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MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY

dr. Siti Farida I.T. Santyowibowo, SpM
MEU Univ. Mataram
Mataram
The WORD PARTS
 Root word:
 The basic meaning of the word, usually, but not
always, indicate the involved part of the body
 Suffix:
 Comes at the end of the word. Usually, but not
always, indicate procedure, condition, disorder,
or disease
 Prefix:
 Always comes at the beginning of the word.
Usually, but not always, indicate location, time,
number, or status
WORD ROOTS
 Indicating body parts:
 Myel/o (spinal cord)
 My/o (muscle)
 Oste/o (bone)
 Myel/o (bone marrow)
 Neur/o (nerve)
 Arthr/o (joint)
WORD ROOTS
 Indicating color
 Cyan/o: blue
 Cyanosis= blue discoloration of the skin
(cyano=blue, -osis=condition
 Erythr/o: red
 Erythrocyte= mature red cells (erythr/o= red, -
cytes= cells)
 Leuk/o: white
 Leukocytes = white blood cells (leuk/o= white,
-cytes= cells)
WORD ROOTS
 Melan/o: black
 Melanosis = any condition of unusual
deposits of black pigment (melan/o=
black, -osis= condition)
 Poli/o: gray
 Poliomyelitis = a viral infection of the
gray matter of the spinal cord (poli/o=
gray, myel= spinal cord, -itis=
inflammation)

Word Root Guidelines
 A word root cannot stand alone
 Combining vowels apply when adding
suffixes to word root
 Prefixes are placed at the beginning
of the word, combining vowels are
unnecessary
Word Root Guidelines
 Neur/o + plasty: combining vowel “o” =
Neuroplasty
 Neur/o + itis: combining vowel not
used, = Neuritis
 Gastr/o + enter/o = gastroenter…
 Gastr/o + enter/o + itis =
gastroenteritis
 A prefix is added to the word root
without a combining vowel
SUFFIXES
 Meaning “Pertaining to”
 Changes the word root into an
adjective
 Cardi cardiac
 Examples
 -ac, -al, -ar, -ary, -eal,- ical, -ial, -ic
 -ine, -ior, -ory, -ous, -tic
 Abdominal, pulmonary, brachial, colonic
SUFFIXES
 Suffixes as noun endings
 Changes the root into a noun
 Crani + -um = cranium
 Examples:
 -a, -e, -um, -us, -y


SUFFIXES
 Meaning abnormal condition/
disease
 Gastr/o + osis = gastrosis
 Examples:
 -ago, -esis, -ia, -iasis, -osis, -ion, -ism, -
 Lithiasis, diathesis, uremia, botulism
SUFFIXES
 Suffixes related to pathology
 Pathology = the study of disease
 Examples:
 -algia, -dynia, -itis, -malacia, -megaly,
-necrosis, -sclerosis, -stenosis
 Cephalgia, acrodynia, gastritis,
keratomalacia, arterionecrosis,
hepatomegaly, arteriosclerosis,
arteriostenosis
SUFFIXES
 Suffixes related to Procedures
 Examples:
 -centesis, -ectomy. –graphy, -gram, -
plasty,
-scopy
 Amniocentesis, thyroidectomy,
arteriography, arteriogram, labioplasty,
endoscopy
SUFFIXES
“Double RRs”
 -rrhage/ -rrhagia: bursting forth
 -rrhaphy: to suture or stitch
 -rrhea: abnormal discharge or flow of
body fluids
 -rrhexis: rupture

PREFIXES
 A prefix is added to the beginning of a word
to change the meaning of that term
 Prefixes usually indicate location, time, or
number
 Example:
 Natal = pertaining to birth
 Prenatal= the time and events before birth
 Perinatal= the time and events surrounding
birth
 Postnatal= the time and events after birth

Contrasting and Confusing Prefixes
 Ab-: “away from”
 Abnormal: not normal, away from normal
 Ad-: “toward”, “in the direction of”
 Addiction: drawn toward or a strong dependence
on a drug of substance
 Dys-: “bad, difficult, painful”
 Dysfunctional: an organ/ part not working
properly
 Eu-: “good, normal, well, easy”
 Euthyroid: a normally functioning thyroid gland
Contrasting and Confusing Prefixes
 Hyper-: “excessive or increase”
 Hypertension: blood pressure that is higher than
normal
 Hypo-: “deficient or decreased”
 Hypotension: blood pressure that is lower than
normal
 Inter-: “between or among”
 Interstitial: between, but not within parts of a tissue
 Intra-: “within or inside”
 Intramuscular: within the muscle
 Sub-: “under, less, below”
 Subcostal: below a rib or ribs
 Supra-: “above or excessive”
 Supracostal: above or outside the ribs
Determining meanings on the basis
of word parts
 Otorhinolaryngology:
 Ear
 Nose
 Larynx
 Study of
 Neurochorioretinitis:
 Nerve
 Choroid
 Retina
 Inflammation

SPELLING: forming plurals
-a -ae Bursa bursae
-ex/ -ix -ices
Appendix appendices
-is -es
Diagnosis diagnoses
-itis -ides
Meningitis meningitides
-nx -ges
Phalanx phalanges
-on -a
Criterion criteria
-um -a
Diverticulum diverticula
-us -i
Alveolus alveoli
LOOK ALIKE, SOUND ALIKE TERMS AND
WORD PARTS
 Arteri/o, ather/o, athr/o
 Ileum, ilium
 Infection, inflammation
 Laceration, lesion
 Mucous, mucus
 Myc/o, myel/o, my/o
 -ologist, -ology
 -ostomy, -otomy
LOOK ALIKE, SOUND ALIKE TERMS AND
WORD PARTS
 Palpation, palpitation
 Prostate, prostrate
 Pyel/o, py/o, pyr/o
 Supination, suppuration
 Suturing, ligation
 Triage, trauma
 Viral, virile
Origin of Words
 Latin
 Greek
 others
Root words
Body part Greek root Latin Root
Abdomen Lapar/o- Abdomin-
Blood Haemat-/hemat-/
haem-
Sangui-
Bone Oste/o Ossi-
Brain Encephal/o Cerebr/o
Eyelid Blepharo- Palpebr-
Kidney Nephro- Ren-
Nose Rhino- Nas-
Things to do
 Look for more words and find their
meanings

REFERENCE
 Ehrlich, A.; Schroeder, C.L.; (2004)
Introduction to Medical Terminology,
Thomson - Delmar Learning, Canada