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Medical Dictionary

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An alphabetical listing of General terms and items.

 
P-VALUE   Dico Tools
A measure of probability that is reported with clinical trial results. The p-value indicates the likelihood the result obtained are due to chance alone. Traditionally, a p-value of less than .05 is considered statistically significant, or not likely due to chance alone. See also confidence interval.


Pachymeninx   Dico Tools
Greek pachys = thick, and meninx = membrane; hence, the thick membrane covering the central nervous system, i.e., dura mater.


Paget's Disease   Dico Tools
A disease characterized by accelerated bone turnover, resulting in the involved bone becoming enlarged but weak and fragile. The bone also feels warmer to touch due to increased blood supply. Also called osteitis deformans.


Palaeo   Dico Tools
Greek palaios = old; hence, palaeocerebellum, the earliest stage in the evolution of the cerebellum.


Palate   Dico Tools
Latin palatum = palate, adjective - palatal or palatine.


Paleo   Dico Tools
Greek palaios = old; hence, paleocerebellum, the earliest stage in the evolution of the cerebellum.


PALLIATIVE   Dico Tools
Offering symptomatic relief and comfort care (e.g., alleviation of pain) rather than a cure.


Pallidus   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin = pale.


Pallium   Dico Tools
Latin = cloak; hence, the cerebral cortex forming the outer covering of the cerebral hemisphere.


PALLOR   Dico Tools
Paleness.


Palma   Dico Tools
Latin palma = palm; adjective, palmar - Latin palmaris.


Palpable   Dico Tools
Able to be felt (see Breast Cancer).


Palpate   Dico Tools
Latin palpare = to touch, and palpatus = touched; hence, to examine by feeling, and palpation, such an examination.


Palpebra   Dico Tools
Latin = eyelid, probably from palpitare = to flutter.


Pampiniform   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin pampinus = tendril, and forma = shape.


PANCREAS   Dico Tools
A digestive gland in the abdominal cavity that secretes digestive enzymes.


PANCREATITIS   Dico Tools
Inflammation of the pancreas.


PANCYTOPENIA   Dico Tools
An abnormally low level of all types of blood cells, typically due to bone marrow damage.


Panniculus   Dico Tools
Diminutive of Latin pannus = cloth.


Papilla   Dico Tools
Latin = nipple or teat; adjective - papillary.


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PARACENTESIS   Dico Tools
A procedure to remove fluid that has accumulated in the abdominal cavitya condition called ascites.


PARACETOMAL   Dico Tools
See acetaminophen


Paradidymis   Dico Tools
Greek para = beside of near, and didymis = twinned or paired, refers to testes; hence the collection of convoluted tubules in the spermatic cord, above the head of the epididymis.


Paraesthesia   Dico Tools
Greek para = beside, and aisthesia = sensation; hence, abnormal sensation, usually burning or pricking.


Paralysis   Dico Tools
Greek para = beside, near, lyein = to loosen; hence loss or impairment of muscle function.


Parametrium   Dico Tools
Greek para = beside, and metra = womb; hence, connective tissue alongside the body of the uterus, within the broad ligament.


Paraplegia   Dico Tools
Greek para = beside, and plege = a stroke; hence, paralysis of the lower limbs.


Pararenal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek para = beside, Latin ren = kidney; hence, beside the kidney, e.g., pararenal fat, the fatty capsule of the kidney.


Parasternal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek para = beside, and sternon = chest; hence, the parasternal line is a vertical line about midway between the sternal edge and the midclavicular line.


Parasympathetic   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek para = beside, syn = with, and pathos = feeling; hence, the division of the autonomic nervous system complementary to the sympathetic system.


Parathyroid   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek para = beside, and thyroid; hence, beside the thyroid gland.


Parathyroid Hormone (PTH)   Dico Tools
A hormone that regulates calcium levels. It prevents the level of blood calcium from going too low by stimulating the breakdown of bone. In addition to triggering bone loss, it can stimulate bone formation. Given appropriately, it can increase bone mass, and is used as a treatment for osteoporosis (see Osteoporosis).


Parenchyma   Dico Tools
Greek para = beside or near, en = in, and chein = to pour; hence a general term to designate the functional elements of an organ, as opposed to the framework or stroma.


PARENTERAL   Dico Tools
Nutrients given by injection into a vein, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract.


Paresis   Dico Tools
Greek = relaxation, but has come to mean partial paralysis.


Parietal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin parietalis, pertaining to paries = wall.


Parotid   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek para = beside, and otos = of the ear; hence, beside the ear.


Parous   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin pario = I bear (children); hence, adjective, applied to woman who has borne one or more children (cf. nulliparous, multiparous).


Pars   Dico Tools
Latin = part.


Patch Test   Dico Tools
A skin test used to diagnose contact dermatitis (see Allergies).


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Patella   Dico Tools
Latin a small pan; adjective - patellar.


PATHOGEN (adjective PATHOGENIC)   Dico Tools
Any disease-causing agent, especially a microorganism (bacteria, virus, fungus, parasite).


PATHOGENESIS   Dico Tools
The development and progression of a disease.


PATHOLOGY (adjective PATHOLOGIC)   Dico Tools
The study of disease, including the causes, development, and progression of disease, and how the body is affected.


Pauciarthritis   Dico Tools
Same as oligoarthritis.


PCR   Dico Tools
See polymerase chain reaction.


PD   Dico Tools
Peritoneal dialysis


Peak Bone Mass   Dico Tools
The greatest amount of bone tissue that a person has during his or her life; typically reached by age 30 (see Osteoporosis).


Peak Flow   Dico Tools
A measure of how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. In asthma, your peak flow reflects the extent to which your bronchial tubes are normally open or abnormally narrowed (see Asthma).


Peak Flow Meter   Dico Tools
A simple handheld device used to assess lung function, commonly used to diagnose and monitor asthma (see Allergies, Asthma).


PEAK LEVEL   Dico Tools
The highest level of drug reached in the body after a dose is taken. Contrast with trough level.


Pecten   Dico Tools
Latin = comb.


Pectinate   Dico Tools
Adjective, from Latin pecten = a comb; applied to structures having the appearance of parallel teeth arising from a straight back (musculi pectinati), or the sellar appearance of the superior pubic ramus, which may have resembled the body of antique combs.


Pectineal   Dico Tools
Adjective, from Latin pecten = a comb; applied to structures having the appearance of parallel teeth arising from a straight back (musculi pectinati), or the sellar appearance of the superior pubic ramus, which may have resembled the body of antique combs.


Pectineus   Dico Tools
Latin, pecten = a comb; hence the muscle attaching to the pecten (pectineal line) of the pubic bone.


Pectoral   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin pectoris = of the front of the chest.


Pectoralis   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin pectoris = of the front of the chest.


Pedicle   Dico Tools
Diminutive of Latin pedis = of the foot.


Pedis   Dico Tools
Latin = of the foot.


Peduncle   Dico Tools
Variation of pedicle.


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PEG-INTRON   Dico Tools
Brand name of pegylated interferon-alpha-2b, produced by Schering-Plough.


PEGASYS   Dico Tools
Brand name of pegylated interferon-alpha-2a, produced by Genentech Inc.


PEGINTERFERON   Dico Tools
See pegylated interferon.


PEGYLATED INTERFERON (PEGINTERFERON)   Dico Tools
A recently developed form of interferon that has a long half-life in the body and can be injected less often (typically once per week). Pegylated interferon (brand names Peg-Intron, Pegasys) appears superior to standard interferon as a treatment for HCV.


PEGYLATION   Dico Tools
A process in which polyethylene glycol (PEG) molecules are attached to proteins in order to extend their activity in the body.


PEI   Dico Tools
See percutaneous ethanol injection.


Pellucidum   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin per = through, and lucere - to shine; hence, translucent.


Pelvic Floor   Dico Tools
The supportive network of muscles that extends from the pubic bone to the tailbone with openings for the urethra, the anus, and in women, the vagina (see Urinary Incontinence).


Pelvis   Dico Tools
The bony structures in the lowest part of the trunk. The term pelvic is used for anything that belongs or refers to the pelvis.


Penis   Dico Tools
Latin = tail, the male organ of copulation (cf. appendix, appendage).


Pennate   Dico Tools
Latin penna = feather; hence, a muscle whose fibres approach the tendon from one direction is unipennate; from two, bipennate, and from more than two, multipennate.


Pennatus   Dico Tools
(pinnate) - adjective, Latin penna = feather; hence, a muscle whose fibres approach the tendon from one direction is unipennate; from two, bipennate, and from more than two, multipennate.


Pepsin   Dico Tools
A name for several enzymes secreted by the stomach to break down protein (see Digestive Health).


Peptic Ulcer   Dico Tools
A sore in the lining of the stomach (gastric ulcer) or duodenum (duodenal ulcer). The word peptic refers to the stomach and the duodenum, where pepsin is present, an enzyme that breaks down proteins. An ulcer can sometimes occur in the lower part of the esophagus in association with heartburn.


Peptide   Dico Tools
A few amino acids linked together. Proteins are made of multiple pep tides linked together.


PERCUTANEOUS   Dico Tools
Through the skin.


PERCUTANEOUS ETHANOL INJECTION   Dico Tools
A treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma in which ethanol (alcohol) is injected into the tumor.


Perianal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek peri = around, and Latin anus = lower opening of alimentary canal.


Pericardium   Dico Tools
Greek peri = around, and kardia = heart; hence, the membranes enclosing the heart.


Perichondrium   Dico Tools
Greek peri = around, and chondros = cartilage; hence, the membrane covering cartilage.


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Pericranium   Dico Tools
Greek peri = around, and kranion = skull; hence, the external periosteum of the skull.


PERIHEPATITIS   Dico Tools
Inflammation of the lining of the liver.


Perilymph   Dico Tools
Greek peri = around, and lympha - Latin = clear water; hence, the fluid in the bony labyrinth surrounding the membranous labyrinth (and continuous with the cerebrospinal fluid).


Perimenopause   Dico Tools
The phase starting when periods become irregular and lasting until a year after the last period (see Menopause).


PERINATAL   Dico Tools
The period around the time of birth.


PERINATAL TRANSMISSION   Dico Tools
See vertical transmission.


Perineum   Dico Tools
Greek the caudal aspect of the trunk between the thighs, or, the region of the trunk below the pelvic diaphragm; adjective - perineal.


Periodontal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek peri = around, and odont = tooth.


Periosteum   Dico Tools
Greek peri = around, and osteon = bone; hence, the membrane around a bone.


Peripheral   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek peri = around and phero = carry; hence, away from the centre (cf. periphery).


PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY   Dico Tools
Damage to the peripheral nerves, usually involving the feet and hands.


Peripheral Vascular Disease   Dico Tools
A disorder caused by the blockage of blood vessels to the brain and extremities (see Diabetes).


Peristalsis   Dico Tools
Greek peri = around, and stellein - to constrict; hence, a circular constriction passing as a wave along a tube; adjective - peristaltic.


PERITONEUM   Dico Tools
The thick membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers the visceral organs.


PERITONITIS   Dico Tools
Inflammation of the peritoneum.


PERNICIOUS ANEMIA   Dico Tools
A type of anemia caused by the inability of the intestine to absorb vitamin B12, which is needed to produce red blood cells.


Perometer   Dico Tools
An electromechanical device that electronically gathers data that is then used to calculate limb volume.


Peroneal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek perone = clasp, brooch - see fibula.


Pes   Dico Tools
Latin = foot.


Pessary   Dico Tools
A device worn in the vagina to support or correct the position of the uterus, rectum, or bladder (see Urinary Incontinence).


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Petrosal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin petrosus = rocky.


Petrous   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin petrosus = rocky.


PHAEO   Dico Tools
Darkly pigmented.


PHAGOCYTE   Dico Tools
A scavenger cell that engulfs and destroys invading pathogens (phagocytosis).


Phalanx   Dico Tools
Latin = row of soldiers; hence, one of the small bones of a digit, plural - phalanges, adjective - phalangeal.


Phallus   Dico Tools
Greek phallos = penis.


PHARMACEUTICAL   Dico Tools
Having to do with the development and manufacture of drugs, or to a manufactured drug.


PHARMACOKINETICS   Dico Tools
The action of drugs in the body, including the processes of absorption, metabolism, distribution to tissues, and elimination.


PHARMACOLOGY   Dico Tools
The science of drugs, their sources, and how they work.


Pharynx   Dico Tools
Greek = throat; adjective - pharyngeal.


PHASE I TRIAL   Dico Tools
The first stage of human testing of a new treatment. Phase I trials evaluate drug pharmacokinetics, safety, and toxicity at different dose levels, typically in a small number of healthy volunteers.


PHASE II TRIAL   Dico Tools
The second stage of the evaluation of a new treatment in humans. Phase II trials evaluate safety and preliminary efficacy in a larger number of participants than Phase I studies.


PHASE III TRIAL   Dico Tools
The third stage of human testing of an experimental treatment. Phase III trials are designed to determine the efficacy of a treatment, often by comparing it to an existing standard therapy or a placebo.


PHASE IV TRIAL   Dico Tools
Post-marketing studies done after a new treatment is approved and offered for sale. These trials provide additional information about safety and efficacy in large numbers of patients under "real world" conditions.


Philtrum   Dico Tools
Greek philtron - the median sulcus of the upper lip. Derivation doubtful.


Phlebolymphedema   Dico Tools
Another term meaning chronic venous insufficiency. Also spelled phelbo-lymphedema.


PHLEBOTOMY   Dico Tools
Withdrawal of blood from a vein.


Phonation   Dico Tools
Greek phone = sound or voice; hence, the production of either.


PHOTOSENSITIVITY   Dico Tools
An increased sensitivity to light, which may lead to easy sunburning and other adverse effects.


Phrenic   Dico Tools
Greek phren = diaphragm or mind; hence, diaphragmatic (cf. schizophrenic).


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PHYLLANTHUS   Dico Tools
Tropical plant species that traditionally have been used to treat liver conditions.


Pia   Dico Tools
Latin = faithful, hence, the membrane which faithfully follows the contour of the brain and spinal cord.


PIGMENT   Dico Tools
A substance responsible for the color of bodily tissues.


Pilomotor   Dico Tools
Latin pilus = a hair, and movere = to move; hence the action of the arrectores pilorum muscles.


Pilus   Dico Tools
Latin = a hair.


Pineal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin pinea = a pine cone; hence, the pineal gland which is cone-shaped.


Piriform   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin pirum = a pear; hence, pear-shaped.


Pisiform   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin pisum = a pea; hence, pea-shaped.


Pitting Edema   Dico Tools
When a swollen area is pressed, the pressure leaves an indentation (pit) that slowly fills in again.


Pituitary   Dico Tools
Latin pituita = mucous or phlegm, the gland was thought to produce mucous that discharged through the nose.


Pituitary Gland   Dico Tools
An endocrine gland tucked into a bony space beneath the brain. It receives input and influence from the hypothalamus. It produces adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which controls the secretion of cortisol by the adrenal glands. This helps trigger the "fight-or-flight" response (see Anxiety, Depression).


PLACEBO   Dico Tools
An inert, inactive agent (e.g., pill, injection) that has no treatment value.


PLACEBO ARM   Dico Tools
The group of participants in a clinical trial that receives an inactive substance (placebo).


PLACEBO EFFECT   Dico Tools
A change in symptoms or disease progression associated with the treatment process itself, rather than the actual therapeutic value of a treatment.


PLACEBO-CONTROLLED TRIAL   Dico Tools
A clinical trial in which a group receiving an inactive substance or mock therapy (placebo) is compared to a group receiving the experimental treatment.


PLACENTA   Dico Tools
The organ that connects the fetus and the mother's uterus and enables the exchange of oxygen, nutrients, and waste products.


Placode   Dico Tools
Greek plax = plate or flat, and eidos = shape or form.


Plane   Dico Tools
Latin planus = flat; hence, a real or imaginary flat surface.


Planta   Dico Tools
Latin the sole of the foot; adjective - plantar or plantaris.


Plantar   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin planta = the sole of the foot.


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Plaque   Dico Tools
Deposits of cholesterol and fatty and fibrous substances in the walls of the arteries (see Cardiovascular Health).


PLASMA   Dico Tools
The fluid, non-cellular portion of circulating blood. See also serum.


Plasma Cells   Dico Tools
Descendants of B cells responsible for producing antibodies (see Allergies).


PLASMAPHERESIS   Dico Tools
A procedure in which certain components are removed from the blood plasma.


PLATELET   Dico Tools
See thrombocyte.


PLATELET COUNT   Dico Tools
The number of platelets in the blood. People with advanced liver disease may have reduced platelet counts, resulting in easy bleeding. A normal platelet count is 130,000-400,000/mcl.


Platelets   Dico Tools
Minute, colorless disks in the blood that are instrumental in clotting (see Cardiovascular Health, High Cholesterol).


Platysma   Dico Tools
Greek = flat object; hence, the flat subcutaneous muscle extending from below the clavicle to the mouth.


Pleura   Dico Tools
Greek = a rib. Later used to name the serous membrane lining the chest walls and the lung on each side.


Plexus   Dico Tools
Latin = a network or plait.


Plica   Dico Tools
Latin plicare = to fold; hence, a fold.


Pneumon   Dico Tools
Greek pneuma = air.


PNEUMONITIS   Dico Tools
Lung inflammation.


PO   Dico Tools
Taken by mouth.


Pollex   Dico Tools
Latin = thumb.


Pollicis   Dico Tools
Genitive (possessive case) of Latin pollex = thumb; hence of the thumb.


Polyarthralgia   Dico Tools
Pains in many joints; conventionally refers to more than four joints, without signs of inflammation in the symptomatic joints.


Polyarthritis   Dico Tools
Inflammation in many joints; conventionally in more than four joints.


POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION (PCR)   Dico Tools
A highly sensitive test that uses an amplification technique to detect small amounts of genetic material (DNA or RNA) in a blood or tissue sample.


POLYMERASE INHIBITOR   Dico Tools
An agent that inhibits viral replication by interfering with the polymerase enzyme.


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Polyunsaturated Fats   Dico Tools
Fatty acids that are abundant in soybean, corn, cottonseed, safflower, and sunflower oils (see High Cholesterol).


Pons   Dico Tools
Latin = bridge; adjective - pontine; part of the brain stem.


Popliteus   Dico Tools
Latin poples = the ham or thigh, and sometimes, the knee; adjective, popliteal, referring to the fossa behind the knee or its contents.


PORPHYRIA CUTANEA TARDA   Dico Tools
A condition in which porphyrins build up in the body leading to symptoms including increased photosensitivity, skin damage, and discoloration.


PORPHYRIN   Dico Tools
A metabolic byproduct of hemoglobin production.


Porta   Dico Tools
Latin = a gate, also Latin portare = to carry; hence, the portal system carries venous blood from the alimentary tract to the porta hepatis; adjective - portal.


PORTAL HYPERTENSION   Dico Tools
High blood pressure in the portal vein that carries blood to the liver, caused by the development of fibrous scar tissue (cirrhosis) in the liver.


PORTAL SYSTEM   Dico Tools
A series of veins from the small and large intestines, stomach, and spleen that join into the portal vein and are carried into the liver.


PORTAL VEIN   Dico Tools
The blood vessel that carries oxygen-poor blood from the intestines to the liver for filtering.


Porus   Dico Tools
Latin a pore or foramen; hence, the openings of the acoustic meatuses.


POST-MARKETING STUDY   Dico Tools
See Phase IV trial.


Posterior   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin post = behind (in place or time).


POSTEXPOSURE PREVENTION (POSTEXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS,   Dico Tools
Treatment given immediately following exposure to an infectious organism in an attempt to prevent the infection from taking hold in the body.


POSTEXPOSURE PREVENTION (POSTEXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS,   Dico Tools
Treatment given immediately following exposure to an infectious organism in an attempt to prevent the infection from taking hold in the body.


POSTNATAL (POSTPARTUM)   Dico Tools
The period following birth.


Posture   Dico Tools
Latin positus = placed; hence, the position of the body as a whole at a given moment, e.g. erect, recumbent, prone, supine, sitting, kneeling.


POTASSIUM   Dico Tools
An element and electrolyte responsible for the bodys growth and maintenance.


POWER   Dico Tools
A statistical term used to describe the ability of a clinical trial to detect a particular result. Generally the power of a study increases as more participants are included or as the trial continues for a longer period of time.


PRANA   Dico Tools
In Ayurveda, the body's vital energy.


Pre-diabetes   Dico Tools
A condition in which a fasting plasma glucose test and/or an oral glucose tolerance test provide readings that are elevated, but not quite diabetic; raises the risk of diabetes (see Diabetes).


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PRECLINICAL RESEARCH   Dico Tools
Laboratory and animal studies on an experimental treatment prior to clinical trials in humans.


Preclininical Stage   Dico Tools
The potential development of Lymphedema before clinical indications, such as swelling, are observed.


Precuneus   Dico Tools
Latin pre = before, and cuneus = wedge; hence, the parietal lobule anterior to the cuneus.


Prehypertension   Dico Tools
A condition that increases the risk of developing high blood pressure; defined as 120139 mm Hg systolic pressure or 8089 diastolic pressure (see Cardiovascular Health).


PRENATAL   Dico Tools
The period preceding birth, during which the fetus develops in the uterus.


Prepuce   Dico Tools
Latin praeputium = foreskin (of penis or clitoris).


Prevalence   Dico Tools
The observed number of people in a given population affected with a particular disease or condition at a given time, usually stated as the number of cases observed per 100 000 individuals, or listed as a percentage. In contrast with incidence, prevalence can be thought of as a snapshot of all existing cases at a specified time.


PREVALENCE (also PREVALENCE RATE)   Dico Tools
The number of individuals with a condition in a specific population. The prevalence rate is determined by dividing the number of people with the condition by the total population. Contrast with incidence.


Prick Test   Dico Tools
A commonly used skin test to confirm hypersensitivity to a broad range of allergens that elicit an IgE-mediated response (see Allergies).


PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN   Dico Tools
A physician who is responsible for the overall long term health maintenance of a patient.


Primary Lymphedema   Dico Tools
An inherited form of lymphedema that affects both males and females and can develop at any time of life; PLE.


Primary Osteoporosis   Dico Tools
Bone loss that doesn't result from an identifiable pathological process (see Osteoporosis).


Princeps   Dico Tools
Latin primus = chief, and capere = to take; hence chief or principal.


PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR   Dico Tools
The chief researcher conducting a clinical trial.


Procerus   Dico Tools
Latin = slender, elongated; hence, the vertical slip of muscle between the medial part of frontalis and the root of the nose.


Process   Dico Tools
Latin = going forwards, used to indicate growing out, i.e., an outgrowth, usually of bone, e.g., the zygomatic process of the temporal.


Processus   Dico Tools
Latin going forwards, used to indicate growing out, i.e., an outgrowth, usually of bone, e.g., the zygomatic process of the temporal.


PROCRIT   Dico Tools
See erythropoietin.


PRODRUG   Dico Tools
A compound that is converted to an active drug within the body.


Profundus   Dico Tools
Latin pro = before, and fundus = bottom; hence profundus = deep.


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PROGESTERONE   Dico Tools
A female hormone with anti-estrogen effects. Progesterone prepares the uterus for the development of the fertilized ovum and maintains the uterus throughout pregnancy.


Progestin   Dico Tools
A synthetic compound that produces effects similar to those of progesterone (see Menopause).


Progestogen   Dico Tools
Any hormone having the same effect as progesterone in the body; refers to both natural progesterone and synthetic progestin (see Menopause).


Prognosis   Dico Tools
The probable end result or outcome of a disease.


PROGNOSIS (adjective PROGNOSTIC)   Dico Tools
A forecast of the probable course or outcome of a disease.


PROGRESSION   Dico Tools
Development of a disease over time.


PROKINE   Dico Tools
See granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.


Prolapse   Dico Tools
When a part of the body drops from its normal position (see Urinary Incontinence).


Prominens   Dico Tools
Latin = projecting.


Promontory   Dico Tools
Latin promontorium = a headland, i.e., part of land jutting into the sea - used for a bony prominence.


Pronate   Dico Tools
Latin pronatus = bent forwards; hence to pronate = to turn the hand so that the palm faces posteriorly.


Prone   Dico Tools
Latin pronatus = bent forwards; hence, recumbent face-down posture.


PROPHYLAXIS   Dico Tools
A measure taken to prevent a disease or condition.


Proprioceptive   Dico Tools
Latin proprius = one's own, and captum = taken; hence, sensory impulses received by the joints and muscles within one's own body.


Prosection   Dico Tools
Latin pro = before, and sectum = cut. A dissection prepared for demonstration of anatomic structures.


Prosector   Dico Tools
Latin pro = before, and sectum = cut. One who prepares a dissection for demonstration.


Prosencephalon   Dico Tools
Latin pro = in front, and Greek enkephalos = brain; hence, the part of the brain rostral to the midbrain.


PROSPECTIVE STUDY   Dico Tools
A clinical trial in whichparticipants are selected and their progression is followed over time. Contrast with retrospective study.


Prospective, Randomized, Double Blind   Dico Tools
Study clinical trial or study in which the method of data analysis is specified in a protocol before the study is begun (prospective). Patients are randomly assigned to receive either the study drug or an alternative treatment, and neither the patient nor the doctor conducting the study knows which treatment is being given to which patient (see also placebo).


Prostate   Dico Tools
Greek pro = before, and Latin = statum = stood; hence, something which stands before - the prostate stands before the urinary bladder.


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PROTEASE INHIBITOR   Dico Tools
An agent that inhibits viral replication by interfering with the virus' protease enzyme.


PROTEIN   Dico Tools
A complex organic compound consisting of a sequence of amino acids folded in a specific configuration. Proteins are major components of living cells and are essential for bodily growth and repair.


PROTHROMBIN   Dico Tools
A protein synthesized by the liver that is necessary for proper blood clotting.


PROTHROMBIN TIME (PT)   Dico Tools
A measure of blood clotting time. People with advanced liver disease may have a slower than normal PT. A normal PT is 10-12 seconds.


PROTOCOL   Dico Tools
A written plan for a clinical trial, which typically includes details such as the hypothesis to be tested, who can participate, length of the trial, how the treatment under study will be administered, endpoints, and potential risks and benefits.


Proton Pump Inhibitors   Dico Tools
A group of drugs used to treat heartburn and peptic ulcer disease. These include omprezole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium) and pansoprazole (Prevacid).


Protract   Dico Tools
Latin protractus = drawn out; hence, to put forwards (e.g., shoulder or mandible). Protraction - the act of protracting.


Protrude   Dico Tools
Latin protrudo = thrust forwards, e.g. the tongue; protrusion - the act of protruding.


Protuberance   Dico Tools
Latin protubero = I bulge out; hence, a bulging bony feature (see tuber).


Proximal   Dico Tools
The part of a limb that is closest to the trunk. For example, the shoulder joint forms the proximal end of the upper extremity (opposite of distal).


PRURITUS (adjective PRURITIC)   Dico Tools
Itchiness.


PSEUDOHYPHA (pl. Pseudohyphae)   Dico Tools
A fragile string of cells that result from the budding of blastoconidia that have remained attached to each other. The septa separating the cells are complete and there is no cytoplasmic connection, as is found in most true septate hypha.


Psoas   Dico Tools
Greek = loin.


PSORIASIS   Dico Tools
A skin condition characterized by scaling and red patches, due to the overproduction of skin cells.


PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS   Dico Tools
A form of rheumatoid arthritis associated with psoriasis.


Psychodynamic Therapy   Dico Tools
A form of therapy that focuses on how life events, desires, and close relationships lead to conflict, symptoms such as anxiety or depression, and difficulty in managing life's tasks (see Depression).


PSYCHOSIS   Dico Tools
A serious mental illness.


PSYCHOSOCIAL   Dico Tools
A term used to refer to factors that affect the psychological or social realm. Psychosocial factors (e.g., socioeconomic status, education, family situation) can have an important effect on disease risk and progression and are an essential aspect of a person's well-being.


PSYCHOTHERAPY   Dico Tools
Treatment of mental problems with non-medical therapies, in particular counseling.


PSYCHOTROPIC   Dico Tools
A drug that affects psychological or mental functioning or behavior.


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PT   Dico Tools
Patient.


Pterion   Dico Tools
Greek pteron = wing; hence, the region where the tip of the greater wing of the sphenoid meets or is close to the parietal, separating the frontal from the squamous temporal; alternatively the region where these 4 bones meet.


Pterygoid   Dico Tools
Adjective, Greek pteryx = wing, and eidos = shape; hence, wing-shaped.


Ptosis   Dico Tools
Greek = fall; hence, drooping of an eyelid, or descent of an internal organ.


Puberty   Dico Tools
Latin puber = adult; hence, the time when hair appears in the pubic region - i.e., near the pubis - as a secondary sexual characteristic.


Pubes   Dico Tools
Latin = adult or signs of manhood, hence the lower abdominal secondary sexual hair.


Pudendal   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin pudendus = shameful; hence, pertaining to the external genitalia.


Pudendal Nerve   Dico Tools
The nerve that controls the muscles of the pelvic floor; plays an important role in urinary and fecal continence (see Urinary Incontinence).


Pulmonary   Dico Tools
Adjective, Latin pulmo = lung.


PULMONARY FIBROSIS   Dico Tools
The development of fibrous tissue in the lungs.


Pulp   Dico Tools
Latin pulpa = a soft part of the body or tooth.


Pulposus   Dico Tools
Latin pulpa = a soft part of the body or tooth, hence pulpy or soft.


Pulse Pressure   Dico Tools
The difference between your systolic and diastolic blood pressures. May help predict heart disease risk (see Hypertension).


Pulvinar   Dico Tools
Latin pulvinus = rounded cushion; the posterior end of the thalamus.


Punctum   Dico Tools
Latin = a sharp point; hence a very small point or orifice.


Pupil   Dico Tools
Latin pupilla = the central black orifice in the iris; adjective - pupillary.


PURPURA   Dico Tools
See thrombocytopenic purpura.


PURULENT   Dico Tools
Characterized by the accumulation of pus.


PUS   Dico Tools
A thick, greenish-yellow fluid composed of dead white blood cells, killed microorganisms, and other cellular debris.


Putamen   Dico Tools
Latin = peel, husk or shell of fruit or seed (the external part of the lentiform nucleus).


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Pyelogram   Dico Tools
Greek pyelos = basin, and gramma = diagram; hence, radiograph of the renal pelvis (and usually of the ureter) after filling with contrast medium.


Pylorus   Dico Tools
Greek = gate-keeper; hence, the part of the pyloric canal containing the sphincter, which guards the opening into the duodenum; adjective - pyloric.


Pyramid   Dico Tools
Greek pyramis = a pyramid (solid with 3- or more-sided base, and flat sides meeting at the apex), adjective - pyramidal.


PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOID   Dico Tools
A hepatotoxic component found in plants of the Crotalaria, Senecio, and Heliotropium families.



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