Other Common Medical Terms

MEDICAL TERM MEANING
abdomen belly
ablation remove
Absorb Take up fluids, take in
abstain avoid
acuity Clearness
acute short-term; sudden onset
adenopathy swollen glands
adjuvant Helpful, assisting, added
adverse effect side effect
allergic reaction rash, trouble breathing
alopecia hair loss
ambulate walk, able to walk
amnesia loss of memory; inability to remember
analgesic pain relieving medication
anaphylaxis a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction
anemia low red blood cell count
anesthetize to numb; put to sleep
angina pain from not enough blood to the heart
anorexia loss of appetite
antecubital Inside the elbow
antibiotic (antimicrobial) drug that kills germs
antibodies natural chemicals in the body that fight infection
anticonvulsant drug used to prevent seizures
antilipidemic drug that decreases the level of fat in the blood
antiretroviral drug that inhibits viruses
antitussive drug that relieves coughing
anus rectum
arrhythmia or dysrhythmia a change from the normal heartbeat
artery blood vessel
arthralgia joint pain
aspiration inhale into the lungs; to suck in; or removal of fluid through tube or needle
assess to learn about
asthenia loss of energy; weakness
asthma lung disease associated with tightening of the air passages
asymptomatic without symptoms
ataxia unsteady movement
axilla armpit
bacteria germs
benign not cancerous; without serious consequences
BID twice a day
bioavailability the extent to which a drug becomes available to the body
biopsy the removal and examination of a small part of tissue or organ
blood profile series of blood tests
bolus given all at once
bone density bone thickness; hardness of bone
bradycardia slow heart rate
bronchospasm difficulty breathing because the airways have narrowed
confidentiality will not be compromised other people will not find out
carcinogenic can cause cancer
carcinoma a type of cancer
cardiac heart; involving the heart
cardiac catheterization a procedure in which a small tube (catheter) is inserted through blood vessels in the groin and into the heart that uses highlighting fluid to look at the blood vessels in the heart
cardioversion a procedure that uses electricity to simulate the heart and make it return to its normal rhythm
catheter flexible plastic tube that is inserted into the ( )
central nervous system the brain and spinal cord
cerebral trauma damage to the brain
cessation stopping
chemotherapy treatment of disease with chemical agents
chronic continues for a long time; long-term
clinical medical care
clinically significant of major importance for treating or evaluating patients
clinical trial an experiment in humans
coerced pressured; forced
cognitive status levels of awareness and thinking
colon large intestines; bowel
colonoscopy procedure to look at the large intestine that uses a special camera at the end of a long tube that is inserted in the rectum
coma unconscious state
congenital occurring prior to birth, due to parent’s genetic input
conjunctivitis irritation and redness in the membrane covering the eye
consent agreement
contrast material a fluid that is given into the vein or an area of the body to highlight the blood vessels or body area under x-ray examination
convulsions seizures
coronary heart; involving the heart
creatinine clearance a test of kidney function
computed tomography; (CT)Scan computer enhanced X-ray; special type of x-ray
culture a test for the presence of germs
cumulative total sum (of events, experiences, treatments)
cutaneous of the skin
defecate bowel movement; to pass stools
defibrillation a procedure that uses electricity to stimulate the heart and make it return to its normal rhythm
de novo new
dermatologic of the skin
deteriorate to get worse; to lose function
diastolic blood pressure the blood pressure when the heart rests between beats; the bottom number of a blood pressure reading
diplopia double vision
distal away from the center of the body
distensions bloated; swollen; inflated
diuretic drug that causes an increase in urination
double-blind neither you nor your doctor will know what medicine you are taking (this can be found out easily if necessary)
duodenum beginning of the small intestine that is attached to the stomach
dysfunction not functioning properly
dyspepsia gas; upset stomach
dysplasia abnormal cells
dyspnea hard to breathe; short of breath
ECG, EKG, or electrocardiogram picture and measurement of the heart rhythm
echocardiogram procedure that uses sound waves to look at the heart; using sound waves to take pictures of the heart chambers and measure it pumping strength
EEG measurement of electrical activity of the brain
edema swelling
efficacy effectiveness; usefulness
electrode wire
electrolyte imbalance imbalance of salts or chemicals in the blood
electrophysiology study heart rhythm study
elevation of liver function tests evidence of liver or kidney damage
elucidate to make clear; to determine; to find out
embryo unborn baby
emesis vomiting
empiric based on experience
endoscopic exam exam of an internal part of the body with a lighted tube
enema medication given through the rectum that cleans out the bowel
enteral by way of the intestines
enzyme abnormality blood test result that suggests abnormal organ function or injured cells
epidural outside the spinal cord
eradicating getting rid of
exclusion criteria reasons for not being included
excreted made; given off; put off
external outside of the body
extravasate to leak outside of a blood vessel
fast do not eat or drink
fatigue tire
fetus unborn baby
flatulence gas passed through the anus/rectum
fibrillation irregular beat of the heart or other muscle
fibrous Having many fibers, like scar tissue
flushing to become red in the face or other part of the body because of rush of blood to the skin; blushing of the skin
fracture break
gastric stomach
gastrointestinal stomach and intestines
gestational pertaining to pregnancy
glucose sugar
hematocrit amount of red blood cells in the blood
hematoma a bruise; bleeding into the body tissue around a blood vessel (if at the skin surface, it looks like a bruise)
hemodynamic measurement test to measure blood flow
hemolysis breakdown in red blood cells
heparin lock Needle placed with blood thinner to keep blood from clotting inside the needle or tubing
hepatic liver
hepatitis inflammation of the liver
hepatoma cancer or tumor of the liver
heritable disease a disease which can be passed to children resulting in damage to future children
histopathologic pertaining to disease of body tissues or cells
history positive in past medical history; that you have ever had
Holter monitor a machine, the size of a pocket radio, that records the beats of the heart
hypercalcemia high blood calcium level
hyperkalemia high blood potassium level
hypernatremia high blood sodium level
hypertension high blood pressure
hypocalcemia low blood calcium level
hypokalemia low blood potassium level
hyponatremia low blood sodium level
hypotension low blood pressure
hypoxia low oxygen level in the blood
hysterectomy removal of the womb
iatrogenic caused by a physician or by treatment
idiopathic of unknown cause
immobilization unable to move
immunological relating to the body's ability to fight infection
immunosuppressive drug which suppresses the body’s immune response
immunotherapy drug to help the body’s immune system
impaired function abnormal function
implantation operation to place a device inside the body
incision cut
indicated suggested; necessary
induce cause
induction phase beginning phase or stage of treatment
induration hardening
indwelling remaining in a given location, such as a catheter
inert not active; substance that doesn't affect you
infectious disease disease transmitted from person to person
inflammation swelling
infarct Death of tissue because of lack of blood supply
inflation to put air in
infused to drip in; to put in
ingest swallow; eat or drink
inject to put into by way of a needle or other device
insomnia unable to sleep
instilled put into; drip into
intensity degree; amount
interferon agent that acts against viruses
intermittent occurring repeatedly; alternately stopping and starting
intramuscular injection to put into the muscle with a needle
intraperitoneal into the abdominal cavity
intrathecal into the spinal fluid
intravenous in the blood vessel
intravenous infusion to drip into the blood vessel through a plastic tube and needle
intravesical in the bladder
intubate the placement of a tube into the airway
invasive procedure puncture, opening or cutting of the skin
ischemia decreased oxygen in a tissue (usually because of decreased blood flow)
isolated to separate; to close off
lactating making breast milk
laporatomy Incision in the abdominal wall to allow a physician to look at the organs
lesion site of the injury; site of the disease
lethargy Sleepiness
leukocyte blood cells that fight infection
leukopenia low white blood cell count
libido sexual desire; sex drive
local anesthetic medicine to numb an area of the body
localized restricted to one area
lumbar puncture spinal tap; a needle inserted between the bones of the spine to put in a drug or take a sample of fluid
lumbosacral lower back
lymphangiography an x-ray of the lymph nodes or tissues after injection of dye in lymph vessels
lymphocyte a type of white blood cell
lymphoma a cancer of the lymph nodes or tissues
maintenance dose the usual daily dose
malaise a vague feeling of discomfort, feeling bad
malignancy tumor; cancer
manifested showed
medulloblastoma type of brain tumor
meningitis infection or irritation around the brain
metabolism process by which food is used to supply energy for the body; the energy the body uses when it works; the way the body breaks down food or a drug
metastasize spread
(MRI) Magnetic Resonance Imaging procedure that uses magnetic waves to take a picture of various parts of the body (radiation is not used)
monitor check on; keep track of; watch carefully
morbidity undesired result or complication; serious disease
mortality Death or death rate
mucosa the lining inside the ( )
MUGA (multiple-gated acquisition) procedure using a special camera to look at the heart after radioactive dye has been put into it through one of the veins
myalgia muscle aches
myocardial infarction heart attack
nasal congestion stuffiness of the nose
nasal nose
nasogastric tube tube from the nose to the stomach
nausea feel sick to the stomach
necrosis death of tissue
neoplasia tumor, may be non-cancerous or cancerous
neurological exam test of brain, spinal cord, and reflexes
neuroblastoma cancer of nerve tissue
neurological pertaining to the nervous system
neutropenia Decrease in the main part of the white blood cells
new indication new use
non-invasive not breaking, cutting or entering the skin
nosocomial pneumonia pneumonia acquired in the hospital
NG tube (nasogastric) a flexible plastic tube that is passed through the nose or mouth and into the stomach
occlusion Closing; obstruction
occult blood test a test for small amounts of blood in the stool
oncology the study of tumors or cancer
open-label a study in which the drug, device, procedure is known to patient and investigator
ophthalmic pertaining to the eye
optimum, optimal best
oral by mouth
orthopedic pertaining to the bones
osteoarthritis bone and joint pain
osteopetrosis bone disorder characterized by dense bone
osteoporosis bone disorder characterized by loss of bone
ovaries female sex glands; female organs which release eggs
over-the-counter drugs medications that you can buy without a doctor's prescription
overnight fast do not eat or drink after ( ) P.M.
palpitations irregular heart beats that you can feel
parenteral administration by injection
paresthesia tingling in the ( )
partial seizure seizure
perforation puncture, tear of hole
Perception View
patency condition of being open
pathogenesis the initial cause of a disease
percutaneous through the skin
peripheral not central
PET (Positron Emission Tomography special camera that uses radiation to look at the structure and functioning of parts of the body
pharmacokinetics Study of the what the body does to the drug
pharmacological effect of the drug
phlebitis Inflammation of a vein
physiologically capable able to function
placebo a pill that does not contain active medicine
plasma blood
platelets Small particle in the blood that help with blood clotting
pneumonia lung infection
pneumothorax collapsed lung
polyps abnormal lumps that can sometimes be cancerous
potentiate increasing effect of a drug by administration of another drug at the same time
potentiator Agent that helps another agent work better
predictive value expected value
prenatal before birth
prognosis expected course of the disease
prone to lie flat facing down; to lie on the stomach
prophylaxis Drug given to prevent disease or infection
prospective study study following patients forward in time
prosthesis artificial limbs
proximal closer to the center of the body
psychosocial test test of your behavior
pulmonary lung
puncture to make a hole
pyelogram a series of X-rays of the kidneys
QD every day, daily
QID four times a day
quantify to measure
radiation therapy x-ray or cobalt treatment
radioactive isotope a chemical or substance that gives off radiant energy rays similar to X-rays
randomly like picking numbers out of a hat ; by chance
recombinant formation of new combinations of genes
reconstitution putting back together the original parts
recuperate to get better
recur happen again
refractory not responding to treatment
regeneration regrowth of a structure or of lost tissue
regimen Pattern of administering treatment
relapse The return or reappearance of disease
reliable method of birth control [You must indicate what you will accept. ex:]--birth control pills, Norplant7 (levonorgestrel), Depo-Provera7 (medroxyprogesterone), intra-uterine device (IUD)
remission disappearance of evidence of cancer or other disease
renal kidney
render you ineligible make you unable to participate
replicable capable of being duplicated
resect remove or cut out (surgically)
respiratory breathing
retrospective study study looking back over past experience
saline salt water
sarcoma a type of cancer
secretion one of the fluids made by the body
sedation to make drowsy/sleepy
seminoma a type of testes cancer
sequentially in a row
somnolence sleepiness
spirometer instrument to measure the amount of air taken into and exhaled from the lungs
sputum thick saliva; phlegm
staging a determination of the extent of the disease
standard of care the usual treatment for the disease
stenosis narrowing of a duct, tube, or one of the heart valves
stent a metal (or plastic) tube placed inside a blood vessel that keeps it open to prevent blockage
stomatitis mouth sores; inflammation of the mouth
stratify Arrange in groups fro analysis of results
stupor stunned state in which it is difficult to get a response
subclavian under the collarbone
subcutaneous under the skin
superficial near the surface
supine to lie flat facing up; to lie on the back
suture stitches
symptoms signs of disease or illness
symptomatic having symptoms
syncope fainting or lightheadedness
syndrome a condition characterized by a set of symptoms
systolic blood pressure top number of by blood pressure reading
tachycardia fast heart rate
telemetry to monitor the ( ) from a distance
teratogenic can cause malformations in unborn fetuses
testes male sex glands; male organs which produce sperm
therapeutic dose the amount of medication needed to treat the condition
third party payers health insurance; Medicare, Medicaid
thrombosis blood clotting within blood vessels
TID three times a day
tinnitus ringing in the ears
titration adjusting to the necessary dose
T-lymphocytes type of white blood cells involved in immune reactions
topical applied to the surface of the skin
toxicity side effects or undesirable effects of a drug
trachea windpipe
transdermal through the skin
transiently temporarily
trauma injury; wound
treadmill walking machine often used to determine heart function
tremor shakiness
trial study
triglyceride fat in the blood
tubal ligation having the tubes tied
unable to comply with the study requirements cannot follow study directions
ureter the tube that carries urine from the kidneys to by bladder
urethra the tube that carries urine from the bladder outside the body
urinalysis urine exam; test of the urine
vaginitis infection in the vagina or birth canal
valvuloplasty plastic repair of a valve, especially of the heart
varices enlarged veins
vasospasm narrowing of blood vessels due to spasm of vessel walls
vector A carrier, usually an inset, that carries and transmits disease-causing germs
vein blood vessel
venipuncture to put a needle into the blood vessel
verbal speak; talk
vertical transmission spread of disease
vertigo a feeling of losing the balance; dizziness
void to make or pass urine
waive to give up
withdraw leave the study; quit
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