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Medical Dictionary

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An alphabetical listing of General terms and items.

 
H & E   Dico Tools
Hemotoxylin and Eosin. A stain used routinely for general pathology. Most fungi are visible, but not distinctive. Fungal walls usually stain blue or purple. Other cells stain pink. Advantage: the tissue reaction is visible.


H2~blockers   Dico Tools
Medicines such as cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), or famotidine (Pepcid), used to treat acid indigestion, heartburn, and ulcer pain. They are so called because they act by blocking histamine-2 signals to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach.


Habenula   Dico Tools
Diminutive of Latin habena = rein.


Haemorrhoid   Dico Tools
Greek haima = blood, and rhoia = to flow, hence likely to bleed.


HALF-LIFE   Dico Tools
The time required for half of the original amount of a drug to be eliminated from the body, or for a drug to decrease to half its original concentration in the blood.


Hallux   Dico Tools
Latin hallex = great toe (hallucis = of the great toe).


Hamate   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin hamus = a hook, hence, hooked.


Hamstrings   Dico Tools
The tendons of the muscles of the ham - i.e. of the back of the thigh - felt behind the knee when the leg is flexed against resistance (semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris).


Hamulus   Dico Tools
Diminutive of Latin hamus = hook.


Handicap   Dico Tools
In the context of health experience, a handicap is a disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from an impairment or a disability, that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that is normal (depending on age, sex, and social and cultural factors) for that individual.


HAS   Dico Tools
See hepatic arterial stenosis.


HAT   Dico Tools
See hepatic arterial thrombosis.


Haustra   Dico Tools
Latin = saccules.


Hay Fever (seasonal Rhinitis)   Dico Tools
Seasonal allergies to common inhaled allergens (see Allergies).


HBcAb   Dico Tools
Hepatitis B core antibody is produced by the body and indicates that someone has been or is currently infected with hepatitis B.


HBeAb   Dico Tools
Hepatitis B e antibody is produced by the body and it is an indication that HBV medications or the body is naturally fighting off the virus. Typically people who have the e antibody have low HBV DNA (viral load) levels.


HBeAg   Dico Tools
Hepatitis e antigen is a protein of the virus and indicates that the virus is actively replicating in the liver and that a persons blood and bodily fluids are highly infectious.


HBeAg SEROCONVERSION   Dico Tools
A marker used to indicate successful treatment of chronic HBV with the loss of HBeAg (e antigen) and the development of the HBeAb (e antibody).


HBIG   Dico Tools
Hepatitis B immune globulin provides short-term protection for people exposed to hepatitis B. It is also given to infants born to HBV-infected mothers along with the infant vaccine to reduce the risk of chronic infection.


HBsAb   Dico Tools
Hepatitis B surface antibody is an antibody produced by the body that indicates a person is protected from becoming infected with hepatitis B.


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HBsAg   Dico Tools
Hepatitis B surface antigen is a protein of the virus that is the first to appear after infection. Continued presence of HBsAg for 6 months indicates chronic infection.


HBV DNA   Dico Tools
Hepatitis B deoxyribonucleic acid is the type and name of the virus. HBV DNA or viral loads are measured in international units or copies.


HBV RESISTANCE   Dico Tools
Development of HBV mutations during HBV drug treatment that allows HBV to replicate and evade the effects of the HBV medications.


HCC   Dico Tools
See hepatocellular carcinoma.


HCT   Dico Tools
See hematocrit.


HCV RNA   Dico Tools
The genetic material of the hepatitis C virus. A detectable level of HCV RNA on a viral load test indicates that HCV is actively replicating.


HD   Dico Tools
Hemodialysis


Heart Attack   Dico Tools
Damage to, or death of, heart muscle because of insufficient blood supply; the medical term is myocardial infarction (see Cardiovascular Health).


Heart Failure   Dico Tools
A condition in which the heart loses its ability to efficiently pump blood throughout the body (see Hypertension).


Heartburn   Dico Tools
Symptoms caused by stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus.


Heberden's Node   Dico Tools
A bony growth on the joint nearest the fingertip (see Arthritis).


HELICASE INHIBITOR   Dico Tools
A drug that inhibits the action of a virus' helicase enzyme, thus preventing the viral genetic material from unwinding, and interfering with viral replication.


Helicine   Dico Tools
Greek helix = a coil, spiral.


Helicobacter Pylori   Dico Tools
A corkscrew-shaped bacterium found in the stomach that can predispose to stomach and duodenal ulcers. Previously called Campylobacter pylori.


Helicotrema   Dico Tools
Greek helix = a coil, and trema = hole, hence the aperture at the apex of the bony cochlea whereby scala vestibuli communicates with scala tympani.


Helix   Dico Tools
Greek = coil.


Helper T Cells   Dico Tools
A subset of T cells. Th2 cells favor the inappropriate immune response seen in allergic reactions (see Allergies).


HEMATOCRIT (HCT)   Dico Tools
The percentage of red blood cells in a given amount of whole blood; the hematocrit reflects the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. A normal hematocrit is 40-54% for adult men and 37-47% for adult women.


HEMATOLOGICAL   Dico Tools
Having to do with the blood.


Hematoma   Dico Tools
A swelling formed of blood. Infrequently occurs at the site of surgery, such as in a biopsy cavity after a lumpectomy (see Breast Cancer).


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HEMATOPOIESIS   Dico Tools
The production of blood cells in the bone marrow. Hematopoietic stem cells give rise to all types of red and white blood cells.


HEME   Dico Tools
The iron-based pigment in red blood cells, a component of hemoglobin that is released when red blood cells are broken down.


Hemianopia   Dico Tools
Greek hemi = half, an = negative, opsis = vision, hence loss of half of the field of vision.


Hemianopsia   Dico Tools
Greek hemi = half, an = negative, opsis = vision, hence loss of half of the field of vision.


Hemiparesis   Dico Tools
Greek hemi = half, paresis = paralysis, used usually to denote weakness rather than paralysis.


Hemiplegia   Dico Tools
Greek hemi = half, plegia = stroke, hence, paralysis of one half of the body.


Hemisphere   Dico Tools
Greek hemi = half, sphaira = ball, hence, half of a sphere.


HEMOCHROMATOSIS   Dico Tools
Iron overload disease; a disease in which iron is not properly metabolized and builds up in tissues throughout the body, especially in the liver.


HEMOGLOBIN (Hgb)   Dico Tools
The red, iron-based pigment in red blood cells that enables them to transport oxygen. Also refers to a test of the amount of hemoglobin in red blood cells.


HEMOLYSIS   Dico Tools
The breakdown or destruction of red blood cells.


HEMOLYTIC ANEMIA   Dico Tools
A low red blood cell count due to excessive cell destruction.


HEMOPHILIA   Dico Tools
A hereditary disease in which a person does not produce sufficient blood clotting factors and is prone to prolonged bleeding.


HEMORRHAGE   Dico Tools
Bleeding.


HEPA Filter   Dico Tools
High-efficiency particulate air filter, found in vacuums or in stand-alone devices (see Allergies).


HEPACIVIRUS   Dico Tools
A genus of viruses that includes HCV.


Hepar   Dico Tools
Greek = liver, adjective - hepatic.


HEPATIC   Dico Tools
Having to do with the liver; also, an herbal remedy used to treat liver conditions.


HEPATIC ARTERIAL STENOSIS (HAS)   Dico Tools
Narrowing of the hepatic artery.


HEPATIC ARTERIAL THROMBOSIS (HAT)   Dico Tools
The formation of clots in the hepatic artery.


HEPATIC ARTERY   Dico Tools
The blood vessel that delivers oxygen-rich blood to the liver.


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HEPATIC COMA   Dico Tools
Loss of consciousness due to advanced liver disease. When the liver is damaged, it cannot remove toxins from the body; these toxins build up in the bloodstream causing brain damage and other symptoms. Hepatic coma is an indication of advanced liver failure.


HEPATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY   Dico Tools
Impaired brain function due to advanced liver damage; this occurs when the damaged liver can no longer effectively filter toxins from the bloodstream.


HEPATIC PANEL   Dico Tools
See liver function tests.


HEPATIC RESECTION   Dico Tools
Surgical removal of part of the liver; may be done to treat liver cancer.


HEPATIC VEIN   Dico Tools
The blood vessel that carries filtered blood from the liver to the heart.


HEPATITIS   Dico Tools
Inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis may have various causes, including viruses, toxins, and heavy alcohol consumption.


HEPATITIS A (INFECTIOUS HEPATITIS)   Dico Tools
A viral disease of the liver that is primarily transmitted by the fecal-oral route. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, nausea, and jaundice. Hepatitis A typically resolves on its own and does not become chronic. There is no standard treatment for hepatitis A, but an effective vaccine is available.


HEPATITIS A VIRUS (HAV)   Dico Tools
The virus that causes hepatitis A.


HEPATITIS B (SERUM HEPATITIS)   Dico Tools
A viral disease of the liver. Hepatitis B is a blood-borne disease, but may also be transmitted sexually transmitted or vertically from mother to child. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, and elevated liver enzymes. Hepatitis B becomes chronic in about 5-10% of infected adults. Standard treatments for hepatitis B are interferon and lamivudine; an effective vaccine is available.


HEPATITIS B IMMUNOGLOBULIN (HBIG)   Dico Tools
A preparation of antibodies administered as postexposure prophylaxis to prevent illness in people exposed to the hepatitis B virus.


HEPATITIS B VIRUS (HBV)   Dico Tools
The virus that causes hepatitis B.


HEPATITIS C (formerly NON-A/NON-B HEPATITIS)   Dico Tools
A viral disease of the liver. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne disease; in rare cases it may be transmitted sexually or vertically from mother to child. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, and elevated liver enzymes. Chronic hepatitis C can lead to long-term liver damage. Standard treatment for hepatitis C is a combination of interferon (standard or pegylated) plus ribavirin; there is currently no vaccine.


HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV)   Dico Tools
The virus that causes hepatitis C.


HEPATITIS D (DELTA HEPATITIS)   Dico Tools
A viral disease of the liver. Hepatitis D is caused by a blood-borne virus that only causes disease in people already infected with hepatitis B.


HEPATITIS D VIRUS (HDV)   Dico Tools
The virus that causes hepatitis D.


HEPATITIS E (ENTERIC HEPATITIS)   Dico Tools
A viral disease of the liver. Hepatitis E is spread through the fecal-oral route. The disease is rare in the U.S., but common in Africa and Asia. It is usually mild, but may be severe and possibly fatal in pregnant women.


HEPATITIS E VIRUS (HEV)   Dico Tools
The virus that causes hepatitis E.


HEPATITIS G VIRUS (HGV, GB VIRUS C, GBV-C)   Dico Tools
A recently discovered blood-borne virus that appears to be related to hepatitis C. It is not known to cause disease.


HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA (HCC)   Dico Tools
A type of primary liver cancer seen in some people with long-term liver damage due to chronic hepatitis C or hepatitis B.


HEPATOCELLULAR NECROSIS   Dico Tools
concerning localized liver cell tissue death.


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HEPATOCYTE   Dico Tools
A working liver cell.


HEPATOLOGY (also HEPATOLOGIST)   Dico Tools
The medical specialty that deals with the liver; a hepatologist treats liver disease.


HEPATOMEGALY   Dico Tools
Enlargement of the liver.


HEPATORENAL SYNDROME   Dico Tools
Pertaining to the kidney failure in the presence of liver disease.


HEPATOTOXICITY (adjective HEPATOTOXIC)   Dico Tools
Toxic or poisonous to the liver.


HERBALISM (HERBAL THERAPY)   Dico Tools
The medicinal or therapeutic use of plants or plant products.


Hernia   Dico Tools
Latin = a protrusion, adjective - hernial.


HERPES   Dico Tools
A common viral infection that can cause fever blisters, genital sores, and shingles.


Heterozygote And Homoozygote   Dico Tools
An individual inherits a set of two alleles for each HLA locus from his or her parents. For instance, an individual may inherit HLAB27 from one parent and HLA-B8 from the other. Most individuals do not inherit the same gene (belonging to a locus) from both parents, and are said to be heterozygotes. Someone who inherits the same gene, e.g. HLA-B27, from both parents is homozygous for HLA-B27.


Hgb   Dico Tools
See hemoglobin.


Hiatus   Dico Tools
Latin = a gap (like that between some people's ears).


High Blood Pressure   Dico Tools
A longstanding increase in blood pressure above the normal range that is, abnormally high pressure of blood flow against the artery walls; also called hypertension (see Cardiovascular Health).


High-density Lipoprotein (HDL)   Dico Tools
A lipoprotein that protects the arteries by transporting cholesterol from body cells to the liver and other sites for elimination; called "good" cholesterol (see Cardiovascular Health, High Cholesterol).


Hilum   Dico Tools
Latin = the point of attachment of a seed, hence the part of an organ where the vessels and nerves are attached; adjective - hilar.


Hindbrain   Dico Tools
The part of the brain below tentorium cerebelli, comprising medulla oblongata, pons and cerebellum.


Hip   Dico Tools
The lateral prominence of the hip bone and greater trochanter.


Hippocampus   Dico Tools
Greek hippokampos = a sea-horse, hence, the curled shape of the hippocampus in coronal section; adjective - hippocampal.


HISTAMINE   Dico Tools
A cellular compound that is released in response to an allergen and causes the symptoms of allergic reactions.


HISTAMINE DIHYDROCHLORIDE (brand Name CEPLENE, For   Dico Tools
A histamine analog being studied as a treatment for chronic hepatitis C.


HISTAMINE DIHYDROCHLORIDE (brand Name CEPLENE, For   Dico Tools
A histamine analog being studied as a treatment for chronic hepatitis C.


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HISTOLOGICAL RESPONSE   Dico Tools
An improvement in liver tissue condition (e.g., reduced inflammation) in response to treatment.


HISTOLOGY (adjective HISTOLGICAL)   Dico Tools
The study or examination of body tissues. In people with HCV, histological improvement refers to improved liver tissue health, including decreased inflammation and reduced fibrosis or cirrhosis.


HIV   Dico Tools
See human immunodeficiency virus.


HIV DISEASE   Dico Tools
Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus, which attacks the body's immune system. AIDS is the late, symptomatic stage of HIV disease.


HLA   Dico Tools
Human leucocyte antigens. These are cell surface proteins, detected by blood testing, that vary from person to person. They are also called tissue antigens or histocompatibility antigens because ideally organ donors and recipients must have compatible HLA; otherwise the transplanted organ is recognized as nonself ('foreign') and is rejected. HLA are related to the workings of the immune system; they present selfand foreign-derived (e.g. viral) peptides (a few amino acids linked together) to T lymphocytes and other cells of the immune system that help the body fight illness. They are of two broad types, called class I and class II HLA. Their genes are located on chromosome 6; the loci are given the letters A, B, C, D, and so on.


HLA-B27   Dico Tools
An HLA class I molecule that has been assigned the number 27; its gene is present at the B locus. There are quite a few HLA antigens that confer susceptibility to certain diseases


Hodgkin's Lymphoma   Dico Tools
A malignancy of the lymphatic system that is distinguished from non-Hodgkins lymphoma by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells; also known as Hodgkins disease.


HODGKINS DISEASE   Dico Tools
Tumor or cancer of the lymphatic system.


HOMEOPATHY   Dico Tools
An alternative healing system based on the theory that "like cures like." Homeopathic therapy uses extremely diluted doses of substances that normally cause the types of symptoms being treated.


HOMEOSTATIS   Dico Tools
The state of equilibrium of the body to maintain a stable internal environment.


Homocysteine   Dico Tools
High blood levels of this amino acid have been associated with an increased risk for heart disease. B vitamins appear to reduce blood levels of homocysteine (see Cardiovascular Health).


Homologous   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek homos = same, and logos = word, hence a part with similar morphology but different function.


Horizontal   Dico Tools
Adjective - parallel to the horizon.


HORMONE   Dico Tools
A chemical messenger (e.g., adrenaline, testosterone) involved in the regulation and coordination of bodily or cellular functions. Hormones may act locally or be secreted into the bloodstream.


HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT)   Dico Tools
The administration of hormones to replace those that the body is unable to produce; typically refers to estrogen replacement therapy in postmenopausal women.


Hormone Therapy   Dico Tools
Augmentation of a woman's depleted hormones with estrogen alone or a combination of estrogen and progestin or progesterone; a measure to reduce osteoporosis risk in postmenopausal women (see Menopause, Osteoporosis).


Horn   Dico Tools
A projection, often pointed.


HOST CELL   Dico Tools
A cell infected with a virus or other microorganism.


Hot Flash   Dico Tools
A sudden feeling of heat in the face or upper part of the body, caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the skin and often accompanied by perspiration and flushing (see Menopause).


HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)   Dico Tools
A slow-acting retrovirus associated with AIDS. HIV is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, sexual activity, or from mother to child.


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HUMAN LEUKOCYTE ANTIGEN (HLA)   Dico Tools
A genetic marker of "self" which prevents the immune system from attacking the body's own tissues.


Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Complex   Dico Tools
A type of receptor on cells involved in recognizing foreign antigens; some are associated with different types of arthritis (see Arthritis).


Humerus   Dico Tools
Latin = the arm-bone.


Humour   Dico Tools
Latin humor = liquid, hence the aqueous and vitreous humour of the eyeball.


Hyaline   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek hyalos = glassy.


HYALO   Dico Tools
Colorless; also hyaline.


Hydrocephalus   Dico Tools
Greek hydor = water, koilos = head. (cf. cephalic).


Hydrogenation   Dico Tools
The addition of hydrogen to a compound, particularly to harden unsaturated oils (see High Cholesterol).


Hydrotherapy   Dico Tools
Physiotherapy in a pool (usually heated).


Hydroxyapatite   Dico Tools
The mature, hard, somewhat crystalline mineral compounds in bone tissue (see Osteoporosis).


Hygiene Hypothesis   Dico Tools
A suggested explanation for the increase in allergies in industrialized countries. The hypothesis proposes that modern-day cleanliness results in less early exposure to germs and this upsets the balance of the immune response to allergens (see Allergies).


Hymen   Dico Tools
Greek = membrane; across the virginal vagina.


Hyoid   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek = U-shaped.


Hyperacusis   Dico Tools
Greek hyper = over, and akousis = hearing, hence excessive sensitivity to sound.


HYPERBILIRUBINEMIA   Dico Tools
An excess level of bilirubin in the blood, characterized by jaundice, pale-colored stools, and dark urine.


HYPERCHOLESTEREMIA   Dico Tools
A high level of cholesterol in the blood.


HYPERGLOBULINEMIA   Dico Tools
An abnormally high level of immunoglobulins (antibodies) in the blood.


HYPERGLYCEMIA   Dico Tools
High blood sugar.


Hyperparathyroidism   Dico Tools
A condition in which the body produces excessive amounts of parathyroid hormone (PTH), disrupting the regulation of calcium. As a result, calcium is taken from the bones, blood levels of calcium rise, and increased amounts of calcium may be excreted in urine (see Osteoporosis).


Hyperplasia   Dico Tools
Excessive cell growth (see Breast Cancer).


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Hypertension   Dico Tools
High blood pressure


HYPERTHYROIDISM   Dico Tools
Increased thyroid gland activity and thyroid hormone overproduction


HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY (HCM)   Dico Tools
A disease of the heart where enlargement and thickening develops in one part of the heart.


HYPHA (pl. Hyphae)   Dico Tools
A vegetative filament of a fungus.


HYPHOMYCETE   Dico Tools
An fungus that produces mycelium with or without discernible dark pigment in the cell walls. If the hypha is pigmented, it is called dematiaceous; if colorless, hyaline.


HYPOALBUMINEMIA   Dico Tools
A low level of the blood protein albumin.


Hypoglossal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek hypo = under, and glossa = tongue.


Hypoglycemia   Dico Tools
A condition in which the blood sugar drops to an abnormally low level (see Diabetes).


Hypomania   Dico Tools
A mild mania (see Depression).


Hypophysis   Dico Tools
Greek hypo = down, physis = growth, hence, a downgrowth (from the brain). However, this is not the whole truth. Part is an upgrowth from the pharynx, adjective - hypophysial.


Hypotension   Dico Tools
Low blood pressure


Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) Axis   Dico Tools
A system that governs a multitude of hormonal activities, including the body's response to stress (see Anxiety, Depression).


Hypothalamus   Dico Tools
Greek hypo = under, and thalamus (q.v.), refers to part of diencephalon.


HYPOTHYROIDISM   Dico Tools
Decreased thyroid gland activity and reduced thyroid hormone production.


Hysterectomy   Dico Tools
Surgical removal of the uterus (see Menopause).



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