Medical Terminology

Acquired — not born with; developed after birth.

Adenoma — a benign tumor made up of glandular elements.

Adhesion — fibrous tissue (scarring) which connects one structure to another as a response to disease or injury.

Alveoli — air sacs in the lungs.

Ambulatory — able to walk.

Anamnestic — history.

Anastomosis — a joining together.

Aneurysm — an outpouching of a blood vessel or structure.

Angina pectoris — chest pain without death of the heart muscle.

Angiography — an X-ray study of blood vessels by use of of dye.

Antecubital fossa — the space on the arm in front of the elbow.

Antemortem — before death.

Anthracosis — black pigment from coal or cigarette smoke.

Anthropophagia — insect and animal eating of the body after death.

Arrhythmia — abnormal heart beat.

Arteriolonephosclerosis — small blood vessel disease of the kidney.

Artery — a blood vessel which takes blood away from the heart.

Arteriosclerosis — thickening of artery walls, "hardening of the arteries."

Ascites — accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.

Asphyxia — lack of oxygen in the blood.

Atelectasis — collapse of a lung.

Atherosclerosis — thickening of artery walls by fatty deposits.

Atrium — one of two chambers in the heart which accepts blood from either the lungs or the rest of the body.

Atrophy — wasting away.

Autolysis — degeneration of cells and tissues after death.

Benzoylecognine — a metabolite of cocaine.

Bifurcation — a division into two branches.

Bronchi — the breathing tubes between the trachea and the lungs.

Bronchioles — smaller divisions of the bronchi.

Bronchopneumonia — infection of the lung beginning in the bronchiole (smallest air tube).

Calcification — turning hard by the development of calcium.

Cancer — malignant growth.

Capillary — the smallest blood vessel which connects arteries and veins.

Carbohydrates — starches and sugars.

Cardiac tamponade — blood filling the pericardial sac and compressing the heart.

Cardiomegaly — increased size of the heart.

Cardiorespiratory — heart and lungs.

Cardiovascular — heart and blood vessels.

Cecum — the first part of the large bowel (colon) where the small bowel attaches and the appendix is located.

Cholecystectomy — surgical removal of the gallbladder.

Cholelithiasis — gallstones.

Chordae tendineae — the strings of tissue connecting the heart valves to the papillary muscles in the heart wall.

Cirrhosis — scarring of the liver complicating alcoholism

Colon — the large bowel, between the small bowel and the anus.

Coma — unresponsive condition.

Congenital — born with.

Congestion — accumulation of blood.

Conjunctiva — the thin membrane lining the eyelid and eyeball.

Connective tissue — the supporting tissue between structures.

Consolidation — becoming firm.

Contrecoup — opposite the point of impact.

Coronal — the plane across the body from side to side.

Cyanosis — the dusky discoloration of the skin due to a lack of oxygen. Cyst — a hollow structure with a lining that is filled with a liquid or a semiliquid substancethere is a retention of air because of dam.

Decubitus ulcer — an ulcer formed on the skin from pressure.

Dementia — loss of intellectual function. Dermatome — the distribution of a nerve on the exterior of the body.

Diabetes mellitus — a disease in which the body cannot use sugar because insulin is not being adequately produced by the pancreas. Diastolic — the lower of the two values in a blood pressure. Dilated — expanded in size. Distal — away from the point of insertion. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) — the structural backbone of genetic makeup in chromosomes. Duodenum — the first part of the small bowel. Dura mater — the tough, thick membrane located between the brain and the skull.

Ecchymoses — hemorrhages beneath the skin (larger than petechiae). Edema — the accumulation of fluid in cells and tissues. Electrocardioversion — an attempt at cardiopulmonary resuscitation by electrical shock. Emaciation — generalized wasting away. Emphysema — lung disease where age to the alveoli (air sacs).

Endometrium — the inner lining of the uterus. Epidural — over the dura.

Esophagus — the structure connecting the mouth to the stomach (food pipe). Etiology — the cause of a disease. Exsanguination — marked internal or external loss of blood.

Fibrillation — very rapid irregular heart beat. Fibrosis — scarring, commonly associated with liver and the heart.

Flexion — the act of bending a structure. Forensic pathology — the legal applications to the field of pathology, study of the cause and manner of death and injury.

Foramen magnum — the hole at the base of the skull through which the spinal cord passes.

Gastrocnemius — the calf muscle.

Gland — a structure made up of cells which secrete a substance. Glucose — sugar.

Granular — a "lumpy bumpy" surface.

Granuloma — a tumor-like growth caused by an Infection.

Hematoma — a mass (collection) of blood. -hemo — blood.

Hepatomegaly — Increased size of the liver. Hepatic — pertaining to the liver. Herniation — the protrusion of a structure into another space.

Hyperglycemia — increased sugar (glucose) in the blood.

Hyperplastic — increased number. Hypertension — high blood pressure. Hyperthermia — increased body temperature. Hypertrophy — enlargement. Hypothermia — decreased body temperature. Hypoglycemia — decreased sugar (glucose) in the blood.

Hysterectomy — surgical removal of the uterus. I

Ileum — the third and most distal part of the small bowel.

Infarction — death of tissue from a lack of blood.

Inflammation — infection.

Infraorbital — below the eye.

Intercostal — between the ribs.

Interstitial tissue — the supporting tissue within an organ (not the functioning cell). Intestines — the bowels.

Intima — the innermost structure. Ischemia — decreased blood flow. -itis — inflammation.

Jaundice — yellow discoloration of the skin from a buildup of bilirubin (a breakdown product of red blood cells) in the body. Jejunum — the second part of the small bowel.

Laparotomy — surgical incision into the abdomen. Larynx — voice box (contains the vocal cords). Leukemia — cancer of the blood forming organs and cells.

Ligament — thick tissue joining bones and cartilage. Liver mortis — settling of blood after death. Lumen — the inside of a hollow organ or blood vessel. Lymph — the clear fluid which drains from the body's tissues.

Lymphoma — cancer of the lymph system. Lymph node — nodules of tissue along the lymph drainage system.

Mastectomy — surgical removal of the breast. Mastoid — the area of the skull behind the ear. Media — the middle layer of a blood vessel.. Medial — the middle.

Membrane — the lining tissue within a structure or between two structures. Meningitis — inflammation of the coverings of the brain.

Mesentery — the structure which supports the intestines. Metabolite — a breakdown product of a drug or chemical.

Mitral valve — the valve between the left atrium and ventricle in the heart.

Myocardium — heart muscle. Myocardial infarct — death of the heart muscle from blockage of a coronary artery.

Necrosis — degeneration and death of cells and tissues during life.

Neoplasia — tumor or growth. Nodules — raised skin lesions, may be benign or malignant.

Oophorectomy — surgical removal of the ovary. P

Pancreas — the organ behind the stomach which produces insulin. Papillary muscles — muscle bundles which control the heart valves. Parenchyma — the functional tissue of an organ. Penetration — into a structure. Perforation — through a structure. Pericardial sac — the sac surrounding the heart.

Perineum — the area of the body which includes the external genitalia and the anus.

Peritoneal cavity — abdominal cavity.

Peritoneum — the thick tissue lining the abdominal cavity.

Perivascular — around blood vessels.

Petechiae — pinpoint hemorrhages.

Pharynx — the structure at the back of the nose and mouth before the esophagus and larynx.

Pinna — the external ear.

Pleura — lining the lung or inside the chest.

Pleural space — space between the lung and the chest wall.

Posterior — behind or back.

Postmortem — after death.

Proximal — towards the point of insertion or the main part of the body.

Purging — the decomposed bodily fluids which come out the nose and mouth.

Rigor mortis — stiffening of the muscles after death. S

Sagittal — a plane across the body from front to back.

Salpingo-oopherectomy — surgical removal of the fallopian tubes and the ovaries.

Sarcoma — a malignant tumor of the soft tissue.

Septicemia — bacteria in the blood system with signs and symptoms of disease.

Shock — inadequate circulating blood volume because of either a loss or redistribution of blood.

Small bowel — the small intestine, extending from the stomach to the colon (large bowel).

Soft tissue — fat or supporting tissue.

Splenectomy — surgical removal of the spleen.

Stenosis — narrowing.

Subarachnoid — beneath the arachnoid.

Subcutaneous marbling — the black discoloration of the blood vessels on the outside of the body which appears during decomposition.

Subdural — beneath the dura

Subluxation — bones which partially slip out of join.t

Supine — lying on the back with face upward.

Supraorbital — above the eye.

Suture — joints in the skull where the bones come together.

Syncope — fainting.

Systolic — the higher of the two valves in a blood pressure.

Tachycardia — fast heart beat.

Tardieu spots — small hemorrhages from ruptured blood vessels on the extremities which occur after the body has been in a dependent position.

Thoracic cavity — chest cavity.

Thoracotomy — surgical incision into the chest cavity.

Trachea — (wind pipe) the structure between the larynx (voice box) and the bronchi.

Tricuspid valve — the valve between the right atrium and right ventricle in the heart.

Ureter — the structure which takes urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder.

Varix (Varices) — enlarged dilated vein from a backup of blood , often seen in alcoholics who have cirrhosis of the liver.

Vein — a blood vessel which returns blood to the heart. Ventricle — a chamber containing either blood or fluid

(e.g., the heart has two ventricular chambers). Vitreous humor — the fluid in the eye which gives the eye its shape.

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