Anatomy, Pathophysiology, And Disease Processes Block 1


Medical Conditions And Explanations.
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Chemical
 
Atoms and molecules. Atoms such as nitrogen, oxygen, and calcium are essential to the maintenance of life. These atoms combine to form molecules in the body. Examples of molecules are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins.
Cellular
 
Molecules combine to form cells. The cells of the body are the basic structural and functional units of an organism. Examples of cells in the body include muscle cells, nerve cells, and blood cells.
Epithelial
 
Protective tissue found in the linings of cavities and organs and as part of the integumentary system, or skin. This tissue helps to protect the structures it lines from injury and fluid loss.
Muscle (tissue)
 
Responsible for all of the movement of the body. It is subdivided into divisions of skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, and cardiac muscle. Skeletal muscle is made of long fibers and is the tissue that allows for voluntary body movements. Smooth muscle lines the internal organs and carries out primarily involuntary body movements that assist in organ function. Cardiac muscle is found only in the heart and is specifically designed to maintain heartbeat and blood flow.
Connective (tissue)
 
Tissue that binds the body together and supports posture and function. This tissue is divided into three subtypes depending on function. Supporting connective tissue consists of the bones and cartilage of the body, which give the body support and base structure. Binding connective tissue is defined as the tendons and ligaments—thick strong tissue that binds muscle to bone and bones to each other. Fibrous connective tissue is also a binding material, though instead of connecting other connective tissues, this tissue connects muscles together and binds the skin to the rest of the body. Adipose, or fat cells, are part of this subdivision serving as a cushioning layer to protect the body.
Nervous (tissue)
 
Composed of nerve cells. It is used as the communication system of the body by passing electronic messages to and from the brain. This allows for all motor functions, both voluntary and involuntary.
Organ
 
The different kinds of tissue discussed above combine to form the organ level. The organs are composed of two or more types of these tissues. Each organ has specific functions and recognizable shapes. Some examples of organs are the heart, lungs, brain, liver, and kidneys.
System
 
A system is made up of several organs that have a common function. For example, the organs that are a part of the digestive system break down and absorb food. These organs include the mouth, pharynx (throat), esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Some organs can be part of more than one system. For example, the pancreas is part of both the digestive system and the endocrine system.
Organism
 
The largest structural level is the organism level. All the parts which make up the body and function with each other form the total organism (one living individual).
Tissue
 
Tissues are made up of groups of cells and the materials surrounding them. They work together to perform specific functions. There are four types of tissues in your body.
Acquired
 
This means that the patient was not born with it (it was not hereditary or congenital).
Example: AIDS—acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
Congenital
 
Present at birth. This differs from a hereditary condition in that it is not necessarily inherited from the parents. Occasionally infants are born with a congenital heart defect that requires surgery or leads to death.
Example: Congenital hydrocephalus
Deficiency
 
A lack or defect. Many diseases are caused by a lack of some vital chemical substance or compound, such as a lack of red blood cells, defined as anemia or a lack of oxygen, characterizing hypoxia.
Example: Iron deficiency anemia
Degenerative
 
Pertaining to deteriorating. Going from normal to less than normal or dysfunctional. The deterioration of anatomical structures or tissues causes many different diseases, such as degenerative joint disease or Alzheimer disease.
Example: Degenerative joint disease
Developmental
 
A type of disease that occurs as a result of some abnormality in the development of tissue, an organ, or body part. These are often characterized as disorders, and many of them occur before birth or during the growth stages, such as osteodystrophy.
Example: Muscular dystrophy
Essential
 
A term assigned to diseases for which the cause is unknown. It is assumed that it arises spontaneously, such as in essential hypertension.
Example: Essential hypertension
Familial
 
Occurring in or affecting more members of a family than would be expected by chance alone, such as familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This would suggest a hereditary component.
Example: Familial hemophagocytic reticulosis
Functional
 
A functional disease is one in which the structure is unaffected but it is not functioning properly. An example is menorrhea or menorrhagia that cannot be explained by fibroids, endometriosis, infection, or some other obvious cause.
Example: Psychogenic disorder
Hereditary
 
This term means genetically transmitted from parent to offspring, and should be a familiar term. As with any trait—eye color, hair color, height, etc.—diseases can be genetically transferred. Examples include hemophilia, dyslexia, and asthma.
Example: Hemophilia
Idiopathic
 
This also means of unknown cause, arising spontaneously, such as idiopathic cardiomyopathy.
Example: Spontaneous pneumothorax
Infectious
 
A disease that is caused by an infection (that makes sense, doesn’t it?). An infection is the invasion and multiplication of microorganisms in body tissue. There are many different types of bacteria that cause infection and infective diseases, such as pneumonia and mononucleosis. Other infectious agents are viruses and fungi.
Example: Streptococcal aureus
Molecular
 
A disease caused by abnormality in the chemical structure or concentration of a single molecule (the smallest amount of a substance which can exist alone), usually a protein or enzyme. Molecular diseases are often also congenital.
Example: Sickle cell anemia
Neoplastic
 
Pertaining to any new and abnormal growth, specifically a new growth of tissue which is progressive and uncontrolled. These growths are generally called tumors. A neoplasm can be either benign or malignant. Malignant means tending to become progressively worse, resulting in death. Benign is simply the opposite of malignant. Cancer is an example of a neoplastic disease.
Example: Malignant neoplasm
Nutritional
 
A disease caused by nutritional factors, such as insufficient or excessive dietary intake. Common nutritional diseases are eating disorders, such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa. Scurvy is an example of a disease caused by poor nutrition and vitamin deficiency.
Example: Rickets
Organic
 
A disease that is due to a demonstrable abnormality in a bodily structure or the composition of its fluids.
Example: Heart murmur
Traumatic
 
Resulting from some type of injury: physical, chemical, or psychological. Many pathologies fall into this category, such as fractures, burns, dislocations, cuts, injuries from a motor vehicle or other accidents, war wounds, or the psychological effects of abuse, war, or rape, leading to diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Example: Laceration
Acute
 
A short and relatively severe course. A patient with an acute illness has not been experiencing symptoms for very long. An example of this would be acute appendicitis. This is an inflammation of the appendix, which develops quickly and often necessitates surgery because of the severity of the symptoms and the likelihood of the appendix bursting.
Example: Acute respiratory failure
Asymptomatic
 
Having no symptoms. Although generally individuals do not go to a doctor or hospital when they are not experiencing symptoms, underlying asymptomatic diseases are often discovered during examinations, which are either routine or being performed for a different reason.
Example: Asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus
Chronic
 
Persisting over a long period of time. This is the opposite of acute. A chronic condition can last for months, years, and even a lifetime. One example is chronic bronchitis, which results in daily and sometimes constant coughing and changes in the lung tissue.
Example: Chronic obstructive lung disease
Disabling
 
Causes impairment of normal functions. This could include impairment of motility (walking), breathing, feeding oneself, sight, hearing, standing up, etc.
Example: Blindness
End-stage
 
A progressively deteriorating condition that has reached a point of terminal functional impairment of the affected organ or system. An example of this is end-stage liver disease, when the liver is so severely affected by incurable cirrhosis that it is in the final phases of ceasing to function.
Example: End-stage renal disease
Axial skeleton
 
The axial skeleton has 80 bones and includes the bones of the skull, vertebral column, thoracic cage, sternum, hyoid, and ears.
  • Skull 21 (8 paired and 5 unpaired)
  • Ossicles of Ears 6 (3 per side)
  • Lower Jaw 1
  • Hyoid
  • Vertebrae 26 bones
  • Chest 25 bones
  • Total 80
Appendicular skeleton
 
The appendicular skeleton has 126 bones and includes the bones of the upper and lower extremities.
  • Upper extremities 64 bones
  • Lower extremities 62 bones
  • Total 126
Erythrocytes
 
red blood cells
Lymphocytes
 
white blood cells
Red blood cells
 
carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body
White blood cells
 
help fight infections and aid the immune system
Stem cells
 
reproduce themselves and all other blood cells
Monocytes
 
white blood cells
Neutrophils
 
white blood cells
Phosphorus
 
mineral
Minerals provide bones with
 
rigidity and strength
Bone cells
 
Cells the body has programmed to create bones
Immature bone
 
The first formation of bone
Mature bone
 
Bone that has ossified and calcified
Ossification
 
Bone formation
Osteoblasts
 
Bone-forming cells that secrete a matrix which becomes calcified
Osteoclasts
 
Large multinucleated cells that reabsorb bone matrix
Osteocytes
 
Former osteoblasts that are surrounded by bone matrix and have calcified
Canaliculi
 
The narrow channels through which the osteocytes extend.
Cancellous bone
 
A spongy structure; refers mostly to bone tissue.
Cortical (compact) bone
 
The hard layer that generally makes up the outer surface of bones.
Lacunae
 
Small cavities containing mature bone cells.
Osteocytes
 
Mature bone cells.
Long bones
 
Long bones are bones whose length is greater than their width, such as the bones of the extremities (tibia, fibula, femur, radius, ulna, humerus).
Short bones
 
Short bones are shaped more like cubes and are generally found in the ankle and wrist (carpus and tarsus).
Flat bones
 
Flat bones are found in the cranial vault, sternum (breastbone), shoulder blades, and ribs. Flat bones are made up of a layer of marrow (diploe) sandwiched between two layers of compact bone.
Irregular bones
 
Irregular bones are a mix of irregularly shaped bones that do not fall into any of the other bone-type categories. They are found in the face, spinal column, and hips.
Sesamoid bones
 
Sesamoid bones are mostly rounded masses embedded in certain tendons and are usually related to the surfaces of joints. Included in this group are the patella (kneecap), metacarpophalangeal joints of the hands, and metatarsophalangeal joints of the toes.
Wormian bones
 
Wormian bones are small bones found between suture lines of the skull where the edges of the skull bones are joined together.
Sinuses
 
Cavities inside a bone.
Head
 
Rounded end of a long bone (the rounded tip).
Foramen
 
Opening or hole in a bone.
Tubercle
 
Small rounded projections.
Fossa/Groove/Pit
 
Indentation of a bone, also called a depression.
Condyles/Epicondyles
 
Rounded bone projections.
Neck
 
Constricted end of a long bone before the head or rounded end.
Canal/Meatus
 
Long or deep hole in a bone.
Facets
 
Small, smooth, and flat areas.
Tuberosity
 
Large rounded projections.
Anterior fontanel
 
The space where the frontal angles of the parietal bones meet the two ununited halves of the frontal bone.
Posterior fontanel
 
The space where the occipital angles of the parietal bones meet the occipital.
Anterolateral fontanels
 
An interval on either side of the head where the frontal angle of the temporal bone and greater wing of the sphenoid meet.
Posterolateral fontanels
 
The interval on either side of the head between the mastoid angle of the parietal bone, the temporal bone, and the occipital bone.
Coronal suture
 
Joins the frontal bone to the two parietal bones
Frontal bone
 
Bone that closes the anterior part of the cranial cavity and forms the skeleton of the forehead
Lambdoid suture
 
Joins the two parietal bones to the occipital bone
Occipital bone
 
Bone situated at the posterior and inferior part of the cranium; articulating with the two parietal and two temporal bones
Parietal bones
 
Bones forming part of the superior and lateral surfaces of the skull, and joining each other in the midline at the sagittal suture
Sagittal Sutures
 
Joins one parietal bone to the other parietal bone
Squamous suture
 
Joins the parietal bones to the temporal bones
Temporal bones
 
Bones forming part of the lateral surfaces and the base of the skull, and containing the organs of hearing
Cervical spine
 
The cervical spine contains 7 vertebrae located in the neck area. In medical reports this spine is abbreviated C1-C7. The cervical spine curve is concave. With the ability to raise the head and stand with erect posture comes the development of this curve, which is why infants are not born with the cervical spine curve.
Thoracic spine
 
The thoracic spine contains 12 vertebrae located in the chest area, which connect to the ribs. In medical reports this spine is abbreviated T1-T12. The thoracic spine curve is convex and is already formed at the time of birth.
Articulate
 
Loosely connect or join. The 12 vertebrae of the thoracic spine articulate to the 12 ribs to form protection for the thoracic cavity.
Lumbar spine
 
The lumbar spine contains 5 vertebrae located in the lower back. The lumbar spine curve is concave. Like the thoracic spine, it is already formed at the time of birth.
Sacral spine
 
The sacral spine consists of 5 fused sacral vertebrae. It is easily distinguishable as an upside-down triangular shape. The two lateral surfaces (sides) are smooth for articulation (loose connection) with the iliac bones of the pelvis.
Coccyx (coccygeal spine)
 
The coccyx or “tailbone” is a single bone formed by fusion of 4-5 coccygeal vertebrae. When pressure is placed on the coccyx, it moves forward and acts like a shock absorber. Sitting down or falling on it too hard can cause it to become fractured. The adjectival form of coccyx is coccygeal.
Intervertebral discs
 
Intervertebral disks (also correctly spelled discs) are composed of fibrous tissue and cartilage located between the vertebrae. Their function is to form strong joints and absorb spinal compression and shock.
Manubrium
 
Upper portion (handle) of the sternum.
Body
 
Middle section of the sternum.
Xiphoid process
 
Distal portion of the sternum.
Sternal angle
 
Area of sternum where the manubrium and body join.
Clavicle
 
The collarbone; the first bone in the human body to ossify.
Sternal end
 
The end of the clavicle that is attached to the sternum.
Acromial end
 
The end of the clavicle that is attached to the acromion.
Scapula
 
Another name for the shoulder blade.
Acromion
 
Process that helps form point of the shoulder.
Coracoid
 
Process that helps form point of the shoulder.
Glenoid cavity
 
Cavity where the humerus rests.
Humerus
 
Upper arm bone.
Styloid process
 
Forms a margin for the tendons of two muscles to the thumb.
Ulna
 
Forearm bone located on the pinky side.
Olecranon
 
The large process at the proximal end of the ulna which projects behind the articulation with the humerus and forms the bony prominence of the elbow.
Trochlear notch
 
Pulley-shaped structure of the elbow.
Radial notch
 
Point at which the radius and ulna articulate.
Carpals
 
Wrist bones.
Metacarpals
 
Bones of the hands.
Os coxae
 
the hip bone
Femur
 
the thigh bone
Ilium
 
wings of the hip bone
Ischium
 
lower part of the "eye mask" of the hip bone
Symphysis pubis
 
the portion of the hip bone between the "eyes"
Greater trochanter
 
bony prominence where muscles attach to the femur
Lesser trochanter
 
bony prominence where muscles attach to the femur
Acetabulum
 
a groove in the hip bone
Medial epicondyle
 
a protrusion to which ligaments and tendons attach on the inferior end of the rounded shaft of the femur
Lateral epicondyle
 
a protrusion to which ligaments and tendons attach on the inferior end of the rounded shaft of the femur
Patella
 
kneecap
Tibia
 
largest of the two lower leg bones
Malleolus
 
the ankle bone that is a bony extension of the tibia
Fibula
 
long, skinny lower leg bone
Tarsals
 
ankle bones that support weight and act as shock absorbers
Talus
 
one of the 7 tarsal bones
Calcaneus
 
one of the 7 tarsal bones
Cuboid
 
one of the 7 tarsal bones
Navicular
 
one of the 7 tarsal bones
Cuneiforms
 
one of the 7 tarsal bones; there are three
Metatarsals
 
bones of the feet that sit upon arches; there are 5 in each foot
Phalanges
 
the toe bones; 14 per foot
Transverse arch
 
Formed at the base of the metatarsals, extending from the medial to the lateral sides of the foot
Medial longitudinal arch
 
Predominant arch, running from the base of the calcaneus to the talus, and down to the three medial metatarsals
Lateral longitudinal arch
 
Arches just enough to redistribute body weight to the calcaneus and head of the fifth metatarsal
Calcaneus
 
Heel bone; the strongest bone in the foot
Fibrous joints
 
No joint cavity and, in general, do not move.
Cartilaginous joints
 
Have no cavities and are somewhat moveable.
Synovial joints
 
Have joint cavities that are kept lubricated by synovial fluid
Plane joints
 
Joints that glide where the flat ends of bones connect.
Uniaxial joints
 
Allow movement around one axis only.
Biaxial joints
 
Allow movement around two axes.
Multiaxial joints
 
Allow movement around three axes.
Flexion
 
Bending to decrease the angle between two bones. Think of this as “flexing” the biceps.
Extension
 
Unbending to increase the angle between two bones. Think of this as extending, as in reaching your arm as far as you can (virtually eliminating the angle between the humerus and the radius/ulna).
Abduction
 
Moving a body part away from the midline.
Adduction
 
Moving a body part toward the midline. (Think of this as adding a body part back to the body.)
Circumduction
 
Movement of a body part in a circle, which can include all the above joint movements as well.
Accessory ligament
 
Any ligament that strengthens or supports another ligament.
Arcuate ligament
 
Means curved or bow-shaped ligaments; they are located in the spine and assist in maintaining the erect position. (Also called ligamenta flava [plural], and ligamentum flavum [singular].)
Collateral ligament
 
There are several types of collateral ligaments, including fibular, radial, tibial, ulnar, etc. These are basically ligaments that are not direct, but are supporting ligaments.
Coracoid ligament
 
Coracoid means like a raven’s beak and is used to describe an area on the scapula. It is so named for its shape.
Cruciate ligament
 
Cruciate means shaped like a cross. There are different types of cruciate ligaments, including anterior, posterior, and lateral. They appear in many places in human anatomy, such as the knees, fingers, and toes.
Falciform ligament
 
Falciform means shaped like a sickle and appears near the sacral tuberosity as well as within the liver.
Inguinal ligament
 
Inguinal is a term used to describe the groin area.
Interosseous ligament
 
Interosseous means between bones and describes several different ligaments.
Longitudinal ligament
 
Longitudinal simply means lengthwise. It is used to describe any ligament that runs lengthwise.
Nuchal ligament
 
Nuchal means pertaining to the neck.
Triquetral ligament
 
Triquetral means three cornered and appears in different places throughout the body. The prefix tri- should be familiar as meaning three.
Apophyseal
 
A fracture in which a small fragment is torn from the bone.
Articular
 
A fracture of the joint surface.
Avulsion
 
An indirect fracture caused by tearing or pulling of a ligament.
Blow-out
 
A fracture of the orbital floor caused by traumatic force.
Boxer
 
Fracture of the metacarpal neck, caused by striking something hard with a closed fist.
Bucket-handle
 
Also called a "bucket-handle tear," it is a tear in the cartilage and it leaves a loop of cartilage lying in the intercondylar notch.
Burst
 
Also called an "axial compression fracture," it is a fracture of a vertebra, often injuring the spinal cord.
Butterfly
 
A comminuted fracture resulting in two fragments of bone on either side of a main fragment; the result resembles a butterfly.
Buttonhole
 
Also called a "perforating fracture," it results when a bone is perforated by a missile.
Chisel
 
Detachment of a piece from the head of the radius.
Cleavage
 
Shelling off of cartilage by a small fragment of bone.
Closed
 
A fracture that does not penetrate or produce an open wound in the skin.
Colles'
 
Fracture of the lower end of the radius, where the fragment is displaced.
Communited
 
A fracture in which the bone is splintered or crushed.
Complete
 
A fracture in which the bone is entirely broken all the way across.
Complicated
 
When there is injury to adjacent parts of the bone due to a fracture.
Compound
 
Basically just an open fracture.
Compression
 
A fracture as a result of compression.
Condylar
 
A fracture of the humerus where a small fragment that includes the condyle is separated from the bone.
Dislocation
 
A fracture that occurs near a joint and results in displacement of the joint.
Greenstick
 
Also called "hickory-stick fracture," it is a fracture in which one side of the bone is broken and the other side is bent.
Hangman's
 
A fracture through the axis (C2).
Impacted
 
When one fragment of a fracture is driven into another.
Indirect
 
A fracture that occurs at a point distant from the injury.
Insufficiency
 
A stress fracture that occurs when there is a normal amount of stress, but the bone is of decreased density.
Intra-articular
 
A fracture on the articular surface of a bone (also acceptably presented as intraarticular).
Intracapsular
 
A fracture occurring within the capsule of a joint.
Intrauterine
 
Fracture of a fetal bone while in utero.
Le Fort
 
Fracture of the maxilla. (There are different types of Le Fort fractures; they are dictated "Le Fort 1, 2, or 3" and are transcribed as Le Fort I, Le Fort II, and Le Fort III.)
Linear
 
A fracture extending along the length of a bone.
Longitudinal
 
A break extending in a longitudinal direction.
Oblique
 
A break extending in an oblique direction.
Open
 
A fracture that results in an external wound (i.e., a portion of the fractured bone protrudes through the skin).
Simple
 
Opposite of a compound fracture; basically a closed fracture.
Spiral
 
Also called a "torsion fracture," it is where a bone is literally twisted apart.
Spontaneous
 
Occurs as a result of some longstanding disease and is not traumatic.
Stress
 
Caused as a result of repeated stress to a bone (commonly seen in soldiers or athletes).
Subcapital
 
A fracture of a bone just below its head.
Torsion
 
Also called a "spiral fracture."
Torus
 
A fracture with localized expansion of the cortex, but little or no displacement of the lower end of the bone.
Transverse
 
A fracture that occurs at a right angle to the axis of a bone.
Tuft
 
A splintered fracture of the distal phalanx.
Achondroplasia
 
A hereditary disorder of cartilage and bone formation.
Symptoms are disproportionately short limbs.
Ankylosing spondylitis
 
This is a rheumatoid arthritis of the spine. It is progressive and is found most often in young men, affecting the intervertebral joints, the sacroiliac joints, and the costovertebral joints.
Symptoms are back pain and early morning stiffness relieved by activity.
Arthritis
 
This affects joints and is the inflammation of one or more joints. There are many types. The most common is osteoarthritis.
Symptoms include joint pain, swelling, stiffness, deformity, fever, and weight loss.
Inflammation
 
A response of body tissues to injury or irritation; characterized by pain, swelling, redness and heat.
Rheumatoid
 
A type of arthritis characterized by inflammatory changes throughout the body's connective tissues.
Chondrosarcoma
 
This is a malignant tumor of cartilage.
Symptoms include pain and generally the presence of a mass.
Degenerative joint disease
 
Joint disease characterized by degeneration of the articular cartilage.
Symptoms include pain and stiffness in joints which is aggravated with physical activity and relieved with rest.
Ewing tumor
 
This is a cancerous tumor or malignancy that invades the entire shaft of the bone.
Symptoms include pain and swelling.
Sarcoma
 
A connective tissue tumor that is usually malignant.
Gout
 
A systemic disease due to deposition of urate crystals.
Symptoms include episodes of severe pain and swelling, usually affecting a single joint.
Hurler syndrome
 
This is caused by irregular ossification and is due to an overproduction of mucopolysaccharides.
Symptoms include short stature, coarse features, skeletal deformities, enlarged organs.
Mucopolysaccharides
 
An antiarthritic compound that effectively increases the viscosity (or stickiness) of synovial fluid.
Hypophosphatasia
 
This condition is a result of a deficiency in alkaline phosphatase.
Symptoms include skeletal defects, bone pain, and other abnormal body chemistries.
Alkaline phosphatase
 
Enzyme produced in the bone and liver.
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
 
Disease of the hip joint that results in a loss of bone mass due to inadequate blood flow to the joint.
Symptoms include hip or groin pain which is aggravated with physical activity. A limp is often the result of the severe pain.
Marfan syndrome
 
This results from abnormal formation of connective tissue.
Symptoms include long, slender habitus, skeletal malformations, and vision/eye problems.
Multiple myeloma
 
This is the most common bone neoplasm. It is a tumor derived from the blood cells.
Symptoms include pain and swelling.
Osgood-Schlatter disease
 
This disease affects the tibial tubercle, where the patella inserts onto the tibia. It manifests itself when growth centers become stressed (usually due to physical/athletic activity).
Symptoms include limping and pain at the site upon exertion.
Osteochondritis dissecans
 
This is the term for osteochondrosis (see below) involving the joints, particularly the shoulder and knee joints.
Osteochondrosis
 
This is a general term for a group of developmental disorders that affect ossification centers and usually occur in adolescence. Some of these include Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, Osgood-Schlatter disease, and Scheuermann disease.
Major symptoms include pain and limited movement of the affected joints or bones.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta
 
This is also a result of abnormal formation of connective tissues.
Symptoms include blue sclerae, fractures as a result of very minor trauma, and deafness.
Osteoid osteoma
 
This is a benign lesion that can occur in any bone, but is most common in the long bones.
Symptoms include skeletal deformities, bowing of long bones, and hypertrophy of epiphyses.
Osteomalacia
 
This is softening of bone as a result of the bone being poorly mineralized.
Symptoms include deformities and fractures of bones.
Osteomyelitis
 
This is usually a bacterial infection of the bone, although it can also be a fungal infection. The most common pathogen is the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.
Symptoms include the onset of bone pain, fever, and chills. (Incidentally, most infections are recognizable by the presence of fever and chills.)
Staphylococcus aureus
 
This is usually a bacterial infection of the bone, although it can also be a fungal infection. The most common pathogen is the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.
Symptoms include the onset of bone pain, fever, and chills. (Incidentally, most infections are recognizable by the presence of fever and chills.)
Osteoporosis
 
This occurs when the density of the bone is inadequate to allow for the proper support required of bone.
Symptoms include backache, loss of height, and forward hunching of the spine (which is called kyphosis).
Kyphosis
 
Forward hunching of the spine.
Paget disease
 
A degenerative disorder of the bone resulting in the softening and swelling of bone.
Symptoms include bone pain, kyphosis, bowing of the shins, and cranial swelling. (The cranial swelling specifically can lead to deafness.)
Psoriatic arthritis
 
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease which causes scaling, dryness, pustules, and abscesses to appear on the nails, scalp, lumbar area of the spine, and genitalia. This can lead to joint involvement, which is psoriatic arthritis.
Reiter syndrome
 
This is an arthritis associated with nonbacterial urethritis, conjunctivitis, cervicitis, and mucocutaneous lesions. It is pronounced "writer" syndrome, but should never be spelled this way.
Symptoms are different depending upon the etiology of the syndrome, particularly whether it arises first as a urethritis or cervicitis (in the reproductive system); conjunctivitis is the most common lesion of the eye, and mucocutaneous lesions are superficial ulcers.
Rickets
 
Occurs in infants as a result of overgrowth of poorly mineralized bone and enlarged marrow cavities.
Symptoms include skeletal deformities, bowing of long bones, and hypertrophy of epiphyses.
Scheuermann disease
 
This disease specifically affects the ossification centers of the vertebrae.
Symptoms include juvenile kyphosis, or a curved appearance of the spine.
Scoliosis
 
Scoliosis is lateral (or sideways) curvature of the spine in the erect position. It is caused by malalignment of the vertebrae.
Origin
 
The less movable attachment of a muscle.
Insertion
 
The more movable attachment of a muscle.
Direct (fleshy) attachments
 
Short strands of connective tissue that make muscles appear as if they are directly connected to the bone
Indirect attachments
 
Long strands of connective tissue extending beyond the muscle.
Tendon
 
A rope-like structure that binds muscles to bone.
Aponeurosis
 
A flat tissue sheet that connects muscle to bone.
Anterior
 
Situated in front of or toward the front of a body part or organ. This term is also used in reference to a ventral or belly surface of the body. Frontal is a common synonym for anterior.
Coronal
 
Division of the body into anterior and posterior sections. Also called frontal plane. Can mean pertaining to the head or the crown.
Distal
 
Remote; farther from any point of reference; opposite of proximal. (The shoulder is distal to the wrist but proximal to the elbow.)
Dorsal
 
Pertaining to the back of the body; also used to denote a position that is more toward the back than another object of reference. Sometimes called posterior.
Inferior
 
Situated below a structure or directed downward; also used to denote the lower portion of an organ or the lower of two structures. Sometimes called caudal.
Lateral
 
Pertaining to the side; denoting a position farther from the midline (median plane) of a structure.
Medial
 
Pertaining to the middle; closer to the midline of a body; pertaining to the middle layer.
Posterior
 
Situated in the back; also used in reference to the back or dorsal surface of the body.
Proximal
 
Nearest; closer to any point of reference; opposite of distal. (The shoulder is distal to the wrist but proximal to the elbow.)
Sagittal
 
Division of body into left and right sides in a vertical lengthwise fashion.
Superior
 
Situated above, or directed upward; in official anatomic nomenclature, used in reference to the upper surface of an organ or other structure, or to a structure occupying a higher position.
Transverse
 
A horizontal plane situated at right angles to the long axis, or sagittal and coronal planes; placed crosswise.
Ventral
 
Pertaining to the abdomen; used to denote a position that is more toward the belly/abdominal surface than some other object of reference.
Antero
 
Anterior
Disto
 
Distal
Dorso
 
Dorsal
Inferio
 
Inferior
Latero
 
Lateral
Medio
 
Medial
Postero
 
Posterior
Supero
 
Superior
Ventro
 
Ventral
Lateral pterygoid
 
This is a muscle of mastication. It originates on the pterygoid process of the sphenoid bone. It moves the mandible and limits sideways jaw movement.
Medial pterygoid
 
Also a muscle of mastication. Both pterygoid muscles are on the inside of the mandible. The medial pterygoid elevates the jaw and provides sideways jaw movement.
Risorius
 
The risorius originates on the side of the face and inserts on the orbicularis oris muscle. It draws the angle of the mouth laterally (to the side) and enables the human being to smile.
Mentalis
 
The mentalis muscle originates on the chin and goes into the orbicularis oris muscle. It elevates and protrudes the lower lip. Basically it allows for pouting.
Depressor labii inferioris
 
This muscle also originates on the mandible and inserts on to the orbicularis muscle. It depresses the bottom lip.
(Names: depressor=depress, labii=lips, inferioris=below or bottom)
Depressor anguli oris
 
This muscle originates on the lower part of the mandible. It pulls down the angle of the mouth.
(Names: depressor=depress, anguli=angle, oris=mouth)
Anconeus
 
Located on the back of the humerus, it extends the forearm.
Extensor digiti minimi
 
A long narrow muscle located on the ulnar side of the extensor digitorum communis muscle. It assists in extension of the wrist and little finger.
Extensor digitorum communis
 
Positioned in the center of the forearm along the posterior surface. Its tendon divides into four tendons beneath the extensor retinaculum, which attach to the distal tips of fingers one through four.
Flexor digitorum profundus
 
Lies just underneath the flexor digitorum superficialis muscle. This muscle flexes the distal ends of the fingers (but not the thumb).
Flexor pollicis longus
 
Positioned deep on the front of the radius. It attaches at the base of the thumb and flexes the thumb and makes grasping possible.
Pronator teres
 
Positioned in upper middle part of the forearm. It arises from the epicondyle (a prominence or projection on a bone). It turns the hand downwards (called pronation) and flexes the elbow.
Epicondyle
 
A prominence or projection on a bone.
Pronator quadratus
 
Positioned deep and extends between the ulna and radius. It works with the other pronator muscle to rotate the palm of the hand down, as well as position the thumb medially.
Supinator
 
Positioned around the upper portion of the radius. It works with the biceps to turn the palm upwards (called supination).
Atony
 
Lack of normal tone or strength. This happens in muscles that are deprived of innervation (which is the supply of nerve fibers functionally connected with a part). Try not to confuse this term with atrophy (below) or atopy (which is a genetic predisposition towards hypersensitivity to common environmental antigens).
Atrophy
 
The wasting away or weakening of muscle fibers due to a lack of usage. There are many different kinds of atrophy. Look up “atrophy” in a medical dictionary and read or scan the terms that appear under this category.
Bursitis
 
Inflammation of a bursa.
Bursa
 
A sac-like cavity filled with synovial fluid and located in places where tendons or muscles pass over bony prominences.
Charley Horse
 
A bruised or torn muscle accompanied by cramps and severe pain. This particular injury most commonly affects the quadriceps muscle. (Incidentally, quadriceps is like biceps or triceps, which always ends in -s, whether singular or plural.) Lay people refer to any muscle spasm of the legs or feet as a charley horse.
Cramp
 
A sustained spasm or contraction of a muscle accompanied by severe, localized pain.
Dystonia
 
Sustained abnormal postures or disruptions of normal movement resulting from alterations of muscle tone.
Dupuytren contracture
 
Painless thickening and contracture of the palmar fascia due to fibrous proliferation, resulting in loss of function of the fingers.
Fasciculations
 
Similar to fibrillations or tremors. A repetitive, involuntary contraction of muscle. The main cause is nerve damage.
Fibromyalgia
 
A rheumatic disorder characterized by achy pain, tenderness, and stiffness.
Myofascial pain syndrome
 
Fibromyalgia is also called myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyositis. A group of rheumatic disorders caused by achy pain, tenderness, and stiffness of muscles and tendon insertions.
Ganglion
 
A thin-walled band cyst formed on a joint capsule or tendon sheath.
Leiomyoma
 
A benign tumor of smooth muscle tissue (e.g., the uterus).
Muscular dystrophy
 
A genetic abnormality of muscle tissue characterized by dysfunction and ultimately deterioration.
Myalgia
 
muscle pain
Myasthenia gravis
 
A chronic progressive neuromuscular weakness, usually starting with the muscles of the face and throat.
Myopathy
 
Any disease of the muscles
Myositis ossificans
 
A disease characterized by bony deposits or the ossification of muscle tissue.
Paralysis
 
The loss of nervous control of a muscle. Paralysis is commonly thought of as related to paraplegia, a paralysis of the legs (lower extremities) or quadriplegia, a paralysis of all four limbs. However, there are many different types of paralysis affecting many different muscles and organs of the body. These can be seen in a medical dictionary under paralysis.
Paraplegia
 
A paralysis of the legs (lower extremities).
Quadriplegia
 
A paralysis of all four limbs.
Plantar fasciitis
 
Excessive pulling or stretching of the calcaneal periosteum by the plantar fascia, resulting in pain along the inner border of the plantar fascia. This definition applies specifically to the process that affects the plantar surface of the foot. Fasciitis is inflammation of the fascia. There are other types of fasciitis, which can be seen in a medical dictionary under fasciitis.
Polymyositis
 
An autoimmune disorder which causes atrophy and weakness of the muscles.
Rigor mortis
 
Rigor means chilled, stiffness, rigidity. Rigor mortis is the muscular hardness occurring 4–7 hours after death.
Tendinitis
 
Inflammation of tendons and of tendon-muscle attachments due to trauma or repetitive wear. (Note the spelling: tendonitis is an acceptable alternative spelling, but tendinitis is preferred.)
Tennis elbow
 
Also called lateral and medial epicondylitis. A strain of the lateral forearm muscles or the tendinous attachments near their origin on the epicondyle of the humerus. (Again note that when “tendon” is changed to another form, the “o” changes to “i”—tendinous.)
Tetanus
 
A disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which produces a toxin that causes muscles to go into tetany (hyperexcitability of nerves and muscles, specifically characterized by muscular cramps and twitching). Jaw muscles are affected first. Lockjaw is the more common name
Torticollis
 
Persistent contraction of a sternocleidomastoid muscle, drawing the head to one side and distorting the face. Causes rotation of the head.
Anorexia
 
A loss or total lack of appetite.
Borborygmi
 
The audible rumbling sounds of gas moving through the intestinal tract. This is the plural form. The singular form is borborygmus or borborygmos.
Chills
 
A shivering or a shaking.
Rigor
 
Shivering or trembling, usually accompanied by fever; also called chills.
Constipation
 
Infrequent or difficult evacuation of feces. This term could be classified as either a symptom or a disease. Patients can subjectively relate that they are experiencing the discomfort of constipation, and it can also be the diagnosis.
Obstipation
 
Constipation that continues for a prolonged period of time.
Dysphagia
 
This is a subjective feeling of difficulty swallowing. It occurs when there is impaired progression of the food bolus from the pharynx to the stomach.
Fever
 
An elevation in temperature above normal. This is also called pyrexia. If a patient has a fever, physicians will usually refer to that patient as being febrile
Afebrile
 
Not having a fever.
Flatus
 
Gas produced by bacterial action on waste matter in the intestines. Composed primarily of hydrogen sulfide and methane.
Bloating
 
The feeling of excessive gas in the colon.
Belching
 
Expressing of excessive gas through the mouth.
Flatulence
 
Expressing of excessive gas through the anus.
Heartburn
 
A retrosternal sensation of burning felt in waves and arising upward toward the neck.
Hematemesis
 
Vomiting of blood.
Hematochezia
 
The passage of bloody stools.
Melena
 
Melan(o)- is a combining form that means black. The term melena refers both to the passage of dark and pithy stools stained with blood pigment, and black vomit. Although the combining form is spelled with an A, it is important to note that the term melena or melenic stools is spelled with an E.
Nausea
 
An unpleasant sensation in the epigastric and abdominal area, which often results in vomiting.
Odynophagia
 
Pain during swallowing.
Pallor
 
Paleness or the absence of skin color.
Regurgitation
 
Flow in the opposite direction than is normal.
Tenesmus
 
Straining, especially ineffective and painful straining during a bowel movement or urination.
Vomiting
 
Also called emesis. The forcible expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth. (Try not to think about it.)
Weakness
 
Lacking physical strength.
Weight-loss
 
This is self-explanatory: losing pounds.
Achalasia
 
This is an impairment of normal esophageal peristalsis. (You may remember that peristalsis is the movement of the muscles in the alimentary canal to propel the food bolus.) It also affects the ability of the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. The most common symptoms are dysphagia, regurgitation, nocturnal cough, and chest pain.
Anorexia Nervosa
 
This is a mental condition characterized by an individual's refusal to eat enough to maintain a minimal body weight, usually fueled by an intense fear of becoming obese.
Appendicitis
 
Inflammation of the vermiform appendix. (The term appendix is actually a general term which means a supplementary, accessory, or dependent part of a main structure.) This is the first, but many individual structures which are found in the body (GI system and elsewhere) can be individually affected by infection which causes inflammation. You will notice that the suffix -itis appears in several disease processes.
Vermiform
 
The vermiform appendix specifically identifies the diverticulum of the cecum. However, healthcare professionals commonly drop the term vermiform when referring to this particular appendix.
Atresia
 
The absence or closure of a normal body orifice or tubular organ.
Bezoar
 
Tightly packed, partially digested agglomerations of hair or vegetable matter. Seeds, bubble gum, medication, and other materials can mimic true bezoars.
Botulism
 
A type of food poisoning caused by the production of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum in improperly canned foods. It is characterized by vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty seeing, dryness of the mouth and pharynx, dyspepsia, cough; it often results in death.
Cheiloschisis
 
This is another term for cleft lip or harelip. It is a congenital abnormality.
Cholecystitis
 
Inflammation of the gallbladder. There are different types of cholecystitis, the most common being chronic and acute. An acute infection generally indicates severe infection and often necessitates a cholecystectomy, which is removal of the gallbladder. This is an extremely common procedure.
Cholelithiasis
 
The presence or formation of gallstones.
Dysentery
 
Any of a variety of disorders marked by inflammation of the intestines, especially the colon. The symptoms include pain in the abdomen, tenesmus, and frequent stools containing blood and mucus.
Amebic dysentery
 
The most common type of dysentery, due to an ulceration of the bowel caused by amebiasis.
Amebiasis
 
The state of being infected by amebae.
Dyspepsia
 
General term which means impairment to the power or function of digestion. It often refers to discomfort in the epigastric region following a meal, or what many people call "indigestion."
Enteritis
 
Inflammation of the intestine, especially the small intestine. Often this is combined (e.g., enterocolitis).
Enterocolitis
 
Inflammation of both the intestine and colon.
Cholera
 
A form of enteritis that is spread by food and water contaminated with feces. It is much more common in Third World countries.
Esophagitis
 
Inflammation of the esophagus.
Fecalith
 
An intestinal concretion (the process of becoming harder or more solid) formed around a center of fecal matter.
Fistula
 
An abnormal passage or communication between two organs or from an internal organ to the surface of the body. There are several different types. It can occur because of trauma, infection, inflammation, degeneration, necrosis, or other causes.
Gastritis
 
Inflammation of the stomach. This is commonly combined (e.g., gastroenteritis). This is often a result of a bacteria, and symptoms include anorexia, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and weakness. Gastritis is also a problem frequently associated with alcohol abuse.
Gastroenteritis
 
Acute inflammation of the lining of the stomach and the intestines.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
 
The reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. It is often represented by the acronym GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). This is usually caused by an incompetent lower esophageal sphincter. The major symptom is heartburn, although it can lead to several more severe disorders.
Halitosis
 
Offensive breath. This can be real as the result of ingested substances, gingival disease, fermentation of food in the mouth, or associated with systemic diseases such as diabetic acidosis. It can also be imagined and the result of anxiety disorders, obsessive disorders, paranoia, or hypochondria.
Hepatitis
 
Inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis can be due to viral, bacterial, or parasitic factors. They are generally classified by letters (i.e., hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C). Some strains are transmitted through feces/oral contact, some through the blood (IV drug use), and some are sexually transmitted. Hepatitis can be chronic and active, in which case it is often fatal. Some forms are highly contagious.
Hernia
 
The protrusion of a loop or knuckle of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening. There are several classifications of hernias. The most common types follow.
Abdominal hernia
 
The protrusion of some internal body structure through the abdominal wall.
Hiatal hernia
 
The protrusion of the stomach above the diaphragm. There are both a sliding hiatal hernia and a paraesophageal hiatal hernia.
Sliding hiatal hernia
 
A hernia in which the stomach and a section of esophagus which joins the stomach slide up into the chest through what is called the hiatus (gap/passage).
Paraesophageal hiatal hernia
 
A hernia in which part of the stomach squeezes through the hiatus, but the esophagus and stomach stay in their regular locations. Of concern is that the stomach can become strangled/have its blood supply shut down.
Inguinal hernia
 
A hernia into the inguinal canal. There are both direct and indirect inguinal hernias.
Umbilical hernia
 
Protrusion of part of the intestine through the umbilicus.
Hirschsprung disease
 
Congenital megacolon, or a dilatation and hypertrophy of the colon due to the sustained contraction of the muscles of the rectosigmoid.
Hypertrophy
 
The enlargement of an organ due to an increase in the size of its cells.
ileus
 
The temporary cessation of intestinal peristalsis, which often leads to obstruction. A common type is adynamic ileus.
Adynamic ileus
 
A suspension of peristalsis because of paralysis or atony (lack of normal muscle tone or strength). This can be the result of drugs, toxemia, trauma, or surgery.
Inflammatory bowel disease
 
This can be used to describe a variety of bowel disorders which are inflammatory in nature, whose etiology cannot be directly determined. There are two common types of inflammatory bowel disease which you should know: Crohn disease & ulcerative colitis.
Crohn disease
 
It is not known what causes Crohn disease; it can affect any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus, but is especially common in the ileocecal area. It frequently leads to obstruction and fistula and abscess formation.
Ulcerative colitis
 
A chronic, nonspecific, inflammatory, and ulcerative disease that arises in the colonic mucosa and usually involves the rectum. Its etiology is also unknown and it is most often manifested by bloody diarrhea.
Intussusception
 
This occurs when a segment of bowel advances and protrudes into the segment distal to it.
Irritable bowel syndrome
 
Intermittent or constant abdominal distress and bowel dysfunction which has no demonstrable cause.
Jaundice
 
A syndrome characterized by the bile pigment in the skin, mucous membranes, and sclerae with a resulting yellow appearance. There are many types of jaundice and most of these indicate a problem with the liver.
Leukoplakia
 
A white patch on a mucous membrane that will not rub off. This occurs in the oral mucosa and is considered to be a premalignant (precancerous) lesion common in smokers.
Malabsorption
 
Impaired intestinal absorption of nutrients. If the body is not absorbing nutrients properly, it can quickly result in an insufficiency of necessary nutrients. The combination of weight loss, diarrhea, and anemia indicate malabsorption.
Mumps
 
An acute, highly contagious viral disease which causes painful enlargement of the salivary glands. Primarily infects children under age 15.
Obstruction
 
The state or condition of being clogged or blocked. In gastroenterology it usually refers to a complete arrest or serious impairment to the passage of intestinal contents. You can probably imagine the physical manifestations of obstructions. They are generally caused by adhesions, hernias, tumors, foreign bodies, inflammatory bowel disease, fecal impaction, and volvulus.
Pancreatitis
 
Inflammation of the pancreas.
Parasites
 
A plant or animal which lives upon or within another living organism at whose expense it obtains an advantage. It is not uncommon for a parasite to be present in foods that are consumed, and they are also communicable via person-to-person contact.
Giardia
 
An intestinal protozoa that has a large sucking disc which adheres to the microvilli of the intestinal walls. There are many different kinds of parasites. However, except for Giardia, they are much more common in Africa and rarely impact Western medicine.
Giardiasis
 
The infection that occurs with the presence of the Giardia parasite.
Peptic ulcer disease
 
Inflammation and ulceration in the duodenum and stomach caused by gastric acid juice. Peptic ulcer occurs only if the stomach secretes acid.
Barrett esophagus
 
Barrett esophagus is a chronic peptic ulcer of the esophagus and is commonly seen in medical reports.
Peritonitis
 
Inflammation of the peritoneum. Symptoms include abdominal pain and tenderness, constipation, vomiting, and moderate fever. Peritonitis sometimes follows abdominal surgery, such as an appendectomy.
Pharyngitis
 
Inflammation of the pharynx. This is the most common etiology of a sore throat.
Polyp
 
This refers to any mass of tissue that arises from the bowel wall and protrudes into the lumen. They may be either sessile or pedunculated. They vary considerably in size and histologic (microscopic tissue structure) characteristics.
Sessile
 
Sessile means attached by a base.
Pedunculated
 
Pedunculated means attached by a stem-like structure or stalk.
Prolapse
 
The falling down or sinking of a part. This pathology can affect the GI system through anal prolapse and rectal prolapse (where skin of the anus and mucosa of the rectum protrude through the anus).
Pruritus ani
 
Pruritus means itching. Pruritus ani is intense, chronic itching in the anal region.
Schatzki ring
 
A 2–4 mm mucosal structure, probably congenital in nature, which causes a ring-like narrowing of the lower esophagus.
Ulcers
 
A defect or excavation of the surface of an organ or tissue. There are many kinds of ulcers (peptic ulcer disease, stress ulcers, ulcerative colitis, etc.), many causes for ulcers, and many treatments for ulcers.
Volvulus
 
Intestinal obstruction that is due to a knotting or twisting of the bowel.
Nasal septum
 
The partition that divides the two equal cavities of the nose.
Perpendicular ethmoid
 
One bone that makes up the nasal septum.
Vomer
 
One bone that makes up the nasal septum.
External nares
 
The nostrils.
Choanae
 
Internal nares that link the external nares to the nasopharynx.
Conchae bones
 
Also called turbinate bones, they create a passageway for the air.
Meatus
 
The passage created by the conchae where air flows.
Nasopharynx
 
The nasal portion of the pharynx.
Septum
 
Partition between the two sides of the nasal cavity.
Ethmoid
 
Perforated like a sieve, such as the ethmoid bone.
Vomer
 
Bone of the nasal septum.
Choana(e)
 
Link from external nares to nasopharynx.
Turbinates
 
Another name for conchae.
Meatus
 
Passageway in the body, especially an onpening on the surface.
Epithelium
 
Lining of small cavities.
Epistaxis
 
Nosebleed.
Olfaction
 
Sense of smell.
Olfactory epithelia
 
Lines the olfactory region of the nasal cavity.
Paranasal sinuses
 
Air spaces contained by certain bones of the face.
Maxillary sinus
 
One of the paired paranasal sinuses located in the body of the maxilla.
Frontal sinus
 
One of the paired irregular shaped paranasal sinuses located in the frontal bone.
Sphenoid sinus
 
One of the paired paranasal sinuses in the anterior part of the body of the sphenoid bone.
Ethmoidal sinus
 
One of the paranasal sinuses located withing the ethmoid bone.
Auditory
 
Pertaining to the sense of hearing
Eustachian
 
Tube connecting the nasopharynx to the middle ear.
Adenoids
 
Pharyngeal tonsils.
Laryngopharynx
 
Where the respiratory and digestive systems diverge.
Thyroid
 
Gland situated in the lower part of the front of the neck.
Cricoid
 
Ring-shaped cartilage making up the lower larynx.
Arytenoid
 
Vocal cord cartilage.
Bifurcates
 
Divided into two branches.
Bifurcation
 
Site where a single structure divides into two.
Carina
 
Cartilaginous plate of the trachea.
Bronchial tree
 
Another name for pulmonary bronchus.
Tertiary
 
Third in order.
Bronchioles
 
One of the subdivisions of the branched bronchial tree.
Alveolar ducts
 
Small passages connecting the respiratory bronchioles and the alveolar sacs.
Alveoli
 
Functional units of the respiratory system.
Mediastinal space
 
Space separating the lungs.
Mediastinum
 
Mass of tissues and organs seperating the two pleural sacs.
Lobules
 
Division of lung lobes.
Pleura
 
Serous membrane of the thoracic cavity.
Visceral
 
Pleura which is adherent to the outer surface of the lung.
Parietal
 
Pleura that lines the thoracic wall and diaphragm.
Ventilation
 
Process of the exchange of air between the lungs and the ambient air.
Inspiration
 
Drawing air inward to the lungs.
Diaphragm
 
Partition that separtates the abdominal and thoracic cavities.
Expiration
 
The relaxation of the chest wall.
Diffusion
 
Process of becoming widely spread.
Pulmonary alveoli
 
Small outpouchings along the walls of the alveolar sacs where gas exchange takes place.
Pulmonology
 
Specialty that deals primarily with problems of the respiratory system.
Incentive spirometry
 
Measurement of the breathing capacity of the lungs.
Chest pain
 
Any discomfort in the thoracic cavity.
Clubbing
 
Enlargement of the ends of the fingers and toes with loss of the nailbed angle. this can be an indication of several pulmonary disorders and is usually examined in conjuction with cyanosis and edema.
Congestion
 
Excessive or abnormal accumulation of fluid (such as mucus in the sinuses).
Cough
 
A sudden, noisy expulsion of air from the lungs. This is a reflex to keep the airway free of foreign matter.
Cyanosis
 
Bluish discoloration, particularly of the nailbeds and perioral area. Again, this may be seen in conjunction with clubbing and edema.
Dyspnea
 
Difficulty breathing.
Hemoptysis
 
Coughing up blood or bloodstained sputum, usually due to bleeding somewhere in the respiratory tract.
Hiccup (hiccough)
 
An involuntary spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm that occurs on inspiration and results in a distinctive sound. You may sometimes see this spelled “hiccough.”
Malaise
 
A vague feeling of bodily discomfort and fatigue, not necessarily related specifically to respiratory function.
Sputum
 
Matter that is ejected from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea through the mouth. The consistency of this matter can be a major factor in determining the pathology of a respiratory problem. Sputum can be watery and clear, purulent (containing pus), viscous (thick), or contain blood, to name a few variations. Its color may also be significant–clear, white, yellow, green, brown, or combinations thereof.
Purulent
 
Containing pus.
Rales
 
Usually pronounced “rawls” (but sometimes “rails” or “rals”—rhyming with “pals”). These are discontinuous nonmusical sounds heard primarily during inspiration. They are also called crackles.
Rhonchi
 
Continuous dry rattling sounds in the throat or bronchial tube due to a partial obstruction.
Stridor
 
A musical sound, heard with a stethoscope on inspiration.
Tachypnea
 
Shortness of breath. Excessive rapidity of respiration or quick, shallow breathing.
Wheezing
 
Whistling or wheezing noises associated with breathing; a telltale symptom of asthma.
Abscess
 
A localized collection of pus buried in tissues, organs, or confined spaces.
Adult respiratory distress syndrome
 
Chronic respiratory failure associated with various acute pulmonary injuries. It is characterized by pulmonary edema, respiratory distress, and hypoxemia. It is sometimes a complication of major surgery and is accompanied by infection.
Apnea
 
Cessation of breathing.
Asphyxia
 
Suffocation. This can be deliberate and traumatic, occur as a result of some obstruction of the airway, or due to some other cause.
Asthma
 
This is a condition that is marked by recurrent attacks of paroxysmal dyspnea and it is manifested by wheezing. It can be due to an allergic reaction, strenuous exercise, irritant particles in the air, psychological stresses, or other factors.
Paroxysmal
 
A paroxysm is a sudden recurrence or intensification of symptoms.
Atelectasis
 
Incomplete expansion of a lung, a shrunken or airless lung. This can be either acute or chronic and can be complete or partial. This is determined via a chest x-ray.
Bronchiectasis
 
An irreversible chronic dilation of the bronchi that is usually accompanied by infection. It is manifested by fetid breath and paroxysmal coughing with the expectoration of mucopurulent matter.
Fetid
 
Having a rank or disagreeable smell.
Expectoration
 
The act of coughing up and spitting out materials from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea.
Bronchitis
 
Inflammation of the mucous membrane lining of the bronchial tubes. Significant contributing factors to this condition are cigarette smoking, pollution, and allergies.
Bronchopneumonia
 
An inflammation of the lungs which usually begins in the terminal bronchioles.
Bronchiolitis
 
Another name for bronchopneumonia.
Bronchoalveolitis
 
Another name for bronchopneumonia.
Bronchopneumonitis
 
Another name for bronchopneumonia.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
 
A generalized term related to persistent airways obstructions. COPD is associated with various combinations of chronic bronchitis, respiratory bronchiolitis, asthma, and/or emphysema. The term "airways obstruction" refers to an increased resistance to airflow during forced expiration.
Coccidioidomycosis
 
A fungal disease that infects the respiratory system as a result of the inhalation of spores. Manifested primarily by cold symptoms. Also called "valley fever."
Emphysema
 
A pathological accumulation of air in tissues or organs, especially the lungs. In pulmonary emphysema, there is dilatation of the alveoli and destruction of their walls. It is a common cause of disability and eventual death for cigarette smokers.
Empyema
 
Accumulation of pus in a cavity of the body. Although there are different types, when the term is used without a qualifier, it refers to thoracic empyema, which is in the pleural space.
Epiglottitis
 
Inflammation of the epiglottis.
Epistaxis
 
Nosebleed (hemorrhage from the nose).
Hemothorax
 
A collection of blood in the pleural cavity. This often results from a blunt or penetrating trauma to the chest wall.
Hyaline membrane disease
 
This is a disorder usually affecting premature newborns in which the alveoli are lined by a hyaline material. It usually results in extensive atelectasis and is often fatal.
Hyperventilation
 
A state in which there is an increase in the amount of air entering the pulmonary alveoli, which results in a decrease in carbon dioxide tension.
Infiltrate
 
Material deposited in organs or cells which are not normal to it, or in excessive quantities. It is also a sign of acute inflammation.
Interstitial lung disease
 
Interstitial is a term that means pertaining to or situated between parts or in the interspaces of a tissue. There are several types of interstitial lung disease in which there is an abnormal accumulation of many different cell types in the alveoli and bronchioles, which ultimately leads to progressive destruction of the lung.
Laryngitis
 
Inflammation of the larynx. Usually associated with dryness and soreness of the throat, hoarseness, cough, and dysphagia.
Papilloma
 
A papilloma is a benign tumor. In the respiratory system, these are common in children, starting at age one, and can grow exuberantly in the larynx. They are viral in origin and cause hoarseness. They can be removed surgically but tend to recur.
Pertussis
 
An acute, highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract, most frequently seen in young children and characterized by paroxysmal coughing. Also called "whooping cough."
Pleural effusion
 
Excess fluid in the pleural space. The presence of fluid in the pleural space is usually determined by x-ray and almost always requires a thoracentesis.
Serous
 
Fluid that is clear and yellow.
Sanguineous
 
Bloody or blood-tinged fluid.
Serosanguineous
 
Fluid containing both serum and blood.
Pleurisy
 
Inflammation of the pleura. It is usually characterized by pain that is worse with breathing and coughing. The onset is usually sudden.
Pneumoconiosis
 
A condition characterized by the permanent deposition of substantial amounts of particulate matter into the lungs. It is also called occupational pneumonia.
Anthracosis
 
A common type of pneumoconiosis, also called “black lung.”
Asbestosis
 
A common type of pneumoconiosis due to the inhalation of asbestos fibers.
Berylliosis
 
A common type of pneumoconiosis due to beryllium dust.
Silicosis
 
A common type of pneumoconiosis due to sand particles.
Pneumonia
 
Also called pneumonitis, this is inflammation of the lung resulting in consolidation, which is defined as a pathologic process where normally aerated lung tissue is converted into a dense, airless mass. There are many kinds of pneumonia caused by a variety of factors, the most common being a type of bacteria. It often results in hospitalization.
Pneumonitis
 
Another name for pneumonia. (Pneumonia can also be viral or fungal in nature. A few of the bacterial pathogens are listed below.)
Consolidation
 
A pathologic process where normally aerated lung tissue is converted into a dense, airless mass.
Hemophilus influenzae
 
This is the second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia. The most serious strain of this is type b, which is usually called Hib pneumonia
Klebsiella pneumoniae
 
This is the most frequent of the gram-negative bacilli and it normally affects already compromised lungs, such as with the very young or the very old, hospital or nursing home patients, immuno-compromised hosts, or alcoholics.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
 
A gram-negative pathogen.
Acinetobacter
 
A gram-negative pathogen.
Legionella pneumophila
 
Also known as Legionnaires' disease, this only accounts for 1% to 8% of pneumonias. It can occur at any age, and early phase symptoms include headache, malaise, fever, myalgia, and a cough which eventually produces mucoid sputum.
Legionaire's disease
 
Another name for Legionella pneumophila.
Mycoplasma pneumionae
 
This is the most common pathogen for children and young adults (age 5 to 35 years), but is otherwise quite rare. It has a long incubation period (10–14 days), which accounts for its steady spread. Early symptoms also mimic the flu, malaise, dry cough, and sore throat.
Pneumococcus pneumoniae
 
Pneumococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause for bacterial pneumonia. It usually begins with an upper respiratory infection, including congestion. The onset is often a single shaking chill followed by fever, pain with breathing, cough, dyspnea, and sputum production.
Staphylococcus aureus
 
Staphylococcus aureus accounts for approximately 2% of community-acquired pneumonias. Patients at particular risk are infants, the elderly, hospitalized patients, surgical patients, and patients with immunosuppression. Its symptoms closely mimic those of pneumococcal pneumoniae, although the mortality rate is as high as 30% to 40%.
Streptococcus pneumoniae
 
This has become relatively rare since World War I and is usually a complication of influenza, measles, chickenpox, or pertussis.
Pneumothorax
 
Free air in the pleural cavity between the visceral and parietal pleurae. It may occur either spontaneously or because of trauma or pathological process.
Rhinitis
 
Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose. Often accompanied by rhinorrhea (a runny nose).
Rhinorrhea
 
runny nose
Sarcoidosis
 
Also called Boeck sarcoid, this is a systemic disease of unknown etiology with the most severe manifestation being granulomatous pneumonitis.
Boeck sarcoid
 
Another name for sarcoidosis.
Granulomatous
 
Pertaining to any small nodular aggregation of a certain kind of cells.
Sinusitis
 
Inflammation of a sinus. It is usually designated by the name of the sinus that is inflamed (e.g., ethmoid sinusitis).
Tonsillitis
 
Inflammation of the tonsils, especially the palatine tonsils.
Tracheitis
 
Inflammation of the trachea.
Tuberculosis
 
A chronic, recurrent infection most common in the lungs, although any organ may be affected. Once infection is established (via a PPD skin test and sputum culture), symptoms may develop within months or may be dormant for many years. It specifically refers to a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Active pulmonary TB has a great potential to destroy lung and to kill, but is often asymptomatic except for "not feeling well." Cough, dyspnea, and pleural effusion usually progress over the course of the disease. The most famous symptom, hemoptysis, is usually not seen in the early stages. TB is potentially highly infectious.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
 
The gram-positive bacterium that causes tuberculosis.
Upper respiratory infection (URI)
 
The common cold. An acute, usually afebrile viral infection of the respiratory tract with inflammation in any or all of the airways, including the nose, paranasal sinuses, throat, larynx, and often the trachea and bronchi. You are probably familiar with the symptoms.
Wegener's granulomatous
 
An uncommon disease that usually begins as a localized granulomatous inflammation of the upper and/or lower respiratory tract mucosa.
Ovaries
 
Paired organs that produce gametes and the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Fallopian Tubes
 
Tubes that transport the ovum to the uterus.
Uterus
 
A hollow muscular organ where the fetus matures.
Vagina
 
A muscular tube that passes from the cervical opening to the uterus and to the outside of the body.
Ampulla
 
The longest portion of the fallopian tube.
Infundibulum
 
The funnel-shaped distal end of the fallopian tube.
Cervix
 
The tapered distal portion of the uterus.
Endometrium
 
The inner lining of the uterus that undergoes changes based on the menstrual cycle.
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