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Medical Dictionary - Letter: b



TermDefinitionPronunciation
b.i.d.bid twice a day
Babarium
BACblood alcohol concentration
bacilliA rod-shaped bacterium. bah-sil´i
bacillusA large genus of rod-shaped, gram-positive, spore-bearing bacteria.
backThe rear surface from the shoulders to the hip.
baclofenA muscle relaxing drug.
bacteremiaThe presence of bacteria in the blood. Fever, chills, tachycardia, and tachypnea are common manifestations of bacteremia.
bacteri-bacteria
bacteriaSingle cell living things. One of the three domains of life.bak-tēr´e-ah
bacterial endocarditisInflammation of the heart's lining or valves caused by bacteria in the bloodstream. bak-tēr'ē-ăl en'dō-kahr-dī'tis
bactericideA substance that kills bacteria.
bacteriophageA virus that attacks bacteria.
bacteriuriaThe presence of bacteria in the urine. Bacteriuria can be symptomatic or asymptomatic.
BADLbasic activities of daily living
balan/oglans penis
balanitisInflammation of the glans penis.
balanoposthitisInflammation of the glans penis in uncircumcised males.
ballismAbnormal involuntary movements of the limbs.
bandagesMaterial used for wrapping or binding any part of the body. Used to secure wound dressing or immobilize a limb.
bar/opressure, weight
barbiturateA sedative that depresses respiratory rate, blood pressure, temperature and the central nervous system.
bariatric surgerySurgical procedures aimed at producing major weight reduction in patients with morbid obesity.
bariatricsActivities related to weight reduction in patients with obesity including diet, exercise, medication and surgery.bar″e-at´riks
baroreceptorOne of the blood pressure sensitive nerve ending in heart's atria, aorta and the carotid sinuses.
barotraumaInjury caused by ambient pressure changes especially to the ear drums and lungs.
barrier creamLotions and ointments used to protect the skin from allergens and irritants.
bary-heavy, hard, dull
basbasilar
bas/obase, bottom
basal cell carcinomaA malignant tumor. A common form of skin cancer. Metastasis is rare.
basal gangliaLarge grey masses at the base of the cerebral hemisphere.
basal metabolismThe minimum amount of energy needed to maintain vital body functions.
basi-base, foundation
basilar membraneA basement membrane in the cochlea that supports the hair cells of the organ of Corti.
basophilsGranular leukocytes which stain blue-black with basic dyes. Active in inflammatory responses.
bathy-depth, deep
battery1) The wrongful use of force on a person. 2) A electrical energy source formed by two or more electrolytic cells.
bayes theoremA probability theorem used in clinical decision analysis for estimating the probability of a particular diagnosis given the appearance of some symptoms or test result.
BBBbundle branch block
BBTbasal body temperature
BCLSbasic cardiac life support
BEbelow elbow
bed restConfinement of an patient to bed for therapeutic reasons.
behaviorThe observable response of a man or animal to a situation.
behaviorismA psychologic theory, developed by John Broadus Watson, concerned with studying and measuring behaviors that are observable.
Bell's PalsyTemporary facial paralysis, 7th cranial nerve. Sudden onset. Usually one-side asymmetry.
bellyThe central fleshy part of a muscle.
beneficenceThe 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.
benignNonmalignant. A non-cancerous tumor.
benzeneToxic flammable liquid hydrocarbon byproduct of coal distillation.
benzocaineA local anesthetic applied topically.
beriberiA disorder caused by a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1) and characterized by heart failure and edema.
beta blockerDrugs that slow heart rate and reduce pumping force. Used to treat high blood pressure, angina, heart failure, migraines.
betahistineA histamine analog that serves as a vasodilator. Used to reduce the frequency of attacks of vertigo in Meniere's disease.
betamethasoneA glucocorticoid administered by mouth, injection, inhalation or topically to treat disorders in which corticosteroids are indicated.
bezoarA mass of swallowed hair, fruit or vegetable fibers, or similar substances found in the alimentary canal.
bi-double, twice, two
bi/olife
biasSystematic deviation of results or inferences from the truth.
bib.drink
bibli/obooks
bicepsA muscle having two heads. Commonly used to refer to the muscles that extend from the shoulder joint to the elbow.
biconcaveConcave on both sides, as in a lens design.
biconvexConvex on both sides, particularly in a lens design.
bicuspidA premolar tooth used for grinding food.
bidetA bathroom fixture, similar to a toilet bowel, used for cleaning the genital and rectal areas.
bil/ibile, gall
bilatbilateral
bileAn emulsifying fluid produced in the liver, stored in the gall bladder and secreted into the duodenum.
biliaryPertaining to bile, the gall bladder or bile ducts.
bilirubinThe orange-yellow pigment of bile.
binauralRelating to the use of both ears.
binding sitesThe parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.
binocularRelating to the use of both eyes.
bioassayLaboratory determination of the potency of a drug or other substance by comparing its effects on living organisms with a standard preparation.
biochemistryThe study of the composition, chemical structures, and chemical reactions of living things.
bioethicsA branch of applied ethics that studies the value implications of practices and developments in life sciences, medicine, and health care.
biofeedbackThe 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.
biohazardBiological substances that pose a risk to the health of living organisms.
biologyStudies concerned with the origin, structure, development, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of animals, plants, and microorganisms.
bionicsThe science of mechanical and electrical systems that have characteristics of living systems.
biophysicsThe study of physical phenomena and physical processes as applied to living things.
biopsyRemoval and pathologic examination of small pieces of tissue from the living body.
biostatisticsThe application of statistics to biological systems and organisms involving the retrieval or collection, analysis, reduction, and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data.
biotechnologyTechniques for applying biological processes to the production of materials for use in medicine, food production and industry.
biotinA water-soluble, enzyme co-factor present in minute amounts in every living cell. It is abundant in liver, kidney, pancreas, yeast, and milk.
bipolar disorderA major affective disorder marked by severe mood swings (manic or major depressive episodes) and a tendency to remission and recurrence.
birthmarkA benign skin blemish present at birth.
bisexualityAn individual who is sexually attracted to both sexes.
BKbelow the knee
black eyeA contusion around the eye with discoloration and swelling.
blackheadA plug of fatty material in the outlet of the sebaceous gland in the skin. Comedo.
blackwater feverA complication of malaria characterized by acute renal failure and the passage of dark red to black urine.
bladderA hollow, expandable muscular sac that stores urine produced by the kidneys until excretion.
blast-bud, germ
blastemaA mass of cells that is still growing and differentiating.
blastocystThe embryonic form that follows the morula in human development.
blastulaAn early non-mammalian embryo that follows the morula stage. A blastula resembles a hollow ball with the layer of cells surrounding a fluid-filled cavity.
blenn-mucus
blephar/oeyelid
blepharitisInflammation of the eyelids.
blepharoplastyCosmetic eyelid surgery. Also called eyelid lift.blef·ə·rə‚plas·dē
blepharospasmSpasmodic winking caused by the involuntary contraction of an eyelid muscle.
blindnessThe inability to see.
blinkingBrief closing and reopening of the eyelids by involuntary or voluntary action.
blisterVisible accumulations of watery fluid within or beneath the epidermis.
bloodThe body fluid that circulates in the vascular system. Whole blood in comprised of blood cells suspended in a liquid medium (plasma).
blood banksCenters for collecting, characterizing and storing human blood.
blood cellAny of the cells found in blood. This includes erythrocytes (red cells), leukocytes (white cells) and thrombocytes (platelets).
blood clotA semisolid mass formed by blood coagulation. Thrombus.
blood coagulationThe process of the interaction of blood coagulation factors that results in an insoluble fibrin clot.
blood countThe number of red or white blood cells in a specified volume of blood.
blood glucoseThe concentration of glucose in the blood. Also called blood sugar. Measured regularly in diabetes patients.
blood groupClassification 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 plasmaThe liquid part of the blood, free of formed elements and particles.
blood pressurePressure of the blood on the arteries, veins and chambers of the heart.
blood sugarThe concentration of glucose in the blood. Measured regularly in diabetes patients.
blood transfusionThe administration of whole blood or a blood component into the blood stream.
blood urea nitrogenA measure of the concentration of urea in the blood
blood vesselsAny of the tubular vessels conveying the blood (arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins).
BMbowel movement
BMDbone mineral density
BMIbody mass index
BMRbasal metabolic rate
BMTbone marrow transplant
body mass indexA formula for determining obesity based upon a person's weight and height.
boilA tender, inflamed area of skin that contains pus.
bolpill
bolusA soft mass of chewed food ready to be swallowed.
bondingThe emotional attachment of mother-child or individuals to pets.
boneA dense, hard connective tissue that forms the framework of the skeleton.
bone densityThe amount of mineral per square centimeter of bone. Bone density is an important predictor for osteoporosis.
bone marrowThe soft, spongy tissue filling the cavities of bones. Its primary function is to produce erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets.
borborygmusBelching.
borderlineRelating to health status where the patient has some signs and symptoms of an abnormality but insufficient for a definite diagnosis.
botulismA rare, but potentially fatal form of food poisoning caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
bougieA thin, cylindrical instrument, somewhat flexible, inserted into body canals in order to examine or dilate them.
BPblood pressure
BPdblood pressure diastolic
BPHbenign prostatic hyperplasia
bpmbeats per minute
BPsblood pressure systolic
brachi/oarm
brachialRelating to the arm.
brachial arteryThe continuation of the axillary artery; it branches into the radial and ulnar arteries.
brachy-short
brachytherapyRadiotherapy that uses small sources that are placed on or near tumor tissues.
brady-slow
bradycardiaCardiac arrhythmias that are characterized by abnormally slow heart rate, usually below 50 beats per minute in adults.brăd′ĭ-kär′dē-ə
bradykinesiaAbnormally slow body movement.
bradypneaSlow breathing.
brailleA system of printing for visually impaired people, consisting of raised dots that are read by touch.
brainA 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.
breastA mammary gland of women.
breast implantationSurgical insertion of a sac filled with silicone or other material to augment the female form cosmetically.
breastfeedingFeeding a baby milk from the breast.
breath soundsSounds heard over the lungs and airways, usually with a stethoscope.
breathingThe repeating cycle of inhaling and exhaling air into and out of the lungs.
bregmaThe juncture of the coronal and sagittal sutures on the top of the cranium.
brom-bromine, stench
bronch/obronchial tube
bronchiThe two large air tubes of the lungs branching from the trachea. Secondary bronchi, called bronchioles, branch from bronchi.
bronchi/obronchial tube
bronchiectasisPersistent abnormal dilatation of the bronchi caused by chronic infection and inflammation.brong'kē-ek'tă-sis
bronchitisInflammation of the large airways often caused by bacterial and viral infections and by cigarette smoke. brŏng-kī′tĭs
bronchoconstrictionNarrowing of the lumen of the bronchi restricting airway into and out of the lungs.
bronchodilatorSubstance that expands the bronchi and bronchioles, increasing airflow to the lungs. brŏng′kō-dī-lā′tər
bronchopulmonaryPertaining to the bronchi and lungs.
bronchorrheaAbnormal discharge of mucus from the bronchi.brong″ko-re´ah
bronchoscopesEndoscopes for the visualization of the interior of the bronchi.
bronchoscopyVisual examination and possibly treatment of the bronchi, throat, larynx and trachea using a fiber optical device.
bronchospasmExcessive narrowing of the smooth muscles of the bronchi. Can be heard as a wheezing sound.
bruiseA contusion.
bruitA murmur heard while auscultating the carotid artery.
bruxismA disorder characterized by grinding and clenching of the teeth.
BSAbody surface area
BSEbreast self-examination
bubonic plagueCaused by the bite of a rat flea that has previously bitten an infected rat.
bucc/ocheek
buccalRelating to the mouth or inside of the cheek.
bufferA 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.
-buliawill
bulimiaEating an excess amount of food in a short period of time. It is caused by an abnormal craving for food.
Bulimia NervosaAn eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by inappropriate purging (e.g. vomiting or using laxatives) to avoid weight gain. bu-le´me-ah nĕr-vō'să
bullaA fluid-filled blister with a diameter over 5 mm.bul´ah
bullyingAggressive 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.
BUNblood urea nitrogen
bundle branch blockA 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 hisCells that conduct electrical impulses from the atrioventricular node to the ventricles.
bunionAn area of thick tissue over the metatarsal phalangeal joint at the base of the great toe.
bupropionAn antidepressant drug used as an aid to smoking cessation.
burnTissue injury caused by heat, cold, chemicals, electricity, radiation and ultraviolet light.
burs/obursa (fluid sac near joints)
bursitisInflammation of a bursa, the fibrous sac that acts as a cushion between moving structures of bones, muscles, tendons or skin.
butterThe fatty part of milk, separated when milk or cream is churned. A soft, solid, yellowish substance.
buttocksEither of two fleshy protuberances at the lower posterior section of the trunk or hip consisting of gluteal muscles and fat.
butyr-butter
BWbody weight
BWSbattered woman syndrome
Bxbiopsy