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Medical TermDescription
-apheresisseparation, removal
aberrationA deviation from a normal condition or behavior.
ablation techniquesRemoval or disabling of body tissue by using hot liquids, microwave thermal heating, freezing, chemical ablation, and laser photoablation.
ablutionWashing the body.
abreactionAn emotional release after recollection of a repressed experience.
absenteeismChronic absence from work, school or other duties.
acaridaeFamily of mites frequently found in grain and flour.
accelerationA change in an object's rate of speed or direction.
acclimatizationAdaptation of an organism to a new or changing environment.
accreditationCertification for voluntary compliance with standards established by non-governmental organizations.
acculturationProcess of accepting or assimilating cultural change.
aceticHaving a sour property of vinegar or acetic acid.
acetoneA colorless liquid used as a solvent and an antiseptic. Present in urine.
acid-base balanceThe balance between acids and bases in the body fluids. The pH of the arterial blood provides an index for the total body acid-base balance.
adiposeConnective tissue composed of fat cells.
adiposityThe amount of fat or lipid deposit at a site or an organ.
adolescenceA period beginning with puberty and ending at maturity. Usually from 11-13 years of age and ending at 18-20 years of age.
adrenalPertaining to the adrenal glands, which are located atop of the kidneys.
adsorptionThe adhesion of gases, liquids, or dissolved solids onto a surface.
adultA person having attained maturity.
adventitiaThe outermost covering of organs, blood vessels and other structures not covered by serosa.
aftercareHealth care provided to a patient after discharge.
agonalRelating to conditions and struggles preceding death.
agoraphobiaObsessive, intense fear of open places or leaving home..
airThe mixture of gases present in the earth's atmosphere consisting of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases.
albuminProteins found in egg whites, milk, blood, lymph, and other tissues and fluids. They are water soluble and coagulate upon heating.
alginateA salt of alginic acid extracted from marine kelp. Used for surgical dressings.
alienationLack of meaningful relationships with others, leading to estrangement.
allergyHypersensitive reaction to common substances that are in the environment or digested. Also, an acquired sensitivity to certain drugs.
allied health personnelHealth care workers specially trained and licensed to provide patient services in specialties such as physical therapy, laboratory sciences, dental hygiene and emergency services.
alloantigenAn antigen that occurs in some but not all members of a species.
allograftTissues, cells, or organs transplanted between genetically different individuals of the same species.
allopathyA medical therapy system in which a disease is treated by creating a second condition in the body that opposes the disease.
alphavirusA group of small Toga viruses. Can be transmitted from mosquitoes to humans, causing several types of encephalitis.
altitude sicknessMultiple symptoms associated with reduced oxygen at high altitude. These symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, tachycardia and shortness of breath.
amalgamA mixture of mercury, silver and other metals used in dentistry.
amanitaA genus of mushrooms. Some species are poisonous.
amantadineAn antiviral agent used to treat influenza A. Also used as an antiparkinsonian agent.
amberA hard, yellowish fossil resin from pine trees.
ambivalenceConflicting feelings or attitudes towards a person, object or idea.
amebaA large genus of protozoa found in water and moist conditions. Several species may be parasitic in humans.
amebiasisInfection with ameba. Widespread condition in tropical countries.. An asymptomatic condition in most people but diseases ranging from diarrhea to dysentery.
amebicideA drug or other agent which destroys ameba, particularly parasitic species.
ameloblastomaA fast growing epithelial tumor of the jaw.
amelogenesisThe formation of dental enamel by ameloblasts.
aminoglycosideAntibiotic that prevents bacteria from producing proteins. Requires monitoring due to side-effects.
amobarbitalA barbiturate sedative-hypnotic.
amoxicillinAn oral semisynthetic penicillin antibiotic.
ampereA measure of electrical current. One ampere (amp) is equal to the current flowing through a one ohm resistance when an electrical potential of one volt is applied.
ampicillinSemisynthetic penicillin that functions as a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
amyloidosisA group of infectious diseases cause abnormal protein folding and deposition of amyloid. These amyloid deposits can enlarge and displace normal tissue, impairing function.
anabolic steroidA compound derived from testosterone or synthetically that stimulates development of muscle mass, strength, and power.
anaplasiaLoss of structural differentiation and useful function of neoplastic cells. Typical of malignant tumors.
anasarcaMassive swelling (edema) of the legs, truck and genitalia. Occurs in congestive heart failure, renal disease or liver failure.
androidPertaining to something human.
aneroid A kind of barometer operated by the movement of the elastic lid of a box exhausted of air.
angstromA unit of length equal to 0.1 nanometer.
anhidrosisAbsence of sweating in an environment appropriate for sweating.
anionNegatively charged ion.
anomalyA variation from normal, particularly congenital defect
anorexiaThe lack or loss of appetite with an inability to eat.
anosmialoss or impairment of the sense of smell. It can be temporary or permanent.
antagonistA person, muscle or drug that opposes another.
antazolineA short acting antihistamine
antegradeMoving forward or moving in the direction of blood or urine flow.
anti-inflammatoryReducing inflammation.
antihistamineAn agent that inhibits the actions of a histamine.
antimitoticDrugs that arrest cell division.
antiparasiticA drug used to treat or prevent parasitic infections.
antipyreticA drug used to reduces fever.
antithyroidAn agent used to treat hyperthyroidism.
antitoxinsAntisera from immunized animals that is purified and used as a passive immunizing agent against specific bacterial toxins.
antrumA cavity or chamber.
apacheAn acronym for Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation, a scoring system used for classifying the severity of illness in critically ill patients.
apexThe tip of an organ.
apicalPertaining to the tip or apex of a structure.
apoptosisProgrammed cell death resulting in the orderly removal of cells.
aprepitantA drug used to treat chemotherapy induced nausea.
arborA tree-like structure with branching.
arbovirusViruses transmitted by saliva of insects, bats and rodents.
argonAn odorless, colorless, inactive gas with atomic number 18.
aromatherapyThe use of fragrances and plant oils to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
arsenicA shiny gray element with atomic symbol As, atomic number 33. Most forms are toxic.
arthropodA member of the phylum Arthropoda, composed of organisms having a hard, jointed exoskeleton and paired jointed legs. It includes insects, mites, ticks and spiders.
artifactsAnything artificially made. An unwanted problem with a medical imaging technique.
assaultA violent physical or verbal attack.
athetosisSlow, continuous slow, flowing involuntary movements of the fingers, toes, tongue and face. Often a form of cerebral palsy. While impairing speech, intelligence in often unaffected.
atresiaThe absence or abnormal narrowing of a body opening or duct.
attenuationThe reduction or dilution of disease producing ability.
attitude1) A position or posture of the body. 2) A way or manner of behaving.
attritionWearing away.
atypicalUnusual. Not representative of a type or group.
auditA formal review of data or records.
augmentationThe process of increasing in size or amount.
auscultationListening for body sounds usually with a stethoscope.
autograftTransplant comprised of an individual's own tissue, transferred from one part of the body to another.
autolysisThe disintegration of tissues or cells by intracellular enzymes.
automatismAutomatic, mechanical, and apparently undirected behavior which is outside of conscious control.
autonomyAbility to function independently. Self-governing.
autopsyPostmortem examination of the body to determine the cause of death.
autosomeAny chromosome that is not a sex chromosome and that occurs in pairs in somatic cells.
autotrophicSelf nourishing. The processes by which organisms use inorganic substances such carbon dioxide and inorganic nitrogen as nutrient sources.
avian influenzaA highly contagious disease of poultry and other birds, caused by strains of influenza A virus.
axialPertaining to an axis.
azotemiaA biochemical abnormality referring to an elevation of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine.
bacillusA large genus of rod-shaped, gram-positive, spore-bearing bacteria.
bactericideA substance that kills bacteria.
bacteriophageA virus that attacks bacteria.
barotraumaInjury caused by ambient pressure changes especially to the ear drums and lungs.
basal metabolismThe minimum amount of energy needed to maintain vital body functions.
bayes theoremA probability theorem used in clinical decision analysis for estimating the probability of a particular diagnosis given the appearance of some symptoms or test result.
bed restConfinement of an patient to bed for therapeutic reasons.
behaviorThe observable response of a man or animal to a situation.
behaviorismA psychologic theory, developed by John Broadus Watson, concerned with studying and measuring behaviors that are observable.
bellyThe central fleshy part of a muscle.
beneficenceThe act of being kind, charitable, or beneficial. The ethical principle of beneficence requires that researchers should have the welfare of the research participant as a goal of any clinical trial.
benignNonmalignant. A non-cancerous tumor.
benzeneToxic flammable liquid hydrocarbon byproduct of coal distillation.
betahistineA histamine analog that serves as a vasodilator. Used to reduce the frequency of attacks of vertigo in Meniere's disease.
betamethasoneA glucocorticoid administered by mouth, injection, inhalation or topically to treat disorders in which corticosteroids are indicated.
biasSystematic deviation of results or inferences from the truth.
bidetA bathroom fixture, similar to a toilet bowel, used for cleaning the genital and rectal areas.
binding sitesThe parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.
bioassayLaboratory determination of the potency of a drug or other substance by comparing its effects on living organisms with a standard preparation.
biochemistryThe study of the composition, chemical structures, and chemical reactions of living things.
bioethicsA branch of applied ethics that studies the value implications of practices and developments in life sciences, medicine, and health care.
biofeedbackThe therapy technique of providing immediate status of one's own body functions such as skin temperature, heartbeat, brain waves) as visual or auditory feedback in order to self-control related conditions.
biohazardBiological substances that pose a risk to the health of living organisms.
biologyStudies concerned with the origin, structure, development, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of animals, plants, and microorganisms.
bionicsThe science of mechanical and electrical systems that have characteristics of living systems.
biophysicsThe study of physical phenomena and physical processes as applied to living things.
biopsyRemoval and pathologic examination of small pieces of tissue from the living body.
biostatisticsThe application of statistics to biological systems and organisms involving the retrieval or collection, analysis, reduction, and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data.
biotechnologyTechniques for applying biological processes to the production of materials for use in medicine, food production and industry.
black eyeA contusion around the eye with discoloration and swelling.
blackwater feverA complication of malaria characterized by acute renal failure and the passage of dark red to black urine.
blastemaA mass of cells that is still growing and differentiating.
blastocystThe embryonic form that follows the morula in human development.
blastulaAn early non-mammalian embryo that follows the morula stage. A blastula resembles a hollow ball with the layer of cells surrounding a fluid-filled cavity.
borderlineRelating to health status where the patient has some signs and symptoms of an abnormality but insufficient for a definite diagnosis.
bougieA thin, cylindrical instrument, somewhat flexible, inserted into body canals in order to examine or dilate them.
brachytherapyRadiotherapy that uses small sources that are placed on or near tumor tissues.
brailleA system of printing for visually impaired people, consisting of raised dots that are read by touch.
bubonic plagueCaused by the bite of a rat flea that has previously bitten an infected rat.
buccalRelating to the mouth or inside of the cheek.
bufferA chemical system that functions to control the levels of specific ions in solution. When the level of hydrogen ion in solution is controlled the system is called a pH buffer.
bullyingAggressive behavior intended to cause harm or distress. The behavior may be physical or verbal. There is typically an imbalance of power, strength, or status between the target and the aggressor.
bupropionAn antidepressant drug used as an aid to smoking cessation.
cacophonyA harsh, discordant sound or mixture of sounds.
calcificationProcess by which organic tissue becomes hardened by the physiologic deposit of calcium salts.
calcinosisThe abnormal deposition of calcium salts in tissues.
calciumCombines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.
calibrationDetermination, by measurement or comparison with a standard, of the correct value of each scale reading on a meter or other measuring instrument.
calipersA measuring instrument consisting of two hinged legs. Used to measure thickness and diameters. Also used to determine time intervals for several EKG features.
calorimetryThe measurement of the quantity of heat involved in various processes or in the determination of the heat capacities of substances.
camphorA crystalline substance used in topical pain relievers.
canalA tubular passage.
cancerGeneral term for malignant neoplasms, sarcoma, carcinoma, leukemia and lymphoma.
cannabisA drug, also known as marijuana, used to reduce nausea during chemotherapy, to alleviate chronic pain, to improve appetite in HIV/AIDS patients and to treat glaucoma.
cannibalismEating individuals of one's own species.
cannulaA flexible tube inserted into a duct or cavity to drain fluid or to deliver medication.
capillary actionA force causing fluids to rise up very fine tubes. This action is due to molecular adhesion of the liquid to the tube.
capsidThe outer protein protective shell of a virus.
carbon tetrachlorideA solvent used in dry cleaning and manufacturing. Poisoning by inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption is possible and may be fatal.
carboplatinAn platinum-containing compound used to treat advanced forms of lung and ovarian cancers.
carcinogenesisThe development of a normal cell into an invasive cancer cell. It generally requires multiple steps, which may occur quickly or over a period of many years.
carcinoma in situA premalignant neoplasm confined to the epithelium of origin, without invasion of the basement membrane.
carcinomatosisCarcinoma that has spread throughout the body.
carcinosarcomaA malignant neoplasm that contains elements of carcinoma and sarcoma.
carrierA person who carries a microorganism without manifesting signs or symptoms of infection and who can readily transmit the disease to another host.
caseationThe breakdown of diseased tissue into a cheese-like substance. Typical of tuberculosis.
castsDressings made of fiberglass, plastic, or bandage impregnated with plaster of Paris used for immobilization of various parts of the body in cases of fractures, dislocations, and infected wounds.
cat-scratch feverA bacterial infection that usually arises one or more weeks following a feline scratch. Raised inflammatory nodules can be seen at the site of the scratch.
catabolic illnessA disease marked by weight loss and diminished muscle mass.
catastrophic illnessAn acute or prolonged illness usually considered to be life-threatening or with the threat of serious residual disability. Treatment may be radical and is frequently costly.
catgutSterile collagen strands obtained from healthy mammals. Formerly used as absorbable surgical ligatures.
catharsisA purging or cleansing. Release of emotions.
catheterA hollow, flexible tube that is inserted into narrow body openings so that fluids can be drained or inserted. Also used as to visualize or image a vessel or cavity.
catheterizationUse of a flexible, hollow tube into a duct, blood vessel, hollow organ, or body cavity for injecting or withdrawing fluids for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.
cationA positively charged ion.
cavityA hollow enclosed area.
cavumAny hollow, enclose area.
cefaclorSemisynthetic, broad-spectrum antibiotic derivative of cephalexin.
cellThe fundamental unit of all living tissue. They consist of a nucleus, cytoplasm and various organelles enclosed by a plasma membrane.
cementFast setting material used to fix prostheses in place.
cementumBonelike tissue covering the roots of teeth.
censusAn enumeration of a population.
centerThe middle point of a geometric entity.
centesisA puncture of a cavity.
centipoiseA measure of viscosity of a liquid. One hundredth of a poise.
centrifugalA force directed outward from a center or axis.
centrosomeOrganelles responsible for the organization and nucleation of microtubules. Found in animals and some plants.
cephaladTowards the head.
cercariaThe free-swimming larval forms of parasites found in an intermediate host.
characterRoughly equivalent to personality. The sum of the relatively fixed personality traits and habits.
charlatanA medical fraud. A quack.
cheilitisInflammation of the lips.
cheiralgiaPain in the hands.
chemotaxisThe movement of cells or organisms in response to chemicals.
childA person between the stages of birth and puberty.
chillsThe sudden sensation of being cold.
chimeraAn individual that contains cell populations derived from different zygotes.
chloroformA commonly used laboratory solvent. It was previously used as an anesthetic, but was banned from use in the U.S. due to its toxicity and safety margins.
choanalA funnel-shaped opening.
choreaA condition marked by involuntary, purposeless, rapid, jerky movements.
chromatographyTechniques used for separating and analyzing a chemical mixture.
cilia Thick protuberances from epithelial cells.
circadianRelating to biologic rhythms with a cycle time of about 24 hours.
cleft lipCongenital defect in the upper lip where the maxillary prominence fails to merge with the nasal prominences.
cleft palateCongenital fissure of the median line of the palate.
clin/obend, slope
coercionThe use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance.
coinfectionSimultaneous infection of a host organism by two or more pathogens.
communicableAble to be transmitted, particularly a disease.
complicationA disease or condition arising during the treatment of another disease.
compoundA pharmaceutical preparation composed of two or more ingredients.
computational biologyA field of biology concerned with the collection and manipulation of biological data, and the use of such data to make biological discoveries or predictions.
concierge medicineAn arrangement in which a patient pays an annual fee to a physician in exchange for services over and beyond normal insurance-reimbursed services.
concoctionA mixture of two or more medicinal substances.
conditionThe state of being.
conduitA channel.
confinementBeing restrained to a particular place.
confusionA mental state characterized by bewilderment, disorientation and emotional disturbance.
conjugatePaired or joined.
conscienceAwareness. In a moral sense, self-critical of what is right or wrong.
consciousnessSense of awareness of self and of the environment.
constitutionThe overall health of a person, both mental and physical.
constrictionThe abnormal narrowing of a channel or opening.
contraindicationA factor in a patient's condition that prohibits a specific treatment.
control groupsGroups that serve as a standard for comparison in experimental studies.
controlled substancesDrugs or chemical agents regulated by government. This may include narcotics and prescription medications.
convexHaving a surface that curves outward.
convulsionA violent spasm of voluntary muscles. A type of seizure.
copingThe process of dealing with to problems in life in a way to work through them.
cornA hardened mass of epithelial cells usually found on the sole of the feet.
coronerA public official who investigates cases of unnatural death.
corpseA dead body. Cadaver.
corpuscle1) A blood cell. 2) Any small mass.
correlationA statistical relationship between variables.
corrosionThe gradual destruction of a substance or tissue, particularly by a chemical action.
cortexThe outer layer of an organ or other structure.
creat-meat, flesh
cremationIncinerating a corpse.
crisisThe turning point of a disease.
critical careHealth care provided to a critically ill patient during a medical emergency or crisis.
curettageAn instrument shaped like a spoon, used for scraping material or tissue from a body cavity.
current The flow of electricity or liquids.
cysticCharacterized by cysts.
deathIrreversible cessation of all bodily functions.
decapitationRemoval of the head.
decayThe gradual decomposition of dead organisms after death.
decelerationA decrease in the rate of speed.
decibelA unit for comparing levels of power on a logarithmic scale. Commonly used for measuring sound.
decubitusThe recumbent position. Lying on one's side.
defamationFalse written or spoken statements that are known to be false and that are damaging to the reputation of a person, group or organization.
degenerationThe gradual loss of function of a cell, tissue or organ.
dehydrationThe condition that results from excessive loss of water from a living organism.
deja vuA subjective feeling that a current experience is a repetition of a previous experience.
denialRefusal to admit the truth or reality of a situation or experience.
deoxyribonucleic acidThe primary carrier of genetic information. It consists of two chains of nucleotides that are twisted into a double helix and joined by hydrogen bonds between complementary bases.
dependenceThe state of reliance or subservience to another person or a substance.
depreciationDecline in value of capital assets over time.
depression1) A sunken or hollow area. 2) Mental state of feeling sad, lonely, discouraged, hopeless or dejected.
deprevationThe loss or lack of something that is needed.
derailmentMental disorder marked by speech consisting of a sequence of unrelated or remotely related ideas.
derivativeSomething produced as a modification of another object or thought.
desiccationRemoval of moisture from a substance.
desmoid tumorA dense, fibrous neoplasm. Occurs on the abdomen, upper arms, neck and head.
detergentA cleaning agent.
detoxificationThe removal of poisons, alcohol or drugs and their effects from a patient.
detritionWearing away by use or friction.
deviantPertaining to an object or person that departs from normal. Abnormal.
dew pointThe temperature at which water vapor in the air condenses to liquid.
diagnosisThe determination of the nature of a disease or condition, or the distinguishing of one disease or condition from another.
diagnosis-related groupsA system for classifying patient care by relating common characteristics such as diagnosis, treatment, and age to an expected consumption of hospital resources and length of stay.
diathesisGenetic predisposition to certain diseases or abnormalities.
dielectricInsulating material that can be polarized by an applied electric field.
differentiationThe acquisition of functions or forms different that the original.
diffusionThe process of particles in gases and liquids to move from areas of high concentration to areas of lower concentration resulting in even distribution of such particles.
digitizationThe conversion of images, sounds or text into a digital form.
dilationCausing the increase in the diameter of an organ, vessel or body opening.
dioxinHighly toxic, persistent environmental pollutant. A contaminant of a widely used herbicide.
dipsomaniaUncontrollable, recurring craving for alcohol.
discA rounded, flat plate.
dischargeTo release. The substance that is released.
disclosureThe revealing of information.
disinfectionKilling pathogens or rendering them harmless.
disorientationA mentally confused state. Loss of one's bearings.
dissectionThe separation of tissues for surgical reasons or for analysis.
dissociationSeparation of a particular of thoughts or emotions from normal consciousness.
dissolveTo disperse a solid in a solution.
distemperHighly contagious and dangerous viral diseases of animals, particularly dogs.
distillationA process of separating the components of a liquid mixture by vaporization and condensation.
distortionA state of being twisted out of shape. A defense mechanism to disguise unacceptable thoughts.
diurnalDaily or relating to daylight hours.
dominantExhibiting a ruling influence. In genetics, capable of expression when carried by only one of a pair of homologous chromosomes.
donorA human, animal or other organism that provides tissue for another body.
doppler effectChanges in the observed frequency of sound, light, or radio waves due to the relative motion of source and observer.
down syndromeA congenital disorder characterized by small size, hypotonia, protruding tongue, small ears, short, broad hands and cognitive impairment.
dwarfismAbnormally short in stature.
dysarthriaDifficulty in articulating words caused by impairment of the pharynx, larynx, tongue, or face muscles.
dysgenesisDefective development.
dyssomniaA disorder in which normal sleep patterns are disrupted.
EaerosolsA liquid or particulate solution dispensed as a mist.
ebola virusA virus causing acute, often fatal, infections. Transmitted from animals to humans and from human to human.
echolaliaThe automatic and meaningless repetition of another person's spoken words.
ecotype A subspecies that is genetically adapted to a particular habitat.
ectomorphA slender, lean body type.
effusionThe escape of fluid.
elasticityResistance and recovery from distortion of shape.
elationThe feeling of euphoria, excitement, joyfulness, satisfaction and optimism.
electric impedanceThe measure of the opposition that a circuit presents to a current when a voltage is applied.
electrochemistryThe study of combined electrical and chemical activity and changes.
electronA stable elementary particle in orbit around an atom's nucleus.
electrophoresisThe movement of charged particles in an electric field toward an electric pole.
electrophysiologyThe study of the generation and behavior of electrical charges in living organisms particularly the nervous system and the effects of electricity on living organisms.
electroplatingCoating with a metal or alloy by electrolysis.
elementsEach of more than one hundred substances that cannot be chemically broken down into simpler substances and are primary constituents of matter.
elephantiasisA condition characterized by gross enlargement of an area of the body,
elutriationThe removal, by means of a suitable solvent, of one material from another.
emaciationAbnormal thinness caused by disease or a lack of nutrition.
embalmingProcess of preserving a dead body to protect it from decay.
emotionAny state of arousal in response to external events or memories.
empyemaPresence of pus in a hollow organ or body cavity. Abscess.
endophyticPertaining to the tendency to grow inward
endorphinA natural substance produced in the brain that binds to opioid receptors, dulling pain perception.
endotheliomaA tumor arising from the endothelial lining of blood vessels.
enzymeAny protein that acts as a catalyst,
ephemeraPrinted matter of passing interest.
epithelial cellsCells that line the inner and outer surfaces of the body by forming cellular layers or masses.
ergometryMeasuring the amount of work done by an organism.
erythroplasiaDysplasia and erythema of the epithelium
ethnologyCultural anthropology.
ethologyPertaining to the study of animal behavior.
eukaryotaOne of the three domains of life (along with bacteria and archaea). Organisms whose cells are enclosed in membranes and possess a nucleus. Also called Eukarya.
euphoriaA strong feeling of happiness, confidence, or well-being.
euthanasiaThe practice of killing someone painlessly, to relieve suffering from an incurable illness. Mercy killing.
exciseTo cut out a tumor, tissue or organ.
exhumationRemoval of a dead body from the earth after burial.
exocrine glandsGlands of external secretion that release its secretions to the body's cavities, organs, or surface, through a duct.
exogenousOriginating from outside
extirpationSurgical removal of a body part or tissue
extractionSurgical removal of a body part.
fasciaLayers of connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.
fastigium The period of greatest intensity
fatigueTiredness following mental or physical exertion.
febriculaMild or short-lived.
felineBelonging or pertaining to the cat family
femininityFemale-associated sex-specific social roles and behaviors unrelated to biologic function.
fenestraA small opening or transparent spot.
fertilizationThe fusion of a spermatozoon with an ovum thus resulting in the formation of a zygote.
feverAn abnormal elevation of body temperature, usually as a result of a pathologic process.
fibroidA benign tumor containing fibrous tissue, particularly in the uterus.
fibromaA benign tumor consisting of fibrous tissue.
fibrosarcomaA form of malignant tumor derived from fibrous connective tissue
fluorescenceThe property of emitting radiation while being irradiated.
fluoridationPractice of adding fluoride to water for the purpose of preventing tooth decay and cavities.
follicleA small secreting gland, sac or cavity.
forcepsAn instrument for compressing or grasping tissues.
formicationA strange sensation of ants crawling on the skin.
fourier analysisUse of the Fourier transform, a mathematical technique for describing fluctuating patterns in the physical world in terms of frequencies.
fractalsPatterns (real or mathematical) which look similar at different scales.
freeze dryingMethod of preparing a tissue specimen by freezing and then dehydrating in a high vacuum.
fundusThe base of an organ.
fusionThe merging of adjacent parts.
gaitManner or style of walking.
ganglioneuromaA benign neoplasm that usually arises from the sympathetic trunk in the mediastinum.
gangreneDeath and putrefaction of tissue usually due to a loss of blood supply.
gemin-double, twin
genocideThe deliberate annihilation of a national, ethnic, or religious group.
genomicsThe systematic study of the complete DNA sequences (genome) of organisms.
genotypeThe genetic constitution of the individual.
geriatricsThe branch of health care concerned with aging and diseases of the elderly.
germAny microorganism, particularly one that causes disease.
germinationThe early stages of the growth of seeds. The embryonic shoot and embryonic plant roots emerge.
germinomaA neoplasm of the germinal tissue of gonads, mediastinum, or pineal region.
gestaltA physical, mental or symbolic configuration where whole differs from, or is greater than, the sum of its parts.
gestureA movement that helps express a feeling, idea, intention or opinion.
giardiasisAn intestinal infection caused by the protozoan Giardia lamblia. It is spread via contaminated food and water and by direct person-to-person contact.
gingivaOral tissue surrounding and attached to teeth. Gum.
glabellaThe area between the eyebrows immediately above the nose.
glandersA chronic bacterial infection of horses occasionally transmitted to humans.
glandular feverInfectious mononucleosis.
globulinAny of a class of proteins that are found in blood plasma, milk and muscle that are insoluble in pure water but soluble in dilute salt solutions
graftAny tissue or organ for transplantation.
gram stainA method of staining bacteria, which is important in their identification.
granulation tissueA vascular connective tissue formed on the surface of a healing wound, ulcer, or inflamed tissue. It consists of new capillaries and an infiltrate containing lymphoid cells, macrophages, and plasma cells.
groinThe external junctural region between the lower part of the abdomen and the thigh.
guaifenesinAn expectorant that also has some muscle relaxing action. It is used in many cough preparations.
guttaOne drop.
habitA recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is regularly manifested.
heat exhaustionA clinical syndrome caused by heat stress, such as over-exertion in a hot environment or excessive exposure to sun.
heat strokeA condition caused by the failure of body to dissipate heat in an excessively hot environment or during physical exertion in a hot environment. The body temperature is dangerously high with red, hot skin accompanied by delusions; convulsions; or coma. It can be a life-threatening emergency and is most common in infants and the elderly. Also called sunstroke.
hemobiliaBleeding into the biliary passages.
herbicidesPesticides used to destroy vegetation, particularly weeds and grasses.
hermaphroditicA plant or animal with both male and female sex organs.
herniorrhaphySurgical repair of a hernia
heuristicsA set of rules or methods for solving problems other than by algorithm. The solution is not guaranteed to be optimal, but sufficient for a given set of goals.
hiatusAn aperture, gap or opening.
histamineAn amine found in body tissues released in allergic inflammatory reactions. It is a vasodilator, stimulant of heart rate and gastric secretion, constrictor of bronchial smooth muscle and also a centrally acting neurotransmitter.
histiocytesMacrophages found in the tissues, as opposed to those found in the blood or serous cavities.
histiocytomaA neoplasm containing histiocytes.
histiocytosisAbnormal appearance of histiocytes.
histogramA bar chart.
histologyThe study of the structure of tissues on a microscopic level.
holographyThe recording of three-dimensional images form using a laser beams.
homeostasisThe process of maintaining physiological equilibrium.
hormoneSubstances having a specific regulatory effect on the activity of an organ or organs.
hospiceA facility providing palliative and supportive care to a patient with a terminal illness and to the patient's family.
hospice careCare provided to a dying person. Care may be provided in the home, in the hospital or in specialized facilities.
hospitalistsPhysicians who are employed to work exclusively in hospital settings, often for managed care organizations.
huntington diseaseAn inherited disorder characterized by the onset of progressive chorea (involuntary, rapid, irregular, jerky movements) and dementia in middle age.
hygieneThe science and practices that promote or preserve health
hyperalgesiaAn abnormal increased sensation of pain, caused by damage to soft tissue containing nociceptors or injury to a peripheral nerve.
hyperbaricAt a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure.
hyperemiaThe presence of an increased amount of blood in a body part due to increase of blood flow into the area or due to obstruction of outflow of blood from the area.
hyperoxiaAn excess of oxygen in tissues and organs.
hyperplasiaAn abnormal increase in the number of cells in a tissue or organ without tumor formation.
hypersomniaExcessive sleeping
hyperstheniaExcessive strength or tension.
hypertonicHaving increased tone or tension.
hypertrophyGeneral increase in volume of a tissue or organ produced entirely by enlargement of existing cells.
hyperuricemiaAn abnormally high concentration of uric acid in the blood. It is associated with gout and also hypertension.
hypesthesiaAbsent or reduced sensitivity to cutaneous stimulation.
hypogeusiaDiminished sense of taste.
hypokinesiaAbnormally diminished movement of body musculature.
hypoplasiaUnderdevelopment of a tissue or organ.
hypothermiaLower than normal body temperature.
hypotonicDenoting decreased tone or tension.
ictusAn attack, blow, stroke, or seizure.
idThe part of the personality structure which harbors the unconscious instinctive desires and strivings of the individual.
illusionAn error in perception.
immobilizationThe restriction of the movement of whole or part of the body.
imperforateNot open.
implantTo embed.
impulsive behaviorAn act performed without delay, reflection, voluntary direction or obvious control in response to a stimulus.
incidenceThe number of new cases of a given disease during a specified period in a population.
incinerationHigh temperature destruction of waste by burning with reduction to ashes.
infusion pumpsA device that delivers intravenous fluids at low doses and at a controllable rate.
injectionsIntroduction of substances into the body using a needle and syringe.
insecticidesAgents used to control insects.
insomniaInability to sleep.
intercellularBetween the cells.
internal medicineA medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of internal organ diseases.
interphaseThe interval between cell divisions during which the chromosomes are not individually distinguishable.
intoleranceA patient's inability to tolerate a drug.
intracellularInside a cell.
intracranialWithin the skull.
intrathecalWithin a sheath.
intravenousWithin a vein.
introversionA state in which attention is largely directed inward upon one's self, with diminished interest in the outside world.
intuitionKnowing without conscious use of reasoning.
invasionThe entry and proliferation of a pathogen or tumor.
invertebratesAnimals lacking a spinal column.
involucrumAn enveloping sheath.
ionAn atom that has a positive or negative electric charge due to a gain or loss of one or more electrons.
iontophoresisTherapeutic introduction of ions of soluble salts into tissues by means of electric current.
ipecacAn emetic.
iridescenceShining or glittering with the colors of the rainbow
irradiationExposure to ionizing radiation.
isletA small island.
isoantigensAn antigenic substance that occurs only in some individuals of a species, such as the blood group antigens of humans.
isomorphismThe condition of two or more objects being similar in shape or structure.
isotonic solutionsSolutions having the same osmotic pressure.
isotopesAtoms of an element species differing in mass number but having the same atomic number.
isthmusA narrow part of an organ or body part.
jealousFearful of the loss of affection or position.
jerkA sudden involuntary movement.
kelpA type of seaweed.
keratinA family of fibrous proteins that are principle constituents of epidermis; hair; nails; horny tissues, and tooth enamel.
ketosisAbnormally high concentration of ketone bodies, as in diabetes mellitus.
kilogramUnit of mass equal to one thousand grams.
kinesicsThe study of body position motion in communication.
kinesisMovement of an organism in response to a stimulus
kleptomaniaAn abnormal, strong impulse to steal.
lamellaA thin scale or plate, as of bone.
lanolinWool fat that is refined and used as an emollient, cosmetic, and pharmaceutic aid.
laparoscopeAn endoscope for examining the abdominal and pelvic organs in the peritoneal cavity.
laparotomyIncision into the side of the abdomen between the ribs and pelvis.
larvaWormlike developmental stage in the life cycle of insects, worms, and other metamorphosing animals.
lavageWashing out a body cavity with water or medicated solution.
leechingThe application of leeches to the body to draw blood for therapeutic purposes.
leiomyosarcomaA malignant neoplasm derived from smooth muscle.
leishmaniasis A group of infections, caused by the protozoan flagellate Leishmania.
leprosyChronic bacterial infection that affects peripheral nerves in the hands and feet, mucous membranes of the nose, throat and eyes and that causes skin lesions.
levocardiaCongenital abnormalities in which the heart is in the normal position in the left side of the chest but some or all of the thorax or abdomen viscera are transposed laterally.
lidocaineA local anesthetic, analgesic and cardiac depressant.
lipidOrganic compounds, including the fats, oils, waxes, sterols, and triglycerides, that are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents.
lipomatosisA disorder characterized by abnormal tumor-like accumulations of fat in body tissues.
liposarcomaA malignant neoplasm of fat cells that occurs in the retroperitoneal tissues and the thigh.
liposuctionPlastic surgery that removes subcutaneous fat using a suction tube.
lithiasisFormation of stones in an internal organ, such as in the gallbladder, kidney, and lower urinary tract.
liverA large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen with a wide range of function including detoxification, metabolism, synthesis and storage of various substances.
locomotionMovement or the ability to move from one place or another.
locusA place or site.
loinThe part of the side and back between the lowest rib and the pelvis.
longevityAn organism's life span.
longitudinal studiesStudies in which variables relating to an individual or group of individuals are assessed over an extended span of time.
loupeA magnifying lens.
lubricationThe use of an agent such as grease to diminish friction between two surfaces.
luminescenceEmission of light from a body as a result of a chemical reaction.
lumpectomy Surgical excision of a tumor from the breast without removing large amounts of surrounding tissue.
luteomaAn ovarian neoplasm composed of luteal cells derived from luteinized granulosa cells and theca cells.
macerationSoftening of a solid by soaking in a liquid.
macrocheiliaAbnormally large lips.
macrodactylyAbnormally large fingers or toes.
macrodontiaAbnormally large teeth.
macroglossiaEnlargement of the tongue, which may be congenital or may develop as a result of a tumor or edema, or in association with hyperpituitarism.
macrognathiaAbnormally large jaw.
macromeliaAbnormally large arms or legs.
macrostomiaAbnormally large mouth.
madarosisLoss or underdevelopment of eyelashes or eyebrows.
maggotLarva of a fly.
magnetic resonance imagingNon-invasive method of imaging internal anatomy a strong magnetic field and pulses of radiofrequency energy. Effective for imaging soft tissue, organs and joints.
malformationAn abnormal physical structure in the body.
malpracticeFailure to render proper professional services through reprehensible ignorance or negligence especially when injury occurs.
manometerA device for measuring gas or liquid pressure.
marsupialization A surgical procedure for treating cysts. The cyst is widely opened creating a pouch.
mastocytomaA solid tumor consisting of a dense infiltration of mast cells.
mastocytosisDisorders characterized by the abnormal increase of mast cells in organs and tissues.
mastodyniaPain in the breast.
masturbationSexual self-gratification.
meatusAn opening or passage.
mediastinitisInflammation of the mediastinum.
medullaThe inner region of an organ or body structure.
medulloblastomaA malignant neoplasm that may be classified either as a glioma or as a primitive neuroectodermal tumor of childhood.
meiosisA type of cell division in which a nucleus divides into four daughter nuclei
membraneThin layers of tissue which covers parts of the body, separates adjacent cavities, or connects adjacent structures.
mentholAn alcohol produced from mint oils or prepared synthetically.
mer/opart, partial
mesomorphicHaving a robust, muscular body build.
metabolismThe chemical reactions that occur within the cells, tissues or an organism.
metagenomeA collective genome representative of the many organisms, primarily microorganisms, existing in a community.
metastasectomySurgery to remove one or more neoplasm metastases.
microbialRelating to microbes.
microbiologyThe study of microorganisms.
microbiotaThe full collection of microbes (bacteria, fungi, virus, etc.) that naturally exist within a specific environment.
microcheiliaAbnormally small lips.
microgliaA type of non-nervous tissue found in the central nervous system, that acts as a phagocyte at sites of neural damage or inflammation.
microstomiaA congenital defect of an abnormally small mouth.
microsurgerySurgical procedures using microscope.
microtiaA congenital deformity of the external ear.
mitochondriaSemiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells.
modalityA factor that makes a patient's symptoms better or worse.
monosomyThe existence in a cell of only one instead of the normal diploid pair of a particular chromosome.
moralsStandards of conduct that distinguish right from wrong.
morbidDiseased or abnormal.
morbid obesityThe condition of weighing two or more times the ideal weight. In the body mass index, morbid obesity is defined as having a BMI greater than 40.0 kg/m2.
morbidity The relative incidence of a particular disease
morphineThe principal alkaloid in opium and the prototype opiate analgesic and narcotic.
mortalityThe relative frequency of deaths in a specific population.
mucolipidosesA group of inherited metabolic diseases in which mucopolysaccharides and lipids accumulate in tissues
mucous membraneThe moist lining of body cavities and hollow organs such as the mouth, the nose, the eyelids, the intestine and the vagina.
mucusThe viscous secretion of mucous membranes. It contains mucin, white blood cells, water, inorganic salts, and exfoliated cells.
mumpsAn acute viral infection characterized by swelling of the salivary glands, especially the parotids. Usually seen in children.
mutationAny detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the genotype and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.
mycetomaA chronic progressive subcutaneous bacterial or fungal infection.
mycologyThe study of fungi and fungus diseases.
myiasisThe invasion of living tissues by dipterous larvae.
myxomaA benign neoplasm derived from connective tissue.
nailsThe thin, translucent, horny plates that cover the dorsal surfaces of the distal phalanges of the fingers and toes
nanospheresSpherical particles of nanometer dimensions.
narcoticsAgents that dull the sense of pain and cause somnolence. They are comprised of natural or synthetic derivatives of opium or morphine or any substance that has such effects.
necrobiosisThe natural death of cells due to age, use or development.
needle sharingUsage of a single needle among two or more people for injecting drugs, a high-risk behavior for contracting infectious disease.
nemosisThe process of cell activation and death in fibroblasts.
neoplasiaThe formation of a neoplasm
neoplasmAn abnormal new growth of tissue. Also called a tumor.
nephralgiaPain in the kidney.
nephrectomyExcision of kidney.
neuroendocrinePertaining to the relationships between the nervous and endocrine systems
neuroendocrinologyThe study of the relationships between the nervous system and the endocrine system.
nitrogenAn element with the atomic symbol N, atomic number 7, comprising 78% of the earth's atmosphere by volume.
nocebo effect A negative placebo effect.
nostrumsMedicines whose effectiveness is unproven and whose ingredients are often secret. A quack remedy.
noxaeAnything harmful to the body.
nucleic acidAny of a group of long, linear macromolecules, either DNA or various types of RNA, that carry genetic information.
nucleotidesThe base units of nucleic acids.
nucleusThe part of a cell that contains DNA and RNA.
nutationThe act of nodding one's head, especially involuntarily.
obsessive behaviorRepetitive, compulsive behavior.
odontomaA mixed tumor of odontogenic origin,
ointmentsA medicated formulation with an oil base
olfactoryRelating to the sense of smell.
olfactory bulbThe area of the forebrain where the olfactory nerves terminate.
omphalitisInflammation of the umbilicus.
oncocytomaA rare, benign tumor usually occurring in the parotid glands in older patients.
oncogeneA mutated gene that causes the transformation of normal cells into cancerous cells.
oncolysisDestruction of a neoplasm.
oncoticPertaining to swelling or edema.
onycholysisLoosening or separation of nail plate from the underlying nail bed.
operculumA lid or covering.
opiateA narcotic containing opium or its derivatives.
opiumThe air-dried juice of the unripe seed capsule of the opium poppy.
organellesSpecialized intracellular structure present in eukaryotic cells.
organogenesisFormation of differentiated cells and complicated tissue organization to provide specialized functions.
orthostaticPertaining to a erect posture.
oximetryThe determination of oxygen-hemoglobin saturation of blood.
ozoneAn unstable, poisonous allotrope of oxygen.
palliative medicineA branch of medicine concerned with preventing and relieving the suffering of patients in any stage of disease and improving the quality of the patient's life.
pandemicA widespread epidemic of infectious disease.
papillaA small, nipple-like projection.
paradoxA statement, finding or condition, that, despite apparently sound reasoning from true premises, leads to a self-contradictory or a logically unacceptable conclusion.
paraffinA mixture of solid hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum.
paragangliomaA neoplasm derived of the tissue composing the paraganglia.
parametritisInflammation of the parametrium, the connective tissue of the pelvic floor.
parametriumThe lateral extension of the uterine connective tissue into the broad ligament.
paraparesisWeakness or partial paralysis of the lower extremities.
paraphasiaA condition in which the patient uses wrong words, creating unintelligible sentences.
parasomniaAny of a group of sleep disorders characterized by unwanted behaviors or perceptions that occur during sleep or partial arousal from sleep, including sleepwalking, night terrors, and frequent nightmares.
parathyroid glandsTwo pairs of small oval-shaped glands located in the front and the base of the Neck and adjacent to the two lobes of thyroid gland. they secrete parathyroid hormone that regulates the balance of calcium; phosphorus; and magnesium in the body.
paresisA general term referring to slight or incomplete paralysis.
paroxysmA spasm or convulsion.
pasteurizationHeating of certain beverages, such as milk, to a specific temperature for a fixed time interval in order to kill microorganisms.
pathologic processesThe abnormal mechanisms and forms involved in the dysfunctions of tissues and organs.
patulousOpen or exposed.
peduncleA stalk like structure that serves as a support or connection.
pellicleA thin skin, film or organic membrane
penicillinAny of a group of antibiotics derived from cultures of the mold like fungi Penicillium or produced synthetically.
peptidesMembers of the class of compounds composed of amino acids joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures.
perceptionThe process by which the nature and meaning of sensory stimuli are recognized and interpreted.
percussionAct of striking a part with short, sharp taps in diagnosing the condition beneath the sound obtained.
percutaneousThrough the skin.
perforationAbnormal opening in a hollow organ or viscus.
performance anxietyAnxiety related to the execution of a task, especially with an audience.
periapicalAround an apex, especially the apex of a root of a tooth.
pericoronitisInflammation of the gingiva surrounding the crown of a tooth.
perineumThe body region lying between the genital area and the anus on the surface of the trunk, and to the shallow compartment lying deep to this area that is inferior to the pelvic diaphragm. The surface area is between the vulva and the anus in the female, and between the scrotum and the anus in the male.
periodontalAround a tooth.
periodonticsA dental specialty concerned with the histology, physiology, and pathology of the tissues that support, attach, and surround the teeth, and of the treatment and prevention of disease affecting these tissues.
peritoneumThe serous membrane that lines the walls of the abdominal cavity and folds inward to enclose the viscera.
peritonitisInflammation of the peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity as the result of infectious, autoimmune, or chemical processes.
permeabilityProperty of membranes and other structures to permit the passage of substances, heat and light.
perniciousDiseases that are highly dangerous or fatal.
peronealPertaining to the fibula.
pest/ipests, plague
pesticideA substance used to destroy pests.
phagocytosisThe engulfing and degradation of microorganisms.
pharmacologyThe study of the origin, nature, properties, and actions of drugs and their effects on living organisms.
pharyngealOf, or pertaining to, or coming from the pharynx.
phenolA strong disinfectant.
phenotypeThe outward appearance of the individual.
phenylketonuriaAny of a group of autosomal recessive disorders of the ability to metabolize phenylalanine.
pheromonesChemical substances, excreted by an organism into the environment, that elicit behavioral or physiological responses from other organisms of the same species.
photoreceptor cellsSpecialized cells that detect and transduce light.
photosynthesisThe synthesis by organisms of organic compounds, especially carbohydrates, from carbon dioxide using energy obtained from light .
phototherapyTreatment of disease by exposure to light, especially by specific wavelengths.
phototrophicCapable of deriving energy from light.
phrenicPertaining to the diaphragm.
physiciansIndividuals licensed to practice medicine.
pigmentationColoration or discoloration of a part by a pigment.
pineal glandA light-sensitive neuroendocrine organ attached to the roof of the Third ventricle of the brain. the pineal gland secretes melatonin, other biogenic amines and neuropeptides.
placeboAny dummy medication or treatment.
plagueAn infectious disease transmitted by the bite of a flea from a rodent infected with the bacillus Yersinia pestis.
plan/oflat, plan, level
plasmacytomaAny discrete, presumably solitary, mass of neoplastic plasma cells either in bone marrow or various extramedullary sites.
plasmapheresisProcedure whereby plasma is separated and extracted and the red cells returned to the donor.
pledgetA small compress used to medicate, protect, or absorb drainage from a wound
plexusA network of nerves or blood vessels.
pneumocephalusPresence of air or gas within the intracranial cavity usually the result of a fracture.
pneumorrhachisPresence of air or gas within the spinal canal cavity.
podiatryA medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of foot disorders and injuries.
poisonA substance capable of damaging the structure or function of the body.
poliomyelitisA highly infectious viral disease that involves the gray matter of the spinal cord, leading to paralysis, muscular atrophy, and deformity.
polymorphismOccurring in several different forms.
prediabeticThe time period before the development of symptomatic diabetes mellitus.
premedicationPreliminary administration of a drug preceding a diagnostic, therapeutic, or surgical procedure.
preneoplasticPreceding the formation of a tumor.
prevalenceA measure of morbidity based on currents levels of a disease in a population.
prionA small infectious protein particle causing neurodegenerative diseases including Creutzfeldt-Jakob syndrome.
probabilityThe likelihood that an event will occur.
prodromeAn early symptom that precedes the onset of disease.
progeriaAn abnormal congenital condition of premature aging.
projectionA defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, whereby that which is emotionally unacceptable in the self is rejected and attributed (projected) to others. Also called the blaming mechanism.
prokaryoteA unicellular organism lacking a true nucleus and nuclear membrane, having genetic material consisting of a single molecule of double-stranded DNA.
prolapseThe protrusion or sinking down of an organ or part of an organ.
promontoryA projecting part.
prone positionThe posture of an individual lying face down.
prospective studyA forward looking study of a group over a long period.
prostatic neoplasmsTumors or cancer of the prostate.
proteinA large molecule consisting of a long chain or sequence of amino acids that is an essential constituent of the body.
proteinuriaThe presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases.
protoplasmThe living contents of a cell
protozoaAn animal subkingdom, comprised of primitive, single-celled, microscopic animals able to move by amoeboid action or by means of cilia or flagella. Many protozoa are parasitic on humans.
proxyA person authorized to decide or act for another person, for example, a person having durable power of attorney.
psychiatryThe medical specialty that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of mental disorders.
psychologyThe science dealing with the study of mental processes and behavior in man and animals.
psychosisA condition characterized by a loss of contact with reality.
psychotherapyA general term for the treatment of mental illness or emotional disturbances.
pulpA soft mass of tissue.
pyogenicProducing pus.
quackeryThe fraudulent misrepresentation of the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
quantum theoryThe theoretical basis of modern physics that explains the nature and behavior of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level.
quinineAn drug derived from the bark of the cinchona tree, used as an antimalarial drug.
radicular cystA slow growing cyst of the periodonal tissue at the root of a tooth.
radioisotopesIsotopes that exhibit radioactivity.
radiologyA medical specialty concerned with the use of x-ray and other forms of radiant energy in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
ramusA branch, as of a nerve, blood vessel or bone.
ranulaA cyst found on the floor of the mouth. Also called sublingual cyst.
rapeSexual intercourse without consent of the victim.
rationalizationAn unconscious defense mechanism in which a person attempts to justify behavior while ignoring the real reasons.
recessiveDescribing a gene capable of producing its characteristic phenotype in the organism only when its allele is identical.
rectoceleHerniation of the rectum into the vagina.
recurrenceThe return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission.
referred painPain felt at a place in the body different from the injured or diseased part.
regimenA systematic plan for therapy, often involving diet, exercise and medication.
regurgitationThe return of partly digested food from the stomach to the mouth. Also, the backflow of blood past an abnormal heart valve.
rejuvenationThe restoration of youthfulness, vitality, and freshness.
relapseThe return of disease symptoms after partial recovery.
remissionThe abatement or disappearance of a disease as a result of treatment.
renalPertaining to the kidneys.
replicationThe process by which double-stranded DNA makes copies of itself when the cell divides.
resectionSurgical removal of all or part of a structure, organ or tissue.
resuscitationTo restore consciousness or other signs of life to one apparently dead.
reteA network of blood vessels, fibers or nerves.
reticulocytesImmature erythrocytes.
reticulocytosisAn increase in circulating reticulocytes, which is among the simplest and most reliable signs of accelerated erythrocyte production.
rheumatic feverA disease occurring as a complication of inadequately treated strep throat infection. Can result in serious damage to heart valves.
rheumatologyA subspecialty of medicine concerned with the study of inflammatory or degenerative processes and metabolic derangement of connective tissue structures which pertain to a variety of musculoskeletal disorders, such as arthritis.
rhinoplastyPlastic surgery on the nose.
rhytidoplastyPlastic surgery performed for the elimination of skin wrinkles.
rigor mortisMuscular rigidity which develops in the cadaver usually from 4 to 10 hours after death and lasts 3 or 4 days.
rnaAny of a class of nucleic acids that can encode genetic information and play an essential role in protein synthesis.
ruptureForcible or traumatic tear of an organ or other soft part of the body.
sacA bag-like structure.
sadismA condition in which there is pleasure from inflicting pain, discomfort or humiliation on another person.
salicylismPoisoning by salicylic acid or its compounds.
salvage therapyA therapeutic approach, involving chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery, after initial regimens have failed to lead to improvement in a patient's condition. Salvage therapy is most often used for neoplastic diseases.
sanatoriumA facility for the treatment of chronic disorders.
sanguineousPertaining to blood.
sarcoidA fleshy tumor.
satiationA fulfillment of a need or desire followed by a state of relative insensitivity to that particular need or desire.
scalpThe outer covering of the calvaria. It is composed of several layers: skin, subcutaneous connective tissue, the occipitofrontal muscle , loose connective tissue and the pericranium.
scarlet feverAn acute contagious bacterial disease of childhood characterized by tonsillitis and pharyngitis as well as fever, chills, nausea, headache, abdominal pain, malaise and rash.
sedationThe reduction of anxiety, stress or excitement by administration of a sedative drug.
sedativeA drug that calms and relieves anxiety.
sedentary lifestyleUsual level of physical activity that is less than 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week.
seizuresA sudden attack, spasm, or convulsion.
semanticsStudy of the meanings of words (or symbols) and the rules of their use.
senescenceThe process of growing old.
sensitivityThe probability that a person having a disease will be correctly identified by a clinical test.
sequelaAny disorder that results from a preceding disease or accident.
seromaTumor-like sterile accumulation of serum in a tissue, organ, or cavity. It most commonly occurs following mastectomy.
seropusPus diluted with serum.
serositisInflammation of a serous membrane.
serotoninA compound widely distributed in the tissues that mediates important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity.
serous membraneA thin layer of tissue that covers a surface, cavity or divides a space. It consists of a single layer of squamous epithelial cells (mesothelium) resting on a thin layer of connective tissue, and covered with secreted clear fluid from blood and lymph vessels. Major serous membranes in the body include pericardium; peritoneum; and pleura.
serratiaA genus of gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria that occurs in soil, water and plant surfaces or as an opportunistic human pathogen.
sesqui-one and one-half
sheathA tubular casing that envelops structures such as arteries, nerves, tendons and muscles.
shockAn emergency pathological condition manifested by failure to perfuse or oxygenate vital organs and tissues.
shuntA passage connecting two anatomical sites or channels.
sibilantA high pitched hissing or whistling sound heard while auscultating.
sign languageA system of hand gestures used for communication by the deaf or by people speaking different languages.
signs and symptomsClinical manifestations that can be either objective when observed by a physician, or subjective when perceived by the patient.
simplexvirusA genus of the family herpesviridae, consisting of herpes simplex-like viruses.
sloughNecrotic tissue separated from living tissue.
smallpoxAn acute, highly contagious, often fatal infectious viral disease characterized by fever and skin eruptions. It has been eradicated by vaccination programs worldwide.
smearA tissue specimen smeared on a microscopic slide.
solutionA homogeneous mixture formed by the mixing of a solid, liquid, or gaseous substance with a liquid (the solvent) in which the substances are completely dispersed.
solventA liquid that dissolves other substances (solutes), generally solids.
somaThe body as distinguished from the mind or germ cells.
somaticPertaining to the body.
somatotypesCategories of body build determined on the basis of certain physical characteristics. The three basic body types are ectomorph (thin physique), endomorph (rounded physique), and mesomorph (athletic physique).
somnambulismA parasomnia characterized by a partial arousal that occurs during stage IV of non-REM sleep. Also called sleep-walking.
specific gravityThe ratio of the density of a material to water at 4 degrees C.
specificityThe probability that a person who does not have a disease will be correctly identified by a clinical test.
spectrometryMeasurement of the wavelengths of electromagnetic emissions.
speechUse of vocal sounds to communicate.
spicaA figure-eight bandage.
splanchnicPertaining to the viscera.
splintAn appliance used to prevent movement of a joint or to fixate displaced or movable parts.
sporesThe reproductive elements of lower organisms such as bacteria and fungi.
staphylococcusAny of various spherical gram-positive parasitic bacteria, causing skin and other infections.
stem cellsAn unspecialized cell that can give rise to one or more different types of specialized cells, such as blood cells and nerve cells. Stem cells are present in embryos and in various tissues of adult organisms
stenosisThe abnormal narrowing of a passage or opening.
stereognosisPerception of shape and form of objects by the sense of touch.
sterilizationThe destroying of microorganisms by heat, chemicals, irradiation or other means.
stromalRelating to the foundation-supporting tissues of an organ.
stuporA state of diminished responsiveness to stimuli. The person is still conscious and can make voluntary movements.
stutteringA disturbance in the normal fluency characterized by frequent repetitions, pauses or prolongations of syllables.
subclavianBelow the clavicle.
subduralBelow the dura mater.
subdural effusionLeakage and accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the subdural space which may be associated with an infection, craniocerebral trauma, brain neoplasms, intracranial hypotension and other conditions.
subretinal fluidAn exudate between the retina and choroid from various sources including the vitreous cavity, subarachnoid space or abnormal vessels.
suctionThe removal of secretions, gas or fluid from hollow or tubular organs or cavities by means of a tube and a device that acts on negative pressure.
sunstrokeHeat stroke caused by exposure to the sun. It is characterized by dangerously high body temperature, red skin, delusions, convulsions or coma. It can be a life-threatening emergency and is most common in infants and the elderly.
suppositoryMedicated dosage that is designed to be inserted into the rectal, vaginal, or urethral orifice of the body for absorption.
suppurationA pathologic process consisting in the formation of pus.
surface tensionThe force acting on the surface of a liquid, tending to minimize the area of the surface.
susceptibilityVulnerable to a disease.
suspensionA preparation of an undissolved substance dispersed in a liquid.
suturesA stitch or stitches used to close a wound.
symbiosisA Relationship between different species where both of the organisms in question benefit from the presence of the other.
syndactylyA congenital anomaly of the hand or foot, marked by the webbing between adjacent fingers or toes.
syndromeA characteristic set of signs and symptoms of a particular disorder.
synovitisInflammation of a synovial membrane.
syringeAn instrument used for injecting or withdrawing fluids.
systemicAffecting the body as a whole.
talcFinely powdered magnesium silicate used as a dusting powder.
tamponsPlugs or cylinders made of cotton, sponge, or other absorbent material used in surgery to absorb fluids.
tarlov cystsPerineurial cysts commonly found in the sacral region.
tasteThe sense of perceiving different flavors in soluble substances that contact the tongue and trigger nerve impulses to special taste centers in the cortex and the thalamus of the brain. The four basic traditional tastes are sweet, salty, sour and bitter.
taste budsSmall sensory organs which contain gustatory receptor cells, basal cells and supporting cells. Taste buds in humans are found in the epithelia of the tongue, palate, and pharynx.
tectumA roof-like structure of the midbrain.
telaAny thin web like structure or tissue.
telomereThe end of a chromosome, which is involved in chromosomal replication and stability.
telophaseThe final phase of mitosis.
tenaculumA surgical instrument for lifting and holding tissue or a body part.
teratomaA true neoplasm composed of different types of tissue, none of which is normally found the area in which the neoplasm occurs.
thecaA sheath, case or capsule.
therapeuticsProcedures concerned with the remedial treatment or prevention of diseases.
thermogenesisThe generation of heat in order to maintain body temperature.
thermolysisDissipation of body heat by evaporation of sweat, radiation or other means.
thermophoreAny substance that retains heat for a long period of time.
thoracic cavityThe region of the thorax that includes the pleural cavity and mediastinum.
thresholdThe point at which a stimulus produces a sensation or evokes a response.
tickA blood-sucking acari parasite that penetrates the skin of their host by using a hooked mouth part.
ticsHabitual, repeated, rapid muscle movement or vocalization which are involuntary or semi voluntary.
tonsillitisInflammation of the tonsils, usually caused by bacterial infection.
topicalPertaining to a particular area.
topographyThe description of a body part in relation to surrounding structures.
torporA state of decreased activity characterized by depressed metabolism, reduced body temperature and low sensitivity to external stimuli.
torqueThe rotational force about an axis.
torsionA twisting force.
torsoThe central part of the body to which the neck and limbs are attached.
touchSensations arising from making physical contact with objects. Tactile stimuli are detected by receptors in the skin and mucous membranes.
toxicityThe degree to which a substance is poisonous.
toxicologyThe science concerned with the detection, chemical composition, and biological action of toxic substances or poisons and the treatment and prevention of toxic manifestations.
toxicosisA diseased condition due to poisoning.
toxinA poison produced by animals, plants or bacteria.
toxoidA preparation of poisonous materials made nontoxic and intended for active immunologic prophylaxis.
transducerAny device or element which converts an input signal into an output signal of a different form.
transectionCutting across the tissue of an organ.
transplantationTransference of a tissue or organ from either an alive or deceased donor, within an individual, between individuals of the same species, or between individuals of different species.
transudationPassage of a fluid or solute through a membrane.
trematodeAny of a large number of parasitic flatworms of the class Trematoda including flukes.
trench feverAn acute, infectious, bacterial infection characterized by intervals of chills and fever. Transmitted by body lice.
trichosporonosisFungal infections marked by fever or pneumonia.
tropismThe directional growth of an organism in towards or away from light, touch, or gravity.
trussesA supportive device designed for retaining a hernia in a reduced state within the abdominal cavity.
tuberculomaA tumor-like mass resulting from the enlargement of a tuberculous lesion.
tubuleA small tube.
tularemiaA plague-like disease of rodents, transmissible to humans, marked by fever, chills, headache, backache and weakness.
tumorA new growth of tissue in which cell multiplication is uncontrolled and progressive. A neoplasm.
typhusAny of a group of acute infectious diseases characterized by fever, chills, headache, malaise and rash. Usually transmitted from infected rats by lice, fleas, ticks and mites
ulcerA lesion on the surface of a organ or tissue, produced by the sloughing of inflammatory necrotic tissue.
ultrasonographyThe visualization of deep structures of the body by recording the reflections of ultrasonic pulses directed into the tissues.
ultravioletElectromagnetic radiation that has shorter wavelengths than visible light.
uncusA hook-shaped structure.
vectorAn organism, such as a mosquito or tick, that spreads disease from one host to another.
venomsPoisonous animal secretions forming fluid mixtures of many different enzymes, toxins, and other substances.
vertebrateAn animal with a spinal cord surrounded by cartilage or bone
vestigesA trace of something, usually a nonfunctioning structure or a behavior, that is a remnant of our evolutionary history.
vestigialPertaining to vestiges.
viremiaThe presence of viruses in the blood.
virionThe compete viral particle.
virologyThe study of the structure, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of viruses and virus diseases.
viscerathe large interior organs in any one of the three great cavities of the body, especially in the abdomen.
viscosityResistance to flow.
vital signsThe signs of life that may be monitored or measured, namely pulse rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.
vitaminsOrganic substances that are required in small amounts for maintenance and growth.
vitrificationTo convert into a glassy substance.
vivisectionExperiments performed on living animals involving surgery.
vocal cordsA pair of cone-shaped elastic mucous membrane projecting from the laryngeal wall and forming a narrow slit between them. Each contains a vocal ligament that shortens or relaxes the vocal cord to control sound production.
volarPertaining to the palm or sole.
volitionVoluntary activity without external compulsion.
xenophobiaIntense or irrational dislike or fear of anything that is strange or foreign, particularly of strange people.
zooplanktonMinute free-floating animal organisms which live in practically all natural waters.
zygomycosisAn acute, sometimes fatal fungal infection.

Authors and Reviewers

Authored by Dr. Barbara A. Erickson
Medically reviewed by Dr. Jonathan Keroes, MD
Last Update: 12/18/2022

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