influence movement.
klept/o: to steal
kleptomania: An abnormal, strong impulse to steal.
knee: The joint between inferior femur and superior
koil/o: hollow, concave
koilonychia: A disease of the fingernails, where they become thin and concave.
KS: Kaposi sarcoma
KUB: kidney, ureter, and bladder
KVO: keep vein open
kyph/o: bent, hump
kyphosis: Deformities of the spine characterized by an exaggerated convexity of the vertebral column. Sometimes called round back or hunchback.
L&D: labor and delivery
L&R: left & right
labi/o: lips, labia
labial: Pertaining to the lips.
labial mucosa: The inner lining of the lips.
labor: The childbirth process of expulsion of the fetus and placenta from the uterus.
labrum: A lip.
labyrinth: A complex system of ducts and cavities that comprise the organs of hearing and balance.
labyrinth/o: inner ear
labyrinthectomy: An ear operation used for Meniere's syndrome.
labyrinthitis: Inflammation of the inner ear (labyrinth).
laceration: A wound, specifically a deep tear or cut of the flesh.
lactase: An enzyme secreted by the small intestine glands that convert lactose into glucose and galactose.
lactation: Production of milk by the mammary glands.
lactic acid: A organic acid produced by anaerobic respiration, by fermentation of carbohydrates in the rumen and by bacterial action on milk.
lactose: The main sugar of milk consisting of one molecule each of glucose and galactose.
lacuna: A small cavity or depression.
LAD: left anterior decending
lamella: A thin scale or plate, as of bone.
lamin/o: lamina (part of the vertebral arch that forms the roof of the spinal canal)
laminectomy: A surgical procedure to remove a portion of the vertebral bone called the lamina.
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.
lapar/o: abdominal wall
laparoscope: An endoscope for examining the abdominal and pelvic organs in the peritoneal cavity.
laparoscopy: Surgery using a thin light tube inserted into a small incision.
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.
laryngectomy: Partial or total removal of the larynx.
laryngitis: Inflammation of the larynx, including the vocal cords. Characterized by voice disorders, usually viral etiology.
laryngomalacia: An abnormally underdeveloped or degenerated cartilage in the larynx.
laryngoplasty: Plastic repair of the larynx.
laryngoscopy: Visual examination of the larynx. May also include treatment.
larynx: The voice box. Includes the vocal cords and surrounding cartilage.
laser trabeculoplasty: Using a very focused beam of light to treat the drainage angle of the eye.
lateral: Away from the body's midline
lavage: Washing out a body cavity with water or medicated solution.
laxative: Agents that produce a soft formed stool and relax the bowels, used to relieve constipation.
LBBB: left bundle branch block
LBW: low birth weight
LDH: lactate dehydrogenase
LDL: low-density lipoprotein
LE: lower extremity
lecith/o: yolk, ovum
leeching: The application of leeches to the body to draw blood for therapeutic purposes.
leg: The inferior part of the lower extremity between the knee and the ankle. Common usage is the entire lower limb.
legionnaires disease: An acute bacterial infection of the lungs characterized by high fever, malaise, muscle aches, respiratory disorders and headache.
leiomy/o: smooth (visceral) muscle
leiomyoma: A benign neoplasm derived from smooth muscle tissue, also known as a fibroid tumor. They usually occur in the uterus.
leiomyosarcoma: A malignant neoplasm derived from smooth muscle.
leishmaniasis: A group of infections, caused by the protozoan flagellate Leishmania.
lentigo: A small, flat, pigmented spot on the skin.
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
leptin: A hormone that regulates energy balance by helping control appetite.
lesion: Any abnormal changes or damage to body tissues.
lethargy: A condition of tiredness, fatigue, or lack of energy.
leukemia: Cancer of the blood. The bone marrow then produces abnormal white blood cells which do not function properly.
leukocyt/o: white blood cell
leukocyte: A white blood cell.
leukocytosis: An abnormally large increase in the number of leukocytes in the blood.
leukoplakia: A white patch lesion found on a mucous membrane that cannot be scraped off.
leukorrhea: Normal vaginal discharge during pregnancy . It is thin, white, milky and mild smelling.
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.
LFT: liver function test
LGI: lower gastrointestinal
LH: luteinizing hormone
libido: Sexual desire.
lichen: Any of various papular skin disease in which the lesions are typically small, firm papules set very close together.
lidocaine: A local anesthetic, analgesic and cardiac depressant.
LIF: leukemia inhibatory factor
ligament: Flexible, tough bands of fibrous tissue connecting bones at a joint.
lingual: Pertaining to or near the tongue.
liniments: Heat-generating liquids that are applied to the skin.
lip/o: fat, lipid
lipedema: A chronic disease that occurs mostly in females. It is characterized by bilateral, symmetrical fatty tissue excess, mainly in the legs.
lipid: Organic compounds, including the fats, oils, waxes, sterols, and triglycerides, that are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents.
lipolysis: The metabolic process of breaking down of fat.
lipoma: A noncancerous growth of fatty tissue cells. Occurs over area of past trauma.
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.
liq.: liquid; fluid
lith/o: stone, calcification
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.
LLE: left lower extremity
LLL: left lower lobe
LLQ: left lower quadrant
lmp: last menstrual period
lobe: A major division of an organ.
LOC: level/loss of consciousness
lochia: A vaginal discharge occurring during the first week or two after childbirth.
locomotion: Movement or the ability to move from one place or another.
locus: A place or site.
log-: speech, words
logad/o: whites of the eyes
logo-: words, speech
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
lord/o: curve, swayback
lordosis: Abnormal, concave curvature of the lower spine. Also called swayback.
loupe: A magnifying lens.
low density lipoprotein: Cholesterol that collects on blood vessel walls, increasing risk of heart problems.
lox/o: oblique, slanting
lozenge: A medicated candy.
LP: lumbar puncture
LR: lactated ringer (solution)
LRI: lower respiratory infection
LRT: lower respiratory tract
lubrication: The use of an agent such as grease to diminish friction between two surfaces.
LUE: left upper extremity
LUL: left upper lobe
lumb/o: lower back
lumbago: Mild to severe low back pain.
lumbar: Referring to the lower back below the thoracic vertebrae and above the sacral vertebrae.
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.
lungs: A pair of organs that aerate the blood. The right lung is divided into three lobs while the left lung has two lobes.
lupus: Any of a group of inflammatory autoimmune disorders can affect the skin, joints and internal organs.
LUQ: left upper quadrant
luteinizing hormone: A hormone released by the pituitary gland. It stimulates the secretion of sex hormones by the ovary and the testes and is involved in the maturation of spermatozoa and ova.
luteoma: An ovarian neoplasm composed of luteal cells derived from luteinized granulosa cells and theca cells.
LV: left ventricle
LVAD: left ventricular assist device
LVH: left ventricular hypertrophy
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.
lymph: The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system.
lymphaden/o: lymph node
lymphadenitis: Inflammation of the lymph nodes.
lymphadenopathy: Inflammation of the lymph nodes causing enlargement.
lymphangi/o: lymph vessel
lymphangiectasis: A transient dilatation of the lymphatic vessels.
lymphangioma: A congenital malformation of the lymphatic system.
lymphangiosarcoma: A malignant neoplasm originating from the endothelial cells of lymphatic vessels.
lymphedema: Edema due to obstruction of lymph vessels or disorders of the lymph nodes. A common complication in the arms after mastectomy.
lymphocele: Cystic mass containing lymph.
lymphocytes: White blood cells that help determine the body's immune response to infectious microorganisms.
lymphocytosis: An abnormal increase in the number of lymphocytes in the blood.
lymphoma: A cancer of the lymphatic system.
lymphopenia: Decrease in the number of lymphocytes of the blood.
lymphuria: The presence of lymph in urine.
lysine: An essential amino acid.
lyso-: dissolution, loosen
MA: mental age
maceration: Softening of a solid by soaking in a liquid.
macrocephaly: Abnormally large head.
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.
macrophage: A type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system. It digests targeted cells and cellular debris.
macrostomia: Abnormally large mouth.
macula lutea: An oval, yellow spot in the retina, 3 to 5 mm in diameter It is devoid of retinal blood vessels, except in its periphery.
macular: Denoting the central retina.
macular degeneration: Degenerative changes in the retina usually of older adults which results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field.
macule: Small flat skin spots on the skin.
maculopathy: Any pathologic condition of the macula lutea.
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
malabsorption: Inadequate intestinal absorption of nutrients.
malaise: A general feeling of illness or discomfort or feeling unhealthy.
malaria: A serious parasitic disease caused by mosquito bites. Symptoms include chills, flu-like symptoms, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice.
malformation: An abnormal physical structure in the body.
malignant melanoma: The most dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanomas are usually brown or black, but can appear pink, tan, or even white.
malingering: Faking symptoms for personal gain or attention.
malleolus: The bony prominence on either side of the ankle.
malleus: The largest and outermost of the three ossicles of the ear. Also called hammer.
malnutrition: A condition caused by insufficient intake of nutrients.
malocclusion: Faulty contact between the upper and lower teeth when the jaw is closed.
malpractice: Failure to render proper professional services through reprehensible ignorance or negligence especially when injury occurs.
malunion: Faulty alignment of broken bone fragments.
mammary gland: Milk producing gland.
mammography: Radiographic examination of the breast.
mammoplasty: Plastic surgery of the breasts.
mandible: The large, u-shaped bone that supports the lower teeth, forming the lower jaw.
mandibul/o: mandible (lower jaw bone)
mania: An abnormally excessive elated, enthusiastic mental state.
manometer: A device for measuring gas or liquid pressure.
manubrium: The uppermost part of the sternum.
MAP: mean arterial pressure
marsupialization: A surgical procedure for treating cysts. The cyst is widely opened creating a pouch.
masseter muscle: The thick rectangular muscle in the cheek that functions to close the jaw.
mastalgia: Breast pain.
mastectomy: Surgical procedure to remove one or both breasts.
mastication: The process of chewing and grinding food in the mouth.
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/o: rounded protrusion of bone behind the ear
mastoidectomy: Surgical removal of mastoid air cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ear.
mastoiditis: Inflammation of the mastoid air cells It is usually a complication of otitis media.
mastopexy: Breast lift surgery.
masturbation: Sexual self-gratification.
maxill/o: upper jawbone formed from the fusion of two maxillary bones
maxilla: One of a pair of irregularly shaped bones that form the upper jaw.
maxillofacial: Pertaining to the jaws and face.
MBC: maximum breathing capacity
MBD: minimal brain dysfunction
mc: mCi millicurie
MCH: mean corpuscular hemoglobin
MCV: mean corpuscular volume
MD: muscular dystrophy
MDI: metered-dose inhaler
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.
medial: Toward the body's midline
median nerve: A major nerve of the arm, suppling sensory and motor innervation to parts of the forearm and hand.
mediastinal: Pertaining to a median septum or space between two parts of the body.
mediastinitis: Inflammation of the mediastinum.
mediastinum: The central section of the chest cavity, containing the heart, arteries, veins, esophagus, trachea, bronchi, lymph nodes and thymus.
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.
medulla oblongata: The lower portion of the brain stem. Medulla oblongata serves as a relay station between the brain and the spinal cord, and contains centers for regulating respiratory, vasomotor, cardiac, and reflex activities.
medulloblastoma: A malignant neoplasm that may be classified either as a glioma or as a primitive neuroectodermal tumor of childhood.
mega-: large, great
megacolon: Extreme dilatation of the colon.
megaloblastic anemia: A blood disorder in which the number of red blood cells is too low due to abnormally large red blood cell size. Can also be called vitamin B-12 or folate deficiency anemia.
megaloblasts: Red blood cell precursors that are abnormally large and dysfunctional. Found in patients with pernicious anemia.
megalomania: Delusions of grandeur or exaggerated personal importance, wealth or power.
meibomian glands: The small sebaceous glands located on the inner surface of the eyelids between the tarsal plates and conjunctiva.
meiosis: A type of cell division in which a nucleus divides into four daughter nuclei
melan/o: black, dark
melanoma: A malignant, rapidly growing neoplasm derived from cells that are capable of forming melanin, which may occur in the skin of any part of the body, in the eye, or, rarely, in the mucous membranes of the genitalia, anus, oral cavity, or other sites.
melanosis: Disorders of increased melanin pigmentation that develop without preceding inflammatory disease.
melatonin: A hormone produced by the pineal gland. It plays a role in the regulation of sleep, mood, and reproduction.
melena: The black, tarry, foul-smelling feces that contain degraded blood.
meli-: honey, sugar
membrane: Thin layers of tissue which covers parts of the body, separates adjacent cavities, or connects adjacent structures.
memory: The mental functions of learning, retention, recall and recognition.
men/o: menstruation, menses
menarche: The first menstrual period.
meninges: The three membranes that envelop the brain and the spinal cord.
meningioma: A relatively common neoplasm of the central nervous system.
meningitis: An acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. May be viral or bacterial.
meningocele: Surgery to repair birth defects of the spine and spinal membranes.
meniscus: Crescent-shaped cartilage inside the knee joint that absorb shock and stabilize the joint.
menopause: The permanent cessation of menstruation.
menorrhagia: Excessive uterine bleeding during menstruation.
menses: Blood and tissue discharged from the uterus periodically.
menstrual cycle: The period from onset of one menstrual bleeding to the next in an ovulating female. The menstrual cycle is regulated by endocrine interactions of the hypothalamus; the pituitary gland; the ovaries; and the genital tract.
menstruation: The (approximately) monthly discharge of blood and cellular debris from the uterus by nonpregnant women, occurring from puberty to menopause.
menthol: An alcohol produced from mint oils or prepared synthetically.
MEP: maximal expiratory pressure
mEq/L: milliequivalent per liter
mer/o: part, partial
merkel cells: Modified epidermal cells located in the stratum basale (the innermost layer of the epidermis). They are found mostly in areas where sensory perception is acute, such as the fingertips.
mes-: middle, mean
mesenteric: Relating to the double layer of peritoneum suspending the intestine from the posterior abdominal wall.
mesentery: A double layer of peritoneum that encloses the intestines and attaches them to the posterior abdominal wall.
mesomorphic: Having a robust, muscular body build.
meta-: beyond, change
metabolism: The chemical reactions that occur within the cells, tissues or an organism.
metacarpals: The long bones in the hand located between the phalanges of the fingers and the carpal bones of the wrist.
metagenome: A collective genome representative of the many organisms, primarily microorganisms, existing in a community.
metastasectomy: Surgery to remove one or more neoplasm metastases.
metastasis: The spread of a cancer or other disease from one body part to another not directly connected with it.
metatarsal bones: The five long bones of the metatarsus, articulating with the tarsal bones proximally and the phalanges of toes distally.
metatarsalgia: Pain in the region of the metatarsus.
metatarsals: Five long bones in the foot, located between the ankle and toes.
metatarsus: The part of the foot between the tarsus and the toes.
methenamine: An antibacterial compound most commonly used in the treatment of urinary tract infections.
method/o: procedure, technique
metr/o: uterus (womb)
metritis: Inflammation of the uterus.
metrorrhagia: Abnormal uterine bleeding that is not related to menstruation.
MHC: mental health care
MI: myocardial infarction
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.
microcephaly: Abnormal smallness of the head; a congenital abnormality
microcheilia: Abnormally small lips.
micrococcus: A genus of gram-positive, spherical bacteria found in soils and fresh water, and frequently on the skin of man and other animals.
microdontia: Abnormally small teeth.
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.
micrognathism: Abnormally small jaw.
microstomia: A congenital defect of an abnormally small mouth.
microsurgery: Surgical procedures using microscope.
microtia: A congenital deformity of the external ear.
microvessels: The finer blood vessels of the vasculature that are generally less than 100 microns in internal diameter.
midwifery: The practice of assisting women in childbirth.
migraine: Moderate to severe, painful headache that may occur with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue and numbness.
milli-: one thousandth
mindfulness: A psychological state of awareness.
miosis: Excessive pupillary constriction.
miotics: Drugs causing contraction of the pupil.
MIP: maximal inspiratory pressure
mis/o: opposite, aversion
miscarriage: Common term for the loss of an embryo or fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy.. This term is longer accepted in clinical usage.
mites: They are minute animals related to the spiders, usually having transparent or semitransparent bodies. They may be parasitic on humans , producing various irritations of the skin.
mitochondria: Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells.
mitral valve: The valve between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart.
mitral valve prolapse: Abnormal protrusion of mitral valve leaflets in the left atria during systole. Results in blood backflow, which causes systolic murmurs, arrhythmia and mitral valve insufficiency.
mitral valve stenosis: Narrowing of the passage through the mitral value. Caused by fibrosis and calcinosis. Rheumatic fever is a primary cause.
MLD: minimum lethal dose
mmHg: millimeter of mercury
modality: A factor that makes a patient's symptoms better or worse.
mol: molecular weight
molar: The most posterior teeth on either side of the jaw which are used for grinding.
mon/o: single, one
monocytes: Large, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes. Monocytes help other white blood cells remove dead or damaged tissues, attack cancer cells and regulate immunity response. Produced in the bone marrow
monorchism: Absence of one testis.
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.
mortality: The relative frequency of deaths in a specific population.
morula: An early embryo that is a compact mass.
MRA: magnetic resonance angiography
MRI: magnetic resonance imaging
MRSA: methicillin resistant staph aureus
MS: multiple sclerosis
MS (2): mitral stenosis
MSH: melanocyte stimulating hormone
mucolipidoses: A group of inherited metabolic diseases in which mucopolysaccharides and lipids accumulate in tissues
mucositis: An inflammation of a mucous membrane, such as the lining of the mouth and throat.
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
multiple sclerosis: An immune-mediated process in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers.
mumps: An acute viral infection characterized by swelling of the salivary glands, especially the parotids. Usually seen in children.
muscular dystrophies: A heterogeneous group of inherited myopathies, characterized by wasting and weakness of the skeletal muscle.
muscular dystrophy: A group of over thirty genetic diseases characterized by progressive degeneration of the skeletal muscles that control movement.
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.
MV: mitral valve
MVA: motor vehicle accident
MVP: mitral valve prolapse
MVV: maximal voluntary ventilation
myalgia: Muscle pain.
myasthenia gravis: A chronic autoimmune disease characterized by weakness of the skeletal muscles.
mycetoma: A chronic progressive subcutaneous bacterial or fungal infection.
mycology: The study of fungi and fungus diseases.
mycosis: A fungal inflection.
mydriasis: Abnormal dilation of the pupil.
myel/o: spinal cord, bone marrow
myelin: A white fatty material that encloses certain axons and nerve fibers acting as an electrical insulator.
myelitis: An inflammation of the spinal cord.
myelodysplastic syndromes: A group of cancers in which immature blood cells in the bone marrow fail to mature and become healthy.
myelography: A procedure that uses dye with x-rays or CT scans to assess the spinal cord,
myiasis: The invasion of living tissues by dipterous larvae.
myocardi/o: myocardium (heart muscle)
myocardial infarction: Partial death of heart tissue caused by an obstructed blood supply. Commonly called "heart attack".
myocardial ischemia: A disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart.
myocarditis: Inflammation of the heart muscle. Caused by a wide range of infections and other problems.
myocardium: The heart muscle. Its contractions pump blood from heart to the lungs and systemic circulatory system.
myocele: Protrusion of muscle substance through a hole in its sheath
myoclonus: Sudden, involuntary jerking of a muscle.
myofascial release: Physical therapy used to treat chronic pain in the tissues that surround and support muscles.
myogenic: Originating in the muscles.
myolysis: Breakdown of muscle tissue.
myoma: A benign neoplasm of the muscles.
myometrium: The smooth muscle coat of the uterus, which forms the main mass of the organ.
myoparesis: Slight muscle paralysis.
myopia: Nearsightedness. A condition where close objects appear clearly, but distant objects appear blurry.
myorrhaphy: Suture of muscle tissue or a muscle wound.
myosarcoma: A general term for a malignant neoplasm derived from muscular tissue.
myositis: Inflammation of a muscle or muscle tissue.
myotonia: Tonic muscle spasm or muscular rigidity.
myotonic: Pertaining to muscle tone.
myring/o: tympanic membrane (eardrum)
myringitis: Inflammation of the eardrum.
myringotomy: Surgical incision in the eardrum to relieve fluid pressure.
myxoma: A benign neoplasm derived from connective tissue.
N&V: nausea and vomiting
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.
narc/o: sleep, numbness, stupor
narcissism: Excessive admiration of self.
narcolepsy: A chronic brain disorder that involves poor control of sleep-wake cycles.
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.
nares: An external opening in the nasal cavity. A nostril.
nasal cavity: The proximal portion of the respiratory passages on either side of the nasal septum. On inhalation the air is warmed, moistened, smelled and filtered.
nasal decongestants: Drugs designed to treat inflammation of the nasal passages.
nasal lavage: Irrigation of the nose with saline or irrigation solutions to remove irritants, allergens or microorganisms from the nose.
nasal septum: The partition separating the two nasal cavities in the midplane.
nasion: A point on the skull where the top of the nose meets the ridge of the forehead.
nasolacrimal duct: A tubular duct that conveys tears from the lacrimal gland to the nose.
nasopharynx: The top portion of the pharynx situated posterior to the nose and superior to the soft palate.
natal: Relating to birth.
nausea: An unpleasant sensation in the stomach accompanied by the inclination to vomit.
NCI: National Cancer Institute
NDC: National Drug Code
nebulizers: Devices that create an aerosol a mist (vapor). It is used to administer drugs or to humidify air.
neck: The body part connecting the head to the rest of the body.
necr-: death, corpse
necrobiosis: The natural death of cells due to age, use or development.
necrobiotic disorders: A group of disorders characterized by swelling, basophilia, and distortion of collagen bundles in the dermis.
necrosis: Pathological cell or tissue death, caused by damage, trauma, ischemia or infection.
necrotizing fasciitis: A rare but serious infection caused by bacteria. It destroys skin, fat and tissue covering muscles.
needle sharing: Usage of a single needle among two or more people for injecting drugs, a high-risk behavior for contracting infectious disease.
negativism: Behavior marked by extreme skepticism and persistent resistance to external advice.
nemosis: The process of cell activation and death in fibroblasts.
neocortex: The largest portion of the cerebral cortex, the outer surface of the cerebrum, responsible for spatial reasoning, thought, language, memory and sensory perception.
neonatal: Pertaining to a new baby, for the first 28 days after birth.
neonate: An infant less than one month old.
neoplasia: The formation of a neoplasm
neoplasm: An abnormal new growth of tissue. Also called a tumor.
neovascularization: Formation of new blood vessels.
nephralgia: Pain in the kidney.
nephrectomy: Excision of kidney.
nephritis: Inflammation of any part of the kidney.
nephrolithiasis: Formation of kidney stones.
nephrology: A subspecialty of medicine concerned with the kidney.
nephron: Very small filtering structures in the kidneys.
nephrosclerosis: Hardening of the kidney due to infiltration by fibrous connective tissue. Usually caused by chronic hypertension.
nephrosis: Any degenerative disease of the kidney.
nephrotic syndrome: Disease of the kidney without inflammatory or neoplastic components.
nerve: A cordlike structure of the body, comprising a collection of conducting fibers that convey impulses between a part of the central nervous system and another body region.
nerve block: Interruption of neural conduction in peripheral nerves or nerve trunks by the injection of a local anesthetic agent.
neural conduction: The propagation of the nerve impulse along the nerve away from the site of an excitation stimulus.
neuralgia: Intense pain that occurs along the course of a peripheral or cranial nerve.
neurapraxia: A peripheral nerve injury marked by a temporary loss of conduction of impulses.
neurasthenia: A mental disorder characterized by chronic fatigue and concomitant physiologic symptoms.
neuri-: nerve, nervous system
neuritis: A general term indicating inflammation of a nerve, often marked by pain, numbness or tingling, or paralysis.
neurocytoma: A brain tumor of undifferentiated cells of nervous origin.
neurodermatitis: An extremely variable eczematous skin disease that is presumed to be a response to prolonged vigorous scratching, rubbing, or pinching to relieve intense pruritus.
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.
neurofibroma: A moderately firm, benign, encapsulated tumor resulting from proliferation of Schwann cells and fibroblasts that includes portions of nerve fibers.
neurofibrosarcoma: A malignant tumor that arises from small cutaneous nerves, is locally aggressive, and has a potential for metastasis.
neurogenesis: Formation of neurons which involves the differentiation and division of stem cells in which one or both of the daughter cells become neurons.
neuroglia: The supportive tissue of the nervous system
neurological: Pertaining to the nervous system
neurology: A medical specialty concerned with the study of the structures, functions, and diseases of the nervous system.
neuroma: A benign neoplasm composed of nerve cells and nerve fibers.
neuromuscular: Disorders that affect the nerves that control voluntary muscles.
neuron: The basic cellular unit of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the nervous system.
neuroretinitis: Inflammation of the optic nerve and retina.
neurotransmitters: Chemical messengers that carry signals to other cells in the body.
neurotropic: Having an affinity for the nervous system or the growth of neural tissue.
neutropenia: Abnormally decrease in the numbers of neutrophils in circulating blood.
neutrophils: A type of white blood cell that is an early responder to infections.
nev/o: mole, birthmark
nevus: A malformation of skin that is present at birth, including moles and birthmarks.
NGF: nerve growth factor
niacin: A water-soluble vitamin B complex.
nicotine: A highly toxic alkaloid.
nictation: A reflex that closes and opens the eyes rapidly. Blinking.
NICU: neonatal intensive care unit
NIDDM: noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
night blindness: Failure or reduced ability to see in dim light.
night terrors: A sleep disorder characterized by episodes of abrupt awakening suggesting extreme fright. This condition primarily affects children and young adults.
NIH: National Institutes of Health
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.
nitroglycerin: A vasodilator which relieves angina pectoris.
NK: natural killer
NKA: no known allergies
NMJ: neuromuscular junction
nocebo effect: A negative placebo effect.
nocturia: Patient needs to wake at night to pass urine.
nocturnal enuresis: Involuntary discharge of urine during sleep at night after expected age of completed development of urinary control.
nocturnal myoclonus: A sleep disorder where the patient moves involuntarily during sleep. Also called periodic limb movement disorder.
nomen-: name, pertaining to names
norepinephrine: A neurotransmitter that is secreted in response to stress, increasing blood pressure and glucose.
normotensive: Having normal blood pressure.
norovirus: A virus associated with epidemic gastroenteritis.
nose: A part of the upper respiratory tract. It includes the external nose, the nasal cavity, and the paranasal sinuses.
nosocomial pneumonia: Pneumonia acquired during a hospital stay.
nostrums: Medicines whose effectiveness is unproven and whose ingredients are often secret. A quack remedy.
noxae: Anything harmful to the body.
NP: nurse practitioner
NPN: nonprotein nitrogen
NPO: nothing by mouth
NS: normal saline
NSAID: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
NSR: normal sinus rhythm
NTD: neural tube defect
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.
nulligravida: A woman who has never been pregnant.
nullipara: A woman who has never borne a child.
nutation: The act of nodding one's head, especially involuntarily.
nutri/o: to nourish
nyct/o: night, darkness
nyctalopia: Night blindness.
nystagmus: A vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements, usually side to side.
OB/GYN: obstetrics & gynecology
obesity: Being too heavy for one's height.
oblique: A slanting direction.
obsessive behavior: Repetitive, compulsive behavior.
obsessive compulsive disorder: An anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, unwanted obsessions and compulsions.
obstetrician: A medical doctor specialized in the management of pregnancy, labor and birth
obstetrics: The branch of medicine concerned with the care of women during pregnancy, parturition, and the puerperium.
obstipation: Severe constipation caused by obstruction in the intestines.
obtund: To blunt or deaden pain.
obturator muscle: Either of the two muscles that cover the outer surface of the anterior wall of the pelvis, responsible for rotating the thighs outward.
OC: oral contraceptive
occipital bone: The curved, shield-shaped bone forming the lower rear part of the skull, enclosing the foramen magnum.
occlusion: The blockage of a blood vessel.
OCD: obsessive-compulsive disorder
ochronosis: The discoloration of body tissues,due to a metabolism disorder.
ocular absorption: Uptake of substances by tissues of the eye.
ocular hypertension: A condition in which the intraocular pressure is elevated above normal and which may lead to glaucoma.
ocular hypotension: Abnormally low intraocular pressure often related to chronic inflammation.
oculomotor: Pertaining to or affecting eye movements.
odontogenesis: The process of tooth development.
odontoma: A mixed tumor of odontogenic origin,
odynophagia: Painful swallowing.
ointments: A medicated formulation with an oil base
olfactory: Relating to the sense of smell.
olfactory bulb: The area of the forebrain where the olfactory nerves terminate.
olfactory nerve: The first cranial nerve. The olfactory nerve conveys the sense of smell.
olig/o: few, scanty
oligodontia: Absence of some teeth.
oligohydramnios: A condition of abnormally low amniotic fluid volume.
oligomenorrhea: Light or infrequent menstrual periods.
oligospermia: A deficiency of spermatozoa in the semen, defined as a sperm count below 20 million per milliliter semen.
oliguria: Decreased urinary output.
omentum: A double-layered fold of peritoneum that attaches the stomach to other organs in the abdominal cavity.
omphal/o: umbilicus (navel)
omphalitis: Inflammation of the umbilicus.
onc/o: swelling, tumor
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.
ontogeny: The developmental history of an individual from inception to maturity.
onych/o: fingernail, toenail
onychocryptosis: An ingrown toenail.
onycholysis: Loosening or separation of nail plate from the underlying nail bed.
onychomycosis: A fungal infection of the nails.
oophorectomy: Surgical removal of an ovary or ovaries.
oophoritis: Inflammation of the ovary.
OPD: outpatient department
operculum: A lid or covering.
ophthalmia: Severe inflammation of the eye.
ophthalmic: Pertaining to the eye.
ophthalmology: A surgical specialty concerned with the treatment of eye defects and diseases.
ophthalmoplegia: Paralysis of one or more of the ocular muscles.
ophthalmoscopy: An examination of the back part of the eye (fundus), which includes the retina, optic disc, choroid, and blood vessels.
opiate: A narcotic containing opium or its derivatives.
opium: The air-dried juice of the unripe seed capsule of the opium poppy.
opposition: Relation of the position of the thumb to the other fingers.
opt/o: eye, vision
optic nerve: The second cranial nerve which conveys visual information from the retina to the brain.
optic neuritis: Inflammation of the optic nerve.
optic tract: Nerve fiber originating from the optic chiasm that connects predominantly to the lateral geniculate bodies. it is the continuation of the visual pathway that conveys the visual information originally from the retina to the optic chiasm via the optic nerves.
optometry: The professional practice of primary eye and vision care that includes the measurement of visual refractive power and the correction of visual defects with lenses or glasses.
OR: operating room
oral: Pertaining to the mouth.
oral hygiene: The practice of personal hygiene of the mouth. It includes the maintenance of oral cleanliness, tissue tone, and general preservation of oral health.
orbit: Bony cavity that holds the eyeball and its associated tissues and appendages.
orbital myositis: Inflammation of the extraocular muscle of the eye. It is characterized by swelling.
orchidalgia: Pain in the testicle.
orchidectomy: Surgical removal of one or both testicles.
orchiectomy: The surgical removal of one or both testicles.
orchiopexy: Surgery to move an undescended testicle into the scrotum.
orchitis: Inflammation of a testis.
organelles: Specialized intracellular structure present in eukaryotic cells.
organogenesis: Formation of differentiated cells and complicated tissue organization to provide specialized functions.
orgasm: The climax of sexual excitement.
ORIF: open reduction internal fixation
oropharynx: The middle portion of the pharynx that lies posterior to the mouth, inferior to the soft palate, and superior to the base of the tongue and epiglottis.
orthodontics: The dental specialty dealing with correction of dental abnormalities.
orthopedics: A surgical specialty which treats and corrects injuries, deformities and diseases to the skeletal system and joints.
orthopnea: Dyspnea when lying flat.
orthostatic: Pertaining to a erect posture.
orthotic: A device for correcting an orthopedic problem. Commonly used for the foot.
orthotic devices: A device used to support, align, or correct deformities of movable parts of the body.
OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
osm/o: sense of smell
osmosis: Tendency of fluids to move from the less concentrated to the more concentrated side of a semipermeable membrane.
osseous: Composed of or resembling bone.
ossicle: A small bone, especially of the middle ear.
ossification: The formation of bone.
osteitis: Inflammation of the bone.
osteoarthritis: A progressive, degenerative joint disease, the most common form of arthritis.
osteoblastoma: A benign, painful, vascular tumor of bone marked by the formation of osteoid tissue, primitive bone and calcified tissue.
osteochondritis: Inflammation of a bone and its overlaying cartilage.
osteochondroma: A cartilage-capped benign tumor that often appears as a stalk on the surface of bone.
osteochondrosis: Any of a group of disorders of the growth ossification centers in children
osteocytes: Mature osteoblasts that have become embedded in the bone matrix.
osteogenesis: The process of bone formation.
osteology: The science that studies the structure and function of bones.
osteolysis: Dissolution of bone.
osteoma: A benign, slow growing tumor composed of bone tissue.
osteomalacia: An interruption of the mineralization of organic bone matrix leading to bone softening, bone pain, and weakness. It is the adult form of rickets.
osteonecrosis: Death of a bone or part of a bone.
osteophyte: Bony projection usually found around joints and often seen in arthritis.
osteoporosis: Reduction of bone mass without alteration in the composition of bone, leading to fractures.
osteosarcoma: A sarcoma originating in bone-forming cells, affecting the ends of long bones.
osteosclerosis: An abnormal hardening or increased density of bone tissue.
osteotomy: Cutting of a bone.
ostomy: Surgery to create an artificial opening (stoma) into the urinary or gastrointestinal canal.
OT: occupational therapy
ot/o: ear, hearing
otalgia: Ear ache.
otitis: Inflammation of the ear, which may be marked by pain, fever, hearing disorders and vertigo.
otitis media: An ear infection of the middle ear, the area just behind the eardrum.
otolaryngology: A surgical specialty concerned with the study and treatment of disorders of the ear, nose, and throat.
otology: The study of diseases of the ear.
otomycosis: A fungal infection of the external auditory canal.
otopyorrhea: Discharge of pus from ear.
otorrhea: Ear discharge.
otosclerosis: A disease of the bones of the middle and inner ear.
otoscope: An instrument designed to inspect the ear.
ov/o: egg, ovum
ovarian: Pertaining to the ovary.
ovarian cysts: General term for cysts and cystic diseases of the ovary.
ovarian neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the ovary. These neoplasms can be benign or malignant.
ovary: Either of the sex glands in females. They produce ova and hormones.
ovulation: The discharge of an ovum from a rupturing follicle in the ovary.
ovum: A mature haploid female germ cell extruded from the ovary at ovulation.
oximetry: The determination of oxygen-hemoglobin saturation of blood.
oxy-: sharp, oxygen
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.
oxytocin: A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. It simulates contraction during labor and the production of milk.
ozone: An unstable, poisonous allotrope of oxygen.
p wave: Marks atrial depolarization. In a normal EKG, it precedes the QRS complex.
p.c.: after meals
p.r.n.: as needed
PA: Physician Assistant
PAC: premature atrial contraction
pacemaker: A device designed to use electric impulses to simulate heart contractions.
Paco2: partial pressure of carbon dioxide in alveolar gas
PAD: peripheral arterial disease
PAF: platelet activating factor
pain: An unpleasant or distressing localized sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons.
palate: The structure that forms the roof of the mouth. It consists of the anterior hard palate and the posterior soft palate.
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.
pallor: A clinical manifestation consisting of an unnatural paleness of the skin.
palpation: Use of fingers with light pressure as part of a physical exam.
PALS: pediatric advanced life support
pancreas: An irregularly shaped gland, located behind the stomach, that secretes pancreatic juice into the duodenum and insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin into the bloodstream.
pancreatectomy: Removal of the pancreas.
pancreatitis: Inflammation in the pancreas.
pandemic: A widespread epidemic of infectious disease.
panic: A state of extreme acute, intense anxiety and unreasoning fear.
panic attack: Fear response that is out of proportion for the situation.
panniculitis: General term for inflammation of adipose tissue, usually of the skin, characterized by reddened subcutaneous nodules.
pant/o: whole, all
panuveitis: Inflammation of both the anterior and posterior segments of the uvea tract.
Pap: Pap test Papanicolaou smear
papill/o: nipple, optic disc
papilla: A small, nipple-like projection.
papilledema: Swelling of the optic disk due to increased intracranial pressure.
papilloma: A benign epithelial tumor derived from epithelium and projecting from the surrounding surface
papul/o: papule, pimple
papule: A solid raised lesion that has distinct borders and is less than 1 cm in diameter.
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.
paralysis: Loss of muscle function.
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.
paranasal sinuses: Air-filled cavities located around the nasal cavity. There are four pairs: frontal, sphenoid, maxillary and ethmoid.
paranoia: Overly suspicious behavior.
paranoid behavior: Behavior exhibited by individuals who are overly suspicious, but without the symptoms characteristic of paranoid personality disorder or schizophrenia.
paranoid disorders: Chronic mental disorders in which there has been an insidious development of a permanent and unshakeable delusional system, but with clear and orderly thinking. Emotional responses and behavior are consistent with the delusional state.
paraparesis: Weakness or partial paralysis of the lower extremities.
paraphasia: A condition in which the patient uses wrong words, creating unintelligible sentences.
paraphimosis: A condition in which the foreskin, once retracted, cannot return to its original position. If this condition persists, it can lead to painful constriction of glans penis, swelling, and impaired blood flow to the penis.
paraplegia: Paralysis affecting the legs.
parasite: Invertebrate organisms that live on or in another organism.
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.
paratenon: The fatty or synovial tissue between a tendon and its sheath.
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.
parathyroidectomy: Surgical removal of one or more parathyroid glands.
paresis: A general term referring to slight or incomplete paralysis.
paresthesia: A sensation of tingling or numbness, skin crawling, or itching without apparent cause.
parietal bone: One of a pair of irregularly shaped quadrilateral bones situated between the frontal bone and occipital bone, which together form the sides of the cranium.
parietal lobe: Upper central part of the cerebral hemisphere. It is located posterior to central sulcus, anterior to the occipital lobe, and superior to the temporal lobes.
parity: The number of viable offspring a female has borne.
Parkinson disease: A progressive disease of the nervous system that affects movement.
paronychia: An infection of the skin around a fingernail or toenail.
parotid gland: Either of the pair of salivary glands that lie on the sides of the face immediately below and in front of the ear.
parotitis: Inflammation of the parotid gland.
paroxysm: A spasm or convulsion.
paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia: A very rapid heartbeat that occurs sporadically. Usually lasts from a few seconds to several hours.
parturition: The act of giving birth to one or more offspring.
pasteurization: Heating of certain beverages, such as milk, to a specific temperature for a fixed time interval in order to kill microorganisms.
PAT: paroxysmal atrial tachycardia
patella: The flat, triangular bone about 5 cm in diameter, situated at the anterior part of the knee. Also called the kneecap.
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.
patulous: Open or exposed.
PCA: patient-controlled analgesia
PD: Parkinson disease
PD (2): pupillary distance
PDA: patent ductus arteriosus
PDR: Physicians' Desk Reference
PE: physical examination
PE (2): pulmonary embolism
PEA: pulseless electrical activity
peak flow meter: Simple device that allows asthma patients to check lung airflow.
pecten: The middle, narrow zone in the anal canal.
pectoral: Relating to the thorax.
pectus carinatum: The chest or breast.
ped/o: child, foot
pediatrics: A medical specialty concerned with maintaining health and providing medical care to children from birth to adolescence.
pediculosis: Head lice.
pedophilia: An adult abnormal attraction to children for sexual purposes.
peduncle: A stalk like structure that serves as a support or connection.
PEEP: positive end expiratory pressure
PEFR: peak expiratory flow rate
PEG: percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy
pellagra: A disease characterized by scaly dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia caused by a deficiency of niacin and protein in the diet.
pellicle: A thin skin, film or organic membrane
pelvic floor: The connective tissues and muscles that lie beneath and support the perineum and pelvis. It extends between the pubic bone anteriorly and the coccyx posteriorly.
pelvis: The lower portion of the trunk, bounded anteriorly and laterally by the two hip bones and posteriorly by the sacrum and coccyx.
pemphigus: Any of several rare diseases characterized by groups of itching blisters.
penicillin: Any of a group of antibiotics derived from cultures of the mold like fungi Penicillium or produced synthetically.
penis: The external reproductive organ of males.
peptic ulcer: Ulcer that occurs in the regions of the gastrointestinal tract which come into contact with gastric juice.
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.
perfusion: Delivery of blood to the capillaries.
peri-: around, surrounding
periapical: Around an apex, especially the apex of a root of a tooth.
periarthritis: Inflammation of the tissues around a joint capsule.
pericardial effusion: Fluid accumulation within the pericardium. Severe cases can lead to cardiac tamponade.
pericardial fluid: Watery fluid produced in the serous and visceral pericardium surrounding the surface of the heart
pericardial friction rub: An extra heart sound that resembles squeaky leather. May be heard in pericarditis.
pericardiocentesis: Puncture and aspiration of fluid from the pericardium.
pericarditis: Inflammation of the pericardium, caused by infection, injury, or drugs.
pericardium: A thin layered sac enclosing the heart. Fluid between the layers lubricates the constantly moving surfaces.
pericoronitis: Inflammation of the gingiva surrounding the crown of a tooth.
perihepatitis: Inflammation of the peritoneal capsule of the liver
perimenopause: The period of time before menopause when a woman's body changes.
perimetritis: Inflammation of the peritoneal covering of the uterus
perinatal: Pertaining to the period three months before to one month after birth.
perine/o: perineum (surface region in both males and females between the pubic symphysis and the coccyx)
perinephritis: Inflammation of the connective and adipose tissues surrounding the KIDNEY.
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.
periorbital edema: A condition in which the tissues around the eyes become swollen. Puffy eyes.
periosteum: Thick, fibrous membrane covering the surface of a bone except its articular cartilage and areas where it attaches to tendons and ligaments.
periostitis: Inflammation of the periosteum.
peripartum period: The period shortly before, during, and immediately after giving birth.
peripheral neuropathy: Dysfunction of peripheral nerves which can impair movement, sensation and organ function.
periphlebitis: Inflammation of the tissues around a vein
peristalsis: A movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction.
peritone/o: peritoneum (serous membrane lining the abdominal cavity)
peritoneal absorption: Uptake of substances from the peritoneal cavity.
peritoneal cavity: The space enclosed by the peritoneum. It is divided into two portions, the greater sac and the lesser sac or omental bursa, which lies behind the STOMACH. The two sacs are connected by the foramen of Winslow, or epiploic foramen.
peritoneal dialysis: Dialysis fluid being introduced into and removed from the peritoneal cavity.
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.
perleche: Fissures and cracks at the corner of the mouth
permeability: Property of membranes and other structures to permit the passage of substances, heat and light.
pernicious: Diseases that are highly dangerous or fatal.
pernicious anemia: Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. A type of megaloblastic anemia.
peroneal: Pertaining to the fibula.
PERRLA: pupils equal, regular, react to light and accommodation
pertussis: Whooping cough. Contagious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract. Cold-like symptoms followed by many weeks of coughing. Preventable with immunization.
pest/i: pests, plague
pesticide: A substance used to destroy pests.
PET: positron emission tomography
petechia: A small, round, dark-red spot caused by intradermal or submucous hemorrhage.
petechiae: Tiny flat round red spots under the skin surface caused by intradermal hemorrhage. Spots do NOT blanch with pressure.
petr/o: stone, stone-like hardness
Peyronie disease: A condition where plaques form under the skin of the penis, causing the penis to bend.
PFT: pulmonary function test
PH: past medical history
phac/o: pertaining to lens
phag/o: eat, swallow
phagocytosis: The engulfing and degradation of microorganisms.
phak/o: pertaining to lens
phalanges: Fingers or toes
phalangitis: Inflammation of a finger or toe.
phantom limb: Phantom sensations that occur following the complete or partial loss of a limb.
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.
pharyngitis: Sore throat. Inflammation of the throat.
pharynx: The throat. A fibromuscular tube that conducts air to the larynx and lungs and food to the esophagus.
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.
phimosis: A condition of a narrowed or tightened foreskin that cannot be retracted to reveal the glans penis.
phlebitis: Inflammation of a vein, commonly a vein in the leg.
phlebography: An invasive imaging study of leg veins with a contrast agent injects using a catheter. Phlebography is the most accurate test for detecting deep vein thrombosis.
phlebotomy: The techniques used to draw blood from a vein for diagnostic purposes.
phlegm: Mucus in the respiratory airways (trachea, bronchial tree).
phob/o: fear, adversion
phon/o: sound, voice
phonation: To vocalize.
phonocardiogram: A waveform of heart sound amplitude over time, usually a few heartbeats.
phor/o: to carry
photalgia: Pain in the eye causes by bright light.
photophobia: Abnormal sensitivity to light.
photoreceptor cells: Specialized cells that detect and transduce light.
photoretinitis: Injury to the retina of the eye caused by looking directly into the sun without protection.
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.
phreni-: diaphragm, mind
phrenic: Pertaining to the diaphragm.
phyl/o: race, species, type
physi-: physical, natural
physiatrist: A doctor specializing in the physiological treatment of patients with conditions affecting movement. Often used in stroke rehabilitation.
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
PI: present illness; previous illness
pico-: one trillionth
PID: pelvic inflammatory disease
pigmentation: Coloration or discoloration of a part by a pigment.
PIH: pregnancy-induced hypertension
piloerection: The standing up of hairs on the skin
pilonidal sinus: A hair-containing cyst or sinus, occurring chiefly in the coccygeal region.
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.
pinta: A contagious bacterial skin disease prevalent in tropical America.
PIP: proximal interphalangeal
pituitary adenoma: Benign epithelia neoplasm of the pituitary.
pituitary gland: A small, oval, unpaired, endocrine gland connected to the hypothalamus by a short stalk which is called the infundibulum. Its secretions control the other endocrine glands and influence growth, metabolism, and maturation.
pityriasis: Any of a group of skin diseases characterized by the formation of fine, branny scales. This term is but only with a modifier.
placebo: Any dummy medication or treatment.
placenta: A vascular organ that develops during pregnancy, lining the uterine wall and partially enveloping the fetus. The placenta produces an array of steroid, protein and peptide hormones .
placenta previa: A condition when the placenta covers part or all of the cervix during the last months of pregnancy.
plagiocephaly: The condition characterized an irregular shape of the head often in parallelogram shape with a flat spot on the back or one side of the head.
plague: An infectious disease transmitted by the bite of a flea from a rodent infected with the bacillus Yersinia pestis.
plan/o: flat, plan, level
plani-: flat, level
plantar: Bottom of the foot
plantar fasciitis: Irritation of the connective tissue that runs from the heel to the base of the toes. Also known as :postman's heel".
plaque: Fatty deposits formed on the walls of arteries.
plasma: The part of blood which is not blood cells. Blood plasma also contains glucose and other dissolved nutrients. It also helps blood clot.
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.
platelets: Part of blood that help stop bleeding by clumping and clotting blood vessel injuries.
platy-: broad, flat
platybasia: A malformation of the cranium so that the floor of the posterior cranial fossa bulges upward in the region about the foramen magnum.
pledget: A small compress used to medicate, protect, or absorb drainage from a wound
pleocytosis: A presence of an abnormally high number of cells in the cerebrospinal fluid.
pless/i: striking, percussion
pleur/o: pleura, rib
pleura: The membrane enveloping the lungs consisting of two layers. The visceral pleura is attached directly to the lungs. The outer parietal pleura lines the thoracic cavity and diaphragm. Between the two layers is the pleural cavity, containing a lubricating liquid film.
pleural effusion: Excessive fluid in the pleural cavity which may cause breathlessness.
pleural friction rub: Sound created by the rubbing of when the chest wall moves. Stops when patient holds her breath. Often heard with pleurisy. Thick inflamed surfaces sliding by one another.
pleurisy: Inflammation of the pleura, the membranes covering the lungs.
pleurodynia: Inflamed lung membranes causing pain during inhalation.
plexus: A network of nerves or blood vessels.
pluri-: several, more
PM: afternoon, evening
PMH: past medical history
PMN: polymorphonuclear (neutrophil leukocyte)
PMS: premenstrual syndrome
PND: paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
pneo-: air, breath, breathing
pneum/o: lung, air
pneumocephalus: Presence of air or gas within the intracranial cavity usually the result of a fracture.
pneumoconiosis: Occupational lung disease caused by prolonged inhalation of dust. Common lung disease in mining.
pneumocyte: Any of the epithelial cells lining the alveoli of the lung.
pneumonectomy: Surgical removal of part or all of a lung.
pneumonia: Inflammation of the lungs with alveoli filling with pus. Typically caused by infection and can follow flu, colds and other illnesses.
pneumonitis: Inflammation of lung tissue.
pneumoperitoneum: Presence of air or gas in the peritoneal cavity.
pneumorrhachis: Presence of air or gas within the spinal canal cavity.
pneumothorax: Partial or fully collapsed lung. An accumulation of air in the pleural cavity. Caused by trauma, such as a gun shot or stab wound and can also occur spontaneously.
PNH: paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
PNI: peripheral nerve injury
PNS: peripheral nervous system
podiatry: A medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of foot disorders and injuries.
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.
polyarthritis: Simultaneous inflammation of several joints.
polychondritis: Inflammation of cartilage.
polycystic kidney disease: An inherited disease in which cysts develop within the kidneys.
polycystic ovary syndrome: A condition in which a woman’s levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. Often cause for infertility
polycythemia: Abnormal increase in the aggregate red cell mass of the blood.
polydactyly: A congenital anomaly of the hand or foot, characterized by supernumerary digits.
polydipsia: Excessive thirst.
polymorphism: Occurring in several different forms.
polymyositis: Inflammation of the muscles or associated tissues, such as the blood vessels that supply the muscles
polyneuropathy: A disease of multiple peripheral nerves simultaneously.
polyp: Abnormal tissue mass that protrudes into the lumen of the digestive or respiratory tracts.
polyphagia: Excessive hunger or appetite.
polyps: Discrete abnormal tissue masses that protrude into the lumen of the digestive tract or the respiratory tract.
polysomnography: Sleep study. Includes monitoring of respiratory patterns, brain waves, sleep stages, and other physiological variables.
polyuria: Excessive production of urine.
pono-: fatigue, exhaustion, overwork
pons: The front part of the hindbrain that lies between the medulla and the midbrain ventral to the cerebellum, serving as a relay station for neural pathways.
popliteal: Pertaining to the area behind the knee.
por/o: passage, opening, duct
porokeratosis: A rare, chronic, progressive autosomal dominant skin disorder market by craterlike patches.
poroma: A neoplasm of cells lining the skin openings of sweat glands.
portal vein: A vein that conducts blood from the digestive organs, spleen, pancreas, and gallbladder to the liver.
posset: A small amount of milk that is regurgitated by infants after feeding.
post-: after, behind, back
post-traumatic stress disorder: A disorder that develops in people who have experienced a terrifying event.
postmenopause: The physiological period following the menopause.
postpartum: The period that is shortly after giving birth.
postprandial: After a meal.
posture: The position of the body.
ppm: parts per million
PR: through the rectum
PRBC: packed red blood cells
pre-: before, in front of
prebiotics: Indigestible food ingredients that promote overall health by supporting the activity of probiotic bacteria in the large intestine.
precordium: The region of the thorax immediately over the heart.
prediabetes: A condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal. Considered a warning sign for diabetes.
prediabetic: The time period before the development of symptomatic diabetes mellitus.
preeclampsia: A serious pregnancy disorder characterized by high blood pressure, a large amount of protein in the urine and edema of hands and feet.
pregnancy: Carrying developing offspring (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth.
preleukemia: Conditions in which the abnormalities in the peripheral blood or bone marrow represent the early manifestations of acute leukemia, but in which the changes are not of sufficient magnitude or specificity to permit a diagnosis of acute leukemia by the usual clinical criteria.
premature ejaculation: The emission of semen and seminal fluid during the act of preparation for sexual intercourse, i.e. before there is penetration, or shortly after penetration.
premedication: Preliminary administration of a drug preceding a diagnostic, therapeutic, or surgical procedure.
premenopause: The period before menopause. The transition from full sexual maturity to cessation of ovarian cycle takes place between the age of late thirty and early fifty.
preneoplastic: Preceding the formation of a tumor.
prepuce: The fold of skin that grows over the end of the penis.
presby/o: old age
presbycusis: Hearing loss that gradually occurs in most individuals as they grow older.
presbyopia: An age-related condition when the eye's lens doesn't change shape as easily as it once did
pressure ulcer: An ulcer that appears in the skin over a bony prominence due to compression and inadequate blood perfusion. Bedridden or chair bound patients are at risk. Also called bedsore.
prevalence: A measure of morbidity based on currents levels of a disease in a population.
priapism: A abnormally prolonged erection of the penis.
primigravida: A woman who is pregnant for the first time.
primipara: A woman who has given birth to one viable infant.
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.
proct/o: anus and rectum
proctocolitis: Inflammation of the rectum and the colon.
proctoscope: Endoscope for examination of the rectum and anus.
prodrome: An early symptom that precedes the onset of disease.
profunda: Blood vessels situated deep in the body tissues they supply.
progeria: An abnormal congenital condition of premature aging.
progesterone: A sex hormone produced by the ovaries.
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.
prolactin: A pituitary hormone that stimulates and maintains lactation in postpartum mammals.
prolactinoma: A begin tumor of the pituitary gland overproduces a hormone called prolactin.
prolapse: The protrusion or sinking down of an organ or part of an organ.
promontory: A projecting part.
pronation: The inward roll of the foot (medial malleolus) while walking or running.
prone: Lying on the abdomen
prone position: The posture of an individual lying face down.
proptosis: Protrusion or bulging of the eye.
pros/o: forward, anterior
prospective study: A forward looking study of a group over a long period.
prostate: A gland that is part of a male reproductive system. Located below the bladder.
prostatic neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the prostate.
prostatism: Lower urinary tract symptom, such as slow urinary stream, associated with prostatic hyperplasia in older men.
prostatitis: Inflammation of the prostate gland.
prosthesis: A device that replaces a missing body part or makes a part of the body work better.
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.
proteolysis: The decomposition of proteins into peptides and amino acids by enzymes in the digestive tract.
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.
proximal: Nearest to the point of attachment to the trunk
proxy: A person authorized to decide or act for another person, for example, a person having durable power of attorney.
prurigo: A chronic inflammation of the skin characterized by a persistent eruption of papules that itch intensely.
pruritus vulvae: Itching of the vulva.
pseudarthrosis: A new, false, fibrous joint arising at the site of an ununited fracture.
pseudophakia: Presence of an intraocular lens after cataract extraction.
psi: pounds per square inch
psoriasis: A skin disease that causes itchy patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales on the scalp and flexor joint surfaces.
psoriatic arthritis: Arthritis associated with psoriasis, affecting joints and the spine.
PSV: pressure supported ventilation
PSVT: paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
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.
PT: physical therapy
PTCA: percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
PTH: parathyroid hormone
ptosis: Drooping of the upper eyelid.
PTSD: post traumatic stress disorder
PTT: partial thromboplastin time
pub/o: pubic, pubes
puberty: Becoming first capable of reproducing sexually.
pubic bone: A bone that forms the lower and anterior part of each side of the hip bone.
pubic symphysis: A slightly movable cartilaginous joint which occurs between the pubic bones.
PUD: peptic ulcer disease
pudendal nerve: A nerve which originates in the sacral spinal cord (S2 to S4) and innervates the perineum, the external genitalia, the external anal sphincter and the external urethral sphincter. Can be damaged in childbirth.
puerperal: The period up until six to eight weeks after childbirth.
pulmonary: Pertaining to the lungs.
pulmonary artery: The short wide vessel that moves blood from the right ventricle to the lungs.
pulmonary circulation: The circulation of the blood to and through the lungs
pulmonary edema: Excessive accumulation of fluid in the lung. Can be life-threatening. Often associated with heart failure.
pulmonary embolism: A clot blocking of the pulmonary artery or one of its branches.
pulmonary fibrosis: Progressive formation of fibrotic (scar) tissue in the lungs. Patients show increasing dyspnea.
pulmonary function test: A battery of tests that evaluate the volume and flow rate of air in and out of the lungs.
pulmonary infarction: necrosis of lung tissue that is cause by the lack of oxygen or blood supply. The most common cause of pulmonary infarction is a blood clot in the lung.
pulmonary valve: The heart valve at the intersection of the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery.
pulmonary valve regurgitation: Back flow of blood from the pulmonary artery into the right ventricular due to a leaky pulmonary valve.
pulmonary valve stenosis: The pathologic narrowing of the pulmonary valve opening. Limits blood flow from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery.
pulmonary veins: The veins that return the oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart.
pulmonologist: An internal medicine specialist concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and defects of the lungs and bronchial tree.
pulp: A soft mass of tissue.
puls/o: beating, to beat
pulse: The rhythmical expansion and contraction of an artery, caused by blood pumping from the heart.
pulse oximeter: Device that measures oxygen saturation in the blood.
pupil: The aperture in the iris through which light passes.
purkinje fibers: Cardiac muscle fibers that conduct the cardiac impulse from the atrioventricular node to the ventricles causing them to contract.
purpura: Blood spots on the skin that are purple-colored, between 4-10 mm resembling bruising.
purul/o: pus formation
purulent: Pertaining to pus.
PUVA: psoralen ultraviolet A
PVC: premature ventricular contraction
pyarthrosis: Acute inflammation of synovial membranes.
pyel/o: renal pelvis
pyelectasis: Dilation of the pelvis of the kidney.
pyelitis: Inflammation of the renal pelvis.
pyelocystitis: Inflammation of the kidney pelvis and the urinary bladder.
pyelonephritis: Inflammation of the kidney involving the renal parenchyma (the nephrons), kidney pelvis and kidney calices. It is characterized by abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and occasionally diarrhea.
pykn/o: thick, dense, compact
pyl/e: portal vein
pylethrombosis: Thrombosis of the portal vein.
pylor/o: pylorus (opening between the stomach and duodenum)
pylorus: The region of the stomach at the junction with the duodenum.
pyoderma: Any purulent skin disease.
pyogenic: Producing pus.
pyometra: Accumulation of pus in the uterine cavity.
pyomyositis: An acute, intramuscular suppuration of the large skeletal muscle groups.
pyonephrosis: Distention of kidney with the presence of pus and destruction of the renal parenchyma. It is often associated with renal obstruction and can lead to total or nearly total loss of renal function.
pyr/o: fire, fever
pyrosis: Substernal pain or burning sensation, usually associated with regurgitation of gastric juice into the esophagus. Also called heartburn.
pyuria: White blood cells or pus cells in the urine.
qrs complex: A segment of an EKG tracing representing ventricular depolarization.
quackery: The fraudulent misrepresentation of the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
quadriceps muscle: The quadriceps femoris. A collective name of the four-headed skeletal muscle of the thigh.
quadriplegia: Paralysis that results in the partial or total loss of use of all four limbs and torso.
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
quickening: Movements of the fetus felt by the mother, usually after the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
quinine: An drug derived from the bark of the cinchona tree, used as an antimalarial drug.
R/O: rule out
rabies: Acute viral infection affecting mammals, including humans.
rachi/o: spinal column
rad: radiation absorbed dose
RAD (2): right anterior descending
radi/o: x-rays, radius
radial artery: An artery in the forearm that starts at the bifurcation of the brachial artery and passing in branches to the forearm, wrist, and hand.
radial keratotomy: A surgical procedure used to decrease nearsightedness.
radial nerve: A major nerve of the upper extremity, originating in the lower cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord, traveling via the posterior cord of the brachial plexus, and supplying motor innervation to extensor muscles of the arm and cutaneous sensory fibers to extensor regions of the arm and hand.
radiation: Electromagnetic energy that travels through empty space with the speed of light.
radicul/o: nerve root
radicular cyst: A slow growing cyst of the periodonal tissue at the root of a tooth.
radiculopathy: Disease involving a spinal nerve root.
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.
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.
rash: A temporary eruption of spots on the skin.
rationalization: An unconscious defense mechanism in which a person attempts to justify behavior while ignoring the real reasons.
Raynaud disease: An idiopathic vascular disorder of small arteries and arterioles.
RBBB: right bundle branch block
RBC: red blood cell; red blood count
RDA: recommended daily/dietary allowance
RDS: respiratory distress syndrome
re-: again, back
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.
rectum: The distal segment of the large intestine, between the sigmoid colon and the anal canal.
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.
reflex: A quick, involuntary movement or exercise of function, in response to a stimulus applied to the periphery and transmitted to the brain or spinal cord.
reflex arc: The neural path of a reflex.
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.
REM: rapid eye movement
rem sleep: A stage of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements and low voltage fast pattern EEG. It is usually associated with dreaming.
remission: The abatement or disappearance of a disease as a result of treatment.
renal: Pertaining to the kidneys.
reperfusion: Restoration of blood supply to tissue which was ischemic.
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.
residual volume: The volume of air remaining in the lungs at the end of a maximal expiration.
respiratory system: The organs and structures that bring about gas exchange between ambient air and the blood.
respiratory therapy: Care of patients with abnormalities associated with the pulmonary system.
restenosis: The recurrence of stenosis in an artery after previous treatment.
resuscitation: To restore consciousness or other signs of life to one apparently dead.
rete: A network of blood vessels, fibers or nerves.
retention: The ability of the digestive system to hold fluids and food.
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.
retina: The ten-layered nervous tissue membrane of the eye. The innermost layer of the eye, which receives images transmitted through the lens and contains the receptors for vision, the rods and cones
retinitis: Inflammation of the retina.
retinopexy: A surgery for certain types of retinal detachments.
retractor: A surgical instrument used to draw aside and hold the edges of a wound or structures.
Reye syndrome: An acquired encephalopathy of young children that follows an acute febrile illness, usually influenza or varicella infection.
RF: rheumatoid factor
Rh: rhesus factor
rh factor: A type of protein on the surface of red blood cells. Most people who have the Rh factor are Rh-positive. Those who do not have the Rh factor are Rh-negative.
rhabdomy/o: striated muscle
rhabdomyoma: A rare, benign neoplasm derived from striated muscle.
rhabdomyosarcoma: Malignant neoplasm derived from skeletal (striated) muscle.
RHD: rheumatic heart disease
rhe/o: stream, flow, electric current
rheumatic diseases: Disorders of connective tissue, especially the joints and related structures, characterized by inflammation, degeneration, or metabolic derangement.
rheumatic fever: A disease occurring as a complication of inadequately treated strep throat infection. Can result in serious damage to heart valves.
rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, commonly the hands and wrists. May lead to early crippling.
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.
rhinitis: Inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane.
rhinomanometry: Technique for measuring airflow and pressure in the nasal cavity during respiration.
rhinoplasty: Plastic surgery on the nose.
rhinosporidiosis: Chronic, localized fungal infection of mucocutaneous tissues, especially the nose.
rhonchi: A coarse rattling breath sound somewhat similar to snoring.
rhytidectomy: A facelift.
rhytidoplasty: Plastic surgery performed for the elimination of skin wrinkles.
riboflavin: Vitamin B2.
ribs: The flat, curved bones that form a protective cage for the chest organs, consisting of twelve curved bones which connect to the vertebral column posteriorly and terminate anteriorly as costal cartilage.
RICE: rest, ice, compression, elevation
rickets: A disease of growing bone caused by interruption of bone mineralization. Caused by lack of vitamin D.
rickettsia: A genus of gram-negative, aerobic, rod-shaped bacteria often surrounded by a protein micro capsular layer and slime layer. Transmitted to humans by arthropods. Cause Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Typhus.
rigor mortis: Muscular rigidity which develops in the cadaver usually from 4 to 10 hours after death and lasts 3 or 4 days.
RIND: reversible ischemic neurologic deficit
RLE: right lower extremity
RLL: right lower lobe
RLQ: right lower quadrant
RML: right middle lobe of lung
rna: Any of a class of nucleic acids that can encode genetic information and play an essential role in protein synthesis.
RNP: Registered Nurse Practitioner
ROM: range of motion
ROS: review of systems
rosacea: A common, chronic skin condition characterized by facial redness and often small, red pus-filled bumps. Also known as "Adult Acne".
rot-: wheel, turn
rotator cuff: The musculotendinous sheath formed by the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor muscles. These help stabilize the head of the humerus in the glenoid fossa and allow for rotation of the shoulder joint about its longitudinal axis.
RPh: Registered Pharmacist
RPM: revolutions per minute
RQ: respiratory quotient
RR: recovery room
RR (2): respiratory rate
RSI: repetitive stress injury
RSV: respiratory syncytial virus
RT: Respiratory Therapist
rubella: Infectious viral disease caused by virus entering the respiratory tract and spreading to the lymphatic system. Often affecting children and nonimmune young adults. High risk of deafness in fetus. Preventable with MMR vaccine.
RUE: right upper extremity
RUL: right upper lobe
rupture: Forcible or traumatic tear of an organ or other soft part of the body.
RUQ: right upper quadrant
RV: residual volume
Rx: prescription, medication
s-t segment: The segment on an EKG tracing that represents the interval between the end of ventricular depolarization and the beginning of ventricular repolarization.
s.o.s.: if necessary
S1: first heart sound
S2: second heart sound
S3: third heart sound
S4: fourth heart sound
sac: A bag-like structure.
saccades: An abrupt voluntary shift in ocular fixation from one point to another, as occurs in reading.
saccule: One of the two membranous sacs within the vestibule of the inner ear. It contains fluid, responses to gravity and provides the brain with information about head position.
sacr/o: sacrum (large bone at base of spine)
sacroiliitis: Inflammation of the sacroiliac joint, marked by lower back pain, fever, uveitis, psoriasis and decreased range of motion.
sacrum: The large, triangular bone at the dorsal part of the pelvis, between the two hip bones. The sacrum strengthens and stabilizes the pelvis.
SAD: seasonal affective disorder
sadism: A condition in which there is pleasure from inflicting pain, discomfort or humiliation on another person.
sagittal: A plane that extends down the long axis of the body, parallel to the median plane.
sagittal plane: separates the body's left and right sections
salicylism: Poisoning by salicylic acid or its compounds.
saliva: The clear, viscous fluid secreted by the salivary glands and mucous glands of the mouth. It serves to moisten the oral cavity, to initiate the digestion of starches, and to aid in the chewing and swallowing of food.
salivary ducts: Any of the ducts which transport saliva.
salivary glands: Glands that secrete saliva in the mouth. There are three pairs of salivary glands: parotid gland; sublingual gland and submandibular gland.
salmonella: A genus of gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria. It causes food poisoning, enteric fevers, gastroenteritis, and bacteremia.
salping/o: fallopian tube
salpingitis: Inflammation of the fallopian or eustachian tube.
salpingostomy: Formation of an artificial opening in a fallopian tube.
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.
sarc/o: flesh, connective tissue
sarcocystosis: Infection of the striated muscle of mammals by parasites of the genus Sarcocystis. Often asymptomatic, but symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, and paralysis.
sarcoid: A fleshy tumor.
sarcoidosis: An disease that leads to inflammation, usually in the lungs, skin, or lymph nodes. Characterized by the formation of granulomas which contain giant cells.
sarcoma: A cancer of the bone, muscle, cartilage, fat, blood vessels or connective tissue.
sarcopenia: A disease associated with aging resulting in loss of muscle mass and strength.
SARS: severe acute respiratory syndrome
sartorius: The thin, long, diagonal, strap-like anterior thigh muscle extending from the pelvis to the calf of the leg.
satiation: A fulfillment of a need or desire followed by a state of relative insensitivity to that particular need or desire.
SB: small bowel
SBO: small bowel obstruction
SBP: systolic blood pressure
scabies: Itchy skin caused by a tiny burrowing mite. Symptoms worse at night.
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
scaphoid bone: The bone which is located most lateral in the proximal row of carpal bones.
scapul/o: scapula (shoulder blade)
scapula: The flat triangular bone in the back of the shoulder. Also called the shoulder blade.
scar: A permanent mark remaining after a wound heals.
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.
schisto-: split, cleft
schizophrenia: A chronic, severe mental illness that interferes with the ability to think, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others.
sciatic nerve: A nerve which originates in the lumbar and sacral spinal cord and supplies motor and sensory innervation to the lower extremity. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body.
sciatica: Pain radiating along the sciatic nerve from the lower back down the leg.
scirrh/o: hard, hard tumor
scler/o: white of eye, hard
sclera: The white, opaque, fibrous, outer envelope of the eyeball, covering it entirely except the cornea.
scleritis: A severe, vision-threatening inflammation of the white part of the eye.
scleroderma: An autoimmune, chronic disease that affects the body by hardening connective tissue.
sclerosis: A pathological process consisting of hardening or fibrosis of an anatomical structure, often a vessel or a nerve.
scoli/o: curved, crooked
scoliosis: A sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty.
scotoma: An area of diminished vision within the visual field.
scotopic: Pertaining to the adjustment of the eye to low illumination.
scrofula: Tuberculosis affecting the lymph nodes, particularly the neck.
scrotum: A pouch of skin containing the testicles and spermatic cords.
scurvy: An acquired blood vessel disorder caused by severe deficiency of vitamin C, characterized by spongy, bleeding gums, bleeding under the skin, and extreme weakness.
SDAT: standard deviation
seb/o: sebum, oil, fatty
sebaceous glands: Small, sacculated organs found within the dermis. Each gland has a single duct that opens into a hair follicle or onto the general surface of the skin. These glands secrete sebum, an oily lubricating substance.
seborrhea: A common skin problem that causes a red, itchy rash and white scales. On the scalp, it is called dandruff.
sebum: The oily substance secreted by sebaceous glands. It is composed of keratin, fat, and cellular debris.
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.
seizure: A sudden surge of the brain’s electrical activity affecting movement and awareness for a short time.
seizures: A sudden attack, spasm, or convulsion.
semantics: Study of the meanings of words (or symbols) and the rules of their use.
semen: The thick, yellowish-white, viscid fluid secretion of male reproductive organs discharged upon ejaculation. It contains spermatozoa and their nutrient plasma and secretions from the prostate and bulbourethral glands.
semicircular canals: Three long canals (anterior, posterior, and lateral) of the bony labyrinth. They are set at right angles to each other and are concerned with balance.
semih.: half an hour
semilunar valve: Either the aortic valve or the pulmonary valve, each consisting of crescent-shaped cusps.
seminoma: A malignant neoplasm of the testis.
senescence: The process of growing old.
sensation: A perception produced by afferent nerve impulses conveyed to the sensorium.
sensitivity: The probability that a person having a disease will be correctly identified by a clinical test.
sensorineural hearing loss: Loss of hearing resulting from problems in the inner ear. A common hearing impairment.
sepsis: A serious medical condition caused by an overwhelming immune response to infection that triggers widespread inflammation. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock.
sept/o: septum, seven
septal defect: A hole in the septum of the heart, usually congenital.
septicemia: A serious bacterial bloodstream infection. It’s also known as bacteremia, or blood poisoning.
sequela: Any disorder that results from a preceding disease or accident.
ser/o: blood serum
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.
serum: Blood plasma after the removal of clotting proteins.
sesamoid: Denoting a small nodular bone embedded in a tendon or joint capsule and that slides over another bony surface. The patella is a sesamoid bone.
sesqui-: one and one-half
sex: The totality of characteristics of reproductive structure, functions, phenotype, and genotype, differentiating the male from the female organism.
sexuality: The sexual functions, activities, attitudes, and orientations of an individual. Sexuality, male or female, becomes evident at puberty under the influence of gonadal steroids (testosterone or estradiol) and social effects.
SGA: small for gestational age
shaken baby syndrome: Brain injuries resulted from vigorous shaking of an infant or young child held by the chest, shoulders, or extremities causing extreme cranial acceleration. It is characterized by the intracranial and intraocular hemorrhages with no evident external trauma. Serious cases may result in death.
sheath: A tubular casing that envelops structures such as arteries, nerves, tendons and muscles.
shin splint: Inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around the tibia.
shivering: Involuntary contraction or twitching of the muscles due to cold or fear.
shock: An emergency pathological condition manifested by failure to perfuse or oxygenate vital organs and tissues.
shoulder: The junction of the clavicle, scapula, and humerus where the arm connects to the trunk.
shoulder dislocation: Displacement of the humerus from the scapula.
shunt: A passage connecting two anatomical sites or channels.
SI: international system of units
SIADH: syndrome of inappropriate diuretic hormone
sialaden/o: salivary gland
sialadenitis: Inflammation of a salivary gland.
sialomucins: A subcategory of mucins that contain sialic acid.
sialorrhea: Excessive salivary flow.
sibilant: A high pitched hissing or whistling sound heard while auscultating.
sickle cell anemia: An inherited form of anemia where red blood cells become rigid, sticky and shaped like sickles. These irregularly shaped cells can get stuck in small blood vessels, which can slow or block blood flow to parts of the body.
SICU: surgical intensive care unit
siderosis: A form of pneumoconiosis resulting from inhalation of iron in mining dust or welding fumes.
SIDS: sudden infant death syndrome
Sig: write on label
sigmoid: The distal part of the colon from the level of the iliac crest to the rectum.
sigmold/o: sigmoid colon
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
silicosis: A form of pneumoconiosis resulting from prolonged inhalation of silica dust.
simplexvirus: A genus of the family herpesviridae, consisting of herpes simplex-like viruses.
simvastatin: A statin used to treat high blood cholesterol levels.
sinoatrial block: The electrical impulse from the sinoatrial node is inhibited or completely blocked before it reaches the atrium.
sinoatrial node: The small mass of modified cardiac muscle fibers located in the upper part of the right atrium. Contraction impulses are generated at the SA node and spread over the atrium, then transmitted by the Bundle of HIS to the ventricles.
sinus rhythm: A normal heart rhythm as indicated on an EKG tracing.
sinusitis: Inflammation of the sinuses.
sito-: bread, food
skeleton: The rigid framework of connected bones that gives form to the body, protects and supports its soft organs and tissues and provides attachments for muscles.
skin: The tough, supple, outer covering of the body that protects it from the environment. It is the largest organ of the body and is composed of the dermis and the epidermis.
skull: The skeleton of the head including the facial bones and the bones enclosing the brain.
SLE: systemic lupus erythematosus
sleep: Physiologic state of rest, relative unconsciousness and inaction of voluntary muscles.
sleep apnea: Sleep disorder characterized by multiple starts and stops of breathing, interfering with normal sleeping patterns. Measurable decrease in blood oxygen levels.
sling: A bandage that supports an injured limb.
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.
smell: The ability to detect scents or odors, such as the function of olfactory receptor neurons.
sneezing: The sudden, forceful, involuntary expulsion of air from the nasal cavities and mouth due to irritation to the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract.
SNF: skilled nursing facility
snoring: Noisy breathing during sleep, due to vibration of the soft palate and other soft tissue in the upper airway.
snow blindness: A painful eye condition caused by exposure of insufficiently protected eyes to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Also called photokeratitis.
SOAP: subjective, objective, assessment, plan
SOB: shortness of breath
socio-: social, society
soleus: A flat, broad muscle in the calf of the leg.
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.
somatic: Pertaining to the body.
somatotrophs: Anterior pituitary cells which produce growth hormone.
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).
somnambulism: A parasomnia characterized by a partial arousal that occurs during stage IV of non-REM sleep. Also called sleep-walking.
souffle: A soft blowing sound heard with a stethoscope.
spasm: An involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
spasmodic torticollis: A very painful condition in which neck muscles contract involuntarily causing the head to twist, bend or rotate to one side.
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.
spectrometry: Measurement of the wavelengths of electromagnetic emissions.
speech: Use of vocal sounds to communicate.
sperm: The male gamete or sex cell that contains the genetic information to be transmitted by the male. Also called spermatozoon.
sperm/o: sperm cells
sperma-: sperm, seed
spermatids: Immature sperm cells developed in the testicle.
spermatozoa: Mature male germ cells derived from spermatids.
SPF: skin protection factor
sphen/o: wedge, wedge-shaped
sphenoid bone: An irregular unpaired bone situated at the skull base and wedged between the frontal, temporal, and occipital bones.
sphenoid/o: sphenoid (compound bone at base of skull)
spher/o: sphere, round
spherocytes: Small, abnormal spherical red blood cells with more than the normal amount of hemoglobin.
spherocytosis: A blood disorder characterized by the presence of small, sphere like red blood cells.
sphincter: A ring-link muscle that constrictions a natural body passage or orifice and which relaxes as needed. Present in the rectum and urinary tract.
sphygmomanometer: Device for measuring arterial blood pressure. Includes an inflatable cuff, inflating bulb and a gauge showing the blood pressure.
spica: A figure-eight bandage.
spina bifida: A spinal birth defect.
spinal cord: The section of the central nervous system enclosed in the vertebral column.
spinal nerves: The 31 paired peripheral nerves formed by the union of the dorsal and ventral spinal roots from each spinal cord segment. The spinal nerve plexuses and the spinal roots are also included.
spinal puncture: Tapping fluid from the subarachnoid space in the lumbar region, usually between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae.
spinal stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal.
spine: The spinal or vertebral column.
spir/o: to breath
spirometer: Device that measures inhaled or exhaled air volume.
splanchnic: Pertaining to the viscera.
spleen: An encapsulated lymphatic organ through which venous blood filters.
splenectomy: Surgical procedure involving either partial or entire removal of the spleen.
splenic artery: The largest branch of the celiac trunk with distribution to the spleen, pancreas, stomach and greater omentum.
splenitis: Inflammation of the spleen.
splenomegaly: Enlargement of the spleen.
splint: An appliance used to prevent movement of a joint or to fixate displaced or movable parts.
spondyl/o: vertebra, backbone
spondylitis: Inflammation of the synovial joints of the backbone.
spondylolisthesis: Forward displacement of a superior vertebral body over the vertebral body below.
spondylolysis: The degeneration of a vertebra.
spondylosis: A degenerative spinal disease that can involve any part of the vertebra, the intervertebral disk, and the surrounding soft tissue.
spor/o: spore, seed
spores: The reproductive elements of lower organisms such as bacteria and fungi.
sprain: An injury caused by tearing of the fibers of a ligament.
sputum: Material coughed up from the lungs.
squamous cell carcinoma: Most squamous cell cancers occur on skin that is regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. It is the second most common type of cancer in the United States.
ss: a half
SSS: sick sinus syndrome
staped/o: stapes (a middle ear bone)
stapedectomy: Surgical removal of the stapes.
stapes: One of the three ossicles of the middle ear. It transmits sound vibrations from the incus to the internal ear.
staphylo-: bunch of grapes
staphylococci: Gram-positive bacteria. Natural populations of Staphylococcus are found on the skin and mucous membranes.
staphylococcus: Any of various spherical gram-positive parasitic bacteria, causing skin and other infections.
stasis: A cessation or diminution of flow of blood or other fluids.
STD: sexually transmitted disease
steatoma: A cyst or tumor of the sebaceous gland.
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.
stents: A small mesh tube used to treat narrow or weak arteries.
stere/o: three dimensional
stereognosis: Perception of shape and form of objects by the sense of touch.
sterile: Unable to produce offspring.
sterilization: The destroying of microorganisms by heat, chemicals, irradiation or other means.
stern/o: sternum (breastbone)
sternoclavicular joint: A double gliding joint formed by the clavicle, superior and lateral parts of the manubrium sternum at the clavicular notch and the cartilage of the first rib.
sternum: A long, narrow, and flat bone commonly known as breastbone occurring in the midsection of the anterior thoracic segment or chest region, which stabilizes the rib cage and serves as the point of origin for several muscles that move the arms, head and neck.
steroids: A hormone produced by the body. Also a drug used for treating swelling or to (illegally) improve athletic performance.
stethoscope: Instrument for listening to body sounds (auscultation).
STH: somatotropic hormone
stomach: A saclike digestive organ situated in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen between the termination of the esophagus and the beginning of the duodenum.
stomach ulcer: Ulceration of the gastric mucosa due to contact with gastric juice.
stomatitis: Inflammation of the soft tissues of the mouth. Canker sores are an example.
stool: Feces discharged from the anus.
strabismus: A condition that causes crossed eyes.
strain: Overstretching or overexertion of a part of the musculature.
stress: The unfavorable effect of environmental factors on the physiological functions.
stress test: A test to evaluate heart function by monitoring heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and EKG while the patient exercises with a treadmill or exercise bike.
stridor: A very loud, wheezing breath sound heard when the trachea or larynx is obstructed.
stroke: A group of pathological conditions characterized by sudden, non-convulsive loss of neurological function due to brain ischemia or intracranial hemorrhages. It is both common and deadly.
stroke volume: The amount of blood pumped out of one ventricle of the heart in one beat.
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.
stye: Acute bacterial inflammation of a gland at the base of an eyelash.
sub-: under, below
subclavian: Below the clavicle.
subcutaneous: Beneath the skin.
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.
sublingual gland: A salivary gland located under the tongue in the floor of the oral cavity.
subretinal fluid: An exudate between the retina and choroid from various sources including the vitreous cavity, subarachnoid space or abnormal vessels.
subtalar joint: Formed by the articulation of the talus with the calcaneus.
sucrose: Cane or beet sugar.
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.
sudden cardiac arrest: A sudden and unexpected cessation of cardiac function due to electrical malfunction. Reversible if immediately treated.
sudden cardiac death: Sudden, unexpected death caused by loss of cardiac function.
sudden infant death syndrome: The abrupt and unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant under one year of age. Positioning infants for sleep on their backs or sides has reduced SIDS incidence.
sunburn: An injury to the skin due to excessive sun exposure, causing erythema, tenderness, and sometimes blistering.
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.
super-: above, beyond
superego: The component of the personality associated with ethics, standards, and self-criticism.
superficial: near the surface
supination: The condition of being supine. Alternatively, the act of turning the hand so that the palm is up.
supine: lying face up
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.
supra-: above, upward
supraglottitis: Inflammation of the of the laryngeal tissue above the glottis, particularly the epiglottis.
sural nerve: A branch of the tibial nerve which supplies sensory innervation to parts of the lower leg and foot.
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.
SVT: supraventricular tachycardia
sycosis: Inflammation of hair follicles.
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.
synaps/o: point of contact
synapse: The junctional area between two connected nerves or between a nerve and the effector organ.
syncope: Fainting. Loss of consciousness due to diminished blood flow to the brain.
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.
synovectomy: Removal of part or all of the synovial membrane of a joint
synovi/o: synovial membrane, synovial joint
synovitis: Inflammation of a synovial membrane.
syphilis: A sexually transmitted disease. A bacterial infection.
syring/o: tube, pipe, fistula
syringe: An instrument used for injecting or withdrawing fluids.
systemic: Affecting the body as a whole.
systemic circulation: The circulation of the blood to all parts of the body except the lungs.
systemic lupus erythematosus: An autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
systole: Period of heart contraction when blood is surging from the heart into the systemic circulatory system and the lungs.
systolic blood pressure: Arterial blood pressure during heart contraction. In blood pressure readings, it is the first number.
systolic murmurs: Heart murmurs which occur during systole. They are heard between the first and the second heart sounds.
t wave: The positive deflection after each QRS complex. It indicates ventricular repolarization.
t.i.d.: three times a day
t.i.n.: three times a night
tachycardia: Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually over 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by an irregular rhythm is called tachyarrhythmia.
tachypnea: Abnormally rapid breathing rate.
TAH: total abdominal hysterectomy
tal/o: talus, ankle
talc: Finely powdered magnesium silicate used as a dusting powder.
talus: The second largest of the tarsal bones, articulating with the tibia and fibula to form the ankle joint.
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.
tars/o: tarsal bone (ankle), edge of eyelid
tarsal: Pertaining to the bones of the ankle and foot.
tarsal bones: The seven bones which form the tarsus: calcaneus, talus, cuboid, navicular, and the internal, middle, and external cuneiforms.
tarsal joints: The articulations between the various tarsal bones.
tarsalgia: Pain in the foot.
tarsorrhaphy: Joining of part or all of the upper and lower eyelids so as to partially or completely close the eye.
tarsus: The bones of the ankle and proximal part of the foot.
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.
TAT: tetanus antitoxin
tax/o: order, coordination
taxis: Returning a body part back to its normal position after a dislocation, fracture or hernia.
TBV: total blood volume
TDM: therapeutic drug monitoring
tears: The fluid secreted by the lacrimal glands. This fluid moistens the conjunctiva and cornea.
techn/o: skill, art
tectorial membrane: A membrane, present in the cochlea of the inner ear, that runs parallel with the basilar membrane.
tectospinal: Denoting nerve fibers passing from the mesencephalic tectum to the spinal cord.
tectum: A roof-like structure of the midbrain.
tel/o: complete, end
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.
telencephalon: The anterior subdivision of the prosencephalon which develops into the olfactory bulbs, cerebral cortex and basal ganglia.
telomere: The end of a chromosome, which is involved in chromosomal replication and stability.
telophase: The final phase of mitosis.
temperature: The sensible intensity of heat of any substance.
temporal arteries: Arteries arising from the external carotid or the maxillary artery and distributing to the temporal region.
temporal bone: Either of a pair of compound bones forming the lateral surfaces and base of the skull which contains the organs of hearing.
temporal lobe: One of the main divisions of the cerebral cortex in each hemisphere of the brain, responsible for auditory, olfactory, and semantic processing.
TEN: toxic epidermal necrolysis
tenaculum: A surgical instrument for lifting and holding tissue or a body part.
tendinitis: Inflammation of a tendon.
tendinosis: Degeneration of a tendon.
tendinous: Relating to tendons.
tendon: A strap of white fibrous connective tissue that joins muscle to bone.
tenesmus: A straining but ineffective attempt to urinate or defecate.
tennis elbow: A condition characterized by pain in or near the lateral humeral epicondyle or in the forearm extensor muscle mass as a result of unusual strain.
tenodesis: Fixation of the end of a tendon to a bone, often by suturing.
tenoplasty: Surgical repair of a tendon.
tenosynovitis: Inflammation of the synovial lining of a tendon sheath.
tenotomy: Surgical division of a tendon for relief of a congenital deformity of a joint.
TENS: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
tensor: Any muscle that causes stretching or tension of a body part.
tephr/o: gray, ash-colored
terat/o: monster, monstrosity
teratology: A branch of embryology for the study of congenital malformations and developmental abnormalities.
teratoma: A true neoplasm composed of different types of tissue, none of which is normally found the area in which the neoplasm occurs.
term birth: childbirth at the end of a normal duration of pregnancy, between 37 to 40 weeks of gestation.
testicle: The testis and its ducts.
testis: Either of the two male gonads located in the cavity of the scrotum.
testosterone: A hormone produced by the testicles. Responsible for maintaining muscle mass, bone density and sex drive.
TET: tetralogy of Fallot
tetanus: An acute, potentially fatal infection of the central nervous system caused by a powerful protein toxin produced by Clostridium tetani. Tetanus usually occurs after an acute injury, such as a puncture wound or laceration. Also called lockjaw.
tetany: A disorder consisting of muscle spasms, cramps and twitching. Tetany usually results from hypocalcemia.
tetralogy of fallot: Tetralogy of Fallot is a rare congenital heart defect. It is a combination of four defects which result in oxygen-poor blood flow.
TFS: testicular feminization syndrome
thalamus: Paired bodies containing mostly gray matter and forming part of the lateral wall of the third ventricle of the brain.
thalassemia: An inherited blood disorder characterized by an abnormal form of hemoglobin.
thec-: case, sheath
theca: A sheath, case or capsule.
thecoma: A neoplasm derived from ovarian mesenchyme.
thelarche: The beginning of breast development at puberty.
therapeutics: Procedures concerned with the remedial treatment or prevention of diseases.
theri/o: animals, beasts
therm/o: heat, temperature
thermoalgesia: Abnormal pain felt when part of the body is warmed.
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.
thinking: The act of reasoning. Cognition.
thio-: presence of sulphur
thorac/o: chest, pleural cavity
thoracentesis: Removal of fluid or air from the thoracic cavity, usually with a needle.
thoracic: Pertaining to the chest.
thoracic cavity: The region of the thorax that includes the pleural cavity and mediastinum.
thoracotomy: Surgical incision into the chest wall.
thorax: The chest cavity. Principal organs are the heart and lungs.
THR: total hip replacement
threshold: The point at which a stimulus produces a sensation or evokes a response.
thrill: A vibratory, ringing sound. Sometimes used to describe a heart murmur.
thromb/o: blood clot
thrombectomy: Surgical removal of an obstructing clot or foreign material from a blood vessel at the point of its formation.
thrombocytes: Platelets. A blood component helps to stop bleeding by clumping and clotting blood vessel injuries.
thrombocytopenia: A low level of blood platelets. Platelet count < 150,000/ml
thrombocytosis: High blood platelet count. Platelet count > 450,000/ml
thrombolysis: The dissolution of a thrombus.
thrombolytic: Dissolving or breaking up a thrombus.
thrombophilia: A disorder of hemostasis in which there is a tendency for the occurrence of thrombosis.
thrombosis: The formation and development of a blood clot in a blood vessel.
thumb: The first digit on the radial side of the hand opposite the other four digits.
thym/o: thymus gland
thymectomy: Surgical removal of the thymus gland.
thymocytes: Lymphocyte arising in the thymus.
thymoma: A neoplasm originating from thymic tissue, usually benign, and frequently encapsulated.
thymosin: A hormone secreted by the thymus.
thymus: An organ that is part of the lymphatic system, in which T lymphocytes grow and multiply. The thymus is in the chest behind the breastbone.
thyr/o: thyroid gland
thyroid: A highly vascularized endocrine gland that regulates metabolism. It consists of two lobes joined by a thin band of tissue with one lobe on each side of the trachea.
thyroidectomy: Surgical removal of the thyroid gland.
thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid gland.
thyroxine: A hormone of the thyroid gland that stimulates the consumption of oxygen.
TIA: transient ischemic attack
tibia: The medial and larger of the two bones of the lower leg, articulating with the fibula laterally, the talus distally, and the femur proximally.
tibialis: The of two muscles in the leg that extend from the tibia to the metatarsal bones of the foot.
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.
tidal volume: The volume of air inspired or expired in a single breath during normal breathing.
tinea: A fungal skin infection, including ringworm, athlete's foot and jock itch.
tinnitus: The perception of sound in the head when no outside sound is present. Commonly called 'ringing in the ears'.
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.
titubation: Walking with a staggering or stumbling gait.
TKO: to keep open
TKR: total knee replacement
TLC: total lung capacity
TM: tympanic membrane
TMJ: temporomandibular joint
TNF: tumor necrosis factor
TNM: tumor, node, metastasis
toc/o: labor, birth
tom/o: section, slice
tomography: Imaging methods that shows a single plane (slice) of the body.
ton/o: tension, tone
tongue: A muscular organ in the mouth that is covered with pink tissue called mucosa, tiny bumps called papillae, and thousands of taste buds. It is vital for chewing, swallowing and for speech.
tonic: Pertaining to normal muscle tone.
tonometry: A test that measures intraocular pressure.
tonsillectomy: Surgical removal of a tonsil
tonsillitis: Inflammation of the tonsils, usually caused by bacterial infection.
tonsils: A pair of soft lymphoid tissue masses located at the rear of the throat. Part of the immune system.
tooth: One of a set of bone-like structures in the mouth used for biting and chewing.
toothache: Pain in or around a tooth.
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.
torsades de pointes: A form of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia that is characterized by heart rate between 200 and 250 beats per minute, and QRS complexes with changing amplitude and twisting of the points.
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.
tourette syndrome: A neuropsychological disorder appearing in childhood, marked by multiple motor and vocal tics occurring multiple times daily over a period of more than one year.
tourniquet: A band for the compression of a blood vessel, used to stop bleeding or prevent spread of snake venom.
toxemia: The presence of bacterial toxins in the blood. Also called blood poisoning.
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.
toxoplasmosis: A parasitic infection by Toxoplasma gondii. Most infections are asymptomatic.
TPN: total parenteral nutrition
TPR: temperature, pulse, and respiration
trache/o: trachea (windpipe)
trachea: The wind pipe. Cartilaginous and membranous tube descending from the larynx and branching into the right and left main bronchi.
tracheostomy: Surgical creation of an opening into the trachea to insert a tube to facilitate breathing.
tracheotomy: Surgical incision of the trachea.
trachoma: A chronic infection of the conjunctiva and cornea caused by chlamydia trachomatis.
tractotomy: Surgical incision of a nerve tract, usually to relieve pain.
trance: A sleeplike state of altered consciousness and diminution of motor activity,
tranquillizer: A drug that reduces stress without diminishing mental clarity.
trans-: across, through
transdermal: Entering through the skin.
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.
transference: The unconscious transfer to others of feelings and attitudes which were originally associated with important figures in one's early life.
transfusion: The transfer of blood from one person to another.
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.
transverse horizontal plane: separates the body's upper and lower sections
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.
tremor: Involuntary shaking, quivering of body parts, commonly the extremities.
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
triceps: Muscle with three heads, particularly the muscle on the back of the upper arm that contracts to extend the forearm.
trichiasis: A condition of ingrown hair around an orifice, particularly ingrown eyelashes.
trichomoniasis: A sexually transmitted disease caused by a single-celled protozoan parasite.
trichosporonosis: Fungal infections marked by fever or pneumonia.
trichotillomania: Compulsion to pull out one's hair.
tricuspid valve: The heart valve located between the right atrium and right ventricle.
tricuspid valve regurgitation: Back flow of blood from the right ventricle to the right atrium.
tricuspid valve stenosis: The narrowing of the tricuspid valve opening. Tricuspid valve stenosis is almost always due to rheumatic fever.
trigeminal: Pertaining to the fifth cranial nerve.
trigeminal neuralgia: An inflammation of the trigeminal nerve causing extreme pain and muscle spasms in the face.
trigeminy: A heart condition where an EKG can be grouped into three beat patterns.
trimester: Any of the three successive three month periods of pregnancy.
triplet: One of three offspring born at one birth.
trismus: Lack of ability to open the mouth fully due to decreased range of motion of the muscles of mastication.
troph/o: nourishment, development
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.
TSH: thyroid-stimulating hormone
TSS: toxic shock syndrome
tuberculoma: A tumor-like mass resulting from the enlargement of a tuberculous lesion.
tuberculosis: Bacterial infection that usually affects the lungs.
tubule: A small tube.
tularemia: A plague-like disease of rodents, transmissible to humans, marked by fever, chills, headache, backache and weakness.
tumor: A new growth of tissue in which cell multiplication is uncontrolled and progressive. A neoplasm.
TUR: transurethral resection
TV: tidal volume
twins: Two individuals derived from two fetuses that were fertilized at or about the same time, developed in the uterus simultaneously, and born to the same mother. Twins are either monozygotic or dizygotic.
tympanic membrane: A thin, oval, semitransparent membrane separating the external ear canal from the tympanic cavity (ear, middle).
tympanocentesis: Needle aspiration of fluid from the middle ear through a puncture in the tympanic membrane.
tympanometry: A test that measures the movement of the tympanic membrane (eardrum).
typhlitis: Inflammation of the cecum.
typhoid fever: An acute bacterial infection transmitted by contaminated water, milk or other foods, especially shellfish.
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
UE: upper extremity
ul/o: scar, gums
ulcer: A lesion on the surface of a organ or tissue, produced by the sloughing of inflammatory necrotic tissue.
ulna: The inner and longer bone of the forearm.
ulnar: Pertaining to the ulna, the long medial bone of the forearm.
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.
umbilic-: umbilicus (navel)
umbilical: Pertaining to the opening in the abdominal wall where the blood vessels from the placenta enter.
umbilical cord: The flexible rope-like structure that connects a developing fetus to the placenta. The cord contains blood vessels which carry oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the fetus and waste products away from the fetus.
umbilicus: The depression in the center of the abdominal wall where the umbilical cord entered in the fetus. Also called the navel.
un-: not, reversal of an action
unconsciousness: Abnormal loss of awareness of self and environment and lack of responsiveness to sensory stimuli.
uncus: A hook-shaped structure.
ungual: Pertaining to the nails.
unguis: A nail.
uran/o: hard palate
urea: A compound formed in the liver which is the major nitrogenous end product of protein metabolism
uremia: Presence of excessive amounts of urea in the blood. May be a sign of renal disease or failure.
ureter: One of a pair of tubes that transports urine from the kidney pelvis to the urinary bladder.
ureteral: Pertaining to the ureter.
ureterocele: A cystic dilatation of the end of a ureter as it enters into the urinary bladder. It may obstruct urine flow.
ureterolithiasis: Formation of stones in the ureter.
ureterostomy: Surgical creation of an external opening in the ureter for external drainage of the urine.
urethra: A tube that transports urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body in both the sexes. It also has a reproductive function in the male by providing a passage for sperm.
urethral: Pertaining to the urethra.
urethritis: Inflammation of the urethra, causing painful and difficult urination.
URI: upper respiratory infection
urin/o: urine, urinary system
urinalysis: Laboratory analysis of urine by chemical, physical, or microscopic means.
urinary bladder: A muscular, membranous sac along the urinary tract that store urine until urination.
urinary catheters: Catheters inserted into the urinary bladder or kidney for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.
urinary fistula: An abnormal passage in any part of the urinary tract between itself or with other organs.
urination: Discharge of urine from the body.
urine: The fluid containing waste products and water secreted by the kidneys, then stored in the urinary bladder until urination.
urochesia: Passage of urine through the rectum.
urolith: A stone in the urinary tract.
urolithiasis: Formation of stones in any part of the urinary tract, usually in the kidney, urinary bladder or the ureter.
urologic: Pertaining to urology.
urology: A surgical specialty concerned with the study, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the urinary tract in both sexes, and the genital tract in the male.
urothelium: The epithelial lining of the urinary tract.
URT: upper respiratory tract
urticaria: Hives, which are welts on the skin that often itch
USP: United States Pharmacopeia
ut. dict.: as directed
uterine: Pertaining to the uterus.
uterine prolapse: A condition where the uterus drops down into the vagina.
uterus: The womb. A female reproductive organ located between the bladder and the rectum.
UTI: urinary tract infection
UVA: ultraviolet A light
uveal: Pertaining to the uvea.
uveitis: Inflammation of the uvea.
uvula: A fleshy extension at the back of the soft palate that hangs above the opening of the throat.
VA: visual acuity
vaccination: Administration of vaccines to stimulate the host's immune response.
vaccine: A suspension of killed or attenuated microorganisms administered for the prevention or treatment of infection.
VAD: venous assist device
vag/o: vagus nerve
vagina: An muscular tube connecting the cervix of the uterus to the vulva and exterior of the body.
vaginal: Pertaining to the vagina.
vaginitis: Inflammation of the vagina marked by pain and a purulent discharge.
vagus nerve: The tenth cranial nerve.
valsalva maneuver: Forced expiratory effort against a closed windpipe, impeding the return of venous blood to the heart.
varic/o: varices (swollen veins)
varicella: Primary infection causes chickenpox; reactivation causes herpes zoster.
varicocele: Abnormal enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord.
varicose veins: Enlarged, twisted veins.
vascul/o: blood vessel
vascular: Pertaining to blood vessels.
vasculitis: Inflammation of a blood vessel.
vasectomy: Surgical removal of the ductus deferens usually as a means of sterilization.
vasoconstriction: Narrowing of blood vessels.
vasoconstrictor: Drugs used to cause constriction of the blood vessels.
vasodilation: Widening of blood vessels.
vasodilator: Drugs used to cause dilation of the blood vessels.
vasovasostomy: A surgical procedure in which the effects of a vasectomy (male sterilization) are reversed.
VC: vital capacity
VCT: venous clotting time=
VD: venereal disease
vector: An organism, such as a mosquito or tick, that spreads disease from one host to another.
veins: The vessels carrying blood away from the capillary beds.
venae cavae: The two venous trunks which returns blood to the heart. Inferior venae cavae receives blood from the lower body while superior venae cavae returns blood from the upper body..
venere/o: sexual intercourse
venoms: Poisonous animal secretions forming fluid mixtures of many different enzymes, toxins, and other substances.
venous insufficiency: Impaired venous blood flow or venous return (venous stasis), usually caused by inadequate venous valves. Venous insufficiency often occurs in the legs.
venous thrombosis: The formation or presence of a blood clot within a vein.
ventilators: Mechanical devices used to assist respiration.
ventr/o: front, belly side
ventral: Pertaining to the belly or front of the body.
ventricles: The two large heart chambers that receive blood from the atria and pump it out to the systemic and pulmonary circulatory systems.
ventricular fibrillation: The uncoordinated, rapid firing of electrical impulses (400-600/min) in the ventricles. This ventricular quivering prevents cardiac output. Can results in unconsciousness and death if not immediately treated.
ventricular flutter: Rapid, unstable ventricular tachycardia (150-300 beats/min) with a large sine-wave appearance. If untreated, ventricular flutter typically progresses to ventricular fibrillation.
ventricular tachycardia: Fast but regular heart rhythm originating in the ventricles. Often caused by heart disease, but may also occur in young people. Some medications and nonprescription decongestants can trigger ventricular tachycardia.
venul/o: venule (small vein in lungs)
verm/i: worm, wormlike
verrucae: Plantar warts that commonly occur on the soles of the feet or around the toe area.
vertebrae: The bones or segments composing the spinal column,
vertebrate: An animal with a spinal cord surrounded by cartilage or bone
vertigo: A feeling of dizziness and disorientation.
vesic/o: bladder, blister
vestiges: A trace of something, usually a nonfunctioning structure or a behavior, that is a remnant of our evolutionary history.
vestigial: Pertaining to vestiges.
VF: ventricular fibrillation
Vf (2): field of vision
Vfib: ventricular fibrillation
vipoma: An endocrine tumor that secretes vasoactive intestinal peptide, that causes vasodilation, relaxation of smooth muscles, watery diarrhea, hypokalemia and hypochlorhydria.
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.
vital capacity: The volume of air that is exhaled by a maximal expiration following a maximal inspiration.
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.
vitelline: Pertaining to the vitellus.
vitellus: Yolk of an egg.
vitiligo: A chronic disease that causes white patches develop on the skin.
vitre/o: vitreous body
vitrectomy: Surgery to remove vitreous gel from the eye.
vitreous body: The transparent, semi gelatinous substance that fills the cavity behind the crystalline lens of the eye and in front of the retina.
vitrification: To convert into a glassy substance.
vivi-: live, alive
vivisection: Experiments performed on living animals involving surgery.
VLDL: very low density lipoprotein
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.
vomiting: The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth.
VS: vital signs
VSD: ventricular septal defect
VT: ventricular tachycardia
vulva: The external genitalia of the female. It includes the clitoris, the labia, the vestibule and its glands.
vulvitis: Inflammation of the vulva.
VW: vessel wall
w/v.: weight in volume
wart: Benign epidermal growth.
WBC: white blood cell; white blood count
weal: A bump raised on the skin caused by a lash or blow.
weaning: The replacement of mother's milk in the diet of a young child with other food.
wheal: A small swelling on the skin, as from an insect bite, that usually itches
wheeze: Adventitious lung sounds that are continuous with a musical quality. They can be high or low pitched.
whey: The liquid components of milk that remain after the casein, fat, and fat soluble components have been removed.
white coat hypertension: Phenomenon where blood pressure readings are elevated only when taken in clinical settings.
white matter: The region of central nervous system that appears lighter in color than the other type, gray matter. it mainly consists of myelinated nerve fibers and contains few neuronal cell bodies or dendrites.
WHO: World Health Organization
whooping cough: A respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis and characterized by paroxysmal coughing ending in a prolonged crowing intake of breath.
WNL: within normal limits
WOP: without pain
WPW: Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
xenophobia: Intense or irrational dislike or fear of anything that is strange or foreign, particularly of strange people.
xeroderma: An inherited condition characterized by an extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet rays from sunlight.
xerophthalmia: Severe dry eyes caused by a malfunction of the tear glands.
xiph/o: sword shaped, xiphoid
yawning: An involuntary deep inhalation with the mouth open, often accompanied by the act of stretching.
yo: years old
zo/o: animal life
zooplankton: Minute free-floating animal organisms which live in practically all natural waters.
zyg/o: union, junction, yoke
zygoma: Either of a pair of bones that form the prominent part of the CHEEK and contribute to the ORBIT on each side of the SKULL.
zygomycosis: An acute, sometimes fatal fungal infection.
zygote: The fertilized ovum resulting from the fusion of a male and a female gamete.