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A-: Prefix (word part) meaning
"not" or "without".
AAF: Abb
breviation for "Acetyl
o fluorene".
S SIGN: A pain that occurs with an attacck of appendiccitis, located between the naval and the
e right
hip bone.
AB-: A pre
efix (word-parrt) meaning "a
aberrant", "no
ot normal".
ABASIA: Inability to wa
alk due to a lo
oss or decrease of motor fu
ABC: Abb
breviation for ... "aspiration biopsy cytolo
ABD: A tyype of plain ga
auze dressing
M: A bulging of
o the wall of the aortic bloo
od vessel in th
he abdomen.
TION: Increassed abdomina
al girth.
NAL GIRTH: Measuremen
t of the distan
nce around th
he abdomen at
a a specific point
(typicallyy at
the level of
o the umbilicus).
NO: Also calle
ed a ... "perineal resection"". Surgery in which
a portio
on of the sigm
moid colon (en
and the re
ectum/anus are removed. The
T colon tha
at remains is brought
to the
e surface of th
he body to ma
ake a
NOCYSTIC: Referring
to th
he abdomen and
a the gallblladder.
ABG: Abb
breviation for "arterial blood
d gas".
ABDUCE: Abduct.
ABDUCT:: Movement away
from the
e midline. Com
mmonly the movement
of an
a arm or leg away from th
OR: A muscle
e that moves a part away from
the midliine.
ANT: An agen
nt, which diminishes or relieves irritation
ABLATION: Removal or
o destruction
n of a body pa
ABM: Abb
breviation for ... "adjusted body
gens (proteinss) located on the surface of
o the erythroccyte. The uniq
que propertie
es of
blood are due to these antigens.
OOD GROUP:: A system wh
hich comprise
es the four blo
ood groups ... A, B, AB or O.
ABORAL:: Refers to a direction,
whicch is away fro
om the mouth
e continuation of a smaller vessel into a larger one.
ON: An injury, which rubs off
o a surface area
of skin to
o result in a blleeding surfacce.
A: Lack of food
S: Pus collectted in tissue. It typically forrms when fore
eign organism
ms destroy tisssue. Physicia
drain absccesses of pus
s and bacteria
a because an
ntibiotics are not
n able to rea
ach the core of
o an abscesss.
Note that it takes a long time for an abscess to heal.
ABTORSIION: A condittion where bo
oth eyes turn outward.
ABUTMENT: A tooth which
is used as an anchorr for a bridge.

-AC: A suffix which refers to the "heart".

AC: Abbreviation for "before meals"; "Auditory canal";
ACAMPSIA: A rigid body part.
ACAPNIA: Decreased amounts of carbon dioxide in the blood.
ACARID: Mite, tick.
ACCESSORY DIGESTIVE ORGANS: Organs that assist with digestion but are not a part of the digestive
tract ... tongue, glands in the mouth that make saliva, gallbladder, liver and pancreas.
AC JOINT: "Acromioclavicular Joint"; the hinge which connects the collarbone and the shoulder blade.
ACCESSORY MUSCLES: A muscle that is an exact copy of another, usually noticed as a swelling
beneath the skin.
ACCOMMODATION: The state of adapting to something ... adjustment.
ACCU-CHEK: Exam for blood sugar level (104, 229)
ACCUSOM ULTRASONIC PROBE: Currently being researched.
ACE: Abbreviation for "angiotensin converting enzyme" it converts angiotensin I into angiotensin II which
is a powerful blood pressure raising hormone.
ACE BANDAGE: Trademark for an elastic woven bandage.
ACE INHIBITORS: Drugs such as Accupril, Altace, Capoten, Lotensin Prinivil, Vasotec, Zestril all of which
works to control blood pressure. They block the production of Angiotensin II which causes blood pressure
to drop. It is to be noted that anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit the effects of ACE inhibitors ... stay away from
Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn and Indocin. (see "ACE")
ACETABULUM: A depression on the surface of the hip bone ... where the head of the femur fits, i.e.. the
hollow area of the hip bone where the thigh bone fits.
ACETATE: A salt or ester.
ACETIC: Sour ... like vinegar.
ACETONE: Colorless, inflammable solvent and found in large quantities in diabetic urine.
ACETYCHOLINE: Neurotransmitter ... a body acid which is involved in the transmission of nerve
ACHALASIA: Failure to relax ... usually referring to hollow, muscular organs like sphincter muscles.
ACHILLES TENDON: The "heel cord". A tendon located at the rear of the heel and connecting to calf
muscles. Symptoms of an inflamed Achilles tendon include pain, swelling and warmth ... rest is required
(does not require total inactivity). Healing typically requires 4-6 weeks.
ACHOLIA: Absence of bile.
ACHOLIC: An absence of bile.
ACHOLURIA: Absence of bile in urine ... typically the term is used to describe a type of jaundice.
ACHOR: A small skin elevation located on hairy portions of the body.
ACIDOTIC: Pertaining to a "state" of acidity.
ACID BURNS: Burns due to contact with acid. Treatment consists of immediate removal of the acid
through washing followed by the application of a mild alkali like baking soda to neutralize remaining acids.
Next, the wound is cleansed with fresh water and dried.
ACIDOPHILUS: "Good" bacteria which lives in the intestines. It assists the body in fighting diseases and
acts as and digestive aid. It assists in the prevention of acne, bad breath, fungus and diverticulosis. It also
assists the body in absorbing minerals like calcium into the body.
ACIDOSIS: An abnormal increase in "acidity level" of the body.
ACID REFLUX: Heartburn. It is caused by a backwards flow of contents from the duodenum and stomach
into the esophagus. Prilosec is one of the most effective medications but medicines cannot be depended
on solely for controlling it. In addition, do not lie down after large meals ... do not smoke ...limit citrus
fruits, tomatoes, fatty foods, chocolate, peppermint, carbonated beverages, vinegar or alcohol.
ACINAR: Referring to the "acinus".
ACINI: Plural of ... "acini".
ACINIC: Referring to the "acinus".
ACINUS: 1. Any small saclike structure (sometimes referred to as alveolus). 2. Portion of the lung. 3.
Opening of the acinous gland. 4. A small, grape-shaped opening of the acinous gland.
ACINOUS GLAND: Typically the exocrine portion of the pancreas ... more specifically - any gland which
has a grape-like area where secretions are expelled.
ACL: Abbreviation for ... anterior cruciate ligament.

ACLS: Abbreviation for "Advanced Cardiac Life Support".

ACME: Crisis.
ACNE: A skin condition which usually inflicts adolescents whereby the glands of the skin become infected
to produce black heads (comedos) and skin elevations (pimples). Grease secreted by sebaceous glands
blocks the openings of pores.
ACRO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "extremities".
ACROARTHRITIS: Arthritis affecting the extremities.
ACROMEGALY: Acromegaly is a disorder characterized by progressive enlargement of the head, face,
hands, feet and thorax due to excess secretion of growth hormone. ... usually due to an overactive
pituitary gland, which excretes abnormally large amounts of growth hormone. This condition can be due
to a tumor on the pituitary gland. At first the symptoms are subtle and can take eight years to diagnose
(blood tests confirm the diagnosis).
ACROMION: The lateral projection of the spine of the scapula ... highest and outermost projection of the
ACRONYX: Ingrown nail.
ACTINIC KERATOSIS: A lesion which resembles a wart and is considered to be premalignant. It occurs
in elderly, light skinned people on areas of the skin, which have been exposed to the sun (face and
hands). A cutaneous horn sometimes develops. Squamous (scaly) cell carcinoma may result when left
untreated. Synonyms are: senile keratoderma, senile keratoma, senile keratosis, keratosis senilis, senile
wart, solar keratosis, verruca plana senilis, and verruca senilis.
ACUTE: Referring to a severe but short-lived course of an illness.
AD-: A prefix (word part) meaning "toward" or "cling together".
A.D.: Abbreviation for "right ear".
ADDENDUM: Something added.
ADDISON'S DISEASE: Chronic adrenocortical (hormone) insufficiency. It is caused by an adrenal cortex,
which is under active. It is usually fatal if left untreated. Symptoms include low blood sugar, low blood
pressure and low body temperature.
ADDUCT: Movement toward the midline of the body.
ADDUCTOR: A muscle that moves a part toward the midline.
ADEN / O: A combining work form which means "gland".
ADEN FEVER: Also called ... "dengue", "bouquet fever", breakbone fever", "dandy fever", "date fever",
"dengue fever", "exanthesis arthrosia", "polka fever", "scarlatina rheumatica", "solar fever". A viral disease
which exists in tropical and subtropical areas of the world ... transmitted by mosquitoes. Grade I
symptoms are fever and general constitutional problems. Grade II symptoms are the same as Grade I but
with spontaneous bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, gums and skin. Grade III symptoms are the same
as the first two but with circulatory failure added. Grade IV symptoms add to the first three profound
ADENITIS: Inflammation of a lymph node or gland.
ADENOCARCINOMA: Kidney cancer ... few early warning symptoms. Symptoms include blood in the
urine, a feeling of pain in the side, fever, weight loss and anemia. Surgery is the treatment of choice in the
year 2000 due to the fact that this type of cancer does not respond well to chemotherapy.
ADENODYNIA: Gland pain.
ADENOMA SEBACUEM: A tumor like nodule, which occurs on the face and is, made up of tissue, which
is both vascular and fibrous and takes the appearance of small, red or yellow elevations of the skin.
ADENOMATOUS: Pertaining to adenoma (benign neoplasm/tumor).
ADENOPATHY: Growth of any gland, especially the lymph.
ADENOSINE DIPHOSPHATE: An energy storage molecule.
ADENOSIS: A condition of a diseased gland.
ADENOVIRUS E1 PROTEINS: Gene products (proteins), which are produced following an infection with
adenovirus. E1 refers to a region of the genome, which is subdivided into E1A and E1B (adenovirus E1A
proteins and adenovirus E1B proteins).
ADENOVIRUS E2 PROTEINS: Gene products (proteins) that are produced following an infection with
adenovirus. E2 refers to a region of the genome. Note that several of these proteins are required for virus

ADENOVIRUS E3 PROTEINS: Gene products (proteins) which are produced from the E3 region of the
adenovirus. These proteins are no necessary for virus multiplication. It has been found that the E3 19K
protein assists in reducing class I major histocompatibility complex antigens on the surface of cells.
ADENOVIRUS E4 PROTEINS: Gene products (proteins) which are transferred from the E4 region of
ADENOVIRUS INFECTIONS, HUMAN: An infection that targets the respiratory system and conjunctivae.
Currently (year 2001) there are 33 types of adenovirus which have been identified).
ADJUVANT: An herb that is combined with another primary ingredient to increase the effect of that
ADJUVANTS, IMMUNOLOGIC: A substance that typically boosts the response of the immune system at
the cellular or humoral level. ... typical substances are Freund's adjuvant, BCG, Corynebacterium parvum.
ADJUVANT THERAPY: The combining of therapies (typically medications, radiation, surgery) to improve
their effectiveness..
ADMINISTRATION: The method by which a medication is introduced into the body ... for example: via
patch, rectal, oral, intravenous.
ADH: Abbreviation for "antidiuretic hormone". It is secreted by the pituitary gland of the brain and inhibits
the production of urine ... it adjusts the fluid level of the body.
ADHESION: Scar that binds two surfaces ... the growing together of body tissue.
ADHESIVE CAPSULITIS: Also called "frozen shoulder". It is an inflamed capsule of the shoulder that
develops scar tissue, which limits movement to lock the shoulder in place. Causes include diabetes and
trauma (injury) and unknown etiology (causes). Treatment includes cortisone injections, anti-inflammatory
drugs and physical therapy. Also, surgery to snip away the scar tissue can be performed.
ADI: Abbreviation for "Allowable Daily Intake".
ADIPOSE: Fat cell contained in adipose tissue.
ADIPOSE TISSUE: Fatty tissue found beneath skin and around many body organs.
ADNEXA: Appendages or adjunct parts; often referred to in abdominal exams i.e. the ovaries are adnexa
of the uterus.
ADP: Abbreviation for ... 1) "advanced pancreatitis" 2) "adenosine diphosphate".
ADRENAL: A gland near (above) the kidney. It is made of two parts, the cortex and medulla. The cortex
produces cortisone and the medulla secretes adrenaline. The adrenal gland also produces the hormone
aldosterone, which regulates blood potassium.
ADRENAL CORTEX: Center of the adrenal gland.
ADRENALINE: Hormone produced by the adrenal glands.
ADRENERGIC: Nerves which release epinephrine type substances.
ADSON: Fine-toothed forceps.
ADTORSION: The turning inward of the eyes.
ADVENTITIOUS: Occurring accidentally. Arising from an external source or occurring in an unusual
ADVENTITIOUS SOUNDS: Rales, rhonchi, rubs.
ADVERSE EXPERIENCE: A negative reaction to a current treatment. For example, a life threatening
experience (and even death) is considered to be an "adverse experience".
AED: Abbreviation for "automated external defibrillator".
AERATION: The process which occurs in the lungs of giving off carbon dioxide and absorbing oxygen.
AEROPHAGIA: Swallowing of air.
AEROSOLIZED: A method of administering drugs by inhalation. The medication is turned into a fine mist
using a nebulizer.
AFB: Abbreviation for "Aspirated Foreign Body".
AFEBRILE: The way in which a person's feelings are shown.
AFFECTIVE DISORDER: Mental disorder in which a persons experiences abnormal mood swings ...
manic-depressive disorders are included in this category.
AFFERENT: Conducting towards a center point.
AFP: Abbreviation for "fetoprotein". A test that measures the amount of fetoprotein in blood serum.
AGALACTIA: Absence of milk.
AGAMMAGLOBULINAEMIA: Immune system deficiency.

AGENESIS: Failure to develop.

AGENT: Something capable of causing a reaction in the body.
AGE SPOTS: Dark, pigmented, spots (evenly colored) which occurs in people aged around 50 and over.
Also called "liver spots", "lentigo senilis".
AGGLUTINATE: A sticking of cells to one another. Some types of bacteria and viruses can cause blood
cells to agglutinate. Also, some foods can cause the process to occur in specific blood types (particularly
food lectins).
AGGLUTININ: An antibody (protein molecule which neutralizes foreign substances like invading
organisms) that results in a clumping of bacteria (and other cells).
AGGREGRATE: Crowding or clustering together.
AGGREGATE GLANDS: Closely packed lymphoid follicles, which make up small elevations in the small
intestines. Also called ... aggregate glands, aggregated lymphatic follicles, aggregated lymphatic nodules,
agmen peyerianum, agminate glands, aginated glands, Peyer's glands, and Peyer's patches.
AGGREGATED LYMPHATIC FOLLICLES: Closely packed lymphoid follicles, which make up small
elevations in the small intestines. Also called ... aggregate glands, aggregated lymphatic nodules, agmen
peyerianum, agminate glands, aginated glands, Peyer's glands, Peyer's patches.
AGITATION: Restless.
AGLUTITION: Difficulty in swallowing.
AGNAIL: Hangnail.
AGONAL: Refers to the moments just prior to death.
AGORAPHOBIA: Fear of crowds. It can cause a panic attack in the sufferer when confronted with the
thought that the s (he) might venture into a crowd (supermarket / department stores).
AGORAPHOBIC: Displaying symptoms of "agoraphobia".
AGNOGENIC: Of unknown cause.
AICD: Abbreviation for "Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator".
AIDS: Abbreviation for "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome". The T?helper cells (a type of
T?lymphocyte) are the primary cells infected by the HIV virus, which greatly diminishes the ability of the
body to defend itself. Often, people infected with the virus do not know it. Sometimes it exhibits itself with
flu?like symptoms 2?4 weeks following exposure. Afterwards, it normally takes 2?5 years before
symptoms manifest. Often the first symptoms are variable and intermittent like diarrhea, fever, loss of
appetite, fatigue, inflamed gums, night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, mouth sores, enlarged liver,
enlarged spleen,
AIH: Abbreviation for ... "autoimmune hepatitis".
AILD: Abbreviation for ... "angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy with dysproteinemia". A disorder that
occurs mainly in older adults and can culminate in death. The disorder is characterized by enlarged lymph
nodes, fever, sweats, weight loss, rashes, skin lesions, spleen and liver enlargement, the duplicity of
small blood vessels and immunoblasts.
AIR CAST: ... is a fracture brace.
AIR EMBOLISM: Air bubbles in an artery which blocks normal blood flow ... sometimes caused by surgery
or injury.
AIRPLANE ARM SPLINT: A device used to immobilize the arm to allow healing.
AKA: Abbreviation for "Above the Knee Amputation".
AKATHISIA: A disorder marked by an inability to remain seated.
-AL: A suffix which means ... "postnatal".
ALA: A wing like or expanded structure.
ALAGILLE SYNDROME: Tissue which has not completely developed in the hepatic ducts. Also, refers to
other congenital malformations such as pulmonary artery stenosis, facial abnormalities. It typically
manifests itself as jaundice in the neonatal period.
ALAI NASI: Openings of the nostrils.
ALALIA: Impairment of speech.
ALANINE: Also called ... "alpha-aminopropanoic acid". It is an amino acid that occurs in proteins and is
considered to be nonessential. It is synthesized from pyruvate ... free plasma contains high levels. It
assists in the metabolism of organic acids and sugars. It is an energy source for the brain, nervous
system and muscle tissue. It also contributes to a strong immune system by assisting in the manufacture
of antibodies.

ALAR: 1) relating to a wing. 2) axillary.

ALBINO: Lack of skin pigmentation which causes the hair and skin to appear white and the eyes to be
ALBUMEN: Protein.
ALBUMIN: Water soluble blood protein. Decreased amounts are seen in states of malabsorption,
malnutrition, liver disease, many gastrointestinal conditions, kidney problems, burns, cancer
chemotherapy, thyrotoxicosis, Cushing's disease, hypoproteinemia.
ALBUMINOID: Also called ... glutinoid and scleroprotein. It is a simple protein that resembles albumin. It
is present in cartilaginous and horny tissue and in the lens of the eye (elasin, collagen, keratin).
ALBUMINOID LIVER: A degeneration of the protein "albumin" in the liver.
ALBUTEROL UPDRAFT: An inhaler that contains the drug "Albuterol".
ALDOSTERONE: A body hormone produced by the adrenal glands that is known to regulate high blood
pressure and regulate blood potassium levels.
ALDOSTERONISM: A condition of high blood pressure which is caused by the over production of
aldosterone by the adrenal glands. Sufferers must battle not only the high blood pressure but also low
blood potassium, which cause weakness of muscles, headaches, and thirst. The cause is most often a
non-cancerous tumor of the adrenal gland. Drugs used to treat this affliction in the year 2000 include
spironolactone, amiloride and triamterene.
ALEXIA: Inability to read.
ALF DISEASE: Abbreviation for "acute liver failure".
ALG: Abbreviation for ... "Antilymphocyte globulin".
ALGESIA: Sensitivity to painful stimuli.
-ALGIA: A suffix which means ... "pain".
ALGIN: A carbohydrate derived from seaweed. It provides protection from many types of carcinogens,
pollutants and other poisons. It is also said to block the absorption of radioactive materials into living
tissue. Also, it is said to normalize bowel abnormalities.
ALGOPHOBIA: Abnormal fear of pain.
ALIENIST: Psychiatrist.
ALIMENT: Pertaining to food ... (alimentary canal).
ALIMENTARY CANAL: The path of the digestive system consisting of the esophagus, stomach and
ALIMENTATION: Process of nutrition.
ALKALI: The opposite of acid ... a base substance. They turn litmus paper blue. Examples of alkalis
include ammonia, lye and potash.
ALKALINE PHOSPHATASE: When an increase of these enzymes occurs in serum (the clear fluid portion
of blood) it may be attributed to ... hyperparathyroidism, hepatobiliary diseases, chronic inflammatory
bowel disease, sepsis, osteomalacia, and neoplasm. Decreased levels of alkaline phosphatase has been
observed in patients with hypothyroidism, radioactive materials deposited in bones, scurvy, increased
activity of the cells which produce bone.
ALKALOIDS: Compounds which naturally occur in seed plants and contain nitrogen.
ALKALOSIS: A condition where the body is too alkaline. The opposite of "acidosis". Alkalosis: can be
caused by high altitudes, hyperventilation, and excessive vomiting.
ALKSLODID: A disorder of body fluids and tissues in which there is too much alkali.
ALLELES: A series of different (alternative) genes which may occur at a specific chromosomal locus, in
human beings there is one of two alleles on each chromosome having the same relative position.
ALLERGEN: Something which causes an allergic reaction.
ALLOCATION RATIO: A term used in the medical industry to indicate the portions of treatments ... as an
example, 1:1 means "equal allocation" and 3:1 is 75 percent in one group and 25 percent in the other.
ALLOGENIC: A term used in the field of organ transplants. It refers to the makeup of genes within the
same species.
ALLOPATHY: A treatment for diseases which includes the use of medications to produce effects which
are opposite to those being experienced by the patient.
ALLOTROPHIC: Having altered nutritional value.
ALOC: Abbreviation for ... "Acute Loss Of Consciousness".
ALOPECIA: Partial or complete loss of hair often occurring with age.

ALOPECIA AREATA: An autoimmune disease in which hair falls out in clumps resulting in oval bald
spots. Due to unknown reasons the immune system attacks hair follicles.
ALPHA BLOCKER: Typically used to lower blood pressure by making arteries more open and relaxed. A
substance that blocks response to impulses at the alpha-receptor site of a neurotransmitter or hormone.
ALPHA CAROTENE: One of the carotenoids found in carrots, sweet potatoes and some other
vegetables. Its ability to covert to vitamin A is less pronounced than beta-carotene.
ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL: The only type of vitamin E that the human blood can maintain and transfer to
cells when needed.
ALS: Abbreviation for "amyotrophic lateral sclerosis" or "Lou Gehrig's disease. It attacks the nerves of the
spinal cord and brain that are involved with muscle action. Sufferers become trapped in a body that is
immobilized. Even swallowing and breathing become difficult. In the year 2000 the only drug approved for
use in the U.S. is Rilutek, which can prolong life but is not a cure. The ALS association can be contacted
at 1-800-782-4747 (year 2000).
ALT: Abbreviation for "alanine aminotransferase".
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: Healing therapies not taught in medical schools or used in hospitals.
ALUMIFOAM SPLINT: A splint made from aluminum and foam.
ALVIOLI: The small air sacs at the bronchioles of the lungs.
ALVEOLUS: A saclike dilatation.
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE: Symptoms include difficulty with language, difficulty expressing themselves,
difficulty with understanding others. Also, Alzheimer victims have difficulty when asked to draw pictures.
Personality changes are typical with sufferers sometimes becoming aggressive or agitated. Finally,
memory lapses are probably the primary symptom with patients unable to recognize friends and family
members. Drugs used in 1999 to help include Cognex (tacrine), Aricept (donepezil). A new drug to the
U.S. (not the world) is Rivastigmine. Estrogen, Vitamin E, Indomethacin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen may also
be of benefit.
AMA: Abbreviation meaning "against medical advice".
AMALGAM: An alloy which combines a metal (element) with mercury.
AMAUROSIS: Blindness.
AMAUROSIS FUGAX: Temporary blindness.
AMBI-: A prefix (word part) meaning "both sides".
AMBIBILATERAL: To affect both sides.
AMBLYOPIA: Decrease of visual acuity.
AMBULATORY: Able to walk.
AMEBIC ABSCESS: An abscess, which usually occurs in the liver or brain (sometimes other organs) and
is caused by an amoeba ... results in death of tissue.
AMENORRHEA: Cessation of normal menstruation.
AMIBIASIS: An infection by an ameba (typically Entamoeba histolytica) that results in dehydration.
AMINE: An organic compound which contains nitrogen.
AMINO ACID: The building blocks which proteins consist of. Amino acids that are associated with diet are
categorized as "essential" and "nonessential". The following are classified as essential because they are
not produced by the body and must be obtained from the diet ... histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine,
methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine. Nonessential amino acids are necessary for
good health but can be produced internally from the "essential" amino acids, they include: ... Arginine,
ornithine, systeine, cystine, taurine, tyrosine. There are 22 known amino acids (8 essential and 14
AMINOGLYCOSIDES: Currently being researched.
AMMONIA: Alkaline gas produced by the body from protein metabolism. It is changed into urea in the
liver and removed from the body via the kidney.
AMNESIA: Loss of memory.
AMNESTIC: Amnesia.
AMNIOCENTESIS: A removal of fluid from the uterus through the "amnion" (inner membrane which
surrounds the embryo and contains ambionic fluid). The procedure is performed to determine if the baby
has abnormalities.
AMNION: The inner membrane that surrounds the embryo and contains the ambionic fluid.

AMNIOTIC FLUID: The fluid which encompasses the fetus until birth.
AMORPHOUS: The quality of being shapeless.
AMPHETAMINES: Medications which stimulate the CNS (central nervous system to produce a state of
well-being, confidence and alertness.
AMPULA OF VATER: The area where the common bile duct (vessel which carries digestive fluids from
the liver to the small intestines) and the pancreatic duct drain into the duodenum (first section of the small
intestines measuring approximately 10 inches in length).
AMPULE: A container for hypodermic solutions.
AMPULLA: A rounded, saclike opening of a canal, duct or tube.
AMPULLA HEPATOPANCREATICA: The enlarged area in the small, nipple-like process of the initial area
of the intestines, which receives the main pancreatic duct and the common bile, duct.
AMYASTHENIC: Weakness of muscle.
AMYLASE: Enzyme manufactured by the salivary glands and pancreas. An elevated blood amylase level
is associated with pancreatitis.
AMYLASE ENZYME TEST: Test for pancreatitis.
AMYLOID: A protein ... starch like.
AMYLOID LIVER: A degeneration of the starch like protein "amyloid" within the liver.
AMYLOIDOSIS: A group of illnesses that cause organs and tissues to become infiltrated with the protein
"amyloid". Symptoms may vary depending on what organ is targeted. If the heart is targeted then
symptoms include irregular heartbeats and possible heart failure. If the kidneys are involved then kidney
failure may result. If the tongue is targeted it increases in size.
AMYOSTHENIA: A reduction or lack of muscle power.
AMYOTROPHIC: Relating to muscular atrophy.
AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS: ... or "Lou Gehrig's disease. It attacks the nerves of the spinal
cord and brain that are involved with muscle action.
AMYXIA: Lack of mucus.
AN-: A prefix (word part) meaning "not" or "without".
ANA: Abbreviation for "antinuclear antibody" (gamma globulin) which is detected by blood tests. Positive
results are sometimes associated with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma as well as other
diseases, which affect joints, skin and organs. It is noted that some people test positive for ANA's but do
not exhibit any symptoms of sickness at all.
ANABOLIC PROCESS: The process of converting small molecules into larger ones.
ANABOLIC STEROID: A drug which is like testosterone ... it builds muscles and strengthens bones.
Known to have side effects. Examples include methyltestosterone, nandrolone, methandrostenolone, and
ANADIPSIA: Extreme thirst.
ANAL FISSURE: Small tears in the rectal lining. Constipation is a primary cause. Sometimes they can he
healed by soaking in warm water. Vitroglycerine paste can also work. The idea is to relax spastic rectal
muscles that cause the rectal lining to stretch thus stimulating blood flow to the area.
ANALGESIC: A drug that relieves pain without reducing consciousness. Many analgesics cause nausea,
constipation and stomach upset.
ANAMNESIS: The history of a patient.
ANAPHRODISIAC: A drug that decreases the desire for sex.
ANAPHYLACTIC: A great sensitivity to something.
ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK: An allergic reaction which results in low blood pressure and difficulty in
breathing ... may be life threatening.
ANAPHYLAXIS: Severe reaction to a substance causing itching, hives, wheezing, nasal congestion.
Symptoms develop within seconds/minutes and are a medical emergency.
ANAPLASIA: A situation in which tumor cells become unable of performing their original, specific
ANAPLASTIC THYROID CANCER: Grows quickly and spreads throughout the body. Death usually
occurs within six months to a year following the diagnosis.
ANASARCA: Fluid which collects in subcutaneous tissue (connective).
ANASTOMOSIS: A combining of two hollow tube like structures. Often a connection occurring between

two vessels.
ANASTOMOTIC: Pertaining to "anastomosis".
ANA TITERS: Test designed to evaluate the immune system and detect "antinuclear antibodies" which
are sometimes present in people with autoimmune diseases.
ANATOMICAL SNUFFBOX: A hollow area which is located on the wrist (on the side facing the radius bone of the forearm).
ANCA: Abbreviation for "antineutrophil cytoplasmic".
ANCONAL: Referring to the elbow.
ANDROSTERONE: Male sex hormone.
ANDROGEN: Male hormones. Typically a generic term for a hormone such as androsterone, DHEA,
fluxymesterone, methyltersosterone or testosterone, which causes development of male sex
ANEMIA: A situation in which the patient has a decrease in the amount of red blood cells in the blood.
Symptoms often include lethargy, shortness of breath, weakness, palpitations of the heart, soft systolic
murmurs, and skin pallor. There are many types and causes ... iron deficiency, vitamin B-12 deficiency.
All the causes could fill a book.
ANEMIA, APLASTIC: A condition where bone marrow fails to manufacture enough blood cells.
ANEMIA, HEMOLYTIC: A condition where the body is unable to manufacture new blood cells fast enough
to replace old ones due to a shortened life span of red blood cells.
ANEMIA, PERNICIOUS: Anemia caused by a decreased supply of vitamin B-12 ... red blood cells
decrease and nerves disintegrate. ANEPIA: Being unable to speak.
ANERGY: Lacking the ability to produce a sensitivity reaction to substances expected to be antigenic
(immunogenic, allergenic). 2.Decreased energy level.
ANESTHESIA, GENERAL: Gases used as a general anesthetic i.e., alfentanil, amobarbital, butabarbital,
butorphanol, chloral hydrate, enflurane, etomidate, fentanyl, halothane, hydroxyzine, isoflurane, ketamine,
levorphanol, meperidine, methohexital, methoxyflurane, nitrous ketamine, methohexital, methoxyflurane,
midazolam, morphine parenteral, nalbuphine, nitrous oxide, oxymorphone, pentobarbital, pentazocine,
phenobarbital, promethazine, propiomazine, propofol, scopolamine, secobarbital, sufentanil, tentanyl,
thiamyial, thiopental.
ANESTHESIOLOGIST: Medical health professional who induces unconsciousness in patients. They also
administer drugs to paralyze muscles to allow a surgeon to easily operate on areas of the body.
ANESTHETIC: A drug which suspends pain sensation.
ANEURYSM: A protrusion (bulge) of a weak spot of a blood vessel ... a balloon like structure filled with
blood. It is often caused by hypertension or atherosclerosis. Aneurysms form due to artery hardening
(loss of elasticity), high blood pressure (among other reasons). High blood cholesterol levels and diabetes
are often contributing factors. A typical site for anurysms is the aorta of the heart. Note that 80% of
ruptured aneurysms are fatal. Doctors can hear an identifying sound using a stethoscope. Ultrasound
imaging can identify aneurysms with high precision Also see "brain aneurysm".
ANGI / O: A combining "word form" which means "vessel".
ANGIITIS: Inflammation of a blood vessel or a lymphatic vessel.
ANGINA: Chest pain on physical exertion. Doctors rate the intensity of chest pain on a scale of one to
ANGINA PECTORIS: A pain that is often described as "choking", "suffocating" ... it is a pain, which occurs
in the thorax and sometimes, radiates into the arms (more often the left). It is usually caused by poor
blood supply to the middle layer of the heart i.e., the cardiac muscle and is a sign that heart arteries are
clogged. This pain usually occurs during exertion but in older people breathlessness and fatigue may
result instead of pain.
ANGIECTASIS: The stretching of a blood vessel.
ANGIECTOMY: The surgical removal of a vessel.
ANGIOCATHETER: i.e. 20-gauge.
ANGIODYSPLASIA: Blood vessels of the gastrointestinal tract that have become enlarged.
ANGIOEDEMA: Swelling of the lips.
ANGIOFOLLICULAR LYMPH NODE HYPERPLASIA: Also called "Castleman's disease". A rare disease
of lymph tissue (lymph nodes & lymphocytes). The disease can come in early or later life. In early life it
typically affects a single group of nodes. While in later life, it may affect many groups of nodes.

Sometimes it affects a related group of nodes which in turn causes symptoms to adjacent body parts ... a
cough might develop due to lymph nodes of the chest pressing on the breathing tubes. The serious form
of the disease is treated (year 2000) using a combination of chemotherapy and drugs of the cortisone
ANGIOGENESIS: The new formation of blood vessels ... tumors require angiogenesis to survive.
ANGIOGENESIS INHIBITORS: Drugs that starve tumors by destroying the blood vessels that feed them.
ANGIOGRAM: An x-ray test to determine whether the blood vessels carrying oxygenated blood to the
heart are blocked.
ANGIOGRAPHER: An interpreter of angiograms.
ANGIOGRAPHY: The x-ray visualization of blood vessels. A dye is usually injected into the patient to
enhance the image. Typically this test is used to detect bleeding in the GI (gastrointestinal tract).
"immunoblastic lymphadenopathy". A disorder that occurs mainly in older adults and can culminate in
death. The disorder is characterized by enlarged lymph nodes, fever, sweats, weight loss, rashes, skin
lesions, spleen and liver enlargement, the duplicity of small blood vessels and immunoblasts.
ANGIOMA: A swelling (tumor) due to proliferation of blood vessels or lymphatics.
ANGIOMATA: See "angioma".
ANGIOPLASTY: A procedure that uses a tiny balloon at the end of a plastic tube to open narrowed
(clogged) arteries in the heart.
ANGIOSARCOMA: A type of cancer that typically affects the liver ... this rare and malignant tumor is
produced from the cells that line blood vessels.
ANGIOSTENOSIS: Vessel constriction (narrowing).
ANGIOTENSIN I: Produced by splitting the large blood protein Angiotensinogen. The split is caused by
renin (produced by the kidneys).
ANGIOTENSIN II: A substance produced by the body which activates the tiny muscles which surround
ANGIOTENSINOGIN: A large blood protein ... a serum produced by the liver and results in the production
of andiotensis I.
ANGITIS: Vessel inflammation.
ANGULATION: Abnormal angle or bend in an organ.
ANHEDONIA: Psych term. Incapability of receiving pleasure.
ANHEMATOSIS: Abnormal formation of blood.
ANICTERIC: Absence of a yellow discoloring of the skin and eyes; not yellow; see ICTERUS.
ANIHIDROSIS: The lack of sweating.
ANILINE: A poison which is basic constituent of the analgesic / antipyretic drugs phenacetin and
ANIOCYTOSIS: Variable size of red blood cells which normally are uniform.
ANION: A negative ion.
ANION GAP: The difference between the sum of the measured cations and anions in the plasma or
serum; elevated levels are seen in diabetes or lactic acidosis. Uremia, diabetic ketoacidosis, shock,
methanol poisoning, diuretics, and penicillin may cause an increase in the blood serum.
ANISOCORIA: A situation in which the pupils of the eyes are not equivalent.
ANISOCYTOSIS: Normally uniform cells that are varying in size i.e. red blood cells.
ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS: A type of arthritis which targets the spine and sacroiliac joint ... 90% of
people with the disease carry the HLA?B27 gene. Men are three times more likely to contract the disease
over women. It happens when bone tissue replaces joint ligaments to become locked in a bent position. It
normally starts in the lower back and progresses up the spine. Often the patient is left in a bent position
as though s(he) was picking something up off the floor. Treatment at early stages would include back
exercises to prevent the back from locking up. Anti-inflammatory drugs decrease the process of the
disease (Indomethacin, Naproxen, Diclofenac).
ANKYLOSIS: Joint rigidity due to diseases or surgeries.
ANODMIA: Lack of smell.
ANODYNE: A substance that decreases pain.
ANOMALOUS: Deviating from the norm, contradictory, inconsistent.
ANOREXIA: Eating disorder that includes a fear of food and a horror at the thought of eating.

ANOSCOPE: A device used to examine the anus.

ANOSCOPY: Visual examination of the lower rectum and anus.
ANOSMIA: An absence of smell.
ANOSTOSIS: Abnormal bone formation.
ANOXEMIA: A lowering of oxygen contained in the blood.
ANOXIA: Deficiency of oxygen.
ANSERINE: Having the look or characteristic of a "goose".
ANERSINE BURSITIS: ... of the knee.
ANTAGONISM: Denoting opposition.
ANTALGIC: Analgesic.
ANTE-: A prefix (word part) meaning "before".
ANTECUBITAL: In front of the elbow.
ANTEFEBRILE: Prior to the onset of a fever.
ANTENATAL: Prior to birth.
ANTEPARTUM: Before birth.
ANTERIOR: A term used to denote the front of the body ... before.
ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT: A strong cord that extends from the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia
(lower leg bone) to stabilize the knee. People who suffer from an injury to this cord often say they felt a
pop that was then followed by swelling due to fluid buildup. Crutches are required. When the ligament is
completely torn, surgery and a long recovery time (6 months) is usually the remedy.
ANTEROLATERAL: In front and away from the middle line.
ANTEROPOSTERIOR: Abbreviated "AP". An anatomical position having the patient in a position where
the back is parallel to the film.
ANTEVERSION: The condition of an organ (usually the womb) that is abnormally tilted foreword.
ANTEVERTED: The condition of an organ that is abnormally tilted foreword.
ANTHELMINTIC: Medications which eliminate worms from the body.
ANTHRACOSIS: Lung inflammation due to breathing carbon dust.
ANTHRAX: Infection with this germ is rare ... those most at risk are butchers and people who skin
animals. It is mainly a skin ulcer accompanied by enlarged lymph nodes ... antibiotics are usually
successful treatments. Warfare anthrax is almost 100% fatal. It is spread by showering anthrax spores
(which are fetal anthrax germs) in an area. When breathed they cause a fatal pneumonia. A vaccine does
ANTI-: A prefix (word part) meaning "against".
ANTIBIOSIS: An association between two organisms which is detrimental to one of them.
ANTIBIOTIC: Substance that destroys or decreases the growth of bacteria, fungi and other
microorganisms. Typically prepared from mold-like organisms. Antibiotics are classified as either
bacteriostatic (destruction of the bacteria) or bactericidal (slows bacterial growth). A problem that can
occur through the use of antibiotics is ... infection (caused by upsetting the balance of normally benign
body bacteria to cause infections). Another drawback is the amount of people who are allergic to them.
Most oral antibiotics work best if taken on an empty stomach.
ANTIBODY: Produced by the immune system, it is a protein molecule that neutralizes foreign substances
like invading organisms.
ANTICHOLINERGICS: Medications which: 1. Alleviate muscle spasms of the intestines, 2. Affects nerve
cells or nerve fibers (drugs used for anxiety, nervousness and depression).
ANTICOAGULANTS: Medications which lessen the ability of blood to clot.
ANTICOAGULATION: Blood-thinning. Typically used to treat embolism or thrombosis.
ANTIEMETIC: Refers to a drug or treatment that prevents or relieves nausea and vomiting.
ANTIGEN: A substance that causes the body to manufacture antibodies.
ANTIGENEMIA: Detectable antigens in blood.
ANTIGENIC DRIFT: The process by which a virus will mutate to prevent destruction by the immune
ANTI-HAA: Abbreviation for ... "antibody to hepatitis antigen".
ANTI-HAV: Abbreviation for ... "antibody to the hepatitis A virus".
ANTI-HBc: Antibody to the hepatitis B core antigen. It is produced prior to and following an HBV infection

ANTI-HBe: Abbreviation for ... "antibody to the hepatitis B e Antigen".

ANTI-HBs: Abbreviation for ... "antibody to the Hepatitis B surface antigen". Note that the presence of
these antibodies indicates previous exposure to HBV, which has been cleared from the body.
vANTI-HBsAg: Antibody to the hepatitis B virus.
ANTI-HCV: Abbreviation for ... "antibody to the hepatitis C virus".
ANTI-HDV: Abbreviation for ... "antibody to the hepatitis D virus"
ANTHELMINTIC: A medication used to destroy parasitic intestinal worms.
ANTIHISTAMINE: A substance that blocks the actions of histamines in body tissues ... used in the
treatment of allergies.
ANTIHYPERTENSIVE: An agent which decreases high blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels to allow
easier flowing of blood.
ANTIOXIDANT: A substance which neutralizes oxidative reactions in the body which destroys healthy
molecules to contribute to aging and the formation of diseases. There are many antioxidant substances
like melatonin, selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, germanium, coenzyme Q10 and many others.
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID ANTIBODY SYNDROME: A situation in which the body makes antibodies against
the outer membranes (phospholipids) of body cells.
ANTIPRURITIC: An agent which alleviates itching.
vANTIPYRETIC: That which causes the reduction of fever.
ANTIRETROVIRAL: An agent which impedes or destroys a retrovirus.
ANTISEPTIC: Substances used on the skin which retards the growth of germs.
ANTISPASMODIC: Medications commonly used to deter muscle spasms and/or convulsions.
ANTI-TGF-B: Injections of this protein eliminated painful joint swelling in 75% of patients in a laboratory
study. The protein eliminates TGF-B, which is a chemical produced by the body due to infections (causes
inflammation to trigger swelling in the hands and feet).
ANTI-TOXIN: A blood substance that counteracts germ poisons.
ANTITRYPSIN: Something which interferes with trypsin (an enzyme produced in the intestines.
ANTITUSSIVE: Relieving cough.
ANTIXEROTIC: That which prevents dryness.
ANTRECTOMY: The surgical removal of an area of the stomach which manufactures hormones which
cause the secretion of acids.
ANTROTOMY: A surgical cut through the wall of any nearly closed cavity ... in particular those with bony
ANTRUM: A nearly closed body cavity.
ANTRUM CARDIACUM: The duct which connects the stomach and esophagus.
ANTRUM OF HIGHMORE: Another term for ... "maxillary sinuses".
ANURIA: Lack of urination.
ANUS: Body opening that leads to the bowels.
ANUSITIS: Inflamed area within the anus. Multiple tiny cracks develop into itching and burning sensations
within and without the anus.
ANVIL: A tiny bone in the middle ear sandwiched between the hammer and stirrup.
ANXIOLYTIC: A sedative used to treat episodes of anxiety.
AO FLEXIBLE REAMER: Surgical instrument / aid.
A&O: Abbreviation for "alert and oriented".
AORTA: top, end or tip.
APGAR SCORE: Evaluation of newborn infants physical status. The score is a sum of points based on
color, heart rate, color, reflex, and respirations.
APHAGIA: Unable to swallow.
APHASIA: Impairment or absence of communication by speech. Typically due to a stroke or trauma to the
speech-recognition region of the brain's left hemisphere. Often, other people's words are little more than
gibberish to aphasics but they seem to have an uncanny ability to detect when people are lying.
APHONIA: Inability to talk.
APHRODISIAC: An agent which causes sexual excitement.
APHTHA: A spot white in color ... a small ulcer on a mucous membrane.
APLASIA: The incomplete growth of an organ or tissue.
APTHAE: Plural of "aptha" (ulcer on a mucous membrane)

APHTHOUS: Referring to "apthae" (ulcers on a mucous membrane).

APHTHOUS STOMATITIS: Canker sores in the mouth and on the lips.
APICAL: Located at or referring to the apex.
APLASTIC ANEMIA: A large reduction in the quantity of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
APNEA: Inability to breath for short periods of time.
APOFERRITIN: Protein which stores iron in the cells of the liver (and other body cells) by uniting with iron
to produce ferritin.
APOGEE: Being in the most severe stage of a disease.
AP: Abbreviation for "anteroposterior projection". It is an anatomical position in which the patient is
standing up with the back parallel to the film.
APICOECTOMY: A small opening in the gums is made to obtain access to the root of a tooth. The area of
bone and roots is cleaned and explored. Subsequently, the tip of the root is excised and a patch is placed
(retrograde filling). Finally, sutures (stitches) are placed.. Due to its tricky nature, a specialist is normally
required for this procedure.
AP MOLD: Referred to in a report concerning a leg fracture.
APNEA: The cessation of breathing.
APNEIC: See "apnea".
APONEUROSIS: A sheet of tendon or fiber, which attaches to muscular fibers.
APOPHYSIS: Usually refers to an outgrowth from a bone.
APOPLEXY: Another term for "stroke". It results from a deficiency of blood to the brain.
APORTAL VEIN: A vein that delivers blood to the liver from most abdominal organs.
APOTHECARY: Pharmacist.
APS: Abbreviation for "antiphospholipid antibody syndrome".
APPENDECTOMY: To surgically remove the veriform appendix.
APPENDICEAL: Referring to an appendix.
APPENDICITIS: The condition of having a swollen appendix. This can be due to an internal blockage
(caused by a piece on undigested food) which impedes it's blood supply. Ultimately the inflamed appendix
bursts to release intestinal bacteria into the abdominal cavity. Removal is the cure and can be done by
laparoscopic methods in which a small incision of the abdomen is made to allow the insertion of a small
cutting tool and camera. Diagnosis can be verified with ultrasound and other types of scans.
APPENDIX: A small, hollow organ that emits antibodies. It is 2-4 inches in length with a diameter that
approximates a pencil. Removing the appendix does not appear to compromise a person's health.
APPESTAT: The area of the brain which is known to regulate hunger ... located in the hypothalamus.
APPLANATION: The flattening of the cornea due to pressure.
APPOSITION: The condition of being fitted together.
APPT: Abbreviation for "activated partial thromboplastin time".
APHTHA: A small ulcer on a mucous membrane. Plural = aphthae.
APTHOUS STOMATITIS: See "aphtha" and "stomatitis".
ARACHNOID: Denotes the covering of the brain and spinal cord ... the "arachnoidea". It is one of the
three meninges that resembles a spider's web.
ARBOVIRUS: Over 500 species of RNA viruses ranging from 40 to 100 nm or more in diameter. There
are over 500 species that are further divided into the following families: Togaviridae, Flaviviridae,
Bunyaviridae, Arenaviridae, Rhabdoviridae, Reoviridae. Approximately 100 species can infect man.
Usually the diseases produced by these viruses are very mild ... transmitted by arthropods in their saliva.
ARC: Abbreviation for ... "AIDS Related Complex".
ARCUS SENILIS: A cornea having an arch.
ARDS: Abbreviation for ... "Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome"
AREOLA: A small area ... often refers to a pigmented area of the breast.
ARGININE: An amino acid which is categorized as "nonessential". However, it may be essential for
people with certain nutritional deficiencies or diseases. It is associated with the following body processes:
1. storage of energy in muscles (creatine synthesis), 2. wound healing, 3. liver regeneration and healing,
4. muscle growth, 5. tissue repair, 6. assists in the removal of body ammonia in urea, 7. improves
immunity system in it's responses to bacteria, viruses and tumor cells.
AROGASTRALGIA: Excessive air in the stomach.

ARRHIGOSIS: A deficient ability to sense cold.

ARRHYTHMIA: Irregular rhythm.
ARTERIAL BLOOD: Bright red blood containing oxygen obtained in the lungs.
ARTERI / O: A combining word-form which means "artery".
ARTERIOGRAPHY: An x-ray procedure that requires that a special dye be injected into the blood vessel
to allow detection of diseases of organs or blood vessels.
ARTERIOGRAM: (Angiogram) X-ray films of the arteries of the heart following an injection of dye into
ARTERIOLE: A small branch from an artery.
ARTERIOPLASTY: Repair of an artery via surgical intervention.
ARTERIOSCLEROSIS: A circulatory disorder which results in thickening and stiffening of the walls of
arteries thus decreasing circulation. Although all arteries in the body can experience this condition, it is
the large ones like the aorta, coronary arteries and arteries that lead to the brain, which can lead to the
most damage
ARTERITIS: Inflammation involving an artery or arteries.
ARTERY: A blood vessel which leads from the heart carrying blood to organs, tissues and glands of the
body. A blocked artery is almost a guarantee for an upcoming heart attack. Treatment may include the
placement of a "stent".
ARTHALGIAS: Pains that affect joints.
ARTHRITIDES: Plural of "arthritis".
ARTHRITIS: Inflammation of one or more joints.
ARTHRODESIS: Securing a joint via surgery.
ARTHROPOD(A): A category of living things that includes: crabs, shrimps, crayfish, lobsters, insects,
spiders, scorpions, mites, ticks, centipedes, millipedes, horseshoe crabs, and others. Arthropoda is the
largest category of living organisms, 75% insects (over a million species).
ARTHROPLASTY: Creation of an artificial joint.
ARTHROPYOSIS: Pus within the cavity of a joint.
ARTHROSCLEROSIS: Stiffened joints.
ARTHROSCOPY: A procedure by which an incision(s) is made for the purpose of inserting optical
instruments into a joint. The joint can then be "worked" to clean it of debris and smoothed out. The
procedure (usually performed on knees and hips) can result in years of relief from pain.
ARTICULAR: Pertaining to a joint.
ARTICULATE: A junction where two or more bones meet.
A.S.: Abbreviation for "left ear".
ASA: Abbreviation for "acetylsalicylic acid". It is an active ingredient of Aspirin and Entrophen. It is used
for pain and prevention of heart attack.
ASB: Abbreviation for "anesthesia stand by".
ASCARIASIS: Roundworm invasion of the body.
ASCITES: Also called "dropsy". Effusion and accumulation of serous fluid in the abdominal cavity. This
occurs when the blood flow through the liver is obstructed. Ascites often occurs with cirrhosis of the liver.
ASCITIC: Refers to ascites (effusion and accumulation of serous fluid in the abdominal cavity).
ASCORBIC ACID: The chemical name for Vitamin C.
ASCUS: Abbreviation for "atypical squamoous cells of uncertain significance". These cells are not cancer
... they are often reported from Pap test.
ASD: Abbreviation for "atrioseptal defect".
ASEPSIS: Without infection or materials which can cause infections.
ASEPTIC: Without infection.
ASEPTIC NECROSIS: Death of bone tissue due to an interruption of blood supply to that area. It is often
associated with lupus and long-term use of cortisone drugs. The most commonly affected areas are hips
and joints.
ASHD: Abbreviation for "Atherosclerotic Heart Disease".
ASHEN:A side facing a given direction.
ASPHYXIA: A cessation of breathing.
ASPIRATE: The substance or material obtained by aspiration.
ASPIRATION: To inhale.

ASPIRATOR: A device used to remove fluids via suction.

ASSAY: 1. Examine. 2. Any test performed for analytical purposes.
AST: Abbreviation for "aspartate aminotransferase".
ASTEROCOCCUS: Also called ... "mycoplasma". A biological classification of anaerobic bacteria. They
do not have true cell walls but rather a three-layered membrane. These bacteria are found in humans and
animals and can cause disease.
-ASTHENIA: A suffix which means ... "weakness".
ASTERIXIS: Involuntary jerky motions.
ASTHENIC: Being in a state of weakness.
ASTHMA: A chronic lung disease ... sudden narrowing of the airways of the lungs ... corrected with
medications. Symptoms include breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness and/or coughing. In the year
2000 there is no cure but can often be relieved by getting rid of household animals. Relieving an asthma
attack in modern society is usually obtained through the use of "puffers" (bronchodilators), which causes
the airways to relax. When biopsies are performed on asthmatic patients it is found that virtually all have
chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes. This paved the way for modern treatment that includes the
use of inhaled anti-inflammatory drugs to treat this root cause. It is noted that frequent use of 'puffers"
causes the airways to stop responding to this medication. NOTE: According to Dr. Stephen Paul Shepard
- in his book titled "Healing Energies" he states "Vitamin D and calcium were very helpful in controlling
ASTIGMATISM: A condition which causes a loss of acuity of vision. It is a result of an uneven curvature of
the membrane (outer) of the eye,
ASTRINGENT: A substance normally applied topically to cause contraction.
ASYMPTOMATIC: Not symptomatic (showing symptoms of a particular disease).
ASYNERGY: Lacking coordination.
ASYSTOLE: Absence of heartbeat.
ATACTITIA: Lacking the sense of touch.
ATAXIA: A blocked ability to coordinate muscle movements often results in a stumbling gait.
ATELECTASIS: An abnormal collapse of lung tissue.
ATG: Abbreviation for "antihymocyte globulin".
ATHEROSCLEROSIS: The accumulation of fatty deposits in the inner walls of arteries. It is the most
common form of "arteriosclerosis".
ATHEROSCLEROTIC HEART DISEASE: A disorder which is caused by the buildup of plaque on vessel
ATHETOID: Unrelenting, continuous motion caused by a type of cystic fibrosis.
ATHLETE'S FOOT: An infection of the foot caused by a fungus. Symptoms include cracking and itching
of the skin, which can include blisters.
ATHR / O: A combining word-form that means "joint".
ATLAS: The uppermost vertebra of the spinal column which supports the head.
ATOMIZATION: Turning a liquid into a mist.
ATONIC: Weakness of a muscle.
ATOPIC: A type of allergic response associated hay fever, bronchial asthma or skin problems. It is
sometimes acquired following hepatitis or contact with alcohol or other solvents for long periods of time.
ATOPY: Someone who reacts to environmental triggers that do not affect most people. Atopic illnesses
include hay fever, asthma and atopic dermatitis.
ATRESIA: Absence of a normal opening or normally patent lumen.
ATRIA: The upper chambers of the heart.
ATRIAL FIBRILLATION: A fairly common, seldom harmful variance in the heart beat (flutter) in which the
two upper chambers of the heart quiver instead of beating effectively.
ATRIAL SEPTUM: The muscular wall which divides the upper chambers of the heart (atria).
ATRICHIA: Lack of body hair.
ATRIUM: A term used to designate a chamber ... usually of the heart.
ATROPHIC: Denoting atrophy.
ATROPHIC GASTRITIS: Constant irritation of the lining of the stomach resulting in it's necrosis (wasting

ATROPHY: A wasting (decrease in the size) of tissue, organs or cells.

ATTENDING PHYSICIAN: A physician who has completed post graduate education and is currently a
member of the hospital faculty. The "attending" is responsible for all patient's whose charts bear his/her
ATYPIA: Another word for ... "not typical".
AUDIOGENIC SEIZURE: A seizure that resembles and epileptic attach which commences due to a
specific sound (usually high in pitch).
AUDITORY CANAL: Outer area of the ear.
AURA: A visual sensory stimulation which occurs prior to the beginning of a migraine headache or
epileptic seizure.
AURAL: Referring to the ear.
AURICLE: The portion of the external ear not contained within the head.
AUROTHERAPY: Treatment which includes the use of gold.
AUSCULTATION: Listening to body sounds with the aid of a stethoscope.
AUSTIN MOORE: Hip prosthesis.
AUTISM: A biological disorder which affects approximately one in 500 children. It inhibits electrical
connections in the brain. Symptoms include a failure to use the word "I", lack of conversation, resistance
to being held, indifference to pain, lack of interest in others, lack of eye contact with others, obsessive
and/or repeated behaviors. In the year 2000 there is no known cure for autism but improvement can be
attained at early ages. Autism Research Institute, 4182 Adams Ave, San Diego, California 92116
AUTO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "self".
AUTOCLAVE: Sterilizing device.
AUTOGENUOUS: Produced by the self.
AUTOHYPNOSIS: Referring to self-induced hypnotism.
AUTOLOGOUS TRANSFUSION: A transfusion of one's own blood that had been previously collected
and stored.
AUTOLYSIS: The post-mortem (after death) destruction of cells (due to enzymes).
AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM: A portion of the central nervous system which supplies internal
organs ... sympathetic and parasympathetic.
AUTOSOMAL DOMINANT: A gene which (when on a non-sex chromosome) produces a specific effect
whenever present.
AUTOSOMAL RECESSIVE: A gene which (when on a non-sex chromosome) produces a specific effect
only when two copies of it are present.
AUTOSPLENECTOMY: The degradation of the spleen caused by fibrosis and shrinkage ... may occur
with sickle cell anemia.
AUXILIARY-LIVER TRANSPLANTATION: A surgical procedure that does not remove the liver, but
replaces only a part of it.
AV: Abbreviation for "arteriovenous"; "Atrioventricular".
AVASCULAR: A term which refers to an area of the body that is not receiving sufficient blood.
AVASCULAR NECROSIS: Death of bone tissue due to an interruption of blood supply to that area. It is
often associated with lupus and long-term use of cortisone drugs. The most commonly affected areas are
hips and joints.
AVNRT: Abbreviation for "Atrioventricular nodal re-entry tachycardia".
AVULSION: Separate by tearing any part of a structure. Full thickness.
AXILLA: Armpit.
AXILLARY: Relating to or located near the axilla.
AXILOFEMORAL: Referring to the femoral and axillary arteries.
AXONS: Long strings of nerve cells which carry information up and down the spinal cord.
AYURVEDIC MEDICINE: An ancient form of healing that originated in India. The basic principle is ...
health is not merely the absence of disease - it is a state of balance, which involves the mind, body, spirit
and environment. Good health can be obtained through lifestyle modifications and natural therapies ...
disease results from stresses in the consciousness. Treatment of an existing ailment includes the
following: 1. Diet, 2. yoga, 3. meditation, 4. blending of mind-body-spirit.
AZEOTROPE: Two liquids that vaporize at approximately the same rate.

AZEOTROPHY: See "azeotrope".

AZOTEMIA: Excess nitrogen in the blood ... typically results in kidney failure.
AZYGOUS: Single ... unpaired.
AZYGOUS VEIN: One of the seven veins of the chest.

B-12: Vitamin used by the blood and bone marrow to aid in the production of red blood cells. A substance
called "intrinsic factor" is produced by the stomach to allow absorption of B-12 into the blood stream.
"Pernicious anemia" is what results from a lack of "intrinsic factor". Methods of treating B-12 deficiency
includes injections, oral pills and nasal gel. Oral treatments are effective only in large doses (if little or no
intrinsic factor). For example, the daily requirement of B-12 is 2.4 micrograms. However, 1,000-2,000
micrograms would be required for oral dosage. The other alternative, a nasal gel called "Nascobal" is also
B-COMPLEX: B-complex vitamins have a reputation as membrane stabilizers. They help with the
functioning of nerves and are natural anti-stress vitamins. They are taken with food because on an
empty stomach they often induce pain and nausea. When the B-complex is adequately absorbed
into the body the urine will have a pungent odor and bright yellow color (due to the
B-LYMPHOCYTES: Essential components of the immunity system ... they are responsible for the
production of antibodies.
BABINSKI'S REFLEX: A reflex for determining loss of brain control over lower extremities. It
consists of extending the big toe upward and fanning the other toes when the sole of the foot is
stroked. This reflex is normal in newborn infants; it is abnormal in children and adults and may
indicate brain injury.
BABINSKI'S SIGN: See Babinski's Reflex.
BACILLEMIA: The occurrence of bacillus bacteria in the blood.
BACILLURIA: The occurrence of bacillus bacteria in the urine.
BACILLUS: Classification of bacteria.
BACITRACIN: Pronounced "bas i tration"; an antibacterial medication.
BACTERIA: A one celled, living organism which reproduces by subdividing ... they are classified
for their behavior and shape. Most approximately one micron in diameter.
BACTERIUM: A one celled, living organism which reproduces by subdividing ... they are classified
for their behavior and shape. Most are approximately one micron in diameter.
BACTEREMIA: A condition in which bacteria is present in the blood ... especially dangerous for
people with problematic heart valves or weakened immune systems.
BACTERIAL ENDOCARDITIS: Infection of the heart's valves which can cause them to become
leaky or narrowed. Vancomycin is typically used to destroy the invading bacteria.
BACTERIAURIA: Bacteria in the urine.
BACTERICIDE: An agent which destroys bacteria.
BACTERIOPHAGE: A type of virus which combines with virtually all groups of bacteria. Under
certain conditions they may destroy bacterial cells.
BACTERIOSTATIC: An antibiotic which prevents the growth of bacteria.
BAGGING: The process of assisting a patient who has trouble breathing by using a hand-held
squeeze bag (attached to a face mask).
BAG OF WATERS: The fluid that surrounds an embryo ... it acts as a shock absorber and
temperature regulator.
BALANITIS: Inflammation of the clitoris or penis.
BALANUS: The tip of the clitoris or penis.
BALLOTTMENT: Maneuver in physical exam to determine the size of an organ not near the
BAND CELL: A type of neutrophil found in the blood of patients with bacterial infections.

BANDS: Immature form of polymorphonuclear neutrophils.

BANTI'S DISEASE: Chronic, congestive, enlarged spleen which typically occurs in children. Often
seen after hypertension in the portal or splenic veins. Anemia, thrombosis of the veins,
gastrointestinal bleeding, cirrhosis of the liver and leukopenia are usually observed in various
BARBITURATES: A category of sleeping medications. Categorized as long-lasting (Phenobarbital
used as an anticonvulsant for epileptic seizures), intermediate-lasting, short-lasting and ultra
short-lasting (i.e. thiopental used for IV anesthesia). It is to be noted that many of these drugs
have a high potential for abuse and have been known to kill when taken with alcohol. Most have
been replaced with benzodiazepines.
BARD: A type of endoscope (An examining instrument used in body canals or body organs.).
BARD'S SIGN: Pertaining to nystagmus of the eye ... it is an increase of rapid eyeball movements.
BARICELLA: Skin rash.
BARIUM ENEMA: An enema which uses the metal, barium. Barium sulfate is given to the patient
by way of the rectum as a method of enhancing an x-ray picture of the colon and rectum.
BARRIUM MEAL: Barium sulfate is given to the patient by way of the mouth as a method of
enhancing an x-ray picture of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
BARRIUM SOLUTION: A diagnostic procedure in which a liquid which contains barium sulfate
enhances an x-ray film outlining the organs of the body.
BARNACLES: Also called "seborrheic keratoses". They are patches of skin that vary in size from
0.33 inch to several inches. They can be black, brown or yellow and appear as though they have
been glued to the skin. The surfaces can have small cracks that can give the appearance of
cauliflower. They can also have a smooth appearance. They occur in families and do not result in
cancer. They can be removed with liquid nitrogen or a curette.
BAROTRAUMA: A physical injury that occurs from exposure to increased environmental
BARRETT'S ESOPHAGITIS (Syndrome): Peptic ulcer in the lower esophagus. Caused by corrosive
stomach acids which backup into the esophagus.
BARTHOLIN'S DUCT: The duct that is located under the tongue and drains the sublingual gland ...
named for a Danish anatomist (1655-1738)
BASAL: Referring to the fundamental or basic.
BASAL GANGLIA: 1. The large, grey matter masses located at the base of the cerebral
BASAL METABOLIC RATE: The most decreased rate that an individual can consume energy and
still remain alive.
BASELINE: That which is considered to be normal. In medicine the term is used as a number for
comparison purposes.
BASILAR ARTERY INSUFFIENCY SYNDROME: A lack of blood flow through the basilar artery at
the base of the skull which can cause dizziness, weakness on one side of the body, speech
BASILIC VEIN: A vein located on the inner area of the upper arm.
BASKET SHARVER: Surgical instrument / aid ... currently being researched.
BASOPHIL: A microscopic element such as a cell which stains readily with basic dyes ... an
irregularly shaped, granular leukocyte which releases vasoactive amines like histamine and
serotonin which can be released upon proper stimulation.
BATTARISM: A condition of stuttering.
BATTERY: A grouping of similar things i.e., a battery of tests.
BATTLE'S OPERATION: For appendicitis in which the rectus muscle is temporarily retracted.
BATTLE'S SIGN: A small area of bleeding under the skin, behind the ear.
B BILE: Bile from the gallbladder.
BCEG: Abbreviation for a test which detects BUN/Creatinine.
B CELL: Also called ... "B lymphocyte". White blood cell of the pancreas and hypophysis that
makes antibodies to fight infections caused by foreign proteins.
B-COMPLEX: B-complex vitamins have a reputation as membrane stabilizers. They help with the

functioning of nerves and are natural anti-stress vitamins. They are taken with food because on an
empty stomach they often induce pain and nausea. When the B-complex is adequately absorbed
into the body the urine will have a pungent odor and bright yellow color (due to the
B-D SENSABILITY BREAST SELF-EXAMINATION AID: A plastic pad filled with a liquid designed to
be placed over the female breast to improve tactile sensitivity (touch).
bDNA: A test that indicates small amounts of RNA and DNA in the bloodstream ... for example
RNA fragments
bDNA ASSAY: A test that indicates the presence of minute quantities of RNA or DNA in blood ...
for example, hepatitis causes fragments of RNA in the blood stream.
BED BUG: Round, flat insects that are found in temperate and tropical areas. They can be found in
furniture and beds and feed on human blood.
BEHCET DISEASE: A chronic illness which features periodic flare-ups. Symptoms include
headaches, stomach pain, mouth ulcers (which resemble canker sores), diarrhea and bloody
stools. Sometimes blindness can result without treatment. The symptoms are a result of blood
vessel inflammation. The disease is linked to areas of the world like Turkey and Iran.
BELL'S PALSY: Facial paralysis that can affect one side of the face or both. It often results in a
closed eye and facial droop. It is typically due to dysfunction of the 7th cranial nerve (probably
due to a viral infection or a lesion of the facial nerve).
BENIGN: Not harmful, not a threat to health.
BENIGN PAROXYSMAL POSITIONAL VERTIGO: A sensation of motion like the room spinning out
of control. It is caused by calcium fragments that make their way to the inner ear fluid to send
vertigo signals to the brain. Sometimes it can be cured with head movements called "epley
BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERTROPHY: The most common prostate problem. Symptoms include
inflammation, increased visits to the bathroom, reduced force and caliber of urine, burning with
urination, chronic constipation, trouble starting or stopping a urine stream, painful ejaculation,
infertility. More serious symptoms include constant pain or stiffness in the pelvis, hips, upper
thigh or lower back, loss of weight, exhaustion, nausea/vomiting, blood in urine or semen.
BERIBERI: Disease which results from a deficiency of vitamin B.
BERNSTEIN RTEST: A procedure which identifies whether heartburn is caused by acid entering
the esophagus. Typically, a tube is placed in the esophagus and an acid (similar to that found in
the stomach) is dripped into it for the purpose of duplicating a patient's symptoms.
BERYLLIOSIRS: Beryllium poisoning.
BETA: 1. The second letter of the Greek alphabet. 2. The symbol for hemoglobin's b chain.
BETA 2 - AGONIST: Bronchodilator used to relax muscles in constricted airways.
BETA BLOCKER: Drugs which lowers blood pressure and decreases the risk of heart disease. A
substance that blocks responses to impulses at the beta receptor site of a neurotransmitter or
hormone. It lowers blood pressure by interrupting beta nerves to the heart, thus slowing it down.
It has been suggested that using these medications can cause a modest increase the risk of
diabetes. Examples of these drugs are Blocadren, Corgard, Inderal, Lopressore, Tenormin.
BETA-CAROTENE One of the many carotenoids found in orange and green vegetables and fruit ...
it is the pigment that accounts for the orange color. It is converted to vitamin A in the body and is
important in maintaining a healthy - immune system ... reproductive system ... good night vision ...
healthy skin. SOURCES: Sources include carrots, squash, sweet potato, spinach, apricots, pink
grapefruit and cantaloupe. Carotenoids are antioxidants that neutralize free radicals which can
cause disease and aging. Beta-carotene is absorbed into the wall of the intestines where it is
converted into vitamin A as the body needs it. It can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and
multiple forms of cancer.
BETAMYLASE: An enzyme which breaks down starch to sugar; found in vegetables, grains, malt.
BETA SUBUNIT TEST: Currently being researched.
BEZOAR: A formation in the alimentary canal like a foodball or hairball.
BI-: A prefix (word part) meaning "two".
BIARTICULAR: Refers to two joints.
BIBASILAR: Used in one report to describe rales; bibasilar refers to the base of the skull.
BICEPS: Muscle in the upper arm.

BICUSPID: 1) Referring to a heart valve. 2) A premolar tooth.

BID: Correctly spelled ... b.i.d.. It is an abbreviation for Latin bis in die (twice a day).
BIDUOUS: Something which last for two days i.e., a fever.
BIER BLOCK ANESTHESIA: Currently being researched.
BIFASCICULAR: See "fasciculus".
BIGEMINY: The condition of occurring in pairs, especially the occurrence of two beats of the
pulse in rapid succession.
BILE: Also called ... "gall". A yellow substance released by the liver for the purpose of digesting
fats in the small intestines. The fluid is injected into the intestines (small) through the bile ducts.
Bile is also found in the gallbladder.
BILE ACID SEQUESTRANTS: A type of medication which lowers cholesterol by binding with it in
the intestines and then removing it via bowel movements. Examples include: colestipol and
BILE CANALICULI: Also called ... "bile capillaries". Tiny, intercellular channels that occur between
liver cells whose function it is to carry bile in the direction of the bile ducts.
BILE CAPPILLARIES: Also called ... "bile canaliculi". Tiny, intercellular channels that occur
between liver cells whose function it is to carry bile in the direction of the bile ducts.
BILE DUCT: Also called ... "biliary duct". 1. Any of the ducts that transport bile from the liver or
gallbladder to the duodenum Examples include: common bile duct, cystic bile duct and hepatic
bile duct. 2. A vessel that carries digestive fluids from the liver to the small intestines.
BILE DUCT - COMMON: The bile duct which occurs where the cystic and hepatic ducts unite. It
excretes bile into a small nipple-like growth at the duodenum.
BILE DUCT OBSTRUCTION - EXTRAHEPATIC: Also called ... "surgical jaundice". A blockage
which impedes the flow of bile through the cystic bile duct, common bile duct, cystic bile duct or
Vater's ampulla.
BILE DUCTS - EXTRAHEPATIC: Passageways which transport bile outside of the liver ... examples
include: the common bile duct, common hepatic duct.
BILE DUCT STRICTURE: A narrowing of the common bile duct which may result in abdominal
pain, chills, fever and/or jaundice. This condition may due to gallstones, pancreatitis, prior
surgery or trauma.
BILE NEPHROSIS: Renal failure seen with patients who experience liver failure. Symptoms:
abdominal swelling, diminished urine output, delirium, nausea, vomiting, jaundice. People with
alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis are at risk.
BILE PERITONITIS: Inflammation of the thin membrane (peritoneum) that covers most of the
abdominal organs due to escape of bile into the peritoneal cavity.
BILE REFLUX: A backward or return flow of bile into the digestive tract and pancreas.
BILE VESSEL: A tiny channel located in the liver which transports bile.
BILI-: A prefix that indicates a relationship to bile.
BILIARY: Referring to bile, bile ducts or the gallbladder.
BILIARY ATRESIA: A situation from birth in which liver bile is unable to reach the intestine due to
bile ducts which have not fully developed.
BILIARY CIRRHOSIS: A disease of the liver in which there is a necrosis (death) of the liver and bile
ducts ... considered irreversible.
BILIARY CIRRHOSIS OF CHILDREN: A congenital (A condition present from birth but not always
inherited) absence of a normal opening of the bile ducts causing biliary cirrhosis (a disease of the
liver in which there is death of the liver and bile ducts ... considered irreversible).
BILIARY CIRRHOTIC LIVER: A liver which has clogged and distended bile ducts ... the liver
becomes inflamed ... it is a result of biliary cirrhosis (a disease of the liver in which there s death
of the liver and bile ducts).
BILIARY COLIC: Intense pain located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen ... typically
caused by a gallstone moving from the bladder or through bile ducts.
BILIARY ENDOPROSTHESIS: A stent (slender rod) inserted into a bile duct to allow the flow of
BILIARY PERITONITIS: Peritoneum inflammation due to escaped bile into the peritoneal cavity.
BILIARY SCAN: A test which seeks to identify gallbladder inflammation of and obstruction of a
bile duct by using a special radioactive dye which primarily collects in the liver ... it then makes

it's way to the gallbladder since it is excreted in the bile. An image is then produced via a "gamma
BILIARY STENOSIS: A narrowing of a bile duct.
BILIARY STRICTURE: A narrowing the biliary tract due to scar tissue (due to disease, injury,
gallstones, infection, pancreatitis, etcetera).
BILIARY TRACT: The ducts and tracts that bile travels through as it is being transported from the
liver (to ducts, organs and other structures) ... typically it refers to the bile ducts in the liver, the
common bile duct which connects the liver/gallbladder to the small intestines, and the cystic duct
which travels between the gallbladder and common bile duct.
BILIGENESIS: The manufacture of bile.
BILIOUS: Relating to bile.
BILIRUBIN: It comes from the breakdown of hemoglobin. Daily, a significant number of old red
blood cells die and release their hemoglobin which is converted into bilirubin, which, in turn, the
liver transforms into a substance that becomes a part of bile. Yellow skin can often be attributed
to the pigment bilirubin due to a malfunctioning liver which fails to transform bilirubin into
substances that are eliminated by the body. Note that infants often exhibit yellow skin because
their livers have not yet developed to full capacity. In fact most infants have this phenomenon
after birth. If the levels of bilirubin are too high then brain damage can occur. Often treatment
entails the shining of a special light on the baby which transforms the bilirubin into compounds
which the body eliminates as bile. No functions of the body require bilirubin however, it can be
an indicator of liver health. A rise is bilirubin in the blood can indicate : 1) liver problems, 2)
abnormal, premature destruction of red blood cells.
BILIRUBINEMIA: Blood which contains bilirubin.
BILIRUBINURIA: Urine which contains bilirubin.
BILLIFUSCIN: A derivative of bilirubin typically found in gallstones and old bile.
BILLROTH: Surgeon in Austria 1829-1894 ... disease ... operation.
BILLROTH I ANASTOMOSIS: Also called ... "Billroth's operation I". A removal of the tube shaped
part of the stomach which leads into the small intestines (pylorus) with a combining of the
stomach and duodenum.
BILOBATE: Something which has two lobes.
BILOMA: A localized deposit of bile occurring in the peritoneal cavity.
BILURIA: Urine which contains bile pigments.
BIOAVAILABILITY: < The length of time (following administration) that it takes for a medication (or
other agent) to be delivered to the area where it is intended.
BIOENGINEERING: Also called ... "genetic engineering". The development of chemicals that do
not normally occur in nature.
BIOFEEDBACK: 1. A method which enables individuals to control internal body functions which
are normally automatic ... i.e., heartbeat, temperature. These techniques can be effective for
migraines, Raynaud's disease, back pain, etc.. 2. A technique which seeks to gain control over
body functions (like brain waves, body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, etcetera) which
usually do not require conscious thought. The body function is typically monitored on an
electronic device while the patient undergoes a guided relaxation procedure.
BIOFLAVONOIDS: 1) A vitamin complex which occurs with vitamin C ... rutin and hesperidin are
examples. See Vitamin P. 2) A category of flavones found in fruits which have been identified as
assisting in the absorption of vitamin C.
BIOLOGICAL RESPONSE MODIFIERS: Substances which affect the operations of the immune
system ... they include interferons, interleukins, thymic hormones and monoclonal antibodies.
BIOLOGICAL THERAPY: Also called ... "immunotherapy therapy". Boosting the immune system to
fight a disease/ailment.
BIOPSY: The removal of body tissue for the purpose of analysis.
BIOPSY NEEDLE: A surgical instrument used to biopsy deep tissues.
BIOPSY NEEDLE ASPIRATION: A surgical instrument in which biopsy tissue is removed into a
syringe by aspiration.
BIOSYN: Type of suture material.
BIOTECHNOLOGY: 1. The application of science in the use of living organisms or their products
to develop new products and processes. 2. The use of live organisms to manufacture or modify

chemical substances.
BIOTIN: A B vitamin which is manufactured in the intestines and assists in the synthesis of amino
acids into protein. It also helps in the breakdown of sugars, fats and also is important in the
metabolism (The process within the body that maintains and produces life) of carbohydrates. It is
associated with the health of sweat glands, bone marrow, nerve tissues, skin, hair and assists in
the growth of cells. It is required for the proper operation f other B-complex vitamins in the body.
BIOX: A term sometimes used to refer to "pulse ox".
BIPAP: Abbreviation for "Bi Level Positive Airway Pressure".
BIPARTITE: Consisting of 2 parts or divisions.
BIPOLAR DISEASE: A mental disorder characterized by periods of mania followed by periods of
BISMUTH SUBSALICYLATE: The active ingredient found in Pepto-Bismol for the treatment of
diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion and nausea and ulcers (due to Helicobacter pylori).
BITTER: Medicine having a bitter taste.
BITTERS: A term used to describe alcoholic medications.
BJORK-SHILEY: Type of artificial aortic valve.
BKA: Abbreviation for "below knee amputation".
BLACK DEATH: Bubonic plague.
BLACK LUNG DISEASE: Also called "Irritation of the lungs due to inhaling coal dust.
BLADDER: Pelvic organ which stores urine.
BLADDER BLADE: Surgical instrument. Currently being researched.
BLAKESLEY FORCEPS: Surgical instrument ... Currently being researched.
BLANCH: To whiten by removing color.
BLAST: An immature stage of cell development ... see "blastocyte".
BLASTOCYTE: A cell contained in the embryo. They are primitive cells which later develop into
more specialized ones later.
BLEB: Large flaccid vesicle ... blister.
BLEPHARITIS: An inflammation of the eye lid which is a highly contagious infection.
BLEPHAR / O: A combining word-form which means "eyelid"
BLEPHAROPLEGIA: Eyelid paralysis.
BLEPHAROPTOSIS: Eyelid drooping.
BLOOD: 1. A complex fluid which contains individual cells that have specific functions on the
body. The liquid portion of the blood is called plasma (minus red blood cells, platelets). 2. The
circulating "tissue" in the body which consists of plasma containing solid elements like red blood
cells, white blood cells and platelets. Blood transports nutrition to the tissues of the body and
then removes waste products and carbon dioxide for excretion.
BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER: A barrier which prevents some components of blood from passing into
brain tissue. Some compounds easily cross the barriers while others are completely blocked.
BLOOD CHOLESTEROL: Cholesterol either manufactured in the liver or obtained through diet
which circulates in the blood.
BLOOD CLOT: Mass of blood within a blood vessel which has coagulated ... can cause pain and
swelling. Clots in the thighs are dangerous because a piece can break off and be carried through
the blood system to the lungs. When this happens it may lodge in a smaller blood vessel and
cause an obstruction to that area which results in death of tissue. Calf blood clots are much less
likely to dislodge. The clots are typically prevented from growing by use of blood thinner
medications like Coumadin (it is the tail of a growing clot which is most likely to break away).
BLOOD COUNT: A study to determine the quantity of red and white blood cells contained in a
cubic millimeter of blood.
BLOOD CULTURE: Blood sample which is tested for bacteria and/or other micro-organisms.
BLOOD GASES: The content of gases in blood (typically arterial).
BLOOD GAS DETERMINATION: An analysis of PH in the blood ... it is important for evaluating
heart failures, bleeding, kidney failure, drug overdose, shock, diabetes, severe stress.
BLOOD IN URINE: Can be a harmless genetic trait. The medical industry takes it quite serious
because it can be an indication of cancer. Note that cancer is not the most common reason for
blood in the urine.

BLOOD PRESSURE READINGS: It is the measurement of pressure exerted against the walls of
blood vessels. An ideal blood pressure would be less than 130 over less than 85, i.e., 129/84. High
normal readings are first numbers of 130?139 and second numbers between 85 and 89. Normal for
children is different from adults with a pressure of 126/82 being high at age 10 (134/90 severe).
Note that when a blood pressure is outside of the normal limits that a difference between the two
numbers of 60 or more can indicate artery hardening. Prior to taking blood pressure readings one
should abstain from nicotine, caffeine and exercise for 30 minutes ... then, rest in a chair for five
minutes prior to inflating the blood pressure cuff.
BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS: A technique which involves the transfer of blood from a donor to a
patient. Blood is collected from the donor after carefully matching blood types using the ABO
system, Rh positive or negative and screening of other antibodies. Usually only the red blood
cells are used while the plasma and platelets are separated. White blood cells are not used
because they are related to the immune system and can prove to be fatal in another body. A bag
of blood is called a "unit" and a transfusion may consist of 6-10 units of platelets or 2-4 units of
red blood cells. Typical side effects that result from a less than perfect match includes chills and
fever which are controlled with steroids, antihistamines and acetaminophen. More serious effects
can include AID's and hepatitis.
BLOOD TYPE: A method of classifying blood based on the types of proteins on the surface of red
blood cells. Blood is typed A, B, O or AB.
BLOOD UREA NITROGEN: A waste product contained in blood and urine ... the amount can be an
indicator as to kidney function and/or dehydration.
BLUE BABY: An infant born having a blue overall color ... typically due to a heart problem.
B LYMPHOCYTES: Blood cells manufactured in bone marrow and the spleen which are associated
with the immune system. B lymphocytes are present in all body fluids and their functions include
... detecting foreign invaders, production of antibodies.
BMD: Abbreviation for "bone mineral density" test.
BNC: Abbreviation for "bladder neck contracture".
BNP: An important blood test in cardiology. It is a tool that helps diagnose and treat heart failure
based on B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP). An assay for BNP can be used to diagnose heart
failure, and can also be used to asess the effectiveness of therapy.
BOIL: Skin infection.
BOLUS: 1. A large amount of medication usually given intravenously. 2. A dose of a drug. 3.
Chewed food.
BONE MARROW: v Soft material located in the cavities of bones which contributes to the
manufacture of blood cells.
BONE MARROW HARVEST: A treatment for some forms of cancer and immunologic diseases
which may otherwise be fatal. The basic idea is to remove the bone marrow (1-2 quarts) from the
hip of a donor and transplant it into a recipient. The operation takes between 2-3 hours
BONE SPIKE: Surgical instrument / aid.
BONE SPUR: A condition which occurs when tissue is irritated ... the body tries to protect the area
by producing a calcium "patch" (spur) ... calcium deposit which covers an inflamed plantar fascia
for relief.
BORBORYGMI: Also called ... "stomach growling". Sounds created by gases moving through the
BORBORYGMUS: Rumbling or gurgling noises produced by gas in the alimentary canal.
BOTSFORD: Michigan Hospital.
BOTULISM: A type of food poisoning caused by anaerobic bacteria which do not require oxygen
for survival. Often contracted from canned good.
BOUCHARD'S DISEASE: A muscular tissue disorder involving a stretching of the stomach.
BOUGIE: A surgical instrument shaped like a cylinder which is used to dilate constricted areas
like the esophagus or urethra ... may contain a medication.
BOUQUET FEVER: Also called ... "aden fever", "dengue", breakbone fever", "dandy fever", "date
fever", "dengue fever", "exanthesis arthrosia", "polka fever", "scarlatina rheumatica", "solar
fever". A viral disease which exists in tropical and subtropical areas of the world ... transmitted by
mosquitos. Grade I symptoms are fever and general constitutional problems. Grade II symptoms
are the same as Grade I but with spontaneous bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, gums and

skin. Grade III symptoms are the same as the first two but with circulatory failure added. Grade IV
symptoms add to the first three profound shock.
BOVIE: A surgical instrument used to dissect / cauterize.
BOWELS: The term used to identify both the large and small intestines.
BOWEN'S DISEASE: Carcinoma of the intraepidermal ... symptoms include pink or brown papules
covered with a thick horny layer.
BOXER'S FRACTURE: A fracture of the hand, fifth metacarpal.
BMI: Abbreviation for "body mass index".
BPPV: Abbreviation for "benign paroxysmal positional vertigo".
BRACHI / O: A combining word-form which means "arm".
BRACHIAL: Relating to the arm.
BRACHIOCEPHALIC: Refers to the head and arm.
BRACHYTHERAPY: Also called "seed therapy". A treatment for prostate cancer that involves the
delivery of radioactive seeds into the prostate gland. One advantage of this procedure is that it
requires little time (approximately an hour) and does not require hospitalization. Since the
radiation is confined to the prostate there is little chance that it will harm other outside tissues.
BRADY-: A prefix (word part) meaning "slow".
BRADYCARDIA: Regular, but slow heartbeat contractions (less than 60 beats per minute) ... may
be abnormal but may be normal in physically fit people.
BRAIDISM: Hypnosis.
BRAIN ANEURYSM: Bulges in brain arteries that are weak points which may break and cause
catastrophic bleeding. Note that people with large brain aneurysms are more likely to develop
multiple aneurysms and die within three months of detection than those with small aneurysms.
Also, smoking has been linked with larger aneurysms.
BRAIN SEIZURE: A sudden discharge in brain cells of electrical energy that can result in
unresponsiveness. Typically a person falls to the ground with arms and legs flailing.
BRAIN STEM: An area of the brain containing nerve cables, brain centers and other important
brain cells. It is approximately the size of a postage stamp.
BRAT DIET: Bland Diet.
BREAKBONE FEVER: Also called ... "aden fever", "bouquet fever", "dengue", "dandy fever", "date
fever", "dengue fever", "exanthesis arthrosia", "polka fever", "scarlatina rheumatica", "solar
fever". A viral disease which exists in tropical and subtropical areas of the world ... transmitted by
mosquitos. Grade I symptoms are fever and general constitutional problems. Grade II symptoms
are the same as Grade I but with spontaneous bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, gums and
skin. Grade III symptoms are the same as the first two but with circulatory failure added. Grade IV
symptoms add to the first three profound shock.
BRIGHT'S DISEASE: A kidney disease.
BRIMSTONE LIVER: An enlarged liver (dark yellow in color) which sometimes occurs with
congenital syphilis.
BROACH: A surgical instrument / aid which is long and tapered for shaping and enlarging a hole.
BRONCHI: The two branches of the windpipe (trachea) leading to the lungs ... the lung airways.
BRONCHIAL TUBES: Airway passages that bring breathed air to the lungs.
BRONCHIECTASIS: Dilation of breathing tubes.
BRONCHIOLITIS: Viral infection of the small airways of the lungs (bronchioles) which primarily
affects young children.
BRONCHIOLITIS OBLITERANS: Lung inflammation combined with scarring and obstruction of
small airways (also called "BOOP").
BRONCHITIS: An inflammation of the bronchi (primary tubes used for breathing which leads into
the lungs) which causes these airways to narrow. Chronic bronchitis is usually productive of a
thick, yellow sputum due to the airways filling with pus.
BRONCHODILATOR: Also known as Beta 2 - agonists which relax muscles in constricted airways.
BRONCHOSPASM: 1. A restriction of airflow into the lungs due to a constricture (narrowing) of
lung airways. This condition may be caused by asthma, allergies, lung disease, infection. 2. A
constriction (narrowing) of the airways of the lungs due to muscle contractions and/or

inflammation. The condition may result from allergies, asthma, infections or lung diseases.
BRONCHOVESICULAR: Bronchoalveolar.
BRONZE LIVER: A liver which is bronze in color and typically seen with malaria.
BROVIACTM CATHETER: A type of catheter. NOTE: BROVIAC is a trademark of C.R. Bard, Inc and
its related company, BCR, Inc.
BROWN-ADSON: Fine toothed forceps and other surgical instruments.
BRUCELLA: A type of bacteria (bacillus).
BRUDZINSKI'S SIGN: An involuntary movement of the arm, hip and knee when the neck is flexed
in a passive manner (meningitis).
BRUITS: Abnormal sound. Often heard at the carotid artery in the neck.
BRUXISM: Teeth grinding.
BSO: Abbreviation for "Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy".
BUCCAL: Referring to the inside of the cheek.
BUCC / O: A combining word-form which means "cheek".
BUCCOLINGUAL: Refers to the cheek and tongue.
BUDDY TAPE: A type of tape used in operating rooms.
BULBAR: Relating to the "bulbar conjunctiva".
BULBAR CONJUNCTIVA: The eye membrane which covers the front-most surface of the white
part of the eye (sclera) and the surface of the outer layer of the transparent tissue of the eye
BULBOURETHRAL: Refers to the globular penis and urethra.
BULB SYRINGE: A syringe which is sometimes used to clean the nasal passages.
BULIMIA: An eating disorder which results in food binges followed by vomiting.
BULLA: 1) A large vesicle (blister) appearing as a circumscribed area of separation of the
epidermis from the subepidermal structure. 2) A bubble like structure.
BULLA ETHMOIDALIS: Also called "ethmoidal bulla". It is a bulge on the inner wall of the ethmoid
labyrinth of the nose.
BULLAE: Plural of "bulla".
BUN: Abbreviation for "blood urea nitrogen".
BUNDLE BRANCH BLOCK: Heart block of electrical signals ... the beating of the heart is due to
electrical impulses generated by a natural "pacemaker" located in the heart's right atrium (right
upper chamber). These electrical signals are conducted to the heart's blood pumping chambers (a
right and a left) via "bundles" of specialized cells that compare to electric cables. A "bundle
branch block" prevents the impulses to take their normal route. A right bundle branch block may
indicate seldom indicates a problem with the heart while a "left bundle branch block" is
sometimes an indication that the heart is not operating at full capacity.
BUNDLES: Cables that carry electric currents from the heart's pacemaker (located right atrium) to
the heart's pumping chambers (the ventricles).
BUNION: Marble sized growth at the base of the large toe. They often run in families and afflict
girls more often than boys. Surgery can reduce the size but is not advisable until after a child's
growth has stopped. If the bunion is not painful then it is probably best to live with it. Proper
shoes with ample room for the bunion is recommended. Though they do not go away on their
own, the pain and size can be reduced by relieving pressure on it. Note: Bunion is the Greek word
for turnip.
BURKITT'S LYMPHOMA: Cancer of lymphocytes. The tumor usually affects children and is
typically found in the abdomen, lymph nodes, bones or on the skin. This is one of the cancers
which AIDS patients are susceptible to. In some areas of the world (Central Africa and New
Guinea) it is the most common childhood cancer and linked with the Epstein-Barr virus (the cause
of mononucleosis). However, in the rest of the world it is rarely associated with the Epstein-Barr
virus. Treatment is based on the age of the patient combined with the progression of the tumor.
BURR: A rough edge often due to drilling.
BURR CELL: A mature red blood cell with bumps of the surface.
BURS / O: A combining word-form which means fluid-filled sac.
BURSA: A sac which contains a fluid, usually to reduce friction. Bursae can be compared to ball
bearings which prevent muscles and tendons from rubbing against bone.

BURSAE: Plural of "bursa".

BURSITIS: An inflammation of a bursa.
BURSOPATHY: A disease of a bursa.
BUTTON SUTURE: A stitching technique that brings the suture material outside the skin and
through a button. This technique is used to prevent the suture material from "digging in" to the
skin (stress relief).
BUTYRATE: A salt or ester of butyric acid.
BYPASS: A surgical procedure in which a pathway is created for the movement of substances.
BYPASS SURGERY: A surgical procedure which bypasses severely blocked blood vessels of the
heart. A disadvantage of this procedure is that diseased blood vessels remain in the heart.

C: Abbreviation for "cardiovascular".
C. Diffocoele: Ailment/disease colitis.
CA: Abbreviation for "clear to auscultation", "cancer".
CABG: Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft.
C&S: Abbreviation for "culture and sensitivity".
CACATION: Defecation.
CACHECTIC: Pertaining to cachexia (general ill health).
CACHEXIA: State of constitutional disorder, general ill health and malnutrition.
CAD: Abbreviation for "coronary artery disease".
CADAVER: A dead body.
CADAVERIC DONOR: A recently deceased person whose body is to be used to harvest organs for
CADAVERIC GRAFT: Tissue donated from a deceased body.
CADUCEUS: The wand of Hermes ... a symbol of the medical industry.
CAECUM: First portion of the large intestines.
CAFE-AU-LAIT: Dark brown spots of the skin present sine birth and associated with Type I
CAG: Abbreviation for ... "chronic atrophic gastritis" ... "continuous ambulatory gamma globulin" ...
"cholangiogram" ... "coronary angiogram".
CAGE: A test for alcoholism. Abbreviation for ... "Cut down, Annoyed by criticism, Guilty about drinking,
Eye-opener drinks".
CAISSON DISEASE: A condition where nitrogen in the blood turns to bubbles due to a rapid decrease in
atmospheric pressure.
CALCANEAL: Relating to the heel.
CALCANEUS: Bone at the rear of the tarsus (heel bone).
CALCEMIA: An abnormally large amount of calcium in circulating blood.
CALCIPHYLAXIS: A condition of hypersensitivity of tissue which results in calcifications.
CALCIUM: In the body, calcium at high blood levels causes excessive urination, kidney stones,
weakened bones, weakened strength and even coma. The amount of calcium in the blood stream is
determined by the functioning of the parathyroid glands.
CALCIUM CHANNEL BLOCKERS: They locate around the minute muscles that surround arteries. These
types of drugs prevent calcium from entering the muscle thus keeping the artery wide open and pressure
does not rise. Examples are Adalat, Calan, Norvasc, Verapamil, diltiazem (Cardizem), nifedipine
(Procardia), and verapamil (Isoptin) Note, calcium blockers do not affect the absorption of calcium into

CALCULOSIS: The presence of "calculi" (stone deposit that can occur in any tissue of the body).
CALCULUS: A stone deposit that can occur in any tissue of the body. Made from mineral salts that clump
together. Most common areas for occurrence are kidneys, gallbladder, and joints. Plural is calculi.
CALIECTASIS: Dilation of the calices.
CALLOSITY: An area of thickened skin due to constant rubbing ... usually occurs on areas of the feet or
CALLOUS: An area of thickened skin due to constant rubbing ... usually occurs on areas of the feet or
CALLUS: New growth which occurs at the area of a bone fracture.
CALMANT: Sedative.
CALVARIA: Roof of the skull ... skullcap.
CALVES-LEGG-PERTHES DISEASE: Currently being researched.
CALVITIES: Lack of hair on the head ... baldness.
CALYOR: Heat from inflammation.
CALYX: A cup-shaped structure of the body. An example is an area of the kidney that collects urine and
leads it into a tube directing toward the bladder.
CALYCES: Plural of Calyx.
CAMPHOR TEST: Liver disease test conducted by the oral intake of camphor (medication made from the
camphor tree). If glycuronic acid appears in the urine then the liver does not indicate disease.
CAMPIMETER: Hand held device used to measure central visual field.
CANALICULUS: The space that separates cells in the anastomosing (a combining of two hollow tube like
structures.) cords of cells that comprise a liver lobule.
CANAL OF HERING: A channel occurring at the periphery of the portal tracts - between a bile canaliculus
and interlobular bile duct.
CANCER: Term which is applied to more than 100 diseases. A common factor is that abnormal cells
multiply without control. Cancer cells can spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other
parts of the body. Malignant tumors that replace normal tissues are an endangerment to life. These
tumors are either classified as carcinomas (occur in the tissues which line or cover organ tissues) or
sarcomas (occur in tissues which support and connect the body). Cancer can spread throughout the body
by a process called metastases by the blood or lymph system.
CANCROID: A type of skin cancer.
CANDIDIASIS: Infections caused by the candida fungi. It can cause vaginitis, diaper rash, dermatitis, and
CANDIDURIA: Presence in the urine of Candida organisms.
CANKER: Refers to a type of ulcer in the mouth.
CANNULA: A small, hollow tube that is typically inserted into a body duct or cavity for drainage.
CANNULATED REAMER: A small, hollow surgical instrument with cutting edges for enlarging or altering
the shape of a hole.
CANTHUS: Each corner of the eye.
CAP: Abbreviation for ... "community acquired pneumonia".
CAPILLARIES: The smallest blood vessels (about one cell thick). They allow the transfer of nutrients from
the blood stream to body cells and the elimination of waste products from cells back into the blood stream
for removal.
CAPILLARY REFILL: A test which identifies circulation problems or edema. Typically, pressure is put on a
fingernail and the examiner observes that the nailbed turns white ... (s)he then measures the amount of
time it takes for the nailbed to return to it's normal pink color ... a good capillary refill is considered to be
less than two seconds.
CAPITAL: Refers to the head of the femur (thigh bone).
CAPITATE: Bone in the center of the wrist.
CAPITELLUM: The rounded head of a bone.
CAPITIS: 1. The expanded or rounded area of any anatomical structure. 2. The rounded extremity of a
bone. 3. The end of a muscle attached to a part of the skeleton that is not as movable.
CAPNOMETER: Device used to measure the pressure of carbon dioxide.
CAPSID: The protective shell which surrounds a virus' genetic material.
CAPSOMERE: A subunit of the protein coat (capsid) that surrounds the genetic material of a virus.
CAPSULE: Thick tissue in the form of a "sleeve" which serves to stabilize the shoulder joint.

CAPSULAR SCISSORS: Surgical instrument / aid designed to cut the thick tissue which resembles a
"sleeve" and serves to stabilize the shoulder and other joints.
CAPUT: Refers to the "head".
CAPUT MADUSAE: Veins around the umbilicus which have become dilated ... observed in newborn
infants and people with cirrhosis of the liver (resembles the snake headed Medusa).
CAPUT SUCCEDANEUM: A collection of fluid sometimes seen under the scalp of newborn babies.
CARBON DIOXIDE: The odorless gas that is produced as the byproduct of breathing.
CARBOHYDRATES: 1. Cellulose, starches and sugars. 2. A category of essential foods that provide
energy for the body. They provide approximately four calories per gram (the same as protein) and less
than half the amount of calories in fats.
CARBOXY: Combining form that means carbon dioxide.
CARBOXY HEMOGLOBIN: Carbon dioxide in hemoglobin.
CARCIN / O: A combining word-form which means "carcinoma".
CARCINOGEN: A substance that can induce cancer.
CARCINOGENIC: Cancer causing.
CARCINOID: Small, rare tumor of the digestive tract.
CARCINOID TUMORS: Small, rare tumor of the digestive tract or lung airways. Symptoms can be varied
and sometimes include asthma attacks and diarrhea. The chemical secreted can cause damage to heart
valves. The drug Sandostatin can be used to control many of the symptoms.
CARCINOLYSIS: Refers to the destruction of carcinoma.
CARCINOMA: 1. A recent cancerous growth. 2. Cancer that starts within the covering of an organ or
tissues that cover the surfaces of the body.
CARCINOMA IN SITU: A neoplastic lesion in which the cells of the tumor are limited to the epithelium
without invasion into adjacent areas. This phase is considered curable.
CARDI / O: A combining word-form that means " heart".
CARDIA: Refers to the "stomach".
CARDIAC: Referring to the heart.
CARDIAC ARREST: Heart stoppage.
CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIA: An abnormal heart rate or rhythm.
CARDIAC CATHETER: A device used to detect defects of the heart by taking samples of pressure and/or
blood from the heart chambers.
CARDIAC ENZYMES: CK total, CK-MB, CPK, myoglobin, theophylline, troponin, troponin I,
CARDIAC OPENING: The opening which leads into the heart from the feeding tube (esophagus).
CARDINAL: Of primary importance.
CARDINAL LIGAMENTS: Primary (most important) ligaments.
CARDIOGENIC: Having origins in the heart.
CARDIOLITE: Stress test.
CARDIOMYOPATHY: Slow disease of the myocardium (heart muscle). It is a term that signifies a number
of conditions that targets the heart muscle. It causes shortness of breath with minimal exertion. Also, see
"hypertrophic cardiomyopathy".
CARDIOPATHY: Any disease of the heart.
CARDIOPLASTY: A procedure that takes the large back muscle wrapping it around the heart and
stimulating it in synchronization with the heart beat to assist a heart not beating properly.
CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION: A technique that is used to restore breathing circulation ... it
involves compressing the heart and administering artificial respiration.
CARDIOVASCULAR: Referring to the heart and blood vessels.
CARDIOVERSION: The act of restoring the heart's normal rhythm by the use of electric shock.
CARIES: Microbe destruction of teeth.
CARINA: A structure resembling a ridge.
CARMINATIVE: A substance that relieves flatulence.
CARNAL: Referring to the flesh.
CARNAL KNOWLEDGE: Knowledge of sex.
CARNITINE: A free amino acid. Thought to assist the body in fighting diseases of the kidneys, liver,
muscles and cardiovascular system. It may help in the treatment of diabetes. L-carnitine helps in the
building of muscle.

CAROTENE: A yellow or red pigment which the body converts into vitamin A ... found in carrots, sweet
potatoes, some vegetables eggs and milk.
CAROTENOIDS: 1. A classification of compounds that are related to vitamin A. The carotenoid which is
best known is beta-carotene ... others include alpha and gamma-carotene, lutein and lycopene. 2.
Something that resembles "carotene" (a yellow or red pigment which the body converts into vitamin A ...
Found in carrots, sweet potatoes, some vegetables, eggs and milk). Carotenoids like beta carotene and
alpha carotene have been shown to be powerful antioxidants that can provide powerful health benefits.
CAROTID ARTERY: On each side of the neck ... they bring blood to the brain. Each divides into two
arteries, the internal and external carotid. Sometimes, strokes are a result of cholesterol clogging these
CAROTID GLAND: A tiny gland existing between the external and internal carotid arteries.
CARPAL: Referring to the wrist.
CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME: A restriction (narrowing) of the large nerve which passes through the
wrist and to the fingers. The restriction is usually due to a narrowing of the tissue that surrounds the
nerve. Symptoms include numbness/tingling of the middle/ring finger and pain that worsens at night -time.
The pressure can sometimes be relieved on the narrowed tissue by resting the wrist with a wrist splint
(which can decrease inflammation in the tunnel). Inflammation relieving medications like Aleve,
Naproxen, Motrin, and Advil can also be used to decrease inflammation. Vitamin B6 has a reputation of
decreasing symptoms though scientific literature does not support it in the year 2000. Note that there are
other aliments that mimic "carpal tunnel syndrome" ... an underactive thyroid gland ... diabetes ...
rheumatism ... etcetera.
CARPUS: Wrist.
CARTILAGE: Also called "gristle". It cushions and protects joints. It supports area of the body in a similar
manner as bone. However, it does not contain blood vessels and does not repair itself after injury. Tears
and cuts must be surgically repaired.
CASE CONTROL STUDY: A study which takes into account the risk factors of those with a disease
versus those without it.
CAST: A device (mold) which is meant to keep bone(s) in place.
CASTLEMAN'S DISEASE: Also called "angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia". A rare disease of lymph
tissue (lymph nodes & lymphocytes). The disease can come in early or later life. In early life it typically
affects a single group of nodes. While in later life, it may affect many groups of nodes. Sometimes it
affects a related group of nodes which in turn causes symptoms to adjacent body parts ... a cough might
develop due to lymph nodes of the chest pressing on the breathing tubes. The serious form of the
disease is treated (year 2000) using a combination of chemotherapy and drugs of the cortisone family.
CAT: Abbreviation for ... "computerized axial tomography".
CATA-: A prefix (word part) meaning "down".
CATABOLIC: Something which tears "down" compounds which are complex in nature to simpler ones.
CATABOLISM: The tearing "down" of compounds which are complex in nature to simpler ones.
CATALEPSY: Inability to move muscles.
CATALYSE: To speed-up.
CATALYST: A substance which effects chemical reactions but does not take part in it.
CATAMENIA: The commencement of a females first menses.
CATAPHORIA: A turning downwards of the axis of eyes. This visual disturbance is a permanent
CATARACTS: Opacities in the lens of the eye caused by disease, aging and heredity. Cataracts are due
to free radicals which causes oxidation of lens protein in the same way that oxidation causes metals to
rust. "Antioxidants" like Vitamin C and vitamin E counters the effects of oxidation. One treatment for
cataracts is the placement of an "array multi focal lens" in which a large proportion of patients do not
require glasses afterwards.
CATARRH: Illnesses that result in inflamed membranes and mucus discharge.
CATATONIA: A situation in which a person has periods of rigidity. It sometimes happens to people with
mood disorders, schizophrenia.
CATATONIC: Referring to "catatonia".
CATCHER'S MASK: A device that is made up of a tube and two balloons ... the balloons are inflated in
the throat for the purpose of putting pressure on bleeding varices (dilated (enlarged) veins).
CATECHOLAMINES: A group of biogenic amines like epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine.

CATGUT: Twisted intestines obtained from sheep and used as a thread in surgical procedures.
CATH: Abbreviation for ... "catheter".
CATHARTIC: Something which causes evacuation of the bowels.
CATHARSIS: A "purging".
CATHECTIC: Pertaining to "cathexis".
CATHETER: A cylindrical device (tube) which permits the passing of fluid into (or out of) a body cavity. A
heart catheterization is a test for a leaky heart valve; it is threaded into the heart from a blood vessel in
the arm or groin. When it arrives in the heart a dye squirts through the heart valve so it can be seen on an
X-ray. (Angio; 20-gauge; BROVIACTM catheter; Groscean; GROSHONGTM catheter; HICKMANTM
catheter; Peritoneal; Pt; Tenckhoff; Tesio) NOTE: BROVIAC, GROSHONG and HICKMAN are
trademarks of C.R. Bard, Inc and its related company, BCR, Inc
CATHETERIZATION: A technique primarily used to drain fluids away from the body using a cylindrical
device (tube) that permits the passing of fluid out of (sometimes into) a body cavity. The catheter may
also be used to widen a narrow vein or artery. A heart catheterization is a test for a leaky heart valve; it is
threaded into the heart from a blood vessel in the arm or groin. When it arrives in the heart a dye squirts
through the heart valve so it can be seen on an X-ray. (TYPES OF CATHETERS: Angio; 20-gauge;
BROVIACTM catheter; Groscean; GROSHONGTM catheter; HICKMANTM catheter; Peritoneal; Pt;
Tenckhoff; Tesio). NOTE: BROVIAC is a trademark of C.R. Bard, Inc and its related company, BCR, Inc
CATHEXIS: A term used during psychoanalysis ... it is the investment of psychic energy.
CATION: An ion having a positive electrical charge.
CATNIP: Purported to induce sleep when ingested as tea. It has been used to relieve anxiety, as a
diaphoretic, for relieving diarrhea and soothing an upset stomach.
CAT SCAN: Abbreviation for "computerized axil tomography scan". An x?ray procedure which produces a
three dimensional image of the body or a body part for purpose of identifying abnormalities.
CAUDATE: Having a tail.
CAUDATE LOBE: Also called ... "lobus caudatus" ... "pigelian lobe". One of the lobes of the liver located
next to the inferior vena cava and connected to the right lobe.
CAULIFLOWER EARS: An ear deformity which results from a pool of blood which seeps into the
cartilage. It must be drained to prevent it from hardening and protruding with the appearance of
cauliflower. Treatment is typically the use of a syringe to draw the blood out. Silicone forms and splints
are applied to prevent blood from seeping back in.
CAUSAL: The cause of ... Note that statistical methods are not sufficient to establish a causal relationship
between factors - causation only occurs when one fact definitely alters the possibility of a second fact.
CAUSTIC: That which is burning or irritating.
CAUTERIZE: The destruction of tissue with a hot instrument, electricity or caustic substance.
CAUTERY: The destruction of tissue with a hot instrument, electricity or caustic substance.
CAVAL: Refers to a vena cava
CBC: Abbreviation for ... "complete blood count"
C BILE: Bile from the liver. Hepatic bile typically drained from the duodenum following an emptied
CC: Abbreviation for ... "cubic centimeter" (one thousandth of a liter; 1 milliliter).
CCE: Abbreviation for "clubbing, cyanosis, edema".
CCU: Abbreviation for "cardiac care unit".
CD4 CELL: Another word for ... "helper T-cell" (T lymphocyte cells which act in association with B
lymphocyte cells to allow the formation of antibodies).
CD4 COUNT: The quantity of "helper T-cells" found in a cubic millimeter of blood. This is a good indicator
of immune system health. A diagnosis of AIDS is made if the CD4 count is less than 200.
CD8: Abbreviation for ... "cluster of differentiation 8". Also called ... "killer T-cell".
CDU: Abbreviation for "Chemical Dependency Unit".
CEBATOME: Surgical instrument / aid.
CECOSTOMY: A surgical opening into the large intestine (near the appendix) for the purpose of
CECUM: A pouch in the colon that represents the first area of the large intestines.
-CELE: A suffix which means ... "hernia".
CELIAC: Relating to the abdomen.
CELIAC DISEASE: A digestive disease in which the digestive tract reacts negatively to Gluten which is a

protein from oats, wheat, barley and rye. Symptoms include diarrhea, loss of weight, gas, deficiency of
minerals and vitamins. Treatment requires the elimination of gluten from the diet. For more information
contact The Celiac Disease Foundation at 13251 Ventura Blvd, Suite 1, Studio City, California 91604
(year 2000).
CELIAC SPRUE: A disease with unknown etiology which affects adults and children to inhibit digestion.
See "celiac disease". For more information contact The Celiac Disease Foundation at 13251 Ventura
Blvd, Suite 1, Studio City, California 91604 (year 2000).
CELITIS: Abdominal inflammation.
CELL: The smallest subdivision of a living organism able to exist independently ... Cells are composed of
a wall (membrane), cytoplasm (semi-liquid material which fills the cell structure) and the nucleus (the
center of the cell which contains genes).
CELL MEMBRANE: The surface of a cell which acts to enclose and protect the inner contents.
CELL OR FLARE: Eye exam; anterior chamber during slit lamp exam.
CELLA: A room or cell.
CELLULAR: Referring to "cells" (The smallest subdivision of a living organism able to exist independently)
CELLULITE: Deposits of fat or possibly other materials trapped in areas beneath the skin.
CELLULITIS: Infection of the skin (including tissues beneath) usually by strep or staphylococcus germs
that infects skin cells through minute scratches. Cellulitis can occur rapidly enough to actually observe its
progress with the naked eye. Use antibiotics to treat can lead to blood poisoning and tissue damage.
Symptoms include redness, fever, tenderness and chills.
CELLULOSE: A dietary fiber which is the primary component of vegetable tissue.
CELSIUS: Also called ... "Centigrade". A system of temperature measurement commonly used in Europe.
To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius use the following formula ... C = (F-32) X 5/9. To convert Celsius to
Fahrenheit use ... F=(C X 5/9) + 32.
-CENTESIS: A suffix which means ... the removal of fluid via a surgical puncture.
CENTI: A prefix meaning ... "one-thousandth".
CENTIGRADE: Also called ... "Celsius". A system of temperature measurement commonly used in
Europe. To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius use the following formula ... C = (F-32) X 5/9. To convert
Celsius to Fahrenheit use ... F=(C X 5/9) + 32.
CENTO: A prefix meaning ... a "hundred times".
CENTRAL LINE: An area in the blood circulatory system which is central in location ... typically in the
subclavian or jugular veins of the neck, also the femoral veins in the groin.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: A portion of the nervous system which includes the brain and spinal
CENTRAL VEIN: A vein located in the lobules of the liver which runs from the base to the apex (the top,
end or tip).
CENTRIFUGE: A device which separates substances from one another by spinning them at high speeds.
CEPHAL / O: A combining word-form that means "head".
CEPHALGIA: Headache.
CEPHALEDEMA: Swelling of the head.
CEPHALIC: Pertaining to the head.
CEPHALIZATION: Tendency of nerve system to move foreword to the brain.
CEPHALHEMATOMA: Broken blood vessels in the head.
CEPHALOTRACTOR: An instrument used to assist and obstetrician with the delivery of a baby.
CEREBELLUM: Also called ... "the little brain" It is the part of the brain located at the base of the skull,
behind the brainstem ... it helps to control coordinated body movements and breathing.
CEREBRAL: Pertaining to the brain.
CEREBRAL PALSY: A disorder which is not progressive. It is caused by brain damage to effect
movement and posture. The ailment affects one in 400 babies worldwide (year 2000). It was generally
believed that a lack of oxygen during labor or birth was the primary cause but the latest research
suggests that a majority of cases develop during pregnancy.
CEREBRATION: Mental functioning.
CEREBRO / O: A combining word-form which means "brain - cerebrum".
CEREBROSIDE: Specialized lipids (substances which are soluble in the same solvents as oils and fats)
which are seen in the myelin sheaths of nerves ... made up of ceramide and a monosaccharide.
CEREBROSPINAL: Referring the brain and spinal cord.

CEREBROSPINAL FLUID: The fluid that acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord.
CEREBRUM: Largest and uppermost section of the brain especially the frontal area the site of most of
its activity, including sensory and motor functions
CEROID: A yellow-brown pigment seen in the liver during cirrhosis.
CERUMEN: Earwax.
CERVIC / O: A combining word-form that means "neck".
CERVICAL: Referring to the neck or a neck like structure like the cervix of the uterus.
CERVICAL CANCER: Risk factors include ... 1) 5+ pregnancies. 2) First intercourse prior to 18 years of
age. 3) History of gonorrhea. 4) Multiple sex partners. 5) Infertility. 6) HPV. 7) Several studies have shown
a relationship between cigarette smoking and cervical cancer. Note that folate appears to stabilize or
improve precancerous cervical abnormalities. In early stages the conventional treatment is surgery while
in the later stages it is radiation. Therapy can also include chemotherapy and hormonal therapy.
CERVICAL DYSPLASIA: Pre?cancerous condition (diagnosed by a PAP test) where the cells lining the
cervix do not organize correctly.
CERVICITIS: Inflammation of membrane of the deep structures of cervix uteri.
CERVICOPLASTY: Plastic surgery of the neck.
CERVIX: The lower part of the uterus. Also, the neck.
CERVIX UTERI: The lower area of the uterus.
CESAREAN SECTION: An operation to remove a baby from the womb.
CESIUM: A radioactive isotope sometimes used in radiotherapy.
CF100TL: A model number of colonoscope.
CFC: Abbreviation for "cerebrospinal fluid culture".
CFS: Abbreviation for "chronic fatigue syndrome".
CGL: Abbreviation for ... "chronic granulocytic leukemia".
CHADWICK'S SIGN: A characteristic sign of pregnancy in which the vagina and cervix have a bluish
CHALAZION: A swelling of the upper or lower eyelids. It develops due to an obstruction in a gland of the
CHAMBERS (HEART): The heart has four cavities (chambers) ... left atrium, right atrium, left ventricle
and right ventricle ... they are responsible for directing blood through the heart and pumping it out for use
in the body. Between each upper and lower chamber lies a one-way heart valve that is responsible for
preventing reverse blood flow.
CHAMFER: 1) A channel. 2. A beveled edge.
CHANCRE CHANCROID: The main sore of syphilis which develops at site of infection 10-30 days after
infection. It is typically caused by Haemophilus ducreyi and can be very painful. Treatment typically
involves the use of sulfonamide medications or tetracycline.
CHANDALLIER SIGN: Relating to female pelvic exam. Pain with movement of the cervix.
CHARCOT JOINT: A nerve ailment ... it occurs because pain transmissions are not relayed to the brain
from joints held too long in one position. Note that this damage is typically caused by the complications
associated with diabetes.
CHARCOT-MARIE ATROPHY: Progressive neuropathic (peroneal muscular atrophy).
CHARCOT-MARIE-TOOTH DISEASE: Named after European physicians who identified the nerve
disorder. It is a group of inherited diseases. The basic problem is that nerve impulses are prevented from
reaching the muscles which results in muscle shrinkage. Leg muscles are usually targeted but the
forearm and hand muscles can also be affected. There is no cure for this disease but physical therapists
can show sufferers how to use healthy muscles to counteract the effects of weakened ones. More
information can be obtained from the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association at (800) 606-2682.
CHARCOT'S SYNDROME: Intermittent claudication (limping).
CHARNLEY RETRACTOR: A type of surgical instrument that is designed to hold back the edges of
tissues to exposed organs or other internal body structures.
CHD: Abbreviation for ... "coronary heart disease".
CHEILITIS: Lip inflammation.
CHEILOSIS: A disorder of lips usually resulting from a lack of vitamins.
CHELATION THERAPY: A treatment by which excess toxins are removed from the body. Chelating
agents include alfalfa, fiber, potassium, Coenzyme Q10, sea kelp, Vitamin A, beta-carotene, Vitamin B
complex, Vitamin B-3 (Niacin), Vitamin B-12, Vitamin E, Vitamin C.

CHEM 7: A battery of seven blood tests ... sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, BUN (blood urea
nitrogen), creatinine and glucose.
CHEMOBRAIN: A phenomenon that results from chemotherapy ... sometimes it permanently dulls
memory and thinking.
CHEMOEMBOLIZATION: Restriction of blood flow to a body area via intravenous drugs.
CHEMOPROPHYLAXIS: Chemical drug treatment designed to prevent the occurrence of disease in the
CHEMOSIS: Abnormal swelling of the mucous membrane covering the eyeball and lining the eyelids.
CHEMOTAXIS: Movement of cells (or organisms) due to chemicals.
CHEMOTHERAPY: Usually refers to treatment of cancer using chemicals.
CHENODEOXYCHOLIC ACID: A drug used to dissolve gallstones (cholesterol).
CHERRY ANGIOMA: A papule which is ruby red in color and caused by a weakening of a capillary wall.
CHEYNE-STOKES RESPIRATIONS: A breathing pattern that slowly increases in depth and/or rate for
30-120 seconds ... then a 5-30 second period of apnea (lack of breathing). Often will be a result of
CHF: Abbreviation for "congestive heart failure".
CHIKEN POX: A virus that lives in nerve cells to travel down nerve roots to the skin that may result in cold
sores on the lips or shingles. A disease that usually inflicts children between the ages of one and 15.
Typical treatment includes keeping the child at home for approximately five days. The illness is known for
a mild to moderate blister-like rash. Rare complications can put the child in the hospital with infections
(bacterial and skin), pneumonia, heart/liver infections and meningitis. Fatality is rare but no unheard of. A
vaccine is available which shows a 95% protection rate against severe cases of the disease and 70-90%
in other varieties. One injection is required for those under the age of 12 and two (28 days apart) for those
who are older.
CHLAMYDIA: An "STD" (sexually transmitted disease) that is often a cause of pelvic inflammatory
disease. A genus of bacteria that is fairly easy to treat with antibiotics. Millions of infections occur every
year primarily among young people. An infection causes men to experience painful symptoms but most
women experience no symptoms at all. There is growing evidence that this bacterium secretes a protein
that mimics an enzyme contained in the heart muscle. It appears this protein results in an inflamed heart
muscle. Azithromycin is a generic drug that can often cure it with a single dose.
CHLAMYDIA PNEUMONIAE: An extremely common species of bacteria that causes respiratory infection.
A high proportion of people are infected and most have no symptoms. It is found in atherosclerosis tissue
(does not mean that it is the cause of the problem ... the bacteria has been found in a high percentage of
healthy people also). Note that this is not the same bacterium that is associated with sexually transmitted
CHLORELLA: Also called ... "Chlorella Pyrenoidosa". This algae at the base of the Earth's food chain has
the most significant nutrients of any food sources ever studied ... note that it has the highest amount of
chlorophyll known.
CHLOREMIA: A diminished amount of red corpuscles in blood.
CHLORIDE: A compound which contains chlorine. When blood testing shows an increase in serum
chloride it can be due to: 1. Renal failure, 2. Dehydration, 3. Renal tubular acidosis, 4. Diabetes insipidus,
5. Diarrhea, 6. Toxicity due to calicylates, 7. Respiratory alkalosis, 8. Hypothalamic lesions, 9.
Hyperfunction of the adrenal cortex (center of the adrenal gland).
CHLORINE: As a gas it is highly toxic. However when in the form of chloride compounds it becomes an
essential nutrient (mineral). Helps to maintain the cellular balance of fluids internally and externally.
CHLOROFORM: A gas sometimes used as an antiseptic.
CHLORPROMAZINE: Also called ... "Thorazine" and "Ormazine". Used as a tranquilizer in the treatment
of anxiety and agitation.
CHOLAGOGUE: A substance that encourages bile to flow into the intestines.
CHOLANGIOGRAM: X-ray produced picture of the primary bile ducts. During and after surgery a dye is
injected into the common bile duct through a tube placed in the incision to drain the bile. The purpose is
to discover small gallstones.
CHOLANGIOGRAPHY: Bile duct x-ray.
CHOLANGITIS: Bile duct inflammation.
CHOLANPOIESIS: A process which occurs in the liver and produces cholic acid or bile.
CHOLECYST: Another word for ... "gallbladder".

CHOLECYSTECTOMY: The removal of the gallbladder by surgical means.

CHOLECYSTITIS: Inflammation of the gall bladder.
CHOLECYSTOGRAPHY: An x-ray examination of the gallbladder. To improve the quality of the film an
oral dye may be swallowed which is ultimately passed into the bile to reach the gallbladder.
CHOLEDOCH: Also called ... "common bile duct", "ductus choledochus", "choledoch duct", and
"choledochus". The bile duct that occurs where the cystic and hepatic ducts unite. It excretes bile into a
small nipple-like growth at the duodenum.
CHOLEDOCH DUCT: Also called ... "common bile duct", "ductus choledochus", "choledoch", and
"choledochus". The bile duct that occurs where the cystic and hepatic ducts unite. It excretes bile into a
small nipple-like growth at the duodenum.
CHOLEDOCHOLITHIASIS: The condition of having a gallstone in the common bile duct.
CHOLEDOCHOPLASTY: Surgical bile duct repair.
CHOLEDOCHUS: Also called ... "common bile duct", "ductus choledochus", "choledoch duct", and
"choledoch". The bile duct that occurs where the cystic and hepatic ducts unite. It excretes bile into a
small nipple-like growth at the duodenum.
CHOLELITH: A gallstone.
CHOLELITHIASIS: Gallstones in the gallbladder. This condition affects 1 in 5 people over the age of 40.
More common in women. Symptoms can be stomach discomfort, burping, or intolerance for certain foods.
CHOLEMIA: A condition of bile in a blood samples usually an indication of liver disease.
CHOLERA: A disease of the intestines which typically occurs in tropical regions.
CHOLERESIS: Abnormally increased bile flow from the liver.
CHOLERIC: A term which means "irritable".
CHOLERETIC: Something that increases bile secretion by the liver.
CHOLESTASIS: A stopping of the flow of bile.
CHOLESTASIS, INTRAHEPATIC: A stoppage of the flow of bile typically due to damaged liver cells or a
blockage of intrahepatic bile ducts.
CHOLESTEATOMA: A mass resembling a tumor ... epidermoid cyst.
CHOLESTEROL: A substance which is crystalline in nature. It is produced by the body and is a
necessary part of cell membranes. It also assists in the absorption and transport of fatty acids. A normal
amount is less than 200 mg/dl (total value). Abnormal amounts ( 350 mg/dl or 9 mmol/L) can threaten
health. The preferred method of lowering high cholesterol is a life style change that includes exercise,
weight loss and a low fat - low cholesterol diet. Many medications are prescribed including Lipitor. HDL
cholesterol (normal 35 or higher) is considered "good cholesterol" and LDL (normal less than 130) is the
CHOLESTYRAMINE: A cholesterol lowering medication which works in the intestines by binding with
cholesterol which contains bile acids and eliminating them through the bowels.
CHOLINE: One of the "other vitamin B's". It is directly involved in the metabolism (the process within the
body that maintains and produces life) of chemical ... it crosses the blood-brain barrier into spinal fluid. It
is required for the use of fats in the body (supports weight loss). It also helps the functioning of
gallbladder, liver, nerves, manufacture of hormones, manufacture of lecithin, breakdown of fats and
CHOLINERGIC: Referring to nerve fibers that release a chemical at the connection of nerves and
CHLOASMA: Spots on the skin that occurs during pregnancy.
CHONDRAL: Referring to cartilage.
CHONDRITIS: Inflammation of cartilage.
CHONDRO: A prefix which refers to "cartilage".
CHONDROITIN: Functions to attract fluids into molecules in joint cartilage that acts as shock absorbers
for bones and as a means of bringing nourishment and lubrication into the cartilage.
CHONDROMA: A usually benign tumor within cartilage.
CHONDROMALACIA: Softening of cartilage.
CHONDROPLASIA: Cartilage development.
CHONDROLPLASTY: The surgical repair of cartilage.
CHO-PAT KNEE STRAP: It is worn below the knee to apply pressure on the tendon to relieve pain.
Typically used by sufferers of Osgood-Schlatter Disease.
CHOREA: Disease of the nervous system.

CHORION: Outermost extra embryonic membrane. As pregnancy progresses it becomes the placenta.
CHROMATELOPSIA: Inability to distinguish colors.
CHROMIUM: Mineral that assists the body in the control of blood sugars. Assists in the normalization of
blood cholesterol levels ... improves HDL (high density lipoprotein) blood levels ... it is of importance in
building muscles and reducing obesity/controlling appetite.
CHROMIUM PICOLINATE: An ingredient found in many weight loss preparations ... it has a simulating
effect on insulin.
CHROMOCYSTOSCOPY: Also called ... "cystochromoscopy". An interior bladder exam to determine the
proper functioning of the uretal orifices.
CHROMOCYTE: A cell that is pigmented like a red blood cell.
CHROMOSOME: Small strand of genes contained in the nucleus of cells. Typically, people have 46 in
total (23 pairs) contained in the nucleus of each cell ... one set coming from the mother and the other set
coming from the father.
CHRONIC: A long period of time.
CHRONIC ACTIVE HEPATITIS: A long lasting inflammation of the liver that results in damaged liver cells.
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME: An immune system disease which results in a fatigued state which
includes swollen glands, fever, weakness, balance problems, brain lesions, depression and severe lack of
energy sometimes lasting for years. The exact cause is unknown but some researchers suspect viral
infection. Boosting the immune system would be logical treatment.
CHRONIC LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA: A common leukemia contracted by adults and considered "nonthreatening". The diagnosis of CLL is given when a blood count indicates an abnormal amount of
lymphocytes (one of the five types of white blood cells). Typical symptoms that require treatment includes
... swollen lymph nodes, loss of weight, enlarged liver/spleen and fevers. If the symptoms are not
apparent then treatment is postponed until they are.
CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE: Also called COPD that prevents oxygen and air
from reaching the lungs. It is a common ailment that involves three spin-off diseases ... 1) emphysema 2)
chronic bronchitis 3) asthma. Symptoms include being out of breath with minor exertion (no problems
when sitting) ... a cough with thick, yellow sputum due to pus invading the lung airways (bronchi).
CHRONICITY: The state of being chronic.
CHRONOBIOLOGY: Field of science that deals with the natural daily changes in body chemistry.
CHRONOTROPIC: Relating to "speed".
CHURG-STRAUS SYNDROME: Described by Dr. Churg and Dr. Straus in 1951. Also called "allergic
granulomatosis angiitis". It is an inflammation of blood vessels and the problems that occur to organs
serviced by these vessels. Symptoms include fever and sometimes problems with breathing. Damage to
the kidneys and heart can result if the veins that are inflamed are serving these areas. If the intestines are
involved then stomach pain may occur. When left untreated the prognosis is death. Treatment typically
involves the use of cortisone drugs like Prednisone. No cause has been found in the year 2001.
CHYLOMICRONS: Small, particles of fat which exist in lymph fluid.
CHYME: Food that has been turned into a liquid by digestive fluids in the stomach.
CICATRIX: Scar tissue that is soft, red as it heals.
CICATRIZATION: Another word for ... "scarring".
-CIDAL: A suffix which means ... "killing".
CILIA: Hair like structures of the body that trap foreign materials.
CILIARY: Referring to the eyelashes or other structures of the eye.
CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS: Daily changes in body functions that are responsible for sleep versus awake
cycles. Body temperature is low in the morning and high in the evening. The manufacture of cholesterol
by the liver reaches maximum at night ... logic dictates that taking a cholesterol lowering medication prior
to bed is prudent.
CIRRHOGENIC: Something which results in cirrhosis of the liver.
CIRRHOSIS: Disease of the liver ... hardening of tissue distorts the liver and impedes it from performing
its many tasks. Causes include excessive alcohol consumption, virus infections, bile duct obstruction,
hemochromatosis, heart failure, etcetera.
CIRRHOTIC: Referring to "cirrhosis".
CIRSECTOMY: The excision of a portion of a varicose vein.
CISTERN: A cavity.

CISTERNOGRAPHY: A study (via radiographic means) of the cavities of the brain following the
introduction of a contrast.
CK: Abbreviation for "creatine kinase".
CK-MB: An enzyme of creatine kinase with muscle and brain subunits.
CLAMP: A surgical instrument often used to control bleeding.
CLARA CELL: A rounded, club shaped, nonciliated cell protruding between cells in bronchiolar
CLAVICLE: Horizontal bone just above the first rib (collar-bone).
CLAVUS: A corn.
CLEFT PALATE: Fissure in the palate (roof of the mouth) that divides the mouth from the nasal cavity.
CLIMACTERIC: Change of life.
CLINICAL: Referring to bedside treatment ... diagnosis based on direct observations.
CLINICAL DEPRESSION: A lack of interest in normal activities combined with a sad mood that persists
for a minimum of two weeks even though there is no external stimulus.
CLINICAL SYNDROME: A group of symptoms which are typically seen during a disease process.
CLIPS: Surgical instrument / device which is used to line up a wound to stop bleeding and promote
CLL: Abbreviation for ... "chronic lymphocytic leukemia". It is the most common leukemia contracted by
adults and is considered "non-threatening". The diagnosis of CLL is given when a blood count indicates
an abnormal amount of lymphocytes (one of the five types of white blood cells). Typical symptoms that
require treatment includes ... swollen lymph nodes, loss of weight, enlarged liver/spleen and fevers. If the
symptoms are not apparent then treatment is postponed until they are.
CLONIC: Marked by alternate contraction and relaxation of a muscle (see clonus).
CLONUS: Abnormal activity of the nerves sending signals to the muscles.
CLOSTRIDIUM DIFFICILE: Bacteria which resides in the intestines and causes colitis. It releases a
substance that is poisonous to result in diarrhea.
CLUBBING: An abnormal enlargement of the tips of the finger and toes.
CLUB FOOT: A deformity that occurs during fetal growth ... the cause is unknown. Assuming that both
feet are affected, the soles of the feet face each other, resembling hands that are held together in prayer.
Correction of the condition is achieved by placing the feet in a normal position and then applying a cast
(which is changed every 1-2 weeks). Proper positioning is usually achieved in approximately three
months. A "holding" cast is then applied for the purpose of keeping the feet in the correct position for 3-6
more months. Finally, the infant wears corrective footwear until (s)he is able to walk. In the rare instance
that these measures do not correct the defect, a surgical procedure can be performed between the ages
of six months and one year of age.
CLUE CELLS: Abnormal cells of the vagina (precancerous).
CLUSTER HEADACHES: Headaches which typically come in bunches ... can occur daily for weeks at a
time. Sometime they are absent from a person's life for long periods of time (years) only to return when
least expected. Pain is usually localized on one side ... often behind an eye. Mucus drips from the naris
(nostril) and the eye fills with tears. Treatment may include oxygen, Ergotamine, Imitrex. Preventative
measures include lithium, verapamil and prednisone. It has been found that many sufferers are sensitive
to foods such as yogurt, caffeine, alcohol, herring, avocados and sausage. Keeping a "meal journal" may
pinpoint the food that triggers the attacks.
-CLYSIS: A suffix which means ... "cleaning".
CMT: Abbreviation for "cervical motion tenderness".
CMV VIRUS: Cytomegalovirus ... a form of herpes. In the year 2000 it is estimated that as many as 80%
of people are infected and generally do not know it. Tests in rats show that those infected with CMV
rapidly develop arthrosclerosis. Further testing showed that if the infection was treated promptly,
atherosclerosis was prevented. Of course, rats are not humans!
CNS: Abbreviation for "central nervous system".
CNV: Abbreviation for "cutaneous necrotizing vasculitis".
CO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "together" or "with".
COAG PANEL: Blood test to examine clotting factors.
COAGULATION: Another word for ... "clotting".
COAGULOPATHY: A condition which affects blood's coagulability.

COALESCENCE: A combining of parts.

COARCTATION: Refers to a constriction. Usually associated with a condition of the aorta.
COBALAMIN: A compound which contains the dimethylbenzimidazolylcobamide nucleus of vitamin B-12.
It is required for normal cell functioning (bone marrow, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract).
COCCI: Plural of "coccus".
COCCIDIOIDOMYCOSIS: Currently being researched.
-COCCUS: A suffix which means ... "a bacteria" which is spherical in shape.
COCCYG/ O: A combining word-form which means "tailbone" - "coccyx".
COCCYGEAL: Pertaining to the "coccyx".
COCCYGODYNIA: Tailbone (coccyx) pain.
COCCYX: Tailbone ... small bone in vertebral column ... os coccygis.
COCHLEA: A cavity of the inner ear.
COCK-UP: A type of wrist splint.
CODE FORM: A hospital form.
COENZYME: A molecule that assists enzymes.
COITUS: Sexual intercourse.
COLD: A viral disease of the throat and nasal area which results in nasal congestion, fever and coughing.
COLD SORES: Lesions of the mouth (and vicinity) commonly caused by the herpes simplex virus.
COLECTOMY: Excision of a portion of the large intestines.
COLES FEMININUS: Another word for "clitoris".
COLIC: Abdominal pains resulting from tension or obstruction of organs or structures like ... bile ducts ...
intestines ... uterus. Also, relating to the colon.
COLITIS: Inflammation of the colon; ulcerative colitis.
COLLAGEN: 1. Can be thought of as the body's packing material ... it is what keeps the skin taut. 2.
Collagen is the protein glue that holds us together.
COLLAGENOUS: Refers to "collagen".
COLLATERAL: Secondary or accessory ... a small branch.
COLLATERAL LIGAMENTS: Secondary ligaments.
COLLES FRACTURE: A fracture of the low end of the radius with displacement of the distal fragment
COLOBOMA: A defect (especially of the eye).
COLON: Portion of the large intestine which connects the cecum to the rectum.
COLON CANCER: Cancer of the large bowel. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in the
United States (year 2000). By the time it is identified most people already have metastatic disease.. The
primary indication of colon cancer is bright red blood of the rectum with change of bowel habits like
constipation followed by diarrhea. To decrease the risk of colon cancer, increase fiber, calcium and
antioxidants. Aspirin taken two times a week has been shown to cut the risk.
COLONOSCOPE: A diagnostics device that is inserted into the anus to provide a camera view.
COLONOSCOPY: A flexible lighted tube used by physicians to view the entire colon. The tip contains a
camera and electric noose to remove polyps. It requires laxatives and the consumption of large amounts
of water prior to the procedure. Often a painkiller is required by the patient resulting from bloating and
cramping (due to air which the instrument inflates the colon with). The procedure is usually performed to
prevent and diagnose cancer. If all is well the procedure requires approximately 20 minutes while removal
of polyps may require 35 minutes.
COLOSTOMY: A surgical opening in the colon.
COLOSTRUM: A fluid discharged by the breasts during pregnancy and a few days following.
COLPALGIA: Pain of the vagina.
COLPATITIS: Inflammation of the vagina.
COLPOSCOPE: A diagnostics instrument use to examine the vagina and cervix.
COLPOSCOPY: Examination of the cervix and vagina by means of a colposcope. The cervix (lower part
of the uterus) is first painted with a solution that is similar to vinegar that causes tissues infected with the
HPV virus to turn white. These areas can then be analyzed via a biopsy.
COLUMELLA: A column; Columella auris, nasi, cochleae.
COLUMELLAR: A word that is derived from the word column.
COMA: A loss of consciousness.
COMES: Blood vessel paralleling another one (or a nerve).

COMMINUTED FRACTURE: Many breaks in a bone.

COMMISSURE: A line or point where a junction occurs.
COMMON BILE DUCT: Also called ... "ductus choledochus", "choledoch duct", "choledoch",
"choledochus". It is a vessel that carries digestive fluids from the liver to the small intestines. The bile duct
occurs where the cystic and hepatic ducts unite. It excretes bile into a small nipple-like growth at the
COMMON HEPATIC DUCT: The passageway which drains bile from the two hepatic ducts of the liver.
COMORBIDITY: Two or more diseases occurring at the same time.
COMPLEMENT: A substance commonly found in blood serum which causes the death of many bacteria
and other antigens. It is a collection of 20 or more proteins.
COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE: Healing therapies not taught in medical schools or used in hospitals.
COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT (CBC): Performed with a laboratory machine. Includes hemoglobin (Hg,
Hgb), hematocrit (Hct, crit), H&H (hemoglobin and hematocrit), platelets. red cell count, red cell indices
(MCV, MCH, MCHC), WBC (white blood cell count). Sometimes includes percentages of lymphocytes,
granulocytes, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils and/or a measure of RDW.
includes everything contained in the "Complete Blood Cell Count" plus a differential count of 100 or more
white cells which includes bands, polys, segs, lymphs, eos, baso, MCH, MCHC, MCV and mono's. Also
includes platelet count, red blood cell count.
COMPOUND: In chemistry it is defined as a union of two or more elements ... in pharmacy it is a
preparation of two or more ingredients.
COMPOUND FRACTURE: A bone fracture whereby the broken bone comes through the skin.
COMPRESSIVE DRESSING: A wound covering that applies pressure to the injury.
COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY: Also called ... "CT scan". A painless x-ray test which rotates the
patient to construct a three dimensional view.
CON-: A prefix (word part) meaning "together" or "with".
CONCEPTUS: That which develops from the process of conception.
CONCOMITANT: To accompany.
CONCUSSION: An injury to the brain that affects brain cells. Symptoms include dizziness, mental
confusion and/or a loss of consciousness. Sometimes a headache and feeling of mental fogginess exists.
Concussed persons often cannot remember things that were happening during or shortly after the
"impact". A serious concussion is considered one in which the sufferer is unable to think clearly for 15
minutes ... usually accompanied by a blank stare and does not respond to conversation. The most
serious concussions are ones in which a person loses consciousness. A disaster (death, permanent brain
deficits) can occur if "second impact syndrome" develops (a swelling of the brain) ... this can occur when
a person sustains a second concussion prior to a first-one being healed. Even a minor jolt to the head can
result in brain swelling. The inability to regulate blood flow ... cause engorgement of blood vessels ...
results in the swollen brain. Next, the person loses consciousness and a coma ensues
CONDYLE: A lump at the end of a bone where muscles attach to join other bones.
CONDYLOMA: Similar to a wart. Located on the penis, vulva, anus.
CONDYLOMA ACUMINATUM: A wart like growth on the anus or genitals caused by sexual contact with a
partner who is infected with the human papilloma virus. Malignant changes have been reported although
CONE BIOPSY: The removal of a wedge of the cervix for the purpose of performing an analysis.
CONEXUS: Connected structures.
CONFABULATE: To hold a discussion.
CONFABULATION: Making incorrect responses during a conversation, and a readiness to give
believable answers that have no basis in fact.
CONFLUENT: Joining together.
CONGENITAL: A condition present from birth but not always inherited.
CONGESTION: A fluid buildup in any part of the body.
CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE: CHF ... Congestive heart failure is a condition which involves the lungs
because the heart is too weak to pump an adequate amount of blood ... it then backs up into the lungs
and fills them with fluid (similar to a drowning victim). CHF causes people to be breathless, especially
while lying down. Sometimes, a narrowed heart valve is the cause of the problem whereby a physician
can open or replace the valve. The most common cause of heart failure is an inadequate supply of blood

to the heart. Ace inhibitor drugs can help by opening blood vessels so the heart does not need to pump
as hard. Diuretics like HydroDIURIL ease strain on the heart by draining abundant fluid from the
circulation, limiting salt does the same. Finally, Digitalis drugs give the heart muscles an extra boost.
CONJUGATE: To bring together and join.
CONJUGATED BILIRUBIN: Direct bilirubin that has been taken up by liver cells and joined to make
bilirubin diglucuronide.
CONJUNCTIVAE: Two membranes which line the inner surface of the eyelids. It is dull and thick. The
second conjunctiva covers the front part of the eye (it is transparent).
CONJUNCTIVITIS: Pink Eye ... inflammation of the transparent covering over the front of the eye.
CONOID: Shaped like a cone.
CONSENSUAL: Related to a reflex action in which stimulation in one part of the body results in a
response in another part.
CONSOLIDANT: Assisting in healing of parts.
CONSTIPATION: Difficulty in passing stools.
CONSTITUTIONAL: Essential, basic.
CONSTRICTIVE PERICARDITIS: A condition whereby the heart is prevented from expanding fully due to
a shrinking of heart's out sac.
CONSUMPTION: Tuberculosis.
CONTINENCE: 1. Ability to hold in urine or stools. 2. Being able to control impulsiveness.
CONTRA-: A prefix (word part) meaning "opposite" or "against".
CONTRACTILE: Making smaller.
CONTRACTILITY: The ability of muscles to become shorter or develop increased tension.
CONTRACTION: The tightening of a muscle which causes it to become shorter and thicker.
CONTRACTION DEFORMITY: Tissue shortening to cause a deformity like a scar.
CONTRACTURE: Tissue shortening ... scar. A contracture is a shortening of a muscle not in use. Types
of fractures include Dupuytren's, fixed, functional ischemic contracture of the left ventricle, organic
contracture, Volkmann's contracture
CONTRAINDICATION: Circumstance that makes the use of a remedy inadvisable.
CONTRECOUP: Injury from a trauma at another area ... i.e., a skull fracture caused by an injury to the
opposite side.
CONTUSION: Bruise / injury in which the skin is not broken.
CONVALESCENSE: The recuperation period following an illness, injury, surgery ...
CONVEX: Raised and slight rounded.
CONVOLUTIONS: Folds that curve inward ... examples include the cerebrum and the intestines.
CONVULSION: A seizure of voluntary muscles which results from abnormal stimulation of the brain.
COPD: Abbreviation for "chronic obstructive pulmonary disease". This is a general term for emphysema
and chronic bronchitis that prevents oxygen and air from reaching the lungs. It is a common ailment that
involves three spinoff diseases ... 1) emphysema 2) chronic bronchitis 3) asthma. Symptoms include
being out of breath with minor exertion (no problems when sitting) ... a cough with thick, yellow sputum
due to pus invading the lung airways (bronchi).
COPPER: A mineral that is found in all body tissues and contained in enzymes that are essential to good
health. Deficiency of copper is associated with nervous system degeneration, anemia, musculoskeletal
defects, reproductive problems, cardiovascular lesions, high blood cholesterol levels, decreased immune
functions. Natural sources include mushrooms, nuts, raisins, currants and legumes.
COPROPORPHYRIN: One of the compounds seen in normal stool that results from the decomposition of
COR: Relating to the heart.
CORACOID: Something which resembles the beak of a crow. The term is often used to describe a
method of cutting using a scapula.
CORACOACROMIAL LIGAMENT: Currently being researched.
CORD: Long, rounded flexible structure like the vocal, spinal, nerve or umbilical cord.
CORDIS: ... of the heart.
CORI CYCLE: The process of breaking down carbohydrates ... 1. The conversion of lactic acid into
glycogen that occurs in muscle tissue, 2. The transfer of the lactic acid into the bloodstream that is then
transported to the liver where it is transferred into glycogen, 3. The breakdown of glycogen to glucose in
the liver, 4. The transfer of the glucose to muscles via the blood stream and reconverting it into glycogen.

CORIUM: Skin layer beneath the epidermis.

CORN: Soft or hard thickening of the skin on the foot.
CORNEA: The cornea is the transparent tissue that constitutes a major portion of the eye ... makes up
anterior sixth of the outer wall of the eye (sclerae).
CORNEUM: Skins outer layer.
CORNU: Any "horny" structure.
CORNUA: Plural of "cornu".
CORONA: Another word for "crown".
CORONARY: A word which refers to the coronary arteries (the heart arteries that bring blood to the heart
CORONARY ARTERY BYPASS: The excision of leg veins for use in major heart surgery ... bypass of
blocked heart arteries.
CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE: An obstruction of the arteries that supply the heart muscle with
cholesterol, fat and other substances. The main symptom is chest pain with physical exertion.
CORONARY ATHEROSCLEROSIS: Thickening of the walls of coronary arteries.
CORONARY HEART DISEASE: An obstruction of the arteries that supply the heart muscle with
cholesterol, fat and other substances. The main symptom is chest pain with physical exertion.
CORONARY LIGAMENT: Folds in the thin membrane (sack) that covers most of the abdominal organs
connecting the diaphragm and liver.
CORONARY THROMBOSIS: Blood clot occurring in the vessels that supply blood to the heart.
CORONOID: Referring to certain processes and other parts of bones which looks like a "crow's beak".
CORPECTOMY: Currently being researched.
COR PULMONALE: A diseased heart due to a lung disease. Results in an increase in the size of the right
CORPUS: Major portion of an organ.
CORPUSCLE: Blood cell.
CORPUS CALLOSUM: Nerve fibers located in the brain that connect the cortical hemispheres.
CORSUCATION: Sensation of flashing lights.
CORTEX: Outer layer i.e., brain, bone and other organs. In the brain it is the tightly packed folds that
handle though processes.
CORTICAL: The outer layer of bone which is compact, dense, hard and very strong.
CORTICOSTEROIDS: Hormones coming from the outer layer of the adrenal gland. These medications
help to reduce irritation associated with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
CORTISOL: Also called the "stress hormone". A hormone that raises blood pressure when stress occurs
in the human body.
CORTISONE: A group of drugs which are the most effective available for decreasing inflammation.
Cortisone creams are often effective at reducing itching. Side effects can include high blood pressure,
weak bones, and cataracts. Also, fat sometimes migrates from the arms and legs to the face and trunk.
Note, cortisone is a hormone excreted by the adrenal glands.
COSTAE: The bone of the rib cage ... twelve on both sides to make a total of 24.
CORYZA: Acute rhinitis. Often a symptom of the common cold.
COSMESIS: Having to do with bodily beauty. In the medical world it is a concern for the appearance of
the patient following surgery.
CONSTITUTIONAL SIGNS: Sometimes used as a heading instead of "vital signs".
COST / O: A combining word-form that means "ribs".
COSTALGIA: Pain of the ribs.
COSTOCHONDRAL: Referring to costal rib cartilages.
COSTOCHONDRITIS: Inflammation of costal cartilage (one or more of the bands which tie the ribs to the
breastbone); involves local tenderness and pain of the anterior chest wall. Symptoms include pain with
every twist and turn of the chest, coughing and deep breathing ... the pain is so intense that it sometimes
is mistaken for a heart attack. Anti-inflammatory drugs are typically prescribed ... if this fails then cortisone
is injected into the inflamed area. The ailment usually disappears within a year.
COSTOCLAVICULAR: Referring to ribs and collarbone (clavicle).
COSTOPHRENIC ANGLE: The angle at the bottom of the lung between the diaphragm and chest wall.
COSTOVERTEBRAL: Referring to a rib and the spinal column.

COSTOVERTEBRAL ANGLE TENDERNESS: Referring to a rib and the spinal column.

COUCHING: The movement of a cataract so it does not interfere with seeing ... done in lieu of stripping
the lens from the eye.
COUMARIN: A classification of anticoagulant substances.
COUNTERIRRITANT: A medication used to increase superficial irritation in order to relieve deeper
COUPLETS: Relating to cardiac tests.
COVER-ROLL: Wound dressing ... properly spelled Cover-Roll.
COWPER'S CYST: A cyst on a bulbourethral gland (globular penis and urethra) which is resistant to
COWPER'S GLAND: Also called ... the "bulbourethral gland". Refers to the globular penis and urethra.
COWPER'S LIGAMENT: A portion of the fascia lata in front of the pectineus muscle.
COX-2 INHIBITOR: A class of drugs which block pain producing prostaglandins but not those that protect
the stomach. Celebrex and Vioxx are medications included in this class of drugs. Note: People with
kidney of liver problems should not take these drugs.
COXALGIA: Pain of the hip.
COXSACKIE VIRUS: Any of 30 viruses that inflict the intestines. The virus gets its name from Coxsackie,
N.Y. where it was first identified. Usually the virus results in a bad cold with rhinorrhea (a runny nose) and
a sore throat. Sometimes however, it can invade the heart muscle to cause myocarditis (inflammation of
heart muscle). The virus is transported by white blood cells (which typically fight viruses) and causes
them to release enzymes that attack the heart (causing it to be scarred, enlarged and weakened. The
virus replicates itself more readily in warm weather
COXSACKIE 1: Is a form of the Coxsackie virus that is responsible for hand, foot and mouth disease in
small children.
COXSACKIE 3: It is a form of the Coxsackie virus that may attack the heart and sometimes the brain.
This is a serious condition in children and can cause death.
CPAP: Abbreviation for ... "continuous positive airway pressure".
CPK: Creatine phosphokinase.
CPR: Abbreviation for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation ... a method of maintaining respirations and heart
beat until the arrival of medical personnel.
CRANI / O: A combining word-form which means "skull".
CRANIAL NERVES: Twenty-four nerves (12 pairs) which connect directly to the brain. They include fibers
(voluntary) which lead to ... eye muscles ... heart ... salivary glands ... lung muscles (smooth) ... intestines.
I Smell (olfactory).
II Vision (optic).
III Pupil response, ptosis, eye movements
IV " " " " "
VI " " " " "
V Cornea reflex, sensation in face, biting.
VII Raise eyebrows, close eyes, smile.
VIII Acoustic.
IX Speech, palate movement.
XI Shrug the shoulders.
XII Sticking out the tongue.
CRANIOPATHY: Refers to diseases of the scalp.
C-REACTIVE PROTEIN: 1. This is a substance that is often looked for during a blood test because it is
an indicator of acute inflammation. This protein is produced by the liver when the liver in inflamed. Levels
of C-reactive protein in the blood stream may be an indication of ... heart attack, lupus, cancer,

tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis or pneumococcal pneumonia. 2. A B-globulin present in

the serum (plasma) of those with certain types of degenerative, inflammatory and neoplastic diseases. It
is thought that inflammatory cells also secrete the substance and promotes the growth of atherosclerosis.
Men who have high levels are more likely to have heart attacks. Those who take daily aspirin have the
lowest levels of "CRP".
CREATINE: Nitrogen compound made in the body ... combines with phosphorous to form high-energy
phosphate. Body creatine is found in muscles. It promotes the manufacture of a chemical energy
molecule called ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). Creatine increases the size of muscles as well as unable
strength. In the 1st quarter of 1999 no serious problems have been associated with its use. Creatine is
excreted in the urine as creatinine.
CREATINE PHOSPHOKINASE: An enzyme that is tested for in laboratory diagnostics to determine if a
heart attack has occurred. This enzyme is found in cardiac muscle, smooth muscle and skeletal muscle.
CREATININE: Substance common in blood, urine, and muscle tissue. Formed from making creatine.
Medical establishments will often test for this waste product in urine and blood because it is an indicator
of kidney function.
CREMASTER: A muscle which covers the spermatic cord and draws up the testes.
CRF: Abbreviation for "Chronic Renal Failure".
CREPITATION: A sound ... like throwing fine salt into the fire.
CREPITUS: A sound like throwing fine salt into the fire.
CREST SYNDROME: A type of scleroderma, an ailment in which the skin becomes tight and hard. It is
usually confined to one area of the body. It can result in calcium deposits under the skin. Sometimes
attacks internal organs but rarely kidneys and lungs.
CRIB DEATH: Also called ... "sudden infant death syndrome". It strikes normal (?) babies and even the
most prompt emergency treatment is usually ineffective.
CRICOID CARTILAGE: The lower-back area of the larynx.
CRICOTHYROIDOTOMY: A surgical procedure designed to make a viable airway in the throat when
swelling or bleeding makes it impossible to perform an intubation (insertion of a tubular device into the
CROHN'S DISEASE: It is a chronic granulomatous disease of unknown cause ... inflammation of the
intestinal tract. Also called "regional ileitis" because doctors used to think that it only involved the final part
of the digestive tract ... the ileum. It is now known that the disease can affect any part of the digestive
system. It involves the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. It is a form of inflammatory bowel
disease that does not run in families. Typical symptoms include fever, diarrhea, weight loss and
abdominal pain. The best that can be hoped for in the year 2000 is to control the disease rather than cure
it. The drug Remicade has been shown to be quite effective at reducing digestive tract inflammation.
Contact the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation at 1-800-343-3673.
CRP: Abbreviation for ... "C-reactive protein".
CROUP: A virus infection of the upper and lower breathing tract that occurs in infants and very young
children. Symptoms include coughing and difficulty in breathing.
CRUCIATE: Shaped like or resembling a cross. Referred to during knee examinations.
CRUCIATE LIGAMENT: Fibrous tissue (resembles a cross in shape) which connects the ends of bones.
CRUCIATE LIGAMENT OF THE ATLAS: Ligament that resembles a cross in shape and connects to the
atlas (top spine bone) and base of the skull above and connective to the 2nd spine bone (axis) which is
CRUCIFIERS: Plant family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etcetera.
CRURA: Plural of "crus".
CRUS: A structure which resembles a leg, i.e. of the diaphragm.
CRUVEILHIER BAUMGARTEN: Cirrhosis of the liver with patent umbilical or paraumbilical veins and
varicose periumbilical veins (caput medusae).
CRYOSURGERY: The use of cold temperature to relieve swelling and pain.
CRYOTHERAPY: Therapy which uses extreme cold.
CRYPT: A pit on a surface ... recess ... depression that resembles a pit.
CRYPTOCOCCAL: Pertaining to the yeast like organism "cryptococcus".
CRYPTOCOCCUS: Yeast like organisms.
CRYPTOCOCCUS NEOFORMANS: A fungus which reproduces by budding. Can infect humans via the
respiratory tract. Can result in meningitis, headaches and/or a stiff neck.

CRYPTOGENIC: Another word for ... "cause unknown".

CRYPTOSPORIDIUM: Common opportunistic parasite of humans (and other animals) that flourish under
conditions of decreased immunity situations.
CRYSTALLURIA: Urine which contains crystals.
C-SPINE: Cervical (neck) spine.
CT: Abbreviation for ... "computed tomography". Note that CT scans are not always accurate in the early
stages of diseases.
CTG: Abbreviation for ... "cholesterol triglyceride".
CT SCAN: Abbreviation for "computed tomography" scan. Note that CT scans are not always accurate in
the early stages of diseases.
CUBITUS: Relating to the ulna or elbow ... sometimes relates to the hand and forearm.
CUBOID BONE: The foot bone (tarsal) on the outside of the foot next to the heel bone.
CUFF: A device placed around the upper arm to perform blood pressure evaluations ... tension controlled
with air pressure.
CULTURE: Urine, tissue or pus which is smeared onto an agar plate to promote the growth of bacteria
which is causing an infection. Laboratories do this so they can select an effective antibiotic.
CURETTE: An instrument which resembles a scoop ... with sharp edges ... used for "curettage" (the
scraping of cells or other material from the wall of a body cavity).
CURETTAGE: Scraping cells and other material from the surface or wall of a body cavity.
CUSHING'S SYNDROME: A rare condition resulting from an overactive adrenal cortex. characteristics of
this syndrome include weakness, increased body hair, red marks on the face.
CUTANE / O: A combining word-form that means "skin".
CUTANEOUS: Relating to the skin.
CUTICLE: Outer layer of skin.
CUTIS: Term for the combination of epidermis and dermis layers of skin.
CVA: 1. Cardiovascular accident. 2. Costovertebral angle. 3. Cerebrovascular accident.
CVAT: Costovertebral angle tenderness.
CVHCHP: An abbreviation for a clinic in Michigan.
CVS: Abbreviation for "cardiovascular system".
CYANOSIS: A condition characterized by a blue color of the skin ... typically due to a lack of oxygen.
CYCLIC COMPOUND: A compound whose atoms form a ring.
CYST / O: A combining word-form which means "urinary bladder".
CYST: A pouch containing a fluid or semifluid material.
CYSTIC DUCT: Pathway of the urinary bladder.
CYSTECTOMY: 1) Cyst removal. 2) Gallbladder removal. 3) Bladder removal.
CYSTEINE: A chemical found in most proteins ... high concentrations found in Keratin.
CYSTIC BILE: Bile that has been stored in the gallbladder prior to being injected into the intestines.
CYSTIC FIBROSIS: A childhood and adolescent disease that is inherited ... affects the exocrine (sweat)
glands of the body.
CYSTINE: A chemical ... disulfide product ... sometimes seen in urine.
CYSTIC: Referring to gallbladder, urinary bladder or cysts.
CYSTITIS: Inflammation of the urinary bladder. The lining (the "interstitium") disintegrates and the bladder
shrinks and is no longer able to hold large quantities of urine. Anyone can develop the condition but
women are more susceptible (90% of patients). Elmiron is an oral medication that often relieves the pain.
The Interstitial Cystitis Association can be reached at 1-800-435-7422.
CYSTOCELE: Hernia of the bladder usually into the vagina.
CYSTOGRAM: An x-ray of the urinary bladder.
-CYTE: A suffix that means ... "cell".
CYTO: A combining word for which means ... "cell".
CYTOKINE: Hormone like protein secreted by many types of body cells.
CYTOLOGY: The study of cells including their origin, pathology and functioning.
CYTOMA: A word which has fallen out of favor in the medical industry. It refers to neoplasms (tumors)
primarily made up of neoplastic cells containing no stoma (supportive tissue).
CYTOMEGALOVIRUS: Often referred to as CMV ... a form of herpes. In the year 2000 it is estimated that
as many as 80% of people are infected and generally do not know it. Tests in rats show that those
infected with CMV rapidly develop arthrosclerosis. Further testing showed that if the infection was treated

promptly, atherosclerosis was prevented. Of course, rats are not humans!

CYSTOSCOPE: A device (lighted tube) commonly used to inspect a bladder.
CYSTOSCOPY: Inspection of the interior of the bladder using a cystoscope.
CYTOSIS: More than the usual number of cells.
CYTOTOXIN: Toxin on specific organs.

D5: Abbreviation for ... "dextrose (glucose) in a saline solution (5%).
DACRY / (O): A combining word-form that means "lacrimal duct" or "tear".
DACRYOCYSTIC: Currently being researched.
DACRYOCYSTITIS: Currently being researched.
DACTYL / (O): A combining word-form that means "toe or finger".
DACTYL: A finger or a toe i.e., a digit.
DACTYLOLOGY: Sign language.
DALM: Abbreviation for ... "dysplasia associated lesion or mass.
DALTONISM: Color blindness.
DAMIANA: Used throughout history as an aphrodisiac for women and men. Reputedly has slight sedative
qualities that contributes to its reputation of inducing sleep. Also, has been used to treat asthma,
diabetes, and bladder infections.
DAN'DER: Fine scaling of the scalp or skin.
DANDY FEVER: Also called ... "aden fever", "bouquet fever", breakbone fever", "dengue", "date fever",
"dengue fever", "exanthesis arthrosia", "polka fever", "scarlatina rheumatica", "solar fever". A viral disease
which exists in tropical and subtropical areas of the world ... transmitted by mosquitos. Grade I symptoms
are fever and general constitutional problems. Grade II symptoms are the same as Grade I but with
spontaneous bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, gums and skin. Grade III symptoms are the same as
the first two but with circulatory failure added. Grade IV symptoms add to the first three profound shock.
DARIER'S DISEASE: An inherited skin disease which begins with tiny bumps that become crusted over
(black, brown or grey). The outbreaks are exacerbated by heat, humidity and sunlight. Medications which
sometimes alleviates the condition includes Vitamin A, Retin-A, Vitamin A in combination with Vitamin E.
DAT: Abbreviation for ... "diet as tolerated".
DATE FEVER: Also called ... "aden fever", "bouquet fever", breakbone fever", "dandy fever", "dengue",
"dengue fever", "exanthesis arthrosia", "polka fever", "scarlatina rheumatica", "solar fever". A viral disease
which exists in tropical and subtropical areas of the world ... transmitted by mosquitos. Grade I symptoms
are fever and general constitutional problems. Grade II symptoms are the same as Grade I but with
spontaneous bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, gums and skin. Grade III symptoms are the same as
the first two but with circulatory failure added. Grade IV symptoms add to the first three profound shock.
DATUM: Singular form of the word ... "data".
DAW: Abbreviation for ... "dispense as written".
DB: Abbreviation for ... "direct bilirubin".
DBW: Abbreviation for ... "Desirable body weight".
DC: 1. Abbreviation for "discontinue". 2. Abbreviation for ... "duodenal cap", "descending colon", "dilation
catheter", "discontinuation of treatment".
D&C: Abbreviation for "dilation and curettage" ... i.e., of the uterus.
DCG: Abbreviation for "dynamic electrocardiogram".
DD: Abbreviation for ... "digestive disorder".
DDAVP: Abbreviation for "deamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin" (desmopressin acetate).
D-DIMER: Chemical test of blood which indicates late pregnancy, arterial or venous thrombosis.
DE-: A prefix (word part) meaning "lack".
DE: Abbreviation for ... "duodenal exclusion".

DEAFFERENTATION: Stoppage of nerve impulses.

DEBILITY: Frailty.
DEBRIDEMENT: Removal of foreign material from a wound, also dead or devitalized tissue.
DECA: Prefix which means ... x10 (ten times).
DECI: Prefix which means ... 1/10
DECIDUOUS: Non-permanent ... used to describe something which ultimately falls off.
DECILITER: 1/10th of a liter.
DECOCTION: 1. The process of boiling. 2. A preparation made by boiling vegetable drugs, followed by
straining, in the proportion of 50 grams of the drug to 1000 milliliters of water.
DECOMPENSATION: 1) Inability of the body to adjust to the different types of stress that it encounters. 2)
The appearance of a mental disorder due to failure of the defense mechanism. 3) An inability of an organ
to adjust itself to altering situations.
DECORTICATION: The removal of the center tissue of an organ or structure.
DECUBITUS: 1. Ulcer, as in a bed sore. 2. A reclining or flat position ... lying down.
DECUBITI: Plural of decubitus.
DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS: A deep vein blood clot.
DEFERVESCENCE: Falling of an elevated temperature.
DEFIBRILLATION: The restoring of a normal heart beat (from an irregular one) by any means.
DEFIBRILLATOR: Any method by which regular rhythm of the heart is restored following irregular heart
DEFINITIVE HOST: The host in which a parasite reproduces.
DEFLUXION: 1. The discharge of fluids. 2. Inflammation.
DEGLOVING: A skin injury to the foot or hand in which most of the skin is removed.
DEGRADED LIVER: A liver organ which is divided into lobes.
DEHYDRATION: A deficiency of body fluids.
DEHYDROGENASE: Enzymes that oxidize substrates triggering the evacuation of hydrogen from
DIFFERENTIATION: The loss of sensory nerve fibers from an area of the body.
DEHISCENCE: A bursting open or splitting along a natural or sutured line.
DELEE: Surgical instrument ... brand name of an aspirator.
DELIRIUM: A mental disorder which manifests as speech disorders, confusion, anxiety and sometimes
hallucinations ... usually occurs as a result of a disease or toxic drugs.
DELTA AGENT: Also called ... "hepatitis D virus". A single stranded, RNA virus that depends on the
hepatitis B virus for reproduction. It is often seen in chronic liver disease.
DELTA INFECTION: An infection which is caused by the hepatitis D (delta) virus. It is a single stranded,
RNA virus that depends on the hepatitis B virus for reproduction. It may increase the severity of hepatitis
DELTOID: One of the shoulder muscles.
DELUSION: Untrue belief.
DELUSIONAL: Having a deep-rooted belief which cannot be supported by facts ... sometimes seen with
schizophrenia and manic depressive disorders.
DEMARCATE: Separate.
DEMENTIA: A term that refers to illnesses that exhibit impaired memory and confused thinking.
Alzheimer's is the primary cause.
DEMODEX: A skin mite. Suspected of being involved in the skin disease "rosacea".
DEMULCENT: A soothing medicine which helps to relieve. Soothing, especially to the mucous
membranes. Inflammation and irritation of abraded skin.
DEMYELINATING DISEASE: An illness which destroys the myelin sheath of nerves ... sometimes there is
an autoimmune component to the disease.
DENATURATION: The process of being "denatured".
DENATURED: Changed from normal ... the term is often used when referring to proteins or nucleic acids
that have had heat applied.
DENDRITES: Threadlike extensions that grow out of neurons (nerve cells).
DENDRITIC: The process of branching.
DENDRITIC CELLS: A cell with tentacles for trapping foreign objects.

DENGUE: Also called ... "aden fever", "bouquet fever", breakbone fever", "dandy fever", "date fever",
"dengue fever", "exanthesis arthrosia", "polka fever", "scarlatina rheumatica", "solar fever". A viral disease
which exists in tropical and subtropical areas of the world ... transmitted by mosquitos. Grade I symptoms
are fever and general constitutional problems. Grade II symptoms are the same as Grade I but with
spontaneous bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, gums and skin. Grade III symptoms are the same as
the first two but with circulatory failure added. Grade IV symptoms add to the first three profound shock.
DENT / I: A combining word-form that means, "tooth".
DENTALGIA: Toothache.
DENTIBUCCAL: Referring to teeth and cheeks.
DENTIFRICE: A substance used for the cleaning of teeth.
DENTINALGIA: Dental pain.
DENTULOUS: Having natural teeth.
DENUDATION: A removed protective layer.
DENUDE: To remove a protective layer.
DENUDED: That which has had its protective layer removed.
DEPILATE: The removal of hair.
DEPILATORY: Something which removes hair.
DEPOLARIZATION: Electrical activity of heart muscle which results in contraction.
DEPRESSANT: An agent which reduces nervous or functional activity.
DEPRESSION: A feeling of dejection, sadness and hopelessness.
de QUERVAIN: Disease, fracture, thyroiditis.
DERANGEMENT: A disturbance. An upset in the regular order.
DERMAL: Referring to the skin.
DERMALON: Type of suture material.
DERAMTOGRAPHIA: Skin eruption with temporary wheals and sizes with clear margins and pale
DERMATOGRAPHISM: Skin eruption with temporary wheals and sizes with clear margins and pale
DERMATOLOGIC: Pertaining to the skin.
DERMATOME: Area of the skin supplied by cutaneous branches from a single nerve.
DERMATITIS: Inflammation of the skin; venous stasis; Rhus; it often causes scaling, laking, thickening,
color changes, itching.
DERMATITIS HERPETIFORMIS: Skin disease characterized by itching and groups of papules.
DERMATOLOGIST: Specialist of the skin.
DERMATOMYOSITIS: Inflammation of skin, muscle and blood vessels. The disease usually inflicts
children between the ages of 5-14. Symptoms include weight loss, decreased appetite, a violet color
surrounding eyelids, face swelling, muscle weakness and pain. The cause(s) are not known. Treatment
involves the use of the medication prednisone. Note: This is a serious disease that can result in death.
DERMATOPHYTES: A fungal infection which commonly affects hair, skin and nails. Examples include
ringworm, athlete's foot. Treatment usually involves the use of antifungal creams and/or oral medicines.
Fungal infections of the nails are an exception and can take a lot of time and expense to eradicate.
DERMATOSIS: Skin disease (any type).
DERMIS: The deep middle layer of skin that lies beneath the epidermis. Blood vessels, sweat glands and
lymphatic vessels are found in this layer. It is composed of collagen and elastin fibers.
DES: Abbreviation for the drug ... "diethylstilbestrol". This drug was once thought to prevent miscarriages
between 1940 and the early 1970's. It is now known that those who took the drug are at risk for
developing cancers of the cervix, vagina and uterus.
DESENSITIZATION: To diminish sensitivity to a certain allergen.
DESICCANT: A medication which causes drying.
DESICCATE: The act of "drying".
-DESIS: A suffix which means ... "binding".
DESMALGIA: Ligament pain.
DESQUAMATION: Flaking of skin ... also called "exfoliation".
DETOXIFY: To alter a substance to make it less harmful.
DEXTROCARDIA: A heart that lies on the right side of the chest rather than the left. Does not cause
medical problems.

DEXTROSE: Another word for ... "glucose" (the primary source of energy for body cells).
DHEA: (Dehydroepiandrosterone) Abbreviation for "dehydroepiandrosterone". It is the primary hormone
of the body produced by the adrenal glands. DHEA is currently the subject of much research (year 2000)
because the body's levels are at their highest at approximately 25-years of age. As people age the levels
steadily decline and drop to almost non-existent levels by age 50's to 60's. Note, DHEA is not contained
within any known substances that can be ingested ... it helps to reduce cholesterol and burn body fat, and
may help increase muscle mass. DHEA-S is the most widely circulated hormone in the body and research
indicates that high levels are associated with fewer free radicals. DHEA is often referred to as "the youth
hormone" by the scientific community and is recognized as an anti-aging substance. It is most highly
concentrated at the age of 25 (approx.) and sharply decreases with age. At the age of 80, it only
produces 10-20% of what was produced at age 25. DHEA is called the "mother of hormones" because it
is used by the body to manufacture many other hormones, including our sex hormones (estrogen,
testosterone, progesterone, cortisone, etc.). The body produces DHEA and then converts it on demand to
other hormones.
DI-: A prefix (word part) meaning "two".
DIA-: A prefix (word part) meaning, "complete" or "separation".
DIABETES: Also called ... "diabetes mellitus". An illness that is characterized by excessive urination. See
"diabetes mellitus" for more information.
DIABETES DIAGNOSIS: If blood sugar after 8 hours is equal to or higher than 126 mg/dl on two separate
DIABETES, GESTATIONAL: Diabetes during pregnancy.
DIABETES INSIPIDUS: Due to a decreased supple of vasopressin (antidiuretic hormone). Vasopressin is
produced by the pituitary gland (located at the base of the brain) and a low supply results in an increase
in urination and thirst.
DIABETES MELLITUS: Small artery disease / disease of the pancreas which is characterized by frequent
urination and insufficient insulin secretion. Sometimes it can strike the kidneys and cause them to fail. A
symptom which cannot be ignored is when protein leaks into the urine. Strict adherence to diet (blood
sugar levels) can arrest the situation. High blood pressure also contributes to the problems which
diabetes brings to the kidneys and must be controlled. Diabetics are at high risk for eye problems
because it attacks blood vessels that provide nourishment to the retina. Blindness, cataracts, glaucoma
can all develop. .... "Poorly controlled" ... "non-insulin dependent".
DIABETIC KETO ACIDOSIS: A condition in which the acid level of the blood is increased due to a
shortage of Insulin (causing ketones).
DIABETIC NEUROPATHY: Nerve damage (sensory and motor) typically seen in people with diabetes ...
usually affecting internal organs and blood vessels.
DIABETIC RETINOPATHY: Degenerative disease of the retina.
DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING: Films of internal body structures usually obtained via x-rays or ultrasound.
DIALYSIS: A several hour, often fatiguing procedure in which a machine pumps blood through filters via
tubes and then back into the body. Strictly speaking the word means a complete separation.
DIAMOND-BLACKFAN SYNDROME: A type of anemia due to a lack of red blood cells. Bone marrow
lacks parent red blood cells that produce new red cells. Treatments include blood transfusions, cortisone
drugs or bone marrow transplant.
DIAPHANOSCOPY: Examination of a cavity with a diaphanoscope.
DIAPHORESIS: Profuse sweating that occurs with a fever, physical exertion, and exposure to heat or
DIAPHRAGM: The primary breathing muscle. It separates the inside of the abdomen and the inside of the
DIAPHYSIS: A term used to designate the shaft of any long bone.
DIAPLASIS: Term which is now obsolete which means setting a fracture or reducing a dislocation.
DIAPLASTIC: See "diaplasis".
DIARRHEA: Stools which are fluid in consistency.
DIASTALSIS: Forward motion of fecal material in the bowels.
DIASTASIS: A separation of parts which are normally connected.
DIASTASIS RECTI: A gap which occurs between two sheets of muscle wither above or below the navel.
A bulge typically appears when upon standing and recedes when lying down. It resembles a hernia but
does not entrap internal body organs as a hernia often does. Correction can be made through surgical

DIASTOLE: The relaxation portion of the heart beating process which allows blood to enter.
DIASTOLIC: Part of a blood pressure reading (the second number). The relaxation portion of the heart
beating process that allows blood to enter.
DIATHESIS: An inherited condition which makes the body more susceptible to certain disorders than
DICHOTOMY: The division of something into two parts.
DIDYMALGIA: Testes pain.
DIENCEPHALON: Part of the brain which facilitates emotions and regulates body functions.
DIETARY FIBER: Materials (pectins, hemicellulose, plant gums, celluloses) found in plants that are not
digestible by human beings.
DIFFERENTIAL: Pertaining to differences. See "differential white blood cell count".
DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS: A diagnosis which is determined by the process of elimination (ruling out
DIFFERENTIAL WHITE BLOOD COUNT: The differential count adds up to 100%. Example: 50% polys,
37% bands and 13%. Polys are polymorphonuclear lymphocytes which includes segs, segmented
neutrophils. Also, monos (monocytes), baso (basophils) and banded neutrophils.
DIFFERENTIATION: The process of the embryo whereby general cells transform into specialized ones.
DIFFUSE: A wide area.
DIFFUSION: To spread out equally.
DIGEORGE SYNDROME: A serious condition which results in deformity of the face and
hypoparathyroidism. It is caused by underdeveloped parathyroid and thymus glands ... characterized by
hypocalcemia and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
DIGESTIVE TRACT: The organs of the body which process food (mouth, esophagus, stomach, liver,
intestines and rectum.
DIGOXIN: Drug to treat the heart. It acts in a similar way as Digitalis.
DILATATION: (Dil eh tay chun). The act of stretching or dilating.
DINAMAP: A machine used for making blood pressure readings.
DIP: Distal interphalangeal.
DIPHTHERIA: Contagious disease which causes a false membrane to line the throat. It produces a
poison throughout the body that is very harmful to the tissues of the heart and central nervous system.
DIPLOPIA: Double vision. Seeing two visions of a single object.
DIPS / O: A combining word-form that means "thirst".
DIPSOSIS: Abnormal thirst.
DIPSTICK: A cellulose strip which is designed to detect glucose, protein and other substances within
DIRECT BILIRUBIN: Direct bilirubin that has been taken up by liver cells and joined to make bilirubin
DIS-: A prefix (word part) meaning "reversal" or "separation".
DISARTICULATION: Bone separation occurring at a joint.
DISASTER PROTOCOL COLOR CODING: Patients are categorized when they come into the hospital
according to need ... "green" means walking wounded, "yellow" is urgent, "red" means critical, "black"
means dead on arrival.
DISCOID LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS: A less serious type of lupus that primarily affects the skin. Lesions
often develop on the nose and cheek and often the scalp and ears.
DISEASE: An interruption of normal body functioning due to a parasite.
DISINFECTION: Destruction of disease producing microbes by direct exposure to a chemical or other
DISKS: Cartilage pads separating vertebrae.
DISLOCATION: A bone(s) which moved out of it's normal position due to trauma. Fingers, hips, shoulders
and jaws are most prone to dislocations.
DISPENSARY: A place which provides free or very low cost medical treatment.
DISPLACEMENT: A situation whereby a part of the body becomes "out of position".
DISSECANS: Currently being researched.
DISSECTION: Surgical removal of body tissue for investigation.
DISSEMINATE: Widely scattered.

DISSEMINATED: Widely scattered.

DISTAL: Remote, far away.
DISTAL PULSE: Pulses located farthest from the heart.
DISTENSION: Swollen ... enlargement.
DISTOMATOSIS: A disease like "liver rot" which is caused by digenetic trematode worms.
DISTRACTION: Extending a limb for the purpose of separating fragments of bone or joint surfaces.
DIURESED: Increased formation and release of urine.
DIURESIS: Frequent e excretion of urine.
DIURETIC: Any medication that increases urination.
DIVERTICULA: Plural of "diverticulum".
DIVERTICULITIS: Small pouch like areas that develop in the large intestines. Waste material then
becomes trapped in these areas causing inflammation, chills, fever and pain. Diverticulitis normally occurs
in people between the age of 50 and 90.
DIVERTICULOSIS: Presence of Diverticula in the intestines.
DIVERTICULUM: A tiny sac that occurs on the wall of hollow organs like the colon.
DKA: Abbreviation for diabetic ketoacidosis.
DL: Properly spelled ... dl. Abbreviation for "deciliter".
DLC: Abbreviation for ... "dual lumen catheter".
DMSO: Abbreviation for ... "dimethyl sulfoxide". A medication typically used to reduce pain, swelling, and
inflammation. It is also used to promote healing. Often used for cancer, arthritis, stroke, mental
retardation, and many sport injuries.
DNA: Abbreviation for "deoxyribonucleic acid which makes up genes ... it is one of the two acids found in
all cell nucleus (the other being RNA). DNA molecules are where permanent genetic information is
stored. Determines the cell's activities like structure, function and behavior. This genetic material appears
as two chains of nucleotides (combination of purine or pyrimidine) wrapped together in a double helix.
Each nucleotide (A, T, C and G) has a complimentary (opposite) that attracts.
DNA AMPLICATION: The reproduction of multiple copies of a DNA sequence through the use of
DNA ANNEALING: A technique that plays a central role in the categorization of viruses and bacteria. It is
a process in which short section of single stranded DNA is reformed into a double stranded DNA.
DNA GENE: Genes typically found in E. coli bacteria that produce proteins that are required for DNA
DNA LIGASE: A part of the DNA repair system ... it is an enzyme required for replication of DNA.
DNA LIGATION: The combining of DNA strands at the ends via a phosphodiester bond.
DNA MARKERS: Known areas of chromosomal DNA which have been linked to diseases and inherited
traits. The markers are not responsible for the traits and diseases but are in combination with the various
genes that are.
DNA MELTING: The alteration of DNA molecules via heat resulting in the breakdown of the double
stranded molecule into two separate single stranded molecules.
DNA POLYMERASE: An enzyme which induces DNA repair of replication.
DNA POLYMERASE I: An enzyme that assists in replication of DNA.
DNA POLYMERASE II: An enzyme that assists in replication of DNA ... it functions in correcting damage
due to ultraviolet radiation.
DNA POLYMERASE III: An enzyme that assists in replication of DNA. ... it proofreads DNA that has been
newly replicated.
DNA POLYERISATION: The construction of a molecule of DNA from nucleotide monomers (molecular
unit that makes up a large structure or polymer).
DNA PROBE: A tiny amount of nucleic acid marked with a dye and used to identify a complementary
nucleotide sequence or gene on a DNA molecule.
DNA REPAIR: An enzymic protection of genes which guards against replication errors and environmental
DNR: Abbreviation for ... "do not resuscitate".
DOA: Abbreviation for ... "dead on arrival".
DOBUTAMINE: A drug used to speed up the heart. Typically used for people who are unable to perform a
stress test because they are unable to run on a treadmill. The test uses sound-wave pictures to view the

fast beating heart (just as in a stress test) and identify if there are any obstructions impeding blood flow.
DOLLS EYES: Vision/reaction test; unconscious. Movement of both eyes in one direction as the head is
quickly turned in the other.
DOLORIFIC: Producing pain.
DOPAMINE: A brain chemical that is required for brain cells to communicate with one another. Depletion
of dopamine in the brain results in the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
DOPPLER: Relationship of frequency of sound waves ... color flow DOPPLER.
DOPPLER PRESSURES: For evaluation of vascular disease ... Routine blood pressure measurement in
infants or critically ill adults.
DORMANCY: Not producing effects, at rest, silent (but in the background).
DORMANT: Not producing effects, at rest, silent (but in the background).
DORS / O: A combining word-form that means "back of the body".
DORSAL: Pertaining to the back.
DORSALIS PEDIS ARTERY: Artery ... the continuation of the anterior tibia artery of the lower leg.
DORSI AND PLANTAR FLEXION STRENGTH: Extremities examination procedure.
DORSIFLEXION: Referring to movement of the foot and leg.
DORSOLATERAL: Referring to the back and side.
DORSOLITHOTOMY: A body position ... Currently being researched.
DOUBLE BLIND: An experiment involving drugs in which neither the physician nor the patient is told what
drug is being used.
DOWN'S SYNDROME: Mongolism ... a type of mental retardation. People with Down's syndrome have
one extra chromosome ... they have three of the No. 21 chromosome which develops due to a faulty
maturing of the egg (or rarely the sperm).
DPT: Abbreviation for "Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus" (vaccine).
DRAWER'S SIGN: Indicates a torn or ruptured knee ligament. The patient flexes the knee at a right angle
as the examiner holds the leg below the knee and moves the leg foreword and then away.
DRESSING: Protective bandage used to cover a wound.
DROP FOOT: A condition of being unable to lift the foot up because of leg muscle paralysis.
DROPSY: Fluid buildup ... edema.
DRUG INDUCED HEPATITIS: Liver inflammation due to a drug ... like, acetaminophen, erythromycin,
halothane, isoniazid, methyldopa and oral contraceptives.
DRY MACULAR DEGENERATION: The more common type of macular (area of the eye's retina)
degeneration ... the other type is "wet macular degeneration".
D-STICK: A measuring device used by diabetics.
DT: Abbreviation for "delirium Tremens".
DTAP: Correctly spelled ... "DTaP: Abbreviation for ... "diphtheria and tetanus toxoid".
DTP: Abbreviation for ... "Diphtheria Tetanus Pertussis" vaccine.
DTR: Deep tendon reflex.
DUBIN-JOHNSON SYNDROME: Chronic jaundice which is inherited - cause and mode of operation is
unknown ... characterized by a pigmented liver and excretion of coproporphyrin I in urine ... The
microscopic study and identification of body cells and tissues in the liver is normal and no therapy is
DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY: Caused by a genetic defect, it affects muscles in the shoulder,
pelvis and thigh of males between the ages of three and five. Braces are usually required by age 10 to
enable walking. Spine curvature can become so extensive that breathing becomes difficult. Progression
of the ailment can be slowed with Prednisone.
DUCTAL ECTASIA: A condition in which secretions have partially blocked a milk duct causing the duct to
enlarge, develop a thickened wall and secrete a green material. This condition is often benign and not a
prelude to cancer.
DUCTUS ARTERIOSUS: A pathway which connects the two vessels (pulmonary artery and aorta)
adjoining the heart.
DUCTUS CHOLEDOCHUS: Also called ... "common bile duct", "choledoch duct", "choledoch", and
"choledochus". The bile duct that occurs where the cystic and hepatic ducts unite. It excretes bile into a
small nipple-like growth at the duodenum.

DUCTUS DEFERENS: Duct of the testes that combines with the seminal vesicle to make the ejaculatory
DUCTUS VENOSUS: Prior to birth it is an extension of the left umbilical vein to and through the liver to
the vena cava inferior (one of the two large veins which empty into the heart).
DUMPING SYNDROME: Symptoms which consist of sweating, dizziness, flushing, weakness and
vasomotor dysfunction. It typically affects people with shunts in the alimentary canal (upper). It is caused
by quick passage of food into the small intestines (before it can be adequately digested).
DUODENAL AMPULLA: The enlarged area in the small, nipple-like process of the initial area of the
intestines that receives the main pancreatic duct and the common bile duct.
DUODENITIS: An irritation of the duodenum (first part of the intestines).
DUODENUM: First section of the small intestines measuring approximately 10 inches in length.
DUPUYTREN'S CONTRACTURE: A disease involving the connective, fibrous tissue (fascia) of the palm
which becomes thick and shortened.
DURA MATER: The substance which covers the spinal cord and brain. It is the outermost layer of the
three meninges. The other two layers are the arachnoid and pia mater.
DVT: Abbreviation for "deep vein thrombosis". "Thrombo means blood clot ... this is a dangerous
condition which requires hospitalization.
DYS-: A prefix (word part) meaning "bad" or "painful".
DYSARTHRIA: Imperfect pronunciation of speech due to lack of muscular control ... often due to damage
of the central nervous system.
DYSARTHROSIS: Joint disease or deformity.
DYSCONJUGATE GAZE: The gaze of the eyes being unpaired (uncoordinated).
DYSCRASIA: 1. Abnormal material in the blood. 2. Bad temper.
DYSDIADOCHOKINESIA: A lack of the ability to perform rapidly alternating movements.
DYSENTERY: Irritation of the bowels which results in diarrhea usually caused by a bacteria or
DYSESTHESIA: Impairment of sensation short of anesthesia.
DYSKINESIA: Difficulty performing voluntary movements.
DYSMENORRHEA: Painful menstruation.
DYSMETRIA: The inability to control an action (speed, power). Patient is unable to arrest a muscular
movement at the desired point.
DYSPAREUNIA: (dis pare oon ee ah). Painful sexual intercourse.
DYSPEPSIA: Indigestion.
DYSPHAGIA: Speech impairment.
DYSPHASIA: Difficulty speaking, not as severe as aphasia. It usually results from an injury to the speech
area of the brain.
DYSPHONIA: An abnormality in the speaking voice i.e. hoarseness.
DYSPLASIA: Altered shape, size or organization of cells.
DYSPNEA: Difficulty with breathing.
DYSPNEIC: Difficulty breathing.
DYSTASIA: Difficulty in standing.
DYSTHYMIA: Mood disorder milder than major depression ... symptoms exist for 2+ years.
DYSTHYMIC: Mood disorder milder than major depression ... symptoms exist for 2+ years.
DYSTOCIA: Abnormal labor.
DYSTONIA: Dystonias are involuntary muscle contractions due to tissues being in an abnormal state of
toxicity. For example, "writer's cramp" is dystonia of the hand and finger muscles while dystonia of eyelid
muscles cause uncontrolled fluttering that can sometimes render a patient blind. Dystonia of the neck can
cause the head to bend downward and lock it into that position. Medical Research Foundation (800) 3773978 ( The primary feature is involuntary, sustained muscle contractions
that force the body into abnormal postures.
DYSTONIC: Displaying symptoms of "dystonia" (involuntary muscle contractions due to tissue toxicity).
DYSTROPHY: Muscles that are abnormally developed resulting in weakness.
DYSURIA: Painful or difficult urination.

EAB: Abbreviation for "elective abortion".
E ANTIGEN: A secretion which is observed from cells which have been infected with the Hepatitis B virus
... when noted in the blood, the E Antigens indicates a high level of virus activity.
EAR CANDLING: A method of drawing ear wax from the ear by laying a patient on his/her side and then
inserting a candle into ear. Another person then lights the candle to create a vacuum that draws out the
EAR CONING: A method of treating an earache by expelling toxins and wax from inside the ear.
EARLY SATIETY: An abnormal feeling of fullness prior to the completion of a meal.
EARWAX: The substance in the ear that protects the ear canal from germs and other airborne irritants.
EAS: Abbreviation for ... "external anal sphincter"
EBC: Abbreviation for ... "esophageal balloon catheter".
EBOLA: Disease which causes hemorrhagic fever. It was first seen in the Ebola river region of northern
Zaire. The sickness is caused by the Ebola virus and is usually fatal. Little is known about the disease
(year 2000). Infections can be transmitted via airborne particles and body secretions such as mucus,
saliva and blood, and can be passed through a simple handshake. Four days after exposure, flu-like
symptoms set in, followed by bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Ten to 15 days later, the victims "bleed out"
through the nose, mouth and eyes. Blood and other bodily fluids also begin seeping through the skin,
producing painful blisters. How the first person known to have contracted Ebola in Uganda - became
infected is a mystery. In fact, researchers have no idea where the virus lives in between outbreaks, which
are often years and hundreds of miles apart. While they know it resides in a host animal or insect that it
does not kill, they have not identified the host. While there is no cure, patients aggressively treated for
dehydration have a good chance of survival.
EBL: Abbreviation for ... "estimated blood loss".
EBV: Abbreviation for ... "Epstein-Barr virus".
EBV VIRUS: Epstein-Barr.
EC: Abbreviation for ... "Escherichia Coli", "esophageal carcinoma".
ECCHYMOSES: Bruise ... skin discoloration due to blood beneath the skin.
ECF: Abbreviation for ... "extracellular fluid".
ECG: Also called ... "electrocardiogram" or "EKG". A device used to record the electrical activity of the
ECHINOCOCCOSIS, HEPATIC: An infection of the liver by a parasite which resembles a worm.
ECHOCARDIOGRAM: Term for "ultrasound" used to identify abnormalities of the heart ... it is a good way
to identify malfunctioning heart valves.
ECK FISTULA: A combining of the portal vein and the inferior vena cava to direct blood from the liver into
the heart.
ECLAMPSIA: Convulsions not related to epilepsy ... sometimes occurs in the later stages of pregnancy.
E. Coli: Also called ... "Escherichia coli". The main bacterium that inhabits the intestines of humans and
animals to check the growth of other, harmful bacteria ... some other strains cause diarrhea and urinary
tract infections.
E. Coli 0157: H7: E. Coli subtype which can cause a bacterial infection to possibly produce diarrhea,
abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea. Antibiotics do not provide much relief in the 5-10 day ailment.
Those with weakened immunity systems (children and seniors) may develop a life threatening condition
called ... "hemolytic uremic syndrome" in which red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail.
ECR: Abbreviation for "Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate" which is a test to detect inflammation in the
-ECTASIS: A suffix which means ... "stretch".
ECT: Abbreviation for "Electroconvulsive therapy". (PSYCH)
ECTASIA: Dilation (widening) of a structure which is tubular in shape.
ECTO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "outside".
-ECTOMY: A suffix which means ... "removal".
ECTOPIC: Not in a normal position ... often used to describe a pregnancy outside of the womb.
ECTOPY: Displacement or malposition.
ECTOPIC: Referring to something that is located in an unusual place ... deviated from the normal

ECZEMA: Sometimes called "dermatitis" or "atopic dermatitis". Dry skin that itches. However, scratching
leads to thickening of the skin. Cortisone ointments are effective at relieving the itching. Eczema is a
chronic condition that often recurs. Treatment means the elimination of itching. An antihistamine should
be added to the relief program combined with mild soaps, moisturizing creams following bathing. Also,
sufferers should wear cotton clothing. Note that food allergies are a primary trigger with eggs, peanuts,
milk, fish, wheat and soy as the most common culprits.
EDC: Estimated date of conception.
EDEMA: Watery fluid which accumulates in cells. It is sometimes an ominous cause of leg swelling.
EECP: Abbreviation for "enhanced external counterpulsation". Two cuffs (resembling blood pressure
cuffs) are attached to each thigh and another is applied to each calf. An electronic signal from an EKG
machine causes the cuffs to inflate and deflate (which increases the flow of blood to heart muscle). The
improved blood flow causes new blood vessels to form and takes over the work previously done by the
clogged arteries. One-hour sessions that last for 35 weeks are typical as a treatment.
EEG: Abbreviation for ... "electroencephalogram/electroencephalography" (brain wave tests).
EFA: Abbreviation for ... "essential fatty acids".
EFFACE: To make non-distinct by wearing away the surface.
EFFERENT: Away from the center.
EFFICACY: Another word for ... "effectiveness".
EFFLUENT: Liquid which escapes into an area.
EFFUSIONS: The escape of fluid into an area.
EGD: Abbreviation for "esophagogastroduodenoscopy".
EGOPHONY: Increased vocal resonance with high-pitched voice heard when auscultating the lung ... due
to pleural effusion.
EHC: Abbreviation for ... "enterohepatic circulation".
EHL: Abbreviation for ..."extensor hallucis longus".
EHLERS-DANLOS SYNDROME: Major results include hyperextensible joints and skin ... easy bruising ...
crumbling tissue ... poor healing of wounds.
EHO: Abbreviation for ... "extrahepatic obstruction".
EIA: Abbreviation for ... "enzyme immunoassay"
EJECTION FRACTION: Stress test rating.
EKG: Also called an ... "electrocardiogram" or "ECG". A device used to record the electrical activity of the
ELASTIN: A major component of elastic fibers.
ELECTIVE: Not urgent.
ELECTROCARDIOGRAM: A device used to record the electrical activity of the heart ... abbreviated
"EKG" or "ECG".
ELECTROCOAGULATE: The use of a device that delivers electrical current to stop bleeding during
ELECTRODESICCATION: The use of electricity (high frequency impulses) to destroy tumors or seal off
blood vessels.
ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAM: Also called ... "electroencephalography". An electronic brain wave test.
ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY: Also called ... "electroencephalogram". An electronic brain wave test.
ELECTROLYTES: An element or compound which breaks up into ions when dissolved in a liquid. Some
blood electrolytes are ... sodium, potassium, chloride, glucose, calcium Electrolytes are typically
involved in the transmission of nerve impulses and contraction of muscles.
ELECTROMYOGRAM: A device which displays a graph which corresponds to the electrical currents in
ELECTROPHORESIS: A method to purify and separate biomolecules. The device works on the principle
that particles within and electric field will move toward one or the other electric pole.
ELECTROPHYSIOLOGIC STUDY: To perform this study, the physician places a flexible tube in a blood
vessel (typically the leg) and threads it all the way to the heart. Within the tube is a metal detector-like
device that detects irritated areas of the heart muscle that are sending out sporadic electrical impulses
(causing abnormal heart rhythms). When the area of the heart that is causing the erratic electrical
impulses is located it can be destroyed by exposing it to with high frequency waves (this procedure is

called "radio frequency catheter ablation).

ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY: The recording of electrical activity in living organisms.
ELEMENT: A substance that is made up from atoms of one specific type.
ELEPHANTIASIS: Also called "lymphedema". Elephantiasis is a specific type of lymphedema caused by
a parasitic worm from tropical areas of the wold. The disease is treatable by elevating the legs often to
drain fluid. Massage and elastic stockings can also be used. National Lymphedema Network 800 541
ELICIT: Bring forth; evoke.
ELISA: Abbreviation for ... "enzyme linked immunosorbent assay". This is a blood test that analyzes the
amount of antibodies in the blood stream.
ELLIPTOCYTES: Oval shaped red blood cells.
ELLIS FRACTURE: i.e., of a tooth.
ELT: Abbreviation for ... "endoscopic laser therapy".
EM: Abbreviation for ... "esophageal manometry".
EMACIATION: Being abnormally thin due to a loss of flesh ... wasting away.
EMBOLECTOMY: The removal of a blood clot from veins or arteries via surgical means.
EMBOLI: Plural of "embolus".
EMBOLISM: A substance which floats freely within a blood vessel.
EMBOLUS: An object that exists within blood and lodges itself in a blood vessel. It can be a tissue
particle, air bubble blood clot, etc.
EMBROCATION: Little used term for ... "liniment".
EMBRYO: A term used to describe a developing baby in the womb through the third month of gestation.
EMD: Abbreviation for ... "esophageal mobility disorder".
EMG: Abbreviation for ... "electromyogram".
-EMESIS: A suffix which means ... "vomiting".
EMESIS: The act of vomiting.
EMETIC: An agent which promotes vomiting.
EMG: Abbreviation for "Electromyogram".
-EMIA: A suffix which means ... "blood condition".
EMOLLIENT: A substance which externally soothes the skin ... internally soothes irritated surfaces.
EMS: Abbreviation for "Emergency Medical Services".
EMPHYSEMA: The condition of air within the spaces of an organ or tissue. In the lungs it deprives the
body of oxygen and causes the sufferer to struggle for air. Because of damaged air sacs (gossamer),
oxygen cannot reach the blood for distribution to the rest of the body. Smoking is the primary cause in the
year 2000. ... Subcu.
EMPIRIC: Resulting from experience or direct observation.
EMPYEMA: Accumulation of pus in the lungs ... a type of pleurisy.
EMT: Abbreviation for "Emergency Medical Team".
EMULSION: A combination of two liquids which do not mix ... one of the liquids becomes suspended in
the other as droplets. This is the first step in the digestion of fats.
EN-: A prefix (word part) meaning "in" or "within".
ENCEPHAL / O: Brain. A word-form that combines with prefixes and suffixes to make new words.
ENCEPHALIC: Within the skull.
ENCEPHALITIS: Brain inflammation.
ENCEPHALOGRAM: X-ray of the brain.
ENCEPHALOMALACIA: Infarction of brain tissue.
ENCEPHALOMYELITIS: Brain and/or spinal cord inflammation.
ENCEPHALOPATHY: Any disease of the brain.
ENCHONDROMA: A benign growth of cartilage in a bone.
ENDARTERECTOMY: A method to remove the core of an artery that is thickened by fatty deposits thus
ensuring blood flow, carotid, coronary.
ENDEMIC: A disease which occurs in a specific region of the world.
ENDO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "within".
ENDOCARDITIS: Inflammation (infection) of the heart ... typically the heart valves.
ENDOCARDIUM: The lining of the heart chamber.
ENDOCRINE SYSTEM: The body system which secretes hormones into the bloodstream. Glands

included in this system are the thymus, thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries and testes.
ENDOCYTOSIS: The metabolic process whereby a cell takes in fluids or other large molecules.
ENDODONTIC THERAPY: A dental procedure called ... "root canal".
ENDODONTIC SURGERY: Also called "apicoectomy". A small opening in the gums is made to obtain
access to the root of a tooth. The area of bone and roots is cleaned and explored. Subsequently, the tip
of the root is excised and a patch is placed (retrograde filling). Finally, sutures (stitches) are placed.
ENDOGENOUS: Without an apparent outside cause.
ENDOMETRIUM: Uterine lining.
ENDOMETRIOSIS: Condition where tissue that resembles the uterine mucous membrane exists in
various areas of the pelvic cavity. Birth control pills impede monthly changes that cause pain by
mimicking pregnancy.
ENDOMETRITIS: Inflammation of the endometrium.
ENDOMORPH: A body type in which the trunk predominates over the limbs.
ENDOMORPHIC: Having characteristics of an endomorph.
ENDOMYOMETRITIS: Sepsis of the tissues of the uterus.
ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM: A term from the molecular world that refers to the many, tiny membranes
that are diffused throughout the cytoplasm of the cell ... their primary function is the transportation of
ENDOPLAST: Cell nucleus.
ENDORPHIN: Substances found in the brain that suppresses the sensation of pain by binding to opiate
suppressors in the brain.
ENDOSCOPE: An examining instrument used in body canals or body organs.
ENDOSCOPE PAPILLOTOMY: A method of removing gallstones from the common bile duct by placing a
tube (with a wire in it).
ducts and pancreatic duct. 2) An examination of the bile ducts by x-ray techniques following the injection
of a contrast dye.
ENDOSCOPIST: One who is proficient in the use of an examining instrument used to inspect body canals
or organs.
ENDOSCOPY: A method of visualizing internal body functions by the use of a fiber optic tube.
ENDOSCOPY OF THE ESOPHAGUS: A viewing of the esophagus using a device that allows the health
provider to see the interior of the esophagus.
ENDOTHELIUM: The special skin which lines internal organs and blood vessels.
ENDOTRACHEAL TUBE: A tube placed in the trachea i.e., oral, nasal.
END STAGE: A period in a disease in which nothing can medically be done to correct the situation.
END STAGE LIVER DISEASE: A point where the liver is unable to function properly due to the
progression of a disease.
ENG: Abbreviation for ... "electroneurography" ... "electronystagmogram" ... "electronystagmograph" ...
ENHANCED EXTERNAL COUNTERPULSATION: Also called ... "EECP". Two cuffs (resembling blood
pressure cuffs) are attached to each thigh and another is applied to each calf. Electronic signals from an
EKG machine causes the cuffs to inflate and deflate (which increases the flow of blood to heart muscle).
The improved blood flow causes new blood vessels to form and takes over the work previously done by
the clogged arteries. One hour sessions which last for 35 weeks are typical as a treatment.
ENOPHTHALMOS: A drawing back of the eyeball into the socket resulting from injury or birth defect.
ENT: Ears, nose, throat.
ENTERAL: Referring to the intestines or gastrointestinal tract.
ENTERALGIA: Intestinal pain.
ENTERECTOMY: Resection of a portion of the intestines.
ENTERIC: Referring to the small intestines.
ENTERITIS: Inflammation of a small intestine.
ENTERO / O: A combining word-form which means "intestine".
ENTEROCOCCUS: A bacteria that resides in the colon and causes no problems if it does not make it's
way to other body sites. Sometimes it can cause big trouble in the urinary tract, blood or abdominal
cavity. These bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics. Treatments include Synercid, vancomycin and

ENTEROCOLITIS: Inflammation of the colon and small intestines.
ENTEROHEPATIC: Liver and intestine related.
ENTEROVIRUS (family Picornaviridae): A category of viruses that may inhabit the alimentary canal.
ENTOPIC: Located in the proper place.
ENTURAL: Referring to the small intestine.
ENUCLEATE: Removal of a tumor, organ or nucleus of a cell.
ENURESIS: Urination while sleeping ... bed wetting.
ENVENOMATION: The injection of a poison.
ENZYME: Something which promotes a chemical reaction but is not involved in it. Enzymes are protein
substances produced by the body ... they are required tissue/cell building and repairing ... they are
essential chemicals that are the foundation of human body functions.
ENZYME IMMUNOASSAY: A test which details information regarding the amount of antibodies located in
the bloodstream.
EOM: An abbreviation for "extra?ocular movements" (of the eye).
EOSINOPHILIA: An abnormal increase in white blood cells.
EPHELIS: The medical term for "freckle".
EPHIDROSIS: Abnormal sweating.
EPI-: A prefix that means "above".
EPIBULBAR: Upon the eyeball.
EPICARDIUM: Wall of the heart (outer layer).
EPICONDYLE: Projection at the end of a bone resembling a knuckle.
EPICONDYLITIS: Inflammation of the "epicondyle".
EPICONDYLUS: Projection from a long bone near the joint extremity above the condyle.
EPIDEMIC: A fast and massive outbreak of a disease confined to an area, group or population.
EPIDEMIOLOGY: The study of the causes, patterns and control of infectious diseases in the general
EPIDERMIS: The outer layer of skin.
EPIDIDYMIS: A long structure connected to the posterior surface of the testes for the transportation of
EPIDIDYMITIS: An infection and inflammation of the epididymis.
EPIDURAL ANESTHESIA: A method of numbing the abdominal area, genitals and other areas by
injecting an anesthetic drug through the epidural space and into the spinal column ... often used during
EPIGASTRALGIA: Pain located in the upper abdomen.
EPIGASTRIC: Referring to the upper abdomen.
EPIGLOTTIS: A structure that closes the windpipe similar to a lid.
EPIGLOTTITIS: Inflammation of the epiglottis which often causes respiratory problems in children.
EPILATION: Hair removal (by the root).
EPILEPSY: Results in seizures that vary in intensity and duration due to sudden outbursts of electrical
energy within brain cells.
EPIOTIC: Located in the vicinity of the ear.
EPIPHYSIS: A part of a long bone.
EPISIOTOMY: A procedure used during childbirth that involves cutting the wall of the vagina to prevent
EPISOME: Bacterial genetic elements which may exist autonomously ... reproducing within the host.
EPISTAXIS: Nose bleed.
EPITHELIOD: Appearing like "epithelium" (the outer layer of skin that covers the body).
EPITHELIOD CELL: A macrophage (immunity cell which attack invading organisms) which resembles
epithelial cells ... they are typically seen in granulomas (small, firm, knoblike, circumscribed inflamed
lesions which contain mononuclear phagocytes).
EPITHELIOMA: Epithelioma is typically a skin cancer tumor (sometimes of the mucous membranes).
EPITHELIUM: The outer layer of skin that covers the body.
EPITHELIZATION: The formation of epithelium (the outer layer of skin that covers the body) over a
surface that has had its protective covering removed.
EPITHELIZE: To cover with epithelium.

EPITOPE: A chemical group which triggers a reaction from the immune system.
EPITROCHLEA: Epicondylus medialis humeri ... a smooth articular surface.
EPITROCHLEAR: Above a trochlea (a smooth articular surface).
EPLEY MANEUVERS: Head movements designed to dislodge calcium deposits in the fluid of the inner
ear causing vertigo.
EPONCYCHIAL FOLD: i.e., of the fingernail.
EPONYCHIUM: Thin skin adherent to the finger or toenail.
EPSTEIN?BARR VIRUS: A virus which causes mononucleosis. The virus is also found in cultures of
Burkitt's lymphoma.
EQUIVOCAL: Uncertain, doubtful, having more than one meaning.
EQUIVOCAL SYMPTOM: A symptom that is not associated with a particular disease.
ER-2 PANEL: Abbreviation for ... "Emergency Room 2 Panel".
ERBD: Abbreviation for ... "endoscopic retrograde biliary drainage".
ERC: Abbreviation for ... "endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (or
ERCP: Abbreviation for ... "endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography" (a surgical procedure).
ERECTOR SPINAE MUSCLES: A group of muscles which extend the spine. It consists of the iliocostalis
musculus, spinalis musculus and longissimus musculus.
ERECTOR SPINY MUSCLES: Muscles of the cervical spine.
ERGO: Synonymous with "therefore".
ERUCTATION: Elimination of gas or acid fluid from the stomach through the mouth ... belching.
ERYSIPELAS: "Red skin" is a direct translation of this Greek word. It is caused by the same germ that
causes strep throat and this skin infection may follow a sore throat. The face is usually the area that
becomes bright red, hot and swollen. It can spread rapidly with sharply defined, red, hot and edematous
eruptions. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed.
ERYTHEMA: Redness of the skin due to congestion of the capillaries.
ERYTHROCYTE: Red blood cell.
ERYTHROCYTE AGING: A typical life span for a red blood cell is 120 days ... at maturity it is unable to
repair itself, reproduce and perform other functions.
ERYTHROCYTE DEFORMABILITY: The characteristic of an erythrocyte to alter it's shape while passing
through small spaces.
ERYTHROCYTE INDICES: A measurement obtained from the erythrocyte count, concentration of blood
hemoglobin and hematocrit. Typically includes MCV (mean cell volume), MCH (mean cell hemoglobin).
ERYTHROPOIESIS: The manufacturing of red blood cells.
ERYTHROPOIETIN: Antianemic, hematinic (orphan: anemia of end-stage renal disease or HIV,
myelodysplastic syndrome).
ESCHAR: Thick crust (coagulated) which develops following cauterization.
ESL: Abbreviation for "Extensor Hallucis Longus".
ESOPHAG / O: A combining word-form which means "esophagus".
ESOPHAGEAL: Referring to the esophagus.
ESOPHAGEAL VARICES: Varicose veins in the esophagus which become irritated by passing food ...
typically caused by liver problems due to cirrhosis.
ESOPHAGECTOMY: The surgical removal of an area of the esophagus.
ESOPHAGITIS: Esophageal inflammation.
ESOPHAGOMALACIA: A softening of the walls of the esophagus.
ESOPHAGOSCOPY: Inspection of the esophagus via an instrument with a camera and light.
ESOPHAGRAM: X-ray of the esophagus.
ESOPHAGUS: A muscular tube that measures between 7-10 inches in length and connects the mouth
with the stomach. See "nutcracker esophagus"; "esophagus achalasia".
ESOPHAGUS ACHALASIA: An ailment which targets the "swallowing tube" (esophagus) muscles. Food
sticks in the esophagus and swallowing becomes an ordeal. Treatments include using a balloon to dilate
the low end of the "swallowing tube". Also, the drug Botox is being used to relax the muscles. Nitrates
used to alleviate chest pain due to angina will sometimes relax the muscles to allow food to move into the

ESR: Abbreviation for "erythrocyte sedimentation rate".
ESSENTIAL HYPERTENSION: High blood pressure not caused by disease.
ESSENTIAL THROMBOCYTHEMIA: An increased amount of platelets in the blood with no apparent
ESSENTIAL TREMOR: Family based affliction that can cause the hands and head to shake (making the
voice quiver). Beta-blockers like Inderal can be taken to alleviate.
ESTER: An ester is formed by removing water from an alcohol and acid.
ESTROGEN: Female hormone that promotes the growth of the uterine lining. Without it, tissues of the
urinary tract and genitals decrease in size that can lead to a leaking bladder. Undesirable side effects can
include high blood pressure, blood clots, breast lumps, tumors and fibroids. Estrogen pills are the typical
method of treating menopausal night sweats, hot flashes and mood swings in the year 2000. They are not
to be used by woman who are at high risk for breast cancer. It is a most effective treatment to preserve
bone strength. Also see "phytoestrogen".
ESTRUS: The sex cycle of the female.
ESV: Abbreviation for ... "esophageal valve".
ET: Abbreviation for ... "endotracheal tube".
ETA: Abbreviation for ... "estimated time of arrival".
ETHANOL: Alcohol ... grain alcohol produced from carbohydrates via fermentation.
ETHER: Anesthetic (liquid of organic origin).
ETHIBOND: Type of suture.
ETHMOID: Relating to a bone of the skull; pertaining to the ethmoid sinuses.
ETHMOID AIR CELLS: Air filled cells located in the ethmoid labyrinth.
ETIOLOGY: Science and study of the causes of diseases and their mode of operation.
ETOH: Lab test. Ethyl alcohol (consumption, dependency).
ET TUBE: Endotracheal tube.
EU-: A prefix (word part) meaning "good" or "well".
EUGENICS: The study of inherited qualities.
EUNUCH: A male who has been castrated.
EUPHORIA: A feeling of wellness.
EUPNEA: Normal, free breathing (under restful conditions).
EUSTACHIAN TUBE: Mucous-lined, narrow tube which joins the nose and throat with the inner ear.
EUSTACHITIS: Inflamed mucous membrane of the eustachian tube.
EUTHYMIA: Mental peace of mind ... joy.
EUTHYMIC: Characterized by "euthymia".
EUTHYROID: Having thyroid functioning that is normal.
EUTHROID HYPOMETABOLISM: A syndrome similar to myxedema (a type of "cretinism" ... retardation,
goiter, dry skin and hair which is coarse) but with a normal thyroid.
EUTHYROID SICK SYNDROME: Abnormal thyroid test results that occur in systemic diseases.
EVEREST BIPOLAR CAUTERY DEVICE: Surgical instrument ... Currently being researched.
EVERSION: Turning inside out.
EVERT: To turn outward.
EVISCERATION: To remove an inner part.
EX-: A prefix (word part) meaning "out" or "outside".
EXACERBATION: Increase in the seriousness of a disease.
EXANTHEM: Skin eruption due to acute viral or coccal disease i.e., measles, scarlet fever.
EXANTHEM SUBITUM: Also called "roseola". It is a childhood disease which strikes between the ages of
six months and 2-years. At first a fever develops for 3-5 days combined with a feeling of listlessness.
Following that, the child feels more energetic but a red rash develops. This is a strange disease in that
symptoms appear separately.
EXANTHEMA: See "exanthem".
EXANTHESIS ARTHROSIA: Also called ... "aden fever", "bouquet fever", breakbone fever", "dandy
fever", "date fever", "dengue fever", "dengue", "polka fever", "scarlatina rheumatica", "solar fever". A viral
disease which exists in tropical and subtropical areas of the world ... transmitted by mosquitos. Grade I
symptoms are fever and general constitutional problems. Grade II symptoms are the same as Grade I but
with spontaneous bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, gums and skin. Grade III symptoms are the same

as the first two but with circulatory failure added. Grade IV symptoms add to the first three profound
EXCIPIENT: Typically an inert ingredient added to dilute a drug.
EXCISION: Removal.
EX (O)-: A prefix (word part) meaning "outside" or "outward".
EXCORIATION: A scratch or abrasion to the skin.
EXCURSION: Turning inside out.
EXETER STANDARD STEM: Surgical instrument / aid.
EXFOLIATION: The shedding of cells.
EXOCRINE GLANDS: Ducted glands that excrete hormones to specific areas.
EXODONTIA: Extraction of a tooth.
EXOGENOUS: Originating from outside the body.
EXON: A part of DNA that is involved with programming messenger RNA from DNA.
EXOPHTHALMOS: A bulging of the eyes which can be caused by an over active thyroid gland.
EXOSTOSIS: Cartilage-capped bony projection arising from any bone that develops from cartilage.
EXOTERIC: Developing outside the organism.
EXPECTORANT: A medication which decreases the density of sputum (dilutes) and encourages
expelling of mucus from the respiratory tract.
EXPRESSIVE APHASIA: Inability or impairment of speech.
EXTENSOR: One of the muscles of the forearm or the calf of the leg.
EXTENSOR HALLUCES LONGUS: The lower leg muscle.
EXTERNAL OBLIQUE: Lower eight ribs.
EXTRAHEPATIC BILE DUCT OBSTRUCTION: Also called ... "surgical jaundice". A blockage which
impedes the flow of bile through the cystic bile duct, common bile duct, cystic bile duct or Vater's ampulla.
EXTRAHEPATIC BILE DUCTS: Passageways that transport bile outside of the liver ... examples include:
the common bile duct, common hepatic duct.
EXTRAPYRAMIDAL: Referring to the nerves and fiber that coordinate and control.
EXTRASYSTOLE: A heart contraction which interferes with normal rhythm.
EXTRAVASATION: The escape of fluid into tissue.
EXTRICATE: To release.
EXTRINSIC: External.
EXTUBATION: The insertion of a tube from the body.
EXUDATE: 1. The liquid that oozes out of inflamed areas. 2. A fluid that flows from body tissue, typically
due to injury or inflammation. An example is the fluid that exudes from an abrasion (an injury which rubs
off a surface area of skin to result in a bleeding surface) to eventually crust over to become a scab.
EYE GROUNDS: The fundus of the eye as seen with an ophthalmoscope. It is the inside (rear) of the eye
that is seen by looking through the pupil.
EYETOOTH: An upper canine tooth.

F.: Abbreviation for "Fahrenheit". Also "Fahr."
FACIOPLEGIA: Paralysis of the face.
FACTITIOUS: Un-natural, self-induced.
FACTOR I: Another term for ... "fibrinogen".
FACTOR II: Another term for ... "prothrombin".
FACTOR III: Another term for ... "thromboplastin".
FACTOR IV: Another term for ... "calcium" which is present when blood coagulates.
FACTOR V: A procoagulant in blood plasma.

FACTOR VI: A substance that has not yet been discovered but thought to be a product from factor V at
the time of coagulation.
FACTOR VII: A procoagulant in normal blood plasma.
FACTOR VIII: A blood clotting factor.
FACTOR IX: A procoagulant in normal blood plasma.
FACTOR X: A procoagulant in normal blood plasma.
FACTOR XI: A procoagulant in normal blood plasma.
FAHRENHEIT: A method of measuring temperature used primarily in the United States. A typical body
temperature is 98.6 degrees F. (Celsius = 37 degrees). Conversion formula for Fahrenheit to Celsius is:
C=(F-32) x 5/9.
FAILURE TO THRIVE: A situation in which a baby does not develop in a normal manner.
FAINTING: A loss of consciousness. When it is caused by blood pooling in the legs it is called "vasovagal
syncope" and not a sign of serious problems. However, erratic heartbeats, brain seizures and decreased
blood flow to the brain can indicate a more sinister condition.
FALCIFORM LIGAMENT: A fold in the thin membrane (peritoneum) that covers most of the abdominal
organs. This fold is connected to the diaphragm and sheath of the rectus muscle and liver.
FALLOPIAN TUBES: Also called "uterine tubes" ... they connect the womb with the ovaries.
FALSE LABOR: Contractions which can occur days before the birth of a baby.
FALSE RIBS: The five lowest pairs of ribs which are not attached to the sternum.
FAMILIAL: The term is normally used to mean "inherited" this is incorrect usage. The correct definition is
"affecting several members of the same family".
FAMILIAL ADENOMATOUS POLYPOSIS: Disease in which hundreds and as much as thousands of
polyps grow in the colon or the rectum during childhood and ultimately become cancerous.
FAMILIAL POLYPOSIS: Rare disease which results in polyps growing in the colon which have a high risk
of developing into cancer. Note: This is an inherited disease.
FAMILIAL TREMOR: Also called ... "essential tremor". Tremors that typically occur in the hands. It gets
worse when sufferer raises a cup of tea to the lips or holds a newspaper outstretched. Stressors like
anger, fatigue, fear, caffeine, nicotine and emotions tend to make it worse. Treatment is often the seizurecontrol medication called Primidone. Also, propranolol has been effectively used. In cases where
medications are not effective ... an electronic device can be hooked up to the brain that nullifies errant
brain signals that cause the tremors. The International Tremor Foundation is located at 7046 W. 105th St,
Overland Park, Kansas 66212 (
FANCONIA ANEMIA: A rare genetic disorder which results in cancers of vital organs and failure of bone
FAP: Abbreviation for "familial adenomatous polyposis".
FAR POINT: The most distant point that the relaxed eye can see.
FARSIGHTEDNESS: Being unable to see clearly at close distances.
FASTIGIUM: The highest position.
FASCI / O: A combining word-form which means "fibrous tissue".
FASCIA: Connective-fibrous tissue.
FASCIA LATA: The deep fascia of the thigh.
FASCICLES: Electrical cables in the heart which conduct electricity from the heart's pacemaker to the
pumping ventricles.
FASCICULAR BLOCK: An interruption in the bundles of the heart which conduct electricity from the
heart's pacemaker to the chambers which pump blood. These blocks are common and do not constitute a
medical emergency. Sometimes a block can be an indication of another problem like a diminished blood
flow to the bundles.
FASCICULATED: Combined into bundles.
FASCICULATION: Involuntary contractions or switches.
FASCICULITIS: Muscle or nerve fiber inflammation.
FASCICULUS: A bundle of fibers.
FASCIITIS: Inflammation of connective-fibrous tissue (fascia).
FASCIOLA HEPATICA: Liver fluke of many animals and occasionally seen in the human liver ... can
cause obstruction of biliary ducts.
FAT PAD: An accumulation of adipose tissue (fat cells) enclosed in fibrous tissue.
FALX: A fold of dura mater located in the brain which projects toward a structure of the cerebellum.

FAT: One of the three nutrients that provide calories to the body (i.e., fats, protein, carbohydrates). Fats
deliver nine calories per gram (two times the number delivered by proteins or carbohydrates).
FAT - MONOUNSATURATED: A type of fat found in plant foods (i.e. olive oil and canola). It has a
reputation for reducing blood cholesterol.
FATTY LIVER: Yellow areas of the liver caused by fatty degeneration of the cells of the functional areas
of the liver.
FATTY LIVER - ALCOHOLIC: Typically seen in alcoholics ... an enlarged liver due to large droplets of fat.
People with this problem often do not exhibit symptoms, however, the condition can progress into
hepatitis or cirrhosis.
FEBRIFUGE: Also called ... "antipyretic". Something that decreases or prevents a fever.
FECAL: Referring to stool.
FECES: Stool.
FECAL OCCULT BLOOD TEST: An inexpensive and painless test which can identify colon cancer. A
small amount of stool is tested for blood on a special paper that changes color if blood is present. False
results can be obtained by patients who are taking iron, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or
FECUNDITY: Being in a state of fertility.
FELLATIO: A sexual technique in which the penis is placed in the mouth of a partner.
FELLOW: A physician who has completed post graduate education and is doing extra work in a
specialized field.
Felon: An infection of abscess of the tip of the finger.
FELTY'S SYNDROME: This disease affects approximately 1% of those inflicted with rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms include and enlarged spleen and a low white blood cell count which makes them especially
vulnerable to infections. One treatment is to remove the spleen and another is to use the drug
FEMOR / O: A combining word-form which means "thigh bone" (femur).
FEMORAL: Referring to the thigh.
FEMORAL ARTERY: The primary blood vessel that supplies blood to the leg.
FEMORAL NECK: The neck of the thighbone.
FEMORAL HEAD: The upper end of the thighbone.
FEMOROILIAC: Refers to the thigh bone (femur) and the hip bone (ilium).
FEMSOFT INSERT: A device used to treat female incontinence. It is a fluid filled sleeve which is inserted
in the urethra ... designed to conform to the anatomy of the patient.
FEMUR: The thighbone. No other bone in the body is as long or as strong as the femur. It extends from
the hip to the knee.
FENESTRA: An opening in a brace or dressing designed to allow access to an injury.
FENESTRATED: Having openings which resemble windows ... i.e., fenestrated knee brace.
FENESTRATION: A surgical procedure to correct some types of hearing loss.
FERMENTATION: The degeneration of complex substances to simpler ones via enzyme action. Typically,
a bacterium breaks down substances to produce alcohols, acids and gasses. In the intestines, resident
bacteria breakdown food substances and releases hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
FERRITIN: A chemical complex composed of protein and iron ... found in the spleen, bone marrow,
mucosa of the intestines, reticulocytes, and liver ... regulates the storage of iron.
FERRULE: A piece of metal placed over a tooth for the purpose of strengthening it.
FESTER: The making of pus.
FETAL: Referring to a fetus.
FETICIDE: The killing of an unborn infant.
FETID: Foul smelling.
FETOPROTEINS: Fetal proteins which can be an indication of disease when found in adults.
FETOR HEPATICUS: A characteristic breath odor which is indicative of liver failure.
FETUS: A term given to an unborn child after the third month of gestation.
FEV: Abbreviation for ... "forced expiratory volume".
FEVER: A body temperature which rises above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

FIBRE: Dietary fibre promotes bowel regularity, helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and regulate blood
sugars in those people who have diabetes. This important substance is found in many vegetables and
fruits as well as whole grain products.
FIBRILLATION: 1. Muscle fiber twitching which does not affect the entire muscle but rather individual
fibers. 2. Rapid contracting or twitching that interferes with normal heart rhythms. Sometimes the
condition is corrected with electric shock.
FIBRIN: The base of a blood clot produced by proteins in tissues and blood.
FIBRINOGEN: 1. A plasma protein manufactured by the liver and synthesized into fibrin (during the
formation of a blood clot). 2. A tiny, soluble particle (protein) in blood that promotes clotting.
FIBROADENOMA: An innocent growth of milk glands and supporting fibrous tissue ... it is not cancer.
FIBROIDS: Fleshy, benign growths in the uterus and other areas.
FIBROMA: A benign tumor made from fiber tissue.
FIBROMYALGIA: Also called "the invisible illness". Symptoms include chronic, wide-spread muscle pain,
allergies, anxiety, mental fatigue, carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, dizziness, heart palpitations,
dysmenorrhea, fingernail ridges, inability to exercise, gastrointestinal disturbances, headaches, irritability
(to light, sound and smells), mood swings, sleep disturbances, joint swelling, skin which is tender to touch
... poor state of the immune system. Most common in women between the ages of 30 and 60.
FIBROSIS: An abnormal formation of fiber tissue. The forming of scar tissue due to damage. When it
occurs in the liver it is referred to as "cirrhosis".
FIBROSITIS: A typical rheumatic condition that affects joints indirectly.
FIBROTIC: Refers to being affected with fibrosis.
FIBROVASCULAR: Referring to something that is both vascular and fibrous.
FIBUL / O: A combining word-form that means "Fibula" (one of the two lower leg bones).
FIBULA: One of the two lower leg bone.
FIBULOCALCANEAL: Referring to one of the two lower leg bones (fibula) and the heal bone (calcaneus).
FIFTH'S DISEASE: Also called "slap cheek disease" or "erythema infectiosa" or ""parvovirus B-19". A
childhood disease which usually runs its course in 1-3 weeks ... it is similar to the measles and produces
a runny nose and sometimes headache. During the fifth to sixth day the child's cheeks turn bright red and
a rash typically covers the body. Adults have also been known to contract the disease and the symptoms
may include joint pain and swelling that mirrors rheumatoid arthritis (not permanent). However,
sometimes the joint pain and swelling can last for months and even years. Also, inflamed heart muscles
may occur in adults but rarely in children.
FILOVIRUS: A deadly virus that resembles a thread and includes Ebola & Marburg.
FIMBRIA: A fringelike structure.
FINDER NEEDLE: Instrument typically used is surgery.
FINGERSTICK: A method of checking blood glucose levels by pricking the finger.
FISH OILS: Dietary supplements extracted from fish (especially the livers). These oils are high in vitamin
A and unsaturated fats.
FISSION: Separating into sections.
FISSURE: 1. A groove or crack. 2. One of the lobes that separates the liver.
FISTULA: An abnormal passage from an epithelialized surface to another epithelialized surface. It can be
an opening that connects two organs or an organ through the skin.
FISTULECTOMY: The removal of a fistula.
FLACCID: Weak ... non-muscular ... soft.
FLAIL CHEST: A flapping chest wall and loss of stability of the thoracic cage ... resulting from a fracture of
the ribs or sternum.
FLANK: The part of the body below the ribs and above the ilium (hip).
FLAP: Skin tissue that is semi-detached.
FLATULENCE: Abnormal amounts of gas in the digestive tract ... caused by swallowing air, fermentation
in the intestines and sometimes diseases.
FLATUS: Air or gas from the intestines that is expelled from the rectum. This intestinal gas comes from
bacteria feeding on undigested food.
FLAVIVIRUS: A group of viruses that cause hepatitis C, yellow fever, denge and St. Louis encephalitis.
FLAVONE: A plant pigment that is the rudiment of flavonoids.
FLAVONOID: A group of pigments seen in plants which may help to prevent cancer.

FLAXSEED: Linseed.
FLESH EATING DISEASE: Common strep bacteria causes an infection of the skin which is often life
threatening. Tissues below the skin swell up ... the skin turns dark red and blisters form. This painful
process causes dead tissue and advances very quickly. Antibiotics can stop the infection when caught
early providing dead tissue has been removed. An amputation of body parts often is required.
FLEXION: The bending (reduction in angle) of two ones which are connected ... for example, the bending
of the elbow.
FLEXOR: A muscle that bends a limb at a joint.
FLEX SIG: Abbreviation for ... "flexible sigmoid".
FLEXURE: The bent area of an organ, for example ... anorectal flexure, basicranial flexure, caudal
flexure, cephalic flexure, cerebral flexure, cervical flexure, cranial flexure, dorsal flexure, duodenojejunal
flexure, hepatic flexure, inferior flexure of the duodenum, left colic flexure, lumbar flexure, mesencephalic
flexure, perineal flexure of the rectum, pontine flexure, right colic flexure, sacral flexure, sacral flexure of
the rectum, sigmoid flexure, splenic flexure, superior flexure of the duodenum, telencephalic flexure,
transverse rhombencephalic flexure.
FLOATERS: Small particles which appear in the vitreous (fluid that fills the back of the eye). If a person
concentrates on them he/she will see them moving across their field of vision. It is to be noted that a
sudden shower of floaters combined with flashes of bright light can be an indication of a detached retina.
FLOATING RIBS: The two lowest pairs of false ribs (not attached to the sternum).
FLOCCULENT: Something that has the appearance of wool or cotton.
FLORA: Plants.
FLORID: Bright red in color ... flowery.
FLU: See "influenza".
FLU LIKE SYMPTOMS: Fever, muscle aches, joint pains and nausea.
FLUCTUANT: Refers to the examination of a body part which contains a liquid; a wavelike motion is felt
when pressing the area.
FLUKE: A parasitic worm that has a flat appearance.
FLUORESCEIN: An orange-red powder that produces a bright green fluorescein in solution.
FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TEST: A test which identifies harmful streptococci from a throat smear.
FLUORESCEIN EXAM: Referred to in an eye exam i.e. a chemical placed in the eye.
FLUOROSCOPE: A device which makes use of x-rays to observe structures within the body. The device
presents real-time imaging (internal organs in motion). The word part "fluoro" refers to the fluorescence
that produces the picture on a cathode ray tube (similar to a television picture tube).
FLUTTER: A term often used to describe an irregular and rapid motion of the heart.
FLUX: A massive flow of body excrement.
FNA: Abbreviation for ... "fine needle aspiration".
FNAB: Abbreviation for ... "fine needle aspiration biopsy".
FNB: Abbreviation for ... "fine needle biopsy".
FNTHC: Abbreviation for ... "fine needle transhepatic cholangiography".
FOAMY LIVER: The description of some livers following death in which there is a presence of many gas
FOBT: Abbreviation for ... "fecal occult blood test".
FOCAL SEIZURES: A seizure in which abnormal electrical impulses can be traced to an exact area(s) of
the brain.
FOCI: Plural of "focus".
FOCUS: The site of an infection.
FOLATE: Another word for "folic acid" which is a B vitamin. Normal body levels range from 2.5 to 20
nanograms/mL. Low levels lead to anemia. Low levels during pregnancy can cause birth defects to the
spine. Adult requirements are 400 micrograms ... 600 for pregnant women ... 500 for a nursing mother.
FOLEY CATHETER: This is a thin, flexible tube inserted into the urethra in order to drain the bladder ...
the catheter is retained in the urinary bladder by an inflated balloon; Chronic indwelling;
FOLIC ACID: One of the family of B vitamins. It sparks action from Vitamins A, D, E, and K. It can be
obtained naturally from green leafy vegetables. It also affects the blood, liver and kidneys. Another word
for "folate" which is a B vitamin. Normal body levels range from 2.5 to 20 nanograms/mL. Low levels lead
to anemia. Low levels during pregnancy can cause birth defects to the spine. NOTE: Cooking, heat, light
and acid pH lower than four destroys folic acid. SOURCES: Spinach, kale, asparagus, beats, broccoli.

DOSAGE: Adult requirements are 400 micrograms ... 600 for pregnant women ... 500 for a nursing
FOLIE: Psychosis.
FOLLICLE: 1. A tiny sac of the body that secretes chemicals. 2. Every egg in the ovary is housed in a
"capsule" which resembles a dome-covered nest called the "follicle".
FOLLICULITIS: An inflammation that occurs due to a reaction in hair follicles resulting in small, solid
elevations of the skin.
FOLSTEIN'S: Mini mental status examination.
FOMENTATION: The application of warm, moist heat to an inflamed area.
FOMES: An object that is not in itself harmful, but is able to harbor pathogenic microorganisms and
therefore may serve to transmit an infection.
FONTANEL: Soft spot on an infants head.
FONTANELLE: Soft spot on an infants head.
FOOD POISONING SYMPTOMS: Food poisoning is often mistaken for the flu due to diarrhea, cramps,
vomiting and nausea. Symptoms often develop 8-24 hours after ingestion.
FOOTDROP: A condition in which a person must lift the leg high off the ground when walking to prevent it
from dragging on the ground. Nerve damage is a typical cause. Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, a deficient
thyroid gland and a lack of vitamin B-12 can also be the cause. Sometimes braces are prescribed to keep
the foot from sagging.
FORAMEN: An opening, as in a membrane or a bone.
FORAMEN MAGNUM: An opening that occurs in the base of the occipital bone that is where the spinal
cord passes through from the medulla oblongata.
FORAMINA: Plural of "foramen".
FORCEPS: Surgical instrument with two prongs ... typically used for extracting.
FOREARM: Lower arm between the wrist and elbow.
FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: An specialist who investigates suspicious deaths. Typically, the forensic
pathologist works as a medical examiner or coroner.
FORNIX: An arch-shaped structure as in the vaginal fornix (fornix vaginae).
FOSSA: Hollow or pouch. Depression below the surface of a part.
FOSSA NAVICULARIS: Boat shaped, pouched area.
FOURCHETTE: The frenulum (fold of skin) which connects the two labia minora.
FOVEA ETHMOIDALIS: The top of the ethmoidal air cells.
FRACTURES: Broken bones which includes "simple" and "compound" types. Simple fractures do not
involve a break in the skin with minimal displacement. Compound types are much more serious in which
there is an opening in the skin due to a bone edge pushing it's way out. Types ... salter; COLLES; torus;
FREER ELEVATOR: A surgical instrument used to elevate tissue.
FREE RADICALS: Atoms or groups of atoms which readily combine with other compounds. They damage
the body during these chemical reactions. They develop in heated fats and oils and are a result of
pollutants, radiation and many other things.
FREE T4: The physiologically active form of thyroxine contained in blood serum.
FRENULUM: A fold of skin or membrane that limits the movement of a body part.
FRENUM: Mucous membrane passing from a more fixed to a moveable part, serving to stop movement
of the part ... often used to refer to the tissue beneath the tongue.
FREMITUS: Trembling movement of the chest wall that can be heard or felt by an examining physician.
FRIABLE: Easily pulverized or crumbled.
FRICTION RUBS: A dry, grating sound heard with a stethoscope. It is normal when heard over the liver
and spleen but may indicate problems when heard over the heart or lungs.
FRIEDREITCH'S ATAXIA: A disease that causes clumsiness of the hands and arms due to an
abnormality of the nervous system. Symptoms usually commence in the 20's and gets progressively
FRONS: The forehead.
FRONTAL: Term typically used to identify the forehead.
FROZEN SECTION BIOPSY: A histological exam of a biopsy for the purpose of determining appropriate
FRUCTOSE: A simple sugar.

FSH: Abbreviation for "follicle stimulating hormone".

FULGURATED: Currently being researched.
FULMINANT: Acute, severe, rapid.
FUNCTIONAL DISORDER: Intestinal tract discomfort which appears with no signs of disease.
FUNDOMUCOUS LAKE AREA: Lowest area of the stomach.
FUNDOPLICATION: Also called ... fundal plication". Suturing to the fundus of the stomach for the
purpose of creating a valve that prevents the backup of stomach acid into the esophagus (to repair a
hiatal hernia).
FUNDOPLICATION (TOUPET): Currently being researched.
FUNDUS: Lowest part of a hollow organ ... the area furthest away from the opening.
FUNDUS OF THE EYE: Also called the "eyeground". It is the rear of the eye as seen when looking
through the pupil. An examination of this sort is performed to evaluate the blood vessels.
FUNGATING SORE: A granulating chancroid.
FUNGUS: A class of organisms which includes yeast, mushrooms and mods. Some species can cause
severe diseases (like Candida albicans).
FUNNY BONE: A portion of the outer elbow which is crossed by the ulnar nerve.
FUO: Abbreviation for ... "fever of unknown origin".
FUR: A deposit on the tongue.
FURFUR: Dandruff.
FURUNCLE: A pyogenic infection which originates in a hair follicle.
FURUNCULOSIS: A condition characterized by infections that begin in hair follicles (furuncles), often
chronic and recurrent.
FUSIFORM: Spindle-shaped.
FUSION PROTEIN: Proteins that exist on the surface of a virus and is the mechanism by which the virus
envelope fuses with the cell membranes.
FVC: Abbreviation for ... "forced vital capacity.

G III: Abbreviation for ... "Gravida three" (having been pregnant three times).
G6PD DEFICIENCY: Glucose6-phosphate dehydrogenase insufficiency that is associated with red blood
cell destruction ... typically seen in people who live in the Mediterranean region.
G+: Abbreviation which means ... "gram positive".
G-: Abbreviation which means ... "gram negative".
GA: Abbreviation for ... "gastric antrum" (nearly closed body cavity).
GAIT: Walking.
GALACTIC: Refers to "milk".
GALEA: A structure shaped like a helmet.
GALEAZZI'S FRACTURE: Forearm bone fracture (radius) combined with dislocation of the distal
radioulnar joint.
GALL: A chemical secretion typically stored in the liver used to break down fats.
GALL BLADDER: A pear shaped sac beneath the liver where bile is stored. The major problem that
occurs is the development of gallstones that may result in severe pain of the abdomen. Gall bladder
disease strikes women much more than men probably due to the female hormone estrogen that
increases cholesterol levels in bile (gallstones are typically composed of cholesterol).
GALL BLADDER ATTACK: Stones produced in the gall bladder that results in severe pain for 30 minutes
or more which is located in the abdomen (upper right and below the ribs). Also, nausea, vomiting and

pain radiating to the shoulder blades and back are common symptoms.
GALLBLADDER DISEASE: A situation of having a gallstone in the gallbladder or obstructing on of the
ducts connected to it.
GALL STONES: Hard, stoney, calcium objects which develop in the gall bladder and associated drainage
system. Severe pain in the upper right area of the abdomen is typically experienced when the stone
moves. Sometimes the pain radiates to both sides, the back and even up into the right shoulder. The pain
can be so intense that it causes severe distress to the sufferer.
GAMA GLOBULIN: Antibodies that protect nerves from destructive antibodies.
GAMMA GLUTAMYL: Also called ... "GGT". A liver enzyme. Increased amounts are associated with
wounds that cause blockages of the liver bile ducts. High levels are associated with hepatitis, pancreatic
and hepatobiliary diseases in which the common duct is blocked (normal in pregnancy). By itself it is a
poor marker for liver disease due to alcohol ... but when combining it with transaminases it becomes a
good indicator of alcohol abuse.
GAMMA GLUTAMYL TRANSPEPTIDASE: A liver enzyme which when elevated indicates hepatitis.
GAMETE: A reproductive sex cell ... ovum or sperm.
GEMELLI: Currently being researched.
GAMMA GLOBULIN: Blood protein that helps the body to resist disease.
GAMMOPATHY: A disturbance in the manufacture of immunoglobulin.
GAMEKEEPER'S THUMB: A chronic condition of the metacarpophalangeal joint of the thumb i.e.,
GANGLION: 1. A mass that resembles a knot. Typically in the areas near joints, tendon sheaths or
between nerve fibers. 2. A grouping of nerve cells in the peripheral nervous system.
GANGRENE: Lack of blood to an area or part of the body causing deterioration (death) of that area.
GARDNERELLA VAGINITIS: Inflammation of the vagina caused by a bacterium called "Gardnerella
GASTR / O: A combining word-form that means "stomach".
GASTRALGIA: Pain of the stomach.
GASTRECTOMY: The removal of the stomach (or portion of the stomach).
GASTRIC: Referring to the stomach.
GASTRIC FLUID: Digestive fluids which are secreted by the glands of the stomach and consist of
primarily hydrochloric acid, mucin, pepsin and rennin.
GASTRIC LAVAGE: A procedure to remove contents of the stomach.
GASTRIC MUCOSA: Protective lining of the stomach.
GASTRIC RESECTION: A procedure which removes part or all of the stomach.
GASTRIC ULCER: A sore that develops on the protective lining of the stomach.
GASTRIN: A hormone that increases stomach acid production.
GASTRITIS: Inflammation of the lining of the stomach.
GASTROCOLIC REFLEX: A mass movement of colon contents that can produce an urge to move the
bowels following a meal. The strength of the urge is directly proportional to the number of calories in the
meal and the quantity of fats.
GASTRODYNIA: Stomach pain.
GASTROENTERITIS: Inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
GASTROENTEROLOGIST: Physician who specializes in the gastrointestinal tract.
GASTROENTEROLOGY: A medical discipline which focuses on the liver, stomach, bowels and
GASTROESOPHAGEAL: Referring to the stomach and the passageway leading into the stomach.
GASTROGRAPH: An instrument which reads the motions of the stomach.
GASTROINTESTINAL SERIES: Also called ... "GI series". A series of X-ray films of the gastrointestinal

tract. Typically, the patient swallows a solution of barium and the X-rays are taken as it passes through
the esophagus, stomach and intestines. Hollow organs are outlined.
GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT: Refers to the intestines and stomach.
GASTRONEMIUS: Currently being researched.
GASTROPARESIS: A slight degree of stomach paralysis i.e., the stomach does not contract due to its
weak muscles. Food remains in the stomach and does not pass through. Constant nausea and frequent
vomiting are typical symptoms. Diabetes is sometimes a cause because it impairs the functioning of
nerves that control stomach muscles. Somehow, Erythromycin stimulates stomach muscles. Reglan and
Propulsid have also been effective.
GASTRORRHAGIA: Hemorrhage of the stomach.
GASTROSCOPY: An investigation of the interior of the stomach in which a gastroscope (a straight tube
or flexible fiberscope with a light on the end) is swallowed.
GASTROSIS: Any disease of the stomach.
GASTROSTENOSIS: Stomach shrinkage.
GASTROSTOMY: An opening created by a surgeon that goes through the abdominal wall.
GAUCHER'S DISEASE: Familial splenic anemia. Genetic disease occurring primarily in Jewish families.
Symptoms commence in childhood (infancy). Symptoms include lethargy, bronze colored spots on the
skin, retardation and ultimate paralysis.
GAUNTLET: A type of bandage for the hand.
GAUZE: Dressing; Tube; Iodoform;
GAVAGI: To supply nourishment (liquid) into the stomach via a tube from the mouth.
GC: Abbreviation for Gonorrhea culture.
GCS: Abbreviation for "Glasgow coma scale".
GENE: A functional unit of heredity that is a segment of DNA located in a specific site on a chromosome.
A gene directs the formation of an enzyme or other protein.
GENE EXPRESSION: One of the stages of virus replication.
GENAPAP: Currently being researched.
GENERIC DRUG: 1. A drug named for it's chemical structure. 2. A medication that does not have a brand
-GENESIS: A suffix that means ... "producing" ... "origin" ... "development".
GENETIC ENGINEERING: The manipulation of the genome by the insertion of new genetic material.
GENIAL: Referring to the "chin".
GENOME: 1. The entire human genetic code ... the recipe for a human being. Considered the "book of
life". Consists of three billion letters. 2. An entire set of chromosomes. Scientists from the United States,
Canada, Britain, Japan, China, France and Germany worked to "map" the human genome ... the project
started in the 1980's and was completed in the year 2000. The project has been "hyped" as a cure-all to
eradicate disease, however, it must be noted that most diseases are the result of environment rather than
a person's genetic makeup.
GENITAL: Referring to sexual organs.
GENITALIA: Referring to male or female reproductive organs.
GENTIA VIOLET: A type of dye for testing.
GENU: A structure which resembles a knee.
GENUS: A classification (biological).
GER: Abbreviation for ... "gastroesophageal reflux".
GERD: Abbreviation for ... "gastroesophageal reflux" which is the backup of digestive fluids. GERD is the
medical industry's term for "heartburn". It is due to digestive fluids spurting upwards into the esophagus
through a lax sphincter muscle. Prevent GERD by placing 6 inch elevating blocks at the head of the bed
to allow gravity to keep the digestive juices in the stomach.
GERIATRICS: The study of aging.

GERMAN MEASLES: Also called "rubella". It is an infectious disease caused by a virus ... develops into a
skin rash and fever.
GERMICIDE: That which kills germs.
GERODERMA: Skin wrinkling.
GERONTOLOGIST: A specialist who treats problems associated with aging.
GESTATION: Pregnancy.
GGT: Abbreviation for ... "gamma glutamyl" transpeptidase (see "GGTP")
GGTP: Abbreviation for "gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase". Same as "GGT".
GIARDIA: A parasite that can infect mammals. It can survive for long periods of time outside the body.
GIARDIASIS: A disease of the intestines caused by the Giardia parasite which is protected by an outer
shell (cyst). When ingested, the cyst causes symptoms that include diarrhea, fever, anorexia, and nausea
... all of which subside following several days.
GIBBOUS: Humped back.
GI COCKTAIL: A combination of Mylanta and Donnatal to counteract indigestion.
GIGANTISM: Excessive size.
GILBERT'S SYNDROME: A benign fluke in the processing of bilirubin. The "Gilbert's liver" sometimes
fails to convert the bilirubin and blood levels increase. When this happens, the skin and whites of the eyes
become pale yellow. With time the color fades and harm comes from the process. Symptoms include
elevated levels of unconjugated serum bilirubin typically due to an abnormal uptake of bilirubin by the
GINGIVA: A area of gum which surrounds the tooth.
GINGIV / O: A combining word-form that means "gums".
GINGIVITIS: Inflammation of the gums (surrounding the teeth). It is the mildest form of gum disease and
begins with the accumulation of plaque (a form of dental rust).
GINGIVOLABIAL: Refers to the lips and gums.
GI SERIES: Also called ... "gastrointestinal series". A series of X-ray films of the gastrointestinal tract.
Typically, the patient swallows a solution of barium and the X-rays are taken as it passes through the
esophagus, stomach and intestines. Hollow organs are outlined.
GLABELLA: The area that exists between the eyebrows.
GLADIOLUS: The primary area of the sternum.
GLAND: A group of cells that form together to make an organ that secretes substances into the body.
There are three types ... lymph glands (located throughout the body trap germs) ... endocrine glands
(ductless) ... large glands (liver & pancreas).
GLANS: A term that refers to the tip of the clitoris or penis.
GLARDIA LAMBLIA: An amoeba like creature that causes diarrhea, weight loss, stomach cramps and
bloating. People become infected upon drinking crystal clear water from streams. Flagyl is an effective
treatment. (Boil water before drinking).
GLASGOW COMA SCALE: A system for describing the degree of loss of consciousness. The system
involves 3 responses, 1. Eye-opening. 2. Verbal response. 3. Muscle response.
GLAUCOMA: An eye disease which causes defects in vision due to atrophy of the optic nerve. The
condition is caused by high pressure of the fluids in the eyeball affecting the retina and optic nerve with
visual loss or blindness as a result. The increased pressure causes strangulation of the optic nerve fibers
and blood vessels that nourishes it. The disease is more common in women than men and usually strikes
people over 40. Those at highest risk are black people, people with diabetes, high blood pressure, severe
nearsightedness and those taking corticosteroid drugs. Typically the cause is a blockage of normal eye
GLEASON'S TUMOR GRADE: A classification of cancer of the prostate gland ... scale of one to five.

GLEE SUCTION: Surgical term ... currently being researched.

GLEET: 1. A urethral discharge noted in chronic gonorrhea patients. 2. Inflammation resulting from
mucus discharge at the site of a wound or orifice.
GLENOHUMERAL JOINT: Relating to the "glenoid" cavity and humerus.
GLENOID: A depression of scapula entering shoulder joint.
GLENOID CAVITY: Refers to the socket of the scapula where it enters the shoulder joint.
GLIOBLASTOMA: Neoplasms which grow rapidly and occurs most often in the cerebrum of adults.
GLIOMA: A neoplasm (tumor) that is formed from cells that make up the brain, spinal cord, pineal gland,
pituitary gland and retina. Malignant glioma is a difficult-to-treat form of cancer that is often deadly within
one year. In the year 2000 there is no treatment besides surgery to remove the mass. However, in the
year 2000 experiments are being performed with the polio virus that may be used to kill the brain tumors.
GLISSON'S CAPSULE: Loose, connective tissue surrounding and entering the liver with the portal
vessels and covering the larger blood vessels as they travel through the liver.
GLOBULE: Small round mass.
GLOBULIN: A protein found in blood . . . some contain antibodies that fight disease.
GLOMERULAR: Refers to the Glomeruli of the kidneys.
GLOMERULAR NEPHRITIS: Inflammation of the glomeruli of the kidneys. Kidney inflammation combined
with inflammation of the capillary loops in the glomeruli of the kidneys.
GLOMERULONEPHRITIS: A kidney disease. Kidney inflammation combined with inflammation of the
capillary loops in the glomeruli of the kidneys.
GLOMERULUS: A term which commonly refers to the glomeruli of the kidney.
GLOMULUS BODY: Thermostats of the body that regulate blood flow based on temperature. They are
located strategically throughout the body and are highly concentrated in the fingers.
GLOMULUS BODY TUMORS: Small bumps which are blue-red or blue-grey in color. It is an enlargement
of a glomulus body. Physicians remove these tumors without problems.
GLOSS / O: A combining word-form that means "tongue".
GLOSSA: Tongue.
GLOSSALGIA: Pain of the tongue.
GLOSSITIS: Tongue inflammation.
GLOSSODYNIA: Tongue pain.
GLOSSOPHARYNGEAL: Refers to the throat (pharynx) and tongue.
GLOSSAL: Pertaining to the tongue.
GLOTTIS: The area in between the vocal cords.
GLUCOCORTICOID: Also called steroids. Steroid type compound which influences intermediary
metabolism like the deposit of liver glycogen ... has anti-inflammatory effects and are used for asthma,
rheumatoid diseases. Long-term use can cause brittle bones.
GLUCOHEMIA: Blood containing sugar.
GLUCOKINASE: Hexokinase found in the liver ... it produces chemical reactions in the phosphorylation of
GLUCOMETER: Also called ... "dextrose". Measuring device for diabetics.
GLUCOSE: The primary source of energy for body cells i.e., a simple sugar. A normal blood glucose level
is less than 140.
GLUCOSE TOLERANCE FACTOR: Compound which contains chromium which helps to regulate blood
sugar by assisting chromium.
GLUCOWATCH: A wristwatch like device used to monitor blood sugar levels. It is designed to
supplement but not totally replace finger-prick tests because it sometimes gives erroneous readings and
does not work when the user perspires too much. The device works by sending electrical impulses
through the skin and triggers an alarm if the blood sugars reach dangerous levels ... one of a diabetics
major fears is that (s)he will fall into a diabetic coma during sleep due to decreasing sugar levels.

GLUTAMATE: A salt ... ester ... glutamic acid. It is a messenger chemical for nerve cells ... induces
electrical impulses as they travel from neuron to neuron.
GLUTAMIC ACID: An amino acid that is involved in the manufacture of DNA, glutathione and some other
amino acids ... removes ammonia from the body. Sometimes called "nature's brain food" because it
increases mental functioning, improves healing of ulcers, counteracts fatigue, assists with alcoholism
schizophrenia and desire for sugar.
GLUTAMINE: Amino acid which is categorized as "non-essential" and has the reputation of being a brain
fuel. Used to treat alcoholism, depression (mild) and cravings for sweets. Also, used to assist in the
prevention of tissue breakdown by supplying the body with nitrogen.
GLUTATHIONE: One of the primary detoxifiers of the liver. Glutathione is a peptide from the following
amino acids ... glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. It is a detoxicant and antioxidant.
GLUTATHIONE PEROXIDASE: Class of enzymes known to have antioxidant properties which contain
GLUTEAL: Referring to the buttocks.
GLUTEN: Protein which is contained in grains such as wheat, rye and barley.
GLUTEUS: Muscles in buttocks.
GLUTEUS MAXIMUS: The largest muscle in the buttock.
GLUTEUS MINIMUS: The smallest muscle in the buttock.
GLYCATE: The product of the reaction between sugars and free amino groups of proteins.
GLYCATION: Damage caused by the glucose that forms Glycate.
GLYCEMIA: Blood which contains sugar.
GLYCEROL: Glycerols are oily fluids ... used for moistening, as an emollient (a substance which
externally soothes the skin ... internally soothes irritated surfaces) lubricant and as an emulsifying agent
(something which combines two liquids which do not mix ... one of the liquids becomes suspended in the
other as droplets ... this is the first step in the digestion of fats).
GLYCINE: A non-essential amino acid used as a nutrient and found in gelatin and silk fibroin ... natural
antacid and sweetener.
GLYCOGEN: "Muscle sugar" which breaks down to give energy required for muscle contractions.
Glucose (stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen) is converted back to glucose, as the body requires
GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE TYPE I: Hypoglycemia (an abnormal reduction in the level of blood
sugar ... the opposite of diabetes) resulting from lack of glucose production. An enlarged liver is due to a
collection of glycogen ("muscle sugar" which breaks down to give energy required for muscle
contractions.) in the kidneys and liver.
GLYCOHEMOGLOBIN: Sugar content of blood.
GLYCOLYSIS: A breakdown of glucose (carbohydrates) by enzymes that results in the formation of the
simpler compounds pyruvic or lactic acid. The net result of this process is to store energy in muscles in
the form of "adenosine triphosphate".
GLYCOSURIA: Urine which contains sugar.
GOITER: An abnormally larger thyroid gland due to a lack of iodine. The number of cases are reduced in
recent years due to the addition of iodine to table salt.
GONAD: Testes / ovaries.
GONALGIA: Knee pain.
GONOCOCCAL: Relating to "gonococcus".
GONOCOCCUS: The bacteria that causes gonorrhea.
GONORRHEA: A type of venereal disease.
GOSSAMER: Clusters of grape shaped objects in the lungs. Their function is to pass air into the blood.
GOUGE: A surgical instrument designed to cut bone.
GOUT: Inflammatory arthritis which occurs in overweight and/or those who over-indulge in rich foods and

alcohol. Uric acid invades joints and crystallizes to cause pain. The initial attack is usually at base of big
GRACILE: Slight ... slender.
GRADATIM: Slow and steady ... gradually.
GRAFT: Skin tissue that is commonly removed from the legs or back of the neck for transplanting to a
scar area. Besides the cosmetic value, the graft area is much more pliable than scar tissue.
GRAFT VERSUS HOST DISEASE: An ailment in which the immune system attacks the receiver of an
organ transplant. It typically occurs in the case of bone marrow transplants and affects the skin,
gastrointestinal tract and liver. Symptoms include pain in the abdomen, loss of appetite, diarrhea, liver
dysfunction and fever.
GRAINS: Unit of measurement.
-GRAM: A suffix which means ... "record".
GRAM NEGATIVE: Bacteria which does not take up gram stains for identification.
GRAM STAIN: Used in the identification of gram positive and gram-negative bacteria.
GRAM'S STAIN: A laboratory test which identifies various forms.
GRAND MAL SEIZURE: Also called a "generalized seizure". A resultant seizure that occurs in epileptics
... it often begins with an aura followed by loss of consciousness and tonic-clonic seizures. Lasts for
approximately 90 seconds.
GRANULATION: The healing process of a wound.
GRANULOCYTE: One of the types of white blood cells. The types of granulocytes are ... basophils,
eosinophils, neutrophils (bands and segs)
GRANULOCYTOPENIA: A reduction of white blood cells.
GRANULOMA: A small, firm, knoblike, circumscribed inflamed lesions which contain mononuclear
GRANULOMATOUS: Referring to ... "granuloma".
-GRAPH: A suffix which means ... "recording instrument".
-GRAPHY: A suffix which means ... "recording".
GRAVE'S DISEASE: Also called ... "poisoned goiter". An increase in the activity of the thyroid gland ...
increased amount of cells of the thyroid. Symptoms include bulging eyes.
GRAVIDA: a combining form meaning 'pregnant woman' with (specified) quantity of pregnancies.
Pregnant, "gravida II" means pregnant twice.
GRAVIDARUM HYPEREMESIS: Vomiting which occurs during pregnancy.
GRAY MATTER: A term used to mean ... the brain. The word arises from the fact that the brain mostly
consists of gray nerve tissues.
GRAYSON SCALE: The medical criteria for assessing near-death experiences.
GRIPING: A feeling in the bowels of a clutching and grasping pain.
GROIN: The crease (depression) which is where the thigh attaches to the trunk of the body.
GROSHONGTM CATHETER: A type of catheter. NOTE: GROSHONG is a trademark of C.R. Bard, Inc
and its related company, BCR, Inc.
GROSS: Total
GROWTH PLATE: ... of the ankle.
GTF: Abbreviation for ... "glucose tolerance factor".
GU: Abbreviation for "genitourinary".
GUAIAC: 1. A product of the wood Guajacum officinale and G. sanctum trees ... it is used for the testing
of blood in stools. 2. A reagent used to test for hidden blood (often in the stool).
GUAIAC TEST: A test in which stool is placed on a slide and exposed to resin from the Guajacum
officinale tree. A chemical reaction occurs which determines if blood is, or is not present.

GUARDING: Spasms by muscles to minimize motion or agitation at sites affected by injury or disease.
GURNEY: A cot to lie down on.
GUILLAIN BARRE SYNDROME: Acute febrile polyneuritis. It is an illness that resembles polio ...
paralysis of muscles. Unlike polio, muscle use is regained. Even breathing muscles are impaired and
patients may be put on a device that breathes for them ... a mechanical ventilator. The disease peaks
after about 2-4 weeks after which muscles begin to revert back to normal. Full recovery can take up to a
year. Very few people die from the disease or have residual debility of muscles. Two treatments that have
shown to be beneficial are plasmapheresis (removal of harmful blood antibodies) and gamma globulin
GULLET: The passageway leading into the stomach.
GUMBOIL: An abscess of a tooth root that results in a swelling of the mouth.
GUMS: The tissues surrounding teeth.
GUN-BARREL VISION: Also called "tunnel vision". A decrease of peripheral vision. A sufferer of gunbarrel vision views the world as though s(he) were looking at the world through a tube.
GUSTATION: The sense of taste.
GUT: Intestine.
GUTTATE: Resembling a drop ... used to describe some cutaneous lesions.
GUTTER: Throat.
GUTTURAL: Referring to the throat.
GYNANDROMORPHISM: A term used to describe those with both male and female characteristics.
GYNATRESIA: A term used to describe the condition whereby there is a lack of an opening into the
GYNEC / O: A combining word-form which means "female".
GYNECOID: Looking like a female.
GYNECOLOGIST: One who specializes in ailments of the woman's body.
GYNECOLOGY: The specialized field of women's diseases.
GYNECOMASTIA: Glandular male breast enlargement that is very common for boys experiencing
GYNOPLASTY: Plastic surgery performed on female genitalia.
GYRUS: The folds of the cerebral cortex of the brain.

H: Abbreviation for ... "hour".
H & H: Abbreviation for ... "hemoglobin and hematocrit".
H. PYLORI: H. pylori is short for the bacteria ... "Helicobacter pylori". It is a bacterium that has been
associated with hives and stomach ulcers.
HA: Abbreviation for ... 1. "Hepatic artery", 2. "Hepatitis A", 3. "Hyperalimentation".
HAA: Abbreviation for ... "hepatitis associated antigen".
HABITUS: Posture or position of the body.
HALITOSIS: Bad breath. Can be due to gum disease (periodontal disease), poor oral hygiene (improper
flossing and brushing), odor producing foods (garlic, onions, cabbage, fish, coffee, alcohol, etcetera), dry
mouth, tobacco products, and some medical conditions (respiratory tract infections, chronic sinus
infections, post nasal drip, diabetes, liver disorders, kidney disorders).
HALLPIKE MANEUVER: Currently being researched.
HALLUCES: Plural of hallux.

HALLUCINATION: Sensual impression which is mistaken for something else.

HALLUCINOGEN: A medication (drug) which produces unusual sensory impressions.
HALLUX: The great toe.
HAMARTHRITIS: Joint inflammation affecting all joints.
HAMARTOMA: A mass which resembles a tumor nodule and is benign.
HAMATE: Bone in the wrist. One of eight small wrist bones.
HAMBURGER DISEASE: Potentially deadly disease and is a serious threat in young children. The
bacteria E. coli O157-H7 cause it. Symptoms include severe, bloody diarrhea and dehydration.
HAMMER: Bone of the middle ear.
HAMMERTOE: A condition in which the joint of the toe bends upward because the tendon of the toe is
too tight.
HAMSTRING: Muscles located at the rear of the thigh.
HARE LIP: Cleft lip.
HARRIS' BAND: A deviation in the folds of the membrane which lines the abdominal wall and leads from
the gallbladder to the surface of the liver and to the duodenum (first section of the small intestines).
HASHIMOTO THYROIDITIS: An immunity system disease which targets the thyroid and usually forms a
goiter. Lymphocytes (a type of white blood cells) attack the gland while antibodies also attack. The result
if cessation of the manufacture of thyroid hormone. Symptoms include lack of energy, thinning hair, dry
skin, erratic menstrual periods, a feeling of being cold and sometimes a hoarse voice. Those most at risk
are women between the ages of 30-50.
HAUNCH: A term used to refer to the combination of buttock and hip.
HAUT-MAL: An epileptic seizure at it's zenith (peak).
HAV: Abbreviation for ... "hepatitis A virus".
HAY FEVER: An allergic condition resulting from pollens in the air.
Hb: Abbreviation for ... "hemoglobin".
HB: Abbreviation for ... "hepatitis B".
HB-Ag: Abbreviation for ... "hepatitis B antigen".
HBc: Abbreviation for ... "hepatitis B core" (antigen).
HBcAb: Abbreviation for ... "hepatitis B Core antigen antibody".
HbCV: Abbreviation for ... "hepatitis B conjugate vaccine".
HBe: Abbreviation for ... "hepatitis B e surface (antigen).
HBeAb: Abbreviation for ... "antibody to the hepatitis B e antigen".
HBs: Abbreviation for ... "hepatitis B surface" (antigen).
HBV: Abbreviation for ... 1. Hepatitis B vaccine, 2. Hepatitis B virus.
HCG: Human chorionic gonadotropin ... quantitative beta HCG.
HCI: Abbreviation for ... "hydrochloric acid".
Hct: Abbreviation for ... "hematocrit" (The percentage of red blood cells in the blood).
HCV: Virus, which causes Hepatitis C that generally, attacks liver cells causing cirrhosis or cancer. It was
first recognized in 1975.
HCV-RNA: Remnants of the hepatitis C virus that can be detected to determine the amount of the
hepatitis C virus in the body.
HD: Abbreviation for "Huntington's Disease".
HDL: Abbreviation for ... "high density lipoprotein" (good cholesterol). These protein/fat particles are
involved in a recycling process that circulates through the blood and gathers cholesterol for processing at
the liver. High levels are considered "good" and associated with low risk of heart disease.
HDV: Abbreviation for ... "hepatitis D virus", "human delta virus".
HEAD LICE: Once thought to inflict only the poor and unclean ... it can afflict anyone with hair. A typical
over-the-counter remedy is Permethrin (Nix) ... the treatment consists of killing the live and then picking
the eggs (nits) off the hair shafts by hand.
HEANEY CLAMP: Currently being researched.
HEART: The heart is an organ / muscle that acts as a pump to supply blood throughout the body. It is
located between the lungs. It is divided into four chambers. A normal person's heart contracts on average
72 times per minute but varies depending on age, weight, physical activity and temperature of the body.
The period of contraction is called "systole" and the rest period following is called "diastole".
HEART ATTACK: A large decrease in the amount of blood flow to heart muscle ... see "myocardial

HEART BLOCK: A heart condition in which the electrical impulse generated by contraction does not
transfer from auricles to ventricles ... this causes them to lose synchronicity and beat independently of
each other.
HEARTBURN: Having nothing to do with the heart, it is a condition that is best described as a "burning
sensation" in the back of the throat. It is caused by reflux of stomach acids into the esophagus.
HEART CATHETERIZATION: A heart catheterization is a test for a leaky heart valve; it is threaded into
the heart from a blood vessel in the arm or groin. When it arrives in the heart a dye squirts through the
heart valve so it can be seen on an X-ray.
HEART DISEASE: Also called cardiovascular disease. It includes hardening of the arteries that can lead
to heart attack and stroke. Warning signs include pain with activity relieved by rest, shortness of breath
and activities which were previously simple becoming difficult, chest pain which might spread into the
neck, arms, jaw, shoulder, throat or back, nausea, vomiting or indigestion.
HEART ENLARGEMENT (MEGALY): Exercise can cause an enlarged heart due to the fact that the heart
is a muscle and will increase in mass when actively used. High blood pressure can also cause the heart
to enlarge (to compensate for the difficulty in pumping adequate amounts of blood throughout the body).
An enlarged heart due to exercise is beneficial. However, an enlarged heart due to high blood pressure
can indicate big problems because it does not receive the rest that the exercising heart does between
workout sessions. Due to overexertion the heart can give out if the high blood pressure is not controlled.
Indications of a heart that is not efficient at pumping blood includes stomach upset and a lack of energy.
HEART FAILURE: A condition in which the heart is unable to provide adequate blood supply to the body.
HEART-LUNG MACHINE: A device that takes over the pumping from the heart while heart surgery is
HEAVES: Vomiting and retching.
HEART MURMUR: An additional heart sound.
HEAT CRAMPS: Abdominal pain resulting from working in a high temperature and strenuous
HEAT EXHAUSTION: Debilitation due to being exposed to a hot environment ... usually combined with
high humidity. Symptoms include sweating, chills, nausea and vomiting. The sufferer is pale and anxious
appearing with shallow breaths and rapid pulses. Note: It is rare that a person passes out.
HEATSTROKE: A condition of dizziness, seeing spots and nausea resulting from exposure to heat.
HEBERDEN'S NODES: Abnormal enlargement of cartilage or bone in the joint of a finger.
HEBETIC: Referring to "puberty".
HEDONISM: Consistently exhibiting "pleasure seeking" behavior.
HEIMLICH MANEUVER: A technique used to assist a choking person. The technique is performed by
grabbing the victim from behind with one fist pressing against the abdomen while the other hand grasps
the fist and pushes it in an upward direction sharply.
HELCOSIS: The development of an ulcer.
HELICES: Plural of helix.
HELICOBACTER: A bacterium that can cause ulcers of the stomach and duodenum by leaving them
unprotected from stomach acids. In the year 2000 it is estimated that 60% of the population are infected
with this germ ... but not all get ulcers. The reason is unknown. A treatment of antibiotics such as Biaxin
will usually cure when combined with Prilosec. It is suspected of being involved in the condition known as
HELIOSIS: Another term for "sunstroke".
HELIX: The margin of the auricle ... the rim of cartilage forming part of the ear.
HELMINTH: A parasitic worm.
HELOMA: Another word for a "corn".
HELOTOMY: The surgical removal of a corn.
HELLP SYNDROME: A constellation of symptoms including ... 1) a rapid breakdown of red blood cells hemolysis ("H" stands for hemolysis), 2) liver damage as evidenced by a rise in liver enzymes in the blood
("EL" stands for liver enzymes), 3) a depletion of blood clotting cells - platelets ("LP" stands for platelets).
HELMINTH: An intestinal parasite that resembles a worm ... ... acanthocephalans, cestodes, nematodes,
and trematodes.
HELPER T-CELLS: Immunity system cells of which there are two types ... 1) Th-1 and Th-2. Suppressed
Th-1 cells have been linked with cancers, hepatitis C, herpes, HIV and tuberculosis. 2) Overactivity of Th2 cells have been linked to allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, MS and other autoimmune disorders.

HEMAGOGUE: A chemical which stimulates the flow of blood.

HEMANGIECTASIS: Blood vessel enlarging.
HEMARTHROSIS: Collecting of blood in the synovial cavity of a joint.
HEMATEMESIS: Vomiting of blood. Gastrointestinal bleeding.
HEMAT / O: A combining word-form that means "blood".
HEMATIC: A word used to refer to blood.
HEMATINIC: A medication which improves the quality of blood by stimulating the production of
erythrocytes and hemoglobin.
HEMATOCHEZIA: Passage of bloody stools. Hematochezia is typically caused by a lower gastrointestinal
HEMATOCRIT: The percentage of red blood cells in the blood.
HEMATOCYSTIC: Referring to "hematocystis" (an effusion of fluid into the bladder).
HEMATOCYSTIS: The escape of fluid into the bladder.
HEMATOGENOUS: Also called ... "hemopoietic". Pertains to the manufacture of blood.
HEMATOLOGIC: Dealing with the blood.
HEMATOLOGIST: Specialist who treats disorders of the blood.
HEMATOLOGY: The specialized study of blood.
HEMATOMA: Collection of blood caused by a break in a blood vessel. It appears as a bulge or swelling
filled with blood. It results from an injury that does not break the skin.
HEMATOSIS: Any disease of the blood.
HEMATOPOIETIC: Pertains to the formation of blood cells.
HEMATURIA: Urine containing blood.
HEME: The colored part of the hemoglobin molecule that contains iron.
HEMEPROTEINS: Proteins that contains heme (the colored part of the hemoglobin molecule that
contains iron).
HEMERAPLPIA: Day vision deficiency.
HEMI-: A prefix (word part) meaning "half.
HEMIANOPSIA: Visual impairment involving half of the visual field of the eyes.
HEMIANOSMIA: A condition in which the sense of smell is lost on one side.
HEMIBLOCK: Arrest of the impulse in one of the two main divisions of the left branch of the bundle of HIS
HEMIC: Referring to blood.
HEMICRANIA: A migraine headache which develops only on one side of the head.
HEMIGLOSSITIS: A partial inflammation of half the tongue.
HEMIHYPERTROPHY: Overgrowth of one half of the body.
HEMIPLEGIA: Paralysis of one side of the body typically caused by damage to the opposite side of the
brain since the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa. A blood clot or
hemorrhage of a blood vessel in the brain is often the cause.
HEMISPHERECTOMY: The removal of one of the hemispheres of the brain.
HEMOBILIA: Blood which enters into the biliary passages.
HEMOCCULT: Trademark for a test that identifies occult blood.
HEMOCHROMATOSIS: Excessive absorbing of ingested iron into the body. An inherited illness in which
the body loses the ability to regulate iron absorption ... iron collects in organs like the heart, pancreas,
liver, skin and joints. Excessive amounts of iron in the liver can result in cirrhosis while excessive amounts
in the heart can lead to heart failure. If the pancreas is involved then diabetes can result. If the illness is
diagnosed early, before organ damage occurs, then the patient can take precautions and live a normal
life. Treatment often involves the removal of blood from the body because it is the largest storehouse of
iron. For more information contact The Hemochromatosis Foundation at Box 8569, Albany, NY 122080569.
HEMOCYTE: A blood corpuscle.
HEMODIALYSIS: A procedure in which blood is purified by passing it through a machine (artificial
HEMODYNAMICALLY: Referring to blood flow and related forces.
HEMOGLOBIN: The oxygen-carrying molecule within all red blood cells. Can be likened to a magnet in
red blood cells which grabs oxygen as blood passes through the lungs and releases the oxygen to tissues
which need it ... a normal reading for women is 12?16 g/dl and 13?18 for men.

HEMOGLOBIN AIc: The primary fraction of hemoglobin which has been glycosylated.
HEMOLYSIS: Breakdown of blood elements.
HEMOLYTIC ANEMIA: Anemia resulting from destruction of red blood cells ... decrease of serum
haptoglobin levels.
HEMOLYZED: Breakdown of red blood cells and the release of hemoglobin.
HEMOPATHY: Disease of the blood.
HEMOPERFUSION: A filtering of blood for the purpose of purification from drugs, poisons, etcetera.
HEMOPERICARDIUM: Blood collection in sac of the heart.
HEMOPEXIN: An enzyme which is involved in the coagulation of blood.
HEMOPEXIS: Blood coagulation.
HEMOPOIESIS: The manufacturing of red blood cells.
HEMOPOIETIC: Pertaining to or relating to the formation of blood cells.
HEMOPHILIA: Also called "bleeder's disease". It is a blood disease that is due to genetic causes to affect
primarily males. Symptoms include an inability to properly coagulate blood.
HEMOPHILIAC: A person who suffers from hemophilia.
HEMOPTYSIS: Coughing up blood.
HEMORRHAGE: Profuse bleeding from a blood vessel.
HEMORRHAGENIC: That which causes hemorrhage.
HEMORRHOIDS: Also called "piles". Blood vessels in the vicinity of the anus are not located deep in the
fleshy portion of skin. Therefore, they can be easily irritated and inflamed by pressing on them.
Hemorrhoids are categorized as "internal" or "external" a short distance into the rectum from the anal
opening is a separation that results in an "upper area" and a "lower area". Internal hemorrhoids reside in
the "upper area" while external ones inhabit the "lower area". Typically, the internal types do not cause a
lot of pain, however, they often bleed. A treatment for internal hemorrhoids is to slip a rubber band over
them which effectively strangles them and they degenerate in a couple of days. External hemorrhoids
containing a clot can cause exquisite pain and extend out of the rectum. The rubber band method will
work on the external type of hemorrhoids but usually the pain is too great. Relief can come in the form of
surgery sitting in a bath a couple of times a day various medicated creams. Note that keeping the
stools soft is imperative to irritating the hemorrhoid during bowel movements.
HEMOSIDERIN: An insoluble protein which is yellow-brown in color and found in most body tissue
(particularly the liver).
HEMOSIDEROSIS: Collection of hemosiderin in body tissue (typically the spleen and liver).
HEMOSTASIS: The stopping of bleeding.
HEMOSTAT: A surgical instrument which clamps together like a pair of locking pliers.
HEMOSTATIC: A substance which stops bleeding.
HEMOTHORAX: Collection of blood between the wall of the chest and lungs.
HEMOTYMPANUM: A hemorrhagic exudation into the middle ear.
HEPARIN: A substance found in the lungs and liver that extends the clotting time of blood.
HEPAT / O: A combining word-form which means "liver".
HEPATALGIA: Liver pain.
HEPATATROPHIA: Death of liver tissue.
HEPATECTOMY: The surgical removal of all or part of the liver.
HEPATIC: Referring to the liver.
HEPATIC ARTERY: An artery that branches from the celiac (abdominal) artery to deliver blood to the
HEPATIC CALCULI: Stones which develop in the liver or extrahepatic bilary tract.
HEPATIC COMA: A coma sometimes seen in people with liver disease.
HEPATIC DUCT: It is responsible for directing bile away from the liver and combines with the "cystic duct"
to make the "common bile duct".
HEPATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY: An altering of consciousness, change in behavior and personality
changes due to advanced liver disease.
HEPATIC FLEXURE: Also called the "right colic flexure". It is an area (bend) that occurs where the
transverse and ascending parts of the colon meet.
HEPATICODUODENOSTOMY: An surgical attachment of the hepatic duct to the first section of the small
intestines measuring approximately 10 inches in length (duodenum).

HEPATICOGASTROSTOMY: A surgical attachment of the hepatic duct with the stomach.

HEPATICOJEJUNOSTOMY: A surgical attachment of the hepatic duct with a portion of the small
intestines (the jejunum).
HEPATICOLITHOTRIPSY: The crushing of a stone in the hepatic duct.
HEPATIC PORTAL SYSTEM: A series of veins which deliver blood to the liver from the capillaries of the
intestine, stomach, spleen and pancreas.
HEPATIC PORTAL VEIN: Also called ... "vana protae hepatis", "portal vein". Vein formed by the splenic
vein and the superior mesenteric vein that splits into a branchlike pattern within the liver.
HEPATIC SIDEROSIS: The accumulation of large amounts of iron in the liver.
HEPATIC VEIN: The veins that drain the liver to one of the two large veins which empty into the heart
(vena cava).
HEPATITIS: Inflammation of the liver.
HEPATITIS A: A disease caused by the enterovirus common in areas of poor hygiene. It spreads by ...
contact with contaminated stools, blood or the eating of contaminated foods. Usually not fatal and bed
rest for one to four weeks is typically prescribed ... during this time alcohol is not to be consumed. Note
that recurrence may develop after three months. Symptoms resemble a mild case of the flu. A large
amount of liver destruction may occur but is typically not common.
HEPATITIS B: A disease caused by the hepatitis B virus that can be found in all of the body fluids by
those with infections. It is typically transmitted by ... blood transfusions, needles, oral fluids and sexual
contact. Symptoms during the early stages may include anorexia, fever, malaise and vomiting. The
incubation period it typically 90 days but may be as little as 40 or as great as 180.
HEPATITIS C: A liver infection spread by direct exposure to infected blood. Caused by the HCV virus that
often hides (20-40 years) undetected for years. Later, in a small number of people it awakens and attacks
liver cells to cause cirrhosis or cancer. Caused by blood transfusions, intravenous drug use, questionable
sexual habits, body piercing and tattooing with unsterile needles. It is very contagious. Only current
treatment is interferon that interferes with the virus duplication. Approximately 80% of infected persons
remain infected for life. Treatment is recommended (year 2000) for those whose blood tests reveal liver
damage and those who have detectible hepatitis C gene material in the blood. In the year 2000 the
current treatment of interferon and ribavirin has eliminated the virus in some people (but not all).
HEPATITIS D: Also called ... "delta agent". A single stranded, RNA virus that depends on the hepatitis B
virus for reproduction. It is often seen in chronic liver disease.
HEPATITIS E: A severe but short lived course of hepatitis that is caused by a unique virus different from
hepatitis A, B and C. The disease is typically found in warm weather regions and linked to fecally
contaminated water.
HEPATITIS, LUPOID: A severe but short-lived course of hepatitis linked to lupus erythematosus.
HEPATITIS, PELIOSIS: A condition of the liver in which many, tiny, blood-filled cysts occur throughout it.
HEPATOGENIC: That which is manufactured by the liver.
HEPATOJUGULAR REFLEX: A swelling of the jugular vein which indicates right heart insufficiency. The
swelling is caused by pressure over the liver.
HEPATOLOGIST: A physician who specializes in ailments of the liver.
HEPATOMA: Tumor of the liver.
HEPATOMEGALY: Increase in the size of the liver.
HEPATORENAL: Relating to the kidney and liver.
HEPATOSPLENOMEGALY: Liver/spleen enlargement.
HEP-LOCK: An IV flush solution for catheter patency.
HEP?WELL: IV flush solution for catheter patency.
HERMAPHRODITE: Having a combination of male and female sexual characteristics.
HERMETIC: Tightly sealed ... airtight.
HERNIA: A rupture of a wall that surrounds an organ or part of an organ (allowing it to protrude through
the opening). Commonly the term refers to a bulge in an internal structure through a weak point in the
abdominal wall. This weak point typically existed since birth. No matter where the hernia is located, is
abdominal lining which bulges through a gap in the wall of the abdomen ... in many cases the intestines
also work their way through the gap. Surgery is the method to correct by closing the gap and
repositioning the internal structures. Mesh repairs are a modern method that provides a better long-term
solution that sutures alone.
HERNIATED DISC: Also referred to as ... "ruptured disc" ... "ruptured invertebral disc" ... "slipped disc" ...

"herniated invertebral disc" ... "herniated nucleus pulposes". It is a breach in the cartilage that
encompasses a spinal disc. Fluids leak out and are no longer available to cushion the back bones thus
causing pain and damage to nerve roots. Typically occurs in the low back region and associated with
intense trauma or strain. Symptoms may include pain of the lower back with pain radiating down one leg
... pain in the neck radiating down one arm. The pain increases with activity, laughing, coughing or
strained bowl movements. Muscle weakness and/or numbness can result depending on which spinal
nerve is involved. The most common complications are bowel and bladder dysfunctions. Treatments
include surgery (laminectomy) ... medications (muscle relaxants and analgesics) ... natural methods. The
natural method makes use of hot and cold compresses to control pain and exercise to shore up
abdominal and back muscles. Back braces and traction is often prescribed. Finally, education in
relaxation and proper posture to rejuvenate.
HERNIORRHAPHY: The suturing of a hernia.
HERPANGINA: Disease caused by Coxsackie virus which causes 1?2 mm lesions combined with fever,
pharyngitis, loss of appetite and sometimes abdominal pain and vomiting.
HERPES: A family of viruses that physically resemble each other. Each type is identified by a number.
For example, herpes 1 causes cold sores while herpes 2 produces genital infections. Herpes 6 commonly
infects children between the ages of six months to 2-years to cause "exanthem subitum" (roseola). A
fever results for 3-5 days ... then, rhe skin breaks out in a red rash (small blisters) and the child begins to
feel more energetic.
HERPES 1: The virus which is responsible for cold sores.
HERPES 2: The virus which is responsible for genital infections.
HERPES 6: The virus which is responsible for roseola.
HERPES SIMPLEX: Fever / mouth blisters.
HERPES SIMPLEX TYPE II: Also called "genital herpes". A sexually transmitted viral disease.
HERPES VIRUS 8: A form of the herpes virus that causes an AIDS-related skin called Kaposi's sarcoma.
In the United States, the cancer occurs almost exclusively in people with AIDS.... cancer appears to
spread through kissing because of the high concentrations found in saliva.
HERPES ZOSTER: Also called "shingles". An inflammatory skin disease.
HEXOSAMINIDASE: An enzyme which assists in the breakdown of fats.
hGH: Abbreviation for ... "human growth hormone". It is the hormone that allows the body to reach its
normal size as dictated by the genetic code. Studies have shown that taking synthetic growth hormone
will increase the size of muscles, however, strength is not increased.
HIATAL: Referring to a "hiatus".
HIATAL HERNIA: A portion of the stomach breaking through the diaphragm and into the chest cavity to
cause heartburn. This condition is not always bad news ... only when it causes stomach acid to backup
into the esophagus. Hiatal hernias can be corrected through a surgical repair that may involve the
insertion of a scope through a tiny incision (laparoscopic surgery). This surgery is called "fundal plication"
and involves folding the stomach around the esophagus to make a valve that prevents stomach acid from
backing up into the esophagus.
HIATUS: An opening.
HIATUS HERNIA: A portion of the stomach breaking through the diaphragm and into the chest cavity.
This condition is not always bad news ... only when it causes stomach acid to backup into the esophagus.
Hiatal hernias can be corrected through a surgical repair that may involve the insertion of a scope through
a tiny incision (laparoscopic surgery). This surgery is called "fundal plication" and involves folding the
stomach around the esophagus to make a valve that prevents stomach acid from backing up into the
HIB: Abbreviation for "Hemophilus Influenza Type B" vaccine.
HIDA SCAN: Abbreviation for ... "hepato-iminodiacetic acid".
HIDRADENITIS: Inflammation of sweat glands. These glands are found under the arms, under the breast,
in the groin, genital and rectal regions. Antibiotics help (Accutane).
HIDRADENITIS SUPPURATIVA: An inflammation that occurs due to a reaction in the sweat glands of the
genital areas, beasts, and anal area ... abscesses and scarring are typical.
HIDROSIS: Sweating.
HILUM: The part of an organ where nerves and vessels enter and leave.

HIPPOCAMPUS: An area of the brain which resembles the shape of a sea horse. It is thought to facilitate
memory storage.
HIPPOCRATES: An ancient Greek physician considered the "father of medicine".
HIRSUTISM: Excessive body hair.
HIST / O: A combining word-form which means "tissue".
vHISTAMINE: A substance produced by the immune system that dilates small blood vessels, constricts
bronchial tube muscles and increases the secretion of stomach acids. It is released in response to
allergens and causes itching.
HISTIOLOGIC: Pertaining to "histology".
HISTOLOGY: The microscopic study and identification of body cells and tissues.
HISTOLYSIS: A term which means "destroying of tissue".
HISTRIONIC PERSONALITY: The personality of an immature, self centered, dependent and typically
vain person (often a child) who is excitable and overactive. This behavior is a ploy to gain attention.
HITCH: A knot.
HIV: Human immuno deficiency virus which causes AIDS.
HIVES: Skin rash ... wheals. Typical foods, which triggers the itching, and rash include: nuts, milk, eggs,
chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes, fish and shellfish. Also, occult (hidden) illnesses can result in hives ...
for example: rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, defective thyroid, etcetera.
HJR: Abbreviation for "hepatojugular Reflux".
HMG: Abbreviation for "human menopausal gonadotropin".
HMG CoA REDUCTASE INHIBITORS: Medications which interfere with the body's manufacture of
cholesterol ... typically used for hyperlipidemia. Examples are: Lovastatin and pravastatin.
HOBNAIL LIVER: The tightening of scar tissue that causes it to become shorter and thicker of the liver to
result in a nodular appearance of the surface of the liver.
HODGKIN'S DISEASE: Malignant lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) which results in an enlarged
lymph node(s), spleen. Also, anemia, weight loss, fever, night sweats.
HOFFMAN'S SIGN: Digital reflex where nipping the fingernail of the index, middle or ring finger produces
reactions in the hand.
HOHMANN RETRACTOR: A type of surgical instrument that is designed to hold back the edges of
tissues to exposed organs or other internal body structures.
HOLARTHRITIS: Inflammation of joints (all).
HOLDING AREA: A waiting place ... typically prior to an operation.
HOLOSYSTOLIC: Also called ... "pansystolic". Occurring throughout the first and second heart sounds.
Refers to the entire systole (a tightening-contraction of the heart which drives blood into the aorta and
lung arteries).
HOLTER MONITOR: A method of recording long term EKG. signals on magnetic tape and replaying it at
a faster speed to identify changes.
HOMANS SIGN: Pain to the calf that occurs with bending the foot back indicating blood clots.
HOMEOPATHY: A technique for treating a disease which involves presenting a substance which causes
similar (but lesser) symptoms.
HOMOCYSTEINE: A byproduct manufactured by the body. The substance is considered a primary cause
of clogged arteries. Levels can be lowered by taking B-6, B-12 and folic acid.
HOMOGENOUS: Blended together.
HOMOLOGOUS: Having the same relative position or value.
HOOK: A curved device for holding something in place.
HOOKWORM'S DISEASE: Tiny worms which infect the body and are carried to the heart and lungs by
the blood supply. They dig their way into bronchial tubes and get coughed up only to be swallowed where
they end up in the stomach and intestines.
HORDEOLUM: Inflammation of a sebaceous gland of the eyelid (also called a stye).
HORMONE: Hormones are chemicals delivered the blood by glands or tissues. They are essential
substance manufactured by the endocrine glands for the purpose of regulating numerous body functions
... immunity ... sexual desire ... etcetera. - Transported via blood.
HOSPICE: An institution that provides service to dying people and their families.
HOT FLASHES: A symptom of menopause which involves a sudden rise in temperature which causes
women to feel dizzy, hot and sweaty. In the year 2000 hot flashes are typically treated by hormone

HOUSEMAID'S KNEE: A painful situation that is caused by inflammation of the prepatellar bursa.
HOUSE PHYSICIAN: A doctor who lives at a hospital and is available for work at all times.
HOWELL-JOLY BODIES: Granules found in erythrocytes ... usually found following a splenectomy or
hemolytic anemia.
HPV: Abbreviation for "Human papillomavirus". It is the virus that causes genital warts. More than 100
varieties have been identified. One strain called "HPV-16" is thought to cause cervical cancer in women.
Usually people who are infected do not know it until they develop a genital wart (men or women) ... 8-10
weeks after initial exposure. Sex with a condom does not ensure safety due to the fact that the virus not
only lives within the vagina, but also on the skin outside as well. This is an especially virulent virus in that
it can live for days in dead skin. Pap smear tests miss diagnosing the virus in 40% of cases in the year
2000. Cervical cancer can show up 10-15 years after infection so that if the Pap smear fails to detect HPV
on year it will probably do so in subsequent yearly tests. Genital warts can be removed but in the year
2000 there is no method of destroying the virus.
H. PYLORI: H. pylori is short for the bacteria ... "Helicobacter pylori" ... a bacterium which has been
associated with hives and stomach ulcers.
HS: Abbreviation for "at bedtime".
HSM: Abbreviation for "hepatosplenomegaly".
HSV: Abbreviation for "herpes simplex virus".
HUMAN DELTA VIRUS: Also called ... "hepatitis D virus". An RNA virus that is dependent upon the
Hepatitis B virus for replication. Can cause severe illness.
HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE - hGC: A hormone which causes muscles to grow. It's presence in the
human body peaks between the ages of 18-30 ... by the age of 50 these levels have diminished by onethird. In the year 2000 it was being hailed as a rejuvenator for aging people.
HUMECTANT: A substance which can be used for moisturizing.
HUMERUS: A bone of the arm.
HUMOR: Body fluids.
HUNTINGTON'S DISEASE: Also called "Huntington's Chorea" because of the dance-like movements that
occur ("chorea" means "dance"). A genetic brain disease that first shows signs between the ages of 35
and 50. Currently (year 2000) there is no cure for the ailment that produces dementia, speech
impairment, jerky movements and death approximately 20 years after onset. A genetic test is available
that can allow a person to prepare for the symptoms in midlife.
HUTZEL'S: Michigan hospital.
HYALINE CASTS: Transparent objects.
HYALOSEROSITIS: Pain, swelling, heat and redness of a membrane which produces a fluid that
ultimately becomes a thick, opaque, white or greyish covering. When this involves the watery membranes
of visceral organs the condition is sometimes called ... icing liver, or sugar-coated spleen, or frosted heart,
etcetera (depending on where it occurs).
HYBRID CAPTURE II TEST: A DNA test used to detect the HPV virus (human papillomavirus) that can
cause cervical cancer.
HYDATID: A cyst which develops in tissue.
HYDATIDIFORM MOLE: Also called a "molar pregnancy. It is a placenta in which a fetus does not
develop. Instead, growths that appear similar to grapes form on the surface. A "mole" is the result of
fertilizing an ovum that lacks genetic material. Symptoms include vaginal bleeding, and the passing of the
grapelike material. Rarely, the mole can develop into cancer.
HYDRADENITIS: Also called ... "hidradenitis", "spiradenitis". Sweat gland inflammation.
HYDRAGOGUE: A highly effective laxative.
HYDRARTHROSIS: Fluid buildup in a joint.
HYDROA: Disease of the skin which results in patches that resemble blisters.
HYDROCEPHALUS: Accumulation of fluid that thins brain tissues, dilates cerebral ventricles and causes
separation of cranial bones.
HYDROCELE: A collection of serous fluid in a sacculated cavity like a scrotal sac that is collapsed.
HYDROCHLORIC ACID: A strong acid produced by the stomach for purpose of digestion.
HYDROGENATE: To mix with water.
HYDROLYSIS: A chemical process in which a substance reacts with water to be broken down into
simpler components. An example would be ... starch to glucose, salt to acid, etcetera.
HYDRONEPHROSIS: Swelling of parts of the kidney by urine that is unable to pass a blockage in a

HYDROPHOBIA: Fearing water ... rabies.
HYDROPS: Accumulation of fluids in areas of the body.
HYGIENE: The study of health.
HYMEN: A membranous fold of skin at the opening of the vagina.
HYMENOPTERA: An order of insects i.e., wasps, bees, ants.
HYPACUSIA: Impaired hearing.
HYPALGESIA: Decreased pain sensitivity.
HYPER-: A prefix (word part) meaning "too much" or "over abundant".
HYPERACUSIS: Acuteness of hearing which abnormally irritates the neural sensory mechanism.
HYPERBARIC OXYGEN TREATMENT: A high-pressure treatment which delivers high levels of oxygen
to the brain. The treatment is thought to reactivate parts of the brain that have been damaged by lack of
oxygen in the womb or at birth. Many parents claim they see marked improvement in their children with
cerebral palsy (less spacicity following treatments).
HYPERCALCEMIA: The condition of having abnormal amounts of calcium in the blood seen in
malignant neoplasms, primary and tertiary hyperparathyroidism, sarcoidosis, vitamin D intoxication, milkalkali syndrome, Paget's disease of bone (with immobilization), thyrotoxicosis, acromegaly, and diuretic
phase of renal acute tubular necrosis. Hypocalcemia must be interpreted to relation to serum albumin
HYPERCALCIURIA: Excessive absorption of calcium into the blood from the intestines ... leads to an
increase in the level of calcium in the urine which typically ends up forming kidney stones.
HYPERCAPNIA: Excess of carbon dioxide in the blood.
HYPERCHLOREMIA: Abnormally high chloride ions in blood.
HYPERCRINISM: Symptoms caused by an overabundance of secretions by glands.
HYPEREMESIS: Profuse vomiting.
HYPER EOSINOPHILIA: An abnormal increase in the number of eosinophilic granulocyte in the blood.
HYPEREMIA: Increased blood flow to a part of the body.
HYPERESTHESIA: Abnormal acuteness of sensitivity.
HYPERESTHETIC: Marked by abnormal acuteness of sensitivity.
HYPERGLYCEMIA: Abnormally high amount of sugar in the blood.
HYPERHIDROSIS: Abnormally excessive sweating.
HYPERKALEMIA: Too much potassium in the blood.
HYPERKERATOSIS: Hypertrophy of the corneous layer of skin.
HYPERLIPIDEMIA: Subnormal oxygenation of arterial blood, short of anoxia.
HYPERMASTIA: A condition of having abnormally large breasts ... also may be used to describe
someone with more than two breasts.
HYPERMOTILITY: An increase in movement.
HYPERNATREMIA: Abnormally high plasma concentration of sodium ions.
HYPERNEPHROMA: Kidney cancer ... very few early warning signs.
HYPEROPIA: A term used for "farsightedness" which describes a condition of poor vision at close
distances but good eyesight at a distance.
HYPER OSMOLAR STATE: An increase in osmotic concentration of a solution.
HYPERPARATHYROIDISM: An abnormal increase in the secretions of the parathyroid glands resulting in
calcium stones, elevated blood calcium, decreased blood phosphorus, increased excretion of phosphorus
and calcium.
HYPERPHOSPHATEMIA: Excessive amounts of alkaline phosphatase in a blood sample.
HYPERPLASIA: A term used to describe an increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue.
HYPERPLASTIC: Referring to hyperplasia (an increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue).
HYPERPYREXIA: Highly elevated body temperature.
HYPERTENSION: High blood pressure.
HYPERTHERMIA: Exceedingly elevated temperature.
HYPERTHYROIDISM: A situation in which the thyroid is overactive and produces increased secretions.
HYPERTHYMIA: Highly emotional.
HYPERTRICHOSIS: A condition of having excessive body hair.
HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY: A condition of the heart in which the heart muscle has increased
in size with the muscle fibers irregularly aligned. The problem can restrict the amount of blood flowing out

of the heart to cause fainting spells (syncope) due to abnormal beats of the heart. The abnormal
heartbeats can be detected with echocardiograms. Evidence suggests that the condition runs in families.
HYPERTROPHY: An increase in the size of an organ caused by an increase in the size of the cells rather
than the number of cells.
HYPERURICEMIA: Enhanced blood concentration of uric acid.
HYPESTHESIA: Diminished sensitivity to stimulation.
HYPHEMA: Pertains to the eye.
HYPN / O: A combining word-form that means, "sleep".
HYPNAGOGIC: That which causes sleep.
HYPNOGENIC: Something which induces sleep.
HYPNOSIS: A state of mind characterized by increased sensitivity to verbal stimuli.
HYPNOTIC: That which produces sleep.
HYPO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "lower than" or "deficient".
HYPOCHONDRIA: A condition of suffering from imaginary illnesses.
HYPOCHONDRIASIS: Imagining one is ill when (s)he is not.
HYPOCHROMASIA: A situation in which the patient has a decrease in the amount of blood hemoglobin.
HYPOCHROMATISM: A situation in which the patient has a decrease in the amount of blood hemoglobin.
HYPOCHROMIA: A situation in which the patient has a decrease in the amount of blood hemoglobin.
HYPOCHROSIS: A situation in which the patient has a decrease in the amount of blood hemoglobin.
HYPODERMIC: 1. Under the skin. 2. A needle used to inject medications.
HYPOESTHESIA: See "hypesthesia".
HYPOGASTRIUM: Pubic region (lower, middle abdomen).
HYPOGLOBULIA: Deficiency of red blood cells.
HYPOGLOSSAL: Beneath the tongue.
HYPOGLYCEMIA: An abnormal reduction in the level of blood sugar ... the opposite of diabetes. There
are two types: 1) fasting (characterized by a low blood sugar level after a full night's sleep - eight hours
without food), and 2) reactive (characterized by a low blood sugar level after eating due to an abundance
of insulin released by the pancreas.
HYPOGONADISM: A decrease in the activity of the ovaries or testes.
HYPOKALEMIA: Presence of abnormally small amounts of potassium ions in the circulatory blood.
HYPOMAGNESEMIA: Below normal concentration of magnesium in the blood ... can cause convulsions.
HYPOMASTIA: Abnormally small breasts.
HYPOPHOSPHATASEMIA: A low amount of alkaline phosphatase contained in circulating blood.
HYPOPHYSIS: A gland suspended from the base of the hypothalamus.
HYPOPLASIA: Tissue that has not completely developed.
HYPOPRAXIA: Activity which is diminished.
HYPOREFLEXIA: A disorder in which reflexes are weaker than usual.
HYPOSPADIAS: A defect of the ventrum of the penis so that the urethral meatus is more proximal than
it's normal glandular location.
HYPOTENSION: Subnormal arterial blood pressure, i.e., low blood pressure.
HYPOTHALAMUS: An area of the brain ... it consists of the preoptic area, optic tract, optic chiasm, etc.. It
regulates aspects of body metabolism like temperature, water balance, abdominal organs, hunger ...
HYPOTHENAR EMINENCE: The fleshy mass at the medial side of the palm.
HYPOTHYROIDISM: This ailment occurs when the thyroid gland ceases to operate. Symptoms include a
decrease in energy level, weight gain, dry hair and sensitivity to the cold. Sufferers are to take a thyroid
hormone to prevent their body functions from halting. Synthroid and Armour are two examples.
HYPOTONIA: Diminished strength.
HYPOVOLEMIA: A decreased amount of blood in the body.
HYPOXEMIA: Subnormal oxygenation of arterial blood.
HYPOXIA: Too little oxygen to the cells.
HYPYON: Pertains to the eye.
HYSTER / O: A combining word-form which means "uterus".
HYSTERECTOMY: The surgical removal of the uterus. There are three categories of hysterectomy: 1.
Subtotal (removal of the uterus only and leaving the cervix and the neck of the uterus). 2. Total (removal
of the uterus and cervix). 3. Panhysterectomy (removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries and
surrounding lymph nodes).

HYSTERIA: A term which traditionally refers to women. It is a nervous system disorder that results in
mental temporary mental impairment, convulsions ...
HYSTEROSALPINGECTOMY: A surgical excision of the womb and fallopian tubes.
HYSTEROSALPINGOGRAPHY: Method of viewing the uterus and oviduct following the injection of
radiopaque material.

I&D: Abbreviation for ... "incision and drainage".
-IA: A suffix which means ... "condition".
IATERIA: Therapeutics.
IATRIC: Medical.
IATROGENIC: 1. Unfavorable results due to medical treatment. 2. An illness caused by the doctor
whether real or imagined.
IATROLOGY: A term which means ... "medical science".
IBD: Abbreviation for ... "inflammatory bowel disease".
IBS: Abbreviation for ... "irritable bowel syndrome".
IBW: Abbreviation for ... "ideal body weight".
-IC: A suffix which means ... "chest".
IC: Abbreviation for "intracranial".
ICHOR: A discharge from a sore that resembles water.
ICHTHYOSIS: A skin condition of babies ... symptoms include scaly-dry skin.
ICING LIVER: Pain, swelling, heat and redness of a membrane which produces a fluid that ultimately
becomes thick, opaque, white or grayish and covers the liver.
ICTERIC: Referring to jaundice.
ICTERPATITIS: Jaundice (This condition causes the skin and eyes to turn a pale yellow color).
ICTERUS: Yellow appearance of skin, sclerae and mucous membranes due to excess bile (jaundice).
ICTAL: Relating to or caused by a stroke or seizure.
ID: Term used in psychology to mean ... "unconscious".
IDDM: Abbreviation for "Insulin Dependant Diabetes Mellitus".
IDEATION: Though process.
IDI / O: A combining word-form that means "self".
IDIOPATHIC: The term is usually combined with another ... it indicates an ignorance of the cause of an
ailment ... no cause can be found.
IDIOPATHIC THROMBOCYTOPENIC PURPURA: A deficiency of platelets (blood cells which are
responsible for clotting) due to removal from the body by the spleen. It is unknown as to why the immune
system surrounds platelets with antibodies that tricks the spleen into removing them from the body.
Symptoms include bruises of the skin, nosebleeds and excessive menstrual periods. Treatment includes
the medication Prednisone, injecting a solution of antibodies (gamma globulin) or removal of the spleen.
IDIOSYNCRASY: Individual characteristics that differ between people.
IDIOTYPIC: Referring to heredity.
IDROSIS: Profuse sweating.
IFN: Abbreviation for ... "interferon".
IG: Abbreviation for "immunoglobulins".
IGG: Correctly spelled "IgG". Abbreviation for "immunoglobulin".
IGA: Correctly spelled "IgA". A minor immunoglobulin which protects the body from infections. Most
people can live their lives with a deficiency without developing constant infections ... however, a few do
develop a life of one infection after another. A major problem for people with this deficiency is a blood
transfusion. Major reactions can develop if the blood does not come from a person who is IgA deficient ...
Note that it can also be specially treated.

IGG: Correctly spelled "IgG" ... it is the most important immunoglobulin and a deficiency results in
recurrent infections.
IGM: Correctly spelled "IgM". Abbreviation for "immunoglobulin".
IHS: Abbreviation for "In House Service".
IL-6: Abbreviation for "Interleukin-6". Inflammatory immune factor known to be responsible for causing
pain and inflammation.
ILDL: Abbreviation for ... "intermediate low density lipoprotein".
ILE / O: A combining word-form that refers to an area of the small intestines known as the "ileum".
ILEITIS: Inflamed area of the small intestines (ileum).
ILEOANAL ANASTOMOSIS: A surgical procedure combining of the end of the ileum (led through the
rectum) and joined to the anus. The procedure is usually required because of a diseased inner lining of
the rectum which is removed, however, the rectal muscles and anal valve remains intact and feces can
still be passed.
ILEOCECAL: A term which refers the cecum and ileum.
ILEOCOLITIS: Inflamed ileum and colon.
ILEOSTOMY: An opening made by a surgeon from the ileum (lowest area of the small intestines) to the
body surface.
ILEUM: Lowest area of the small intestines.
ILEUS: Obstruction of the bowel.
ILI / O: A combining word-form that means "flank" (ilium).
ILIAC: Relating to the "ilium".
ILIAC ARTERY: The big artery that transfers blood to the pelvic area and legs.
ILIOCOSTAL: A term which refers to the ribs and flank (ilium).
ILIOPSOAS SIGN: A flexing of the leg to determine appendicitis.
ILIOTIBIAL BAND: The iliotibial band stabilizes and protects muscles of the leg and stabilizes the knee ...
it is tissue which extends down the side of the thigh.
ILIOTIBIAL BAND SYNDROME: A typical cause of knee pain in long distance runners. The iliotibial band
stabilizes and protects muscles of the leg and stabilizes the knee ... it is tissue which extends down the
side of the thigh. Treatment typically consists of six weeks of rest.
ILIUM: Also called the "flank". Blade shaped part of the hipbone, i.e., upper wide portion of the hipbone.
IM: Abbreviation for ... "intramuscular" (usually refers to injections).
IMBIBED: Currently being researched.
IMBRICATE: Overlapping ... similar to roofing shingles.
IMC: Currently being researched.
IMMUNE SYSTEM: The body system that defends against bacteria, fungi, malignant cells, parasites and
viruses. The main components of the immune system are lymphocytes, macrophages, antibodies and
IMMUNITY: The ability of the body to protect itself against antigens (a substance that causes the body to
manufacture antibodies).
IMMUNOBLAST: A transformed lymphocyte that results when exposed to histoincompatible antigens (a
substance that causes the body to manufacture antibodies) ... characterized by a large nucleus and
nuclear membrane.
IMMUNOBLASTIC LYMPHADENOPATHY: Also called ... "AILD" ... "angioimmunoblastic
lymphadenopathy with dysproteinemia". A disorder which occurs mainly in older adults and can culminate
in death. The disorder is characterized by enlarged lymph nodes, fever, sweats, weight loss, rashes, skin
lesions, spleen and liver enlargement, the duplicity of small blood vessels and immunoblasts.
IMMONOGENICITY: The property of vaccines to stimulate into action the immune system.
IMMUNOGLOBULINS: Antibodies which combat infections. There are five types of immunoglobulins ...
IgA, IgG, IgM, IgE and IgD.
IMMUNOLOGY: A specialty science which deals with the immune system.
IMMUNOPATHOLOGY: Harm caused to oneself due to the response of the immune system.
IMMUNOSUPPRESSION: To reduce the ability of the response of the immune system ... this can be
accomplished by administering antimetabolites, antilymphocyte serum or specific antibodies.
IMMUNOTHERAPY: Also called ... "biological therapy". Treatment of disease by methods designed to
boost the bodies immunity system.
IMPETIGO: Contagious skin disease most commonly seen in children ... pustules (open sores) usually

located on the face.

IN-: A prefix (word part) meaning "in" or "not".
INANIMATE: Without life.
INCISION: A wound caused by a surgical cut to open a part of the body. Also, a cut caused by a sharp
INCISOR: One of the eight front teeth, four in each of the dental arches.
INCLUSION BODIES: Little understood structures seen inside host cells when a virus is replicating.
INCLUSION MYOSITIS: A muscle disorder that causes muscle weakness. It usually begins with
weakness in the muscles of the forearm, leg and finger muscles. Falls due to leg weakness is often an
indication that something is wrong. Hollow gaps in muscle cells are difficult to treat with medications.
Treatment usually includes a physical therapist that helps the patient strengthen and retain as much
muscle control as possible.
INCONTINENCE: A decrease or inability to urinate or defecate.
INCUBATION: The period of time that it takes for an organism to first invade the body up to the time that
the first symptoms commence.
INCUBATOR: A device used to protect premature infants.
IND: Abbreviation for ... "investigational new drug".
INDEX: A guide, standard, indicator, symbol, or number denoting the relation in respect to size, capacity,
or function, of one part (or thing) to another.
INDICES: Plural of "index".
INDIGENOUS: Coming from a particular locale or area of the world.
INDIGENT PROGRAM: A program set up to assist needy, lacking or destitute people.
INDIGESTION: Also called ... "dyspepsia". An interruption in the process of digestion ... symptoms may
include the following: 1. bloating, 2. gas, 3. nausea.
INDIRECT BILURUBIN: Indirect bilirubin that has not been converted to diglucuronide ... associated with
the proteins in plasma.
INDOCYANINE GREEN: A green colored dye that is typically used in liver testing (blood flow) and cardiac
INDOLENT: Lack of activity.
INDUCE: To bring about through indirect stimulation.
INDURATION: Hardening of a tissue, particularly the skin.
INEBRIATION: The state of intoxication.
INERT: Not active.
INFANTILE LIVER: A congenital (condition present from birth but not always inherited) absence of a
normal opening of the bile ducts causing biliary cirrhosis (a disease of the liver in which there is death of
the liver and bile ducts ... considered irreversible).
INFARCT: Dead body tissue due to a blockage that prevents blood from reaching than part.
INFARCTION: 1. Damage to and organ or tissues resulting from a lack of proper blood supply. Note that
the damage is typically permanent. 2. A blocked blood vessel.
INFECTION: Disease that results from parasites multiplying in the body.
INFECTIOUS DIARRHEA: Also called ... "traveler's diarrhea". It results from an infection (bacterial,
protozoan or viral).
INFECTIOUS MONONUCLEOSIS: Illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Also called the "kissing
disease" due to the fact that the virus can be transmitted via saliva even after the symptoms of the
disease have passed. Symptoms appear 2-3 weeks after contracting the disease and include fatigue,
fever, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes (particularly the neck) and sometimes headache. The virus can
be detected with standard liver tests but seldom causes liver damage. A danger to those suffering with
the disease is the rupture of an enlarged spleen that can cause death ... contact sports must be avoided.
Symptoms subside in approximately 2-3 weeks.
INFECTIOUS PERIOD: The amount of time that an infectious disease may be transmitted ... however, the
symptoms of the disease are not always present during this time period.
INFERIOR: A lower area.
INFEROLATERAL: Combination of inferior and lateral.
INFILTRATE: 1. Term used in x-ray technology referring to a fluid that passes into a tissue. 2. An infiltrate

can also refer to the administration of a local anesthetic or other medication.

INFIRM: Weak ... lacking strength.
INFIRMARY: A place that is set up to care for sick people.
INFIRMITY: An ailment.
INFLAMMATION: Pain, swelling, heat and redness of tissue due to the secretion of histamine in response
to an invasion by germs ... this causes blood vessels to dilate to increase blood flow to the area.
INFLUENZA: A highly infectious, viral (influenza A or influenza B) disease. The virus is confined to the
respiratory tract. Symptoms include chills, fever, headache, sore throat, dry cough, nasal congestion,
generalized aches and pains. The disease typically lasts for 6-10 days and sometimes longer (several
weeks). Three days of bed rest and five days of limited activity are recommended. Influenza often occurs
during the winter months and is transmitted when people gather indoors. The disease is spread by air
born droplets (sneeze, cough, and infected surfaces). The virus can survive for 48 hours outside of the
human body. In the year 2000 vaccinations are available but effectiveness is typically below 50%.
INFUSION: The removal of active properties of substances such as herbs by soaking or steeping it in
INFRA-: Prefix meaning "below" or "inferior".
INFRACOSTAL: Below the ribs.
INFRACTION: A fracture.
INFRA PATELLAR: Inferior to the patella, denoting a bursa, pad of fat or synovial fold.
INFRASPINATUS MUSCLE: The muscle that extends and rotates the arm along the side.
INFUNDIBULOPELVIC LIGAMENT: Surgical term ... Currently being researched.
INFUSION: Introduction of a substance into a vein via gravity.
INGRAVESCENT: Slow increase in severity.
INGRESS: A term often used in surgery that means ... "enter".
INGEST: To orally consume.
INGESTION: The process of orally consuming.
INGROWN HAIR: Skin inflammation due to shaved facial hairs that curl backwards and digs into the skin.
African-Americans are as high risk due to their tightly coiled hair. Treatment involves freeing the hair with
a sterile needle by placing it under the loop of hair and pulling it out. The use of twin blade razors can
INGUINAL: Pertaining to the groin.
INGUINAL RINGS: Either of the two openings of the inguinal canal.
INION: A point on the head.
INITIAL TREATMENT: The first treatment for an ailment ... follow-up treatments are called "subsequent
INITIS: Muscle inflammation.
INJECTED: Redness and swelling observed in the physical examination of a part of the body.
INNERVATION: Empowering nerves to a body part.
INNOMINATE ARTERY: A large branch from the aorta that rises to form the right carotid artery and the
right subclavian artery.
INOCULATION: An immunization technique that involves the introduction of a germ (or its byproducts)
into the body.
INOCULUM: The "germ" (or byproducts) used to immunize a person during inoculation.
INOSITOL: A vitamin of the B family that is associated with the integrity and structure of cell membranes.
It is required for the growth of hair and manufacture of lecithin. Also, it is associated with the breakdown
of fats and cholesterol. Heavy caffeine use can reduce the levels of inositol in the body.
INQUEST: A medical investigation performed to determine "cause of death".
INR: Abbreviation for "International Normalized Ratio".
INSCRIPTION: The portion of a prescription that lists the ingredients and quantities.
INSIDIOUS: A word used to describe a disease that does not show early symptoms.
INSIPID: Deficiency of taste or animation.
IN SITU: 1. Normal position. 2. Not extending beyond the original area.
INSOLUBLE: Referring something that does not dissolve in a liquid.
INSPIRATION: Inhaling of air.

INSTILL: Pouring a liquid drop-by-drop.

INSUFFLATE: A procedure performed during laparoscopic surgery or investigations that involves the
injection of carbon dioxide into the membrane which covers abdominal organs.
INSUFFLATION: The act or process of "blowing into" ... like an aerosol powder or vapor.
INSULIN: Insulin is considered a hormone required for carbohydrate metabolism ... it is manufactured in
the pancreas (islets of Langerhans). The hormone regulates the production of blood sugar within the
INSULINASE: An enzyme that primarily occurs in the liver ... function is to deactivate insulin.
INTACS: Small, transparent rings implanted on the cornea for purpose of correcting nearsightedness
(mild - moderate).
INTEGUMENT: The rind, capsule, or covering of any body or part ... skin.
INTENSIVIST: A person who works in an intensive care unit.
INTER-: A prefix (word part) meaning lying "among" or "between".
INTERATRIAL SEPTUM: The wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart.
INTERCELLULAR: Between cells.
INTERCONDYLAR FRACTURE: Tissue fracture between condyles (lump at the end of a bone where
muscles attach to join other bones).
INTERCONDYLAR NOTCH: Currently being researched.
INTERCOSTAL: Between ribs.
INTERCOURSE: The act of "communication".
INTERFERON: A protein manufactured by body cells. It works by stimulating a process in neighboring
cells that stop viral growth. Interferon is classified as alpha, beta, and gamma.
INFERIOR VENA CAVA: A vein which has a starting location near one of the bones of the spinal column
(5th lumbar) ... it passes through the diaphragm and continues (and empties) into the right atrium of the
INTERLEUKIN: Hormone like proteins (cytokines) secreted by many types of body cells ... there are
different "flavors" depending on their amino acid structure ... interleukin 1, interleukin 2, interleukin 3,
interleukin 4, interleukin 5, interleukin 6, interleukin 7, interleukin 8, interleukin 9, interleukin 10, interleukin
11, interleukin 12, interleukin 13, interleukin 14, interleukin 15.
INTERLEUKIN-6: A powerful inflammatory factor.
INTERMEDULARY CANAL: Currently being researched.
INTERMITTENT CLAUDICATION: Leg pain following short periods of exertion ... blood circulation
INTERN: A physician's assistant at hospitals ... period of training ... prior to receiving a permit to practice
private medicine.
INTERNAL MEDICINE: A branch of medicine concerned with the non-surgical treatment and diagnosis of
ailments dealing with internal structures of the body. It does not deal with the nervous system or skin
INTERNATIONAL UNIT: Also called ... "IU". The quantity of a substance which is agreed upon by an
international regulating body which produces a certain response. Typically the term is Specifid as a
dosage amount.
INTERNIST: A doctor specializing in internal medicine.
INTERNUS: Internal.
INTEROSSEUS: Lying in between connecting bones. Also, referring to specific muscles and ligaments.
INTERSTICES: Small areas of spaces in tissue or organs.
INTERSTITIAL: Located "within".
INTERSTITIUM: The bladders supporting & packing material.
INTERTRIGINOUS: Relating to the skin rash ... "intertrigo" (occurs between folds of the skin resulting
from friction, moisture and microorganisms. Typically, the ailment is seen in obese adults and very young
INTESTINAL FLORA: The so-called "friendly flora" which is present in the intestines and is required for
the digestion of certain substances.
INTESTINES: The portion of the digestive tract that begins at the stomach and ends at the anus. It is
composed of two sections ... 1) the "small intestines", and 2) the large "intestines". The small intestines
are of small diameter when compared to the large intestines and extend approximately 5-6 feet in length
within the living body. At death the muscles contract and the small intestines measure approximately 22

feet in length. The large intestines measure approximately five feet in length.
INTERTRIGO: Inflammation / irritation of skin.
INTERTROCHANTER RIDGE: A ridge on one of the two bony structures that stick out on the end of the
thigh (it attaches muscles).
INTERVENTRICULAR SEPTUM: The wall that divides the two lower chambers of the heart.
INTRA-: A prefix (word part) meaning "within" or "inside".
INTRA-ABDOMINAL: Inside of the abdomen.
INTRACTABLE: Resistant to cure or relief.
INTRAHEPATIC: A word meaning "inside the liver".
INTRAHEPATIC DUCT: A word meaning ... "inside" the hepatic duct.
INTRAMUSCULAR: Inside muscle.
INTRAOPERATIVE: Occurring during the course of a surgical procedure.
INTRAUTERINE: Within the womb.
INTRAVENOUS: Inside a vein.
INTRAVENOUS FEEDING: The injection of fluids, nutrients and electrolytes into the veins.
INTRINSIC: A part of ... genetic.
INTRINSIC FACTOR: A chemical manufactured by the stomach that allows the absorption of Vitamin B12 into the blood and ultimately to bone marrow.
INTROITUS: The entrance into a canal or hollow organ, such as the vagina.
INTRON: Also called ... "intervening sequence". A part of DNA that exists between two exons and is
injected into RNA ... after the RNA matures it disappears and is no expressed as protein.
INTUBATION: Insertion of a tubular device into a canal, hollow organ or cavity, specifically, the passage
of an oro-nasotracheal tube for anesthesia.
INTUITION: Knowledge that is not obtained in a logical manner ... instinct.
INTUSSUSCEPTION: Having one within another ... like one portion of the intestine within another. It can
be fatal and strikes young children aged six months to three years. It is more likely to develop in boys
than girls (4 to 1). It is often preceded by an infection of the intestines. The child displays frenzied
behavior with intense screaming. To unfold the segment of intestine, a water or air enema is given. If this
does not correct the problem then surgery is required within 24 hours to prevent death. It should be noted
that there is a one in 10 chance that it will re-develop after correction via enema. An example of
intussusception is a telescope which folds into itself ... a portion of the intestines is pulled into a
connected portion by the same muscular action which keeps food moving along the intestinal tract thus
cutting off blood flow to that section. Narcosis (death) of the tissue results and lethal bacteria is spread
throughout the abdominal cavity.
INUNCTION: The act of skin massage.
INVALID: One who is sick and weak.
INVERSION: The act of turning something inside out.
INVERTEBRATE: Animals which lack a back bone.
INVEST: To surround.
INVETERATE: Difficult to cure.
IN VITRO: Within a test tube.
IN VIVO: Within a live organism.
INVOLUTION: The phenomenon that has an organ returning to normal following completion of it's
function ... for example, a breast following the completion of breast feeding.
IOBAN VI-DRAPE: Correctly spelled ... Ioban Vi-Drape. A surgical adhesive.
IODINE: A chemical substance manufactured by the thyroid gland to make its hormone ... used medically
as an antiseptic. Too little iodine in the body can result in goiter.
ION: Atoms or molecules that have an electrical charge due to the accumulation or loss of and electron.
IPSILATERAL: On the same side.
IPV: Abbreviation for ... "inactivated polio vaccine". Also, "intrapulmonary vein".
IRIDECTOMY: Excision of a portion of the iris.
IRIS: The area of the eye that is colored.
IRITIS: Iris inflammation.
IRON LUNG: A device that aids a patient's breathing.
IRON MALABSORPTION: A condition where the digestive tract does not absorb an adequate amount of

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Abbreviation is "IBS". Because symptoms can be different for different
people it is very difficult to diagnose. In the year 2000 medical science does not know the cause.
Sometimes, it is caused by bands of muscle, which wrap around the intestines and contract for the
purpose of ridding the body of undigested food. Contractions of these muscles are random with irritable
bowel syndrome resulting in chronic pain of the abdomen, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea and
stomach cramps. Emotions can promote an attack (chronic anxiety causes patterns of unusual
movements of the intestines). A high fiber diet and suspension of the use of laxatives are considered the
key to soothing irritable bowels. Note that rectal bleeding is not a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome.
ISCHEMIA: Poor blood supply to a body part often causing pain. It is sometimes caused by a blockage or
constriction of a blood vessel.
ISCHIORECTAL: Pertaining to the rectum and ischium.
ISCHIUM: A bone of the body ... pelvis.
ISCHURIA: Inability to urinate.
ISLETS OF LANGERHANS: The specialized cells of the pancreas that manufactures insulin.
-ISM: A suffix that means ... a "condition".
ISOCHROMATIC: Something which has uniform color ... refers to things which have the same color.
ISOENZYME: A group of enzymes that stimulate the same reactions but may be distinguished by
different physical properties.
ISOLEUCIN: One of the essential amino acids ... required for infant development and the proper balance
of nitrogen in adults.
ISOMER: One of two or more substances displaying isomerism (compounds existing in two or more forms
that are the same in composition but different regarding the position of atoms).
ISOMERISM: A chemical compound existing in two or more forms that are the same in composition but
different regarding the position of atoms.
ISOTOPE: A chemical that is identical to another but differing in a characteristic such as radioactivity.
-IST: A suffix which means ... "specialist".
I-STAT: Blood testing procedure performed at some hospitals (Sparrow).
ISTHMUS: A narrow area (neck) of an organ.
ITCHING: Pruritus.
-ITIS: A suffix which means ... "inflammation".
ITP: Abbreviation for "idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura".
IU: Abbreviation for ... "International Unit". It is the quantity of a substance that is agreed upon by an
international regulating body that produces a certain response. Typically the term is specified as a dosage
IUD: Abbreviation for "intrauterine device" ... a device which acts as a birth control method. It involves the
placement of a piece of metal or plastic in the womb.
IUP: Abbreviation for "Intrauterine pregnancy".
IV: Abbreviation for "intravenously".
IV CATHETER: A tiny, hollow tube that is inserted into a vein to provide access to mediations via a
IVDU: Abbreviation for ... "intravenous drug user".
IV Dye:
IVIG: Abbreviation for "intravenous immune globulin" which is a blood product which may help to prevent
IVN: Abbreviation for ... "intravenous nutrition".
IVP: Abbreviation for "Intravenous pyelography".
IVP dye:
IV PUSH: The injection of a drug into a vein at a rapid rate so it will enter the blood stream all at once.

JACKSONIAN: Jacksonian epilepsy.
JACKSONIAN SEIZURE: An epileptic seizure which typically begins in the fingers, toes or sometimes in
the corner of the mouth. The seizure produces a numbness and trembling which spreads to adjacent
areas and produces unconsciousness.
JACKSON-PRATT: Surgical instruments including catheters, dissectors, drains, reservoirs, suction
drains, suction reservoirs.
JACOBSON'S ORGAN: Two small pits found approximately one centimeter up the nose where the flat of
the face meets the septum. It is believed that this organ is responsible for sexual stimulation.
JANEWAY: Type of lesion.
JARGON: Speaking unintelligently.
JAUNDICE: This condition causes the skin and eyes to turn a pale yellow color. It is due to high levels of
bilirubin contained in the blood.
JECUR: Referring to the liver.
JEJUN / O: A combining word-form that refers to a portion of the small intestines (jejunum).
JEJUNECTOMY: A surgical excision of the jejunum.
JEJUNOCOLOSTOMY: A surgical procedure to connect the colon and jejunum.
JEJUNOILEAL: Relating to the jejunum and the ileum.
JEJUNUM: A portion of the small intestines.
JOBST'S STOCKING: Stockings designed to fit tightly and prevent water buildup in the tissues of the
JOINT ARTHROPATHY: Any disease that affects joints.
JOINTS: Areas where bones or cartilage meet. Joints are classified as moveable or immovable.
Moveable joints like the elbow or knee are immersed in a special liquid to cushion and lubricate. MCP;
JRA: Abbreviation for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
JUGAL: Referring to the cheek.
JUGALE: The point where temporal and frontal processes of the zygomatic bone unite.
JUGULAR VEIN: A large vein located in the front of the throat.
JUSTO MAJOR: Abnormally large.
JUXTA: Combining form that means ... located near.
JUXTAPOSITION: Placed next to ... side-by-side ... in close proximity to one another.
JUXTASPINAL: In the vicinity of the spine.
JVP: Abbreviation for "jugular venous pulse".

K: Symbol for ... Potassium.
K-WIRE (KIRSCHNER): Surgical wire used to hold things in place.
KAINOPHOBIA: Excessive fear of things out of the ordinary.
KAKOTROPHY: A state of poor nutrition.
KALA-AZAR: Tropical disease ... symptoms include anemia, dropsy, spleen swelling, liver swelling.
KANAVEL SIGN: i.e. of the head.
KAPOSII'S SARCOMA: An Aid's related skin cancer that may be transmitted through kissing. Kaposi's
sarcoma causes purple skin blotches and can also attack the internal organs. Like many other diseases
that kill people with AIDS, it usually affects those with weakened immune systems. The virus alone rarely
causes sickness among people with normal disease defenses.

KARYOTYPING: Currently being researched.

KATA-: A prefix meaning ... "down".
KATABOLISM: The process of metabolism ... "breaking down".
KAWASAKI DISEASE: A disease of unknown etiology (causes) which traditionally strikes children.
Symptoms include a very high temperature (104.0) ... bright red color of the tongue, mouth, palms and
soles. Dead skin tissue eventually peels as though it was sunburned. Internally, arteries become inflamed
to form weakened spots (aneurysms) that can break or form clots. Treatment includes the establishment
of an IV infusion gamma globulin (combined with aspirin).
KCAL: Abbreviation for ... "kilocalorie".
KEGEL EXERCISES: Used to gain bladder control ... results are usually seen after one month.
KELLY CLAMP: Curved hemostat surgical instrument without teeth.
KELOID: Overgrown scar that seldom disappears and can continue to grow into large lumps that are
sometimes painful, itchy or tender. Treatments that are sometimes effective include injections of cortisone
into the keloid. Plastic surgery is an alternative but there is a risk that new scar tissue will develop that
was worse than the original. Silicone gel sometimes works but only after a long period of treatment (six
months). Freezing treatments are another method that sometimes proves to be successful.
KELOTOMY: An incision process to relief the pain of a strangulated hernia.
KEPHYR: A kind of milk (fermented).
KERAT / (O): A combining word-form that refers to the cornea of the eye.
KERATALGIA: Corneal pain of the eye.
KERATECTOMY: The removal of a portion of the cornea.
KERATITIS: Inflammation of the cornea.
KERATIN: A protein that is a major constituent of nails, hair and epidermis.
KERATOCONUS: A corneal protrusion due to thinning of the stroma (An organ's supportive tissue).
KERATOIRITIS: Iris and cornea inflammation.
KERATOMYCOSIS: Corneal fungal infection.
KERATOSIS: A skin condition that results in a thickening of the outermost layer of skin.
KERATOSIS SENILIS: A lesion that resembles a wart and is considered to be premalignant. It occurs in
elderly, light skinned people on areas of the skin, which have been exposed to the sun (face and hands).
A cutaneous horn sometimes develops. Squamous (scaly) cell carcinoma may result when left untreated.
Synonyms are: actinic keratosis, senile keratoderma, senile keratoma, senile keratosis, keratosis senilis,
senile wart, solar keratosis, verruca plana senilis, and verruca senilis.
KERLIX: A type of bandage material.
KERNIG SIGN: Neurologic test which is conducted by flexing the thigh at a right angle; total excursion of
the leg is impossible; seen with meningitis.
KERNICTERUS: Extreme mental retardation caused by an incompatibility of blood types. Repeated blood
transfusions prior to or just following birth can correct.
KERR SIGN: Neurologic.
KETOACIDOSIS: An abnormal increase in "acidity level" of the body due to high levels of ketones in urine
and blood. This can occur from uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or starvation.
KETONES: Class of organic compounds manufactured by the breakdown of fatty acids and
carbohydrates in the liver. The ketones can be used as fuel by the muscles and the brain. Uncontrolled
diabetes can cause ketoacidosis that is high levels of ketones in urine and blood.
Kg: Abbreviation for ... "kilogram".
KIDDIGRAM: Pelvic x-ray.
KIDNEY(S): Two small organ(s) of the body that filter out toxic substances and excess fluid. Slightly
larger than the fist and shaped like a bean. The kidneys can be thought of as filters that trap toxic
materials from the blood and eliminate them from the body (through the bladder and out the urethra).
Many kidney diseases are thought to be caused by consuming excessive amounts of meat, fish, chicken,
eggs, and coffee and alcoholic beverages. Weakened kidneys are unable to excrete the toxic materials
(poisons) and they are returned to the blood stream. The body then attempts to rid itself of the poisons by
excreting them through the skin, lungs, bowel, etcetera. Often prescribed for kidney problems ... more
natural diet ... exercise ... walking ... exercises ... deep breathing ... less animal foods. It must be
understood that positive changes do not occur over night, 2-3 months may be required to notice a change
and as much as one year to enact a permanent cure.
KIDNEY CYSTS: Simple kidney cysts typically cause no problems present or future. However, other

types can create major problems.

KIDNEY STONES: Calcified deposits that impede normal operations of the urinary system. A major cause
is inadequate intake of water. A major problem with kidney stones is that they reappear time and again.
Statistics in the year 2000 reveals that 80% of sufferers have a recurrence within five years of the first
stone. The most common stones are called calcium oxalate stones the second most common stones
are made from uric acid (10% of all stones. Recommendations include drinking an abundant amount of
liquids daily (ten 10-ounce glasses of fluid). Also, decrease the intake of salt (which increases calcium in
the urine). The drug hydrochlorothiazide prevents calcium from entering into the blood. Calcium restriction
is not suggested because it promotes the absorption and secretion of oxalate that is much more
significant in the formation of stones than calcium. Foods to avoid are spinach, parsley, cocoa, rhubarb,
strawberries, purple grapes, raspberries, chocolate nuts. Also, avoid grapefruit juice.
KIESSELBACH'S AREA: See "Kiesselbach triangle".
KIESSELBACH TRIANGLE: An area of the anterior part of the nasal septum.
KILLER T-CELL: Types of T-lymphocytes that are designed to attack foreign objects.
KILO-: A prefix that means 1,000.
KILO: 1,000
KILOGRAM: 1,000 grams.
KINE-: Combining word form that means "movement".
KINESI / O: A combining word-form that refers to "movement".
KINESIA: Motion sickness.
KINETIC: Referring to motion.
KINO-: Combining word form that means "movement".
KINESITHERAPY: Using various types of movement to treat ailments.
KLEBSIELLA: A type of bacteria found in the respiratory and intestinal tracts (also, water, soil and grain).
Causes bronchitis, sinusitis and some forms of pneumonia.
KNEE: A leg joint that consists of a group of parts attaching the lower leg with the thigh. It is composed of
three condyloid joints (rounded ends of bones), 12 ligaments (bands of tissue composed of fibrous
materials), 13 bursae (sacs filled with fluid), and the kneecap (patella). The prepatellar bursa is the largest
of these. Due to minimal protection, the knee is often injured by blows, sudden stops/turns resulting in
torn ligaments. Symptoms of injury include fluid surrounding the knee joint, differences in shape,
tenderness, discoloration (black?and?blue), and joint weakness and crackling noises. X?rays show
bones, which are out of alignment, but serious injuries are due to torn ligaments that cannot be
determined from x?ray. Treatments include the removal of excessive fluid, compression of the joint to
control swelling, and the use of tape / splints to immobilize and allow healing. Surgery is sometimes
required to repair badly torn ligaments. Torn cartilage joint cushion s sci) are also typical injuries that
result in pain, swelling, and limited range of motion surgery is an option. Note that arthritis is another
condition that can affect the knee.
KNOCK-KNEE: A situation in which the legs turn inward at the knees.
KOCHER: A type of surgical instrument ... a clamp.
KOCHER CLAMP: A surgical instrument with locking handles ... often used to control bleeding.
KOCHER MANEUVER: A test for proper operation of the shoulders.
KOLP-: Prefix which means ... "vagina".
KOLPITIS: Vaginal inflammation.
KOPIOPIA: Strain of the eyes.
KUB: Kidney, ureter, and bladder.
KUPFFER CELLS: Macrophages (immunity cells which attack invading organisms like bacteria, fungus,
etcetera) lining the hepatic sinusoid.
KUSSMAUL'S RESPIRATIONS: Currently being researched.
KWASHIORKOR DISEASE: Typically seen in children from Africa between the ages of one and three.
The disease is characterized by anemia, swelling, enlarged belly, change of hair color (to red), loss of
hair, skin depigmentation, stools consisting of undigested food, hypoalbuminemia, fatty changes in liver
cells, death of acinar cells in the pancreas. The cause is due to malnutrition (especially a deficiency of
K-Y JELLY: Water soluble lubricant.
KYPHOSCOLIOSIS: Kyphosis combined with scoliosis; severe, congestive heart failure is not frequently
a complication.

KVO: Abbreviation for "Keep vein open" ... when giving an IV.
K-WIRE: Surgical instrument / aid to hold body parts in place.
KYLLOSIS: Club foot.
KYOGENIC: Something that causes pregnancy.
KYPHOSIS: Abnormal curvature of the spine (chest area).

LA: Abbreviation for ... "long acting".
LABI / O: A combining word-form that means "lips".
LABIAL: Referring to a "lip".
LABILE: Unsteady.
LABILITY: Not stable.
LABIOLINGUAL: Referring to the tongue and lips.
LABILE: Not steady, not fixed. Free and uncontrolled mood or behavioral expression of emotions.
LABOR: The process by which an infant is delivered from the mothers body. At the start of labor the
muscles of the uterus tense up and then relax ... this process increases in frequency as the labor
progresses. At the commencement of labor the cervix is open approximately 0.5 to 0.75 inches. A mucus
plug is present at this opening and is expelled when the baby presses against the cervix by the
contractions. As the process continues, the cervix opens to approximately four inches wide. Next, a
discharge of water indicates that the "bag of waters" has broken.
LABOR PAINS: Pain brought about by the contractions of the uterus during childbirth.
LABRUM: Currently being researched.
LABYRINTH: Another name for the internal ear which transmits sound to the brain and functions as the
bodies gyroscope to keep people in balance.
LABYRINTHITIS: Inflammation of the fluid filled canals of the inner ear ... typically resulting from a viral
infection. Symptoms include dizziness and imbalance. Motion sickness medications are usually
LAC: Milk.
LACERATION: A torn, ragged wound ... this type of wound is usually made by a blunt object as opposed
to a clean cut created by a knife or other sharp object.
LACERTUS: The muscle area of the arm.
LACRIMAL GLANDS: Responsible for producing tears.
LACRIMATION: Continuing secretion of tears by the lacrimal glands of the eyes; crying; weeping.
LACTASE: An enzyme required by the body to digest milk sugar ... intestinal gas results in those who
lack this enzyme. Foods can be purchased that are treated with lactase. Also, pills are available for the
use prior to ingesting dairy products.
LACTATION: The process of milk production by the breast(s).
LACTEAL: Referring to milk.
LACTIC ACID: The byproduct of incomplete combustion of muscle sugar ... associated with muscle
LACTIC DEHYDROGENASE: An enzyme that is sometimes used as a "marker" for heart attack and high
levels are associated with malignancies of the liver.
LACTIFUGE: A substance which inhibits the manufacture of milk.
LACTIN: Another name for "lactose sugar".
LACTOBACILLI: Bacteria which converts lactose into lactic acid. The effect can be seen when milk sours.
These bacteria are often referred to as "friendly bacteria" and can be found in the colon where they fight
certain diseases and aid the process of digestion. There are two species that can be performed to
replenish depleted supplies ... L. Acidophilus and L. Bifidus.
LACTOLIN: Condensed milk.

LACTOSE: Milk sugar. Lactose cannot be broken down by the body and is first broken down into
galactose and glucose.
LACTOSE INTOLERANCE: A common situation in which the body does not manufacture an adequate
amount of lactase to absorb the lactose in milk and products made from it. Typical symptoms include
cramps and diarrhea following the consumption of dairy products.
LACTOBACILLUS: Bacteria that help protect the vagina from infection.
LACTOSE: Milk sugar.
LACTOTHERAPY: Treatment of an ailment using a milk diet.
LACUNA: A small space or cavity.
LACUNAR: Relating to a lacuna.
LAD: Abbreviation for ... "left anterior descending" (coronary artery)
LAD STENT: A slender rod usually made from metal which is placed in the "left anterior descending"
(coronary artery) to provide support and keep it open.
LAENNEC'S CIRRHOSIS: Also called "portal cirrhosis". Hardening of liver tissue that compresses the
lobules, distorts the liver and impedes it from performing it's many tasks to result in hobnail liver.
LAITY: Common people ... non-professionals.
LALOPATHY: Speech impairment.
LAMINA: A thin layer.
LAMINA PAPYRACEA: The orbital plate of the ethmoid bone.
LAMINATED: Consisting of thin layers.
LAMINECTOMY: Excision of a vertebral lamina.
LANCET: A small instrument that resembles a knife and is used to puncture.
LANGUOR: Listlessness, fatigue, tiredness.
LANUGO: The hair which covers an infant prior to birth.
LAP: Abbreviation for "Leukocyte alkaline phosphatase".
LAPAROSCOPE: An examining instrument used to examine the abdominal cavity and it's organs.
LAPARAOSCOPY: The examination of the abdominal cavity using a device that resembles a hollow tube
containing a light. Carbon dioxide gas is injected to cause the abdomen to swell, creating a space to work
for surgeons. There is a question as to whether laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer can actually cause
new tumors to develop.
LAPAROTOMY: Surgical incision through the flank; more generally abdominal section at any point to gain
access to the peritoneal cavity.
LAPIS: Stone.
LAP SPONGE: Surgical instrument / aid.
LARDACEOUS LIVER: A degeneration of the starch like protein "amyloid" within the liver.
LARGE INTESTINE: The portion of the intestines that is subdivided into the appendix, colon, cecum,
colon, anus and rectum.
LARYNG / O: A combining word-form that means "voice box" (larynx).
LARYNGECTOMY: The act of removing the voice box (larynx) by surgical means. Speech of surprisingly
high quality can be learned following this procedure by a technique known as "esophageal speech" which
uses air that has been swallowed.
LARYNGISMUS: Spasm of the larynx.
LARYNGITIS: An inflammation of the voice box (larynx). Symptoms include hoarseness, sore throat,
tickling of the throat, cough, etcetera. It can be caused by smoking, growth on the larynx, voice abuse,
LARYNGOPARALYSIS: Larynx paralysis.
LARYNGOSTOME: A permanent tracheostomy.
LARYNX: The tube shaped organ that produces voice and resides between the pharynx and trachea. It
has nine cartilages one of which is the epiglottis.
LASECUE: Sign, syndrome.
LASIK: Abbreviation for "laser in-situ keratomileusis" ... a laser procedure to correct near sightedness.
LASA FEVER: An infection found in Africa that results in fevers up to 107.0 combined with intense muscle
pain. Note that the death rate is very high.
LASSITUDE: Exhaustion ... general weakness.
LATENCY: The phenomenon whereby a virus remains dormant for a period of time prior to replicating in
the host cells. Some viruses can remain dormant over many years and cause periodic infections.

LATENT: Not apparent ... hidden

LATERAL: 1. Referring to the "side". 2. Situated or occurring on the outside.
LATERALIZATION: The tendency for certain processes to be more highly developed on one side of the
brain than the other.
LATER / O: A combining word-form that means "side".
LATEROVERSION: Turned to the side.
LATTISSIMUS: The widest portion.
LATTISSIMUS DORSI: Muscle of the back.
LAUGHING GAS: Nitrous oxide.
LAVAGE: An irrigation or washing out of an organ (like the stomach or bowel).
LAX: Deficient of tension.
LAXATIVE: An agent that causes a purging of the bowels. It has been found that chronic use of laxatives
causes an impairment of the normal functioning of the bowels. Studies in mice have revealed the
intestinal nerves begin to degenerate after approximately four months of use. Current thought (year 2000)
says that to establish a healthy bowel routine one should opt for a healthy diet with lot's of fiber in it.
Bowel movements are typically triggered by a full stomach and a hot drink.
LAZARETTO: A place to treat contagious diseases.
LDH: Abbreviation for "lactic Dehydrogenase".
LDL: Abbreviation for ... "Low density lipoprotein" which is believed to be the main instigator of
atherosclerosis. LDL cholesterol is commonly called "bad cholesterol".
LDL-C: Abbreviation for "low density lipoprotein cholesterol.
LDLP: Abbreviation for ... "low density lipoprotein".
LDS: Abbreviation for ... "liver damage score".
LEAD POISONING: A state of toxicity caused by the ingestion of lead. Symptoms include damage to the
central nervous system the extent of which is due to the amount of exposure.
LEAP PROCEDURE: Procedure for cervical cancer.
LECHOPYRA: Fever of a child at birth.
LECITHIN: Waxy substances which are typically yellow or brown in color which is necessary for the
metabolism of fats and foods. Found in nerve tissues like the myelin sheaths. It is an essential component
of animal cells. It is known to induce energy and is required to assist in the repair of the liver due to
LEEP: Abbreviation for ... "loop electrocautery excision" procedure (cervix).
LEFT SHIFT: The degree of lobulation of polymorphonuclear neutrophil (is believed to give an indication
of cell age).
LEGIONELLA: Gram negative bacilli. It is the cause of an unusual pneumonia called Legionnaires'
LEIOMYOMA: Benign muscle tumor typically located in internal organs.
LEIPHEMIA: Thinned blood.
LEMIC: Referring to an epidemic disease.
LEMOLOGY: Epidemic disease investigations (studies).
LEMOSTENOSIS: An abnormal narrowing of the esophagus.
LENS: Structure of the eye that is located behind the pupil of the eye ... shaped like as egg. It focuses
light on the retina. Lenses can be removed and substituted with an artificial one in a fast and painless
LENTICULAR: Resembling a lens.
LENTI-FORMED: Resembling a lens.
LENTIGINES: A small, colored, flat area of the skin that is brown in color and resembles a freckle. The
border is typically regular in shape. Scattered melanocytes are seen in the basal cell layers.
LENTIGO: A small, colored, flat area of the skin that is brown in color and resembles a freckle. The
border is typically regular in shape. Scattered melanocytes are seen in the basal cell layers.
LENTIGO SENILIS: Dark, pigmented, spots (evenly colored) which occurs in people aged around 50 and
over. Also called "liver spots", "age spots".
LENTITIS: Inflammation of the lens of the eye.
LEPROSARIUM: An area reserved for the care of lepers.
LEPROSY: An infectious disease that is not highly contagious ... caused by the Mycobacterium leprae

microorganism. Two types of leprosy exist ... "nodular" and "neural". Nodular results in distortions to
tissues caused by masses of nodules. The "neural" type affects nerves that can cause numbness and
loss of bone and tissue. Chemotherapy treatment is usually more effective for the "neural" type. Sulponeclass drugs and dapsone are often used and can take as many as five years to enact a cure.
LESEGUE'S: Sign, syndrome, and disease.
LESION: Wound ... injury ... tumor that causes a pathological change in tissues.
LESSER OMENTUM: A portion of the peritoneum that supports hepatic vessels ... it is attached to the
liver and lesser curvature of the stomach.
LETHARGY: Lacking energy.
L.E.T.: A combination of drugs for anesthesia ... Lidocaine, epinephrine, tetracaine.
LEUCINE: One of the essential amino acids that are required for optimal infant growth and the equilibrium
of nitrogen in adults.
LEUCOMA: Currently being researched.
LEUCOTOMY: Type of brain operation.
LEUKEMIA: White blood cell cancer that grows in the bone marrow. This type of cancer crowds out the
normal cells resulting in bone marrow that cannot produce what it needs. With leukemia there is a
massive increase of white blood cells that do not mature and are unable to fight infections. The abnormal
cells resemble cancer cells but are different in that they not only appear in tissues (as does traditional
cancer) but also the blood and the bone marrow. It has been shown that radiation can cause this disease
that can occur at any age. There are two types of leukemia ... chronic, acute and subacute. There are two
types of chronic leukemia ... the first develops in the lymph system (commonly affecting 45-54 year olds)
while the other appears in the bone marrow (commonly affecting 35-45 year olds). The "chronic" type is
seldom seen in children and inflicts males much more than females. It is slow acting and years can go by
before symptoms start occurring. Symptoms can include an enlarged spleen, weight loss, sweats,
hemorrhages, anemia, etcetera. "Acute" leukemia typically affects children, which begins with cold-like
symptoms ... without treatment death can occur rapidly (within weeks or months). The "subacute" type of
leukemia has many of the characteristics of the other types and is more difficult to predict the outcomes.
A diagnosis can be made with laboratory testing of blood and bone marrow.
LEUKOBLAST: A white blood cell that has not matured.
LEUKOCYTE: White blood cell.
LEUKOCYTHEMIA: Another name for leukemia.
LEUKOCYTIC: Referring to white blood cells.
LEUKOCYTOCLASTIC VASCULITIS: A condition in which white blood cells (leukocytes) have invaded
blood vessels and leave debris in their wake. The immune system attacks and the skin may break out
with blisters, bruises, small bumps or dots on the skin. Treatment is often the cortisone drug "prednisone".
LEUKOCYTOSIS: Abnormally large number of leukocytes, usually caused by infections.
LEUKODERMIA: White patches of skin due to a deficiency of skin pigmentation in those areas.
LEUKOPENIA: A deficiency of white blood cells.
LEUKOPLAKIA: An area of skin that turns thick and white following constant irritation.
LEUKORRHEA: Discharge from the uterus that is white in color.
LEVATOR: A muscle that raises a part of the body.
LEVEL OF SERVICE: Designated at hospitals with roman numerals to indicate the severity of care.
LeVeen SHUNT: A tube (plastic) that connects the jugular vein to the abdomen to the superior vena cava.
LEVIN TUBE: A tube that passes from the nose to the stomach to the duodenum (first section of the small
intestines measuring approximately 10 inches in length).
LEVODUCTION: Eye movement to the left.
LFT: Abbreviation for "liver function test".
LICE: See "louse", "head lice".
LICHEN: A generic term for "skin disease".
LICHENIFICATION: Thickening of skin.
LICHEN PLANUS: A skin condition which often has unknown etiology. Small, slightly raised patches of
skin that are purple. Common areas of the body are the wrists, ankles, forearms mouth, genitals, gums
and tongues though the condition can occur anywhere on the body. Sometimes it is associated with
ulcerative colitis, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis.

LIEN: Another word for spleen.

LIENAL: Referring to the "spleen".
LIENECTOMY: Removing of the spleen by surgical procedure.
LIENITIS: An inflamed spleen.
LIGAMENT: Special tissue (fibrous) which connects the ends of bones.
LIGAMENTOUS: Referring to a ligament.
LIGAMENTUM VENOSUM: Also called ... "venous ligament", "ligamentum ductus venosi", "Arantius'
ligament". A tissue cord that is connected to the liver
LIGAND: An organic molecule attached to a metal ion.
LIGATION: Tying off a blood vessel ... duct.
LIGATURE: A thread used to tie or bind vessels.
LIMA: Abbreviation for "left anterior descending (coronary artery).
LIMBS: Legs or arms.
LIMBIC SYSTEM: Various structures located in the brain that convey pain and the emotions associated
with it.
LIMBUS: The edge or border of a part.
LIMINAL: Superficial, can barely be seen.
LINAMENT: A substance that is typically rubbed into the skin to alleviate pain from bruises and sprains.
LINEA ALBA: A band of fiber extending vertically along the length of the anterior (front) wall of the
LINGISM: Exercise treatment.
LINGUA: Tongue.
LINGUAL: Referring to some aspect of the tongue.
LINIMENT: A substance that is rubbed onto the skin to alleviate pain.
LINOLEIC ACID: Found in plant oil. It has a tendency to lower blood cholesterol.
LIP / O: A combining word-form that means "lipid (fat).
LIPASE: Enzyme that hydrolyzes a fatty acyl group from a neutral fat or phospholipid. Elevated amounts
of lipase (and amylase) in blood tests suggest pancreatitis.
LIPEMIA: A condition of having fat in the blood.
LIPID: Substances that are soluble in the same solvents as oils and fats. Beneficial nutritional substances
include choline, gamma-linolenic acid, inositol, lecithin and linoleic acid.
LIPIDURIA: The presence of lipids (fats) in a urine sample.
LIPOCYTE: A "fat cell"
LIPODYSTROPHY: Problem with the metabolism of fats.
LIPOGENIC: That which manufactures fat.
LIPOIC ACID: A coenzyme that contains sulfur. It is considered a powerful antioxidant and is used in the
manufacture of energy in the body.
LIPOMA: A benign tumor composed of fat cells.
LIPOPROTEIN: A combination of fat and protein molecules.
LIPOPROTEIN-A: Properly spelled "lipoprotein-a" ... it contains both LDL cholesterol (the bad type) and a
protein that may promote clotting.
LIPOSARCOMA: Malignant tumor that comprises immature fat cells.
LIPOSOME: A globule of fat or oil.
LIQ: Abbreviation for ... "left inner quadrant".
LIQUEFACTION: The changing of gas into a liquid.
LISTERISM: Principles guiding the antiseptic portion of surgeries.
LITH / O: A combining word-form that means "stone".
LITHIASIS: Another word for "stone" in the body, i.e., kidney stones.
LITHOGENOUS: Having to do with the formation of stones within the body.
LITHOTOMY: A position in which the patient has feet elevated in a supine position.
LITHOTRIPSY: Pulverizing a stone in the urethra or bladder.
LITMUS PAPER: A piece of paper impregnated with chemicals used to test the acidity of a substance.
The paper turns blue when exposed to acid and red when exposed to an alkali (base).
LITTER: Another word for "stretcher".
LITTLE'S AREA: Also called ... "Kiesselbach's area" or "Kiesselbach triangle". It is an area of the anterior

part of the nasal septum.

LIVEDO: Bluish decoloration of skin.
LIVER: The largest gland and largest solid organ within the body that weighs approximately four pounds.
It is located on the right side of the body, behind the lower ribs. It is the only internal organ that will rebuild
itself following damage. As much as 25% to 50% of it can be removed and it will still regenerate itself
100%. The liver has a multitude of functions with the primary being the excretion of bile that is required to
digest fats. It also metabolizes food, detoxifies the blood and produces proteins and clotting factors.
LIVER GLYCOGEN: "Muscle sugar" (which breaks down to give energy required for muscle contractions)
stored in the liver.
LIVER SPOTS: Dark, pigmented, spots (evenly colored) which occur in people aged around 50 and over.
Also called "age spots", "lentigo senilis".
LIVIDITY: The quality of being discolored black and blue, often from congestion or contusion.
LLOYD'S: Lloyd's reagent is used in the determination of alkaloids.
LLQ: Abbreviation for ... "left lower quadrant".
LMP: Abbreviation for "Last Menstrual Period".
LOBE: A portion of an organ that resembles a "globe".
LOBECTOMY: The removal of a lobe of an organ by surgical means.
LOBOTOMY: Surgical cutting of brain tissue.
LOBUS CAUDATUS: Also called ... "lobus caudatus" ... "pigelian lobe". One of the lobes of the liver
located next to the inferior vena cava and connected to the right lobe.
LOCALIZATION: The pinpointing of an infection to a specific area.
LOCHIA: A discharge from the vagina that follows childbirth. After the first week following birth the
discharge alters in color from bright red to dark. The discharge can continue a while longer and usually
turns white or yellow.
LOCKJAW: Another word for "tetanus".
LOCULATE: Divided into loculi.
LOCULI: See "loculus".
LOCULUS: A small space or cavity.
LOCUS: A place that a gene occupies on a chromosome "lod score".
LOD SCORE: A number (logarithm, base 10) which is used to calculate the odds in favor of genetic
LOGOPEDIA: The study of speech defects.
-LOGY: A suffix that means ... "the study of".
LOIN: The area of the back that exists between the pelvis and thorax.
LONGUS COLLI MUSCLE: The long muscle of the neck.
LORDOSIS: Spinal curvature ... increased amount of forward curvature.
LOUPE: A lens that is convex in shape.
LOUSE: A parasite that causes ... head lice ... body lice ... pubic (crab) lice. Causes of body infestations
are typically uncleanliness and contact with and infected person. The lice themselves seldom cause
major problems. However, the itching can result in skin lesions and become infected.
LOWER ESOPHAGEAL SPHINCTER: Muscle located where the stomach and esophagus meet ...
functions much like a one-way valve to allow food entry into the stomach but does not allow a backflow
from the stomach to the esophagus.
LOWER GI SERIES: Also called a ... "barium enema" A series of X-ray films which is used to visualize
the colon following the insertion of a barium solution in the form of an enema.
LOXIA: Another word for "wry neck".
LOXOTIC: On a slant.
LOZENGES: Cough drop like products that are dissolved in the mouth.
LP: A test that requires a drawing and analysis of spinal fluid ... abbreviation for "lumbar puncture".
LR: Abbreviation for "lactated ringers".
LSD: An illegal drug classified as a hallucinogen. It has been described as the most powerful drug know

to man due to the minute amounts that are required to cause effects. The drug is characterized by
distortions of the physical senses and unpredictable mental reactions.
LTH: Abbreviation for ... "luteotropic hormone".
L-THYROXINE: A hormone manufactured by the thyroid.
LUBB-DUPP: A term used to describe the sounds that a doctor hears when listening to the heart.
LUES: Another word for syphilis.
LUMBAGO: Pain in the lower back region (loin).
LUMBAR: Referring to the loin area of the lower back.
LUMBOSACRAL: Lumbar/sacrum.
LUMBRICAL MUSCLE OF THE HAND: Four muscles of the hand.
LUMBRICAL MUSCLE OF THE FOOT: Four muscles of the foot.
LUMBRICOID: A parasitic worm.
LUMEN: The inner space of a tubular shaped structure like an intestine or artery.
LUNATE: One of the bones of the wrist.
LUNG: One of the two soft, elastic organs that transfer oxygen into the blood via the "windpipe". Each
lung is surrounded by the "pleura" and located within the chest cavity. The two lungs are not identical ...
the left lung has two lobes while the right one has three.
LUNG DISEASE: Chronic obstructive.
LUNULA: The white area at the base of the fingernail shaped like half of a moon.
LUPUS: A word used to describe skin erosion ... it is also used to describe various diseases. Usually a
connective tissue disease in which the immune system turns against the body ... cause unknown.
LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS: Sometimes referred to as "systemic lupus erythematosus". There are two
types, 1) systemic lupus erythematosus. 2) Discoid lupus erythematosus. It is an autoimmune disease in
which the immune system turns against the body and attacks connective tissue.
LUQ: Abbreviation for ... "left upper quadrant".
LUTEIN: A substance that protects the eye from ultraviolet radiation. Found in spinach, orange juice,
green/leafy vegetables, corn, egg yolks, kiwi, zucchini, collard greens, and seedless red grapes.
LUXATED JOINT: Condition of being completely out of joint.
LUXATION: Dislocation.
LYCOPENE: A carotenoid that may treat and prevent prostate cancer. High concentrations are found in
processed tomato products such as ketchup. Lycopene is deposited in the liver, lungs, prostate gland,
colon and skin.
LYMPH: The clear liquid that circulates throughout the body in a special system of vessels whose
function it is to nourish tissue and remove waste materials via the filtering action of lymph glands.
LYMPHADENITIS: Swollen lymph glands ... lymph gland inflammation.
LYMPHADENOPATHY: Any disease that affects lymph nodes, lymph vessels, etcetera.
LYMPHANGITIS: Inflamed lymphatic vessel.
LYMPHATIC SYSTEM: The organs and tissues that make up the immunity system ... bone marrow,
lymph nodes, lymph vessels, spleen and the thymus.
LYMPHATIC TISSUE: Specialized tissues of the body that contain many lymphocytes.
LYMPH FLUID: Bathes and feeds all body cells. Lymph vessels are similar to blood vessel.
LYMPH GLANDS: See "lymph nodes".
LYMPH NODES: The human body has more than 600 lymph nodes (sometimes called "glands"). Their
purpose is to be a filtration system for harmful elements. For example, a sore throat will typically increase
the size of lymph nodes in the neck because they are trapping germs and preventing them from migrating
to other body sites. Nodes can also enlarge when cancer cells spread to them. A node that is filled with
cancer is typically rock hard and firm. Enlarged nodes that are non-cancerous are typically soft, tender
and are moveable. When nodes are larger than one centimeter they are considered "suspicious for
cancer". Also, nodes that are enlarged for a period of time (greater than one month) are also suspect for
cancer. It is interesting to note that lymph nodes do not recognize cancer cells as enemies ... in fact, they
actually provide them with a place to flourish.
LYMPHOCYTES: One variety of five types of white blood cells that makes up between 16-45 percent of
total white blood cell count. They are found in blood, lymph, lymph nodes, tonsils, bone marrow and other
specialized tissues. Categories include B-lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes, null lymphocytes (non-B, non-T).
These cells are required for the production of antibodies and are involved in the attack on invading
organisms. A total count of less than 1,500 is considered deficient. Lymphocytes are manufactured in

many areas of the body including ... lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, spleen, Peyer's patches and bone
LYMPHOCYTIC: Related to white blood cells.
LYMPHOMA: Cancer of the lymphatic tissues (lymph nodes and lymphocytes). Lymphomas are
categorized in two categories ... 1) Hodgkin's disease. 2) Non-Hodgkin's.
LYMPHOPOIESIS: The manufacture of lymphocytes.
LYSEMIA: A break down of blood.
LYSINE: An essential amino acid. It is related to tissue repair, growth, hormone production, antibodies
and enzymes. May be an effective against migraines and herpes simplex. A lack of lysine can cause
anemia, bloodshot eyes, problems with concentration, hair loss, lack of energy, irritability.
-LYSIS: A suffix which means ... "destruction".
LYSIS: Destruction.
LYSIS OF ADHESIONS: The destruction of scar tissue that binds internal body structures (adhesions).
LYSOSOME: Structures that exist inside cells that manufacture enzymes for breaking down organic
materials such as bacteria.
LYSSA: Another word for "rabies".
LYTES: Abbreviated term referring to electrolytes.
LYTIC: Refers to lysis (destruction).

M: Abbreviation for ... "molar".
m: Abbreviation for ... "meter".
M1: Early stage of malignant tumor spread.
MAC: Abbreviation for ... "mycobacterium avium complex". A group of germs, which belong to the same
family that, includes the tuberculosis germ. Note: It is not spread by the cough of an infected person, as is
MACERATION: Softening caused by a liquid.
MACRO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "large".
MACROCEPHALUS: Word used to describe an abnormally large head.
MACROCYTE: An exceedingly large red blood cell.
MACROLIDES: A class of antibiotics ... Erythromycin.
MACROMINERALS: Minerals which are found in relatively large amounts within the body ... important
ones are calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulfur.
MACROPARASITES: Usually refers to helminths and arthropods and other parasites that do not
reproduce inside their hosts but rather produce eggs and larvae that develop in the external environment.
MACROPHAGES: Immunity cells that attack invading organisms like bacteria, fungus, etcetera. Note that
consumption of one teaspoon of sugar results in impairment of these cells for as much as six hours.
MACULA: A small colored area or spot located on the retina of the eye that is responsible for central and
detailed vision.
MACULA LUTEA: A small, yellow area contained in the retinal of the eye and located in the vicinity of the
optic nerve. Best sight is achieved when light is focussed at its center.
MACULAR DEGENERATION: Commonly seen in older people ... it is a condition where the macula
degenerates and dies. Symptoms include blurry vision. The only treatments in the year 2000 are ... 1)
magnifying lenses to aid in reading ... 2) consumption of the food substances lotein and zeaxanthin which
help to protect the eye from ultraviolet radiation and slow down the degenerative process. Also see "dry
macular degeneration" and "wet macular degeneration".
MACULE: A small colored, flat area such as a freckle.
MACULOPAPULE: A lesion with a base that slopes from the papule in the center.
MADURA FOOT: Foot disease resulting from a fungal infection.

MADUROMYCOSIS: A warm-climate fungal infection that may affect the foot, hand or other areas of the
body. Pus and lesions develop and ultimately bone and tissue destruction results (if left untreated).
Sometimes the infection responds to antibiotics and sulfonamides and sometimes not. If it does not
respond to medications then amputation of the affected part is the only treatment.
MAGNESIUM: An essential mineral found in bones and teeth. It also aids in the ability of the body to
convert food into energy.
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING: Also called ... "MRI scan". An imaging test that produces images
from magnetics.
MAGNUM: Another word for "capitate" (bone in the center of the wrist).
MAIDENHEAD: Another word for "hymen".
MAL-: A prefix (word part) meaning "bad" ... "pain" ... "disease".
MALA: Cheek or cheek bones.
MALABSORPTION: An inability by the digestive system to fully absorb foods.
-MALACIA: A suffix that means ... "softening".
MALABSORPTIVE DISEASE: A decreased ability to absorb food.
MALACOSTEON: Bone softening.
MALADY: Another word for "ailment".
MALAISE: A feeling of general discomfort.
MALAR: Relating to the "mala" (cheek)
MALARIA: An illness caused by a parasitic organism in the red blood cells. It is spread by the female
mosquito (Anopheles) that previously came into contact with an infected person. After the parasites are
transmitted into the insect's body it takes approximately two weeks for them to develop after which time
anyone who is bitten by the mosquito will become infected. The symptoms of malaria develop in humans
(approximately two weeks following the bite) and include fever and chills combined with headache and
nausea. The cycle of fever and chills varies with the variety of the disease ... sometimes the symptoms
occur every other day and sometime every third day.
MALFORMATION: A development of a body part which is abnormal (not normal).
MALIGNANT: Something that is a threat to life.
MALIGNANT FEVER: Sometimes deadly fever.
MALIGNANT HYPERTENSION: A type of high blood pressure that is acute and can cause damage to
body organs, eyes, blood vessels ...
MALINGERER: A term given to a person who fakes the symptoms of a disease.
MALIS SCISSORS: Surgical instrument.
MALLEOLUS: A rounded bony structure, i.e., the bump on each side of the ankle.
MALLEUS: Also called "the hammer". It is one of the three bones of the middle ear connected to the
MALLET FRACTURE: Fracture of index finger of distal phalanx.
MALOCCLUSION: A term commonly used in dentistry to describe an overbite, upper and lower teeth,
which do not meet evenly.
MALONEY BOUGIE: A series of surgical instruments similar to a Hurst bougie, the difference being coneshaped tips.
MALUNION: A term used to describe a broken bone that has not healed properly. To correct this situation
the bone is re-broken and then "set" correctly.
MAMM / O: A combining word-form that means, "breast".
MAMMILLA: Another word for "nipple".
MAMMOGRAM: A cancer test that involves a radiographic test (x-rat) of the breast.
MAMMOGRAPHY: Examination of the breast via x-rays.
MAMMOPLASTY: Surgical reconstruction of the breast.
MANDIBLE: The lower jawbone.
MANDIBULAR: Referring to the lower jawbone.
MANUDUCTION: The act of chewing.
MANGANESE: Trace element that is essential to the functioning of the body. A typical adult has 10-20
mg (mostly found in the liver, kidneys and bones. It is essential for bone / blood formation, the proper
functioning of nerves, protein metabolism, fat metabolism, glucose metabolism, production of cholesterol,

initiation of RNA chains.

MANIA: Excessive excitement.
MANIC-DEPRESSIVE: A term used to describe one who alternates between depression and excitement.
MANOMETER: Measures the pressure of blood.
MANOMETRY: Measurement of gas pressure using a manometer.
MANTLE: The cortex of the brain.
MANTOUX TEST: A specialized skin test that detects tuberculosis.
MANUAL: Referring to the "hands".
MANUBRIUM: The part of the sternum that resembles a handle.
MANUS: Another word for "hand(s).
MARASMIC: Referring to marasmus (an infant's inability to thrive).
MARASMUS: A phenomenon in which an infant is unable to survive for unknown reason. Symptoms
include progressive wasting away.
MARBURG DISEASE: A deadly viral disease that affects most of the organs in the body. Symptoms
include a rash and profuse bleeding from many organs. The disease was originally noted in lab workers in
Marburg, Germany who were exposed to African green monkeys.
MARCEL PACK: i.e., for nosebleeds.
MARCUS - GUNN: Pupillary phenomenon.
MARIE-STRUMPELL DISEASE: A type of arthritis. See "ankylosing spondylitis". A fairly common disease
that primarily affects young men (can occur in either sex and at any age). Early symptoms include a stiff,
lower back when waking up ... this can extend to the spine and neck with time. Symptoms can also
include eye inflammation, an inflamed aorta (which can leak blood back to the heart) Swimming is an
excellent exercise to preserve back mobility. Anti-inflammatory drugs (like indomethacin and naproxen)
are often used to relieve pain and inflammation and keep the back as supple as possible,
MARROW: The soft and spongy material at the center of bone that is responsible for manufacturing red
blood cells. Prior to adulthood the marrow is red in color (due to the manufacture of these red blood cells).
However, in the mature person the marrow of many bones takes on a yellow color (due to fat) and lose
the ability to produce red blood ... others continue to replenish those which wear out.
MARSH FEVER: The fever which accompanies malaria.
MARSUPIALIZATION: To create a pouch for the surgical exteriorization of a cyst.
MASOCHISM: A condition in which pleasure (sexual) is obtained from painful stimuli.
MASON-ALLEN: Type of splint.
MASSETER: A muscle in the chest that closes the jaw. One of the four muscles used in chewing.
MASSEUR: A male who practices massage.
MASSEUSE: A female who practices massage.
MAST / O: A combining word-form that means, "breast".
MASTADENITIS: Inflammation of the breast.
MASTADENOMA: A tumor of the breast.
MASTALGIA: Breast pain.
MASTAUXE: Enlargement of the breast.
MAST CELLS: Cells of the skin that contain histamine.
MASTECTOMY: Removal of a breast due to cancer.
MASTICATION: The chewing of food.
MASTITIS: Inflammation of the breast or the nipple.
MASTOCYTE: A mast cell (connective tissue cell).
MASTODYNIA: Breast pain.
MASTOID: Another word for "breast".
MASTOIDECTOMY: Destruction of mastoid cells via surgical destruction.
MASTOID PROCESS: A bulge of the temporal bone at the side of the skull. This hollow area has air cells
that are often the site of infections that spread from the ear.
MAST TROUSERS: Blow up pants used for immobilization of the pelvis and other areas.
MATERNAL: Referring to the "mother".
MATERNAL IMMUNITY: Immunity for new babies that passes across the placenta to give immunity
protection for approximately three to six months.
MATURATION: 1. Fully grown. 2. The stage at which a virus becomes infectious.

MAXILLA: The bone of the upper jaw.

M.B.: Abbreviation for "Bachelor of Medicine".
MCBURNEY'S INCISION: Properly spelled ... " McBurney's". Associated with appendicitis; the point is 1/3
the distance from the anterior superior iliac spine to the umbilicus on the right.
MCBURNEY'S POINT: Properly spelled ... " McBurney's". The site on the abdomen that lies over the
appendix (right lower quadrant).
MCG: Abbreviation for "microgram".
MCH: Abbreviation for ... 1. "mean corpuscular hemoglobin" ... 2. "mean cell hemoglobin". MCH is an
erythrocyte (red blood cell) index.
MCHC: Abbreviation for ... 1. "mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration ... 2. "mean cell hemoglobin
mCi: Abbreviation for ... "millicurie" (a unit which measures radioactivity ... 3.7 x 107 disintegrations per
MCMURRAY SIGN: Properly spelled ... "McMurray". Circumduction maneuver for the knees.
MCP JOINT: Abbreviation for "Metacarpophalangeal joint".
MCU: Abbreviation for " maximal care unit".
MCV: Abbreviation for ... "mean corpuscular volume" (the average volume of erythrocytes) ... hematology.
MCV is an erythrocyte (red blood cell) index.
M.D.: Abbreviation for "Doctor of Medicine".
MDI: Abbreviation of "Metered Dose Inhaler".
MEAN: Another word for "average".
MEASLES: A potentially dangerous disease ... caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, pink rash, eye
redness and bronchitis (mild). It is contagious and transferred from person-to-person on air born particles.
Complications sometimes develop following the measles like bronchopneumonia, infection of the middle
ear and a rare form of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) that can result in permanent brain damage.
MEASLES-GERMAN: An illness which develops quickly in human beings ... caused by a virus ...
symptoms are similar to a case of measles (mild) ... of short duration.
MEATUS: A passageway or opening in the body.
MECKEL'S DIVERTICULUM: Currently being researched.
MECONIUM: The 1st intestinal discharges of the newborn infant.
MEDI-: A prefix that means ... "middle".
MEDIAL: Refers to the "middle".
MEDIAL COMPARTMENT: Pertaining to the knee ... Currently being researched.
MEDIAN: Situated in the "middle". Median can also mean ... "average".
MEDIASTINUM: A part of the space in the middle of the chest ... between the sacks containing the two
MEDICAL EXAMINER: A health professional / official who is responsible for determining the cause of
death in questionable situations.
MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE: Law and its relations to the medical industry.
MEDICOLEGAL: Referring to medicine and its relation to law.
MEDULLA: 1) Marrow. 2) A part of the brain stem that helps control heart rate, respiratory rate, digestion
MEDULLA OBLONGATA: The portion of the brain that connects to the spinal cord.
MEDULLARY SPONGIFORM DISEASE: Disease associated with kidney stone formation and blood in
the urine. Kidney failure is not typical.
MEDULLITIS: Marrow inflammation.
MEGACOLON: An enlarged colon.
MEGALOBLASTIC: An abnormal increase in red blood cells.
MEGALOCORNEA: Bulging of the cornea.
MEGALOGASTRIA: Stomach enlargement.
MEGALOHEPATIA: Liver enlargement.
MEGALOMANIA: Having an abnormally high opinion of oneself.
MEGALOMELIA: Abnormally large limbs.
-MEGALY: A suffix which means ... "enlargement".
MEGAVITAMIN DOSAGE: Doses of vitamins that exceed the amount needed for regular daily

maintenance of the body.

MELALGIA: Extremity pain.
MELANCHOLIA: A state of being sad.
MELANOCYTES: Skin cells that contain the pigment that gives the skin its characteristic color. Skin that
contains no melanocytes appears white.
MEIBOMIAN GLANDS: Located above and below the eyelids.
MELANOMA: Cancerous cells that begin in the pigmented cells of deep layer skin. It is the most deadly
form of skin cancer but can be cured if treated in its early stages. It can be identified as a patch of skin
irregular in shape and larger than the eraser of a pencil. It is multi-colored (black, brown, gray). Exposure
to sunlight is known to be a contributor. A bad sunburn from childhood is a dangerous indicator for future
occurrences. Distinguish a melanoma from a mole by looking for ... 1) asymmetry (not symmetrically
rounded), 2) irregular edges - melanoma edges are irregular while mole edges are smooth, 3) color variety of colors like brown and black shades and even blues and reds are sometimes noted, 4) size melanomas are typically larger than the eraser of a pencil.
MELANOPATHY: Abnormal increase of skin pigmentation.
MELANOSIS: Black pigmented deposits on the skin.
MELASMA: Dark pigmentation.
MELATONIN: Melatonin is a chemical released by the pineal gland of the brain. It follows a 24-hour
rhythm with blood levels up to ten times greater at night than during the day (this is a good reason to get
your required amount of sleep).
MELENA: Black vomit, or the passage of lumpy stools darkened by blood. Melena can occur from ulcers.
MELITEMIA: High blood sugar level.
MEMBRANE: Thin tissue-covering organs.
MENARCHE: Commencement of the menstrual period.
MENIERE'S DISEASE: An ailment which includes tinnitus, nausea, vomiting and vertigo caused by a fluid
buildup in the inner ear disrupting a person's hearing and balance. With time a sufferer has longer and
longer bouts of vertigo and hearing impairment. This disease is difficult to treat by the medical
MENINGIOMA: A benign neoplasm occurring in adults. They are tumors of the meninges that do not
spread to other parts of the body. They can increase in size to cause headaches and other problems
depending where they are located.
MENINGES: The three-layered covering of the brain ... dura mater, arachnoid and the pia mater. The
dura mater is the tough outer layer, the arachnoid is the middle (resembles a spider's web) and the pia
mater actually comes into contact with the brain and the spinal cord.
MENINGIOMA: A tumor within the meninges.
MENINGISMUS: A condition of irritation of the brain or spinal cord in which the symptoms simulate
Menometrorrhagia: Excess menstrual and uterine bleeding that is not caused by menstruation. It may be
a sign of cervical cancer.
MENINGITIS: Inflammation of the three-layered covering of the brain and spinal cord ... caused by viral,
bacteria and other microscopic organisms. The onset of the disease is rapid with headache and neck pain
/ stiffness. The disease is diagnosed by performing a "spinal tap" which involves the removal and analysis
of spinal fluid. A skin rash with red spots sometimes occurs. Antibiotics are usually effective and patients
get well quickly if treatment is commenced early. Ascetic; Septic; See "meningococcal meningitis".
MENINGOCOCCAL MENINGITIS: Infection of the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, vomiting, weakness, irritability, headache, stiff neck and
sometimes body rash. It is spread by contact with mucus or saliva from infected individuals.
MENINGOCOCCUS: The organism that causes the very serious form of meningitis called
"meningococcal meningitis" which can cause death in 50% of sufferers if left untreated.
MENISCAL: Referring to the crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous structure of the knee.
MENISCECTOMY: The surgical removal of the crescent shaped cartilage in the knee joint ... usually due
to torn cartilage causing pain or an unstable/locking knee joint.
MENISCUS: A crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous structure of the knee ... the acromdi and sternoclavicular and the temporomandibular joints.
MENKES' DISEASE: An inherited condition which is characterized by ... 1) a deficiency of copper in the
liver ... 2) proteins that normally contain copper. The disease may result in early death, mental

retardation, and brittle hair.

MENOPAUSE: When a woman experiences cessation of menstruation. It occurs at approximately the age
of 51. The production of ovum ceases and the levels of estrogen decrease. Hormone replacement
therapy is generally prescribed to ease symptoms. Menopausal symptoms include hot flashes.
MENORRHAGIA: Abnormal bleeding during menses.
MENORRHEA: Menses discharge.
MENSES: The normal flow of blood that occurs during menstruation.
MENSTRUATION: The 28-day cycle that females undergo which sheds the lining of the womb.
Approximately 14 days prior to the menstrual flow an egg (ovum) travels to the fallopian tube and remains
there for 24 hours. Then, it transfers through the tube and into the uterus where it awaits fertilization. If
conception does not occur then the top layers of the uterus are expelled during menses.
MENTATION: The process of reasoning and thinking.
MENTO: Relationship to the chin.
MENTUM: Another word for "chin".
MEQ: Properly spelled ... "mEq" or "mEq". Abbreviation for ... "milliequivalent".
MERALGIA: Pain in the thigh.
MESENTER: A combining word form that means, "middle intestine" (mesenteric).
MESENTERIC NODES: Lymph glands in one of three groups serving parts of the intestine.
MESENTERIC: Middle intestine. Mesenteric also refers to the skin that connects many organs to the
MESENTERY: A membrane which attaches organs to the body wall. Typically the term refers to a fold of
membrane that connects the small intestines to the body wall.
MESO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "middle.
MESOMORPH: A body type which displays balance between limbs and trunk.
MESOTHELIOMA: Rare neoplasm made from spindle cells or fibrous tissue.
MET: Abbreviation for ... "metabolic equivalent test". One "MET" is the oxygen that is required to sit in a
chair, relaxed.
META-: A prefix (word part) meaning "beyond" ... "alteration".
METABOLIC ACIDOSIS: An abnormally low blood pH (measure of the acidity / alkalinity). The condition
can be due to dehydration, poison, shock to the heart, kidney failure, hemorrhagic shock, and increase in
ketone bodies.
METABOLISM: The process within the body that maintains and produces life.
METABOLITE: The products of the process within the body (metabolism).
METACARPAL: One of the five bones of the hand located between the carpus and phalanges.
METACARPUS: The five bones located in the palm of the hand.
METACYSIS: Term used to mean "blood transfusion".
METAMYELOCYTE: One of the stages of growth of mature white blood cells.
METAPHYSIS: Section of bone between the diaphysis and epiphysis of large bones.
METAPLASIA: The transfer of one type of cells into another kind.
METASTASIS: The transfer of disease from one organ or part to another not directly connected with it.
METASTATIC: Pertaining to metastasis.
METATARSAL: Pertaining to a metatarsus.
METATARSUS: A part of the foot made of 5 bones (numbered I to V from the large toe).
METATHESIS: Transfer of a pathologic product from one place to another.
METEORISM: Also called ... "tympanites". Enlargement (distention) of the abdomen due to gas.
METFORMIN: Antidiabetic insulin sensitizer (Glucophage).
METHIONINE: One of the essential amino acids. Source of sulfur. Associated with growth, healthy skin
and nails. Assists in lowering cholesterol levels and preventing problems with hair, skin, nails. Reduces
liver fat, protects the kidneys, promotes hair growth.
METHYL METHACRYLATE: Cement used in surgery.
METOPIC: Referring to the forehead.
METRA: Referring to the womb (uterus).
METRALGIA: Uterus pain.

METRITIS: Uterine inflammation.

METROCARCINOMA: Uterine cancer.
METROLOGY: The field of "measurement".
METROPATHY: A disorder of the uterus.
METRORRHAGIA: Bleeding from the vagina that is due to causes unrelated to menses.
METUM: Chin.
METZENBAUM: Surgical instrument ... surgical scissors.
mg: Abbreviation for ... "milligram" (1/1000th of a gram).
Mg: Abbreviation for ... "magnesium".
MI: Myocardial infarction (heart attack).
MICRO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "small".
MICROCIRCULATION: Refers to blood flow in small vessels.
MICROCARDIA: An abnormally small heart.
MICROCYTE: Also called ... "microerythrocyte". A small red blood cell without a nucleus.
MICROCYTHEMIA: Also called ... "microcytosis". Microcytes occurring in the blood.
MICROCYTOSIS: Also called ... "microcythemia". Microcytes occurring in the blood.
MICROERYTHROCYTE: Also called ... "microcyte". A small red blood cell without a nucleus.
MICROGRAPHY: A microscopic study.
MICROGRAM: 1/1,000,000 of a gram.
MICROMINERALS: Minerals which are found in relatively small amounts within the body ... important
ones are cobalt, molybdenum and selenium.
MICRON: 1/1000TH of a millimeter.
MICROPHALLUS: An abnormally small penis.
MICROVILLUS: A small protrusion or process ... tiny bumps on cell membranes.
MICTURITION: The act of urinating.
MIGRAINE HEADACHE: Severe headaches which typically involves one side. They commence with an
"aura" which involves flashing lights, twinkling stars or zigzag lines. Another typical symptom is nausea.
Chocolate and hunger are often factors that trigger an onset. Cafergot is one medicine that is sometimes
effective. Note, abdominal stress is a typical symptom.
MILIARIA: Another word for "heat rash".
MILIUM: White head.
MILK TEETH: A child's first teeth.
MILLICURIE: Abbreviated as ... "mCi". A unit that measures radioactivity ... 3.7 x 107 disintegrations per
MILLIEQUIVALENT: An amount used for measuring doses of medications.
MIMS: Hospital database.
MINERALS: Inorganic material usually found in the earth's crust. Minerals play strategic roles in the
regulation of many body functions ... they make up bones, teeth, muscle, blood, nerve cells and soft
tissue. They are involved in the manufacture of hormones and vitamins cannot be absorbed into the body
without them.
MINISTROKE: Results from blockage of small arteries that feed parts of the brain. Symptoms include
weakness of a leg or arm.
MINOCYCLINE: A member of the tetracycline family of antibiotics.
MIOCARDIA: Contraction of the heart.
MIOSIS: Another word for "contraction".
MISCARRIAGE: Abortion ... the loss of a fetus. It can be the result of infant abnormality, nutritional
deficiencies, glandular deficiencies, and trauma to the abdomen. The symptoms of a miscarriage include
heavy bleeding combined with cramps.
MISCIBLE: Something which has the ability to be mixed and does not separate afterwards.
MITOCHONDRIA: Also called ... "Altmann's granule". Organelles that are self-reproducing found in the
cytoplasm of cells ... they are the primary source of energy for cells.
MITOCHONDRION: The area within the cell which contains the mechanism which accounts of energy
MITOSIS: Refers to cell reproduction ... the process of cell division.
MITRAL REGURGITATION: The backward flow of blood through this heart valve.
MITRAL VALVE: It separates two chambers of the heart and acts like a saloon door to prevent blood from

backing up into the atrium (heart chamber) during the pumping process. It is found between the upper left
heart chamber and the lower left heart chamber.
MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE: A failure of the mitral valve of the heart to close properly. In 1999 it was
estimated that approximately 5% of men and 17% of women suffered from this condition. The medical
establishment has been warning that it can cause infection of heart valves, heart failure and stroke. Also,
sufferers should take antibiotics prior to dental work or surgeries. Doctors often hear a "click" of the heart
when performing physical examinations but were never able to localize it in the past. With the advent of
ultrasound, doctors were able to pinpoint it to the mitral valve. A study by Dr. Lisa Freed at Yale New
Haven Hospital indicated that people with MVP were not likely to develop stroke or heart failure any more
than those who did not demonstrate this problem.
MITRAL VALVE REGURGITATION: A backwards flow into the left atrium of the heart caused by a mitral
valve that leaks. Symptoms are dependent upon the magnitude of the leak. A large leak can result in
fatigue and shortness of breath because there is not enough blood being pumped throughout the body to
provide proper nourishment. Severe leaks can be corrected by surgical means while others can be
augmented with medicines that assist the pumping of blood.
MITRAL VALVULOTOMY: A surgical procedure that widens the opening in the heart valve (mitral valve)
which separates the upper and lower chambers of the heart (on the left).
MITTELSCHMERZ: Abdominal pain which happens at the time of ovulation.
MIU: Abbreviation for ... "Milia-International Unit.
ML: Abbreviation for ... "milliliter".
mm: Abbreviation for ... "millimeter".
MMR: Abbreviation for "mumps, measles / rubella vaccine.
mo: Abbreviation for ... "month".
MODUS: Another word for "method".
MODUS OPERANDI: A method for accomplishment.
MOHS: The last name of a surgeon who invented a method of removing skin tumors.
MOIETY: A portion of something.
MOLARS: The 12 flat teeth that chew foods. They are located on each side (upper and lower) and behind
the canine and incisor teeth.
MOLAR PREGNANCY: Also called, "hydatidiform mole". It is a placenta in which a fetus does not
develop. Instead, growths that appear similar to grapes form on the surface. A "mole" is the result of
fertilizing an ovum that lacks genetic material. Symptoms include vaginal bleeding, and the passing of the
grapelike material. Rarely, the mole can develop into cancer.
MOLE: A colored growth on the skin which often has hairs growing from it. Mole: To distinguish a
melanoma from a mole, look for ... 1) asymmetry (not symmetrically rounded), 2) irregular edges melanoma edges are irregular while mole edges are smooth, 3) color - variety of colors like brown and
black shades and even blues and reds are sometimes noted, 4) size - melanomas are typically larger
than the eraser of a pencil.
MOLECULAR EPIDEMIOLOGY: A study of the distribution and diversity of virus colonies using nucleotide
sequence data.
MOLECULE: A combination of atoms which is the smallest amount that a substance can be broken down
to and still retain the chemical properties of the substance.
MOLLUSCUM CONTAGIOSUM: Disease marked by soft round tumors on the skin.
mol wt: Abbreviation for ... "molecular weight".
MOLYBDENUM: An essential mineral which is related to key enzyme reactions which involve the
oxidation of fats, metabolism of carbohydrates and metabolism of urine. The human body concentrates
most of the molybdenum in the liver, kidney, adrenal glands, bones and skin. A deficiency has been
associated with cancer of the esophagus, sexual impotency and decay of teeth.
MONARTHRITIS: Arthritis pain, which affects only one joint.
MONGOLISM: Deficient physical and mental development characterized by a flat and broad face / skull
which resembles the Asian race.
MONILIA: A term used to refer to a fungus commonly known as "fruit molds".
MONILIAL: Used in reference to the genus "Candida" ... monilial vaginitis.
MONILIASIS: Infection of the vagina, mouth, throat and other body areas by a fungus ... see "monilia".
MONITOR: Telemetry.
MONOCLONAL: A term used in immunochemistry referring to identical molecules.

MONOCYTE: A variety of blood cells (white). An increase in monocytes is typically observed during the
phase of recovery following many infections. It is seen in brucellosis (a type of bacteria, Crohn's disease,
blood neoplasms, polyarteritis nodosa, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, syphilis and TB, systemic lupus,
ulcerative colitis.
MONOMELIC: Referring to only one limb.
MONONUCLEOSIS: Illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Also called the "kissing disease" due to the
fact that the virus cane be transmitted via saliva even after the symptoms of the disease have passed.
Symptoms appear 2-3 weeks after contracting the disease and include fatigue, fever, sore throat,
enlarged lymph nodes (particularly the neck) and sometimes headache. The virus can be detected with
standard liver tests but seldom causes liver damage. A danger to those suffering with the disease is the
rupture of an enlarged spleen that can cause death ... contact sports must be avoided. Symptoms
subside in approximately 2-3 weeks.
MONOPHASIA: Inability to speak other than a single word or sentence.
MONOPLEGIA: Paralysis of a single limb or muscle group.
MONOSPOT TEST: A rapidly performed serum agglutination test for infectious mononucleosis.
MONS: An area which is elevated.
MONS PUBIS: Pubic area of the female.
MONTHLIES: Another word for "menses".
MONTREAL PEGBOARD: Surgical instrument / aid. Used to immobilize.
MORBID: A word used to describe disease or something affected by disease.
MORBIDITY: State of ill health.
MORBIDITY RATE: The percentage of healthy people in a society versus unhealthy ones.
MORBIFIC: A word used to describe something that causes disease.
MORBILLI: Another word for measles.
MORELAND OSTEOTOME: Surgical instrument / aid ... bone cutting surgical instrument.
MORIBUND: At the point of death.
MORBUS: Another word for "disease".
MORNING SICKNESS: Symptoms of vomiting and nausea which usually happens in the early stages of
MORON: A term used to describe someone who has a mental age between 7-12 years of age.
MORO REFLEX: Startle reflex.
MORPHOLOGY: The science dealing with plant and animal structures.
MORPHOLOGY OF BLOOD CELLS: The microscopic study of blood cells and their characteristics.
MORS: Death.
MORTISE: The seating for the talus made by the connection of the fibula and tibia at the ankle joint i.e.,
the seating at the ankle joint.
MORTON'S NEURALGIA: Nerve pain between the lateral and medial plantar nerves due to pressure on
the nerve by the metatarsophalangeal joint.
MOTILE: Spontaneous but not conscious movement.
MOTILITY: Being ability to move.
MOTOR: Referring to movement.
MOTTLING: An area of skin comprised of macular lesions of varying shades or colors.
MOYAMOYA DISEASE: A CVA disorder mainly occurring in Japanese people. It is characterized by
mental retardation, convulsion, hemiplegia and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
MP: Metaphalangeal.
MRA: Abbreviation for: 1) multivariate regression analysis, 2) main renal artery, and 3) marrow
repopulation activity.
MRI: Abbreviation for "magnetic resonance imaging". The technique uses magnetism combined with radio
waves for the purpose of producing detailed images of internal body structures.
MRI SCAN: Also called ... "MRI scan". An imaging test that produces images from magnetics.
mRNA: Abbreviation for ... "messenger RNA".
M.S.: Abbreviation for "master of surgery".
M.T.: Abbreviation for "medical transcriptionist".
MTP: Abbreviation for "metatarsophalangeal" joint.
MUCIFEROUS: That which excretes mucous.

MUCILAGES: Adhesive, viscid and sticky substance found in plants (especially the seeds).
MUCILAGINOUS: Adhesive, viscid, sticky.
MUCIN: The primary constituent of mucous.
MUCINOUS: Referring to something that contains mucin (the primary constituent of mucous).
MUCOPUS: A mixture of pus and mucus.
MUCOSA: Tissue which produces mucus.
MUCOUS MEMBRANE: Any of 4 major kinds of thin sheets of tissue cells that line various parts of the
body and communicate with the air, i.e., mouth, nose, anus, vagina.
MUCUS: The sticky, slippery material released by mucous membranes and glands.
MUGGA SCAN: Abbreviation for "multiple gated acquisition blood pool radio nuclide".
MULATTO: One whose parents were of mixed race ... white and black.
MULIEBRIA: Another word for the genitalia of the female.
MULTIGRAVIDA: A woman who is currently pregnant and has had greater than two pregnancies
MULTIPARA: Having greater than two previous live births.
MULTIPLE IDIOPATHIC HEMORRHAGIC SARCOMA: Also called ... "Kaposi's sarcoma". Malignant
tumor of the skin and sometimes lymph nodes. Externally it produces red-purple, small, flat areas
(patches). Those with the highest risks are AIDS patients and men over the age of 60.
MULTIPLE MYELOMA: Also called "myeloma multiplex". It is a disease that is not common and
appears in men more than in woman. Symptoms include anemia, weakness, infections and hemorrhage.
It is a malignant cancer that originates in the bone marrow. The features of the disease are dependent
upon the location of the disease.
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: A disease which attacks and interferes with the fatty covering (myelin) which
protects nerve cells in the brain, spine and other areas of the body. Transmission of nerve impulse is
impaired to a point of weakening a leg or arm. Even sight can be affected with blurring or blindness for a
short period of time. The original set of problems usually subside only to be replaced by a new set which
becomes permanent. A burning pain is often cited as a symptom but due to the fact that the illness can
cause a multitude of symptoms it is not possible to list them with certainty. Testing can detect the disease
... MRI scans reveal scarring of the brain and spinal cord and a sample of spinal fluid with show the
presence of a specific protein. Drug to cure the disease have not been developed in the year 2000
however the following medications have been shown to combat relapses ... cortisone, baclofen, interferon
and glatiramer. Even though the cause of MS has not been determined (year 2000) it is known that
genetics do play a role. Curiously, people living in the hot areas of the world (tropics) do not exhibit the
disease as much as those living in temperate climates. In the early stages there appears to be a link with
the Herpes-6 virus (not to be confused with the virus that causes cold sores or genital herpes).
MUMPS: An infectious disease characterized by infection of the large salivary gland (parotid) in the
cheeks (in front of the ears). Having mumps is almost always a once in a lifetime occurrence because it
immunizes a person. The first symptom is typically is pain below the ear(s), chills, fever, headache and
loss of appetite.
MURMUR: A periodic sound (raspy quality) of short duration ... of cardiac or vascular origin.
MURPHY'S SIGN: A test for gallbladder disease. Patient is asked to inhale while the examiner's fingers
are at the border of the liver at the bottom of the rib cage. If the gallbladder is inflamed it will cause pain
as it descends onto the fingers.
MUSCAE VOLITANTES: A term which refers to "spots in front of the eyes".
MUSCLE: Body tissues with the specialized ability to contract and relax. Muscles are connected to bones
by tendons (cords of fiber).
MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY: Diseases which result in a wasting away of external muscles ... this group of
diseases does not affect internal, involuntary muscles (as does polio). Usually affected are muscles
bilaterally (on both sides of the body). It appears that most cases are genetic and many families have
more than one person with the disease.
MUTAGENIC: That which causes alterations of genetic material.
MUTATE: When genetic material is not exactly copied by reproducing cells (or multiplying viruses).
MUTATION: A permanent change in the genetic structure.
MVP: Abbreviation for "Mitral Valve Prolapse".
MYALGIA: Muscle pains.

MYASTHENIA: Weakness of muscles.

MYASTHENIA GRAVIS: A chronic muscle weakness that is progressive and begins in the throat and
face. The problem is found at the nerve-muscle connection. Mestinon is a treatment that increases
Acetylcholine (a chemical produced by the body which causes muscles to contract). There are many
other drugs and removal of the thymus is also an option because it drops the antibodies that block the
functioning of Acetylcholine. The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation can be contacted at 1-800-541-5454.
MYATONIA: Limp muscles.
MYCOBACTERIUM: Refers to a family of bacteria that cause a variety of ailments. For example,
tuberculosis in humans is caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis while a similar disease in cattle is
caused by mycobacterium bovis.
MYCOLOGY: The study of fungi.
MYCOPLASMA: Also called ... "Asterococcus". A biological classification of anaerobic bacteria. This germ
is thought by many to be the cause of rheumatoid arthritis. They do not have true cell walls but rather a
three-layered membrane. These bacteria are found in humans and animals and can cause disease.
MYCOPLASMAL PNEUMONIA: Also called ... "primary atypical pneumonia" which involves the lungs and
is caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Symptoms include fever and cough.
MYCOPLASMA PNEUMONIAE: A species that causes "mycoplasmal pneumonia" (primary atypical
MYCOSIS: A disease which is caused by a fungus.
MYCOSIS FUNGOIDES: Sounds like a fungal disease but is not. It receives its name due to an invasion
of the skin by cancer lymphocytes. The name is derived from the skin lesions that develop in untreated
cases that resemble mushrooms.
MYDRIASIS: An abnormally large pupil (eye).
MYECTOMY: A surgical procedure that removes muscle (usually from a too-muscular heart by injecting it
with alcohol).
MYEL / (O)-: Combining form indicating either "bone marrow" or "spinal cord".
MYELIN: A sheath of fat that protects nerve cell cables (axons) of the body much like insulation on
electrical wires ... especially the brain and spine.
MYELITIS: Inflammation of the spinal cord.
MYELOBLAST: Bone marrow cell ... immature ... granulocytic. Differential cell count is typically 2%
MYELODYSPLASIA: Abnormal "spinal cord" development or "bone marrow".
MYELODYSPLASTIC: Referring to "myelodysplasia".
MYELODYSPLASTIC SYNDROME: SYNONYM(s): Also called "MDS" "Preleukemia" Refractory
anemia" "Refractory dysmyelopoietic anemia" "Smoldering leukemia". DEFINITION: A cell
multiplication disorder in which bone marrow is associated with ineffective and abnormal manufacture of
bone marrow or any of the types of blood cells derived from bone marrow. BACKGROUND:
Myelodysplastic syndrome is a group of closely related blood formation disorders. All are characterized by
a cellular marrow with impaired maturation (dysmyelopoiesis) and a reduction in the number of blood
cells. TREATMENT: There is no established treatment for MDS. Therapy is supportive with RBC
transfusions as indicated, platelet transfusions for bleeding, and antibiotic therapy for infection.
MYELOFIBROSIS: An ailment in which bone marrow becomes fibrotic and the spleen and liver develop
immature blood cells.
MYELOGENIC: Relating to bone marrow.
MYELOGRAM: Spinal x-ray.
MYELOGRAPHY: A diagnostic study (x-ray) which requires the injection of a contrast medium into the
spinal column.
MYELOPATHY: Any spinal cord disease.
MYELOMA: Bone marrow cancer (rampant proliferation of plasma cells) that crowds out normal cells to
inhibit the production of blood cells to cause anemia, weaken bones (leading to fractures) and
vulnerability to infections. Chemotherapy is sometimes used to control the reproduction of plasma cells
that destroys bone marrow and then new stem cells are instilled. More information can be obtained at the
Myeloma Foundation at (800) 452-2873 in the year 2000 or (818) 487-7455.
MYELON: Another word for "spinal column".
MYELOPLEGIA: Paralysis of the spine.
MYELOPOIESIS: The making of bone marrow.

MYELOPROLIFERATIVE: Unusual proliferation of myelopoietic tissue.

MYELOSUPPRESSION: A slowing down or stopping of bone marrow activity.
MYENTERON: The intestines layer of muscle.
MY / (O): A combining word-form that means "muscle".
MYIASIA: A situation whereby fly larvae invades ears, eyes or intestines.
MYITIS: Inflammation of muscle.
MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM COMPLEX: Germs belonging to the same family as tuberculosis. They are
not passed from person to person via coughing, as is TB. "MAC" germs are virtually all around us and do
not cause problems in those with strong immunity systems ... in this case the germs can take hold and
create problems in the lungs ... fever, weight loss and cough are typical symptoms. Antibiotics are usually
chosen as the primary defense. Note that once the MAC germs have gained the upper hand, they are
very difficult to destroy.
MYOBRADIA: Retarded muscle reactions when exposed to an electrical current.
MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION: Also called a "heart attack". It is caused by an interruption in blood flow to
the heart, which causes death, or damage to heart muscle. The victim of a heart attack experiences a
sensation that feels like a tight band around the chest. The pain often radiates to the left arm or neck. A
quick diagnosis is essential because doctor's can give a clot-dissolving agent to eliminate the cause.
MYOCARDITIS: Heart muscle inflammation (typically caused bu the Coxsackie virus).
MYOCARDIUM: The muscle portion of the heart (middle layer).
MYOCLONUS: Spasm of muscle tissue.
MYOCYTE: Muscle cell.
MYOGLOBIN: A form of hemoglobin found in muscles ... it causes the red color of muscles and the
muscles ability to store oxygen.
MYOKYMIA: Uncontrolled muscle contractions at rest.
MYOKYMIC: See "myokymia".
MYOLOGY: The science of muscle study.
MYOLYSIS: Dissolution of muscle tissue.
MYOMA: Muscle tumor.
MYOMECTOMY: The surgical removal of a tumor from muscle tissue.
MYOPATHY: Any disease of the muscle(s).
MYOPE: A person who has near sightedness.
MYOPIA: A visual condition in which objects seen at a distance appears blurry.
MYOPLASTY: The surgical repair of a muscle.
MYOSITIS: Inflammation of a muscle.
MYOSPASM: Spasm of a muscle.
MYOTONIA: Inability to relax a muscle.
MYOTROPES: Contraction word meaning, "myoglobin and troponin".
MYRINGITIS: A state of inflamed tympanic membranes.
MYRINGOTOMY: Paracentesis of the tympanic membrane.
MYXEDEMA: A type of "cretinism" which develops in childhood / adolescence. Retardation, goiter, dry
skin and hair which is coarse are typical symptoms. This condition is due to a lack of thyroid hormone.
MYXOMA: Benign tumor that is made from connective tissues cells and organ supportive cells ... a tumor
occurring in mucous tissue.
MYXORRHEA: Flowing mucus.

Na: Symbol for ... "sodium".
NABX: Abbreviation for ... "needle aspiration biopsy".
NaCL: Chemical symbol for ... "sodium chloride".

NADIR: Low area.

NAILS: A common term used to describe the modified skin that grows from the ends of fingers, thumbs
and toes. The nail begins at the "nail root" which is embedded in the skin and is surrounded by the "nail
wall". Beneath the nail is skin called the "nail bed". Also see "lunula".
NAILBED: The area of skin located on toes and fingers which are covered by nails.
NAILBED COMPRESSION: A neurological test to determine sensation.
NANOMETER: One billionth of a meter (250 millionth of an inch).
NANUS: Another word for "dwarf".
NAPE: Another word for "back of the neck".
NARCISSISM: Abnormal love of oneself.
NARCOLEPSY: A sleep disorder that is characterized by sleeping spells which come on suddenly at any
time of the day. Usually manifests itself in the 20's or 30's. Control can be obtained with daytime naps,
exercise and restriction of caloric intake. In the year 2000 the medical industry prescribe Modafinil,
methylphenidate or amphetamine.
NARCOMANIA: Narcotic seeking behavior.
NARCOSIS: A condition of being unconscious.
NARCOTICS: Medications that are used for the management of pain. Some examples are Morphine,
Codeine, Oxycodone, Hydromorphone, Fentanyl, and Demerol. Note that these drugs should not be
stopped immediately because of withdrawal symptoms.
NARCOTIC ANTAGONIST: Medications which counteract the effects of narcotics. These drugs can be
used to identify drug addicts because they bring on withdrawal symptoms in these people.
NARES: The openings of the nose. Singular is Naris.
NARIS: One of the openings of the nose.
NAS / O: A combining word-form that means, "nose".
NASAL: A term which refers to the nose.
NASAL CANNULA: See section on "Oxygen Supplementation".
NASAL SPINE: Portion of the frontal bone.
NASION: Tip of the nose.
NASOGASTRIC TUBE: A tube made from plastic which is designed to pass into the stomach from the
nose to drain gas and liquids.
NASOPALATINE: Referring to the roof of the mouth (palate) and nose.
NATAL: A word which refers to ... 1) birth, 2) buttocks.
NATANT: Floating.
NATHAN'S TEST: To determine the presence of tuberculosis. A dressing with a special serum is applied
to the skin for one day. The dressing is observed for a positive reaction (within six days).
NATIS: Another word for "buttocks".
NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR: A primary care provider who primarily uses natural healing methods.
NATUROPATHY: Treating disease without the aid of medications.
NAUPATHIA: Another word for motion sickness.
NAUSEA: A feeling that one is on the verge of vomiting.
NAVEL: The area located on the abdomen where the umbilical cord was attached.
NAVICULAR: Boat shaped; scaphoid;
NCAT: Abbreviation for "normocephalic, atraumatic".
NEB: Abbreviation for ... "nebulizer".
NEBULIZER: An atomizer ... a device for throwing a spray.
NECK: A body part which connects the trunk with the head. Typical internal components which make up
the neck include ... the pharynx ... esophagus ... larynx ... trachea ... thyroid ... many lymph nodes. The
neck can be viewed as an extension of the respiratory and digestive system. The rear of the neck
contains a large number of nerves within the spinal column. Also located in the neck are seven cervical
vertebrae the first of which is called the "atlas" (accounts for up-and-down movement of the head) ... the
second is called the "axis" (accounts for side-to-side movement of the head).
NECRO: A combining work form which means "referring to death".
NECROBIOSIS: Death of cells due to changes associated with development of aging.
NECROLYSIS: Another word for ... "gangrene".
NECROMANIA: A morbid preoccupation with death.
NECROPSY: Another word for "autopsy".

NECROSIS: The demise (death) of a body part due to lack of blood supply.
NECROTIZING FASCIITIS: Also called "flesh-eating disease" which is caused by common group A
streptococcus. It is unknown in the year 2000 why this common bacteria (which causes sore throats)
contaminates a wound and produces symptoms of intense pain, swelling, inflammation, hot skin. The
disease in not contagious but extremely dangerous and death can occur within 12 to 24 hours. The
disease is fatal in 20-30 percent of sufferers and is treated with antibiotics and surgical removal of
infected skin.
NEEDLESTICK: An accidental skin puncture from handling hypodermic needles.
NEGATIVE AFTERIMAGE: A phenomenon of the eye which occurs after staring at an object and then
promptly closing the eyes and seeing a residual image in a color which is complimentary to the original.
NEGRO'S PHENOMENON: Also called ... "cogwheel phenomenon". An alteration of smooth respiratory
effort with a sudden and brief halt.
NEMATODE: A roundworm from the phylum Nematoda.
NEO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "new".
NEOGALA: The milk that is produced by the mother following childbirth.
NEONATE: New baby.
NEONATAL: Referring to a newborn baby. Also, the period of time following birth (one month).
NEONATUS: Another word for a "newborn baby".
NEOPATHY: A new complication ... disease.
NEOPLASM: Tumor; new growth which might be either benign or cancerous.
NEOPLASTIC: Relating to tumors.
NEPHR / (O): A combining word-form which means "kidney".
NEPHRALIGIA: Kidney pain.
NEPHRECTOMY: The surgical excision (removal) of a kidney.
NEPHRIC: Referring to the kidney(s).
NEPHRITIS: Kidney inflammation.
NEPHROLITH: Another word for ... "kidney stone".
NEPHRORRHAGIA: Kidney hemorrhage.
NEPHROLOGIST: One who specializes in the study of kidneys.
NEPHROLOGY: The scientific study of kidneys.
NEPHROMA: A tumor growth occurring on the kidney.
NEPHROPATHY: Another word for ... "kidney disease".
NEPHROPEXY: The anchoring (sewing) of a kidney which is free floating.
NEPHROSIS: Kidney destruction without accompanying inflammation.
NEPHROTIC: A disorder related to the kidneys.
NEPHROTOXIC: Something which is harmful to the kidneys.
NERVES: The term usually refers to fiber bundles outside the CNS (central nervous system). There are
three types of nerves ... 1) Sensory nerves (receives and transmits information to the brain). 2)
Associative nerves (transmits electrical signals [impulses] from sensory to motor nerves.) 3) Motor nerves
(transmits electrical signals from the brain to glands and muscles). Note: Eighty-six nerves exist in the
body ... 12 pairs of cranial nerves and 31 pairs of nerves related to the spine. Other nerves are simply
branches of these.
NERVE BLOCK: A medication (or other method) which acts to numb an area of the body. Typical nerve
blocks include local anesthetics in dental work.
NERVI: Latin plural ... "nerves".
NERVINE: A substance which calms the nerves.
NERVOUS SYSTEM: The highly specialized sytem which receives information about the outside world
and relays it to the cells, organs and tissues of the body. There are two parts to the nervous system ... the
somatic (sense organs) ... visceral (control of inner organs). Control of the nervous system is dependant
on brain and spinal cord. At the base of the brain are 12 pairs of cranial nerves and 31 pairs of spinal
nerves originating at the spinal cord (peripheral nerves).
NERVUS: Latin word for "nerve".
NEUR / (O): A combining word-form that means "nerve".
NEURAL: Referring to the nerves.

NEURALGIA: Nerve pain usually caused by infections or injuries to the nerve. Affected areas often
include ... lumbar back area, eye(s), rear of the neck. Note: Sharp chest pains suggestive of pleurisy or
heart disease may also be caused by neuralgia.
NEURAPRAXIA: A mild nerve lesion that can cause a loss of sensation in affected areas. Often misspelled "neuropraxia".
NEURASTHENIA: A condition that results in fatigue thought to be brought on by psychological reasons.
NEURECTASIA: To relieve pain by stretching the nerve.
NEURITIS: Nerve inflammation resulting in constant and burning pain. Causes include infections,
traumas (injuries), poisons or chilling. The skin is usually red along the length of the inflamed nerve that is
described to feel like, "a burning sensation" ... the flesh feels as though it were "numb".
NEUROBLASTOMA: A cancer made from cells that come from tissues in the womb ... nervous system.
NEUROCRANIUM: The part of the cranium covering the brain.
NEUROCIRCULATORY ASTHENIA: Also called "soldier's heart" and effort "syndrome". A complex of
symptoms involving the circulatory and nervous systems ... shortness of breath, fatigue, increased heart
rate, anxiety.
NEUROCYTE: And of the varieties of nerve cells.
NEURODERMATITIS: Damage to the skin caused by scratching.
NEUROFIBROMATOSIS: Hereditary disorder which causes growths on nerves and surrounding areas of
tissue. These growths can cause problems when they impede the functioning of organs. When on the
skin these growths are unattractive.. The most common is Type I peripheral neurofibromatosis that
manifests itself with patches of hyper pigmentation in subcutaneous and cutaneous tumors.
NEUROFIBROMATOSIS FOUNDATION can be contacted at 1-800-323-7938.
NEUROGENIC: Coming from the nervous system.
NEUROLEPTANALGESIA: A technique to change one's perception of pain by the administration
(intravenously) of a general anesthetic (neuroleptic drug) combined with the inhalation of another
(weaker) anesthetic. Sometimes a neuromuscular relaxant is used.
NEUROLOGIST: Doctor who specializes in the nervous system.
NEUROMA: A tumor which is made up of nerve material.
NEUROMUSCULAR: Referring to the muscular and neurologic systems.
NEURON: Another word for "nerve cell.
NEUROPATHY: Implies nerve damage. NEUROPATHY ASSOCIATION @ 800-247-6968.
NEUROPEPTIDES: Strings of amino acids that float throughout the body and transfer information.
NEUROPHTHISIS: Degeneration of nerves.
NEUROPRAXIA: Common misspelling of the word ... "neurapraxia".
NEUROSIS: Mental disorder.
NEUROSPASM: Muscle twitching.
NEUROSURGEON: A surgical specialist ... nervous system and brain.
NEUROSYPHILIS: Syphilis affecting the nervous system.
NEUROTHLIPSIS: Pressure on a nerve.
NEUROTOXIC: Something that can destroy nerve tissue.
NEUROTRANSMITTER: Chemicals that transfer nerve signals from one cell to another ... Acetylcholine,
dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid, norepinephrine and serotonin.
NEUTROPENIA: A decrease in the number of neutrophilic white blood cells.
NEUTROPHILS: One of the five types of white blood cells. They account for approximately 45-74 percent
of total white blood cells. Neutrophils rush to the site of infection and engage in contact with the invading
foreign body. Pus is the natural byproduct of this process and is composed of dead neutrophils. A total
count of less than 1,000 is considered deficient and put the body at risk for infection.
NEVI: Pleural of "nevus".
NEVUS: A circular malformation of the skin ... include moles, freckles, birthmarks, etcetera. Dark-colored
moles that are flat and without hairs have a tendency to develop cancer.
NEXUS: Uniting.
NG: Properly spelled ... "ng". Abbreviation for ... "nanogram".
NG TUBE: Abbreviation for "nasogastric tube".
NIACIN: Another word for "vitamin B3". See vitamin B3 for more information.
NICOTINE: An alkaloid contained in tobacco products which affects nervous system(s).
NICU ADMISSION: 1. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 2. Neurologic Intensive Care Unit.

NIEMANN-PICK DISEASE: Inherited mental illness. Progressive blindness and skin discoloration and
possible "early death" prognosis.
NIGHT TERRORS: Typically affects children prior to late adolescence. The child often wakes up
screaming, covered in sweat, with a racing heart. Sometimes, the person wanders around in a terrified
state. Upon fully awakening, the sufferer seldom remembers what happened. They often occur in children
who have a parent who experienced them.
NIEMANN DISEASE: Also called ... "Niemann-Pick disease" and "sphingomyelin lipidosis". An inherited
ailment that occurs mostly in Jewish infants and typically leads to early death ... a lesser form rarely
inflicts adults. It results in a gathering of phospholipids (a lipid containing phosphorus) in macrophages
(immunity cells) of the bone marrow, liver, lymph glands and spleen ... this results in an enlarged spleen,
lymph nodes and liver. It also results in malnutrition.
NIEMANN-PICK DISEASE: Also called ... "Niemann disease" and "sphingomyelin lipidosis". An inherited
ailment that occurs mostly in Jewish infants and typically leads to early death ... a lesser form rarely
inflicts adults. It results in a gathering of phospholipids (a lipid containing phosphorus) in macrophages
(immunity cells) of the bone marrow, liver, lymph glands and spleen ... this results in an enlarged spleen,
lymph nodes and liver. It also results in malnutrition.
NIEMANN-PICK DISEASE TYPE A: The buildup of "sphingomyelin" (fatty material) and cholesterol in
liver, brain and spleen cells. Malfunction of these cells is the end result. This illness generally affects
babies who often die by the age of four. There is no cure in the year 2000.
NIGRA: Another word for "black".
NIGRITIES LINGUAE: A tongue which has become black.
NIH: Abbreviation for ... "National Institute of Health" (research facility of the government).
NIL: Another word for ... "none".
NISSEN FUNDOPLICATION: The suturing of the fundus of the stomach to prevent reflux.
NIT: The egg of a louse.
NITRITE: Chemical compounds that dilates small blood vessels. Typically used to lower blood pressure.
Note: Many bacteria will convert nitrates to nitrite.
NITROFURANTOIN: Used for urinary tract infections. Ingredient in Macrobid, Macrodantin.
NITROGEN: A gas which is colorless and odorless. It makes up almost 50% of the air and combines with
other elements to form proteins.
NITROSAMINE: A preservative typically used in processed foods.
NJ: Abbreviation for ... "nasojejunal".
NK CELLS: Also called "natural immunity cells" and "cancer fighter cells". They devour cancer and virus
infected cells. Note that one teaspoon of sugar impairs the ability of these cells to fight foreign objects bu
up to six hours.
NKA: Abbreviation for "no known allergies".
NM: Correctly spelled ... "nm". Abbreviation for ... "nanometer".
NMT: Nebulized Mist Treatment.
NOCT / (I): A combining word-form that means "night".
NOCTOPHOBIA: Abnormal fear of the nighttime.
NOCTURIA: Abnormally increased amount of urination during the night. Also, "bedwetting".
NOCTURNAL EMISSION: Nighttime ejaculation of sperm ... involuntary.
NODES: Protuberances which are small and round. Cervical; Supraclavicular; Epitrochlear; Axillary;
NODULAR: Possessing knoblike, circumscribed swellings.
NODULE: 1. Small, knob like growth. 2. A small mass.
NOMA: Mouth gangrene typically found in undernourished children.
NOMOGRAM: A series of scales arranged so that calculations can be performed graphically.
NONCOMPLIANCE: Not following the instructions dictated by a health care provider.
NON-HODGKIN'S LYMPHOMA: The more common of the two "lymphomas" (see Hodgkin's disease). It
results in abnormally large lymph nodes (glands) sometimes combined with weight loss, fever, and
sweating at night.
NONINVASIVE: A medical procedure that does not require the penetration into the body.
NONREBREATHING MASK: See section on "Oxygen supplementation".
NONRESPONDER: A person who fails to respond to therapy.
NON-SECRETOR: Approximately 15% of people are categorized as non-secretors due to the fact that

they do not secrete their blood antigen into their secretions. Rheumatic heart disease and alcoholism
have been associated to this status.
NONUNION: A failure of bones to unite.
NONVIABLE: Inability to thrive.
NOREPINEPHRINE: Adrenal gland hormone secretion which restricts blood vessels (small).
NORMAL SALINE: Solution of salt approximating the concentration of salt in body fluids.
NORMOACTIVE: Contraction meaning "normal activity".
NORMOCEPHALIC: Contraction meaning "normal head".
NORMOCYTE: A red blood cell of "normal" dimensions.
NORMOTENSIVE: Indicating a normal arterial blood pressure.
NORMOTENSIVE: 1. Refers to normal blood pressure. 2. Indicating a normal arterial blood pressure.
NOSOCOMIAL: A disease condition acquired while in a hospital.
NOTALGIA: Pain of the back.
NOTCHPLASTY: Currently being researched.
NOTIFIABLE DISEASE: An infectious disease that is required by law to be reported to the authorities.
NOXIOUS: Injurious; harmful; poisonous.
NPH: Abbreviation for "Neutral Protamine Hagedom (insulin).
NPO: "Nothing by mouth". NPO is an abbreviation from the Latin phrase Nil peros (nothing by mouth).
NS: Abbreviation for ... "normal saline solution".
NSAIDS: Abbreviation for "nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs" such as aspirin, indomethacin,
phenylbutazone, Advil. Motrin, Aleve, Orudis and Indocin. They work by blocking prostaglandins. A new
class of NSAIDS include Celebrex and Vioxx that do not irritate the stomach and are less likely to cause
stomach bleeding.
NUBILE: A female able to bear children.
NUCHA: Referring to the "rear of the neck".
NUCHAL: Referring the "nucha" (back of the neck).
NUCHAL RIGIDITY: A resistance in bending of the neck ... rigidity of the neck.
NUCLEIC ACID: Chemicals found in RNA and DNA mostly made up of phosphoric acid, nitrogenous
bases and sugar.
NUCLEOCAPSID: Virus core consisting of genetic material within a protein coat.
NUCLEOSIDE: A compound typically found in DNA and RNA consisting of sugar, purine (or pyrimidine).
There are four types: 1) nucleoside bisphosphate, 2) nucleoside diphosphate, 3) nucleoside
monophosphate, and 4) nucleoside triphosphate.
NUCLEOTIDE: Also called ... "mononucleotide". A combination of nucleic acid, purine, sugar ... the basic
structural unit of DNA and RNA.
NUCLEUS: The center of a cell ... typically oval in shape and contains genetic material surrounded by a
nuclear membrane.
NUCLEUS PULPOSUS: The soft fibrocartilage central portion of the invertebral disk. It is a rubbery
substance fails with age when stressed.
NULLIPARA: A female who has not given birth.
NULLIPAROUS: A female who has not given birth.
NUMMULAR: Resembling a coin.
NURSEMAID'S ELBOW: Longitudinal subluxation of the radial bone into the articular ligament.
NUTCRACKER ESOPHAGUS: The muscles of the esophagus fail to constrict in a normal fashion.
Symptoms include difficulty in swallowing and chest pains. Food actually sticks in certain areas and
complete the digestive cycle. It is an unpleasant ailment. However, no one has ever died from it.
NUTMEG LIVER: A condition typically due to lung and/or heart disease ... the liver appears like a nutmeg
due to the congestion.
NUTRACEUTICAL: Food substances having health benefits.
NVA: Abbreviation for "near visual acuity".
NX: Unknown amount of lymph node involvement during a malignant process.
NYCTALGIA: Nighttime pain.
NYCTALOPIA: Also called "night blindness". An inability to see under low light conditions ... due to a
problem with the "rods" of the retina.
NYCTERINE: That which happens at nighttime.
NYCTOTYPHLOSIS: Also called "night blindness". An ability to see at nighttime.

NYGMA: Wound caused by a puncture.

NYMPHECTOMY: Remove of the lips (small) of the vagina via surgical methods.
NYMPHOMANIA: Abnormal desire for sex by a female.
NYSTAGMUS: Involuntary, rapid, rhythmic movement of the eyeball.
NYXIS: To cause a puncture wound.

OARIC: Referring to the ovary.
OARITIS: Inflammation of an ovary.
O&P: Abbreviation for "Ova and Parasites".
OB: Abbreviation for "obstetrics".
OBDUCTION: Another word for "autopsy".
OBFUSCATION: State of confusion.
OB-GYN: Obstetrics and gynecology.
OBLIQUE: Slanting ... diagonal. Often used to describe an anatomical position in which the body is
positioned in a slanting position sideways to the x-ray film.
OBLITERATION: To block out.
OBSERVER VARIATION: Incorrect information as reported by an observer, which leads to an error.
OBSTETRICIAN: One who specializes in pregnancy.
OBSTETRICS: The branch of medicine that deals with childbirth and pregnancy.
OBSTIPATION: Intractable constipation.
OBSTRUCTION: The blockage of a vessel or duct in the body which prevents flowing through the area.
OBTUND: To dull or blunt, especially to sensation or to deaden pain.
OBTURATION: The closure of an opening.
OCCIPITAL: Referring to the bone (occiput) which makes up the rear of the skull.
OCCIPUT: The rear portion of the skull.
OCCLUSAL: In dentistry it pertains to contacting surfaces.
OCCLUDE: See "occlusion".
OCCLUSION: A blockage in a canal, artery, vein, or passage of the body.
OCCIPUT: The back portion of the head.
OCCULT: Not apparent ... hidden.
OCCULT BLEEDING: Bleeding which is not apparent ... hidden from inspection.
OCCULT BLOOD TEST: A test that detects blood in stool, urine or sputum.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY: Treatment of an ailment by performing an activity.
OCD: Abbreviation for 1) Osteochondritis dissecans. 2. Obsessive compulsive disorder.
OCG: Abbreviation for ... "oral cholecystogram".
OCL: A material splints are made from.
OCULIST: One who specializes in diseases of the eye.
OCULUS: Another word for "eye".
OD: Abbreviation (Latin) for "right eye".
ODDI DYSFUNCTION: Currently being researched.
ODONITIS: Inflammation of a tooth.
ODONTALGIA: Tooth pain.
ODONTECHTOMY: Removal of a tooth.
ODONTIC: Referring to teeth.
ODORIFEROUS: Emitting an odor.
-ODYNIA: A suffix which means ... "pain".

ODYNOPHAGIA: Pain on swallowing.

OEDIPUS COMPLEX: An abnormal love that a child has for the parent of the opposite sex.
OI: Abbreviation for ... "opportunistic infection".
-OLE: A suffix which means ... "small".
OLECRANON: Process of the elbow. Tip of the elbow.
OLFACTION: Another word for "the sense of smell".
OLFACTORY: Referring to the sense of smell.
OLFACTORY NERVE: One of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves ... it is responsible for transmitting smells
from the nose into the brain.
OLIGEMIA: A decrease in blood.
OLIGOCHOLIA: A decrease in the amount of bile.
OLIGODENDROCYTES: Nervous system cells.
OLIGODENDROGLIOMA: Non-cancerous tumor usually seen in the white brain matter of adults.
OLIGOGALACTIA: A decrease in the amount of milk.
OLIGURIA: Small amount of urine production.
OLYMPUS VIDEO COLONOSCOPE: A surgical instrument used in the year 2000 to inspect the colon for
OM: Abbreviation for "obtuse marginal (coronary artery").
-OMA: A suffix which means ... "tumor".
OMALGIA: Nerve pain of the shoulder.
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS: An ingredient in fish oils which is known to thin the blood and may protect
against heart attacks. Also, used as an anti-inflammatory.
OMENTECTOMY: The removal of an omentum.
OMENTUM: A peritoneum fold extending from the stomach to nearby organs in the abdominal cavity.
OMITIS: Inflammation of the shoulder.
OMMAYA'S RESERVOIR: A device to remove cerebrospinal fluid or to introduce chemotherapeutic
OMNI RETRACTOR SYSTEM: A type of surgical instrument which is designed to hold back the edges of
tissues to exposed organs or other internal body structures.
OMODYNIA: Pain of the shoulder.
OMPHALIC: Referring to the belly button (umbilicus).
OMPHALITIS: An inflamed belly button (umbilicus).
OMPHALOS: Another word for ... belly button ... navel ... umbilicus.
ONANISM: A sex act which results in male ejaculation outside of the vagina.
ONC / (O): A combining word form that means "tumor".
ONCOGENESIS: The manufacture of tumors.
ONCOLOGIST: Refers to cancer specialists.
ONCOLOGY: The medical subfield which deals with cancer.
ONCOSIS: Many tumors.
ONCOCYTES: Cells that make up tumors.
ONCOLYTIC: Related to cancer treatment.
ONCOMA: Another word for "tumor".
ONCOTIC: Referring to swelling.
O NEGATIVE: Also called ... "universal blood donor". Blood type (Rhesus) any human can receive.
ONE TOUCH: Refers to a device used for checking blood sugar levels.
ONE TOUCH SUGAR: Accu-Chek ... measuring device to determine blood sugar levels.
ONYCHIA: Inflammation around fingernail(s) due to an infection.
ONYCHOMYCOSIS: Fungus type infection of the nails.
ONYX: Another word for nail ... for example, fingernail or toenail.
ONYXIS: Ingrown toenail or fingernail.
OO / (O): A combining word-form that means "ovum" (egg).
OOCYTE: An incompletely developed ovum (egg).
OOPHORALGIA: Pain in an ovary.
OOPHOROHYSTERECTOMY: A removal of the uterus and ovaries.
OOPHORECTOMY: The removal of an ovary by surgical means.
OOPHORITIS: Ovary inflammation.

OOPHOROMA: Tumor of the ovary (malignant).

OOPHORON: Another word for "ovary".
OPEN HEART SURGERY: A surgical procedure performed to the heart while blood is diverted through a
heart /lung machine.
OPEN LABEL: A type of trial/study in which the patient takes a medication with knowledge as to what is
expected from the medicine. It is the opposite of a "double blind trial" which uses placebos to take into
account the effects of a patient's expectations (placebo effect).
OPERCULUM: The areas of the parietal, temporal and frontal lobes which covers the insula and borders
the lateral sulcus.
OPHIDISM: Poisoning due to snakebite.
OPHTHALIC: Referring to the eye.
OPHTHALM / (O): A combining word-form that means "eye".
OPHTHALMIA: Eye inflammation.
OPHTHALMOLOGIST: A specialist in ophthalmology.
OPHTHALMOPLEGIA: Paralysis of ocular muscles.
OPHTHALMOLOGY: The branch of medicine dealing with the eye.
-OPIA: A suffix which means ... "vision".
OPTIC DISC: Blind spot on the retina.
OPISTHORCHIASIS: An infection caused by a liver fluke (Opisthorchis felineus). It typically affects the
biliary tract of the liver.
OPISTHORCHIS: A family of human liver parasites (worms).
OPISTHOTONOS: Another word for ... "spasm" (spine and extremities are bent).
OPIUM: The most potent pain killer known to man. Derived from the poppy plant that grows in the Near
East. Morphine, codeine and papaverine are all derivatives.
OPTIC: Referring to the "eye".
OPTICAL: Referring to vision.
OPTICIAN: One who constructs optical devices like lenses.
OPTIC NERVE: The nerve that transfers visual information from the retina into the brain.
OPV: Abbreviation for "Oral Polio Vaccine".
OR / (O): A combining word-form that means "mouth".
O.R.: Abbreviation for "operating room".
ORAL CHOLECYSTOGRAM: An x-ray of the gallbladder for the purpose of detecting gallstones.
ORAL CONTRACEPTION: A "pill" which contains hormones that prevent the ovaries from delivering
ORBICULARIS ORIS MUSCLE: Also called "musculus orbicularis oris", "musculus sphincter oris",
"orbicular muscle of the mouth" and "sphincter oris". A muscle that originates at the septum of the nose
and works to close the lips.
ORBIT: The skull socket for the eye.
ORBITAL RIM: Pertaining to the eye sockets of the skull.
ORCHI / (O): A combining word-form that means "testicle".
ORCHIECTOMY: Removal of the testicles.
ORCHIODYNIA: Pain of the testes.
ORCHIOPEXY: Operation for descended testicle(s).
ORCHIS: Another word for "testicle".
ORCHITIS: Inflammation of the testes.
ORDERLY: Male attendant at a hospital.
ORDERS: Physician's instructions to the nursing staff on the care of the patient; Orders can include x-ray
studies, frequency of vital signs, medications and just about anything else.
ORGANELLE: One of the parts of tissue cells which contain: centrioles, mitochondria, Golgi apparatus,
centrioles, microsomes, lysosomes, plasma membrane, etcetera.
ORGAN PRESERVATION: The time period and methods used to keep an organ outside the body, until it
is ready for transplant.
ORGAN REJECTION: The process of the body's immunity system attempting to destroy a transplanted
organ (because it is seen as a foreign object).
ORIF: Open reduction, internal fixation. Used in reference to a hip prothesis implant.

ORIFICE: An entry ... opening.

ORNITHINE: Amino acid which is categorized as "non-essential". It stimulates the making of growth
OROPHARYNX: The start of the throat commencing at the mouth.
-ORRHAPHY: A suffix which means ... "suture".
-ORRHEA: A suffix which means ... "discharge".
ORRHOLOGY: The science and study of blood serums.
ORRHORRHEA: Discharge of watery substance ... serum
ORTHO: Straight, normal.
ORTHODONTICS: The branch of dentistry that deals with uneven bites.
ORTHOGENICS: The study of hereditary factors.
ORTHOHEPADNAVIRUS: A virus which causes hepatitis and is associated with liver cell cancer.
ORTHOPEDICS: The branch of medicine that deals with the skeleton, it's muscles, joints and related
ORTHOPEDIST: A physician who specializes in bone / joint surgery.
ORTHOPNEA: Difficult breathing except in an upright position ... "two pillow".
ORTHOPOD: Orthopedist.
ORTHOSIS: An orthopedic appliance that control spine/limb movements ... for example, braces and
ORTHOSTATIC: Caused by standing erect.
ORTHOTICS: The fitting and manufacture of orthopedic appliances.
ORTHURIA: Normal urination frequency.
ORTOLANI MANEUVER: Tests the stability of hips in babies and newborn infants.
OS: Abbreviation (Latin) for "left eye".
Os: An opening.
OSBORNE WAVES: Currently being researched.
OSCHEITIS: Scrotum inflammation.
OSCILLATING SAW: Surgical instrument / aid.
OSCULUM: An opening.
OSGOOD-SCHLATTER DISEASE: Necrosis of the tibial tubercle. It is a knee injury common in young
adults (girls 8-10 and boys 10-15). Children have shins that are actually two bones until puberty when
they fuse into one. When the new bone has formed, irritation can be caused due to the muscle and
tendon contractions attached to the upper leg. The constant yanking causes a bump to form
approximately 2-3 inches below the knee. Knee straps and stretching exercises are often prescribed. In a
majority of the cases the disease resolves by itself after 12-24 months. The bump remains however
though the pain disappears.
OSMICS: The study of smells.
-OSIS: A suffix which means ... "abnormal situation".
OSLER-WEBER-RENDU SYNDROME: Another name for "hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia". It was
thus named to honor the three doctors who discovered it. See "telangiectasias".
OSMESIS: The sense of "smell".
-OSMIA: A suffix which means ... "smell".
OSMOLALITY: Concentration of a solution expressed in osmoles.
OSMOSIS: The act of liquid passing through a membrane ... from a high-pressure area to a low pressure
OSPHRESIS: The sense of "smell".
OSPHUS: Another word for "loin".
OSSA: Another word for "bone".
OSSEOUS: Bony or bone-like structure.
OSSICLE: Tiny bone located in the ear.
OSSIFICATION: The forming of bone.
OSSIFY: The forming of bone.
OSTECTOMY: To remove bone.
OSTE / (O): A combining word-form that means "bone".
OSTEITIS: Bone inflammation.

OSTEOARTHRITIS: The most common form of arthritis which is characterized by general wear and tear
of the joint cartilage which protects the ends of bones in joints ... erodes with time to cause limited range
of movement and pain. Pain often is due to bone rubbing on bone. Relief can be obtained with
medications that include acetaminophen.
OSTEOBLAST: A cell which produces bone.
OSTEOCARCINOMA: Cancer of bone tissue.
OSTEOCHONDRAL LESIONS: Wound ... injury ... tumor located on cartilage/bone.
OSTEOCHONDRITIS: Cartilage and bone inflammation.
OSTEOCHONDRITIS DISSECANS: Separation of joint cartilage and bone ... term is typically used in
reference to the knee.
OSTEOCHONDROMA: Tumor of bone / cartilage.
OSTEODYSTROPHY: Abnormal formation of bone.
OSTEOGENESIS IMPERFECTA: Four bone diseases caused by a genetic abnormality. Symptoms of the
most common type includes frequent breakage of bones. No treatment is recognized in the year 2000
except protection from situations that could cause bones to break. The parents of children with this
disease are often accused of child abuse. Other symptoms include a blue tint of the whites of the eyes
and hearing impairment. For more information contact the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation at (800)
981-2663 or at
OSTEOLOGY: The science of "bones".
OSTEOLYSIS: Destruction / dissolving of bone ... due to osteoclasts.
OSTEOMALACIA: Bone softening.
OSTEOMYELITIS: A disease caused by a bacterium (streptococcus or staphylococcus) which results in
bone inflammation. If the inflammation is severe then removal may be required.
OSTEONECROSIS: Death of bone tissue due to an interruption of blood supply to that area. It is often
associated with lupus and long term use of cortisone drugs. The most commonly affected areas are hips
and joints.
OSTEOPATHY: The division of science which suggests that diseases are a result of a misaligned spine
... treatments involve manipulation of the spine.
OSTEOPENIA: A decrease in the density of bone.
OSTEOPHYTE: A bony outgrowth ... extension ... osteophyte.
OSTEOPOROSIS: A condition whereby the minerals within bones are depleted ... leaving them weak and
brittle. It is the cause of people shrinking several inches in height as they get older. Evidence by
archeological digs suggests that this is a modern infliction because it did not show up in the skeletons of
medieval times. Modern women are often affected at the beginning of menopause. Commonly prescribed
in Europe and Japan is a substance coming from soy and bee propolis called Ipriflavone. It is commonly
taken (600 mg daily) with one gram of calcium QD (daily) because it can restore bone density at a rate of
1.4% to 2% after six months and 5.8% after 12 months.
OSTEOSIS: The development of bone.
OSTEOTOME: Bone cutting surgical instrument.
OSTEOTOMY: Cutting a bone.
OSTIA: Plural of Ostium.
OSTIUM: A door or opening into a tubular organ or between two body cavities.
-OSTOMY: A suffix which means ... "opening".
OT: Abbreviation for ... "occiput transverse".
OT / O: A combining word-form that means "ear".
OTALGIA: Earache.
OTC: Abbreviation for ... "over the counter".
OTIC: Pertaining to the ear.
OTITIS: Ear inflammation.
OTITIS EXTERNA: Infection of external area of the ear.
OTITIS MEDIA: Infection that affects the middle ear.
OTOLARYNGOLOGIST: A physician who specializes in ailments of the ears and larynx.
OTOLOGIST: A physician who specializes in the "ear".
OTOLOGY: Tge branch of medicine which deals with problems of the ear.
OTOP ATHY: Any disease of the ear.
OTORHINOLARYNGOLOGY: Study of the ears, nose and throat.

OTORRHEA: Ear discharge.

OTOSCLEROSIS: Formation of spongy bone around the stapes of the ears which results in increasing
OTOSCOPE: An examining instrument for the ears.
OU: Abbreviation of "each eye".
OURQ: Abbreviation for ... "outer, upper, right quadrant".
OUTPATIENT: Medical treatment by a hospital without admission.
OVARIAN CANCER: Cancer of the ovaries that can be cured if detected at an early stage. However, it
rarely detected early because the symptoms are typically minor ... abdominal pain similar to indigestion.
There is a blood test for ovarian cancer that is notorious for giving false results called CA 125. Also,
ultrasound pictures from within the vagina can reveal early ovarian cancer.
OVARIAN CYST: During the menstrual cycle a follicle sometimes "ripens" but does not burst ... it fills with
fluid and becomes an ovarian cyst. Typically, the body absorbs the fluid and the cyst shrinks. Ovarian
cysts can be cancerous and detected by ultrasound pictures - they appear as solid and do not decrease
in size on future ultrasounds.
OVARIECTOMY: Removing and ovary via surgery.
OVARY: Small organs (approximately the size of an almond) which produce / contain about 300,000
female eggs (ova) ... around 400 reach maturation in a lifetime ... can be found at the ends of the fallopian
tubes. Each month a single egg is released by one of the ovaries ... the following month the opposite
ovary expels and egg.
OVER-THE-COUNTER: Medications that do not require a prescription.
OVIDUCT: The tube which connects the ovary with the uterus.
OVULATION: The time of the month when a female is capable of being impregnated. It happens during
days 13 and 14 of the menstrual cycle.
OVUM: Egg ... the human reproductive cell that is manufactured in the female ovary.
OX: A combining word-form which means "oxygen".
OXALATE: A salt or ester of oxalic acid.
OXIDATION: The degeneration of physical substances due to an interaction with oxygen.
OXIMETER: A photoelectric device for determining the oxygen saturation of blood.
OXIMETRY: Often seen as "pulse oximetry ___% on room air" ... or "oxygen saturation". See Oximeter.
OXYGEUSIA: A highly refined sense of "taste".
OXYLALIA: Increased frequency of speech.
OXYOPIA: A highly refined sense of "sight".
OZ: Correctly spelled ... "oz". Abbreviation for ... "ounce".
OZENA: Illness of the nasal passages ... symptoms include a foul smelling discharge.

PI: Abbreviation for ... "Para one". A female who has given birth to "one" infant
PII: Abbreviation for ... "Para two". A female who has given birth to "two" infants
P21: A gene believed to trigger many of the diseases associated with old age including cancer.
PA: 1. PA: Abbreviation for ... "alveolar (referring to the small air sacs at the bronchioles of the lungs)
pressure". 2. Abbreviation for "posterior and anterior". It is an anatomical position in which the patient is
standing up facing the film and parallel to it.
PABA: Abbreviation for ... "para aminobenzoic acid". A part of the folic acid molecule. It is one of the B
vitamins that is required for ... nourishment of hair ... cell growth stimulation ... tissue repair. Found in
liver, eggs, rice it is synthesized by bacteria in the intestines.
PAC: Abbreviation for an EKG term which means "premature atrial contractions."
PACEMAKER: Also called "sinoatrial node" or "S-A node". Specialized cells located in the heart (right-

upper chamber) ... responsible for the electrical signals that begin each heart beat.
PACHYMETER: Thickness gauge ... a device used to measure an object's thickness.
PACHYONYCHIA: Thickening of fingernails / toenails.
PACKED CELLS: Blood cells removed from the plasma.
PACO2: Correctly spelled ... PaCO2. Abbreviation for ... "arterial carbon dioxide pressure".
PAF: Abbreviation for ... "platelet activating factor".
PAGET'S DISEASE: Also called ... "Osteitis Deformans". Bone disease that produces pain, deformity and
breaks. It occurs because new bone cells reproduce at an abnormally fast rate to create new bone areas
that are incorrectly shaped and fragile. In the year 2000 there are no medications which cure Paget's
disease but there are many which can correct the symptoms ... Didronel, Actonel and Fosamax are just a
few which slow down the process of abnormally increased bone destruction which causes the new bone
cells to increase their production. The Paget's Foundation can be contacted at: (800)-237-2438.
PALATINE: Relating to the palate (bone).
PALATINE TORUS: A cartilage-capped bony projection arising from the middle of the hard palate.
PALATAL: Relating to the palate (bone).
PALATE: Roof of the mouth ... "hard" and "soft".
PALATITIS: Palate inflammation.
PALEONTOLOGY: The study of primitive human beings.
PALINDROMIC RHEUMATISM: An intermittent condition where joints suddenly swell up and then, just as
suddenly the joints return to normal with no signs of arthritis. Between 30% and 50% of these patients
develop rheumatoid arthritis. Anti-inflammatory medications are used for pain.
PALLIAL: Pertaining to the pallium (gray substance of the brain).
PALLIATIVE: To reduce in severity.
PALLIUM: Gray substance of the brain.
PALLOR: Pale skin.
PALMAR: Relating to the palm.
PALMAR ERYTHEMA: A condition in which the palms of the hands are red ... typically seen in-patients
with advanced liver disease because of expanding capillaries (small blood vessels).
PALP: Taking blood pressure using the sense of touch when it is impossible to listen for diastolic and
systolic pressures with a stethoscope.
PALPABLE: Able to feel ...
PALPATE: To touch a patient's body for purpose of examination.
PALPATION: A technique used during physician examinations where the hands of the examiner are used
to feel body parts to determine their size, location, texture and consistency.
PALPEBRA: Another word for "eyelid".
PALPEBRAL: Relating to eyelids.
PALPITATION: Acute rapid heart beat.
PALSY: Denotes muscle weakness.
PAN-: A prefix (word part) meaning "all".
PANACEA: A cure for "all" ailments.
PANARTHRITIS: The total inflammation of a joint.
PANCARDITIS: The total inflammation of the heart.
PANCREAS: A gland located behind and below the stomach. It produces insulin and assists with
digestion by producing food enzymes.
PANCREATIC LIPASE: The main enzyme in the digestive tract. Its purpose is to break down fat into
small molecules that can then be absorbed by the body.
PANCREATITIS: Inflammation of the pancreas.
PANCREATOGRAM: A picture of the pancreas.
PANCYTOPENIA: Deficiency of all cell elements of the blood.
PANDEMIC: A wide spread outbreak of a disease over a large area ... usually refers to a worldwide
PANG: An acute (sudden) pain or emotion.
PANGAMIC ACID: Vitamin B-15 is an antioxidant that lowers cholesterol levels in the blood, stimulates
immunity, protects the liver from alcohol.

PARENCHYMA: The working tissue of an organ as opposed to connective tissue.

PANENDOSCOPY: A cystoscope that permits wide-angle viewing of the urinary bladder and urethra.
PANHYSTERECTOMY: A prefix (word part) meaning "complete hysterectomy".
PANIC ATTACK: Symptoms may include an accelerated heartbeat, dizziness, trembling, and sweats.
PANOREX: A method of taking an x-ray.
PANSYSTOLIC: Also called ... "holosystolic".
PANTOTHENIC ACID: Another term for "vitamin B5" (see for more information).
PAO2: Abbreviation for ... "alveolar oxygen pressure".
PAO2: Correctly spelled ... PaO2. Abbreviation for ... "arterial oxygen pressure".
PAPANICOLAOU: The developer of the Pap smear technique was developed by Dr. George
Papanicolaou (1883-1962).
PAPASIFAKIS: Test for artery disease.
PAPILLA: 1. Optic papilla is a small, white disc on the retina of the eye that enters the optic nerve ... also
called the "blind spot". 2. Any small nipple-like process ... conic papilla; fungiform papilla; urethral papilla.
PAPILLEDEMA: Swelling of the optic disk caused by pressure in the skull.
PAPILLOMA: 1. Virus thought to cause cervical dysplasia ... associated with cervical cancer ... also a
tumor (benign) of membranes. 2. Non cancerous tumor of the epithelial cells (outer layer of skin that
covers the human body.
PAPILLITIS: Inflammation of a papilla (any nipple shaped bump). See. "Papilla".
PAP SMEAR: An examination of cells removed from the vagina to detect cancer of the cervix. This
technique was developed by Dr. George Papanicolaou (1883-1962).
PAP TEST: A Pap smear is done to detect cancer of the cervix.
PAPULE: A small solid elevation of the skin.
PAPYRACEA: See "lamina papyracea".
PARA-: A prefix (word part) meaning 1) "near" 2) "beside". 3) refers to the involvement of two similar
PARA: A woman who has produced viable young, whether or not the child was born alive; para 0 ... para
1 ... sometimes followed by #-#-#
PARA-AORTIC LYMPH NODES: Lymph nodes located next to the major blood vessel that carries
oxygenated blood throughout the body.
PARACENTESIS: Puncture ... a way in which fluid is taken from a space of the body.
PARAESOPHAGEAL: Near the esophagus.
PARAMETRIUM: The tissue which surrounds the uterus.
PARAPARESIS: A slight degree of paralysis.
PARAPLEGIA: Paralysis of the lower part of the body usually caused by damage to the spinal column.
Diseases that are capable of causing this condition include poliomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, and muscular
PARASITE: A living creature that inhabits and lives off the body of another.
PARASITIC: Referring to parasites.
PARASITICIDE: Something that destroys parasites.
PARASPINAL MUSCULATURE: Muscle that is near the spine.
PARASPINOUS: Beside or near the spine.
PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM: The portion of the nervous system that is responsible for
involuntary body functions.
PARATHYMIA: Unorganized emotions.
PARATHYROIDS: Small structures, usually four, which are attached to the thyroid gland. They release a
hormone (parathyroid hormone) which regulates the amount of calcium in the blood ... an increase
causes calcium to leave bones and enter into the blood stream.
PARAVERTEBRAL: Alongside a vertebra or the vertebral column.
PARENCHYMA: A general term meaning the functional elements of an organ.
PARENCHYMAL HEPATOCYTES: The functional cells of the liver.
PARENTERAL: 1. Not in or through digestion. 2. Parenteral also refers to the introduction of substances
into the body by means other than the mouth.
PARESIS: Less than total paralysis. It usually indicates muscle weakness.
PARESTHESIA: A sensation sometimes described as numbness, tingling or "pins and needles".

PARIETAL: 1. Refers to the parietal bone of the skull or the parietal lobe of the brain. 2. Referring to the
"outer wall".
PARKINSONISM: A nerve system disorder from nerve damage in the brain. Symptoms include tremors,
rigid muscles, poor balance, mumbled speech. The tremors rarely involve the head. Most sufferers die of
lung or heart problems, which is a good reason to exercise. The symptoms develop due to a depletion of
the brain chemical "dopamine" which is associated with the transfer of electrical energy from brain cell to
brain cell. Treatment may include the use of the medication Sinemet that restores the level of dopamine
in the brain. Sometimes a sufferer will build up a resistance to the drug with time and therefore physicians
do not like to prescribe it until the symptoms become very bad. Two other medications are "Requip" and
"Mirapex which imitate dopamine. Note that Comtan is often given with Sinemet for the purpose of
increasing the effectiveness of the Sinemet.
PARKINSON'S DISEASE: See "parkinsonism".
PARONYCHIA: Inflammation of the nail (hands/feet) folds with separation of the skin.
PARONYCHIAL: Relating to the paronychia.
PAROTID: Located in the vicinity of the ear.
PAROTID DUCT: Also called ... Stensen's duct. A tube that extends from the parotid saliva gland to the
PAROTID GLAND: One of the salivary glands ... located in front of the ear and over the jaw.
PAROTIDITIS: Inflammation of the parotid gland.
PAROTITIS: Another word for ... "swollen glands".
PARVOVIRUS B-19: Also called "slap cheek disease" or "erythema infectiosa" or ""fifth disease". A
childhood disease which usually runs its course in 1-3 weeks ... it is similar to the measles and produces
a runny nose and sometimes headache. During the fifth to sixth day the child's cheeks turn bright red and
a rash typically covers the body. Adults have also been known to contract the disease and the symptoms
may include joint pain and swelling that mirrors rheumatoid arthritis (not permanent). However,
sometimes the joint pain and swelling can last for months and even years. Also, inflamed heart muscles
may occur in adults but rarely in children.
PAROXYSM: A marked rise in symptoms ... a fit, seizure or spasm.
PAROXYSMAL: Occurring in sudden attacks.
PAROXYSMAL NOCTURNAL DYSPNEA: Sudden attacks of breathing problems after several hours of
PAROXYSMAL TACHYCARDIA: Intermittent fast beating of the heart.
PARS SELLARIS: A bony part that resembles a saddle and exists on the upper surface of the sphenoid
bone (irregular bone at the base of the skull).
PARTIAL REBREATHING FACEMASK: See section on "oxygen supplementation".
PARTURITION: The process of giving birth.
PARULIS GUMBOIL: A red and swollen gum due to injury, tooth decay or infection.
PARURIA: Dysfunctional urination.
PASSIVE IMMUNITY: Also called ... "acquired immunity". Immunity which has been acquired due to prior
exposure to an infecting agent or antigen ... it may be acquired naturally or intentionally. It can also be
obtained due to a transfer of antibodies from other people of animals (mother to fetus).
PASSIVE IMMUNIZATION: The injecting of immunoglobulins or antibodies to provide a temporary
immunity that disappears with time.
PAST POINTING: Cerebellar functioning test.
PATELLA: Kneecap.
PATELLAR: Referring to the kneecap.
PATELLAR TENDON: Tissue of the knee that attaches muscles to bones.
PATELLOFEMORAL JOINT: The area of the body where the knee connects with the femur (thighbone).
PATENT: Open ... obvious / evident.
PATENT DUCTUS ARTERIOSUS: A heart defect in which the duct (connecting the aorta and pulmonary
artery prior to birth) remains open following birth.
PATH / (O): A combining word-form that means "disease".
PATHIC: Refers to "disease".
PATHOGEN: Something that is capable of causing disease.
PATHOGENESIS: The progression of a disease or ailment.
PATHOGENIC: Refers to the beginning of a disease.

PATHOGENICITY: The amount of weakness that can be caused by something which is capable of
causing disease.
PATHOGNOMONIC: Indicating disease.
PATHOLOGICAL: Something due to or involving a disease.
PATHOLOGIST: 1. A researcher who studies diseases. 2. One who oversees investigations into the
cause and nature of diseases.
PATHOLOGY: The study of diseases.
PAUCITY: Small in number.
PC: Abbreviation for "after meals".
PCL: Currently being researched.
PCO2: Abbreviation for ... "carbon dioxide pressure".
PCT: Abbreviation for ... "porphyria cutanea tarda".
PCP: Abbreviation for ... "primary care physician.
PCP PNEUMONIA: Currently being researched.
PDS: Surgical repair stitch ... Currently being researched.
PE: Abbreviation for "pharyngoesophageal".
PEANUT SPONGE: Sponge typically used in surgical procedures.
PECCANT: Not healthy.
PECTINS: Substances similar to carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits. Ingesting pectins will
decrease the amount of fat and cholesterol absorbed into the body. Also, pectin is used to decrease the
risk of gallstones and may decrease the effects of diabetes.
PECTORAL: Referring to the "chest".
PECTORAL AGENT: Substance used in the treatment of ailments associated to the chest (respiratory
PECTUS: Another word for "chest".
PEDAL: Referring to the "foot".
PEDIATRICIAN: Physician who specializes in children.
PEDIATRICS: The sector of the medical world which deals with childhood diseases.
PEDICLE: A stalk ... similar to the stem of a plant ... constricted portion.
PEDICULAR: Lice infestation.
PEDICULOSIS: A condition whereby lice infest the hairy parts of the body. Symptoms include skin
inflammation, itching and nits (white eggs). The lice are transmitted from person-to-person by direct
contact. Powders are available (pediculicides) for treatment.
PEDICULOSIS: The state of being infested with lice.
PEDICULOSIS CAPITIS: Lice of the head.
PEDUNCLE: A connecting part resembling a stem.
PEG TUBE: Abbreviation for ... "Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy"; "French" is a brand name.
PELAGISM: Motion sickness.
PELIOSIS HEPATITIS: An abnormal condition in which microscopic pools of blood exist in the functional
areas of the liver.
PELLAGRA: A disease caused by and insufficiency of vitamin B3. Symptoms include skin that becomes
sensitive to light and afterwards becomes thick, rough and dry. Also weakness, fatigue, anorexia,
indigestion, skin outbreaks. Deficiencies can be caused by alcoholism, malnourishment, cancer, protein
deficiencies and females taking oral contraceptives. Foods that contain this vitamin include ... beef, pork,
fish, milk, cheese, whole wheat, potatoes, corn and carrots. Note that only tiny amounts are contained in
foods and therefore (to preserve it) foods should be steamed to retain as much as possible.
PELTRATES: Currently being researched.
PELVES: Plural for pelvis.
PELVIC EXAM: A female examination involving the vagina, cervix and womb.
PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE: Intense low abdominal pain that can cause a woman to walk in a
bent over position while shuffling her feet. Severe cases require intravenous antibiotics while less severe
ones require oral antibiotics. Sexually transmitted bacteria are often the cause. Women who have had
PID infection have a 50-50 statistical chance of becoming infertile.
PELVIS: A structure of bones located at the lowest portion of the abdomen. In women it contains the
uterus, tubes and ovaries.
PEMPHIGOID: A disease that resembles pemphigus but differs histologically and clinically.

PEMPHIGUS: Chronic bullous diseases of the mouth and skin ... also used to designate a variety of
blistering skin diseases. Three types; 1. Pemphigus vulgaris (involves the mouth). 2. Pemphigus
vegetans 3. Pemphigus conjunctivae.
PENETRATION: One of the stages in which a virus duplicates itself the point when the virus' genome
enters the cell.
PENIA: Deficiency.
PENIS: The sexual organ of the male.
PENROSE DRAIN: Device used to drain wounds, etc.
PENS: Abbreviation for "percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation". It is a technique that requires that
needles be inserted into the soft tissue that surrounds bones to provide relief of pain.
PENTALOGY: Obsolete term meaning, a combination of five things.
-PEPSIA: A suffix which means ... "digestion".
PEPSIN: A substance found in digestive fluid to assist in the breakdown of proteins.
PEPTIC: Refers to the digestive system.
PEPTIC ULCER: A sore in the stomach wall or intestines. Two types ... "gastric ulcer" (stomach) ...
"duodenal ulcer" (first area of the intestines). Treatment includes limiting foods that may irritate the ulcer
and/or alleviation of nervous tensions.
PEPTIDES: Simple proteins comprising only a few amino acids.
PER-: A prefix (word part) meaning "through.
PERACUTE: Extremely acute and severe.
PERCUSSION: An examination technique whereby the examiner uses short, tapping movements to outer
areas of the body using fingers or an instrument.
PERCUTANEOUS: Through the skin.
PERCUTANEOUS TRANSHEPATIC CHOLANGIOGRAPHY: Diagnostic x-ray of the gallbladder and bile
ducts following the passage of a needle to inject a dye into the liver's duct network.
PERENNIAL: Enduring present at all times continuing without interruption.
PERFORATE: To make a hole in the body.
PERFORATED ULCER: An ulcer that has gone through the stomach wall (or duodenum) allowing
stomach liquids to gain entry into the peritoneal cavity.
PERFUSE: To cause a liquid to spread.
PERFUSED: Fluid passing through an organ or a part of the body.
PERFUSION: The flowing or spreading of liquids (especially through blood vessels).
PERI-: A prefix (word part) meaning "surrounding" ... "near".
PERIANAL: Surrounding the anus.
PERIARTHRITIS: Inflammation of a joint.
PERICARDIAC: Surrounding the heart.
PERICARDITIS: Inflammation of the pericardium.
PERICARDIUM: Membrane sac that encompasses the heart.
PERIHEPATIC: Happening around the liver.
PERIHEPATITIS: A condition in which the capsule surrounding the liver is inflamed.
PERIHILAR: In the vicinity of an organ where nerves and vessels enter and leave.
PERIMETRIUM: Tissue that surrounds the uterus.
PERINATAL: The time period, which exists from the 28th week of pregnancy to the end of the first week,
following birth.
PERINATAL HEPATITIS: Inflammation of the liver that occurs around the time of birth.
PERINATAL TRANSMISSION: The transfer of a disease from mother to infant.
PERINEAL: 1. Referring to the perineum. 2. Referring to the region around the pelvic area.
PERINEAL RESECTION: Also called ... "Abdomino". This is a surgical procedure that removes the end
portion of the sigmoid colon and the rectum/anus. The colon that remains is then brought to the surface of
the body to make a permanent colostomy.
PERINEUM: The part of the body between the inner thighs on either side ... located between the legs
from the tailbone to the pubis ... also, in the female it refers to the area between the anus and the vulva ...
in the male, it is the area between the scrotum and the anus.
PERINEPHRIC: Located in the vicinity of the kidneys.
PERIODONTAL: Surrounding a tooth.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE: A disease that begins with inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and can

develop into pyorrhea (periodontitis). Swelling and inflammation are often caused by deposits of tartar
that builds up along the gums. In advanced stages the inflamed gums pull away from the teeth where
germs and particles of food become trapped to develop even more inflammation. The cycle continues
until the pockets fill with pus and become deeper and deeper. Even the bone that provides support for the
tooth is infected and damaged which results in the tooth becoming loose and eventually falling out.
Surgical removal of the "pockets" is an option in advanced cases as is reconstructive surgery of the bone.
Note that chronically infected comes have been linked to coronary heart disease (CHF).
PERIONYCHIA: Plural of the word "perionychium".
PERIONYCHIUM: The area of the skin that attaches fingernail and toe nails.
PERIOPERATIVE: Shortly prior and postoperative.
PERIORAL: Around the mouth.
PERIOSTEUM: Thick membrane that covers the surface of bones.
PERIOSTITIS: An inflamed membrane that surrounds bone tissue.
PERIOTIC: In the vicinity of the "ear".
PERIPHERAL: The outer part.
PERIPHERAL NERVES: Nerves located outside the spinal cord and brain ... they relay messages back to
the them.
PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: The 12 cranial nerves and 31 pairs of spinal nerves that lead from
the brain to the spinal cord.
PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY: Nerve damage located outside the brain or spinal cord. It often produces
pain in the legs and feet. If the cause cannot be found and corrected then Neurontin is generally
prescribed to combat the pain. It is effective in some but not in others. Diabetes and deficiency of B-12
are common causes. For more information contact the Neuropathy Association at (800)247-6968.
PERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE: Poor circulation due to poor blood flow in the arteries of the
extremities (peripheries), i.e. arms and legs. Symptoms include leg pain from walking that goes away with
rest. A test to determine this condition would be to apply pressure to a toenail and observe how long the
white area takes to return to a pink color ... "capillary refill". A healthy time is usually less than two
seconds. Exercise is helpful with this disease ... a sufferer should walk until pain is encountered and then
rest ... after the pain subsides the walk should be continued until the pain again appears. Drugs which
help blood flow through partially obstructed arteries are cilostazol (Pletal), clopidogrel (Plavix),
pentoxifylline (Trental). Other methods of treatment include angioplasty and the replacement of an
obstructed artery with a graft.
PERISTALSIS: Wavelike contractions of smooth muscles like the intestines that keep food moving
through the digestive system.
PERITONEAL: Relating to the peritoneum ... the membrane lining the abdominal wall that is used as a
filtering membrane.
PERITONEAL DIALYSIS: The membrane lining the abdominal wall is being used as a filtering
PERITONEUM: A thin membrane (sack) which covers most of the abdominal organs. Note that the
kidneys and ureters are not contained in this sack.
PERITONITIS: An inflamed peritoneum resulting from infection. Treatment usually involves antibiotics.
Symptoms include tenderness and pain.
PERITONSILLAR: An area surrounding the tonsils.
PERIVASCULAR: In the vicinity of a vessel.
PERLA: Abbreviation for pupils equally reactive to light and accommodation".
PERMEATION: To penetrate.
PERNICIOUS: Destructive, harmful, and usually fatal if not treated.
PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: A large reduction in the number of red blood cells. Weakness and fatigue are
typical symptoms and only a few steps can cause shortness of breath. Red blood cell production is
inhibited because Vitamin B-12 cannot reach bone marrow. Without B-12 the nervous system
degenerates and sufferers may stagger while walking or may experience loss of control of bowel or
bladder functions. Treatment consists of injecting B-12 into muscles that the body then is able to transfer
to bone marrow.
PERONEAL: Relating to the fibula, to the lateral side of the leg or to the muscles there.
PER OS: Via the mouth.
PEROXIDATION: Oxidation that produces peroxides in tissues of the body that have high oxygen

PER RECTUM: Via the rectum.
PERRLA: Pupils equal, round, regular, react to light and accommodation.
PERSEVERATION: The persistence or repetition of a response after the stimulus that caused it has
PERTUSSIS: Another word for "whooping cough".
PESSARY: A device inserted in the vagina to treat a prolapsed uterus.
PES CONTORTIS: Another word for "clubfoot".
PES PLANUS: Another word for "flatfoot".
PESSARY: A method (device) for keeping the female womb in its normal position.
PESTILENCE: A contagious disease affecting many people in a confined area.
PESTLE: A device used to pulverize solids into powder ... used in pharmacies to break up drugs.
PET: Abbreviation for "positron emission tomography". Used to scan the brain.
PETECHIA: Non-raised, perfectly round, purplish-red bruises caused by intradermal or submucous
hemorrhage ... blood loss due to blood leaking from capillaries. One cause is inflamed capillaries, another
endocarditis (heart infection.
PETITE MAL SEIZURES: Now called "absence seizures". They do not result in loss of consciousness ...
associated with epilepsy.
PEU D'ORANGE: Orange skin, peeling.
PEYER'S PATCHES: Closely packed lymphoid follicles that make up small elevations in the small
intestines. Also called ... aggregate glands, aggregated lymphatic follicles, aggregated lymphatic nodules,
agmen peyerianum, agminate glands, aginated glands, and Peyer's glands.
PEYRONIE'S DISEASE: An ailment in which scar tissue develops in the pieces which makes it bend
sometimes preventing sexual intercourse. Many men find that it alleviates itself with time (approximately
two years). Some drugs that have met with limited success are Colchicine and Potaba. Sometimes the
injection of cortisone into the tissue scar will soften it. If medications are ineffective then a surgical
operation is an option.
PFANNENSTIEL INCISION: Surgical cut into the body.
PFT: Abbreviation for "Pulmonary Function Test".
PH: Correctly spelled pH. Abbreviation for "potential of hydrogen". It is a measure of the acidity / alkalinity
of substances. The scale is from 0-14 with 7 being neutral. Numbers under 7 are increasingly acidic while
numbers above 7 denote increasing alkalinity.
PHACOMALACIA: A type of cataract ... soft.
PHACITIS: A condition in which the lens of the eye is inflamed.
-PHAGIA: A suffix that means ... "eating".
PHAGOCYTE: A type of cell that absorbs. It is related to the immunity system in that it ingests bacteria
and other foreign substances. There are two types: 1) microphages (polymorphonuclear leukocytes)
which absorb bacteria, 2) macrophages (mononucleated cells which include histiocytes and monocytes)
which absorb dead and degenerating cells.
PHALANGES: Finger bones.
PHALANX: A single finger bone.
PHALEN SIGN: Orthopedic test for carpal tunnel; Impingement on the median nerve is determined by
holding the wrist flexed or extended for 30-60 seconds.
PHALLECTOMY: Penis amputation.
PHALLIC: Another word for "penis".
PHALLUS: Another word for "penis".
PHANTOM LIMB: Sensations that occur in amputated body parts. Probably due to the activation of
nerves that used to lead into the limb.
PHARMACEUTICAL: Refers to medications (drugs).
PHARMACOGNOSY: Science that deals with the medicinal values of plants and other natural products.
PHARMACOKINETIC: The effects of drugs in the body.
PHARMACOLOGY: The science that deals with drugs.
PHARMACOPOEIA: The legally accepted listing of pharmaceutical medications (drugs).
PHARYNGITIS: Sore throat (pharynx).
PHARYNX: Throat.
PHBSO: Abbreviation for "partial hysterectomy bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy".

PHENOLIC ACID: A class of antioxidants which counteract the aging and disease causing free radicals
which occur as a by-product of normal metabolism. Phenolic acid is especially found in apples.
PHENOMENON: An observable and repeatable fact.
PHENYLKETONURIA: A genetic disease that results in the loss of a needed enzyme that converts
phenylalanine into a harmless substance. If the baby continues eating foods containing phenylalanine
brain damage can result.
PHENYLALANINE: An amino acid found in many foods.
PHEO: A combining word form that means dark, dusky, grey.
PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA: A normally benign vascular tumor of the adrenal gland. Symptoms include
headaches, sweating and a forced heart beat. Sometimes skin can become pale and nausea/vomiting
may result. Detection can be made via a urine test (which detects the chemicals produced by the tumor)
or a scan of the adrenal gland.
PHIMOSIS: Narrowness of the opening of the prepuce (foreskin of the penis).
PHLEBITIC: Pertaining to phlebitis. Also phlegm.
PHLEBITIS: "Superficial phlebitis" is an inflammation of a vein (typically in the leg). It occurs just below
the skin and is often the result of varicose veins. A red streak is often seen which is caused by a clot that
usually clears up in a few days. Rarely does the clot travel to the lungs (where death can occur). "Deep
thrombophlebitis" is caused by deep blood clots that often do not give warning until a pulmonary
embolism occurs (which can cause death).
PHLEBOGRAPHY: An x-ray of a vein.
PHLEBOSCLEROSIS: Vein hardening,
PHLEBOTHROMBOSIS: Development of a blood clot in a vein.
PHLEBOTOMY: Blood removal ... surgical opening made into a vein.
PHLEGM: Respiratory tract mucus.
PHLEGMON: Suppurative inflammation of connective tissue.
-PHOBIA: A suffix that means ... "fear".
PHONAL: Refers to the voice.
PHONATION: Utterance of sounds.
PHOSPHAMIDASE: Also called "phosphoamidase". An enzyme which causes the breakdown of
phosphorus nitrogen bonds, in particular the hydrolysis of N-phosphocreatine to creatine &
PHOSPHATASE: Enzymes that release inorganic phosphate from phosphoric esters.
PHOSPHATE: A salt or ester of phosphoric acid (powerful acid used in industry, dentistry and the medical
PHOSPHATIDYLCHOLINE: Contained in lecithin ... breaks up fats throughout the body. Used to
counteract gallstones, liver problems, atherosclerosis and heart disease.
PHOSPHOAMIDASE: Also called ... "phosphamidase". An enzyme which causes the breakdown of
phosphorus nitrogen bonds, in particular the hydrolysis of N-phosphocreatine to creatine &
PHOSPHOAMINO ACIDS: Amino acids containing phosphorus.
PHOSPHOLIPID: Also called ... "phosphatide". A fat which contains phosphorus ... seen predominantly in
the brain.
PHOSPHONATE: A carbon-phosphate compound ... stable in enzymatic and chemical hydrolysis.
PHOSPHORIC ACID: A powerful acid used in industry, dentistry and the medical profession.
PHOSPHORUS: A primary constituent in every living cell ... it is important for the proper functioning of
nerves and muscles and is used by cells to initiate other nutrients.
PHOSPHOLIPIDS: Molecules of fat and phosphorus that make up the outer portion of body cells.
PHOTOCATALYSIS: Destruction using a substance that results in a light catalyzed reaction.
PHOTOCATALYST: Substance that results in a light catalyzed reaction.
PHOTODYNAMIC: Associated with the forces exhibited by light rays.
PHOTODYNIA: Eye pain resulting from bright light.
PHOTOPHOBIA: An abnormal reaction to light.
PHOTOSENSITIVE: Light sensitivity.
PHRENIC: Refers to the diaphragm or mind.

PHRENIC NERVE: The nerve that serves the diaphragm muscle.

PHRENICOESOPHAGEAL: Refers to the diaphragm (the primary breathing muscle ... separates the
inside of the abdomen and the inside of the chest) and esophagus (a muscular tube that measures
between 7-10 inches in length and connects the mouth with the stomach).
PHRENITIS: Another word for "delirium".
PHRENOPLEGIA: Diaphragm paralysis.
PHTHISIS: Another word for "tuberculosis".
PHYLAXIS: The ability of the immune system to fight off infections.
PHYLUM: A taxonomic division below the kingdom and above the class.
PHYMA: Tumor of the skin.
PHYSIATRIST: A doctor who specializes in physical medicine.
PHYSIOGNOMY: Referring to the "face".
PHYSIOLOGY: The study of the body and it's functioning.
PHYSIS: Epiphysial cartilage.
PHYTIN: Stimulant that is derived from plants.
PHYTOCHEMICAL: Natural substances that are found in plants which have therapeutic properties.
PHYTOESTROGEN: Compounds in plants that resemble estrogen and imitate many of the benefits of
estrogen but without the risk of cancer. Soy is a good source.
PHYTONUTRIENT: Plant nutrients.
PHYTOTOXIN: Poisons derived from plants.
PIA MATER: One of the three meninges and closest to the brain. It is transparent and in physical contact
with the brain and spinal cord.
PIC: Abbreviation for "Pulmonary Intensive Care"; Also a psychiatric center in Michigan.
PICA: A desire to eat substances that are not considered to be food like grass, papers or clay.
PICC LINE: Abbreviation for "peripheral inserted central catheter".
PICK'S DISEASE: A disease that causes impairment of mental functioning. Areas of the brain are known
to shrink in size. Personality changes are typical ... people who were once easy going becomes
cantankerous and lose control of their behaviors. Heredity does play a role in this disease due to the fact
that approximately half of sufferers have a relative who had the disease. Modest improvement can be
obtained with medications that boost levels of the brain chemical "serotonin".
PID: Abbreviation for "pelvic inflammatory disease".
PIGELIAN LOBE: Also called ... "lobus caudatus" ... "pigelian lobe". One of the lobes of the liver located
next to the inferior vena cava and connected to the right lobe.
PIGMENTED LIVER: A liver that contains pigment due to a disease such as malaria or Dubin-Johnson
PILES: Another word for "hemorrhoids" ... painful and inflamed veins in the vicinity of the anus.
PILOMATRIXOMA: A non-cancerous single hair follicle tumor.
PILONIDAL: The growth of hair in the deeper layers of skin ... typically results in a cyst at the base of the
PIN: A surgical instrument that resembles a nail and is used to hold bone fragments together ...
"transfixion" pin.
PINEAL GLAND: A gland located in the brain ... pea sized.
PINK EYE: Inflammation of the conjunctivae ... contagious.
PINNAE: A structure of the external ear.
PINWORM: Parasite that inhabits the intestines and areas about the anus. They infest the body when
eggs are swallowed ... hatching in the stomach. The larvae are then transported to the intestines where
they grow into adult worms (5-6 weeks). Mature females migrate to the anal area where they deposit new
eggs in the folds of the skin. This process of egg laying normally happens at nighttime after the sufferer
has gone to bed. Symptoms include a sensation of tickling, itching or pain in the vicinity of the anus. The
worms can travel to the genital area of females to result in a vaginal discharge. Other symptoms can
include restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, loss of weight, vomiting, and nausea.
PIP: Bone joint in the hand.
PIRIFORMIS: A muscle that resembles a pyramid in shape and moves/extends the thigh.
PIRIFORMIS FOSSA: A depression (pouch) below the surface of the muscle which moves/extends the
PIRIFORMIS TENDON: Special tissue that attaches muscles to the thighbone.

PITRESSIN: Currently being researched.

PITUITARISM: Inability of the pituitary gland to operate normally.
PITUITARY GLAND: Located at the base of the brain, it has two lobes ... the anterior lobe secretes
hormones while the posterior lobe stores and releases neurohormones produced by the hypothalamus.
PITYRIASIS ROSEA: A dermatosis outbreak of papules or macules on the trunk and sometimes the face,
extremities or scalp.
begins in the 30's or 40's with an itch. Following the itch is noted small, red-brown, circular bumps on the
skin. The sizes of the bumps approximate fine sandpaper. The cycle (which can last months or even
years) continues with the bumps turning into blisters. There appears to be no one best treatment ... gold
shots, antibiotics and cortisone drugs have all been used.
PIVOT SHIFT TEST: A test/maneuver to determine the operation of a joint ... usually referring to the
PKU: Abbreviation for "phenylketonuria".
PL: Abbreviation for popliteal.
PLACEBO: A term used to describe the phenomenon that occurs when a person "believes" in the power
of medication to affect them. A strong belief will cause the body to do everything in its power to support
that belief.
PLACENTA: The structure that provides nutrition and oxygen to the developing fetus ... Two arteries and
veins provide blood flow in-and-out of the placenta via the umbilical cord. Waste products fro the fetus are
carried to the placenta where an exchange of nutrients and oxygen takes place.
PLAGUE: Two types of infectious diseases ... pneumonic (attacks the lungs) and bubonic (results in
swollen lymph nodes). Transmitted by fleas that infest rodents.
PLANTAR: Referring to the sole of the foot.
PLANTAR FASCIA: Dense tissue leading from the bottom of the foot.
PLANTAR WART: A painful wart that occurs on plantar surface (bottom) of the foot.
PLANUM TEMPORALE: A portion of the brain located in the left hemisphere associated with auditory
PLAQUE: 1. The sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms continuously on the teeth which can result in
inflammation of the gums (periodontal disease). 2. A small area or patch on the surface of the body.
-PLASIA: A suffix that means ... "development".
PLASMA: The component of blood which is colorless fluid ... not the blood cells.
PLASMA CELL: Large, oval cells associated with the manufacture of antibodies that combat infections
PLASMA MEMBRANES: The structure that surrounds cell contents and protects them from the outside
PLASMAPHERESES: A process to remove plasma from the blood ... cleans it of antibodies that attack
PLASTER OF PARIS: A substance used to make casts for the purpose of immobilizing damaged body
PLASTIC: A material that can be "molded" ... referring to "plastic surgery".
PLASTIC SURGERY: A subdivision of surgery that seeks to correct disfigurements by reducing scar
tissue to provide greater mobility. Also, cosmetic surgery is an option that might be used to alter an
unattractive cheekbone.
-PLASTY: A suffix which combines with a word to include the meaning, ""surgical repair'".
PLATELET: A blood cell that forms into a clot. Also called a thrombocyte. A normal count is between
130,000 and 400,000. A count above 50,000 rarely represents a problem while counts below 20,000 may
result in spontaneous bleeding. The count is measured per cubic millimeter of blood. An excess of
platelets causes a condition called thrombocytosis that can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative
colitis and polycythemia.
PLATYSMA: Refers to the platysma muscle.
PLEDGET: A small flat compress made of cotton gauze.
-PLEGIA: A suffix which means ... "paralysis".
PLETHYSMOGRAPH: A device for indicating changes in the size of hands, feet and organs by
measuring changes in the amount of blood.
PLEURA: A two-ply covering which surrounds and protects the lungs. In between the two layers in an

area filled with liquid that helps ease the expansion and contraction of the lungs with breathing.
PLEURAL EFFUSION: Abnormal buildup of fluid in the "pleural space" (space that exists between the
two-ply sheets (pleura) that encompass the lungs). A liquid normally occurs in this area to provide room
for contraction and expansion of the lungs. When the amount of liquid is large then it is drained to
improve the patient's breathing. Typically a large needle is placed in the cavity for purpose of draining the
excess fluid. Pleural effusion often occurs following heart surgery. Causes: heart failure, pneumonia,
infections, rheumatoid arthritis, cirrhosis, cancer, etcetera.
PLEURAL SPACE: The area that exists between the two tissue layers which surrounds the lungs.
PLEURISY: Inflammation of the linings of the chest.
PLEURISY: An inflamed pleura (thin membrane lining of the chest which also surrounding the lungs)
usually due to a bacterial or viral infection.
PLEURITIC: See "pleurisy".
PLEURODYNIA: Muscle pain between the ribs.
PLEVA: Abbreviation for ... "pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta". This disorder typically begins in
the 30's or 40's with an itch. Following the itch is noted small, red-brown, circular bumps on the skin. The
size of the bumps approximate fine sandpaper. The cycle (which can last months or even years)
continues with the bumps turning into blisters. There appears to be no one best treatment ... gold shots,
antibiotics and cortisone drugs have all been used.
PLEXOR: A physician's examining tool ... resembles a hammer.
PLEXUS: Network of interjoining blood vessels or nerves. Brachial;
PLUMMER'S DISEASE: Hypothyroidism caused by a nodular toxic goiter.
PLUMMER-VINSON SYNDROME: A group of symptoms that include the death (necrosis) of mucous
membranes in the mouth, throat and feeding tube (esophagus). It is linked to diet deficiencies and often is
a precursor of mouth cancer. PLURIPOTENT: Capable of giving rise to most tissues of an organism
PMD: Private medical doctor.
PMI: 1. Abbreviation for Past Medical Illness. 2. Perioperative Myocardial Infarction. 3. Point of Maximum
PMN: Abbreviation for ... "polymorphonuclear".
PMS: Abbreviation for "premenstrual syndrome".
PND: 1. Abbreviation for "Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea". 2. Post Nasal Drainage.
-PNEA: A suffix that means ... "breathing".
PNEUMATIC TOURNIQUET: A device used to arrest (stop) blood flow using pressure via an encircling
device ... expands/contracts due to air pressure.
PNEUMOCEPHALUS: Gas or air inside the cranial cavity.
PNEUMOCOCCUS: Bacteria that typically infect the lungs.
PNEUMONECTOMY: Removal of a lung.
PNEUMONIA: An inflammation of the lungs which can be caused by a bacteria, virus or fungus. Viral
pneumonia produces symptoms like: 1. A dry hacking cough. 2. A feeling of achiness all over. 3. Slight
fever. Often sufferers can function and are not forced into bed. There are no medicines (year 2000)
available to treat viral pneumonia. Pneumonias caused by bacteria have a sudden onset of chills and high
temperature combined with a cough productive of yellow, green or reddish phlegm. Antibiotics are used to
control this pneumonia which typically forces the patients to their beds. Note that fungus and chemicals
can also cause pneumonia. The winter months are when the disease is seen the most and a case of the
flu can quickly develop into this infection of the lung. Note that it is virtually impossible to tell the
difference between this disease and bronchitis during a simple office visit to the doctor. The longer that a
bacterium is allowed to inhabit the body the more of a chance that it may mutate and become resistant to
an antibiotic.
PNEUMONITIS: Inflammation of the lungs.
PNEUMOPERITONEUM: Air in the peritoneal cavity due to disease or by laparoscopy.
PNEUMOTHORAX: A collection of air or gas in the chest causing the lung to collapse. The air or gas
infiltrates in between the two layers of the pleura (pleural space) and eventually compresses the lung and
causes it to collapse. Symptoms include ... stabbing chest pains and difficulty in obtaining adequate
oxygen for the body. Correction of the problem can be made by inserting a tube into the pleural space to
draw out the air bubble.
PNV: Abbreviation for ... "prenatal vitamins".
PO: Correctly spelled "po" ... by mouth.

PO: The oxygen tension in artery blood.

PODAGRA: Foot pain usually associated with gout of the large toe.
PODALGIA: Foot pain.
PODIATRIST: One who specializes in understanding and treating the foot.
POEMS SYNDROME: A group of symptoms which includes ... polyneuropathy, organomegaly,
endocrinopathy and the skin becomes darker. High levels of an anti-body protein called M-protein is
produced by plasma cells which can weaken bones. The severity of this syndrome depends on the
condition of the immunity system and bone sites involved ... death can occur.
POIKILOCYTE: A red blood cell that has an irregular shape.
POIKILOCYTOSIS: A condition in which poikilocytes are contained in peripheral blood.
POISON IVY: A plant whose sap irritates skin and causes a rash. The fluid from the blisters does cause
the rash. Sap can be transferred to people from tools, dog hair, tools, etcetera. Note that even dead
plants in the winter can contain enough sap to produce an outbreak.
POLAR PACK: Currently being researched.
POLE: A point located at the extremity of the axis of any body organ.
POLIO: A virus that destroys the nerve cells that are responsible for muscle movement. After the virus is
eradicated the unaffected nerves develop new root which restores some muscle function. After 30-40
years these new nerve rootlets stop operating leaving the patient with muscle weakness, muscle pain and
fatigue. INTERNATIONAL POLIO NETWORK can be contacted at NETWORK, 4207 Lindell Blvd., 110.
POLKA FEVER: Also called ... "aden fever", "bouquet fever", breakbone fever", "dandy fever", "date
fever", "dengue fever", "exanthesis arthrosia", "dengue", "scarlatina rheumatica", "solar fever". A viral
disease which exists in tropical and subtropical areas of the world ... transmitted by mosquitos. Grade I
symptoms are fever and general constitutional problems. Grade II symptoms are the same as Grade I but
with spontaneous bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, gums and skin. Grade III symptoms are the same
as the first two but with circulatory failure added. Grade IV symptoms add to the first three profound
POLLEN: Sex (male) cells of flora (plants).
POLLEX: First digit of the hand ... large toe.
POLLINOSIS: Another word for "hay fever".
POLY-: A prefix (word part) meaning "many".
POLYARTERITIS: Inflammation of many arteries. If the arteries are excessively inflamed then blood is
unable to pass and tissues starve due to lack of oxygen. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Prednisone are
commonly prescribed. Note, can be fatal in five years if untreated.
POLYARTHRALGIA: Pain in many joints.
POLYARTHRITIS: A large number of inflamed joints.
POLYCHOLIA: An excessive production of bile.
POLYCHROMASIA: Also called ... "polychromatophilia".
POLYCHROMATOCYTE: Also called ... "polychromatophil", "polychromophil". A young or very old red
blood cell that stains readily with acid, neutral and basic dyes.
POLYCHROMATOPHIL: Also called ... "polychromatocyte", "polychromophil". A young or very old red
blood cell that stains readily with acid, neutral and basic dyes.
POLYCHROMOPHIL: Also called ... "polychromasia", "polychromatocyte". A young or very old red blood
cell that stains readily with acid, neutral and basic dyes.
POLYCYSTIC: Multiple cysts.
POLYCYSTIC DISEASE: Liver degeneration linked with cystic kidneys since birth.
POLYCYSTIC LIVER: Cystic liver disease since birth.
POLYCYTHEMIA: The opposite of anemia ... a condition where an excess of red and white blood cells,
platelets, are produced by bone marrow ... an increase in red cells in the blood.
POLYDACTYLISM: A condition whereby a person has more than the normal number of fingers or toes.
POLYDIPSIA: Excessive thirst.
POLYHYDRAMNIOS: Excessive amounts of the fluid that encompasses the fetus. .
POLYMERASE: Any enzyme that initiates a reaction resulting in a simple compound taking on a higher
molecular weight.
POLYMERIZATION: A reaction in which a simple compound develops a higher molecular weight.
POLYMORPHIC: Many different shapes.
POLYMORPHONUCLEAR CELL: A type of leukocyte that has nuclei is various forms.

POLYMYALGIA RHEUMATICA: Muscle pains and stiffness in older people that often includes the
shoulders, hips, torso and neck muscles. Sufferers have extremely high "sed rates". Cortisone medication
is the traditional treatment in the year 2,000.
POLYMYOSITIS: A common muscle disorder of older people that causes muscle weakness. It
progresses slowly. Cortisone drugs are the preferred method of treatment in the year 2000.
POLYNEURITIS: Many inflamed nerves.
POLYP: A mass of soft, fleshy tissue resembling a tumor that grows from the mucous membrane. Also,
grape like growths in the uterus. They can be shaped like cauliflower, warts, mushrooms and sometimes
have the appearance of a marble. Growth can be rapid or slow. Polyps are currently considered to be
noncancerous and usually occur in groups. There is controversy however ... in the year 2000 it has been
suggested that 95% of colon cancer comes from polyps.
POLYPECTOMIES: The surgical removal of polyps.
POLYPHAGIA: Abnormally increased eating behavior.
POLYPOSIS: Many polyps.
POLYURIA: Release of abnormally large amounts of urine.
PONS: An area of the brain stem that passes and receives information about movement.
POLYSACCHARIDES: Carbohydrates able to be reduced to two or more sugars (simple).
POLYTHERAPY: Medical treatment using various medications.
POLYUNSATURATED FAT: Unsaturated fats typically found in plant foods ... when used instead of
saturated fats they contribute to a decrease in blood cholesterol.
PONTINE: Relating to a pons.
POP: Abbreviation for "Patient Observation Area".
POPLITEAL: Referring to the back of the knee.
PORPHYRIA: Eight different illnesses that develop due to a defect in the bodies manufacturing of
hemoglobin. Acute intermittent porphyria manifests itself with symptoms of crampy abdominal pain that
sometimes combines with nausea and vomiting. Drugs that can precipitate an attack include barbiturates,
ergot, valproic acid, phenytoin, sulfa drugs, birth control pill and primidone. Fast weight loss can also
trigger the disease. More information can be obtained at the American Porphyria Foundation at: Box
22712, Houston, TX 77227 ... www,enterprise, net/apf.
PORPHYRIA CUTANEA TARDA: Also called ... "PCT". A condition that results in decreased liver
functioning and typically commences in middle age ... manifests as photosensitive skin blisters that break
and form shallow sores. There are two forms of the condition: 1. Non-familial (not affecting other
members of the family). 2. Familial (affecting several members of the same family).
PORPHYRIA HEPATIC: A type of porphyria which is associated with excessive porphyrin (a molecule
possessing four pyrrole nuclei) in the liver.
PORRIGO: Another word for "ringworm".
PORT-A-CATH: A peritoneal access device.
PORTACAVAL SHUNT: A surgical bypass of the liver ... causes the portal vein to flow into the inferior
vena cava.
PORTAL VEIN: Also called ... "vena protae hepatitis", "hepatic portal vein". The large vein carrying blood
to the liver. Vein formed by the splenic vein and the superior mesenteric vein which splits into a
branchlike pattern within the liver in which blood flows through a network of tiny vessels where worn out
red cells, bacteria, and other debris are removed and nutrients added (or removed) for storage.
PORTA HEPATIS: Also called ... "transverse fissure" ... located underneath the liver that is the site at
which many vessels enter and leave.
PORTAL: 1. Entry/exiting point of structures within the body. 2. Referring to the "portal hepatis".
PORTAL HYPERTENSION: An increased blood pressure of the vessels that enter the liver ... typically
seen with cirrhosis.
PORTAL SYSTEM: A system of blood vessels that begins and terminates in capillary networks.
PORTIO DURA: A nerve of the face.
POSOLOGY: The system of medication dosages.
POST-: A prefix (word part) meaning "after" or "at the rear of".
POSTCARDIOTOMY SYNDROME: Refers to symptoms (like pleural effusion) which occur following heart
surgery. Patient's usually recover quickly.
POSTER / (O): A combining word-form that means "back of the body".

POSTERIOR: At the back ... rear.

POSTEROANTERIOR: Abbreviated "PA". An anatomical position in which the patient is placed facing the
film and parallel to it.
POSTEROLATERAL: Behind and to one side.
POSTHUMOUS: Following death.
POSTICTAL: Referring to the time after convulsions.
POSTMORTEM: Following death ... autopsy.
POSTNASAL: Located in back of the nose.
POSTNATAL: A suffix that means "following birth".
POSTNECROTIC CIRRHOSIS: Disease of the liver after widespread death of liver cells ... hardening of
tissue distorts the liver and impedes it from performing it's many tasks ... often a result of hepatitis.
POSTORAL: At the rear of the mouth.
POSTPARTUM: After the birth of a child.
POST-POLIO SYNDROME: Also called ... "PPS". Occurs in people originally infected ... occurs
approximately 30 years following infection. Symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, respiratory ailments,
decreased muscle strength. Treatment in the year 2000 includes rest and physiotherapy.
POSTPRANDIAL: Following a meal.
POSTURAL: Relating or effected by posture.
POSTURE: A posture is a position of the body made by the muscles that move the limbs.
POTABLE: Okay to drink.
POTASSIUM: A mineral that is required by the body to maintain normal functioning of nerves (electrical
firing), muscles and the heart. An abundance of potassium can cause irregular and sometimes lethal
heart rhythms while a deficiency may cause paralysis due to muscle weakness. The kidneys maintain the
proper balance of potassium in the body by excreting excessive amounts in urine so consistently high
levels in the blood is cause to check kidney functions. Also, the adrenal glands manufacture the hormone
aldosterone that is responsible for regulating blood potassium. Normal blood potassium levels are 3.5 to
5.0 mEq/L (some labs establish 5.5 as the normal upper limit). The following symptoms appear when the
blood level readings reach 6.5: 1) Nausea. 2) Abdominal cramps. 3) Diarrhea. 4) Changes noted on
electrocardiograms. 5) Heart stops beating at extremely high levels.
POTENTIATION: The combined actions of two different drugs to increase their effectiveness.
POULTICE: A hot and wet mass for application to the skin.
POX: Scars of the skin.
PPD: Abbreviation for ... "purified protein derivative of tuberculin".
PPM: Correctly spelled ... "ppm". Abbreviation for ... "parts per million".
PR: Abbreviation for "by way of rectum".
PRADER-WILLI SYNDROME: Congenital group of symptoms including obesity, mental retardation, and
short stature.
PRAGUE PELVIS: Also called "Rokitansky's pelvis. It is a dislocation of the vertebra of the low lumbar
region that occludes the brim of the pelvis.
PRANDIAL: Relating to eating.
PRAXIS: Term for execution of pallial impulses.
PREAURICULAR: Denoting lymph nodes situated at the anterior of the auricle of the ear.
PRC: Abbreviation for "packed red blood cells".
PRE-: A prefix (word part) meaning "prior to".
PRECANCEROUS: Changes in body cells which may (or may not) preclude cancer.
PRECORDIUM: The part of the chest over the heart.
PREECLAMPSIA: Development of hypertension, proteinuria or edema due to pregnancy. It usually
commences after the 24th week of gestation. Pre-eclampsia usually happens in a woman's first
pregnancy and is not very common. Symptoms include high blood pressure ... edema (swelling) of the
legs, feet, hands, arms and sometimes the face. If it is allowed to continue then "eclampsia" (seizures)
develops. The typical cure is giving birth but not in every case. Woman most at risk are those who had
pre-eclampsia previously combined with a very high blood pressure reading.
PRECLINICAL: Prior to a diseases symptoms becoming recognizable.
PRECORDIA: And area of the body located in the front, at the upper abdomen and lower part of the
thorax neck.

PRECURSOR: Prior to.

PREHENSION: Being able to grasp with the thumb and fingers.
PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME: A group of symptoms which occurs 1-2 weeks prior to a woman's period
... tenderness of the breasts, retention of water, anxiety, depression, lack of energy, headache and
general body aches.
PRENATAL: Prior to birth.
PREPATELLAR: Anterior to the patella.
PREPUCE: See preputium.
PREPUTIUM: The free fold of skin that covers most or all of the glans penis.
PRESBYOPIA: Commonly called "aging eyes". Current thought (year 2000) says it is caused by
hardening and thickening of the lens, which makes it more difficult for the eye to focus and adjust.
PRESSOR: Producing increased blood pressure.
PRETIBIAL FEVER: An infection in which one of the signs is a rash on the front legs, headache, chills,
fever, and muscle pain.
PREVNAR: Currently being researched.
PRIAPISM: Penis erection without sexual stimulation.
PRICKLY HEAT: Skin irritation that produces blisters ... due to hot conditions.
PRIMARY ATYPICAL PNEUMONIA: A species that causes "mycoplasmal pneumonia" ... which involves
the lungs and is caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Symptoms include fever and cough.
PRIMARY BILIARY CIRRHOSIS: Destruction of the bile ducts due to an immune system which turns on
itself ... retention of bile kills the cells of the liver.
PRIMARY HYPERTENSION: High blood pressure not due to diseases.
PRIMIGRAVIDA: A first pregnancy.
PRIMIPARA: Having given birth once.
PRINCEPS: Another word for a "primary artery".
PRINGLE'S DISEASE: Also called ... "adenoma sebaceum". A tumor like nodule that occurs on the face
and is made up of tissue which is both vascular and fibrous and takes the appearance of small, red or
yellow elevations of the skin.
PRINZMETAL'S ANGINA: Chest pain that is more severe and longer than traditional angina pectoris.
PRK: Abbreviation for "photo refractive keratectomy" which is a surgical procedure to correct near
PRN: Properly spelled "prn". Abbreviation for "as the occasion arises" ... "as needed".
PRO-: A prefix (word part) meaning "prior to".
PROBIOTICS: Probiotics are materials or organisms which contribute to healthy intestinal flora (friendly
bacteria). For example, the "good bacteria" in yogurt.
PROCESS: A natural growth that comes out from a bone or other part of the body.
PROCTALGIA: Rectal pain.
PROCTITIS: An inflamed rectum or anus.
PROCTOLOGIST: One who specializes in the treatment of anal and rectal disorders.
PROCTOLOGY: A subdivision in the medical field that deals primarily with the rectum.
PROCTOSCOPE: A device used by examiners of the rectum.
PRODROME: An early symptom of disease.
PROGENY: Another word for "children".
PROGERIA: Something that causes an acceleration of the aging process.
PROGESTERONE: Considered a "simple" hormone in year 2000 ... associated with females. Used to
treat PMS, fibroids, endometriosis and fibrocystic disease.
PROGNOSIS: A prediction of the likely outcome of a disease / disorder.
PROLAPSE: The falling of an organ from its normal position.
PROLIFERATIVE: Multiplication of cells or morbid cysts.
PROLINE: Amino acid classified as non-essential ... it is associated with the maintenance and strength of
heart muscle, joints and tendons.
PROMINENCE: An anatomical part or tissue that extends past a surface.
PRONATOR: A muscle that turns a part to the prone position.
PRONE: A body position ... lying face down.

PROPHYLACTIC: Prevention of or protection against a disease with the use of a substance or device.
PROPHYLAXIS: Prevention of or protection against a disease.
PROPRIOCEPTION: Capable of receiving stimuli originating in muscles, tendons, and internal tissues.
PROPTOSIS: Another word for "exothalmos".
PROSODY: The variations in voice that convey extra meaning to what is being said.
PROSPECTIVE STUDY: A study in which people are initiated and then checked up on at later dates.
PROSTAGLANDIN: Chemicals that are similar to hormones. They are produced by the body from
essential fatty acids. They influence blood pressure, inflammatory responses and the time it takes for
blood to clot. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) word by blocking prostaglandins. Which
can cause arthritis and pain. They also protect the stomach from acid related damage ... some people
can develop stomach bleeding from long term use.
PROSTATE: A walnut sized structure deep and low in the pelvis below the bladder. The prostate
surrounds the neck of the bladder and urethra ... it produces a secretion that turns coagulated semen into
liquid form. It can become a major problem when enlarged because muscles surrounding the bladder also
become enlarged with the prostate. Cardura, Flomax and Hytrin can relax those muscles to allow for
urination. Proscar actually shrinks the gland by interfering with the production of testosterone which
heavily contributes to prostate growth. It can take as much as six months to obtain relief with Proscar. The
typical treatment surgically is called a TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate).
PROSTATE CANCER: Age plays a large role as to who develops prostate cancer ... those in the highest
risk groups are: 1. older men, 2. African Americans, 3. family genetics. Treatment is dependent upon: 1)
the size of the cancer, 2) extent of it's spread, 3) maturity of the cancer cells, 4) age of the sufferer, 5)
health of the sufferer, 6) life expectancy of the sufferer. Growth of this type of cancer is stimulated by the
hormone "testosterone" ... cancer cells that are depleted of this hormone shrivel up. Lupron is a
medication that suppresses the production of testosterone ... however, it does not completely eradicate
the cancer. External radiation is another possible treatment plan and requires repeated applications. And
yet another possibility is to implant radioactive seeds (small pellets of radioactive materials) directly into
the prostate. Foods that are reputed to protect against the disease are tomatoes, broccoli, green tea, soy
products, garlic, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and sunlight (due to its ability to manufacture
vitamin D).
PROSTATECTOMY: Surgical removal of part (or all) of the prostate gland. Usually performed to treat
prostate cancer. Following the operation men may experience loss of bladder control and impotence.
PROSTATIC: Referring to the prostate gland.
PROSTATITIS: Inflammation of the prostate.
PROSTHESIS: A manufactured body part that takes the place of a missing one.
PROSTHETIC: Relating to an artificial part.
PROSTHETICS: A surgical subdivision that deals with artificial body parts.
PROSTRATION: Another word for "tired".
PROTEASE: An enzyme that breaks down proteins.
PROTEIN: The stuff that muscles are made from. They are substances comprised of amino acids in
peptide linkage. Living cells are composed primarily of proteins that account for 3/4 of their dry weight.
Also they contribute to hormones, antibodies and a myriad of other substances essential for life. Two
dietary sources are meats and vegetables.
PROTEIN C: A body substance that inhibits the formation of blood clots. A deficiency of this substance
can result in blood clots forming almost anywhere in the body. Typical treatment involves the use of the
blood thinning medication Coumadin.
PROTEINURIA: Presence of urinary protein in concentrations greater than 1 gram per liter.
PROTEOLYSIS: Protein division of peptide (simple proteins) bonds.
PROTEUS: A category of anaerobic bacteria that contains Gram-negative rods ... they produce acid
and/or gas from glucose. These bacteria typically are found in putrefying matter and fecal materials.
PROTHROMBIN: One of the constituents of blood ... responsible for coagulation.
PROTHROMBIN TIME: Also called ... "PT". The difference between the clotting time of two samples of
blood ... the first has calcium and thromboplastin added to it ... the second is a "standard" which includes
a specified amount of fibrinogen thinned by an anticoagulant (Coumadin).
PROTOCOL: A step-by-step procedure.
PROTOPLASM: The primary matter of live organisms.

PROTOZOA: A tiny one celled organism ... a subkingdom of the animal kingdom which includes acellular
and unicellular forms.
PROTRACTION: To move forward.
PROTUBERANCE: A projection.
PROVIRUS: A virus that becomes integrated in the nucleus of infected cells and transmitted to that cells
PROVISIONAL: Subject to change.
PROXIMAL: Next to a reference point.
PROXIMATE: In the vicinity of.
PRURIGO: An long time skin disease that inflames due to tiny, itching bumps filled with pus.
PRURITIC: Itching.
PRURITUS: The symptoms of itching.
PRURITUS ANI: Another word for "itchy anus".
PSA: Abbreviation for "prostate-specific antigen". This is a blood test for prostate cancer. If free (PSA not
attached to proteins in the blood) exceeds 25% of the total PSA then the risks of cancer are low.
PSEUD / (O): A combining word-form that means "false".
PSEUDOCYESIS: False pregnancy.
PSEUDOMEMBRANOUS COLITIS: Also called ... "pseudomembranous enterocolitis". An enterocolitis
condition which is typically seen following the use of antibiotics in which a pseudomembranous material is
present in feces.
PSEUDOMEMBRANOUS ENTEROCOLITIS: Also called ... "pseudomembranous colitis". An enterocolitis
condition which is typically seen following the use of antibiotics in which a pseudomembranous material is
present in feces.
PSEUDOMONAD: See "Pseudomonas"
PSEUDOMONAS: A family (genus) of bacteria that is common to soil and water.
PSEUDOTUMOR: A growth that resembles a tumor.
PSITTACOSIS: Disease carried and transmitted by pet birds.
PSOAS MAJOR: Muscle in the lumbar area of the back that moves the thigh and spine.
PSOAS MINOR: A muscle of the pelvis that flexes the spine.
PSORIASIS: Considered to be a hereditary condition of the skin involving the immune system. Normally
the lowest layers of skin progress to become the outer layers in 28 days. Psoriasis causes this to occur in
as little as 4 days, which results in red patches of skin with silvery scales. Medicines include anthralin and
coal tar (older remedies), Dovonex, Cyclosporine, Methotrexate, Soriatane. Tazorac gel. The National
Psoriasis Foundation supplies up-to-date info for treatment @ 1-800-723-9166.
PSVT: Abbreviation for "Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia".
PSYCH / (O): A combining word-form that means "mind".
PSYCHIATRY: The study of the mind and its disorders.
PSYCHOANALYSIS: The analysis of a person's emotional history.
PSYCHOGENIC: Resulting from mental factors.
PSYCHOLOGY: The division of medicine that deals with the mind and it's functioning.
PSYCHOGENESIS: Growth of the mind.
PSYCHOPATHY: Any disorder of the mind.
PSYCHOSOMATIC: 1. Symptoms of illness caused by an emotional / psychological component. 2. A
term often used to describe disorders that do not involve tissue damage but are rather of mental origin.
PSYCHOSIS: A situation (disease) in which a person loses contact with reality.
PSYCHOSOMATIC ILLNESS: Diseases caused by mental components (emotions).
PSYCHOTHERAPY: The analysis and treatment of mental problems.
PSYCHOTROPIC: A drug that alters moods.
PT: Abbreviation for ... "prothrombin time". It is the difference between the clotting time of two samples of
blood ... the first has calcium and thromboplastin added to it ... the second is a "standard" which includes
a specified amount of fibrinogen thinned by an anticoagulant (Coumadin).
PTARMUS: Another word for "sneezing".
PTC: Abbreviation for "prothrombin complex".
PTCA: Abbreviation for "Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty".
PT CATHETER: Abbreviation for "Peritoneal Catheter".
PTD: Abbreviation for ... "percutaneous transluminal dilation".

PTERYGIUM: A patch of bulbar conjunctiva tissue located from the middle of the corner of the eye
(canthus) to the border of the cornea (sometimes further).
PTH: Abbreviation for ... "parathyroid hormone".
PTOMAINE: A type of poison caused by rotting food.
-PTOSIS: A suffix that means ... "drooping".
PTOSIS: Sagging of an organ part or upper eyelid.
PTSD: Abbreviation for ... "post traumatic stress disorder".
PTU: Abbreviation for ... "propylthiouracil".
PTYALISM: An abnormal increase in saliva production.
-PTYSIS: A suffix that means ... "spitting".
PU: Abbreviation for ... "peptic ulcer".
PUBIS: The pelvic bone.
PUBOVESICOCERVICAL FASCIA: Currently being researched.
PUC: Abbreviation for ... "pediatric urine collector.
PUD: Abbreviation for ... 1) " Pulmonary disease". 2) "Peptic ulcer disease".
PUDENDA: Sex organ (external).
PUFFS: Inhaler activations.
PULMONARY: Refers to the lungs.
PULMONARY ARTERY: A large blood vessel which transfers blood (which is deficient of oxygen) from
the heart (lower, right chamber) to the lungs.
PULMONARY EMBOLISM: Blood vessel obstruction located in the lung or pulmonary artery ... typically
caused by a blood clot.
PULMONARY HYPERTENSION: Lung high blood pressure is a rise in lung pressure. The high pressure
moves the blood through the lungs too fast to adequately absorb oxygen. Symptoms include
breathlessness and fatigue.
PULP: The inner tissue inside the root of a tooth. It consists mainly of blood and nerve fibers.
PULPALGIA: Currently being researched.
PULPY: Soft.
PULSATILE: Referring to a rhythmic pulsing.
PULSATILE TINNITUS: The sound of the heartbeat in the ears ... typically due to hardened arteries in the
vicinity of the ear.
PULSE: An artery that pulsates in conjunction with the heartbeat ... approximately 70 beats per minute.
PULSE OXIMETRY: See "oximetry".
PULSE POINTS: Abdominal pulse; Apical pulse (top of the heart); Brachial Pulse (elbow); Carotid;
Dorsalis pedis; Femoral; Popliteal; Posterior tibialis (ankle); Venous.
PULSE RATE (normal): A normal pulse rate for an adult is 60-100 per minute. For a newborn, 120 per
0 = completely absent
+1 = markedly impaired
+2 = moderately impaired
+3 = slightly impaired
+4 = normal
Bigeminal pulse
Corrigan's pulse: Throbbing pulse during great excitement.
Bounding pulse
Peripheral pulse: Outermost pulses.
Quadrigeminal pulse
Thready pulse
Wiry pulse: Strong but small pulse.
PUNCTATE: Marked with points or dots different than the surrounding surface by color, elevation or feel.
PUNCTUM: 1. A tiny, round spot. 2. A tiny entry or opening.

PUPIL: The part of the eye which adjusts it's opening in response to light intensity.
PUPILLARY: Refers to the pupil(s).
PURGATIVE: A medication used to treat constipation.
PURGE: Emptying of the bowels.
PURINE-FREE DIET: A gout diet (limiting uric acid).
PURKINJE FIBERS: Fiber like material located in the walls of the heart (lower chambers).
PURPURA: Bruises ... bleeding beneath the skin or mucous membrane ... causes black and blue spots
PURULENT: Making or having pus.
PUS: Coryza ... semi liquid material containing dead cells and other debris.
PUSTULE: Another word for "pimple".
PUTREFY: Decomposition of organic matter and proteins that produce a foul smell.
PV: Abbreviation for ... "portal vein".
PVC: Premature ventricular contraction.
PYELITIS: Inflammation of the area where the kidneys connect to the tube which leads to the bladder
PYELOGRAM: An x-ray film of the kidneys and ureters (taken after the ingestion of a dye).
PYELONEPHRITIS: Kidney inflammation.
PYEMIA: Blood poisoning that results in abscesses.
PYGMALIONISM: Being in love with one's own creation(s).
PYLORALGIA: Rarely used term for pain in pyloric region of the stomach.
PYLORI: Plural of ... "pylorus".
PYLORIC STENOSIS: A narrowing of the pylorus (portion of the stomach leading to the small intestines).
PYLORUS: 1. Tube shaped part of the stomach that leads into the small intestines. 2. Muscle tissue that
encompasses and regulates the aboral outlet of the stomach.
PYODERMA: A skin infection that results in the formation of "pus".
PYO / (O): A combining word-form that means "pus".
PYOGENESIS: The forming of "pus".
PYOGENIC: Referring to the formation of pus.
PYORRHEA: Gum infection ... symptoms include bleeding gums during brushings.
PYOSALPINX: A collection of pus in the uterine tube.
PYRAMIDAL TRACT: Nerve path in the brain that affects muscles at will.
PYRETIC: Referring to a condition of fever.
PYREXIA: A condition of fever.
PYRIDOXINE: Also called "vitamin B6" (see for more information).
PYROGENIC: Something which causes a fever.
PYROMANIA: A compulsive need to start fires.
PYROSIS: Ailment in which the sufferer experiences a burning sensation in the stomach coupled with an
acid taste in the mouth.
PYRROLE: A compound whose atoms form a ring and is present in many living organisms.
PYRUVATE: A salt or ester of pyruvic acid.
PYURIA: White blood cells in the urine; it is a sign of infection in the urinary tract.
PYRUVIC ACID: A keto acid that is an intermediate product formed by glycolysis.

Q: Latin abbreviation meaning "every" ... properly spelled "q" ... example, q4h means "every four hours".
QAM: Abbreviation for "every morning".
Q.D.: Abbreviation for "quaque die" which means "every day".
Q FEVER: A disease caused by the rickettsiae microorganism.

QHS: Abbreviation for "each bedtime, every night".

QID: Abbreviation for "4 times a day". QID is properly spelled "qid" ... example, qid means "four times a
QM: Abbreviation for "every morning".
QOD: Latin abbreviation for "every other day".
QRS DURATION: EKG term for a complex waveform.
QTC: Abbreviation for "Quantitative Tip Culture".
QUACK: One who pretends to have medical skills.
QUADRA: A combining word part that indicates, "four".
QUADRANT: Used to describe one of four locations of the abdomen.
QUADRATE: Four sided.
QUADRATE LOBE: One of the small, liver lobes located beneath the right lobe and left of the fissure.
QUADRATIS FEMORIS: Currently being researched.
QUADRATUS: Any muscle possessing four sides.
QUADRI: A combining word part that indicates "four".
QUADRICEPS: Large muscles of the anterior (front) thigh. They keep the kneecap in place.
QUADRIGEMINI: Every fourth heart beat being premature.
QUADRIPLEGIA: The paralysis of all four limbs (hands and arms).
QUANTITATIVE: An amount of something ... typically refers to a measurement.
QUARANTINE: The isolation of people with an infectious disease from the rest of society.
QUARTAN: Happening every 72 hours.
QUARTAN FEVER: A form of malaria.
QUATERNARY: Another word for ... "fourth".
QUIESCENT: The time period in which infections are present but lying dormant.
QUINSY: Abscesses which develops surrounding tonsils.
QUINTAN: Occurring every fifth day.
QUINTON CATHETER: Currently being researched.
QUOTIDIAN: Occurring every day.
Q.V.: Correctly spelled ... qv. ... "as much as you want".

RA: Abbreviation for "rheumatoid arthritis"
RABBETING: A word that describes a splintered wound edge.
RABBIT FEVER: Also called ... "tularemia". Viral disease which can be transmitted to humans by animals
which are infected.
RABIES: A viral disease that can be transmitted to man via infected animals. Typically, it is fatal if left
untreated ... attacks the brain and spinal cord.
RACEMIC: Made from enantiomorphic isomers and therefore optically inactive.
RACHIS: Another word for "spinal column".
RADIATION THERAPY: A method of destroying cancer cells by the use of high frequency radiation.
RADIECTOMY: The excision (removal) of a tooth's root.
RADICULAR: Referring to a "root" ... Also, "directed to the cause" i.e. radical surgery.
RADICULOPATHY: Disease of the spinal nerve roots.
RADI / (O): A combining word-form that means "x-ray".
RADIAL: Referring to the radius (bone of the forearm),
RADIOGRAPH: Another word for an "x-ray picture".

RADIOGRAPHY: Another word for producing an x-ray picture.

RADIOLOGIST: One who uses radiation to diagnose and treat many ailments.
RADIUS: One of the bones of the forearm. The upper end forms the elbow joint, the lower end forms part
of the wrist joint.
RADIX: Another word for "root".
RA FACTOR: Abbreviation for "rheumatoid arthritis factor". It is a blood protein of patient's with
rheumatoid arthritis. Can be detected by a blood test.
RALE: Ambiguous term for added sound heard on auscultation.
RAMI: Plural of "ramus".
RAMITIS: Nerve root inflammation.
RAMUS: A branch ... an irregularly shaped bone (not as thin as a process).
RANCID: Rotting ... offensive ... decomposing.
RANGE OF ACCOMMODATION: A measurement determined by how far a person can clearly see versus
how close the person can see
RANULA: The obstruction of a salivary gland to causes tongue swelling.
RASMUSSEN'S ENCEPHALITIS: A rare and incurable condition of unknown origin ... it causes electrical
misfirings that impede brain functions and causes seizures.
RASPATORY: A type of file used in surgery.
RAST: Abbreviation for "radioallergosorbent test" which is performed to detect allergic reactions. It
measures specific antibodies produced by the immune system.
RAT BITE FEVER: Also called "Sodokosis". A disease that can be transmitted to humans via infected
RAYNAUD'S DISEASE: Abnormal constriction of blood arteries when exposed to the cold. This
constriction prevents blood from reaching the furthest points of the body like fingers, hands, toes and feet
that end up turning blue due to lack of oxygen. Associated illnesses sometimes include lupus, rheumatoid
arthritis and scleroderma. Medical drugs are often prescribed and include Nitroglycerin, nitrates,
Nifedipine. A natural treatment is to swing the arms in a full circle at the beginning of an attack ... this will
force the blood into the upper extremities (hand and fingers).
RBC: Abbreviation for ... 1) "Red blood cell" 2) "Red blood count"
RCA: Abbreviation for ... 1) "Right carotid artery". 2) "Radionuclide cerebral angiogram".
RDA: 1. Abbreviation for "recommended dietary allowances". 2. Abbreviation for ... "recommended daily
RDW: Abbreviation for "red-cell-volume distribution width". It is a measure of anisocytosis.
RE-: A prefix (word part) meaning ... "to do over again".
REACTIVE OXYGEN SPECIES: Free radical and other oxygen species molecules.
REAGENT: A substance that is combined with another to assist in a chemical reaction.
REAMER: Surgical instrument with cutting edges for enlarging or altering the shape of a hole.
RECEPTOR: 1. A sensitive nerve ending. 2. A molecule on the surface of cells which a virus attaches to.
RECEPTOR SITE: Protein structure on the outside of cell membranes that allows cells to identify and
function as an attachment site for biological substances.
RECOMBINANT DNA: Altered DNA produced by bioengineering in a test tube (in vitro).
RECONSTITUTION: Combining parts to make a whole.
RECRUDESCENCE: Disease symptoms following a period of inactivity.
RECTAL: Referring to the rectum.
RECTECTOMY: Removal of the rectum.
RECTITIS: Rectal inflammation.
RECTOCELE: Hernia of the rectum.
RECTUM: The final six inches of the intestinal tract that connects to the anus.
RECTUS: Any of small muscles in the body with a straight form.
RECTUS ABDOMINIS MUSCLE: Located on the ventral (back) abdominal wall.
RECTUS SHEATH: Tube like structure that surrounds small muscles in the body with a straight form.
RECUMBENT: Lying down.
RECURRENT: Another word for "reappearing".
RED BLOOD CELLS: The blood cells that carry oxygen to the tissues and organs of the body ... contains

hemoglobin. Red blood cells live for approximately four months and then are disassembled by the body.
RED BLOOD CELL COUNT: A diagnostics test that is typically decreased in cases of anemia.
RED CELL DISTRIBUTION WIDTH: Numerical expression that is directly related to the volume of red
REDUCERS: A substance that accepts electrons ... i.e., antioxidants.
REDUCTION: To return something to its normal position.
REESE SHOE: Type of shoe to protect the foot, especially a fractured foot.
REFERRED PAIN: Due to the fact that during the life of a fetus the body organs are located in close
proximity to one another. As the body grows and develops the organs separate and migrate to their
proper positions. However, nerve connectors that were originally made can cause heart pain to be felt in
the arms or gallbladder pain can be felt at the shoulder blades.
REFERRED SENSATION: A feeling caused in one area of the body caused by a stimulus in another part
of the body.
REFLEXES: +4 = Very brisk
+3 = Brisker than average
+2 = Average, normal
+1 = Somewhat diminished, low normal
0 = No response, may indicate neuropathy
REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY: A combination of symptoms resulting from an injury like a sprain
or broken bone. Reduced blood flow to tissues and organs at the injury site results in pain. Severe pain
can be the result and early intervention with physical and occupational therapy is highly recommended.
REFLUX: A backward or return flow.
REFLUX ESOPHAGITIS: Inflamed esophagus due to stomach contents backing up into the esophagus.
REFRACTORY: Resistant to treatment.
REGURGITATION: Synonym for "leak". Regurgitation is typically a return of gastric fluids to the mouth
from the stomach.
REFRACTA DOSI: To divide dosages.
REFRACTION: A visual test.
REFRACTORY: Being difficult to treat.
REICHMANN'S DISEASE: Abnormally high amount of gastric secretions.
RELAPSE: The reoccurrence of a disease.
RELAPSING FEVER: An infectious disease that alternates periods of fever with periods of normal body
RELEASE: The point during the viral replication process where the virus particles escape the infected
REMISSION: The disappearance of disease symptoms.
REN / (O): A combining word-form that means "kidney".
RENAL: Referring to kidneys.
RENAL CALCULI: See "kidney stones".
RENAL OSTEODYSTROPHY: Changes in bone tissue that is similar to rickets and osteomalacia ... it is
seen in patients with chronic renal failure.
RENIN: An enzyme.
REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY: A chronic pain in the arms, fingers, shoulders, neck of keyboard users. It
is believed to be caused by a nerve that passes through the wrist (carpal tunnel). Also called non-specific
arm pain (NSAP).
RESECTION: A removal of a tissue or an organ via surgery.
RESIN: A brittle substance made from the secretion of many plants.
RESPIRATION: Another word for "breathing".
RESPONSE RATE: The number of patients who experience a positive result due to a medical treatment
(expressed as a percentage).
RESTORATIVE: Something that returns a person to normalcy.
RESUSCITATION: A method to restore breathing after drowning, electric shock and other situations
causing the cessation of breathing.
RETARD: To delay.
RETARDATION: The act of delaying.
RETCHING: Failed attempts to vomit.

RETICULAR: Referring to "reticulum".

RETICULUM: A collection of cells that resemble a net.
RETINA: The layer of the eye that sends images to the brain. A retina can become detached and cause
blindness and is indicated by flashes of light with a shower of floaters.
RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA: An inherited disease that affects eyesight. Symptoms include poor night
vision at first (early adulthood) and slowly progressing to tunnel vision later in life. When the eye is
examined, clumps of a dark pigmentation can be seen of the retina. Current treatment (2000) includes
large amounts of vitamin A.
RETIN / (O): A combining word-form that means "retina".
RETINACULA: Plural of "retinaculum".
RETINACULUM: A structure that holds an organ or tissue in proper position.
RETINOMALACIA: Softening of the retina.
RETINOPATHY: A disorder of the eye due to alterations in he blood vessels in the retina (the layer of the
eye that sends images to the brain).
RETINOSIS: Any condition which causes the retina to degenerate.
RETRACTION: The act of moving backwards.
RETRACTIONS: Term used when testing the lungs. It is the visible sinking-in of the soft tissue of the
chest between the ribs, which occurs with increased breathing effort.
RETRACTOR: Surgical instrument. A device used in surgical procedures, which holds back the edges of
an incision or tissues to expose organs or other underlying structures.
RETRANSPLANTATION: A second transplant ... required because the first organ was rejected (or other
failure mechanism).
RETRO: A prefix (word part) meaning "behind" or "backwards".
RETROFLEX: Flexed from behind.
RETROGRADE: Going from a better to a worse state (declining) ... backward tendency.
RETROINFECTION: An infection passed from fetus to mother.
RETRONASAL: At the rear of the nose.
RETROPERITONEAL: A term used to indicate the area behind the peritoneal sack. This is where the
kidneys and ureters are located.
RETROPULSION: A pushing backwards ... involuntary walking in reverse that happens with a
Parkinsonian syndrome.
RETROVIRIDAE: Also called ... "retrovirus". Viruses that are similar to the orthomyxoviruses in physical
appearance but more complex within their structures. They are single stranded.
RETROVIRUS: Any virus of the family Retroviridae. This virus does not replicate itself in the normal
fashion. It is an RNA virus that reproduces in a way that is opposite the typical virus. Reverse
transcriptase allows the virus to change viral RNA into DNA (the normal process it to convert DNA to
RNA). Some cause diseases such as HIV.
RETZIUS: See "space of Retzius".
REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE: An enzyme found in retroviruses which manufacture double stranded
DNA molecules from single stranded RNA (from their genomes).
REVIEW OF SYSTEMS: Head-to-toe verbal review of the patient that covers the following body systems:
HEENT (head, eyes, ears, nose and throat)

REYE'S SYNDROME: A disease that affects internal organs like the brain and liver. Most cases occur in
children between the ages of four and 15 after a viral infection (like chickenpox or the flu). Symptoms
occur 4-6 days following the beginning of the viral illness. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, personality
change, memory lapses, drowsiness, and irritability. Sometimes the child experiences double vision,
paralysis in the arms of legs, speech problems and hearing loss. Brain damage or death may follow. The
cause of the disease is unknown but the combination of viral illness and aspirin is known to increase the
risk of the disease.
RH: Abbreviation for ... "rhesus" (blood factor).
RHABDOMYOLYSIS: An acute and potentially fatal disease of muscles.
RHACHIS: Another word for "spinal column".
RHAGADES: Cracks in the skin.
-RHAGIA: A Suffix which means ... "bleeding".
RHEUM: Discharge of a watery substance.
RHEUMATIC: Referring to rheumatism ... indefinite term for pains of joint origin.
RHEUMATIC FEVER: Infectious disease that primarily affects children which is characterized by
intermittent fevers, painful joints, and inflammation of the valves of the heart and pericardium.
RHEUMATIC HEART DISEASE: Damage to heart valves resulting from rheumatic fever.
RHEUMATIC SYNDROME: A disease that exhibits symptoms which aer similar to a rheumatic disease ...
i.e., arthritis.
RHEUMATISM: Joint disease of unknown causes that results in pain and swelling.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: Due to an overactive immune system. Four of the following criteria must be
met for a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis ... 1) Morning stiffness. 2) Arthritis of three of more joints. 3)
Arthritis of the hand joints. 4) Symmetric arthritis which involves joints on both sides of the body. 5)
Nodules over bony prominences under the skin. 6) Abnormal amounts of rheumatoid factor found in blood
analysis. 7) X-ray changes of the hands/wrist noted ... erosions or bony decalcification. Surgery can
straighten crooked fingers.
RHEUMATOLOGIST: A physician who specializes in muscle and joint illness.
RHEUMATICA: Currently being researched.
RHEXIS: Another word for "rupture". Typically used in connection with blood vessels or organs.
RH FACTOR: A substance existing in the red blood cells of approximately 85% of people.
RHIN / (O): A combining word-form that means "nose".
RHINAL: A word that refers to the nose.
RHINITIS MEDICAMENTOSA: Nasal mucosa inflammation usually due to an improper medication.
RHINITIS: Inflammation that affects the noses internal lining.
RHINOLOGIST: One who specializes in the structures and diseases of the nose.
RHINOVIRUS: The virus that is responsible for the common cold.
RHINOLOGY: A division of the medical industry that deals with the structure and diseases of the nose.
RHINOPATHY: Any nose disease.
RHINOPLASTY: Repair of the nose by surgical techniques.
RHINORRHAGIA: Bleeding from the nose.
RHINORRHEA: Discharge from the nose.
RHINOTOMY: Cutting the nose.
RHIZOTOMY: Cutting the root of a spinal nerve to relieve pain.
RHL: Abbreviation for ... "right hepatic lobe".
RHODOPSIN: A pigment (red) existing in the rods of the eye.
RHOGAM TESTING: Correctly spelled ... "RhoGAM".
RHOMBOID: Referring to a ligament and two sides. Also, rhomboid muscle.
RHONCHUS: An added sound with musical pitch during inspiration or expiration ... rale.
RHUS DERMATITIS: Inflammation of the skin caused by poison ivy, oak or sumac.
RHYTHM STRIP: Readout for cardiac monitor.
RIB: A structure made from bone and cartilage that combine with other ribs to make up the chest cavity
(protects organs and other contents).
RIBA: A test that shows the presence of hepatitis C in the blood.
RIBOFLAVIN: Another word for vitamin B2. Riboflavin is a coenzyme involved in the breakdown of fats,
carbohydrates and proteins. Also, assists in the manufacture of antibodies, red blood cells and is required
for good vision, hair, nails. Deficiencies may lead to mouth sores, bloodshot eyes, skin inflammation,

malaise, digestive problems, oily skin, purple skin. See "vitamin B2 for more information.
RIBOSOME: Also called ... "the cells factory". Small particles which exist in a cells cytoplasm and known
to contain high amounts of RNA. Protein synthesis occurs from information obtained from "messenger
RICKETS: Disease associated with a lack of vitamin D.
RIEDEL'S THYROIDITIS: Inflammation of the thyroid combined with structures that resemble scar tissue.
The cause is unknown and typically affects middle aged and older women. Corrective procedures can
include thyroid pills (if hormone production ceases) or surgical removal of the scar like tissue.
RIFT VALLEY FEVER: A disease that resembles "dengue" and results from a mosquito-borne arbovirus.
RIGOR: 1. A violent attack of shivering that may come with chills and fever. 2. A rigid condition of the
tissues of the body.
RIGOR MORTIS: The stiffening of muscles that occurs after death.
RIGHT LYMPHATIC DUCT: A vessel that receives lump fluid from much of the right side of the body ...
the right side of the head, neck and thorax, the right arm, right lung, right side of the heart, the area of the
liver that drains into the right subclavian vein.
RIGIDITY: Stiffness.
RIMA: Another word for a "crack".
RIMA: Abbreviation for ... 1) "Internal mammary artery". 2) Internal mammary anastomosis".
RIMULA: A very tiny crack.
RING BLOCK TECHNIQUE: Currently being researched.
RINGER: The bag an IV fluid comes in.
RINGER'S SOLUTION: An IV solution made up from salt, potassium and calcium boiled in water ... used
for dehydration.
RINGWORM: The medical work is "tinea" which means "worm" in Latin. A fungus causes a scaly, flat spot
on the face that enlarges to form a ring with red borders and a flesh colored center. Many medicines have
been found to treat it.
RINNE TEST: A hearing test using tuning forks.
RISK FACTOR: Something that contributes to an increased chance of developing a disease.
RITTER'S DISEASE: Inflammation of the skin often seen in infants.
RLQ: Abbreviation for ... "right lower quadrant".
RN: Abbreviation for "registered nurse".
RNA: Abbreviation for "ribonucleic acid" ... nucleic acid molecule (one strand). RNA is used to transmit
genetic information from the DNA to the rest of the cells. DNA information is copied into RNA that can
then be read by the cell's ribosomes. RNA sometimes delivers information to cells which prompts them to
make changes in preparation for reproduction. RNA reproduces itself and often mutates because it is
often very unstable. This molecule is found in any cell that converts DNA genetic info into protein. Life
forms use it as a temporary carrier molecule of the permanently stored information contained in DNA.
RNA PLASMID: Also called ... "killer factors". Typically found in yeasts, they are not fully understood and
some scientists consider them viruses.
RNA POLYMERASE: An enzyme which initiates a reaction with ribonucleotides ... resulting in the simple
compound taking on a higher molecular weight in accordance with information present in DNA.
RNA SPLICING: Intron removal from RNA transcripts.
RNA TUMOR VIRUS: The viruses that have the ability to cause tumors (retroviruses) ... they are
surrounded by an outer covering made from the outer layer of the host cell.
RNA VIRUS: Viruses that use RNA instead of DNA to store genetic information.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER: Caused by a tick bite that produces an intense headache
combined with a fever and muscle aches. Often, nausea and vomiting also occur. Symptoms appear
approximately a week following the tick bite and two days following the onset of temperature; small red
dots appear on the skin that turns into small bruises ... if left untreated, 25% die. But, when treated with
the antibiotic Tetracycline deaths reduce to almost zero percent.
ROD(S): Components of the eye contained in the retina which accounts for a persons ability to see in
dark lighting conditions ... they transmit black, white and grey information.
RODENT ULCER: A sore typically located in the vicinity of the nose or inner corner of the eye.
ROENTGEN / (O): A combining word-form that means "x-ray".
ROENTGENOSCOPE: Also called ... "fluoroscope". A device used to make visible the patterns caused by
x-rays passing through the body.

ROMBERG'S SIGN: Swaying of the body or falling when standing with the feet close together and the
eyes closed. Cerebellum test.
RONGEUR: Surgical instrument. Device used to remove fragments of bone ... forceps.
R-ON-T PHENOMENON: A reading seen on EKGs ... it is a premature ventricular complex (QRS) which
interrupts the T-wave of he previous beat.
ROS: Abbreviation for ... "reactive oxygen species"
ROSACEA: Common skin condition where small blood vessels surface to cause permanent redness of
the face in the vicinity of the cheeks and nose ... it is the most common cause of red noses. The disease
starts as redness on the nose and/or cheeks and eventually turns into a permanent, deep red color.
Pimples and telangiectasis (small blood vessels which resemble spider webs) appear. Things which make
the condition worse includes ... sunlight, stress, spicy foods, alcohol, hot weather, scrubbing the skin and
hot beverages. Modern medicine uses metronidazole cream and antibiotics such as tetracycline.
ROSEOLA: Also called "exanthem subitum". It is a childhood disease (caused by the herpes 6 virus)
which strikes between the ages of six months and 2-years. At first a fever develops for 3-5 days
combined with a feeling of listlessness. Following that, the child feels more energetic but a red rash
develops. This is a strange disease in that symptoms appear separately.
ROSE FEVER: Another word for "hay fever".
ROSSBACH'S DISEASE: An abnormally large secretion of gastric fluids.
ROTATOR: A muscle that turns a body part in a circular fashion.
ROTAVIRUS: RNA viruses that are wheel-like in appearance. They cause infant diarrhea throughout the
ROTO-ROOTER: A colorful name for an operation ... carotid endarterectomy. The surgeon cuts into a
block artery and removes fatty buildup.
ROTOSCOLIOSIS: Deviation of the vertebral column (spine) in a lateral and rotational manner.
ROTULA: Another word for "kneecap".
ROTUND: Term sometimes used to describe the abdomen.
ROULEAU: A cluster of red blood cells on top of one another (lack a stack of pancakes). This condition
typically indicates an increase of plasma immunoglobulin.
ROUND LIGAMENT: Special tissue (fibrous) which connects the ends of bones ... round ligament of the
elbow joint (oblique ligament), round ligament of the femur (ligament of head of femur), round ligament of
liver (ligamentum teres hepatis), round ligament of the uterus (ligamentum teres uteri).
ROUTE OF TRANSMISSION: The method a disease is transmitted.
ROVSING'S SIGN: Pain at McBurney's point that happens due to appendicitis by palpating pressure over
the descending colon.
RP: Abbreviation for ... "resting pressure".
-RRHAGIA: A suffix which when added to a word means, "excessive flow".
-RRHAPHY: A suffix which when added to a word means, "to suture".
-RRHEA: A suffix which when added to a word means, "discharge".
-RRHEXIS: A suffix which when added to a word means, "rupture".
RSI: Abbreviation for "repetitive strain injury".
RSV: Abbreviation for "Rous Sarcoma Virus".
RUBEFACIENT: Something which causes the skin to turn red.
RUBELLA: Another word for German measles.
RUBEOLA: Synonymous with "measles" ... do not confuse with rubella.
RUBOR: Redness ... one of the signs of inflammation.
RUBRUM: Another word for "red".
RUBS: Term used during heart exam which means "friction rubs" ... it is a dry grating sound heard with a
RUDIMENTARY: Another word for "basic" ... "elementary".
RUGA: A fold ... crease.
RULE OF NINE: A term used to describe the extent of damage to burn victims.
RUOQ: Abbreviation for ... "right upper outer quadrant".
RUQ: Abbreviation for ... "right upper quadrant".
RUST RING: Often develops in the eye when a metallic foreign body is lodged.

RUGAE: Vaginal wrinkles.

RUMINATION: To "throw up".
RVR: Abbreviation for "Rapid Ventricular Response".
RX: A symbol for "prescription".

S1: The first normal heart sound heard.
S2: The second normal heart sound heard.
S3: Abnormal third heart sound (gallop)
S4: Abnormal fourth heart sound.
SAC: Another word for &quot;pouch&quot;.
SACCHARIN: Sweetening substance often used in place of sugar. Large amounts were shown to cause
bladder cancer in rats during the 1970's. The FDA almost banned it but then allowed its use if
manufacturers put warning labels on it.
SACCHARUM: Another word for &quot;sugar&quot;.
SACRAL: Pertaining to the sacrum.
SACR / (O): A combining word-form that means &quot;sacrum&quot;.
SACRODYNIA: Pain in the area of the sacrum.
SACROILIAC: Referring to the part of the skeleton that includes the sacrum and ilium bones of the pelvis.
SACROILIAC JOINT: Attaches the lowest part of the spine to one of the pelvis bones (ilium).
SACROILIITIS: Inflammation of the sacroiliac.
SACRUM: Triangular bone just below the lumbar vertebrae. It is the lowermost part of the spine.
SADDLE ANESTHESIA: Also called ... &quot;saddle block anesthesia&quot;. A type of spinal anesthesia
occurring in the buttocks, perineum and inner areas of the thighs.
SADDLE BLOCK ANESTHESIA: Also called ... &quot;saddle anesthesia&quot;. A type of spinal
anesthesia occurring in the buttocks, perineum and inner areas of the thighs.
SADISM: Sexual gratification from causing pain to another.
SAGITTAL: 1. In an anteroposterior direction. 2. Resembling an arrow.
SAGO LIVER: A patient having amyloid degeneration in which the acini resemble boiled sago grains.
SAL: Another word for &quot;salt&quot;.
SAIL SIGN: For the elbow.
SALICYLATE: A salt, ester of salicylic acid. Such compounds have analgesic, antipyretic and antiinflammatory properties ... main ingredient of aspirin.
SALINE: Another word for &quot;salt&quot;.
SALINE SOLUTION: 1. Another word for &quot;salt water&quot;. 2. A salt and water solution used to
substitute for a temporary loss of blood.
SALIVA: The digestive fluid secreted into the mouth by the salivary glands.
SALIVANT: Something that causes the salivary glands to excrete saliva.
SALIVARY GLANDS: Six glands (3 pairs) which produce saliva in the mouth ... submandibular (located
on the floor of the mouth), sublingual (located beneath the tongue ... on the floor of the mouth) and
parotid (located in the cheeks).
SALLOW: Sickly yellowish color ... usually in reference to the skin.
SALMONELLA: Bacteria that cause food poisoning ... it causes abdominal pain and diarrhea.
SALPING / O: A combining word-form that means &quot;fallopian tubes&quot; (uterine).
SALPINGECTOMY: To surgically remove a fallopian tube.
SALPINGITIS: Inflamed uterine (fallopian) tube .
SALPINGO-OOPHORECTOMY: An excision of an ovary and a fallopian tube.
SALPINX: pl salpinges ... fallopian tube(s).

SALUBRIOUS: Something that promotes health.

SALUTARY: Something that promotes health.
SALVE: An ointment that soothes and heals.
SAMTER'S TRIAD: A syndrome that includes an intolerance of aspirin, asthma and nasal polyps.
SANDBAG: Sometimes used in surgery to fixate (immobilize) a body part.
SANGER'S OPERATION: Cesarean section.
SANGUINE: Another word for &quot;bloody&quot;.
SANGUINEOUS: Relating to blood.
SAO2: Properly spelled ... &quot;SaO2&quot;. Abbreviation for ... &quot;arterial oxygen saturation&quot;.
SAPHENA: One of two large leg veins.
SAPHENOUS: Referring to the saphenous vein.
SAPONACEOUS: Soapy ... appearing as soap.
SAPONIFICATION: Conversion of fats into soaps.
SAPREMIA: Another word for &quot;blood poisoning&quot;.
SEROTONIN: A neurotransmitter critical to mood changes. A shortage of serotonin can lead to feelings of
depression and low self-worth.
SARCOCELE: Testicle tumor.
SARCOID: Obsolete term for a tumor that resembles a sarcoma.
SARCOIDOSIS: A disease of unknown cause that usually involves the lungs and results in fibrosis. Can
also involve other organs. Symptoms include breathlessness and cough. Often people with this disease
do not develop symptoms and require no treatment. However, others may require hospitalization.
Prednisone is often prescribed (year 2000).
SARCOMA: A malignant neoplasm that develops on connective tissue (bone, muscle, fat, lymphatic
SARCOPTES SCABIEI: A mite that causes intense rash and itching ... it lays eggs in a burrow in the skin.
SART: Abbreviation for ... &quot;standard acid reflux test&quot;.
SARTORIUS: One of the muscles of the thigh.
SATIETY CENTER: An area of the brain in the hypothalamus. When this are is destroyed in rats it results
in constant eating and obesity.
SATURATED FAT: 1. A fat which is incapable of absorbing any more hydrogen. 2. The type of fat
typically found in animal products, creams, cheese, milk, ice cream, butter, fats at the edge of meats, lard.
Also it is contained in some vegetable oils like coconut, palm.
SBO: Abbreviation for ... &quot;small bowel obstruction&quot;.
S.C.: Correctly spelled ... &quot;s.c.&quot;. Abbreviation for ... &quot;subcutaneously&quot;.
SCABIES: An eruption caused by a mite that burrows into the skin.
SCALENE: Triangular shaped muscle.
SCALENUS: One of the three cervical neck muscles so named and connected to the first two ribs.
SCALL: Disease of the scalp.
SCALPEL: A surgical instrument that resembles a knife.
SCAPHOID: Boat-shaped; hollowed.
SCAPULA: The flat triangular bone in the back of the shoulder. It is also called the &quot;shoulder
SCARLATINA: Another word for &quot;scarlet fever&quot;.
SCARLET FEVER: A disease which is contagious resulting in the following symptoms ... fever, chills, sore
throat, discolored tongue and skin rash.
SCATEMIA: Poison in the intestinal tract.
SCHATZKI'S RING: A diaphragm in the esophagus (lower third).
SCHEUERMANN'S DISEASE: A problem of the spinal column. It is a condition that typically commences
in young people, at the time of puberty. The backbones of the upper back are usually involved resulting in
collapse of the front of the bones. Correction at older ages can include surgery, exercise and bracing.
Pain is often controlled with medications via epidural injections.
SCHISTASIS: A fissure existing since birth.
SCHIZOPHRENIA: Also called &quot;split mind&quot;. It separates behavior, emotions and thinking. It
first appears in young adults or late adolescence. The cause is still unknown. Primary symptoms are
hallucinations, delusions and irrational speaking. Info can be obtained from the American Psychiatric
Association @ 202-682-6000.

SCHWANNOMA: Also called &quot;schwann cell tumor neurilemoma&quot;. It is a benign tumor that
develops in some nerve coverings.
SCIATICA: A sometimes severe and chronic type of back pain. Usually caused by a slipped or ruptured
disc which causes pressure on a large sciatic nerve located in the back of the thigh.
SCHIZOAFFECTIVE: Having a mixture of symptoms including schizophrenia and mood disorder.
SCHIZOAFFECTIVE DISORDER: Mental disorders that exhibit mood anomalies combined with
SCIATIC: Near the hip.
SCIATIC NERVE: Long nerve (the bodies longest) extending through the thigh, leg and foot. It is a nerve
cable that exits from the spinal cord of the lower back. Irritation of the nerve can cause back pain and
pain all the way to the foot. Two typical problems are bulging discs and narrowing of the spinal canal.
Some signs that may be due to sciatica includes leg weakness, numbness in the groin, numbness in the
rectal area, difficulty controlling bowel movements, difficulty controlling urination.
SCLERA: The white area of the eye.
SCLERAE ANICTERIC: No evidence of yellow sclerae.
SCLERODERMA: Skin thickening due to fibrous tissue. Internal organs can also be targeted. Most
scleroderma patients suffer from Raynaud's disease. Scleroderma Foundation @ 1-800-722-4673.
SCLEROSING CHOLANGITIS: A rare liver disease.
-SCLEROSIS: A suffix that means ... &quot;hardening&quot;.
SCOLIOSIS: Abnormal S-shaped curvature of the spine causing one shoulder to be higher than the other
and one leg longer than the other. Treatment hinges on how large the curve is, how it affects health, the
age of the patient and how it progresses yearly. Often scoliosis does not progress after bone matures but
some curves continue to increase throughout life. Treatments include back braces and surgery.
-SCOPE: A suffix that means ... &quot;device that allows visual examination&quot;.
SCOTOMA: A defect of sight which result in a shimmering film and an area in the visual field where vision
is decreased or absent.
SCREENING: Blood analysis to determine disease.
SCROTUM: The pouch that contains the testicles of males.
SCURF: Another word for dandruff.
SCURVY: An outbreak of petechiae due to a Vitamin C deficiency. Symptoms include weakness,
bleeding and skin swelling.
SD: Abbreviation for &quot;Skin Dose&quot;.
SEBACEOUS: Fatty, oily.
SEBACEOUS CYST: Obstructed (plugged) sebaceous gland (oil gland) which causes swelling. Infected
cysts are typically cut open and drained ... then, the line of the cyst is removed.
SEBACEOUS GLANDS: Glands that are located near the surface of the skin ... they excrete fatty oils
(sebum) into hair follicles.
SEBORRHEA: Overactive sebaceous gland producing sebum that results in oily skin.
SEBORRHEIC: See &quot;seborrhea&quot;.
SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS: A common inflammation of the skin which usually involves the scalp ... is
similar to dandruff. Nizoral shampoo is typically prescribed to kill the fungus that is believed to cause it. A
powerful medication used to control skin and scalp inflammation is Kenalog spray (cortisone drug) ...
long-term use can cause thinning of the scalp skin and shut down the adrenal glands production of
SEBORRHEIC KERATOSES: Also called &quot;barnacles&quot;. They are patches of skin, which vary in
size from 0.33 inch to several inches. They can be black, brown or yellow and appear as though they
have been glued to the skin. The surfaces can have small cracks that can give the appearance of
cauliflower. They can also have a smooth appearance. They occur in families and do not result in cancer.
They can be removed with liquid nitrogen or a curette.
SEBUM: The oily substance that is secreted by the sebaceous glands.
SEC: Correctly spelled ... &quot;sec&quot;. Abbreviation for ... &quot;second&quot;.
SECONDARY HYPERTENSION: Elevated high blood pressure caused by a disease or infection.
SECOND GENERATION HEPATITIS C ANTIBODY TESTS: Test developed following 1992 as a more
sensitive indicator for the antibodies that are produced by the body in response to the hepatitis C virus.
SECOND IMPACT SYNDROME: A swelling of the brain that can lead to coma and death following a

SECRETIN: A secretion (hormone) which is manufactured in the intestines (small) to stimulate the liver
and pancreas.
SECRETOR: One of approximately 85% of the general population who secrete the ABO antigen into
body secretions ... i.e., semen, saliva, and perspiration.
SECTI / (O): A combining word-form that means &quot;cut&quot;.
SECUNDIGRAVIDA: A female during her second pregnancy.
SECUNDINES: Material of afterbirth.
SEDATIVE: A medication that tranquilizes ... calms nervous irritations.
SEDIMENTATION RATE: An &quot;erythrocyte sedimentation rate&quot; is a blood test used to indicate
the presence of inflammation in the body. It is a measurement of how far blood settles to the bottom of a
test tube. Slow sedimentation rates are seen with malignancy, intense infections and inflammatory
SED RATE: A shortened term for ... &quot;sedimentation rate&quot;. An &quot;erythrocyte sedimentation
rate&quot; is a blood test used to indicate the presence of inflammation in the body. It is a measurement
of how far blood settles to the bottom of a test tube. Slow rates are seen with malignancy, intense
infections and inflammatory disorders.
SEG's: Segmented leukocyte neutrophils.
SEGMENTED NEUTROPHILS: White blood cells that are in the process of dividing. When a large
number of segmented white blood cells are observed it typically means that the body is mounting a
vigorous response to infection.
SELDINGER TECHNIQUE: A method of inserting a catheter into an artery or vein.
SELECTIVE SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITORS: A classification of antidepressant medications.
SELENIUM: An antioxidant trace element that is found in shellfish, meat, poultry, grains, garlic, egg yolks.
DOSAGE: Recommended daily allowance is approximately 60 micrograms. LIMITS: A toxic reaction can
occur at levels above 400 micrograms a day. Selenium is typically involved in enzymes that are
antioxidants. Selenium is associated with the lowering of cancer risk (breast, colon, lung and prostate
cancers) and diseases involving the blood vessels of the heart. It is also considered an anti-aging agent
and preserves the elasticity of tissues. It has also been used to counteract dandruff.
SELENOSIS: A toxic reaction to selenium marked by hair loss and brittle nails.
SELLA: Skull depression that is shaped like a saddle.
SELLA TURCICA: A bony part that resembles a saddle and exists on the upper surface of the sphenoid
bone (irregular bone at the base of the skull).
SEMEIOSIS: A philosophy to treat disease based on symptoms.
SEMEN: A fluid of male animals that is capable of impregnating females.
SEMENURIA: A condition where semen is found in urine.
SEMI-: A prefix (word part) meaning &quot;partial&quot; or &quot;half&quot;.
SEMICIRCULAR CANALS: Three tubular structures of the ear
SEMILUNAR: The bone of the wrist.
SEMINAL VESICLES: Glands at the base of the urinary bladder that opens into the vas derens where it
joins the urethra.
SENESCENT: The condition of being old.
SENILE: Another word for &quot;old&quot;.
SENILE KERATODERMA: A lesion that resembles a wart and is considered to be premalignant. It occurs
in elderly, light skinned people on areas of the skin, which have been exposed to the sun (face and
hands). A cutaneous horn sometimes develops. Squamous (scaly) cell carcinoma may result when left
untreated. Synonyms are: actinic keratosis, senile keratoderma, senile keratoma, senile keratosis,
keratosis senilis, senile wart, solar keratosis, verruca plana senilis, and verruca senilis.
SENILE KERATOMA: A lesion that resembles a wart and is considered to be premalignant. It occurs in
elderly, light skinned people on areas of the skin, which have been exposed to the sun (face and hands).
A cutaneous horn sometimes develops. Squamous (scaly) cell carcinoma may result when left untreated.
Synonyms are ... actinic keratosis, senile keratoderma, senile keratoma, senile keratosis, keratosis
senilis, senile wart, solar keratosis, verruca plana senilis, and verruca senilis.
SENILE KERATOSIS: A lesion that resembles a wart and is considered to be premalignant. It occurs in
elderly, light skinned people on areas of the skin, which have been exposed to the sun (face and hands).
A cutaneous horn sometimes develops. Squamous (scaly) cell carcinoma may result when left untreated.

Synonyms are ... actinic keratosis, senile keratoderma, senile keratoma, senile keratosis, keratosis
senilis, senile wart, solar keratosis, verruca plana senilis, and verruca senilis.
SENILE WART: A lesion that resembles a wart and is considered to be premalignant. It occurs in elderly,
light skinned people on areas of the skin, which have been exposed to the sun (face and hands). A
cutaneous horn sometimes develops. Squamous (scaly) cell carcinoma may result when left untreated.
Synonyms are ... actinic keratosis, senile keratoderma, senile keratoma, senile keratosis, keratosis
senilis, senile wart, solar keratosis, verruca plana senilis, and verruca senilis.
SENILIS: Cornea.
SENNE: A bad tasting ingredient found in many laxatives. Too much can cause dehydration, diarrhea,
nausea and cramping in the abdominal area.
SENSIBILITY: Another word for &quot;sensitivity&quot;.
SENSITIZED: Having an immune response to something that was previously contacted.
SENSORIUM: An organ of sensation; hypothetical seat of sensation ... nerve center.
SENSORY: Related to the senses.
SENTIENT: Characterized by sensation ... sensitive.
SENTINEL NODE: The first lymph node in a chain under the arms.
SEPSIS: Bacterial poisoning of the blood that sets off a chain of chemical reactions that results in
inflammation and clotting. Death can occur due to the destruction of a person's internal organs.
SEPTATION: Divide into parts.
SEPTIC: Due to putrefaction ... bacterial poisoning.
SEPTICEMIA: Poisoned blood.
SEPTUM: A partition that separates two cavities.
SEPTUM PELLUCIDUM: Also called ... &quot;transparent septum&quot;. Brain tissue that contains a thin
plate of nerve cells and fibers. It is located in the vicinity of the corpus callosum.
SEQUELAE: 1. A condition which is due to a disease ... disease after effects. 2. Sequelae can also mean,
SEQUESTRUM: A fragment of dead bone that is separated (totally or partly) from a nearby bone. Plural is
SERINE: An amino acid which is categorized as ... &quot;non-essential&quot; (note that this does not
mean the amino acid is not essential to the body ... rather, it means the amino acid is not produced by the
body and must be obtained by outside sources). It assists in the liver and muscle storage of glucose. It
also improves the immune system by helping to manufacture antibodies and the sheath around nerves.
SERM: Abbreviation for ... &quot;selective estrogen receptor modulator&quot; medications (example,
Evista) which duplicates the effect of estrogen on some estrogen-sensitive tissues of the body (excluding
breast and uterine tissue).
SEROLOGIC: Relating to &quot;serology&quot;.
SEROLOGY: The science of serums and how they react.
SEROMA: A mass that results from the collection of serum in an organ or tissue.
SERONEGATIVE: A serum test (typically a blood test) which is negative.
SEROPOSITIVE: A serum test (typically a blood test) which is positive.
SEROSANGUINEOUS: Denoting an exudate or discharge composed of serum and blood.
SEROTONIN: A vasoconstrictor chemical associated with sleep, concentration and relaxation. It is found
in the brain, gastrointestinal tract (inhibits gastric secretions) and blood (released by platelets). Stimulates
circulation ... smooth muscles. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter critical to mood changes. A shortage of
serotonin can lead to feelings of depression and low self-worth. The serotonin molecule is used by nerve
cells to complete the execution of electrical signals across synaptic gaps. Also, it will naturally convert into
melatonin in the pineal gland of the brain. There appears to be a link between serotonin and appetite,
mood, awareness of pain and sleep. Serotonin abnormalities have been associated with aggression,
anxiety, alcohol abuse, depression, drug abuse, eating disorders, headaches (including migraines),
irritability, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and sleep disorders.
SEROTYPING: i.e. Influenza types; see serovar.
SEROUS: Watery.
SEROUS FLUID: Thin, watery fluid.
SEROVAR: A subdivision of a species distinguishable from other strains.
SERPIGINOUS: Denoting a wavy margin.

SERRATE: Notched or toothed on the edge.

SERUM: The clear fluid portion of blood.
SERUM HEPATITIS: Hepatitis (viral) transmitted via human blood exposure.
SESAMOID: Referring to the &quot;sesamoid&quot; bone.
SESAMOID BONE: A bone within a tendon.
SGOT: Abbreviation for &quot;serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase&quot;. It is an enzyme that (in
the liver) helps to remove excess nitrogen by converting it into aspirate that is then disposed in the urine.
SGPT: Abbreviation for ... &quot;serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase&quot;. Also called ...
&quot;ALT&quot; (alanine aminotransferase). It is an enzyme seen predominantly in the liver and
released into the blood system when the liver is damaged.
SHANK: The area of the leg that extends from the ankle to the knee.
SHARPS CONTAINER: A storage device for used needles.
SHEATH: Tube like structure that surrounds parts of the body i.e. the sheath of the rectus abdominis
SHIGELLA: Dysentery causing organism.
SHILE-BORG: Mechanical valve (aortic valve replacement).
SHILEY: A type of catheter.
SHIN: The area of the lower leg located anteriorly (in front).
SHINGLES: Herpes zoster. It is the chickenpox virus that causes shingles and can hide in nerve cells for
life. Outbreaks result in rash and pain. Post herpetic neuralgia is a painful and sometimes excruciating
complication of shingles that can damage nerves. Primarily this is a disease of older people but is known
to affect children rarely. Usually people only have one episode of the disease in their life. However,
multiple recurrences are not unheard of.
SHIN SPLINTS: A condition of pain and inflammation of the muscles region.
SHOCK: An abnormality which occurs in the blood system which results in a large decrease in blood
pressure, fast pulse, sweaty skin, pallor and fast heart rate.
SHORT LEG CAST: A device (mold) which is meant to keep bone(s) in place.
SHORTNESS OF BREATH: Causes include lung illness (bronchitis and emphysema) ... major heart
failure (fails to pump adequate blood to the lungs) ... blood illness (low red blood cell count.
SHOTTY: Currently being researched.
SHOTTY CERVICAL LYMPHADENOPATHY: Currently being researched.
SHOULDER CAPSULE: A sleeve of tissues and ligaments that holds the shoulder joint in place.
SHOULDER CUFF: See &quot;cuff&quot;. Currently being researched.
SHOW: A discharge that occurs from the vagina prior to the commencement (beginning) of labor.
SHUCK: Currently being researched.
SHUNT: To bypass ... a connection between two points ... often used when referring to blood vessels.
SHY-DRAGER SYNDROME: Encephalomyelopathy resulting in iris atrophy. It resembles Parkinson's and
usually targets older people. Symptoms include rigid muscles, a shuffled walk, poor balance, and
dizziness when getting up from a sitting or lying position, loss of bladder control, constipation, lack of
sweating. It is considered to be a nervous system problem because the nerve reflex that constricts
arteries to maintain blood pressure is not operational. By standing, the blood pressure is lost and
dizziness or fainting is a result. Sufferers of this disease ailment should consume a lot of salt that retains
body fluids to counteract falling blood pressures. Often prescribed is the medication Florinef for a salt
retention. Tight elastic stocking should be worn to keep blood from pooling in the legs ... this stagnation in
leg veins can cause blood pressure to drop.
SI: Abbreviation for &quot;sacroiliac&quot;.
SIADH: Abbreviation for &quot;Syndrome of Inappropriate Secretion of antidiuretic hormone&quot;.
SIALADEN: Another word for &quot;salivary gland&quot;.
SIALADENITIS: Salivary gland inflammation.
SIALAGOGUE: Something, which promotes the flow of saliva.
SIALINE: Referring to saliva.
SIALOLITHIASIS: A medical term for stones in the salivary glands or ducts. The stones develop due to
high calcium and phosphate salts in saliva. Dry mouth may occur in sufferers due to the blockage of
saliva. Treatment may be as simple as a dentist or oral surgeon manually manipulating the stone by
pushing or squeezing the stone out of the duct. Surgical incision may be required in other cases. Surgical

removal of the gland itself is a treatment for chronic cases. These types of stones are not dangerous and
are not related to cancer.
SICCATIVE: Another word for &quot;drying&quot;.
SICKLE CELL ANEMIA: A blood disorder that is identified by crescent (sickle) shaped red blood cells.
SICK SINUS SYNDROME: Irregular atrial functioning demonstrated by changes in the P-wave of an
EKG. Also, characterized by bradycardia, ectopic beats and tachycardia. Note that is has nothing to do
with head sinuses. It is a condition in which specialized cells of the heart fail to provide the electrical
impulses that keep the heart beating regularly. Dizziness, fainting and confusing can result due to lack of
oxygen to the brain. A viral infection of the heart or a blockage that restricts blood to the sinus node is
sometimes the cause but more times than not a clear cause cannot be given. The cure is usually the
installation of a heart pacemaker.
SIDEROBLASTIC ANEMIA: A condition where hemoglobin does not contain enough iron ... lack of
oxygen. Can be due to bone marrow disorders, lead poisoning, alcohol consumption. Blood transfusions
can alleviate symptoms for a while. A small percentage responds to the B-vitamin pyridoxine.
SIDS: Abbreviation for &quot;sudden infant death syndrome&quot;. Also, called &quot;crib death&quot;. It
strikes normal (?) babies and even the most prompt emergency treatment is usually ineffective.
SIGMOID: Something in the shape of an &quot;S&quot;.
SIGMOIDOSCOPE: Device used to inspect the lower colon ... it is a thin, flexible lighted tube.
SIGMOIDOSCOPY: A procedure which uses a sigmoidoscope (device used to inspect the lower colon) ...
it is a thin, flexible lighted tube which inspects the lower area of the bowels (colon).
SIGN: Something seen by the examiner. It is indicative of a problem.
SILENT GALLSTONES: Those that do not promote a gallstone attack.
SILICON: A mineral that is categorized as &quot;non-essential&quot;. Body structures that contain a
relatively large amount of silicon ... include arteries; connective tissue, cornea, the whites of the eye
(sclera), tendons. Silicon is found in cartilage and the material which &quot;glues&quot; cells together.
SILICOSIS: A lung condition seen in those who work with stone dust.
SIMPLE FACEMASK: See section on &quot;oxygen supplementation&quot;.
SINCIPUT: The upper portion of the head.
SINEW: Another word for tendon.
SINGEING: As with a burn.
SINGULTUS: Hiccup. They are spasms of the diaphragm muscle. Chronic hiccups can be treated by
injecting a drug called &quot;chlorpromazine&quot;. Also, electrical stimulation of the nerve which serves
the diaphragm (phrenic nerve).
SINISTER: Another word for &quot;left&quot;.
SINOATRIAL NODE: The &quot;pacemaker of the heart&quot;. It initiates the electrical signals, which
causes the heart to beat ... located in the upper right chamber of the heart.
SINUS: 1) An opening or cavity of a bone. 2) One of the air filled spaces behind and below the eyes
which help to amplify the voice. They are lined by thin membrane that manufactures mucus.
SINUSES OF VALSALVA: Three hollow areas located in the wall of the primary heart artery (aorta).
SINUSITIS: A condition in which one or more of the air-filled spaces around the nose becomes blocked
and inflamed. Symptoms include stuffy, congested nose, sinus pressure and headache pain.
Decongestants reduce the pressure to relieve the pressure and are often combined with pain relievers.
SINUS NODE: An area of specialized heart cells that acts to provide the electrical impulses that beats the
SINUSOID: Pertaining to the sinusoidal capillary which is a blood vessel that exhibits a larger and more
irregular width than typical capillaries.
SINUSOIDAL CAPILLARY: Blood vessels that are thin-walled and larger than ordinary capillaries.
SINUSOTOMY: To cut into a sinus.
SINUS RHYTHM: An expected natural, regular heart rhythm.
SIRIASIS: The medical term for &quot;sunstroke&quot;. (Note: if looking for the skin disease then see
SITUS INVERSUS: Reversing position. For example, a heart being where the liver should be and vice
SITZ-BATH: A sitting bath used for therapy.
SKELALGIA: Pain in the leg.
SKIN: The largest immune organ of the body. It excretes immunity agents to protect us when injured.

SKULL: The 22 bones of the head.

SJOGREN'S SYNDROME: Lymphocytes invade salivary glands causing dry mouth. Sometimes the tear
ducts are also affected to cause dry eyes. Sometimes prescribed is the medicine &quot;Salagen&quot;
which can stimulate saliva production.
SLAP CHEEK DISEASE&quot;: Also called &quot;fifth disease&quot; or &quot;erythema infectiosa&quot;
or &quot;&quot;parvovirus B-19&quot;. A childhood disease that usually runs its course in 1-3 weeks ... it
is similar to the measles and produces a runny nose and sometimes headache. During the fifth to sixth
day the child's cheeks turn bright red and a rash typically covers the body. Adults have also been known
to contract the disease and the symptoms may include joint pain and swelling that mirrors rheumatoid
arthritis (not permanent). However, sometimes the joint pain and swelling can last for months and even
years. Also, inflamed heart muscles may occur in adults but rarely in children.
SLEEPING SICKNESS: Also called &quot;encephalitis&quot;. A brain infection which results in
SLING: A method of supporting and extremity (leg or arm).
SLING AND SWATHE: A method of immobilizing the arm.
SLIPPED DISC: Also referred to as ... &quot;ruptured disc&quot; ... &quot;ruptured invertebral disc&quot;
... &quot;herniated invertebral disc&quot; ... &quot;herniated nucleus pulposus&quot;. It is a breach in the
cartilage that encompasses a spinal disc. Fluids leak out and are no longer available to cushion the
backbones thus causing pain and damage to nerve roots. Typically occurs in the low back region and
associated with intense trauma or strain. Symptoms may include pain of the lower back with pain
radiating down one leg ... pain in the neck radiating down one arm. The pain increases with activity,
laughing, coughing or strained bowl movements. Muscle weakness and/or numbness can result
depending on which spinal nerve is involved. The most common complications are bowel and bladder
dysfunctions. Treatments include surgery (laminectomy) ... medications (muscle relaxants and
analgesics) ... natural methods. The natural method makes use of hot and cold compresses to control
pain and exercise to shore up abdominal and back muscles. Back braces and traction is often prescribed.
Finally, education in relaxation and proper posture to rejuvenate.
SLIT LAMP: An eye examining instrument that combines a microscope and rectangular source of light
that can be narrowed into a slit.
SLIT LAMP EXAM: A type of eye exam that uses a &quot;slit lamp&quot;.
SLOUGH: Dead skin ready to separate from the good skin.
SMA: Abbreviation for &quot;sequential multi-channel auto-analyzer&quot;.
SMA-6: Abbreviation for &quot;Sequential Multi-channel Auto Analyzer&quot;. Sodium, potassium,
chloride, carbon dioxide, blood urea nitrogen and glucose.
SMA-12: SMA-6 plus creatinine, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH); serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase
(SGOT); serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT); Protein and Albumin.
SMAC: Abbreviation for &quot;sequential multiple analyzer computer&quot;. It is a blood test performed
by a general, chemistry panel, and screening tool. It provides measurements for sodium, potassium,
chloride, CO2, creatinine, BUN, glucose, uric acid, calcium, phosphorus, total protein, albumin, bilirubin,
alkaline phosphatase, GGT (gamma glutamyl transpeptidase), SGPT, LDH, CPK, cholesterol,
triglycerides, amylase, lactic acid and magnesium.
SMALL BOWEL ENEMA: A barium liquid enema that is placed into the small intestines by passing a
small tube through the nose (or mouth). This procedure is typically performed to enhance x-rays of the
small intestines.
SMALL BOWEL FOLLOW THROUGH: A barium liquid enema which is placed into the small intestines by
passing a small tube through the nose (or mouth). This procedure is typically performed to enhance xrays of the small intestines.
SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER: Also called ... &quot;oat cell cancer&quot;. The name is derived due to
the fact that the cancer cells resemble (under a microscope) small, &quot;oat grains&quot;. It develops in
the airways of the lungs (bronchi) and can quickly spread to the adrenal glands, brain, bones and liver.
Typical treatment in the year 2001 consists of radiation and chemotherapy. The usual cause is from
tobacco smoke, asbestos and radiation.
SMALL INTESTINE: The longest portion of the digestive tract and the primary site of food absorption ... it
is located between the stomach and large intestine. It is divided into three parts: 1) the duodenum, 2)
ileum, 3) jejunum.
SMALLPOX: A contagious viral disease that results in erupted pustules (red spots containing pus) which

often cause permanent scarring. Other symptoms include fever, vomiting and pain.
SMEAR: A sample of a body secretion placed on a piece of glass for study under the microscope.
SMITH-PETERSEN GOOSENECK GOUGE: Surgical instrument / aid ... designed to cut bone.
SMT: Abbreviation for ... &quot;spinal manipulation therapy&quot;.
SNUFFBOX: A triangular depression on the dorsum of the wrist at its radial border ... anatomical
SNUFFLES: A nasal discharge that occurs in infants ... yellow in color.
SODIUM: Categorized as an essential mineral. An abnormal increase in the amount of sodium results in
the accumulation of watery fluid in cells (edema). An abnormally low level of sodium in the body can lead
to dehydration. The sodium in the body is primarily concentrated in bones ... a minute amount migrates to
the interior of cells ... the remainder of the body's sodium in found in the fluids in the immediate vicinity of
cells. Sodium is known to be involved in various body processes like ... preserve fluid equilibrium, nerve
pulse transmissions, muscle tension at rest and transportation of nutrients. Blood serum sodium levels
are seen during extreme sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, frequent urinations. Medications can also cause
increased sodium levels like carbenoxolone, diazoxide, guanethidine, licorice, methyldopa,
oxyphenbutazone, sodium bicarbonate, methoxyflurane, and reserpine.
SODIUM ALGINATE: A carbohydrate derived from seaweed. It provides protection from many types of
carcinogens, pollutants and other poisons. It is also said to block the absorption of radioactive materials
into living tissue. Also, it is said to normalize bowel abnormalities.
SODOKOSIS: Another word for &quot;rat bite fever&quot;.
SODOMY: Another word for male sexual relations. Also, &quot;bestiality&quot;.
SOFT PALATE: The posterior (rear) area of the palate.
SOLAR FEVER: Also called ... &quot;aden fever&quot;, &quot;bouquet fever&quot;, breakbone
fever&quot;, &quot;dandy fever&quot;, &quot;date fever&quot;, &quot;dengue fever&quot;,
&quot;exanthesis arthrosia&quot;, &quot;polka fever&quot;, &quot;scarlatina rheumatica&quot;,
&quot;dengue&quot;. A viral disease that exists in tropical and subtropical areas of the world ...
transmitted by mosquitos. Grade I symptoms are fever and general constitutional problems. Grade II
symptoms are the same as Grade I but with spontaneous bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract, gums and
skin. Grade III symptoms are the same as the first two but with circulatory failure added. Grade IV
symptoms add to the first three profound shocks.
SOLAR KERATOSIS: A lesion that resembles a wart and is considered to be premalignant. It occurs in
elderly, light skinned people on areas of the skin, which have been exposed to the sun (face and hands).
A cutaneous horn sometimes develops. Squamous (scaly) cell carcinoma may result when left untreated.
Synonyms are: actinic keratosis, senile keratoderma, senile keratoma, senile keratosis, keratosis senilis,
senile wart, solar keratosis, verruca plana senilis, and verruca senilis.
SOLAR PLEXUS: The upper portion of the abdomen where nerves congregate.
SOLEUS: Leg muscle.
SOLUBLE: Capable of being dissolved.
SOLUTION: A mixture of solids and liquids.
SOLVENT: A mixture of solids and liquids that dissolves substances.
SOMATALGIA: Generalized body aches.
SOMATIC: Pertaining to the body in general ... cells of the body other than egg or sperm.
SOMATIC CELL NUCLEAR TRANSFER: The transfer of a cell nucleus from a somatic cell into an egg
from which the nucleus has been removed.
SOMATIZATION: Physical symptoms being caused by psychological reasons.
SOMNAMBULANCE: 1. Sleepwalking; a condition occurring during sleep that is marked by moving parts
of the body, usually ending up by walking about with no memory whatsoever upon awakening. 2. A
hypnotic state which is characterized by full possession of the senses with no memory of an episode
SOMNAMBULISM: Another word for &quot;sleep walking&quot;.
SOMNIFACIENT: Something that causes sleep.
SOMNIFEROUS: Something that causes sleep.
SOMNILOQUISM: Sleep talking.
SOMNOLENCE: Sleepiness.
SOMNOLENT: Another word for &quot;sleepy&quot;.

SAPONATUS: Combined with soap.

SOPOR: Another word for &quot;coma&quot;.
SOPORIFIC: Something that causes sleep.
SOR: Abbreviation for &quot;stimulus-organism response&quot;.
SORE THROAT: Inflamed tonsils, pharynx (throat) or larynx (voice box).
SPACE OF RETZIUS: The area &quot;behind the pubic bone&quot;.
SPACER BLOCKS: Surgical instrument / aid.
SPARGOSIS: Breast swelling due to accumulation of milk.
SPASM: The tensing of a muscle (involuntary).
SPASMODIC: Referring to &quot;spasms&quot;.
SPASMOLYTIC: Something that counteracts spasms.
SPASMOPHEMIA: Another word for &quot;stuttering&quot;.
SPASTIC: Referring to spasms.
SPASTICITY: Sustained, increased muscle contraction.
SPECULUM: Instrument used to enlarge a cavity or canal.
SPERM: The male liquid that is responsible for female fertilization.
SPERMATOCELE: Also called ... &quot;spermatocyst&quot;. A cyst (containing sperm) located on the
long structure connected to the posterior surface of the testes for the transportation of sperm.
SPERMATOCIDAL: Something that kills sperm.
SPERMATOCYST: Also called ... &quot;spermatocele&quot;. A cyst (containing sperm) located on the
long structure connected to the posterior surface of the testes for the transportation of sperm.
SP GR: Correctly spelled ... &quot;sp gr&quot;. Abbreviation for ... &quot;specific gravity&quot;.
SPHACELATE: Referring to gangrene (death of body tissue).
SPHENOID BONE: An irregularly shaped bone at the base of the skull.
SPHEROCYTOSIS: Condition of diseased red blood cells.
SPHINCTER: A type of body muscle that closes an opening.
SPHINCTEROTOME: Currently being researched.
SPHINGOMYELIN LIPIDOSIS: Also called ... &quot;Niemann-Pick disease&quot; and &quot;Niemann
disease&quot;. An inherited ailment that occurs mostly in Jewish infants and typically leads to early death
... a lesser form rarely inflicts adults. It results in a gathering of phospholipids (a lipid containing
phosphorus) in macrophages (immunity cells) of the bone marrow, liver, lymph glands and spleen ... this
results in an enlarged spleen, lymph nodes and liver. It also results in malnutrition.
SPHYGM / (O): A combining word-form that means &quot;pulse&quot;.
SPHYGMIC: Referring to &quot;pulses&quot;.
SPHYGMOMANOMETER: A device used to measure blood pressure consisting of an inflatable cuff.
SPICA BANDAGE: A roller bandage that is applied in a spiral manner around a limb ... figure of eight.
SPIDER ANGIOMATA: Arterial spider. Small branches extending from an arteriole of the skin which
resembles the legs of a spider. Characteristic of liver disease and pregnancy.
SPIGELIAN HERNIA: A hernia located below the navel and to the right or left. They can be serious if a
part of the intestine is trapped there.
SPINA: Another word for &quot;spine&quot;.
SPINA BIFIDA: Incomplete closing of the bony covering which surrounds the spinal cord.
SPINAL COLUMN: A series of bones that make up the &quot;backbone&quot;. A hollow
&quot;canal&quot; passes through the center of &quot;backbone&quot; and houses the &quot;spinal
cord&quot; (diameter approximately equal to one's little finger). The spinal cord passes information to and
from the brain in the form of electrical nerve impulses.
SPINAL CORD: A portion of the nervous system that transmits electrical impulses to and from the brain ...
enclosed by the &quot;spinal column&quot;.
SPINAL CURVATURE: A bend in the spine that deviates away from the normal.
SPINAL FRACTURE: Another word for &quot;broken back&quot;.
SPINALIS MUSCLE: A portion of the erector spine muscle consisting of the spinalis capitis, spinalis
cervices and spinalis thoracis muscle.
SPINAL NERVES: Thirty-one pairs of nerves which connect to the spinal cord and send fibers to muscles
of the ... trunk ... extremities ... involuntary nerve fibers leading glands and muscles (smooth) of the GI
(Gastrointestinal), GU (Genitourinary) and C.V. (Cardiovascular) systems.
SPINE: Another word for the sharp &quot;backbone&quot; ... T-spine; LS-spine; C-spine.

SPINE-TECH: Surgical instrument / aid ... for bone harvesting.

SPIRADENITIS: Also called ... &quot;hidradenitis&quot;, &quot;hydradenitis&quot;. Sweat gland
SPIRIT: A solution that usually consists of 10% alcohol.
SPIRITS OF AMMONIA: Combination of alcohol and ammonia.
SPIROMETER: An instrument that indicates the quantity of gasses contained in larger vessels.
SPIROMETRY: Making pulmonary measurements with a spirometer.
SPLEEN: Located in the upper left side of the abdomen near the stomach. It is the largest structure of the
lymph system. It frees up hemoglobin which the liver processes into bilirubin. It gobbles up platelets. It is
commonly believed that the spleen has many other purposes that are not fully understood. A ruptured
spleen can cause death due to massive bleeding. Anytime the spleen is enlarged it is vulnerable. Mono
causes an enlarged spleen.
SPLENALGIA: Spleen pain.
SPLENAUXE: An enlarged spleen.
SPLENECTOMY: The removal of the spleen.
SPLENIC: Referring to the spleen.
SPLENIC FLEXURE: Also called the &quot;left colic flexure&quot;. It is the area (bend) which occurs
where the descending and transverse colon meet.
SPLENIC FLEXURE SYNDROME: A pain that recurs due to a pocket of gas that is trapped in the large
intestine located just below the spleen.
SPLENITIS: Spleen inflammation.
SPLENIUS CAPITIS MUSCLE: The muscle that rotates the head and extends the neck.
SPLENOHEPATOMEGALY: Spleen and liver enlargement.
SPLENOLYSIS: Destruction of spleen tissue.
SPLENOMA: A tumor of the spleen.
SPLENOMEGALY: Spleen enlargement.
SPLINT: A device used to immobilize and protect and injured body part ... air; air stirrup; Alumafoam;
AOA; fiberglass; Lewin-Stern; OCL; orthoglass; pillow; spica; sugar tong; ulnar gutter splint; Thomas;
SpO2: Arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation ... oxygen saturation as measured using pulse oximetry.
SPONDYLE: Another word for &quot;vertebra&quot;.
SPONDYLITIS: Spine inflammation.
SPONDYLOLISTHESIS: Foreword movement of the body of one of the lower lumbar vertebrae on the
vertebra below it.
SPONDYLOLYSIS: A condition marked by dissolution of a spinal vertebra.
SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY: Also called ... &quot;mad cow disease&quot;. The alarming spread
of this brain-destroying illness has affected Britain and several other European and Asian countries.
SPONGE STICK: Surgical instrument / aid. Currently being researched.
SPORE: 1) The reproductive body of fungi or sporozoan protozoa. 2) A resistant form of certain bacteria.
SPRUE: A chronic form of malabsorption syndrome ... sufferer cannot absorb needed nutrients.
SPUR: A condition that occurs when tissue is irritated ... the body tries to protect the area by producing a
calcium &quot;patch&quot; (spur).
SPURLING TEST: A test for the cervical spine. It is performed by applying compression of the head with
extension of the neck to cause upper extremity radicular pain.
SPUTUM: A discharge from the mouth that often originates in the lungs.
SQ: Abbreviation for &quot;subcutaneous&quot;.
SQUAMA: Another word for &quot;scale&quot;.
SQUAMOUS: Relating to or covered with scales.
SSRI: Abbreviation for &quot;serotonin reuptake inhibitors&quot;. Used to treat depression.
STABS: Band cells; part of the total count of white blood cells. Immature form of polymorphonuclear
STACTOMETER: Instrument used to measure droplets.
STAGE: To check to see how far something has spread ... i.e cancer.
STAGHORN CALCULUS: A &quot;stone&quot; with branches that appears in the renal pelvis.
STAMEY NEEDLE: Surgical instrument.
STAPEDECTOMY: A surgical procedure to restore hearing due to osteosclerosis (hardening of tissues in
the inner ear).

STAPES: A portion of the middle ear ... small bone. Also known as the stirrup.
STAPH: Short for &quot;staphylococcus&quot; which are bacteria ... germs. They are very common and
can invade the skin through small breaks to result in infections like boils that can be painful but not lethal.
Staph blood infections can be lethal. Staph can infect organs and staph bone infections are major
concern. Antibiotics are used to treat these infections. Note that many Staph germs have developed
immunity to common antibiotics like Penicillin. Symptoms can include high fever, sweats, and chills.
STAPHYLOCOCCAL: Referring to &quot;Staphylococcus&quot;.
STAPHYLOCOCCUS: Bacteria that cause infections ... productive of pus.
STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS: Common bacteria that can cause cellulitis, endocarditis, food poisoning,
pneumonia, pyemia, furunculosis and osteomyelitis.
STAPLE: A method of closing skin wounds ... 3-M, surgical stable, etcetera.
-STASIS: A suffix that means ... &quot;stop&quot;.
STASIS: 1. Stagnation of blood or other fluids. 2. Slowing down or stopping ... keeping in check.
STASIS CIRRHOSIS: Disease of the liver ... hardening of tissue distorts the liver and impedes it from
performing it's many tasks ... caused by an obstruction of the hepatic vein.
STASIS DERMATITIS: An eruption of the skin that resembles eczema. It is sometimes caused by
varicose veins that leak into adjacent tissues. Symptoms include swollen skin, split skin and the formation
of an ulcer. In the later stages brown-red patches develop on this skin which is painful or pruritic (itchy).
The swelling can be reduced by elevating the leg.
STASIS LIVER: A liver that has an obstructed hepatic vein.
STASIS ULCER: Open sores typically occurring at the ankles. Caused by stretched leg veins that retain
blood. Liquids seep out of the veins due to high pressure and an ulcer develops due to lack of oxygen
and nutrition to skin cells. Treatment includes the evacuation of the excess fluid by elevating the limb as
much as possible to allow gravity to pull the liquids away from the leg veins. Another treatment is to wrap
the area with leg bandages (compression stocking or compression bandages). Healing can be promoted
by covering the ulcer with water retention dressing like DuoDerm. Also, Apligraf dressing contains skin
cells and needs to be replaced only once a week. If healing is not noted within six months then skin grafts
are to be considered.
STAT: From the Latin word &quot;statinum&quot; which means ... &quot;immediately&quot;.
STATINS: One of several prescription drugs that reduce high blood pressure. They work by interfering
with the ability of the liver to produce &quot;bad&quot; cholesterol (LDL) which attaches to artery walls
and prevents blood from reaching the heart. Examples are Lipitor, Pravachol, Zocor and Mevacor.
STD: Abbreviation for ... &quot;sexually transmitted disease&quot;.
STEATORRHEA: Large amounts of fat in stool ... seen in diseases of the pancreas and malabsorption
STEEPLE SIGN: A narrowing of the larynx.
STELLATE: In the form of a &quot;star&quot;.
STEM CELLS: 1) Cells that have the ability to divide for indefinite periods in culture and to give rise to
specialized cells. 2) The factories that manufacture various kinds of tissue inside the body. Embryonic
stem cells can form into immature nervous system cells by treating them with retinoic acid. Stem cells are
the body's mother cells, they divide repeatedly to form new tissue, such as skin and blood cells. For
generations, scientific belief held that the adult brain cannot repair itself, because it lacks stem cells.
However, scientists currently think that the adult brain does contain stem cells (although their exact
function is still a mystery). But in the laboratory, they divide over and over again, making new neurons.
The only source of these brain stem cells is the patient's own brain. However, brain &quot;stem
cells&quot; may not be a required ingredient for making new brain tissue. Scientists believe it may be
possible to reprogram more readily available kinds of stem cells, such as the ones that produce skin, so
that they will manufacture brain cells. 3) Primitive blood cells (forefathers of red and white blood cells) that
are sometimes infused into bone marrow to stimulate the production of bone marrow.
STENOPEIC: A slit or narrow opening.
-STENOSIS: A suffix that means ... &quot;narrowing&quot;.
STENSEN'S DUCT: See &quot;parotid duct&quot;.
STENT: A slender rod usually made from metal which is placed in tubular structures like arteries to
provide support and keep them open. It is often used to treat a blocked heart artery by being snaked into
position with a tube made from plastic. Also, a mold for keeping a skin graft in place.

STERILE: That which is free from bacteria or other living microorganisms.

STERNOCLEIDOMASTOID: Refers to a specific muscle group, artery, and vein.
STERNOTOMY: Incision into the &quot;sternum&quot;.
STERNALGIA: Sternum pain.
STERNUTATORY: Something that causes sneezing.
STERNODYNIA: Sternum pain.
STERNUM: The breastbone.
STEROIDS: 1. Steroids are hormonal substances that have similar chemical structures. 2. Antiinflammatory drugs which combat diseases such as asthma and rheumatoid diseases. Long-term use of
these drugs can lead to brittle-bone disease (osteoporosis).
STEROLINS: Plant fats.
STEROLS: Plant fats ... A subgroup of steroids.
STETHOSCOPE: Device used to amplify sounds ... used to detect body sounds.
STEVENS SCISSORS: A type of surgical instrument.
STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME: Also called ... &quot;erythema multiforme&quot;. The cause is
unknown but often it is observed to occur when medications or infections are present. Symptoms may
include a rash (red and blue patches). The mouth often develops blisters which may blend together to
make painful ulcers. Blisters may also develop on the clear portions of the eyes (conjunctivae). Sufferers
may also experience fever and extreme headaches. Note that the syndrome leads to death in a small
percentage of patients. Typical treatment in the year 2001 is the medication Prednisone (cortisone drug).
STEVIA: A natural alternative to refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Said to counteract tooth decay,
bleeding gums, cold sores, and sore throats. Also counteracts the development of dental plaque.
Purported to have anti-diabetic properties.
STIGMA: A mark on the skin ... or tissue.
STILLBIRTH: The birth of a dead baby.
STIMULANT: Something that increases the functional activities of body tissues.
STIPPLING: A speckling of a blood cell.
STITCH: A sewing method.
STOIC: Apparently indifferent.
STOKES-ADAMS SYNDROME: Episodes of sudden loss of consciousness.
STOMA: 1. Another word for &quot;mouth&quot;. 2. A stoma can also be an artificial opening performed
by surgery.
STOMACH: A large sac that is shaped in an irregular manner and located between the esophagus and
small intestine.
STOMAL: Referring to a stoma (mouth).
STOMAT / O: A combining word-form that means &quot;mouth&quot;.
STOMATALGIA: Mouth pain.
STOMATITIS: Inflammation in the mouth of a mucous membrane.
STOMATOMYCOSIS: Fungus of the mouth.
STOMATOPATHY: Any disease of the mouth (or other disorder).
STOOL: Another word for &quot;excrement&quot; (feces).
STP: Abbreviation for Subtherapeutic.
STRABISMUS: A squint. A deviation of the eye from the normal line of vision which the patient cannot
STRANGURY: Pain with urination.
STRAP MUSCLES: Musculi infrahyoidei ... under musculus.
STRATIFIED: Another word for &quot;layered&quot;.
STRATUM: Layer of tissue.
STREP THROAT: Bacterial illness that primarily affects children ... treated with antibiotics.
STREPTOCOCCAL: Referring to &quot;Streptococcus&quot;.
STREPTOCOCCUS: Spherical bacteria grouped in long chains ... cause of many diseases.
STREPTOKINASE: An enzyme that is known to break down blood clots.
STRESS ECHO: This is a test that is similar to the stress test described below. However, following the
exercise portion of the test the patient is asked to immediately lie down on an adjacent table while a

technician takes a wound wave picture of the stressed heart.

STRESS TEST: A test that stresses the heart by forcing it to pump harder through exercise. On the usual
stress test the patient is required to run on a treadmill. Every three minutes the incline and speed is
increased. While this is happening an electrocardiogram records and detects problems with blood flow
through the heart.
STRETTA: A surgical procedure that corrects GERD (heartburn) by passing a tube (containing an electric
device) through the mouth and into the esophagus (A muscular tube that measures between 7-10 inches
in length and connects the mouth with the stomach). At the lowest portion of the esophagus the physician
activates the device and radio waves expand create a smaller passage by expanding the esophageal
lining which then restricts digestive juices from backing up into the esophagus.
STRIA: Line or other mark on the skin.
STRIATE: Streaky.
STRICTURE: A narrowing of a hollow structure.
STRIDOR: A high-pitched breath sound.
STROKE: The death of brain cells due to an interruption of blood flow (due to a blood clot) in one of the
brain's arteries. Symptoms include weakness and difficulty speaking ... also referred to as CVA or
&quot;cerebrovascular accident&quot;.
STROMA: An organ's supportive tissue ... plural = &quot;stromata&quot;.
STRUMA: Another word for &quot;goiter&quot;.
STRUMECTOMY: The surgical removal of the thyroid.
STUDY PHASE: This term refers to clinical trials and are identified as I, II or III. Phase I of clinical trials
tests a new medication or treatment on a small group of subjects (20-80) to evaluate safety issues like
dosages and side effects. Phase II requires a larger amount of subjects to be used (100-300). Phase III is
given to a large amount of people (1,000-3,000) for the purpose of confirming the results of the first two
study phases.
STY: Infected eyelid gland.
STYLET: A wire running through a catheter or cannula to render it stiff.
STYLOID: Denotes one of many bony processes.
STYLUS: A surgical instrument / aid which resembles a sharp tipped writing instrument.
STYPTIC: Something that has an astringent effect ... i.e., contract tissues, contracts blood vessels.
SUB-: A prefix (word part) meaning &quot;beneath&quot;.
SUBACROMIAL: Below the acromion process (highest and outermost projection of the shoulder).
SUBACROMIAL BURSA: A fluid filled sac in the shoulder joint.
SUBACUTE: A term used to identify something that is neither acute nor chronic in character (something
in between).
SUBAPICAL: Below the apex.
SUBCAPSULAR: Referring to an area below an outer covering.
SUBCHORIONIC: Situated below the chorion.
SUBCLAVIAN: Beneath the collarbone.
SUBCLAVIAN ARTERIES: Two arteries located beneath the shoulder bone (clavicle).
SUBCLINICAL INFECTION: A mild infection ... symptoms are typically not detectible except via serology.
SUBCOSTAL: Below the ribs.
SUBCUTANEOUS: Beneath the skin.
SUBCUTANEOUS EMPHYSEMA: Free air in the tissues under the skin. The air can develop from a
bursting of an airway in the lung that moves through the chest between the lungs and up into the neck.
The face, chest and neck look to be swollen.
SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE: Tissue located just below the skin.
SUBCUTICULAR: Beneath the cuticle (epidermis).
SUBDURAL: Outside the brain.
SUBENDOCARDIAL: Beneath the endocardium.
SUBHEPATIC: Referring to an area beneath the liver.
SUBLIMATION: Passing directly to a gas from a solid ... bypassing the liquid stage.
SUBLINGUAL: Below the tongue.
SUBLINGUAL GLAND: A gland located beneath the tongue that secretes saliva.
SUBLOBULAR VEIN: One of the liver veins that lead to the central veins and in turn empty into the

hepatic veins.
SUBLUXATION: An incomplete dislocation.
SUBMAXILLA: Another word for &quot;mandible&quot;.
SUBMAXILLARY GLAND: A gland located along the jaw that secretes saliva.
SUBMENTAL: Below the chin.
SUBPHRENIC: Below the diaphragm.
SUBPHRENIC SPACE: A space located on either side of the fold in the thin membrane (peritoneum)
which covers most of the abdominal organs (falciform ligament) ... between the bottom of the diaphragm
and upper side of the liver.
SUBSEROSAL: Surgical term ... Currently being researched.
SUBSTRATE: 1. The material that is acted upon (changed) by enzymes. 2. The material in which an
organism grows.
SUBTUBERAL: Located beneath any tuber (localized swelling).
SUBUNGUAL: Beneath the finger or toenail.
SUCCUSSION: A procedure of shaking the body to discover a splashing sound in a body cavity that
contains fluid and gas.
SUCCUSSION SPLASH: A procedure of shaking the body to discover a splashing sound in a body cavity
that contains fluid and gas.
SUCRALFATE: An agent that puts a protective coating at the base of ulcers.
SUDATION: Another word for &quot;perspiration&quot;.
SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME: A phenomenon that sometimes strikes infants between the age
of two weeks and two years. Unexplained death that occurs for apparently no reason to otherwise healthy
babies ... cause is unknown.
SUDORESIS: An abnormally increased amount of sweating.
SUDORIFIC: Something which promotes perspiration, sweating.
SUGAR: People typically consume half a cup of sugar per day in America (year 2000). In order to digest
sugar the body uses its reserves of chromium, manganese, cobalt, copper, zinc and magnesium. It is to
be noted that these same minerals are required by the immunity system. In other words, by eating sugars
the body becomes more susceptible to disease.
SULCI: Plural of &quot;sulcus&quot;.
SULCUS: One of the groves of the brain.
SULFA DRUGS: A category of various drugs used to treat diseases caused by bacteria.
SULFONYLUREA: Medications chemically related to the sulfonamides ... they possess hypoglycemic
SULFONYLUREAS: A group of drugs chemically related to the sulfonamides (hypoglycemics).
SULFUR: Also called ... &quot;brimstone&quot;. An element involved in the growth of bones, the clotting
of blood and muscle metabolism. It combines with toxic substances and transfers them into harmless
SUPERCILIUM: Another word for &quot;eyebrow&quot;.
SUPERINFECTION: Secondary infection.
SUPEROMEDIAL: A word that means ... above and toward the middle.
SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE: An antioxidant enzyme ... prevents free-radical damage.
SUPINE: A body position that requires lying on one's back.
SUPPOSITORY: Medicine that is given in solid form to areas other than the mouth ... usually the rectum.
SUPPURATION: Expelling pus.
SUPPURATIVE: Forming pus.
SUPRA-: A prefix (word part) meaning &quot;on top of&quot; or &quot;above&quot;.
SUPRACONDYLAR: Above a condyle.
SUPRAHEPATIC: Located either on the surface or above the liver.
SUPRANUCLEAR PALSY: Often mistaken for Parkinson's disease since symptoms are similar which
include the distinguishing feature of loss of eye movement. At first the downward gaze and then the
upward gaze.
SUPRAPATELLAR POUCH: A surgical term ... just above the knee.
SUPRASELLAR: A term that refers to a position which is above or over the sella turcica.
SUPRASPINATUS: One of the shoulder muscles. Supraspinous muscle; scapula ... commences

abduction of the arm.

SURA: Another word for &quot;calf&quot; (of the leg).
SURAL: Referring to the calf of the leg.
SURDITAS: Another word for &quot;deaf&quot;.
SURGEON: A medical professional who specializes in surgery.
SURGITOME: Surgical instrument / aid.
SUSCEPTIBLE: One who is in a likely situation to become infected.
SUSPIRATION: Another word for &quot;sigh&quot;.
SUSTAINED RESPONSE: A lasting cure (minimum six months) resulting from a treatment.
SUSURRATION: Another word for &quot;murmur&quot;.
SUTURE: To sew together.
SVT: Abbreviation for &quot;Supraventricular tachycardia&quot;.
SWAGED ON: Referring to prepackaged needles with suture pre attached.
SWATHE: A method of bandaging to immobilize a body area.
SWEET'S DISEASE: This skin disease commences (begins) with skin areas that have a burning
sensation due to white blood cells invading the skin. The cause is unknown in the year 2000 but often
responds quickly to cortisone drugs.
SYM-: A prefix (word part) meaning &quot;combined&quot;.
SYMBIOSIS: A relationship that exists between two animals which benefits both.
SYMMETRY: Balance of identical body parts located on either side of the body.
SYMPATHECTOMY: Removal of a portion of the sympathetic nerve or sympathetic ganglia.
SYMPATHETIC: Refers to the sympathetic nervous system which reacts automatically and independently
of our will and emotions. This &quot;system&quot; of nerves controls the flow of blood to tissues and
organs by increasing and decreasing the openings of blood vessels.
SYMPATHIC: Referring to the sympathetic part of the autonomic system.
SYMPHYSIS: A joining point ... immovable joint.
SYMPHYSIS PUBIS: The pubic bone located just above the genitals.
SYMPTOM(S): Body alterations resulting from disease.
SYMPTOMATOLOGY: Study of symptoms.
SYN-: A prefix (word part) meaning &quot;combined&quot;.
SYNAPSES: The distance between two neurons (nerve cells).
SYNCYTIAL: Relating to a syncytium.
SYNCYTIUM: A mass of protoplasm produced by the merging of cells.
SYNDROME: A group of symptoms that happen concurrently.
SYNECHIA: Any adhesion.
SYNERGISTS: Medications which work in combination with each other to provide effects which are
greater than either medication alone.
SYNERGY: Another word for &quot;cooperation&quot;.
SYNOVITIS: Inflammation of synovial membrane (joint lining) ... also, arthritis.
SYNTAXIS: The junction where two bones meet.
SYNTHESIS: Making a new compound by adding together two simpler ones.
SYPHILIS: Infectious disease spread by sexual contact. It is caused by the microorganism Treponema
pallidum. It is a serious disease that can cause destruction of tissue and inflammation in virtually any
organ. Symptoms are varied due to the multiple organs that may be targeted. Treatment involves the use
of antibiotics ... early detection and treatment results in a complete cure. However, cases that have been
allowed to cause tissue damage to organs cannot be reversed. The spirochetes can be destroyed and
damage halted but the organ damage is permanent. The disease usually starts as a painless ulcer on
genitals and heals without medical treatment. A body rash appears in approximately two months
combined with joint pain and high body temperature. It left untreated it will reappear later in life to affect
the brain, spinal column, aorta (largest artery of the body) and heart. A male does not pass the disease to
his offspring unless he infects the mother while pregnant (or just prior to).
SYRINGE: A device used in the medical industry for injecting fluids into the body. It consists of a cylinder,
plunger and needle.

SYRINGOMYELOCELE: A condition in which a part of the spinal column sticks out through a hole in it
(see spina bifida).
SYSTEMIC: Relating to the whole body rather than a single area of the body.
SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS: Disease that affects many parts of the body. Severity can range
from mild to severe. Usually the first symptom looks like arthritis of the fingers and other joints ... it can
appear suddenly and with intense fever. Scaling lesions appear on parts of the body with a red rash on
the cheeks. The lungs and kidneys often are involved. About 50% of sufferers develop inflammation of
the kidneys. Severe cases can involve the heart, lungs, spleen or brain.
SYSTOLE: A tightening (contraction) of the heart that drives blood into the aorta and lung arteries,
SYSTOLIC: One of the two numbers involved in blood pressure readings. It is an indication as to the
maximum pressure that the blood attains when the heart is pumping blood ... it is the first of the two
numbers ... i.e., 124/80.

T3 UPTAKE: A test that analyzes TBG (thyroxine binding globulin) in blood serum. An increased amount
decreases the T3 uptake. Note that T3 uptake does not measure the amount of T3 or T4 in blood serum.
Increased T3 uptake may be an indication of liver disease, hyperthyroidism or loss of protein. Medications
can also be a factor: androgens, barbiturates, bishydroxycoumarin, chlorpropamide, corticosteroids,
danazol, d-thyroxine, penicillin, phenylbutazone, and valproic acid. A decrease in the T3 uptake may be
an indication of pregnancy, hypothyroidism or hepatitis. Medications, which could be a factor, include
clofibrate, lithium, methimazole, phenothiazineds and propylthiouracil.
T-4: Thyroxine or Levothyroxine. See "thyroxine".
T&A: Abbreviation for "tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy".
TABES DORSALIS: A paralyzing disease caused by syphilis.
TACHY-: A prefix (word part) meaning "quick" or "rapid".
TACHYCARDIA: Fast heart rate that occurs suddenly.
TACHYCARDIC: Fast heart.
TACHYPNEA: Excessive rapidity of breathing (respiration).
TACHYPNEIC: See "tachypnea".
TACHYRHYTHMIA: Fast heart rate.
TACTILE: Referring to the sense of touch.
TAG: A polyp or other small growth.
TAHBSO: Abbreviation for "total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy".
TALALGIA: Heel pain.
TALIPES: Another word for "club foot".
TALIPES PLANUS: Another word for "flat foot".
TALOFIBULAR: Relating to the talus and the fibula.
TALUS: Anklebone, joint.
TANDEM WALKING: Term used to describe multiple walking steps that lie adjacent to one another.
TANGENTIAL: Touching at a single point but not intersecting.
TANNER GROWTH CHART: A chart showing typical development of children by age, sex and puberty.
TANNIC ACID: An astringent (contracts tissues) drug.
TAPER: To become gradually thinner at one end.
TAPEWORM: A type of worm which infests the intestines.
TARDIVE DYSKINESIA: Slow response to performing voluntary movements. Eyes may blink and/or the
tongue may dart from the mouth. It sometimes is caused by medicines used to treat mental illness.
TARSAL TUNNEL SYNDROME: Also called ... the carpal tunnel syndrome of the foot. A narrowed tunnel
of ligaments (due to calcium buildup, inflammation, etcetera) puts pressure on a nerve that serves the

TARSUS: The 7 tarsal bones on the instep ... also, refers to the eyelid.
TARTAR: Stone like substance that forms on teeth.
TAURINE: An amino acid, which is categorized as "nonessential". Plays an important role in the formation
of bile ... i.e., metabolism of fats and control of blood cholesterol. See "amino acids".
TAUT: Tense, not lack.
TAXONOMY: The systematic classification of living things.
TAY-SACHS DISEASE: Fatal, degenerative brain disease which affects the nervous system due to a lack
of an enzyme (hexosaminidase) which helps to breakdown fats. It is untreatable (year 2000) and
prevalent among the Ashkenazi Jewish community. Babies develop normally until they are about 6-7
months of age when they begin to slowly degenerate ... taking years to die.
TB: Abbreviation for ... "tuberculosis".
TBG: Abbreviation for ... "thyroxine binding globulin".
T-CELLS: Immunity cells that include "helper T-cells", "cytoxic T-cells" and "suppressor T-cells". T Cells
are manufactured in the marrow of bone and mature in the thymus. T-cells live a long time (months to
years) and are responsible for rejecting foreign materials in the body.
TD: Abbreviation for tetanus/diphtheria ... i.e. TD .5 cc 1m (tetanus/diphtheria).
TE: Abbreviation for ... "tracheoesophageal"
TEAT: Another word for "nipple".
TECTONIC: Referring to plastic surgery.
TED HOSE: Elastic hose to help leg circulation.
TEE TEST: Abbreviation for "transesophageal echogram".
TEF: Abbreviation for ... "tracheoesophageal fistula".
TEGADERM: Currently being researched.
TEGMEN: Another word for "covering".
TEGUMENT: Another word for "skin".
TEINODYNIA: Tendon pain.
TELALGIA: Referred pain.
TELANGIECTASIA: Dilation of small blood vessels due to a minor trauma - often occurring on the face,
tongue, nasal lining, digestive tract or under fingernail beds.
TELANGIECTATIC: Referring to telangiectasia (dilation of small blood vessels due to a minor trauma often occurring on the face, tongue, nasal lining, digestive tract or under finger-nail beds).
TELANGIOSIS: Any disease affecting the capillaries.
TELANGITIS: Capillary Inflammation.
TELEMETRY: The electronic transmission of data between distant points.
TELFA DRESSING: Currently being researched.
TEMPLE: "Front of the ear" region.
TEMPORAL: Referring to the lateral portion of the head (temple).
TEMPORAL ARTERITIS: Inflammation involving an artery in the temple. A common symptom is
headache. The disease is commonly treated with cortisone drugs. Note that blindness can result if
treatment is not commenced right away.
TEMPORALIS: Pertaining to the lateral area of the head, above the zygomatic arch.
TEMPOROMANDIBULAR: Referring to mandible and temporal bone; the joint of the lower joint.
TENACULUM: Surgical instrument / aid. Currently being researched.
TENALGIA: Tendon pain.
TENCKHOFF: A type of catheter.
TENDINITIS: Tendon inflammation.
TENDINOUS: Referring to "tendons".
TENDON: Special tissue that attaches muscles to bones.
TENECTOMY: The removal of a tendon.
TENESMUS: Pain in the anal sphincter accompanied by a need to evacuate bladder or bowel ... but with
only a small passage of feces or urine.
TENIA: Another word for "tapeworm".
TENNIS ELBOW: A strained arm which causes pain when twisting inwards.
TENODYNIA: Tendon pain.
TENDONITIS: Tendon inflammation.
TENOPLASTY: Tendon repair.

TENOSYNOVITIS: Tendon - inflammation of a synovial membrane.

TENS: Abbreviation for "transcutaneous electrical stimulator". The device is attached to the skin to
discharge an electrical pulse for the purpose of blocking pain signals along the nerve paths.
TENTING: An elevation of the skin that gives the appearance of a tent.
TENTORIUM: Membrane cover; tentorium cerebelli.
T.E.P.: A medication that is an antihistamine, bronchodilator, decongestant, sedative.
TEPID: Another word for "warm".
TERATOGENIC: Something that causes abnormal formation of a fetus.
TERATOLOGY: Branch of science that deals with fetal abnormalities.
TERES: Smooth, round and long; refers to certain muscles and ligaments.
TERMINAL: Referring to the end of something i.e., the end of a body structure.
TERMINAL ILEUM: Currently being researched.
TERRACING: To suture in rows.
TERTIARY HEALTH CARE: Specialized health.
TESIO CATHETER: A permanent catheter used for dialysis.
TESTICLE: Male fertility body part. Located in the abdomen during fetal development. They begin a
descent into the scrotum at age 7-months. The testicles must exist outside of the body because they
cannot survive the warmth of the body. Undescended testicles often translate into cancer during later life.
TESTES: See "testicle".
TESTOSTERONE: The hormone that is linked with male sexuality. Low levels are associated with
impotence, cardiovascular problems and osteoporosis. It is known to foster the growth of prostate cancer.
TET: Abbreviation for ... "tetralogy of Fallot".
TETANUS: Disease that is infectious in nature. Symptoms include painful muscle spasms.
TETANY: Muscle spasm.
TETRAD: A deformity with four features.
TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL: Also called ... "THC". The active isomers present in marijuana.
TETRALOGY: 1. Collection of 4 things with something in common. 2. In chemistry, a quadrivalent
element. 3. Heredity, a chromosome that divides into four.
TETRALOGY OF FALLOT: A set of heart defects occurring at birth i.e., ventricular septal defect ...
TETRAPLEGIA: Paralysis of the arms and legs.
TETRAPYRROLE: Molecule possessing four ringed atoms.
TF: Abbreviation for ... "tube feeding".
TGF-B: A chemical produced by the body due to infection it causes inflammation to trigger in the
hands and feet.
TH-1: One of the two types of "helper T-cells" which excrete proteins which excrete proteins that regulate
immune functions.
TH-2: One of the two types of "helper T-cells" which excrete proteins which excrete proteins that regulate
immune functions.
THALASSEMIA: Treatable hereditary disorder ... anemia. Found most often in people who come from the
Mediterranean area ... Italy, Greece, and North Africa. Too few red blood cells and too much iron in the
blood is the result. Some types of thalassemia can be fatal while others (like thalassemia minor anemia)
cause "minor" or no results. Symptoms develop at six months to a year ... treatment consists of regular
blood transfusions. Sufferers wear a syringe pump at night that includes a medication that removes
excess iron.
THALAMUS: Also referred to as the "seat of emotion". One of a pair of large organs forming part of the
THALASSEMIA: A disease that is similar to sickle cell anemia.
THALLIUM STRESS TEST: Thallium treadmill study.
THELALGIA: Nipple pain.
THELITIS: Nipple inflammation.
THELIUM: Another word for "nipple".
THENAR: The ball of the thumb. Referring to the thumb side of the palm.
THERAPEUTIC RANGE: Dosage of a medication that is required for maximum effectiveness. Above that
dosage, side effects may cause toxicity or other undesirable effects. Below that range, the desired effect

may not be achieved.

THERAPIST: Someone who is skilled at the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
-THERAPY: A suffix that means ... "treatment".
THERMOPLEGIA: Another word for "sunstroke".
THERMOTHERAPY: Heat therapy.
THIAMINE: Another word for "vitamin B1". See vitamin "B1" for more information.
THORAC / (O): A combining word-form that means "chest".
THORACALGIA: Pain in the chest.
THORACECTOMY: To remove a rib via surgical means.
THORACENTESIS: Puncture into thorax to remove fluid.
Thrill: Sensation or vibration felt by an examiner.
THORACIC: Dealing with the chest & lungs.
THORACOLUMBAR: Referring to the lumbar and thoracic areas of the vertebral column.
THORACOSCOPY: The use of an endoscope to view the pleural cavity.
THORACOTOMY: Incision into the chest wall.
THORAX: Area of the body located between the neck and abdomen ... chest.
THREADWORM: A type of worm parasite.
THREONINE: Categorized as an "essential amino acid". It is required for proper infant growth and the
correct balance of nitrogen in adults. Assists in the prevention of fat build up in the liver. Also, assists
proper operations of the digestive system. Can be found in eggs, milk and other proteins.
THREPSOLOGY: The branch of medicine dealing with nutrition.
THRILL: A tremor that can be auscultated (heard) in blood vessels ... heart murmur.
THROE: Another word for "sharp pain".
THROMBECTOMY: The surgical removal of a blood clot.
THROMBIN: Also called "thrombosin". One of the constituents of blood that is responsible for clotting.
THROMBOCYTES: Also called "platelets". They are the components of blood, which cause clotting and
prevent us from bleeding to death.
THROMBOCYTHEMIA: An excessive amount of platelets in the blood.
THROMBOCYTOPENIA: A decreased amount of platelets in the blood.
THROMBOCYTOSIS: An increase in the number of platelets (blood cells which form into a clot, also
called thrombocytes) in the circulating blood. Patients can develop clots in blood vessels that can cause
restricted blood flow and bleeding problems.
THROMBOLYTIC: That which breaks up blood clots.
THROMBOPHLEBITIS: Inflammation of a vein accompanied by a blood clot.
THROMBOSIS: Clot formation within a blood vessel.
THROMBUS: A blood clot formation within a blood vessel.
THRUSH: Infection of the tissues of the mouth and throat ... from a fungus.
THYMECTOMY: The removal of the thymus via surgical means.
THYMIDINE: One of the four primary nucleotides that make up DNA.
THYMIDINE KINASE: An enzyme that is concerned with replication of DNA molecules. This enzyme
shows a marked increase when the herpes virus is present and liver regeneration.
THYMION: Another word for "wart".
THYMITIS: Thyroid gland inflammation.
THYMOMA: The presence of a tumor on the thymus.
THYMUS: A gland located in the upper chest and influences the immune system. It is often called the
"powerhouse of the immune system". Zinc can increase the size of the thymus to improve T-cell
THYROADENITIS: Thyroid inflammation.
THYROCELE: Another word for "goiter".
THYROID: An organ/gland in front of the neck that is part of the endocrine system. It releases the
hormone thyroxin. It is essential for growth during childhood and infancy. It requires iodine to make
THYROID DISEASE: Early symptoms include fatigue, slight depression, and slight forgetfulness.
Pregnant women risk having children with lower IQ's due to underactive thyroids (hypothyroidism) while
others may experience higher cholesterol levels. Treatment is easy (daily pill) after diagnosis with a

simple TSH blood test that detects TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) in the blood.
THYROIDECTOMY: The removal of the thyroid via surgical means.
THYROIDITIS: Thyroid inflammation.
THYROID STIMULATING HORMONE: Also called "TSH". This hormone comes from the pituitary
gland and stimulates the thyroid into action.
THYROTOXICOSIS: An excessive amount of thyroid hormone produced by an overactive thyroid.
THYROTROPIC HORMONE: A hormone that affects the thyroid.
THYROXIN: A hormone produced by the thyroid. A thyroxin measurement is the total amount contained
in a sample of blood serum. This includes the free form plus the inactive form attached to thyroxine
binding globulin (TBG). See "thyroid".
TIA: Abbreviation for Transient Ischemic Attack.
TIBC: Abbreviation for "total iron-binding capacity".
TIBI / (O): A combining word-form which means, "shin bone" (tibia)
TIBIA: Also called the "shin". The 2nd largest bone of the body that is located in the middle of the lower
leg. It is the larger of the two lower leg bones.
TIBIAL: Referring to the shin (tibia).
TIC: Movements of muscles that are unintended. Often the movements are caused by stress and anxiety
... typically affects the face.
TIC DOULOUREUX: Also called trigeminal neuralgia. It is manifested by short jabbing pains around the
mouth, jaw or forehead. It is most common in women aged 55+.
TID: TID is properly spelled ... "tid". Three times a day.
TIDAL VOLUME: The amount of air inhaled and exhaled during normal breathing.
TIETZE'S SYNDROME: A form of costochondritis in which the affected cartilage is swollen and makes a
small knot.
TIH: Abbreviation for ... "time interval histogram".
T-INCISION: A surgical cut.
TINCTURE: A solution of medicine(s) and approximately 50% alcohol.
TINEA: The medical name for "ringworm". A fungus infection that begins as a flat and scaly circular area.
The spot gets larger to form the shape of a ring that has red borders but a normal, flesh-colored central
area. Many medicines are available in the forms of creams, sprays, gels, powders and oral tablets ... one
is Tolnaftate.
TINEA CORPORIS: Ringworm of the body.
TINEA CRURIS: A type of tinea (fungus) which is often chronic in males affecting the groin area. Also
called "jock itch". Wear boxer shorts and stay away from tight pants.
TINEA PEDIS: Athlete's foot fungus. Ringworm of the foot. Sufferers should wash feet and put on socks
before underwear to prevent jock itch. Antifungal creams often prescribed like Micatin, Caneston and
Tinactin. Do not use anything that contains hydrocortisone. Also, tyme is a natural antifungal.
TINEA VERSICOLOR: Tan or brown patches on the skin of the trunk of the body ... caused by
Malassezia furfur.
TINEL SIGN: Distal tingling on percussion ... a neurological sign.
TINNITUS: Another word for "ringing in the ear". Ear sounds that can take the form of buzzing or hissing.
TITER: 1. The standard of strength of a volume of test solution. 2. A concentration of something in a
TITRATION: Determination of a given component in solution by adding a liquid reagent.
TIW: Abbreviation for ... "three times a week".
TKVO: Abbreviation for "To Keep Vein Open".
T-LYMPHOCYTES: Also called ... "T-cells". T Cells are manufactured in the marrow of bone and mature
in the thymus. T-cells live a long time (months to years) and are responsible for rejecting foreign materials
in the body.
TM: Abbreviation for tympanic membranes.
TMJ: Abbreviation for "Temporomandibular Joint".
TMR: Abbreviation for ... "transmyocardial revascularization" (surgical procedure).
TOA: Abbreviation for "tubo-ovarian abscess".
TOBAN DRAPE: A covering over a patient receiving a surgical operation.
TOCOLOGY: Branch of medicine that deals with obstetrics (pregnancy and delivery of babies).
TOCOPHOBIA: Abnormal fear of childbirth.

-TOCIA: A suffix that means ... "birth".

TOCUS: Another word for "childbirth".
TODD'S PARALYSIS: Temporary paralysis (few days) in a limb.
TOILET: Cleansing of an accidental wound and the surrounding skin.
-TOME: A suffix that means ... "cutting instrument".
TOMOGRAPHY: Another name for a CT scan.
-TOMY: A suffix which means ... "incision".
TONE: The tension of a muscle at rest.
TONGUE BLADE: Thin, flat part of the tongue.
TONGUE-TIE: A defect from birth in which the frenum below the tongue is abnormally short.
TONIC: 1. Another word for "muscle contraction" (tightness). 2. Substance that stimulate the entire body,
invigorates, restores.
TONOCLONIC PHASE: Alternate contraction and relaxation of a muscle relating to seizures.
TONOMETER: A device for measuring ocular pressures.
TONO-PEN: A device for measuring ocular pressures.
TONSIL: A mass of lymphatic tissue located in the throat.
TONSILLECTOMY: Removal of the tonsils via surgical means.
TONSILLITIS: Tonsil inflammation.
TONUS: The normal state of balance of the tissues of the body, especially the muscles.
TOP / (O): A combining word-form that means "location".
TOPHUS: 1. Salivary calculus. 2. Arthritic calculus.
TOPICAL: Referring to the surface of the body.
TORPIDITY: Another word for "lethargic" ... "sluggish"
TORSION: Process of "twisting"
TORSO: Another word for "trunk of the body".
TORTICOLLIS: Stiff neck ... wryneck. Contraction of muscles pulls the head to the side retracting the chin
to the shoulder. Standard treatment is Botox.
TORTUOUS: Turning, twisting, many curves.
TORUS FRACTURE: Longitudinal compression of the soft bone. It occurs in the radius, ulna or both.
TORUS PALATINE: A cartilage-capped bony projection arising from the middle of the hard palate.
TORUS PALATINUS: A cartilage-capped bony projection arising from the middle of the hard palate.
TOTAL PARENTERAL NUTRITION: Intravenous application of all nutrients through a catheter in a large
vein in the vicinity of the collarbone. This procedure is performed to ensure adequate nutrition of
undernourished of extremely ill patients. It is also used to prepare undernourished patients for surgery.
TOTAL PROTEIN: A blood serum measurement that determines and increase or decrease in albumin,
globulin or both.
TOTIPOTENT: Having unlimited capability. Totipotent cells have the capacity to specialize into
extraembryonic membranes and tissues, the embryo, and all postembryonic tissues and organs
TOURETTE'S SYNDROME: Facial and vocal ticks beginning in childhood and developing into
generalized jerking movements.
TOURNIQUET: Instrument to arrest blood flow using pressure via an encircling device.
TOX /(O): A combining word-form that means, "poison".
TOXEMIA: Clinical syndrome from toxic substances in the blood; also a term referring to pregnancy
disorder of hypertension.
TOXICODENDRON: A grouping of poison plants like poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.
TOXICITY: Poisonous content.
TOXICOLOGICAL: Referring to poisons.
TOXICOLOGY: A branch of science that deals with poisons.
TOXIC THRESHOLD: The dose of a medication where toxicity results.
TOXIN: A poisonous substance
TOXOID: A toxic treated with heat or chemicals to lessen its poisonous effect, but retains enough of its
potency to stimulate the immunity system to create antibodies.
TOXOPLASMOSIS: An organism which if found in the intestines of cats ... called "toxoplasma gondii".
The cats are carriers and do not get sick themselves. Cysts are found in the feces that cause little of no
problems for humans with a strong immunity system. However, it can be deadly in those with a
compromised system. Also, dramatic problems can occur to the fetus of pregnant women like eye and

brain infections, mental retardation, heart inflammation and liver problems. Primary sources are kittens,
uncooked meats and unwashed vegetables.
TOX SCREEN: A blood analysis typically used when blood overdose is suspected.
TPN: Abbreviation for ... "total parenteral nutrition".
TPR: Abbreviation for "temperature, pulses, respirations".
TRABECULA: 1. Fiber bundles that support a body structure. 2. The spongy substance that comprises
TRACE ELEMENTS: Minerals that are categorized as "essential" for the proper operation of the body.
TRACE MINERALS: Minerals found is minute quantities within the body that play vital roles in the
absorption and utilization of nutrients.
TRACHE / O: A combining word-form that means "windpipe".
TRACHEA: Another word for "windpipe".
TRACHEAL: Refers to the "windpipe" (trachea).
TRACHEITIS: Windpipe (trachea) inflammation.
TRACHELAGRA: Another word for "neck gout".
TRACHELISMUS: Neck muscle spasms.
TRACHEOLARYNGOTOMY: To cut into the larynx.
TRACHEOSTOMY: Cutting into the trachea (windpipe) ... usually for the purpose of inserting an
emergency breathing tube.
TRACHEOTOMY: Cutting into the trachea ... usually for the purpose of correcting an obstruction.
TRACHITIS: Windpipe (trachea) inflammation.
TRACHOMA: Eye disease ... infectious.
TRACT: An elongated area ... track ... pathway.
TRACTION: To enact a pulling force.
TRAGUS SIGN: The tragus is a cartilage projection anterior to the external opening of the ear.
TRANSAMINASE: Enzymes that affect transfer of amino acids from a donor to an acceptor ... also called
"aminotransferase". Transaminases are liver enzymes that (when found in the blood) may indicate liver
infections. Also called ALT and AST.
TRANSCORTIN: Also called ... "corticosteroid-binding globulin". A blood protein manufactured by the liver
... it binds and transports hydrocortisone in blood.
TRANSCRIPTASE: Also called ... "RNA transcriptase". An enzyme that begins the synthesis of RNA with
DNA for the purpose of serving as a template.
TRANSCRIPTION: The transfer of genetic information from one molecular nucleus to another.
TRANSCUTANEOUS: Through the skin.
TRANSDERMAL: Through the skin.
TRANSESOPHAGEAL ECHOGRAM: An instrument inserted into the esophagus for purpose of getting a
good vantage point for producing pictures of the heart.
TRANSFORATION: Skull perforation ... fetus.
TRANSMISSION: The transferring of a disease from on person to another.
TRANSMYOCARDIAL REVASCULARIZATION: Also called ... "TMR". A procedure that uses a laser to
drill minute holes in the heart to relieve chest pain. Studies show that the benefits last for a minimum of
five years and often longer.
TRANSPLANT: To remove an organ or tissue from one person and graft it into another.
TRANSUDATE: A fluid that has passed through a membrane due to osmosis.
TRANSVERSE: Another word for "going from side-to-side".
TRAPEZIUS: A muscle located in the shoulder and upper back.
TRAUMA: An injury or wound.
TRAVELER'S DIARRHEA: Also called ... "infectious diarrhea". It results from an infection (bacterial,
protozoan or viral).
TRAY: A flat surfaced utensil for the conveyance of various objects or materials.
TREMOR: Another word for "shaking".
TREMULOUS: Another word for "shaking".
TRENCH MOUTH: Also called "Vincent's angina". An infection of the mouth.
TRENDELENBURG'S POSITION: A supine position on the operating table; inclined so the pelvis is

higher than the head.

TREPAN: The process of making a hole in the scalp to relieve pressure on the brain.
TREPHINATION: To remove a circular piece of cranium using a trephine.
TRIAGE: Process in which patients are grouped according to their need for care.
TRIBUTYRIN: A substrate for lipase tests.
TRICHANGIECTASIS: Capillary dilation.
TRICHINOSIS: An illness caused by the trichina organism that is often found in pork (raw).
TRICHOBEZOAR: Intestinal hairball.
TRICHOTILLOMANIA: Currently being researched.
TRICHOLOGY: The division of science that deals with "hair".
TRICHOMONAS: A microorganism that causes a vaginal infection marked by itching, burning and a bad
smelling vaginal discharge. It is not caused by a virus or bacteria but rather a single cell organism much
like and amoeba. Trichomonas is usually spread via sexual relations. It is not transmitted by oral sex.
Women can exhibit a yellow, gray or green discharge from the vagina. Upon urination she may
experience pain. Intercourse is often painful due to irritated vaginal tissues. The male displays no
symptoms but can pass it on to partners. The drug Metronidazole is effective for eliminating it.
TRICHOSIS: Any disease of the hair.
TRICHOTILLOMANIA: Compulsive pulling at one's hair.
TRICUSPID VALVE: Located in the right chambers of the heart ... it acts as a one way valve for
maintaining blood flow ... resembles three triangular segments.
TRICYCLIC: Medications that are used for depression.
TRIDIL: Medication ... a type of vasodilator. Nitrate medicines include glyceryl trinitrate (also called
nitroglycerin). Common tradenames include tablets; such as Anginine and Tridil
TRIGEMINAL: Relating to the 5th cranial (trigeminus) nerve.
TRIGGER THUMB/FINGER: Finger tendons (passing through the wrist and palms from the forearm)
attach to the finger bones to help in the process of bending. If the tendon sticks due to inflammation it can
lock in a way the resembles a trigger on a gun which is locked for firing. Injection of cortisone in the
general area typically restores the normal movements of the finger.
TRIGLYCERIDES: Fats. Normal reading, less than 200 mg/dl for men and less than 150 mg/dl for
women. They have links to heart attacks, strokes and clogged arteries. Contributing to high amounts ...
fried foods, sweets and fatty foods. Most of the fat tissue in the body is made up of triglycerides that were
stored for later use. Most triglycerides are obtained from diet. NOTE: When high blood levels of
triglycerides are combined with low HDL cholesterol readings it is an indication of problems on the
horizon. REMEDY: 1. Alter the diet (resist fried/fatty foods, sweets, meat and dairy products). 2. Lose
weight. 3. Exercise. COMMONLY PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS IN YEAR 2001: Niacin, Lopid and
TRIGONE: Triangular is shape.
TRIQUETRUM: Bone of the wrist.
TRISTIS: Being dull looking.
TROCAR: Surgical instrument / aid which is a pointed rod designed to fit inside a tube for piercing the
skin and walls of cavities and canals for the purpose of ... 1) sucking out fluids. 2) transmitting a
medication. 3) guiding the placement of a catheter. Trocars are normally removed from the body while an
instrument (or tube) remains.
TRISMUS: Long-term spasms of the jaw-muscle ... lockjaw.
TROCHANTER: One of the two bony structures that stick out on the end of the thigh; it attaches muscles.
TROCHLEA: A smooth joint surface of bone surface upon which another glides.
TROCHLEAR NERVE: One of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves.
THROMBOPHLEBITIS: "Deep thrombophlebitis" occurs because of deep blood clots that often do not
give warning until a pulmonary embolism strikes (which can cause death).
TROPHIC: 1. Relating to nutrition. 2. Resulting from interrupted nerve supply.
TROPHIC NERVE: Nerves that relate to the nourishment, repair and growth of tissues.
TROPHOLOGY: The branch of science that deals with body nutrition.
TROPHONOSIS: Any disease that is related to nutritional deficiencies.
-TROPHY: A suffix that means ... "development".
TROPICAL SPRUE: Also called ... "tropical diarrhea". A form of malabsorption syndrome in which

nutrients are not adequately absorbed into the body. The condition is typically seen in the tropics ... the
cause is unknown. Symptoms may include ... infection of the small intestines, nutritional deficiency,
excess fat in the stool, anemia.
TROPISM: Positive tropism is a common event in which living things move toward a source of stimulus
like heat, light, etcetera). Negative tropism is the common event of living organisms moving away from a
source of stimulus (heat, light, etcetera).
TROPONIN: A complex of globular muscle proteins of the one band that inhibits contraction by blocking
interaction of acting and myosin.
TRUNCAL: Refers to the trunk (torso) of the body.
TRUNCATE: To remove limbs.
TRUSS: A belt that contains padded materials and is designed to prevent internal body structures from
bulging through a defective abdominal wall.
TRYPSIN: An enzyme that occurs in the small intestines (manufactured by the pancreas).
TRYPTOPHAN: Amino acid classified as "essential". It has a reputation as a natural relaxant and aid for
sleeping because it is involved in the manufacture of the neurotransmitter "serotonin". It is sometimes
combined with "tyrosine" for treating addictions. Has been used to treat migraine headaches, relieve
anxiety/depression. It is sometimes used in combination with Lysine to decrease levels of cholesterol.
TSH: Abbreviation for "Thyroid Stimulating Hormone" which is produced by the thyroid. A decrease in the
normal amount within the body results in "hypothyroidism". TSH Test, a change in the TSH level in the
blood test sometimes indicates a thyroid gland that is malfunctioning.
TSH TEST: A blood test that determines the amount of "TSH" (thyroid stimulating hormone) in the blood
stream for the purpose of diagnosing thyroid disease.
TTP: Abbreviation for ... "thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura".
T-TUBE: A cylindric device placed in the bile duct to allow the drainage of bile into a bag located outside
the body.
TUBER: A localized swelling.
TUBERCLE: Swelling ... bone elevation ... a tissue altered by the tuberculosis microorganism.
TUBERCULOSIS: An infectious disease also called the "white death". Long term grainy tumor infection
caused by a bacterium. Usually infects the lungs by breathing or eating infected droplets. The primary
symptom is a chronic cough, fever, night sweats, chest pain, weight loss, blood in the sputum, weakness,
low-grade fever, and swollen neck glands. 90% of infected people have immune systems that are strong
enough to prevent major symptoms. Those with compromised immune systems are most at risk like
homeless people, those with HIV, etc.
TUBEROSITY: A projection of a bone. See "Tuber" (localized swelling).
TUBULES: Small tubes.
TUFT FRACTURE: Currently being researched.
TUIP: Abbreviation for "transurethral incision of the prostate". viewing/cutting instrument is inserted in the
urethra and used to make one or two cuts in the gland to free the urethra. Recovery is shorter than from
TULAREMIA: Disease caused by the pasteurella microorganism ... spread by contact with small animals
or insects.
TUMEFACTION: A swelling.
TUMOR: Also called ... "neoplasm". It is a swelling (or enlargement) of body tissue that does not
contribute to the functioning of the body.
TUNA: Abbreviation for "transurethral needle ablation". It trims the size of the prostate gland using radio
TUNNEL VISION: Also called "gun-barrel vision" or "shaft vision". A decrease of peripheral vision. A
sufferer of gun-barrel vision views the world as though s(he) was looking at the world through a tube.
TURBID: Cloudy.
TURBINATE: Turbinate bone.
TURGESCENT: Another word for "swollen".
TURGID: Another word for "swollen".
TURGOR: The normal strength and tension of the skin caused by the outward pressure of the cells and

the fluid that surrounds them ... swelling.

TURKISH SADDLE: A bony part that resembles a saddle and exists on the upper surface of the sphenoid
bone (irregular bone at the base of the skull).
TURP: Transurethral resection of the prostrate. It is the standard treatment for an enlarged prostate. A
viewing/cutting instrument is inserted in the urethra and used to cut tissue to free the urethra. It requires
approximately three weeks to recover from a TURP.
TUSSIS: Another word for "cough".
TUSSIVE: Relating to coughing.
TV: Abbreviation for "Tidal Volume.
T-WAVES: The least reliable EKG indicators ... often considered false alarms because even drinking cold
water can alter their size and shapes.
TYLE: Callosity (an area of thickened skin due to constant rubbing).
TYLOMA: Another word for "callus".
TYMPANIC MEMBRANE: Eardrum. A membrane that is tightly stretched to separate the middle ear from
the auditory canal.
TYMPANITES: Enlargement (distention) of the abdomen due to gas.
TYMPANITIC: Denoting the quality of sound elicited by percussing over the inflated intestine or a large
pulmonary cavity.
TYMPANOTOMY: Surgical opening of the middle ear.
TYMPANOSTOMY: See "myringotomy".
TYMPANUM: Another word for "eardrum".
TYPE & CROSSMATCH: Determining a patient's blood type.
TYPHOID FEVER: An infectious disease caused by the microorganism "typhoid bacillus". Symptoms
include fever, delirium (typhomania) and diarrhea.
TYRAMINE: An amino acid manufactured in the body from another amino acid (essential) tyrosine.
TYROSINEMIA: A rare ailment that is usually inherited and displays high concentrations of the amino
acid "tyrosine" in the blood and urine. Typically an indicator of liver/kidney problems.
TYROSINE: An amino acid involved in the transmission of nerve signals to the brain to assist in the
improvement of memory and mental alertness. May also improve the functioning of the adrenal, thyroid
and pituitary glands.

UA: Abbreviation for ... "urine analysis".
UA&M: Urinalysis and microscopy.
UBEROUS: Another word for "prolific".
UBW: Abbreviation for ... "usual body weight".
UES: Abbreviation for ... "upper esophageal sphincter".
UGI: Abbreviation for ... "upper gastrointestinal".
UIQ: Abbreviation for ... "upper inner quadrant".
ULALGIA: Gum pain.
ULATROPHIA: Gum shrinkage.
ULCER: Sores that can occur on internal body parts as well as the skin. Typically caused by the
bacterium "Helicobacter pylori" which naturally occurs in the stomach.
ULCERATIONS: Ulcer formation i.e., esophageal.
ULCERATIVE COLITIS: Inflammation of the rectum and colon. Shallow sores develop on the lining of the
large intestine (colon). Symptoms include: 1) Crampy abdominal pain which occurs in the lower half of the

abdomen. 2) Weight loss. 3) Diarrhea. 4) Blood in the stools. 5) Fever. The disease seems to have a
genetic component because it often occurs in families. The immune system is also involved because
biopsies reveal that immune cells infiltrate the lining of the colon. A drugs which help to control the
disease are sulfasalazine (a sulfa drug), Asacol, Pentasa and Dipentum. Control can be obtained through
diet ... avoid fats and foods high in fiber. Experimentation with foods is "key" ... each sufferer must note
which foods to avoid. Note that those with ulcerative colitis are at risk for colon cancer.
ULCEROGENIC: Refers to something that causes ulcers.
ULCUS: Ulcer.
-ULE: A suffix which means ... "small".
ULECTOMY: Gum removal.
ULEMORRHAGIA: Gum bleeding.
ULITIS: Inflammation of gums.
ULNA: One of the two bones of the lower arm (forearm).
ULNAR: Relating to the ulna or its structure (artery, nerve etc.).
ULNORADIAL: Referring to bones of the arm (ulna and radius).
ULOCACE: Gum infection / ulcer.
ULOID: Resembling a scar.
ULORRHAGIA: Gum bleeding.
ULOSIS: Formation of a scar.
ULQ: Abbreviation for ... "upper left quadrant".
ULTRASOUND: Also called ... "ultrasonic imaging", "ultrasonography", "echo scanning", A device used to
obtain a detailed images of the interior of the body. This procedure uses sound waves that are harmless
and painless.
ULULATION: Crying hysterically.
UMBILICAL CORD: The passageway that connects a baby's navel with the placenta.
UMBILICATE: Pitted ... shaped like a dimple.
UMBILICUS: The "belly button". Area of the abdomen where umbilical cord was attached.
UMBO: An area of the eardrum that is shaped like a funnel.
UNCIFORM: One of the wrist bones which is shaped like a hook.
UNCINATE PROCESS: A bone process (a natural growth that comes out from a bone) on the ethmoid
bone (of the skull / sinuses).
UNCOATING: One of the stages of replication that a virus goes through ... when proteins are shed and
the genome is exposed.
UNCONJUGATED BILIRUBIN: Indirect bilirubin that has not been converted to diglucuronide ...
associated with the proteins in plasma.
UNGUAL: Relating to the nail or nails.
UNGUINAL: Relating to the nail or nails.
UNGUIS: Toenail or fingernail.
UNIDOSE: One dosage.
UNILATERAL: Referring to one side.
UNSATURATED FATS: Fats that are liquid at room temperature. They are derived from vegetables and
include primrose oil, safflower oil, and flaxseed oil. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are
categorized as "unsaturated".
UNSTABLE ANGINA: A condition that results in chest pains due to blood clots.
UNTOWARD: Unfavorable or unfortunate.
UOQ: Abbreviation for ... "upper outer quadrant".
UPEP: Abbreviation for ... "urine protein electrophoresis".
UPJ: Abbreviation for "ureteropelvic junction".
UPPER GI SERIES: An x-ray procedure of the esophagus, duodenum and stomach ... liquid barium is
swallowed prior to this diagnostic procedure to highlight these regions.
UQ: Abbreviation for ... "upper quadrant".
UR / O: A combining word-form that means "urinary tract".
URACRATIA: Incapability to old urine in the body.
UREA: One of the body's waste materials.
UREMIA: Presence of urine in the blood.

URETER: Passageway from the bladder to the kidneys.

URETEROLITH: A ureter stone.
URETHRA: A passageway which transports urine from the bladder outside the body.
URETHRITIS: Inflammation of the urethra.
URETHROBULBAR: Refers to the globular penis and urethra.
URIC ACID: A product of the body's metabolism of protein present in the blood and excreted in the urine.
URINARY MEATUS: The opening of the male penis.
UPTAKE: Absorption of a substance by living tissue.
UREA: A waste product formed in the liver ... it is the primary nitrogenous compound of urine.
UREMIA: An abnormal amount of urea in the blood ... typically caused by kidney failure and can be
treated with dialysis.
URETHRA: The tiny tube that transports urine to the outside of the body.
URETHRITIS: Inflammation of the urethra.
URI: 1. Abbreviation for "upper respiratory illness". 2. Abbreviation for ... "urinary tract infection" ... an
infection of one or more parts of the urinary tract.
-URIA: A suffix which means ... "urine".
URICASE: An enzyme that contributes to oxidation of uric acid to allantoin, carbon dioxide and other
substances found primarily in the brain, kidneys and liver.
URINALYSIS: An analysis of urine to determine the presence of bladder/kidney problems, dehydration,
diabetes, and nourishment problems.
URINARY TRACT INFECTION: People suffering from this infection complain of burning with urination and
frequent urination. Sometimes blood is noticed in the urine combined with discomfort in the lower area of
the abdomen. To diagnose UTI's a sample of the blood is obtained and inspected. Pus cells seen via
microscope are a good indication but to be sure a urine culture is obtained which identifies the germ and
which antibiotic will be effective. As preventative medicine, women should avoid taking baths because E.
Coli is present in the rectal area and breeds in the warm water to gain access to the short female urethra.
Women who urinate frequently are less prone (i.e. drink lots of fluids). Keep E. Coli away from urethra by
proper wiping after bowel movements i.e., wipe from front to back.
URINE CULTURE: The smearing of urine on an agar plate in order to grow a bacterium that may be
causing an infection. The laboratory can then select an antibiotic that will work best against that
UROLITH: The presence of a stone in the urine.
UROLITHIASIS: Urinary tract stone.
UROLOGIST: One who specializes in urinary problems.
UROPATHY: Any disorder involving the urinary tract.
UROSCHESIS: The retention of urine.
UROSTOMY: Diverting urine from a defective bladder through a surgically created opening.
URQ: Abbreviation for ... "upper right quadrant".
URTICARIA: Skin eruption with temporary wheals and sizes with clear margins and pale centers. Also
called "hives". Zyrtec and Allegra are common medications.
URTICARIAL: Rash, hives.
URTICARIA PIGMENTOSA: A rare ailment that results in itchy, hive-like eruptions.
USO: Abbreviation for "unilateral salpingo oophorectomy".
UTER / (O): A combining word-form that means "uterus".
UTEROPLACENTAL: Referring to the uterus and placenta.
UTEROSACRAL LIGAMENTS: Currently being researched.
UTI: Abbreviation for "urinary tract infection".
UV: Abbreviation for "ureterovesical.
UVEITIS: Currently being researched.
UVULA: A projecting tissue of the throat.

V: Abbreviation for ... "vomiting".
VACCINE: An agent inserted into the body for the express purpose of producing antibodies and thus
creating an immunization to that agent.
VAGAL: Pertaining to the vagus nerve.
VAGIN / O: A combining word-form that means "vagina".
VAGINA: The passage which connects the inner and outer sex organs of the female.
VAGINITIS: Vaginal inflammation.
VAGINOSIS: In bacterial vaginosis healthy lactobacillus bacteria are replaced by harmful bacteria
causing the vagina to become alkaline. A fish odor and abundant white discharge are the symptoms.
Common treatments are Clindamycin or vaginal metronidazole.
VAGINOVESICAL: Referring to the urinary bladder and vagina.
VAGOTOMY: Surgery for severing nerves of the stomach.
VAGOTONIA: A nerve complaint.
VAGUS: The 10th cranial nerve.
VALGUS: Bent or twisted outward ... bowlegged.
VALINE: An amino acid that is categorized as "essential". It is required for infant growth and equilibrium of
nitrogen in adults. It also encourages muscle coordination and mental acuity.
VALLEY FEVER: Also called "coccidioidomycosis". It is a fungus common to Mexico and the
Southwestern United States. It resides in soil and can make some people sick due to the inhalation of
spores. Symptoms resemble a mild case of the flu for most. However, a small number of people develop
serious infection that results in pneumonia, night sweats, muscle pain, joint pain, fever, and cough.
Antifungal drugs are established by vein in serious cases.
VALPROIC ACID: A drug used to stop or prevent convulsions.
VALSALVA MANEUVER: Forcing expirations of breath with closed nose and mouth for purpose of
inflating the eustachian tubes and middle ears. Used by people who are descending from high altitudes.
VALVULAR INSUFFICIENCY: Incomplete closure of a valve.
VAN DEN BERGH TEST: A test which detects bilirubin in the blood ... may indicate liver disease.
VARIANT ANGINA: Also called ... "Prinzmetal's angina". Results from different causes than angina
pectoris. Usually strikes people in their 30's or 40's. Heart arteries constrict suddenly to block blood flow
to the muscles of the heart. Variant angina occurs at rest and often wakens a person from sleep. Few
people have disabling pain or suffer a heart attack.
VARICEAL: Referring to a "varix" (a dilated vein).
VARICELLA: Chickenpox.
VARICELLA - ZOSTER: A virus that causes chickenpox.
VARICOCELE: A mass if dilated, tortuous veins to the testicles which can result in male infertility. This
disorder develops due to blood that pools and stagnates ... stretching the veins out of shape ...
temperature rises and the manufacture of sperm decreases. A dull pain is sometimes noted. When this
disorder is noted in middle and advanced age it can be an indication of kidney cancer.
VARICES: Dilated veins plural of "varix".
VARICOSE VEINS: Abnormally swollen veins that usually occur in the legs. Pain and swelling can be
relieved by compression hoses, elevation of the legs (as often as possible) and not remaining still for any
great length of time. The veins can also be removed by a process called "sclerotherapy" ... injecting them
with a solution which irritates their walls causing them to stick to each other which results in collapsing
and withering away. Another option is surgery that involves the making of a small incision along the
length of the vein and removing it in sections.
VARIOLA: Smallpox.
VARIX: A dilated (enlarged) vein.
VARUS: Bent or twisted inward.
VAS / (O): A combining word-form that means "vessel".
VAS: Passageway.
VASCULAR: Referring to blood vessels.
VASCULARITY: An abnormal condition of a blood vessel(s).
VASCULITIS: Inflammation of a blood vessel(s) there are 15 distinct diseases.

VAS DEFERENS: The passageway located in the testes that transport semen.
VASECTOMY: A cutting of the vas deferens that is performed to sterilize males.
VASO: Refers to blood vessel dilation.
VASOCONSTRICTION: Small artery narrowing.
VASOCONSTRICTOR: That which causes blood vessels to narrow.
VASODEPRESSOR: That which causes blood vessels to relax thus lowering blood pressure.
VASODILATION: An increase in the diameter of blood vessels.
VASODILATOR: That which causes blood vessels to relax thus lowering blood pressure.
VASOMOTOR: Relating to blood flow.
VASOPRESSOR: A medication that raises blood pressure by narrowing the diameter of arterioles.
VASSOPRESSIN: Also called ... "antidiuretic hormone". Chemical produced by the pituitary gland ... it
decreases the amount of water filtered by the kidneys into urine.
VASOVAGAL: Vaso (blood vessels) and vagal (vagus nerve). The term refers to the action of two
mechanisms ... the vagus nerve on blood vessels.
VASOVAGAL SYNCOPE: Fainting which is caused by blood pooling in the legs to cause a decrease in
the heart and brain. Blood circulation is restored when the person falls to the ground and a proper amount
of blood returns to the heart and brain. Causes include fasting, heat pain and intense emotions. This type
of fainting is not considered to be a serious condition.
VASTUS: Great musculus. Describes muscles.
VATER'S AMPULA: The enlarged area in the small, nipple-like process of the initial area of the intestines
that receives the main pancreatic duct and the common bile duct.
VDRL: Abbreviation for "venereal disease research laboratory (test).
VECTOR: Something that transmits a parasite from one organism to another i.e. mosquitos.
VEIN: Blood vessels that transport blood to the heart.
VEN / O: A combining word-form that means "vein".
VENA CAVA: One of the two large veins that empty into the heart.
VENA PROTAE HEPATIS: Also called ... "portal vein", "hepatic protal vein". Vein formed by the splenic
vein and the superior mesenteric vein that splits into a branchlike pattern within the liver.
VENEPUNCTURE: A procedure that typically involves the removal of blood by puncturing a vein.
VENEREAL: Referring to the sexual act.
VENEREAL DISEASE: A disease that is passed from person to person via sexual relations.
VENERY: A synonym for sexual intercourse.
VENESECTION: The removal of blood from a vein via a puncture.
VENEPUNCTURE: A surgical vein puncture.
VENIPUNCTURE: A procedure that typically involves the removal of blood by puncturing a vein.
VENOGRAM: A x-ray analysis of a vein in which a liquid contrast medium us used to enhance the
VENO-OCCLUSIVE: Referring to vein obstruction.
VENOUS: Referring to veins.
VENT: An opening into a canal or cavity through which the contents are discharged.
VENTILATOR: A device that assists a patient with breathing.
VENTRAL: A position toward the belly (front) of the body.
VENTRAL HERNIA: Hernia through the wall of the abdomen.
VENTRICLE: Term used for a cavity of the brain or heart. In the heart it is one wither the two lower
chambers of the heart which contracts and pumps blood.
VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION: A potentially life threatening condition where the pumping chambers of
the heart (ventricles) fail to contract normally ... preventing blood flow throughout the body. It should be
noted that ventricular fibrillation is different than atrial fibrillation (seldom a threat to life).
VENTRICULAR SEPTUM: The wall of muscle that divides the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles).
VENTURI MASK: See section on "Oxygen Supplementation".
VERESS: Instrument-tool ... type of needle.
VERMIS: 1. Worm. 2. A structure which resembles a worm ... it is often used to refer to the vermis
cerebelli of the brain.
VERNIX: A substance that forms on the fetus at approximately seven months of development. It is white

and creamy.
VERULE: Tiny vein.
VERMIFORM: Something that resembles a worm in shape.
VERMIFUGE: A substance that destroys or repels worms of the intestines.
VERMILLION: Border of the lip.
VERRUCA PLANA SENILIS: A lesion that resembles a wart and is considered to be premalignant. It
occurs in elderly, light skinned people on areas of the skin, which have been exposed to the sun (face
and hands). A cutaneous horn sometimes develops. Squamous (scaly) cell carcinoma may result when
left untreated. Synonyms are: actinic keratosis, senile keratoderma, senile keratoma, senile keratosis,
keratosis senilis, senile wart, solar keratosis, verruca plana senilis, and verruca senilis.
VERRUCA SENILIS: A lesion that resembles a wart and is considered to be premalignant. It occurs in
elderly, light skinned people on areas of the skin, which have been exposed to the sun (face and hands).
A cutaneous horn sometimes develops. Squamous (scaly) cell carcinoma may result when left untreated.
Synonyms are: actinic keratosis, senile keratoderma, senile keratoma, senile keratosis, keratosis senilis,
senile wart, solar keratosis, verruca plana senilis, and verruca senilis.
VERRUCOSIS: Condition marked by multiple warts or verrucae.
VERTEBRA: One of the 33 bones of the backbone (spinal column).
VERTEBROPLASTY: A treatment for compression fractures of the spine. A cement like substance
injected into a collapsed bone thus improving bone density and relieving pain.
VERTEX: The topmost point of the vault of the skull.
VERTIGO: Dizziness. A sense of motion. It is caused by a confusing signal sent to the brain by the inner
VERTIBROBASILAR INSUFFICIENCY: See "Basilar Artery Insufficiency Syndrome".
VERTICAL TRANSMISSION: When an infection is transmitted from the mother to and unborn offspring.
VERTIGINOUS: Relating to or suffering from vertigo.
VESICA: Bladder.
VESICANT: Blistered.
VESICLE: A small sac containing liquid (blister).
VESICOUTERINE: Surgical term ... currently being researched.
VESICULAR: Relating to a vessel.
VESTIBULE: 1. A cavity located at the beginning of a canal. 2. A hollow space located at the beginning of
a canal ... it is often used to refer to the cavity of the bone-like labyrinth that communicates with the inner
VESTIBULITIS: Inflammation at the entrance of the vulva ... symptoms include painful sexual relations
and burning sensation.
VESTIGE: The remains of a structure that existed in an embryo or fetus.
VESTIGIAL: A part of the body that is non-functional.
V-FIB: Abbreviation for "ventricular fibrillation".
VIABILITY: Capability of living.
VIAL: A glass tube that contains doses of medications.
VIBEX: Spot underneath the skin caused by hemorrhage.
VIBRIO: A classification of bacteria.
VILLI: Projections that resemble hairs ... located on the membrane covering of the small intestine.
VINCENT'S ANGINA: Trench mouth ... mouth infection.
VIOLACEOUS: Purple discoloration of the skin.
VIRAL: Referring to something that originates with a virus.
VIRAL ENVELOPE PROTEINS: Protein layers surrounding a virus particle ... it consists of lipids and
proteins. The outermost layer consists of units called peplomers.
VIRAL LOAD: The quantity of virus existing in the blood stream.
VIRAL TITER: The amount of virus measured.
VIREMIA: A presence of a virus in blood.
VIRIDIS: Currently being researched.
VIROLOGY: The study of viral diseases.
VIRION: The primary viral particle that is typically enclosed with an envelope of protein.
VIROSE: Toxic.

VIRULENCE: 1. A danger to life ... usually referring to poisons. 2. Virulence also refers to the death rate
of an infection.
VIRUS: A tiny structure made up of ... DNA and/or RNA core surrounded by a coating of protein. These
structures are incapable of reproduction without "host" cells. Typical diseases caused by viruses include
chickenpox, colds, measles, mumps, poliomyelitis and smallpox. Viruses contain either (but never both)
RNA or DNA. Viruses are capable of infecting virtually all animals including bacteria. Typically they only
infect one species. For instance a virus that affects dogs would not infect a human. Typically a virus is
less than 150 nanometers in diameter.
VIRUS ATTACHMENT PROTEIN: A protein found on the surface of viruses ... binds the receptor.
VIRUSOID: The simplest viruses made up from a single strand of genetic material.
VISCER / (O): A combining word-form that means "internal organs".
VISCERA: Plural of viscus ... body organs (internal).
VISCERAL: 1. Referring to "viscera". 2. See "virus".
VISCERAL PERICARDIUM: Outer portion of the wall of the heart.
VISCEROMEGALY: Enlarged internal organ.
VISCERTOME: A medical device used to remove samples of liver tissue from cadavers.
VISCID: Thick and sticky.
VISCUS: An organ of the digestive, respiratory, urogenital and endocrine system as well as the spleen
heart, great vessels.
VITAL SIGNS: The four vital signs are temperature, pulses, respirations and blood pressure readings.
VITAMINS: Vitamins regulate and assist biochemical processes that release energy from digested food.
VITAMIN A: Fat-soluble vitamin that is carried through the bloodstream attached to lipids. The first vitamin
to be officially identified. Without vitamin A eye disease can occur in the form of "xerophthalmia" in which
the eyes dry out and sores develop on the eyelids and cornea which can lead to blindness. In fact, the
number one cause of blindness in developing countries is lack of vitamin A ... elderly, teenagers and
alcoholics are most at risk. Lack of Vitamin A can result in growth retardation, defective teeth and gums,
fatigue, lower levels of active thyroid hormone, weight gain, depression, headaches, low body
temperature and a compromised immunity system. Lack of vitamin A in alcoholics can result in night
blindness, skin problems, cirrhosis of the liver and ease of picking up infections. TOXICITY: Vitamin A is
stored in the liver and is fat soluble so there is a possibility of toxicity when taking supplements which can
be manifested by headache, chapped lips, dry skin, fatigue, emotional instability and joint and bone pain.
USES: Supplemental Vitamin A is used to treat blurred vision, cataracts, glaucoma, conjunctivitis and dry
eyes in the form of eye drops. It has also been used to treat asthma, sebaceous cysts, fibrocystic breast
disease and premenstrual syndrome. SOURCES: Fish/liver oils ...egg yolks ... milk products.
VITAMIN B1: This first B vitamin discovered ... also called "thiamin". Because of it's relationship with
carbohydrates and the manufacture of energy it is essential in virtually every cellular reaction in the body
from it's role in the nervous system (manufacture of acetylcholine) to the prevention of fatty deposits in
arteries to assist in the prevention of atherosclerosis. Vitamin B1 is necessary for the proper functioning
of the muscles, nervous system and heart. A deficiency has been known to result in a loss of appetite,
insomnia, fatigue, weight loss, depression, constipation, irritability, heart problems and gastrointestinal
problems. SOURCES: Organ meats, soybeans, peas, peanuts, egg yolks, poultry, broccoli, oatmeal,
asparagus, raisins, plums. The cooking process, ultraviolet light, sulfates, nitrites and live yeast can
destroy much of the Vitamin B1 in food sources. DOSAGE: The recommended daily intake is the year
2000 is 1.5 milligram for adults and 1.7 milligram for lactating females.
VITAMIN B2: Also called "riboflavin". It is essential for the manufacture, growth, maintenance and repair
of tissues like skin, hair, connective tissue and the immunity system. Recent research suggests that it
may also be effective at reducing migraines. Deficiencies can occur due to antibiotic use, oral
contraceptives and alcohol because they impede the absorption of vitamin B2. SYMPTOMS: Deficiency
can cause depression, decreased touch sensation, anemia, loss of appetite, red / swollen lips and
tongue. SOURCES: Organ meats, milk, yeast, cheese, oily fish, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables as well
as nuts, broccoli, currants and avocados. DOSAGE: The recommended daily intake for adults is 1.7
milligrams per day and 2.0 milligrams for lactating females.
VITAMIN B3: Also called "niacin". USES: Treatment of high cholesterol, anxiety, circulatory problems
along with emotional / physical stress. SYMPTOMS: Deficiencies can cause skin that becomes sensitive
to light and afterwards becomes thick, rough and dry. Also weakness, fatigue, anorexia, indigestion, skin
outbreaks. Deficiencies can be caused by alcoholism, malnourishment, cancer, protein deficiencies and

females taking oral contraceptives. SOURCES: Foods that contain this vitamin include ... beef, pork, fish,
milk, cheese, whole wheat, potatoes, corn and carrots. COOKING TIP: Note that only tiny amounts are
contained in foods and therefore (to preserve it) foods should be steamed to retain as much as possible.
DOSAGE: The recommended daily intake in the year 2000 is 20 milligrams a day for adults.
VITAMIN B5: Also called "pantothenic acid". It is involved in releasing energy from physiological
functions. It helps in the synthesis (manufacture) of coenzyme A that is associated with the breakup of
fats and carbohydrates, building membranes for cells and manufacture of some neurotransmitters
required by the nervous system. Deficiencies are rare. DOSAGE: Daily intake should probably be
between four and ten milligrams per day the recommended daily intake is placed at five milligrams per
day. SOURCES: Sweet potatoes, milk, broccoli, liver, eggs, yeast, bran, peanuts, wheat germ, peas,
meat, poultry, whole grains. VOLATILITY: Many vegetables and fruits contain small quantities but food
processing, canning and heat destroy B5. DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: Although deficiency is rare, it has
been induced experimentally to result in headache, fatigue, shrunken adrenal glands, depression,
nausea, sleep problems, personality changes, abdominal cramps, muscle cramps, tingling and numbness
of extremities (hands and feet), immune problems, impaired coordination, muscle cramps, dermatitis.
TOXICITY: Causes diarrhea.
VITAMIN B6: Also called "pyridoxine". A family of related compounds contained in animal products
(pyridoxamine and pyridoxal) and plants (pyridoxine). It assists in the breakdown and manufacture of
amino acids and in the process that converts amino acids into fats or carbohydrates. DEFICIENCIES:
Typically occur in alcoholics, older people, adolescents, and people on restricted diets. Deficiencies can
be caused by tobacco smoke, radiation, pollution, stress, and oral contraceptives. Symptoms include
drowsiness, irritability, weakness, depression and loss of appetite. Can adversely affect the development
of an infant nervous system and cause convulsions in young children if it occurs during pregnancy.
CAUTION: It appears to be non-toxic but has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics. USES:
Has been used to treat mood disorders, PMS, asthma, cardiovascular diseases. SOURCES: Chicken,
fish, pork, egg, milk, liver, wheat germ, kidneys, and brewer's yeast. DOSAGE: The recommended daily
intake is two milligrams per day for adults and 2.5 milligrams per day for lactating females. FORMS:
Pyridoxine hydrochloride and pyridoxine phosphate.
VITAMIN B12: Also called "cobalamin" because it is the only vitamin to contain cobalt (an essential
mineral). It is typically found in animal products. USES: Required to metabolize (the process within the
body that maintains and produces life) nerve tissue, fats, carbohydrates, maintenance of the entire
nervous system. Also, it contributes to the transportation of and storage of folate. It is stored in the heart,
liver, kidneys, brain, pancreas, testes, bone marrow and blood. DEFICIENCY: Deficiency of B12 results in
"pernicious anemia". Weight loss, weakness, pale skin and psychological disturbances are typical.
Typically seen in alcoholics, strict vegetarians, and older people. TOXICITY: No toxic effects have been
found in the year 2000. SOURCES: Oysters, eggs, meat, milk, crabs, fish. DOSAGE: Recommended
daily allowance in the year 2000 is 10-20 mcg per day.
VITAMIN B's (Various): Water soluble vitamins. Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12 are commonly
known but there are other vitamins in the B family ... biotin, choline, folic acid, inositol and PABA (paraaminobenzoic acid). See these headings for more information.
VITAMIN C: Also called "ascorbic acid" in its pure form. Water soluble vitamin. Discovered formally in
1928 when it was shown to be the major cause in preventing and treating scurvy. It is involved in
hundreds of vital processes in the human body like ... antibody production, activity of white blood cells,
production of interferon, antiviral and anticancer substances, etcetera. Works as an antioxidant in
maintaining healthy skin and strengthening the immune system. Some sources include citrus fruits, kiwi,
peppers, strawberry, papaya, black currants, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, etcetera. RDA: In the
year 2000 the American government's recommended daily allowance for women 60-75 milligrams per day
(smokers 95-110) ... for men it is 60-90 milligrams per day (smokers 95-125). LIMITS: Daily amounts
should not exceed 2,000 milligrams because higher dosages result in diarrhea. SYMPTOMS: Symptoms
of low levels of vitamin C are scurvy, bleeding, loose teeth, joint pain, dry/scaly skin, blood vessel
damage, depression, anemia, fluid retention, slow healing of wounds, susceptibility to infection, male
infertility, genetic damage to sperm cells.
VITAMIN D: Fat-soluble vitamin that is necessary for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus (from the
intestinal tract). Is associated with: 1) Development and growth of teeth and bones in children. 2)
Regulation of heart beat. 3) Protects against muscle weakness. 4) Boosts immunity system. 5) Required
for thyroid. 6) Required for blood clotting. 7) It is important in the treatment and prevention of

hypocalcemia. 8) It is important in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. The vitamin D that is
found in foods cannot be utilized by the body ... it must be converted by the kidneys and liver to become
fully active (this is why people with kidney and liver dysfunctions are at risk for osteoporosis). Vitamin D
can also be obtained by exposing the face and arms to the sun (15 minutes, three times a week) because
a cholesterol compound in the skin is transformed by the sun's ultraviolet rays into a precursor of vitamin
D. SOURCES: Saltwater fish, eggs, butter, fish liver oils, dairy products, cod liver oil, milk, tuna, sweet
potatoes, vegetable oils dandelion greens, alfalfa, nettle (herb), parsley and horsetail (herb). CAUTIONS:
Only take vitamin D with calcium ... toxicity can result. Severe deficiencies may result in childhood rickets,
osteomalacia in adults, burning sensation in the throat and mouth, difficulty sleeping, diarrhea, weight
loss and visual problems.
VITAMIN E: Fat-soluble vitamin that is carried through the bloodstream attached to lipids. A powerful
antioxidant which slows the oxidation in the body due to free radicals. The Vitamin E consumed should be
"alpha-tocopherol" (the only type that human blood can maintain and transfer to cells when needed).
BENEFITS: Studies have shown that vitamin E improves heart and muscle respiration, promotes blood
clotting, helps to prevent cataracts, strengthens capillary walls, longevity of the skin, prevent many
cancers, treating existing cancer. DOSAGE: In the year 2000 the American government's recommended
daily allowance for women 15 milligrams (or 22 International units) per day ... for men it is 15 milligrams
(22 International units) per day. LIMITS: 1,000 milligrams per day ... higher amounts have been
associated with greater risks of stroke and uncontrolled bleeding. TOPICAL USES: Benefits the skin by
forestalling the effects of aging. SOURCES: Vegetable oil ... seeds ... liver ... nuts. CAUTION: Vitamin
mildly thins the blood and can be a concern for those taking other blood pressure medications such as
VITAMIN F: Essential unsaturated fatty acids.
VITAMIN K: Fat-soluble vitamin(s) that are carried through the bloodstream attached to lipids. A group of
three vitamins ... K1 (phylloquinone - made by plants), K2 (menaquinone - made by animals) and K3
(menaphthone - synthetic). Stored in the liver following absorption in the intestines. The vitamin is best
known for its blood clotting association. It is a vital constituent in the manufacture of prothrombin and
assists in the conversion of prothrombin to thrombin. It is also linked to bone health because it is a
requirement in the function of calcium in the mineralization of bone. It is also required for the protein MGP
found in bones, teeth and cartilage. It is also linked to the conversion of glucose to glycogen in the liver ...
prevention of kidney stones. SYMPTOMS: Deficiencies can cause blood-clotting problems.
VITAMIN P: Bioflavonoids are sometimes referred to as "Vitamin P" but they are not vitamins in the
strictest sense of the word. Bioflavonoids improve the absorption of Vitamin C and should be taken in
conjunction with one another. Bioflavonoids like hesperetin, hesperidin, eriodictyol, quercetin, quercitrin
and rutin are no manufactured by the body and must be obtained from diet. They are often used to relieve
athletic injuries such as pain, bruises, and pain in the legs/back. Bioflavonoids work together with Vitamin
C to maintain capillaries. Also, they enhance circulation, stimulate bile production, lower cholesterol
levels, counteract cataracts, have an antibacterial effect. When taken in conjunction with vitamin C they it
can reduce the effects of oral herpes. SOURCES: Can be found in the white material beneath the peel of
citrus fruits, peppers, buckwheat and black currants, apricots, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, lemons,
oranges, prunes, rose hips, chervil, elderberries, hawthorn berry, horsetail.
VITILIGO: Otherwise normal skin with white patches, sometimes hair in the affected areas. The lack of
skin pigmentation is due to a lack of melanocytes (skin cells which contain melanin pigment). Underlying
this condition may be diabetes, thyroid problems, pernicious anemia or a malfunctioning adrenal gland. In
the year 2000 the National Vitiligo Foundation can be contacted at, 611 South Fleishel Ave, Tyler, Tex
VITREOUS: The fluid that fills the back of the eye (between the lens and retina.
VIVISECT: The dissection of a live animal.
VNP: Abbreviation for "Ventilated patients".
VOCAL CORDS: Bands of tissues that cause the vibrations of speech.
VOLAR: Referring to the vola; denoting either the palm of the hand or sole of the foot.
VOLAR CARPAL LIGAMENT: Ligament of the wrist.
VOLAR FLEXION CREASE: Of the wrist ... currently being researched.
VOLCE: The sole of the foot or palm of the hand.
VOLITION: The ability to choose.

VOLKMANN'S CONTRACTURE: A contraction of the fingers.

VOLVULUS: An obstruction caused by a twist in the intestines.
VOMER: A bone of the nose.
VOMITUS: The material that is ejected from the mouth through vomiting.
VON GRAEFE'S SIGN: Currently being researched.
VON RECKLINGHAUSEN'S DISEASE: This is the most common type of neurofibromatosis that is an
inherited problem in which growths appear from nerves and surrounding tissues. They can impede the
functioning of organs.
VON WILLEBRAND'S DISEASE: A bleeding disorder which is more common than the more severe
hemophilia. It results from a deficiency of the blood protein "von Willebrand factor". For many cases of the
disease, it is only a cause for concern when a patient has undergone a major trauma to the body. In other
cases the sufferer may lose extreme amount of blood during menstrual periods. The drug DDAVP is often
given to boost von Willebrand's factor to prevent hemorrhage.
VON WILLEBRAND'S FACTOR: A blood protein that works with others to correct leaks in blood vessels.
VOX: Voice.
VP SHUNT: Abbreviation for ... "ventriculoperitoneal shunt".
VQ: Abbreviation for "Voice Quality".
V/Q: Ventilation-perfusion.
VQ LUNG SCAN: Ventilator-perfusion lung scan.
VSD: Abbreviation for "Ventricular Septal Defect".
VTP: Abbreviation for "Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy".
VULVA: Genitalia (female).
VUVLITIS: Inflammation of external female genitalia.
VULVOVAGINITIS: Inflammation of both vulva and vagina.
VZF: Abbreviation for ... "varicella-zoster virus" ... causes herpes, chickenpox (varicella) and shingles

WAGNER'S DISEASE: Hyaloideoretinal degeneration.
WALDENSTRM'S MACROGLOBULINEMIA: Increased levels of macroglobulins in the circulatory blood.
WALLEYE: A type of strabismus in which one or both eyes turn outward.
WANDERING LIVER: A liver that moves in the abdominal cavity.
WANGENSTEEN TUBE: A tube to provide drainage of the gastrointestinal tract. ... it is inserted through
the nostrils and pharynx to the stomach.
WARD'S TRIANGLE: An area of decreased density in the fiber bundles that support the neck of the thigh
bone (femur) seen on x-ray.
WARTHIN'S TUMOR: Also called ... "adenolymphoma". A benign tumor of the parotid gland.
WARTS: Caused by the human papillomavirus (which resides in the skin). The virus leaves two-thirds of
its victims after approximately two years. Treatments include medications which contain salicylic acid
(Duofilm Liquid Wart Remover or Occlusal-HP) ... tapes (apply several layers of water proof tape and
leave for 6.5 days) ... oral tablets (Cimetidine) ... freezing (with liquid nitrogen).
WASSERMAN TEST: A blood test to determine the presence of syphilis.
WATER HAMMER PULSE: A pulse that is likened to a quick and forceful upstroke.
WATER OF THE KNEE: A condition of fluid collection due to inflammation of the membrane of the knee.
WAXY LIVER: A degeneration of the starch like protein "amyloid" within the liver.
WBC: Abbreviation for ... "white blood cell count". A representation of all the lymphocytes, granulocytes
and monocytes in a unit of whole blood.
WEBER-CHRISTIAN DISEASE: Also called ... "Nodular Panniculitis". Symptoms include bumps on the
legs and buttocks that are actually inflamed fat located beneath the surface of the skin. Flare-ups typically

occur for 2-3 weeks and often result in scarring. Remission occurs for many in a few months to a few
years. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Prednisone can counteract the inflammation.
WEBER'S SIGN / SYNDROME: Lesion in the mid brain region resulting in paralysis of the face, tongue
and extremities.
WEEPING: Fluid leakage as in a scratch or abrasion to the skin.
WEGENER'S GRANULOMATOSIS: Little is known about how this disease causes inflamed blood
vessels of the above tissues and organs. Affected organs can vary greatly and therefore symptoms are
just as varied. The lungs are commonly attacked and can produce symptoms such as cough, shortness of
breath and blood in sputum. Also, the eyes, joints, heart, nerves, nose, sinuses, kidneys can be involved.
In the past this disease killed 90% of its victims but today (year 2000) the cortisone drugs and
cyclophosphamide has reversed that and 75% of cases have a remission of all symptoms. It is noted that
the illness can recur.
WEIGHTED SPECULUM: Surgical instrument.
WESTERN BLOT ASSAY: A blood test that analyzes proteins to determine is a virus is present.
WEST NILE VIRUS: The disease is an infection of the brain that can be transmitted to humans by
mosquitoes that have bitten infected birds. Most people who become infected with West Nile virus will
either never get sick or develop flu-like symptoms. But the disease can be deadly for those with
weakened immune systems and the elderly. It was previously thought that crows were the common
carrier, however, it is now known that the virus affects 63 or more different species of birds. It is unknown
whether the virus can be transferred directly from bird to man.
WET MACULAR DEGENERATION: An eye condition that results in loss of vision due to abnormally
increased growth of retinal blood vessels. Laser treatments are used to seal the vessels that are leaking.
WEST NILE VIRUS: A mosquito-transmitted disease that causes fever, headache, stiff necks,
disorientation and tremors. Most people who are infected become only mildly sick but the infections have
been known to kill. In the year 2000 there are no treatments to combat the virus. The West Nile Virus
leaves a trail of dead cows and blue jays in its path ... humans and other fowls can then become infected.
WHARTON'S DUCT: Submandibular.
WHEAL: An individual patch of itchy skin that is round, elevated and red.
WHEEZE: A sound detected by listening to the chest ... it indicates a problem with the lungs.
WHIPPLE'S DISEASE: Rare ailment ... symptoms include steatorrhea (fats is stool), lymphadenopathy,
arthritis, fever, cough.
WHIPPLE'S OPERATION: Pancreatoduodenectomy.
WHITE BLOOD CELLS: Blood cells that defend the body against disease ... also called leukocytes. They
come in five varieties, neutrophils, lymphocytes ...
WHITE BLOOD CELL COUNT: The measurements of the number of white blood cells in a cubic
millimeter of blood. A normal range is between 4,300 and 10,500.
WHITE BLOOD CELL DIFFERENTIAL: A percentage of the different types of white blood cells contained
in a sample of blood.
WHITE COAT HYPERTENSION: An abnormally high blood pressure reading caused by the anxiety of
seeing a doctor. A realistic reading can be obtained with home blood pressure devices.
WHITE LEG: Caused by thrombosis of the leg ... symptoms include swelling and loss of skin color of the
WHITE ZONE: ... of the knee. Currently being researched.
WHO: Abbreviation for ... "World Health Organization".
WHOOPING COUGH: Infectious disease. Symptoms include coughing episodes that includes whooping
noises while gasping for breath.
WILLEBRAND'S DISEASE: See "von Willebrand's disease".
WILM'S TUMOR: A renal tumor typically seen in youngsters. It is malignant and made from various types
of tissue including spindle cells and tubules.
WILSON'S DISEASE: An inherited disease in which a patient accumulates a toxic amount of copper in
the brain, liver and other organs.
WISDOM TOOTH: The last tooth (posterior) on each side of the jaw.
WK: Correctly spelled ... "wk". Abbreviation for ... "week".
WOLFF-PARKINSON-WHITE SYNDROME: Heart disorder with an early contraction of part of the heart
WOOD'S LIGHT (FILTER, GLASS): Ultraviolet light from a mercury-vapor source ... transmitted through a

nickel-oxide filter (wood's filter) which blocks most of the violet rays.
WORKUP: Diagnostic investigation(s) of a patients ailment via a variety of methods like x-rays, blood
tests and patient history.
WOUNDS AND SUTURES: common terminology: ABD plain gauze dressing; Acrylic wrap bandage;
Xeroform gauze dressing; Anesthetized with 1% buffered lidocaine; A-P mold; Biosyn sutures; Bulky
dressing; Dexon; Draped sterilely; Closed in layers; Cotton; Continuous running suture; Cutting needles;
Dacron; Dermalon sutures; Draped sterilely; Ethibond; Ethilon (4-0); Interrupted 6-0 nylon sutures for final
skin closure; Interrupted 6-0 nylon sutures for the final skin closure; Kerlix dressing; Mepivacaine; Novofil;
PDS (long lasting absorbable suture); Procaine; Proline; Rapid Vicryl sutures; Regional infiltration; Silk;
Simple interrupted; Stainless steel wire; Suture marks (tracks); Taper needles; Tracks; Turban style
dressing; Wounds: Anesthetized with 1% buffered lidocaine; 5-0 Vicryl;
WRIST DROP: Paralysis of extensor of the wrist.
WRYNECK: Also called "torticollis". Spasms cause the head to turn to one side.
WT: Correctly spelled ... "wt". Abbreviation for ... "weight".
W/V: Correctly spelled ... "w/v". Abbreviation for "weight in volume".

XANTH / O: A combining word-form that means "yellow".
XANTHEMIA: Yellow material in blood.
XANTHIC: Yellow.
XANTHOMAS: Small yellow bumps (growths or tumors).
XANTHOPSIN: A condition in which objects appear yellow ... may occur with jaundice.
XANTHOSIS: Jaundice.
X CHROMOSOME: Sex chromosome (one of two).
XENOPHOBIA: Fear of strangers.
XENOPHTHALMIA: Eye inflammation caused by a foreign body.
XER / (O): A combining word-form that means, "dry".
XERODERMA: Skin condition characterized by rough, dry and discolored skin.
XEROFORM: Gauze dressing.
XEROMA: Dry conjunctiva (membrane covering the sclera).
XEROPHTHALMIA: Another word for ... "dry eyes".
XEROSIS: Excessive dryness.
XEROSTOMIA: Mouth dryness.
XIPHOID PROCESS: Cartilage that is shaped like a sword ... located at the bottom of the sternum. Also
spelled "xiphoid".
X-RAY: Similar to light, they are energy in the form of waves. Because they have more energy than light
waves they are able to pass through the body and take pictures. The unit to measure x-rays is the "rem",
this is a very large unit and for practicality it is decreased to the unit called the "millirem" (one thousandth
of a rem). A dental x-ray exposes a person to 0.5-3 mrem. It is estimated that on the average people are
exposed to 360 mrem a year from sources like radiation in foods. The maximum yearly exposure is
considered 5,000 millirems. Small doses that are accumulative are preferable to single large doses
because the body has time to recover and repair damage prior to receiving and new small dose.
XIPHOID PROCESS: Cartilage that is shaped like a sword ... located at the bottom of the sternum. Also
spelled "xophoid".
XYSTER: An instrument used in surgery to scrape bone.

Y CHROMOSOME: Sex chromosome (one of two) that is present only in the male
Y FRACTURE: A fracture between condyles that resembles a "Y".
YAWS: A tropical disease transmitted by direct contact and characterized by long lasting sores that can
be located anywhere on the body. Caused by spirochete Treponema pertenue. Treatment typically
involves penicillin G. It is interesting to note that syphilis blood testing shows up positive for people with
this disease.
YEAST: Fungus consisting of one cell. Infections typically occur in the mouth, vagina and gastrointestinal
tract ... vaginitis, thrush. A rich source of vitamin B.
YELLOW CARTILAGE: Also called ... "elastic cartilage". It is the most elastic of the three types of
cartilage. It is located throughout the body i.e in the external ear, throat and auditory tube.
YELLOW FEVER: Infectious disease found in tropical areas of the world.
YOKE: The nutritional portion of the ovum (egg).
Y-PLASTY: A method of minimizing a suture scar.
Y-SET: A device made from plastic and designed to deliver fluids to veins via a main line attached to a
drip chamber from which two other plastic tubes are connected to fluid sources. It is often used to
transport packed red blood cells that must be combined with saline solution to decrease their resistance
to flow.

ZEAXANTHIN: A substance found in the following foods ... corn, egg yolks, kiwi fruit, green/leafy
vegetables, zucchini, collard greens, spinach, squash, orange juice, seedless grapes. This substance has
been shown to protect the eye from ultraviolet light.
ZELLWEGER SYNDROME: A rare disorder with the following symptoms ... renal cysts, increase in the
size of the liver, brain dysfunctions, defects in the sheath of fat which protects nerve cell cables (axons) of
the brain and spine, skull and facial abnormalities.
ZENKER'S DIVERTICULUM: A pouch that bulges through the throat muscles causing discomfort during
ZINC: An essential trace element that is involved in enzymatic reactions, carbohydrate metabolism and
the synthesis of proteins. It is a component of insulin and the reproductive fluid of males ... also involved
in the immune system and the makeup of bones and teeth.
ZOANTHROPY: Belief that one is an animal.
ZOETIC: Pertaining to life.
ZOOMY INTRAUTERINE MANIPULATOR: Currently being researched.
ZOONOSIS: A parasite.
ZSTATFUL: Correctly spelled ... "ZstatFlu" ... rapid influenza test.
ZYG / (O): A combining word-part that means, "joined".
ZYGAL: Resembling a yoke.
ZYGOMA: A bone in the head ... a part of the cheekbone. Also, the zygomatic arch.
ZYGOMATIC: Refers to either the zygomatic process, arch or bone of the face.
ZYGOMATIC BONE: Located on the front of the skull below the orbit of the eye.
ZYGOTE: A female egg that has been fertilized by a male sperm.
ZYMOSIS: A contagious disease.