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  » Medical Terms Glossary
Patients will find this glossary of medical terms very useful to explain complicated medical terminology.

Click on a letter to view the corresponding section of the glossary:

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Edema
excess accumulation of fluidin cells or tissues
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
Pertaining to electrical activity in the brain.
Electrolytes
Substances such as salts and minerals needed for various functions in the body (eg, conducting electicity).
ELISA (enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay)
A blood test used to detect antibodies to viruses or bacteria, as it causes detectable color change in the test tube. The HIV ELISA is commonly used as the initial screening test.
Embolism
the sudden blocking of an artery by a clot or foreign material that has been brought to the site by the blood current.
Embolus
a mass of clotted blood or other material brought by the blood from another vessel and forced into a smaller one, thus obstructing the circulation.
Emetogenic
induces vomiting
Empirical
based on experience or observational information.
Encopresis
Accidental passage of a bowel movement not due to illness. A common disorder in children.
Endocrine glands
Glands that release hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones influence other body functions.
Endocrinologist
A doctor who treats people who have problems with their endocrine glands.
Endogenous
Arising inside the body.
Endometrium
the inner mucous membrane of the uterus
Endorphins
Naturally occurring painkilling substances produced in the nervous system that stops pain naturally.
Endoscope
A small, flexible tube with a light and a lens on the end used to look into the gastrointestinal tract. It can also be used to take biopsy and pictures of the organ.
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
A test using an x-ray to study the bile and pancreatic ducts. The doctor inserts an endoscope through the mouth into the duodenum and bile ducts. Dye is sent through the tube into the ducts. The dye makes the ducts show up on an x-ray.
Endoscopy
A procedure that uses an endoscope to diagnose or treat a condition.
Enema
A liquid injected into the rectum to clear out the bowel.
Enteral Nutrition
A way to provide food through a tube placed in the nose, the stomach, or the small intestine. A tube in the nose is called a nasogastric or nasoenteral tube. A tube into the stomach is called a gastrostomy or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). A tube into the small intestine is called a jejunostomy or percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy (PEJ) tube.
Enteritis
An irritation of the small intestine.
Enterocele
A hernia in the intestine.
Enteroscopy
An examination of the small intestine with an endoscope.
Enterostomy
An opening into the intestine through the abdominal wall.
Epidemiology
The study of a disease that deals with how many people have disease, where they are, how many new cases develop, and how to control the disease.
Epinephrine
Secreted by the adrenal glands. Itcauses the rapid heart rate and can raise blood pressure; Synonym= adrenalin.
Epithelial Cells
A kind of cells that form the epithelium and absorb nutrients. See also Epithelium.
Epithelium
the cellular layer without blood vessels covering free surfaces of the body such as the skin
Eructation
Belching.
Erythema Nodosum
Red swellings or sores on the lower legs.
Escherichia coli
Bacteria that cause infection and irritation of the large intestine.
Esophagitis
inflammation of the esophagus
Esophageal Atresia
The esophagus lacks the opening to allow food to pass into the stomach.
Esophageal Manometry
A test to measure muscle tone in the esophagus.
Esophageal Reflux
Involves damage to the esophageal lining, often with ulcer.
Esophageal Stricture
A narrowing of the esophagus often caused by acid flowing back from the stomach.
Esophageal Ulcer
A sore in the esophagus. Caused by long-term inflammation or damage from the residue of pills. The ulcer may cause chest pain.
Esophagitis
An irritation of the esophagus, usually caused by acid that flows up from the stomach.
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
Exam of the upper digestive tract using an endoscope.
Esophagus
The organ that connects the mouth to the stomach.
Etiology
the science of the causes and modes of operation of diseases
Excrete
To get rid of waste from the body.
Exfoliate
to shed cells from the epithelium layer of the skin or mucosa
Exogenous
Arising outside the body.