Glossary 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 for which we have provided definitions.

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Term Definition
Corpus Luteum

Literally, yellow body in the ovary; the progesterone-producing tissue that remains after an egg is releaed from the ovary


Also known as: bronchiolitis
Inflamed bronchioles, the smaller airway passages/branches of the lower respiratory tract


A component prepared from donated blood; after freezing plasma and thawing, a precipitate that remains solid. It is rich in fibrinogen and Factor VIII.


Also known as: Cerebrospinal Fluid

Normally clear liquid, produced in the ventricles of the brain, that surrounds the brain and spinal cord


Deliberate growing of cells, especially microorganisms, in a solid or liquid medium (e.g. agar, gelatin), as of bacteria in a Petri dish


1) a hollow space or fluid-filled cavity surrounded by a distinct lining that develops abnormally in tissue or in an organ in the body, such as "ovarian cyst"

2) a cellular form of a parasite that has a thick cell wall, which allows for survival of the parasite in the environment and transmission into an uninfected host


one of a group of proteins released by cells of the immune system that carry signals to neighboring cells to regulate and/or promote an immune response


The microscopic assessment of individual cells or groups of cells that are either shed in body fluids or collected by smears and scrapings (e.g., the Pap smear) or by aspiration from deeper tissues through a very fine needle


The living substance within a cell that is located outside of the nucleus; it is a semi-fluid substance consisting of proteins, fat and other molecules


Excessive loss of water from the body tissues, often accompanied by imbalance of sodium, potassium, chloride, and other electrolytes


Progressive state of mental decline, especially of memory function and judgment


Acute or chronic inflammation of the skin


Any one of the group of fungi that cause infection of the skin, hair, or nails

Diabetes insipidus

A disorder similar to diabetes mellitus in that it causes symptoms such as increased thirst and increased urine production, but differing in cause, frequency, treatment, and associated complications; diabetes insipidus results from a lack of production of arginine vasopressin (also called antidiuretic hormone or ADH) by the pituitary or a lack of response of the kidneys to ADH, causing an inability of the kidneys to conserve water. It can lead to severe dehydration and high serum sodium if inadequately treated. Diabetes inspididus is a much more rare condition than diabetes mellitus.


Change from an original unspecialized form, to a different more specialized form or function.