The latest research & treatment news about Hepatitis C infection, diagnosis, symptoms and treatment.

Glossary of Medical Terms – A

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
2IT-BAD monoclonal antibody 170
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells
A33 Monoclonal Antibody
Type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells
AABB
American Association of Blood Banks
AAFP
American Academy of Family Physicians
AAH
Acute Alcoholic Hepatitis
AAI
American Association of Immunologists
AAPB
American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists
AASLD
American Association for the Study of Liver Disease
AAV
Adeno Associated Virus
ab
Prefix meaning away from, from
Ab
Abbreviation for Antibody
AB
Abdominal
Abacterial
Free from bacteria
Abasia
Inability to walk
Abate
To lessen or decrease
Abatement
A decrease in the severity of a pain or a symptom
ABC
Aspiration biopsy cytology
ABD
Abdomen, Abdominal
ABDOM
Abdomen, Abdominal
Abdomen
Gut, part of the body that contains the stomach, liver, intestines, spleen and other organs. Large cavity between the chest and the pelvis
Abdominal
Related to the gut, which is the part of the body between the chest and the hips that contains the pancreas, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, and other organs
Abdominal Distention
Increased abdominal girth
Abdominal Girth
Measurement of the distance around the abdomen at a specific point (usually at the level of the umbilicus). Abdominal girth can be an objective measurement of abdominal swelling
Abdominal Pain
Sensation of discomfort, distress, or agony in the abdominal region
Abdominal Swelling
Increased abdominal girth
Abdomino
Surgical procedure in which the end portion of the sigmoid colon and the entire rectum and anus are removed. The remaining colon is brought to the surface of the body as a permanent colostomy. Known as a Perineal resection
Abdominocentesis
Paracentesis
Abdominocystic
Pertaining to the abdomen and gallbladder
Abdominoscopy
Inspection or examination of the abdominal cavity, particularly direct examination of the abdominal organs by endoscopy, peritoneoscopy. Laparoscopy
Aberrant
Irregular
ABG
Arterial Blood Gases
Abirritant
An agent that relieves irritation. Diminishing or relieving irritation, soothing
Ablation
In medicine, the removal or destruction of a body part or tissue or its function. Ablation may be performed by surgery, hormones, drugs, radiofrequency, heat, or other methods
ABM
Adjusted Body Mass
Abnormal
Not normal; contrary to the usual structure, behavior, condition, position, or rule. In referring to a lesion or growth, may be cancerous or premalignant (likely to become cancer)
Abnormality
Not normal. Differing in any way from the usual state, condition or structure
ABO Antigens
A system of genetically determined antigens (proteins) located on the surface of the erythrocyte. The presence of these specific antigens gives a blood its unique properties. Because of the antigen differences existing between individuals, blood groups are significant in blood transfusions, maternal-foetal incompatibilities (erythroblastosis foetalis), tissue and organ transplantation
ABO Blood Group
One of the four blood groups A, B, AB, or O comprising the ABO system
ABO Incompatibility
A type of blood incompatibility, found rarely. Transfusion reactions may occur as a result of such incompatibility
Abortive Infection
When a virus infects a cell (or host), but cannot complete the full replication cycle, i.e. a non-productive infection
Abouchement
The termination of a vessel in a larger one
ABP
Arterial Blood Pressure
Abrosia
Lack of food
Abrupt
Sudden
Abs
Antibodies, Abs are associated with specific causes of hepatitis
Abscess
Localized pocket of pus. An enclosed collection of pus in tissues, organs, or confined spaces in the body. An abscess is a sign of infection and is usually swollen and inflamed
Absorbent
A drug that promotes the absorption of diseased tissues
Absorption
Process in which food nutrients are taken from the intestinal lumen into the bloodstream for distribution to all cells in the body. The degree and speed at which a drug enters the bloodstream from the small intestine
ABT -751
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. Belonging to the family of drugs called sulfonamides
ABW
Actual Body Weight
AC
Abdominal Circumference, Abdominal Compression, Activated Charcoal, Acute Cholecystitis, Alcoholic Cirrhosis
a.c
Ante Cibum–Before Meals
Acacia Bark
Acacia Arabica–also called Wattle Bark. Medicinally, Acacia Bark is used as a substitute for Oak Bark. Used for diarrhea. Also used as an astringent gargle, injection, or lotion
Acalculous
Without the presence of stones, gallstones as an example
Accelerated Approval
FDA regulations governing early marketing approval of promising drugs for life threatening illnesses
Accessory Digestive Organs
Organs that help with digestion but are not part of the digestive tract. These organs are the tongue, glands in the mouth that make saliva, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas
Accessory Spleen
Normal spleen tissue in an abnormal anatomical location
Accumulation
Build-up
ACE Inhibitor
Drug typically used to treat high blood pressure (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme inhibitor)
Acetaminophen
The generic name for a common nonprescription medication useful in the treatment of mild pain or fever
Acetylcholine
Neurotransmitter widely distributed in body tissues with a primary function of mediating synaptic activity of the nervous system and skeletal muscles
ACG
American College of Gastroenterology
Achalasia
Constriction of the lower portion of the esophagus due to inability of the sphincter muscles to relax
Achlorhydria
Absence of hydrochloric acid from the gastric juice
Acholia
Absence of bile, or failure to secrete bile
Acholuria
Term used to describe the absence of bile pigment in the urine, usually in the context of describing a type of jaundice
Acid-Base Equilibrium
Condition in which the net rate of acid or alkali production by the body is balanced by the net rate of acid or alkali excretion from the body, resulting in a stable concentration of hydrogen ions in the body fluids

Acid Fast Bacillus
Bacteria capable of living in acidic environments, such as inside macrophages. Tuberculosis and MAI/MAC are acid fast bacilli
Acidity
Sour, Acid content of any substance
Acidophilus
Microflora (good bacteria) that acts as a digestive aid and lives in your intestines helping your body fight disease. Intestinal cleanser. Helps prevent  acne, bad breath, fungus, and diverticulosis. Helps in the absorption of calcium and other minerals in the body
Acidosis
High blood acidity, a condition marked by abnormally high acid levels in the blood, associated with some forms of diabetes, lung disease, and severe kidney disease
Acid Reflux
Disorder in which acid in the stomach comes up into the esophagus, the valve separating the stomach and esophagus does not function properly
ACL
Anal Canal Length
Aconite
Also known as Fu-Tzu and Monkshood. Extremely powerful and potentially toxic herb. Considered an effective stimulant for the spleen and kidneys. Also used in the treatment for general weakness, cancer, malaise, poor circulation, and heart disease. Aconite’s toxic ingredient is an extremely potent central nervous system poison called “Aconitine”. Even in extremely small amounts, this potent chemical can inhibit respiration, and in larger amounts can lead to complete heart failure! Aconitine can be extremely toxic. This is definitely not an herb for casual use by the herbal novice, and if used at all, should only be done so under the close supervision & monitoring of a knowledgeable practitioner.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome [AIDS]
Syndrome characterized by suppressioerin of the immune system that renders the body susceptible to various illnesses; Late, symptomatic stage of HIV disease
Acrid
Has a biting taste or causes heat and irritation when applied to the skin
Action Study
In clinical trials, a study that focuses on finding out whether actions people take can prevent cancer or disease
Activated Charcoal
An over-the-counter product that may help relieve intestinal gas
Active Control Treatment
A control treatment that involves use of a pharmacologically or medically active substance. Active controls are used when there is already an available treatment, so the use of a placebo or no treatment would be unethical
Active Immunization
The conferring of immunity through the introduction of an attenuated form of a virus; for example, the injection of cowpox virus to confer immunity to smallpox, or by the injection of a killed or inactivated virus. The principle is that the body, by learning to deal with a mild and harmless virus closely related to a more serious strain, or a dead or inactive virus, develops antibodies against the virulent, live or active virus
Active Infection
Infection in which a disease causing microorganism is actively replicating and infecting new cells
Acuity
Sharpness
Accupressure
Traditional Chinese healing technique in which finger pressure is applied to specific points on the body to treat disease & help relieve symptoms
Acupuncture
One of the oldest most commonly used medical procedures in the world, acupuncture originated more than 2,000 years ago in China. Traditional Chinese medicine believes there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body that connect pathways known as meridians, and conduct energy, or chi, throughout the body
Acustimulation
Mild electrical stimulation of acupuncture points to control symptoms such as nausea and vomiting
Acute
Severe, Short. Sensing or perceiving accurately, clearly, effectively, or sensitively characterized by sharpness or severity, having a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course
Acute Hepatitis
Initial stage of viral hepatitis following infection. In HCV (Hepatitis C Virus), acute hepatitis refers to the first six months of infection
Acute Infection
Suddenly occurring infection that is severe and sharp. Relatively brief infections, i.e. a few days to a few weeks, following which the virus is usually eliminated completely from the body by the immune system;
Acute Tubular Necrosis
ATN–Reversible kidney damage resulting in delayed kidney function. Among other factors, it may be caused by quality of donor organ, time of organ storage before transplantation, or medications to prevent rejection
Acute Viral Hepatitis
Hepatocellular inflammatory disease caused by certain hepatotrophic viruses. Common, important group of worldwide diseases that share clinical, biochemical, and morphologic features, but are due to different viruses
Acute Yellow Atrophy
Massive necrosis of the liver, a rare complication of viral hepatitis (fulminant hepatitis) that may also result from exposure to hepatotoxins or from drug hypersensitivity. A lobe or the entire liver shrinks, becoming a soft, flabby, yellow-brown to green mass with a wrinkled capsule. There is confluent necrosis of hepatocytes, often with fatty change. Mortality is 60% to 90%
Acyclovir-Zovirax
An antiviral drug used in the treatment of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1, fever blisters, cold sores), herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2, genital herpes) and herpes zoster (shingles), and occasionally for acute varicella-zoster virus (Chickenpox)
ADA
Americans with Disabilities Act
ADCC
Antibody Dependent Cell Mediated Cytotoxicity
Addiction
Dependence on a substance (alcohol or drugs), to the point that stopping is very difficult and causes severe mental and physical reactions
ADE
Apparent Digestive Energy
Adenine
One of the four basic nucleotides that make up DNA. White, crystalline derivative
Adenitis
Inflammation of one or several lymph nodes, or related lymphoid tissues
Adeno
Greek word for gland
Adenocarcinoma
Cancer that begins in cells that line certain internal organs. Seen under a microscope, these cancer cells grow in patterns that normally are seen only in glands
Adenoma
Non-cancerous tumor
Adenopathy
Enlargement of glands, particularly the lymph nodes
Adenosine Triphosphate
ATP. A substance present in all living cells that provides energy for many metabolic processes and is involved in making RNA. ATP made in the laboratory is being studied in patients with advanced solid tumors to see if it can decrease weight loss and improve muscle strength
Adenoviruses, Canine
Species of the genus Mastadenovirus that causes fever, edema, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs and encephalitis in foxes. Epizootics have also been caused in bears, wolves, coyotes, and skunks
Adenovirus Early Proteins
Proteins encoded by adenoviruses that are synthesized prior to, and in the absence of, viral DNA replication. Proteins are involved in both positive and negative regulation of expression in viral and cellular genes, and also affect the stability of viral mRNA. Some are also involved in oncogenic transformation
Adenovirus E1 Proteins
The very first viral gene products synthesized after cells are infected with adenovirus. The E1 region of the genome has been divided into two major transcriptional units, E1A and E1B, each expressing proteins of the same name (Adenovirus E1A Proteins and Adenovirus E1B Proteins)
Adenovirus E1A Proteins
Proteins transcribed from the E1A region of adenovirus which are involved in positive regulation of transcription of the early genes
Adenovirus E1B Proteins
Proteins transcribed from the E1B region of adenovirus which are involved in regulation of the levels of early and late gene expression
Adenovirus E2 Proteins
Proteins transcribed from the E2 region of adenovirus. Several of these are required for viral DNA replication
Adenovirus E3 Proteins
Proteins transcribed from the E3 region of adenovirus but not essential for viral replication. The E3 19K protein mediates adenovirus persistence by reducing the expression of class I major histocompatibility complex antigens on the surface of infected cells
Adenovirus E4 Proteins
Proteins transcribed from the E4 region of adenovirus. The E4 19K protein transactivates transcription of the adenovirus E2F protein and complexes with it
Adenovirus Infections, Human
Respiratory and conjunctival infections caused by 33 identified serotypes of human adenoviruses
Ad Hoc Review Group
Review group that is created for the sole purpose of reviewing a specific application or set of applications. Also referred to as ad hoc study section, especially if the applications are for grant support
Adherence
Degree to which patient care exactly follows study protocol
Adhesion
Fibrous band of structure by which parts abnormally adhere. Internal growth of scar tissue
Adipose Tissue
Type of connective tissue specialized for lipid (fat) storage
Adiposis
Condition of fatty infiltration or degeneration of single organs such as the heart or liver
Adjunct Therapy
Therapy given in addition to primary treatment
Adjuvant
Herb used to aid the effect of a principal ingredient when added to a mixture
Adjuvants, Immunologic
Substances that stimulate, activate, augment, potentiate, or modulate the immune response at either the humoral or cellular level. The classical agents (Freund’s adjuvant, BCG, Corynebacterium parvum, et al.) contain bacterial antigens. Some are endogenous (e.g., interferon, histamine,  tuftsin, transfer factor, interleukin-1). Their mode of action is either non-specific, resulting in increased immune responsiveness to a wide variety of antigens, or antigen-specific, i.e., affecting a restricted type of immune response to a narrow group of antigens. The therapeutic efficacy of many biological response modifiers is related to their antigen-specific immunoadjuvanticity
Adjuvant Therapy
Treatment given after the primary treatment to increase the chances of a cure. Adjuvant therapy may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or biological therapy
Administration or Route of  Administration
How a drug or therapy is introduced into the body (i.e., intravenously, or orally)
ADP
Advanced Pancreatitis  2. Adenosine diphosphate – an energy storage molecule
Adrenal Gland
One of a pair of glands located above the kidneys. The adrenal medulla produces hormones such as adrenaline (epinephrine), while the adrenal cortex produces corticosteroids and androgens
Adverse Affect
An unwanted side effect of treatment
Adverse Event
Less than desireable results of taking medication, also known as side effects
Adverse Experience
A toxic reaction to a treatment under study. In the CPCRA all Grade 4, life-threatening toxicities and deaths are adverse experiences, irrespective of whether or not they are believed to be due to study drug, as are any toxicities that require permanent discontinuation of study drug
Adverse Reaction
Unintended and unwanted side effect of some sort of treatment, usually drug therapy
A.E.
Adverse Experience
AEP
Acute Edematous Pancreatitis
A.E.R.
Adverse experience report: A document in a prespecified format used to collect information on all reportable adverse experiences
Aerosolized
A form of administration in which a drug, is turned into a fine spray or mist by a nebulizer, and inhaled
AES
Anterior Esophageal Sensor
AFB
See acid-fast bacillus
Afebrile
Without a fever
Affective Disorder
Mental disorder involving abnormal moods and emotions; affective disorders include manic depressive disorder
Afferent
Conveying towards a center
Aflatoxin
A harmful substance made by certain types of mold (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus) that is often found on poorly stored grains and nuts. Consumption of foods contaminated with aflatoxin is a risk factor for primary liver cancer
AFLP
Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy
AFP
Alpha fetoprotein. A test that measures the amount of alpha fetoprotein (AFP) in serum (blood)
AGA
American Gastroenterolgical Association
Agammaglobulinaemia
Immune deficiency
AGE
Acute Gastroenteritis
Agenesis
Failure of development
Age Spots
Also called Liver Spots and Lentigo Senilis. Fat spots evenly colored with darker pigment that occur on the exposed skin particulalry in persons aged 50
Agglutinate
The process by which cells are made to adhere to one another, usually through the actions of an agglutinin, such as an antibody or a lectin. Certain viruses and bacteria also are capable of agglutinating blood cells. Many agglutinins, particularly the food lectins, are blood type specific. Certain foods clump only the cells of one blood type, but do not react with the cells of another type
Aggregate Cost
Total of all costs
Aggregation
A distribution of parasites amongst hosts is said to be aggregated, or overdispersed, if parasites are found to co-occur in particular hosts more often than if the parasites were distributed at random amongst all hosts. A more precise test would be if the distribution differed significantly from a Poisson distribution; a good heuristic is whether the variance to mean ratio is bigger than unity (in appropriate units). Macroparasites are typically aggregated in their host populations, so that the majority of hosts harbor few or no parasites while a few hosts harbor large parasite burdens. Aggregated distributions are often well described empirically by the negative binomial distribution
Aggressive
A quickly growing cancer
Agonal
A word used to describe a major negative change in a patient’s condition, usually preceding immediate death, such as a complete cessation of breathing or a dire change in the patient’s EEG or EKG
Agonist
A drug that triggers an action from a cell or another drug
Agranulocyte
A type of white blood cell; monocytes and lymphocytes are agranulocytes
AGS
Gastric Cancer Cell
Ags
Antigens
AH
Acute Hepatitis
AHRQ
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
AIDS
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
AIH
Autoimmune Hepatitis
Air Embolism
Blockage of an artery by air bubbles, which may have entered during surgery or after an injury
Airways
Passageways that air moves through while traveling in and out of the lungs during breathing
AJCC Staging System
A system developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer for describing the extent of cancer in a patient’s body. The descriptions include TNM: T describes the size of the tumor and if it has invaded nearby tissue, N describes any lymph nodes that are involved, and M describes metastasis (spread of cancer from one body part to another)
Alagille Syndrome
Hypoplasia of the hepatic ducts, congenital pulmonary artery stenosis, facial abnormalities, and other congenital malformations, particularly skeletal. It is often presented as jaundice during the neonatal period. It is an autosomal recessive disease generally manifesting during childhood
Alanine
Nonessential amino acid, alpha-aminopropanoic acid, occurring in proteins. High levels also occur free in plasma. It is synthesized from pyruvate and is used as a dietary supplement. An important source of energy for muscle tissue, the central nervous system and brain. Strengthens the immune system by producing antibodies, helps in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids
Albumin
Water-soluble blood protein . Increased absolute serum albumin content is not seen as a natural condition. Relative increase may occur in hemoconcentration. Absolute increase may occur artificially by infusion of hyperoncotic albumin suspensions. Decreased serum albumin is seen in states of decreased synthesis (malabsorption, malnutrition, liver disease, and other chronic diseases), increased loss (many GI conditions, nephrotic syndrome, thermal burns, etc.), and increased catabolism (cancer chemotherapy, thyrotoxicosis, familial hypoproteinemia, Cushing’s disease) Globulin is increased disproportionately to albumin (decreasing the albumin/globulin ratio) in states characterized by chronic inflammation and in B-lymphocyte neoplasms, like myeloma and Waldenstrvm’s macroglobulinemia. More relevant information concerning increased globulin may be obtained by serum protein electrophoresis. Decreased globulin may be seen in congenital or acquired hypogammaglobulinemic states. Serum and urine protein electrophoresis may help to better define the clinical problem
Albuminoid Liver, Amyloid Liver
A liver which is the seat of an albuminoid or amyloid degeneration; called also waxy liver
Albumins
Water-soluble proteins found in egg whites, blood, lymph, and other tissues and fluids. They coagulate upon heating
Alcoholism
Disorder characterized by a pathological pattern of alcohol use that causes a serious impairment in social or occupational functioning. Chronic, excessive, and compulsive drinking
Alcohol Swab
Sterile, pre-packaged material treated with alcohol. Used to clean injection sites and injection/therapy equipment
ALF
Acute Liver Failure, American Liver Foundation
Alfalfa
Medicago Sativa. Alfalfa can be taken as a capsule, tablet, tea or the dried plant itself. Perennial member of the family Fabaceae and is one of the most common, cultivated forage plants being fed to animals either as hay or in a dehydrated form. Alfalfa grows on the side of the road and leaves a peculiar green haze and pungent smell in the air. Alfalfa is promoted as a detoxifier, said to cleanse the liver and bloodstream. Nutritious source of beta carotene, calcium, chlorophyll, and the vitamins D, E and K. Studies have noted a link between consumption of high doses of Alfalfa with the onset, or aggravation of, existing Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Those diagnosed with Lupus should avoid alfalfa products entirely
Alferon
Brand name of human leukocyte derived interferon-alpha-n3, produced by ISI Pharmaceuticals
ALG
Antilymphocyte globulin
Algin
Good protection from many kinds of carcinogens, toxins and pollutants. Prevents living tissue from absorbing radioactive materials. Encourages the action of dietary fiber, by supplying nutrients, and by normalizing bowel functions
Alimentary
Digestion related, pertaining to food or nutritive material or to the organs of digestion
Alkaline Phosphatase
Increased serum alkaline phosphatase is seen in states of increased osteoblastic activity (hyperparathyroidism, osteomalacia, primary and metastatic neoplasms), hepatobiliary diseases characterized by some degree of intra- or extrahepatic cholestasis, and in sepsis, chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and thyrotoxicosis. Isoenzyme determination may help determine the organ/tissue responsible for an alkaline phosphatase elevation. Decreased serum alkaline phosphatase may not be clinically significant. However, decreased serum levels have been observed in hypothyroidism, scurvy, kwashiokor, achrondroplastic dwarfism, deposition of radioactive materials in bone, and in the rare genetic condition hypophosphatasia
Alkaloid
Any of a large class of nitrogen-containing organic compounds found especially in seed plants
Alkalosis
Dangerously decreased acidity of the blood, which can be caused by high altitudes, hyperventilation, and excessive vomiting
Alleles
Any alternative form of a gene that can occupy a certain chromosomal locus. In humans and other diploid organisms there are two alleles, one on each chromosome of a homologous pair
Allergen
Allergy-causing; irritant
Allergic Reaction
A sensitivity to a specific substance, called an allergen, that is contacted through the skin, lungs, swallowing, or injection
Allergy
Abnormal immune response to an antigen (allergen) that does not normally cause an adverse reaction (e.g., animal dander, pollen). Allergic reactions are caused by the release of histamine by mast cells, a type of white blood cell. Allergic symptoms may include runny nose (rhinitis), skin rash, asthma, and anaphylactic shock
Allocation Ratio
Treatment allocation ratio. For example, 1:1 is equal allocation, 3:1 is 75% in one group, and 25% in the other
Allogeneic
Taken from different individuals of the same species. Also called allogenic
Allopathy
Western medicine; the conventional medical practices used most often in the United States
Almond
Prunus Amygdalus–Excellent emollient. May also help prevent heart disease. Shown to lower serum cholesterol levels in people who consumed it in place of saturated fat
ALOC
Abbreviation for Acute Loss Of Consciousness
Alograft
Allogenetic graft or homograft)–A graft between two individuals who are of the same species (eg. human) but have genetic differences
Aloe Vera
Aloe Barbadensis. Herb often used to treat minor skin conditions, aloe vera or aloe gel is obtained from the inner layer of the leaf of the plant. (Try Aloe Vera Toothpaste! Its great) Comes from the family Liliaceae, may be taken in capsule form or applied to the skin as a gel. Aloe Vera gel, derived from the mucilaginous cells contained inside the leaves, widely used in a variety of forms such as cosmetics, moisturizers, lotions, and shampoos. Aloe powder, is derived from the tough outer leaf of the plant, it is a strong cathartic consumed internally as a cleanser, and often used as a treatment for many conditions ranging from AIDS to liver disease
Alopecia
The lack or loss of hair from areas of the body where hair is usually found. Alopecia can be a side effect of some chemotherapy treatments
Alpha Carotene
Carotenoid found in carrots and certain other vegetables. Its provitamin A activity is weaker than that of beta carotene. Studies have shown that several carotenoids other than beta carotene are potent antioxidants that provide profound health benefits. The scientific community has recognized the importance of natural mixed carotenoids including beta carotene
Alpha–Fetoprotein
A fetal blood protein present abnormally in adults with some forms of cancer, such as liver cancer
Alpha Interferon
See interferon alpha
(alpha) Level
The probability of a false positive result, or of rejecting the hypothesis of no treatment difference when there is no real difference or of a false positive. Also referred to as the probability of a type I error
Alpha Lipoic Acid-[Thioctic Acid]
Compound that enhances the antioxidant effect of vitamin C and vitamin E, and may help reduce liver inflammation and protect liver cells from damage
(alpha) Spending Function
A function or rule that governs how the total level or probability of a type I error can be spread out over the interim analysis. Limits the chance of a false positive result when trial data is looked at multiple times. Can be used to set up guidelines for trial monitoring
Alpha Tocopherol
Form of Vitamin E.
People who have liver disease should only take DRY Vitamin E as your liver has a hard time processing the oil in the liquid form of vitamin E.
ALS
Antilymphocyte Serum
ALT
Formerly SGPT — Alanine aminotransferase – a protein which, when found in the blood in elevated quantities, generally indicates liver damage. It is found mainly in liver cells and therefore has greater specificity for liver disease, but it offers little other advantage. In most liver diseases, the AST increase is less than that of ALT (AST/ALT ratio is less than 1), except in alcohol-related liver injury where the ratio is usually more than 2. Many exceptions limit the practicality of the ratio. However, a ratio of more than 3 with an inordinate increase in GGT (more than 2 times the alkaline phosphatase) is highly suggestive. Increase of serum alanine aminotransferase is seen in any condition involving necrosis of hepatocytes, myocardial cells, erythrocytes, or skeletal muscle cells
Alterative
Vague term for an agent capable of favorably altering or changing unhealthy conditions of the body and tending to restore normal bodily function
Alternative Medicine
A broad range of healing philosophies, approaches, and therapies, alternative medicine is generally not taught in medical schools or used in hospitals. Also known as complementary medicine
Alternative Therapy
Any type of treatment that is not considered standard or conventional practice in a given culture. In Western countries, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, and chiropractic are considered alternative therapies
Alimentary Canal
Gastrointestinal (GI) tract, The digestive tract
Alum
A type of immune adjuvant (a substance used to help boost the immune response to a vaccine). Also called aluminum sulfate
Alum Root
Also known as Cranesbill Root. Strong Astringent used for passive bleeding, that occurs in hematuria, menorrhagia and hemotysis , has a potent healing effect on the entire gastrointestinal tract. Found to be active against tuberculosis bacteria. Used to curb irritation of hemorrhoidal tissue, reduce inflammation of mucous membranes, and to restore venous health
AMA
Against Medical Advice. American Medical Association. Anti-Mitochondrial Antibody
Amantadine-[SYMMETREL]
Drug that is used to treat influenza and is also under study as a treatment for chronic hepatitis C, (without much success to date)
Amebiasis
An acute or chronic infection. Symptoms vary from mild diarrhea to frequent watery diarrhea and loss of water and fluids in the body
Amebic Abscess
A collection of pus in the liver caused by an intestinal parasite. An area of abscess formation (liquefaction necrosis) in the liver due to infection of the organ with ameba. Occurs mostly in the liver and brain. A specific purulent invasive lesion commonly of the liver caused by parasitic amebas
Amenorrhea
Absence of menstrual period
American Desert Herb
Used as a bronchial dilator and decongestant, and contains Cobalt, Copper, Nickel, Strontium and Vitamin B-12. Also used in the treatment of allergies, asthma, bladder, bursitis, colds, fevers, headaches, and kidney problems. Stimulates the nervous system and acts directly on the muscle cells
Americans With Disabilities Act-[ADA]
A federal law that requires employers to offer certain protections and benefits (including “reasonable accommodation”) to persons with disabilities that substantially limit major life activities
Amikacin
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called aminoglycoside antibiotics
Amine
Organic compound containing nitrogen
Amino Acid
Building blocks from which proteins are made. Dietary amino acids are classified as essential or non-essential. Essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine) cannot be manufactured by the body and must be supplied in the diet or ill-health results. The non-essential amino acids are also essential for health, but can be synthesized in the body from the essential amino acids. Arginine, ornithine, cysteine, cystine, taurine and tyrosine are classified as non-essential amino acids but may be essential for individuals with certain diseases or nutritional concerns. A suboptimal intake of the essential amino acids increases the body’s need for the non-essential amino acids. When protein is broken down by digestion, the result is 22 known amino acids, 8 are essential amino acids, the rest are non-essential
Amino Acid Chloromethyl Ketones
Inhibitors of serine proteinases and sulfhydryl group-containing enzymes. They act as alkylating agents and are known to interfere in the translation process
Amino Acids, Branched-Chain
Amino acids which have a branched carbon chain
Amino Acids, Cyclic
Class of amino acids characterized by a closed ring structure
Amino Acid Sequence
The arrangement of amino acids in a protein. Proteins can be made from 20 different kinds of amino acids, and the structure and function of each type of protein are determined by the kinds of amino acids used to make it and how they are arranged
Aminobutyric Acids
Aliphatic four carbon acids substituted in any position(s) with amino group(s). Aminobutyric Acids are found in most living things. Most well known is GABA
Aminocaproic Acids
Group of compounds that are derivatives of aminohexanoic acids
Aminotransferase [Transaminase]
An enzyme (e.g., ALT, AST) produced by the liver that catalyzes the transfer of amino acids. Abnormally high aminotransferase levels in the blood suggest liver damage
Ammonia
Volatile, colorless, pungent alkaline gas, soluble in water, formed by the body as a product of protein metabolism; converted to urea by the liver or excreted by the kidney
Amoxicillin
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called penicillins or penicillin derivatives
Amnesia
Memory loss
AMP
Adenosine monophosphate – an energy storage molecule
Amphipathic
Of a molecule, having both hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions. Can apply equally to small molecules, such as macromolecules and phospholipids and proteins
Amplicor/Cobalt Amplicor
Brand name of a PCR-based viral load test for HCV and HIV
Ampulla of Vater
Location at which the common bile duct and pancreatic duct drain into the duodenum
Amylase
An enzyme produced in the pancreas and salivary glands. Elevation of the blood amylase is common in conditions of pancreatitis
Amyloid Liver, Albuminoid Liver
A liver which is the seat of an albuminoid or amyloid degeneration; called also waxy liver
ANA
Anti-nuclear Antibody
Anabolic Processes
Conversion of small molecules into large
Anabolic Steroid
Drug similar to the male hormone testosterone that builds muscles and strengthens bones, but has adverse side effects
ANAbs
Antinuclear Antibodies
Analgesic
Drug or therapy that helps reduce pain
Analog-Analogue
A chemical compound with a structure similar to that of another but differing from it in respect to a certain component; it may have a similar or opposite action metabolically
Analogous
Similar
Analysis By Intention To Treat
A method of data analysis in which the primary tabulations and companion summaries of outcome data are by assigned treatment, regardless of treatment adherence
Analysis By Treatment Administered
A method of data analysis in which the primary tabulations and companion summaries of outcome data are by treatment administered, not be treatment assigned
Anaphrodisiac
Agent that lessens sexual function and desire
Anaphylactic Shock
Life-threatening allergic reaction resulting in difficulty breathing and low blood pressure
Anaphylaxis
An immediate, transient but life-threatening type of allergic reaction, characterized by relaxation of muscles not under voluntary control and by opening up of capillaries, the smallest branches of blood vessels, and resulting in plummeting of blood-pressure and generalized swelling of tissues
Anastomosis
Surgical formation of a passageway between any two spaces or hollow organs in the body
ANCA
Aanti-neutrophil Cytoplasmic Aantibody
Ancillary Trial
An investigation, stimulated by the trial and intended to generate information of interest to the trial, designed and carried out by investigators from one or more of the centers in the trial and that utilizes resources of the trials (e.g., money, study patients, staff time, etc.), but that is not a required part of the design or data collection procedures of the main trial
Androgen
Any steroid hormone that increases male characteristics
Anecdotal
Evidence based on reports of specific individual cases rather than controlled clinical studies
Anecdotal Evidence
Evidence based on a single observation, such as the result of a certain treatment on a disease in one person. It is usually impossible to know if the given result would occur again under similar circumstances, or was a chance event. For this reason, anecdotal evidence should rarely form the basis of treatment recommendations
Anemia
Condition in which the number of red blood cells, the amount of hemoglobin, or the volume of packed red blood cells are less than normal
Anergic
Refers to the state of being so immunologically suppressed that one is unable to produce cutaneous delayed type hypersensitivity reaction (DTH). Such patients will usually not test positive for TB on a PPD (mantoux) test
Anesthesia
Loss of sensation in a certain part of the body or throughout the body
Anesthetic
Drugs or gases given to cause a loss of feeling. A general anesthetic puts the patient to sleep. A local anesthetic makes an area of the body numb
Aneurysm
Abnormal swelling of the wall of an artery, caused by a weakening in the vessel wall
Angelica
Angelica Archangelica–Similar to the Chinese herb Dong Quai. Used for the treatment for flatulence and stomach pains. Also used as a stimulant to invigorate circulation and warm the body. Promote menstrual flow and help regulate irregular menstrual cycles. Angelica should not be used by pregnant women or diabetics, has a tendency to elevate blood sugar levels
Angina Pectoris
Chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle receives inadequate oxygen
Angiodysplasia
Abnormal or enlarged blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract
Angiogenesis
The process of forming new blood vessels. Angiogenesis is essential for the growth of tumors
Angiography
Imaging of a system of blood vessels after injection of a dye opaque to x-rays. X-ray that uses dye to detect bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
Angioplasty
Reconstruction of a blood vessel
Angiosarcoma
Rare malignant tumor affecting particularly the liver, a cancer that arises from the cells that line the blood vessels
Angiotensinogen
A serum globulin formed by the liver that is cleaved by renin to produce angiotensin I
Anhidrosis
The abnormal absence of sweat
Anion Gap
Increased serum anion gap reflects the presence of unmeasured anions, as in uremia (sulfate, phosphate), diabetic ketoacidosis (acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate), shock, exercise-induced physiologic anaerobic glycolysis, fructose and phenformin administration (lactate), and poisoning by methanol (formate), ethylene glycol (oxalate), paraldehyde, and salicylates. Therapy with diuretics, penicillin, and carbenicillin may also elevate the anion gap. Decreased serum anion gap is seen in dilutional states and hyperviscosity syndromes associated with paraproteinemias. Because bromide is not distinguished from chloride in some methodologies, bromide intoxication may appear to produce a decreased anion gap
Anise
Used to ease intestinal colic and flatulence. also has an expectorant and anti-spasmodic action, may be used in cases of bronchitis, and where there is a persistent irritable cough. Has been used for whooping cough. Considered a carminative and stimulant
Anodyne
Agent that relieves or kills pain
Anorexia
Loss of appetite for food
Antacid
Drug that neutralizes stomach acids; used to treat indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux
Antagonism
The opposite of synergy. One factor reduces or cancels the effect of another
Antenatal
Before the time of birth
Anterior
In front, or towards the front
Antibiotic
A medication that is used to kill bacteria or inhibit their growth. Available in topical, oral, and injectable forms. Most oral antibiotics work best if taken on an empty stomach. Although occasionally antibiotics can irritate the stomach, mixing them with foods can impair absorption, thus effectiveness
Antibody
A protein secreted by cells of our immune system in response to infection. The antibody binds to an ‘enemy’ molecule, in this case, a specific part of the hepatitis C virus. This is meant to prevent the virus from infecting other cells or destroy it. As with other viral infections, the presence of antibodies does not necessarily mean a virus will be eliminated from the body. 2. A protein produced in the blood of vertebrates following exposure to an antigen. The antibody binds specifically to the antigen and thus stimulates its inactivation by other parts of the immune system. The major classes of antibody are immmunoglobulin A, or IgA, found predominantly in bodily secretions like saliva; IgM and IgG which are typically produced sequentially in response to microparasitic infections; and IgE which is often elevated in the response to helminth infections. Only IgG is able to cross the placenta to provide maternal immunity. The Good Guy
Antibody, Blocking
An antibody that combines with an antigen without visible reaction but prevents another antibody from later combining with or producing its usual effect on that antigen
Antibody Dependent Cell Mediated Cytotoxicity
ADCC–An immune response in which antibodies bind to target cells, identifying them for attack by the immune system
Antibody Positive [Seropositive]
The presence in the blood of antibodies against a specific pathogen such as HCV
Antibody Presenting Cell–APC
A white blood cell that devours foreign bodies, breaks them down, and carries characteristic antigen peptides to it’s surface. The foreign antigen, complexed with MHC I or II is presented to CD4 or CD8 to initiate an immune response specific to that peptide
Antibody Test
An assay that detects the presence of antibodies in a blood sample; ELISA and RIBA tests are used to detect HCV antibodies
Anticholinergics
Medicines that calm muscle spasms in the intestine. A class of medicines affects the nerve cells or nerve fibers. Includes drugs for anxiety, depression, and nervousness
Anticoagulant
Drug that reduces or delays blood coagulation or clotting
Anticoagulation
Therapeutic interference (“blood-thinning”) with the clotting mechanism of the blood to prevent or treat thrombosis and embolism
Anticonvulsant
Drug that prevents or reduces convulsions or seizures
Antidepressant, Tricyclic
A particular class of medication which is prescribed for the medical treatment of clinical depression and associated disorders, including chronic pain syndrome
Antidiarrheal drug
Drug that helps to control diarrhea
Antidote
Drug that counteracts the effects of a poison
Antiemetic
Drug that relieves nausea and vomiting
Antifibrotic
Drug or other agent than prevents or reduces the development of liver fibrosis or cirrhosis
Antigen
Anything introduced into the body that is seen as foreign. An antigen stimulates the immune system into producing cells that attack it. The Bad Guy
Antigenicity
The ability of an antigen to combine with antibodies and T-cell receptors to invoke a reaction from the immune system
Antigenemia
The presence of detectable amounts of an antigen in the blood
Antigenic Drift
Several viruses mutate frequently in order to avoid destruction by the immune systems of their hosts. The gradual evolution of viral strains that results from these mutations is known as antigenic drift
Antigens
Substances which are capable, under appropriate conditions, of inducing a specific immune response and of reacting with the products of that response, that is, with specific antibodies or specifically sensitized T-lymphocytes, or both. Antigens may be soluble substances, such as toxins and particulates, or foreign proteins, such as tissue cells and bacteria; however, only the portion of the protein or polysaccharide molecule known as the antigenic determinant combines with antibody or a specific receptor on a lymphocyte
Anti-HAA
Antibody to Hepatitis Associated Antigen
Anti-HAV
Antibody to the Hepatitis A Virus
Anti-HBsAg
Antibody to the Hepatitis B Virus
Anti-HBc
Antibody to the Hepatitis B Core Antigen. Test used to identify a past or present HBV infection. It is produced during and after acute HBV infection. The core antigen is part of the hepatitis B virus and the antibody to the core antigen is usually present in chronic carriers. If it is present with a positive anti-HBs (protective antibodies), then it is associated with recovery from an infection and this person is not a carrier. The interpretation of this test depends on the first two test results
Anti-HBe
Antibody to the Hepatitis B e Antigen
Anti-HBs
Antibody to the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen. The presence of antibodies indicates that a person has been exposed to HBV previously, but has successfully cleared the virus from their body and is no longer contagious. Antibodies are also produced from the HBV vaccine series
Anti-HCV
Antibody to the Hepatitis C Virus
Anti-HDV
Antibody to the Hepatitis D Virus
Antigenicity
The ability of an antigen to combine with antibodies and T-cell receptors to invoke a reaction from the immune system
Antihistamines

-Drug that blocks the action of histamine, a chemical messenger in the body. Antihistamines are used to prevent or alleviate allergic reactions and to reduce stomach acid production

Antihypertensives
Antihypertensives lower high blood pressure. Relaxes the blood vessels, which causes the blood to flow more easily
Anti-liver Cytosolic Protein 1
Associated with anti-liver/kidney microsomal 1 (anti-LKM1); considered a more specific marker of type 2 autoimmune hepatitis than anti-LKM1
Antioxidants
Natural Biochemical Substance that protect against cell damage by guarding the cell from oxygen free radicals. Antioxidant nutrients include vitamins A, C, and E, L-glutathione, Beta Carotene, Pycnogenol (grape seed extract), Selenium, Superoxide Dismutase, Coenzyme Q-10, and Bioflavonoids. Plant antioxidants include Gingko Biloba and Garlic
Antipruritic
Itch treatment
Antipyretic
Compound that reduces fever
Antiretroviral
A substance, drug, or process that destroys a retrovirus, or suppresses it’s replication
Antisense
Complementary: an antisense compound is the mirror image of the genetic sequence that it is suppose to inactivate
Antisense Oligonucleotide
An agent that blocks the synthesis of disease-causing proteins by binding with and preventing translation of RNA (genetic material). HCV antisense oligodeoxynucleotides are directed against a specific HCV genetic sequence and inhibit viral gene expression
Antisense Strand
Most genetic material, both RNA and DNA, appears as two strands or chains of nucleotides wrapped together into a double helix – the common picture of DNA. Each nucleotide – A, T, C and G – has an attractive opposite . C attracts G, A attracts T. As a result, one strand, the “sense” strand, contains the information (for example, ATG-AAA) and the other strand, the antisense strand contains the opposite of this information (TAC-TTT – according to pairing rules). Antisense RNA is the “antisense” half of a complete double RNA strand. RNA viruses consist of 2 types – “sense” RNA viruses, whose genetic material consists of the “sense” half of a complete strand, and “antisense” RNA viruses, which have the “antisense” half. Sense RNA viruses can have their genetic material read out directly by the ribosomes of their host cells – antisense RNA viruses must first copy themselves into a “sense” strand of RNA
Antiseptic
Agent that inhibits the growth of microorganisms on living tissue
Antispasmodic
Drug used to ease or prevent muscular spasms or convulsions
Antiviral
Virus treatment. A substance, drug, or process which destroys a virus or suppresses its replication. Can apply to herpes or CMV
Anthelmintic
Drug used to destroy or eliminate parasitic intestinal worms
Antrectomy
Surgical procedure in which the portion of the stomach is removed that produces the hormones that cause acid secretion
Anus
Lower opening of the digestive tract through which feces (bowel movements) are discharged
Anxiolytic
Drug that helps relieve mental anxiety
AP
Abdominoperineal, Adenomatous Polyp, Appendectomy, Appendix
A&P
Abdominal & Perineal
APC
Adenomatous Polyposis Coli, Antibody Presenting Cell, Antigen-Presenting Cells
Aplasia
Complete or partial failure of any organ or tissue to grow
Aplastic Anemia
Severely reduced amount of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets
Apnea
Possibly life threatening condition in which breathing stops, for either a short or long period of time
Apoferritin
Colorless crystalline protein capable of storing iron in bodily cells especially of the liver by combining with iron to form ferritin
Apoplasmatic
Pertaining to substances that are produced by cells and form a constituent part of the tissues of an organism, such as fibers of connective tissue or the matrix of bone and cartilage
Apoplectic
Pertaining to, caused by, or affected with apoplexy
Apoplexy
Sudden neurologic impairment due to a cerebrovascular disorder, either an arterial occlusion or an intracranial hemorrhage. Copious extravasation of blood within any organ
Apoptosis
Developmental or programmed cell death characterized by membrane blobs, extensive chromatin condensation, and DNA fragmentation. Plays a role in negative selection of developing T cells and the killing of targets by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Cell suicide
Aposome
An inclusion within the cytoplasm that has been made by the activity of the cell itself
Apostasis
The end or crisis of an attack of disease
Apothecary
Pharmacist
APPY
Appendectomy
APR
Abdominal-Perineal Resection
Arbovirus
A virus which uses Arthropods as vectors and is transmitted in their saliva to the definitive host. i.e., yellow fever. Large a diverse group ofviruses, taxonomically unrelated which are classically transmitted by arthropod vectors, e.g. mosquitoes, ticks, etc
ARC
AIDS Related Complex
ARD
Anorectal Dressing
ARDS
Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Arginase
Enzyme of the hydrolase class that catalyzes the reaction L-arginine + H2O = L-ornithine + urea. The enzyme also hydrolyzes canavanine. It is a Mn2+-bound protein, found principally in the liver. The reaction is part of the urea cycle. A deficiency of the enzyme, transmitted as an autosomal recessive trait, results in argininemia
Arginase Deficiency
An autosomal recessive aminoacidopathy involving the biosynthesis of urea; arginine is elevated in blood and urine and may cause secondary cystinuria; oroticaciduria is common, but hyperammonemia is rare. Signs include psychomotor retardation, hepatomegaly, and scalp discoloration. Also called Argininemia and Hyperargininemia
Arginine
Nonessential amino acid but may be essential for individuals with certain diseases or nutritional concerns. May promote the release of growth hormone. Involved in creatine synthesis, a compound that stores energy in muscle. Promotes wound healing and regeneration of the liver; and is considered crucial for optimal muscle growth and tissue repair. Helps to remove ammonia from the body as part of the urea cycle. Arginine has improved immune responses to bacteria, viruses and tumor cells
Argininemia
Arginase Deficiency
Argyria
Also called Argyrosis. A permanent ashen-gray discoloration of the skin, conjunctiva, and internal organs that results from long-continued use of silver salts
ARI
Acute Respiratory Infection
Arildone
Chemical name: 4-[6-(2-chloro-4-methoxyphenoxy)hexyl]-3,5-heptanedione; an antiviral agent, C20H29ClO4
Aristolochia
A genus of shrubs and herbs of many species, often actively medicinal. The plants contain aristolochic acid, a phenanthrene-carboxylic acid derivative, the major aromatic bitter principle. It is toxic to experimental animals in sufficient dosage, causing cardiac and respiratory arrest
Aristolochic Acid
The major bitter aromatic principle of herbs of the genus Aristolochia and related species, called also aristolochine
Aristolochine
Aristolochic Acid
ARM
Group of participants in a clinical trial who receive the same treatment (or placebo)
Armature
A protective organ or structure
Arnica
Arnica Montana–Also known as Leopard’s bane, Wolf’s bane, and Mountain tobacco. Used primarily for external use. Also as a diuretic, diaphoretic, emollient, expectorant, vulnerary and stimulant. Used as a tincture or salve, it helps to promote the healing of bruises, wounds, and general irritation. Only very dilute solutions of tincture should be used, the tincture can cause inflammation and blistering when applied. The dilute tincture can be helpful in inflammation of the mouth and throat, some doctors have used itas a cardiac agent and for internal bleeding
Arogastralgia
Excessive air in the stomach
Aromine
A fragrant alkaloid from urine containing benzene derivatives
Arrheno
A combining form meaning male
Arrhigosis
Inability to perceive cold, absence of the cold sense
Arrhythmia
Any variation from the normal rhythm of the heartbeat; it may be an abnormality of either the rate, regularity, or site of impulse origin or the sequence of activation
Arteriogram
An x-ray of the arteries taken with the aid of a dye
Arteriography
Diagnostic procedure to detect disease in solid organs or blood vessels to diagnose and treat severe bleeding. A special dye injected into the blood vessels allows them to be seen on x-ray
Arteritis
Inflammation of the walls of an artery that causes the passageway to become narrower; can lead to tissue damage because oxygen is not properly supplied
Artery
Large blood vessel that carries oxygen in the blood from the heart to tissues and organs in the body
Arthralgia
Pain in a joint, pain not caused by inflammation but by other factors
Arthritis
Disease of the joints characterized by inflammation, pain, stiffness, and redness.
Artichoke
Cynara Scolymus–Used for jaundice, dyspepsia, liver insufficiency, postoperative anemia and chronic albuminuria. Stimulates bile production and secretion, sluggish livers and digestive irregularities. Lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Possesses some diuretic activity, helping with kidney disease and protein in the urine
Artificial Respiration/Ventilation
Forcing of air (either by mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-nose) into the lungs of a person who has stopped breathing
AS
Anal Sphincter
ASA
Abbreviation for acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin)
Ascites
Accumulation of serous fluid in the peritoneal cavity, usually encountered wtih portal hypertension or heart failure. Uncomfortable accumulation of fluid causing abdominal swelling. This occurs when the blood flow through the liver is obstructed. Ascites often occurs with cirrhosis of the liver
Ascorbic Acid
Chemical term for vitamin C, water-soluble, white crystalline vitamin present in citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, potatoes and fresh, green leafy vegetables. Essential for the formation of collagen and fibrous tissue for normal intercellular matrices in teeth, bone, cartilage, connective tissue and skin, and for the structural integrity of capillary walls. Aids in fighting bacterial infections and interacts with other nutrients. High dietary Ascorbic Acid intake appears to protect against gastric cancer. This may be due to its action as a scavenger of reactive radical species formed in the gastric mucosa, resulting in a reduced level of radical-mediated DNA damage
Aseptic
Without the presence of disease causing microorganisms
ASGE
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
ASLC
Acute Self Limited Colitis
Asparagus
Asparagus Officianalis–Used to promote fertility, reduce menstrual cramping, and increase milk production in nursing mothers. Contains compounds called steroid glycosides that directly affect hormone production. Excellent diuretic. High in folic acid, which is essential for the production of new red blood cells. Also soothes pain and swelling of joints due to rheumatism or arthritis. Do not use if your kidneys are inflamed, it increases the rate of urinary production
Aspartate Aminotransferase [AST, formerly SGOT]
An enzyme (also called aspartate transaminase) produced in the liver. When liver cells are damaged, AST is released. Elevated levels may indicate liver disease, but are also seen in people with muscle damage. A normal level is below 42 IU/L
Aspartic Acid
Non-essential amino acid. Aids in the expulsion of harmful ammonia from the body. When ammonia enters the circulatory system, it acts as a highly toxic substance which can be harmful to the central nervous system. Studies have shown that it may increase endurance and increase resistance to fatigue
ASPD
Anterior Superior Pancreaticodudenal Artery
Asphyxia
Medical term for suffocation, which can be caused by choking on an object, by lack of oxygen in the air, or by chemicals such as carbon monoxide, which reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood
Assay
Analytical test
Assembly
The stage of replication during which all the structural components come together at one site in the cell and the basic structure of the virus particle is formed
AST
formerly SGOT — Aspartate aminotransferase – a protein which, when found in the blood in elevated quantities, generally indicates liver damage. (although less specific for liver damage than ALT) present in the kidney ,brain, skeletal muscle, & heart as well as the liver. AST levels also increase in muscle injury, MI, CNS disease, heart failure, and other nonhepatic disorders. Regardless of some nonspecificity, high levels indicate liver cell damage. Values of more than 500 IU/L suggest toxic or acute viral hepatitis.
These high values also occur in heart failure (ischemic hepatitis) and with common duct stones. The high value of the numbers has no prognostic value and does not correlate with the degree of liver damage. AST is reliable and part of routine screening for liver disease. Serial testing provides good monitoring: A fall to normal indicates recovery unless associated with the end stages of massive hepatic necrosis. Increase of aspartate aminotransferase is seen in any condition involving necrosis of hepatocytes, myocardial cells, or skeletal muscle cells. Decreased serum AST is of no known clinical significance
Asthenia
Weakness, debilitation
Asthenic
Having little tone or strength, especially in regards the nervous system or the skeletal muscles
Astragalus Root
Astragalus Membranaceous. Astragalus has no known toxicity and is commonly known as Locoweed, Milk Vetch, Yellow Vetch, Chinese Astragalus and Huang Ch’i. In the family of peas and is a mild restorative and preventive plant. Astragalus is one of the most important Oriental tonic and health-promoting medicinal plants and is often used to increase resistance to disease and infections. Used as a diuretic, a vasodilator and as a treatment for respiratory infections. Replenishes vital energy, and may also reduce blood pressure by helping to rid the body of excess water weight. Given routinely to patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. May also prevent the spread of malignant cancer cells to healthy tissue. Astragalus also increases interferon production and enhances NK and T cell function, increasing resistance to viral conditions such as hepatitis, AIDS and cancer
As Treated Analysis
Method of analyzing the results of a clinical trial that includes only participants who successfully complete a course of the treatment, excluding those who drop out early
Astringent
Substance that causes contraction of tissues, checking the discharge of mucus and fluid from the body
Asymptomatic
Having no symptoms, no visible or recognizable symptoms. Many hepatitis patients will not exhibit any recognizable symptoms
Asymptomatic Infection
An infection or phase of infection, without symptoms
Asystole
A condition in which the heart no longer beats and usually cannot be restarted
AT
Abdominal Tympany
Ataxia
Problems with coordination or proper use of muscles
ATF
Abdominal Tumor Fluid
ATG
Antithymocyte Globulin
Atherosclerosis
Type of hardening of the arteries in which fat, cholesterol, and other blood components build up in the walls of the arteries. As atherosclerosis progresses, the arteries to the heart may narrow so that nutrients and oxygen rich blood have a difficult time reaching the heart muscle
ATN
Acute Tubular Necrosis
Atonic
Having diminished strength or poor tone
Atopic
A type of inherited allergic response involving elevated immunoglobulin E. Sometimes called a reagin response, it means that you have hay fever, bronchial asthma, or skin problems like urticaria or eczema. It can be acquired, sometimes after hepatitis or extended contact with solvents or alcohol
ATP
Adenosine Triphosphate, compound consisting of the nucleotide adenosine attached through its ribose group to three phosphoric acid molecules. It serves to store energy in muscles which is released when it is hydrolyzed to adenosine diphosphate
Atresia
Lack of a normal opening from the anus, esophagus, or intestines
Atrophic Gastritis
Chronic irritation of the stomach lining. Causes the stomach lining and glands to wither away
Atrophy
Wasting, Shrinkage or near disappearance of a tissue or organ
Atropine
An alkaloid derived from Belladonna (Atropa belladonna) and related plants that blocks some cholinergic or parasympathetic functions. Has been used to stop the cramps of diarrhea and is still found in some OTC cold remedies, since it dries up secretions. The main current medical use is in eye drops used to constrict the pupil
Attachment
The binding of a virus particle to a specific receptor on the surface of a host cell
Attenuated Virus
A weakened virus with reduced ability to infect or produce disease. Some vaccines are based on attenuated viruses
Atypical
Unusual
Aura
A “warning” signal that comes before a migraine headache or an epileptic seizure, which might include emotions or sensations of movement or discomfort
Auto
(prefix) Self
Autoantibody
Antibody that targets the body’s own tissues
Autoagglutinin
An autologous serum factor with the property of agglutinating the individual’s own cellular elements
Autoimmune
Caused by antibodies or T cells that attack molecules, cells, or tissues of the organism producing them
Autoimmune Disease
A disease process that involves the production of host antibodies to host tissue. Disease caused when the immune system turns on itself because it fails to recognize its own cells
Autoimmune Hepatitis
Form of hepatitis in which cells from one’s own immune system attack the liver
Autoimmune Response
Condition in which a person’s immune system produces antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues. Several conditions associated with advanced hepatitis C (e.g., lichen planus, Sj�gren’s syndrome) appear to have an autoimmune aspect
Autoimmune Thyroiditis
An inflammatory, autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland
Autoimmunity
Condition in which antibodies are produced against the body’s own tissues.
Autologous
Pertaining to the same organism or one of its parts; originating within an organism itself
Autolysis
Self-dissolution; the post-mortem enzymatic degradation of cells
Autopsy
Examination of a body following death, possibly to determine the cause of death or for research
Autosplenectomy
The almost complete disappearance of the spleen through progressive fibrosis and shrinkage, such as may occur in sickle cell anemia
Autosomal
A locus on any chromosome but a sex chromosome. Not sex-linked
Autosomal Dominant
Term describing a gene on any chromosome other than the sex chromosomes that produces its effect whenever it is present; can also describe the effect of the gene itself
Autosomal Recessive
Term used to describe gene on any chromosome other than the sex chromosomes that produces its effect only when two copies of it are present; can also describe the effect of the gene itself
Autotherapy
The spontaneous cure of disease. Treatment of disease by filtrates from the patient’s own secretions. Self-cure
Autothromboagglutinin
A platelet autoagglutinin
Auxiliary-Liver Transplantation
When only part of the liver is replaced and the rest of the native liver is not removed
AW
Actual Weight
Axilla
Armpit
Ayurveda or Ayurvedic Medicine
A 5,000-year-old healing tradition from India that teaches how health is not only the absence of disease, but a state of harmonious and dynamic balance on all levels, mind, body, soul and environment. Ayurveda provides an integrated approach to preventing and treating illness through lifestyle changes and natural therapies. Ayurvedic theory states that all disease begins with an imbalance or stress in the individual’s consciousness. Ayurvedic approach involves treating the whole person with diet, yoga and meditation and a blending of body, mind and spirit
Azotemia
Kidney failure. The abnormal presence of urinary waste products in the blood

© Vikki Shaw