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INTRODUCTION

The language of hospital is derived from and includes the language of medicine. The term medical English is often used to include all the language of healthcare.

This work explores the medical terminology which consists largely of Latin and Greek morphemes. It analyses the field of the medical term formation methods and the procedures aiming at creating new words. The assumption that terminological units in LSP obey specific rules of syntactic formation will be examined. At this goal, suffixes, prefixes, compound words, eponyms, acronyms, synonyms, loanwords, syntagmatic compounds, neologisms, elisions, abbreviations, etc. are analysed here.

Finally, the last part contains a list of the most frequently used abbreviations and acronyms specific to the hospital setting. Nurses continually encounter unfamiliar words and abbreviations in medical records and physicians' orders. Alphabetizing lists is essential to find information quickly.
Medical terminology glossary

A. LOANWORDS

The actual tendency is the wider diffusion of English terms in the other languages, also as integral borrowings. Also some English acronyms have been borrowed from the Italian language and the better known are AIDS, Dna and SARS, but also the less known ones that are used as well, like: APUD, or Amine Precursor uptake and decarboxylation; ELISA, Enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay; FSH , Follicle stimulating hormone; FTA-ABS, Fluorescent treponeml antibody-absorption (test); RH, Releasing Hormone; TSH, Thyroid-stimulating hormone;UCG, Urinary Chorionic gonadotrophin; VLDL, Very low-density lipoprotein, etc.

At this purpose, the fundamental role practiced by Latin and Greek has been recorded. Greek and Latin are “synthetic” languages, or rather they allow to compress complex relationships in short linguistic forms packed with meaning.

Some examples of loan words from Greek are:

  • amnesia
  • analysis
  • anatomy
  • antibiotic
  • antiseptic
  • apathy
  • diagnosis
  • eczema
  • epilepsy
  • genetics
  • hemisphere
  • history
  • hormone
  • hypnosis
  • hysteria
  • kinesis
  • logic
  • mania
  • maniac
  • metamorphosis
  • nausea
  • necromancy
  • nemesis
  • neurology
  • nostalgia
  • orgasm
  • pain
  • paranoia
  • parasite
  • pathos
  • phenomenon
  • phobia
  • placenta
  • plasma
  • plastic
  • pneumonia
  • psyche
  • psychiatry
  • psychology
  • psychosis
  • rhythm
  • schizofrenia
  • skeleton
  • sphere
  • symptom
  • urethra
  • xenophobia

With all the loanwords borrowed from Latin into English, an exhaustive list would be too lengthy to be possible. The following are some of the commonly used Latin loanwords I have found:

  • abdomen
  • anatomy
  • bacteria
  • cancer
  • canine
  • capsule
  • cervix
  • chest
  • data
  • ego
  • equilibrium
  • erupt
  • feminine
  • fictitious
  • fungus
  • inertia
  • insane
  • lachrymose
  • libido
  • memory
  • nocturnal
  • orbit
  • physician
  • vertigo

B. AFFIXATION 

Affixation, is perhaps the most used technique in the medical language, since it allows to express in one term many concepts with the advantage to give transparency to the term, and contributing to make the medical terminology methodical and synthetic, thanks to the correspondence created between conceptual categories and lexical forms: a determined meaning corresponds to a determined suffix.

Some Greek root words

I quote here some of the basic words used in medical terminology of Greek origin that I have individualized in my research:

  • Adén - gland
  • aorté - aorta
  • bronchos - gullet
  • cheir - hand
  • cholé - bile
  • derma - skin
  • gastér - belly
  • haima - blood
  • hépar - liver
  • hygieia - health
  • hymen - membrane
  • kardia - heart
  • kephalé - head
  • kranion - skull
  • larynx - voice box
  • mania - madness, frenzy
  • nausea - seasickness
  • neuron - tendon, nerve
  • osteon - bone
  • ophthalmos - eye
  • pepsis - digestion
  • pharmakon - drug
  • pharynx - throat
  • pleura - side, rib
  • pneuma - air, breath
  • psyche - soul
  • pyon - pus
  • pyr - fire, fever
  • sarx – flesh
  • soma - body
  • spasmos - spasm
  • spleen - spleen
  • stoma - mouth
  • stomachos - stomach
  • tracheia - windpipe
  • trauma – wound

Prefixes

Among the most frequently used elements in the formation of words are prefixes. These consist of one or more syllables (originally preposi­tions or adverbs) placed before the words to show various kinds of rela­tionships.

I quote here the prefixes, of Greek origin that I have attested during the current research, with their meanings and the a few examples of their use:

a-, an- (before a vowel) a privative or a negative conveying defi­ciency, lack or weakness

a-pathy—lack of feeling 1

a–sthenia – lack of strenghth

a–taxia – lack of order

a-tom—indivisible

a-trophy – lack of nourishment

an-emia—lack of blood

an-esthesia—lack of sensation

amphi-, ampho —on both sides, double

amphi-bious—living on both sides (land and water)

amphi-theatre—a piace for seeing around, an operating room

ampho-diplopia—double vision in both eyes

ampho-phil—fond of both, a cell which stains with either acid or dyes

ana-, an—up, upward, again

ana-lysis—dissolution, breaking up (of chemical compounds)

ana-mnesís—recollection, medical history

ana-tomy—cutting cutting up, dissection

an-a-phylaxis—renewed loss of protection

anzi —against, opposed to, opposite of

anzi-dote—against a given thing (poison)

anti-pyretic—against fever

anti-septic—against infection

ant-acid—against an acid, neutralizing an acid

apo- off, away from

apo-physis—a growth away, a projection (from a bone)

apo-plexy—a stroke away, a sudden stroke

apo-staxis—a trickling down, a slight haemorrhage

apo-thecary—a pharmacist (apothèkè—a repository)

cardio – heart

cardio-pathy

cardio-pulmonary

cardio-vascular

cardio-tonic

cata—down, downward

cata-menia—according to month, menses

cata-rrh— a flowing down, inflammation of the mucous mem­brane

cata-tonia—a downward torte, stupor

cat-hod—downward way, the return goal of an electron

cyto – in relation to cell

cystoscopy - bladder examination

cytoplasm - part of a cell

cytotoxic - cancer drug

cytostatic - substance to stop cell growth

dia —through, across, completely

dia-betes—a going through, syphon, syphon disease

dia-gnosis—knowing completely, determination of the nature of a disease

dia-rrhea—flowing through, fluid discharge

dia -thermy—h eat going through, elevation of temperature by means of a current

dys —bad, difficult, defective, abnormal

dys-entery—bad intestine

dys-pepsia—bad digestion

dys-pnea—difficult breathing

dys-trophy- bad nourishment

dys- somnia – bad sleep

ec-, ex—out, out of, outward

ec-topic—out of place

ec-zema—a boiling out, an inflammation of the skin

ex-ophthalmos—eye (bulging) out

ex-ostosis—bone outside, a bony tumor

electro - amber, related to the electricity

electro-biology

electro-coagulation

electro-cardiogram

electro-catalysis

en-, era—in, within

en-cephalon—in the head, the brain

en-demic—in the people, present in a community

em-bolism—thrown in, a plugging of a vessel

era-bryo—grown in, fetus

hyper —over, above, excessive

hyper-emia—excessive blood

hyper-thyroidism—symptoms caused by excessive activity of the thyroid

hyper-tonic—excessive in tension

hyper-trophy—excessive nourishment, overgrowth

hyper-somnia – excessive sleep

hypo —under, below, insufficient

hypo-chondriac—under the cartilage, an imaginary disease

hypo-dermic—under the skin

hypo-glyc-ernia—low proportion of sugar in the blood

hypo-physis—a growth under (the brain), pituitary body

hypo-ventilation – low ventilation

laparo – a bdomen

laparo-grastronomy

laparo-tomy

meta —after, behind, beyond, change

meta-bolism—change in throwing, tissue change

meta-morphosis - change in form

meta-stasis—change in position

met-encephalon—after the brain, hindbrain

para —near, alongside, apart from, abnormal

para-noia—abnormal in mind

para-plegia—near stroke, paralysis of the extremities

par-esthesia—abnormal perception

par-otid—beside the ear

peri —about, around

peri-cardium—around the heart, membrane covering the heart

peri-osteum—around the bone, membrane covering the bone

peri-stalsis—contraction around, contraction of the intestines

peri-toneum—(membrane) stretching around, lining of the ab‑dominal cavity

post — late

post - mortem—after death

postpartum - after childbirth

postprandial - after dinner

post-traumatic – after the trauma

pro —before, forward, in advance

pro-drome—running before, an early symptom

pro-geria—before old age, premature aging

pro-gnosis—knowing before, forecast

pro-phylaxis—advance protection

syn-, sym —with, together, union

syn-drome—running together, an aggregate of symptoms

sy-stole (from syn-stolè)—contraction, the rhythmic contraction of the heart

sym-biosis—living together of two or more organisms

sym-ptom—a falling together, a sign

video - that uses a video, a video camera

video-laparoscopy

2. Suffixes

A suffix is a terminal letter or syllable added to the stem to modify or amplify its meaning. If a suffix begins with a consonant and it is joined to a stem ending in a consonant, a connecting vowel, mostly o is added to make the junction. The most common suffixes are:

-ia, Fr. -ie, E. -y—denotes a pathological state or condition

agon-ia—contest, suffering

hyster-ia—a chronic neurosis formerly thought to be of uterine causation (hystera—womb)

man-ia—madness

ophthalm-ia—inflammation of the eye

-iasis —signifies a pathological state, condition, or its causation

lith-iasis—formation of calculi (lithos—stone)

psor-iasis—a skin disease (psòra—itch)

trichin-iasis—a disease caused by trichinae infestation

-ikos, L. -ficus, E . -ic— an adjectival termination

an-esthetic—pertaining to anesthesia, a drug producing anesthesia

epilept-ic—pertaining to epilepsy

hect-ic— irregularly feverish (hexis—habit; orig. meaning habitual)

patholog-ic—pertaining to pathology

-ismos, L. -ismus, E. -ism—denotes a condition

embol-ism—the plugging of an artery or vein (embolos—wedge)

hypnot-ism—a condition of artificially induced sleep (hypnos-­ sleep)

metabol-ism—tissue change (metabolé—change)

rheumat-ism—rheumatic fever (rheuma—flux)

-istés, E. -ist—signifies an agent or doer of the action indicated by the root

anatorn-ist—one who cuts up

anesthet-ist—one who takes away sensation

orthodont-ist—one who straightens teeth

urolog-ist—one who treats urological disorders

-itis - originally the adjectival ending -ités used with nosos—disease; it is now used alone and has acquired the significance of inflam­matory disease

appendic-itis

arthrit-is

bronch-it is

hepatitis

laryngitis

ot - it is

tracheitis

inflammation of the part named in the stem

-ize, Gr. -izein—a verbal suffix indicating treatment by means of a special instrument or drug

an-esthet-ize—to take away sensation

catheter-ize—to use a catheter

hypnot-ize—to put to sleep

- ma, -ema, - oma —designates a concrete pathological condition

ec-zema—a boiling out, inflammation of the skin

ex-anth-ema—a skin flower, a skin eruption

Words ending in -oma are so numerous, referring usually to swell‑ ing or tumor, that this ending is considered equivalent to tumor, e.g.

carcin-oma—a cancerous tumor, a malignant growth

granul-oma—a tumor of granulation tissue

neur-oma—a tumor formed of nerve cells

sarc-oma—a fleshy thing, a fleshy tumor

-oid; originally -oeid, from Gr. eidos —form, appearance; denotes a resemblance to the object designated in the main word

sphen-oid—wedge-shaped (sphén—wedge)

typh-oid—like typhus fever (typhos—stupor)

thyr-oid—the shield like gland (thyreos—shield)

xiph-oid—sword-shaped (xiphos—sword)

-sis, -osis—denotes any production or increase (physiological or pa­thological); secondarily an invasion and increase of parasites within the organism. It is often interchangeable with -iasis as trichin-osis or trichin-iasis

adíp-osis—an excessive accumulation of fat

rhe-xis (from rheg-sis)—a breaking, a rupture

sep-sis—a rotting, putrefaction

tubercul-osis—an invasion by the tubercle bacilli

-scopy – (to see)

gastroscopy

colonscopy

proctoscopy

-tomy (to cut)

pneumonectomy

-plasy (to forge)

neoplasia

-logo (word, talk)

-cefalo (head)

electroencephalo

-trophy (abnormality of development)

a-trophy

dys-trophy

-gram (letter)

cardiogram

-algia (pain)

myalgia

-dynia (pain)

-cele (tumor, hernia, swelling)

3. Chemical suffixes

-ase (asis—slíme)—denotes a colloid enzyme

amyl-asc—a starch splitting enzyme (amylon—starch)

lip-ase—a fat splitting enzyme (lipos—fat)

-ate —indicates a salt of a base

phosph-are—a salt of phosphoric acid

sulph-ate—a salt of sulphuric acid

-ide —a name for a binary compound containing a non-metallic element

chlor-ide—a compound of chlorine with another element

sulph-ide—a compound of sulphur with a base

-in—a termination noting a glucoside

fibr-in (L. fibra—fiber)

gelar-in (L. gelatum—congealed)

prole-in (Gr. prótos—first)

-ine an ending used in the names of alkaloids

hero-ine—alkaloidal ester of morphine

morph- ine—alkaloid of opium

-ite—a terminal indicating a salt of an acid ending in -ous

phosph-ite — a salt of phosphorous acid

sulph-ite—a salt of sulphurous acid

C. COMPOUND WORDS

In addition to the words made up of a stem combined with one or more prefixes and suffixes, there are terms which have a second stem as a component part.

Some Greek terms may have as many as three stems joined, e.g. leuco-cyt-hemia—leucemia. Nouns, adjectives, and adverbs may be used in various combinations. The first part of a compound word generally indicates its essential meaning which is modified or amplified by the second part. If the second part begins with a consonant, the con­ necting vowel ‘ o' is usually inserted for the sake of euphony. If two vowels are juxtaposed by the combination, the first is generally dropped.

Here is a list of nouns regularly appearing as first part of a compound. (Many of these are names of party of the body.)

anthrop- (anthrópos—man)

anthropo-generis—origin of man

anthropo-metry—measurement of man

bio- (bios—) ife )

bio-logy—the science of living organisms

bi-opsy—examination examination of a tissue excised from the living body

broncho- (bronchos—gullet)

broncho-cele—windpipe tumor, goiter

broncho-pneumonia—inflammation of the bronchi

cardi-, cardio- (kardia—heart)

cardi-a-taxia—irregularity in the action of the heart

cardio-gram—recording of the movements of the heart

cheir-, chic- (cheir—hand)

ch(e)íro-practor—a practitioner of manipulation

chiro-gnomy—physiognomy of the band

cyto- (kytos - cell)

cyto-architecture - the order of arrangement of cells in a tissue

cyto-zoic—living in a cell

derma-, dermat- (derma—skin)

dema-graph—an instrument for writing on the skin

dermato-logy—study of the skin

entero- (enteron—the intestine)

enter-ectomy—resection of a segment of the intestine

entero-lith—an intestina) calculus

gastr- (gastér, stem, gastr—stomach)

gastro-enterology—the medical specialty dealing with diseases of the stomach and intestines

gastr-odynia—pain in the stomach

gynec- (gynè, gynec—female)

gyneco-mastia—female breast in the male

gyneco-plasticar—reparative surgery of the female organs

hem-, hemat- (haima, haimat—blood)

hemat-emesis—vomiting of blood

hemo-rrhage—bleeding

hepat-, (hépar, hépat—liver)

hepat-a-trophy—atrophy of the liver

hepato-melanosis—dark pigmentation of the liver

hydr- (hydòr, hydr—water)

hydro-cephalus—water head, a congenital deformation

hydro-gen—a gas which forma water when combined with oxygen

hydro-therapy—treatment by the use of water

hypno- (hypnos—sleep)

hypn-agogue—inducer of sleep

hypno-lepsy—uncontrollable sleepiness

hyster- (hystera—uterus)

hyster-ectomy—excision of the uterus

hystero-ptosis—prolapse of the uterus

litho- (lithos—atone)

litho-nephria—stone in the kidney

litho-tomy—cutting for stone

morph- (morphé—form)

morpho-logy—the science of structure

morpho-genesis—the evolution of form

my- (mys—muscle)

my-asthenia—muscular weakness

myo-carditis—inflammation of the muscular wall of the heart

narc- (nark&—numbness, stupor)

narco-lepsy—numbing seizure, petit mal

narro-mania—craving for narcotics

nephro- (nephros—kidney)

nephro-py-osis—suppuration of the kidney

nephro-scler-osis—hardening of the kidney

neuro- (neuron- cord, tendon, nerve)

neur-algia—nerve pain

neur-asthenia—nerve weakness

odont- (odys, odont—tooth)

odonto-clasis—breaking of tooth

odont-orthrosis—straightening of teeth

ophthalmo- (ophthalmos—eye)

ophthalmo-gyric — causing eye movements

ophihalmo-scope—an instrument to view the eye

osteo- (osteon—bone)

osteo-malacia—softening of the bone

osteo-necrosis—killing, decay of the bone

ot- (ús, òt—ear)

oto-myc-osis—a fungus-caused inflammation of the ear

oto-rrhea—discharge from the ear

pod- (pús, pod—font)

pod-agra—seizure in the font, gout

pod-iatrist—foot practitioner

pyo- (pyon—pus)

pyo-genic—pus forming

pyo-periton-itis—suppurative inflammation of the peritoneum

pyr-, pyret- (pyr—fire, heat, inflammation)

pyr-exia—an acute inflammation

pyreto-mania—an uncontrollable desire to incendiarism

sphygmo- (sphygmos—pulse)

sphygmo-graph—an instrument to record pulse beat

sphygmo-mano-meter—an instrument for measuring the blood pressure

zoó- (zoòn—a living thing, an animal)

zoò-logy—study of animals

zoò-parasite—an animal parasite

1. List of adjectives which regularly appear as first part of compounded words

allo- (allos—other)

allo-cinesis—passive movement, reflex movement

all-ergy—a clinical change in the capacity of the organism to re­ act to an infection, hypersensitiveness

auto- (autos —.self)

auto-matism—a condition in which movements are made with­ out conscious exercise of the will

aut-opsy—seeing with one's own eyes, post-mortem examination

brady- (bradys—slow)

brady-cardia—abnormal slowness of the heart beat

brady-pnea—abnormal slowness of respiration

caco- (kakos—bad)

cac-hexia—bad habit, lack of nutrition, and wasting cac-idrosis—morbid sweating

crypto- (cryptos—secret, hidden)

crypto-genic—of hidden, obscure origin

crypt-orchid—hidden, undescended testis

ecco- (ektos—outside)

ecto-derm—outer side of the skin

ecto-plasm—moulded on the outer side, the outer side of the cytoplasm

erythro- (erythros—red)

erythro-cyte—red celi, red corpuscle

erythr-edema—red swelling

hemi- (one half)

hemi-atrophy—atrophy of one lateral half of a part or organ

hemi-plegia—half stroke, paralysis of one side of the body

hetero- (heteros—other, different, opposite)

hetero-plasty—surgical grafting with tissue derived from another individual

hetero-tonia—different, variable tension

homeo - (homoios—similar)

homeo-pathy—a special system of therapeutics

homeo-stasis—condition of bodily equilibrium; literally "stand­ing still"

homo- (homos -the same )

homo-lateral—on or relating to the same side

homo-sexual—having attraction for the same sex

idio- (idios—one's own, private)

idio-pathic—noting a primary disease, one originating without apparent extrinsic cause

idio-syncrasy—one's own mixing, peculiarities of a person

iso- (isos—equal, like)

iso-thermal—having the same temperature

iso-tonia—tonic equality

lecco- (leukos—white)

lecco-cyte—white celi, white blood corpuscle

leuco-rrhea—white discharge

macro- (makros—long, large)

macro-cephalic—having a large head

macro-glossia—enlargement of the tongue

mega-, megal- (megas, megal—great, large)

mega-colon—dilatation of the large intestine

megalo-mania—delusion of grandeur

melan- (melas, melan—black),

melan-cholia—black bile, a depressed emotional state

melano-sarcoma—a deeply pigmented sarcoma

meso- (mesos—middle)

mes-encephalon—midbrain

mes-entery—middle intestine

micro- (mikros—small)

micro-be (mikros+bios)—small living thing

micro-scope—a viewer of small things

mono- (monos—alone, single)

mono-nuclear—having a single nucleus

mono-plegia—paralysis of one limb

neo- (neos—new, recent, young)

neo-natal—relating to the period immediately succeeding birth

neo-plasm—new growth

nephr- (kidney)

nephritis - kidney inflammation

nephrotic - kidney disorder-related

nephrotoxic - destructive to the kidneys

oligo- (oligos—little, few)

oligo-phrenia—mental weakness, feeblemindedness

oligo-pnea—infrequent respiration

ortho- (orthos—straight, correct)

ortho-dontia—straightènlng of the teeth

ortho-pedics—correction of deformities

oxy- (oxys—sharp, acid)

oxy-gen—a gaseous element present in acids

oxy-lallia—rapid speech

paleo- (palaios—ancient)

paleo-genesis—hereditary transmission of peculiarities

paleo-pathology—study of diseases of the prehistoric times

pan- (par, pan—ali, entire)

pan-creas—all flesh, the pancreas gland

pan-demic—a disease attacking all

polio- (polios—grey)

polio-encephalitis—inflammation of the grey matter of the brain

polio-myelitis—inflammation of the grey matter of the spinal cord

poly- (polys—much, many)

poly-pus—many feet

poly-uria—excessive urination

pneum- (lung)

pneumopathy - lung disease

proto- (pròtos—first)

proto-plasm—first formed, living matter

proto-type—first form, primitive form

pseudo- (pseudés—false, spurious)

pseudo-cele—false cavity, the 5th ventricle of the brain

pseudo-cyesis—false pregnancy

rhin – (nose )

rhinalgia

rhinorrhea

tachy- (tachys— rapid,fast)

tachy-cardia—quick heart, rapid action of the heart

tachy-pnea—rapid breathing

xantho- (xanthos—yellow)

xantho-derm—yellow skin

xanth-opsia—yellow vision

2. Some adverbs regularly appearing as first part of a compound

di- (dis—twice)

di-hydric—a chemical compound with two hydrogen atoms

di-morphism—existing in two forms

endo- (endon—within)

endo-crine—secretion within, internal secretion

endo-metrium—within the uterus, membrane lining the uterus

eu- (eu—well, easy)

eu-phoria—hearing oneself well, good health

eu-thanasia—easy death

exo- outside, outward

exo-genous—originating outside

exo-gnathion—outside jaw, maxilla

opisth- (opisth"hind)

opisth-encephalon—brain behind, the cerebellum

opistho-tonos—stretching backward, a tetanic spasm

palin —back, backward, again

palin-dromia—a running back, a relapse

palin-esthesia—a return of sensation

télé —distant

tele-neuron—the end neuron

tele-pathy—minding-reading from afar

3. Some nouns regularly appearing as second part of a compound

-agope (agógos—leader)

galact-agogue—an agent promoting the secretion of milk

hypn-agogue—inducer of sleep, hypnotic

-agra —seizure

cardi-agra—heart seizure, angina pectoris

pod-agra—foot seizure, gout

-algia (algos—paro)

gastr-algia—stomach ache

neur-algia—nerve pain

-asthenia (asthenés—weak)

my-asthenia—muscular weakness

neur-asthenia—nerve weakness, nervous exhaustion

-cele (kélé—protrusion, tumor, hernia)

hernato-tele—blood cyst

hydro-cele—water hernia

-cinesia (kinésis—movement)

cardio-cinesia—movement, action of the heart

entero-cinesia—movement of the intestine, peristalsis

-clasia, -clasis—breaking

arthro-clasia—breaking of a joint, breaking up of adhesions

hemo-clasis—breaking up of the red blood corpuscles

-cyte (kytos—cell)

erythro-cyte—red blood corpuscle

lympho-cyte—lymph corpuscle

-ectomy (ektomè–excision)

hyster-ectomy—excision of the uterus

thyroid-ectorny—excision of the thyroid gland

- ectopia (ek + topos out of place)

nephr-ectopia—abnormal mobility of the kidney

splen-ectopia—abnormal mobility of the spleen

-emia (hairna—blood)

an-emia—lack of blood

ur-emia—an excess of urea in the blood

-esthesia (aisthèsis—feeling, sensibility)

an-esthesia—lack of feeling

par-esthesia—an abnormal spontaneous sensation (like itching)

-genesis, E. -geny—generation, origin

patho-genesis—the origin or development of a disease

spermato-genesis—production of spermatozoa

onto-geny—the development of the individual

-gram (gramma—writing, drawing)

cardio-gram—the record of the movement of the heart

encephalo-gram—a roentgenogram of the brain

-graph, -graphy (graphein—to write)

dermo-graph—an instrument for marking or writing on the skin

ventriculo-graphy—radiography of the cerebral ventricles

-lith (lithos—stone, calculus)

entero-lith—an intestinal calculus

hemato-lith—a concretion in the wall of a blood vessel

-logia, Fr. -logie, E. -logy (Gr. logos—word, discourse, treatise)

physio-logy—the science which deals with life processes

uro-logy—the specialty dealing with the diseases of the urinary organs

-lysis —dissolution, loosening, breaking down

hemo-lysis—destruction of the red blood cells

para-lysis—loss of voluntary movement in a muscle

-malacia (malakia—softening)

myo-malacia—softening of muscular tissues

osteo-malacia—softening of the bones

-mania —madness, uncontrollable impulse

klepto-mania—a pathological impulse to steal megalo-mania—delusion of grandeur

-megalia, E. -megaly (megas, megal—large)

acro-megalia or acromegaly—enlargement of the extremities

spleno-megalia—enlargement enlargement of the spleen

-meter, Gr. mètron, L. metrum—measure, an instrument for meas­uring

pulsi-meter—instrument to measure the pulse

thermo-meter—instrument to measure heat

-odynia (odyné—pain)

acr-odynia—pain in the extremities

ot-odynía—paro in the ear

-opia (òps—vision) -

ambly-opia—dimness of vision (amblys—dull)

my-opia—winking vision, short-sightedness (myein—to wink)

-pathy (pathos—suffering)

adeno-pathy-glandular disease

psycho-pathy—à disorder of the mind, insanity

-philia (philein—to like)

hemo-philia—"liking of blood", a disorder marked with haemor rhages

-phobia (phobos—fear)

claustro-phobia—a morbid fear of being in any closed place

hydro-phobia—fear of water, rabies

-plasty (plassein—to form; cf. "plastic" surgeon)

entero-plasty—plastic surgery of the intestines

rhino-plasty—plastic surgery of the nose (rhis, rhin—nose)

-plegia (plég~—stroke)

hemi-plegia—half stroke, paralysis of one side of the body

para-plegia—paralysis of the lower part of the body

-poiesis—making, formation

hemato-poiesis—formation of blood

-ptosis—falling, displacement

hystero-ptosis—prolapse of the uterus

viscero-ptosis—displacement of the internal organs

-pyosis (pyon—pus)

arthro-pyosis—suppuration in a joint

nephro-pyosis—suppuration of the kidney

-rrhagia, -rrhage (rhégnymi—break forth)

hemo-rrhage—bleeding

metro-rrhagia—bleeding from the uterus (métra—uterus)

-rrhaphy (rrhaphè—stitch)

perineo-rrhaphy—suturing of the perineum

urethro-rrhaphy—suture of the urethra

-rrhea (rrhoia—flow)

gono-rrhea—a discharge caused by gonococcus infection

leuco-rrhea—white discharge

-sclerosis —hardening, induration

arterio-sclerosis—hardening of the arteries

arthro-sclerosis—stiffness of the joints

-scope, -scopy (skopein—to view)

cysto-scope—an instrument to view the bladder (kystis—bladder)

ophthalmo-scope—an instrument to view the fundus of the eye

-spasm (spasmos onvulsion, cramp)

entero-spasm—intestinal colic

pyloro-spasm—painful contraction of the pylorus

-stasis —stoppage, checking

hemo-stasis—arrest of bleeding

homeo-stasis—standing still, bodily equilibrium

-staxis —dripping, oozing, slow haemorrhage

entero-staxis—bleeding from the intestines

epi-staxis—nose bleed

-stenosis— narrowing

cardio-stenosis—narrowing of the heart

entero - stenosis—narrowing of the intestines

-stomy (stoma—mouth)

colo-stomy—forming an opening into the colon

cysto-stomy—forming an opening into the bladder

-therapy (therapeia—treatment)

hydro-therapy—treatment by water

phy sio-therapy—treatment by natural means (air, water, massage)

-thermy (thermè - heat)

dia-thermy—elevation of temperature by electric current

electro-thermy—applying heat by electricity

-tomy (tomè—incision)

laparo-tomy—incision into the doin (lapara—loin)

lobo-tomy—operation on the frontal lobe

-trophy (trephein; stem, troph—to nourish)

a-trophy—lack of nourishment, wasting of the tissues of the body

hyper-trophy—excessive nourishment, overgrowth

-uria (úrein—tfrinate)

hemat-uria—blood in the urine

py-uria—pus in the urine

D. LATIN IN MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY

Greek medicine migrated to Rome at an early date, and many Latin terms crept into its terminology. Latin was the language of science up to the beginning of the 18th Century, so all medical texts were written in Latin. The number of Latin root words in medicine is legion. I shall quote just a few as examples.

1. Some Latin root words

  • anus—ring
  • aqua—water
  • bacillus—little rod
  • bucca—cheek
  • cancer—crab
  • caput—head
  • caries—decay
  • cella—chamber
  • cerebrum—brain
  • cervix—neck
  • cor—heart
  • corpus—body
  • cortex—bark
  • cutis—skin
  • dens—tooth
  • facies—face
  • fascia—band
  • febris—fever
  • femur—thigh , thigh bone
  • fetus—embryo
  • foramen—perforation
  • fornix—arch
  • fossa—ditch
  • frons—forehead
  • fundus—base, bottoni
  • glans—gland
  • hernia—rupture
  • ilium—flank
  • labium—lip
  • latús—side
  • lens—lentil
  • ligamentum—binding
  • lingua—tongue
  • lues—plague
  • lupus—wolf
  • manus—hand
  • meatus—opening
  • mens—mind
  • mensis—month
  • morbus—disease
  • nodus~—knot:
  • oculus—eye
  • os—mouth
  • ovurn — egg
  • patella—shallow pan
  • pectus—chest
  • pelvis—basin
  • placenta—flat cake
  • pons—bridge
  • pulmo—lung
  • pupilla—little girl
  • ren—kidney
  • retina—net
  • ruga—wrinkle, furrow
  • saliva—spitele
  • scrotum—pouch
  • sella—chair
  • semen—seed
  • spina—thorn
  • stimulus—goad
  • succus—juice
  • sudor—sweat
  • tabes—wasting
  • talus—ankle
  • tergum—hack
  • tonsilla—pointed pole
  • tunica—garment
  • tussis—cough
  • ulcus—ulcer
  • uterus—womb
  • vagina—sheath
  • valva—valve
  • vas—vessel
  • vena—vein
  • venter—belly
  • vermis—worm
  • vesica—bladder
  • virus—poison

2. Prefixes

When prefixes are joined with a stem, some changes take place, which are essentially the same as the ones outlined in the introduction to the Gr. prefixes. In addition to these, it is to be noted that the final consonant of the Latin prefixes ad-, con- and ob- are usually changed to duplicate the let­ ter which follows, for example:

ad -cept becomes ac -cept con -lateral becomes col- lateral

ad -ferens becomes af -ferens ob- ciput becomes oc -ciput

ad -sume becomes as -nume ob -press becomes op -press, etc.

con -lapse becomes col -lapse

The most important Latin prefixes are listed below with their mean­ ings and a few examples of their use:

a-, ab-, abs— away from, off

a-vulsion—tearing away

ab-ductor—leading away

ab-oral—away from the mouth

abs-tract—a condensation

ad —to, toward

ad-hesion—sticking to

ad-renal—near the kidney, adrenal gland

ac-cretion—accumulation

ap-pendix—hanging upon

ambi, ambo—both, on both sides

ambi-dextrous—able to use both hands

ambi-valent—having power in both directions

ambo-ceptor—accepting both, a substance in the blood

ambo-sexual—bisexual, affecting both sexes

ante — before (in time or space), in front of, forward

ante-cubital—before the elbow

ante-flexion—bending forward

ante-natal—before birth

ante-version—tipping forward

bi-, bis— twice, double

bi-carbonate—a salt having two elements of carbonic acid

bi-cuspid—having two points

bi-lateral—pertaining to both sides

bis-axillary—pertaining to both armpits (axilla)

circum—around, about

circurn-cision—cutting around

circum-flex—bent around

circum-ocular—around the eye

circum-oral—around the mouth

co-, con- (from L. cum)—with, together

co-agulation—changing into a clot

con-cussion—a violent shock

col-lapse—extreme prostration

com-press—pressed together, a compressed pad

contro —against, opposed

contra-ception—against conception

contra-indication—rendering a particular treatment undesirable

contro-stimulant—opposing stimulation

contra-toxin—against toxin

de—down, downward; sometimes a privative

de-ciduous—not permanent, temporary

de-composition—decay, putrefaction

de-mentia—without mind, mental deterioration

de-odorant—taking odor away

di-, dis—an inseparable preposition denoting sundering, apart; sometimes negative

di-gestion—carrying (food) away, digestion

dis-infectant—freeing from infection, an agent that

disinfects dis-location—displacement (of a bone)

dis-sect—cut apart, cut up

e-, ec-, ex—out, out of, off, removal

e-jection—act of throwing out

e-nucleate—to remove whole

ex-tract—something drawn out, extracted

ex-udate (from ec+sudate)—sweat out, sweat

extra-, extro —outside of, outer sfide

extra-cellular—outside the cell

extra-cranial—outside the skull

extra-vasation—a discharge of blood from a vessel into the tissues

extro-vert—a person whose interest is turned outward

in-, i m —in, into, inside

in-cision—cutting cutting in, a cut

in-cubation—lying in, the latent stage of an infectious disease

im-mersion—placing a body under water

im-pacted—pressed closely together, immovable

in-, im—an inseparable prefix indicating a negation; a privative

in-curable—not curable

in-sane- without mind, of unsound mind

im-maculate—without a spot

ir-reducible—not reducible, incapable of being made smaller

infra - below, beneath, downward, lower

infra-inguinal—below the groin

infra-maxillary—below the maxilla

infra-orbital —below the orbit (eye socket)

infra-red—beyond the red end of the spectrum

inter —between

inter-cellular - between cells

inter-digital—between the fingers or toes

inter-mittent—marked by intervals

inter - vertebral—situated between two vertebrae

intra —within, inside of

intra-cellular—within the cell

intra-rectal—within the rectum

intra-uterine—within the uterus

intra-venous—in, into, within a vein

intro —into, inward, within

intro-duction—leading into

intro-flexion—bending inward

intro-mission—insertion

intro-vert—turned within, a person given to introspection

juxta —beside, near

juxta-articular—situated near a joint

juxta-position—an adjacent position

juxta-spinal—dose to the spinal column

ob—in front of, against, near (space or time)

ob-literation—complete removal

ob-stetrics—to stand in front (of a woman), midwifery

ob-struction—the act of blocking or clogging

oc-clusion (from ob- clusion)—the act of closure or state of being closed

per - through, thorough, excessive, very

per-cutancous—through the skin (cutis)

per-forate—to pierce, bore through

per-meable—permitting the passage through

per-oxide—the oxide that contains the greatest number of oxygen atoms

post— behind, following, after (time or space), posterior

post-encephalitis—following or a sequel of encephalitis

post-febrile—after fever (febris)

post-ocular—behind the eye

post-partum–after birth

prae-, E. pre—before (in time or space), in front of, anterior

pre-frontal—the anterior portion of the frontal lobe

pre-gnancy—before birth, gestation

pre-mature—unripe, undeveloped, occurring before the appointed time

pre-oral—in front of the mouth

pro- before, in front of, forward

pro-cess—an advance or progress

pro-ductive—leading forward, capable of producing

pro-lapse—to fall, sink forward

pro-sector—one who prosects, demonstrator of anatomy

re-, red (before a vowel)—back, again

re-current—running back, returned

re-duce—lead back, replace

re-flex—bent back, reacting, reaction

red-integration—renewal, restoration of lost or injured parts

retro- back, backward, behind

retro-flexion—bending backward

retro-grade—going backward, moving backward

retro-nasal—posterior nasal

retro-version—turning backward

se—an inseparable prefix meaning apart, sundering

se-cretion—separation (esp. of various substances from the blood)

se-gregation—removal of certain parts from a mass

se-junction—breaking of continuity

sub-, sup—under (in position or degree), beneath, downward, nearly

sub-acute—not definitely acute

sub-cutaneous—under the skin

sub-liminal—below the threshold (of sensation)

sup-puration (from sub-puration)—the formation of pus

super —above (in position or degree), over, upper part, extreme

super-acute—excessively sharp or acute

super-ciliary—above the eyebrow

super-numerary—in excess of the regular or normal number

super-tension—extreme tension

supra —above, upon, over, upper

supra-costal—above the rib (costa)

supra-pubic—above the pubic arch

supra-renal—above the kidney (ren)

supra-sternal - above the breast (sternum)

trans —across, through, beyond

trans-ference—carry across, displacement of symptoms or effect trans-fusion—pouring across, transfer of blood trans-plantation—grafting of tissues

trans-urethral—through the urethra

ultra —beyond, in excess

ultra-filtration—extra fine filtration

ultra-ligation—ligation of a vessel beyond the origin of a branch

ultra-violet—rays beyond the violet end of the spectrum

ultra-virus—extra virus, filtrable virus

3. Suffixes

-ago, -igo (from L. ago—to drive)—gives an idea of activity

lumb-ago—rheumatism of the lumbar region (lumbus—loin)

prur-igo—itch (prurire—to itch)

veri-igo—dízziness, giddiness (vertere—to turn around)

- alis, E. -al—an adjectival termination
cruci-al—decisive (crux—cross)

digit-al—relating or resembling a digit

dors-al—relating to the back (dorsum) or-

al—relating to the mouth (os, stem or-)

-culum, E. -cle—a diminutive

corpus-cle—little body

folli-cle—little bag (follis)

ventri-cle—little belly, ventricle (venter)

vesi-cle—little bladder (vesica)

-or —denotes a state or an agent

don-or—giver (donare—to give)

levat-or—one that lifts (levare—to lift)

rub-or—redness (ruber—red)

turo-or—swelling (tumescere—to swell)

-orium, Gr. -tèrion—designates a place

sanar-oriurn—a piace for treatment (sanare—to heal)

sens-orium—the seat of sensation (sensus—sense)

tent-orium—tent, an anatomica) part resembling a tent or cov­ ering

-osus, E. -ous or -ose—an adjectival suffix

aque-ous—watery (aqua)

adip-ose—fatty (adeps, stem; adip—fat)

pii-ose—hairy (pilus—hair)

rug-ose—wrinkled (ruga—wrinkle)

-ras, E. -ty—denotes an abstract quality or idea

acidi-ty—the state of being acid (acidum)

immuni-ty—a state resistant to disease (immunis—free from cervice)

in-sani-ty—unsoundness of mind (insanus)

senili-ty—old age (senex—old)

-rio, Fr. and E. -tion—a suffix of verba) roots signifying an action or function

bi-furca-tion—a forking, division finto branches (furca—fork)

in-fiamma-tion—a morbid change in the tissues (fiamma—Rame)

palpa-tion—an examination by the hands (palpare—to feel)

4. Compound words

Latin is, comparatively speaking, poor in compound words. Instead of doubling up words in Latin, significant prefixes or suffixes are added, or the words, retaining their proper syntactical relations, are simply written together as one word (jurisdictio, paterfamilias, etc.). Still, the language contains many genuine compounds of all parts of speech: substantives, verbs, and adverbs.

5. Some compounded words

ilio- (ilium—fiank)

ilio-costal—relating to the ilium, and ribs (costa)

ilio-femoral—relating to the ilium and thigh borse (femur)

ilio-lumbar—relating to the iliac and lumbar region (lumbus‑loin)

ilio-sacral—relating to the ilium and sacrum

latero- (latus, stem later—side)

latero-abdominal—pertaining to the side and abdomen

latero-flexion—a bending or curvature to one side (flectere — to bend)

latero-torsion—twisting to one side (torquere—to twist)

latero-version—turning to one side (vertere—to turo)

6. Some adjectives regularly appearing as first part of a compound

albo —(albus—white)

albo-cinereous—ashen white (cinus, ciner—ash)

albe-ferrin—a tight brown powder with an iron compound (ferrum)

albu-lactin—trade name of a soluble lactalbumin (lac-milk)

anter- (anterior—before, in front of)

antero-grade—moving forward (gradior—to step)

antero-lateral—in front and to the side (latus)

antero-posterior—relating to both front and rear.

dextro —(dexter, dextr—right).

dextro-ocular—right eyed (oculus)

dextro-manual—right handed (manus)

dextro-pedal—right footed (per, stem, ped-)

mal- (malus - bad, evil)

mal-adjustment—poor adjustment

mal-aria—bad air (aria)

mal-formation—congenital deformity

mal-practice—mistreatment of a disease

medio- (medius—middle)

medio-carpal—relating to the central part of the wrist (carpus)

medio-lateral—relating to the middle and one side

medio-tarsal—relating to the middle of the instep (tarsus)

multi- (multus—many)

multi-forra—occurring in many forms

multi-gravida—a woman who has been pregnant many timer

multi-lobar—having several lobes multi-nuclear—having two or more nuclei

pluri- (plus, plur—more)

pluri-glandular—noting several glands or their secretion

pluvi-gravida—a synonym for multi-gravida

pluri-para—a woman who has given birth to three or more children

primi- (primus—first)

primi-para—a woman giving birth the first time

prim-ordial—primitive (ordire—to begin)

postero- (posterior—behind)

postero-lateral—behind and to one side

postero-parietal—relating to the posterior portion of the parietal lobe

semi -half, in part, somewhat

semi-comatose—in a condition of mild coma

semi-flexion—midway between extension and flexion

semi-lunar—half-moon shaped (luna)

semi-luxation—a partial dislocation (luxatio)

sesqui —one and a half, one half more

sesqui-basic—a salt with 3 equivalents of the acid for 2 of the base

sesqui-hora—an hour and a half

sinistro- (sinister, sinistr—left)

sinistro-cerebral— relating to the left cerebral hemisphere

sinistro-lateral—relating to the left side

sinistro-torsion—turning or twisting to the left

uni- (unus—one)

uni-axial—having one axis

uni-lateral—having one side, confined to one side only

uni-nuclear—having one nucleus

7. Some nouns usually appearing as second part of a compound word

-form from L. forma—shape, form—indicating a resemblance to the stem word

cunei-forni—wedge shaped (cuneus)

funi-forra—rope like (funis)

fusi-forni—spindle shaped (fusus)

-fuge from L. fugare—to expel, drive away

centri-fuge—an apparatus driving particles to the center

febri-fuge—reducing fever (febris)

vermi-fugean agent causing expulston of intestina) worms (vermis)

8. Hybrid terms

Many medical terms are a mixture of Greek and Latin. Such terms may be called hybrid terms. They may be Greek words with Latin endings, such as

bacteri-al    de-hydr-ation

derm-al    peri-card-ium hem-al

or L. words with Gr. endings, as

appendic-itis    fibr-oma

tonsill-itis    granul-oma, etc.

or a mixture of Gr. and L. in one compound such as

cancer-ology    para-sacral

colori-meter    post-hepatic

mono-nuclear    veno-tomy oculo-gyric

viscero-ptosis    and many others.

E. “FALSE FRIENDS” 

The term false friends is used to describe pairs of words in two languages that look or sound similar but differ in meaning.

In the medical language, there are many false analogies between English and Italian and the most common I have individualized in my research are:

Agony – doesn't mean estrema sofferenza fisica. While agonia is translated to be dying.

Anguished – sofferente, while angosciato is translated desperate, upset.

Callous – insensibile alle sofferenze altrui, while calloso is translated callose.

Care- doesn't mean cura, but attenzione, diligenza,

Collapse- crollo, collasso (not in a medical sense, while collasso (in a medical sense) is translated faintness.

Commotion – confusione tumulto, while trauma cranico is translated concussion.

Culture – coltura (terreno di coltura). For example, Blood culture

Cura – in the medical language is treatment, from which to treat is derived, that is curare and not to care that means interessarsi.

Cute - grazioso. C ute is translated skin.

Delusion doesn't mean disappointment, but illusion.

Desire doesn't mean wish, but sexual desire.

Diffidence, doesn't mean distrust, but luck of self-confidence.

Discomfort doesn't mean discouragement, but inconvenience.

Distracted doesn't mean preoccupied, but very agitated.

Drug - doesn't mean only droga, but medicine .

Emotive doesn't mean emotional, but that is impressive.

Fatigue doesn't mean tiredness, but exertion.

Folly doesn't mean madness, but eccentric.

Gay doesn't mean Light hearted, but homosexual.

Inane doesn't mean vane, but silly.

Incapable doesn't mean incompetent, but unfit.

Incident doesn't mean accident, but event.

Ingenuity doesn't mean naiveté, but cleverness.

Injure doesn't mean insult, but to hurt.

Jolly doesn't mean joker, but jovial.

Lunatic, doesn't mean changeable, but crazy.

Meagre doesn't mean thin, but insufficient.

Miser doesn't mean unhappy, but stingy.

Nervous – doesn't mean anxious but nerve.

Pace doesn't mean peace, but walk.

Pest doesn't mean plague, but parasite.

Physician – means medical man. While physicist means physics man.

Progeny – prole, cellule figlie dette anche offspring.

Pulse – polso nel senso di battito. Il polso in senso anatomico is translated wrist.

Rate doesn't mean rata(instalment), but ritmo, frequenza.

Response doesn't mean report, but reaction.

Sane doesn't mean healthy, but balanced.

Sibling, or sibl means one of two people with a parent in common. Sibilo is translated rale or biss.

Spin doesn't mean thorn, bone, but backbone.

Talon doesn't mean heel, but claw.

Tissue –means connective tissue but also paper.

To defect – doesn't mean to be lacking, but desert.

To hurt doesn't mean to knock into, but causing pain.

To impress doesn't mean to shock, but to hit.

To prevent doesn't mean to anticipate, but not to allow.

To recover doesn't mean to go into a hospital, to be admitted, but to restore to health

To salve - means to take care and not to rescue, that is synonymous of to save.

Unable doesn't mean only unfit, but incompetent.

Visit in a generic sense corresponds to visit, while medical test is said examination.

F. EPONYMS, ABBREVIATIONS, ACRONYMS AND ELISIONS

The eponyms are compounds that contain a proper noun, whose translation concerns therefore only the common name, or rather the denoted that is specified by the proper noun. There are also numerous syndromes, illnesses or anatomical parts that take their name from the doctors or from the scientists who have described them first.

Acronyms and abbreviations allow a considerable conciseness to the doctor, also preserving the completeness of the information. Such abbreviations are part of the verbal linguistic code. The use of acronyms is another English influence. Several acronyms are the same as in English, for instance AIDS and DNA, but some English acronyms have an Italian correspondent acronym, for instance NSAID: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, in Italian is FANS : Farmaco antinfiammatorio Non Steroideo ; CT: Computerized Tomography, in Italian is TC : Tomografia Computerizzata.

Two types of acronyms and abbreviations exist: permanent and subjective, or created by the author of a text, explained one time at the beginning and then widely used at the purpose of making more synthetic the same text. Initially, in fact, I have found some difficulties in recognizing some abbreviations as synonyms of a term. Some abbreviations have revealed to be more frequent than the same term and have become therefore main term, as in the case of OSAS and CSA. The acronym TB, for Tuberculosis c orresponds to the Italian TBC, tuberculosis; HR for Heart rate and, is equivalent to the Italian FC, frequenza cardiaca. Some acronyms are matched with some symbols, as for instance @ that means murmr (puff).

Another example of conciseness is the elision of a part of some terms, as for instance, Polio that replaces Poliomyelitis and Prem, Premature.

The necessity of conciseness and exactness causes the coinage of very long terms, for which the use of abbreviations and acronyms is preferred, answering to the principle of concision, but in the meantime maintaining the completeness of the information, as in the case of ECG, electrocardiogram, equivalent to the ECG, in Italian electrocardiograma ; ROA, Right occipitoanterior, that corresponds to the Italian OIDA, occipito-illiaca anterior right, or OSAS - obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, Ag.- Antigen, CSA - central sleep apnea, and PLMD - periodic limb movement disorder. 

This is a partial list of the many medical acronyms routinely encountered in the hospital

A

Abbreviation

Meaning

AAA

abdominal aortic aneurysm

A-a gradient

alveolar to arterial gradient

AAD

antibiotic-associated diarrhea

AAO

alert, awake, and oriented

A&O

alert & oriented

AAS

acute abdominal series

ABD

abdomen

ABG

arterial blood gas

AC

before eating

ACLS

advanced cardiac life support

ACTH

adrenocorticotropic hormone

ADH

anti-diuretic hormone

ADR

adverse drug reaction. | acute dystonic reaction

ad lib

as much as needed

AED

antiepileptic drug

AF

atrial fibrillation or afebrile

AFB

acid-fast bacilli

AFP

alpha-fetoprotein

A /G

albumin/globulin ratio

AI

aortic insufficiency

AKA 

above the knee amputation

ALD

alcoholic liver disease

ALL

acute lymphocytic leukemia

amb

ambulate

AML

acute myelogenous leukemia

ANA

antinuclear antibody

ANS

autonomic nervous system

AOB

alcohol on breath

AODM

adult onset diabetes mellitus

AP

anteroposterior or abdominal - perineal

ARDS

acute respiratory distress syndrome

ARF

acute renal failure

AS

aortic stenosis

ASAP

as soon as possible                     

ASCVD

atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

ASD

atrial septal defect

ASHD

atherosclerotic heart disease

AV

atrioventricular

A-V

arteriovenous

A-VO2

arteriovenous oxygen

B

BBB

bundle branch block

BCAA

branched chain amino acids

BE

barium enema

BEE

basal energy expenditure

bid

twice a day

BKA

below the knee amputation

BM

bone marrow or bowel movement

BMR

basal metabolic rate

BOM

bilateral otitis media

BP

blood pressure

BPH

benign prostatic hypertrophy                    

BPM

beats per minute

BRBPR

bright red blood per rectum

BRP

bathroom priviledges

BS

bowel or breath sounds

BUN

blood urea nitrogen

BW

body weight

BX

biopsy

C

c

with

C&S

culture and sensitivity

CA

cancer

Ca

calcium

CAA

crystalline amino acids

CABG

coronary artery bypass graft

CAD

coronary artery disease

CAT

computerized axial tomography

CBC

complete blood count

CBG

capillary blood gas

CC

chief complaint

CCU

clean catch urine or cardiac care unit

CCV

critical closing volume

CF

cystic fibrosis

CGL

chronic granulocytic leukemia

CHF

congestive heart failure

CHO

carbohydrate

CI

cardiac index

CML

chronic myelogenous leukemia

CMV

cytomegalovirus

CN

cranial nerves

CNS 

central nervous system

CO

cardiac output

C/O

complaining of

COLD

chronic obstructive lung disease

COPD

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

CP

chest pain or cerebral palsy

CPAP

continuous positive airway pressure

CPK

creatine phosphokinase

CPR

cardiopulmonary resuscitation

CRCL

creatinine clearance

CRF

chronic renal failure

CRP

C-reactive protein

CSF

cerebrospinal fluid

CT

computerized tomography

CVA

cerebrovascular accident or costovertebral angle

CVAT

CVA tenderness

CVP

central venous pressure

CXR

chest X-ray

D

DAT

diet as tolerated

DAW

dispense as written

DC

discontinue or discharge

D&C

dilation and curettage

DDx

differential diagnosis

D5W

5% dextrose in water

DI

diabetes insipidus

DIC

disseminated intravascular coagulopathy

DIP

distal interphalangeal  joint

DJD

degenerative joint disease

DKA

diabetic ketoacidosis

dL

deciliter

DM

diabetes mellitus

DNR 

do not resuscitate

DOA

dead on arrival

DOE

dyspnea on exertion

DPL

diagnostic peritoneal lavage

DPT

diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus

DTR

deep tendon reflexes

DVT

deep venous thrombosis

DX

diagnosis

E

EAA

essential amino acids

EBL

estimated blood loss

ECG

electrocardiogram

ECT

electroconvulsive therapy

EFAD

essential fatty acid deficiency

EMG

Electromyogram

EMV

eyes, motor, verbal response (Glasgow coma scale)

ENT

ears, nose, and throat

EOM

extraocular muscles

ESR

erythrocyte sedimentation rate

ET

endotracheal

ETT

endotracheal tube

ERCP

endoscopic retrograde cholangio -pancreatography

ETOH

ethanol

EUA

examination under anesthesia

F

FBS

fasting blood sugar

FEV

forced expiratory volume

FFP

fresh frozen plasma

FRC

functional residual capacity

FTT

failure to thrive

FU

follow-up

FUO

fever of unknown origin

FVC

forced vital capacity

Fx

fracture

G

GC

gonorrhea

GETT

general by endotracheal tube

GFR

glomerular filtration rate

GI

gastrointestinal

gr

grain;  1 grain = 65mg. Therefore Vgr = 325mg

GSW

gun shot wound

gt or gtt

drops

GTT

glucose tolerance test

GU

genitourinary

GXT

graded exercise tolerance (Stress test)

H

HA

headache

HAA

hepatitis  B surface antigen

HAV

hepatitis A virus

HBP

high blood pressure

HCG

human chorionic gonadotropin

HCT

hematocrit

HDL

high density lipoprotein

HEENT

head, eyes, ears, nose, throat

Hgb

hemoglobin

H/H

henderson- hasselbach equation or hemoglobin/ hematocrit

HIV

human immunodeficiency virus

HLA

histocompatibility locus antigen

HJR

hepatojugular reflex

HO

history of

HOB

head of bed

HPF

high power field

HPI

history of present illness

HR

heart rate

HS

at bedtime

HSM

hepatosplenomegaly

HTLV-III

human lymphotropic virus, type III (AIDS agent, HIV)

HSV

herpes simplex virus

HTN

hypertension

Hx

history

I

I&D

incision and drainage

I&O

intake and output

ICS

intercostal space

ICU

intensive care unit

ID

infectious disease or identification

IDDM

insulin dependent diabetes mellitus

IG

immunoglobulin

IHSS

idiopathic hypertropic subaortic stenosis

IM

intramuscular

IMV

intermittent mandatory ventilation

INF

intravenous nutritional fluid

IPPB

intermittent positive pressure breathing

IRBBB

incomplete right bundle branch block

IRDM

insulin resistant diabetes mellitus

IT

interthecal

ITP

idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura

IV

intravenous

IVC

intravenous cholangiogram  | inferior vena cava

IVP

intravenous pyelogram

J

JODM

juvenile onset diabetes mellitus

JVD

 jugular venous distention

K

KOR

keep open rate

KUB

kidneys, ureters, bladder

KVO

keep vein open

L

L

left

LAD

left axis deviation or left anterior descending

LAE

left atrial enlargement

LAHB

left anterior hemiblock

LAP

left atrial pressure or leukocyte alkaline phosphatase

LBBB

left bundle branch block

LDH

lactate dehydrogenase

LE

lupus erythematosus

LIH

left inguinal hernia

LLL

left lower lobe

LMP

last menstrual period

LNMP

last normal menstrual period

LOC

loss of consciousness or level of consciousness

LP

lumbar puncture

LPN

licensed practical nurse

LUL

left upper lobe

LUQ

Left Upper Quadrant

LV

left ventricle

LVEDP

left ventricular end diastolic pressure

LVH

left ventricular hypertrophy

M

MAO

monoamine oxidase

MAP

mean arterial pressure

MAST

medical antishock trousers

MBT

maternal blood type

MCH

mean cell hemoglobin

MCHC

mean cell hemoglobin concentration

MCV

mean cell volume

MI

myocardial infarction or mitral insufficiency

mL

milliliter

MLE

midline episiotomy

MMEF

maximal mid expiratory flow

mmol

millimole

MMR

measles, mumps, rubella

MRI

magnetic resonance imaging

MRSA

methicillin resistant staph aureus

MS

multiple sclerosis or mitral stenosis, or morphine sulfate

MSSA

methicillin-sensitive staph aureus

MVA

motor vehicle accident

MVI

multivitamin injection

MVV

maximum voluntary ventilation

N

NAD

no active disease

NAS

no added salt

NCV

nerve conduction velocity

NED

no evidence of recurrent disease

ng

nanogram

NG

nasogastric

NIDDM

non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus

NKA

no known allergies

NKDA

no known drug allergies

NMR

nuclear magnetic resonance

NPO

nothing by mouth

NRM

no regular medications

NSAID

non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs

NSR

normal sinus rhythm

NT

nasotracheal

O

OB

obstetrics

OCG

oral cholecystogram

OD

overdose or right eye

OM

otitis media

OOB

out of bed

OOP

out of plaster

OPV

oral polio vaccine

OR

operating room

OS

left eye

OU

both eyes

P

P

para

PA

posteroanterior

PAC

premature atrial contraction

PAO2

alveolar oxygen

PaO2

peripheral arterial oxygen content

PAP

pulmonary artery pressure

PAT

paroxysymal atrial tachycardia

P&PD

percussion and postural drainage

PC

after eating

PCWP

pulmonary capillary wedge pressure

PDA

patent ductus arteriosus

PDR

physicians desk reference

PE

pulmonary embolus, or physical exam or pleural effusion

PEEP

positive end expiratory pressure

PFT

pulmonary function tests

pg

picogram

PI

pulmonic insufficiency disease

PKU

phenylketonuria

PMH

previous medical history

PMI

point of maximal impulse

PMN

polymorphonuclear leukocyte (neutrophil)

PND

paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea

PO

by mouth

POD

post-op day

PP

postprandial or pulsus paradoxus

PPD

purified protein derivative

PR

by rectum

PRBC

packed red blood cells

PRN

as needed

PS

pulmonic stenosis

PT

prothrombin time, or physical therapy

Pt

patient

PTCA

percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty

PTH

parathyroid hormone

PTHC

percutanous transhepatic cholangiogram

PTT

partial thromboplastin time

PUD

peptic ulcer disease

PVC

premature ventricular contraction

PVD

peripheral vascular disease

Q

q

every   (e.g.  q6h = every 6 hours)

qd

every day

qh

every hour

q4h, q6h....

every 4 hours, every 6 hours etc.

qid

four times a day

QNS

quantity not sufficient

qod

every other day

Qs/Qt

shunt fraction

Qt

total cardiac output

R

R

right

RA

rheumatoid arthritis or right atrium

RAD

right atrial axis deviation

RAE

right atrial enlargement

RAP

right atrial pressure

RBBB

right bundle branch block

RBC

red blood cell

RBP

retinol-binding protein

RDA

recommended daily allowance

RDW

red cell distribution width

RIA

radioimmunoassay

RIH

right inguinal hernia

RLL

right lower lobe

RLQ

right lower quadrant

RML

right middle lobe

RNA

ribonucleic acid

R/O

rule out

ROM

range of motion

ROS

review of systems

RPG

retrograde pyelogram

RRR

regular rate and rhythm

RT

respiratory or radiation therapy

RTA

renal tubular acidosis

RTC

return to clinic

RU

resin uptake

RUG

retrograde urethogram

RUL

right upper lobe

RUQ

right upper quadrant

RV

residual volume

RVH

right ventricular hyperthrophy

Rx

treatment

S

s

without  |  ss = one-half

SA

sinoatrial

SAA

synthetic amino acid

S&E

sugar and acetone

SBE

subacute bacterial endocarditis

SBFT

small bowel follow through

SBS

short bowel syndrome

SCr

serum creatinine

SEM

systolic ejection murmur

SG

Swan-Ganz

SGA

small for gestational age

SGGT

serum gamma- glutamyl transpeptidase

SGOT

serum glutamic- oxaloacetic transaminase

SGPT

serum glutamic- pyruvic transaminase

SIADH

syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone

sig

write on label

SIMV

synchronous intermittent mandatory ventilation

sl

sublingual

SLE

systemic lupus erythematous

SMO

slips made out

SOAP

subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan

SOB

shortness of breath

SQ

subcutaneous

STAT

immediately

SVD

spontaneous vaginal delivery

Sx

symptoms

T

T&C

type and cross

TAH

total abdominal hysterectomy

T&H

type and hold

TB

tuberculosis

TBG

total binding globulin

Td

tetanus-diphtheria toxoid

TIA

transient ischemic attack

TIBC

total iron binding capacity

tid

three times a day

TIG

tetanus immune globulin

TKO

to keep open

TLC

total lung capacity

TMJ

temporo mandibular joint

TNTC

too numerous to count

TO

telephone order

TOPV

trivalent  oral polio vaccine

TPN

total parenteral nutrition

TSH

thyroid stimulating hormone

TT

thrombin time

TTP

thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

TU

tuberculin units

TUR

transurethral resection

TURBT

TUR bladder  tumors

TURP

transurethral  resection of prostate

TV

tidal volume

TVH

total vaginal hysterectomy

tw

twice a week

Tx

treatment,  transplant

U

UA

urinalysis

UAC

uric acid  |  umbilical artery catheter

UAO

upper airway obstruction

UBD

universal blood donor

UC

ulcerative colitis  | umbilical cord

ud

as directed

UFH

unfractionated heparin

UGI

upper gastrointestinal

URI

upper respiratory infection

URQ

upper right quadrant

US

ultrasound

UTI

urinary tract infection

UUN

urinary urea nitrogen

UVA

ultraviolet A light

V

VAD

venous access device

VC

vital capacity

VCT

venous clotting time

VCUG

voiding cysourethrogram

VDRL

Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (test for syphilis)

VMA

vanillymadelic acid

VO

verbal or voice order

V/Q

ventilation - perfusion

VRE

vancomycin-resistant enterococcus

VSS

vital signs stable

VT

ventricular tachycardia

VV

varicose veins

VW

vessel wall

VWD

von Willebrand's disease

VZV

varicella zoster virus

W

WB

whole blood

WBC

white blood cell or count

WBR

whole body radiation

WD

well developed

WF

white female

WIA

wounded in action

WID

widow, widower

WM

white male

WN

well nourished

WNL

within normal limits

WO

written order |  weeks old  |  wide open.

WOP

without pain

W.P.

whirlpool

WPW

Wolff-Parkinson-White

W-T-D

wet to dry

W/U

workup

X

X2d

times 2 days.

XI

eleven

XII

twelve

XL

extended release. |  extra large.

XM

crossmatch

XMM

xeromammography

XOM

extraocular movements

XRT

X-ray therapy (radiation therapy)

XS

excessive

XULN

times upper limit of normal

Y

YF

yellow fever

YLC

youngest living child

yo

years old

YOB

year of birth

yr

year

ytd

year to date

Z

ZDV

zidovudine

ZE

Zollinger-Ellison

Z-ESR

zeta erythrocyte sedimentation rate

Zn

zinc

ZnO

zinc oxide

ZSB

zero stools since birth



1 Most of the definitions of medical terms are taken from Stedman's Practical medical dictionary, 16th revised edition, Baltimore, Williams, 1946. For difficult terms the well­- known standard medical dictionaries in English (Black, Dorland, Gould) were consulted occasionally.





Published in January 2018.






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