Medical Dictionary

Smart medical dictionary of over 15,000 terms. Quick access to human-friendly medical definitions. Use the alphabetical list below or search for the medical term by name.

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Top 25 Medical Terms

  1. Leishmania Infection
    Leishmania infection: A parasitic disease, also called leishmaniasis, spread by the bite of sand flies infected with a protozoa (Leishmania). There are several forms of leishmaniasis, the most common being cutaneous and visceral...

  2. Q Fever
    Q fever: An acute febrile illness due to Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii), a species of bacteria. Q fever is a zoonotic disease (contracted from animals). Aside from sudden onset of fever, there is headache, malaise, and pneumonia but no rash....

  3. Beaufort Wind Scale
    Beaufort wind scale: A widely used wind force scale whih is a simple numerical relationship to wind speed based on an observation of the effects of the wind. The Beaufort wind scale is of importance in preparations for a tropical storm or...

  4. Paget Disease
    Paget disease: A chronic bone disorder that typically results in enlarged, deformed bones due to excessive breakdown and formation of bone tissue that can cause bones to weaken and may result in bone pain, arthritis, deformities or fractures....

  5. Cytomegalovirus (cmv)
    Cytomegalovirus (CMV): A virus that infects 50-85% of adults in the US by age 40 and is also the virus most frequently transmitted to a child before birth. Persons with symptoms have a mononucleosis-like syndrome with prolonged fever and mild...

  6. Osteitis Deformans
    Osteitis deformans: Better known today as Paget disease, this is a chronic bone disorder that typically results in enlarged, deformed bones due to excessive breakdown and formation of bone tissue that can cause bones to weaken and may result...

  7. Heart Transplant
    Heart transplant: A surgical procedure in which a diseased heart is replaced with a healthy heart from a deceased person. The world's first heart transplant was done on December 3, 1967 by South African surgeon Christiaan Bernard (1922-2001)....

  8. Osteopetrosis
    Osteopetrosis: Thickening of the bones which become abnormally dense due an inherited defect in bone resorption -- the process in which old bone is broken down and removed so that new bone can be added to the skeleton. Osteoclasts are the...

  9. Endometriosis
    Endometriosis: In endometriosis, cells that normally grow inside the uterus (womb), instead grow outside the uterus. Summary: Endometriosis is very common; the cause -- and why some women have endometriosis and many others do not -- has not...

  10. Gjb2
    GJB2: A gene that provides instructions to make a protein called gap junction beta 2. Mutations in the GJB2 gene are responsible for autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive forms of nonsyndromic deafness (hearing loss without related signs...

  11. AML
    AML: Acute myeloid leukemia (also known as acute myelogenous leukemia), a quickly progressive malignant disease in which there are too many immature blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow, the cells being specifically those destined...

  12. Cysticercosis
    Cysticercosis: An infection caused by the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. Infection occurs when the tapeworm larvae enter the body and form cysticerci (SIS-tuh-sir-KEY) (cysts). When cysticerci are found in the brain, the condition is called...

  13. Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
    Cyclic vomiting syndrome: A syndrome characterized by episodes, bouts, or cycles of severe nausea and vomiting that last for hours or even days and alternate with longer asymptomatic periods (with no symptoms). The cause of the syndrome is...

  14. Fanconi Anemia
    Fanconi anemia: A genetic disease that affects all of the bone marrow elements, is associated with a great diversity of malformations as well as pigmentary changes of the skin, and predisposes to malignancy. Malignancy: Fanconi anemia...

  15. Peyronie Disease
    Peyronie disease: A condition of uncertain cause in which a plaque (a hard lump) forms on the upper or lower side of the penis in layers containing erectile tissue resulting sometimes in severe curvature of the penis. Surgery is usually only...

  16. Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitor
    Alpha-glucosidase inhibitor: A class of oral medications for type 2 diabetes that decrease the absorption of carbohydrates from the intestine, resulting in a slower and lower rise in blood glucose throughout the day, especially right after...

  17. Fusiform
    Fusiform: Formed like a spindle, wider in the middle and tapering toward the ends. An aneurysm may be fusiform. The word "fusiform" comes from the Latin "fusus" meaning "spindle."

  18. Hemorrhage, Subarachnoid
    Hemorrhage, subarachnoid: Bleeding within the head into the space between two membranes that surround the brain. The bleeding is beneath the arachnoid membrane and just above the pia mater. (The arachnoid is the middle of three membranes...

  19. Abstemious
    Abstemious: Marked by restraint, especially in the consumption of food or alcohol. From the Latin prefix "abs-," meaning "from" or "away," and the Latin noun "temetum," meaning "intoxicating drink."

  20. Crime Scene Investigation
    Crime scene investigation: The use of physical evidence at the scene of the crime and the use of deductive and inductive reasoning to gain knowledge of the events surrounding the crime. Crime scene investigation is multidisciplinary and...

  21. Aerosol
    Aerosol: 1. In general, a fine mist or spray which contains minute particles. 2. In medicine, a spray administered by a nebulizer and inhaled for treatment. 3. In medicine, a mist that causes disease as, for example, the hantavirus pulmonary...

  22. Episclera
    Episclera: A thin membrane that covers the sclera (the white of the eye). "Epi-" is a prefix from the Greek that means "on, upon, at, by, near, over, on top of, toward, against, among." Episclera = on top of the sclera.

  23. Fever, Mediterranean
    Fever, Mediterranean: A inherited disorder of unknown cause featuring short recurring bouts of fever together with pain in the joints, chest or abdomen. Also called Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF). Between attacks, the patient seems...

  24. Balloon Angioplasty
    Balloon angioplasty: Coronary angioplasty is accomplished using a balloon-tipped catheter inserted through an artery in the groin or arm to enlarge a narrowing in a coronary artery. Coronary artery disease occurs when cholesterol plaque...

  25. Ert (estrogen Replacement Therapy)
    ERT (estrogen replacement therapy): Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) is used to treat menopause. It reduces or stops the short-term changes of menopause such as hot flashes, disturbed sleep, and vaginal dryness. ERT can prevent...