Chapter Four: Essentials Of Medical Terminology Prefixes

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Chapter Four: Essentials Of Medical Terminology Prefixes

Medical Terminology Prefixes

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ADDITIONAL WORD PARTS
 
ROOTS AND SUFFIXES USED TO BUILD MEDICAL TERMS
ROOT
 
MEANING
cellul/o
 
cell
cis/o
 
to cut
comat/o
 
deep sleep
digest/o
 
digestion
duct/o
 
to draw
later/o
 
side/ lateral
nat/o
 
birth
sept/o
 
infection
son/o
 
sound
SUFFIX
 
MEANING
-aise
 
ease
-ar
 
pertaining to
-cuspid
 
projection; cusps
-drome
 
to run
-form
 
shape; form
-genous
 
produced by
-gnosis
 
knowledge
-mortem
 
death
-plasm
 
development; formation
-plegia
 
paralysis
version
 
turning; tilting
PREFIXES REFERRING TO DIRECTION AND POSITION
 
THE FOLLOWING PREFIXES TELL US WHICH DIRECTION, WHERE, WHEN, AND HOW MUCH
ab-
 
away from
-ion
 
process
duct/o
 
to draw
abduction
 
process of drawing away from
ad-
 
toward
-ion
 
process
duct/o
 
to draw
adduction
 
process of drawing toward
ante-
 
before
-al
 
pertaining to
nat/o
 
birth
antenatal
 
pertaining to before birth, referring to the fetus; prenatal NOTE: Fetus is the name given to the unborn infant
circum-
 
around
-ion
 
process
duct/o
 
to draw
circumduction
 
process of drawing a part in a circular motion
dia-
 
-meter
diameter
 
measurement from edge to edge of a circle NOTE: In this word, the suffix -meter means measurement not instrument used to measure
-gnosis
 
knowledge
diagnosis
 
one disease is different from another disease after complete knowledge of the disease is obtained through a study of the signs and symptoms, and through laboratory, x-ray, and other diagnostic procedures
ecto-
 
outside
-genous
 
produced by; produced from
ectogenous
 
produced from the outside; infection that originates from the outside
endo-
 
within
-scope
 
instrument used to visually examine a body cavity or organ
endoscope
 
instrument used to visually examine a body cavity or organ NOTE: Endoscopes are named after the organ being examined. For example a gastroscope, laparoscope, and a colonoscope are used to visualize the stomach, abdominal cavity, and colon, respectively
epi-
 
upon; on; above
-ic
 
pertaining to
gastr/o
 
stomach
epigastric
 
pertaining to upon the stomach
e-; ex-; exo-; extra-
 
out; outward; outside
-version
 
process of turning
eversion
 
process of turning out, as in the turning of the sole of the foot outward
-ion
 
process
cis/o
 
cut
excision
 
process of cutting out
-ar
 
pertaining to
ocul/o
 
eye
extraocular
 
pertaining to outside the eye
hyper-
 
excessive; above
-plasia
 
formation; development
hyperplasia
 
excessive formation; increase in the number of normal cells
hypo-
 
below; under; deficient
-ic
 
pertaining to
gastr/o
 
stomach
hypogastric
 
pertaining to below the stomach
in-
 
in; into
-ion
 
process
cis/o
 
to cut
incision
 
process of cutting into NOTE: Types of incisions include (A) Mc Burney, over the appendix; (B) Pfannenstiel, a curved lower abdominal incision; (C) subcostal, below the ribs; (D) suprapubic, above the pubic area; (E) transverse, a horizontal incision; (F) midline or epigastric, vertical incision at the midline; (G) paramedian, vertical incision near the midline; and (H) umbilical cord incision, through the umbilicus for scopic surgery
-version
 
process of turning
inversion
 
process of turning in, as in the turning of the sold of the foot inward
infra-
 
below; beneath
-al
 
pertaining to
cost/o
 
rib
infracostal
 
pertaining to below the ribs
inter-
 
between
-ar
 
pertaining to
cellul/o
 
cell
intercellular
 
pertaining to between the cells
intra-
 
within
-al
 
pertaining to
crani/o
 
skull
intracranial
 
pertaining to within the skull
meta-
 
beyond
-plasia
 
formation; development
metaplasia
 
change in formation
-stasis
 
stopping; controlling
metastasis
 
the uncontrolled spread of cancerous cells from one organ to another NOTE: A malignant tumor will undergo metastasis
para-
 
beside; near
-al
 
pertaining to
nas/o
 
nose
paranasal
 
pertaining to near the nose
per-
 
through
-ous
 
pertaining to
cutane/o
 
skin
percutaneous
 
pertaining to through the skin
peri-
 
around
-itis
 
inflammation
neur/o
 
nerve
perineuritis
 
inflammation around a nerve
post-
 
after
-mortem
 
death
postmortem
 
after death
pre-
 
before; in front of
-al
 
pertaining to
nat/o
 
birth
prenatal
 
pertaining to before birth, referring to the fetus
pro-
 
before
-drome
 
to run
prodrome
 
symptom or symptoms occurring before the onset of disease. For example, chest pain, tiredness, and shortness of breath are prodromal symptoms of a heart attack
-gnosis
 
knowledge
prognosis
 
prediction or forecast of the outcome of the disease
retro-
 
back; behind
-version
 
process of turning
retroversion
 
backward turning or tipping of an organ
sub-
 
under; below
-ous
 
pertaining to
cutane/o
 
skin
subcutaneous
 
pertaining to under the skin; for example subcutaneous fat
-al
 
pertaining to
lingu/o
 
tongue
sublingual
 
pertaining to under the tongue
supra-
 
above
-al
 
pertaining to
ren/o
 
kidney
suprarenal
 
pertaining to above the kidney
trans-
 
across
-ion
 
process
sect/o
 
cut
transection
 
process of cutting across
ultra-
 
beyond
-graphy
 
process of recording
son/o
 
sound
ultrasonography
 
process of recording an image of internal structures by using high frequency sound waves; also known as ultrasound
NEGATIVE PREFIXES
 
PREFIXES THAT MEAN AGAINST, NOT, OR LACKING
anti-
 
against
-tic
 
pertaining to
bi/o
 
life
antibiotic
 
drug used to kill harmful bacteria
a-; an-
 
no; not; lack of
-ic
 
pertaining to
sept/o
 
infection
aseptic
 
free from infectious material
-emia
 
blood condition
anemia
 
lack of red blood cells (RBC's); lack of hemoglobin (Hgb)
contra-
 
against; opposite
-al
 
pertaining to
later/o
 
side
contralateral
 
pertaining to the opposite side
in-
 
not
-ible
 
able to be; tending to
digest/o
 
digestion
indigestible
 
not capable of being digested
PREFIXES REFERRING TO NUMBERS
 
PREFIXES THAT TELL US HOW MANY
bi-; di-
 
two
-al
 
pertaining to
later/o
 
side
bilateral
 
pertaining to two sides
-ion
 
pertaining to
sect/o
 
to cut
dissection
 
to cut into two pieces
hemi-; semi-
 
half
-ectomy
 
excision
gastr/o
 
stomach
hemigastrectomy
 
excision of half the stomach
semi-
 
half
comat/o
 
deep sleep
semicomatose
 
state of unconsciousness from which the patient may be aroused
mono-; uni-
 
one
-cyte
 
cell
monocyte
 
blood cell with a single nucleus
-al
 
pertaining to
later/o
 
side
unilateral
 
pertaining to one side
multi-; poly-
 
many
-form
 
shape; form
multiform
 
having many shapes
-oma
 
tumor
aden/o
 
gland
polyadenoma
 
tumor of many glands
quadri-
 
four
-al
 
pertaining to
later/o
 
side
quadrilateral
 
pertaining to four sides
tri-
 
three
-cuspid
 
projection; cusp
tricuspid
 
three cusps or projections NOTE: The tricuspids or molars are teeth with three projections for grinding and cutting food
MISCELLANEOUS PREFIXES
 
PREFIXES THAT TELL US VARIOUS QUALITIES
ana-
 
apart; up
-tomy
 
process of cutting; to cut
anatomy
 
the study of the structure of the body NOTE: This term is derived from the fact that, to study structure, one must cut up, or dissect, the body
auto-
 
self
-opsy
 
to view
autopsy
 
internal and external examination of the body after death to determine the cause of death; also called necropsy or postmortem examination
brady-
 
slow
-ia
 
state of; condition
cardi/o
 
heart
bradycardia
 
pertaining to a slow heartbeat
dys-
 
bad; abnormal; difficult; painful
-plasia
 
development; formation
dysplasia
 
abnormal development
macro-
 
large
-ia
 
state of; condition
cephal/o
 
head
macrocephalia
 
excessively large head
mal-
 
bad
-aise
 
ease
malaise
 
a feeling of uneasiness or discomfort; a sign of illness
micro
 
small
-scope
 
instrument used to visually examine
microscope
 
instrument used to visually examine very small objects
neo-
 
new
-plasm
 
development; formation
neoplasm
 
new formation of tissue such as an abnormal growth or tumor
pan-
 
all
-ectomy
 
excision; surgical removal
hyster/o
 
uterus
panhysterectomy
 
excision of all the uterus
syn-; sym-
 
together; with; joined
-tic
 
pertaining to
arthr/o
 
joint
synarthrotic
 
a type of joint in which the bones are joined
-metry
 
process of measuring
symmetry
 
like parts on opposite sides of the body are similar in form, size, and position
tachy-
 
fast; rapid
-ia
 
condition
cardi/o
 
heart
tachycardia
 
pertaining to fast heartbeat of over 100 beats per minute
tetra-
 
four
-plegia
 
paralysis
tetraplegia
 
paralysis of all four limbs; also known as quadriplegia
SUMMARY OF PREFIXES THAT HAVE THE SAME MEANING
 
PREFIXES THAT MEAN THE SAME THING
MEANING
 
PREFIX
above
 
epi-; hyper-; supra-
against
 
anti-; contra-
around
 
circum-; peri-
bad
 
dys-; mal-
before
 
ante-; pre-; pro-
below
 
hypo-; infra-; sub-
half
 
hemi-; semi-
many
 
multi-; poly-
one
 
mono-; uni-;
outside
 
e-; ex-; extra-; ecto-; exo-
within
 
endo-; intra-
SUMMARY OF PREFIXES THAT HAVE THE OPPOSITE MEANING
 
PREFIXES THAT MEAN EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF EACH OTHER
MEANING
 
PREFIX
away from
 
ab-
toward
 
ad-
before
 
ante-; pre-; pro-
after
 
post
above
 
epi-; hyper-; supra
below
 
hypo-; infra-; sub-
fast
 
tachy-
slow
 
brady-
excessive
 
hyper-
deficient
 
hypo-
large
 
macro-
small
 
micro-
apart
 
ana-
together; with; joined
 
syn-
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