Abrasion: area where skin or other tissue is scraped away
Absorb: Take up fluids, take in
Absorption: the way a drug or other substance enters the body
Acidosis: Condition when blood contains more acid than normal
Acoumeter: tool used to measure hearing
Acuity: Clearness, keenness, especially of vision – airways
Acute: New, recent, sudden
Adenopathy: Swollen lymph nodes (glands)
Adhesion: tissue stuck together
Adjuvant treatment: Added treatment
Adjuvant: Helpful, assisting, aiding
Adrenal gland: gland found over each kidney
Adverse Effect: Unwanted effect
Albuminuria: protein in the urine
Allergen: A substance that gets into the body and activates the immune system, which produces an allergic reaction.
Allergic Reaction: Rash, trouble breathing
Allergy: oversensitivity to a substance
Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency: Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a protein that is made in the liver. The liver releases this protein into the bloodstream. Alpha-1 antitrypsin protects the lungs so they can work normally. Without enough alpha-1 antitrypsin, the lungs can be damaged, and this damage may make breathing difficult. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is an inherited (passed down from parents) disorder that causes low levels of, or no alpha-1 antitrypsin in the blood.
Ambulate: Walk, able to walk
Amino acid: a substance used by the body to make protein
Amniocentesis: removal of some of the waters from around an unborn baby for laboratory testing
Analgesic: drug used to control pain
Anaphylaxis: Serious, potentially life threatening allergic reaction
Anemia: decreased number of red blood cells
Anesthesia: loss of sensation or feeling
Anesthetic (general): A drug or agent used to decrease the feeling of pain or eliminate the feeling of pain by putting you to sleep
Anesthetic (local): A drug or agent used to decrease the feeling of pain by numbing an area of your body, without putting you to sleep
Anesthetic: drug is used to produce loss of pain sensation
Angioplasty: surgery to open up a narrow blood vessel
Anoxia: no oxygen
Antacid: drug used to decrease acid in the stomach
Antibiotic: drug used to stop or slow down the growth of germs
Antibody: type of protein that helps protect the body against foreign matter, such as bacteria and viruses
Antibody: A substance produced by the body to fight infection. A monoclonal antibody is a laboratory-produced antibody that reacts against cancer cells
Antigen: A substance that, when introduced into the body, stimulates the production of an antibody. Antigens include toxins, bacteria, foreign blood cells, and the cells of transplanted organs.
Antihistamine: drug used to treat allergic reactions
Antimicrobial: Drug that kills bacteria and other germs
Antiseptic: substance used to stop or slow down the growth of germs
Aphasia: not able to speak or write and not able to understand spoken or written words
Artery: type of blood vessel that carries blood and oxygen from the heart to the rest of the body
Arthritis: inflammation of one or more joint
Assay: lab test
Atrioventricular block: a disorder that blocks certain signals in the heart and causes problems in heart rhythm.
Atrophy: wasting away, or decrease in size, of a body organ
Audiogram: report of a hearing test
Audiology: the study of hearing
Audiometer: tool used to measure hearing
Autoantibody: A chemical or molecule (“body”) of protein that attacks (“anti”) healthy cells or tissues (“auto” from the Greek word for “self”).
Bacteria: types of germs
Benign: not malignant, usually without serious consequences
Beta blocker: drug used to slow down the heart
Bilateral: having to do with both sides of the body
Biopsy: a small amount of tissue removed for laboratory testing
Bolus: an amount given all at once
Bone marrow: soft tissue inside bones that makes blood cells
Bone Mass: The amount of calcium in a given amount of bone
Bradyarrhythmias: Slow irregular heart beats
Bradycardia: Slow heartbeat
Bronchitis: inflammation of the bronchi
Bronchospasm: Breathing distress caused by narrowing of the airways
Bronchus: tube that carries air from the windpipe to the lungs
Bulimia: eating disorder in which a person cannot stop eating and often vomits to make room for more food
Calcipenia: low in calcium
Cancer radiotherapy: treatment of cancer using X rays
Capillary: tiny blood vessel
Carbohydrate: The body’s primary source of energy and, along with fat and protein, one of the three major nutrients in the human diet. There are different types of carbohydrate, starches and sugars, and they are found in breads, cereals, rice, pasta, fruits, milk, and yogurt and sweets.
Carcinogenic: Capable of causing cancer
Carcinoma: Type of cancer
Cardiac: having to do with the heart
Cardioversion: Restoration of normal heart beat by electric shock
Carpal bones: wrist bones
Cataract: clouding of the lens of the eye
Catheter: A very thin tube usually about the size of a needle inserted through the skin into a vein for withdrawing or giving fluids or medicine. Epidural Catheter: A very thin tube usually about the size of a needle inserted through the skin near the spinal cord to give anesthesia, a painkilling or numbing medication.
Cell: The basic subunit of any living organism; the simplest unit that can exist as an independent living system.
Cerebellum: the part of the brain that controls the movement of the muscles and helps maintain balance
Cerebral trauma: Damage to the brain
Chemotherapy: Treatment of disease, usually cancer, by chemical agents
Chloasma: tumor arising from the skin and other organs
Chromosome: See genetic information.
Chronic: lasting a long time
Clinical trial: an experiment with patients
Clinical: Pertaining to medical care or based on medical observation or treatment
Complete response: Total disappearance of disease
Consolidation: Treatment phases intended to make a remission Phase: permanent, follows induction
Contraindications: medical reasons that prevent a person from using a certain drug or treatment
Contrast agent: A substance injected as part of certain scanning procedures. A contrast agent is like a dye and makes certain parts of the body show up better when a scan is done.
Control: A condition or procedure that is compared with a research treatment or procedure.
Controlled trial: study in which the experimental procedures are compared to a standard (accepted) treatment or procedure
Cooperative Group: Association of multiple institutions to perform clinical trials
Cornea: clear tissue covering the front part of the eye
Coronary: Pertains to the blood vessels that supply the heart
CT Scan (CAT): Computerized series of x-rays
Culture: Test for infection or organisms that could cause infection
Cumulation: increased action of a drug when given over a period of time
Cytoid: like a cell
Cytokine: This is a type of compound made by the body as part of its immune function. A cytokine is produced by certain cells when they come into contact with threatening substances in the body such as bacteria.
Decubitus: Lying down. D. Ulcer: bed sore; pressure sore
Demographic: Information about your lifestyle and general characteristics
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA): material that makes up the genes
Depressant: drug that slows down the action of the central nervous system
Diabetes Mellitus: A disease that occurs when the body is not able to use sugar as it should. The body needs sugar for growth and energy for daily activities. It gets sugar when it changes food into glucose (a form of sugar). A hormone called insulin is needed for the glucose to be taken up and used by the body. Diabetes occurs when the body cannot make use of the glucose in the blood for energy because either the pancreas is not able to make enough insulin or the insulin that is available is not effective. The beta cells in areas of the pancreas called the islets of Langerhans usually make insulin.
Diastolic: Lower number in blood pressure reading
Distal: Toward the end, away from the center of the body
Diuretic: Water pill or drug that causes increase in urination
DNA (“deoxyribonucleic acid”): The part of the all cells that contains all the information about what the cell is and what it does. It is composed of proteins that are grouped in different ways. It is generally pictured as a long ladder that is twisted like a spiral.
Doppler: Sound waves
Double-blind trial: test or experiment in which neither investigators nor subjects know which drug the subject is receiving
Duct: tube that carries a body fluid
Dysplasia: abnormal cells
Dyspnea: Shortness of breath; breathlessness; airway obstruction; difficulty breathing; winded; trouble breathing
Echocardiogram: Sound wave test of the heart. There are no known harmful effects. Images are obtained with a small device about the size of a bar of soap (“transducer”) that is attached by a cord to a computer. A slippery gel is spread over the area being examined, and the small device is pressed firmly against the skin and moved across the area being examined.
Edema: Swelling from fluid collecting in the body at certain places.
Efficacy: Effectiveness, how well something works
Electrocardiogram (ECG): picture of the electrical action of the heart
Electrode: A small device that detects electrical activity in your body
Electroencephalogram (EEG): picture of brain wave activity
Electrolyte imbalance: The amount of minerals in the blood are not at normal levels
Embolus: blood clot
Empiric: Based on experience
Endorphin: substance made by the body to stop pain
Endoscopic: Examination of an internal part of the body with a lighted tube
Enteral: By way of the intestines
Enzyme: A substance produced by the body to assist in breaking down chemicals.
Epidermal: having to do with the outer layer of skin
Epidermis: outer layer of skin
Epidural: Outside of the spinal cord
Erythema: Redness of the skin that is often a sign of infection or inflammation (irritation).
Esophagus: The passageway between the mouth and the stomach, or “food pipe.”
Expedited review: Review of a study by an IRB chair or vice-chair instead of the full Board, which is permitted with research considered to be no greater than minimal risk.
Extravasate: To leak outside of a blood vessel
FDA: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the branch of federal government that approves new drugs
Fibrillation: Irregular beat of the heart or other muscle
Gangrene: Decay of tissue caused by lack of blood supply, and usually following injury or disease.
Gene: A small part of the information in DNA that is passed on during reproduction of all living things. Genes determine certain characteristics, such as eye color or the likelihood of having certain health problems. Also, if genes change in an abnormal way, health problems like cancer can occur. Alternative: A gene is the code present in each cell in your body and controls the behavior of that cell.
General Anesthesia: A state of unconsciousness, which is carefully controlled by the anesthesiologist with a mixture of very potent drugs, to prevent or lessen pain.
Genetics or genetic information: All cells contain a group of substances, including DNA, chromosomes, and genes that shape identity and can be passed on to other cells. For example, these substances determine the pattern of your fingerprints and the color of your eyes. The study of this is called genetics.
Glucose Tolerance Test: A test to see if a person has diabetes. The test is given in a lab or doctor’s office in the morning before the person has eaten. A first sample of blood is taken from the person. Then the person drinks a liquid that has glucose (sugar) in it. After one hour, a second blood sample is drawn, and, after another hour, a third sample is taken. The object is to see how well the body deals with the glucose in the blood over time.
Glucose: A simple sugar found in the blood. It is the body’s main source of energy; also known as dextrose.
Gynecologist: doctor who treats disorders of the sex organs of women
Gynecology: the study of the reproductive system of women
Hematocrit: Amount of red blood cells in the blood
Hematologist: doctor who treats blood disorders
Hematoma: a bruise, a black-and-blue mark
Hemodynamic: Measurements of blood flow
Hemoglobin: The iron-containing respiratory pigment in red blood cells
Hemolysis: Breakdown in red blood cells
Heparin lock: needle placed in the arm with blood thinner to keep the blood from clotting
Hepatoma: Cancer or tumor of the liver
Holter Monitor: A portable machine for recording heart beat
Hypercalcemia: High blood calcium level
Hyperkalemia: High blood potassium level
Hypernatremia: High blood sodium level
Hypertension: high blood pressure
Hypocalcemia: Low blood calcium level
Hypodermic: under the skin
Hypoglycemia: not enough sugar in the blood
Hypokalemia: Low blood potassium level
Hyponatremia: Low blood sodium level
Hypotension: low blood pressure
Hypothermia: low body temperature
Hypoxemia: A decrease of oxygen in the blood
Hypoxia: A decrease of oxygen in the blood
Iatrogenic: Caused by a physician or by treatment
IDE: Investigational device exemption, the license to test an unapproved new medical device
Idiopathic: Of unknown cause
Idiosyncrasy: rare side effect of a drug; unusual reaction of a person to a drug
Immunoglobulin: A protein that makes antibodies
Immunosuppressive: Drug that suppresses the body’s immune response
Immunotherapy: Giving of drugs to help the body’s immune (protective) system; usually used to destroy cancer cells
Implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD): A type of pacemaker, which is a small electrical device implanted in the chest to regulate heart rhythm. The ICD includes a battery and one or two wires going to the heart. The ICD continuously senses heart rhythm and uses electricity to keep it from beating too fast or too slow.
IND: Investigational new drug, the license to test an unapproved new drug
Induction Phase: Beginning phase or stage of a treatment
Infarct: Death of tissue because of lack of blood supply
Inflammation: swelling, redness, and pain in tissues caused by injury or damage
Influenza: the flu
Infusion: Introduction of a substance into the body, usually into the blood
Ingestion: Eating; taking by mouth
Intramuscular (IM) injection: injection of a substance into a muscle (e.g., upper arm or backside)
Intramuscular: Into the muscle; within the muscle
Intrathecal: Into the spinal fluid
Intravenous (IV) injection: injection of a substance into a vein
Intravenous (IV): Through the vein
Intravesical: In the bladder
Intubate: The placement of a tube into the airway
Invasive Procedure: Puncture, opening or cutting of the skin
Ischemia: Decreased oxygen in a tissue (usually because of decreased blood flow)
Isotope: A “family” of atoms (smallest unit of physical matter) that differ only by the number of neutrons in them. Isotopes are used to obtain measurements of substances in the body.
Lactating: making milk
Lateral: toward or having to do with the side of the body
Lesion: abnormal area of tissue, such as a wound, sore, rash, or boil
Leukopenia: Low white blood cell count
Libido: sexual desire
Lipid Content: Fat content in the blood
Local Anesthesia: Creation of insensitivity to pain in a small, local area of the body
Localized: Restricted to one area, limited to one area
Lumen: The cavity of an organ or tube (e.g., Blood vessel)
Lymph node: Small gland found throughout the body, but most often under or behind joints, that removes bacteria and foreign particles. There is some evidence that cancer cells can be spread
Lymph system: The lymphatic system, which helps to remove such things as bacteria from the body, consists of a special fluid that contains white blood cells and that travels to small glands throughout the body through special lymphatic vessels. Although the lymph system is part of the body’s immune system, there is evidence that cancer can spread in the body when they get into the lymph system.
Lymphangiography: An x-ray of the lymph nodes or tissues after injecting dye into lymph vessels (for example, in feet)
Lymphocyte: A type of white blood cell important in immunity and defense against infection
Lymphoma: cancerous growth made up of lymph tissue
Macro-: describes something that is large or long
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): the use of magnetic waves to look at soft tissues of the body
Malaise: A vague feeling of bodily discomfort, feeling bad
Malignancy: Cancer or other progressively enlarging and spreading tumor, usually fatal if not successfully treated
Mastectomy: surgery to remove a breast
Medulloblastoma: A type of brain tumor
Megaloblastosis: Change in red blood cells
Metabolism: The physical and chemical changes that take place in the body.
Metabolize: Process of breaking down substances in the cells to obtain energy
Metastasis: Spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another
MI: Myocardial infraction
Micro-: describes something that is small or delicate
ML: change to teaspoonfuls or tablespoonfuls; 5 (4.929) ml = 1 teaspoonful; 15 (14.787) ml = 1 tablespoon.
Mobility: Ease of movement
Monitor: check on, keep track of, watch carefully
Morbidity: Illness or medical problem
Mortality: death or death rate
Motility: Ability to move
MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging. Body pictures created by using magnetic energy rather than x-ray energy. To have the scan, you will lie on a table that slides into the scanner, which is like a large tube.
MSv: 1 mSv = 100 mrem = 100 days of exposure to radiation given off by the environment (“background exposure”).
Mucosa: Moist lining of spaces in the body related to the organs involved in eating, breathing, reproducing, and removing waste from the body.
MUGA (multinucleated gated angiography): a scan that gives information on heart function; it requires an injection into the vein of a tiny amount of radioactive dye that can be seen by the scanner.
Multiple Project Assurance: Agreement between institutions and Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR) regarding institutional policies on the use of human subjects in research.
Myocardial infarction: Heart attack
Myocardial: Pertaining to the heart
Nasogastric tube: tube that goes through the nose and into the stomach
NCI: The National Cancer Institute
Necrosis: death of tissue or skin
Neoplasia: Tumor, may be benign or malignant
Neuroblastoma: A cancer of nerve tissue
Neurological: Nervous system.
Neurologist: doctor who treats disorders of the central nervous system and nerves
Neurosis: mental and emotional disorder
Neutropenia: Decrease in the main part of the white blood cells
Neutrophil: A type of white blood cell that destroys germs that cause infections
NIH: The National Institute of Health
Non-Invasive: Not breaking, cutting or entering the skin
Nosocomial pneumonia: Pneumonia acquired in the hospital
Nyctalopia: difficulty seeing at night
Obesity: Extremely overweight
Occlusion: Closing; obstruction
OHRP: The Office for Human Research Protection: Oversees research with humans to be sure that the Federal regulations are followed.
Oncology: The study of tumors or cancer
Ophthalmic: Pertaining to the eye
Ophthalmologist: doctor who treats eye disorders
Optic nerve: The nerve that carries information from the eye to the brain.
Optimal: Best, most useful
Oral administration: giving a drug by mouth
Orthodontist: dentist who treats teeth and jaw disorders
Orthopedic: Pertaining to the bone
Orthopedist: doctor who treats bone and joint disorders
Osteopetrosis: Rare bone disorder characterized by dense bone
Osteoporosis: Softening of the bones
Otologist: doctor who treats disorders of the ear
Otorhinolaryngologist: doctor who treats disorders of the ear, nose, and throat
Otoscope: tool used to look into the ear
Ovaries: Female sex glands
Palliation: To relieve symptoms/effects of the disease.
Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas, a small gland behind the stomach that secretes substances such as insulin.
Pap test: microscope test used to detect virus infection of the cervix or cancer of the vagina, cervix, or lining of the uterus
Parenteral: Giving a substance by injection either into a vein or a muscle
Patency: Condition of being open
Pathogenesis: Causative mechanism in a disease
Pathogenic: causing disease
PER OS (PO): By mouth
Percutaneous: through the skin
Petechiae: Tiny red spots in the skin. They result from red blood leaking from capillaries into the skin.
Phalanx: finger or toe bone
Pharmacokinetics: The study of the way the body absorbs, distributes : and gets rid of the drug
Phase I: Initial study of a new drug in humans to determine : limits of tolerance
Phase II: Second phase of study of a new drug intended to : obtain information on usefulness and safety
Phase III: Large scale trials to confirm and expand information : on safety and usefulness of a new drug
Phlebitis: Irritation or inflammation of the vein
Placebo Effect: Phenomenon of improvement seen with the administration of a placebo
Placebo: A substance of no medical value; an inactive substance
Platelets: Small particles in the blood that help with clotting
Podiatrist: foot doctor
Polydipsia: too much thirst
Polymalgia rheumatica: severe pain and stiffness in the muscles of areas such as the neck, chest, and hips.
Postpartum: after childbirth
Potentiate: Increase or multiply the effect of a drug or toxin : by administration of another drug or toxin at the same time
Potentiator: An agent that helps another agent work better
PRN: as needed
Proctologist: doctor who treats disorders of the rectum and anus
Prognosis: Outlook, probable outcomes
Prone: Lying on the stomach
Prophylaxis: A drug given to prevent disease or infection
Prospective Study: Study following patients forward in time
Prosthesis: artificial body part
Protein: A compound made by the body that is used in many different functions, such as immunity and digestion.
Protocol: plan of study
Psychologist: doctor who treats disorders of the mind, thought, and behavior
Psychosis: severe mental disorder; craziness
Psychosomatic: having a connection between the mind and physical symptoms
Pulmonary neoplasm: lung tumor
Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.
Quality of life: How satisfied you are with your life in terms of how you feel and what you are able to do day to day.
Radiation Therapy: X-ray or cobalt treatment
Random: by chance, like the flip of a coin
Randomization: Chance selection
RBC: Red blood cell
Recombinant: New combinations of genes
Reconstitution: Putting back together the original parts or elements
Refractory: Not responding to treatment
Regeneration: Regrowth of a structure or of lost tissue
Rehabilitation: Training and education to recover lost skills or learn new ones to compensate for the loss
Relapse: the return of a disease
Remission: Disappearance of evidence of cancer or other disease
Renal: having to do with the kidney
Replicable: Possible to duplicate
Resect: Remove or cut out surgically
Retina: The light-sensitive lining around the inside of the eye that is connected to the optic nerve.
Retrospective study: Study looking back over past experience
Retrospective: looking back over past experience
Sarcoma: A type of cancer
Scapula: shoulder blade
Sedative: A drug to calm or make less anxious
Seminoma: A type of testes cancer
Sensor: Device that receives a signal, similar to a transistor radio but usually very small.
Sequentially: In a row
Serum: clear liquid part of blood
Shock: A reaction of the body to severe physical or emotional injury that affects the whole body. Shock causes a decrease in all vital processes such as blood flow, breathing and heart function, and, especially, a large decrease in blood pressure.
Shunt: artificial or natural channel running between two other channels
Single-blind trial: test or experiment in which the person giving treatment, but not the patient, knows which treatment the patient is receiving
Sleep apnea: breathing problems while sleeping
Somatic: having to do with the body
Spirometer: An instrument to measure the amount of air taken into and exhaled from the lungs
Staging: A determination of the extent of the disease
Stenosis: Narrowing of a duct, tube, or one of the valves in the heart
Stomatitis: Mouth sores – inflammation of the mouth
Stratify: Arrange in groups for analysis of results (e.g. Stratify by age, sex, etc.)
Stroke: Blockage or rupture of a blood vessel to the brain
Subclavian: Under the collarbone
Subcutaneous: Under the skin
Sublingual: under the tongue
Supportive Care: General medical care aimed at symptoms, not intended to improve or cure underlying disease
Symptomatic: Having symptoms
Syndrome: set of signs that happen at the same time in the body
Systolic: Top number in blood pressure, pressure during active contraction of the heart
Teratogenic: Capable of causing malformations in fetuses
Testes: Male sex glands
Thorax: the chest
Titration: slow increase in drug dosage, guided by patient’s responses
T-Lymphocytes: Type of white blood cells
Tolerance: decrease in response to a fixed dosage of drug; over time, higher and higher doses of a drug are needed to get the desired effect
Topical anesthetic: applied to a certain area of the skin and reducing pain only in that area
Topical application: giving a medication by putting it directly on the skin
Topical: Surface, skin
Toxicity: any harmful effect of a drug or poison
Tranquilizer: drug used to control anxiety
Transdermal: through the skin
Trauma: Injury; wound
Treadmill: Walking machine used to measure heart function
Ultrasound: This scanning device consists of computer and a transducer that is used to scan the body. A transducer is a small hand-held device about the size of a bar of soap that is attached to the scanner by a cord. A lubricating gel is spread on the skin over the area being examined, and then the transducer is pressed firmly against the skin to obtain images.
Uptake: Absorption of a substance by the body through tissue
Urologist: doctor who treats disorders of the urinary tract of men and women
Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug that prevents blood clotting; people taking it must have regular blood tests to determine that their blood does not clot too Valsalva maneuver: Attempting to breathe out with great force but not letting any air escape through your nose or mouth
Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug that prevents blood clotting; people taking it must have regular blood tests to determine that their blood does not clot too Valvuloplasty: Repair of a valve, especially a heart valve
Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug that prevents blood clotting; people taking it must have regular blood tests to determine that their blood does not clot too Varices: Enlarged veins
Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug that prevents blood clotting; people taking it must have regular blood tests to determine that their blood does not clot too Vasospasm: Narrowing of the blood vessel
Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug that prevents blood clotting; people taking it must have regular blood tests to determine that their blood does not clot too Vector: A carrier, usually an insect, that carries and transmits microorganisms that cause disease.
Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug that prevents blood clotting; people taking it must have regular blood tests to determine that their blood does not clot too Venipuncture: Inserting a needle through the skin and sometimes into a vessel, usually to give a drug or fluids. Also called a “needle stick.”
Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug that prevents blood clotting; people taking it must have regular blood tests to determine that their blood does not clot too readily or too slowly.
WBC: White blood cell
White-coat hypertension: Blood pressure that is elevated in a doctor’s office but is normal at home.
Will: A legal document that describes what should be done with a person’s assets after his or her death.
Withdrawal: A response to danger or stress characterized by apathy, lethargy, and depression; or the physical or psychological response to a sudden lack of an addictive substance such as alcohol or nicotine.