Dictionary of
Specialist dictionariesDictionary of Accounting 978 0 7136 8286 1Dictionary of Agriculture 978 0 7136 7778 2Dictionary of ...
Dictionary ofMedical Termsfourth editionA & C Black ț London
www.acblack.comWhile every effort has been made to be as accurate as possible, the author,advisers, editors and publishers...
PrefaceThis dictionary provides the user with the basic vocabulary currently beingused in a wide range of healthcare situa...
Pronunciation GuideThe following symbols have been used to show the pronunciation of the mainwords in the dictionary.Stres...
AAA /e/ noun a human blood type of the ABOsystem, containing the A antigen (NOTE: Some-one with type A can donate to peop...
abduction 2the centre line of the body, or to pull a toe orfinger away from the central line of a leg orarm. Compare adduc...
3 acetabulumsorbed into the body, and does not need to beremovedabsorbent cottonabsorbent cotton /əb zɔ bənt kɒt(ə)n/noun ...
acetaminophen 4acetaminophenacetaminophen /ə si tə mnəfən/ noun USsame as paracetamolacetazolamideacetazolamide /ə si tə ...
5 acuityacoustic neurofibromaacoustic neurofibroma /ə ku stknjυərəυfa brəυmə/, acoustic neuroma /əku stk njυə rəυmə/ no...
acupressure 6acupressureacupressure / kjυpreʃə/ noun a treatmentwhich is based on the same principle as acu-puncture in wh...
7 adiposuriaadductadduct /ə d kt/ verb (of a muscle) to pull aleg or arm towards the central line of the body,or to pull a...
adiposus 8adiposusadiposus / d pəυsəs/ ‘ panniculus adi-posusaditusaditus / dtəs/ noun an opening or entranceto a passag...
9 aflatoxinadsorbentadsorbent / d sɔ bənt/ adjective being ca-pable of adsorptionadsorptionadsorption / d sɔ pʃ(ə)n/ noun ...
African trypanosomiasis 10African trypanosomiasisAfrican trypanosomiasis / frkəntrpənəυsəυ maəss/ noun same as sleep-i...
11 Albee’s operationprime mover 2. a substance which produces anobservable physiological effect by actingthrough specific ...
albicans 12the femur to the pelvis [After Frederick HoudlettAlbee (1876–1945), US surgeon]albicansalbicans / lbk nz/ ‘ co...
13 allo-alienationalienation / eliə neʃ(ə)n/ noun a psycho-logical condition in which a person developsthe feeling of no...
allodynia 14allodyniaallodynia / lə dniə/ noun pain of the skincaused by something such as clothing whichusually does not...
15 amniaamaurosis fugaxamaurosis fugax / mɔ rəυss fju ks/noun temporary blindness in one eye, causedby problems of circul...
amnihook 16amnihookamnihook / mnihυk/ noun a hooked instru-ment used to induce labour by pulling on theamniotic sacamnioam...
17 analysisamyotonia congenitaamyotonia congenita / emaətəυniə kənd entə/ noun a congenital disease of chil-dren in whi...
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Mediccal dictionary

  1. 1. Dictionary of
  2. 2. Specialist dictionariesDictionary of Accounting 978 0 7136 8286 1Dictionary of Agriculture 978 0 7136 7778 2Dictionary of Aviation 978 0 7136 8734 7Dictionary of Banking and Finance 978 0 7136 7739 3Dictionary of Business 978 0 7136 7918 2Dictionary of Computing 978 0 7475 6622 9Dictionary of Economics 978 0 7136 8203 8Dictionary of Environment and Ecology 978 0 7475 7201 5Dictionary of Food Science and Nutrition 978 0 7136 7784 3Dictionary of Human Resources and Personnel Management 978 0 7136 8142 0Dictionary of ICT 978 0 7475 6990 9Dictionary of Information and Library Management 978 0 7136 7591 7Dictionary of Law 978 0 7136 8318 9Dictionary of Leisure, Travel and Tourism 978 0 7136 8545 9Dictionary of Marketing 978 0 7475 6621 2Dictionary of Media Studies 978 0 7136 7593 1Dictionary of Nursing 978 0 7136 8286 8Dictionary of Politics and Government 978 0 7475 7220 6Dictionary of Publishing and Printing 978 0 7136 7589 4Dictionary of Science and Technology 978 0 7475 6620 5Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science 978 0 7136 7785 0Easier English™ titlesEasier English Basic Dictionary 978 0 7475 6644 1Easier English Basic Synonyms 978 0 7475 6979 4Easier English Intermediate Dictionary 978 0 7475 6989 3Easier English Student Dictionary 978 0 7475 6624 3Check Your English Vocabulary workbooksAcademic English 978 0 7136 8285 4Banking and Finance 978 0 7136 8250 2Business and Administration 978 0 7136 7916 8Computers and Information Technology 978 0 7136 7917 5Human Resources 978 0 7475 6997 8IELTS 978 0 7136 7604 4Law 978 0 7136 7592 4Living in the UK 978 0 7136 7914 4Medicine 978 0 7136 7590 0PET 978 0 7475 6627 4Phrasal Verbs and Idioms 978 0 7136 7805 5TOEFL® 978 0 7136 8414 8TOEIC® 978 0 7136 7508 5Visit our website for full details of all our books: www.acblack.com
  3. 3. Dictionary ofMedical Termsfourth editionA & C Black ț London
  4. 4. www.acblack.comWhile every effort has been made to be as accurate as possible, the author,advisers, editors and publishers of this book cannot be held liable for any errorsand omissions, or actions that may be taken as a consequence of using it.First published in Great Britain in1987as English Medical DictionarySecond edition published 1993Third edition published 2000Fourth edition published 2004Reprinted 2005, 2007A & C Black Publishers Ltd37 Soho Square, London W1D 3QZ© P. H. Collin 1987, 1993, 2000© Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2004© A & C Black Publishers Ltd 2005All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproducedin any form or by any means without the permission of the publishersA CIP record for this book is available from the British LibraryeISBN-13: 978-1-4081-0209-1Text Production and ProofreadingHeather Bateman, Ruth Hillmore, Daisy Jackson, Sarah Lusznat,Katy McAdam, Charlotte ReganThis book is produced using paper that is made from wood grown in managed,sustainable forests. It is natural, renewable and recyclable. The logging andmanufacturing processes conform to the environmental regulations of the countryof origin.Text computer typeset by A & C BlackPrinted in Spain by Graphycems
  5. 5. PrefaceThis dictionary provides the user with the basic vocabulary currently beingused in a wide range of healthcare situations. The areas covered include thetechnical language used in diagnosis, patient care, surgery, pathology,general practice, pharmacy, dentistry and other specialisations, as well asanatomical and physiological terms. Informal, everyday and sometimeseuphemistic terms commonly used by people in discussing their conditionwith healthcare professionals are also included, as are common words usedin reading or writing reports, articles or guidelines.The dictionary is designed for anyone who needs to check the meaning orpronunciation of medical terms, but especially for those working inhealth-related areas who may not be healthcare professionals or for whomEnglish is an additional language. Each headword is explained in clear,straightforward English. Pronunciations, uncommon plurals and uncommonverb forms are provided. Illustrations of some basic anatomical terms arealso included.Very many people have helped or advised on the compilation and checkingof the dictionary in its various editions. In particular, thanks are due to DrJudith Harvey for her helpful comments and advice on this fourth editionand to Dr Marie Condon for some revisions and clarification. Also to LesleyBennun, Lesley Brown and Margaret Baker who copy-edited the text andDinah Jackson who revised the pronunciations.
  6. 6. Pronunciation GuideThe following symbols have been used to show the pronunciation of the mainwords in the dictionary.Stress is indicated by a main stress mark ( ) and a secondary stress mark ( ). Notethat these are only guides, as the stress of the word changes according to its positionin the sentence.Vowels Consonantsback b buckɑ harm d deadɒ stop ð othera type d jumpaυ how f fareaə hire goldaυə hour h headɔ course j yellowɔ annoy k cabe head l leaveeə fair m mixe make n nileυ go ŋ singword p printi keep r resti happy s saveə about ʃ shop fit t takeə near tʃ changeu annual θ theftu pool v valueυ book w workυə tour x lochshut measurez zone
  7. 7. AAA /e/ noun a human blood type of the ABOsystem, containing the A antigen (NOTE: Some-one with type A can donate to people of thesame group or of the AB group, and can receiveblood from people with type A or type O.)AAAA abbr Alcoholics AnonymousA & EA & E / e ənd i /, A & E department / e əndi d pɑ tmənt/ noun same as accident andemergency departmentA & E medicineA & E medicine / e ənd i med(ə)sn/noun the medical procedures used in A & E de-partmentsABAB / e bi / noun a human blood type of theABO system, containing the A and B antigens(NOTE: Someone with type AB can donate topeople of the same group and receive bloodfrom people with type O, A, AB or B.)ab-ab- / b/ prefix away fromABCABC / e bi si / noun the basic initial checksof a casualty’s condition. Full form airway,breathing and circulationabdomenabdomen / bdəmən/ noun a space insidethe body below the diaphragm, above the pel-vis and in front of the spine, containing thestomach, intestines, liver and other vital or-gans ć pain in the abdomen (NOTE: For otherterms referring to the abdomen, see words be-ginning with coeli-, coelio-.)COMMENT: The abdomen is divided for medi-cal purposes into nine regions: at the top, theright and left hypochondriac regions with theepigastrium between them; in the centre, theright and left lumbar regions with the umbilicalbetween them; and at the bottom, the rightand left iliac regions with the hypogastriumbetween them.abdomin-abdomin- / bdɒmn/ prefix same as abdom-ino- (used before vowels)abdominalabdominal / b dɒmn(ə)l/ adjective locatedin the abdomen, or relating to the abdomenabdominal aortaabdominal aorta / b dɒmn(ə)l e ɔ tə/noun the part of the aorta which lies betweenthe diaphragm and the point where the aortadivides into the iliac arteries. See illustration atKIDNEY in Supplementabdominal cavityabdominal cavity / b dɒmn(ə)l k vti/noun the space in the body below the chestabdominal distensionabdominal distension / b dɒmn(ə)l dstenʃ(ə)n/ noun a condition in which the abdo-men is stretched because of gas or fluidabdominal painabdominal pain / b dɒmn(ə)l pen/ nounpain in the abdomen caused by indigestion ormore serious disordersabdominal visceraabdominal viscera / b dɒmn(ə)l vsərə/plural noun the organs which are contained inthe abdomen, e.g. the stomach, liver and intes-tinesabdominal wallabdominal wall / b dɒmn(ə)l wɔ l/ nounmuscular tissue which surrounds the abdomenabdomino-abdomino- / bdɒmnəυ/ prefix referring tothe abdomenabdominopelvicabdominopelvic / b dɒmnəυ pelvk/ ad-jective referring to the abdomen and pelvisabdominoperinealabdominoperineal / b dɒmnəυperni əl/ adjective referring to the abdomen andperineumabdominoperineal excisionabdominoperineal excision / b dɒmnəυper ni əl k s (ə)n/ noun a surgicaloperation that involves cutting out tissue inboth the abdomen and the perineumabdominoposteriorabdominoposterior / b dɒmnəυpɒstəriə/ adjective referring to a position of afetus in the uterus, where the fetus’s abdomenis facing the mother’s backabdominoscopyabdominoscopy / b dɒm nɒskəpi/ nounan internal examination of the abdomen, usu-ally with an endoscopeabdominothoracicabdominothoracic / b dɒmnəυθɔ r sk/adjective referring to the abdomen and thoraxabduceabduce / b dju s/ verb same as abductabducens nerveabducens nerve / b dju s(ə)nz n v/noun the sixth cranial nerve, which controlsthe muscle which makes the eyeball turn out-wardsabducentabducent / b dju s(ə)nt/ adjective referringto a muscle which brings parts of the bodyaway from each other or moves them awayfrom the central line of the body or a limb.Compare adducentabducent nerveabducent nerve / b dju sənt n v/ nounsame as abducens nerveabductabduct / b d kt/ verb (of a muscle) to pull aleg or arm in a direction which is away fromMedicine.fm Page 1 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  8. 8. abduction 2the centre line of the body, or to pull a toe orfinger away from the central line of a leg orarm. Compare adductabductionabduction / b d kʃən/ noun the movementof a part of the body away from the centre lineof the body or away from a neighbouring part.Opposite adduction. See illustration at ANA-TOMICAL TERMS in Supplement‘Mary was nursed in a position of not more than 90°upright with her legs in abduction.’ [BritishJournal of Nursing]abductorabductor / b d ktə/, abductor muscle / bd ktə m s(ə)l/ noun a muscle which pulls apart of the body away from the centre line ofthe body or away from a neighbouring part.Opposite adductoraberrantaberrant / berənt/ adjective not usual or ex-pectedaberrationaberration / bə reʃ(ə)n/ noun an action orgrowth which is not usual or expectedablationablation / bleʃ(ə)n/ noun the removal ofan organ or of a part of the body by surgeryabnormalabnormal / b nɔ m(ə)l/ adjective not usualć abnormal behaviour ć an abnormal move-ment‘…the synovium produces an excess of synovial flu-id, which is abnormal and becomes thickened. Thiscauses pain, swelling and immobility of the affectedjoint.’ [Nursing Times]abnormalityabnormality / bnɔ m lti/ noun a form orcondition which is not usual (NOTE: For otherterms referring to abnormality, see words begin-ning with terat-, terato-.)‘Even children with the milder forms of sickle-celldisease have an increased frequency of pneumococ-cal infection. The reason for this susceptibility is aprofound abnormality of the immune system in chil-dren with SCD.’ [Lancet]abocclusionabocclusion / bɒ klu (ə)n/ noun a condi-tion in which the teeth in the top and bottomjaws do not touchaboralaboral / b ɔ rəl/ adjective situated awayfrom or opposite the mouthabortabort /ə bɔ t/ verb to eject an embryo or fetus,or to cause an embryo or fetus to be ejected,and so end a pregnancy before the fetus is fullydevelopedabortifacientabortifacient /ə bɔ t feʃ(ə)nt/ noun a drugor instrument which provokes an abortionabortionabortion /ə bɔ ʃ(ə)n/ noun a situation wherea fetus leaves the uterus before it is fully devel-oped, especially during the first 28 weeks ofpregnancy, or a procedure which causes this tohappen ˽ to have an abortion to have an op-eration to make a fetus leave the uterus duringthe first period of pregnancyCOMMENT: In the UK, an abortion can be car-ried out legally if two doctors agree that themother’s life is in danger, that she risks gravepermanent injury to the physical or mentalhealth of herself or her children, or that the fe-tus is likely to be born with severe disabilities.abortionistabortionist /ə bɔ ʃ(ə)nst/ noun a personwho helps a woman abort, usually a personwho performs an illegal abortionabortion pillabortion pill /ə bɔ ʃ(ə)n pl/ noun a drugthat causes an abortion to occur very early inpregnancyabortion trauma syndromeabortion trauma syndrome /ə bɔ ʃ(ə)ntrɔ mə sndrəυm/ noun a set of symptomssometimes experienced in the period after anabortion including guilt, anxiety, depression,low self-esteem, eating and sleeping disordersand suicidal thoughtsabortiveabortive /ə bɔ tv/ adjective not successful ćan abortive attemptabortive poliomyelitisabortive poliomyelitis /ə bɔ tv pəυliəυmaə lats/ noun a mild form of polio whichonly affects the throat and intestinesabortusabortus /ə bɔ təs/ noun a fetus which is ex-pelled during an abortion or miscarriageabortus feverabortus fever /ə bɔ təs fi və/ noun same asbrucellosisABO systemABO system / e bi əυ sstəm/ noun asystem of classifying blood groups. ı bloodgroupabrasionabrasion /ə bre (ə)n/ noun a condition inwhich the surface of the skin has been rubbedoff by a rough surface and bleedsCOMMENT: As the intact skin is an efficient bar-rier to bacteria, even minor abrasions can al-low infection to enter the body and thusshould be cleaned and treated with an anti-septic.abreactabreact / bri kt/ verb to release uncon-scious psychological tension by talking aboutor regularly remembering the events thatcaused itabreactionabreaction / bri kʃən/ noun the treat-ment of a person with a neurosis by makinghim or her think again about past bad experi-encesabruptio placentaeabruptio placentae /ə br ptiəυ plə senti /noun an occasion when the placenta suddenlycomes away from the uterus earlier than itshould, often causing shock and bleedingabscessabscess / bses/ noun a painful swollenarea where pus forms ć She had an abscessunder a tooth. ć The doctor decided to lancethe abscess. (NOTE: The formation of an abscessis often accompanied by a high temperature.The plural is abscesses.)COMMENT: An acute abscess can be dealt withby opening and draining when it has reachedthe stage where sufficient pus has beenformed. A chronic abscess is usually treatedwith drugs.absolute alcoholabsolute alcohol / bsəlu t lkəhɒl/noun alcohol which contains no waterabsorbabsorb /əb zɔ b/ verb to take up or soak upsomething, especially a liquid, into a solid ćCotton wads are used to absorb the dischargefrom the wound.absorbable sutureabsorbable suture /əb zɔ bəb(ə)l su tʃə/noun a suture which will eventually be ab-Medicine.fm Page 2 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  9. 9. 3 acetabulumsorbed into the body, and does not need to beremovedabsorbent cottonabsorbent cotton /əb zɔ bənt kɒt(ə)n/noun a soft white material used as a dressing toput on woundsabsorptionabsorption /əb zɔ pʃən/ noun 1. the processby which a liquid is taken into a solid 2. theprocess of taking into the body substancessuch as proteins or fats which have been di-gested from food and enter the bloodstreamfrom the stomach and intestines ˽ absorptionrate the rate at which a liquid is absorbed by asolidabstainerabstainer /əb stenə/ noun a person whodoes not drink alcoholabstinenceabstinence / bstnəns/ noun a deliberateact of not doing something over a period oftime, especially not eating or drinking ć absti-nence from alcoholabuliaabulia /ə bu liə/ noun a lack of willpowerabuseabuse noun /ə bju s/ 1. the act of using some-thing wrongly ć the abuse of a privilege 2. theillegal use of a drug or overuse of alcohol ćsubstance abuse 3. same as child abuse 4. badtreatment of a person ć physical abuse ć sex-ual abuse í verb /ə bju z/ 1. to use somethingwrongly ć Heroin and cocaine are drugswhich are commonly abused. ˽ to abuse one’sauthority to use one’s powers in an illegal orharmful way 2. to treat someone badly ć sexu-ally abused children ć He had physicallyabused his wife and child.a.c.a.c. adverb (used on prescriptions) beforefood. Full form ante cibumacanthosisacanthosis /ə k n θəυss/ noun a disease ofthe prickle cell layer of the skin, where wartsappear on the skin or inside the mouthacapniaacapnia /e k pniə/ noun the condition ofnot having enough carbon dioxide in the bloodand tissuesacariasisacariasis / kə raəss/ noun the presenceof mites or ticks on the skinacaricideacaricide /ə k rsad/ noun a substancewhich kills mites or ticksacarophobiaacarophobia / kərə fəυbiə/ noun an unu-sual fear of mites or ticksacatalasiaacatalasia /e k tə leziə/ noun an inheritedcondition which results in a lack of catalase inall tissueaccessoryaccessory /ək sesəri/ noun somethingwhich helps something else to happen or oper-ate, but may not be very important in itself íadjective helping something else to happen oroperateaccessory nerveaccessory nerve /ək sesəri n v/ noun theeleventh cranial nerve which supplies the mus-cles in the neck and shouldersaccessory organaccessory organ /ək sesəri ɔ ən/ nounan organ which has a function which is con-trolled by another organaccidentaccident / ksd(ə)nt/ noun 1. an unpleasantevent which happens suddenly and harmssomeone’s health ć She had an accident in thekitchen and had to go to hospital. ć Three peo-ple were killed in the accident on the motor-way. 2. chance, or something which happensby chance ć I met her by accident at the busstop.accidental injuryaccidental injury / ksdent(ə)l nd əri/noun an injury that happens to someone in anaccidentaccident and emergency departmentaccident and emergency department /ksd(ə)nt ənd  m d ənsi d pɑ tmənt/noun the part of a hospital which deals withpeople who need urgent treatment becausethey have had accidents or are in sudden seri-ous pain. Abbr A & Eaccident formaccident form / ksd(ə)nt fɔ m/, accidentreport form / ksd(ə)nt r pɔ t fɔ m/ noun aform to be filled in with details of an accidentaccident preventionaccident prevention / ksd(ə)nt prvenʃən/ noun the work of taking action orchanging procedures to prevent accidents fromhappeningaccident wardaccident ward / ksd(ə)nt wɔ d/ noun award for urgent accident victims. Also calledcasualty wardaccommodationaccommodation /ə kɒmə deʃ(ə)n/, ac-commodation reflex /ə kɒmə deʃ(ə)nri fleks/ noun (of the lens of the eye) the abil-ity to focus on objects at different distances,using the ciliary muscleaccommodative squintaccommodative squint /ə kɒmədetvskwnt/ noun a squint when the eye is tryingto focus on an object which is very closeaccouchementaccouchement /ə ku ʃmɒŋ/ noun the timewhen a woman is being looked after becauseher baby is being born, or has just been bornaccretionaccretion /ə kri ʃ(ə)n/ noun a gradual in-crease in size, as through growth or externaladdition ć an accretion of calcium around thejointACEACE /es/ noun an enzyme that increasesblood pressureacebutololacebutolol / s bju təlɒl/ noun a drugwhich reduces both the heart rate and howstrongly the heart muscles contract, used in thetreatment of high blood pressure and irregularheart rhythmsACE inhibitorACE inhibitor / es n hbtə/ noun same asangiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitoracephalusacephalus /e sefələs/ noun a fetus bornwithout a headacetabuloplastyacetabuloplasty / s t bjυləυ pl sti/noun a surgical operation to repair or rebuildthe acetabulumacetabulumacetabulum / s t bjυləm/ noun the partof the pelvic bone, shaped like a cup, intowhich the head of the femur fits to form the hipjoint. Also called cotyloid cavity (NOTE: Theplural is acetabula.)Medicine.fm Page 3 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  10. 10. acetaminophen 4acetaminophenacetaminophen /ə si tə mnəfən/ noun USsame as paracetamolacetazolamideacetazolamide /ə si tə zɒləmad/ noun adrug which helps a person to produce moreurine, used in the treatment of oedema, glauco-ma and epilepsyacetonaemiaacetonaemia /ə si təυ ni miə/ same as ket-onaemiaacetoneacetone / stəυn/ noun a colourless volatilesubstance formed in the body after vomiting orduring diabetes. ı ketoneacetonuriaacetonuria /ə si təυ nju riə/ noun the pres-ence of acetone in the urine, shown by the factthat the urine gives off a sweet smellacetylcholineacetylcholine / stal kəυli n/ noun a sub-stance released from nerve endings, which al-lows nerve impulses to move from one nerveto another or from a nerve to the organ it con-trolsCOMMENT: Acetylcholine receptors are of twotypes, muscarinic, found in parasympatheticpost-ganglionic nerve junctions, and nicotinic,found at neuromuscular junctions and in auto-nomic ganglia. Acetylcholine acts on bothtypes of receptors, but other drugs act on oneor the other.acetylcoenzyme Aacetylcoenzyme A / stalkəυ enzame/ noun a compound produced in the metab-olism of carbohydrates, fatty acids and aminoacidsacetylsalicylic acidacetylsalicylic acid / stal s ləslksd/ noun ‘ aspirinachalasiaachalasia / kə leziə/ noun the condition ofbeing unable to relax the musclesacheache /ek/ noun a pain which goes on for atime, but is not very severe ć He complainedof various aches and pains. í verb to have apain in part of the body ć His tooth ached somuch he went to the dentist.Achilles tendonAchilles tendon /ə kli z tendən/ noun atendon at the back of the ankle which connectsthe calf muscles to the heel and which acts topull up the heel when the calf muscle is con-tractedachillorrhaphyachillorrhaphy / k lɔ rəfi/ noun a surgi-cal operation to stitch a torn Achilles tendonachillotomyachillotomy / k lɒtəmi/ noun a surgicaloperation to divide the Achilles tendonachingaching / ekŋ/ adjective causing someone acontinuous mild pain ć aching legsachlorhydriaachlorhydria / eklɔ hadriə/ noun a condi-tion in which the gastric juices do not containhydrochloric acid, a symptom of stomach can-cer or pernicious anaemiaacholiaacholia /e kəυliə/ noun the absence or fail-ure of the secretion of bileacholuriaacholuria / ekɒ lu riə/ noun the absence ofbile colouring in the urineacholuric jaundiceacholuric jaundice / ekəlu rk d ɔ nds/noun a disease where unusually round redblood cells form, leading to anaemia, an en-larged spleen and the formation of gallstones.Also called hereditary spherocytosisachondroplasiaachondroplasia / ekɒndrə pleziə/ nounan inherited condition in which the long bonesin the arms and legs do not grow fully whilethe rest of the bones in the body grow as usual,resulting in dwarfismachromatopsiaachromatopsia / ekrəυmə tɒpsiə/ noun arare condition in which a person cannot seeany colours, but only black, white and shadesof greyachyachy / eki/ adjective feeling aches all over thebody (informal)acicloviraciclovir /e sakləυvə/ noun a drug that iseffective against herpesviruses. Also calledacycloviracidacid / sd/ noun a chemical compound con-taining hydrogen, which reacts with an alkalito form a salt and wateracidaemiaacidaemia / s di miə/ noun a state inwhich the blood has too much acid in it. It is afeature of untreated severe diabetes.acid–base balanceacid–base balance / sd bes b ləns/noun the balance between acid and base, i.e.the pH level, in plasmaacidityacidity /ə sdti/ noun 1. the level of acid in aliquid ć The alkaline solution may help to re-duce acidity. 2. same as hyperacidityacidosisacidosis / s dəυss/ noun 1. a conditionwhen there are more acid waste products suchas urea than usual in the blood because of alack of alkali 2. same as acidityacidoticacidotic / s dɒtk/ adjective relating to ac-idosisacid refluxacid reflux / sd ri fl ks/ noun a conditioncaused by a faulty muscle in the oesophagusallowing the acid in the stomach to pass intothe oesophagusacid stomachacid stomach / sd st mək/ noun sameas hyperacidityaciduriaaciduria / s djυəriə/ noun a condition inwhich there is a higher level of acidity of theurine than is desirableacinusacinus / snəs/ noun 1. a tiny sac whichforms part of a gland 2. part of a lobule in thelung (NOTE: The plural is acini.)acneacne / kni/ noun an inflammation of the se-baceous glands during puberty which makesblackheads appear on the skin, usually on theface, neck and shoulders. These blackheadsoften then become infected. ć She is using acream to clear up her acne.acne rosaceaacne rosacea / kni rəυ zeʃə/ noun sameas rosaceaacne vulgarisacne vulgaris / kni vυl ɑ rs/ noun sameas acneacousticacoustic /ə ku stk/ adjective relating tosound or hearingacoustic nerveacoustic nerve /ə ku stk n v/ noun theeighth cranial nerve which governs hearingand balanceMedicine.fm Page 4 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  11. 11. 5 acuityacoustic neurofibromaacoustic neurofibroma /ə ku stknjυərəυfa brəυmə/, acoustic neuroma /əku stk njυə rəυmə/ noun a tumour in thesheath of the auditory nerve, causing deafnessacoustic traumaacoustic trauma /ə ku stk trɔ mə/ nounphysical damage caused by sound waves, e.g.hearing loss, disorientation, motion sicknessor dizzinessacquiredacquired /ə kwaəd/ adjective referring to acondition which is neither congenital nor he-reditary and which a person develops afterbirth in reaction to his or her environmentacquired immunityacquired immunity /ə kwaəd  mju nti/noun an immunity which a body acquires fromhaving caught a disease or from immunisation,not one which is congenitalacquired immunodeficiency syndromeacquired immunodeficiency syndrome/ə kwaəd mjυnəυd fʃ(ə)nsi sndrəυm/,acquired immune deficiency syndrome /əkwaəd m ju n d fʃ(ə)nsi sndrəυm/noun a viral infection which breaks down thebody’s immune system. Abbr AIDSacrivastineacrivastine /ə krvə sti n/ noun a drugwhich reduces the amount of histamine pro-duced by the body. It is used in the treatmentof rhinitis, urticaria and eczema.acro-acro- / krəυ/ prefix referring to a point or tipacrocephaliaacrocephalia / krəυsə feliə/ noun sameas oxycephalyacrocephalyacrocephaly / krəυ sefəli/ noun same asoxycephalyacrocyanosisacrocyanosis / krəυsaə nəυss/ noun ablue coloration of the extremities, i.e. the fin-gers, toes, ears and nose, which is due to poorcirculationacrodyniaacrodynia / krəυ dniə/ noun a children’sdisease, caused by an allergy to mercury,where the child’s hands, feet and face swelland become pink, and the child is also affectedwith fever and loss of appetite. Also callederythroedema, pink diseaseacromegalyacromegaly / krəυ me əli/ noun a diseasecaused by excessive quantities of growth hor-mone produced by the pituitary gland, causinga slow enlargement of the hands, feet and jawsin adultsacromialacromial /ə krəυmiəl/ adjective referring tothe acromionacromioclavicularacromioclavicular / krəυmaəυkləvkjυlə/ adjective relating to the acromionand the clavicleacromionacromion /ə krəυmiən/ noun the pointed topof the scapula, which forms the tip of theshoulderacronyxacronyx / krɒnks, ekrɒnks/ noun acondition in which a nail grows into the fleshacroparaesthesiaacroparaesthesia / krəυp rs θi ziə/noun a condition in which the patient experi-ences sharp pains in the arms and numbness inthe fingers after sleepacrophobiaacrophobia / krə fəυbiə/ noun a fear ofheightsacrosclerosisacrosclerosis / krəυsklə rəυss/ nounsclerosis which affects the extremitiesACTHACTH abbr adrenocorticotrophic hormoneactinomycinactinomycin / ktnəυ masn/ noun an an-tibiotic used in the treatment of children withcanceractinomycosisactinomycosis / ktnəυma kəυss/ nouna fungal disease transmitted to humans fromcattle, causing abscesses in the mouth andlungs (pulmonary actinomycosis) or in the ile-um (intestinal actinomycosis)action potentialaction potential / kʃən pə tenʃəl/ noun atemporary change in electrical potential whichoccurs between the inside and the outside of anerve or muscle fibre when a nerve impulse issentactiveactive / ktv/ adjective 1. (of a person) livelyand energetic ć Although she is over eightyshe is still very active. Opposite passive 2. (ofa disease) having an effect on a patient ć ex-perienced two years of active rheumatoid dis-ease Compare dormant 3. (of a drug) havingmedicinal effectactive immunityactive immunity / ktv  mju nti/ nounimmunity which is acquired by catching andsurviving an infectious disease or by vaccina-tion with a weakened form of the disease,which makes the body form antibodiesactive ingredientactive ingredient / ktv n ri diənt/noun the main medicinal ingredient of an oint-ment or lotion, as opposed to the baseactive movementactive movement / ktv mu vmənt/noun movement made by a person using his orher own willpower and musclesactive principleactive principle / ktv prnsp(ə)l/ nounthe main medicinal ingredient of a drug whichmakes it have the required effect on a personactivities of daily livingactivities of daily living / k tvtiz əvdeli lvŋ/ noun a scale used by geriatriciansand occupational therapists to assess the ca-pacity of elderly or disabled people to live in-dependently. Abbr ADLsactivityactivity / k tvti/ noun 1. what someonedoes ć difficulty with activities such as walk-ing and dressing 2. the characteristic behav-iour of a chemical ć The drug’s activity onlylasts a few hours. ˽ antibacterial activity ef-fective action against bacteriaact onact on / kt ɒn/, act upon / kt ə pɒn/ verb1. to do something as the result of somethingwhich has been said ć He acted on his doc-tor’s advice and gave up smoking. 2. to have aneffect on someone or something ć The antibi-otic acted quickly on the infection.act outact out / kt aυt/ verb to express negativefeelings by behaving in a socially unaccepta-ble wayacuityacuity /ə kju ti/ noun keenness of sight,hearing or intellectMedicine.fm Page 5 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  12. 12. acupressure 6acupressureacupressure / kjυpreʃə/ noun a treatmentwhich is based on the same principle as acu-puncture in which, instead of needles, fingersare used on specific points on the body, calledpressure pointsacupunctureacupuncture / kjυp ŋktʃə/ noun a treat-ment based on needles being inserted throughthe skin into nerve centres in order to relievepain or treat a disorderacupuncturistacupuncturist / kjυ p ŋktʃərst/ noun aperson who practises acupunctureacuteacute /ə kju t/ adjective 1. referring to a dis-ease or condition which develops rapidly andcan be dangerous ć an acute abscess Oppositechronic 2. referring to pain which is sharp andintense (informal) ć He felt acute chest pains.acute abdomenacute abdomen /ə kju t bdəmən/ nounany serious condition of the abdomen whichrequires surgeryacute bedacute bed /ə kju t bed/ noun a hospital bedreserved for people requiring immediate treat-ment‘…the survey shows a reduction in acute beds in thelast six years. The bed losses forced one hospital tosend acutely ill patients to hospitals up to sixteenmiles away.’ [Nursing Times]acute careacute care /ə kju t keə/ noun medical orsurgical treatment in a hospital, usually for ashort period, for a patient with a sudden severeillness or injuryacute disseminated encephalomyelitisacute disseminated encephalomyelitis/ə kju t d semnetd en kefələυmaəlats/ noun an encephalomyelitis or myelitisbelieved to result from an autoimmune attackon the myelin of the central nervous systemacute glaucomaacute glaucoma /ə kju t lɔ kəυmə/ nounsame as angle-closure glaucomaacute hospitalacute hospital /ə kju t hɒspt(ə)l/ noun ahospital where people go for major surgery orintensive care of medical or surgical condi-tionsacutelyacutely /ə kju tli/ adverb 1. having or caus-ing a suddenly developing medical conditionć acutely ill patients ć acutely toxic chemicals2. extremely (informal)acute lymphocytic leukaemiaacute lymphocytic leukaemia /ə kju tlmfəstk lu ki miə/ noun a form of leukae-mia that is the commonest cancer affectingchildrenacute nonlymphocytic leukaemiaacute nonlymphocytic leukaemia /əkju t nɒnlmfəstk lu ki miə/ noun aform of leukaemia that affects adults and chil-dren and is usually treated with chemotherapyacute pancreatitisacute pancreatitis /ə ku t p ŋkriə tats/noun inflammation after pancreatic enzymeshave escaped into the pancreas, causing symp-toms of acute abdominal painacute respiratory distress syndromeacute respiratory distress syndrome /əkju t r sprət(ə)ri d stres sndrəυm/noun an infection of the lungs, often followinginjury, which prevents them functioning prop-erly. Abbr ARDSacute rheumatismacute rheumatism noun same as rheumaticfeveracute rhinitisacute rhinitis /ə kju t ra nats/ noun a vi-rus infection which causes inflammation of themucous membrane in the nose and throatacute suppurative arthritisacute suppurative arthritis /ə kju t spjυrətv ɑ θ rats/ noun same as pyarthrosisacute toxicityacute toxicity /ə kju t tɒk ssti/ noun alevel of concentration of a toxic substancewhich makes people seriously ill or can causedeathacute yellow atrophyacute yellow atrophy /ə kju t jeləυtrəfi/ ‘ yellow atrophyacycloviracyclovir /e sakləυvə/ noun same as aci-cloviracystiaacystia /e sstiə/ noun a condition in whicha baby is born without a bladderADAD abbr Alzheimer’s diseaseAdam’s appleAdam’s apple / dəmz p(ə)l/ noun a partof the thyroid cartilage which projects fromthe neck below the chin in a man. Also calledlaryngeal prominenceadaptadapt /ə d pt/ verb 1. to change one’s ideasor behaviour to fit into a new situation ć Shehas adapted very well to her new job in thechildren’s hospital. 2. to change something tomake it more useful ć The brace has to beadapted to fit the patient.adaptationadaptation / d p teʃ(ə)n/ noun 1. achange which has been or can be made tosomething 2. the act of changing something sothat it fits a new situation 3. the process bywhich sensory receptors become accustomedto a sensation which is repeatedADDADD abbr attention deficit disorderaddictedaddicted /ə dktd/ adjective physically ormentally dependent on a harmful substance ˽addicted to alcohol or drugs needing to takealcohol or a harmful drug regularlyaddictiveaddictive /ə dktv/ adjective referring to adrug which is habit-forming and which peoplecan become addicted toAddison’s anaemiaAddison’s anaemia / ds(ə)nz ə ni miə/same as pernicious anaemia [Described 1849.After Thomas Addison (1793–1860), fromNorthumberland, founder of the science of en-docrinology.]Addison’s diseaseAddison’s disease / ds(ə)nz d zi z/noun a disease of the adrenal glands, causing achange in skin colour to yellow and then todark brown and resulting in general weakness,anaemia, low blood pressure and wastingaway. Treatment is with corticosteroid injec-tions. [Described 1849. After Thomas Addison(1793–1860), from Northumberland, founder ofthe science of endocrinology.]adducentadducent /ə dju s(ə)nt/ adjective referringto a muscle which brings parts of the body to-gether or moves them towards the central lineof the body or a limb. Compare abducentMedicine.fm Page 6 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  13. 13. 7 adiposuriaadductadduct /ə d kt/ verb (of a muscle) to pull aleg or arm towards the central line of the body,or to pull a toe or finger towards the centralline of a leg or arm. Opposite abductadductedadducted /ə d ktd/ adjective referring to abody part brought towards the middle of thebodyadductionadduction /ə d kʃən/ noun the movement ofa part of the body towards the midline or to-wards a neighbouring part. Compare abduc-tion. See illustration at ANATOMICAL TERMS inSupplementadductoradductor /ə d ktə/, adductor muscle /əd ktə m s(ə)l/ noun a muscle which pulls apart of the body towards the central line of thebody. Opposite abductoraden-aden- / dn/ prefix same as adeno- (used be-fore vowels)adenectomyadenectomy / d nektəmi/ noun the surgi-cal removal of a glandadenineadenine / dəni n/ noun one of the four ba-sic chemicals in DNAadenitisadenitis / d nats/ noun inflammation ofa gland or lymph node. ı lymphadenitisadeno-adeno- / dnəυ/ prefix referring to glandsadenocarcinomaadenocarcinoma / dnəυkɑ s nəυmə/noun a malignant tumour of a glandadenohypophysisadenohypophysis / dnəυha pɒfss/noun the front lobe of the pituitary glandwhich secretes most of the pituitary hormonesadenoidadenoid / dnɔd/ adjective like a glandadenoidaladenoidal / d nɔd(ə)l/ adjective referringto the adenoidsadenoidal expressionadenoidal expression / dnɔd(ə)l kspreʃ(ə)n/ noun a common symptom of achild suffering from adenoids, where his or hermouth is always open, the nose is narrow andthe top teeth appear to project forwardadenoidal tissueadenoidal tissue / dnɔd(ə)l tʃu / nounsame as adenoidsadenoidectomyadenoidectomy / dnɔ dektəmi/ nounthe surgical removal of the adenoidsadenoidismadenoidism / dnɔdz(ə)m/ noun the con-dition of a person with adenoidsadenoidsadenoids / dnɔdz/ plural noun a mass oftissue at the back of the nose and throat thatcan restrict breathing if enlarged. Also calledpharyngeal tonsilsadenoid vegetationadenoid vegetation / dnɔd ved əteʃ(ə)n/ noun a condition in children wherethe adenoidal tissue is covered with growthsand can block the nasal passages or the Eus-tachian tubesadenolymphomaadenolymphoma / dnəυlm fəυmə/noun a benign tumour of the salivary glandsadenomaadenoma / d nəυmə/ noun a benign tu-mour of a glandadenoma sebaceumadenoma sebaceum / dnəυmə səbeʃəm/ noun a skin condition of the faceshown by raised red vascular bumps appearingin late childhood or early adolescenceadenomyomaadenomyoma / dnəυma əυmə/ noun abenign tumour made up of glands and muscleadenopathyadenopathy / d nɒpəθi/ noun a disease ofa glandadenosclerosisadenosclerosis / dnəυsklə rəυss/ nounthe hardening of a glandadenosineadenosine /ə denəυsi n/ noun a drug usedto treat an irregular heartbeatadenosine diphosphateadenosine diphosphate /ə denəυsi n dafɒsfet/ noun a chemical compound whichprovides energy for processes to take placewithin living cells, formed when adenosine tri-phosphate reacts with water. Abbr ADPadenosine triphosphateadenosine triphosphate /ə denəυsi ntra fɒsfet/ noun a chemical which occurs inall cells, but mainly in muscle, where it formsthe energy reserve. Abbr ATPadenosisadenosis / d nəυss/ noun any disease ordisorder of the glandsadenovirusadenovirus / dnəυ varəs/ noun a viruswhich produces upper respiratory infectionsand sore throats and can cause fatal pneumoniain infantsADHADH abbr antidiuretic hormoneADHDADHD noun full form attention deficit hyper-activity disorder. ‘ hyperactivityadhesionadhesion /əd hi (ə)n/ noun a stable connec-tion between two parts in the body, either in ahealing process or between parts which are notusually connectedadhesive dressingadhesive dressing /əd hi sv dresŋ/noun a dressing with a sticky substance on theback so that it can stick to the skinadhesive strappingadhesive strapping /əd hi sv str pŋ/noun overlapping strips of adhesive plasterused to protect a lesionadipo-adipo- / dpəυ/ prefix referring to fatadiposeadipose / dpəυs/ adjective containing fat,or made of fatCOMMENT: Fibrous tissue is replaced by adi-pose tissue when more food is eaten than isnecessary.adipose degenerationadipose degeneration / dpəυs dd enə reʃ(ə)n/ noun an accumulation of fatin the cells of an organ such as the heart or liv-er, which makes the organ less able to performits proper function. Also called fatty degener-ationadipose tissueadipose tissue / dpəυs tʃu / noun a tis-sue where the cells contain fatadiposisadiposis / d pəυss/ noun a state wheretoo much fat is accumulated in the bodyadiposis dolorosaadiposis dolorosa / d pəυss dɒlərəυsə/ noun a disease of middle-aged womenin which painful lumps of fatty substance formin the body. Also called Dercum’s diseaseadiposogenitalisadiposogenitalis / d pəυsəυ d en tels/noun same as Fröhlich’s syndromeadiposuriaadiposuria /ədpsəυ ju riə/ noun the pres-ence of fat in the urineMedicine.fm Page 7 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  14. 14. adiposus 8adiposusadiposus / d pəυsəs/ ‘ panniculus adi-posusaditusaditus / dtəs/ noun an opening or entranceto a passageadjustmentadjustment /ə d stmənt/ noun a specificdirectional high-speed movement of a jointperformed by a chiropractoradjuvantadjuvant / d υvənt/ adjective referring totreatment by drugs or radiation therapy aftersurgery for cancer í noun a substance added toa drug to enhance the effect of the main ingre-dientadjuvant therapyadjuvant therapy / d υvənt θerəpi/noun therapy using drugs or radiation aftercancer surgeryADLsADLs abbr activities of daily livingadministeradminister /əd mnstə/ verb to give some-one medicine or a treatment ˽ to administerorally to give a medicine by mouthadmissionadmission /əd mʃ(ə)n/ noun the act of be-ing registered as a hospital patientadmitadmit /əd mt/ verb to register a patient in ahospital ć He was admitted to hospital thismorning.‘80% of elderly patients admitted to geriatric unitsare on medication’ [Nursing Times]‘…ten patients were admitted to the ICU before op-eration, the main indications being the need for eval-uation of patients with a history of severe heart dis-ease’ [Southern Medical Journal]adnexaadnexa / d neksə/ plural noun structures at-tached to an organadolescenceadolescence / də les(ə)ns/ noun the peri-od of life when a child is developing into anadultadolescentadolescent / də les(ə)nt/ noun a personwho is at the stage of life when he or she is de-veloping into an adult í adjective developinginto an adult, or occurring at that stage of lifeć adolescent boys and girls ć adolescent fan-tasiesadoptadopt /ə dɒpt/ verb 1. to decide to use a par-ticular plan or idea or way of doing somethingć The hospital has adopted a new policy onvisiting. 2. to become the legal parent of a childwho was born to other parentsadoptiveadoptive /ə dɒptv/ adjective 1. taking overthe role of something else 2. referring to peo-ple who have adopted a child or a child that hasbeen adopted ć adoptive parentsadoptive immunotherapyadoptive immunotherapy /ə dɒptv mjυnə θerəpi/ noun a treatment for cancer inwhich the patient’s own white blood cells areused to attack cancer cellsCOMMENT: This technique can halt the growthof cancer cells in the body but it can have dis-tressing toxic side-effects.ADPADP abbr adenosine diphosphateadrenaladrenal /ə dri n(ə)l/ adjective situated nearthe kidney í noun same as adrenal glandadrenal bodyadrenal body /ə dri n(ə)l bɒdi/ noun sameas adrenal glandadrenal cortexadrenal cortex /ə dri n(ə)l kɔ teks/ nounthe firm outside layer of an adrenal gland,which secretes a series of hormones affectingthe metabolism of carbohydrates and wateradrenalectomyadrenalectomy /ə dri nə lektəmi/ noun thesurgical removal of one of the adrenal glandsadrenal glandadrenal gland /ə dri n(ə)l l nd/ noun oneof two endocrine glands at the top of the kid-neys which secrete cortisone, adrenaline andother hormones. Also called adrenal body, ad-renal. See illustration at KIDNEY in Supplementadrenalineadrenaline /ə drenəln/ noun a hormone se-creted by the medulla of the adrenal glandswhich has an effect similar to stimulation ofthe sympathetic nervous system (NOTE: The USterm is epinephrine.)COMMENT: Adrenaline is produced when aperson experiences surprise, shock, fear orexcitement and it speeds up the heartbeatand raises blood pressure. It is administeredas an emergency treatment of acute anaphy-laxis and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.adrenal medullaadrenal medulla /ə dri n(ə)l me d lə/ nounthe inner part of the adrenal gland which se-cretes adrenaline and noradrenaline. Alsocalled suprarenal medullaadrenergicadrenergic / drə n d k/ adjective refer-ring to a neurone or receptor which is stimulat-ed by adrenaline. ı beta blockeradrenergic receptoradrenergic receptor / drən d k rseptə/ noun same as adrenoceptorCOMMENT: Three types of adrenergic receptoract in different ways when stimulated byadrenaline. Alpha receptors constrict thebronchi, beta 1 receptors speed up the heart-beat and beta 2 receptors dilate the bronchi.adrenoceptoradrenoceptor /ə drenəυ septə/ noun a cellor neurone which is stimulated by adrenaline.Also called adrenoreceptor, adrenergic re-ceptoradrenocorticaladrenocortical /ə dri nəυ kɔ tk(ə)l/ ad-jective relating to the cortex of the adrenalglandsadrenocorticotrophic hormoneadrenocorticotrophic hormone /ədri nəυ kɔ təkəυtrɒfk hɔ məυn/ noun ahormone secreted by the pituitary gland,which makes the cortex of the adrenal glandsproduce corticosteroids. Abbr ACTH. Alsocalled corticotrophinadrenogenital syndromeadrenogenital syndrome /ə dri nəυd ent(ə)l sndrəυm/ noun a conditioncaused by overproduction of male sex hor-mones, where boys show rapid sexual devel-opment and females develop male characteris-ticsadrenoleukodystrophyadrenoleukodystrophy /ə dri nəυ lu kəυdstrəfi/ noun an inherited disorder of the ad-renal glands in boysadrenolyticadrenolytic /ədri nəυ ltk/ adjective actingagainst the secretion of adrenalineadrenoreceptoradrenoreceptor /ə drenəυr septə/ nounsame as adrenoceptorMedicine.fm Page 8 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  15. 15. 9 aflatoxinadsorbentadsorbent / d sɔ bənt/ adjective being ca-pable of adsorptionadsorptionadsorption / d sɔ pʃ(ə)n/ noun the attach-ment of one substance to another, often thebonding of a liquid with a gas or vapour whichtouches its surfaceadultadult / d lt, ə d lt/ adjective grown-up ćAdolescents reach the adult stage about theage of eighteen or twenty. í noun someonewho is no longer a childadult coeliac diseaseadult coeliac disease / d lt si li k dzi z/ noun a condition in adults where the villiin the intestine become smaller and so reducethe surface which can absorb nutrientsadult dentitionadult dentition / d lt den tʃ(ə)n/ nounthe 32 teeth which an adult hasadulterationadulteration /ə d ltə reʃ(ə)n/ noun the actof making something less pure by adding an-other substanceadult-onset diabetesadult-onset diabetes / d lt ɒnset daəbi ti z/ noun a form of diabetes mellitus thatdevelops slowly in older people as the bodybecomes less able to use insulin effectivelyadult respiratory distress syndromeadult respiratory distress syndrome /d lt r sprət(ə)ri d stres sndrəυm/noun a description of various lung infectionswhich reduce the lungs’ efficiency. AbbrARDSadvanced trauma life supportadvanced trauma life support /əd vɑ nsttrɔ ma laf sə pɔ t/ noun the managementof a trauma patient during the critical first hourafter injury. Abbr ATLSadventitiaadventitia / dven tʃə/ noun same as tuni-ca adventitiaadventitiousadventitious / dvən tʃəs/ adjective on theoutside or in an unusual placeadventitious bursaadventitious bursa / dvəntʃəs b sə/noun a bursa which develops as a result of con-tinued pressure or rubbingadverseadverse / dv s/ adjective harmful or unfa-vourable ˽ the treatment had an adverse ef-fect on his dermatitis the treatment made thedermatitis worseadverse occurrenceadverse occurrence / dv s ə k rəns/noun a harmful event which occurs duringtreatmentadverse reactionadverse reaction / dv s ri kʃən/ nouna situation where someone experiences harm-ful effects from the application of a drugadvocacyadvocacy / dvəkəsi/ noun active supportfor something, especially in order to help peo-ple who would have difficulty in gaining atten-tion without your helpadynamic ileusadynamic ileus /e dan mk liəs/ nounsame as paralytic ileusaegophonyaegophony /i ɒfəni/ noun a high sound ofthe voice heard through a stethoscope, wherethere is fluid in the pleural cavityaer-aer- /eə/ prefix same as aero- (used before vow-els)aerationaeration /eə reʃ(ə)n/ noun the adding of airor oxygen to a liquidaero-aero- /eərəυ/ prefix referring to airaerobaaeroba /eə rəυbə/, aerobe / eərəυb/ noun atiny organism which needs oxygen to surviveaerobicaerobic /eə rəυbk/ adjective needing oxy-gen to live, or taking place in the presence ofoxygenaerobic respirationaerobic respiration /eə rəυbk respə reʃ(ə)n/noun the process where the oxygen which isbreathed in is used to conserve energy as ATPaeroembolismaeroembolism / eərəυ embəlz(ə)m/ nounsame as air embolismaerogenousaerogenous /eə rɒd ənəs/ adjective refer-ring to a bacterium which produces gasaerophagiaaerophagia / eərə fed ə/, aerophagy /eərɒfəd i/ noun the habit of swallowing airwhen suffering from indigestion, so makingthe stomach pains worseaerosolaerosol / eərəsɒl/ noun tiny particles of a liq-uid such as a drug or disinfectant suspended ina gas under pressure in a container and used asa sprayaetiological agentaetiological agent / i tiəlɒd ik(ə)l ed (ə)nt/noun an agent which causes a diseaseaetiologyaetiology / i ti ɒləd i/ noun 1. the cause ororigin of a disease 2. the study of the causesand origins of diseases (NOTE: [all senses] TheUS spelling is etiology.)‘…a wide variety of organs or tissues may be infect-ed by the Salmonella group of organisms, presentingsymptoms which are not immediately recognised asbeing of Salmonella aetiology’ [Indian Journalof Medical Sciences]afebrileafebrile /e fi bral/ adjective with no feveraffectaffect /ə fekt/ verb to make something orsomeone change, especially to have a bad ef-fect on something or someone ć Some organsare rapidly affected if the patient lacks oxygenfor even a short time. í noun same as affectionaffectionaffection /ə fekʃən/, affect /ə fekt/ noun thegeneral state of a person’s emotions‘Depression has degrees of severity, ranging fromsadness, through flatness of affection or feeling, tosuicide and psychosis’ [British Journal of Nursing]affectiveaffective /ə fektv/ adjective relating to aperson’s moods or feelingsaffective disorderaffective disorder /ə fektv ds ɔ də/ nouna condition which changes someone’s mood,making him or her depressed or excitedafferentafferent / f(ə)rənt/ adjective conductingliquid or electrical impulses towards the in-side. Opposite efferentafferent nerveafferent nerve noun same as sensory nerveafferent vesselafferent vessel / f(ə)rənt ves(ə)l/ noun atube which brings lymph to a glandaffinityaffinity /ə fnti/ noun an attraction betweentwo substancesaflatoxinaflatoxin / flə tɒksn/ noun a poison pro-duced by some moulds in some crops such aspeanutsMedicine.fm Page 9 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  16. 16. African trypanosomiasis 10African trypanosomiasisAfrican trypanosomiasis / frkəntrpənəυsəυ maəss/ noun same as sleep-ing sicknessafterbirthafterbirth / ɑ ftəb θ/ noun the tissues, in-cluding the placenta and umbilical cord, whichare present in the uterus during pregnancy andare expelled after the birth of a babyaftercareaftercare / ɑ ftəkeə/ noun 1. the care of aperson who has had an operation. Aftercaretreatment involves changing dressings andhelping people to look after themselves again.2. the care of a mother who has just given birthafter-effectafter-effect / ɑ ftər  fekt/ noun a changewhich appears only some time after the causeć The operation had some unpleasant after-ef-fects.after-imageafter-image / ɑ ftər md / noun an imageof an object which remains in a person’s sightafter the object itself has goneafterpainsafterpains / ɑ ftəpenz/ plural noun regularpains in the uterus which are sometimes expe-rienced after childbirthafunctionalafunctional /e f ŋkʃən(ə)l/ adjectivewhich does not function properlyagalactiaagalactia / e ə l kʃə/ noun a condition inwhich a mother is unable to produce milk afterchildbirthagammaglobulinaemiaagammaglobulinaemia /e mə lɒbjυlni miə/ noun a deficiency or absence of im-munoglobulins in the blood, which results in areduced ability to provide immune responsesagaragar / e ɑ /, agar agar / e ɑ r e ɑ / nouna culture medium based on an extract of sea-weed used for growing microorganisms in lab-oratoriesageage /ed / noun the number of years which aperson has lived ć What’s your age on yournext birthday? ć He was sixty years of age. ćThe size varies according to age. í verb togrow oldage groupage group / ed ru p/ noun all the peopleof a particular age or within a particular set ofages ć the age group 20–25ageingageing / ed ŋ/, aging noun the fact ofgrowing oldCOMMENT: Changes take place in almost eve-ry part of the body as the person ages. Bonesbecome more brittle and skin becomes lesselastic. The most important changes affect theblood vessels which are less elastic, makingthrombosis more likely. This also reduces thesupply of blood to the brain, which in turn re-duces the mental faculties.ageing processageing process / ed ŋ prəυses/ noun thephysical changes which take place in a personas he or she grows olderagencyagency / ed ənsi/ noun 1. an organisationwhich carries out work on behalf of another or-ganisation, e.g. one which recruits and em-ploys nurses and supplies them to hospitalstemporarily when full-time nursing staff areunavailable 2. the act of causing something tohappen ć The disease develops through theagency of bacteria present in the bloodstream.‘The cost of employing agency nurses should be nohigher than the equivalent full-time staff.’[Nursing Times]‘Growing numbers of nurses are choosing agencycareers, which pay more and provide more flexibleschedules than hospitals.’ [American Journalof Nursing]agenesisagenesis /e d enəss/ noun the absence ofan organ, resulting from a failure in embryonicdevelopmentagentagent / ed ənt/ noun 1. a chemical sub-stance which makes another substance react 2.a substance or organism which causes a dis-ease or condition 3. a person who acts as a rep-resentative of another person or carries outsome kinds of work on his or her behalfagglutinateagglutinate /ə lu tnet/ verb to form intogroups or clusters, or to cause things to forminto groups or clustersagglutinationagglutination /ə lu t neʃ(ə)n/ noun theact of coming together or sticking to one an-other to form a clump, as of bacteria cells inthe presence of serum, or blood cells whenblood of different types is mixed ȣ agglutina-tion test 1. a test to identify bacteria 2. a test toidentify if a woman is pregnantagglutininagglutinin /ə lu tnn/ noun a factor in a se-rum which makes cells stick together inclumpsagglutinogenagglutinogen / lu tnəd ən/ noun a fac-tor in red blood cells which reacts with a spe-cific agglutinin in serumaggravateaggravate / rəvet/ verb to make some-thing worse ć Playing football only aggra-vates his knee injury. ć The treatment seems toaggravate the disease.aggressionaggression /ə reʃ(ə)n/ noun the state offeeling violently angry towards someone orsomethingaggressiveaggressive /ə resv/ adjective referring totreatment which involves frequent high dosesof medicationagingaging / ed ŋ/ noun another spelling of age-ingagitatedagitated / d tetd/ adjective movingabout or twitching nervously because of worryor another psychological state ć The personbecame agitated and had to be given a seda-tive.agitationagitation / d  teʃ(ə)n/ noun a state of be-ing very nervous and anxiousaglossiaaglossia /e lɒsiə/ noun the condition of nothaving a tongue from birthagnosiaagnosia / nəυziə/ noun a brain disorder inwhich a person fails to recognise places, peo-ple, tastes or smells which they used to knowwellagonistagonist / ənst/ noun 1. a muscle whichcauses part of the body to move and anothermuscle to relax when it contracts. Also calledMedicine.fm Page 10 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  17. 17. 11 Albee’s operationprime mover 2. a substance which produces anobservable physiological effect by actingthrough specific receptors. ı antagonistagonyagony / əni/ noun a very severe physical oremotional pain ć He lay in agony on the floor.ć She suffered the agony of waiting for weeksuntil her condition was diagnosed.agoraphobiaagoraphobia / (ə)rə fəυbiə/ noun a fearof being in open spaces. Compare claustro-phobiaagoraphobicagoraphobic / (ə)rə fəυbk/ adjectiveafraid of being in open spaces. Compareclaustrophobicagranulocytosisagranulocytosis /ə r njυləυsa təυss/noun a usually fatal disease where the numberof granulocytes, a type of white blood cell,falls sharply because of a bone marrow condi-tionagraphiaagraphia /e r fiə/ noun the condition ofbeing unable to put ideas into writingAHFAHF abbr antihaemophilic factoraidaid /ed/ noun 1. help 2. a machine, tool ordrug which helps someone do something ć Heuses a walking frame as an aid to exercisinghis legs. í verb to help someone or somethingć The procedure is designed to aid the repairof tissues after surgery.AIDAID / e a di / noun full form artificial in-semination by donor. now called DIAIDSAIDS /edz/, Aids noun a viral infection whichbreaks down the body’s immune system. Fullform acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,acquired immune deficiency syndromeCOMMENT: AIDS is a disease caused by thehuman immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It isspread mostly by sexual intercourse and canaffect anyone. It is also transmitted through in-fected blood and plasma transfusions,through using unsterilised needles for injec-tions, and can be passed from a mother to afetus. The disease takes a long time, usuallyyears, to show symptoms, and many peoplewith HIV are unaware that they are infected. Itcauses a breakdown of the body’s immunesystem, making the patient susceptible to anyinfection and often results in the developmentof rare skin cancers. It is not curable.AIDS dementiaAIDS dementia / edz d menʃə/ noun aform of mental degeneration resulting from in-fection with HIVAIDS-related complexAIDS-related complex / edz r letdkɒmpleks/, AIDS-related condition / edz rletd kən dʃ(ə)n/ noun early symptomsshown by someone infected with the HIV vi-rus, e.g. weight loss, fever and herpes zoster.Abbr ARCAIHAIH abbr artificial insemination by husbandailmentailment / elmənt/ noun an illness, thoughnot generally a very serious one ć Chickenpoxis one of the common childhood ailments.ailurophobiaailurophobia / alυərə fəυbiə/ noun a fearof catsairair /eə/ noun a mixture of gases, mainly oxy-gen and nitrogen, which cannot be seen, butwhich exists all around us and which isbreathed ć Open the window and let somefresh air into the room. ć He breathed the pol-luted air into his lungs.air bedair bed / eə bed/ noun a mattress which isfilled with air, used to prevent the formation ofbedsores. ı conductionairborne infectionairborne infection / eəbɔ n n fekʃən/noun an infection which is carried in the airair conductionair conduction / eə kən d kʃən/ noun theprocess by which sounds pass from the outsideto the inner ear through the auditory meatusair embolismair embolism /eər embəlz(ə)m/ noun ablockage caused by bubbles of air, that stopsthe flow of blood in vesselsair hungerair hunger / eə h ŋ ə/ noun a condition inwhich the patient needs air because of lack ofoxygen in the tissuesair passageair passage / eə p sd / noun any tubewhich takes air to the lungs, e.g. the nostrils,pharynx, larynx, trachea and bronchiair sacair sac / eə s k/ noun a small sac in the lungswhich contains air. ı alveolusairsickairsick / eəsk/ adjective feeling sick becauseof the movement of an aircraftairsicknessairsickness / eəsknəs/ noun a queasy feel-ing, usually leading to vomiting, caused by themovement of an aircraftairwayairway / eəwe/ noun a passage throughwhich air passes, especially the tracheaairway clearingairway clearing / eəwe klərŋ/ nounmaking sure that the airways in a newbornbaby or an unconscious person are free of anyobstructionairway obstructionairway obstruction / eəwe əb str kʃ(ə)n/noun something which blocks the air passagesakathisiaakathisia / ekə θsiə/ noun restlessnessakinesiaakinesia / ek ni ziə/ noun a lack of volun-tary movement, as in Parkinson’s diseaseakineticakinetic / ek netk/ adjective withoutmovementalacrimaalacrima /e l krmə/ noun same as xerosisalactasiaalactasia / el k teziə/ noun a condition inwhich there is a deficiency of lactase in the in-testine, making the patient incapable of digest-ing lactose, the sugar in milkalaliaalalia /e leliə/ noun a condition in which aperson completely loses the ability to speakalaninealanine / ləni n/ noun an amino acidalanine aminotransferasealanine aminotransferase / ləni n əmi nəυ tr nsfərez/ noun an enzyme whichis found in the liver and can be monitored as anindicator of liver damage. Abbr ALTalar cartilagealar cartilage / elə kɑ tld / noun carti-lage in the nosealbaalba / lbə/ ‘ linea albaAlbee’s operationAlbee’s operation / ɔ lbi z ɒpə reʃ(ə)n/noun 1. a surgical operation to fuse two ormore vertebrae 2. a surgical operation to fuseMedicine.fm Page 11 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  18. 18. albicans 12the femur to the pelvis [After Frederick HoudlettAlbee (1876–1945), US surgeon]albicansalbicans / lbk nz/ ‘ corpus albicansalbinismalbinism / lbnz(ə)m/ noun a condition inwhich a person lacks the pigment melanin andso has pink skin and eyes and white hair. It ishereditary and cannot be treated. ı vitiligoalbinoalbino / l bi nəυ/ noun a person who is defi-cient in melanin and has little or no pigmenta-tion in the skin, hair or eyesalbugineaalbuginea / lbjυ d niə/ noun a layer ofwhite tissue covering a part of the bodyalbuginea oculialbuginea oculi / lbjυd niə ɒkjυla/noun same as scleraalbuminometeralbuminometer / lbjυm nɒmtə/ nounan instrument for measuring the level of albu-min in the urinealbuminuriaalbuminuria / lbjυm njυəriə/ noun a con-dition in which albumin is found in the urine,usually a sign of kidney disease, but alsosometimes of heart failurealbumosealbumose / lbjυməυz/ noun an intermedi-ate product in the digestion of proteinalcoholalcohol / lkəhɒl/ noun a pure colourlessliquid which is formed by the action of yeaston sugar solutions and forms part of drinkssuch as wine and whiskyCOMMENT: Alcohol is used medicinally to drywounds or harden the skin. When drunk, alco-hol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Itis a source of energy, so any carbohydratestaken at the same time are not used by thebody and are stored as fat. Alcohol is a de-pressant, not a stimulant, and affects the waythe brain works.alcohol abusealcohol abuse / lkəhɒl ə bju s/ noun theexcessive use of alcohol adversely affecting aperson’s healthalcohol addictionalcohol addiction / lkəhɒl ə dkʃən/noun a condition in which a person is depend-ent on the use of alcoholalcohol-fastalcohol-fast / lkəhɒl fɑ st/ adjective refer-ring to an organ stained for testing which is notdiscoloured by alcoholalcoholicalcoholic / lkə hɒlk/ adjective 1. contain-ing alcohol 2. caused by alcoholism ć alcohol-ic poisoning í noun a person who is addictedto drinking alcohol and shows changes in be-haviour and personalityalcoholic cardiomyopathyalcoholic cardiomyopathy / lkəhɒlkkɑ diəυma ɒpəθi/ noun a disease of theheart muscle arising as a result of long-termheavy alcohol consumptionalcoholic cirrhosisalcoholic cirrhosis / lkəhɒlk s rəυss/noun cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcohol-ismalcoholic hepatitisalcoholic hepatitis / lkəhɒlk hepətats/ noun inflammation of the liver as a re-sult of long-term heavy alcohol consumption,often leading to cirrhosisAlcoholics AnonymousAlcoholics Anonymous / lkəhɒlks ənɒnməs/ noun an organisation of former al-coholics which helps people to overcome theirdependence on alcohol by encouraging themto talk about their problems in group therapy.Abbr AAalcoholicumalcoholicum / lkə hɒlkəm/ ‘ delirium al-coholicumalcoholismalcoholism / lkəhɒlz(ə)m/ noun exces-sive drinking of alcohol which becomes addic-tivealcohol poisoningalcohol poisoning / lkəhɒl pɔz(ə)nŋ/noun poisoning and disease caused by exces-sive drinking of alcoholalcohol rubalcohol rub / lkəhɒl r b/ noun the act ofrubbing a bedridden person with alcohol tohelp protect against bedsores and as a tonicalcoholuriaalcoholuria / lkəhɒ ljυəriə/ noun a condi-tion in which alcohol is present in the urine(NOTE: The level of alcohol in the urine is used asa test for drivers who are suspected of drivingwhile drunk.)aldosteronealdosterone / l dɒstərəυn/ noun a hor-mone secreted by the cortex of the adrenalgland, which regulates the balance of sodiumand potassium in the body and the amount ofbody fluidaldosteronismaldosteronism / l dɒst(ə)rənz(ə)m/ nouna condition in which a person produces toomuch aldosterone, so that there is too muchsalt in the blood. This causes high blood pres-sure and the need to drink a lot of liquids.alertalert /ə l t/ adjective referring to someonewho takes an intelligent interest in his or hersurroundings ć The patient is still alert,though in great pain.aleukaemicaleukaemic / elu ki mk/ adjective 1. re-ferring to a state where leukaemia is notpresent 2. referring to a state where leucocytesare not normalAlexander techniqueAlexander technique / l zɑ ndə tekni k/ noun a method of improving the way aperson stands and moves, by making themmuch more aware of how muscles behavealexiaalexia /e leksiə/ noun a condition in whichthe patient cannot understand printed words.Also called word blindnessalfacalcidolalfacalcidol / lfə k lsdɒl/ noun a sub-stance related to vitamin D, used by the bodyto maintain the right levels of calcium andphosphate, and also as a drug to help peoplewho do not have enough vitamin Dalgesimeteralgesimeter / ld  smtə/ noun an instru-ment to measure the sensitivity of the skin topain-algia-algia / ld iə/ suffix a word ending that indi-cates a painful conditionalgidalgid / ld d/ adjective referring to a stage ina disease that causes fever during which thebody becomes coldalgophobiaalgophobia / l əυ fəυbiə/ noun an unusu-ally intense fear of painMedicine.fm Page 12 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  19. 19. 13 allo-alienationalienation / eliə neʃ(ə)n/ noun a psycho-logical condition in which a person developsthe feeling of not being part of the everydayworld, and as a result often becomes hostile toother peoplealignmentalignment /ə lanmənt/ noun the arrange-ment of something in a straight line, or in thecorrect position in relation to something elsealimentaryalimentary / l ment(ə)ri/ adjective provid-ing food, or relating to food or nutritionalimentary canalalimentary canal / l ment(ə)ri kə n l/noun a tube in the body going from the mouthto the anus and including the throat, stomachand intestine, through which food passes andis digestedalimentary systemalimentary system / l ment(ə)risstəm/ noun same as digestive systemalimentationalimentation / lmen teʃ(ə)n/ noun theact of providing food or nourishmentaliquotaliquot / lkwɒt/ noun a part of a largerthing, especially a sample of something whichis taken to be examinedalivealive /ə lav/ adjective living, not dead ć Theman was still alive, even though he had been inthe sea for two days. (NOTE: Alive cannot beused in front of a noun: The person is alive but aliving person. Note also that live can be used infront of a noun: The person was injected with livevaccine.)alkalaemiaalkalaemia / lkə li miə/ noun an excess ofalkali in the bloodalkalialkali / lkəla/ noun one of many substanceswhich neutralise acids and form salts (NOTE:The UK plural is alkalis, but the US plural is al-kalies.)alkalinealkaline / lkəlan/ adjective containingmore alkali than acidalkalinityalkalinity / lkə lnti/ noun the level of al-kali in a body ć Hyperventilation causes fluc-tuating carbon dioxide levels in the blood, re-sulting in an increase of blood alkalinity.COMMENT: Alkalinity and acidity are measuredaccording to the pH scale. pH7 is neutral, andpH8 and upwards are alkaline. Alkaline solu-tions are used to counteract the effects of acidpoisoning and also of bee stings. If strong al-kali, such as ammonia, is swallowed, the pa-tient should drink water and an acid such asorange juice.alkaloidalkaloid / lkəlɔd/ noun one of many poi-sonous substances found in plants and used asmedicines, e.g. atropine, morphine or quininealkalosisalkalosis / lkə ləυss/ noun a condition inwhich the alkali level in the body tissue ishigh, producing crampsalkaptonuriaalkaptonuria / lk ptə njυəriə/ noun a he-reditary condition where dark pigment ispresent in the urineallantoinallantoin /ə l ntəυn/ noun powder from theherb comfrey, used to treat skin disordersallantoisallantois /ə l ntəυs/ noun one of the mem-branes in the embryo, shaped like a sac, whichgrows out of the embryonic hindgutalleleallele /ə li l/ noun one of two or more alterna-tive forms of a gene, situated in the same areaon each of a pair of chromosomes and eachproducing a different effectallergenallergen / ləd ən/ noun a substance whichproduces hypersensitivityCOMMENT: Allergens are usually proteins andinclude foods, dust, hair of animals, as well aspollen from flowers. Allergic reaction to serumis known as anaphylaxis. Treatment of aller-gies depends on correctly identifying the aller-gen to which the patient is sensitive. This isdone by patch tests in which drops of differentallergens are placed on scratches in the skin.Food allergens discovered in this way can beavoided, but other allergens such as dust andpollen can hardly be avoided and have to betreated by a course of desensitising injections.allergenicallergenic / lə d enk/ adjective producingan allergic reaction ć the allergenic propertiesof fungal sporesallergenic agentallergenic agent / ləd enk ed ənt/noun a substance which produces an allergyallergicallergic /ə l d k/ adjective having an aller-gy to something ć She is allergic to cats. ć I’mallergic to penicillin.allergic agentallergic agent /ə l d k ed ənt/ noun asubstance which produces an allergic reactionallergic purpuraallergic purpura /ə l d k p pjυrə/ nouna form of the skin condition purpura, foundmost often in childrenallergic reactionallergic reaction /ə l d k ri kʃən/ nounan effect produced by a substance to which aperson has an allergy, such as sneezing or askin rashallergic rhinitisallergic rhinitis /ə l d k ra nats/ nouninflammation in the nose and eyes caused byan allergic reaction to plant pollen, mouldspores, dust mites or animal hair. ı hayfeverallergistallergist / ləd st/ noun a doctor who spe-cialises in the treatment of allergiesallergyallergy / ləd i/ noun an unusual sensitivityto some substances such as pollen or dust,which cause a physical reaction such as sneez-ing or a rash in someone who comes into con-tact with them ć She has an allergy to house-hold dust. ć He has a penicillin allergy. (NOTE:You have an allergy or you are allergic tosomething.)allergy braceletallergy bracelet / ləd i breslət/ noun ‘medical alert braceletalleviatealleviate /ə li viet/ verb to make pain or dis-comfort less severe ć The drug is effective inalleviating migraine headaches.allied health professionalallied health professional / lad helθprə feʃ(ə)n(ə)l/ noun a professional workingin medicine who is not a doctor or nurse, e.g. aphysiotherapist or paramedicallo-allo- / ləυ/ prefix differentMedicine.fm Page 13 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  20. 20. allodynia 14allodyniaallodynia / lə dniə/ noun pain of the skincaused by something such as clothing whichusually does not cause painallogeneicallogeneic / ləd ə nek/ adjective ((ofbody tissues)) genetically different and there-fore incompatible when transplantedallograftallograft / ləυ rɑ ft/ noun same as hom-ograftallopathyallopathy /ə lɒpəθi/ noun the treatment of acondition using drugs which produce oppositesymptoms to those of the condition. Comparehomeopathyallopurinolallopurinol / ləυ pjυərnɒl/ noun a drugwhich helps to stop the body producing uricacid, used in the treatment of goutall or none lawall or none law / ɔ l ɔ n n lɔ / noun therule that the heart muscle either contracts fullyor does not contract at allallylestrenolallylestrenol / lal estrənɒl/ noun a ster-oid used to encourage pregnancyalopeciaalopecia / ləυ pi ʃə/ noun a condition inwhich hair is lost. Compare hypotrichosisalopecia areataalopecia areata / ləυ pi ʃə ri etə/ nouna condition in which the hair falls out in patch-esalphaalpha / lfə/ noun the first letter of the Greekalphabetalpha-adrenoceptor antagonistalpha-adrenoceptor antagonist / lfə ədri nəυr septə n t ənst/, alpha-adren-oceptor blocker / lfə ə dri nəυr septəblɒkə/ noun a drug which can relax smoothmuscle, used to treat urinary retention and hy-pertension. Also called alpha blockeralpha cellalpha cell / lfə sel/ noun a type of cellfound in the islets of Langerhans, in the pan-creas, which produces glucagon, a hormonethat raises the level of glucose in the blood. ıbeta cellalpha-fetoproteinalpha-fetoprotein / lfə fi təυ prəυti n/noun a protein produced by the liver of the hu-man fetus, which accumulates in the amnioticfluid. A high or low concentration is tested forby amniocentesis in the antenatal diagnosis ofspina bifida or Down’s syndrome, respective-ly.alpha rhythmalpha rhythm / lfə rðəm/ noun the pat-tern of electrical activity in the brain of some-one who is awake but relaxed or sleepy, regis-tering on an electroencephalograph at 8–13hertzAlport’s syndromeAlport’s syndrome / ɔ lpɔ ts sndrəυm/noun a genetic disease of the kidneys whichsometimes causes a person to lose his or herhearing and sightalprostadilalprostadil / l prɒstədl/ noun a drug whichmakes blood vessels wider, used to treat impo-tence, prevent coagulation, and maintain ba-bies with congenital heart conditionsALSALS abbr 1. amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 2.antilymphocytic serumALTALT abbr alanine aminotransferasealternative medicinealternative medicine /ɔ l t nətvmed(ə)sn/ noun the treatment of illness us-ing therapies such as homoeopathy or naturop-athy which are not considered part of conven-tional Western medicine. ı complementarymedicinealtitude sicknessaltitude sickness / lttju d sknəs/ nouna condition caused by reduced oxygen in theair above altitudes of 7000 to 8000 feet (3600metres). Symptoms include headaches, breath-lessness, fatigue, nausea and swelling of theface, hands and feet. Also called high-altitudesickness, mountain sicknessaluminiumaluminium / lə mniəm/ noun a metallicelement extracted from the ore bauxite (NOTE:The US spelling is aluminum. The chemicalsymbol is Al.)aluminium hydroxidealuminium hydroxide / lə mniəm hadrɒksad/ noun a chemical substance used asan antacid to treat indigestion. Formula:Al(OH)3 or Al2O3.3H2O.alveolaralveolar / lv əυlə, l vi ələ/ adjective re-ferring to the alveolialveolar bonealveolar bone / lv əυlə bəυn/ noun partof the jawbone to which the teeth are attachedalveolar ductalveolar duct / lv əυlə d kt/ noun a ductin the lung which leads from the respiratorybronchioles to the alveoli. See illustration atLUNGS in Supplementalveolar wallalveolar wall / lv əυlə wɔ l/ noun one ofthe walls which separate the alveoli in thelungsalveolitisalveolitis / lviə lats/ noun inflammationof an alveolus in the lungs or the socket of atoothalveolusalveolus / lv əυləs, l vi ələs/ noun asmall cavity, e.g. an air sac in the lungs or thesocket into which a tooth fits. See illustrationat LUNGS in Supplement (NOTE: The plural is al-veoli.)Alzheimer plaqueAlzheimer plaque / ltshamə pl k/ nouna disc-shaped plaque of amyloid found in thebrain in people who have Alzheimer’s diseaseAlzheimer’s diseaseAlzheimer’s disease / ltshaməz d zi z/noun a disease where a person experiencesprogressive dementia due to nerve cell loss inspecific brain areas, resulting in loss of mentalfaculties including memory [Described 1906.After Alois Alzheimer (1864–1915), Bavarianphysician.]COMMENT: No single cause of Alzheimer’s dis-ease has been identified, although an earlyonset type occurs more frequently in somefamilies, due to a mutation in a gene on chro-mosome 21. Risk factors include age, genes,head injury, lifestyle and environment.amalgamamalgam /ə m l əm/ noun a mixture ofmetals, based on mercury and tin, used by den-tists to fill holes in teethamaurosisamaurosis / mɔ rəυss/ noun blindnesscaused by disease of the optic nerveMedicine.fm Page 14 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  21. 21. 15 amniaamaurosis fugaxamaurosis fugax / mɔ rəυss fju ks/noun temporary blindness in one eye, causedby problems of circulationamaurotic familial idiocyamaurotic familial idiocy / mɔ rɒtk fəmliəl diəsi/, amaurotic family idiocy /mɔ rɒtk f m(ə)li diəsi/ noun same asTay-Sachs diseaseamb-amb- / mb/ prefix same as ambi- (used beforevowels)ambi-ambi- / mbi/ prefix bothambidextrousambidextrous / mb dekstrəs/ adjectivereferring to a person who can use both handsequally well and who is not right- or left-hand-edambiguous genitaliaambiguous genitalia / m b juəs d enteliə/ noun a congenital condition in whichthe outer genitals do not look typical of thoseof either sexambisexualambisexual / mb sekʃuəl/ adjective, nounsame as bisexualamblyopiaamblyopia / mbli əυpiə/ noun a lack ofnormal vision without a structural cause. Acommon example is squint and other formsmay be caused by the cyanide in tobaccosmoke or by drinking methylated spirits.amblyopicamblyopic / mbli ɒpk/ adjective affectedby amblyopiaamblyoscopeamblyoscope / mbliəυskəυp/ noun an in-strument for measuring the angle of a squintand how effectively someone uses both theireyes together. Also called orthoptoscopeambulanceambulance / mbjυləns/ noun a van fortaking sick or injured people to hospital ć Theinjured man was taken away in an ambulance.ć The telephone number of the local ambu-lance service is in the phone book. ı St JohnAmbulance Association and Brigadeambulantambulant / mbjələnt/ adjective able towalkambulationambulation / mbju leʃ(ə)n/ noun walking˽ early ambulation is recommended patientsshould try to get out of bed and walk about assoon as possible after the operationambulatoryambulatory / mbju let(ə)ri/ adjective re-ferring to a patient who is not confined to bedbut is able to walk‘…ambulatory patients with essential hypertensionwere evaluated and followed up at the hypertensionclinic’ [British Medical Journal]ambulatory careambulatory care / mbju let(ə)ri keə/noun treatment of a patient which does not in-volve staying in hospital during the nightambulatory feverambulatory fever / mbju let(ə)ri fi və/noun a mild fever where the patient can walkabout and can therefore act as a carrier, e.g.during the early stages of typhoid feveramebaameba /ə mi bə/ noun US same as amoebaameliaamelia /ə mi liə/ noun the absence of a limbfrom birth, or a condition in which a limb isshort from birthameliorationamelioration /ə mi liə reʃ(ə)n/ noun theprocess of getting betterameloblastomaameloblastoma / mləυbl stəυmə/noun a tumour in the jaw, usually in the lowerjawamenorrhoeaamenorrhoea / emenə ri ə/ noun the ab-sence of one or more menstrual periods, usualduring pregnancy and after the menopauseametropiaametropia / m trəυpiə/ noun a conditionin which the eye cannot focus light correctlyonto the retina, as in astigmatism, hyper-metropia and myopia. Compare emmetropiaamfetamineamfetamine / m fetəmi n/ noun an addic-tive drug, similar to adrenaline, used to give afeeling of wellbeing and wakefulness. Alsocalled amphetamineamikacinamikacin / m kesn/ noun a type of anti-biotic used to treat infections caused by aero-bic bacteriaamilorideamiloride /ə mlərad/ noun a drug whichhelps to increase the production of urine andpreserve the body’s supply of potassiumamino acidamino acid /ə mi nəυ sd/ noun a chemi-cal compound which is broken down from pro-teins in the digestive system and then used bythe body to form its own proteinCOMMENT: Amino acids all contain carbon, hy-drogen, nitrogen and oxygen, as well as otherelements. Some amino acids are produced inthe body itself, but others have to be absorbedfrom food. The eight essential amino acidsare: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine,phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and va-line.aminobutyric acidaminobutyric acid /ə mi nəυbjυtrksd/ noun ‘ gamma aminobutyric acidaminoglycosideaminoglycoside /ə mi nəυ lakəsad/noun a drug used to treat many Gram-negativeand some Gram-positive bacterial infections(NOTE: Aminoglycosides include drugs withnames ending in -cin: gentamicin.)aminophyllineaminophylline / m nɒfli n/ noun a drugthat makes the bronchial tubes wider, used inthe treatment of asthmaamiodaroneamiodarone / mi ɒdərəυn/ noun a drugthat makes the blood vessels wider, used in thetreatment of irregular heartbeatamitosisamitosis / m təυss/ noun the multiplica-tion of a cell by splitting of the nucleusamitriptylineamitriptyline / m trptli n/ noun a seda-tive drug used to treat depression and persist-ent painamlodipineamlodipine / m lɒdpi n/ noun a drug thathelps to control the movement of calcium ionsthrough cell membranes. It is used to treat hy-pertension and angina.ammoniaammonia /ə məυniə/ noun a gas with astrong smell, a compound of nitrogen and hy-drogen, which is a usual product of human me-tabolismammoniumammonium /ə məυniəm/ noun an ionformed from ammoniaamnesiaamnesia / m ni ziə/ noun loss of memoryamniaamnia / mniə/ plural of amnionMedicine.fm Page 15 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  22. 22. amnihook 16amnihookamnihook / mnihυk/ noun a hooked instru-ment used to induce labour by pulling on theamniotic sacamnioamnio / mniəυ/ noun same as amniocente-sis (informal)amniocentesisamniocentesis / mniəυsen ti ss/ noun aprocedure which involves taking a test sampleof the amniotic fluid during pregnancy using ahollow needle and syringeCOMMENT: Amniocentesis and amnioscopy,the examination and testing of the amnioticfluid, give information about possible congen-ital disorders in the fetus as well as the sex ofthe unborn baby.amniographyamniography / mni ɒ rəfi/ noun an X-rayof the wombamnionamnion / mniən/ noun the thin sac contain-ing the amniotic fluid which covers an unbornbaby in the uterus. Also called amniotic sacamnioscopeamnioscope / mniəskəυp/ noun an instru-ment used to examine a fetus through the cer-vical channel, before the amniotic sac is bro-kenamnioscopyamnioscopy / mni ɒskəpi/ noun an exam-ination of the amniotic fluid during pregnancyamnioticamniotic / mni ɒtk/ adjective relating tothe amnionamniotic cavityamniotic cavity / mniɒtk k vti/ noun aspace formed by the amnion, full of amnioticfluidamniotic fluidamniotic fluid / mniɒtk flu d/ noun thefluid contained in the amnion which surroundsan unborn babyamniotic sacamniotic sac / mniɒtk s k/ noun sameas amnionamniotomyamniotomy / mni ɒtəmi/ noun a punctureof the amnion to help induce labouramoebaamoeba /ə mi bə/ noun a form of animal life,made up of a single cell (NOTE: The plural isamoebae.)amoebiasisamoebiasis / m baəss/ noun an infec-tion caused by amoebae which can result inamoebic dysentery in the large intestine (intes-tinal amoebiasis) and sometimes affects thelungs (pulmonary amoebiasis)amoebicamoebic /ə mi bk/ adjective relating to orcaused by amoebaeamoebic dysenteryamoebic dysentery /ə mi bk ds(ə)ntri/noun a form of dysentery mainly found in trop-ical areas that is caused by Entamoeba histo-lytica which enters the body through contami-nated water or unwashed foodamoebicideamoebicide /ə mi bsad/ noun a substancewhich kills amoebaeamorphousamorphous /ə mɔ fəs/ adjective with noregular shapeamoxicillinamoxicillin /ə mɒkssln/ noun an antibiot-icAmoxilAmoxil /ə mɒksl/ a trade name for amoxicil-linamphetamineamphetamine / m fetəmi n/ noun same asamfetamineamphetamine abuseamphetamine abuse / m fetəmi n əbju s/ noun the repeated addictive use of am-phetamines which in the end affects the mentalfacultiesamphiarthrosisamphiarthrosis / mfiɑ θrəυss/ noun ajoint which only has limited movement, e.g.one of the joints in the spineamphotericinamphotericin / mfəυ tersn/ noun an an-tifungal agent, used against Candidaampicillinampicillin / mp sln/ noun a type of peni-cillin, used as an antibioticampouleampoule / mpu l/, ampule / mpju l/noun a small glass container, closed at theneck, used to contain sterile drugs for use in in-jectionsampullaampulla / m pυlə/ noun a swelling of a ca-nal or duct, shaped like a bottle (NOTE: The plu-ral is ampullae.)amputateamputate / mpjυtet/ verb to remove alimb or part of a limb in a surgical operation ćThe patient’s leg needs to be amputated belowthe knee. ć After gangrene set in, surgeonshad to amputate her toes.amputationamputation / mpjυ teʃ(ə)n/ noun the sur-gical removal of a limb or part of a limbamputeeamputee / mpjυ ti / noun someone whohas had a limb or part of a limb removed in asurgical operationamygdalaamygdala /ə m dələ/ noun an almond-shaped body in the brain, at the end of the cau-date nucleus of the thalamus. Also called amy-gdaloid bodyamygdaloid bodyamygdaloid body /ə m dəlɔd bɒdi/noun same as amygdalaamyl-amyl- / m(ə)l/ prefix referring to starchamylaseamylase / mlez/ noun an enzyme whichconverts starch into maltoseamyl nitrateamyl nitrate / m(ə)l natret/ noun a drugused to reduce blood pressure (NOTE: Amyl ni-trate is also used as a recreational drug.)amyloidamyloid / mlɔd/ noun a waxy protein thatforms in some tissues during the developmentof various diseases, e.g. forming disc-shapedplaques in the brain in Alzheimer’s diseaseamyloid diseaseamyloid disease / mlɔd d zi z/ nounsame as amyloidosisamyloidosisamyloidosis / mlɔ dəυss/ noun a dis-ease of the kidneys and liver, where amyloiddevelops in the tissues. Also called amyloiddiseaseamyloid precursor proteinamyloid precursor protein / mlɔd prik sə prəυti n/ noun a compound found incell membranes from which beta amyloid isderived. A mutation of the gene causes early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in a few families.amylopsinamylopsin / m lɒpsn/ noun an enzymewhich converts starch into maltoseamyloseamylose / mləυz/ noun a carbohydrate ofstarchamyotoniaamyotonia / emaə təυniə/ noun a lack ofmuscle toneMedicine.fm Page 16 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM
  23. 23. 17 analysisamyotonia congenitaamyotonia congenita / emaətəυniə kənd entə/ noun a congenital disease of chil-dren in which the muscles lack tone. Alsocalled floppy baby syndromeamyotrophiaamyotrophia /e maə trəυfiə/ noun a con-dition in which a muscle wastes awayamyotrophic lateral sclerosisamyotrophic lateral sclerosis /emaətrɒfk l tər(ə)l sklə rəυss/ noun amotor neurone disease in which the limbstwitch and the muscles gradually waste away.Also called Gehrig’s disease. Abbr ALSamyotrophyamyotrophy /e ma ɒtrəfi/ same as amyo-trophiaan-an- / n/ prefix same as ana- (used before vow-els)ana-ana- / nə/ prefix without or lackinganabolicanabolic / nə bɒlk/ adjective referring to asubstance which synthesises protein‘…insulin, secreted by the islets of Langerhans, isthe body’s major anabolic hormone, regulating themetabolism of all body fuels and substrates’[Nursing Times]anabolic steroidanabolic steroid / nə bɒlk stərɔd/noun a drug which encourages the synthesis ofnew living tissue, especially muscle, from nu-trientsanabolismanabolism / n bəlz(ə)m/ noun the proc-ess of building up complex chemical substanc-es on the basis of simpler onesanacrotismanacrotism /ə n krətz(ə)m/ noun a secondstroke in the pulseanaemiaanaemia /ə ni miə/ noun a condition inwhich the level of red blood cells is less thanusual or where the haemoglobin is less, mak-ing it more difficult for the blood to carry oxy-gen. The symptoms are tiredness and pale col-our, especially pale lips, nails and the inside ofthe eyelids. The condition can be fatal if nottreated. (NOTE: The US spelling is anemia.)anaemicanaemic /ə ni mk/ adjective having anaemia(NOTE: The US spelling is anemic.)anaerobeanaerobe / nərəυb, n eərəυb/ noun amicroorganism which lives without oxygen,e.g. the tetanus bacillusanaerobicanaerobic / nə rəυbk/ adjective 1. notneeding oxygen for metabolism ć anaerobicbacteria 2. without oxygen ć anaerobic con-ditionsanaesthesiaanaesthesia / nəs θi ziə/ noun 1. a state,deliberately produced in a patient by a medicalprocedure, in which he or she can feel no pain,either in a part or in the whole of the body 2. aloss of feeling caused by damage to nerves(NOTE: The US spelling is anesthesia.)anaesthesiologistanaesthesiologist / nəsθi zi ɒləd st/noun US a specialist in the study of anaesthet-icsanaestheticanaesthetic / nəs θetk/ adjective induc-ing loss of feeling í noun a substance given tosomeone to remove feeling, so that he or shecan undergo an operation without pain‘Spinal and epidural anaesthetics can also causegross vasodilation, leading to heat loss’[British Journal of Nursing]anaesthetic inductionanaesthetic induction / nəsθetk nd kʃən/ noun a method of inducing anaesthe-sia in a patientanaesthetic riskanaesthetic risk / nəsθetk rsk/ nounthe risk that an anaesthetic may cause seriousunwanted side effectsanaesthetiseanaesthetise /ə ni sθətaz/, anaesthetizeverb to produce a loss of feeling in a person orin part of the person’s bodyanaesthetistanaesthetist /ə ni sθətst/ noun a specialistwho administers anaestheticsanalanal / en(ə)l/ adjective relating to the anusanal canalanal canal / en(ə)l kə n l/ noun a passageleading from the rectum to the anusanalepticanaleptic / nə leptk/ noun a drug used tomake someone regain consciousness or tostimulate a patientanal fissureanal fissure / en(ə)l fʃə/ noun a crack inthe mucous membrane of the wall of the analcanalanal fistulaanal fistula / en(ə)l fstjυlə/ noun a fistulawhich develops between the rectum and theoutside of the body after an abscess near theanus. Also called fistula in anoanalgesiaanalgesia / n(ə)l d i ziə/ noun a reductionof the feeling of pain without loss of con-sciousnessanalgesicanalgesic / n(ə)l d i zk/ adjective relat-ing to analgesia í noun a painkilling drugwhich produces analgesia and reduces pyrexiaCOMMENT: There are two types of analgesic:non-opioid such as paracetamol and aspirin(acetylsalicylic acid), and opioid such as co-deine phosphate. Opioid analgesics are usedfor severe pain relief such as in terminal care,as cough suppressants and to reduce gut mo-tility in cases of diarrhoea. Analgesics arecommonly used as local anaesthetics, for ex-ample in dentistry.anallyanally / en(ə)li/ adverb through the anus ćThe patient is not able to pass faeces anally.anal passageanal passage / en(ə)l p sd / noun sameas anusanal sphincteranal sphincter / en(ə)l sfŋktə/ noun astrong ring of muscle which closes the anusanal triangleanal triangle / en(ə)l tra ŋ (ə)l/ nounthe posterior part of the perineum. Also calledrectal triangleanalyseanalyse / nəlaz/ verb to examine some-thing in detail ć The laboratory is analysingthe blood samples. ć When the food was ana-lysed it was found to contain traces of bacte-ria. (NOTE: The US spelling is analyze.)analyseranalyser / nəlazə/ noun a machine whichanalyses blood or tissue samples automatically(NOTE: The US spelling is analyzer.)analysisanalysis /ə n ləss/ noun an examination ofa substance to find out what it is made of(NOTE: The plural is analyses.)Medicine.fm Page 17 Thursday, November 20, 2003 4:26 PM

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