Medical Terminologies

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Medical Terminologies

Reflux: The term used when liquid backs up into the esophagus from the stomach.

Vaccinia: 1. The cowpox virus which is used to vaccinate against smallpox.2. A cutaneous or systemic reaction to vaccination with the smallpox vaccine as, for example, in congenital vaccinia and progressive vaccinia.

Visceral: Referring to the viscera, the internal organs of the body, specifically those within the chest (as the heart or lungs) or abdomen (as the liver, pancreas or intestines).

Xerostomia: Dry mouth. Xerostomia can be associated with systemic diseases, such as Sjogren's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis; and it can be a side effect of medication and poor dental hygiene. Xerostomia results from inadequate function of the salivary glands, such as the parotid glands.

Xylitol: A sweetener that is found in plants and used as a substitute for sugar. Xylitol is called a nutritive sweetener because it provides calories, just like sugar. However, it is less likely than sugar to contribute to dental caries.

Xanthoma: Yellowish firm nodules in the skin frequently indicating underlying disease, such as diabetes, disorder of fats (lipid disorder or hyperlipidemia), or other conditions. A xanthoma is a kind of harmless growth of tissue.

Cherubism: A genetic disorder of childhood that leads to prominence of the lower face and an appearance reminiscent of the cherubs portrayed in Renaissance art. Cherubism is inherited as an autosomal dominant condition.

Castration: Removal or destruction of the sex glands. The term is usually used in reference to the testicles, but it also can apply to the ovaries.

Capsulitis: Inflammation of the capsule of the lens, joint, liver, or labyrinth. See also: Adhesive capsulitis.

Epigenetics: The study of heritable changes in gene function that occur without a change in the sequence of the DNA.

Enterovirus: A virus that enters the body through the gastrointestinal tract and thrives there, often moving on to attack the nervous system. The polioviruses are enteroviruses.

Embolization: A treatment that clogs small blood vessels and blocks the flow of blood, such as to a tumor.

Edentulous: Being without teeth. Complete loss of all natural teeth can substantially reduce quality of life, self-image, and daily functioning.

Homozygous: Possessing two identical forms of a particular gene, one inherited from each parent.

Hematuria: Blood in the urine. Painful hematuria can be caused by a number of disorders, including infections and stones in the urinary tract. Painless hematuria can also be due to many causes, including cancer.

Hantavirus: A group of viruses that cause hemorrhagic fever and pneumonia. Hantaviruses are transmitted to humans by direct or indirect contact with the saliva and excreta of rodents, such as deer mice, field mice, and ground voles.

Halitosis: An unpleasant odor from the mouth, commonly referred to as bad breath. Halitosis can be caused by the consumption of certain foods, poor oral hygiene, alcohol or tobacco use, dry mouth, or by certain chronic medical conditions.

Keratin: A protein found in the upper layer of the skin, hair, and nails, and in animal horns.

Ketonuria: A condition in which abnormally high amounts of ketones and keytone bodies (a byproduct of the breakdown of cells) are present in the urine.

Normoxia: Normal levels of oxygen.

Naloxone: A drug that antagonizes morphine and other opiates. Naloxone is a pure opiate antagonist and prevents or reverses the effects of opioids including respiratory depression, sedation and hypotension. Sold under the brand name of Narcan and in combination with buprenorphine as Suboxone.

Napiform: A little-used but useful adjective meaning turnip-shaped. Large and round at the top and tapering down sharply and becoming exceedingly slender toward the bottom tip. "A napiform root is one when much swollen at the base, so as to become broader than long, as that of the turnip." (The Complete Herbalist by Dr. O. Phelps Brown, 1878) The word napiform comes from the Latin napus (turnip) + the Latin forma (form).

Qualm: A sudden sick feeling.

Quarantine: A period of isolation decreed to control the spread of infectious disease. Before the era of antibiotics and other medications, quarantine was one of the few available means for halting the spread of infectious diseases.

Taphephobia: Fear of being buried alive.A phobia is an unreasonable sort of fear that can cause avoidance and panic. Phobias are a relatively common type of anxiety disorder.

Tineacapitis: A fungal infection (known as ringworm) of the scalp. This disorder occurs most commonly in children, especially those in late childhood and adolescence. It appears as scalp scaling associated with bald spots. Treatment involves antifungal medications.

Taphephobia: Fear of being buried alive.

Tetranucleotide: A sequence of 4 base pairs. (Bases are the building blocks of DNA.) Expansion of a tetranucleotide repeat (CCTG) in the ZNF9 gene causes type 2 myotonic dystrophy.

Taeniasis: Infection with any of the tapeworms of the genus Taenia. Humanstaeniasis can be caused by eating pork or beef contaminated with the larval stage of the pork tapeworm, Taeniasolium, or the beef tapeworm, Taeniasaginata.

Weil syndrome: A severe form of leptospirosis with liver disease.

Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug (brand names: Coumarin, Panwarfin, Sofarin) taken to prevent the blood from clotting and to treat blood clots and overly thick blood. Warfarin is also used to reduce the risk of clots causing strokes or heart attacks.

Walleye: Divergent strabismus (exotropia) in which the eye turns outward away from the nose. A dense white opacity (leukoma) of the cornea. Large staring eyes, like those of certain fish such as the pike.

Zovirax: Brand name of Acyclovir.

Zoonosis: An infection that is known in nature to infect both humans and lower vertebrate animals.

Adenoids: A lump of lymphoid tissue of varying size, located behind the nose in a space called the nasopharynx.

Abrasion: An abrasion or "excoriation" is a wearing away of the upper layer of skin as a result of applied friction force. In dentistry an "abrasion" is the wearing away of the tooth substance.

Abduction: The movement of a limb away from the midline of the body. The opposite of abduction is adduction.

Abdominal Aorta: The abdominal aorta is the final section of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. It is a continuation of the thoracic aorta. It begins at the diaphragm and runs down to the point where it ends (by splitting in two to form the common iliac arteries).

Fever blister: A small sore situated on the face or in the mouth that causes pain, burning, or itching before bursting and crusting over. The favorite locations are on the lips, chin or cheeks and in the nostrils.

Epilepsy (seizure disorder): When nerve cells in the brain fire electrical impulses at a rate of up to four times higher than normal, this causes a sort of electrical storm in the brain, known as a seizure. A pattern of repeated seizures is referred to as epilepsy.

Ebola Virus: A notoriously deadly virus that causes fearsome symptoms, the most prominent being high fever and massive internal bleeding. Ebola virus kills as many as 90% of the people it infects. It is one of the viruses that is capable of causing hemorrhagic (bloody) fever.

Dyspepsia: Indigestion. A condition characterized by upper abdominal symptoms that may include pain or discomfort, bloating, feeling of fullness with very little intake of food , feeling of unusual fullness following meals, nausea, loss of appetite, heartburn, regurgitation of food or acid, and belching.

Drug test: An examination of biologic material (such as urine, hair, saliva, or sweat) to detect the presence of specific drugs and determine prior drug use. Drug tests may be performed to detect illicit drug use as well as the use of drugs and substances not permitted in specific occupations or athletic competitions. Also known as drug screen.

Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. The opposite of constipation. There are many infectious and noninfectious causes of diarrhea. Persistent diarrhea is both uncomfortable and dangerous to the health because it can indicate an underlying infection and may mean that the body is not able to absorb some nutrients due to a problem in the bowels.

Dialysis: The process of removing waste products and excess fluid from the body. Dialysis is necessary when the kidneys are not able to adequately filter the blood. Dialysis allows patients with kidney failure a chance to live productive lives. There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

Dengue fever: An acute mosquito-borne viral illness of sudden onset with headache, fever, prostration, severe joint and muscle pain, swollen glands (lymphadenopathy), and rash. The presence of fever, rash, and headache (the 'dengue triad') is characteristic.

Bronchitis: Inflammation and swelling of the bronchi. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic.

Botox: A highly purified preparation of botulinum toxin A, a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox is injected, in very small amounts, into specific muscles, as a treatment. It acts by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles and so paralyzes (relaxes) the muscles.

Bone marrow: The soft blood-forming tissue that fills the cavities of bones and contains fat and immature and mature blood cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Diseases or drugs that affect the bone marrow can affect the total counts of these cells.

Blood count: The calculated number of white or red blood cells (WBCs or RBCs) in a cubic millimeter of blood.

Blood culture: A test designed to detect if microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi are present in blood.

Birthmark: A persistent visible mark on the skin that is evident at birth or shortly thereafter. A birthmark is often due to a nevus (a mole) or an hemangioma (a localized collection of small blood vessels).

Bipolar disorder: A mood disorder sometimes called manic-depressive illness or manic-depression that characteristically involves cycles of depression and elation or mania. Sometimes the mood switches from high to low and back again are dramatic and rapid, but more often they are gradual and slow, and intervals of normal mood may occur between the high (manic) and low (depressive) phases of the condition.

Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for cancer cells or other abnormalities.

Bathophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of depths. Sufferers from bathophobia experience anxiety even though they realize they are safe from falling into or being consumed by depths. The feared object may be a long, dark hallway, a well or a deep pool or lake.

Battle fatigue: The World War II name for what is known today as post-traumatic stress, this is a psychological disorder that develops in some individuals who have had major traumatic experiences (and, for example, have been in a serious accident or through a war).

H&H: Hemoglobin and hematocrit. When the H & H is low, anemia is present. The H&H can be elevated in persons who have lung disease from long term smoking or from disease, such as polycythemia rubra vera.

Anuric: Not producing urine. A person who is anuric is often critical and may require dialysis.

b.i.d.: Twice daily. As in taking a medicine twice daily.

Ochronosis: Deposition of dark pigment in connective tissues, usually due to alkaptonuria or exposure to chemicals such as phenolic compounds or hydroquinone.

Oculoplastics: Eye plastic and reconstructive surgery, a specialized area of ophthalmology that focuses on the eyelids and the structures surrounding the eye, including problems of the lacrimal (tear) system and the orbit, the region surrounding the eyeball.

Regimen: A plan or a regulated course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment, that is designed to give a good result. A low-salt diet is one type of dietary regimen.

Radionuclide: An unstable form of a chemical element that radioactively decays, resulting in the emission of nuclear radiation. Also called a radioisotope.