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

Glossary of Medical Terms – V

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Vaccine
Preparation introduced into the body to cause the production of antibodies to create an immunity to specific diseases and viruses. A drug intended to induce active artificial immunity against a pathogen. Vaccines may be live or dead. Live vaccines are usually attenuated versions of the wildtype pathogen, such as the MMR vaccines, which are strains of measles mumps and rubella viruses repeatedly passaged through cell lines until non-pathogenic. Typically, live vaccines need only be given as a single dose to induce a full immunological response, inducing specific memory. Dead vaccines are either killed whole parasite, as with the Salk polio strain and pertussis vaccine, or some highly immunogenic fraction of the parasite, as in toxoid vaccines. Killed vaccines and toxoids which do not multiply in the host must usually be administered in multiple doses to induce a full immunological response. Vaccination should be distinguished from passive immunization in which concentrated specific antibodies which can be used therapeutically to abrogate an ongoing infection or to provide short term protection (of the order of months), for example against hepatitis A. Passive immunization does not induce immunological memory
Vagal
Nerve related
Vagotomy
Surgical procedure in which the nerves to the stomach are severed
Vagotonia
Nerve complaint
Vagus Nerve
Nerves to the stomach that are important in the production of stomach acid
Valerian Root
Valeriana Officinalis. Valerian is a root that has been used since ancient Greek times for its relaxing, sedative effects. Aside from the important valerenic acid, over 120 other important components have been identified from the root and its essential oil. Safe and effective anti-anxiety agent and sedative for treatment of restlessness and sleep disturbances resulting from nervous conditions. Those with impaired kidney or liver functions should not take valerian except under a physician’s supervision. Valerian can interact with alcohol, certain antihistamines, muscle relaxants, psychotropic drugs and narcotics
Valine
Essential amino acid needed for optimal growth in infants and for nitrogen equilibrium in adults. Promotes mental vigor, muscle coordination and calm emotions
Vanadium
Non-essential mineral. Believed that Vanadium is probably essential to growth and involved in fat metabolism. Vanadium deficiency can increase blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Van Den Bergh Test
A test indicating presence of bilirubin in the blood when a diazotizing reagent added to blood serum turns it red, as in jaundice and destructive diseases of the liver
Variceal Bleeding
Bleeding from abnormal blood vessels in the esophagus. These may occur in cirrhosis
Varices
Esophageal and Gastric — Submucosal varices of the lower esophagus or gastric fundus mucosa, frequently caused by the development of portal collateral vessels as a result of portal hypertension. Abnormally dilated/stretched veins. Dilated veins; these can rupture, leading to massive bleeding.
Vascular
Blood vessel related
Vasculitis
Blood vessel inflammation
Vasoactive
Affecting blood vessels
Vasoconstriction
Narrowing of the small arteries
Vasodilatation
Widening of the blood vessels
Vasomotor
Blood flow-related
Vasopressor
Substance affecting blood flow
Vater’s Ampulla
The dilatation formed by junction of the common bile duct and the pancreatic ducts proximal to their opening into the lumen of the duodenum
Vector
The intermediate hosts of parasites with indirect life cycles. Anything which transmits parasites. An organism responsible for transmitting a pathogen from one host to another, e.g. a mosquito. (In molecular biology, a molecule used to clone nucleic acid sequences)
Vectorial Capacity
In vector-borne infections such as malaria, the vectorial capacity is a concept analogous to the contact rate in directly-transmitted diseases. It is, thus, a function of (a) the vector’s density in relation to its vertebrate host, (b) the frequency with which it takes blood meals on the host species, (c) the duration of the latent period in the vector, and (d) the vector’s life expectancy
Vegetal Silica
Equisetum Arvense. Also known as horsetail and is a member of the Equisetaceae family. Vegital Silica, or Horsetail, is found in marshes and on the edges of ponds. The plant itself is more closely related to a fern, rather than a flower, due to its dull and flowerless appearance. It is a rush-like perennial with hollow, jointed stems and scale-like leaves
Vegetative
Without consciousness
VEGF
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
Venepuncture
The process of entering a vein. Commonly used to describe the process of gaining a blood sample
Venipuncture
The process of entering a vein. Commonly used to describe the process of gaining a blood sample
Venogram
A procedure in which a contrast medium is injected into a vein so that an X-ray photograph will reveal the shape, size, and extent of the vein.
Veno-Occlusive Disease-VOD
The other major cause of hepatic venous outflow obstruction is veno-occlusive disease; it differs from Budd-Chiari syndrome in that it is the smaller intrahepatic venules within the liver that are primarily involved usually in a non-thrombotic manner. There is usually a defined exposure to a toxic agent or physical injury. In some parts of the world naturally occurring toxins (pyrrolizidine alkaloids – Jamaican bush tea) remains a significant cause of hepatic disease, particularly in children. Presently in the United States bone marrow transplantation is the most frequent setting for the development of VOD. This is related to the radiation and chemotherapeutic agents used in these patients. Renal transplant patients receiving immunosuppression agents are also at risk for VOD
Venous
Vein related
Ventilator
Machine that helps a patient breathe
Vermifuge
Agent that destroys or expels parasitic worms, especially of the intestine
Versed
A benzodiazepine muscle relaxant used to sedate, often in conjunction with the paralyzing agent pavulon
Vertical Transmission
Vertical transmission occurs when a parent conveys an infection to its unborn offspring, as occurs in syphilis in man or in many arboviruses of arthropods. Perinatal infection is a special form of vertical transmission
Very Low Density Lipoprotein
Class of low density conjugated proteins consisting of a protein and a lipid
Vesicles
Small bubbles of lipid within a cell, used for the transport of materials within the cell and between the outside environment and the cell membrane . Small bladder or sac containing liquid
VH
Viral Hepatitis
VHDL
Very High Density Lipoprotein
Vial
Small bottle with a rubber stopper from which medicine or doses are supplied
VIP
Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide
Viral
Pertaining to a virus in origin
Viral Carrier
An individual who is infected with a quantity of specific viral material and is seen as being potentially infective to others
Viral Envelope Proteins
Layers of protein which surround the capsid in animal viruses with tubular nucleocapsids. The envelope consists of an inner layer of lipids and virus specified proteins also called membrane or matrix proteins. The outer layer consists of one or more types of morphological subunits called peplomers which project from the viral envelope; this layer always consists of glycoproteins
Viral Hepatitis
Form of hepatitis caused by one of the hepatitis viruses. HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV, HEV, HFV, HGV
Viral Hepatitis Vaccines
Any vaccine raised against any virus or viral derivative that causes hepatitis
Viral Load
The amount of virus present in a person’s blood stream. It is usually measured by the PCR quantitative test and the result is given in number of virus particles per ml of blood
Viral Particle
New viruses reproduced inside of a cell
Viral Proteins
Proteins found in any species of virus. Among the most important characteristics of a virus is the nature of the proteins which make up its envelope, capsid, and spikes. Proteins determine the infective properties of the virus
Viral Quantity
Referring to the amount of virus present in the body. Also called viral load
Viral Tter
Measurement of the amount of virus present
Viremia
Presence of a particular virus in a patient’s blood
Virion
Rudimentary virus particle with a central nucleoid surrounded by a protein sheath, complete virus particle. A mature and infectious virus particle.Structurally mature, extracellular virus particles 
Viroid
Composed of nothing more than a single, circular strand of genetic material, and cause disease in plant cells. Replicating in the nuclei of plant cells, often cause s striking diseases in their host plants. Lacking even a protective shell of protein, viroids do not spread easily from one cell or plant to another
Virulence
The case mortality rate of an infection. The extent to which a pathogen harms its host. These are different usages: what they have in common is that they refer to the effect on an already infected host, not to the degree of transmissibility to a subsequent susceptible
Virus Attachment Protein
The protein on the surface of a virus particle responsible for binding the receptor
Virus Diseases
General term for diseases produced by viruses
Virusoid
Extremely simple virus, normally consisting of little more than a single circular strand of genetic material. Virusoids infect other viruses, using the replication processes of the host virus to replicate themselves instead
Visceral
Relating to an organ in the chest area
Viscerotome
Instrument used to obtain a liver tissue sample from a cadaver
Viscus
An internal organ of the body; particularly one located in the large cavity of the trunk such as the heart, liver, or intestine
Vitals
Vital organs such as the brain, heart, liver, and lungs
Vitamin
Organic compound essential in small quantities for normal physiologic and metabolic functioning of the body. Vitamins help regulate metabolism, helps convert fat and carbohydrates into energy, and assist in forming bone and tissue. Vitamins cannot be assimilated without ingesting food
Vitamin A
Beta Carotene. Fat soluble vitamin essential for health. Plays an important part in the growth and repair of body tissue, protects epithelial tissue, helps maintain the skin and is necessary for night vision. It is also necessary for normal growth and formation of bones and teeth, for the production of red and white corpuscles in the blood, and for lactation. A deficiency of Vitamin A may result in night blindness; rough, dry, scaly skin; increased susceptibility to infections; lack of tearing; loss of smell & appetite; frequents fatigue and/or defective teeth & retarded gum growth
Vitamin B-1
Thiamin. Plays a key role in the body’s metabolic cycle for generating energy; aids in the digestion of carbohydrates; promotes growth & good muscle tone, essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscles & heart, and stabilizes the appetite. A deficiency of Vitamin B1 may lead to the loss of appetite; weakness fatigue; paralysis & nervous irritability; loss of weight; insomnia; minor aches & pains; mental depression & constipation, and/or heart & gastrointestinal problems
Vitamin B2
Riboflavin. Essential for cell growth and for enzymatic reactions by which the body metabolizes proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Aids in the formation of antibodies and red blood cells; maintains cell respiration; necessary for the maintenance of good vision, hair, nails and skin, alleviates eye fatigueand promotes general health. A deficiency of Vitamin B2 may result in itching and burning eyes; bloodshot eyes; dermatitis; digestive disturbances; sores in the mouth & on the lips; purplish tongue; retarded growth; sluggishness; trembling; and/or oily skin
Vitamin B-3
Niacin. Improves circulation and reduces the cholesterol level in the blood; reduces high blood pressure; helps metabolize protein, sugar & fat; maintains the nervous system; increases energy through proper utilization of food; prevents pellagra; and helps maintain a healthy skin, tongue & digestive system. A deficiency of Niacinamide may result in fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbance, headaches, indigestion, irritability, loss of appetite, mental depression, nervousness, minor aches & pains, insomnia, skin disorders, muscular weakness, bad breath, and/or canker sores
Vitamin B6
Pyridoxine. A relatively little-known vitamin. Vitamin B6 takes part in many enzyme reactions and is particularly important for brain and nervous system functions. It is necessary for the synthesis & breakdown of amino acids, aids in fat and carbohydrate metabolism; maintains the central nervous system; aids in the formation of antibodies; aids in the removal of excess fluid of premenstrual women; promotes healthy skin; reduces hand numbness, leg cramps, muscle spasms, nausea , stiffness of hands; helps maintain a proper balance of sodium & phosphorous in the body. A deficiency of Vitamin B6 may result in anemia, dermatitis, insomnia, loss of hair, nervousness, skin eruptions, loss of muscular control, mouth disorders, muscular weakness, arm & leg cramps, slow learning, and/or water retention, but B-6 deficiency is rare
Vitamin B-12
Cobalamin.  Essential for the normal functioning of all body cells, especially those of bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract and nervous system  Also necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Prevents pernicious anemia and is necessary to a healthy nervous system. It is involved in synthesis of genetic material (DNA). It iss needed for effective calcium absorption in the body. A deficiency of Cobalamin may lead to pernicious anemia, poor appetite, brain damage, degeneration of spinal cord, depression, nervousness, neuritis, growth failure in children, tiredness, and/or lack of balance
Vitamin B-15
Pangamic Acid. Has antioxidant properties. Protects against urban air pollutants, protects the liver from the ravages of alcohol, stimulates increased immune system response, extends cell life, cures fatigue, lowers blood cholesterol levels, wards off hangovers, and assists in the regulation of hormones
Vitamin C
Known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin essential to the body’s health. As an antioxidant, inhibits the formation of nitrosamines (a suspected carcinogen). Vitamin C is important for maintenance of bones, teeth, collagen and blood vessels (capillaries). Vitamin C also enhances iron absorption and red blood cell formation. Vitamin C also promotes the body’s effective use of other nutrients, such as iron, B vitamins, vitamins A and E, calcium, and certain amino acids. By promoting the formation of strong connective tissue, it helps to heal wounds and burns. Stress, fever, and infection increase the body’s need for vitamin C. A deficiency of Vitamin C may lead to soft & bleeding gums, bruising, anemia, loss of appetite, slow healing wounds & fractures, nosebleeds, swollen or painful joints, tooth decay, muscular weakness, skin hemorrhages, capillary weakness, and/or impaired digestion
Vitamin D
Fat soluble vitamin essential to health. Regulates the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood by improving their absorption and utilizaion. Vitamin D improves absorption and utilization of Calcium and Phosphorous; required for bone and teeth formation; maintains a stable nervous system and normal heart action. A deficiency of Vitamin D may lead to rickets, softening of bones, lack of energy, tooth decay, improper healing of fractures, muscular weakness, and/or inadequate absorption of calcium, and retention of phosphorous in the kidneys
Vitamin E
Tocopherol. Essential fat-soluble vitamin. As an antioxidant, helps protect cell membranes, liprproteins, fats and vitamin A from destructive oxidation. Helps protect red blood cells. A major anti-oxidant nutrient; retards cellular aging due to oxidation; supplies oxygen to the blood which is then carried to the heart and other organs; thus alleviating fatigue; strengthens the capillary walls & prevents the red blood cells from destructive poisons; aids in bringing nourishment to cells; prevents & dissolves blood clots. A deficiency of Vitamin E may lead to a rupture of red blood cells, lack of sexual vitality, abnormal fat deposits in muscles, degenerative changes in the changes in the heart and other muscles; and/or dry skin
Vitamin K
Necessary for the synthesis by the liver of the blood clotting enzyme prothrombin
Vitamin Toxicity
Certain vitamins and minerals can accumulate in the body when taken at doses above their toxic threshold. This is particularly likely with vitamins A and D, as these tend to accumulate in body fat where they cannot be cleared by the kidneys
Vitex
Also known as Chaste Tree. Used for normalizing the activity of female sex hormones, and is thus indicated for dysmenorrhoea, premenstrual stress, (PMS) and other disorders related to hormone function. Especially useful during menopausal changes
VLDL
Very Low Density Lipoprotein. A plasma lipoprotein that is produced primarily by the liver with lesser amounts contributed by the intestine, that contains relatively large amounts of triglycerides compared to protein, and that leaves a residue of cholesterol in the tissues during the process of conversion to LDL
VOD
Veno-occlusive Disease.
Vulnerary
Agent used for promoting the healing of wounds, curative
VZV
Varicella-zoster virus: a herpes virus which causes chickenpox (varicella) and shingles (herpes-zoster)

© Vikki Shaw