Glossary

abdominal

Pertaining to the abdomen

abduction

The act of moving (taking) away from

adenoidectomy

removal of a gland

adenoiditis

Inflammation of the adenoids

adenoma

A mass or tumour in a gland

adrenal glands

Pertaining to near the kidneys; small, triangular glands located on top of the kidneys

adrenalectomy

Removal of one or both adrenal glands

adrenopathy

Disease of the adrenal glands

alveolar

Pertaining to the alveoli

amenorrhea 

No menstruation or no menstrual flow

amniocentesis

A surgical puncture to remove fluid from the amniotic sac

anal

Pertaining to the anus

analysis

To separate; for example, in a urinalysis

anemia

The condition of no blood

angina

Chest pain

angiogram

A record of the blood vessels

angioplasty

The surgical repair of a blood vessel

antepartum

Before birth

anterior

Pertaining to the front

antibiotic

Pertaining to against life

antigen

To produce against bacteria or viruses that enter the body

aortic

Pertaining to the aorta

aphakia

The condition of no lens of the eye

aphasia

No speech

apnea

No breathing

appendectomy

Removal of the appendix

appendicitis

Inflammation of the appendix

arachnophobia 

Aversion to or fear of spiders

arrhythmia

Pertaining to an irregular heart rhythm

Arteriolitis

Inflammation of the arterioles

arteriosclerosis

The hardening of an artery

arthralgia

The condition of pain in the joints

arthritis

Inflammation of the joints

arthrogram

A record (scan) of a joint

asthma

A chronic respiratory condition characterized by narrowing and swelling of the airways

atherosclerosis

Hardening (of the arteries) with plaque

atrophy

No nourishment or development

audiometer

An instrument used to measure hearing (sound)

audiometry

The process of measuring hearing (sound)

aural hematoma 

A mass of blood within the ear

autopsy

To view self

axillary

Pertaining to the armpit

balanitis 

Inflammation of the penis

bilateral

Pertaining to two (or both) sides

binocular

Pertaining to two eyes

biology

The study of life

biopsy

To view life

bradycardia

Pertaining to a slow heart rate

bronchiectasis

A chronic condition in which the walls of the bronchi thicken because of inflammation and infection

bronchioles

pertaining to the bronchial tubes

bronchiolitis 

Inflammation of the bronchioles

bronchitis

Inflammation of the bronchial tubes

bronchoscopy 

The process of visually examining the bronchial tubes

bronchospasm

A spasm or contraction in the bronchial tubes

carcinogenic

Producing or causing cancer

carcinoma

A cancerous mass or tumour

cardiologist

A specialist in the study of the heart

cardiology

The study of the heart

cardiomegaly

Enlargement of the heart

cardiomyopathy

Disease condition of the heart muscle

carpals

Pertaining to the wrists

cephalic

Pertaining to the head

cerebellitis

Inflammation of the cerebellum

cerebral

Pertaining to the cerebrum

cerebrovascular accident

Pertaining to a cerebrum blood vessel accident, which is commonly known as a stroke or abbreviated as CVA

cervical

Pertaining to the cervix

chemotherapy

Treatment with drugs

cholecystectomy

Removal of the gallbladder

cholecystostomy

An opening into the gallbladder; often done for drainage

chondrocytes

Cells in cartilage; the only cells found in healthy cartilage

chronic

Pertaining to time; sometimes meaning over a period of time

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

A chronic inflammatory condition of the lungs; often abbreviated as COPD

coccygeal

Pertaining to the coccyx

colectomy

Removal of part of the colon

colitis

Inflammation of the colon

colonography

The processing of a recording (often a CT scan) of the colon

colonoscope

An instrument used to visually exam the colon

colonoscopy

The process of visually examining the colon

colostomy

An opening into the colon

colpotomy

An incision into the vagina (usually the back wall of the vagina)

coronary

Pertaining to the heart

costectomy

Removal of all or part of a rib

craniotomy

Cutting into the skull

cryotherapy

Treatment with cold

cutaneous

Pertaining to the skin

cyanotic

Bluish or purplish discolouration caused by oxygen deficiency in the blood

cystitis

Inflammation of the urinary bladder

cystoscope

An instrument to visually examine the urinary bladder

cytology

The study of cells

dehydration

The condition of down (too little) water

dermal

Pertaining to the skin

dermatologist

A specialist in the study of the skin

dermatology

The study of the skin

diagnosis

A state of complete knowledge (this term is an exception to the rules; the suffix -sis means "state of")

dialysis

To break down completely, as in kidney dialysis

duodenoscope

An instrument used to view the duodenum

durotomy

An incision into the dura mater

dysentery 

Condition of painful intestines

dyspepsia 

Painful digestion

dysphagia

Difficulty eating

dysphasia

Difficulty speaking

dysplasia

An abnormal formation or growth

dyspnea

Pain or difficulty breathing

dysuria

Painful urination

ectopic

Pertaining to out of place or position; often used in reference to an ectopic pregnancy, which is a pregnancy that occurs outside its normal location in the uterus

electrocardiogram

A record of electricity in the heart

electrocardiograph

An instrument used to record the electrical activity of the heart

electrocardiography

The process of recording the electricity of the heart

electroencephalogram

A record of electricity in the brain

encephalopathy

A disease or disorder of the brain

endocrine

To secrete within; for example, endocrine glands secrete hormones

endometrial

Pertaining to within the uterus

endoscope

A instrument used to visually examine within (the body)

enteritis

Inflammation of the intestines

epidermal

Pertaining to above the skin

epidural

Pertaining to upon the dura mater

epiglottitis 

Inflammation of the epiglottis

epithelial

Pertaining to the surface layer of the skin

erythrocyte

A cell that is red; red blood cell

esophageal

Pertaining to the esophagus

esophagogastrectomy

Removal of part of the esophagus and stomach

euphoria

A state of goodness

excision

To cut out

exocrine 

To secrete outside; for example, exocrine glands

extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy

A procedure that breaks up stones using a series of shock waves generated by a machine called a lithotripter

extravascular

Pertaining to outside the vascular system

gastralgia 

The condition of pain in the stomach

gastric

Pertaining to the stomach

gastroenteritis 

Inflammation of the stomach and intestines

gastroscopy

The process of visually examining the stomach

glycosuria 

Condition of sugar in urine

gynecology

The study of women

hematemesis

Vomiting blood

hematology 

The study of blood

hematoma

A mass of blood

hematuria

Condition of blood in urine

hemigastrectomy

Removal of half the stomach

hemiplegia

Paralysis of half the body, usually caused by a cerebrovascular accident (stroke)

hemodialysis

Separating or breaking down blood completely

hemoglobin

A protein in the blood that carries oxygen

hemorrhage

Excessive discharge of blood, often from a trauma

hepatitis

Inflammation of the liver

hepatoma

A mass or tumour on the liver

hydrocele

Swelling in the scrotum caused by an accumulation of fluid

hyperglycemia

The condition of high blood sugar

hyperpituitarism 

An overactive pituitary gland

hyperplasia

Enlargement of an organ or tissue caused by an increase in the number of cells

hypertension

Pressure that is high; high blood pressure

hyperthyroidism

A condition of high thyroid

hypertrophy

Excessive development

hypophysectomy

Surgical removal of the pituitary gland

hypotension

Pressure that is low; low blood pressure

hypothyroidism

A condition of low thyroid

hysterectomy

Removal of the uterus

ileostomy

An opening (stoma) in the ileum

incision

The process of cutting into

inguinal

Pertaining to the groin

intercellular

Pertaining to between cells

intercostal

Pertaining to between the ribs

intradermal

Pertaining to within the skin

intrauterine

Pertaining to within the uterus

intravenous

Pertaining to within a vein

ischemia

Blood held back or to hold back blood

jejunoileitis

Inflammation of the jejunum and ileum (a type of Crohn's disease)

laparoscope

An instrument to visually examine the abdomen

laparotomy

Cutting into the abdomen

laryngitis 

Inflammation of the larynx

lateral

Pertaining to the side

leukemia

A condition of the white blood cells; usually cancer

leukocyte

A cell that is white; white blood cell

ligamentitis

Inflammation of a ligament

lumbar

Pertaining to the loins or waist

lymphadenectomy 

Removal of a lymph node

lymphangitis

Inflammation of the lymph vessels or lymphatic system

lymphocyte

A type of white blood cell in the immune system; the main type of cell in lymph

macrocephalus 

Pertaining to a large head or cranium

macrophage 

A type of large white blood cell that surrounds and kills microorganisms, removes dead cells, and stimulates other immune system cells

malignant

Growing in an uncontrolled or invasive way; typically refers to cancer that has spread to nearby organs or tissues

mammogram

A record of the breast

mammography

The process of recording an X-ray of the breast

mastectomy

Removal of one or both breasts

mediastinotomy

An incision into the mediastinum

medullary

Pertaining to the medulla oblongata

meningitis

Inflammation of the meninges

menorrhagia

Excessive discharge of blood during menstruation

menorrhea

Discharge or flow of menses; normal menstrual flow

metastasis

To change place

microscope

An optical instrument used to view small particles by magnifying the particles

multipara 

Many births; refers to a woman who has had two or more live births

muscular

Pertaining to muscle

myalgia

The condition of pain in the muscles

myectomy

Removal of part or all of a muscle

myelitis

Inflammation of the spinal cord

myeloma

A malignant tumour in the bone marrow

myositis

Inflammation of muscle

myringoplasty

Surgical correction of the eardrum

nasal

Pertaining to the nose

necrosis

An abnormal condition of death

neonatal

Pertaining to new birth

neoplasm

New formation or growth

neoplastic 

Pertaining to new growth (note that the spelling is an exception to the rules)

nephrectomy

Removal of a kidney

nephritis

Inflammation of the kidneys

nephrosis

An abnormal condition of the kidney

neural 

Pertaining to the nerves

neuralgia

The condition of pain in the nerves

neurologist

A specialist in the study of nerves (nervous system)

neurology

The study of the nerves (nervous system)

neuropathy

A disease condition of the nerves

nulliparous

No birth; a women who has never given birth

ocular

Pertaining to the eye

oliguria 

Very little urine; this condition is characterized by below-normal output of urine of approximately 300 to 500 mL per day

oncology

The study of tumours

onycholysis

The separation or break down of a fingernail or toenail

oocyte

A cell in the ovaries

oophorectomy

Removal of the ovaries

ophthalmologist 

A specialist in the study of the eye

ophthalmology

The study of the eye

ophthalmoscopy

The process of visually examining the eye

optical

Pertaining to the eye

oral

Pertaining to the mouth

orchidotomy 

An incision into the testis

orchioplasty

Surgical repair of the testes

orchitis

Inflammation of the testis

orthodontist

A dentist who specializes in straightening teeth and correcting bites

osteoarthritis

Inflammation of the bones and joints

osteomyelitis

Inflammation of the bone and muscle

otalgia

The condition of pain in the ear

ovarian

Pertaining to the ovaries

pancreatic

Pertaining to the pancreas

pancreatitis

Inflammation of the pancreas

pancytopenia

Deficiency in all blood cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets)

paracentesis 

Removal of fluid from the peritoneal cavity

paraplegia

Paralysis of the lower half of the body

parathyroid

Pertaining to beside the thyroid

parathyroidectomy

Removal of the parathyroid gland

pathology

The study of disease

pelvic

Pertaining to the pelvis

pericardium

A structure surrounding the heart

peritoneal

Pertaining to the peritoneum

pharyngectomy

Removal of part of the pharynx

pharyngitis

Inflammation of the pharynx

phlebitis 

Inflammation of the vein

phlebotomy

An incision into a vein

phrenic nerve

The nerve that controls the diaphragm

pilosebaceous

Pertaining to the hair and sebaceous glands

pleuritis

Inflammation of the pleura

pneumonia

Pertaining to the lungs; a serious lung infection caused by a virus or bacteria

pneumonitis

Inflammation of the lungs

pneumothorax 

An accumulation of air in the space between the pleura

polydactyly

Pertaining to many digits

polydipsia

Much thirst

polyuria

Much urine or producing much urine

postmortem

Death after or after death

precancerous

Pertaining to before cancer; many colon polyps are this type

proctologist 

A specialist in the study of the anus and rectum

prognosis

Knowledge before or making a prediction of the outcome

prolapse

To fall forward

prostatectomy

Surgical removal of part or all of the prostate

prosthesis

To place in front; an artificial limb

prothrombin

Pertaining to before clotting

psychiatrist

A specialist in the treatment of the mind

psychiatry

Treatment of the mind

psychologist

A specialist in the study of the mind

psychology

The study of the mind

psychosis

An abnormal condition of the mind

pulmonary

Pertaining to the lungs

pyeloplasty 

Surgical correction of the renal pelvis

quadriplegia

Paralysis of all four extremities

radiotherapy

Treatment with X-rays

rectal

Pertaining to the rectum

relapse

To slide back

remission

To send back

renal

Pertaining to the kidneys

resection

To cut back

retinopathy

A disease condition of the retina

retrohepatic

Pertaining to behind the liver

retroperitoneal 

Pertaining to behind the peritoneum

rhinitis

Inflammation of the nose

rhinorrhea

Discharge from the nose

sacroiliitis

Inflammation of the sacrum and ileum (around the joint)

salpingectomy

Removal of the fallopian tubes

salpingitis 

Inflammation of the fallopian tubes

sarcoma

A tumour or mass in the flesh

scrotitis

Inflammation of the scrotum

septicemia

Infection of the blood

sigmoidoscopy

The process of viewing the sigmoid colon

spinal stenoisis

Narrowing of the space within the spine; can cause compression of the spinal nerves

splenectomy 

Removal of the spleen

spondylosis

A degenerative condition of the spine cause by ongoing wear and tear

stomatologist

A specialist in the study of the mouth

subdural

Pertaining to under the dura mater

subhepatic

Pertaining to below the liver

subscapular

Pertaining to below the scapula

suprapubic

Pertaining to above the pubic region

symbiotic

Pertaining to together in life

syndrome

A group of signs and symptoms that combine to form a syndrome

tachycardia

Pertaining to a fast heart rate

tendinopathy

Disease condition of a tendon

tenotomy

An incision into a tendon

thoracic 

Pertaining to the chest

thrombocyte

A cell that clots (platelet)

thymocyte

An immunity cell in the thymus gland

thyroadenitis

Inflammation of the thyroid gland

thyroidotomy

An incision into the thyroid gland

tonsillectomy

Removal of the tonsils

tonsillitis

Inflammation of the tonsils

tracheostomy

An incision into the trachea

tracheotomy

To cut into the windpipe (trachea)

transdermal

Pertaining to across the skin

triceps 

An arm muscle with three attachment points (lateral, medial, and long) that joins the humerus and scapula to the ulna

trichotillomania 

A mental illness characterized by the compulsion to pull out one's own hair

tympanostomy 

A small tube inserted into the eardrum

ultrasonogram

A record beyond sound

ultrasonography

The process of recording beyond sound

ungiectomy

The surgical removal of a fingernail or toenail

unilateral

Pertaining to one side

uremia

A blood condition with urea (a waste product)

ureteroscopy

The process of visually examining the ureters (upper urinary tract)

urethritis

Inflammation of the urethra

urethrotomy

An incision into the urethra

urologist

A specialist in the study of the urinary tract

uterotomy

An incision into the uterus

vaginitis 

Inflammation of the vagina

vascular

Pertaining to the blood vessels

vasectomy

A surgical procedure for male sterilization

vasoconstriction

Narrowing of a blood vessel

venulectasia

A large, palpable type of spider vein that is usually purple

vertebral

Pertaining to the vertebra

vesicostomy

An incision into the urinary bladder

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The Language of Medical Terminology by Lisa Sturdy and Susanne Erickson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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