abduct - when a body part moves away from the midline of the body

abscess - a localized pocket or collection of pus in a cavity

absorbent products - pads and garments, disposable or reusable, worn to absorb leaked urine, e.g., shields, undergarment pads, combination pad-pant systems, diaperlike garments, and bed pads

achilles tendon - tendon formed by the union of two muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus, which join in the mid-calf area; known as the gastroc-soleal complex

actinic keratosis - the most common precancerous skin growth; easily treated; usually does not progress to skin cancer

adduct - when a body part moves toward the midline of the body.

adjuvant - the delivery of radiation, hormones, biologic therapy, or chemotherapy after surgery at a time when no obvious tumor is present

allergen - a substance inducing an allergic state or reaction

allergy - an inappropriate or exaggerated reaction of the immune system to substances that cause no symptoms in most people

alopecia - hair loss; may develop from a variety of causes such as male pattern hair loss or fungal infection

ankle joint - A joint made by the two leg bones (the tibia and the fibula) and the most superior bone in the foot (the talus). It is reinforced by muscles and tendons,and by two ligament complexes known as the deltoid ligament medially and the lateral collateral ligaments laterally.

alternative therapy - any therapy, which is not standard, e.g., herbal medicines, accupuncture, accupressure, as well as medicinal therapies such as shark cartilage, maitake mushroom, etc.

Alzheimer's disease - the most common form of dementia in older persons that affects many areas of cognitive function

amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, motor neuron disease, Lou Gehrig's disease) - degenerative disorder affecting the motor neuron cells and the motor tracts in the brain and spinal cord

anaphylaxis, also anaphylactic shock - severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. Such reactions, while rare, can result from an insect sting or exposure to a drug, such penicillin or antitetanus (horse) serum. In some severe cases anaphylaxis results from ingestion of a particular food, such as peanuts or shellfish.

anemia - deficiency in red blood cells, in hemoglobin, or in total volume

angina - discomfort and pain felt when a blockage in a coronary artery prevents enough oxygen-rich blood from reaching part of the heart

angiogram - an invasive diagnostic test that uses a special dye injected into the arteries by a catheter to visualize the blood vessels

angioplasty - a procedure for treating blockages and blood clots. The procedure involves the use of thin balloons and other devices that are threaded up through a blood vessel in the groin and into a coronary artery.

annular - ring-like

anovulation - absence of ovulation and/or menses due to aberrations in the endocrine system

antiarrhythmic agents - drugs that slow or eliminate rapid contraction of the ventricle

antibody - protein, also called an immunoglobulin, manufactured by certain white blood cells (lymphocytes) to neutralize an antigen or foreign protein. Antigens are found in many bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms, as well as pollens, dust mites, molds, foods and other substances. While many types of antibodies protect the body from disease and infection, the production of inappropriate or excessive antibodies can cause illness. For example, if a person forms a type of antibody called IgE (immunoglobulin E) in response to exposure to a certain allergen, he or she may develop allergic rhinitis, asthma or eczema if exposed to that substance a second time.

anticholinergics - quick-relief asthma medications that inhibit nerve receptors in the airways and block reflex bronchoconstriction by the nervous system

antigen - substance that triggers an immune response, resulting in production of an antibody as part of the body's defense against infection and disease. Many antigens are foreign proteins (i.e., not found naturally in the body). An allergen is a particular type of antigen.

antihistamines - Antihistamine drugs block the effects of histamine, a chemical released in body fluids during an allergic reaction. In rhinitis, for example, antihistamines reduce itching, sneezing and runny nose.

anti-inflammatory drugs - drugs that reduce the symptoms of inflammation. Immunotherapy, the so-called allergy shots people often receive to reduce allergic symptoms, while not a drug, are designed to reduce the inflammation associated with allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma.

anxiety - debilitating condition of fear, which interferes with normal life functions

aortic valve - one-way valve that allows blood to flow only out of the left ventricle and into the aorta

aphasia - aquired abnormality in the production or comprehension of language

apnea - Greek word meaning "without breath." It is associated with a medical condition called sleep apnea, in which the upper airway of a sleeping person tends to collapse repeatedly during sleep, momentarily stopping the patient's breathing and causing him or her to awaken briefly and repeatedly during the night.

articulate - when two adjacent bones form a joint and slide upon each other

appendicolith - small hard stone often seen in the appendix. These stones are generally composed of enough calcium to be seen on x-rays and particularly on CT scans. Appendicoliths are very often associated with appendicitis.

applecore (lesion) - appearance of the typical annular cancer of the colon.

arrhythmia - irregular heartbeat that can be (1) very rapid ventricular contractions (tachycardia); (2) an excessively slow heartbeat (bradychardia); or (3) most common, extra or premature beats.

arteries - blood vessels that carry the oxygenated blood to the organs

artifact - various types of image distortion and interference. Such artifacts include fogging of parts of the image because of inappropriate exposure to light, blurring due to motion, and numerous other devils that compromise the quality of images.

artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) - implant device with three components: pump, balloon reservoir, and a cuff that encircles the urethra and prevents urine from leaking out. The cuff is connected to the pump, which is surgically implanted in the scrotum (in men) or labia (in women).

assisted reproduction - in vitro fertilization (IVF) and donor egg. Sperm and eggs are obtained, combined in vitro (in a dish), and then incubated to allow fertilization.

assisted reproductive technologies (ART) - The new forms of fertility treatment incorporate many methods of sperm retrieval and preparation. Once the sperm have been processed to ensure optimal fertilizing potential, they are used in a variety of procedures that aid the process of conception. These procedures include artificial insemination (AI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), and sperm microinjection techniques. asthma - chronic, inflammatory lung disease that causes recurrent breathing problems

atherosclerosis, also hardening of the arteries - condition in which cholesterol collects under the inner lining of artery walls

atony - lack of muscle tone, usually leading to temporary debilitation

atopy - hereditary presence of antibodies associated with allergic reactions

atria - right and left upper chambers of the heart (singular = atrium)

atrial fibrillation - abnormal rhythm of the heart

atrophy - shrinkage in size of a particular structure, such as muscle groups, or of the brain

aura - symptoms that occur prior to a particular neurological problem (such as seizure or migraine), e.g., disturbances in vision, smell, or perception

autoimmune - abnormal response of the immune system, causing antibodies and immune mediated cells to attack parts of the body

autologous - derived from the same individual

AV node - atrioventricular node; patch of electrical-wire-like specialized heart tissue located between the atria and the ventricles that conducts contractile impulses from the atria down into the ventricles

axon - inner core of peripheral nerves

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BAER (brainstem auditory evoked response) - measures function of central nervous system, including pathway from brainstem

basal cells - cells that form the bottom layer of the epidermis

basal cell carcinoma - the most common skin cancer; tends to spread locally and rarely metastasizes; treated surgically

basal ganglia - series of structures located deep in the brain that are responsible for motor movements

behavioral techniques - methods to help retrain the bladder and get rid of the urgency to urinate (e.g., biofeedback, bladder training, electrical stimulation, habit training, pelvic muscle exercises, prompted voiding)

benign - not cancerous

benign tumor - tumor that is not cancerous

beta2 agonists - quick-relief medications used for the relief of acute asthma symptoms

beta-blockers - drugs that relieve stress on the heart by "blocking" the stimulating effect of the hormone adrenaline

bilateral - a condition that affects both sides of the body or two paired organs, such as kidneys

biofeedback - device that uses electrodes to help people gain awareness and control of their pelvic muscles

bifurcation - division of a single structure (usually vascular) into two paired structures.

biologic therapy - systemic therapy utilizing interferon or interleukin

biopsy - removal of a tissue sample for diagnostic evaluation; the specimen itself

bladder - hollow, muscular, balloon-shaped organ that stores urine until it is excreted from the body

bladder training - behavioral technique that teaches the patient to resist or inhibit the urge to urinate, and to urinate according to a schedule rather than urinating at the urge

blanch - to make white or pale; to take color out

blepharospasm - involuntary closure of the eyes and lids

blood clot - insoluble mass of blood

blood culture - laboratory examination of a blood sample to detect the presence of disease-causing microorganisms

blood pressure measurement - a measure of the force of blood flow against artery walls taken with an inflatable cuff, inflating bulb, and a pressure gauge

blood thinners - See heparin and warfarin

bone - hard connective tissue primarily made up of osteoblasts, osteocytes, and collagen that supports and protects the body

bone scan - nuclear medicine study that is sensitive for detecting the presence of bone metastasis in patients

bone survey - a radiologic study where plain x-rays are taken of the bones of the body that is sensitive for detecting fractures and/or areas of boney destruction, seen in severe cases of bone metastasis

bradykinesia - slowing of motor movements due to dysfunction of the basal ganglia and related structures

breast - modified sweat gland that produces milk after childbirth

bronchitis - inflammation of the bronchi (lung airways) that causes a persistent cough which produces quantities of sputum (phlegm)

bronchial provocation, also bronchoprovocation - test used to diagnose the presence of asthma by deliberately triggering a hyperresponsive reaction

bronchoconstriction - narrowing or constriction of the bronchial airways in the lungs, causing shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, coughing and wheezing

bronchodilator - drug that widens the airways in the lungs

bronchus - larger air passages connecting the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs

bulla - sharply circumscribed, elevated, fluid-filled lesions in the skin over 0.5 centimeters in diameter; also, a blister

bursa - sac of fluid typically found in areas where muscles or tendons rub against bone

bursitis - bursal sac inflamed due to irritation

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calcaneus - bone in the foot that makes up the heel

calcifications - hard, dense, stonelike material that forms in numerous areas throughout the body including arteries (plaque), veins (phleboliths), kidneys (stones), gallbladder (gallstones), and just about everywhere else

calcium-channel blockers - drugs that limit calcium entry into the cells, where it stimulates contraction candidiasis - infection of the skin, mucous membranes, and sometimes internal organs with the yeast Candida

carbuncle - deep-seated infection involving a cluster of hair follicles, often accompanied by a large area of redness and swelling

carcinoma - cancer that has the ability to spread to other areas of the body

cardiac catheterization - diagnostic procedure using a flexible tube (catheter) that is passed into the heart through a vein or an artery to withdraw samples of blood, measure pressures within the heart chambers or vessels, and inject x-ray contrast materials to view the heart

cardiac transplantation - replacement of a damaged or diseased heart with a healthy heart from a donor who has died

carotid arteries - paired (right and left) arteries that arise from the aorta or branch of the thoracic aorta. Both arteries divide into two branches in the neck, the external carotid arteries that supply blood to structures in the face and the internal carotid arteries that supply blood to much of the front of the brain.

cartilage - connective tissue typically found on the ends of bones that protects, cushions, and absorbs the forces transmitted throughout the body

cataplexy - symptom characterized by the sudden loss of postural tone, often resulting in the individual falling to the floor; often part of the narcolepsy complex

CAT scan (computerized axial tomography) - specialized x-ray examination often used to visualize the brain and spinal structures

catheter - tube passed through the body for draining or injecting fluids into body cavities

catheterization - insertion of a slender tube through the urethra or through the anterior abdominal wall into the bladder, urinary reservoir, or urinary conduit to allow urine drainage

cecum - beginning of the large bowel

cerebral aneurysm - defect that results in weakness in the wall of a blood vessel that can lead to bleeding in the brain

cerebrovascular disease - disorders that affect the blood vessels that supply the brain that may result in a stroke

central nervous system - the brain and spinal cord

cerebrospinal fluid - fluid that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord

chancre - hard, syphilitic primary ulcer; first sign of syphilis, appearing 2 to 3 weeks after infection

chemolysis - type of kidney stone that can be dissolved with the application chemicals, e.g., uric acid stones, cysteine stones, struvite and carbon apatite stones

chest pain - See angina.

cholesterol - soft, waxy fatty particle (lipid) that circulates in the blood; building block for all cell membranes and many sex hormones

circle of Willis - circle of arteries at the base of the brain that is fed by the two paired internal carotid arteries and the two paired vertebral arteries

clomiphene citrate challenge cest (CCCT) - indirect way of assessing ovarian reserve

clonus - brisk increase in tone with involuntary movements that result in dysfunction of the corticospinal tracts

colon - tubular structure that travels from the stomach to the anus; small intestine and the large intestine

colonoscopy- a test whereby a length of fiberoptic tubing is inserted into the rectum and passed into the beginning of the large bowel (cecum), allowing the physician to directly visualize the bowel walls

coma - state of unconsciousness in which one lies unresponsive with the eyes closed

comedones (s., comedo) - thickened secretions of dead skin cells and oily material plugging a follicle or pore; skin-colored to white (closed comedones or whiteheads) or brown or black plug (open comedones or blackheads)

congestive heart failure (CHF) - potentially lethal condition produced by a heart attack, poorly controlled or uncontrolled hypertension, or disease processes that weakens the heart and causes blood to back up in the lungs (when the left side of the heart fails), legs, or liver (when the right side of the heart fails

conscious sedation - medication that allows a patient to sustain what could be an unpleasant experience by producing grogginess and often complete amnesia of the event

contact dermatitis - skin irritation caused by contact with a particular substance; two types - irritant, caused by strong irritating chemicals, and allergic, caused by sensitivity to a substance

cor pulmonale - enlargement and eventual failure of the right ventricle of the heart caused by lung disease

core needle biopsy - insertion of a large gauge needle into an area of abnormality with an attempt to obtain a small piece of tissue for review by a pathologist

coronary angiography - x-ray imaging of the coronary arteries. A catheter is inserted into an artery at the groin or elbow and guided through the aorta and into a coronary artery, where the x-ray contrast agent is injected to make visible the artery any any obstructions or abnormalities.

corticosteroids - antiinflammatory drugs similar to the natural hormones produced by the cortex of the adrenal glands.

corticospinal tract - nervous system structures that begin in the brain and travel to the motor neuron cell to innervate the motor nerves

creatinine - waste product filtered from the blood by the kidneys and expelled in urine

Crohn?s disease - inflammatory disease primarily of the small bowel. Most often affects the end of the small bowel (terminal ileum) that empties into the beginning of the large bowel (cecum). The disease may involve any part of the GI tract and other organs. Often associated clinically with diarrhea and often confused with another inflammatory disease of the large bowel, ulcerative colitis.

crust - a scablike coating of dried blood, pus, or drainage that covers wounds or damaged skin

cryosurgery - destruction of a skin lesion by application of liquid nitrogen

CT KUB (kidney, ureter, bladder) - generally means a survey CT of the abdomen and pelvis in which no oral or intravenous dyes are used; often used to detect conditions such as acute appendicitis, renal or ureteral stones, and diverticulitis

CT scan - a radiology test in, which the inside of the body is visualized. It may be done with contrast or without contrast. It can be performed on the brain, chest, abdomen or pelvis depending upon what information is trying to be obtained.

curettage and desiccation - a surgical technique in which a curette is used to scrape tissue, followed by drying and burning of that tissue with electrocautery; used to treat benign lesions, such as warts, as well as precancerous and cancerous lesions

curette - a surgical instrument with a round, hollow, sharp tip that is used to scrape tissues

cutaneous - related to the skin

cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) - cancer of the T cells, often confined to the skin, but with the ability to spread

cystocele - A herniation of bladder into vagina

cyst - A lump filled with either fluid or soft material, occurring in any organ or tissue; may occur for a number of reasons but is usually harmless unless its presence disrupts organ or tissue function.

cystectomy - Surgical removal of the bladder.

cystoscopy - A flexible scope is inserted into the urethra and then into the bladder to determine abnormalities in the bladder and lower urinary tract.

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dander - Minute scales from hair, feathers or skin that may be allergenic.

deep tendon reflexes - The deep muscle stretch reflexes that are obtained by tapping on the tendons (such as the "knee jerk").

deltoid ligament - A complex of four ligaments that helps support the medial side of the ankle joint. These four ligaments individually are known as the anterior tibiotalar, tibionavicular, tibiocalcalcaneal, and posterior tibiotalar ligaments.

dementia - An acquired loss of cognitive function that may affect language, attention, memory, personality and abstract reasoning.

demyelinating - An inflammatory process that disrupts the myelin coating of nervous system structures.

de novo - in a new manner or form

density (x-ray) - densities on plain x-rays vary from black to white, depending on the composition of the material the x-rays pass through. Black indicates the lowest x-ray density (air) and white, the highest (bone), e.g., fat is low and black, soft tissues are fairly high and whitish.

depigmented - loss of pigment

dermis - second layer of skin made up of a network of collagen and elastic fibers, blood vessels, and nerves

dermatitis - inflammation and irritation of the skin

desiccate - to dry up

detrusor-external sphincter dyssynergia (DESD) - damage to the nervous system can create a lack of coordination between the bladder and the external sphincter muscle, which is the muscle that controls the emptying of the bladder. As a result the bladder cannot empty completely which creates a buildup of urinary pressure. DESD is a combination of these two factors and can lead to severe urinary tract damage and life-threatening consequences.

diabetes mellitus - common form of diabetes in which the body cannot properly store or use glucose (sugar), the body's main source of energy

diastolic pressure - arterial pressure measured while the heart rests between beats

digoxin, or digitalis - drug used to treat congestive heart failure by increasing the force of contraction and to treat atrial fibrillation by slowing transmission of atrial electrical impulses (i.e., slowing the heart rate) and restoring normal heart rate

disease free survival - percentage of people still alive, without the presence of disease, after a specified period of time

diverticulum(p. diverticuli) - small outpouching of the lining of various tubular structures in the body, commonly occurring in the large bowel, particularly in the rectosigmoid

dorsiflex - when a part of the body moves in an upward direction

diuretics - drugs that increase the elimination of salt and water by the kidneys, resulting in increased urine volume

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) - genetic blueprint present in all of our cells

duodenum - first segment of the small bowel. The pyloric channel at the end of the stomach empties into a broad 3D triangular structure known as the duodenal bulb. Ulcers frequently occur here. After the bulb, the duodenum takes a turn south along the head of the pancreas. A duct from the biliary system in the liver (common bile duct) receives a duct or ducts from the pancreas and then passes into the descending duodenum at the Ampulla of Vater.

dust mites - microscopic organisms that feed on flakes of sloughed-off skin

echocardiogram - diagnostic test to detect abnormalities of the heart using an ultrasound probe to image the cardiac structures

echocardiography - a noninvasive cardiac imaging procedure used to diagnose heart disease, valve disorders (valvular heart disease), weakened heart muscle, fluid around the heart (pericarditis), and other abnormalities or defects. An ultrasound machine bounces sound waves at tissues of the heart and records an image using the patterns made when the sound waves bounce back ("echo") from the heart tissue.

eczema - disorder of the skin characterized by inflammation, itching, blisters, and scales

edema - swelling; fluid is retained resulting in swollen tissues

ejection fraction - percentage of blood ejected out of the left ventricle into the aorta with each heart beat

electrocardiography/electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) - graphical recording of the electrical currents that pass through the heart muscle during each heartbeat. In this procedure, electrodes are attached to the arms and legs, and the electrical pulses are recorded. This test is commonly called an EKG because the procedure was developed in the Netherlands, where it was spelled "electrokardiogram."

EEG (electroencephalography) - diagnostic test used to study brain wave activity; used to evaluate seizure disorders

electrohydraulic lithotripsy (EHL) - This technique uses a special probe to break up small stones with shock waves generated by electricity. Through a flexible ureteroscope, the physician positions the tip of the probe 1 mm from the stone. Then, by means of a foot switch, the physician projects electrically generated hydraulic shock waves through an irrigating fluid at the stone until it is broken into small fragments. These can be passed by the patient or removed through the previously described extraction methods. EHL has some limitations - It requires general anesthesia, and is generally not used in close proximity to the kidney itself, as the shock waves can cause tissue damage. Fragments produced by the hydraulic shock also tend to scatter widely, making retrieval or extraction more difficult.

EMG/NCV (electromyography/nerve conduction study) - test used to study the nerves and muscles to help diagnose disorders that can affect them. A small needle is placed in the muscle in the EMG. Electrical conduction is studied in the NCV. The results are seen on an oscilloscope screen and compared to normal values.

electron-beam radiation - form of radiation therapy in which the beams penetrate the skin only, thus limiting internal side effects; used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

encephalitis - inflammation or infection involving the brain

endocarditis - infection of a heart valve

endometriosis - Presence of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. It is active tissue that can contribute to infertility.

endometrium - The lining of the uterine cavity which undergoes specific changes throughout the menstrual cycle.

endothelium - layer of epithelial cells that line the cavities of the heart and the blood vessels.

esphagogastricduodenoscopy (EGD) - the insertion of a medium sized tube into the swallowing tube so the esophagus, stomach and portion of the small intestine can be visualized.

enterocele - Herniation of small bowel into vagina

erythema - A redness and warming of the skin typically due to inflammation caused by trauma or infection.

epidermis - the top layer of our skin, composed mainly of squamous cells, but also of basal cells and melanocytes, as well as several other types of cells.

erosion - moist, slightly depressed area of skin where the top layer (epidermis) has been removed

erythema - redness of the skin

erythroderma - diffuse reddening of the skin, caused by one of many disorders including psoriasis, eczema, drug sensitivities, and lymphoma

esophagus- muscular tube that begins at the back of the throat, passes through the neck and chest, and enters the stomach at the gastroesophageal junction just below the diaphragm.

estrogen - Hormones responsible for the development of female sex characteristics; produced by the ovary.

eversion - Term used to describe when a body part tilts away from the midline.

evoked potentials - A series of electophysiologic tests that help to evaluate the function of specific elements of the nervous system involved in Multiple Sclerosis.

exacerbation - An increase in asthma symptoms.

excise - to cut out

excisional biopsy - a surgical procedure in, which the entire area of abnormality is removed.

exfoliation - the shedding of top layers of the epidermis

extrinsic asthma - Asthma that is triggered by an allergic reaction, usually something that is inhaled.

extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) - Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy uses highly focused impulses projected from outside the body to pulverize kidney stones.

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fasciculation - Twitching of the muscles that is seen in diseases involving the peripheral nervous system.

fecundity - The ability to produce offspring; a measure of pregnancy rate per single ovulatory cycle.

fibrillation - uncontrolled rapid contraction of the fibers in the heart. When this occurs in the two atrial (upper) chambers of the heart, the condition is called atrial fibrillation. When it occurs in the ventricular (lower) chambers, the condition is called ventricular fibrillation.

fibrosis - the formation of scar tissue as a reaction to injury or during a healing process.

fine needle aspirate (FNA) - insertion of small gauge needle into an area of abnormality with an attempt to suck out small amounts of tumor for review by a pathologist.

first metatarsal phalangeal joint (1st MTJ) - Joint where the big toe connects to the foot; a common site for the development of osteoarthritis.

fissure - a linear split or crack, often painful, in the skin, usually in areas of chronic inflammation and skin thickening, such as in calluses of the hands and feet

flexible sigmoidoscopy - the insertion of a small sized tube into the rectum to visualize the rectum and portion of the large colon.

follicle (hair follicle) - a tiny tubular structure in the skin, contiguous with the top skin layer, or epidermis, that includes the canal itself, the hair shaft, the sebaceous (oil) gland, and the muscle anchored to the follicle?s side wall

folliculitis - inflammation with or without infection of the hair follicle

fungus (plural, fungi) - a member of a group of simple plantlike organisms that do not have leaves or flowers and that live off organic matter such as hair, skin, and nail cells of humans, animals, and plants

furuncle - deep inflammation and infection of the hair follicle

gadolinium - A contrast agent that is given intravenously during MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to increase visualization of specific abnormalities.

gait - Term used to describe how people walk (e.g., a person with a quick gait walks fast).

gallium scan - a nuclear medicine study in, which radioactive material is injected into the patient. This study is used to monitor gallium avid lymphomas.

gantry- the doughnut- or bagel-shaped device used for CT or MRI. The patient is placed on a couch or table that slides in and out of the hole in the gantry.

gamma-knife radiation - a new and very specific form of delivery of radiation. The radiation beam is directed to only the area of abnormality. This form of radiation is used most often for brain tumors.

gastroesophageal (GE) junction- the very important junction between the esophagus and the stomach. When functioning properly, ingested material flows through the esophagus, through the valve, and into the stomach but cannot pass the other way, that is, from the stomach back into the esophagus. An improperly functioning GE junction allows material in the stomach to reflux into the esophagus.

grade - a pathological system of defining if a tumor is attempting to mimic its organ of origin or if it is nothing like its organ of origin. Low grade tumors attempt to mimic the organ and thus are biologically less aggressive than high grade tumors (which do not mimic the organ of origin).

granulocytes - white blood cells, which fight infections (also called polymorphonuclear cells or PMN's or polys).

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habit Training - A behavioral technique that calls for scheduled toileting at regular intervals on a planned basis. Unlike bladder training, there is no systematic effort to motivate the patient to delay voiding and resist urge.

hallux - Proximal phalanx (end bone) of the first or big toe. It is the site of many muscle attachments. An imbalance in these muscles can contribute to the formation of a bunion.

hay fever - See - rhinitis.

heart attack - also called myocardial infarction. A medical emergency that occurs when a blood clot forms suddenly in a coronary artery and blocks blood flow to an area of the heart. This usually occurs after the surface of cholesterol plaque in the artery breaks.

heart failure - See congestive heart failure.

heart murmur - whooshing sound caused by the turbulent flow of blood from the left ventricle across the mitral valve and back into the left atrium.

heart transplant - See cardiac transplantation.

heel spur - A condition in which a small piece of bone is pulled away from the calcaneus. Often associated with plantar fasciitis.

hematemesis - vomiting up of blood.

hematuria - blood in the urine. It may be either grossly visible or microscopic.

hemiparesis - Weakness that affects one side of the body.

hemoptysis - the coughing up of blood.

hemorrhage - Bleeding; (such as in brain hemorrhage)

heparin - a drug that inhibits blood clotting.

her2-neu - a protein, which is found in 30% of breast cancer patients and, which, if present, confers a more aggressive behavior on the cancer.

histamine - A chemical present in cells throughout the body, released during an allergic reaction. Histamine is one of the substances responsible for the symptoms of inflammation. It is the major cause for runny nose, sneezing and itching in allergic rhinitis. It also causes narrowing of the bronchi or airways in the lungs.

HIV - (Human immunodeficiency virus) This is the virus that affects the immune system and causes the disease known as AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency disorder).

homograft valve - an aortic valve that has been taken from a human organ donor that is used to replace a diseased heart valve.

hormonal therapy - Involves the use of anti-androgens. An androgen is a male hormone needed for the production of testosterone. By depriving the cancer cells of the testosterone they need for growth, tumors regress in size and cellular activity. Side effects include gynecomastia, the enlargement of breast tissue, hot flashes, and loss of libido ( desire to have sex ). Some long term hormonal therapy is associated with the loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis, and malaise ( loss of energy ).

hospice - the delivery of care to the terminal patient with the intent of maintaining comfort. It is the intent to keep the patient at home with care givers and out of the hospital. It is the goal of hospice that the patient have a dignified death. The thrust is to support both the patient and the family during this time period.

hydrocele - A painless swelling of the scrotum, caused by a collection of fluid around the testicle; commonly occurs in middle-aged men.

hydrosalpinx - Dilation of the fallopian tubes due to previous infection or scarring.

hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol - excessively large amounts of lipids (fats) in the circulating blood. Lipids that are significant in determining the condition include - high-density cholesterol (HDL), known as "good" cholesterol; low-density cholesterol (LDL), known as "bad" cholesterol; and triglycerides (TG).

hypermobility - A condition characterized in which the pelvic floor muscles can no longer provide the necessary support to the urethra and bladder neck. As a result, the bladder neck drops when any downward pressure is applied and causing involuntary leakage. This condition is the most common cause of stress urinary incontinence.

hyperpigmented - accentuation or increase of pigment

hypopigmented - lessening or lightening of pigment

hyperplasia - Excessive growth of normal cells of an organ.

hypertension, or high blood pressure - a condition that occurs when increased resistance to blood flow through small blood vessels (arterioles) forces the heart to work harder.

hypothalamic Pituitary Dysfunction - Anovulation due to aberrations in the central nervous system which can be due to a variety of different reasons, including psychological, nutritional, and structural problems.

hysterosalpingogram (HSG) - A radiologic procedure performed by using dye to evaluate the uterus and fallopian tubes.

hysteroscopy - A surgical procedure done to evaluate the uterine cavity.

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idiopathic pericarditis - inflammation of the tissues of the pericardium with no known or detectable cause.

immune cells - cells produced in our bodies that protect us from foreign attack (such as by bacteria or viruses) by producing antibodies

immune system - A collection of cells and proteins that helps protect the body from potentially harmful, infectious microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. While it plays a major role in the control of cancer and other diseases, the immune system also is responsible for causing allergies, hypersensitivity and the rejection of transplanted organs, tissues and medical implants.

immunity - insusceptibility, usually resulting from previous exposure to an infectious agent, that may result from naturally acquired exposure or by vaccination

immunoglobulins - Also known as antibodies. Proteins found in blood and in tissue fluids. Produced by B-lymphocytes cells in the immune system, they bind to substances in the body that are recognized as foreign and help destroy them. Immunoglobulins also can bind to antigens that are not necessarily a threat to health, provoking an inflammatory reaction that causes asthma and allergies.

immunotherapy - Also called allergy shots. A form of preventive, anti-inflammatory treatment for allergies to substances such as pollens, dust mites, fungi and insect venom. Immunotherapy involves giving the patient gradually increasing doses of the substance (allergen) to which the person is allergic. These incremental increases cause the body's immune system to grow less sensitive to the allergen by encouraging the production of a particular "blocking" antibody. This eventually reduces the symptoms of allergy when the allergen is encountered in the future.

incisional biopsy - a surgical procedure in, which a small incision is made over the area of abnormality and the tissue visualized with a large piece of tissue removed and sent for review by a pathologist.

infertility - In women less than 35 years of age, >1 year of unprotected intercourse and no pregnancy.

inflammation - Redness, swelling, heat and pain in a tissue caused by injury, infection or hypersensitivity to an allergen.

insemination - The placement of semen into a woman's uterus, cervix, or vagina.

in-situ - confined to the top layer or epidermis; a cancer that has not spread to deeper tissues and has minimal propensity to metastasize

insulin Resistance - Carbohydrate metabolism problems associated in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

InterStim continence control therapy - A therapy used in treating urge incontinence. A device, about the size of a pacemaker, that is implanted into the sacral nerves of the lower spine, where it delivers electrical impulses that help regulate bladder function. Click here a to see picture.

interstitial laser - A laser probe is placed within prostatic tissue. Laser energy is then used to destroy prostatic tissue which makes urination easier.

intrinsic asthma - Asthma that has no apparent external cause.

intrinsic sphincter deficiency (ISD) - Weakening of the urethra sphincter muscles. As a result of this weakening the sphincter does not function normally regardless of the position of the bladder neck or urethra. This condition is a common cause of stress urinary intinence.

intussusception- the end of the small bowel rolls into the beginning of the large bowel, and they block each other. The remedy is to apply pressure from the outside to push the small bowel back out of the large bowel (reduce the intussuseption).

invasive procedure - a medical examination that invades the body either by incision or by insertion of an instrument through the skin.

inversion - Term used to describe when a body part tilts toward the midline.

irritable bladder - Involuntary contractions of muscles in the bladder, which can cause lack of control of urination.

ischemia - Lack of blood flow; (such as in ischemic stroke)

isolated systolic hypertension - condition usually found in the elderly in which only the systolic blood pressure is elevated.

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keratoacanthomas - a mostly benign, rapidly growing skin tumor that regresses spontaneously

kegel exercises - Exercises is to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which leads to more control and prevents leakage.

kidney - One of a pair of organs located at the back of the abdominal cavity. Kidneys make urine through blood filtration.

kidney stone - A hard mass composed of substances from the urine that form in the kidneys.

KOH - potassium hydroxide; used to assist in microscopic diagnosis of fungus infections

lacunar - A subtype of stroke that affects the deeper parts of the brain and involves the tiny perforating arteries.

laparoscopy - Surgery using an laparoscope to visualize internal organ through a small incision. Generally less invasive than traditional surgeries requiring a shorter recovery period.

large bowel (colon)- three-foot section of the gastrointestinal tract beginning in the lower right side of the abdomen (the cecum). The cecum receives the very end of the small bowel (the terminal ileum) at the so-called ileocecal valve, passes up as the ascending colon, and turns to the left at the hepatic flexure. It then passes across the upper abdomen as the transverse colon, turns down on the left at the splenic flexure, and passes down on the left as the descending colon. Finally, the large bowel passes back and toward the middle as the sigmoid, which ends as the rectum.

laser - acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation; a device that produces light in a coherent, intense beam

lateral - Term describing anything that inclines away from the center or midline of the body. The opposite of medial.

lateral collateral ligaments - A complex of three ligaments that helps support the lateral side of the ankle joint. Individually, these ligaments are known as the anterior talofibular, calcaneofibular and the posterior talofibular ligaments.

ligament - A substance made of fibrous tissue that helps connect and stabilize joints. Typically, it strengthens the gap between two or more bones, cartilage and/or muscles.

liquid nitrogen - liquid form of nitrogen gas ( - 195 degrees Celsius) used to treat various skin lesions in cryosurgery

lyme disease - A disease that affects the joints, nervous system and heart that is transmitted by the deer tick, and is caused by a parasite known as a Borrelia.

laparotomy - A surgical procedure performed through an abdominal/pelvic incision. Recovery is much longer than after laparoscopy.

left ventricular assist device (LVAD) - a complex pump that is implanted in the body to assist the left ventricle in pumping blood.

lithotripsy - A procedure done to break up stones in the urinary tract using ultrasonic shock waves, so that the fragments can be easily passed from the body.

lumbar puncture - (also known as a spinal tap) A procedure that involves removing some of the cerebrospinal fluid from the base of the spine. The physician will first use a local anesthetic on the skin and soft tissues in the lower back. Cerebrospinal fluid is obtained from the spinal area using a small needle and a syringe.

lung - located in the chest, these are paired organs, which participate in the delivery of oxygen to the blood.

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macule - a flat lesion on the skin that is distinguished by its difference in color from the surrounding skin; e.g., a freckle

malignant - Usually refers to tumors that are cancerous; may refer to a disease state that has a debilitating unremitting course.

medial - Term describing anything that inclines toward the center or midline of the body. The opposite of lateral.

melanocytes - cells intermingled with the basal cells in the bottom layer of the epidermis that produce pigment globules known as melanin

medical oncologist (oncologist) - Specialized physician with training in the treatment of cancers.

melena - grossly bloody stool; usually a burgundy, loosely formed or liquid stool.

meningitis - Inflammation or infection of the meninges, which are the coverings of the brain.

menopause - The period that marks the permanent cessation of menstrual activity, usually occurring between the ages of 40 and 58.

metastatic - may be either regionally or distant. The finding of cancer in either lymph nodes (regionally metastatic) or organs such as lung, liver, adrenal glands, bone or brain (distant metastasis).

metastasize - to spread from one part of the body to another, as in cancer

metatarsals - The five bones that run from the center of the foot to the beginning of the toes. They transfer the weight of the body and can easily incur a stress fracture if excessive weight is placed on them suddenly.

metered-dose inhaler (MDI) - The most common device for administering quick-relief asthma medications. It consists of a tube-shaped mouthpiece connected to a canister that projects a measured amount of medication when actuated by the user. To use an MDI, the patient exhales completely, places the MDI to the lips, forming a seal around the mouthpiece, and presses on the top of the canister to deliver a measured dose of the medication while slowly inhaling. A variation of the device called the breath-actuated MDI requires the patient to form a seal around the mouthpiece and inhale slowly, rather than projecting the medication into the mouth by actuating the canister.

midline - An invisible reference line that runs longitudinally, and divides any body or object in half. With reference to the foot, it runs from heel to toes and divides the foot in half.

migraine - A headache syndrome characterized by throbbing, usually one sided pain, that may be associated with nausea, vomiting and visual disturbances.

mitral valve - the one-way valve that allows blood to pass from the left atrium into the left ventricle.

mixed incontinence - Having both stress and urge incontinence.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) - A technique that utilizes the properties of magnetic fields to provide images of the body. (click here for additional information on MRI procedures)

motor neuron cells - The cells located in the spinal cord that give rise to the nerves that supply the muscles.

MRA (magnetic resonance angiography) - This test uses an MRI scanner to focus on structures within which there is flowing blood, such as the arteries in the neck, brain, and lungs. The test can be performed with or without IV contrast (gadolinium).

multi-infarct dementia - A dementia that is caused by the cumulative affect of having had many strokes in the brain.

muscular dystrophy - A congenital (hereditary) disorder of the muscles resulting in weakness and dysfunction of the muscles.

myasthenia gravis - A disorder affecting the space between the nerve and the muscle (neuromuscular junction) that results in transient motor weakness of the face and limbs. Due to an autoimmune process affecting the chemical Acetylcholine.

myelin - The outer lipid rich (fatty) layer that covers nerves and nervous system pathways in the brain and spinal cord.

myopathy - A disease resulting in dysfunction of the muscles usually causing weakness and atrophy.

myelosuppressive - any therapy, which causes the white blood counts to drop. Some forms of therapy are more suppressive than others and different chemotherapies are more suppressive than others.

myocardial infarction - See heart attack.

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nadir - the lowest white blood count a patient has between chemotherapy administrations.

narcolepsy - A syndrome that is often hereditary, and characterized by repeated attacks of sudden sleep that may be associated with other specific abnormalities making up the narcolepsy complex.

needle localization biopsy - for lesions, which cannot be felt, a needle marker is inserted prior to the biopsy attempt so that the abnormal area is defined.

nephrectomy - Removal of an entire kidney.

nephrotomography- conventional tomograms of the kidneys ("nephro" = kidney). In this exam, a specified section of the kidney is in focus while the rest (front and back) is kept out of focus to give better definition of the anatomy.

neurons - The nerve cells of the brain that carry out neurological function.

neutropenia - less than 1000 (absolute number) granulocytes.

neutropenic fevers - the development of fevers in a patient with known low white count and number granulocytes less than normal.

nevi - the pleural of the term nevus

nevus - any congenital skin lesion (ie. mole, birthmark etc.)

nodule - an elevated, solid mass or lump, up to two centimeters in diameter which can be located in the epidermis, dermis, or the subcutaneous fat

noninvasive procedure - a medical examination that does not penetrate the skin or invade the body, except needle sticks.

NPH - (normal pressure hydrocephalus) Increase in pressure within the ventricles of the brain, causing dementia, gait difficulties and urinary incontinence.

nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - a class of drugs that act against inflammation, reduce feer, relieve muscle pain, and prevent blood clots.

nystagmus - The jerking "to and fro" movement of the eyes that occurs when disorders affect the control of eye movement.

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occlusion - A closing of the airway at the back of the mouth/top of the throat, characteristic of persons with sleep apnea.

open nephrolithotomy - is the most invasive procedure for removing kidney stones. Because it is so traumatic, most kidneys can withstand no more than two such operations. Deep anesthesia is required, after which the surgeon makes a large (10-20 centimeter) incision in the patient's back or abdomen, depending upon where the stone is located. Either the ureter or the kidney isopened and the stone extracted. Most patients require prolonged hospitalization afterward, and recovery may take up to two months.

onychomycosis - a fungal infection of the fingernails, or toenails

orchiectomy - The surgical removal of one or both of the testicles.

orchitis - Inflammation of a testicle.

osteomyelitis - Term used describe an infection in bone.

overactive bladder - A condition characterized by involuntary bladder muscle contractions during the bladder filling phase which the patient cannot suppress.

overall survival - the percentage of people still alive (both with disease and free of disease) after a specified period of time.

overflow UI - Leakage of small amounts of urine from a bladder that is always full.

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pacemaker - battery-powered implantable device that electrically stimulates the heart to contract and thus to pump blood throughout the body. Usually consists of a pager-sized device that houses a battery and the electronic circuitry that runs the device, and one or two long thin wires (leads) that travel through a vein in the chest to the heart. Usually implanted in patients whose hearts' electrical systems no longer function normally.

padiation oncologist - Specialized physician with training in the use of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancers.

palliation - relieving symptoms and maintaining comfort through either the use of surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.

papule - A small area of skin that is elevated above the surrounding tissue. It is solid and may or may not be discolored.

papule - a small (less than one centimeter), circumscribed, elevated skin lesion that is pointed, flat topped, dome-shaped, smooth, or eroded

paraneoplastic - Disorders that occur due to the remote effects of cancer, such as through the mechanism of hormonal or antibody production.

paresthesias - Unusual sensory symptoms of tingling, numbness or other abnormal feelings of sensation.

pathology - a field concerned with examination of tissues removed for the purposes of diagnosing disease and guiding patient care

PCP (primary care physician)- large subset of physicians that includes internists, pediatricians, and general practitioners. PCPs do not provide specialized care. Radiologists, pathologists, gastroenterologists, and surgeons are specialists.

peak expiratory flow - The measurement of a patient's ability to push or blow air out of the lungs, used as a method for diagnosing asthma.

pelvic muscle exercises - Pelvic muscle exercises are intended to improve your pelvic muscle tone and prevent leakage for sufferers of Stress Urinary Incontinence. Also called Kegel exercises. (see biofeedback)

pericardiocentesis - surgical puncuture of the pericardial space to drain fluid.

pericardial effusionaccumulation of fluid between the pericardium and the heart.

pericarditis - inflammation of the tissues of the pericardium (thin membranous covering of the outer surfaces of the heart.

percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCN) - Percutaneous means "though the skin." In PCN, the surgeon or urologist makes a 1-centimeter incision under local anesthesia in the patient's back, through which an instrument called a nephroscope is passed directly into the kidney and, if necessary, the ureter. Smaller stones may be manually extracted. Large ones may need to be broken up with ultrasonic, electrohydraulic or laser- tipped probes before they can be extracted. A tube may be inserted into the kidney for drainage.

peripheral nervous system - Refers to the nerves and muscular structures

periurethral bulking injections - A surgical procedure in which injected implants are used to "bulk up" the area around the neck of the bladder allowing it to resist increases in abdominal pressure which can push down on the bladder and cause leakage.

pes cavus - Term used to describe highly arched feet.

pes planus - Term used to describe flat feet.

petechiae - small, pinpoint red or brown spots that represent escape of blood from the vessels into the surrounding skin

phalanx (pl.,phalanges) - The small bones of the foot that make up the toes. The first toe has two, known as the proximal phalanx (hallux) and the distal phalanx. The other four toes have three phalanges each - proximal, middle and distal.

phleboliths- ("phleb" = vein; "lith" = stone) small stones that form within veins with very slow to no flow. Because of their calcium composition, these stones are often seen on x-rays and CT scans. They are clinically significant because they may be confused with the more important ureteral stones.

photophobia - Literally means "fear of light", but the term is used when bright light is bothersome to individuals. Often occurs in syndromes such as migraine headache.

plain film- a basic x-ray with no contrast agents.

plantar fascia - A band of connective tissue that anchors the calcaneus to the front of the foot. It is strong and supports the arch.

plantar fasciitis - Inflammation of the plantar fascia, often occurring with or caused by a heel spur.

plantarflex - Verb used to describe when a part of the body moves in a downward direction.

plantar warts - Warts that occur on the sole or plantar surface of the foot. See Conditions.

plaque - The lesion that occurs in the "white matter" of the brain due to demyelination.

polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) - A hormonal condition that can be associated with obesity, hirsutism (increased body hair), anovulation, and infertility. The spectrum of presentations is quite varied.

polyps- small fingerlike outgrowths of tissue from the linings of various tubular organs such as the GI tract. Most polyps are benign but may become malignant over time.

polysomnogram - A test used to diagnose sleep apnea in patients. It uses a variety of external monitoring devices to track a patient's breathing, brain activity and physical movement during sleep.

porcine valve - valvue made of tissue from a pig that is used to replace a diseased heart valve.

positive airway pressure - A technique for treating obstructive sleep apnea in which forced air, fed through a mask, is pumped to a patient's nose and mouth, keeping the airway open during sleep.

post-void residual (PVR) volume - A diagnostic test which measures how much urine remains in the bladder after urination. Specific measurement of PVR volume can be accomplished by catheterization, pelvic ultrasound, radiography, or radioisotope studies.

prophylactic - Used to describe medications or treatments that are preventative in the treatment of disease.

ptosis - Drooping of the eyelids due to weakness of the muscles responsible for keeping the lids open.

pubovaginal Sling - A surgical procedure in which a man-made or cadaveric piece of material is placed under the bladder neck to support and immobilize. This technique improves sphincter function and decreases bladder neck movement, improving continence.

pulmonary embolus - a blockage in the lung; often refers to a blood clot located in the lung.

pustule - a raised lesion on the skin that contains pus

pyelonephritis - Inflammation of the kidney, usually due to a bacterial infection.

pyuria - The presence of pus in the urine; usually an indication of kidney or urinary tract infection.

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radiculopathy - Irritation and inflammation of one of the nerve roots in the vicinity of the spinal column.

REM (rapid eye-movement sleep) The stage of sleep that is characterized by decreased muscle tone, rapid eye movements and dreaming.

rectocele A herniation of rectum into vagina

respiratory system - The group of body organs responsible for carrying oxygen from the air to the bloodstream, and for expelling carbon dioxide as a waste product.

rhinitis - An inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nose, often caused by allergies to pollen, dust or other airborne substances.

rigidity - Stiffness in the limbs or body due to dysfunction of the basal ganglia and related structures.

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scales - layers of skin cells (fine and barely visible, thick and silvery, waxy, or large and adherent) accumulated on top of the skin due to abnormal formation and shedding of the top layers

scar - permanent fibrous skin changes that follow some sort of damage; pink to purple in hue, eventually fading to shiny white; often elevated and thickened

sciatic nerve - A large nerve in the lumbar-sacral spine region that is composed of multiple nerve roots that supply the lower extremities

seizure - The abnormal electrical discharge of brain cells (neurons) that results in a transient disturbance in brain function.

serotonin - An important neurotransmitter (communicates information chemically between brain cells) that is involved in the pain disorders and emotional perceptions.

sesamoids - Term used to describe bones that are contained within a ligament. They provide strength and leverage to the ligament. In the foot, there are two, located under the ball of the foot.

sesamoiditis - Term used to describe an inflammation of the sesamoid bones.

sexually transmitted disease (STD) - Infections that are most commonly spread through sexual intercourse or genital contact.

shinsplints - Injury or infammation of the posterior tibial muscle/tendon caused by overstretching or improper/excessiveise. See Conditions (Running Injuries).

silhouette sign- To see something on an x-ray, it must be a different (x-ray) density than the tissue it is up against. Thus, the soft tissue structures in the abdomen such as the liver, spleen, and pancreas are not seen well on abdomen x-rays unless they are surrounded by fat, which has x-ray properties different from the other soft tissues.

sleep apnea - A disorder that results in apnea (cessation of breathing) during sleep often due to obstruction of the upper airway.

sling procedures - Surgical methods for treating urinary incontinence involving the placement of a sling, made either of tissue obtained from the person undergoing the sling procedure or a synthetic material. The sling is anchored to retropubic and/or abdominal structures.

small bowel- a fourteen-foot section of the gastrointestinal tract that begins at the duodenum at the stomach outlet, then becomes the jejunum, and then the ileum, which empties into the beginning of the large bowel (the cecum) at the ileocecal valve.

SEP (Somatosensory Evoked Response) - Measures function of Central Nervous System, including pathway from the extremities.

spasticity - stiffness of the body involving the limbs that results from dysfunction of the corticospinal tracts.

s-phase - a laboratory study, which determines the percentage of cells, which are preparing to divide. Low s-phase suggests less activity and biological aggressiveness; high s-phase suggests increased activity and more biological aggressiveness.

sphincter - A ring of muscle fibers located around an opening in the body that regulates the passage of substances.

spinal stenosis - A syndrome that results in narrowing of the dimensions of the spinal canal due to disc disease, bony changes ligamentous thickening and congenital factors.

spirometry - A medical testing procedure which measures the amount of air entering and leaving the lungs.

squamous cells - cells that make up most of the epidermis which become specialized and provide a barrier between us and the environment

squamous cell carcinoma - the second most common skin cancer; usually local, but may metastasize to lymph nodes or other tissues

statins - drugs that inhibit the manufacture of cholesterol by the liver that are used to treat high blood cholesterol levels.

status epilepticus - Seizures that continue for more than twenty minutes without an intervening period of responsiveness.

stenosis - a condition that develops when any of the four major valves that regulate blood flow through the heart and to the lungs is damaged or diseased. Valve leaflets thicken and become calcified and the volume of blood from ejected from the heart is reduced.

stereotactic biopsy- an interventional mammography procedure in which material is aspirated from the breast, generally for diagnostic purposes. The placement of the aspiration needle is guided by computerized stereo imaging. This test often eliminates the need for surgical biopsy, is generally very well tolerated, and can be done on outpatients with little risk of serious complication.

stress test - monitoring the heart during exercise to identify the presence of heart disease or the risk of developing cardiac problems during strenuous activity. During a stress test, the patient typically walks on a treadmill or peddles a stationary bicycle while connected to an electrocardiograph (ECG) machine. A stress test is often accompanied by an imaging technique (nuclear myocardial imaging or echocardiography). Drugs can be used to simulate heart activity during exercise.

stress urinary incontinence - Urinary Incontinence - The involuntary loss of urine during period of increased abdominal pressure. Such events include laughing, sneezing, coughing or lifting heavy objects.

stroke - a medical event that results from a blood clot causing blockage of the blood supply to the brain.

SA node - sinoatrial node; small area of specialized heart tissue located in the right atrium that conducts impulses through the right and left atria, signaling these chambers to contract and pump blood into the ventricles.

subarachnoid hemorrhage - Bleeding in the area surrounding the brain, that is usually a result of the rupturing of a cerebral aneurysm in the brain.

subcutaneous fat - the third layer of skin, located below the dermis and composed mainly of fat cells and blood vessels

suture - (noun) a stitch; (verb) to stitch.

synovial fluid - A viscous substance that lubricates joints in the body, and allows two adjacent cartilage caps to glide with minimal friction upon one another.

systolic pressure - arterial pressure measured while the heart contracts, pumping blood into the arteries of the body.

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talus - The most superior bone of the foot. It is the primary connection between the leg and the foot. It articulates with the tibia and fibular bones of the leg and the calcaneus and navicular bones of the foot. The superior surface and the sides form the top of the ankle joint; the inferior surface articulates with the calcaneus and makes up the subtalar joint.

T-cell - a type of lymphocyte (white blood cell) that regulates immune function and controls production of antibodies

telangiectasia - dilatation of tiny blood vessels in the skin that usually appear as fine red lines, sometimes in a mesh-like pattern

tendon - The structure formed when a muscle condenses into a smaller complex before it attaches to a bone. Typically, it is stronger but much harder to heal compared to a muscle.

tensilon test - A diagnostic test that is used to confirm the disease Myasthenia Gravis. A substance that interferes with the breakdown of acetycholine is injected intravenously, and the response is monitored.

theophylline - A bronchodilator drug, taken orally, that widens the airways in the lungs. It is used to prevent attacks of apnea.

thrombocytopenia - decreased numbers of platelets.

thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) - also thyrotropin; a hormone that stimulates hormonal secretion of the thyroid gland.

tibialis posterior - A muscle in the leg that condenses to become a tendon in the foot. It is a solid contributor to the arch of the foot. It works together with the Achilles tendon to allow people to stand on their toes with their heels off the ground. It can tear or rupture, especially in people who have flat feet.

tibialis posterior dysfunction - A syndrome in which the tibialis posterior muscle/tendon weakens and often tears. This can cause the biomechanics of the foot to deteriorate due to muscle imbalances.

tinea - a fungal infection of the skin, hair, or nails caused by one of several types of fungi

titration - The process of determining the proper concentration of a dissolved substance needed to produce a desired effect. Used in relation to positive airway pressure, it refers to the proper amount of air pressure needed prevent a patient's airway from collapsing (occluding).

transesophageal echo (TEE) - a diagnostic procedure in which a transducer is passed down into the esophagus to a location behind the heart. Sound waves are transmitted through the esophagus to the heart and received by the transducer. The sound waves are then translated into images of the heart and surrounding tissue.

TIA - (Transient Ischemic Attack); Neurological symptoms occur due to transient interruption of the blood flow to the brain.

transient urinary incontinence - Temporary episodes of urinary incontinence that are gone when the cause of the episode is identified and treated, such as a bladder infection.

torticollis - The involuntary turning of the neck to one side that can be seen in disorders of the basal ganglia.

toxoplasmosis - A parasitic disease that affects the brain that occurs in patients who are immunosuppressed (such as those individuals with AIDS)

tumor - An abnormal mass of tissue that results from excessive cell division. Tumors perform no useful body function. They may be either benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

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ulcer - area of skin loss involving the whole thickness of the skin, which may be caused by infection, trauma, or cell death

ultrasonic lithotripsy - Similar to ureteroscopy, ultrasonic lithotripsy uses an optical scope and electronic probe, inserted into the ureter under epidural (spinal) anesthesia, to locate the stone. High-frequency ultrasound waves then are directed at the stone to break it up gradually. The fragments can either be passed naturally by the patient or removed by grasping forceps, basket extraction or suction through the scope instrument. The instrument is not flexible, however, so ultrasonic lithotripsy typically can be employed only when a straight path directly from outside the body to the stone is possible.

underactive bladder - A condition characterized by a bladder contraction of inadequate magnitude and/or duration to effect bladder emptying in a normal timespan. This condition can be caused by drugs, fecal impaction, and neurologic conditions such as Diabetic neuropathy or low spinal cord injury or as a result of radical pelvic surgery. It also can result from a weakening of the detrusor muscle from vitamin B12 deficiency or idiopathic causes. Bladder underactivity may cause overdistension of the bladder, resulting in overflow incontinence (see overflow incontinence).

unilateral - appearing on one side of the body

ureteroscopy - A flexible, fiberoptic instrument resembling a long, thin telescope is inserted through the urethra and bladder up to the ureter to visualize the tube. Often used for retrieval of kidney stones.

urge UI - The involuntary loss of urine associated with a sudden and strong urge to void (urgency).

urge/urgency - A strong desire to void.

urinalysis - A group of physical and chemical tests done on a sample of urine to check for various disorders, including those of the kidneys and urinary tract.

urinary incontinence - (UI) Involuntary loss of urine sufficient to be a problem. There are several types of Ul, but all are characterized by an inability to restrain voiding.

urinary tract infections (UTIs) - UTIs are caused by bacteria that invade the urinary system and multiply, leading to an infection.

urodynamic tests - Diagnostic tests to examine the bladder and urethral sphincter function.

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ventricles - the right and left lower chambers of the heart.

vesica sling procedure - is a surgical sling procedure used to stabilize the bladder neck and provide support for the urethra using autologous or synthetic sling material. This procedure treats both hypermobility and ISD.

varicocelectomy - The cutting away of a varicocele.

varicocele embolization - An outpatient procedure in which the varicocele is closed off (occluded) by means of a balloon catheter (flexible tube with a tiny detachable balloon), steel coil, and/or sclerosing (vessel-hardening) solution.

vascular - related to blood vessels

vasoepididymostomy A microsurgical procedure that uses a microscopic camera and very small operative tools to correct obstructions in the genital tract. The procedure requires removal of the blockage in the epididymis (the coiled tube that extends the length of each testis and connects with a larger duct - the vas deferens) and re-attachment of the epididymis to the vas deferens.

vasovasostomy - Vasovasostomy is a vasectomy reversal, the re-connection of the severed ends of the vas deferens restoring the flow of sperm through the vas deferens.

vaportrode - A type of cautery electrode that vaporizes Prostatic tissue. This creates a larger prostatic channel which makes urination easier.

VER (Visual Evoked Responses) - Measures function of Central Nervous System, including the pathway from optic tract.

vertebrae - Bones that make up the spinal column.

vertebral arteries- paired arteries that supply the back of the brain and the brainstem. These arteries are located behind their counterparts in front, the carotid arteries. In the neck, these arteries are located within the vertebral canals of the cervical spine.

vertigo - Dizziness or imbalance that often has a spinning or rotational component.

vesicle - small, sharply circumscribed, elevated, fluid-filled bumps in the skin measuring less than 0.5 centimeters; small blisters

vestibular system - The parts of the nervous system that control equilibrium and balance.

vitiligo - the minimal or widespread appearance of white patches on otherwise normal skin due to loss of pigment

warfarin - drug used to prevent formation of blood clots.

wheals - solid, distinct elevations in the skin formed by localized swelling, ranging in color from white to dark pink

white matter - The lipid rich myelinated portion of the brain and spinal cord.

xerosis - Term used to describe dry skin. See Conditions for more information.

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