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Glossary

BioScience.com.pk try the best to avoid the use of medical terms that could make it more difficult to understand the information on this website. Still, there are a number of terms that can't be avoided and that are useful to know because they are so often used by the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals with whom you might speak. The list below includes the terms used on BioScience.com.pk for which we have provided definitions.

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Term Definition
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.

Acute Myelocytic Leukemia

Also known as: Acute Myelocytic Leukemia, AML


bone marrow disease that is characterized by the production of large numbers of an immature granulocyte (a neutrophil -- the most common, basophil, or eosinophil) that replace other normal cells in the marrow.

Acute Myelocytic Leukemia, AML

Also known as: Acute Myelocytic Leukemia, AML


bone marrow disease that is characterized by the production of large numbers of an immature granulocyte (a neutrophil -- the most common, basophil, or eosinophil) that replace other normal cells in the marrow.

Acute Phase Reactant

A protein that increases or decreases in concentration with conditions that cause acute tissue inflammation or trauma.

Acute Sample

In the clinical laboratory, pertaining to samples taken at a time when a patient initially exhibits signs and symptoms of a disease or condition

Adenomatous polyp

Also known as: Tubular adenoma


Abnormal growth of cells that form the glands in the lining of the colon or rectum; while benign, may become cancerous over time

Adjuvant therapy

Treatment used to assist a primary therapy (such as surgery) in the prevention, improvement, or cure of a disease (such as adjuvant chemotherapy in cancer)

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