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519 Cards in this Set

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Ab-:
Prefix meaning "from, away from, off"
Abate:
To lessen or decrease
Abdominal:
Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis.
Abduction:
Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body
In medicine, the movement of a limb away from the midline of the body
Aberration:
A deviation or irregularity
Abiotic:
Not associated with living organisms.
Abiotrophy:
Loss of function or degeneration for reasons unknown.
Ablation:
Removal or excision
Abrasion:
An abrasion or "excoriation" is a wearing away of the upper layer of skin as a result of applied friction force.
Abruption:
A sudden breaking off or away
Abscess:
A local accumulation of pus anywhere in the body
Abscission:
To remove tissue by cutting it away, as in surgery.
Abstemious:
Marked by restraint, especially in the consumption of food or alcohol
Acapnia:
Less than the normal level of carbon dioxide in the blood
Acaricide:
An agent, usually a chemical, that kills mites.
Accommodation:
In medicine, the ability of the eye to change its focus from distant to near objects (and vice versa).
Acetabular:
Pertaining to the acetabulum, the cup-shaped socket of the hip joint which is a key feature of the pelvis.
Acetylcysteine:
An antioxidant drug used to reduce the thickness of mucus and ease its removal
Acetylcholine:
A key chemical in neurons (nerve cells) that acts as a neurotransmitter and carries information across the synaptic cleft, the space between two nerve cells.
Achalasia:
A disease of the esophagus caused by the abnormal function of nerves and muscles of the esophagus that makes swallowing difficult.
Achillodynia:
Pain due to inflammation of the Achilles tendon or the bursa associated with it.
Achondrogenesis:
A genetic disorder of bonwe resulting in short-limbed dwarfism.
Achromatopsia:
An hereditary disorder of sight due to a lack of cone vision - that type of vision provided by the cone photoreceptors in the retina.
Acidophilus:
Bacteria found in yogurt that can help restore a supportive bacterial environment to an intestinal tract whose normal intestinal bacterial population ("flora") has been disturbed by disease or antibiotics.
Acou-:
Combining form relating to hearing
Acrochordon:
A small tag of skin that may have a stalk (a peduncle).
Acrocyanosis:
Blueness of the extremities (the hands and feet).
Acrodynia:
Pain in the extremities (the hands and feet).
Acromegaly:
Condition due to the production of too much growth hormone by the pituitary gland after the end of adolescence.
Acromion:
The projection of the scapula (the shoulder blade) that forms the point of the shoulder
Acrophobia:
An abnormally excessive and persistent fear of heights.
Actinic:
Referring to the ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight and UV lamps.
Acu-:
A combining form indicating a relationship to a needle.
Acute:
Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease.
Ad-:
Latin prefix meaning "toward" and "in the direction of," as in adduction (movement of a limb toward the midline of the body), adhesion, and adrenal (toward the kidney).
Adamantine:
In dentistry, relating to the enamel of the teeth.
Adduction:
Movement of a limb toward the midline of the body.
Adenitis:
Inflammation of a gland.
Adeno-:
Prefix referring to a gland, as in adenoma and adenopathy
Adenoids:
Masses of lymphoid tissue in the upper part of throat behind the nose.
Adenoma:
A benign tumor that arises in or resembles glandular tissue
Adenomyosis:
Pronounced a-den-o- mi-o-sis, this is a common benign condition of the uterus in which the endometrium (the mucous membrane lining the inside of the uterus) grows into the myometrium (the uterine musculature located just outside the endometrium).
Adenopathy:
Large or "swollen" lymph nodes.
Adhesion:
The union of two opposing tissue surfaces (often in reference to the sides of a wound.
Adipocyte:
A fat cell, a connective tissue cell that has differentiated and become specialized in the synthesis (manufacture) and storage of fat.
Adiponectin:
A protein hormone produced and secreted exclusively by adipocytes (fat cells) that regulates the metabolism of lipids and glucose.
Adipose:
"Adipose" means "fat" but is usually used to refer specifically to tissue made up of mainly fat cells such as the yellow layer of fat beneath the skin.
Adjacent:
Lying nearby.
Adjuvant:
The Latin "adjuvans" means to help, particularly to reach a goal
Adnexa:
This Latin word (in the plural) is used in medicine in reference to appendages.
Adventitia:
The outermost connective tissue covering of any organ, vessel, or other structure
Adventitious:
Coming from an external source or occurring in an unusual place or manner
Aer-, aero-:
Prefix indicating a problem due to air or gas, such as aerogastria (excess stomach gas.)
Aerobic:
Oxygen-requiring.
Aerophagia:
Swallowing too much air, a common cause of gas in the stomach and belching.
Aerophobia:
An abnormal and persistent fear of flying.
Aerotitis:
Middle ear problems due to changing atmospheric pressures, as when a plane descends to land.
Aetiology:
The study of the causes.
Affect:
The emotional tone a person expresses.
Afferent:
Carrying toward.
Affinity:
In immunology, the strength of binding interaction between antigen and antibody molecules.
Agenesis:
Lack of development of something.
Ageusia:
The inability to taste sweet, sour, bitter, or salty substances.
Agita:
Heartburn, acid indigestion, an upset stomach or, by extension, a general feeling of upset.
Agnate:
As a noun, a relative on the father's side.
Agnosia:
The inability to recognize and identify objects or persons despite having knowledge of the characteristics of those objects or persons.
Agonist:
A drug that binds to a receptor of a cell and triggers a response by the cell.
Agoraphobia:
An abnormal and persistent fear of public places or open areas, especially those from which escape could be difficult or help not immediately accessible.
Ague:
A fever (such as from malaria) that is marked by paroxysms of chill s, fever, and sweating recurring regular intervals.
Agyrophobia:
Abnormal and persistent fear of crossing streets, highways and other thoroughfares; fear of thoroughfares themselves
Ailurophobia:
An abnormal and persistent fear of cats which produces an undue anxiety reaction even though sufferers realize their fear is irrational.
Akathisia:
A movement disorder characterized by a feeling of inner restlessness and a compelling need to be in constant motion as well as by actions such as rocking while standing or sitting, lifting the feet as if marching on the spot and crossing and uncrossing the legs while sitting.
Akinesia:
Impaired body movement; without movement (or without much movement).
Akinetic:
Without movement (or without much movement)
Alb-:
Prefix from the Latin "albus" meaning "white." As in albino and albinism.
Albinism:
A group of genetic disorders in which there is partial or total lack of the pigment melanin in the eyes, skin, and hair.
Albuginea:
Tough white fibrous tissue.
Albumin:
The main protein in human blood and the key to the regulation of the osmotic pressure of blood.
Aldosterone:
A hormone made by the outer portion (cortex) of the adrenal gland that regulates the balance of salt and water in the body.
Alembic:
A type of still, an apparatus used in the process of distillation.
Alexia:
A neurological disorder characterized by loss of the ability to read or understand the written word.
algia:
Word ending indicating pain, as in arthralgia (joint pain), cephalgia (headache), fibromyalgia, mastalgia (breast pain), myalgia (muscle pain), and neuralgia (nerve pain). Derived from the Greek algos meaning pain.
Algophobia:
An abnormal and persistent fear of pain. The fear is excessive, beyond that which is expected under the circumstances, producing an anxiety reaction.
Alimentary:
Concerning food, nourishment, and the organs of digestion.
Alkaloid:
A member of a large group of chemicals that are made by plants and have nitrogen in them.
Alkalosis:
A dangerous decrease in the normal acidity of the blood.
Allele:
An alternative form of a gene.
Allodynia:
Pain from stimuli which are not normally painful.
Allogeneic:
Taken from different individuals of the same species.
Allograft:
The transplant of an organ or tissue from one individual to another of the same species with a different genotype.
Allopathy:
The system of medical practice which treats disease by the use of remedies which produce effects different from those produced by the disease under treatment.
Alogia:
Complete lack of speech, as in profound mental retardation or advanced dementia.
Alopecia:
Baldness. There are many types of alopecia, each with a different cause.
Alprazolam:
A benzodiazepine sedative that causes dose-related depression of the central nervous system.
Alteplase:
Generic name of a tissue plasminogen activator produced by recombinant DNA technology.
Alveolar:
Pertaining to the alveoli, the tiny air sacs in the lungs.
Alveolitis:
Inflammation of the alveoli, the air sacs in the lungs.
Alveolus:
One of the tiny air sacs located at the very ends of the bronchioles within the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place.
Amalgam:
In dentistry, an alloy of mercury, silver, tin, etc. used in dental restorations.
Amastia:
A rare condition wherein the normal growth of the breast or nipple does not occur.
Amazia:
A condition wherein the breast tissue is absent, but the nipple is present.
Ambien:
Brand name for the sedative hypnotic drug zolpidem used for sleep.
Ambient:
Surrounding, present on all sides; encompassing.
Amblyopia:
Partial or complete loss of vision in one eye caused by conditions that affect the normal development of vision.
Ambulatory:
Able to ambulate, to walk about, not bed-ridden or hospitalized
Amelioration:
Not a word confined to medicine but a word used in medicine, amelioration is synonymous with improvement.
Amenia:
Better known as amenorrhea, amenia is the absence or cessation of menstruation.
Amenorrhea:
Absence or cessation of menstruation.
Amitriptyline:
An antidepressant medication.
Amnesia:
Lack of memory.
Amnion:
A thin membrane surrounding the fetus during pregnancy.
Amplification:
Making multiple copies of a gene or of any sequence of DNA.
Ampulla:
In anatomy, a sac-like enlargement of a canal or duct.
Amputation:
Removal of part or all of a body part enclosed by skin
Amygdaloid:
Like an almond.
Amylase:
An enzyme produced in the pancreas and salivary glands that helps in the digestion of starches.
Anaerobic:
Not requiring oxygen.
Analgesia:
The inability to feel pain while still conscious.
Analgesic:
A drug that relieves pain.
Analog:
In biochemistry, a substance that is similar, but not identical, to another.
Analogous:
In anatomy, similar in appearance or function but otherwise different.
Analysis:
A psychology term for processes used to gain understanding of complex emotional or behavioral issues.
Anaphia:
The inability to feel touch.
Anaphylaxis:
Allergic reaction. In severe cases, this can include potentially deadly anaphylactic shock.
Anaplastology:
The art and science of restoring a malformed or absent part of the human body through artificial means.
Anaptic:
Suffering from an impaired sense of touch, (a state called anaphia) or tactile anesthesia.
Anastomosis:
The connection of normally separate parts or spaces so they intercommunicate.
Anastrozole:
An oral antiestrogen.
Anatripsis:
The use of friction as a treatment modality for a medical condition.
Androgenic:
Pertaining to the development of male characteristics, including body hair, the genital organs and muscle mass.
Andrology:
The branch of medicine concerned with men's health, particularly male infertility and sexual dysfunction.
Anemia:
The condition of having less than the normal number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood.
Anencephaly:
A neural tube defect (NTD) that occurs when the cephalic (head) end of the neural tube fails to close, usually between the 23rd and 26th days of pregnancy, resulting in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp.
Anergy:
A state of immune unresponsiveness.
Anesthesia:
Loss of feeling or awareness.
Anesthesiology:
The branch of medicine specializing in the use of drugs or other agents that cause insensibility to pain.
Anesthetic:
A substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness.
Anetoderma:
An area of slack "baglike" skin due to a local absence or loss of elastic fibers in the skin.
Aneurysm:
A localized widening (dilatation) of an artery, vein, or the heart. At the area of an aneurysm, there is typically a bulge and the wall is weakened and may rupture. The word "aneurysm" comes from the Greek "aneurysma" meaning "a widening." aneuploidy.
Angina:
Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The chest pain of angina is typically severe and crushing. There is a feeling just behind the breastbone (the sternum) of pressure and suffocation.
Angioedema:
Like hives but affects deeper skin layer.
Angiogenesis:
The process of developing new blood vessels.
Angiogram:
An x-ray of blood vessels which can be seen because the patient receives an injection of dye to outline the vessels on the x-ray.
Angiopathy:
Disease of the blood vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries).
Angioplasty:
Procedure with a balloon-tipped catheter to enlarge a narrowing in a coronary artery.
Angiosarcoma:
A type of cancer that begins in the lining of blood vessels.
Angiostatin:
A piece (a fragment) of a protein, plasminogen, used normally in blood clotting.
Angiotensin:
A family of peptides (smaller than proteins) that act as vasoconstrictors to narrow blood vessels.
Anhidrosis:
Not sweating. From the Greek an- meaning a lack of + hidros meaning sweat = lack of sweat. The inability to sweat may seem a blessing but it is not, since to sweat is to be able to stay cool.
Aniso-:
Unequal, unlike, or dissimilar.
Anisocoria:
Both pupils are usually of equal size.
Anisocytosis:
Excessive inequality in the size of the red blood cells.
Anisometropia:
The condition in which the two eyes have an unequal refractive power.
Ankyloglossia:
A minor congenital anomaly (birth defect) in which the flap of mucous membrane under the tongue (known as the frenum) is too short and limits the normal mobility of the tongue.
Ankylose:
To undergo ankylosis (stiffening or fusion of a joint).
Anlage:
In biology, whatever precedes something else.
Annulus:
A ringlike structure, or any body part that is shaped like a ring.
Anomaly:
A deviation from the usual, something different, peculiar, or abnormal.
Anomia:
A problem with word finding.
Anophthalmia:
Absence of the eye, as a result of a congenital malformation (birth defect) of the globe.
Anorectic:
Pertaining to anorexia, lack of appetite.
Anosmia:
No sense of smell, due to loss of the sense of smell or failure for it to develop.
Anotia:
No ear. The term "anotia" usually refers to congenital (from birth) absence of the external ear, the auricle, the visible part of the ear.
Anoxia:
Strictly speaking, the absence of oxygen.
Antagonist:
In biochemistry, an antagonist acts against and blocks an action.
Antidote:
An agent that counteracts a poison and neutralizes its effects.
Antero-:
Prefix signifying before, earlier, front. From the Latin anterior meaning before.
Anterograde:
Moving forward or extending forward.
Anteroposterior:
From front to back.
Antiandrogen:
A drug that blocks the action of androgens (male sex hormones).
Antibiotic:
A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms.
Anticholinergic:
The action of certain medications that inhibit the transmission of parasympathetic nerve impulses and thereby reduce spasms of smooth muscle (such as that, for example, in the bladder).
Anticoagulant:
Any agent used to prevent the formation of blood clots.
Anticonvulsant:
A medication used to control (prevent) seizures (convulsions) or stop an ongoing series of seizures.
Antiemetic:
As a noun, a drug taken to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting.
Antigen:
A substance that is capable of causing the production of an antibody.
Antihypertensive:
Something that reduces high blood pressure (hypertension)
Antimetabolite:
A drug that is similar enough to a natural chemical to participate in a normal biochemical reaction in cells but different enough to interfere with the normal division and functions of cells.
Antineoplastic:
Acting to prevent, inhibit or halt the development of a neoplasm (a tumor).
Antipyretic:
Something that reduces fever or quells it.
Antiseptic:
Something that discourages the growth microorganisms.
Antrum:
A general term for cavity or chamber which may have specific meaning in reference certain organs or sites in the body.
Aperient:
Laxative. Used both as a noun (an aperient is a laxative) and adjective (prunes are an aperient fruit).
Apex:
From the Latin meaning summit, the apex is the tip of a pyramidal or rounded structure, like the lung or the heart.
Apgar:
Abbreviation for the Apgar score, a practical method of evaluating the physical condition of a newborn infant shortly after delivery.
Aphagia:
Inability to eat. From the Greek prefix "a-" meaning "not" + "phago" meaning "to eat" + not to eat.
Aphakia:
Absence or loss of the eye's natural crystalline lens, as after cataract removal.
Aphasia:
One in a group of speech disorders in which there is a defect or loss of the power of expression by speech, writing, or signs, or a defect or loss of the power of comprehension of spoken or written language.
Apheresis:
The process of removing a specific component from blood and returning the remaining components to the donor, in order to collect more of one particular part of the blood than could be separated from a unit of whole blood.
Aphonia:
Inability to speak.
Aplasia:
Failure to develop.
Apnea:
The absence of breathing (respirations).
Apophenia:
In psychology, the perception of connections and meaningfulness in unrelated things.
Apoplexy:
A venerable term for a stroke, a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), often associated with loss of consciousness and paralysis of various parts of the body.
Apoptosis:
A form of cell death in which a programmed sequence of events leads to the elimination of cells without releasing harmful substances into the surrounding area.
Appendix:
A small outpouching from the beginning of the large intestine (the ascending colon).
Apposition:
The word "apposition" has several senses including the act of adding or accretion and also the putting of things in juxtaposition, or side by side.
Apraxia:
The inability to execute a voluntary motor movement despite being able to demonstrate normal muscle function.
Aqueduct:
A channel for the passage of fluid.
Arachnodactyly:
Long spider-like fingers and toes, a frequent finding in Marfan syndrome, a heritable disorder of connective tissue.
Arachnoiditis:
Inflammation of the middle layer of membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
Arachnophobia:
An abnormal and persistent fear of spiders.
Areflexia:
Absence of neurologic reflexes such as the knee jerk reaction.
Areola:
The small darkened area around the nipple of the breast.
Argentaffinoma:
A tumor which secretes large amounts of the hormone serotonin.
Arimidex:
Brand name for anastrozole, an oral antiestrogen. Arimidex inhibits the enzyme aromatase in the adrenal glands that produces the estrogens (estradiol and estrone) and thereby lowers their levels.
Aromasin:
Brand name of exemestane, an oral antiestrogen. Aromasin inhibits the enzyme aromatase in the adrenal glands that produces the estrogens (estradiol and estrone) and thereby lowers their levels.
Aromatase:
An enzyme involved in the production of estrogen that acts by catalyzing the conversion of testosterone (an androgen) to estradiol (an estrogen).
Arrhythmia:
An abnormal heart rhythm.
Arthralgia:
Pain in the joints.
Arthro-:
A prefix meaning joint, as in arthropathy and arthroscopic.
Arthrocentesis:
Joint aspiration, a procedure whereby a sterile needle and syringe are used to drain fluid from a joint.
Arthrogryposis:
Joint contractures that develop before birth (prenatally) and are evident at birth (congenitally).
Arthropathy:
Joint disease. The term arthropathy does not specify the type of joint disease. It might be osteoarthropathy or it might be infectious joint disease or it might another kind of joint disease.
Arthroscope:
A thin flexible fiberoptic scope which is introduced into a joint space through a small incision in order to carry out diagnostic and treatment procedures within the joint.
Arthrosis:
An arthrosis is a joint, an area where two bones are attached for the purpose of motion of body parts. An arthrosis (joint) is usually formed of fibrous connective tissue and cartilage.
Articulation:
In speech, the production and use of speech sounds.
Ascaris:
The intestinal roundworm, a worm that lives in the small intestine.
Ascites:
Abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen.
Aseptic:
The absence of microorganisms.
Aspartame:
A man-made sweetener with almost no calories used in place of sugar.
Asphyxia:
Impaired or impeded breathing.
Aspirate:
To suck in.
Asthenia:
Weakness. Lack of energy and strength. Loss of strength.
Astigmatic:
Referring to astigmatism or a person with astigmatism, a common form of visual impairment in which part of an image is blurred, due to an irregularity in the curvature of the front surface of the eye, the cornea.
Asystole:
A dire form of cardiac arrest in which the heart stops beating -- there is no systole -- and there is no electrical activity in the heart.
Ataxia:
Wobbliness. Incoordination and unsteadiness due to the brain's failure to regulate the body's posture and regulate the strength and direction of limb movements.
Atelectasis:
Failure of full expansion of the lung at birth or a collapse thereafter of the lung.
Atenolol:
A medication that blocks the action of a portion of the involuntary nervous system that stimulates the pace of the heartbeat.
Athelia:
Absence of the nipple.
Atherectomy:
A procedure for opening up an artery by removing the plaque (atheroma) produced by the build-up of cholesterol and other fatty substances in the inner lining of the artery from atherosclerosis ("hardening of the arteries
Atherogenesis:
The process of forming atheromas, plaques in the inner lining (the intima) of arteries.
Atherosclerosis:
A process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries as a result of fat deposits on their inner lining.
Athetosis:
Involuntary writhing movements particularly of the arms and hands.
Atonic:
Without normal muscle tone or strength.
Atopic:
Prone to allergies or characterized by allergy.
Atorvastatin:
A medication that lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood.
Atresia:
Absence of a normal opening or failure of a structure to be tubular.
Atrium:
One of the two smaller chambers of the heart.
Atrophy:
Wasting away or diminution.
Atropine:
A drug obtained from belladonna that is administered via injection, eye drops, or in oral form to relax muscles by inhibiting nerve responses.
Attenuate:
To weaken, dilute, thin, reduce, weaken, diminish.
Atypical:
Not typical, not usual, not normal, abnormal.
Audiogram:
A test of hearing at a range of sound frequencies.
Aura:
A premonition. There is often an aura before a migraine or a grand mal seizure. The aura, a symptom of brain malfunction, may consist of flashing lights, a gleam of light, blurred vision, an odor, the feeling of a breeze, numbness, weakness, or difficulty speaking.
Auricle:
The principal projecting part of the ear. Also called the pinna.
Auscultate:
To listen to the sounds made by the internal organs of the body for diagnostic purposes.
Autism:
A spectrum of neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by deficits in social interaction and communication, and unusual and repetitive behavior.
Autogenous:
Self-produced.
Autograft:
Tissue transplanted from one part of the body to another in the same individual.
Autologous:
In blood transfusion and transplantation, a situation in which the donor and recipient are the same person.
Autolysis:
The enzymatic digestion of cells by enzymes present within them.
Aux-:
Prefix indicating growth or increase.
Avastin:
The first drug in a new class designed to treat cancer by compromising its blood supply.
Avulsion:
Tearing away. A nerve can be avulsed by an injury, as can part of a bone
Axilla:
The cavity beneath the junction of the arm and the body, better known as the armpit.
Axon:
A long fiber of a nerve cell (a neuron) that acts somewhat like a fiber-optic cable carrying outgoing (efferent) messages.
Azotemia:
A higher than normal blood level of urea or other nitrogen containing compounds in the blood.
Bariatric:
Pertaining to bariatrics, the field of medicine concerned with weight loss.
Baroparesis:
Reversible paralysis of the facial nerve due to pressure in the middle ear going up in a plane or surfacing in scuba diving.
Barotitis:
Middle ear problems due to changing atmospheric pressures, as when a plane descends to land.
Basophil:
A type of leukocyte ( white blood cell) with coarse bluish-black granules of uniform size within the cytoplasm and typically a bilobate (two-lobed) nucleus.
Bathophobia:
An abnormal and persistent fear of depths. Sufferers from bathophobia experience anxiety even though they realize they are safe from falling into or being consumed by depths. The feared object may be a long, dark hallway, a well or a deep pool or lake.
Belching:
A normal process to relieve distention from the air that accumulates in the stomach.
Benign:
Not cancer. Not malignant.
Benzodiazepines:
A class of drugs that act as tranquilizers and are commonly used in the treatment of anxiety. Benzodiazepines can cause drowsiness.
Bereavement:
The period after a loss during which grief is experienced and mourning occurs.
Beriberi:
A syndrome characterized by inflammation of multiple nerves (polyneuritis), heart disease (cardiopathy), and edema (swelling) due to a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1) in the diet.
Berserk:
Frenzied, enraged. From the Norse berserkr, one of the old Norse warriors who worked themselves into a frenzy.
Bezoar:
A clump or wad of swallowed food and/or hair.
Bicornuate:
Having two horns or horn-shaped branches.
Bicuspid:
Having two flaps or cusps. The
Bifid:
Cleft (split) in two.
Bilateral:
Having, or relating to, two sides.
Biliary:
Having to do with the gallbladder, bile ducts, or bile.
Bilirubin:
A yellow-orange compound produced by the breakdown of hemoglobin from red blood cells.
Binaural:
Relating to both ears.
Biomarker:
A biochemical feature or facet that can be used to measure the progress of disease or the effects of treatment.
Biopsy:
The removal of a sample of tissue for purposes of diagnosis.
Biotin:
A water-soluble B-complex vitamin involved in carbon dioxide transfer and therefore essential to the metabolism of carbohydrate and fat.
Biotherapy:
Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune (defense) system to fight infection and disease
Bisphosphonate:
A class of drugs used to strengthen bone.
Blackhead:
A familiar term for what is medically called an open comedo.
Blastoma:
A tumor thought to arise in embryonic tissue.
Blasts:
Immature blood cells.
Bleb:
A bladder-like structure more than 5 mm in diameter with thin walls that may be full of fluid. Also called a bulla.
Blepharitis:
Inflammation of the eyelids.
Blepharophimosis:
Horizontal narrowing of the palpebral fissures (eye slits).
Blepharoplasty:
Plastic surgery on the eyelids.
Blepharospasm:
Involuntary forcible closure of the eyelids.
Blister:
A collection of fluid underneath the top layer of skin (epidermis).
Blush:
A redness of the skin, typically over the cheeks or neck.
Boil:
A skin abscess, a collection of pus localized deep in the skin.
Borborygmi:
Rumbling sounds caused by gas moving through the intestines (stomach "growling"). Pronounced BOR-boh-RIG-mee..
Bougie:
A thin cylinder of rubber, plastic, metal or another material that a physician inserts into or though a body passageway, such as the esophagus, to diagnose or treat a condition.
Bovine:
Having to do with cows and cattle, as in bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), bovine tuberculosis, and bovine growth hormone.
Brachy-:
Short. From the Greek brachys meaning short.
Brachycephaly:
A short head, one that is short in diameter from front to back.
Brachydactyly:
Short, stubby fingers and toes.
Brachytherapy:
Radiation treatment given by placing radioactive material
directly in or near the target, which is often a tumor.
Bradycardia:
A slow heart rate, usually defined as less than 60 beats per minute.
Bradykinesia:
Slowed ability to start and continue movements, and impaired ability to adjust the body's position.
Bradyphrenia:
Slowed thought processes.
Bradypnea:
(Pronounced brad-ip-nea.) Abnormally slow breathing.
Breech:
The buttocks.
Bronchi:
The large air tubes leading from the trachea to the lungs that convey air to and from the lungs.
Bronchiectasis:
Permanent dilatation (widening) of the bronchi (the large air tubes which begin at the bottom of the trachea and branch into the lungs).
Bronchiolitis:
Inflammation of the bronchioles, the airways that extend beyond the bronchi and terminate in the alveoli.
Bronchoscope:
A thin, flexible instrument used to view the air passages of the lung.
Bronchus:
One of the large air tubes leading from the trachea to the lungs that convey air to and from the lungs.
Bruise:
A bruise or "contusion" is an traumatic injury of the soft tissues which results in breakage of the local capillaries and leakage of red blood cells.
Bruit:
A sound, especially an abnormal one.
Bruxism:
Grinding and gnashing the teeth.
Bubo:
An enlarged lymph node ("swollen gland") that is tender and painful, particularly in the groin and armpit (the axilla).
Bulbar:
Pertaining to a bulb, in medicine any rounded mass of tissue (that is shaped somewhat like a crocus or tulip bulb).
Bulla:
A fluid-filled blister more than 5 mm (about 3/16 inch) in diameter with thin walls.
Bullous:
Characterized by blistering, such as in a second-degree burn.
Bunion:
A bunion is a localized painful swelling at the base of the big toe (the great toe).
Buprenorphine:
prescription medication for people addicted to heroin or other opiates that acts by relieving the symptoms of opiate withdrawal such as agitation, nausea and insomnia.
Burp:
To bring up gas from the stomach through the mouth.
Bursa:
A closed fluid-filled sac that functions to provide a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body.
Bypass:
An operation in which a surgeon creates a new tubular pathway for the movement of fluids and/or other substances in the body.
Cachexia:
Physical wasting with loss of weight and muscle mass caused by disease.
Caecum:
The caecum (also spelled cecum), the first portion of the large bowel, situated in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen.
Calcaneus:
The calcaneus is the heel bone. It is also called the os calcis.
Calcipotriene:
A synthetic form of vitamin D3 that can be applied to the skin to treat psoriasis.
Calcitriol:
The active form of vitamin D. Calcitriol is formed in the kidneys or made in the laboratory.
Calculus:
A stone within the body, such as a stone in the urinary tract.
Calefacient:
(noun) Anything that warms.
Calipers:
A metal or plastic tool similar to a compass used to measure the diameter of an object.
Callus:
A localized firm thickening of the upper layer of skin as a result of repetitive friction.
Calor:
Heat, one of the four classic signs of inflammation (together with dolor, rubor and tumor).
Calorie:
A unit of food energy.
Camisole:
A straitjacket.
Cannula:
Simply a slender tube that can be inserted into a body cavity or duct.
Capillary:
One of the tiny blood vessels that connect the arterioles (the smallest divisions of the arteries) and the venules (the smallest divisions of the veins).
Capsaicin:
A component of certain plants, including cayenne and red pepper, used topically to relieve minor arthritis pain and nerve pain.
Capsid:
The protein coat of a virus.
Captioning:
The text display of spoken words, presented on a movie screen or a television (or another type of monitor), that allows a deaf or hard-of-hearing viewer to follow the dialogue and the action of a program simultaneously.
Carbohydrate:
Mainly sugars and starches, together constituting one of the three principal types of nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body.
Carbuncles:
A skin abscess, a collection of pus that forms inside the body.
Cardiac:
Having to do with the heart.
Cardiology:
The study and treatment of heart disorders.
Cardiomyopathy:
Disease of the heart muscle (the myocardium).
Cardiopathy:
Heart disease.
Cardioplegia:
Paralysis of the heart, as may be done electively in stopping the heart during cardiac surgery.
Cardioverter:
Although cardioversion (the conversion of one cardiac rhythm to another) may sometimes be done with medications, a cardioverter is now synonymous with a defibrillator.
Carditis:
Inflammation of the heart.
Cardioplegia:
Paralysis of the heart, as may be done electively in stopping the heart during cardiac surgery.
Cardioverter:
Although cardioversion (the conversion of one cardiac rhythm to another) may sometimes be done with medications, a cardioverter is now synonymous with a defibrillator.
Carditis:
Inflammation of the heart.
Caries:
Dental cavities. Holes in the two outer layers of a tooth called the enamel and the dentin.
Carminative:
An agent that prevents or relieves flatulence (gas in the gastrointestinal tract) and, in infants, may help in the treatment of colic.
Carotid:
Pertaining to the carotid artery and the area near that key artery located in the front of the neck though which blood from the heart goes to the brain.
Cartilage:
Firm, rubbery tissue that cushions bones at joints.
Cascade:
A sequence of successive activation reactions involving enzymes (enzyme cascade) or hormones (hormone cascade) characterized by a series of amplifications of an initial stimulus.
Casein:
The main protein found in milk and other dairy products.
Caseous:
Cheeselike.
Cast:
A protective shell of plaster and bandage molded to protect a broken or fractured limb as it heals.
Castration:
Removal of the sex glands, usually used to indicate removal of the male testicles.
Catalepsy:
The state of persisting in unusual postures or facial expressions, regardless of outside stimuli, as is seen in schizophrenia and some other diseases of the nervous system.
Catalysis:
The process by which a substance speeds up a chemical reaction without being consumed or altered in the process.
Catamenia:
Menstruation.
Cataplexy:
A debilitating medical condition in which a person suddenly feels weak and collapses at moments of strong emotion such as laughter, anger, fear or surprise. In so collapsing, people with cataplexy may injure themselves.
Cataract:
A clouding of the lens of the eye.
Catatonic:
Characterized by marked motor abnormalities including immobility (catalepsy or stupor), excessive motor activity (purposeless agitation), extreme negativism, mutism, posturing or stereotyped movements, echolalia, and/or echopraxia.
Cathartic:
A laxative.
Catheter:
A thin, flexible tube.
Cathexis:
In psychiatry, the concentration of psychic energy on an idea, object, or other object.
Caudad:
Toward the feet (or, in embryology, toward the tail), as opposed to cranial.
Causalgia:
Intense burning pain and sensitivity to the slightest vibration or touch, usually in the hand or foot, at a site some distance removed from a wound that has healed.
Cauterization:
The use of heat to destroy abnormal cells.
Caveola:
An tiny pit, grotto, depression, incupping in the surface of a cell.
Cavities:
Holes in the two outer layers of a tooth called the enamel and the dentin.
Cecal:
Pertaining to the cecum (also spelled caecum), the first portion of the large bowel, situated in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen.
Cellulite:
Popular term for deposits of fat that have a cottage cheese-like or puckered texture.
Cellulitis:
An acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness (erythema), warmth, swelling, and pain and may also cause fever, chills, and "swollen glands" (enlarged lymph nodes).
Cephal-:
Prefix indicating the head.
Cephalgia:
Headache.
Cephalic:
Relating to the head or the head end of the body.
ceps:
A combining form referring to the head.
Cerclage:
Encircling with a ring, loop, wire, or ligature.
Cerebral:
Pertaining to the brain, the cerebrum or the intellect.
Cerebritis:
Inflammation of the brain.
Cerebrum:
The largest part of the brain.
Cervical:
Having to do with any kind of neck including the neck on which the head is perched and the neck of the uterus.
Cervicectomy:
Surgical removal of the cervix, the lower portion of the uterus that protrudes into the vagina. Cervicectomy is also called trachelectomy.
Cervix:
The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb).
Chalazion:
A cyst of the little glands in the eyelids that make a lubricant which they discharge through tiny openings in the edges of the lids.
Chamomile:
An herb often used in the form of a tea as a sedative.
Chancre:
The classic painless ulcer of syphilis.
Cheilitis:
Inflammation of the lips or of a lip.
Cheiroarthropathy:
A syndrome of limited joint mobility that occurs in patients with diabetes.
Chemokine:
One of a large group of proteins that act as lures and were first found attracting white blood cells
Chemosis:
Swelling around the iris (the colored circle that surrounds the pupil) due to edema (swelling) of the bulbar conjunctiva (the clear membrane that coats the outer surface of the eye).
Chickenpox:
A highly infectious viral disease also known medically as varicella -- in many countries, this disease is always called "varicella" -- that causes a blister-like rash, itching, fatigue and fever.
Chilblain:
A cold injury which, while painful, causes little or no permanent impairment.
Chiropractic:
A system of diagnosis and treatment based on the concept that the nervous system coordinates all of the body's functions, and that disease results from a lack of normal nerve function.
Chlamydia:
A type of bacteria one species of which causes an in fection very similar to gonorrhea in the way that it is spread, the symptoms it produces, and the long-term consequences.
Choana:
(Plural: choanae) The passageway from the back of one side of the nose to the throat.
Cholangi-:
Relating to a bile duct. From the Greek chole meaning bile + a(n)geion meaning a vessel = a bile vessel.
Cholangiogram:
A radiologic procedure used to look at the gallbladder and bile ducts.
Cholangiography:
Radiographic examination of the bile ducts with contrast medium.
Cholangitis:
Inflammation of the bile duct.
Cholecalciferol:
Vitamin D3.
Cholecyst:
The gallbladder.
Cholecystitis:
Inflammation of the gallbladder, a complication of gallstones which are formed by cholesterol and pigment (bilirubin) in bile.

Cholelithiasis: The presence of stones in the gallbladder or common bile duct.
Chondromalacia:
Abnormal softening or degeneration of cartilage.
Chondrosarcoma:
A malignant tumor that forms in cartilage cells (chondroplasts) and that produces cartilage matrix.
Chordoma:
A form of bone cancer that usually starts in the lower spinal column.
Chorea:
Ceaseless rapid complex body movements that look well coordinated and purposeful but are, in fact, involuntary.
Choriocarcinoma:
A highly malignant tumor that arises from trophoblastic cells within the uterus.
Chorion:
The outermost of the two fetal membranes - the amnion is the innermost --. which together surround the embryo.
Choroid:
In the eye, a thin vascular layer between the sclera and the retina
Choroiditis:
An inflammation of the layer of the eye behind the retina, either in its entirely (multifocal choroiditis) or in patches (focal choroiditis).
Chronicity:
Characterized by long duration. The state of being chronic.
Chylomicron:
A small fat globule composed of protein and lipid (fat).
Chyme:
A pre-digested, acidified mass of food that passes from the stomach into the small intestine.
-cide:
Suffix indicating killing or killer, as in bactericide (a solution capable of killing bacteria).
Cilia:
The fine hairlike projections from certain cells such as those in the respiratory tract that sweep in unison and help to sweep away fluids and particles.
Cilium: A fine hairlike projection from a cell such as those in the respiratory tract.
Circadian:
Refers to events occurring within a 24-hour period, in the span of a full (24-hour) day, as in a circadian rhythm.
Circulation:
The movement of fluid in a regular or circuitous course.
Circum-:
Prefix meaning around, surrounding, or encircling.
Circumflex:
Curved like a bow. In anatomy, circumflex describes a structure that bends around like a bow.
Circumjacent:
Lying around in the sense of surrounding.
Cirrhosis:
An abnormal liver condition characterized by irreversible scarring of the liver.
Clap:
Gonorrhea, a bacterial infection transmitted by sexual contact.
Claudication:
Limping. The word "claudication" comes from the Latin "claudicare" meaning to limp.
Claustrophobia:
An abnormal and persistent fear of closed spaces, of being closed in or being shut in, as in elevators, tunnels, or any other confined space.
Clavicle:
The bone extending from the breastbone (sternum) at the base of the front of the neck to the shoulder.
Clavus:
Synonymous with corns.
Climacteric:
The menopause in women.
Coccus:
A bacterial cell which has the shape of a sphere.
Coccydynia:
Pain in the coccyx (the tailbone).
Coccyx:
The small tail-like bone at the bottom of the spine very near to the anus.
Cochlea:
The cochlea is the part of the inner ear that converts mechanical energy (vibrations) into nerve impulses sent to the brain.
Cochlear:
Pertaining to the cochlea, the organ of hearing.
Cockle:
The ventricle of the heart
Coeval:
Of the same or equal age or duration.
Cognition:
The process of knowing and, more precisely, the process of being aware, knowing, thinking, learning and judging.
Cohort:
In a clinical study, a well-defined group of subjects or patients who have had a common experience or exposure and are then followed up for the incidence of new diseases or events, as in a cohort study.
Colchicine:
A substance found in a plant that is used in clinical medicine for the treatment of gouty arthritis and in the laboratory to arrest cells during cell division (by disrupting the spindle) so their chromosomes can be visualized.
Colic:
An attack of crying and apparent abdominal pain in early infancy.
Colitis:
Inflammation of the large intestine (the colon).
Collagen:
Collagen is the principal protein of the skin, tendons, cartilage, bone and connective tissue.
Collarbone:
A horizontal bone above the first rib that makes up the front part of the shoulder.
Collateral:
In anatomy, a collateral is a subordinate or accessory part.
Coloboma:
A congenital malformation (birth defect) in which part of the eye does not form due to failure of fusion of an embryonic feature called the intraocular fissure.
Colostrum:
A sticky white or yellow fluid secreted by the breasts during the second half of pregnancy and for a few days after birth before the breast milk comes in.
Colpo-:
Combining form referring to the vagina, as in colposcopy (inspection of the vagina) and colpotomy (incision of the vagina).
Colpocephaly:
A brain disorder in which there is an abnormal enlargement of the occipital horns of the brain --the posterior or rear portion of the lateral ventricles (cavities or chambers) of the brain.
Colpopexy:
The use of surgical-quality stitches to bring a displaced vagina back into position against the abdominal wall.
Colpoptosis:
A condition in which the vagina has dropped from its normal position against the abdominal wall.
Colporrhaphy:
Surgical repair of the vagina.
Colpotomy:
A surgical incision in the vagina.
Comedo:
The primary sign of acne consisting of a dilated (widened) hair follicle filled with keratin squamae (skin debris), bacteria, and sebum (oil).
Compress:
As a noun, a cloth or another material applied under pressure to an area of the skin and held in place for a period of time.
Concatenate:
To link together in a chain or in a series.
Concordance:
The presence of any given condition such as HIV in both members of a couple.
Concussion:
A traumatic injury to tissues of the body such as the brain as a result of a violent blow, shaking, or spinning.
Condyloma:
A wartlike growth around the anus, vulva, or glans penis.
Congenital:
Present at birth.
Conization:
Surgery to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix and cervical canal.
Conjunctiva:
A thin clear moist membrane that coats the inner surfaces of the eyelids and the outer surface of the eye.
Conjunctivitis:
Inflammation of the conjunctiva, the membrane on the inner part of the eyelids and the membrane covering the white of the eye.
Connectionism:
A theory of information processing within cognitive science (the study of the mind).
Consanguinity:
Blood relationship because of common ancestry.
Constipation:
Infrequent (and frequently incomplete) bowel movements.
Contraction:
The tightening and shortening of a muscle
Contraindicate:
To make a treatment or procedure inadvisable because of a particular condition or circumstance.
Contralateral:
On the other side.
Contusion:
Another name for a bruise.
Corn:
A small calloused area of skin caused by local pressure irritating tissue over a bony prominence.
Cornea:
The clear front window of the eye that transmits and focuses light into the eye.
Corporeal:
Pertaining to the body of an organ or the entire body.
Corpus:
The body of the uterus (womb).
Cortex:
The outer portion of an organ.
Cortisol:
The primary stress hormone.
Coryza:
A cold in the head.
Costochondritis:
Costochondritis is the result of inflammation of the cartilage of the chest wall, usually involving that which surrounds the breast bone (sternum).
Crabs:
Slang for pubic lice.
Cranio-:
Referring to the cranium, the top portion of the skull, the bony vault that protects the brain.
Craniology:
The study of variations in size, shape, and proportion of the skull (cranium).
Craniopagus:
Conjoined twins whose heads are fused together.
Craniopharyngioma:
A type of benign brain tumor that emerges develops from embryonic tissue that forms part of the pituitary gland.
Craniotomy:
A surgical operation in which an opening is made in the skull.
Crapulent:
Ill from excessive drinking or eating. Surcharged with liquor, or sick with intemperance.
Creatine:
A compound the body synthesizes (makes) and then utilizes to store energy.
Creatinine:
A chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism.
Crepitus:
A clinical sign in medicine characterized by a peculiar crackling, crinkly, or grating feeling or sound under the skin, around the lungs, or in the joints.
Cretinism:
Congenital hypothyroidism (underactivity of the thyroid gland at birth) resulting in growth retardation, developmental delay and other abnormal features.
Croup:
A respiratory problem that occurs mainly in children, particularly from 2 to 4 years of age, due to an infection of the respiratory tree -- the larynx (voice box), the trachea (windpipe), and the bronchial tubes.
Crown:
In dentistry, the portion of the tooth that is covered by enamel.
Cruciate:
Cross-shaped.
Cryocardioplegia:
Paralysis of the heart by cold (hypothermia).
Cryostat:
A chamber that can maintain very low temperatures.
Cryosurgery:
Treatment performed with an instrument that freezes and destroys abnormal tissue.
Cryptic:
Hidden.
Cryptorchidism:
Failure of descent of one or both of the testes into the scrotum.
Cubital:
Pertaining to the elbow.
Culdocentesis:
The puncture and aspiration (withdrawal) of fluid from the cul-de-sac, the rectouterine pouch (the pouch of Douglas), an extension of the peritoneal cavity between the rectum and back wall of the uterus.
Culdoscopy:
The introduction of a viewing tube (called an endoscope or culdoscope) through the end of the vagina into the cul-de-sac.
Curette:
A spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge.
Cusp:
In reference to heart valves, one of the triangular segments of the valve which opens and closes with the flow of blood. In reference to teeth, a raised area of the biting surface.
Cutaneous:
Relating to the skin.
Cutis:
The skin.
Cyanosis:
A bluish color of the skin and the mucous membranes due to insufficient oxygen in the blood.
Cyclopia:
A congenital abnormality (birth defect) in which there is only one eye.
Cyclothymia:
A form of bipolar disorder in which the mood swings are less severe.
Cylindroma:
A benign tumor of skin adnexa such as the sweat gland, arising as a nodule on the scalp and, less often, the face or limbs.
Cymbalta:
Brand name for duloxetine hydrochloride, a drug approved by the FDA to treat major depresssion in adults and to manage the pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage in diabetes.
Cyst:
A closed sac or capsule, usually filled with fluid or semisolid material.
Cystectomy:
Surgery to remove the bladder.
Cystitis:
Inflammation of the bladder.
Cystocele:
Bulging of the bladder into the vagina.
-cyte:
A suffix denoting a cell.
Cyto-:
Prefix denoting a cell.
Cytokine:
A small protein released by cells that has a specific effect on the interactions between cells, on communications between cells or on the behavior of cells.
Cytoplasm:
All of the substance of a cell outside of the nucleus.