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Glossary

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Term Definition
Articulation

Also known as: Joint


Point where two or more bones meet in the body; they allow the body to be flexible and are classified by their range of movement: immovable (fibrous) do not move, such as in the skull, slightly movable (cartilaginous) as in the vertebrae in the spine, or freely movable (synovial) as in the knees and elbows, which move in many directions and are further classified as hinge, pivot or ball-and-socket joints.

Digital Rectal Exam

Also known as: DRE

Part of a physical examination performed in order to examine nearby structures (e.g., the prostate in men)

ECG, EKG

Also known as: ElectrocarDiogram

Graphic recording of the electrical activity of the heart

Granulocyte

Also known as: Neutrophil


Normally the most abundant type of white blood cell in healthy adults

Microbe

Also known as: Microorganism

Life form that is not visible to the naked eye such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses

24-Hour Urine Sample

A collection of all urine voided over a 24-hour period of time.

Obtain a collection container from your doctor or the laboratory and follow the directions you are given for collecting your samples. To preserve the substance to be tested, the container may need to be refrigerated during the entire collection process. After getting up in the morning, empty your bladder and discard that urine. Note the time. For the next 24 hours, save all urine voided in the container provided. When 24 hours are over, empty your bladder and ADD this urine to the container. Note the time. Bring all of the urine collected to the lab or doctor's office. If you miss collecting one or more voids, consult your doctor or the laboratory for further instructions.

The reason a 24-hour urine sample may be requested instead of a random urine sample is because amounts of various substances in the urine changes during the course of a day. By collecting all urine for 24 hours, the amount of the substance being measured in the urine can be averaged over the entire day and will give a better indication of what is going on in the body.

Abnormal Fibrinolysis

Overactivity of the process normally responsible for clearing blood clots from blood vessels

ABO Incompatibility
ABO incompatibility is a common and generally mild type of haemolytic disease in babies. The term haemolytic disease means that red blood cells are broken down more quickly than usual which can cause jaundice anaemia and in very severe cases can cause death. During pregnancy this breakdown of red blood cells in the baby may occur if the mother and baby’s blood types are incompatible and if these different blood types come into direct contact with each other and antibodies are formed.
Abscess

An enclosed localized collection of pus formed by the disintegration of tissue within a cavity

Acanthosis nigricans

Darkening and thickening of the skin around the neck, underarms, and skin folds; can be caused by elevated levels of insulin in the blood and is often associated with obesity

Acid

A compound that contains at least one hydrogen atom and can react with a base to form a salt; a chemical with a pH less than 7. An example of acid in the body is hydrochloric acid (HCl) involved in digestion in the stomach.

Acid-Base Balance

The body's maintenance of a healthy pH range for blood and tissues that is slightly basic (pH between 7.35 - 7.45). This balance is achieved through the use of systems in the blood (which help to minimize pH changes) and by the lungs and kidneys, which eliminate excess amounts of acids or bases from the body.

Acidosis

A condition in which there is a shift in the acid-base balance of the body to have more acid than normal, often causing the pH of the blood and body tissues to fall below the healthy range (7.35-7.45). It may be caused by decreased CO2 eliimination in respiratory disorders such as emphysema, by metabolic problems such as kidney disease and diabetes, or as the result of ingesting poisons (ethlylene glycol, methanol) or overdosing on certain medication (salicylates); it can also be caused by losing HCO3, as in diarrhea.

Acromegaly

A condition in adults resulting from excess growth hormone characterized by enlargement of the hands and feet, change in shoe size, gradual changes in facial features, including protrusion of the lower jaw and brow, and enlargement of the nasal bone

Acute coronary syndrome

Also known as: ACS


A group of potentially life-threatening disorders resulting from insufficient blood flow to the heart caused by the narrowing or blockage of one or more blood vessels to the heart; the conditions included in this group range from unstable angina to heart attack and are usually characterized by chest pain, upper body discomfort with pain in one or both arms, shoulders, stomach or jaw, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating or dizziness.

Useful Sites

  • NCBI

    National Center for Biotechnology Information
  • LTO

    Lab Tests Online® by AACC
  • ASCP

    American Society for Clinical Pathology
  • ASM

    American Society for Microbiology
  • The Medical Library®

    Project of BioScience.pk

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