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Medical Word Parts For: directional

-acpertaining to
-adtoward, in the direction of
-agoguesimulator, agent causing change
-agrasevere pain
-alrelating to
-anpertaining to
-apheresisseparation, removal
-arpertaining to
-arypertaining to
-atresiaclosure, occlusion
-capniacarbon dioxide
-cardiacondition of the heart
-celeswelling, hernia
-chroiaskin coloration
-cidekilling, agent that kills
-clasisbreaking a bone
-comaprofound unconsciousness
-crasiamixture, loss of control
-crineto secrete
-cytosiscondition of cells, increase in number of cells
-desisbind, fixation
-ectasisdilation, stretching
-ectomyremoval, excision
-emiacondition of the blood
-esthesiasensation, feeling
-facientto cause
-formform, shape of
-genproducing, origin
-genesisformation, development
-genicproducing, origin
-globincontaining protein
-gradestep, degree in a scale
-gramrecording, metric unit of weight
-graphinstrument that records
-graphyprocess of recording
-iacondition, state, disease
-iasiscondition, state
-icpertaining to
-icianspecialist, practitioner
-iorpertaining to
-ismcondition, process
-ismusspasm, contraction
-istperson who specializes
-iteresembling, the nature of
-labileunstable, subject to change
-lemmasheath, confining membrane
-lexiareading, word
-lipsisomit, fail
-lithiasispresence of stones
-lithotomyincision for stone removal
-logspeech, words, thought
-logystudy of
-lucentlight admitting
-lysisloosening, separating
-maniaobsession with
-masesischewing, mastication
-mersmallest unit of a repeating structure, member of a particular group
-metermeasurement, instrument to measure
-metryto measure
-mimesisimitation, simulation
-noiamind, will
-olesmall, little
-omatumor, neoplasm
-opiavision condition
-opsyprocess of viewing
-osea carbohydrate
-osisabnormal condition
-ouspertaining to
-parato bear offspring
-paresisweakness, slight paralysis
-petalmoving forward
-pexysurgical fixation
-phagiaeating, swallowing
-phagyeating, devouring
-philiaaffinity for
-phobiaabnormal fear
-phorecarrier, processor
-physisgrowth, growing
-plastysurgical repair
-poiesisproduction, formation
-porosisdecrease in density
-posiadrinking, fluid intake
-praxiato perform, action
-pterygiumabnormality of conjunctiva
-ptosisdrooping, prolapse
-punctureto pierce a surface
-rrhagebursting forth
-rrheadischarge, flow
-sarcomacancer of connective tissue
-schisiscleft, split
-sclerosisabnormal hardening
-scopeinstrument used to view
-scopyprocess of viewing
-sepsisdecay caused by
-spadiato tear, cut
-spasmsudden, involuntary muscle contraction
-stabilestable, fixed
-stasismaintenance of level, prevent increase
-statagent or device for keeping something from changing
-stenosisabnormal narrowing
-stomynew opening
-stromaconnective or supportive tissue of an organ
-taxiaordering, arrangement
-tensionstretched, strained
-thoraxchest, pleural cavity
-thymiastate of mind
-ticpertaining to
-tionprocess of
-tociacondition of birth, labor
-tomeinstrument to cut
-tomycutting, incision
-tresiaperforation, opening
-tripsyto crush
-trophicfood, nutrition
-trophynourishment, development
-tropiaturn, deviation from normal
-ulesmall, small one
-umstructure, tissue
-volemiablood volume
/dper day
A&Dascending & descending
A&Walive and well
a-no, not, without, away from
AAAabdominal aortic aneurysm
AADantibiotic associated diarrhea
AALanterior axillary line
ab-away from
abdomenThe part of the body cavity below the thorax.
abdominal aortaThe part of the descending aorta passing through the diaphragm into the abdomen.
abdominal painDiscomfort, distress, or agony in the abdominal cavity. Can be acute or chronic. A significant clinical symptom.
abdominal quadrantsFour segments of the abdomen divided by horizontal and vertical lines intersecting at the umbilicus.
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.
abdominal wallThe 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.
abdominoplastySurgical removal of excess abdominal skin and fat and tightening of the abdominal wall. Commonly called a tummy tuck.
abducens nerveA 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.
abductionMovement of a limb away from the midline or axis of the body.
aberrationA deviation from a normal condition or behavior.
ABGarterial blood gas
ABIankle-brachial index
ablat/oto remove, to destroy
ablationRemoval of tissue by vaporization, abrasion, freezing or other methods.
ablation techniquesRemoval or disabling of body tissue by using hot liquids, microwave thermal heating, freezing, chemical ablation, and laser photoablation.
ablutionWashing the body.
ABOthree basic blood groups
abo blood groupA 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.
abortifacientAn agent, usually a medication, that causes abortion.
aBParterial blood pressure
abrad/oto scrape, to wear away
abreactionAn emotional release after recollection of a repressed experience.
abscessAccumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection.
absenteeismChronic absence from work, school or other duties.
absorptionThe processes by which substances, tissue, cells, etc. take up or take in other substances or energy.
abstractA summary of the facts, ideas and opinions presented in articles, studies, literature or presentations.
ACadrenal cortex
AC (2)anticoagulent
ac (3)before a meal
acanth/othorny, sharp spine
acanthocytesErythrocytes with spiny projections giving the cell a thorny appearance.
acarboseA drug prescribed in treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. It retards the digestion of complex carbohydrates.
acaridaeFamily of mites frequently found in grain and flour.
accelerated idioventricular rhythmA 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.
accelerationA change in an object's rate of speed or direction.
accessory nerveEither of two cranial nerves which are important for swallowing, speech and some head and shoulder movements.
acclimatizationAdaptation of an organism to a new or changing environment.
accreditationCertification for voluntary compliance with standards established by non-governmental organizations.
acculturationProcess of accepting or assimilating cultural change.
ACE InhibitorDrug that lowers BP by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) allowing increased blood flow
acebutololA beta blocker drug used to treat high blood pressure, irregular rhythms and angina pectoris.
acetabulumConcave surface of pelvis where the head of the femur lies
aceticHaving a sour property of vinegar or acetic acid.
acetoneA colorless liquid used as a solvent and an antiseptic. Present in urine.
achilles tendonThe tendon connecting the muscles in the back of the calf to the calcaneus (heel bone).
achlorhydriaAbsence of hydrochloric acid in gastric secretion.
achondroplasiaA disorder that is a form of short-limb dwarfism.
acid etchingPreparation of tooth surfaces with etching agents, such as phosphoric acid, to roughen the surface to increase adhesion.
acid-base balanceThe 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/oacid, sour, bitter
acidosisA pathologic condition of acidity in body fluids and tissues. The two main categories are respiratory and metabolic acidosis.
ACLSadvanced cardiac life support
acneA common inflammation of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles.
acne conglobataSevere, chronic acne characterized by large, burrowing abscesses associated with disfigurement. Also called cystic acne.
acne keloidA 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 syndromeAn acquired defect of T-cell immunity associated with infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
acr/oextremities, top
acrodermatitisChronic inflammation of the skin of the hands and feet. Caused by a parasitic mite. A manifestation of Lyme disease.
acromegalyA hormonal disorder that results when the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone.
acromioclavicular jointThe 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.
acromionThe lateral extension of the spine of the scapula and the highest point of the shoulder.
acrophobiaFear of heights
acrosomeThe cap-like structure covering the anterior portion of spermatozoon. It contains enzymes necessary for sperm penetration of the egg.
act-drive, do, act
ACTHadrenocorticotropic hormone
actin/oradiation, ray
actinic keratosisPre-cancerous patch of thick, scaly, or crusty skin secondary to extensive sun exposure
actinomycosisA chronic bacterial disease, often found on the abdomen, thorax and jaw. Characterized by lumpy, deep abscesses that discharge pus.
actomyosinA protein complex of actin and myosin occurring in muscle. It is the essential contractile substance of muscle.
acupunctureTherapy for treating pain and disease by inserting needles along specific pathways or meridians.
acutesevere; sudden in onset; lasting a short time
acute respiratory distress syndromeA lung condition that causes low oxygen levels in the blood. It can be life threatening.
ADAlzheimer disease
ad-toward, increase
adams-stokes syndromeRecurring fainting spells caused by incomplete heart block.
ADDattention deficit disorder
Addison diseaseA rare disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormones cortisol and/or aldosterone.
adductionMovement of a limb toward the midline or axis of the body
adductorA muscle that moves a body part toward the midline or axis of the body.
adenitisInflammation of a lymph node resulting in swelling or pain.
adenocarcinomaA malignant epithelial tumor with a glandular growth pattern.
adenoidectomySurgical removal of the adenoids.
adenoidsA collection of lymphoid nodules on the posterior wall and roof of the nasopharynx..
adenomaA benign epithelial tumor with a glandular structure
adenovirusVirus responsible for upper respiratory tract infections, conjunctivitis, cystitis or GI infection.
ADHantidiuretic hormone
ADHDattention deficit-hyperactivity disorder
adhesionBands of scar tissue that can develop after surgery.
adiposeConnective tissue composed of fat cells.
adiposityThe amount of fat or lipid deposit at a site or an organ.
adjustment disordersMaladaptive reactions to a stressful event.
ADLactivities of daily living
adnexaAppendages of an organ (e.g. eyelids to the eyeball)
adolescenceA period beginning with puberty and ending at maturity. Usually from 11-13 years of age and ending at 18-20 years of age.
adren/oadrenal glands
adrenalPertaining to the adrenal glands, which are located atop of the kidneys.
adrenalectomySurgical removal of one or both adrenal glands.
adrenalitisInflammation of the adrenal glands,
adrenarcheA 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 fibersNerve fibers liberating catecholamines at a synapse after an impulse.
adrenergic neuronsNeurons whose primary neurotransmitter is epinephrine.
adsorptionThe adhesion of gases, liquids, or dissolved solids onto a surface.
adultA person having attained maturity.
advanced cardiac life supportThe 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.
adventitiaThe outermost covering of organs, blood vessels and other structures not covered by serosa.
AEabove elbow
AEDautomated external defibrillator
aerobicsSustained strenuous exercise that improves cardiovascular and respiratory fitness.
aerophagiaExcessive swallowing of air.
aerophagyExcessive swallowing of air caused by anxiety or improper eating habits.
AFatrial fibrillation
AFBacid-fast bacillus
affectThe emotional reaction to an experience or thought.
Afibatrial fibrillation
afibrinogenemiaA deficiency or absence of fibrinogen in the blood.
afterbirthThe placenta, umbilical cord and membranes that are expelled from the uterus after birth
aftercareHealth care provided to a patient after discharge.
ageusiaLoss of the sense of taste.
aggressionForceful verbal or physical behavior, or an overt attitude of hostility.
agit/orapidity, restlessness
agnosiaThe inability to comprehend or recognize the importance of various forms of stimulation.
agonalRelating to conditions and struggles preceding death.
agonisticA muscle whose contraction causes movement of a body part. Also, a drug that combines with receptors to produce an action.
agoraphobiaObsessive, intense fear of open places or leaving home..
agraphiaInability to write due to a cerebral injury or less commonly, due to emotional factors.
AHAAmerican Hospital Association
AHFantihemophilic factor
AIDSacquired immunodeficiency syndrome
AIHAautoimmune hemolytic anemia
airThe mixture of gases present in the earth's atmosphere consisting of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases.
air sacsThin-walled spaces including the alveoli connected to one terminal bronchiole.
airwayTubular passages in the lungs through which air passes during breathing.
AIVRaccelerated idioventricular rhythm
AKabove the knee
akinetic mutismA syndrome characterized by a silent and inert state without voluntary motor activity despite alertness.
alacrimaDry eye.
albin/owhite, deficient pigmentation
albinismGenetic disorders causing the skin, hair, or eyes to have little or no color.
albuminProteins found in egg whites, milk, blood, lymph, and other tissues and fluids. They are water soluble and coagulate upon heating.
albuminuriaThe presence of albumin in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases.
albuterolA short-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist that is primarily used as a bronchodilator agent to treat asthma.
alcoholismA primary, chronic disease creating a physical dependence on alcohol. Genetic and environmental factors influence its development.
aldosteroneA hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex that acts on the kidneys to regulate electrolyte and water balance.
aldosteronismA disease that causes the adrenals to produce too much of the hormone aldosterone.
alexiaInability to read despite preservation of the ability to write. The patient cannot recognize letters and words.
ALFassisted living facility
algidCold, clammy skin associated with some types of malaria.
alginateA salt of alginic acid extracted from marine kelp. Used for surgical dressings.
algorithmA step-by-step protocol for managing health care problems.
alienationLack of meaningful relationships with others, leading to estrangement.
alimentary canalThe passage for the digestion and absorption of food. Extends from mouth to anus.
alkaloidsOrganic nitrogenous bases produced by plants and used to create important, powerful drugs.
alkalosisA condition of high alkalinity of blood and other body fluids.
ALLacute lymphocytic leukemia
allergenAntigen-type substance that produce immediate hypersensitivity.
allergyHypersensitive reaction to common substances that are in the environment or digested. Also, an acquired sensitivity to certain drugs.
allied health personnelHealth care workers specially trained and licensed to provide patient services in specialties such as physical therapy, laboratory sciences, dental hygiene and emergency services.
alloantigenAn antigen that occurs in some but not all members of a species.
allograftTissues, cells, or organs transplanted between genetically different individuals of the same species.
allopathyA medical therapy system in which a disease is treated by creating a second condition in the body that opposes the disease.
allopurinolA xanthine oxidase inhibitor that decreases uric acid production. Used to treat gout and kidney stones.
aloeThe dried juice of aloe plant leaves. Used to treat minor wounds, burns and skin irritations.
alopeciaA disorder in which the immune system attacks hair follicles in the scalp.
alphavirusA group of small Toga viruses. Can be transmitted from mosquitoes to humans, causing several types of encephalitis.
alprazolamA compound used to treat anxiety.
alprostadilA potent vasodilator agent that increases peripheral blood flow.
altitude sicknessMultiple symptoms associated with reduced oxygen at high altitude. These symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, tachycardia and shortness of breath.
alve-channel, cavity
alveoliAir sacs in the lung which allow exchange of blood oxygen and carbon dioxide.
alveolitisAn inflammation of the alveoli. Caused by inhalation of an allergen.
Alzheimer diseaseType of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior.
AMAAmerican Medical Association
amalgamA mixture of mercury, silver and other metals used in dentistry.
amanitaA genus of mushrooms. Some species are poisonous.
amantadineAn antiviral agent used to treat influenza A. Also used as an antiparkinsonian agent.
amaurosisPartial or complete blindness caused by a disease.
amberA hard, yellowish fossil resin from pine trees.
ambi-both, both sides, around
ambientPertaining to the environment of an organism or mechanism.
ambivalenceConflicting feelings or attitudes towards a person, object or idea.
ambly/odull, dim
amblyopiaDecrease of vision due to abnormal development during childhood. Also known as lazy eye.
ambulanceA vehicle for transporting patients for treatment.
ambulatoryAble to walk.
amebaA large genus of protozoa found in water and moist conditions. Several species may be parasitic in humans.
amebiasisInfection with ameba. Widespread condition in tropical countries.. An asymptomatic condition in most people but diseases ranging from diarrhea to dysentery.
amebicideA drug or other agent which destroys ameba, particularly parasitic species.
ameloblastomaA fast growing epithelial tumor of the jaw.
amelogenesisThe formation of dental enamel by ameloblasts.
amenorrheaAbsence of menstruation.
ametropiaAn eye problem caused by faulty refraction.
AMIacute myocardial infarction
amino acidA group of organic compounds that contain an amino and a carboxyl group.
aminoglycosideAntibiotic that prevents bacteria from producing proteins. Requires monitoring due to side-effects.
aminophyllineA bronchodilator. Used to treat asthma and COPD.
AMLacute myelogenous leukemia
amnesiaLoss of memory due to brain injury or emotional trauma.
amni/oamnion, sac around embryo
amniocentesisDiagnostic test for chromosomal abnormalities and fetal infections. A small amount of fluid is removed from the amniotic sac.
amniotic fluidA clear, yellowish liquid that surrounds the fetus, protecting it from injury.
amobarbitalA barbiturate sedative-hypnotic.
amoxicillinAn oral semisynthetic penicillin antibiotic.
ampereA 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.
amphetamineA 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
ampicillinSemisynthetic penicillin that functions as a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
amputationThe removal of a limb or other body appendage.
amylaseA group of enzymes that help digest starches.
amyloidosisA group of infectious diseases cause abnormal protein folding and deposition of amyloid. These amyloid deposits can enlarge and displace normal tissue, impairing function.
amyloseThe soluble constituent of starch.
amyotrophic lateral sclerosisA neurological disease causing muscle weakness and impacting physical function. Commonly called ALS.
an-not, without, away from
an/oanus, ring
ANAantinuclear antibody
ana-up, apart, again
anabolic steroidA compound derived from testosterone or synthetically that stimulates development of muscle mass, strength, and power.
anacrotismA secondary notch in the pulse curve, obtained in a pulse tracing.
anaerobicTaking place without oxygen.
anal canalThe terminal segment of the large intestine ending at the anus.
analgesiaWithout pain or decreased pain.
analgesicsA compound that relieves pain.
anaphylaxisA severe immune system reaction to a previously encountered antigen. Can sometimes be fatal.
anaplasiaLoss of structural differentiation and useful function of neoplastic cells. Typical of malignant tumors.
anasarcaMassive swelling (edema) of the legs, truck and genitalia. Occurs in congestive heart failure, renal disease or liver failure.
anastomosisA surgical connection between two structures.
anatomyThe study of the structure of organisms.
anconeusA small triangular muscle behind the elbow. Its function is to extend the forearm.
androgenSteroid hormones that stimulate development of male reproductive organs, beard growth, voice changes and muscles.
androidPertaining to something human.
andropauseMale menopause.
androsteroneA metabolite of testosterone or androstenedione.
anemiaBlood 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.
anesthesiaThe loss of feeling or sensation, particularly pain.
anesthesiologyA specialty concerned with the study of anesthetics and anesthesia.
anestheticMedication that causes temporary loss of sensation.
anestheticsAgents that are capable of inducing a total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensation and pain. They may act generally or locally.
anetodermaBenign dermatosis caused by a loss of dermal elastic tissue resulting in localized sac-like areas of flaccid skin.
aneurysmA sac-like dilatation of a blood vessel wall. It indicates a weak spot in the wall which may rupture.
angerA strong emotional feeling of displeasure aroused by being interfered with, injured or threatened.
angi/oblood or lymph vessel
angina pectorisChest pain, pressure, or squeezing, often due to ischemia of the heart muscle.
angiocardiographyRadiography of the heart and great vessels after injection of a contrast medium.
angioedemaSwelling involving the deep dermis, subcutaneous, or submucosal tissues, representing localized edema. It often occurs in the face, lips, tongue, and larynx.
angiographyAn x-ray study of blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium.
angiokeratomaA benign vascular, horny neoplasm of the skin often found on the legs and feet.
angiomaA usually benign tumor consisting of blood vessels and lymph nodes.
angiomyomaA benign tumor consisting of vascular and smooth muscle elements.
angioplastyRepair of a blood vessel such as widening a narrowed artery or vein. This procedure is normally performed using catheterization.
angioscopeAn endoscope used for viewing the interior of blood vessels.
angiostenosisAbnormal narrowing of a blood vessel.
angiotensinA family of peptides in the blood that causes vasoconstriction and increased blood pressure.
angstromA unit of length equal to 0.1 nanometer.
anhedoniaInability to experience happiness or pleasure. It is a symptom of many psychotic disorders.
anhidrosisAbsence of sweating in an environment appropriate for sweating.
anionNegatively charged ion.
anisocoriaUnequal pupil sizes. Affects 20% of the population.
ankleThe region between the foot and leg.
ankle brachial indexThe 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/obent, stiff
ankylosisFixation and immobility of a joint.
anodontiaCongenital absence of most or all teeth.
anomalyA variation from normal, particularly congenital defect
anomiaAn inability to name people and objects that are correctly comprehended.
anorexiaThe lack or loss of appetite with an inability to eat.
anorexia nervosaAn eating disorder characterized by a loss of appetite and an excessive fear of becoming overweight.
anosmialoss or impairment of the sense of smell. It can be temporary or permanent.
anovulationSuspension or cessation of ovulation by the ovaries.
anoxiaAbsence of oxygen in body tissues despite adequate blood flow.
antacidsSubstances that neutralize acidity in the stomach.
antagonistA person, muscle or drug that opposes another.
antazolineA short acting antihistamine
ante-forward, before
antegradeMoving forward or moving in the direction of blood or urine flow.
antepartal careHealth care provided during pregnancy.
anterior chamberThe space between the cornea and the iris, filled with aqueous humor.
anterior cruciate ligamentA 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.
anthelminticsAgents that destroy or prevent development of parasitic worms.
anthrac/ocarbon, coal
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.
anthrop/ohuman life
anti-inflammatoryReducing inflammation.
antibioticsAn infection fighting protein made by blood plasma cells in response to an antigen. It helps destroy bacteria, viruses and toxins.
antibodiesImmunoglobulin molecules produced in lymphoid tissue that attack the antigen that induced their synthesis.
antibodyProtein produced by B cells as primary immune defense.
anticoagulantsAgents that slow coagulation and prevent blood clotting.
anticonvulsantsDrugs used to prevent seizures or reduce their severity.
antidepressantsDrugs that prevent or relieve depression.
antidiabeticDrugs that help control diabetes mellitus.
antidiarrhealA drug or food for treating diarrhea.
antidiuretic hormoneA hormone produced by the hypothalamus and stored in the pituitary gland. This hormone controls the amount of water excreted in the urine.
antidromicConducting nerve impulses in a direction opposite from normal.
antiemeticsDrugs used to prevent nausea or vomiting.
antifibrinolyticPreventing the breakdown of a blood clot or thrombus.
antifungalSubstances that destroy fungi.
antigenSubstances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction.
antigensSubstances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction.
antihistamineAn agent that inhibits the actions of a histamine.
antihypertensiveDrugs used to reduce high blood pressure.
antimitoticDrugs that arrest cell division.
antioxidantSubstances that inhibit oxidation of a substance.
antiparasiticA drug used to treat or prevent parasitic infections.
antiperspirantsAgents that are put on the skin to reduce sweating.
antipruriticAn agent that relieves itching. Usually topical.
antipsychoticAn agent used to control severe mental disorders.
antipyreticA drug used to reduces fever.
antisepsisThe destruction of germs causing disease.
antisocial A personality disorder characterized by a disregard for individual rights or laws.
antispasmodicA drug used to treat smooth muscle spasms in the digestive system, uterus or urinary tract.
antithyroidAn agent used to treat hyperthyroidism.
antitoxinsAntisera from immunized animals that is purified and used as a passive immunizing agent against specific bacterial toxins.
antitussive agentsCough medicine that acts centrally on the medullary cough center.
antiviralDestroying a virus or suppressing replication.
antr/oantrum, cavity
antrumA cavity or chamber.
anuriaAbsence of urine formation.
anusThe distal opening of the alimentary canal, lying in the fold between the buttocks.
anxietyFeeling or emotion of dread, apprehension, or fear without apparent stimulus.
anxiety disordersA group of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear.
AODMadult-onset diabetes mellitus
aortaThe main trunk of the systemic arteries originating at the heart's left ventricle.
aortic aneurysmAn abnormal balloon or sac-like dilatation in the aortic wall.
aortic coarctationA congenital heart abnormality where the aorta is narrowed.
aortic stenosisNarrowing of the aortic valve opening, reducing outflow from the left ventricle into the aorta.
aortic valveThe valve between the left ventricle and the aorta. It prevents back flow of blood into the left ventricle.
aortic valve regurgitationBack flow of blood from the aorta into the left ventricle.
APAantipernicious anemia factor
apacheAn acronym for Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation, a scoring system used for classifying the severity of illness in critically ill patients.
apathyLack of emotion or emotional expression; disinterest.
apexThe tip of an organ.
Apgar scoreNewborn health assessment score (0-10).
Two points each: Appearance of skin color, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration.
aphakiaAbsence of the eye's lens.
aphasiaImpairment of language or speech comprehension.
aphoniaInability of the larynx to produce speech sounds.
aphrodisiacAn agent that stimulates sexual desire.
apicalPertaining to the tip or apex of a structure.
aplasiaDefective development of an organ or tissue.
aplastic anemiaA condition in which bone marrow doesn't produce sufficient blood elements.
apneaA temporary cessation of spontaneous respiration.
apo-separate, away from
apocrine glandsSweat glands that only occur in hairy parts of the body.
apophysisAn outgrowth or projection from a bone.
apoptosisProgrammed cell death resulting in the orderly removal of cells.
appendectomySurgical removal of the appendix.
appendicitisAcute inflammation of the vermiform appendix.
appendixA worm-like blind tube extension from the cecum.
appetiteNatural recurring desire, e.g. for food.
apraxiaDisorders characterized by the inability to make skilled, purposeful movements due to a cerebral disease.
aprepitantA drug used to treat chemotherapy induced nausea.
aptitude testsStandardized tests designed to predict an individual's learning ability or performance.
aquaphobiaAn irrational fear of water.
aqueous humorThe clear, watery fluid circulating in the anterior and posterior chambers of the eye.
arachnoidA delicate membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. It lies between the pia mater and the dura mater.
arachnoiditisAcute or chronic inflammation of the arachnoid membrane, resulting in pain and neurological abnormalities.
arborA tree-like structure with branching.
arbovirusViruses transmitted by saliva of insects, bats and rodents.
ARCAIDS-related complex
arch-beginning, origin, first
ARDSacute respiratory distress syndrome
areolaA ring of pigmented skin surrounding a nipple.
ARFacute renal failure
argonAn odorless, colorless, inactive gas with atomic number 18.
argyriaA permanent ashen-gray discoloration of the skin, conjunctiva, and internal organs due to ingestion of or exposure to silver salts.
armThe superior part of the upper limb between the shoulder and the elbow.
ARMDage-related macular degeneration
aromatherapyThe use of fragrances and plant oils to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
arousalA state of alertness due to stimulation.
arrhythmiaAbnormal heartbeat rhythm. To learn more, visit arrhythmia page at Practical Clinical Skills website.
arsenicA shiny gray element with atomic symbol As, atomic number 33. Most forms are toxic.
arterial blood gasesA test that measures the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and acidity (pH) in the blood. Some blood gases devices make additional measurements available.
arteriesThe vessels carrying blood away from the heart.
arteriol/osmall artery
arteriolesThe smallest divisions of the arteries located between the muscular arteries and the capillaries.
arteriolosclerosisThickening of the walls of small arteries or arterioles.
arteriosclerosisThickening and stiffening of arterial walls.
arteriostenosisNarrowing of arterial walls.
arteritisinflammation of one or more arteries.
arthralgiaJoint pain.
arthritisInflammation of joints, characterized by pain, swelling and diminished range of motion.
arthrocentesisAspiration of fluid (e.g., synovial fluid) from a joint cavity.
arthrodesisThe surgical fixation of a joint by a procedure designed to accomplish fusion of the joint surfaces by promoting the proliferation of bone cells.
arthrographyImaging of a joint, usually after injection of a contrast medium.
arthrolysisSurgical restoration of mobility in stiff, ankylosed joints.
arthroplastySurgical reconstruction of a joint to relieve pain or restore motion.
arthropodA member of the phylum Arthropoda, composed of organisms having a hard, jointed exoskeleton and paired jointed legs. It includes insects, mites, ticks and spiders.
arthroscopyExamination, therapy and surgery of a joint using an endoscope.
articulationThe junction of two or more bones. Also, forming sounds into meaningful speech.
artifactsAnything artificially made. An unwanted problem with a medical imaging technique.
artificial limbsProsthetic replacements for arms and legs.
ASaortic stenosis
ASAacetylsalicylic acid
asbestosisLung disease characterized by interstitial fibrosis. Caused by inhalation of asbestos particles.
ASCatypical squamous cells
ASC-USatypical squamous cells of undetermined significance
ascitesAbnormal accumulation of free fluid within the peritoneal cavity.
ascorbic acidA water soluble compound. As vitamin C, it naturally occurs in citrus fruits and many vegetables.
ASDatrial septal defect
aspartameArtificial sweeter, metabolized as phenylalanine and aspartic acid.
asperger syndromeA 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.
aspermiaA condition characterized by the complete absence of semen.
asphyxiaCondition caused by lack of oxygen, leading to loss of consciousness and death. Causes include drowning, suffocation, choking and inhaling carbon monoxide.
aspirinAn analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic agent. It also reduces the risk of vascular thrombosis.
assaultA violent physical or verbal attack.
assertivenessStrongly insistent, self-assured behavior.
assimilationThe transformation of food into living tissue.
astasiaThe inability, without physical cause, to stand or sit without assistance.
asthmaChronic bronchial inflammatory disorder. Characterized by breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing and dyspnea.
astigmatismA common and generally easily treatable imperfection in the curvature of the eye.
astringentA drug, usually topical, that cause the contraction of tissues. Used for controlling bleeding or secretions.
astrocyteA large, star shaped cell. Found throughout the central nervous system.
astrocytomaA type of brain tumor.
asystoleComplete absence of cardiac output and electrical activity in the heart.
ataxiaInability to coordinate voluntary muscle movements, not due to muscle weakness.
atcaround the clock
atelectasisPartial or complete failure of a lung to expand due to alveoli deflation. Can occur after surgery, trauma, infections.
ateliosisA form of dwarfism.
atelo-incomplete, imperfect
ather/oplaque, soft fatty deposit
atherectomyEndovascular procedure for removing atheromatous plaque by a cutting or rotating catheter.
atheromaA thickening and loss of elasticity of arterial walls due to plaque deposits. Also called atherosclerosis.
atherosclerosisA thickening and loss of elasticity of arterial walls due to plaque deposits.
athetosisSlow, 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.
ATLadult T cell leukemia
atmosteam, vapor
atonicWithout normal muscle tone or strength
atorvastatinA drug used to reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
atresiaThe absence or abnormal narrowing of a body opening or duct.
atriaThe upper chambers of the heart which receive blood flow from the body.
atrial fibrillationAbnormal cardiac rhythm characterized by rapid, uncoordinated firing of electrical impulses in the atria. Increases risk of stroke and heart disease.
atrial flutterA very rapid, irregular heart rhythm. A common form of tachyarrhythmia.
atrioventricular nodeA 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.
atrophyDiminished size or wasting away of body tissue, for example muscles.
attentionMentally focusing on a specific object, issue or activity. The act of concentrating.
attenuationThe reduction or dilution of disease producing ability.
attitude1) A position or posture of the body. 2) A way or manner of behaving.
attritionWearing away.
atypicalUnusual. Not representative of a type or group.
audiologyThe study of hearing and hearing impairment.
audiometryA noninvasive test that measures the ability to hear different tones and intensities.
auditA formal review of data or records.
augmentationThe process of increasing in size or amount.
AULacute undifferentiated leukemia
auralRefers to the ear or hearing.
auranofinA drug for treating rheumatoid arthritis.
auscultationListening for body sounds usually with a stethoscope.
autismA group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral problems.
auto-self, same
autoantibodyAn antibody that react with self-antigens of the organism that produced them.
autoantigensEndogenous tissue constituents that have the ability to interact with autoantibodies and cause an immune response.
autograftTransplant comprised of an individual's own tissue, transferred from one part of the body to another.
autoimmuneDisorder of the immune system in which an immune response is created against the body's own tissues.
autoimmune disorderImmune system attacks on healthy cells by mistake.
autoimmunityProcess whereby the immune system reacts against the body's own tissues.
autologousOne individual being both donor and recipient (e.g. blood).
autolysisThe disintegration of tissues or cells by intracellular enzymes.
automatismAutomatic, mechanical, and apparently undirected behavior which is outside of conscious control.
autonomicThe ability to function without external influence.
autonomic nervous systemThe part of the nervous system that regulates involuntary body functions. The enteric nervous system; parasympathetic nervous system; and sympathetic nervous system taken together.
autonomyAbility to function independently. Self-governing.
autophagiaBiting or eating one's own flesh.
autopsyPostmortem examination of the body to determine the cause of death.
autosomeAny chromosome that is not a sex chromosome and that occurs in pairs in somatic cells.
autosuggestionSuggestion coming from the subject himself.
autotrophicSelf nourishing. The processes by which organisms use inorganic substances such carbon dioxide and inorganic nitrogen as nutrient sources.
avascularAn area of the body lacking adequate blood vessels or blood supply.
AVBatrioventricular block
aversion therapyA treatment that suppresses undesirable behavior by simultaneously exposing the subject to unpleasant consequences.
avian influenzaA highly contagious disease of poultry and other birds, caused by strains of influenza A virus.
avitaminosisDisease caused by vitamin deficiency.
avoidanceA psychological or physical defense mechanism for avoiding a noxious experience.
AVRaccelerated ventricular rhythm
axialPertaining to an axis.
axonNerve fiber that conduct impulses away from the neuron cell body.
azoospermiaA complete absence of sperm in the ejaculate.
azotemiaA biochemical abnormality referring to an elevation of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine. twice a day
BACblood alcohol concentration
bacilliA rod-shaped bacterium.
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.
bacteriaSingle cell living things. One of the three domains of life.
bacterial endocarditisInflammation of the heart's lining or valves caused by bacteria in the bloodstream.
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.
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
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
biasSystematic deviation of results or inferences from the truth.
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
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.
blepharitisInflammation of the eyelids.
blepharoplastyCosmetic eyelid surgery. Also called eyelid lift.
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.
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.
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
brachialRelating to the arm.
brachial arteryThe continuation of the axillary artery; it branches into the radial and ulnar arteries.
brachytherapyRadiotherapy that uses small sources that are placed on or near tumor tissues.
bradycardiaCardiac arrhythmias that are characterized by abnormally slow heart rate, usually below 50 beats per minute in adults.
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.
bronchitisInflammation of the large airways often caused by bacterial and viral infections and by cigarette smoke.
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.
bronchopulmonaryPertaining to the bronchi and lungs.
bronchorrheaAbnormal discharge of mucus from the bronchi.
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.
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.
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.
bullaA fluid-filled blister with a diameter over 5 mm.
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.
BWbody weight
BWSbattered woman syndrome
CCalorie (kilocalorie)
C&Sculture and sensitivity
ca.about; approximately
CABGcoronary artery bypass graft
cachexiaGeneral ill health, malnutrition, and weight loss, usually associated with chronic disease.
cacophonyA harsh, discordant sound or mixture of sounds.
CADcoronary artery disease
caffeineAn alkaloid drug, found in coffee and tea that simulates the central nervous system increasing alertness. It is also a diuretic.
CAHchronic active hepatitis
Callarge calorie
calamineA lotion or ointment used as mild astringent on the skin.
calcaneusThe largest of the tarsal bones, situated at the lower and back part of the foot, forming the heel.
calcificationProcess by which organic tissue becomes hardened by the physiologic deposit of calcium salts.
calcinosisThe abnormal deposition of calcium salts in tissues.
calcitoninA hormone secreted by the thyroid gland. It helps regulate calcium levels.
calciumCombines 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 blockersA class of drugs that inhibit calcium influx through cellular membranes. Used to reduce cardiac workload to treat hypertension or angina.
calibrationDetermination, by measurement or comparison with a standard, of the correct value of each scale reading on a meter or other measuring instrument.
calipersA measuring instrument consisting of two hinged legs. Used to measure thickness and diameters. Also used to determine time intervals for several EKG features.
calorimetryThe measurement of the quantity of heat involved in various processes or in the determination of the heat capacities of substances.
camphorA crystalline substance used in topical pain relievers.
canalA tubular passage.
cancerGeneral term for malignant neoplasms, sarcoma, carcinoma, leukemia and lymphoma.
candidiasisAn infection of moist skin areas caused by yeast. Often due to a weakened immune system or heavy antibiotic use.
cannabisA 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.
cannibalismEating individuals of one's own species.
cannulaA flexible tube inserted into a duct or cavity to drain fluid or to deliver medication.
capillariesThe minute blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells. They connect the arterioles and venules.
capillary actionA force causing fluids to rise up very fine tubes. This action is due to molecular adhesion of the liquid to the tube.
capillary fragilityThe susceptibility of capillaries, under conditions of increased stress, to rupture. Seen as bleeding under the skin.
capillary hemangiomaA common benign tumors of infancy caused by an abnormal buildup of blood vessels under the skin. Also called a 'strawberry mark'.
capn/ocarbon dioxide
capnographyContinuous recording of the concentration of carbon dioxide in exhaled air.
capsidThe outer protein protective shell of a virus.
capsule endoscopesA pill sized video camera encased in a capsule, designed to be swallowed and subsequently traverse the gastrointestinal tract while transmitting diagnostic images.
capsulitisInflammation of the capsule surrounding a joint.
carbohydratesThe largest class of organic compounds, including starch, glycogen, cellulose, polysaccharides, and simple monosaccharides. They constitute a main source of energy for body functions.
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.
carbon tetrachlorideA solvent used in dry cleaning and manufacturing. Poisoning by inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption is possible and may be fatal.
carboplatinAn platinum-containing compound used to treat advanced forms of lung and ovarian cancers.
carbuncleA 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.
carcinogenSubstances that increase the risk of neoplasms in humans or animals.
carcinogenesisThe 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.
carcinomaCancer that originates in skin cells or tissue lining organs.
carcinoma in situA premalignant neoplasm confined to the epithelium of origin, without invasion of the basement membrane.
carcinomatosisCarcinoma that has spread throughout the body.
carcinosarcomaA malignant neoplasm that contains elements of carcinoma and sarcoma.
cardiaThat 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.
cardiacOf or pertaining to the heart.
cardiac catheterizationA diagnostic procedure for creating an angiogram using a contrast agent. Also used for treating blocked arteries.
cardiac tamponadeA dangerous compression of the heart by accumulated fluid (pericardial effusion) or blood in the pericardium surrounding the heart.
cardiologyThe study of the heart, its physiology, and its functions.
cardiomegalyAn enlargement of the heart. Multiple causes.
cardiomyopathyDisease of the heart muscle. Can be congenital, or acquired from infections, alcoholism, thyroid disease, toxic drugs.
cardiopulmonary resuscitationAn emergency procedure for life support consisting of manual, external heart massage and artificial respiration.
cardiotoxinAn agent that has damaging effect on the heart.
cardiovascular diseaseA pathological condition involving the cardiovascular system including the heart, the blood vessels or the pericardium.
cardiovascular systemThe heart and the blood vessels by which blood is pumped and circulated through the body.
carditisInflammation of the heart. Three types are pericarditis (pericardium), myocarditis (heart muscle) and endocarditis (endocardium).
caroteneA red or yellow organic compound found in sweet potatoes, egg yolk, carrots, spinach, broccoli and other leafy vegetables.
carotid arteriesThe two major arteries of the neck that supply blood to the head; each artery has two branches, internal and external.
carotid bruitA murmur auscultated over the carotid artery on the neck. It can indicate arterial narrowing and an increased risk of stroke.
carotid stenosisNarrowing of any part of the carotid arteries, most often due to atherosclerotic plaque formation.
carotid ultrasonographyA diagnostic imaging technique to reveal structural details of the carotid arteries.
carpalRelating to the wrist.
carpal bonesThe eight bones of the wrist: scaphoid bone; lunate bone; triquetrum bone; pisiform bone; trapezium bone; trapezoid bone; capitate bone; and hamate bone.
carpal tunnel syndromeA common source of hand numbness and pain. Can be associated with repetitive occupational trauma, wrist injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, and pregnancy.
carrierA person who carries a microorganism without manifesting signs or symptoms of infection and who can readily transmit the disease to another host.
cartilageA non-vascular form of connective tissue composed of chondrocytes embedded in a matrix. There are three major types: hyaline cartilage; fibrocartilage; and elastic cartilage.
caseationThe breakdown of diseased tissue into a cheese-like substance. Typical of tuberculosis.
caseinA nutritive milk protein containing all of the common amino acids and rich in the essential ones.
castrationRemoval of the sex glands.
castsDressings 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.
CATcomputerized axial tomography
cat-scratch feverA 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 illnessA disease marked by weight loss and diminished muscle mass.
catalystA substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without being consumed or permanently altered by the reaction.
cataractA clouding of the eye's lens.
catastrophic illnessAn 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.
catatoniaA neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by the patient becoming mute or immobile with extreme muscular rigidity.
catgutSterile collagen strands obtained from healthy mammals. Formerly used as absorbable surgical ligatures.
cathar/ocleansing, purging
catharsisA purging or cleansing. Release of emotions.
catheterA 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.
catheterizationUse 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.
cationA positively charged ion.
cauda equinaThe lower part of the spinal cord consisting of the lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal nerve roots.
caulAmniotic sac that encloses the fetus.
caus/oburn, burning
causalgiaA complex regional pain syndrome characterized by burning pain and marked sensitivity to touch in the distribution of an injured peripheral nerve.
causalityThe relating of causes to the effects they produce. This influence must be predictable and reproducible.
causticA substance that destroys living tissue.
cav/ocavity, hollow
cavityA hollow enclosed area.
cavogramAn angiogram of the vena cava, inferior or superior.
cavumAny hollow, enclose area.
CBCcomplete blood count
CBTcognitive behavioral therapy
CCchief complaint
CCUcoronary care unit; critical care unit
CDCCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
cec/ocecum, first section of colon
cecumThe outpouching area of the large intestine that is below the entrance of the small intestine. It has a worm-like extension, the vermiform appendix.
cefaclorSemisynthetic, broad-spectrum antibiotic derivative of cephalexin.
celiacPertaining to the abdominal cavity.
celiac arteryThe arterial trunk that arises from the abdominal aorta and after a short course divides into the left gastric, common hepatic and splenic arteries.
celiac diseaseA disease whose symptoms are precipitated by foods containing gluten, characterized by inflammation of the small intestine. An autoimmune disease.
cellThe fundamental unit of all living tissue. They consist of a nucleus, cytoplasm and various organelles enclosed by a plasma membrane.
cellulitisA common skin infection caused by bacteria. It affects the middle layer of the skin (dermis) and the tissues below. S
celluloseThe chief constituent of plant fiber. Indigestible roughage.
cementFast setting material used to fix prostheses in place.
cementumBonelike tissue covering the roots of teeth.
censusAn enumeration of a population.
centerThe middle point of a geometric entity.
centesisA puncture of a cavity.
centigradeA thermometric scale.
centigramA mass of one hundredth of a gram. Ten milligrams.
centiliterA volume of one hundredth of a liter. Ten milliliters.
centimeterA length of one hundredth of a meter. Ten millimeters.
centipoiseA measure of viscosity of a liquid. One hundredth of a poise.
central lineIV line inserted for continuous access to a central vein.
central nervous systemThe main information-processing organs of the nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges.
centrifugalA force directed outward from a center or axis.
centrosomeOrganelles responsible for the organization and nucleation of microtubules. Found in animals and some plants.
cephaladTowards the head.
cephalicCranial. Relating to the head.
cercariaThe free-swimming larval forms of parasites found in an intermediate host.
cerclageBinding together the ends of an oblique bone fracture or the chips of a broken patella.
cerebell/ocerebellum (posterior section of brain)
cerebellumThe 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 contusionA bruise of the brain tissue . Frequently caused by a blow to the head.
cerebral edemaAn abnormal accumulation of fluid in brain tissue. Brain swelling.
cerebral hemorrhageBleeding into one or both cerebral hemispheres.
cerebral palsyA chronic childhood disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills.
cerebrospinal fluidA 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 accidentA 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 disordersOne of several pathological conditions of impaired blood flow in the brain.
cerebrumThe largest, uppermost part of the brain. Responsible for initiating and coordinating all voluntary body activity. The cerebral cortex is responsible for intellectual activities.
cerumenThe yellow or brown waxy secretions produced by sweat glands in the external ear canal. Earwax.
cervic/oneck, cervix
cervicalPertaining to the neck.
cervical cancerA neoplasm of the cervix of the uterus.
cervical dysplasiaThe abnormal growth of precancerous cells on the surface of the cervix.
cervical radiculopathyA pinched nerve. It occurs when a nerve in the neck is irritated as it leaves the spinal canal.
cervicitisAn inflammation of the cervix
cervix uteriThe neck portion of the uterus between the lower isthmus and the vagina forming the cervical canal.
cesarean sectionA surgical incision through the abdominal wall and uterus, performed to deliver a fetus.
CFcystic fibrosis
chafingIrritation of the skin due to rubbing against skin or clothing.
chalazionA small bump on the eyelid that forms due to blockage and swelling of an oil gland at the base of the eyelash.
chancreThe primary sore of syphilis. A painless ulcer occurring at the site of entry of the infection.
chancroidAcute, highly contagious bacterial disease usually acquired through sexual contact. A venereal ulcer.
chappedRelating to a dry, cracked, reddish skin condition, usually of the hands, caused by excessive moisture evaporation or cold.
characterRoughly equivalent to personality. The sum of the relatively fixed personality traits and habits.
charlatanA medical fraud. A quack.
chartsA patient record including data in tables and graphs.
CHBcomplete heart block
CHDcongenital heart disease; coronary heart disease
cheilitisInflammation of the lips.
cheiralgiaPain in the hands.
chemotaxisThe movement of cells or organisms in response to chemicals.
chemotherapyTreatment of cancer and other diseases by means of chemical agents.
chestThe part of the body between the neck and the abdomen. Thorax.
cheyne-stokes respirationAn abnormal pattern of breathing characterized by apnea followed by increasingly deep, rapid breathing.
CHFcongestive heart failure
chiggerA blood sucking stage of mites.
childA person between the stages of birth and puberty.
chillsThe sudden sensation of being cold.
chimeraAn individual that contains cell populations derived from different zygotes.
chinThe prominence formed by the anterior projection of the mandible and the soft tissue covering it.
chlamydiaA common sexually transmitted disease.
chloasmaA condition in which brown patches appear on the face. Can be caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy or from sun exposure.
chlorineA greenish-yellow gas with a strong odor. Used in many solvents and cleaning agents. Poisonous if inhaled or ingested.
chloroformA 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.
choanalA funnel-shaped opening.
chokingA condition of the respiratory airways being blocked by an obstruction or constriction of the neck or swelling of the larynx.
chol/ebile, gall
cholangi/obile vessel
cholangitisInflammation of the bile ducts due to bacterial infection or blockage.
cholecystitisInflammation of the gallbladder.
choledoch/ocommon bile duct
cholelithiasisPresence or formation of gallstones in the gallbladder.
choleraAn acute diarrheal disease endemic in India and Southeast Asia.
cholestasisImpairment of bile flow.
cholesterolThe principal sterol of the body. Contributes to cell structure and digestive bile. Helps produce vitamin D and some hormones.
chondralPertaining to cartilage.
chondrocytePolymorphic cells that form cartilage.
chondrogenesisThe development of cartilage.
chondromaA benign tumor derived from mesodermal cells that form cartilage
ChondromalaciaAbnormal softening or degeneration of cartilage. A common runner's injury in the knees.
chondrosarcomaA slowly growing malignant neoplasm of cartilage cells, occurring most frequently in pelvic bones, scapula or in long bones.
chordomaA rare, malignant tumor that develops from the embryonic remains of the notochord.
choreaA condition marked by involuntary, purposeless, rapid, jerky movements.
chori/ochorion (outer fetal sac)
chorionThe embryonic membrane surrounding the developing embryo. The chorion evolves into the fetal contribution of the placenta.
chorionic villus samplingA prenatal diagnostic test to detect chromosomal problems
choroidThe thin, highly vascular layer between the retina and sclera.
choroiditisInflammation of the choroid layer of the eye.
chromatographyTechniques used for separating and analyzing a chemical mixture.
chronicProlonged. Long-term.
chronic fatigue syndromeA debilitating disorder characterized by extreme fatigue or tiredness that doesn't go away with rest.
chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseRespiratory diseases which affect bronchial air movement, causing breathing problems. Includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
chyleThe opaque, milky-white fluid consisting mainly of emulsified fats that passes through the lacteals of the small intestines into the lymphatic system.
chylothoraxAn accumulation of chyle in the pleural space.
chym/ojuice, to pour
cicatrixA scar left after the healing of a wound.
cili-eyelid, eyelash
cilia Thick protuberances from epithelial cells.
circadianRelating to biologic rhythms with a cycle time of about 24 hours.
circle of willisA vascular network at the base of the brain.
circulationThe circuit of blood through the network of arteries and veins.
circumcisionSurgical removal of the foreskin of the penis.
circumductionA conical movement of a limb extending from the joint.
cirrhosisA chronic, progressive liver disease in which liver cells are replaced by scar tissue.
cis-on the same side, on the near side
claustr/oclosed space
claustrophobiaThe irrational fear of confined spaces.
clavicleThe collar bone.
cleft lipCongenital defect in the upper lip where the maxillary prominence fails to merge with the nasal prominences.
cleft palateCongenital fissure of the median line of the palate.
clin/obend, slope
clitorisAn erectile structure homologous with the penis, situated beneath the anterior labial commissure, partially hidden between the anterior ends of the labia minora.
CLLchronic lymphocytic leukemia
clotA soft, insoluble mass formed by blood or lymph.
clubfootA congenital deformed foot in which the patient cannot stand with sole flat on the ground.
CMEcontinuing medical education
CMLchronic myelogenous leukemia
CNScentral nervous system
COcarbon monoxide
co-together, jointly
CO2carbon dioxide
CoAg.coarctation of the aorta
coagul/ocoagulation, clotting
coagulateTo change a liquid into a gel or solid.
coarse crackleAn abnormal breath sound that is discontinuous, brief and popping.
COBRAConsolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
coccyg/ococcyx (tailbone)
cochle/ocochlea (inner part of ear)
cochleaThe part of the inner ear (labyrinth) that is concerned with hearing.
cochlear implantAn electronic device that provides a sense of sound to deaf or severely hard of hearing people.
coercionThe use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance.
coinfectionSimultaneous infection of a host organism by two or more pathogens.
coitusSexual intercourse.
coldA contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Transmitted by coughing and sneezing.
colitisInflammation of the colon.
collagenA fibrous protein comprising about one third of the total protein in the body. It is a main constituent of skin, bone, ligaments and cartilage.
colonThe main segment of large intestine.
colonoscopyEndoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the luminal surface of the colon.
color blindnessA weakness or inability to distinguish colors. A common form is the inability to distinguish red from green.
colorectal cancerA malignant neoplasm of the large intestine.
colostomyThe surgical construction of an opening between the colon and the surface of the body.
colostrumMilk produced in late pregnancy. High in protein and antibody content.
colposcopyThe examination of the cervix and vagina by means of an endoscope introduced vaginally.
colpotomyAn incision in the vagina.
com-jointly, together
comaA deep state of unconsciousness. No voluntary motor signs.
comatosePertaining to a state of coma.
comedoA blackhead.
communicableAble to be transmitted, particularly a disease.
complexionThe color, texture and overall appearance of facial skin.
complicationA disease or condition arising during the treatment of another disease.
compoundA pharmaceutical preparation composed of two or more ingredients.
compressA pad of soft material used to apply cold, heat, medication or to control bleeding.
computational biologyA 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.
conceptionWhen a spermatozoon enters an ovum. The beginning of pregnancy.
concierge medicineAn arrangement in which a patient pays an annual fee to a physician in exchange for services over and beyond normal insurance-reimbursed services.
concoctionA mixture of two or more medicinal substances.
concuss/oshaken together
concussionA traumatic brain injury. Measure severity by universal Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)
conditionThe state of being.
conditioningLearning that takes place when a conditioned stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus.
condomA sheath that is worn over the penis during sex in order to prevent pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted disease.
conductionThe transmission of electricity, heat, sound or other energy.
conduitA channel.
confinementBeing restrained to a particular place.
confusionA mental state characterized by bewilderment, disorientation and emotional disturbance.
congenital heart defectAn abnormality that is present at birth and can affect the structure and function of an infant's heart.
congestionPresence of abnormal amounts of fluids in an organ or vessel.
congestive heart failureThe heart isn't able to pump sufficient blood. Typical causes are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
conjugatePaired or joined.
conjunctiv/omucous membrane that lines the inner surface of eyelids
conjunctivaThe mucous membrane that covers the posterior surface of the eyelids and the anterior pericorneal surface of the eyeball.
conjunctivitisAn inflammation of the clear tissue that lines the white part of the eye. Also called pink eye.
Conn syndromeAssociated with increased secretion of the hormone aldosterone by the adrenal glands.
consanguinityKinship. The hereditary relationship between persons.
conscienceAwareness. In a moral sense, self-critical of what is right or wrong.
consciousnessSense of awareness of self and of the environment.
consensualGiving permission or agreement.
consent formsDocuments 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.
consolidationThe state of the lung when alveoli are filled with fluid, as in pneumonia.
constipationInfrequent or difficult evacuation of feces.
constitutionThe overall health of a person, both mental and physical.
constrict/onarrowing, drawing together
constrictionThe abnormal narrowing of a channel or opening.
contagiousA transmissible or communicable disease or a person with such a disease.
contra-against, opposite
contraceptionPrevention of impregnation.
contractionA shortening or increase in tension. In labor, the rhythmic tightening of the uterus.
contractureA condition that occurs when normally elastic tissues are replaced by inelastic fiber-like tissue.
contraindicationA factor in a patient's condition that prohibits a specific treatment.
control groupsGroups that serve as a standard for comparison in experimental studies.
controlled substancesDrugs or chemical agents regulated by government. This may include narcotics and prescription medications.
contus/oto bruise
contusionInjury caused by a blow to the body but that does not break the skin. A bruise. Characterized by swelling, pain and discoloration.
convalescenceThe period of recovery following an illness.
convectionTransmission of energy in a liquid or gas involving circulation of particles.
convexHaving a surface that curves outward.
convulsionA violent spasm of voluntary muscles. A type of seizure.
cool downGradually decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and body temperature after exercise.
COPDchronic obstructive pulmonary disease
copingThe process of dealing with to problems in life in a way to work through them.
copulationSexual union.
cornA hardened mass of epithelial cells usually found on the sole of the feet.
corneaThe transparent, convex, anterior part of eye. It is the main refractory structure of the eye.
corneal edemaAn excessive amount of fluid in the cornea due to damage of the epithelium or endothelium causing decreased visual acuity.
coron/oencircle, crown
coronary arterySupplies blood to the heart muscles from the aorta.
coronary artery bypassSurgical procedure which uses a healthy blood vessel segment, such as a vein, to bypass a blocked section of a coronary artery.
coronary artery diseaseReduced blood flow through the coronary arteries, resulting in chest pain and heart damage.
coronary occlusionObstruction of blood flow through one of the coronary arteries.
coronary thrombosisCoagulation of blood in the coronary arteries. Can lead to myocardial infarction.
coronerA public official who investigates cases of unnatural death.
corpseA dead body. Cadaver.
corpuscle1) A blood cell. 2) Any small mass.
correlationA statistical relationship between variables.
corrosionThe gradual destruction of a substance or tissue, particularly by a chemical action.
cortexThe outer layer of an organ or other structure.
cortic/ocortex, outer section
cortisolThe primary stress hormone.
costalPertaining to the ribs.
costochondritisA benign inflammation of one or more of the costal cartilages. Usually caused by overuse of chest wall muscles.
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.
coumadinMedication to treat blood clots and prevent new clots from forming. Commonly used for chronic atrial fibrillation.
CPcerebral palsy
CPAPconstant positive airway pressure
CPRcardiopulmonary resuscitation
CPTCurrent Procedural Terminology
CRconditioned reflex
cranialaPertaining to the cranium.
craniumThe skeleton of the head, holding the brain.
crash cartA cart carrying emergency medical equipment and supplies. Found in hospitals, particularly in emergency and intensive care departments.
cravingAn intense desire to consume a substance.
creat-meat, flesh
cremationIncinerating a corpse.
crepitationA crackling sound that occurs in joints.
CRESTcalcinosis, Raynaud phenomenon, esophageal dysfunction, sclerodactyly, telangiectasia
cretinismA congenital condition caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormone.
crisisThe turning point of a disease.
critical careHealth care provided to a critically ill patient during a medical emergency or crisis.
Crohn diseaseChronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract thought to be caused by inherited and environmental factors and a defect in the immune system.
croupPediatric respiratory infection causing swelling near the vocal cords. It is characterized by a barking cough or stridor.
cry/overy cold
CSDcat scratch disease
CSFcerebrospinal fluid
CSHcombat support hospital
CTcomputed tomography
cubit/oelbow, forearm
cubitalPertaining to the elbow or forearm.
CUCchronic ulcerative colitis
cumulativeTo pile on. Increasing by successive additions.
cune/owedge, wedge shaped
curettageAn instrument shaped like a spoon, used for scraping material or tissue from a body cavity.
current The flow of electricity or liquids.
Cushing syndromeA condition when abnormally high levels of a hormone called cortisol are present.
cuspidA tooth with one cusp. In particular, he third tooth to the left and to the right of the midline of either jaw.
CVAcerebrovascular accident
CVPcentral venous pressure
CVScardiovascular system
CXRchest x-ray
cyanosisA bluish or purplish discoloration of the skin or mucous membranes due to inadequate oxygen in the blood.
cycl/orecurring, round
cyst/ourinary bladder, cyst, sac of fluid
cysticCharacterized by cysts.
cystic fibrosisA genetic disease of the exocrine glands. Large amounts of thick mucus clog the lungs and obstruct the airways.
cystitisInflammation of the urinary bladder.
cystoceleA prolapse of the bladder into the vagina.
cytokinesSubstances, such as interferon, interleukin, and growth factors, that are secreted by certain cells of the immune system that act as intercellular mediators.
cytomegalovirusA virus that can be inactive within healthy people, but can cause severe pneumonia when immune systems are suppressed. Symptoms similar to mononucleosis.
D&Cdilatation and curettage
D&Vdiarrhea & vomiting
dacryoadenitisInflammation of the lacrimal glands (the eye’s tear-producing glands).
dacryocystitisInflammation of the lacrimal sac.
dactyl/ofingers, toes
dactylitisPainful inflammation of the fingers or toes.
danderFine, dry scales from the scalp.
dandruffExcessive shedding of dry scaly material from the scalp.
dantroleneMuscle relaxant drug.
dark adaptationAdjustment of the retina and pupil of the eyes under conditions of low light enabling increased sensitivity to light.
DAWdispense as written
DBPdiastolic blood pressure
DDxdifferential diagnosis
de-lack of, without, less, down
DEADrug Enforcement Agency
deafnessA general term for the complete loss of the ability to hear from both ears.
deathIrreversible cessation of all bodily functions.
debridementA procedure used to remove dead tissue and contaminated substances from a wound, by soaking or excising.
decapitationRemoval of the head.
decayThe gradual decomposition of dead organisms after death.
decelerationA decrease in the rate of speed.
deci-one tenth
decibelA unit for comparing levels of power on a logarithmic scale. Commonly used for measuring sound.
deciduaThe membrane lining the wall of the uterus during pregnancy.
decongestantA substance that reduces nasal congestion.
decubitusThe recumbent position. Lying on one's side.
deepBelow the surface of the skin or within body cavity or limbs.
deetA common insect repellent.
defamationFalse written or spoken statements that are known to be false and that are damaging to the reputation of a person, group or organization.
defibrillationUse of an electronic device to give an electric shock to the heart to reestablish normal cardiac rhythm.
degenerationThe gradual loss of function of a cell, tissue or organ.
dehydrationThe condition that results from excessive loss of water from a living organism.
deja vuA subjective feeling that a current experience is a repetition of a previous experience.
deliriumA state of mental confusion that can occur due to illness, surgery or using certain medications.
delirium tremensThe most severe form of alcohol withdrawal, causing confusion, irregular heart rate, and sweating.
deltoidThick triangular muscle in the shoulder whose function is to abduct, flex, and extend the arm.
delusionA belief that is clearly false.
dem/opeople, population
dementiaA group of symptoms caused by brain disorder. Not a specific disease. Causes are peripheral vascular disease, stroke, toxins, or Alzheimer's.
dendriteShort branches of the nerve cell body that receive stimuli from other neurons.
dengueAn 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.
denialRefusal to admit the truth or reality of a situation or experience.
dentinThe main material of teeth. It is surrounded by pulp, covered by enamel on the crown and cementum on the root.
deodorantA substance that represses or masks odors.
deoxyribonucleic acidThe 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.
dependenceThe state of reliance or subservience to another person or a substance.
depersonalizationA feeling of unreality concerning the self or the environment.
depreciationDecline in value of capital assets over time.
depression1) A sunken or hollow area. 2) Mental state of feeling sad, lonely, discouraged, hopeless or dejected.
deprevationThe loss or lack of something that is needed.
derailmentMental disorder marked by speech consisting of a sequence of unrelated or remotely related ideas.
derivativeSomething produced as a modification of another object or thought.
dermatitisInflammation of the skin. May be caused by allergic reaction, drugs, infection or sun exposure.
dermatologyA medical specialty concerned with the structure, functions, diseases and treatment of the skin.
dermisA layer of vascularized connective tissue underneath the epidermis. Embedded in or beneath it are glands, hair follicles, nerves and lymphatic vessels.
desiccationRemoval of moisture from a substance.
desmoid tumorA dense, fibrous neoplasm. Occurs on the abdomen, upper arms, neck and head.
desmosomesAn area of contact between adjacent cells, particularly epithelia.
detergentA cleaning agent.
detoxificationThe removal of poisons, alcohol or drugs and their effects from a patient.
detritionWearing away by use or friction.
deviantPertaining to an object or person that departs from normal. Abnormal.
dew pointThe temperature at which water vapor in the air condenses to liquid.
DIdiabetes insipidus
di-two, twice, double
dia-complete, through
diabetes insipidusA hormonal condition that causes the individual to have excessive and frequent urination. Inadequate ADH secretion.
diabetes mellitusA grouping of diseases that affect how the body uses glucose. Type I is lack of insulin, Type II is insulin resistance.
diabetic retinopathyThe most common diabetic eye disease. It occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged. Leading cause of blindness in working age adults.
diagnosisThe determination of the nature of a disease or condition, or the distinguishing of one disease or condition from another.
diagnosis-related groupsA 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.
dialysisA therapeutic procedure used in patients with kidney failure for removal of harmful wastes and fluids from the blood.
diaper rashDermatitis of the buttocks and thighs due to contact with urine or feces.
diaphoresisProfuse sweating that is artificially induced.
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.
diarrheaThe onset of three or more loose or liquid bowel movements in a day.
diastolePart of the heart rhythm when the ventricles passively relax and refill with blood.
diastolic blood pressureAtrial blood pressure during diastole when the heart is resting. The second number in a blood pressure reading.
diathesisGenetic predisposition to certain diseases or abnormalities.
DICdisseminated intravascular coagulation
dicroticA heartbeat with two separate peaks.
dielectricInsulating material that can be polarized by an applied electric field.
dietary fiberIndigestible carbohydrate materials. Can be soluble or insoluble in water.
dieteticPertaining to food and nutrition.
dif-separation, taking apart, reversal
differential diagnosisDistinguishing between two or more conditions having similar symptoms by systematic clinical comparison.
differentiationThe acquisition of functions or forms different that the original.
diffusionThe 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.
digdigitalis; digoxin
digestionThe process of converting food into absorbable substances for metabolism and use by the body.
digestive systemA group of structures, organs and glands stretching from the mouth to the anus, that breakdown food substances, absorb nutrients and remove waste.
digit/ofinger, toe
digitalisMedicines that strengthen heart contraction and to slow heart rates, particularly for atrial fibrillation.
digitizationThe conversion of images, sounds or text into a digital form.
dildilute; diluted
dilat/oenlarge, expand
dilationCausing the increase in the diameter of an organ, vessel or body opening.
diopterA unit of measurement of the refractive power of a lens.
dioxinHighly toxic, persistent environmental pollutant. A contaminant of a widely used herbicide.
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.
dipl/odouble, two-sided
diplegiaParalysis involving both sides of the body.
diplopiaDouble vision.
dipsomaniaUncontrollable, recurring craving for alcohol.
dis-twice, apart, not
discA rounded, flat plate.
dischargeTo release. The substance that is released.
disclosureThe revealing of information.
diseaseA disorder of an organ or body function. Characterized by signs and symptoms.
disinfectantSubstance that kills or inhibits harmful microorganisms.
disinfectionKilling pathogens or rendering them harmless.
dislocationDisplacement of a body part from its normal position. Commonly used to refer to a bone displaced from a joint.
disorientationA mentally confused state. Loss of one's bearings.
dissectionThe separation of tissues for surgical reasons or for analysis.
dissociationSeparation of a particular of thoughts or emotions from normal consciousness.
dissolveTo disperse a solid in a solution.
dist/odistant, far
distalfarthest from the origin
distemperHighly contagious and dangerous viral diseases of animals, particularly dogs.
distillationA process of separating the components of a liquid mixture by vaporization and condensation.
distortionA state of being twisted out of shape. A defense mechanism to disguise unacceptable thoughts.
diuresisIncreased excretion of urine.
diureticsMedication that promote the excretion of urine, decreasing fluids in the blood vessels and reducing blood pressure. Also known as water pills.
diurnalDaily or relating to daylight hours.
diverticulitisAn inflammation in the diverticula of the intestinal tract.
diverticulosisThe presence of multiple pouches, usually in the colonic or gastric wall.
diverticulumA pouch or sac developed from a tubular or saccular organ, such as the gastrointestinal tract.
DJDdegenerative joint disease
DKAdiabetic ketoacidosis
DMdiabetes mellitus
DNAdeoxyribonucleic acid
DNRdo not resuscitate
DOAdead on arrival
DOBdate of birth
DOEdyspnea on exertion
dominantExhibiting a ruling influence. In genetics, capable of expression when carried by only one of a pair of homologous chromosomes.
donorA human, animal or other organism that provides tissue for another body.
dopamineA central nervous system neurotransmitter.
doppler effectChanges in the observed frequency of sound, light, or radio waves due to the relative motion of source and observer.
dors/oback of body
dorsalPertaining to the back or posterior.
dorsiflexionThe movement of the ankle joint that brings the dorsal (top region) of the foot towards the shin.
dorsumtop of the foot
down syndromeA congenital disorder characterized by small size, hypotonia, protruding tongue, small ears, short, broad hands and cognitive impairment.
DPLdiagnostic peritoneal lavage
DPTdiphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (vaccine)
drainageThe removal of fluids or discharges from the body, such as from a wound, sore, or cavity.
DREdigital rectal examination
DRGdiagnosis-related group
dry eye syndromeCorneal and conjunctival dryness due to deficient tear production.
dry socketAn inflammation of a tooth socket, that can occur after tooth extraction, caused by the disintegration of a blood clot.
DSBdrug-seeking behavior
DTRdeep tendon reflex
DTsdelirium tremens
DUBdysfunctional uterine bleeding
duct/oto lead
duodenitisInflammation of the duodenum section of the small intestine.
duodenumThe proximal (first) portion of the small intestine, extending from the pylorus to the jejunum.
dur/ohard, dura mater
dura materThe dense, leathery membrane covering and protecting the brain and spinal cord.
DVTdeep vein thrombosis
dwarfismAbnormally short in stature.
DWIdriving while intoxicated
dynam/opower, strength
dys-bad, painful, abnormal
dysarthriaDifficulty in articulating words caused by impairment of the pharynx, larynx, tongue, or face muscles.
dysenteryAcute inflammation of the intestine marked by frequent watery stools, often with blood and by pain, fever, and dehydration.
dysgenesisDefective development.
dyskinesiaInvoluntary muscle movements of the face, trunk, neck and extremities and difficulty with voluntary movements. Often associated with the use of certain medications.
dyslexiaA common condition that affects the way the brain processes written and spoken language.
dysmenorrheaPainful cramps that can occur immediately before or during the menstrual period.
dyspepsiaImpaired digestion, especially after eating.
dysphagiaDifficulty in swallowing.
dysphoniaDifficulty in speaking.
dysplasiaAbnormal development in tissues or organs.
dysplastic neviUnusual, benign moles that may resemble melanoma.
dyspneaDifficult or labored breathing. Can indicate heart failure or a respiratory abnormality.
dyssomniaA disorder in which normal sleep patterns are disrupted.
dystociaDifficult childbirth.
dystoniaA disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause slow repetitive movements or abnormal postures.
dystrophyAny abnormal condition caused by defective nutrition
dysuriaPainful or difficult urination.
EaerosolsA liquid or particulate solution dispensed as a mist.
earThe 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.
earachePain in the ear.
EBLestimated blood loss
ebola virusA virus causing acute, often fatal, infections. Transmitted from animals to humans and from human to human.
ebstein anomalyA 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.
EBVEpstein-Barr virus
ec-outside, out
ecchymosisDiscolored skin due to subcutaneous bleeding larger than 1cm. Commonly called a bruise.
eccrine glandsSimple sweat glands that secrete sweat directly onto the skin.
ECFextended care facility
echin/ospiny, prickly
echo-reflected sound
echocardiographyA noninvasive diagnostic procedure that uses ultrasound to study to structure and motions of the heart and blood flow.
echoencephalographyThe use of ultrasound waves to study brain structures.
echolaliaThe automatic and meaningless repetition of another person's spoken words.
eclampsiaA toxic disorder characterized by convulsions and possibly coma during or immediately after pregnancy
ECMOextracorporeal membrane oxygenation
ecotype A subspecies that is genetically adapted to a particular habitat.
ECTelectroconvulsive therapy
ecto-out, outward
ectomorphA slender, lean body type.
ectopic beatsHeartbeat electrical impulses generated from cardiac locations other than the SA node.
ectopic pregnancyWhen a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus.
ectr/ocongenital absence
ectropionA condition where the lower eyelid droops away from the eye and turns outwards.
eczemaInflammation of the skin. Multiple causes.
EDemergency department
ED (2)erectile dysfunction
EDDestimated date of delivery
edemaSwelling due to excess fluid in the body's tissues.
EENTeye, ear, nose, and throat
EFejection fraction
efferent pathwaysThe route of nerve structures carrying impulses away from a nerve center toward a peripheral site.
effusionThe escape of fluid.
EGFepidermal growth factor
eggA female reproductive cell prior to fertilization.
egoThe part of a person that is conscious and thinks. The self.
EIAexercise-induced asthma
eideticPertaining to the ability to accurately visualize events or objects from experience.
ejaculationThe sudden emission of semen from the male urethra.
ejection clickA sharp clicking sound heard during cardiac auscultation.
ejection fractionThe portion of the total ventricular filling volume that is ejected during a heart beat.
elasticityResistance and recovery from distortion of shape.
elationThe feeling of euphoria, excitement, joyfulness, satisfaction and optimism.
elbow jointA hinge joint connecting the forearm to the arm.
electric impedanceThe measure of the opposition that a circuit presents to a current when a voltage is applied.
electrocardiogramA 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.
electrocardiographyThe process of recording the electrical activity of the heart.
electrochemistryThe study of combined electrical and chemical activity and changes.
electrodeA conductor through which electric current enters or leaves a non-metallic medium.
electroencephalographyA test to measure the electrical activity of the brain.
electrolysisDestruction by using a galvanic electric current.
electrolyteA substances that dissociates into two or more ions and can then conduct an electric current.
electrolytesMinerals in the blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge.
electromyographyA test of the health of the muscles and the nerves that control the muscles.
electronA stable elementary particle in orbit around an atom's nucleus.
electrophoresisThe movement of charged particles in an electric field toward an electric pole.
electrophysiologyThe study of the generation and behavior of electrical charges in living organisms particularly the nervous system and the effects of electricity on living organisms.
electroplatingCoating with a metal or alloy by electrolysis.
elementsEach of more than one hundred substances that cannot be chemically broken down into simpler substances and are primary constituents of matter.
elephantiasisA condition characterized by gross enlargement of an area of the body,
eliminationRemoval of waste products from the body.
ELISAenzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
elliptocytosisCondition of having an abnormal number of elliptical red cells in the blood.
elutriationThe removal, by means of a suitable solvent, of one material from another.
emaciationAbnormal thinness caused by disease or a lack of nutrition.
embalmingProcess of preserving a dead body to protect it from decay.
embolectomyAn emergency surgical removal of an obstructing clot or foreign material.
embolismA blood vessel blockage by a blood clot or other undissolved material in the bloodstream.
embryoAny organism in the earliest stages of development.
embryo-related to embryo
embryologyThe study of the development of an organism during the embryonic and fetal stages of life.
emeticsPertaining to or causing vomiting.
emmetr/ocorrect measure
emmetropiaA state when rays are focused correctly on the retina of a relaxed eye.
emotionAny state of arousal in response to external events or memories.
emphysemaA chronic lung disease characterized by decreased numbers of alveoli and eventual destruction of alveoli walls. Caused by genetic defects and smoking.
empyemaPresence of pus in a hollow organ or body cavity. Abscess.
EMSemergency medical service
en-in, within
enanti/oopposed, opposite
enarthrosisA ball and socket joint.
encephalitisA inflammation of the brain. Symptoms include headache, fever, vomiting, stiff neck and lethargy.
encopresisThe loss of the ability to control bowel movements.
end-within, inner
endarterectomyA surgical procedure to remove the plaque material in the lining of an artery.
endarterialRelating to the interior lining of the artery.
endarteritisInflammation of the inner endothelial lining of an artery.
endemicPresent or usually prevalent in a population or geographical area at all times.
endocardi/oendocardium (inner lining of the heart)
endocardialSituated or occurring within the heart.
endocarditisInflammation of the inner lining of the heart chamber and valves. Usually caused by bacterial infection.
endocardiumThe innermost layer of the heart, consisting of endothelial cells.
endocervicitisInflammation of the mucous lining of the uterine cervix.
endocrine systemThe system of glands that release their secretions (hormones) directly into the circulatory system.
endocrinologyA subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with the metabolism, physiology, and disorders of the endocrine system.
endodermThe inner of the three germ layers of an embryo.
endometri/oendometrium (mucous membrane lining the uterus)
endometriosisA painful, chronic disease where the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside it. May spread anywhere in the abdominal cavity.
endometriumThe mucous membrane comprising the inner layer of the uterine wall.
endomorphA body type that is relatively soft and round.
endophyticPertaining to the tendency to grow inward
endorphinA natural substance produced in the brain that binds to opioid receptors, dulling pain perception.
endoscopeAn instrument for the visual examination of interior structures of the body.
endotheliomaA tumor arising from the endothelial lining of blood vessels.
endotheliumA layer of epithelium that lines the heart, blood vessels, lymph vessels and the serous cavities of the body.
endovascular proceduresWithin a blood vessel.
enemaA solution or compound that is introduced into the rectum with the purpose of cleansing the colon or for diagnostic procedures.
ENTear, nose, and throat
ent-within, inside
enter/osmall intestines
enteritisInflammation of any segment of the small intestine.
enterocolitisInflammation of the mucous membrane of both small and large intestines.
enterocytesColumnar cells of the small intestine responsible for the final digestion and absorption of nutrients, electrolytes and water.
enterostomyCreation of an artificial external opening or fistula in the intestines.
entropionThe eyelid is rolled inward toward the eye.
enuresisInvoluntary discharge of urine after completed development of urinary control.
enzymeAny protein that acts as a catalyst,
EOMextraocular muscles
eosinophilsA type of white blood cell. A granulocyte often increased with allergies and/or parasite infections.
ependymaA thin membrane that lines the cerebral ventricles and the central canal of the spinal cord.
ephemeraPrinted matter of passing interest.
epi-above, on, following
epicardiumThe inner layer of the pericardium, covering the heart.
epicondylitisTennis elbow. Occurs from partial or complete tears of the tendons of the forearm, or from overuse, a strain.
epidemicAn rapid, widespread outbreak of a contagious disease.
epidemiologyField of medicine concerned with the determination of causes, incidence, and characteristic behavior of disease outbreaks affecting human populations.
epidermisThe superficial avascular layers of the skin,
epididym/oepididymis (structure within the scrotum that stores sperm)
epididymisThe convoluted cordlike structure attached to the posterior of the testis.
epididymitisInflammation of the epididymis.
epiduralOn or over the dura mater.
epidural anesthesiaA regional anesthesia that blocks pain.
epiglott/oepiglottis (cartilage that prevents food from entering the trachea)
epiglottisCartilage that prevents food from entering the trachea.
epiglottitisInflammation of the epiglottis.
epilationRemoval of a hair by its roots.
epilepsyA general term for conditions with recurring seizures.
epimysiumThe fibrous connective tissue surrounding a skeletal muscle.
epinephrineA hormone secreted by the medulla of the adrenal glands. Commonly called adrenaline.
epineuralOn a neural arch of a vertebra.
epineuriumThe sheath of a peripheral nerve.
epiphoraOverflow of tears due to obstruction of the lacrimal duct.
episcleraThe loose connective tissue between the sclera and the conjunctiva.
episcleritisAn inflammation of the sclera, causing redness of the eye.
episiotomyAn incision made in the perineum to widens the opening of the vagina during childbirth.
epispadiasA birth defect due to malformation of the urethra.
epistaxisNose bleed.
epithelial cellsCells that line the inner and outer surfaces of the body by forming cellular layers or masses.
epitheliumlayers of cells that line hollow organs and glands. It is also those cells that make up the outer surface of the body
epitopeAny site on an antigen that interact with specific antibodies.
eponymThe name of a disease, procedure or body structure that is based upon the name of the discoverer.
epulisA swelling on the gum.
EREmergency Room,
ERBFeffective renal blood flow
ERCPendoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
erectile dysfunctionThe consistent inability in the male to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Impotence.
ergo-work, energy
ergometryMeasuring the amount of work done by an organism.
ergonomicsDesign work that reduces stress and eliminates injuries associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture and repeated tasks.
eructationTo belch.
ERVexpiratory reserve volume
erysipelasAn acute infection of the skin characterized by fever, headache, vomiting, and purplish raised lesions.
erythemaRedness of the skin that results from capillary congestion.
erythrasmaA chronic bacterial infection of major folds of the skin.
erythroblastA nucleated immature red blood cell found in bone marrow.
erythrocyt/ored blood cell
erythrocytesCells that contains hemoglobin and that can transport oxygen to body tissues. Commonly called red blood cells.
erythrodermaAn intense and usually widespread reddening of the skin.
erythroidReddish color.
erythromelalgiaA rare peripheral arterial disorder occurring in middle aged patients characterized by severe burning pain, reddening, hyperalgesia and sweating of the extremities.
erythroplasiaDysplasia and erythema of the epithelium
escharA dry scab formed on the skin following a burn or cauterization of the skin
esophageal achalasiaFailure of the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, resulting in functional obstruction of the esophagus, and dysphagia.
esophageal varicesAbnormally dilated veins of the esophagus. High risk of spontaneous bleeding. Associated with alcohol abuse.
esophagitisInflammation of the esophagus.
esophagusThe muscular membranous passage between the pharynx and the stomach in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
esotropiaAn inward turning of one or both eyes.
ESRerythrocyte sedimentation rate
ESRDend-stage renal disease
ESTelectroshock therapy
esthes/onerve sensation, feeling
estrogenHormones that are important for sexual and reproductive development in females.
ethnologyCultural anthropology.
ethologyPertaining to the study of animal behavior.
ETUemergency trauma unit
eu-normal, good
eukaryotaOne 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.
euphoriaA strong feeling of happiness, confidence, or well-being.
eury-wide, broad
eustachian tubeA narrow canal extending from the middle ear to the pharynx.
euthanasiaThe practice of killing someone painlessly, to relieve suffering from an incurable illness. Mercy killing.
ex-out, away from
exanthemA widespread rash that is usually accompanied by symptoms that include fever, malaise and headache.
exanthemaEruption on the skin occurring as a symptom of a disease
exciseTo cut out a tumor, tissue or organ.
excisionRemoval of tissue using a scalpel.
excoriationAn abraded area where the skin is torn or worn off
exfoliationTo remove a layer of skin.
exfoliative dermatitisA widespread scaling of the skin, often with itching (pruritus), skin redness (erythroderma), and hair loss.
exhalationBreathing out.
exhumationRemoval of a dead body from the earth after burial.
exo-outside, outward
exocrine glandsGlands of external secretion that release its secretions to the body's cavities, organs, or surface, through a duct.
exogenousOriginating from outside
exophthalmosA bulging eyeball, associated with hyperthyroidism.
exoskeleton The exterior protective or supporting structure or shell of many animals.
exostosesAbnormal bony outgrowth from the surface of a bone
exotropia One or both of the eyes turn outward.
extensorAny muscle that extends a limb or other body part.
extirpationSurgical removal of a body part or tissue
extra-outside of, beyond
extractionSurgical removal of a body part.
eyeThe organ of vision.
eyebrowThe bony ridge extending over the eye and the row of hair located on it.
eyelashesThe hairs which project from the edges of the eyelids.
eyelidsEach of the upper and lower folds of skin which cover the eye when closed.
factitious disorderConditions 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 tubesA pair of highly specialized muscular canals that conduct the ovum from the ovary to the uterus.
fasci/ofascia (layer of fibrous tissue)
fasciaLayers of connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.
fasciitisInflammation of the fascia, which is the connective tissue surrounding muscles, blood vessels and nerves.
fastigium The period of greatest intensity
fatA substance that stores energy in the body and serves as an insulating material. One of the three primary constituents of food.
fatigueTiredness following mental or physical exertion.
FBSfasting blood sugar
FDA(U.S.) Food and Drug Administration
febriculaMild or short-lived.
fecesExcrement from the intestines, containing unabsorbed solids, waste products, secretions, and bacteria.
FEFforced expiratory flow
felineBelonging or pertaining to the cat family
femininityFemale-associated sex-specific social roles and behaviors unrelated to biologic function.
femor/ofemoral (thigh bone)
femoralPertaining to the thigh or femur.
femurThe longest and largest bone of the skeleton, it is situated between the hip and the knee.
fenestraA small opening or transparent spot.
fertilizationThe fusion of a spermatozoon with an ovum thus resulting in the formation of a zygote.
fetalOf, pertaining to, or having the character of a fetus.
fetusThe embryo of a mammal in the later stages of development
FEVforced expiratory volume
feverAn abnormal elevation of body temperature, usually as a result of a pathologic process.
FFPfresh frozen plasma
FHRfetal heart rate
FHTfamily history
fibrillationA rapid twitching of muscle fibers, particularly of the heart, caused by the abnormal electrical impulses.
fibrinAn insoluble protein end product of blood coagulation, formed from fibrinogen by the action of thrombin.
fibrinogenA blood plasma protein produced by the liver. It is one of many coagulation factors responsible for normal blood clotting.
fibroadenomaBenign tumors composed of stromal and epithelial tissue.
fibrocystic breast diseaseA painful, lumpy breast disease.
fibroidA benign tumor containing fibrous tissue, particularly in the uterus.
fibromaA benign tumor consisting of fibrous tissue.
fibromyalgiaA common, chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, chronic fatigue, and other symptoms.
fibrosarcomaA form of malignant tumor derived from fibrous connective tissue
fibrosisAny pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury.
FISHfluorescence in situ hybridization
fissureA slit, cleft or deep furrow; a small tear.
fistulaAn abnormal connection between two body parts.
fl ozfluid ounce
flatulenceProduction of gas in the gastrointestinal tract which may be expelled through the anus.
flexionThe act of bending a limb or the position that a limb assumes after it is bent.
flexorAny muscle that causes a limb to bend.
floaterA speck or string that appears to be drifting across the eye just outside the line of vision.
fluctuation A wavelike motion. A variation.
fluor/ofluorine, fluoride
fluorescein angiographyAn eye test that uses a special dye and camera to look at blood flow in the retina and choroid.
fluorescenceThe property of emitting radiation while being irradiated.
fluoridationPractice of adding fluoride to water for the purpose of preventing tooth decay and cavities.
flushA transient reddening of the face. A blush.
focusThe point at which rays of line converge after passing through a lens.
follicleA small secreting gland, sac or cavity.
follicle-stimulating hormoneA hormone released by the pituitary gland. It regulates the development, maturation and reproductive processes of the body.
follicul/ofollicle (small cavity)
folliculitisAn infection in the hair follicles.
footThe distal extremity of the leg, consisting of the tarsus, metatarsus, phalanges and the soft tissues surrounding the bones.
forcepsAn instrument for compressing or grasping tissues.
fore-before, in front
forearmPart of the arm in humans extending from the elbow to the wrist.
foreheadThe part of the face above the eyes.
formicationA strange sensation of ants crawling on the skin.
formularyA 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 analysisUse of the Fourier transform, a mathematical technique for describing fluctuating patterns in the physical world in terms of frequencies.
FPfamily practice
fractalsPatterns (real or mathematical) which look similar at different scales.
freeze dryingMethod of preparing a tissue specimen by freezing and then dehydrating in a high vacuum.
FROMfull range of motion
frontal boneThe bone that forms the frontal aspect of the skull.
frontal coronal planeSeparates the body's anterior and posterior
frontal lobeThe part of the cerebral hemisphere anterior to the central sulcus, and anterior and superior to the lateral sulcus.
FSHfollicle-stimulating hormone
FTNDfull term normal delivery
FTTfailure to thrive
fundusThe base of an organ.
fungicideAn agent that kills or inhibits the growth of fungi.
FUOfever of unknown origin
furunclesA boil, which are bacterial or fungal infections of hair follicles.
fusionThe merging of adjacent parts.
FVCforced vital capacity
gaitManner or style of walking.
galactorrheaInappropriate lactation.
galactoseOne of the two simple sugars in the protein, lactose, found in milk. The other sugar is glucose.
gallbladderA reservoir for bile located under the right lobe of the liver.
gallopA third heart sound that resembles the sound of a galloping horse.
gallstoneA hard mass that precipitates in the biliary tract, usually in the gallbladder.
gam-marriage, sexual union
gameteA mature sex cell.
ganglionA structure containing an aggregation of nerve cell bodies located in the peripheral nervous system.
ganglion cystSwelling or tumor on a joint or tendon sheath due to trauma.
ganglioneuromaA benign neoplasm that usually arises from the sympathetic trunk in the mediastinum.
gangreneDeath and putrefaction of tissue usually due to a loss of blood supply.
gastralgiaPain in the stomach or abdomen
gastrectomyExcision of part or all of the stomach.
gastricPertaining to the stomach.
gastric absorptionUptake of substances via the stomach.
gastritisThe painful inflammation of the stomach's lining.
gastroenteritisInflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
gastroenterologyA subspecialty of medicine concerned with diseases of the digestive system and related structures including the esophagus, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.
gastrointestinal tractGenerally refers to the digestive structures stretching from the mouth to anus, but does not include the accessory glandular organs (liver; biliary tract; pancreas).
gastroparesisChronic delayed gastric emptying.
gastrostomyCreation of an artificial external opening into the stomach for nutritional support or gastrointestinal compression.
gavageForced feeding a patient especially through a tube passed into the stomach
GDMgestational diabetes mellitus
gel/oto freeze, congeal
gemin-double, twin
gen/oto become, being born, producing
geneA unit of inheritance carrying a single trait occupying a certain location on a chromosome.
geneticPertaining to reproduction or to birth or origin.
genitaliaThe male and female reproductive organs.
genocideThe deliberate annihilation of a national, ethnic, or religious group.
genomeThe complete set of genes in the chromosomes of each cell. The human genome contains an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 genes.
genomicsThe systematic study of the complete DNA sequences (genome) of organisms.
genotypeThe genetic constitution of the individual.
genu varumAn outward slant of the thigh in which the knees are wide apart and the ankles close together.
ger/oold age
GERDgastroesophageal reflux disease
geriatricsThe branch of health care concerned with aging and diseases of the elderly.
germAny microorganism, particularly one that causes disease.
germinationThe early stages of the growth of seeds. The embryonic shoot and embryonic plant roots emerge.
germinomaA neoplasm of the germinal tissue of gonads, mediastinum, or pineal region.
gest/oto bear
gestaltA physical, mental or symbolic configuration where whole differs from, or is greater than, the sum of its parts.
gestationThe time period of development from fertilization to birth.
gestureA movement that helps express a feeling, idea, intention or opinion.
GFRglomerular filtration rate
GHgrowth hormone
giardiasisAn intestinal infection caused by the protozoan Giardia lamblia. It is spread via contaminated food and water and by direct person-to-person contact.
gigantismAbnormal growth due to an excess of growth hormone during childhood.
gingivaOral tissue surrounding and attached to teeth. Gum.
gingivitisInflammation of gum tissue.
glabellaThe area between the eyebrows immediately above the nose.
glandersA chronic bacterial infection of horses occasionally transmitted to humans.
glandular feverInfectious mononucleosis.
glareA bright, dazzling light which produces discomfort and impairs vision.
glasgow coma scaleA scale for measuring level of consciousness, especially after craniocerebral injury
glaucomaA disease that damages the optic nerve. Often caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye.
gleason scoreA method of classifying malignancy of prostate cancers.
glenoid cavityA depression in the lateral angle of the scapula that articulates with the head of the humerus.
globulinAny 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
globusA sphere. A spherical structure.
glomerulusA small tuft of blood capillaries in the kidney that is an integral part of the nephron, the basic unit of the kidney.
glossitisInflammation of the tongue.
glottisThe vocal apparatus of the larynx, situated in the middle section of the larynx.
glucagonA peptide hormone produced in the pancreas that opposes insulin.
gluco-relating to glucose
glucoseSugar in the blood that supplies energy to cells.
glyc/oglucose, sugar
glycemic indexA numerical system of measuring the rate of blood glucose generation from a particular food item.
glycemic loadA 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.
glycineA non-essential amino acid that is a major component of gelatin and silk fibroin. It used therapeutically as a nutrient.
glycosuriaThe appearance of an abnormally amount of glucose in the urine.
gnath-jaw, cheek
GnRHgonadotropin-releasing hormone
goiterEnlargement of the thyroid gland causing a swelling in the front part of the neck.
gon-seed, genital
gonad/osex glands
gonadalPertaining to or arising from a gonad.
gonadsThe sex glands, ovary or testis.
gonorrheaA 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.
GPgeneral practitioner
graftAny tissue or organ for transplantation.
gram stainA method of staining bacteria, which is important in their identification.
granul/osmall grain
granulation tissueA 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.
granulomaA 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 diseaseAn immune disease that causes hyperthyroidism.
groinThe external junctural region between the lower part of the abdomen and the thigh.
GSWgunshot wound
GTTglucose tolerance test
guaifenesinAn expectorant that also has some muscle relaxing action. It is used in many cough preparations.
Guillain-Barre syndromeA disorder in which the immune system attacks the nerves. A rare disease, usually preceded by a viral infection
guttaOne drop.
GVHDgraft-versus-host disease
GXTgraded exercise test
gynec/owoman, female
gynecologyThe branch of medicine dealing with diseases unique to women, especially those of the genital tract and breasts.
gynecomastiaNon-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/ohistory of
habitA recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is regularly manifested.
hairA threadlike specialized epidermal structure developing from a papilla sunk in the dermis.
hair follicleA 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.
halitosisA foul breath odor resulting from poor oral hygiene, dental or oral infections, or the ingestion of certain foods.
hallucinationSensing things while awake that appear to be real, but instead have been created by the mind, common in delirium.
hallux valgusA bunion. A deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot.
handThe distal part of the arm beyond the wrist consisting of the carpus, metacarpus, and fingers.
hapl/osimple, single
HAVhepatitis A virus
HBPhigh blood pressure
HBVhepatitis B virus
HCGhuman chorionic gonadotropin
HCPhealth care professional
HCVhepatitis C virus
HDhearing distance
HDLhigh-density lipoprotein
HDVhepatitis D
headThe upper part of the body containing the brain, mouth, and sense organs.
headachePain in the cranial region.
hearingThe ability to perceive sounds.
heartThe hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.
heart arrestCessation of heart beat.
heart blockImpaired 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 failureA heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body.
heart murmursHeart sounds caused by vibrations resulting from the flow of blood through the heart.
heart septumThis structure includes the thin muscular atrial septum between the two heart atria, and the thick muscular ventricular septum between the two heart ventricles.
heart soundsThe sounds heard over the cardiac region produced by the functioning of the heart.
heart valvesFlaps of tissue that prevent regurgitation of blood from the ventricles to the atria or from the pulmonary arteries or aorta to the ventricles.
heartburnSubsternal pain or burning sensation, usually associated with regurgitation of gastric juice into the esophagus.
heat exhaustionA clinical syndrome caused by heat stress, such as over-exertion in a hot environment or excessive exposure to sun.
heat strokeA 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 spurA bony outgrowth on the lower surface of the heel bone.
hemangiomaA 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.
hemarthrosisBleeding into the joints.
hematemesisVomiting blood.
hematocolposAn accumulation of menstrual blood in the vagina.
hematocritThe percentage by volume of red blood cells in a given sample.
hematologyThe medical specialty focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of blood diseases.
hematomaAn abnormal collection of blood outside of a blood vessel. A bruise.
hematometraAn accumulation of menstrual blood in the uterus.
hematospermiaBlood in the semen.
hematuriaRed blood cells in the urine.
hemianopiaThe loss of part of the field of view on the same side, in both eyes. A common side effect of stroke or brain injury.
hemiparesisWeakness or paralysis of the entire left or right side of the body. Caused by congenital conditions, trauma, stroke or tumors.
hemiplegiaParalysis of one side of the body.
hemobiliaBleeding into the biliary passages.
hemochromatosisA 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.
hemodialysisA therapeutic procedure used with kidney failure involving removal of harmful wastes and fluids from the blood.
hemodynamicsThe forces involved in the movement of the blood through the cardiovascular system.
hemoglobinsThe oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes (red blood cells).
hemopneumothoraxCollection both blood and air in the pleural cavity.
hemoptysisCoughing up blood or blood-stained mucus from the respiratory tract.
hemorrhageBleeding or escape of blood from a vessel. Bleeding can occur externally or internally to the body.
hemorrhagic strokeA stroke that occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures. Also called an aneurysm.
hemorrhoidsSwollen veins in the lower part of the rectum or anus.
hemospermiaBlood in the semen, often due to inflammation of the prostate or the seminal vesicles.
hemostasisThe complex body process which spontaneously stops hemorrhages. This includes vessel contraction and blood adhesion, aggregation and coagulation.
hemothoraxHemorrhage within the pleural cavity, often from chest trauma.
heparinAn endogenous, short-acting anticoagulant.
hepaticPertaining to the liver.
hepatitisInflammation of the liver caused by viral agents.
hepatoblastomaA malignant neoplasm occurring in young children, primarily in the liver,
hepatocytesA parenchymal liver cell.
hepatomaA malignant tumor of the liver
hepatomegalyHaving an enlarged liver.
herbicidesPesticides used to destroy vegetation, particularly weeds and grasses.
heredityThe transmission of traits encoded in genes from parent to offspring.
heredo-heir, heredity
hermaphroditicA plant or animal with both male and female sex organs.
herniaAbnormal protrusion of tissue, structure, or part of an organ through the bone, muscular tissue, or the membrane by which it is normally contained.
herniorrhaphySurgical repair of a hernia
herpesAn 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 labialisCold sores caused by herpes simplex I.
heter-different, other
heterophoriaA tendency for deviation of the eyes from parallelism, prevented by binocular vision.
heterosexualityThe sexual attraction between members of the opposite sex.
heterosisGreater vigor of the first generation hybrid than is shown by either parent.
heuristicsA 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.
HEVhepatitis E
HFheart failure
HFOVhigh frequency oscillatory ventilation
HGFhuman growth factor
HGSILhigh-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
hiat/ogap, opening, pause
hiatusAn aperture, gap or opening.
hiccupA spasm of the diaphragm that causes a sudden inhalation followed by rapid closure of the glottis which produces a sound. Also called singultus.
hidrocystomaA cystic form of sweat gland adenoma, created by the cystic proliferation of apocrine secretory glands.
hidrosisThe production and excretion of sweat.
hidroticRelating to or causing sweating.
high density lipoproteinCholesterol known as HDL that removes harmful cholesterol, reducing risk of heart problems.
hipThe region of the body around the joint between the top of the femur and side of the pelvis.
HIPAAHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
hippocampusA 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.
hippusRhythmic pupillary dilation and constriction, independent of changes in illumination or convergence.
hirsutismExcessive hairiness in women, usually caused by hormonal imbalance.
histamineAn 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.
histiocytesMacrophages found in the tissues, as opposed to those found in the blood or serous cavities.
histiocytomaA neoplasm containing histiocytes.
histiocytosisAbnormal appearance of histiocytes.
histogramA bar chart.
histologyThe study of the structure of tissues on a microscopic level.
hivHuman immunodeficiency virus.
hoarsenessAn unnaturally rough quality of voice.
Hodgkin's lymphomaA 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
holographyThe recording of three-dimensional images form using a laser beams.
holter monitorA device that continuously records EKGs for hours or a few days, used to diagnose abnormal cardiac rhythms.
home/osame, not changed
homeostasisThe process of maintaining physiological equilibrium.
homosexualityThe sexual attraction or relationship between members of the same sex.
hordeolumBlockage of an eyelid gland causing a small inflamed cyst at the lid margin. Also called a stye.
horm-impulse, urge
hormoneSubstances having a specific regulatory effect on the activity of an organ or organs.
hospiceA facility providing palliative and supportive care to a patient with a terminal illness and to the patient's family.
hospice careCare provided to a dying person. Care may be provided in the home, in the hospital or in specialized facilities.
hospitalistsPhysicians who are employed to work exclusively in hospital settings, often for managed care organizations.
HPIhistory of present illness
HRheart rate
HRThormone replacement therapy
HSILhigh-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
HSVherpes simplex virus
humerusThe bone of the upper arm. It extends from the shoulder joint to the elbow joint.
huntington diseaseAn inherited disorder characterized by the onset of progressive chorea (involuntary, rapid, irregular, jerky movements) and dementia in middle age.
hyalinA translucent substance occurring in pathological degeneration of tissues.
hydr/owater, fluid
hydremiaAn excess of water in the blood.
hydroceleBuildup of the normal fluid around the testicle, common in infants, self-resolving.
hydrocephalusThe buildup of excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the brain.
hydronephrosisAbnormal enlargement of a kidney, sometimes caused by blockage of the ureter.
hygieneThe science and practices that promote or preserve health
hymenA thin fold of mucous membrane situated at the orifice of the vagina.
hyper-excessive, above
hyperalgesiaAn abnormal increased sensation of pain, caused by damage to soft tissue containing nociceptors or injury to a peripheral nerve.
hyperbaricAt a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure.
hypercalcemiaToo much calcium in the blood.
hypercalciuriaExcretion of abnormally high level of calcium in the urine.
hypercapniaAbnormal increase in carbon dioxide in the blood.
hyperemesis gravidarumSevere, intractable vomiting during early pregnancy. Often needs IV fluids and anti nausea agents.
hyperemiaThe 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.
hyperesthesiaHyperesthesia is a condition in which someone becomes highly sensitized to sensory stimuli.
hyperglycemiaHigh blood sugar. A serious problem for diabetics.
hyperhidrosisExcessive sweating.
hyperinsulinismAbnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.
hyperkalemiaAbnormally high potassium concentration in the blood, usually due to acute renal failure.
hyperkinesiaSpontaneous involuntary movements.
hyperkinesisExcessive movement of muscles of the body.
hyperlipidemiaConditions with excess lipids (fats) in the blood.
hypernatremiaAn excess of sodium in the blood.
hyperopiaFarsightedness. Distant objects can be seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus.
hyperostosisAbnormal thickening or growth of bone.
hyperoxaluriaAbnormally high amounts of oxalates in the urine.
hyperoxiaAn excess of oxygen in tissues and organs.
hyperphosphatemiaAbnormally high level of phosphates in the blood.
hyperpigmentationExcessive 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.
hyperpituitarismExcessive hormone production by the pituitary gland.
hyperplasiaAn abnormal increase in the number of cells in a tissue or organ without tumor formation.
hyperpneaDeep breathing. Can be normal during exercise or abnormal due to anemia or sepsis.
hypersensitivityAbnormally high response to an antigen.
hypersomniaExcessive sleeping
hyperstheniaExcessive strength or tension.
hypertensionPersistently high systemic arterial blood pressure.
hyperthyroidismExcessive hormone production by the thyroid.
hyperthyroxinemiaAbnormally elevated thyroxine level in the blood.
hypertonicHaving increased tone or tension.
hypertrichosisExcessive hair growth at inappropriate locations.
hypertriglyceridemiaA condition of elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood.
hypertrophyGeneral increase in volume of a tissue or organ produced entirely by enlargement of existing cells.
hyperuricemiaAn abnormally high concentration of uric acid in the blood. It is associated with gout and also hypertension.
hyperventilationBreathing faster or deeper than is metabolically necessary causing an excessive intake of oxygen and a reduction carbon dioxide level in arterial blood.
hypesthesiaAbsent or reduced sensitivity to cutaneous stimulation.
hyphemaBleeding in the anterior chamber of the eye.
hypnosisA state of increased receptivity to suggestion and direction, initially induced by the influence of another person.
hypo-deficient, under
hypocalcemiaAbnormally low levels of calcium in the blood.
hypocapniaDeficiency of carbon dioxide in arterial blood.
hypochondriaAnxiety about one's own health and belief that one is likely to become ill even though there is no medical evidence of illness.
hypochondriasisAn overwhelming fear of having a serious disease.
hypodermicBeneath the skin.
hypogeusiaDiminished sense of taste.
hypoglycemiaAbnormally low blood glucose (blood sugar) levels, usually less than 70 mg/dl.
hypogonadismAbnormally low functional activity of the gonads, with diminished growth and sexual development
hypohidrosisAbnormally low or absent perspiration.
hypokalemiaAbnormally low potassium concentration in the blood.
hypokinesiaAbnormally diminished movement of body musculature.
hypomenorrheaExtremely light menstrual blood flow.
hyponatremiaInsufficient sodium levels in the blood. Can be caused by loss of sodium or by increased and excessive body fluids.
hypoperfusionAbnormally low blood flow through an organ.
hypoplasiaUnderdevelopment of a tissue or organ.
hypopneaShallow or abnormally slow breathing.
hypospadiasA birth defect due to malformation of the urethra in which the urethral opening is below its normal location.
hypotensionAbnormally low blood pressure that can result in inadequate blood flow to the brain and other organs.
hypothermiaLower than normal body temperature.
hypotoniaPoor muscle tone usually detected at birth or during infancy. It is reflected in the APGAR score.
hypotonicDenoting decreased tone or tension.
hypotrichosisLess than the normal amount of hair.
hypoventilationDeficient ventilation of the lungs resulting is low oxygen levels and high carbon dioxide levels in the blood.
hypovolemiaAn abnormally low volume of circulating blood.
hypoxemiaOxygen deficiency in arterial blood.
hypoxiaInsufficient oxygen levels in body organs and tissues.
hysterectomySurgical removal of the uterus.
hysteriaExcessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic.
hysterosalpingographyFluoroscopic examination of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
hysteroscopyExamination of the uterine cavity using an endoscope.
hysterotomyAn incision in the uterus, performed through either the abdomen or the vagina.
Hzhertz (cycles per second)
iatr/otreatment, medicine
IBDinflammatory bowel disease
IBSirritable bowel syndrome
ibuprofenA nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent with analgesic properties used in the therapy of rheumatism and arthritis.
IBWideal body weight
ICinspiratory capacity
ICDimplantable cardiac defibrillator
ICFintermediate care facility
ichthyosisA family of skin disorders characterized by dry, thickened skin.
ICPintracranial pressure
ICSintercostal space
ICSHinterstitial cell-stimulating hormone
ictusAn attack, blow, stroke, or seizure.
ICUintensive care unit
idThe part of the personality structure which harbors the unconscious instinctive desires and strivings of the individual.
IDMinfants of diabetic mothers
IEDimprovised explosive device
IGTimpaired glucose tolerance
ile/oileum (final section of small intestine)
ilealOf or pertaining to the ileum.
ileectomySurgical removal of the ileum.
ileitisInflammation of any segment of the ileum.
ileostomyA surgical construction of an opening into the ileum on the abdominal wall.
ileumThe distal and narrowest portion of the small intestine, between the jejunum and the ileocecal valve of the large intestine.
IleusImpairment of the normal flow of the intestinal contents within the bowel.
ili/oilium (uppermost and largest bone of the pelvis)
iliac arteryEither of two large arteries originating from the abdominal aorta; they supply blood to the pelvis, abdominal wall and legs.
iliumThe largest of three bones that make up each half of the pelvic girdle.
illusionAn error in perception.
immobilizationThe restriction of the movement of whole or part of the body.
immun/oimmune, safe
immunityProtection from diseases, particularly infectious diseases.
immunizationA process for building or augmenting resistance to an infectious disease.
immunoglobulinsAn infection-fighting protein in the blood or secretory fluids that helps destroy bacteria, viruses and toxins.
immunosuppressantDeliberate prevention or diminution of the host's immune response.
immunotherapyManipulation of the host's immune system in treatment of disease.
imperforateNot open.
impetigoA contagious skin condition common in children, caused by streptococcus, staphylococcus.
impingement syndromeThe result of chronic and repetitive compression of the rotator-cuff tendons in the shoulder.
implantTo embed.
impotenceThe inability to sustain a penile erection to allow normal vaginal intercourse.
impulsive behaviorAn act performed without delay, reflection, voluntary direction or obvious control in response to a stimulus.
IMVintermittent mandatory ventilation
in vitroIn a glass. In an artificial environment outside a living organism
in-in, not or fiber
incidenceThe number of new cases of a given disease during a specified period in a population.
incinerationHigh temperature destruction of waste by burning with reduction to ashes.
incisionA cut made by a medical professional.
incisorAny of the four maxillary and four mandibular teeth, having a sharp incisal edge.
incontinenceThe inability to control the flow of urine from the bladder.
incubationMaintaining 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.
INDinvestigational new drug
indicationThe basis, evidence or rationale for using a particular treatment or diagnostic test.
inductionCausing to occur.
infantA child between 1 and 23 months of age.
infarctionTissue death due to lack of oxygen
infectionThe invasion of the body by disease causing agents and the body's reaction.
infectious myringitisAn infection causing painful blisters on the eardrum. More often seen in children than adults. Causal agent is Mycoplasma.
infertilityInability to conceive and produce viable offspring.
inflammationThe response of body tissues to injury, irritation or infection. Usually manifested by the signs of pain, heat, redness and swelling.
influenzaAcute, contagious viral infection of the respiratory system.
infra-below, down, under
infusion pumpsA device that delivers intravenous fluids at low doses and at a controllable rate.
inguinal canalA tunnel in the abdominal wall through which a testis descends into the scrotum.
inhalationBreathing in.
injectionsIntroduction of substances into the body using a needle and syringe.
insecticidesAgents used to control insects.
inseminationThe deposit of seminal fluid within the vagina.
insomniaInability to sleep.
insulinA hormone produced in the pancreas. Regulates glucose levels.
insulinomaA neoplasm of the pancreas that is one of the chief causes of hypoglycemia.
integumentary systemThe 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.
intercellularBetween the cells.
interferonA 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.
interferonsProteins that are produced by the body's cells as a defensive response to pathogens.
intermittencyA urinary tract disorder in which urine flow is not continuous but stops and starts.
intermittent claudicationMuscle pain caused by too little blood flow, usually during exercise.
internal medicineA medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of internal organ diseases.
interneuronsGroups or combinations of neurons between sensory and motor neurons that govern coordinated activity.
interphaseThe interval between cell divisions during which the chromosomes are not individually distinguishable.
interstitialSmall space(s) between biological structures.
interstitial cystitisPainful bladder syndrome.
intertrigoA superficial dermatitis occurring in areas where skin surfaces come into contact with, and chafe, each other. The condition is caused by moisture and friction.
intestinesThe section of the alimentary canal from the stomach to the anal canal.
intoleranceA patient's inability to tolerate a drug.
intracellularInside a cell.
intracranialWithin the skull.
intracranial embolismBlocking of a blood vessel in the skull by an embolus which can be a thrombus or other undissolved material in the blood stream.
intracranial hematomaBlood accumulation within the brain or between the brain and the skull,
intraductal papillomaBenign tumors that grow within the breast ducts
intrathecalWithin a sheath.
intrauterineWithin the uterine cavity.
intravenousWithin a vein.
intrinsic muscleA muscle whose origin and insertion are both in the same part or organ.
introversionA state in which attention is largely directed inward upon one's self, with diminished interest in the outside world.
intubationThe insertion of a tube, as into the larynx.
intuitionKnowing without conscious use of reasoning.
intussusceptionThe movement of a bowel segment into an adjacent segment in the manner of a telescope. The condition is commonest in children.
inulinA starch found in the tubers and roots of many plants. It is used as a diagnostic aid in tests of kidney function
invasionThe entry and proliferation of a pathogen or tumor.
invertebratesAnimals lacking a spinal column.
involucrumAn enveloping sheath.
iodineA 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.
ionAn atom that has a positive or negative electric charge due to a gain or loss of one or more electrons.
iontophoresisTherapeutic introduction of ions of soluble salts into tissues by means of electric current.
ipecacAn emetic.
IPPBintermittent positive pressure breathing
IQintelligence quotient
IRBinstitutional review board
iridectomySurgical removal of part of the iris.
iridescenceShining or glittering with the colors of the rainbow
iridoplegiaParalysis of the sphincter muscle of the iris or the dilator muscle
irisThe circular pigmented membrane behind the cornea of the eye that gives the eye its color. The iris surrounds a central opening called the pupil.
iritisInflammation of the iris.
irradiationExposure to ionizing radiation.
irrigationThe washing out of a wound using a continuous flow of water or solution.
IRVinspiratory reserve volume
ischemiaA hypoperfusion of blood through an organ or tissue caused by a obstruction of blood vessels.
ischemic heart diseaseRecurring chest pain or discomfort when a part of the heart does not receive enough blood. Often triggered by exertion or excitement.
ischemic strokeThe main type of stroke. Occur when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot.
ischiumThe inferior, dorsal portion of the hip bone.
isletA small island.
isoantigensAn antigenic substance that occurs only in some individuals of a species, such as the blood group antigens of humans.
isolationThe separation of a person with an infectious disease from other people.
isomorphismThe condition of two or more objects being similar in shape or structure.
isotonic contractionMuscle contraction with negligible change in the force of contraction but shortening of the distance between the origin and insertion.
isotonic solutionsSolutions having the same osmotic pressure.
isotopesAtoms of an element species differing in mass number but having the same atomic number.
isthmusA narrow part of an organ or body part.
ithy-erect, straight
IUa international unit
IUCDintrauterine contraceptive device
IUDintrauterine device
IUFDintrauterine fetal distress
IUPintrauterine pregnancy
IVFin vitro fertilization
IVPintravenous pyelogram
IVPBintravenous piggyback
jaundiceYellowing of the skin and eyes due to excessive bilirubin in body
jawBony structure of the mouth consisting of the mandible and the maxilla.
jealousFearful of the loss of affection or position.
jejun/ojejunum (second part of the small intestines)
jejunalPertaining to the jejunum
jejunumPart of the small intestine, connecting the duodenum to the ileum.
jerkA sudden involuntary movement.
JODjuvenile onset diabetes
joint capsuleThe sac surrounding a joint. It is composed of an outer fibrous articular capsule and an inner synovial membrane.
jointsThe points of connection between the ends of certain bones. Also known as articulations
JRAjuvenile rheumatoid arthritis
jugular veinsLarge 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
JVDjugular venous distention
JVPjugular venous pulse
kel/otumor, fibrous growth
keloidAn overgrowth of scar tissue that develops around a wound
kelpA type of seaweed.
kerat/ocornea, horny, hard
keratinA family of fibrous proteins that are principle constituents of epidermis; hair; nails; horny tissues, and tooth enamel.
keratitisInflammation of the cornea
keratoconjunctivitisInflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva.
keratoconusA conical protrusion of the central part of the cornea.
keratosisAny horny growth of the skin such as a wart or callus.
ketonuriaPresence of ketone bodies in urine.
ketosisAbnormally high concentration of ketone bodies, as in diabetes mellitus.
kidneyOne of a pair of organs that filter blood for the secretion of urine and that regulates ion concentrations.
kilo-one thousand
kilogramUnit of mass equal to one thousand grams.
kinesicsThe study of body position motion in communication.
kinesisMovement of an organism in response to a stimulus
kineticsThe study of the interrelationships that exist between body parts and how those connections influence movement.
klept/oto steal
kleptomaniaAn abnormal, strong impulse to steal.
kneeThe joint between inferior femur and superior
koil/ohollow, concave
koilonychiaA disease of the fingernails, where they become thin and concave.
KSKaposi sarcoma
KUBkidney, ureter, and bladder
KVOkeep vein open
kyph/obent, hump
kyphosisDeformities of the spine characterized by an exaggerated convexity of the vertebral column. Sometimes called round back or hunchback.
L&Dlabor and delivery
L&Rleft & right
labi/olips, labia
labialPertaining to the lips.
labial mucosaThe inner lining of the lips.
laborThe childbirth process of expulsion of the fetus and placenta from the uterus.
labrumA lip.
labyrinthA complex system of ducts and cavities that comprise the organs of hearing and balance.
labyrinth/oinner ear
labyrinthectomyAn ear operation used for Meniere's syndrome.
labyrinthitisInflammation of the inner ear (labyrinth).
lacerationA wound, specifically a deep tear or cut of the flesh.
lactaseAn enzyme secreted by the small intestine glands that convert lactose into glucose and galactose.
lactationProduction of milk by the mammary glands.
lactic acidA organic acid produced by anaerobic respiration, by fermentation of carbohydrates in the rumen and by bacterial action on milk.
lactoseThe main sugar of milk consisting of one molecule each of glucose and galactose.
lacunaA small cavity or depression.
LADleft anterior decending
lamellaA thin scale or plate, as of bone.
lamin/olamina (part of the vertebral arch that forms the roof of the spinal canal)
laminectomyA surgical procedure to remove a portion of the vertebral bone called the lamina.
lancetA two-edged surgical knife with a sharp point.
lanolinWool fat that is refined and used as an emollient, cosmetic, and pharmaceutic aid.
lapar/oabdominal wall
laparoscopeAn endoscope for examining the abdominal and pelvic organs in the peritoneal cavity.
laparoscopySurgery using a thin light tube inserted into a small incision.
laparotomyIncision into the side of the abdomen between the ribs and pelvis.
larvaWormlike developmental stage in the life cycle of insects, worms, and other metamorphosing animals.
laryngectomyPartial or total removal of the larynx.
laryngitisInflammation of the larynx, including the vocal cords. Characterized by voice disorders, usually viral etiology.
laryngomalaciaAn abnormally underdeveloped or degenerated cartilage in the larynx.
laryngoplastyPlastic repair of the larynx.
laryngoscopyVisual examination of the larynx. May also include treatment.
larynxThe voice box. Includes the vocal cords and surrounding cartilage.
laser trabeculoplastyUsing a very focused beam of light to treat the drainage angle of the eye.
lateralAway from the body's midline
lavageWashing out a body cavity with water or medicated solution.
laxativeAgents that produce a soft formed stool and relax the bowels, used to relieve constipation.
LBBBleft bundle branch block
LBWlow birth weight
LDHlactate dehydrogenase
LDLlow-density lipoprotein
LElower extremity
lecith/oyolk, ovum
leechingThe application of leeches to the body to draw blood for therapeutic purposes.
legThe inferior part of the lower extremity between the knee and the ankle. Common usage is the entire lower limb.
legionnaires diseaseAn acute bacterial infection of the lungs characterized by high fever, malaise, muscle aches, respiratory disorders and headache.
leiomy/osmooth (visceral) muscle
leiomyomaA benign neoplasm derived from smooth muscle tissue, also known as a fibroid tumor. They usually occur in the uterus.
leiomyosarcomaA malignant neoplasm derived from smooth muscle.
leishmaniasis A group of infections, caused by the protozoan flagellate Leishmania.
lentigoA small, flat, pigmented spot on the skin.
lepid/oflakes, scales
leprosyChronic 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
leptinA hormone that regulates energy balance by helping control appetite.
lesionAny abnormal changes or damage to body tissues.
lethargyA condition of tiredness, fatigue, or lack of energy.
leukemiaCancer of the blood. The bone marrow then produces abnormal white blood cells which do not function properly.
leukocyt/owhite blood cell
leukocyteA white blood cell.
leukocytosisAn abnormally large increase in the number of leukocytes in the blood.
leukoplakiaA white patch lesion found on a mucous membrane that cannot be scraped off.
leukorrheaNormal vaginal discharge during pregnancy . It is thin, white, milky and mild smelling.
levocardiaCongenital 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.
LFTliver function test
LGIlower gastrointestinal
LHluteinizing hormone
libidoSexual desire.
lichenAny of various papular skin disease in which the lesions are typically small, firm papules set very close together.
lidocaineA local anesthetic, analgesic and cardiac depressant.
LIFleukemia inhibatory factor
ligamentFlexible, tough bands of fibrous tissue connecting bones at a joint.
lingualPertaining to or near the tongue.
linimentsHeat-generating liquids that are applied to the skin.
lip/ofat, lipid
lipedemaA chronic disease that occurs mostly in females. It is characterized by bilateral, symmetrical fatty tissue excess, mainly in the legs.
lipidOrganic compounds, including the fats, oils, waxes, sterols, and triglycerides, that are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents.
lipolysisThe metabolic process of breaking down of fat.
lipomaA noncancerous growth of fatty tissue cells. Occurs over area of past trauma.
lipomatosisA disorder characterized by abnormal tumor-like accumulations of fat in body tissues.
liposarcomaA malignant neoplasm of fat cells that occurs in the retroperitoneal tissues and the thigh.
liposuctionPlastic surgery that removes subcutaneous fat using a suction tube.
liq.liquid; fluid
lith/ostone, calcification
lithiasisFormation of stones in an internal organ, such as in the gallbladder, kidney, and lower urinary tract.
liverA large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen with a wide range of function including detoxification, metabolism, synthesis and storage of various substances.
LLEleft lower extremity
LLLleft lower lobe
LLQleft lower quadrant
lmplast menstrual period
lobeA major division of an organ.
LOClevel/loss of consciousness
lochiaA vaginal discharge occurring during the first week or two after childbirth.
locomotionMovement or the ability to move from one place or another.
locusA place or site.
log-speech, words
logad/owhites of the eyes
logo-words, speech
loinThe part of the side and back between the lowest rib and the pelvis.
longevityAn organism's life span.
longitudinal studiesStudies in which variables relating to an individual or group of individuals are assessed over an extended span of time.
loph/oridge, crested part
lord/ocurve, swayback
lordosisAbnormal, concave curvature of the lower spine. Also called swayback.
loupeA magnifying lens.
low density lipoproteinCholesterol that collects on blood vessel walls, increasing risk of heart problems.
lox/ooblique, slanting
lozengeA medicated candy.
LPlumbar puncture
LRlactated ringer (solution)
LRIlower respiratory infection
LRTlower respiratory tract
lubricationThe use of an agent such as grease to diminish friction between two surfaces.
LUEleft upper extremity
LULleft upper lobe
lumb/olower back
lumbagoMild to severe low back pain.
lumbarReferring to the lower back below the thoracic vertebrae and above the sacral vertebrae.
lumenThe channel within a tube or tubular organ.
lumin/olumen (channel within a tube)
luminescenceEmission 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.
lungsA pair of organs that aerate the blood. The right lung is divided into three lobs while the left lung has two lobes.
lupusAny of a group of inflammatory autoimmune disorders can affect the skin, joints and internal organs.
LUQleft upper quadrant
luteinizing hormoneA 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.
luteomaAn ovarian neoplasm composed of luteal cells derived from luteinized granulosa cells and theca cells.
LVleft ventricle
LVADleft ventricular assist device
LVHleft ventricular hypertrophy
lyme diseaseAn 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.
lymphThe interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system.
lymphaden/olymph node
lymphadenitisInflammation of the lymph nodes.
lymphadenopathyInflammation of the lymph nodes causing enlargement.
lymphangi/olymph vessel
lymphangiectasisA transient dilatation of the lymphatic vessels.
lymphangiomaA congenital malformation of the lymphatic system.
lymphangiosarcomaA malignant neoplasm originating from the endothelial cells of lymphatic vessels.
lymphedemaEdema due to obstruction of lymph vessels or disorders of the lymph nodes. A common complication in the arms after mastectomy.
lymphoceleCystic mass containing lymph.
lymphocytesWhite blood cells that help determine the body's immune response to infectious microorganisms.
lymphocytosisAn abnormal increase in the number of lymphocytes in the blood.
lymphomaA cancer of the lymphatic system.
lymphopeniaDecrease in the number of lymphocytes of the blood.
lymphuriaThe presence of lymph in urine.
lysineAn essential amino acid.
lyso-dissolution, loosen
MAmental age
macerationSoftening of a solid by soaking in a liquid.
macrocephalyAbnormally large head.
macrocheiliaAbnormally large lips.
macrodactylyAbnormally large fingers or toes.
macrodontiaAbnormally large teeth.
macroglossiaEnlargement of the tongue, which may be congenital or may develop as a result of a tumor or edema, or in association with hyperpituitarism.
macrognathiaAbnormally large jaw.
macromeliaAbnormally large arms or legs.
macrophageA type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system. It digests targeted cells and cellular debris.
macrostomiaAbnormally large mouth.
macula luteaAn oval, yellow spot in the retina, 3 to 5 mm in diameter It is devoid of retinal blood vessels, except in its periphery.
macularDenoting the central retina.
macular degenerationDegenerative changes in the retina usually of older adults which results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field.
maculeSmall flat skin spots on the skin.
maculopathyAny pathologic condition of the macula lutea.
madarosisLoss or underdevelopment of eyelashes or eyebrows.
maggotLarva of a fly.
magnetic resonance imagingNon-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
malabsorptionInadequate intestinal absorption of nutrients.
malaiseA general feeling of illness or discomfort or feeling unhealthy.
malariaA serious parasitic disease caused by mosquito bites. Symptoms include chills, flu-like symptoms, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice.
malformationAn abnormal physical structure in the body.
malignant melanomaThe most dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanomas are usually brown or black, but can appear pink, tan, or even white.
malingeringFaking symptoms for personal gain or attention.
malleolusThe bony prominence on either side of the ankle.
malleusThe largest and outermost of the three ossicles of the ear. Also called hammer.
malnutritionA condition caused by insufficient intake of nutrients.
malocclusionFaulty contact between the upper and lower teeth when the jaw is closed.
malpracticeFailure to render proper professional services through reprehensible ignorance or negligence especially when injury occurs.
malunionFaulty alignment of broken bone fragments.
mammary glandMilk producing gland.
mammographyRadiographic examination of the breast.
mammoplastyPlastic surgery of the breasts.
mandibleThe large, u-shaped bone that supports the lower teeth, forming the lower jaw.
mandibul/omandible (lower jaw bone)
maniaAn abnormally excessive elated, enthusiastic mental state.
manometerA device for measuring gas or liquid pressure.
manubriumThe uppermost part of the sternum.
MAPmean arterial pressure
marsupialization A surgical procedure for treating cysts. The cyst is widely opened creating a pouch.
masseter muscleThe thick rectangular muscle in the cheek that functions to close the jaw.
mastalgiaBreast pain.
mastectomySurgical procedure to remove one or both breasts.
masticationThe process of chewing and grinding food in the mouth.
mastocytomaA solid tumor consisting of a dense infiltration of mast cells.
mastocytosisDisorders characterized by the abnormal increase of mast cells in organs and tissues.
mastodyniaPain in the breast.
mastoid/orounded protrusion of bone behind the ear
mastoidectomySurgical removal of mastoid air cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ear.
mastoiditisInflammation of the mastoid air cells It is usually a complication of otitis media.
mastopexyBreast lift surgery.
masturbationSexual self-gratification.
maxill/oupper jawbone formed from the fusion of two maxillary bones
maxillaOne of a pair of irregularly shaped bones that form the upper jaw.
maxillofacialPertaining to the jaws and face.
MBCmaximum breathing capacity
MBDminimal brain dysfunction
mcmCi millicurie
MCHmean corpuscular hemoglobin
MCVmean corpuscular volume
MDmuscular dystrophy
MDImetered-dose inhaler
measlesAn acute, contagious viral disease characterized by eruption of red spots on the skin, fever, and catarrhal symptoms. Usually occurs in childhood.
meat/oa natural opening
meatusAn opening or passage.
medialToward the body's midline
median nerveA major nerve of the arm, suppling sensory and motor innervation to parts of the forearm and hand.
mediastinalPertaining to a median septum or space between two parts of the body.
mediastinitisInflammation of the mediastinum.
mediastinumThe central section of the chest cavity, containing the heart, arteries, veins, esophagus, trachea, bronchi, lymph nodes and thymus.
medicareFederal 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).
meditationA state of focusing on a single thing, eliminating influences of external stimuli.
medull/omedulla, marrow
medullaThe inner region of an organ or body structure.
medulla oblongataThe 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.
medulloblastomaA malignant neoplasm that may be classified either as a glioma or as a primitive neuroectodermal tumor of childhood.
mega-large, great
megacolonExtreme dilatation of the colon.
megaloblastic anemiaA 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.
megaloblastsRed blood cell precursors that are abnormally large and dysfunctional. Found in patients with pernicious anemia.
megalomaniaDelusions of grandeur or exaggerated personal importance, wealth or power.
meibomian glandsThe small sebaceous glands located on the inner surface of the eyelids between the tarsal plates and conjunctiva.
meiosisA type of cell division in which a nucleus divides into four daughter nuclei
melan/oblack, dark
melanomaA 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.
melanosisDisorders of increased melanin pigmentation that develop without preceding inflammatory disease.
melatoninA hormone produced by the pineal gland. It plays a role in the regulation of sleep, mood, and reproduction.
melenaThe black, tarry, foul-smelling feces that contain degraded blood.
meli-honey, sugar
membraneThin layers of tissue which covers parts of the body, separates adjacent cavities, or connects adjacent structures.
memoryThe mental functions of learning, retention, recall and recognition.
men/omenstruation, menses
menarcheThe first menstrual period.
meningesThe three membranes that envelop the brain and the spinal cord.
meningiomaA relatively common neoplasm of the central nervous system.
meningitisAn acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. May be viral or bacterial.
meningoceleSurgery to repair birth defects of the spine and spinal membranes.
meniscusCrescent-shaped cartilage inside the knee joint that absorb shock and stabilize the joint.
menopauseThe permanent cessation of menstruation.
menorrhagiaExcessive uterine bleeding during menstruation.
mensesBlood and tissue discharged from the uterus periodically.
menstrual cycleThe 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.
menstruationThe (approximately) monthly discharge of blood and cellular debris from the uterus by nonpregnant women, occurring from puberty to menopause.
mentholAn alcohol produced from mint oils or prepared synthetically.
MEPmaximal expiratory pressure
mEq/Lmilliequivalent per liter
mer/opart, partial
merkel cellsModified 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
mesentericRelating to the double layer of peritoneum suspending the intestine from the posterior abdominal wall.
mesenteryA double layer of peritoneum that encloses the intestines and attaches them to the posterior abdominal wall.
mesomorphicHaving a robust, muscular body build.
meta-beyond, change
metabolismThe chemical reactions that occur within the cells, tissues or an organism.
metacarpalsThe long bones in the hand located between the phalanges of the fingers and the carpal bones of the wrist.
metagenomeA collective genome representative of the many organisms, primarily microorganisms, existing in a community.
metastasectomySurgery to remove one or more neoplasm metastases.
metastasisThe spread of a cancer or other disease from one body part to another not directly connected with it.
metatarsal bonesThe five long bones of the metatarsus, articulating with the tarsal bones proximally and the phalanges of toes distally.
metatarsalgiaPain in the region of the metatarsus.
metatarsalsFive long bones in the foot, located between the ankle and toes.
metatarsusThe part of the foot between the tarsus and the toes.
methenamineAn antibacterial compound most commonly used in the treatment of urinary tract infections.
method/oprocedure, technique
metr/outerus (womb)
metritisInflammation of the uterus.
metrorrhagiaAbnormal uterine bleeding that is not related to menstruation.
MHCmental health care
MImyocardial infarction
microbialRelating to microbes.
microbiologyThe study of microorganisms.
microbiotaThe full collection of microbes (bacteria, fungi, virus, etc.) that naturally exist within a specific environment.
microcephalyAbnormal smallness of the head; a congenital abnormality
microcheiliaAbnormally small lips.
micrococcusA genus of gram-positive, spherical bacteria found in soils and fresh water, and frequently on the skin of man and other animals.
microdontiaAbnormally small teeth.
microgliaA type of non-nervous tissue found in the central nervous system, that acts as a phagocyte at sites of neural damage or inflammation.
micrognathismAbnormally small jaw.
microstomiaA congenital defect of an abnormally small mouth.
microsurgerySurgical procedures using microscope.
microtiaA congenital deformity of the external ear.
microvesselsThe finer blood vessels of the vasculature that are generally less than 100 microns in internal diameter.
midwiferyThe practice of assisting women in childbirth.
migraineModerate to severe, painful headache that may occur with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue and numbness.
milli-one thousandth
mindfulnessA psychological state of awareness.
miosisExcessive pupillary constriction.
mioticsDrugs causing contraction of the pupil.
MIPmaximal inspiratory pressure
mis/oopposite, aversion
miscarriageCommon term for the loss of an embryo or fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy.. This term is longer accepted in clinical usage.
mitesThey 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.
mitochondriaSemiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells.
mitral valveThe valve between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart.
mitral valve prolapseAbnormal 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 stenosisNarrowing of the passage through the mitral value. Caused by fibrosis and calcinosis. Rheumatic fever is a primary cause.
MLDminimum lethal dose
mmHgmillimeter of mercury
modalityA factor that makes a patient's symptoms better or worse.
molmolecular weight
molarThe most posterior teeth on either side of the jaw which are used for grinding.
mon/osingle, one
monocytesLarge, 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
monorchismAbsence of one testis.
monosomyThe existence in a cell of only one instead of the normal diploid pair of a particular chromosome.
moralsStandards of conduct that distinguish right from wrong.
morbidDiseased or abnormal.
morbid obesityThe 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/oshape, form
morphineThe principal alkaloid in opium and the prototype opiate analgesic and narcotic.
mortalityThe relative frequency of deaths in a specific population.
morulaAn early embryo that is a compact mass.
MRAmagnetic resonance angiography
MRImagnetic resonance imaging
MRSAmethicillin resistant staph aureus
MSmultiple sclerosis
MS (2)mitral stenosis
MSHmelanocyte stimulating hormone
mucolipidosesA group of inherited metabolic diseases in which mucopolysaccharides and lipids accumulate in tissues
mucositisAn inflammation of a mucous membrane, such as the lining of the mouth and throat.
mucous membraneThe moist lining of body cavities and hollow organs such as the mouth, the nose, the eyelids, the intestine and the vagina.
mucusThe viscous secretion of mucous membranes. It contains mucin, white blood cells, water, inorganic salts, and exfoliated cells.
multimany, much
multiple sclerosisAn immune-mediated process in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers.
mumpsAn acute viral infection characterized by swelling of the salivary glands, especially the parotids. Usually seen in children.
muscular dystrophiesA heterogeneous group of inherited myopathies, characterized by wasting and weakness of the skeletal muscle.
muscular dystrophyA group of over thirty genetic diseases characterized by progressive degeneration of the skeletal muscles that control movement.
mutationAny 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.
MVmitral valve
MVAmotor vehicle accident
MVPmitral valve prolapse
MVVmaximal voluntary ventilation
myalgiaMuscle pain.
myasthenia gravisA chronic autoimmune disease characterized by weakness of the skeletal muscles.
mycetomaA chronic progressive subcutaneous bacterial or fungal infection.
mycologyThe study of fungi and fungus diseases.
mycosisA fungal inflection.
mydriasisAbnormal dilation of the pupil.
myel/ospinal cord, bone marrow
myelinA white fatty material that encloses certain axons and nerve fibers acting as an electrical insulator.
myelitisAn inflammation of the spinal cord.
myelodysplastic syndromesA group of cancers in which immature blood cells in the bone marrow fail to mature and become healthy.
myelographyA procedure that uses dye with x-rays or CT scans to assess the spinal cord,
myiasisThe invasion of living tissues by dipterous larvae.
myocardi/omyocardium (heart muscle)
myocardial infarctionPartial death of heart tissue caused by an obstructed blood supply. Commonly called "heart attack".
myocardial ischemiaA disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart.
myocarditisInflammation of the heart muscle. Caused by a wide range of infections and other problems.
myocardiumThe heart muscle. Its contractions pump blood from heart to the lungs and systemic circulatory system.
myoceleProtrusion of muscle substance through a hole in its sheath
myoclonusSudden, involuntary jerking of a muscle.
myofascial releasePhysical therapy used to treat chronic pain in the tissues that surround and support muscles.
myogenicOriginating in the muscles.
myolysisBreakdown of muscle tissue.
myomaA benign neoplasm of the muscles.
myometriumThe smooth muscle coat of the uterus, which forms the main mass of the organ.
myoparesisSlight muscle paralysis.
myopiaNearsightedness. A condition where close objects appear clearly, but distant objects appear blurry.
myorrhaphySuture of muscle tissue or a muscle wound.
myosarcomaA general term for a malignant neoplasm derived from muscular tissue.
myositisInflammation of a muscle or muscle tissue.
myotoniaTonic muscle spasm or muscular rigidity.
myotonicPertaining to muscle tone.
myring/otympanic membrane (eardrum)
myringitisInflammation of the eardrum.
myringotomySurgical incision in the eardrum to relieve fluid pressure.
myxomaA benign neoplasm derived from connective tissue.
N&Vnausea and vomiting
NADno acute distress
nailsThe thin, translucent, horny plates that cover the dorsal surfaces of the distal phalanges of the fingers and toes
nano-one-billionth, dwarfism
nanospheresSpherical particles of nanometer dimensions.
narc/osleep, numbness, stupor
narcissismExcessive admiration of self.
narcolepsyA chronic brain disorder that involves poor control of sleep-wake cycles.
narcoticsAgents 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.
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.
nasionA point on the skull where the top of the nose meets the ridge of the forehead.
nasolacrimal ductA tubular duct that conveys tears from the lacrimal gland to the nose.
nasopharynxThe top portion of the pharynx situated posterior to the nose and superior to the soft palate.
natalRelating to birth.
nauseaAn unpleasant sensation in the stomach accompanied by the inclination to vomit.
NCINational Cancer Institute
NDCNational Drug Code
nebulizersDevices that create an aerosol a mist (vapor). It is used to administer drugs or to humidify air.
neckThe body part connecting the head to the rest of the body.
necr-death, corpse
necrobiosisThe natural death of cells due to age, use or development.
necrobiotic disordersA group of disorders characterized by swelling, basophilia, and distortion of collagen bundles in the dermis.
necrosisPathological cell or tissue death, caused by damage, trauma, ischemia or infection.
necrotizing fasciitisA rare but serious infection caused by bacteria. It destroys skin, fat and tissue covering muscles.
needle sharingUsage of a single needle among two or more people for injecting drugs, a high-risk behavior for contracting infectious disease.
negativismBehavior marked by extreme skepticism and persistent resistance to external advice.
nemosisThe process of cell activation and death in fibroblasts.
neocortexThe largest portion of the cerebral cortex, the outer surface of the cerebrum, responsible for spatial reasoning, thought, language, memory and sensory perception.
neonatalPertaining to a new baby, for the first 28 days after birth.
neonateAn infant less than one month old.
neoplasiaThe formation of a neoplasm
neoplasmAn abnormal new growth of tissue. Also called a tumor.
neovascularizationFormation of new blood vessels.
nephralgiaPain in the kidney.
nephrectomyExcision of kidney.
nephritisInflammation of any part of the kidney.
nephrolithiasisFormation of kidney stones.
nephrologyA subspecialty of medicine concerned with the kidney.
nephronVery small filtering structures in the kidneys.
nephrosclerosisHardening of the kidney due to infiltration by fibrous connective tissue. Usually caused by chronic hypertension.
nephrosisAny degenerative disease of the kidney.
nephrotic syndromeDisease of the kidney without inflammatory or neoplastic components.
nerveA 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 blockInterruption of neural conduction in peripheral nerves or nerve trunks by the injection of a local anesthetic agent.
neural conductionThe propagation of the nerve impulse along the nerve away from the site of an excitation stimulus.
neuralgiaIntense pain that occurs along the course of a peripheral or cranial nerve.
neurapraxiaA peripheral nerve injury marked by a temporary loss of conduction of impulses.
neurastheniaA mental disorder characterized by chronic fatigue and concomitant physiologic symptoms.
neuri-nerve, nervous system
neuritisA general term indicating inflammation of a nerve, often marked by pain, numbness or tingling, or paralysis.
neurocytomaA brain tumor of undifferentiated cells of nervous origin.
neurodermatitisAn extremely variable eczematous skin disease that is presumed to be a response to prolonged vigorous scratching, rubbing, or pinching to relieve intense pruritus.
neuroendocrinePertaining to the relationships between the nervous and endocrine systems
neuroendocrinologyThe study of the relationships between the nervous system and the endocrine system.
neurofibromaA moderately firm, benign, encapsulated tumor resulting from proliferation of Schwann cells and fibroblasts that includes portions of nerve fibers.
neurofibrosarcomaA malignant tumor that arises from small cutaneous nerves, is locally aggressive, and has a potential for metastasis.
neurogenesisFormation of neurons which involves the differentiation and division of stem cells in which one or both of the daughter cells become neurons.
neurogliaThe supportive tissue of the nervous system
neurologicalPertaining to the nervous system
neurologyA medical specialty concerned with the study of the structures, functions, and diseases of the nervous system.
neuromaA benign neoplasm composed of nerve cells and nerve fibers.
neuromuscularDisorders that affect the nerves that control voluntary muscles.
neuronThe 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.
neuroretinitisInflammation of the optic nerve and retina.
neurotransmittersChemical messengers that carry signals to other cells in the body.
neurotropicHaving an affinity for the nervous system or the growth of neural tissue.
neutropeniaAbnormally decrease in the numbers of neutrophils in circulating blood.
neutrophilsA type of white blood cell that is an early responder to infections.
nev/omole, birthmark
nevusA malformation of skin that is present at birth, including moles and birthmarks.
NGFnerve growth factor
niacinA water-soluble vitamin B complex.
nicotineA highly toxic alkaloid.
nictationA reflex that closes and opens the eyes rapidly. Blinking.
NICUneonatal intensive care unit
NIDDMnoninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
night blindnessFailure or reduced ability to see in dim light.
night terrorsA sleep disorder characterized by episodes of abrupt awakening suggesting extreme fright. This condition primarily affects children and young adults.
NIHNational Institutes of Health
nippleThe conic projection on the breast which provides an outlet for milk from the mammary glands.
nitrogenAn element with the atomic symbol N, atomic number 7, comprising 78% of the earth's atmosphere by volume.
nitroglycerinA vasodilator which relieves angina pectoris.
NKnatural killer
NKAno known allergies
NMJneuromuscular junction
nocebo effect A negative placebo effect.
nocturiaPatient needs to wake at night to pass urine.
nocturnal enuresisInvoluntary discharge of urine during sleep at night after expected age of completed development of urinary control.
nocturnal myoclonusA sleep disorder where the patient moves involuntarily during sleep. Also called periodic limb movement disorder.
nomen-name, pertaining to names
norepinephrineA neurotransmitter that is secreted in response to stress, increasing blood pressure and glucose.
normotensiveHaving normal blood pressure.
norovirusA virus associated with epidemic gastroenteritis.
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.
nostrumsMedicines whose effectiveness is unproven and whose ingredients are often secret. A quack remedy.
noto- back
noxaeAnything harmful to the body.
NPnurse practitioner
NPNnonprotein nitrogen
NPOnothing by mouth
NSnormal saline
NSAIDnonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
NSRnormal sinus rhythm
NTDneural tube defect
nucleic acidAny of a group of long, linear macromolecules, either DNA or various types of RNA, that carry genetic information.
nucleotidesThe base units of nucleic acids.
nucleusThe part of a cell that contains DNA and RNA.
nulligravidaA woman who has never been pregnant.
nulliparaA woman who has never borne a child.
nutationThe act of nodding one's head, especially involuntarily.
nutri/oto nourish
nyct/onight, darkness
nyctalopiaNight blindness.
nystagmusA vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements, usually side to side.
OB/GYNobstetrics & gynecology
obesityBeing too heavy for one's height.
obliqueA slanting direction.
obsessive behaviorRepetitive, compulsive behavior.
obsessive compulsive disorderAn anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, unwanted obsessions and compulsions.
obstetricianA medical doctor specialized in the management of pregnancy, labor and birth
obstetricsThe branch of medicine concerned with the care of women during pregnancy, parturition, and the puerperium.
obstipationSevere constipation caused by obstruction in the intestines.
obtundTo blunt or deaden pain.
obturator muscleEither of the two muscles that cover the outer surface of the anterior wall of the pelvis, responsible for rotating the thighs outward.
OCoral contraceptive
occipital boneThe curved, shield-shaped bone forming the lower rear part of the skull, enclosing the foramen magnum.
occlusionThe blockage of a blood vessel.
OCDobsessive-compulsive disorder
ochronosisThe discoloration of body tissues,due to a metabolism disorder.
ocular absorptionUptake of substances by tissues of the eye.
ocular hypertensionA condition in which the intraocular pressure is elevated above normal and which may lead to glaucoma.
ocular hypotensionAbnormally low intraocular pressure often related to chronic inflammation.
oculomotorPertaining to or affecting eye movements.
odontogenesisThe process of tooth development.
odontomaA mixed tumor of odontogenic origin,
odynophagiaPainful swallowing.
ointmentsA medicated formulation with an oil base
olfactoryRelating to the sense of smell.
olfactory bulbThe area of the forebrain where the olfactory nerves terminate.
olfactory nerveThe first cranial nerve. The olfactory nerve conveys the sense of smell.
olig/ofew, scanty
oligodontiaAbsence of some teeth.
oligohydramniosA condition of abnormally low amniotic fluid volume.
oligomenorrheaLight or infrequent menstrual periods.
oligospermiaA deficiency of spermatozoa in the semen, defined as a sperm count below 20 million per milliliter semen.
oliguriaDecreased urinary output.
omentumA double-layered fold of peritoneum that attaches the stomach to other organs in the abdominal cavity.
omphal/oumbilicus (navel)
omphalitisInflammation of the umbilicus.
onc/oswelling, tumor
oncocytomaA rare, benign tumor usually occurring in the parotid glands in older patients.
oncogeneA mutated gene that causes the transformation of normal cells into cancerous cells.
oncolysisDestruction of a neoplasm.
oncoticPertaining to swelling or edema.
ontogenyThe developmental history of an individual from inception to maturity.
onych/ofingernail, toenail
onychocryptosisAn ingrown toenail.
onycholysisLoosening or separation of nail plate from the underlying nail bed.
onychomycosisA fungal infection of the nails.
oophorectomySurgical removal of an ovary or ovaries.
oophoritisInflammation of the ovary.
OPDoutpatient department
operculumA lid or covering.
ophthalmiaSevere inflammation of the eye.
ophthalmicPertaining to the eye.
ophthalmologyA surgical specialty concerned with the treatment of eye defects and diseases.
ophthalmoplegiaParalysis of one or more of the ocular muscles.
ophthalmoscopyAn examination of the back part of the eye (fundus), which includes the retina, optic disc, choroid, and blood vessels.
opiateA narcotic containing opium or its derivatives.
opiumThe air-dried juice of the unripe seed capsule of the opium poppy.
oppositionRelation of the position of the thumb to the other fingers.
opt/oeye, vision
optic nerveThe second cranial nerve which conveys visual information from the retina to the brain.
optic neuritisInflammation of the optic nerve.
optic tractNerve 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.
optometryThe 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.
ORoperating room
oralPertaining to the mouth.
oral hygieneThe practice of personal hygiene of the mouth. It includes the maintenance of oral cleanliness, tissue tone, and general preservation of oral health.
orbitBony cavity that holds the eyeball and its associated tissues and appendages.
orbital myositisInflammation of the extraocular muscle of the eye. It is characterized by swelling.
orchidalgiaPain in the testicle.
orchidectomySurgical removal of one or both testicles.
orchiectomyThe surgical removal of one or both testicles.
orchiopexySurgery to move an undescended testicle into the scrotum.
orchitisInflammation of a testis.
organellesSpecialized intracellular structure present in eukaryotic cells.
organogenesisFormation of differentiated cells and complicated tissue organization to provide specialized functions.
orgasmThe climax of sexual excitement.
ORIFopen reduction internal fixation
oropharynxThe 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.
orthodonticsThe dental specialty dealing with correction of dental abnormalities.
orthopedicsA surgical specialty which treats and corrects injuries, deformities and diseases to the skeletal system and joints.
orthopneaDyspnea when lying flat.
orthostaticPertaining to a erect posture.
orthoticA device for correcting an orthopedic problem. Commonly used for the foot.
orthotic devicesA device used to support, align, or correct deformities of movable parts of the body.
OSHAOccupational Safety and Health Administration
osm/osense of smell
osmosisTendency of fluids to move from the less concentrated to the more concentrated side of a semipermeable membrane.
osseousComposed of or resembling bone.
ossicleA small bone, especially of the middle ear.
ossificationThe formation of bone.
osteitisInflammation of the bone.
osteoarthritisA progressive, degenerative joint disease, the most common form of arthritis.
osteoblastomaA benign, painful, vascular tumor of bone marked by the formation of osteoid tissue, primitive bone and calcified tissue.
osteochondritisInflammation of a bone and its overlaying cartilage.
osteochondromaA cartilage-capped benign tumor that often appears as a stalk on the surface of bone.
osteochondrosisAny of a group of disorders of the growth ossification centers in children
osteocytesMature osteoblasts that have become embedded in the bone matrix.
osteogenesisThe process of bone formation.
osteologyThe science that studies the structure and function of bones.
osteolysisDissolution of bone.
osteomaA benign, slow growing tumor composed of bone tissue.
osteomalaciaAn interruption of the mineralization of organic bone matrix leading to bone softening, bone pain, and weakness. It is the adult form of rickets.
osteonecrosisDeath of a bone or part of a bone.
osteophyteBony projection usually found around joints and often seen in arthritis.
osteoporosisReduction of bone mass without alteration in the composition of bone, leading to fractures.
osteosarcomaA sarcoma originating in bone-forming cells, affecting the ends of long bones.
osteosclerosisAn abnormal hardening or increased density of bone tissue.
osteotomyCutting of a bone.
ostomySurgery to create an artificial opening (stoma) into the urinary or gastrointestinal canal.
OToccupational therapy
ot/oear, hearing
otalgiaEar ache.
otitisInflammation of the ear, which may be marked by pain, fever, hearing disorders and vertigo.
otitis mediaAn ear infection of the middle ear, the area just behind the eardrum.
otolaryngologyA surgical specialty concerned with the study and treatment of disorders of the ear, nose, and throat.
otologyThe study of diseases of the ear.
otomycosisA fungal infection of the external auditory canal.
otopyorrheaDischarge of pus from ear.
otorrheaEar discharge.
otosclerosisA disease of the bones of the middle and inner ear.
otoscopeAn instrument designed to inspect the ear.
ov/oegg, ovum
ovarianPertaining to the ovary.
ovarian cystsGeneral term for cysts and cystic diseases of the ovary.
ovarian neoplasmsTumors or cancer of the ovary. These neoplasms can be benign or malignant.
ovaryEither of the sex glands in females. They produce ova and hormones.
ovulationThe discharge of an ovum from a rupturing follicle in the ovary.
ovumA mature haploid female germ cell extruded from the ovary at ovulation.
oximetryThe determination of oxygen-hemoglobin saturation of blood.
oxy-sharp, oxygen
oxygenAn 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.
oxytocinA hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. It simulates contraction during labor and the production of milk.
ozoneAn unstable, poisonous allotrope of oxygen.
p waveMarks atrial depolarization. In a normal EKG, it precedes the QRS complex.
p.c.after meals needed
PAPhysician Assistant
PACpremature atrial contraction
pacemakerA device designed to use electric impulses to simulate heart contractions.
Paco2partial pressure of carbon dioxide in alveolar gas
PADperipheral arterial disease
PAFplatelet activating factor
painAn unpleasant or distressing localized sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons.
palateThe structure that forms the roof of the mouth. It consists of the anterior hard palate and the posterior soft palate.
pale/oearly, primitive, old
palliative medicineA 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.
pallorA clinical manifestation consisting of an unnatural paleness of the skin.
palpationUse of fingers with light pressure as part of a physical exam.
PALSpediatric advanced life support
pancreasAn irregularly shaped gland, located behind the stomach, that secretes pancreatic juice into the duodenum and insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin into the bloodstream.
pancreatectomyRemoval of the pancreas.
pancreatitisInflammation in the pancreas.
pandemicA widespread epidemic of infectious disease.
panicA state of extreme acute, intense anxiety and unreasoning fear.
panic attackFear response that is out of proportion for the situation.
panniculitisGeneral term for inflammation of adipose tissue, usually of the skin, characterized by reddened subcutaneous nodules.
pant/owhole, all
panuveitisInflammation of both the anterior and posterior segments of the uvea tract.
PapPap test Papanicolaou smear
papill/onipple, optic disc
papillaA small, nipple-like projection.
papilledemaSwelling of the optic disk due to increased intracranial pressure.
papillomaA benign epithelial tumor derived from epithelium and projecting from the surrounding surface
papul/opapule, pimple
papuleA solid raised lesion that has distinct borders and is less than 1 cm in diameter.
para-similar, beside
paradoxA statement, finding or condition, that, despite apparently sound reasoning from true premises, leads to a self-contradictory or a logically unacceptable conclusion.
paraffinA mixture of solid hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum.
paragangliomaA neoplasm derived of the tissue composing the paraganglia.
paralysisLoss of muscle function.
paramedicalPertaining to certain adjunctive healthcare professions, particularly trained emergency responders.
parametritisInflammation of the parametrium, the connective tissue of the pelvic floor.
parametriumThe lateral extension of the uterine connective tissue into the broad ligament.
paranasal sinusesAir-filled cavities located around the nasal cavity. There are four pairs: frontal, sphenoid, maxillary and ethmoid.
paranoiaOverly suspicious behavior.
paranoid behaviorBehavior exhibited by individuals who are overly suspicious, but without the symptoms characteristic of paranoid personality disorder or schizophrenia.
paranoid disordersChronic 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.
paraparesisWeakness or partial paralysis of the lower extremities.
paraphasiaA condition in which the patient uses wrong words, creating unintelligible sentences.
paraphimosisA 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.
paraplegiaParalysis affecting the legs.
parasiteInvertebrate organisms that live on or in another organism.
parasomniaAny 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.
paratenonThe fatty or synovial tissue between a tendon and its sheath.
parathyroid glandsTwo 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.
parathyroidectomySurgical removal of one or more parathyroid glands.
paresisA general term referring to slight or incomplete paralysis.
paresthesiaA sensation of tingling or numbness, skin crawling, or itching without apparent cause.
parietal boneOne 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 lobeUpper central part of the cerebral hemisphere. It is located posterior to central sulcus, anterior to the occipital lobe, and superior to the temporal lobes.
parityThe number of viable offspring a female has borne.
Parkinson diseaseA progressive disease of the nervous system that affects movement.
paronychiaAn infection of the skin around a fingernail or toenail.
parotid glandEither of the pair of salivary glands that lie on the sides of the face immediately below and in front of the ear.
parotitisInflammation of the parotid gland.
paroxysmA spasm or convulsion.
paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardiaA very rapid heartbeat that occurs sporadically. Usually lasts from a few seconds to several hours.
parturitionThe act of giving birth to one or more offspring.
pasteurizationHeating of certain beverages, such as milk, to a specific temperature for a fixed time interval in order to kill microorganisms.
PATparoxysmal atrial tachycardia
patellaThe flat, triangular bone about 5 cm in diameter, situated at the anterior part of the knee. Also called the kneecap.
pathogenA disease causing microorganism such as bacterium, virus or fungus.
pathologic processesThe abnormal mechanisms and forms involved in the dysfunctions of tissues and organs.
pathologicalPertaining to or caused by disease.
pathologyA medical specialty concerned with the nature of disease and its causes, processes, development, and consequences.
patulousOpen or exposed.
PCApatient-controlled analgesia
PDParkinson disease
PD (2)pupillary distance
PDApatent ductus arteriosus
PDRPhysicians' Desk Reference
PEphysical examination
PE (2)pulmonary embolism
PEApulseless electrical activity
peak flow meterSimple device that allows asthma patients to check lung airflow.
pectenThe middle, narrow zone in the anal canal.
pectoralRelating to the thorax.
pectus carinatumThe chest or breast.
ped/ochild, foot
pediatricsA medical specialty concerned with maintaining health and providing medical care to children from birth to adolescence.
pediculosisHead lice.
pedophiliaAn adult abnormal attraction to children for sexual purposes.
peduncleA stalk like structure that serves as a support or connection.
PEEPpositive end expiratory pressure
PEFRpeak expiratory flow rate
PEGpercutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy
pellagraA disease characterized by scaly dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia caused by a deficiency of niacin and protein in the diet.
pellicleA thin skin, film or organic membrane
pelvic floorThe connective tissues and muscles that lie beneath and support the perineum and pelvis. It extends between the pubic bone anteriorly and the coccyx posteriorly.
pelvisThe lower portion of the trunk, bounded anteriorly and laterally by the two hip bones and posteriorly by the sacrum and coccyx.
pemphigusAny of several rare diseases characterized by groups of itching blisters.
penicillinAny of a group of antibiotics derived from cultures of the mold like fungi Penicillium or produced synthetically.
penisThe external reproductive organ of males.
peptic ulcerUlcer that occurs in the regions of the gastrointestinal tract which come into contact with gastric juice.
peptidesMembers of the class of compounds composed of amino acids joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures.
perceptionThe process by which the nature and meaning of sensory stimuli are recognized and interpreted.
percussionAct of striking a part with short, sharp taps in diagnosing the condition beneath the sound obtained.
percutaneousThrough the skin.
perforationAbnormal opening in a hollow organ or viscus.
performance anxietyAnxiety related to the execution of a task, especially with an audience.
perfusionDelivery of blood to the capillaries.
peri-around, surrounding
periapicalAround an apex, especially the apex of a root of a tooth.
periarthritisInflammation of the tissues around a joint capsule.
pericardial effusionFluid accumulation within the pericardium. Severe cases can lead to cardiac tamponade.
pericardial fluidWatery fluid produced in the serous and visceral pericardium surrounding the surface of the heart
pericardial friction rubAn extra heart sound that resembles squeaky leather. May be heard in pericarditis.
pericardiocentesisPuncture and aspiration of fluid from the pericardium.
pericarditisInflammation of the pericardium, caused by infection, injury, or drugs.
pericardiumA thin layered sac enclosing the heart. Fluid between the layers lubricates the constantly moving surfaces.
pericoronitisInflammation of the gingiva surrounding the crown of a tooth.
perihepatitisInflammation of the peritoneal capsule of the liver
perimenopauseThe period of time before menopause when a woman's body changes.
perimetritisInflammation of the peritoneal covering of the uterus
perinatalPertaining to the period three months before to one month after birth.
perine/operineum (surface region in both males and females between the pubic symphysis and the coccyx)
perinephritisInflammation of the connective and adipose tissues surrounding the KIDNEY.
perineumThe 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.
periodontalAround a tooth.
periodonticsA 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.
periodontitisInflammation and loss of connective tissues supporting or surrounding the teeth.
periorbital edemaA condition in which the tissues around the eyes become swollen. Puffy eyes.
periosteumThick, fibrous membrane covering the surface of a bone except its articular cartilage and areas where it attaches to tendons and ligaments.
periostitisInflammation of the periosteum.
peripartum periodThe period shortly before, during, and immediately after giving birth.
peripheral neuropathyDysfunction of peripheral nerves which can impair movement, sensation and organ function.
periphlebitisInflammation of the tissues around a vein
peristalsisA movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction.
peritone/operitoneum (serous membrane lining the abdominal cavity)
peritoneal absorptionUptake of substances from the peritoneal cavity.
peritoneal cavityThe 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 dialysisDialysis fluid being introduced into and removed from the peritoneal cavity.
peritoneumThe serous membrane that lines the walls of the abdominal cavity and folds inward to enclose the viscera.
peritonitisInflammation of the peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity as the result of infectious, autoimmune, or chemical processes.
perlecheFissures and cracks at the corner of the mouth
permeabilityProperty of membranes and other structures to permit the passage of substances, heat and light.
perniciousDiseases that are highly dangerous or fatal.
pernicious anemiaVitamin B12 deficiency anemia. A type of megaloblastic anemia.
peronealPertaining to the fibula.
PERRLApupils equal, regular, react to light and accommodation
pertussisWhooping cough. Contagious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract. Cold-like symptoms followed by many weeks of coughing. Preventable with immunization.
pest/ipests, plague
pesticideA substance used to destroy pests.
PETpositron emission tomography
petechiaA small, round, dark-red spot caused by intradermal or submucous hemorrhage.
petechiaeTiny flat round red spots under the skin surface caused by intradermal hemorrhage. Spots do NOT blanch with pressure.
petr/ostone, stone-like hardness
Peyronie diseaseA condition where plaques form under the skin of the penis, causing the penis to bend.
PFTpulmonary function test
PHpast medical history
phac/opertaining to lens
phag/oeat, swallow
phagocytosisThe engulfing and degradation of microorganisms.
phak/opertaining to lens
phalangesFingers or toes
phalangitisInflammation of a finger or toe.
phantom limbPhantom sensations that occur following the complete or partial loss of a limb.
pharmacologyThe study of the origin, nature, properties, and actions of drugs and their effects on living organisms.
pharmacyThe art and the facility for the preparation and dispensing of drugs.
pharyngealOf, or pertaining to, or coming from the pharynx.
pharyngitisSore throat. Inflammation of the throat.
pharynxThe throat. A fibromuscular tube that conducts air to the larynx and lungs and food to the esophagus.
phenolA strong disinfectant.
phenotypeThe outward appearance of the individual.
phenylketonuriaAny of a group of autosomal recessive disorders of the ability to metabolize phenylalanine.
pheromonesChemical substances, excreted by an organism into the environment, that elicit behavioral or physiological responses from other organisms of the same species.
phimosisA condition of a narrowed or tightened foreskin that cannot be retracted to reveal the glans penis.
phlebitisInflammation of a vein, commonly a vein in the leg.
phlebographyAn 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.
phlebotomyThe techniques used to draw blood from a vein for diagnostic purposes.
phlegmMucus in the respiratory airways (trachea, bronchial tree).
phob/ofear, adversion
phon/osound, voice
phonationTo vocalize.
phonocardiogramA waveform of heart sound amplitude over time, usually a few heartbeats.
phor/oto carry
photalgiaPain in the eye causes by bright light.
photophobiaAbnormal sensitivity to light.
photoreceptor cellsSpecialized cells that detect and transduce light.
photoretinitisInjury to the retina of the eye caused by looking directly into the sun without protection.
photosynthesisThe synthesis by organisms of organic compounds, especially carbohydrates, from carbon dioxide using energy obtained from light .
phototherapyTreatment of disease by exposure to light, especially by specific wavelengths.
phototrophicCapable of deriving energy from light.
phreni-diaphragm, mind
phrenicPertaining to the diaphragm.
phyl/orace, species, type
physi-physical, natural
physiatristA doctor specializing in the physiological treatment of patients with conditions affecting movement. Often used in stroke rehabilitation.
physical examinationSystematic and thorough inspection of the patient for physical signs of disease or abnormality.
physiciansIndividuals licensed to practice medicine.
physo-swelling, gas
PIpresent illness; previous illness
pico-one trillionth
PIDpelvic inflammatory disease
pigmentationColoration or discoloration of a part by a pigment.
PIHpregnancy-induced hypertension
piloerectionThe standing up of hairs on the skin
pilonidal sinusA hair-containing cyst or sinus, occurring chiefly in the coccygeal region.
pineal glandA 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.
pintaA contagious bacterial skin disease prevalent in tropical America.
PIPproximal interphalangeal
pituitary adenomaBenign epithelia neoplasm of the pituitary.
pituitary glandA 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.
pityriasisAny of a group of skin diseases characterized by the formation of fine, branny scales. This term is but only with a modifier.
placeboAny dummy medication or treatment.
placentaA 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 previaA condition when the placenta covers part or all of the cervix during the last months of pregnancy.
plagiocephalyThe 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.
plagueAn infectious disease transmitted by the bite of a flea from a rodent infected with the bacillus Yersinia pestis.
plan/oflat, plan, level
plani-flat, level
plantarBottom of the foot
plantar fasciitisIrritation of the connective tissue that runs from the heel to the base of the toes. Also known as :postman's heel".
plaqueFatty deposits formed on the walls of arteries.
plasmaThe part of blood which is not blood cells. Blood plasma also contains glucose and other dissolved nutrients. It also helps blood clot.
plasmacytomaAny discrete, presumably solitary, mass of neoplastic plasma cells either in bone marrow or various extramedullary sites.
plasmapheresisProcedure whereby plasma is separated and extracted and the red cells returned to the donor.
plateletsPart of blood that help stop bleeding by clumping and clotting blood vessel injuries.
platy-broad, flat
platybasiaA malformation of the cranium so that the floor of the posterior cranial fossa bulges upward in the region about the foramen magnum.
pledgetA small compress used to medicate, protect, or absorb drainage from a wound
pleocytosisA presence of an abnormally high number of cells in the cerebrospinal fluid.
pless/istriking, percussion
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.
pleural effusionExcessive fluid in the pleural cavity which may cause breathlessness.
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.
pleurisyInflammation of the pleura, the membranes covering the lungs.
pleurodyniaInflamed lung membranes causing pain during inhalation.
plexusA network of nerves or blood vessels.
pluri-several, more
PMafternoon, evening
PMHpast medical history
PMNpolymorphonuclear (neutrophil leukocyte)
PMSpremenstrual syndrome
PNDparoxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
pneo-air, breath, breathing
pneum/olung, air
pneumocephalusPresence of air or gas within the intracranial cavity usually the result of a fracture.
pneumoconiosisOccupational lung disease caused by prolonged inhalation of dust. Common lung disease in mining.
pneumocyteAny of the epithelial cells lining the alveoli of the lung.
pneumonectomySurgical removal of part or all of a lung.
pneumoniaInflammation of the lungs with alveoli filling with pus. Typically caused by infection and can follow flu, colds and other illnesses.
pneumonitisInflammation of lung tissue.
pneumoperitoneumPresence of air or gas in the peritoneal cavity.
pneumorrhachisPresence of air or gas within the spinal canal 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.
PNHparoxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
PNIperipheral nerve injury
PNSperipheral nervous system
podiatryA medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of foot disorders and injuries.
poikil-irregular, varied
poisonA substance capable of damaging the structure or function of the body.
poliomyelitisA highly infectious viral disease that involves the gray matter of the spinal cord, leading to paralysis, muscular atrophy, and deformity.
polyarthritisSimultaneous inflammation of several joints.
polychondritisInflammation of cartilage.
polycystic kidney diseaseAn inherited disease in which cysts develop within the kidneys.
polycystic ovary syndromeA condition in which a woman’s levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. Often cause for infertility
polycythemiaAbnormal increase in the aggregate red cell mass of the blood.
polydactylyA congenital anomaly of the hand or foot, characterized by supernumerary digits.
polydipsiaExcessive thirst.
polymorphismOccurring in several different forms.
polymyositisInflammation of the muscles or associated tissues, such as the blood vessels that supply the muscles
polyneuropathyA disease of multiple peripheral nerves simultaneously.
polypAbnormal tissue mass that protrudes into the lumen of the digestive or respiratory tracts.
polyphagiaExcessive hunger or appetite.
polypsDiscrete abnormal tissue masses that protrude into the lumen of the digestive tract or the respiratory tract.
polysomnographySleep study. Includes monitoring of respiratory patterns, brain waves, sleep stages, and other physiological variables.
polyuriaExcessive production of urine.
pono-fatigue, exhaustion, overwork
ponsThe 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.
poplitealPertaining to the area behind the knee.
por/opassage, opening, duct
porokeratosisA rare, chronic, progressive autosomal dominant skin disorder market by craterlike patches.
poroma A neoplasm of cells lining the skin openings of sweat glands.
portal veinA vein that conducts blood from the digestive organs, spleen, pancreas, and gallbladder to the liver.
possetA small amount of milk that is regurgitated by infants after feeding.
post-after, behind, back
post-traumatic stress disorderA disorder that develops in people who have experienced a terrifying event.
postmenopauseThe physiological period following the menopause.
postpartumThe period that is shortly after giving birth.
postprandialAfter a meal.
postureThe position of the body.
ppmparts per million
PRthrough the rectum
PRBCpacked red blood cells
pre-before, in front of
prebioticsIndigestible food ingredients that promote overall health by supporting the activity of probiotic bacteria in the large intestine.
precordiumThe region of the thorax immediately over the heart.
prediabetesA condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal. Considered a warning sign for diabetes.
prediabeticThe time period before the development of symptomatic diabetes mellitus.
preeclampsiaA serious pregnancy disorder characterized by high blood pressure, a large amount of protein in the urine and edema of hands and feet.
pregnancyCarrying developing offspring (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth.
preleukemiaConditions 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 ejaculationThe emission of semen and seminal fluid during the act of preparation for sexual intercourse, i.e. before there is penetration, or shortly after penetration.
premedicationPreliminary administration of a drug preceding a diagnostic, therapeutic, or surgical procedure.
premenopauseThe 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.
preneoplasticPreceding the formation of a tumor.
prepuceThe fold of skin that grows over the end of the penis.
presby/oold age
presbycusisHearing loss that gradually occurs in most individuals as they grow older.
presbyopiaAn age-related condition when the eye's lens doesn't change shape as easily as it once did
pressure ulcerAn 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.
prevalenceA measure of morbidity based on currents levels of a disease in a population.
priapismA abnormally prolonged erection of the penis.
primigravidaA woman who is pregnant for the first time.
primiparaA woman who has given birth to one viable infant.
prionA small infectious protein particle causing neurodegenerative diseases including Creutzfeldt-Jakob syndrome.
pro-before, in front of
probabilityThe likelihood that an event will occur.
proct/oanus and rectum
proctocolitisInflammation of the rectum and the colon.
proctoscopeEndoscope for examination of the rectum and anus.
prodromeAn early symptom that precedes the onset of disease.
profundaBlood vessels situated deep in the body tissues they supply.
progeriaAn abnormal congenital condition of premature aging.
progesteroneA sex hormone produced by the ovaries.
prognosisA prediction of a outcome of a disease.
projectionA 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.
prokaryoteA unicellular organism lacking a true nucleus and nuclear membrane, having genetic material consisting of a single molecule of double-stranded DNA.
prolactinA pituitary hormone that stimulates and maintains lactation in postpartum mammals.
prolactinomaA begin tumor of the pituitary gland overproduces a hormone called prolactin.
prolapseThe protrusion or sinking down of an organ or part of an organ.
promontoryA projecting part.
pronationThe inward roll of the foot (medial malleolus) while walking or running.
proneLying on the abdomen
prone positionThe posture of an individual lying face down.
proptosisProtrusion or bulging of the eye.
pros/oforward, anterior
prospective studyA forward looking study of a group over a long period.
prostateA gland that is part of a male reproductive system. Located below the bladder.
prostatic neoplasmsTumors or cancer of the prostate.
prostatismLower urinary tract symptom, such as slow urinary stream, associated with prostatic hyperplasia in older men.
prostatitisInflammation of the prostate gland.
prosthesisA device that replaces a missing body part or makes a part of the body work better.
proteinA large molecule consisting of a long chain or sequence of amino acids that is an essential constituent of the body.
proteinuriaThe presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases.
proteolysisThe decomposition of proteins into peptides and amino acids by enzymes in the digestive tract.
protoplasmThe living contents of a cell
protozoaAn 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.
proximalNearest to the point of attachment to the trunk
proxyA person authorized to decide or act for another person, for example, a person having durable power of attorney.
prurigoA chronic inflammation of the skin characterized by a persistent eruption of papules that itch intensely.
pruritus vulvaeItching of the vulva.
pseudarthrosisA new, false, fibrous joint arising at the site of an ununited fracture.
pseudophakiaPresence of an intraocular lens after cataract extraction.
psipounds per square inch
psoriasisA skin disease that causes itchy patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales on the scalp and flexor joint surfaces.
psoriatic arthritisArthritis associated with psoriasis, affecting joints and the spine.
PSVpressure supported ventilation
PSVTparoxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
psychiatryThe medical specialty that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of mental disorders.
psychologyThe science dealing with the study of mental processes and behavior in man and animals.
psychosisA condition characterized by a loss of contact with reality.
psychotherapyA general term for the treatment of mental illness or emotional disturbances.
PTphysical therapy
PTCApercutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
PTHparathyroid hormone
ptosisDrooping of the upper eyelid.
PTSDpost traumatic stress disorder
PTTpartial thromboplastin time
pub/opubic, pubes
pubertyBecoming first capable of reproducing sexually.
pubic boneA bone that forms the lower and anterior part of each side of the hip bone.
pubic symphysisA slightly movable cartilaginous joint which occurs between the pubic bones.
PUDpeptic ulcer disease
pudendal nerveA 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.
puerperalThe period up until six to eight weeks after childbirth.
pulmonaryPertaining to the lungs.
pulmonary arteryThe short wide vessel that moves blood from the right ventricle to the lungs.
pulmonary circulationThe circulation of the blood to and through the lungs
pulmonary edemaExcessive accumulation of fluid in the lung. Can be life-threatening. Often associated with heart failure.
pulmonary embolismA clot blocking of the pulmonary artery or one of its branches.
pulmonary fibrosisProgressive formation of fibrotic (scar) tissue in the lungs. Patients show increasing dyspnea.
pulmonary function testA battery of tests that evaluate the volume and flow rate of air in and out of the lungs.
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.
pulmonary valveThe heart valve at the intersection of the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery.
pulmonary valve regurgitationBack flow of blood from the pulmonary artery into the right ventricular due to a leaky pulmonary valve.
pulmonary valve stenosisThe pathologic narrowing of the pulmonary valve opening. Limits blood flow from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery.
pulmonary veinsThe veins that return the oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart.
pulmonologistAn internal medicine specialist concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and defects of the lungs and bronchial tree.
pulpA soft mass of tissue.
puls/obeating, to beat
pulseThe rhythmical expansion and contraction of an artery, caused by blood pumping from the heart.
pulse oximeterDevice that measures oxygen saturation in the blood.
pupilThe aperture in the iris through which light passes.
purkinje fibersCardiac muscle fibers that conduct the cardiac impulse from the atrioventricular node to the ventricles causing them to contract.
purpuraBlood spots on the skin that are purple-colored, between 4-10 mm resembling bruising.
purul/opus formation
purulentPertaining to pus.
PUVApsoralen ultraviolet A
PVCpremature ventricular contraction
pyarthrosisAcute inflammation of synovial membranes.
pyel/orenal pelvis
pyelectasisDilation of the pelvis of the kidney.
pyelitisInflammation of the renal pelvis.
pyelocystitisInflammation of the kidney pelvis and the urinary bladder.
pyelonephritisInflammation 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/othick, dense, compact
pyl/eportal vein
pylethrombosisThrombosis of the portal vein.
pylor/opylorus (opening between the stomach and duodenum)
pylorusThe region of the stomach at the junction with the duodenum.
pyodermaAny purulent skin disease.
pyogenicProducing pus.
pyometraAccumulation of pus in the uterine cavity.
pyomyositisAn acute, intramuscular suppuration of the large skeletal muscle groups.
pyonephrosisDistention 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/ofire, fever
pyrosisSubsternal pain or burning sensation, usually associated with regurgitation of gastric juice into the esophagus. Also called heartburn.
pyuriaWhite blood cells or pus cells in the urine.
qrs complexA segment of an EKG tracing representing ventricular depolarization.
quackeryThe fraudulent misrepresentation of the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
quadriceps muscleThe quadriceps femoris. A collective name of the four-headed skeletal muscle of the thigh.
quadriplegiaParalysis that results in the partial or total loss of use of all four limbs and torso.
quantum theoryThe theoretical basis of modern physics that explains the nature and behavior of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level.
quarantineThe isolation of individuals who have been exposed to an infectious disease in order to prevent its spread.
quasivirtual, resembling
quickeningMovements of the fetus felt by the mother, usually after the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
quinineAn drug derived from the bark of the cinchona tree, used as an antimalarial drug.
R/Orule out
rabiesAcute viral infection affecting mammals, including humans.
rachi/ospinal column
radradiation absorbed dose
RAD (2)right anterior descending
radi/ox-rays, radius
radial arteryAn artery in the forearm that starts at the bifurcation of the brachial artery and passing in branches to the forearm, wrist, and hand.
radial keratotomyA surgical procedure used to decrease nearsightedness.
radial nerveA 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.
radiationElectromagnetic energy that travels through empty space with the speed of light.
radicul/onerve root
radicular cystA slow growing cyst of the periodonal tissue at the root of a tooth.
radiculopathyDisease involving a spinal nerve root.
radiographyExamination of any part of the body for diagnostic purposes by means of X-rays or gamma rays.
radioisotopesIsotopes that exhibit radioactivity.
radiologyA medical specialty concerned with the use of x-ray and other forms of radiant energy in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
ramusA branch, as of a nerve, blood vessel or bone.
ranulaA cyst found on the floor of the mouth. Also called sublingual cyst.
rapeSexual intercourse without consent of the victim.
rashA temporary eruption of spots on the skin.
rationalizationAn unconscious defense mechanism in which a person attempts to justify behavior while ignoring the real reasons.
Raynaud diseaseAn idiopathic vascular disorder of small arteries and arterioles.
RBBBright bundle branch block
RBCred blood cell; red blood count
RDArecommended daily/dietary allowance
RDSrespiratory distress syndrome
re-again, back
recessiveDescribing a gene capable of producing its characteristic phenotype in the organism only when its allele is identical.
rectoceleHerniation of the rectum into the vagina.
rectumThe distal segment of the large intestine, between the sigmoid colon and the anal canal.
recurrenceThe return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission.
referred painPain felt at a place in the body different from the injured or diseased part.
reflexA 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 arcThe neural path of a reflex.
regimenA systematic plan for therapy, often involving diet, exercise and medication.
regurgitationThe return of partly digested food from the stomach to the mouth. Also, the backflow of blood past an abnormal heart valve.
rejuvenationThe restoration of youthfulness, vitality, and freshness.
relapseThe return of disease symptoms after partial recovery.
REMrapid eye movement
rem sleepA stage of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements and low voltage fast pattern EEG. It is usually associated with dreaming.
remissionThe abatement or disappearance of a disease as a result of treatment.
renalPertaining to the kidneys.
reperfusionRestoration of blood supply to tissue which was ischemic.
replicationThe process by which double-stranded DNA makes copies of itself when the cell divides.
resectionSurgical removal of all or part of a structure, organ or tissue.
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.
restenosisThe recurrence of stenosis in an artery after previous treatment.
resuscitationTo restore consciousness or other signs of life to one apparently dead.
reteA network of blood vessels, fibers or nerves.
retentionThe ability of the digestive system to hold fluids and food.
reticul/onet, network
reticulocytesImmature erythrocytes.
reticulocytosisAn increase in circulating reticulocytes, which is among the simplest and most reliable signs of accelerated erythrocyte production.
retinaThe 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
retinitisInflammation of the retina.
retinopexyA surgery for certain types of retinal detachments.
retractorA surgical instrument used to draw aside and hold the edges of a wound or structures.
Reye syndromeAn acquired encephalopathy of young children that follows an acute febrile illness, usually influenza or varicella infection.
RFrheumatoid factor
Rhrhesus factor
rh factorA 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/ostriated muscle
rhabdomyomaA rare, benign neoplasm derived from striated muscle.
rhabdomyosarcomaMalignant neoplasm derived from skeletal (striated) muscle.
RHDrheumatic heart disease
rhe/ostream, flow, electric current
rheumatic diseasesDisorders of connective tissue, especially the joints and related structures, characterized by inflammation, degeneration, or metabolic derangement.
rheumatic feverA disease occurring as a complication of inadequately treated strep throat infection. Can result in serious damage to heart valves.
rheumatoid arthritisAn autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, commonly the hands and wrists. May lead to early crippling.
rheumatologyA 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.
rhinitisInflammation of the nasal mucous membrane.
rhinomanometryTechnique for measuring airflow and pressure in the nasal cavity during respiration.
rhinoplastyPlastic surgery on the nose.
rhinosporidiosisChronic, localized fungal infection of mucocutaneous tissues, especially the nose.
rhonchiA coarse rattling breath sound somewhat similar to snoring.
rhytidectomyA facelift.
rhytidoplastyPlastic surgery performed for the elimination of skin wrinkles.
riboflavinVitamin B2.
ribsThe 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.
RICErest, ice, compression, elevation
ricketsA disease of growing bone caused by interruption of bone mineralization. Caused by lack of vitamin D.
rickettsiaA 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 mortisMuscular rigidity which develops in the cadaver usually from 4 to 10 hours after death and lasts 3 or 4 days.
RINDreversible ischemic neurologic deficit
RLEright lower extremity
RLLright lower lobe
RLQright lower quadrant
RMLright middle lobe of lung
rnaAny of a class of nucleic acids that can encode genetic information and play an essential role in protein synthesis.
RNPRegistered Nurse Practitioner
ROMrange of motion
ROSreview of systems
rosaceaA common, chronic skin condition characterized by facial redness and often small, red pus-filled bumps. Also known as "Adult Acne".
rot-wheel, turn
rotator cuffThe 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.
RPhRegistered Pharmacist
RPMrevolutions per minute
RQrespiratory quotient
RRrecovery room
RR (2)respiratory rate
RSIrepetitive stress injury
RSVrespiratory syncytial virus
RTRespiratory Therapist
rubellaInfectious 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.
RUEright upper extremity
RULright upper lobe
ruptureForcible or traumatic tear of an organ or other soft part of the body.
RUQright upper quadrant
RVresidual volume
Rxprescription, medication
s-t segmentThe 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
S1first heart sound
S2second heart sound
S3third heart sound
S4fourth heart sound
sacA bag-like structure.
saccadesAn abrupt voluntary shift in ocular fixation from one point to another, as occurs in reading.
sacculeOne 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/osacrum (large bone at base of spine)
sacroiliitisInflammation of the sacroiliac joint, marked by lower back pain, fever, uveitis, psoriasis and decreased range of motion.
sacrumThe large, triangular bone at the dorsal part of the pelvis, between the two hip bones. The sacrum strengthens and stabilizes the pelvis.
SADseasonal affective disorder
sadismA condition in which there is pleasure from inflicting pain, discomfort or humiliation on another person.
sagittalA plane that extends down the long axis of the body, parallel to the median plane.
sagittal planeseparates the body's left and right sections
salicylismPoisoning by salicylic acid or its compounds.
salivaThe 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 ductsAny of the ducts which transport saliva.
salivary glandsGlands that secrete saliva in the mouth. There are three pairs of salivary glands: parotid gland; sublingual gland and submandibular gland.
salmonellaA genus of gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria. It causes food poisoning, enteric fevers, gastroenteritis, and bacteremia.
salping/ofallopian tube
salpingitisInflammation of the fallopian or eustachian tube.
salpingostomyFormation of an artificial opening in a fallopian tube.
salvage therapyA 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.
sanatoriumA facility for the treatment of chronic disorders.
sanguineousPertaining to blood.
sarc/oflesh, connective tissue
sarcocystosisInfection of the striated muscle of mammals by parasites of the genus Sarcocystis. Often asymptomatic, but symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, and paralysis.
sarcoidA fleshy tumor.
sarcoidosisAn disease that leads to inflammation, usually in the lungs, skin, or lymph nodes. Characterized by the formation of granulomas which contain giant cells.
sarcomaA cancer of the bone, muscle, cartilage, fat, blood vessels or connective tissue.
sarcopeniaA disease associated with aging resulting in loss of muscle mass and strength.
SARSsevere acute respiratory syndrome
sartoriusThe thin, long, diagonal, strap-like anterior thigh muscle extending from the pelvis to the calf of the leg.
satiationA fulfillment of a need or desire followed by a state of relative insensitivity to that particular need or desire.
SBsmall bowel
SBOsmall bowel obstruction
SBPsystolic blood pressure
scabiesItchy skin caused by a tiny burrowing mite. Symptoms worse at night.
scalpThe 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/oboat-shaped, scapha
scaphoid boneThe bone which is located most lateral in the proximal row of carpal bones.
scapul/oscapula (shoulder blade)
scapulaThe flat triangular bone in the back of the shoulder. Also called the shoulder blade.
scarA permanent mark remaining after a wound heals.
scarlet feverAn 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
schizophreniaA chronic, severe mental illness that interferes with the ability to think, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others.
sciatic nerveA 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.
sciaticaPain radiating along the sciatic nerve from the lower back down the leg.
scirrh/ohard, hard tumor
scler/owhite of eye, hard
scleraThe white, opaque, fibrous, outer envelope of the eyeball, covering it entirely except the cornea.
scleritisA severe, vision-threatening inflammation of the white part of the eye.
sclerodermaAn autoimmune, chronic disease that affects the body by hardening connective tissue.
sclerosisA pathological process consisting of hardening or fibrosis of an anatomical structure, often a vessel or a nerve.
scoli/ocurved, crooked
scoliosisA sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty.
scotomaAn area of diminished vision within the visual field.
scotopicPertaining to the adjustment of the eye to low illumination.
scrofulaTuberculosis affecting the lymph nodes, particularly the neck.
scrotumA pouch of skin containing the testicles and spermatic cords.
scurvyAn acquired blood vessel disorder caused by severe deficiency of vitamin C, characterized by spongy, bleeding gums, bleeding under the skin, and extreme weakness.
SDATstandard deviation
seb/osebum, oil, fatty
sebaceous glandsSmall, 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.
seborrheaA common skin problem that causes a red, itchy rash and white scales. On the scalp, it is called dandruff.
sebumThe oily substance secreted by sebaceous glands. It is composed of keratin, fat, and cellular debris.
sect-dissect, cut
sedationThe reduction of anxiety, stress or excitement by administration of a sedative drug.
sedativeA drug that calms and relieves anxiety.
sedentary lifestyleUsual level of physical activity that is less than 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week.
seizureA sudden surge of the brain’s electrical activity affecting movement and awareness for a short time.
seizuresA sudden attack, spasm, or convulsion.
semanticsStudy of the meanings of words (or symbols) and the rules of their use.
semenThe 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 canalsThree 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 valveEither the aortic valve or the pulmonary valve, each consisting of crescent-shaped cusps.
seminomaA malignant neoplasm of the testis.
senescenceThe process of growing old.
sensationA perception produced by afferent nerve impulses conveyed to the sensorium.
sensitivityThe probability that a person having a disease will be correctly identified by a clinical test.
sensorineural hearing lossLoss of hearing resulting from problems in the inner ear. A common hearing impairment.
sepsisA 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/oseptum, seven
septal defectA hole in the septum of the heart, usually congenital.
septicemiaA serious bacterial bloodstream infection. It’s also known as bacteremia, or blood poisoning.
sequelaAny disorder that results from a preceding disease or accident.
ser/oblood serum
seromaTumor-like sterile accumulation of serum in a tissue, organ, or cavity. It most commonly occurs following mastectomy.
seropusPus diluted with serum.
serositisInflammation of a serous membrane.
serotoninA compound widely distributed in the tissues that mediates important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity.
serous membraneA 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.
serratiaA genus of gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria that occurs in soil, water and plant surfaces or as an opportunistic human pathogen.
serumBlood plasma after the removal of clotting proteins.
sesamoidDenoting 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
sexThe totality of characteristics of reproductive structure, functions, phenotype, and genotype, differentiating the male from the female organism.
sexualityThe 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.
SGAsmall for gestational age
shaken baby syndromeBrain 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.
sheathA tubular casing that envelops structures such as arteries, nerves, tendons and muscles.
shin splintInflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around the tibia.
shiveringInvoluntary contraction or twitching of the muscles due to cold or fear.
shockAn emergency pathological condition manifested by failure to perfuse or oxygenate vital organs and tissues.
shoulderThe junction of the clavicle, scapula, and humerus where the arm connects to the trunk.
shoulder dislocationDisplacement of the humerus from the scapula.
shuntA passage connecting two anatomical sites or channels.
SIinternational system of units
SIADHsyndrome of inappropriate diuretic hormone
sialaden/osalivary gland
sialadenitisInflammation of a salivary gland.
sialomucinsA subcategory of mucins that contain sialic acid.
sialorrheaExcessive salivary flow.
sibilantA high pitched hissing or whistling sound heard while auscultating.
sickle cell anemiaAn 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.
SICUsurgical intensive care unit
siderosisA form of pneumoconiosis resulting from inhalation of iron in mining dust or welding fumes.
SIDSsudden infant death syndrome
Sigwrite on label
sigmoidThe distal part of the colon from the level of the iliac crest to the rectum.
sigmold/osigmoid colon
signObjective evidence of a disease.
sign languageA system of hand gestures used for communication by the deaf or by people speaking different languages.
signs and symptomsClinical manifestations that can be either objective when observed by a physician, or subjective when perceived by the patient.
silic/osilica, quartz
silicosisA form of pneumoconiosis resulting from prolonged inhalation of silica dust.
simplexvirusA genus of the family herpesviridae, consisting of herpes simplex-like viruses.
simvastatinA statin used to treat high blood cholesterol levels.
sinoatrial blockThe electrical impulse from the sinoatrial node is inhibited or completely blocked before it reaches the atrium.
sinoatrial nodeThe 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 rhythmA normal heart rhythm as indicated on an EKG tracing.
sinusitisInflammation of the sinuses.
sito-bread, food
skeletonThe rigid framework of connected bones that gives form to the body, protects and supports its soft organs and tissues and provides attachments for muscles.
skinThe 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.
skullThe skeleton of the head including the facial bones and the bones enclosing the brain.
SLEsystemic lupus erythematosus
sleepPhysiologic state of rest, relative unconsciousness and inaction of voluntary muscles.
sleep apneaSleep disorder characterized by multiple starts and stops of breathing, interfering with normal sleeping patterns. Measurable decrease in blood oxygen levels.
slingA bandage that supports an injured limb.
sloughNecrotic tissue separated from living tissue.
smallpoxAn acute, highly contagious, often fatal infectious viral disease characterized by fever and skin eruptions. It has been eradicated by vaccination programs worldwide.
smearA tissue specimen smeared on a microscopic slide.
smellThe ability to detect scents or odors, such as the function of olfactory receptor neurons.
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.
SNFskilled nursing facility
snoringNoisy breathing during sleep, due to vibration of the soft palate and other soft tissue in the upper airway.
snow blindnessA painful eye condition caused by exposure of insufficiently protected eyes to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Also called photokeratitis.
SOAPsubjective, objective, assessment, plan
SOBshortness of breath
socio-social, society
soleusA flat, broad muscle in the calf of the leg.
solutionA 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.
solventA liquid that dissolves other substances (solutes), generally solids.
somaThe body as distinguished from the mind or germ cells.
somaticPertaining to the body.
somatotrophsAnterior pituitary cells which produce growth hormone.
somatotypesCategories 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).
somnambulismA parasomnia characterized by a partial arousal that occurs during stage IV of non-REM sleep. Also called sleep-walking.
souffleA soft blowing sound heard with a stethoscope.
spasmAn involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
spasmodic torticollisA very painful condition in which neck muscles contract involuntarily causing the head to twist, bend or rotate to one side.
specific gravityThe ratio of the density of a material to water at 4 degrees C.
specificityThe probability that a person who does not have a disease will be correctly identified by a clinical test.
spectrometryMeasurement of the wavelengths of electromagnetic emissions.
speechUse of vocal sounds to communicate.
spermThe male gamete or sex cell that contains the genetic information to be transmitted by the male. Also called spermatozoon.
sperm/osperm cells
sperma-sperm, seed
spermatidsImmature sperm cells developed in the testicle.
spermatozoaMature male germ cells derived from spermatids.
SPFskin protection factor
sphen/owedge, wedge-shaped
sphenoid boneAn irregular unpaired bone situated at the skull base and wedged between the frontal, temporal, and occipital bones.
sphenoid/osphenoid (compound bone at base of skull)
spher/osphere, round
spherocytesSmall, abnormal spherical red blood cells with more than the normal amount of hemoglobin.
spherocytosisA blood disorder characterized by the presence of small, sphere like red blood cells.
sphincterA ring-link muscle that constrictions a natural body passage or orifice and which relaxes as needed. Present in the rectum and urinary tract.
sphygmomanometerDevice for measuring arterial blood pressure. Includes an inflatable cuff, inflating bulb and a gauge showing the blood pressure.
spicaA figure-eight bandage.
spina bifidaA spinal birth defect.
spinal cordThe section of the central nervous system enclosed in the vertebral column.
spinal nervesThe 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 punctureTapping fluid from the subarachnoid space in the lumbar region, usually between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae.
spinal stenosisNarrowing of the spinal canal.
spineThe spinal or vertebral column.
spir/oto breath
spirometerDevice that measures inhaled or exhaled air volume.
splanchnicPertaining to the viscera.
spleenAn encapsulated lymphatic organ through which venous blood filters.
splenectomySurgical procedure involving either partial or entire removal of the spleen.
splenic arteryThe largest branch of the celiac trunk with distribution to the spleen, pancreas, stomach and greater omentum.
splenitisInflammation of the spleen.
splenomegalyEnlargement of the spleen.
splintAn appliance used to prevent movement of a joint or to fixate displaced or movable parts.
spondyl/overtebra, backbone
spondylitisInflammation of the synovial joints of the backbone.
spondylolisthesisForward displacement of a superior vertebral body over the vertebral body below.
spondylolysisThe degeneration of a vertebra.
spondylosisA degenerative spinal disease that can involve any part of the vertebra, the intervertebral disk, and the surrounding soft tissue.
spor/ospore, seed
sporesThe reproductive elements of lower organisms such as bacteria and fungi.
sprainAn injury caused by tearing of the fibers of a ligament.
sputumMaterial coughed up from the lungs.
squamous cell carcinomaMost 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.
ssa half
SSSsick sinus syndrome
staped/ostapes (a middle ear bone)
stapedectomySurgical removal of the stapes.
stapesOne of the three ossicles of the middle ear. It transmits sound vibrations from the incus to the internal ear.
staphylo-bunch of grapes
staphylococciGram-positive bacteria. Natural populations of Staphylococcus are found on the skin and mucous membranes.
staphylococcusAny of various spherical gram-positive parasitic bacteria, causing skin and other infections.
stasisA cessation or diminution of flow of blood or other fluids.
STDsexually transmitted disease
steatomaA cyst or tumor of the sebaceous gland.
stem cellsAn 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
stenosisThe abnormal narrowing of a passage or opening.
stentsA small mesh tube used to treat narrow or weak arteries.
stere/othree dimensional
stereognosisPerception of shape and form of objects by the sense of touch.
sterileUnable to produce offspring.
sterilizationThe destroying of microorganisms by heat, chemicals, irradiation or other means.
stern/osternum (breastbone)
sternoclavicular jointA 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.
sternumA 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.
steroidsA hormone produced by the body. Also a drug used for treating swelling or to (illegally) improve athletic performance.
stethoscopeInstrument for listening to body sounds (auscultation).
STHsomatotropic hormone
stomachA 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 ulcerUlceration of the gastric mucosa due to contact with gastric juice.
stomatitisInflammation of the soft tissues of the mouth. Canker sores are an example.
stoolFeces discharged from the anus.
strabismusA condition that causes crossed eyes.
strainOverstretching or overexertion of a part of the musculature.
stressThe unfavorable effect of environmental factors on the physiological functions.
stress testA test to evaluate heart function by monitoring heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and EKG while the patient exercises with a treadmill or exercise bike.
stridorA very loud, wheezing breath sound heard when the trachea or larynx is obstructed.
strokeA 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 volumeThe amount of blood pumped out of one ventricle of the heart in one beat.
stromalRelating to the foundation-supporting tissues of an organ.
stuporA state of diminished responsiveness to stimuli. The person is still conscious and can make voluntary movements.
stutteringA disturbance in the normal fluency characterized by frequent repetitions, pauses or prolongations of syllables.
styeAcute bacterial inflammation of a gland at the base of an eyelash.
sub-under, below
subclavianBelow the clavicle.
subcutaneousBeneath the skin.
subduralBelow the dura mater.
subdural effusionLeakage 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.
sublimationA defense mechanism through which unacceptable impulses are diverted into socially acceptable channels.
sublingualBelow the tongue.
sublingual glandA salivary gland located under the tongue in the floor of the oral cavity.
subretinal fluidAn exudate between the retina and choroid from various sources including the vitreous cavity, subarachnoid space or abnormal vessels.
subtalar jointFormed by the articulation of the talus with the calcaneus.
sucroseCane or beet sugar.
suctionThe 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 arrestA sudden and unexpected cessation of cardiac function due to electrical malfunction. Reversible if immediately treated.
sudden cardiac deathSudden, unexpected death caused by loss of cardiac function.
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.
sunburnAn injury to the skin due to excessive sun exposure, causing erythema, tenderness, and sometimes blistering.
sunstrokeHeat 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
superegoThe component of the personality associated with ethics, standards, and self-criticism.
superficialnear the surface
supinationThe condition of being supine. Alternatively, the act of turning the hand so that the palm is up.
supinelying face up
suppositoryMedicated dosage that is designed to be inserted into the rectal, vaginal, or urethral orifice of the body for absorption.
suppurationA pathologic process consisting in the formation of pus.
supra-above, upward
supraglottitisInflammation of the of the laryngeal tissue above the glottis, particularly the epiglottis.
sural nerveA branch of the tibial nerve which supplies sensory innervation to parts of the lower leg and foot.
surface tensionThe force acting on the surface of a liquid, tending to minimize the area of the surface.
susceptibilityVulnerable to a disease.
suspensionA preparation of an undissolved substance dispersed in a liquid.
suturesA stitch or stitches used to close a wound.
SVTsupraventricular tachycardia
sycosisInflammation of hair follicles.
symbiosisA Relationship between different species where both of the organisms in question benefit from the presence of the other.
symptomSubjective evidence of disease. For example, a patient's complaints.
synaps/opoint of contact
synapseThe junctional area between two connected nerves or between a nerve and the effector organ.
syncopeFainting. Loss of consciousness due to diminished blood flow to the brain.
syndactylyA congenital anomaly of the hand or foot, marked by the webbing between adjacent fingers or toes.
syndromeA characteristic set of signs and symptoms of a particular disorder.
synovectomyRemoval of part or all of the synovial membrane of a joint
synovi/osynovial membrane, synovial joint
synovitisInflammation of a synovial membrane.
syphilisA sexually transmitted disease. A bacterial infection.
syring/otube, pipe, fistula
syringeAn instrument used for injecting or withdrawing fluids.
systemicAffecting the body as a whole.
systemic circulationThe circulation of the blood to all parts of the body except the lungs.
systemic lupus erythematosusAn autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
systolePeriod of heart contraction when blood is surging from the heart into the systemic circulatory system and the lungs.
systolic blood pressureArterial blood pressure during heart contraction. In blood pressure readings, it is the first number.
systolic murmursHeart murmurs which occur during systole. They are heard between the first and the second heart sounds.
t waveThe positive deflection after each QRS complex. It indicates ventricular repolarization.
t.i.d.three times a day
t.i.n.three times a night
tachycardiaAbnormally rapid heartbeat, usually over 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by an irregular rhythm is called tachyarrhythmia.
tachypneaAbnormally rapid breathing rate.
TAHtotal abdominal hysterectomy
tal/otalus, ankle
talcFinely powdered magnesium silicate used as a dusting powder.
talusThe second largest of the tarsal bones, articulating with the tibia and fibula to form the ankle joint.
tamponsPlugs or cylinders made of cotton, sponge, or other absorbent material used in surgery to absorb fluids.
tarlov cystsPerineurial cysts commonly found in the sacral region.
tars/otarsal bone (ankle), edge of eyelid
tarsalPertaining to the bones of the ankle and foot.
tarsal bonesThe seven bones which form the tarsus: calcaneus, talus, cuboid, navicular, and the internal, middle, and external cuneiforms.
tarsal jointsThe articulations between the various tarsal bones.
tarsalgiaPain in the foot.
tarsorrhaphyJoining of part or all of the upper and lower eyelids so as to partially or completely close the eye.
tarsusThe bones of the ankle and proximal part of the foot.
tasteThe 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 budsSmall 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.
TATtetanus antitoxin
tax/oorder, coordination
taxisReturning a body part back to its normal position after a dislocation, fracture or hernia.
TBVtotal blood volume
TDMtherapeutic drug monitoring
tearsThe fluid secreted by the lacrimal glands. This fluid moistens the conjunctiva and cornea.
techn/oskill, art
tectorial membraneA membrane, present in the cochlea of the inner ear, that runs parallel with the basilar membrane.
tectospinalDenoting nerve fibers passing from the mesencephalic tectum to the spinal cord.
tectumA roof-like structure of the midbrain.
tel/ocomplete, end
telaAny thin web like structure or tissue.
tele/odistance, end
telemedicineDelivery of health services via remote communications. This includes interactive consultative and diagnostic services.
telencephalonThe anterior subdivision of the prosencephalon which develops into the olfactory bulbs, cerebral cortex and basal ganglia.
telomereThe end of a chromosome, which is involved in chromosomal replication and stability.
telophaseThe final phase of mitosis.
temperatureThe sensible intensity of heat of any substance.
temporal arteriesArteries arising from the external carotid or the maxillary artery and distributing to the temporal region.
temporal boneEither of a pair of compound bones forming the lateral surfaces and base of the skull which contains the organs of hearing.
temporal lobeOne of the main divisions of the cerebral cortex in each hemisphere of the brain, responsible for auditory, olfactory, and semantic processing.
TENtoxic epidermal necrolysis
tenaculumA surgical instrument for lifting and holding tissue or a body part.
tendinitisInflammation of a tendon.
tendinosisDegeneration of a tendon.
tendinousRelating to tendons.
tendonA strap of white fibrous connective tissue that joins muscle to bone.
tenesmusA straining but ineffective attempt to urinate or defecate.
tennis elbowA condition characterized by pain in or near the lateral humeral epicondyle or in the forearm extensor muscle mass as a result of unusual strain.
tenodesisFixation of the end of a tendon to a bone, often by suturing.
tenoplastySurgical repair of a tendon.
tenosynovitisInflammation of the synovial lining of a tendon sheath.
tenotomySurgical division of a tendon for relief of a congenital deformity of a joint.
TENStranscutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
tensorAny muscle that causes stretching or tension of a body part.
tephr/ogray, ash-colored
terat/omonster, monstrosity
teratologyA branch of embryology for the study of congenital malformations and developmental abnormalities.
teratomaA true neoplasm composed of different types of tissue, none of which is normally found the area in which the neoplasm occurs.
term birthchildbirth at the end of a normal duration of pregnancy, between 37 to 40 weeks of gestation.
testicleThe testis and its ducts.
testisEither of the two male gonads located in the cavity of the scrotum.
testosteroneA hormone produced by the testicles. Responsible for maintaining muscle mass, bone density and sex drive.
TETtetralogy of Fallot
tetanusAn 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.
tetanyA disorder consisting of muscle spasms, cramps and twitching. Tetany usually results from hypocalcemia.
tetralogy of fallotTetralogy of Fallot is a rare congenital heart defect. It is a combination of four defects which result in oxygen-poor blood flow.
TFStesticular feminization syndrome
thalamusPaired bodies containing mostly gray matter and forming part of the lateral wall of the third ventricle of the brain.
thalassemiaAn inherited blood disorder characterized by an abnormal form of hemoglobin.
thec-case, sheath
thecaA sheath, case or capsule.
thecomaA neoplasm derived from ovarian mesenchyme.
thelarcheThe beginning of breast development at puberty.
therapeuticsProcedures concerned with the remedial treatment or prevention of diseases.
theri/oanimals, beasts
therm/oheat, temperature
thermoalgesiaAbnormal pain felt when part of the body is warmed.
thermogenesisThe generation of heat in order to maintain body temperature.
thermolysisDissipation of body heat by evaporation of sweat, radiation or other means.
thermophoreAny substance that retains heat for a long period of time.
thinkingThe act of reasoning. Cognition.
thio-presence of sulphur
thorac/ochest, pleural cavity
thoracentesisRemoval of fluid or air from the thoracic cavity, usually with a needle.
thoracicPertaining to the chest.
thoracic cavityThe region of the thorax that includes the pleural cavity and mediastinum.
thoracotomySurgical incision into the chest wall.
thoraxThe chest cavity. Principal organs are the heart and lungs.
THRtotal hip replacement
thresholdThe point at which a stimulus produces a sensation or evokes a response.
thrillA vibratory, ringing sound. Sometimes used to describe a heart murmur.
thromb/oblood clot
thrombectomySurgical removal of an obstructing clot or foreign material from a blood vessel at the point of its formation.
thrombocytesPlatelets. A blood component helps to stop bleeding by clumping and clotting blood vessel injuries.
thrombocytopeniaA low level of blood platelets. Platelet count < 150,000/ml
thrombocytosisHigh blood platelet count. Platelet count > 450,000/ml
thrombolysisThe dissolution of a thrombus.
thrombolyticDissolving or breaking up a thrombus.
thrombophiliaA disorder of hemostasis in which there is a tendency for the occurrence of thrombosis.
thrombosisThe formation and development of a blood clot in a blood vessel.
thumbThe first digit on the radial side of the hand opposite the other four digits.
thym/othymus gland
thymectomySurgical removal of the thymus gland.
thymocytesLymphocyte arising in the thymus.
thymomaA neoplasm originating from thymic tissue, usually benign, and frequently encapsulated.
thymosinA hormone secreted by the thymus.
thymusAn 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/othyroid gland
thyroidA 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.
thyroidectomySurgical removal of the thyroid gland.
thyroiditisInflammation of the thyroid gland.
thyroxineA hormone of the thyroid gland that stimulates the consumption of oxygen.
TIAtransient ischemic attack
tibiaThe medial and larger of the two bones of the lower leg, articulating with the fibula laterally, the talus distally, and the femur proximally.
tibialisThe of two muscles in the leg that extend from the tibia to the metatarsal bones of the foot.
tickA blood-sucking acari parasite that penetrates the skin of their host by using a hooked mouth part.
ticsHabitual, repeated, rapid muscle movement or vocalization which are involuntary or semi voluntary.
tidal volumeThe volume of air inspired or expired in a single breath during normal breathing.
tineaA fungal skin infection, including ringworm, athlete's foot and jock itch.
tinnitusThe perception of sound in the head when no outside sound is present. Commonly called 'ringing in the ears'.
tissueA 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.
titubationWalking with a staggering or stumbling gait.
TKOto keep open
TKRtotal knee replacement
TLCtotal lung capacity
TMtympanic membrane
TMJtemporomandibular joint
TNFtumor necrosis factor
TNMtumor, node, metastasis
toc/olabor, birth
tom/osection, slice
tomographyImaging methods that shows a single plane (slice) of the body.
ton/otension, tone
tongueA 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.
tonicPertaining to normal muscle tone.
tonometryA test that measures intraocular pressure.
tonsillectomySurgical removal of a tonsil
tonsillitisInflammation of the tonsils, usually caused by bacterial infection.
tonsilsA pair of soft lymphoid tissue masses located at the rear of the throat. Part of the immune system.
toothOne of a set of bone-like structures in the mouth used for biting and chewing.
toothachePain in or around a tooth.
topicalPertaining to a particular area.
topographyThe description of a body part in relation to surrounding structures.
torporA state of decreased activity characterized by depressed metabolism, reduced body temperature and low sensitivity to external stimuli.
torqueThe rotational force about an axis.
torsades de pointesA 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.
torsionA twisting force.
torsoThe central part of the body to which the neck and limbs are attached.
touchSensations arising from making physical contact with objects. Tactile stimuli are detected by receptors in the skin and mucous membranes.
tourette syndromeA neuropsychological disorder appearing in childhood, marked by multiple motor and vocal tics occurring multiple times daily over a period of more than one year.
tourniquetA band for the compression of a blood vessel, used to stop bleeding or prevent spread of snake venom.
toxemiaThe presence of bacterial toxins in the blood. Also called blood poisoning.
toxicityThe degree to which a substance is poisonous.
toxicologyThe science concerned with the detection, chemical composition, and biological action of toxic substances or poisons and the treatment and prevention of toxic manifestations.
toxicosisA diseased condition due to poisoning.
toxinA poison produced by animals, plants or bacteria.
toxoidA preparation of poisonous materials made nontoxic and intended for active immunologic prophylaxis.
toxoplasmosisA parasitic infection by Toxoplasma gondii. Most infections are asymptomatic.
TPNtotal parenteral nutrition
TPRtemperature, pulse, and respiration
trache/otrachea (windpipe)
tracheaThe wind pipe. Cartilaginous and membranous tube descending from the larynx and branching into the right and left main bronchi.
tracheostomySurgical creation of an opening into the trachea to insert a tube to facilitate breathing.
tracheotomySurgical incision of the trachea.
trachomaA chronic infection of the conjunctiva and cornea caused by chlamydia trachomatis.
tractotomySurgical incision of a nerve tract, usually to relieve pain.
tranceA sleeplike state of altered consciousness and diminution of motor activity,
tranquillizerA drug that reduces stress without diminishing mental clarity.
trans-across, through
transdermalEntering through the skin.
transducerAny device or element which converts an input signal into an output signal of a different form.
transectionCutting across the tissue of an organ.
transferenceThe unconscious transfer to others of feelings and attitudes which were originally associated with important figures in one's early life.
transfusionThe transfer of blood from one person to another.
transientShort lived.
transplantationTransference 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.
transudationPassage of a fluid or solute through a membrane.
transverseLying across the long axis. Crosswise.
transverse horizontal planeseparates the body's upper and lower sections
traumaPhysical or emotional injuries that are severe and of sudden onset.
trematodeAny of a large number of parasitic flatworms of the class Trematoda including flukes.
tremorInvoluntary shaking, quivering of body parts, commonly the extremities.
trench feverAn acute, infectious, bacterial infection characterized by intervals of chills and fever. Transmitted by body lice.
triageThe process of classifying patients into groups based upon need and likely benefit of treatment
tricepsMuscle with three heads, particularly the muscle on the back of the upper arm that contracts to extend the forearm.
trichiasisA condition of ingrown hair around an orifice, particularly ingrown eyelashes.
trichomoniasisA sexually transmitted disease caused by a single-celled protozoan parasite.
trichosporonosisFungal infections marked by fever or pneumonia.
trichotillomaniaCompulsion to pull out one's hair.
tricuspid valveThe heart valve located between the right atrium and right ventricle.
tricuspid valve regurgitationBack flow of blood from the right ventricle to the right atrium.
tricuspid valve stenosisThe narrowing of the tricuspid valve opening. Tricuspid valve stenosis is almost always due to rheumatic fever.
trigeminalPertaining to the fifth cranial nerve.
trigeminal neuralgiaAn inflammation of the trigeminal nerve causing extreme pain and muscle spasms in the face.
trigeminyA heart condition where an EKG can be grouped into three beat patterns.
trimesterAny of the three successive three month periods of pregnancy.
tripletOne of three offspring born at one birth.
trismusLack of ability to open the mouth fully due to decreased range of motion of the muscles of mastication.
troph/onourishment, development
tropismThe directional growth of an organism in towards or away from light, touch, or gravity.
trussesA supportive device designed for retaining a hernia in a reduced state within the abdominal cavity.
TSHthyroid-stimulating hormone
TSStoxic shock syndrome
tuberculomaA tumor-like mass resulting from the enlargement of a tuberculous lesion.
tuberculosisBacterial infection that usually affects the lungs.
tubuleA small tube.
tularemiaA plague-like disease of rodents, transmissible to humans, marked by fever, chills, headache, backache and weakness.
tumorA new growth of tissue in which cell multiplication is uncontrolled and progressive. A neoplasm.
TURtransurethral resection
TVtidal volume
twinsTwo 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 membraneA thin, oval, semitransparent membrane separating the external ear canal from the tympanic cavity (ear, middle).
tympanocentesisNeedle aspiration of fluid from the middle ear through a puncture in the tympanic membrane.
tympanometryA test that measures the movement of the tympanic membrane (eardrum).
typhlitisInflammation of the cecum.
typhoid feverAn acute bacterial infection transmitted by contaminated water, milk or other foods, especially shellfish.
typhusAny 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
UEupper extremity
ul/oscar, gums
ulcerA lesion on the surface of a organ or tissue, produced by the sloughing of inflammatory necrotic tissue.
ulnaThe inner and longer bone of the forearm.
ulnarPertaining to the ulna, the long medial bone of the forearm.
ultrasonographyThe visualization of deep structures of the body by recording the reflections of ultrasonic pulses directed into the tissues.
ultravioletElectromagnetic radiation that has shorter wavelengths than visible light.
umbilic-umbilicus (navel)
umbilicalPertaining to the opening in the abdominal wall where the blood vessels from the placenta enter.
umbilical cordThe 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.
umbilicusThe 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
unconsciousnessAbnormal loss of awareness of self and environment and lack of responsiveness to sensory stimuli.
uncusA hook-shaped structure.
ungualPertaining to the nails.
unguisA nail.
uran/ohard palate
ureaA compound formed in the liver which is the major nitrogenous end product of protein metabolism
uremiaPresence of excessive amounts of urea in the blood. May be a sign of renal disease or failure.
ureterOne of a pair of tubes that transports urine from the kidney pelvis to the urinary bladder.
ureteralPertaining to the ureter.
ureteroceleA cystic dilatation of the end of a ureter as it enters into the urinary bladder. It may obstruct urine flow.
ureterolithiasisFormation of stones in the ureter.
ureterostomySurgical creation of an external opening in the ureter for external drainage of the urine.
urethraA 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.
urethralPertaining to the urethra.
urethritisInflammation of the urethra, causing painful and difficult urination.
URIupper respiratory infection
urin/ourine, urinary system
urinalysisLaboratory analysis of urine by chemical, physical, or microscopic means.
urinary bladderA muscular, membranous sac along the urinary tract that store urine until urination.
urinary cathetersCatheters inserted into the urinary bladder or kidney for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.
urinary fistulaAn abnormal passage in any part of the urinary tract between itself or with other organs.
urinationDischarge of urine from the body.
urineThe fluid containing waste products and water secreted by the kidneys, then stored in the urinary bladder until urination.
urochesiaPassage of urine through the rectum.
urolithA stone in the urinary tract.
urolithiasisFormation of stones in any part of the urinary tract, usually in the kidney, urinary bladder or the ureter.
urologicPertaining to urology.
urologyA 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.
urotheliumThe epithelial lining of the urinary tract.
URTupper respiratory tract
urticariaHives, which are welts on the skin that often itch
USPUnited States Pharmacopeia
ut. directed
uterinePertaining to the uterus.
uterine prolapseA condition where the uterus drops down into the vagina.
uterusThe womb. A female reproductive organ located between the bladder and the rectum.
UTIurinary tract infection
UVAultraviolet A light
uvealPertaining to the uvea.
uveitisInflammation of the uvea.
uvulaA fleshy extension at the back of the soft palate that hangs above the opening of the throat.
VAvisual acuity
vaccinationAdministration of vaccines to stimulate the host's immune response.
vaccineA suspension of killed or attenuated microorganisms administered for the prevention or treatment of infection.
VADvenous assist device
vag/ovagus nerve
vaginaAn muscular tube connecting the cervix of the uterus to the vulva and exterior of the body.
vaginalPertaining to the vagina.
vaginitisInflammation of the vagina marked by pain and a purulent discharge.
vagus nerveThe tenth cranial nerve.
valsalva maneuverForced expiratory effort against a closed windpipe, impeding the return of venous blood to the heart.
varic/ovarices (swollen veins)
varicellaPrimary infection causes chickenpox; reactivation causes herpes zoster.
varicoceleAbnormal enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord.
varicose veinsEnlarged, twisted veins.
vascul/oblood vessel
vascularPertaining to blood vessels.
vasculitisInflammation of a blood vessel.
vasectomySurgical removal of the ductus deferens usually as a means of sterilization.
vasoconstrictionNarrowing of blood vessels.
vasoconstrictorDrugs used to cause constriction of the blood vessels.
vasodilationWidening of blood vessels.
vasodilatorDrugs used to cause dilation of the blood vessels.
vasovasostomyA surgical procedure in which the effects of a vasectomy (male sterilization) are reversed.
VCvital capacity
VCTvenous clotting time=
VDvenereal disease
vectorAn organism, such as a mosquito or tick, that spreads disease from one host to another.
veinsThe vessels carrying blood away from the capillary beds.
venae cavaeThe 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/osexual intercourse
venomsPoisonous animal secretions forming fluid mixtures of many different enzymes, toxins, and other substances.
venous insufficiencyImpaired venous blood flow or venous return (venous stasis), usually caused by inadequate venous valves. Venous insufficiency often occurs in the legs.
venous thrombosisThe formation or presence of a blood clot within a vein.
ventilatorsMechanical devices used to assist respiration.
ventr/ofront, belly side
ventralPertaining to the belly or front of the body.
ventriclesThe two large heart chambers that receive blood from the atria and pump it out to the systemic and pulmonary circulatory systems.
ventricular fibrillationThe 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 flutterRapid, unstable ventricular tachycardia (150-300 beats/min) with a large sine-wave appearance. If untreated, ventricular flutter typically progresses to ventricular fibrillation.
ventricular tachycardiaFast 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/ovenule (small vein in lungs)
verm/iworm, wormlike
verrucaePlantar warts that commonly occur on the soles of the feet or around the toe area.
vertebraeThe bones or segments composing the spinal column,
vertebrateAn animal with a spinal cord surrounded by cartilage or bone
vertigoA feeling of dizziness and disorientation.
vesic/obladder, blister
vestigesA trace of something, usually a nonfunctioning structure or a behavior, that is a remnant of our evolutionary history.
vestigialPertaining to vestiges.
VFventricular fibrillation
Vf (2)field of vision
Vfibventricular fibrillation
vipomaAn endocrine tumor that secretes vasoactive intestinal peptide, that causes vasodilation, relaxation of smooth muscles, watery diarrhea, hypokalemia and hypochlorhydria.
viralPertaining to or caused by a virus.
viremiaThe presence of viruses in the blood.
virionThe compete viral particle.
virologyThe study of the structure, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of viruses and virus diseases.
virusA 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/obody organs
viscerathe large interior organs in any one of the three great cavities of the body, especially in the abdomen.
viscosityResistance to flow.
vital capacityThe volume of air that is exhaled by a maximal expiration following a maximal inspiration.
vital signsThe signs of life that may be monitored or measured, namely pulse rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.
vitaminsOrganic substances that are required in small amounts for maintenance and growth.
vitellinePertaining to the vitellus.
vitellusYolk of an egg.
vitiligoA chronic disease that causes white patches develop on the skin.
vitre/ovitreous body
vitrectomySurgery to remove vitreous gel from the eye.
vitreous bodyThe transparent, semi gelatinous substance that fills the cavity behind the crystalline lens of the eye and in front of the retina.
vitrificationTo convert into a glassy substance.
vivi-live, alive
vivisectionExperiments performed on living animals involving surgery.
VLDLvery low density lipoprotein
VNAVisiting Nurse Association
vocal cordsA 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.
volarPertaining to the palm or sole.
volitionVoluntary activity without external compulsion.
vomitingThe forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth.
VSvital signs
VSDventricular septal defect
VTventricular tachycardia
vulvaThe external genitalia of the female. It includes the clitoris, the labia, the vestibule and its glands.
vulvitisInflammation of the vulva.
VWvessel wall
w/v.weight in volume
wartBenign epidermal growth.
WBCwhite blood cell; white blood count
wealA bump raised on the skin caused by a lash or blow.
weaningThe replacement of mother's milk in the diet of a young child with other food.
whealA small swelling on the skin, as from an insect bite, that usually itches
wheezeAdventitious lung sounds that are continuous with a musical quality. They can be high or low pitched.
wheyThe liquid components of milk that remain after the casein, fat, and fat soluble components have been removed.
white coat hypertensionPhenomenon where blood pressure readings are elevated only when taken in clinical settings.
white matterThe 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.
WHOWorld Health Organization
whooping coughA respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis and characterized by paroxysmal coughing ending in a prolonged crowing intake of breath.
WNLwithin normal limits
WOPwithout pain
WPWWolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
xenophobiaIntense or irrational dislike or fear of anything that is strange or foreign, particularly of strange people.
xerodermaAn inherited condition characterized by an extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet rays from sunlight.
xerophthalmiaSevere dry eyes caused by a malfunction of the tear glands.
xiph/osword shaped, xiphoid
yawningAn involuntary deep inhalation with the mouth open, often accompanied by the act of stretching.
yoyears old
zo/oanimal life
zooplanktonMinute free-floating animal organisms which live in practically all natural waters.
zyg/ounion, junction, yoke
zygomaEither of a pair of bones that form the prominent part of the CHEEK and contribute to the ORBIT on each side of the SKULL.
zygomycosisAn acute, sometimes fatal fungal infection.
zygoteThe fertilized ovum resulting from the fusion of a male and a female gamete.

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