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Medical Dictionary - Respiratory

abdominal thrustsA maneuver for treating choking by using quick, forceful thrusts of fisted hands upward and inward toward the diaphragm. Commonly known as the Heimlich maneuver.
ABGarterial blood gas
acute respiratory distress syndromeA lung condition that causes low oxygen levels in the blood. It can be life threatening.
adenoidectomySurgical removal of the adenoids.
AFBacid-fast bacillus
air sacsThin-walled spaces including the alveoli connected to one terminal bronchiole.
airwayTubular passages in the lungs through which air passes during breathing.
albuterolA short-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist that is primarily used as a bronchodilator agent to treat asthma.
alveoliAir sacs in the lung which allow exchange of blood oxygen and carbon·vē′ō·lī
alveolitisAn inflammation of the alveoli. Caused by inhalation of an allergen.
aminophyllineA bronchodilator. Used to treat asthma and COPD.
anoxiaAbsence of oxygen in body tissues despite adequate blood´se-ah
anthracosisA chronic lung disease caused by inhaled coal dust. Occurs in coal miners but also in tobacco smokers.
anthraxAn acute infectious disease of hoofed animals and humans. Infection in humans often involves the skin , lungs or gastrointestinal tract.
antitussive agentsCough medicine that acts centrally on the medullary cough″ti-tus´iv
aphoniaInability of the larynx to produce speech sounds. a-fo´ne-ah
apneaA temporary cessation of spontaneous respiration.
ARDSacute respiratory distress syndrome
asbestosisLung disease characterized by interstitial fibrosis. Caused by inhalation of asbestos″bes-to´sis
asphyxiaCondition caused by lack of oxygen, leading to loss of consciousness and death. Causes include drowning, suffocation, choking and inhaling carbon´se-ah
asthmaChronic bronchial inflammatory disorder. Characterized by breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing and´mah
atelectasisPartial or complete failure of a lung to expand due to alveoli deflation. Can occur after surgery, trauma,′ilek′təsis
bradypneaSlow breathing.
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.
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.
capn/ocarbon dioxide
-capniacarbon dioxide
capnographyContinuous recording of the concentration of carbon dioxide in exhaled air.
carbon dioxideA colorless, odorless gas formed in body tissues during metabolism. It is carried in the blood to the lungs and then exhaled.
carbon monoxideA colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is very poisonous.
CFcystic fibrosis
cheyne-stokes respirationAn abnormal pattern of breathing characterized by apnea followed by increasingly deep, rapid breathing.
chokingA condition of the respiratory airways being blocked by an obstruction or constriction of the neck or swelling of the larynx.
chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseRespiratory diseases which affect bronchial air movement, causing breathing problems. Includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
coarse crackleAn abnormal breath sound that is discontinuous, brief and popping.
consolidationThe state of the lung when alveoli are filled with fluid, as in pneumonia.
COPDchronic obstructive pulmonary disease
coughA 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.
CPAPconstant positive airway pressure
CPRcardiopulmonary resuscitation
croupPediatric respiratory infection causing swelling near the vocal cords. It is characterized by a barking cough or stridor.kro͞op
CXRchest x-ray
cyanosisA bluish or purplish discoloration of the skin or mucous membranes due to inadequate oxygen in the″ah-no´sis
cystic fibrosisA genetic disease of the exocrine glands. Large amounts of thick mucus clog the lungs and obstruct the airways. sis'tik fī-brō'sis, pan'krē-ăs
decongestantA substance that reduces nasal congestion.
diaphragmThe 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. di´ah-fram
diphtheriaA 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.dif-thēr´e-ah
DOEdyspnea on exertion
dysphoniaDifficulty in speaking. dis-fo´ne-ah
dyspneaDifficult or labored breathing. Can indicate heart failure or a respiratory abnormality.disp-ne´ah
ECMOextracorporeal membrane oxygenation
EIAexercise-induced asthma
emphysemaA chronic lung disease characterized by decreased numbers of alveoli and eventual destruction of alveoli walls. Caused by genetic defects and smoking.em″fĭ-se´mah
epiglottisCartilage that prevents food from entering the trachea. ep″ĭ-glot´is
epiglottitisInflammation of the epiglottis.
epistaxisNose bleed. ep″ĭ-stak´sis
ERVexpiratory reserve volume
exhalationBreathing out.
FEFforced expiratory flow
FEVforced expiratory volume
FVCforced vital capacity
glottisThe vocal apparatus of the larynx, situated in the middle section of the larynx.
hemopneumothoraxCollection both blood and air in the pleural cavity.
hemoptysisCoughing up blood or blood-stained mucus from the respiratory tract.he-mop´tĭ-sis
hemothoraxHemorrhage within the pleural cavity, often from chest trauma.he″mo-thor´aks
HFOVhigh frequency oscillatory ventilation
hiccupA spasm of the diaphragm that causes a sudden inhalation followed by rapid closure of the glottis which produces a sound. Also called singultus.
hoarsenessAn unnaturally rough quality of voice.
hypercapniaAbnormal increase in carbon dioxide in the blood.hī'pĕr-kap'nē-ă
hyperpneaDeep breathing. Can be normal during exercise or abnormal due to anemia or sepsis.hi″perp-ne´ah
hyperventilationBreathing faster or deeper than is metabolically necessary causing an excessive intake of oxygen and a reduction carbon dioxide level in arterial blood.
hypocapniaDeficiency of carbon dioxide in arterial blood.
hypopneaShallow or abnormally slow breathing.hi-pop´ne-ah
hypoventilationDeficient ventilation of the lungs resulting is low oxygen levels and high carbon dioxide levels in the blood.
hypoxemiaOxygen deficiency in arterial blood.hi″pok-se´me-ah
hypoxiaInsufficient oxygen levels in body organs and tissues.hi-pok´se-ah
ICinspiratory capacity
IMVintermittent mandatory ventilation
influenzaAcute, contagious viral infection of the respiratory system. [in″floo-en´zah
inhalationBreathing in.
IPPBintermittent positive pressure breathing
IRVinspiratory reserve volume
laryngectomyPartial or total removal of the larynx. lar″in-jek´to-me
laryngitisInflammation of the larynx, including the vocal cords. Characterized by voice disorders, usually viral etiology.lar″in-ji´tis
laryngomalaciaAn abnormally underdeveloped or degenerated cartilage in the larynx.
laryngoplastyPlastic repair of the larynx.
laryngoscopyVisual examination of the larynx. May also include treatment. lar″ing-gos´kah-pe
larynxThe voice box. Includes the vocal cords and surrounding cartilage. lar´ingks
legionnaires diseaseAn acute bacterial infection of the lungs characterized by high fever, malaise, muscle aches, respiratory disorders and headache.
LRIlower respiratory infection
LRTlower respiratory tract
lungsA pair of organs that aerate the blood. The right lung is divided into three lobs while the left lung has two lobes.
MBCmaximum breathing capacity
MDImetered-dose inhaler
mediastinumThe central section of the chest cavity, containing the heart, arteries, veins, esophagus, trachea, bronchi, lymph nodes and″de-ah-sti´num
MEPmaximal expiratory pressure
MIPmaximal inspiratory pressure
MVVmaximal voluntary ventilation
naresAn external opening in the nasal cavity. A nostril.
nasal cavityThe proximal portion of the respiratory passages on either side of the nasal septum. On inhalation the air is warmed, moistened, smelled and filtered.
nasal decongestantsDrugs designed to treat inflammation of the nasal passages.
nasal lavageIrrigation of the nose with saline or irrigation solutions to remove irritants, allergens or microorganisms from the nose.
nasal septumThe partition separating the two nasal cavities in the midplane.
nasopharynxThe top portion of the pharynx situated posterior to the nose and superior to the soft palate.
nebulizersDevices that create an aerosol a mist (vapor). It is used to administer drugs or to humidify air.neb´u-līz″er
noseA part of the upper respiratory tract. It includes the external nose, the nasal cavity, and the paranasal sinuses.
nosocomial pneumoniaPneumonia acquired during a hospital stay.nos″o-ko´me-al
orthopneaDyspnea when lying flat.
osm/osense of smell
oxy-sharp, oxygen
Paco2partial pressure of carbon dioxide in alveolar gas
paranasal sinusesAir-filled cavities located around the nasal cavity. There are four pairs: frontal, sphenoid, maxillary and ethmoid.
PE (2)pulmonary embolism
peak flow meterSimple device that allows asthma patients to check lung airflow.
PEEPpositive end expiratory pressure
PEFRpeak expiratory flow rate
pertussisWhooping cough. Contagious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract. Cold-like symptoms followed by many weeks of coughing. Preventable with immunization.per-tus´is
PFTpulmonary function test
pharyngitisSore throat. Inflammation of the throat. far″in-ji´tis
pharynxThe throat. A fibromuscular tube that conducts air to the larynx and lungs and food to the esophagus.far´ingks
phlegmMucus in the respiratory airways (trachea, bronchial tree).flem
phon/osound, voice
phonationTo vocalize.
phreni-diaphragm, mind
pleur/opleura, rib
pleuraThe 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. ploor´ah
pleural effusionExcessive fluid in the pleural cavity which may cause breathlessness.plūr'ăl ĕ-fyū'zhŭn
pleural friction rubSound 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.plūr'ăl
pleurisyInflammation of the pleura, the membranes covering the lungs. ploor´ĭ-se
pleurodyniaInflamed lung membranes causing pain during inhalation. ploor″o-din´e-ah
PNDparoxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
pneo-air, breath, breathing
pneum/olung, air
pneumoconiosisOccupational lung disease caused by prolonged inhalation of dust. Common lung disease in mining. noo″mo-ko″ne-o´sis
pneumocyteAny of the epithelial cells lining the alveoli of the lung.
pneumonectomySurgical removal of part or all of a lung. noo″mo-nek´to-me
pneumoniaInflammation of the lungs with alveoli filling with pus. Typically caused by infection and can follow flu, colds and other illnesses.nū-mō'nē-ă
pneumonitisInflammation of lung tissue.
pneumoperitoneumPresence of air or gas in the peritoneal cavity.
pneumothoraxPartial 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.noo″mo-thor´aks
polysomnographySleep study. Includes monitoring of respiratory patterns, brain waves, sleep stages, and other physiological variables. pol″e-som-nog´rah-fe
PSVpressure supported ventilation
pulmonaryPertaining to the lungs.
pulmonary edemaExcessive accumulation of fluid in the lung. Can be life-threatening. Often associated with heart failure.pul´mo-ner″e
pulmonary embolismA clot blocking of the pulmonary artery or one of its branches. pul´mo-ner″e
pulmonary fibrosisProgressive formation of fibrotic (scar) tissue in the lungs. Patients show increasing dyspnea.pul´mo-ner″e
pulmonary function testA battery of tests that evaluate the volume and flow rate of air in and out of the lungs.pul´mo-ner″e
pulmonary infarctionnecrosis 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.
pulmonologistAn internal medicine specialist concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and defects of the lungs and bronchial tree. poo͡l′mə·nol′ə·jist
pulse oximeterDevice that measures oxygen saturation in the blood.ok-sim´ĕ-ter
RDSrespiratory distress syndrome
residual volumeThe volume of air remaining in the lungs at the end of a maximal expiration.
respiratory systemThe organs and structures that bring about gas exchange between ambient air and the blood.
respiratory therapyCare of patients with abnormalities associated with the pulmonary system.
rhinitisInflammation of the nasal mucous membrane.
rhinomanometryTechnique for measuring airflow and pressure in the nasal cavity during respiration.
rhinosporidiosisChronic, localized fungal infection of mucocutaneous tissues, especially the nose.
rhonchiA coarse rattling breath sound somewhat similar to snoring.
RMLright middle lobe of lung
RQrespiratory quotient
RR (2)respiratory rate
RSVrespiratory syncytial virus
RTRespiratory Therapist
RVresidual volume
SARSsevere acute respiratory syndrome
sialomucinsA subcategory of mucins that contain sialic acid.
siderosisA form of pneumoconiosis resulting from inhalation of iron in mining dust or welding fumes.
SIDSsudden infant death syndrome
silicosisA form of pneumoconiosis resulting from prolonged inhalation of silica dust.
sinusitisInflammation of the sinuses. si″nŭ-si´tis
sleep apneaSleep disorder characterized by multiple starts and stops of breathing, interfering with normal sleeping patterns. Measurable decrease in blood oxygen levels.ap´ne-ah
sneezingThe sudden, forceful, involuntary expulsion of air from the nasal cavities and mouth due to irritation to the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract.
snoringNoisy breathing during sleep, due to vibration of the soft palate and other soft tissue in the upper airway.
SOBshortness of breath
spir/oto breath
spirometerDevice that measures inhaled or exhaled air volume.spi-rom´ĕ-ter
sputumMaterial coughed up from the lungs.spu´tum
stridorA very loud, wheezing breath sound heard when the trachea or larynx is obstructed.
sudden infant death syndromeThe 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.
tachypneaAbnormally rapid breathing rate.tak″ip-ne´ah
thorac/ochest, pleural cavity
thoracentesisRemoval of fluid or air from the thoracic cavity, usually with a needle.thor″ah-sen-te´sis
thoracotomySurgical incision into the chest wall. thor″ah-kot´ah-me
thoraxThe chest cavity. Principal organs are the heart and lungs. thor´aks
-thoraxchest, pleural cavity
tidal volumeThe volume of air inspired or expired in a single breath during normal breathing.
TLCtotal lung capacity
trache/otrachea (windpipe)
tracheaThe wind pipe. Cartilaginous and membranous tube descending from the larynx and branching into the right and left main bronchi.tra´ke-ah
tracheostomySurgical creation of an opening into the trachea to insert a tube to facilitate breathing. tra″ke-os´tah-me
tracheotomySurgical incision of the trachea. tra″ke-ot´ah-me
tuberculosisBacterial infection that usually affects the lungs.tū-ber'kyū-lō'sis
TVtidal volume
URIupper respiratory infection
URTupper respiratory tract
VCvital capacity
ventilatorsMechanical devices used to assist respiration.
vital capacityThe volume of air that is exhaled by a maximal expiration following a maximal inspiration.
wheezeAdventitious lung sounds that are continuous with a musical quality. They can be high or low pitched.
whooping coughA respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis and characterized by paroxysmal coughing ending in a prolonged crowing intake of breath.
yawningAn involuntary deep inhalation with the mouth open, often accompanied by the act of stretching.