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Abdomen The portion of the body lying between the thorax and the pelvis.
Abdominoplasty Plastic surgery repair of the muscles of the abdominal wall.
Abortion, Threatened Vaginal bleeding during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy without death or expulsion of the fetus.
Abortion, Incomplete Miscarriage with retention in the uterus of some of the products of conception, usually placenta and membranes.
Abortion, Therapeutic Miscarriage induced by medical or surgical means.
Abortion, Spontaneous Miscarriage occurring without prior therapeutic or other manipulative intervention.
Abruptio Placentae Premature separation of part of the placenta from its attachment to the uterus.
Abscess, Epidural Localised collection of pus, accompanied by tissue destruction and usually by pain and swelling, in the potential space just outside the outer, fibrous lining of the brain and/or spinal cord.
Abscess Localised collection of pus, accompanied by tissue destruction and usually by pain and swelling.
Acalculous Without the presence of stones, gallstones in this instance.
Accessory Respiratory Muscles Muscles which are used only during forced inspiration.
Accessory Spleen Normal spleen tissue in an abnormal anatomical location.
Accessory Pathways Additional and abnormal electrical-impulse conducting tissues in the heart.
Acid and Alcohol Fast Bacilli Rod-shaped bacteria from which Gram stain is not leached by treatment with acid and alcohol, presumptive evidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis or similar micro-organisms.
Acidemia Pathological acidity of the blood due to failure to remove or metabolise carbon dioxide and/or other acidic waste products.
Acidosis Acidity of the blood, reflecting asphyxia.
Acute Renal Cortical Necrosis An initially reversible form of kidney failure, of rapid onset and due to prolonged deprivation of adequate blood supply to the kidney, in this case because of severe dehydration and salt imbalance.
Acute Abdomen Any abdominal condition causing pain, tenderness and rigidity, and requiring any surgical intervention.
Acyclovir An anti-viral medication effective against members of the herpes family of viruses including herpes simplex and varicella (chicken-pox).
Adenocarcinoma Cancer arising from glandular (fluid-producing) tissues, such as the lining of the bowel.
Adenomyoma Benign tumour having gland and muscle elements.
Adhesiolysis Surgical freeing of adhesions.
Adhesions Pathological connections between tissues, particularly between the normally lubricated lining of a potential body cavity (pleura of the lungs, peritoneum of the abdomen and pelvis), preventing the normal free movement of organs in relation to one another, and potentially causing pain, tenderness, and malfunctioning of the contained organs.
Adjustment Disorder Clinically significant disturbance of emotions or behaviour in response to an identifiable stressful event.
Adnexa Ovaries, fallopian tubes and supporting structures.
Adrenal Gland A paired organ anatomically adjacent to the kidney and comprised of various hormone-producing and nerve tissues.
Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome A lung disease characterised by accumulation of fluid, hemorrhage and stiffness of the lungs.
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) The use of defibrillation and drugs in an attempt to reverse cardiac arrest.
Advancement Flap Partial surgical severing of tissue prior to attaching more distally.
Aerobic Requiring oxygen for metabolic processes.
Agenesis Failure to develop.
Air Bronchogram Delineation by air of the air passages of the lung, indicating pathological replacement of the surrounding lung tissue by infection, as in pneumonia.
Air Trapping Pathological retention of excess air in the lungs after breathing out.
Air Contrast, of Barium Enema Series of radiographs taken after secondary replacement of the barium with air, to delineate the configuration of the lining of the rectum and large bowel.
Albumin A major component of protein in the blood, having a function of maintaining fluid within the blood stream.
Alcoholism Alcohol abuse, dependence, or addiction; chronic heavy drinking or intoxication resulting in impairment of health, dependency as a coping mechanism, and increased adaptation to the effects of alcohol, requiring ever-larger doses to achieve and sustain a desired effect
Alcoholism Chronic alcohol abuse, dependence or addiction, resulting in adverse health and social effects.
Allergy An exaggerated response of the immune system to external substances.
Alveolar Ridges The teeth-bearing surfaces of the gums.
Alveoli The microscopic airsacs in the lungs in which gas exchange takes place between the air and the blood.
Alzheimer's Disease Dementia that is of unknown cause and progressive, having characteristic pathological anatomical appearances of diffuse brain atrophy.
Amenorrhea Absence of menstruation, for physiological or pathological reasons.
Amnestic Pertaining to amnesia (loss of memory).
Amniocentesis Removal of samples or substantial quantities of the fluid [amniotic fluid or liquor] surrounding the fetus for diagnostic and/or therapeutic purposes.
Amniotic Fluid The fluid [liquor] which, contained in the sac of membranes known as the amnion, surrounds the fetus and provides a shock absorber and a secondary vehicle for the exchange of body chemicals with the mother.
Ampulla of Vater The location at which the common bile duct and pancreatic duct deliver their contents into the duodenum.
Ampulla of Vater Location at which the common bile duct and pancreatic duct drain into the duodenum.
Amylase An enzyme produced by the pancreas and increased in blood concentration in the presence of pancreatitis, a life-threatening cause of abdominal pain.
Anabolic (metabolism) Constructive tissue change, as contrasted with destructive (catabolic).
Anaerobic Not requiring oxygen for metabolic processes.
Anaphylaxis An immediate, transient but life-threatening type of allergic reaction, characterised by relaxation of muscles not under voluntary control and by opening up of capillaries, the smallest branches of bloodvessels, and resulting in plummeting of blood-pressure and generalised swelling of tissues.
Anastomosis A natural, pathological (traumatic or disease-produced) or surgical join between two hollow or tubular organs.
Anemia Lower than normal concentration of the oxygen-transporting pigment Hemoglobin in the blood.
Aneurysm Localised ballooning of the aorta or an artery, potentially causing pressure on adjacent structures and liability to rupture.
Angina, Unstable Angina pectoris that requires progressive less exercise or fewer other triggers, thought to be caused by coronary artery spasm and predisposing to coronary thrombosis.
Angina A severe, constricting pain, typically arising from the heart (angina pectoris).
Angio- Pertaining to a blood vessel or blood vessels.
Angioedema Swelling, on an allergic basis, of the deep layers underlying skin or lining membranes of internal organs.
Angiography Imaging of a system of bloodvessels after injection of a dye opaque to xrays.
Angioplasty Reconstruction of a bloodvessel.
Angulation, of Fracture Significant alteration in the angle of the long axes of the fragments.
Anion Gap A measure of the acidity of the blood resulting from a failure in the body's inability to adjust for the waste-products of excessive metabolic activity.
Ankle Reflex Contraction of the hamstring muscles in response to tapping the tendon or guider with a reflex hammer; it requires intact sensory nerve supply to transmit the stretching of receptors in the muscle, and intact motor nerve supply for the muscle to contract.
Annuloplasty Ring A prosthesis for reconstructing a damaged heart-valve.
Annulus (Fibrosus) The fibre ring which, with the semisolid nucleus pulposus it surrounds, makes up the intervertebral disc.
Annulus fibrosus cordis Fibrous ring of the heart.
Anorexia Pathological loss of appetite.
Anoxic Encephalopathy Generalised brain malfunctioning caused by prolonged oxygen deprivation.
Ante Partum Hemorrhage (APH) Significant bleeding within the pregnant uterus, and usually revealed through the cervix and vagina.
Anterior Fontanelle The soft spot towards the front of the top of an infant's head, representing the incomplete joining of the component skull-bones and providing a clinical method of assessment of degree of dehydration or pressure of fluid within the brain (as in meningitis).
Anterior In front, or towards the front.
Anteverted Turned forwards, from their normal downwards direction in this case of the nostrils.
Anthracotic Having the appearance of inhaled smoke or coal-dust.
Antiarrhythmic Agent A medication which prevents the development of abnormal heart rhythm.
Antibiotic Synthetic or natural compound effective in killing, or preventing the multiplication of, bacterial micro-organisms.
Antibody Protein produced in the body and capable of combining and reacting with a specific (usually foreign) protein.
Anticoagulation Therapeutic interference ("blood-thinning") with the clotting mechanism of the blood to prevent or treat thrombosis and embolism.
Anticonvulsant A medication given to suppress seizures.
Antidepressant, Tricyclic A particular class of medication which is prescribed for the medical treatment of clinical depression and associated disorders, including chronic pain syndrome.
Antigen Substance that, after contact with the corresponding cells, causes an immune response after a number of days or weeks, and reacts characteristically with the resultant antibody or cell.
AntiNuclear Antibody (ANA) A blood component pathologically increased in concentration in various connective tissue disorders, notably Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
Antituberculous Modality which has action against tuberculosis.
Antrum Lowest part of the stomach, between fundus and pylorus.
Aortic Valve The three-leaflet valve preventing backflow of oxygen-rich blood from the aorta to the left ventricle.
Aortic Aneurysm Localised ballooning of the aorta, potentially causing pressure on adjacent structures and liability to rupture.
Aortic Insufficiency (or Regurgitation or Incompetence) Failure of the aortic valve to prevent backflow of oxygen-rich blood from aorta to left ventricle, resulting in dilatation, hypertrophy and ultimately failure of the pumping mechanism.
Aortic Pertaining to the aorta or aortic valve of the heart.
Aortobifemoral Relating to the inverted-Y shaped region of the lower aorta and two femoral arteries.
Apex, Cardiac Base of the ventricles.
APGAR Score Named after Virginia Apgar, its inventor, it is universally accepted mnemonic [Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respirations] and scoring system, for assessing degrees of neonatal asphyxia, each modality being allocated a score of 0-2 at 1 and 5 minutes, for a maximum total score of 10.
Apical Segment Uppermost division.
Apnea Cessation of breathing.
Apneic Spells Periods of cessation of spontaneous breathing, characteristic of prematurity and newborn brain-damage.
Appendectomy Surgical removal of the appendix.
Appendicitis, Acute Unrelenting inflammation of the appendix, usually resulting in rupture, if not treated by appendectomy.
Appendicitis, Gangrenous Unrelenting inflammation of the appendix causing failure of its blood-supply, usually resulting in rupture, if not treated by appendectomy.
Appendicitis, Suppurative Unrelenting inflammation of the appendix, resulting in the local formation of pus.
Appendicitis, Recurrent Despite the commonness of the disease, recurrent appendicitis remains controversial: it may recur when there is initially spontaneous resolution in the absence of a fecolith.
Appendicitis, Perforated Inflammation of the appendix resulting in rupture of its wall, allowing leakage of bowel contents into the peritoneal cavity.
Appendix Vestigial tubular pouch of cecum.
Arachnoiditis Inflammation of the middle (arachnoid mater) of 3 linings of the spinal cord and the subarachnoid space containing the cerebrospinal fluid.
Arrest, of Labour Persistent failure to progress.
Arrhythmia or Dysrrhythmia Irregularity of rhythm, particularly of heart or brainwaves.
Arteriogram Radiological imaging of a arteries after the injection of a dye opaque to xrays.
Arteriography Imaging of a system of arteries after injection of a dye opaque to xrays.
Arteriole Small blood-vessels carrying oxygen-rich blood from arteries to capillaries.
Arteriovenous Fistula An abnormal communication between an artery and a vein, caused by injury or for therapeutic purposes (hemodialysis).
Artery (Systemic) Blood-vessel carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart and aorta to the tissues of the body excluding lung.
Arthritis Inflammation of a joint or joints.
Arthrodesis Surgical replacement of a joint by a rigid connection between two bones.
Arthrogram Radiological imaging of a joint space after injecting a dye opaque to xrays.
Arthroplasty Repair (replacement) of a joint.
Arthroscopy Viewing and operating in a joint space using a lighted, magnifying instrument.
Arthrosis Pathological process within a joint or joints.
Artificial Ventilation Mechanism assistance with, or replacement of, natural breathing effort.
Artificial Rupture of Membranes(ARM) Therapeutic breach of the membranes containing the amniotic fluid, for the purpose of inducing labour.
Ascending Aorta The first part of the major trunk carrying oxygen-risk blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
Ascites Free fluid in the collapsed-balloon like inner lining of the abdomen.
Asepsis Operative or procedural techniques which prevent or minimise infection.
Aseptic Necrosis Necrosis [death of tissue] in the absence of infection.
Asherman's Syndrome Pathological adherence between adjacent membranes lining the walls of the uterus, partially obliterating the cavity and leading to infertility.
Aspiration Surgical removal of liquid or semiliquid tissue by means of a catheter or needle attached to a vacuum device, often a syringe, or, inhalation of bodily or foreign material into the lungs.
Astigmatism Unequal curvatures of the different meridians of cornea or lens, causing visual distortion.
Asystole Cessation of electrical activity of the heart - a necessary transitional stage between ventricular fibrillation and the establishment of a viable rhythm.
Ataxia Failure or irregularity of muscular coordination, particularly during voluntary movement.
Atelectasis, Basal Partial collapse of the lower part of a lung, usually due to infection or fluid retention.
Atelectasis Collapse, usually partial, of a lung, usually due to infection or fluid retention.
Atherosclerosis The commonest variety of hardening of the arteries, caused by deposits of irregular patches of fat in the inner lining.
Atony Failure to contract.
Atresia Failure of normal development of part of the whole of an organ.
Atrial Fibrillation A disorder of heart rhythm in which the normally regular contractions of the atria of the heart are replaced by rapid and random twitchings, resulting in irregular and usually faster than usual contractions of the ventricles.
Atrial Septal Defect Abnormal breach in the fibrous membrane separating the two smaller, collecting chambers of the heart (atria).
Atrioventricular Node The secondary pacemaker of the heart.
Atrophy Loss of tissue through its death.
Attention Deficit Disorder a mental disorder, with onset in childhood, characterised by developmentally inappropriate inattention, impulsiveness, and varying hyperactivity
Atypia Microscopic appearances which are outside the normal range, but not necessarily of pathological significance.
Atypical, of Chest Pain Possessing insufficient characteristics to make a clear diagnosis.
Atypical, of Cells Nonspecifically nonconforming to the usual microscopic appearance but insufficiently abnormal for alternative classification.
Auger Suction Clearing lower airways by intermittently passing a suction device into an endotracheal tube.
Aura Sensory symptoms which precede and herald the onset, typically of migraine or an epileptic seizure.
Auscultation Auditory clinical monitoring by some form of stethoscope, with or without amplification.
Autogenous Originating in one's own body.
Autonomic Nervous System The part of the nervous system supplying smooth muscle (not primarily under voluntary control), heart muscle and gland cells.
Autopsy Dissection and examination of a body after death in order to determine the cause of death or the presence of disease processes.
Avascular Necrosis Death of tissue because of pathological failure of the supply of oxygenated blood, the term being specifically used in relation to bone.
Avulsion Tearing away or forcible separation.
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