Lots more to come! Thanks for your patience while this page is under construction. - Cogerias

Please note: this is not a real medical dictionary. It is a glossary of terms used on the TV program House, MD. I am not a doctor, and this page is not intended to give medical advice.


1,4-Butanediol - an organic compound found in copier toner, among other things. Use as a recreational drug produces effects similar to GHB. [108]

- abbreviation for 5-aminosalicylic acid. An anti-inflammatory drug used to treat inflammation of the digestive tract [105]

6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) -  an immunosuppressive drug used to treat leukemia. It is also used for inflammatory bowel disease and a number of other conditions. [105]

abdominal pain - pain in the abdomen. A symptom of numerous conditions, including:
side effect of treatment with albendazole [101]
colchicine poisoning [103]
side effect of treatment with melarsoprol [107]

abortion - the spontaneous or induced termination of pregnancy. [102]

abscessa collection of pus that has accumulated in a cavity formed by the tissue due to a bacterial or parasitical  infection, or other foreign materials, like splinters or needle injection sites. [104]

absidia - a genus of fungi found in soil. A. corymbifera is the only species of Absidia known to cause disease in man and animals. Infection in a healthy individual is rare. Most infections occur in immunocompromised or diabetic patients [103]

acute confusional state - a disorder characterized by confusion, inattentiveness, disorientation, illusions, hallucinations, agitation and in some instances autonomic nervous system overactivity; may result from toxic or metabolic conditions or structural brain lesions; condition may also be acute and reversible. [107]

acyclovir - one of the most commonly-used antiviral drugs, it is primarily used for the treatment of herpes simplex virus infections, as well as in the treatment of herpes zoster (shingles), and cytomegalovirus. [104].

adenopathy - enlarged or "swollen" lymph nodes. Synonymous with lymphadenopathy. [103]

adenovirus - a group of viruses that infect the linings of the respiratory tract, eyes, intestines, and the urinary tract, mostly in infants and children. [104]

African trypanosomiasis - an endemic infectious disease of humans and animals in tropical Africa, caused by a parasitic trypanosome, transmitted by the tsetse fly and characterized by fever, severe headache, joint pains and lymph node swelling in the early stages, followed by a neurological phase of extreme weakness, sleepiness, and deep coma leading to death. The disease can be transmitted by blood transfusion and, in rare cases, sexually transmitted. Also called African Sleeping Sickness. [107]

albendazole - an anti-parasitic drug, used to treat neurocysticercosis and other worm infections. Side effects include dizziness, headache, fever, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and hair loss. [101]

alcoholism - Physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use will bring on withdrawal symptoms. In popular and therapeutic parlance, the term may also be used to refer to ingrained drinking habits that cause health or social problems.

allergy (allergic reaction) - an abnormal immune response to a harmless substance. When the body senses a foreign substance, called an antigen, the immune system is triggered. The immune system normally protects the body from harmful agents such as bacteria and toxins. Its overreaction to a harmless substance (an allergen) is called a hypersensitivity, or allergic, reaction. Dust, pollen, plants, medications, certain foods, insect venoms, viruses, or bacteria are examples of allergens. In rare cases, an allergic reaction can be life threatening (see anaphylaxis). [101] [103] [105]
Allergies seen:
Rebecca Adler - gadolinium [101]
Sister Augustine - copper [105]

ALT - abbreviation for alanine aminotransferase, and enzyme which is measured to determine if the liver is functioning properly. [105]

Ambu bag -  trademark name for a bag valve mask resuscitator. The BVM consists of a flexible air chamber attached to a face mask through a one-way valve. When the air chamber or "bag" is squeezed, the device forces air through into the patient's lungs. When the bag is released, it self-inflates, drawing in ambient air or oxygen from a cylinder, while the patient's lungs deflate.

ampicillin - an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. [106]

ANA - abbreviation for Antinuclear Antibody Test. The antinuclear antibody test looks for a group of autoantibodies that attack substances found in the center (nucleus) of all cells. It is useful as a screen for many autoantibodies associated with diseases that affect the entire body (systemic diseases), particularly SLE (lupus). [105]

anaphylactic shock - a sudden drop in blood pressure due to anaphylaxis. [105]

anaphylaxis - a severe, whole-body allergic reaction. The flood of chemicals released by your immune system during anaphylaxis can cause shock; a sudden drop in blood pressure, and narrowing of the airways. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include a rapid, weak pulse, skin rash, and nausea and vomiting. [105]

aneurysm - an abnormal widening or ballooning of a portion of an artery, vein, or the heart, related to weakness in the wall of the blood vessel. The word "aneurysm" comes from the Greek "aneurysma" meaning "a widening." [101]

anion gap - a measurement of the interval between the sum of "routinely measured" cations (positively charged ions) minus the sum of the "routinely measured" anions (negatively charged ions) in the blood. The anion gap = (Na+ + K+) - (Cl- + HCO3-) where Na- is sodium, K+ is potassium, Cl- is chloride, and HCO3- is bicarbonate. The anion gap can be normal, high, or low. A high anion gap indicated metabolic acidosis, the increased acidity of the blood due to metabolic processes. A low anion gap is relatively rare but may occur from the presence of abnormal positively charged proteins, as in multiple myeloma. [102]

antibiotics -  drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. Originally, an antibiotic was a substance produced by one microorganism that selectively inhibits the growth of another. Synthetic antibiotics, usually chemically related to natural antibiotics, have since been produced that accomplish comparable tasks. The term "broad-spectrum" refers to an antibiotic with activity against a wide range of disease-causing bacteria. It is also means that it acts against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. A "narrow-spectrum" antibiotic is effective only against specific families of bacteria.  [103]

antibodies - proteins that are found in blood or other bodily fluids which are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects, such as bacteria and viruses. See immunoglobulins [104]

antihistamine - Medication that prevents symptoms of sneezing, itching, runny nose and possibly congestion by blocking histamine receptors. Histamine is released by the body during several types of allergic reactions and--to a lesser extent--during some viral infections, such as the common cold. When histamine binds to its receptors on cells, it stimulates changes within the cells that lead to sneezing, itching, and increased mucus production. Antihistamines compete with histamine for cell receptors; however, when they bind to the receptors they do not stimulate the cells. In addition, they prevent histamine from binding and stimulating the cells. [105]

aplastic anemia - a blood disorder in which the body's bone marrow doesn't make enough new blood cells. [107]

arenavirus -

arthritis - inflammation of one or more joints. There are over 100 types of arthritis. The types range from those related to wear and tear of cartilage (such as osteoarthritis) to those associated with inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system (such as rheumatoid arthritis). [102]

AST - abbreviation for aspartate transaminase, and enzyme which is measured to determine if the liver is functioning properly. [105]

aspiration - the entry of secretions or foreign material into the trachea and lungs. [107]

asthmaan inflammatory disorder of the airways, which causes attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. [101]

Ativan - a brand name of lorazepam, one of a group of drugs called benzodiazepines.  It has all five intrinsic benzodiazepine effects: anti-anxiety, sedative, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant, to different extents. [102] [104]

atrium (pl. atria) - either of the upper chambers of the heart. The right atrium receives de-oxygenated blood from the superior vena cava, inferior vena cava and coronary sinus. The left atrium receives oxygenated blood from the left and right pulmonary veins. [103]

atropine - a drug obtained from belladonna that is administered via injection, eye drops, or in oral form to relax muscles by inhibiting nerve responses. Used in the treatment of bradycardia. [108]

autopsy - a surgical procedure after death which involves the examination of body tissues, often to determine cause of death. [104]

autosomal dominant - a genetic characteristic which requires only one parent to carry the gene. Each child will have a 50% chance of inheriting an autosomal dominant characteristic or disease. If both parents carry the gene, the likelihood increases. [102]

azithromycin - an antibiotic which is effective against a wide variety of bacteria. [104]

aztreonam - a powerful antibiotic used for severe or life-threatening bacterial infections. [104]

babbling - uttering a meaningless confusion of words or sounds. [101]

Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) - A basic metabolic panel is a blood test that measures your sugar (glucose) level, electrolyte and fluid balance, and kidney function. This panel measures the blood levels of sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, carbon dioxide, glucose, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine. Also called Chem-7.[102]

blood alcohol level - the concentration of alcohol in a person's blood. Also called Blood Alcohol Contenet or BAC. BAC is most commonly used as a metric of intoxication for legal or medical purposes. [104]

blood culture - see culture

biopsy - the removal of a sample of tissue from the body for examination.
Dan undergoes a retinal biopsy [102]
Brandon has a bone marrow biopsy [103]

blood test - a laboratory analysis performed on a blood sample, which is usually extracted from a vein, to determine physiological and biochemical states such as disease, mineral content, drug effectiveness, and organ function. Most routine tests are performed on the plasma (serum), though many tests look at the blood cells. Some tests require blood from an artery, rather than a vein. A wide variety of tests are used for diagnostic purposes. See blood smear. [101]

blood pressure (BP) - the pressure of the blood against the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure results from two forces. One is created by the heart as it pumps blood into the arteries and through the circulatory system. The other is the force of the arteries as they resist the blood flow .A blood pressure reading is represented by two numbers. The higher (systolic) number represents the pressure while the heart contracts to pump blood to the body. The lower (diastolic) number represents the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats.  The systolic pressure is always stated first. For example: 118/76 (118 over 76); systolic = 118, diastolic = 76. A blood pressure reading of 140 over 90 or higher is considered elevated (high). A systolic pressure of less than 90 is considered low. [102]

blood smear - a blood test in which a sample of blood is smeared on a slide, stained, and examined to determine if red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are normal in appearance and number; to distinguish between different types of white blood cells and to determine their relative percentages in the blood; to help diagnose a range of deficiencies, diseases, and disorders involving blood cell production, function, and destruction, and to monitor blood during treatment. [103] [107]

blood thinner - a medication which prevents clots from forming in the blood. Also called an anticoagulant. [106]

blood urea nitrogen (BUN) - a test which measures the amount of urea nitrogen, a waste product of protein metabolism, in the blood. Urea is formed by the liver and carried by the blood to the kidneys for excretion. Because urea is cleared from the bloodstream by the kidneys, a test measuring how much urea nitrogen remains in the blood can be used as a test of renal function. However, there are many factors besides renal disease that can cause BUN alterations, including protein breakdown, hydration status, and liver failure. [102]

bone marrow biopsy - the removal of soft tissue from inside bone. Bone marrow grows inside some of the larger bones in the body. It produces platelets and red and white blood cells. The sample is usually taken from the hip bone. The skin is cleansed, and a local anesthetic is injected to numb the skin. The biopsy needle is then inserted into the bone. The center of the needle is removed and the needle is moved deeper into the bone. This creates a tiny sample, or core, of bone marrow within the needle. The needle is then removed, along with the bone marrow sample. [103]

botulism - a rare but serious illness caused by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The bacteria may enter the body through wounds, or they may live in improperly canned or preserved food. [108]

bowel obstruction - a partial or complete blockage in the intestines that prevents gas, fluids, or solids from moving through the intestines normally. [104]

Bymovirus - a virus which affects plants. Seen on the white board. [104]

calcification -a process in which calcium builds up in body tissue, causing the tissue to harden. This can be a normal or abnormal process. [107]

cancer - the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer can develop in almost any organ or tissue, such as the lung, colon, breast, skin, bones, brain, or nerve tissue. [101] [106][107]

Terms used to descrive the appearance of cancer cells:
small-cell - cancer cells appear smaller than normal cells [107]

carbamates - organic compounds derived from carbamic acid, used in some pesticides. [108]

- a tumor which secretes large amounts of the hormone serotonin. Carcinoid tumor is also called an argentaffinoma. The tumor usually arises in the gastrointestinal tract, anywhere between the stomach and the rectum (the favorite spot is in the appendix) and from there may metastasize (spread) to the liver. In the liver, the tumor produces and releases large quantities of serotonin into the systemic bloodstream. [103]

cardiac arrest - a medical emergency with absent or inadequate contraction of the left ventricle of the heart that immediately causes bodywide circulatory failure. The symptoms include loss of consciousness; rapid shallow breathing progressing to apnea (absence of breathing); profoundly low blood pressure with no pulses that can be felt over major arteries; and no heart sounds. [105]

cardiac arrhythmia - any deviation from or disturbance of the normal heart rhythm. An irregular heartbeat is an arrhythmia (also called dysrhythmia). Heart rates can also be irregular. A normal heart rate is 50 to 100 beats per minute. Arrhythmias and abnormal heart rates don't necessarily occur together. Arrhythmias can occur with a normal heart rate, or with heart rates that are slow (called bradyarrhythmias -- less than 60 beats per minute). Arrhythmias can also occur with rapid heart rates (called tachyarrhythmias -- faster than 100 beats per minute).  Types of arrhythmias include:
bradycardia [108]
ventricular fibrillation [103]
tachycardia [105]

cataract - a clouding of the lens of the eye. [106]

catheter - a tube that can be inserted into a body cavity, duct or vessel to allow drainage, injection of fluids, or access by surgical instruments. [102]

cc - abbreviation for cubic centimeter, a unit of measurement for volume [105]

CDC - see Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

cellulitis - an acute inflammation of the connective tissue of the skin, caused by infection. [105]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services based in Atlanta, Georgia. It was founded in 1942 to control malaria, and has since expanded to other infectious diseases and public health information services. [108]

centrifuge - an apparatus that rotates at very high speed in order to separate liquids from solids. [107]

cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)a clear bodily fluid that occupies the subarachnoid space and the ventricular system around and inside the brain. Essentially, the brain "floats" in it. More specifically the CSF occupies the space between the middle layer of the meninges) and the layer of the meninges closest to the brain, as well as the central canal of the spinal cord. It acts as a "cushion" or buffer for the cortex, providing also a basic mechanical and immunological protection to the brain inside the skull. [102]

Chagas disease - a parasitical infection spread through insect bites. Chagas disease has an acute phase and a chronic phase. Both phases can be symptom free or life threatening. The acute phase lasts for the first few weeks or months of infection. It usually occurs unnoticed because it is symptom free or exhibits only mild symptoms and signs that are not unique to Chagas disease (fever, aches, vomiting, fatigue).  During the chronic phase, the infection may remain silent for decades or even for life. However, some people develop cardiac complications, which can include an enlarged heart, heart failure, altered heart rate or rhythm, and cardiac arrest (sudden death); and/or intestinal complications, which can include an enlarged esophagus or colon and can lead to difficulties with eating or with passing stool. Chagas disease occurs exclusively in the Americas, particularly in poor, rural areas of Mexico, Central America, and South America.  [107]

charcoal - also called activated charcoal. A slurry of charcoal (carbon) powder which is used to absorb poisons in the stomach and intestinal tract. [108]

- see Basic Metabolic Panel [102]

chemotherapy - usually refers to a drug treatment for cancer. Called "chemo" for short. [106]

chloramphenicol - an antibiotic which can have serious side effects, including aplastic anemia. [107]
Used to treat:
tularemia [107]

chronic fatigue syndrome - a disorder characterized by persistent tiredness which is not relieved by rest, and not caused by other conditions. [101]

Churg-Strauss Syndrome - a systemic vasculitis. This disease was first described in 1951 by Dr. Jacob Churg and Dr. Lotte Strauss as a syndrome consisting of asthma, eosinophilia [an excessive number of eosinophils in the blood], fever, and accompanying vasculitis of various organ systems. [105]

cirrhosis - scarring of the liver.  Cirrhosis occurs in response to chronic damage to the liver. With mild cirrhosis, your liver can make repairs and continue its role in the body. But with more advanced cirrhosis, more and more scar tissue forms in the liver, making it impossible to function. [106]

cleft chin - a small to large indentation in the chin that is genetically determined and is caused by failure of the lower jawbone to completely fuse together at the center point. This doesn’t cause problems for most people with a cleft chin; it merely causes variance in appearance. As a dominant trait, it is rare (but not impossible) for two parents without cleft chins to have a child with a cleft chin. [102]

clean room - a specifically controlled environment in which contaminants are kept to predetermined levels by the use of air and water filters, airflow regulation, and special clothing and furniture. [103]

clot - a mass produced by the coagulation of blood [106]

clotting studies - laboratory measurements of the body’s ability to clot. [106
Clotting studies include:
Factor V [106]
Protein C [106]
Protein S [106]
PT Time [106]
PTT [106]

Clozaril - brand name for clozapine, an antipsychotic medication. Clozaril is used to treat severe schizophrenia symptoms in people who have not responded to other medications. [106]

CMV - see cytomegalovirus

code - a general term to indicate an emergency situation in which a patient requires immediate resuscitation. Sometimes "Code Blue" [105]

colchicine - a medication used to treat gout. Colchicine was first used to treat gout over 2000 years ago in the form of preparations of the meadow saffron Colchicum autumnale. Colchicine is highly toxic. Overdose can cause dangerously low blood pressure, multi-system organ failure, cardiac events, bone marrow supression, which can lead to sepsis, and hair loss. [103]

colon - the part of the large intestine that extends to the rectum [104]

coma - a state of profound and often prolonged unconsciousness; usually the result of disease or injury. A comatose person cannot be awakened, fails to respond normally to pain, light or sound, does not have sleep-wake cycles, and does not take voluntary actions. [107]

Complete Blood Count (CBC) - one of the most commonly ordered blood tests. The complete blood count is the calculation of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These calculations are generally determined by special machines that analyze the different components of blood in less than a minute. A major portion of the complete blood count is the measure of the concentration of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in the blood. Typically, the tests included are:
    * White blood cell count (WBC or leukocyte count)
    * WBC differential count
    * Red blood cell count (RBC or erythrocyte count)
    * Hematocrit (Hct)
    * Hemoglobin (Hbg)
    * Mean corpuscular volume (MCV)
    * Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH)
    * Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC)
    * Red cell distribution width (RDW)
    * Platelet count
    * Mean Platelet Volume (MPV)

concussion - a trauma to the head that causes the brain to bounce against the rigid bone of the skull. The classic concussion, which is the most severe form, occurs when the person loses consciousness for a brief period of time and has no memory of the event. In less severe concussions, the person may seem dazed, but does not lose consciousness. The signs and symptoms of a concussion include severe headache, dizziness, vomiting, increased size of one pupil or sudden weakness in an arm or leg. The person may seem restless, agitated or irritable. Often, the person may have memory loss or seem forgetful. These symptoms may last for several hours to weeks, depending on the seriousness of the injury. [102]

contact dermatitis - inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with an irritant or allergen. [105]

contrast CT - see CT scan

contrast MRI - see MRI

copper - a chemical element with the symbol Cu. Copper is a trace element that is found in virtually every cell of the body. It is a primary element in the production of melanin. Melanin is responsible for pigmentation in the eyes, hair and skin. Copper assists the utilization of iron, and many other metabolic functions. Copper disorders include:
copper allergy [105]
Wilson's Disease [106]

corpus callosum - the largest connective pathway in a human brain. It is made of more than 200 million nerve fibers that connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain.  [102]

cortisone cream - a topical preparation containing hydrocortisone (synthetic cortisone) applied to the skin to reduce the inflammation and itching from irritants or allergens. See corticosteroids [105]

Cort-stim test (ACTH (Cortrosyn) stimulation test) - a type of blood test which can determine whether or not the pituitary and adrenal glands are functioning properly. It is most often used when adrenal gland disorders (such as Addison's disease or pituitary insufficiency) are suspected. This test measures the ability of the adrenal cortex to respond to ACTH by producing cortisol appropriately. Cortisol in the blood is measured before and again after an ACTH injection.[103]

cough - a sudden noisy expulsion of air from the lungs that clears the air passages of mucous or irritants; a common symptom of respiratory disease. [103]

Coxsackie B - a group of six enteroviruses that trigger illness ranging from mild gastrointestinal distress to full-fledged pericarditis and myocarditis. Named for a small town in upstate New York. (Misspelled "Coxacchie" on the white board.) [103]

CPR  -  abbreviation for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. CPR consists of mouth-to-mouth respiration and chest compression. CPR allows oxygenated blood to circulate to vital organs such as the brain and heart and can keep a person alive until more advanced procedures can treat the cardiac arrest. [105]

crash cart - a wheeled cart with drawers and trays of life-saving equipment and medications. Crash carts typically include defibrillators, intubation equipment, catheters, alcohol swabs, latex gloves, ambu-bags, etc. Medications include atropine, epinephrine, nitroglycerin, and many more. [104]

creatinine - a breakdown product of creatine, which is an important part of muscle. A serum creatinine test measures the amount of creatinine in the blood to determine if your kidneys are functioning normally and to monitor treatment for kidney disease. Creatinine testing is part of a basic metabolic panel. [102] [103]

creepy-crawlies - an informal term for hallucinating insects or vermin. [107]

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) - a form of brain damage that causes a rapid decrease of mental function and movement. Classic CJD is not related to mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalitis). Classic CJD orrurs for no known reasons, and can be inherited. However, new variant CJD (nvCJD) is an infectious form that is related to mad cow disease. The infection responsible for the disease in cows is believed to be the same one responsible for vCJD in humans. The leading scientific theory at this time maintains that CJD and other similar diseases are caused not by a type of protein called a "prion." [101]

cretinism - congenital hypothyroidism (underactivity of the thyroid gland at birth) resulting in growth retardation, developmental delay and other abnormal features. Can be due to deficiency of iodine in the mother's diet during pregnancy. [102]

CT scan - Computed Tomography, also called a CAT scan. A CT scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the body.  CT scans of internal organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity and reveal more details than regular x-ray exams.  Sometimes contrast agents, also referred to as "dyes," are used to highlight specific areas so that the organs, blood vessels, or tissues are more visible. By increasing the visibility of all surfaces of the organ or tissue being studied, they can help the radiologist determine the presence and extent of disease or injury.  [101]

culture - a test used to detect the presence of bacteria or yeasts in the body, to identify the microorganism(s) present, and to guide treatment. A culture may be done using a sample of blood, tissue, stool, urine, or other fluid from the body. The sample is sent to a laboratory, where it is placed in a special dish and watched to see if microorganisms grow.

deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) - a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh, though they also can occur in other parts of the body. A DVT can cause serious injury a by obstructing blood flow, and can be life-threatening if the clot travels to the lungs forming a pulmonary embolism. [106]

deep wave inversion - see EKG

defibrillator - a device which delivers a therapeutic dose of electricity to the heart to correct life-threatening arrhythmias. A defibrillator is used in cases of ventricular fibrillation, or ventricular tachycardia.  When calling for a defibrillator, PPTH doctors shout, "paddles." The "paddles" are the electrodes.[103]

degenerative disease -  a disease in which the function or structure of the affected tissues or organs deteriorates over time. [102]

depression - . a mental condition which ranges in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression. Doctors use the term "clinical depression" to describe the more severe, persistent form of depression also known as "major depression" or "major depressive disorder." [107]

diabetes - a disease in which blood glucose, or sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the food. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into the cells to give them energy. With Type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin. With Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, the body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in the blood. Over time, too much glucose in the blood can damage eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke and even the need to remove a limb. Pregnant women can also get diabetes, called gestational diabetes. [102] [105] [108]

diarrhea -

diazepam - an anti-anxiety and anticonculsant medication in the benzodiazepine family. Generic name for Valium. [108]

differen-smear (differential smear) -  more commonly called a blood smear. [103] 

diphenhydramine - an antihistamine used for treating allergic reactions [105]

disorientation - a state of mental confusion characterized by inadequate or incorrect perceptions of place, time, or identity. [107] [108]

disulfoton - an organophosphate pesticide [108]

dopamine - a neurotransmitter found in the brain and essential for the normal functioning of the central nervous system; as a drug it is used to treat shock and low blood pressure [107]

dopaminergic pathways - neural pathways in the brain which transmit dopamine, a neurotransmitter,  from one region of the brain to another. [106]

double vision - the simultaneous perception of two images of a single object. [102]


echocardiogram -  a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. An instrument that transmits high-frequency sound waves called a transducer is placed on your ribs near the breast bone and directed toward the heart. The transducer picks up the echoes of the sound waves and transmits them as electrical impulses. The echocardiography machine converts these impulses into moving pictures of the heart. [103]

Echovirus 11 - one of a group 32 viruses of the genus Enterovirus. The name is derived from the first letters of the description 'enteric cytopathogenic human orphan.'  At the time of the isolation of the viruses the diseases they caused were not known, hence the term 'orphan', but it is now known that some of these viruses produce many different types of human diseases. [104]

ecstasy - and illegal drug containing MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) [103]

ectopy - a disturbance of the electrical conduction system of the heart in which beats arise from the wrong part of the heart muscle. A form of cardiac arrythmia. [103]

edema - swelling caused by fluid in the body's tissues. [101]

electrocardiogram (EKG)  - a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat. With each beat, an electrical impulse (or “wave”) travels through the heart. This wave causes the muscle to squeeze and pump blood from the heart. A normal heartbeat on ECG will show the timing of the top and lower chambers. The right and left atria or upper chambers make the first wave called a “P wave" — following a flat line when the electrical impulse goes to the bottom chambers. The right and left bottom chambers or ventricles make the next wave called a “QRS complex." The final wave or “T wave” represents electrical recovery or return to a resting state for the ventricles. Leads, or recording electrodes, are placed on the body at specific locations. Precordial (pericardial) leads are placed on the chest. Limb leads are usually placed on the wrists and ankles. [102]
deep wave inversion - inversion of the T wave can indicate a problem, depending on which lead shows this finding.

electroencephalogram (EEG) - a test to detect problems in the electrical activity of the brain. [102]

electrooculography (EOG) - a test in which electrodes placed on the skin adjacent to the eyes measure changes in standing potential between the front and back of the eyeball as the eyes move; a sensitive electrical test for detection of retinal pigment epithelium dysfunction. [102]

electrophoresis - a process by which molecules are sorted by size.  

electric shock treatment - also called electroconvulsive therapy and electroshock. A well established, albeit controversial psychiatric treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in anesthetized patients for therapeutic effect. [106]

encephalopathy - a disease of the brain; especially one involving alterations of brain structure. [101]

enterovirus - a genus of viruses associated with several diseases, including poliovirus, Coxsackie, and echovirus. Patients: Maxine Hartig, Baby Boy Chen-Lupino, Baby Boy Howsam, Baby Girl Perry, and two others [104]

eosinophil - a type of white blood cell [105]

eosinophilia - an increase in the number of eosinophils in the blood. [105]

esophageal microphones - microphones placed in the esophagus to make detailed recordings of heart, lung, and other bodily sounds. [102]

epidemic - the occurrence of more cases of a disease than would be expected in a community or region during a given time period. A sudden severe outbreak of a disease. [104]

epi - see epinephrine

epileptiform activity - the name given to the changes in brain activity, which are commonly seen in those who have epilepsy. EEGs can pick up the electrical activity of the brain through electrodes that are put on the head. If you have a seizure, it means that the electrical activity in your brain has been disturbed. Epileptiform activity is often seen at times other than when seizures happen. If interictal epileptiform activity is seen, this does not prove a diagnosis of epilepsy, and if there's no interictal epileptiform activity, this doesn't rule epilepsy out. The diagnosis of epilepsy is largely based on the history of the events that have happened. In people who are likely to have epilepsy, the EEG patterns are useful to determine the type of epilepsy.  [102]

epinephrine - a substance produced by the the adrenal gland. It causes quickening of the heart beat, strengthens the force of the heart's contraction, opens up the airways in the lungs and has numerous other effects. The secretion of epinephrine is part of the fight-or-flight reaction. Also called adrenaline. [101] [105]

epiphyseal plate - The area of a long bone in which growth takes place, located between the end of the bone (epiphysis) and the shaft of the bone (diaphysis). Also called the growth plate. [106]

Epstein-Barr - a virus in the herpes family. Epstein-Barr is one of the most common human viral infections. In the United States, as many as 95% of adults between 35 and 40 years of age have been infected. Many children become infected with EBV, and these infections usually cause no symptoms or are indistinguishable from the other mild, brief illnesses of childhood. In the United States and in other developed countries, many persons are not infected with EBV in their childhood years. When infection with EBV occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, it causes infectious mononucleosis 35% to 50% of the time. [103] [104]

equine encephalitisa rare disease that is spread to horses and humans by infected mosquitoes. It is among the most serious of a group of mosquito-borne virus diseases that can affect the central nervous system and cause severe complications and even death.  The eastern equine encephalitis virus has a complex life cycle involving birds and a specific type of mosquito that lives in marshes and swamps. These mosquitoes feed only on birds; they do not feed on humans and other mammals. In rare cases, however, the virus can escape from its marsh habitat in other mosquitoes that feed on both birds and mammals (including horses and humans). These mosquitoes can transmit the virus to animals and people. After infection, the virus invades the central nervous system, including the spinal cord and brain. The disease is fatal to about half of those who develop severe symptoms. Of those who survive, many suffer permanent brain damage. Fewer than 5 cases are reported in most years. [102]

ethanol - also called ethyl alcohol.  The type of alcohol in alcoholic beverages.  When pure ethanol is injected into a liver tumor, the water is drawn from the tumor cells. The desiccation of the cells reduces the size of the tumor and kills the tumor cells. [106]

ethyl-parathion - an organophosphate pesticide [108]

exsanguination - the removal or loss of a large amount of blood. [104]

exploratory laparotomy - surgery to open the abdominal cavity to examine the internal organs for diagnostic purposes. [103]


Fab fragments (Fragment antigen binding) - the portion of an immunoglobulin molecule that binds the antigen. When broken off, the molecule fab fragments can be infused into the body to bind with a specific antigen or toxin, such as colchicine. [103]

factor V (factor five) - a clotting factor. Factor V is a protein circulates in the bloodstream in an inactive form until an injury occurs that damages blood vessels. [106]

fever - a rise in the temperature of the body; frequently a symptom of infection.  With an infection, fever is a defense mechanism which renders the body's temperature inhospitable to viruses or bacteria. [103]

fever of unknown origina condition in which the patient has an elevated temperature. but despite investigations by a physician, no explanation has been found. [104]

fibromyalgia - a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in the  muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on the body where slight pressure causes pain. [101]

fibrosis - the formation of scar tissue due to injury or long-term inflammation. [103] [104]

folic acid - a B vitamin that is essential for cell growth and reproduction . Also called Vitamin Bc. [107]

full body scan - also known as a full-body CT scan, involves a CT scan of the patient's entire body to support the diagnosis and treatment of specific illnesses. [105]

fumigation of the vagina - a procedure in ancient medicine in which the smoke of burning aromatic herbs is introduced into the vagina by means of  tubes, funnels, or by having a woman sit over a smoke pot. Fumigation was used to treat psycholgical conditions which were believed to be caused by malposition of the uterus. [106]

Gadolinium: a contrast agent for MRI. The use of gadolinium provides greater contrast between normal tissue and abnormal tissue in the brain and body. Gadolinium looks clear like water and is non-radioactive. After it is injected into a vein, Gadolinium accumulates in the abnormal tissue that may be affecting the body or head. Gadolinium causes these abnormal areas to become very bright (enhanced) on the MRI, making then easier to see. Very rarely, an allergic reaction will occur. Rebecca Adler has a severe reaction to gadolinium. [101]

G-CSF (granulocyte-colony stimulating factor)  - a growth factor that stimulates the bone marrow to make more white blood cells. [103]

gel - any of a variety of media used in electrophoresis [103]

GHB - short for gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid. A drug popular on the rave-party scene, also known as a date rape drug. [108]

glioma - a type of tumor that starts in the brain or spine. It is called a glioma because it arises from glial cells. The most common site of gliomas is the brain. [107]

gonorrhea - a sexually transmitted disease (commonly known as "the clap") caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea.
House told Mr. Funsten he had gonorrhea, though he could have been lying. [102]

gout - the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints and surrounding tissue. Gout is caused by an overproduction of uric acid or a reduced ability of the kidney to get rid of uric acid. Gout most commonly affects the big toe, ankle or knee. Symptoms include sudden, excruciating pain, swelling and redness. [103]


Haldol - brand name for haloperidol, an antipsycotic medication. [106] [107]

hallucination - the brain's reception of a false sensory input. This essentially means that the person having a hallucination is experiencing an event through one of their senses that is not occurring in the real world. This can be through any of the senses, with tactile then auditory hallucinations being the most common.
Dan  believes himself to be on a lacrosse field when he is actually on the roof of the hospital. Later, he hears voices. [102]
Elyse sees and feels bugs crawling out of her skin. [107]

hemorrhoids - painful, swollen veins in the lower portion of the rectum or anus. [103]

heparin - an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that prevents the formation of blood clots. [106]

Herpes virus (Herpesviridae) - a large family of viruses that cause a wide variety of conditions. Herpes viruses include:
Herpes simplex 1 (HSV1) - causes lesions (cold sores) of the mouth and face, sometimes on the genitals.
Herpes simplex 2 (HSV 2) - causes blister-like lesions on the genitals, sometimes the mouth and face.
Cytomegalovirus - between 50% and 80% of adults in the US have been infected with CMV, usually with no symptoms. CMV infection can be dangerous in infants and people with compromised immune systems. [104]

herpetic encephalitis - a rare neurological disorder characterized by inflammation of the brain caused by the Herpes simplex 1 virus. [105]

H Flu - abbreviation for Haemophilus influenzae, common bacteria that cause a wide variety of infections in children. Haemophilus influenzae are not related to the influenza virus. [104]

history - a detailed account of a patient's past and present health, family, and personal background. [105]

HMO (Health Management Organization) - a specific type of health care plan found in the United States. Unlike traditional health coverage, an HMO sets out guidelines under which doctors can operate. On average, health care coverage through the use of an HMO costs less than comparable traditional health insurance, with a trade-off of limitations on the range of treatments available. [101]

Hordeivirus - a group of plant viruses which primarily infect wheat, oats, and barley [104]

Huntington's Disease - an incurable neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and some cognitive functions, typically becoming noticeable in middle age. It is the most common genetic cause of abnormal involuntary writhing movements called chorea. [102]

hydrolase - an enzyme which stimulates water molecules to break apart and bond with other molecules. Some hydrolases are used to treat organophosphate poisoning. [108]

hyperbaric oxygen therapy - the medical use of oxygen at a higher than atmospheric pressure in a special chamber. The air pressure inside the chamber is about two and a half times greater than the normal pressure in the atmosphere. This helps your blood carry more oxygen, and bring this oxygen to organs and tissues in your body.  [105]

hyperkinesis - abnormally increased and sometimes uncontrollable activity or muscular movements [107]

hypersomnia a sleep disorder characterized by recurring episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged nighttime sleep. Persons with hypersomnia are compelled to nap repeatedly during the day, often at inappropriate times. These daytime naps usually provide no relief from symptoms. Patients often have difficulty waking from a long sleep, and may feel disoriented. Other symptoms may include anxiety, irritability, lack of energy, restlessness, slow thinking, slow speech, loss of appetite, hallucinations, and memory problems. [107]

hypoallergenic - unlikely to cause an allergic reaction [105]

hypotension - low blood pressure [105]

hypothyroidism - a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone. Thyroid disorders may be caused by defects in the thyroid gland itself. They may also be caused by abnormalities of the pituitary or hypothalamus. [103]


idiopathic - without apparent cause; of unknown origin. [105]

IgG - see immunoglobulins

immunocompromised - a state in which the immune system's ability to fight infectious disease is compromised or absent. Also known as immunodeficiency. [103]

immunoglobulins (Ig): - gamma globulin proteins that are found in blood or other bodily fluids, and are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects, such as bacteria and viruses. [107]

    * IgA antibodies are found in areas of the body such the nose, breathing passages, digestive tract, ears, eyes, and vagina. IgA antibodies protect body surfaces that are exposed to outside foreign substances. This type of antibody is also found in saliva and tears. About 10% to 15% of the antibodies present in the body are IgA antibodies. A small number of people do not make IgA antibodies.
    *IgG antibodies are found in all body fluids. They are the smallest but most common antibody (75% to 80%) of all the antibodies in the body. IgG antibodies are very important in fighting bacterial and viral infections. IgG antibodies are the only type of antibody that can cross the placenta in a pregnant woman to help protect her fetus.
    *IgM antibodies are the largest antibody. They are found in blood and lymph fluid and are the first type of antibody made in response to an infection. They also cause other immune system cells to destroy foreign substances. IgM antibodies are about 5% to 10% of all the antibodies in the body.
    * IgE antibodies are found in the lungs, skin, and mucous membranes. They cause the body to react against foreign substances such as pollen, fungus spores, and animal dander. They may occur in allergic reactions to milk, some medicines, and some poisons. IgE antibody levels are often high in people with allergies.
    *IgD antibodies are found in small amounts in the tissues that line the belly or chest. How they work is not clear.

infection - invasion by and multiplication of pathogenic microorganisms in a bodily part or tissue, which may produce subsequent tissue injury and progress to overt disease through a variety of cellular or toxic mechanisms. [104][107] [108]

infectious disease - a disease resulting from the presence of  microbial agents, including  viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, or parasites.  Sometimes called communicable diseases due to their potential of transmission from one person or species to another. Transmission of an infectious disease may occur through one or more of diverse ways including physical contact with infected individuals, liquids, food, body fluids, contaminated objects, airborne inhalation, or insect bites. Infectious Disease is one of House's medical specialties. [101] [102]

infectious mononucleosis

infirmarian - in a monastery, the Sister who cares for the sick and elderly members of the community.  [105]

inflammation - a response of body tissues to injury, irritation, or infection. It is a protective attempt by the body to remove the injurious stimuli as well as initiate the healing process for the tissue. Inflammation can be acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is characterized by pain, swelling, redness and heat. Chronic inflammation is essentially the immune system gone awry. The inflammatory response persists beyond the normal duration and results in tissue destruction and chronic pain rather than tissue healing [102][107]

inflammatory bowel disease - any of a group of inflammatory conditions of the large and small intestine. [105]

influenza A - a genus of the Orthomyxoviridae family of viruses. Influenzavirus A includes only one species, Influenza A virus, which causes influenza in birds and some mammals, very rarely in humans. [104]

internship - a term used in the United States for a physician in training who has completed medical school. An intern has a medical degree, but does not have a full license to practice medicine unsupervised. Various medical institutions, such as the Mayo Clinic, offer internships to graduate and undergraduate students for on-the-job training in a particular specialty. Dr. Cameron did an internship at the Mayo Clinic. [101]

interstitial nephritis - is a form of nephritis affecting the fluid-filed tissue of the kidneys surrounding the tubules. This disease can be either acute, which means it occurs suddenly or chronic, meaning it is ongoing and eventually ending in kidney failure. The acute form of interstitial nephritis is common. It is most often caused by side effects of certain drugs, but can be caused by infection. [103]

intrathecal - introduced into or occurring in the fluid-filled space between the thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord.  [102]

intravenous (IV) - intravenous means "within a vein." It usually refers to giving medications or fluids through a needle or tube inserted into a vein, which allows immediate access to the blood supply. Intravenous fluids are sometimes given to raise blood pressure. [103]

intraventricular interferon - interferon administered directly into the ventricles of the brain, usually through an Ommaya reservoir. [102]

interferon - a naturally occurring substance that interferes with the ability of viruses to reproduce. Interferon also boosts the immune system. There are a number of different interferons. They fall into three main classes : alpha, beta, and gamma. All are proteins (lymphokines) normally produced by the body in response to infection. The interferons have been synthesized using recombinant DNA technology. The goal of interferon therapy is to eradicate a virus from an infected person. Interferon is so named because of its ability to interfere with virus reproduction. [102]

intubation - a procedure by which a tube is inserted through the mouth down into the trachea to protect the airway during surgery, or provide mechanichal ventilation when the lungs or airway are not functioning properly. The tube is often placed with the aid of a laryngoscope. Removal of the tube is called extubation. [105]

Ippy - a virus in the family arenaviridae (seen on the white board). [104]

irritability - a state of extreme sensitivity to stimulation of any kind. Very often these people feel stressed, impatient or might easily become angry. [107]

ischemia - a condition in which the blood flow, and thus oxygen, is restricted to a part of the body. [101]

IUD - abbreviation for intrauterine device. An IUD is a small object that is inserted through the cervix and placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy.  Some IUDs release a small amount of hormone, others contain copper. [105]


jaw block - a device placed between the teeth to prevent injury to the mouth during a seizure. Usually called a "bite stick." [105]

Johns Hopkins -  a university, and in particular, a world-class school of medicine and teaching hospital located in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. House and Dr. Foreman attended Johns Hopkins. [101]


Keyser-Fleischer rings -  a rusty-brown rings around the edge of the iris and in the rim of the cornea. Kayser-Fleischer rings result from a buildup of copper in the eyes and are an important diagnostic sign of Wilson's disease. [106]

kidney failure - a situation in which the kidneys fail to function. Kidney failure can be acute or chronic, with a wide variety of causes. Ot is usually detected by elevated creatinine. [104]


- a fatty substance obtained from wool and used in soaps, cosmetics, and ointments. [108]

Lassa virus
-  the virus which causes Lassa fever, an acute hemorrhagic fever rarely seen outside of western Africa. [104]

lesion - any abnormality of tissue in the body. Lesions can occur in any area of the body consisting of soft tissue as a result of injury or disease. [102]

lethargy - abnormal drowsiness or stupor [104]
leukemia - a cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal proliferation of blood cells, usually white blood cells.  Types of leukemia include:
mast cell leukemia - A form of  leukemia characterized by abnormally large numbers of mast cells in the tissues and blood.  [105]

leukoencephalopathy - a disease occurring primarily in the white matter of the brain that involves defects in either the formation or the maintenance of the myelin sheath, a fatty coating that protects nerve cells. Leukoencephalopathy has several different forms and causes. [102]

Levaquin - brand name for levofloxacin [104]

Levophed - brand name for norepinephrine. [104]

levothyroxine - a synthetic replacement for thyroxine (T4),  a hormone that is normally produced by your thyroid gland to regulate the body's energy and metabolism. Levothyroxine is given when the thyroid does not produce enough of this hormone on its own. [103]

liver function test (LFT) - any of a variety of blood tests which measure the proteins, enzymes, and other products of the liver.  [102]

liver toxicity - damage done to the liver by medications or chemicals which enter the bloodstream at a rate faster than the liver's ability to break them down. [108]

lobotomy - surgical cutting of nerve fibers to and from the frontal lobe of the brain; often results in marked cognitive and personality changes. Formerly a treatment for schizophrenia. [106]

lozenge - a small, medicated candy intended to be dissolved slowly in the mouth to lubricate and soothe irritated tissues of the throat. [103]

lumbar puncture - a procedure in which a needle is inserted through the lower back and into the spinal canal to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for testing. The test also measures the pressure of the CSF. Lumbar punctures are also used to introduce medications, contrast, or tracer materials for other tests. [102]

Lyme disease - an inflammatory disease spread through a deer tick bite. Not everyone infected with these bacteria gets ill. If a person does become ill, the first symptoms resemble the flu. There may be a "target" rash, a flat or slightly raised red spot at the site of the tick bite. Often there is a clear area in the center. It can be larger than 1 - 3 inches wide. Symptoms in people with the later stages of the disease include body-wide itching, inflammation of the joints, stiff neck, and changes in behavior. [107]

lymphocyte - a general class of white blood cells. [104]

lymphocytic infiltrates - an accumulation of lymphocytes in the tissues [104]

lymphocytosis - A condition marked by an abnormal increase in the number of lymphocytes in the bloodstream, usually resulting from infection or inflammation.

lymphoma - a cancer of the lymphatic system, a part of the immune system. There are many types of lymphoma. One type is called Hodgkin's disease. The rest are called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. [103]


malaria - a parasitic disease that involves high fevers, shaking chills, flu-like symptoms, and anemia. [107]

mammogram - the process of using X-rays to examine the breast.During the procedure, the breast is compressed by a dedicated mammography machine to even out the tissue, to increase image quality, and to hold the breast still. [107]

mass effect - the effect caused by a growing mass or tumor, such as compression of the surrounding tissues, pain, or edema. Mass effect if widely variable, depending on the location of the mass. [107]

mast cell
- a large cell in connective tissue consisting of granules that release histamine and heparin in response to injury or inflammation of bodily tissues and during allergic reactions. [105]

Mayo Clinic - a non-profit organization and internationally renowned group medical practice headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota. Its headquarters consist of the Mayo Medical School, the Mayo Graduate School, the Mayo College of Graduate Medical Education, and several other health science schools. Its research facilities are in Rochester, Minnesota, in addition to hospitals and clinics in Jacksonville, Florida, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Phoenix, Arizona. Mayo Clinic partners with a number of smaller clinics and hospitals in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, an organization known as the "Mayo Health System." [101]

McDonald criteria - the diagnostic criteria for MS,as of 2001, named for the lead author. The guidelines are largely based on where and when lesions occur, monitoring attacks and testing of the CSF. [102]

measles - a viral infection which causes an illness displaying a characteristic skin rash, fever, and nasal discharge. Babies up to about eight months of age are usually protected from contracting measles, due to immune cells they receive from their mothers in the uterus. Measles is also sometimes called rubeola. [102]

melarsoprol - antiprotozoal drug used in the treatment of late-stage African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness).  Melarsoprol is often referred to as "arsenic in antifreeze" due to its composition and its unpleasant effects on patients.  It is fatal in and of itself in approximately 10% of cases. Side effects  include vomiting, abdominal pain, blood toxicity, neural damage, and cardiac arrythmia. Because the solvent propylene glycol in which Melarsoprol is presented can dissolve plastic, the drug must be administered via glass syringes. [107]

meningitis - an infection that causes inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The most common causes of meningitis are viral infections that usually get better without treatment. However, bacterial meningitis infections are extremely serious, and may result in death or brain damage even if treated. [102]

meso-diencephalic - the area of the brain that includes the mesencephalon (midbrain) and the diencephalon (interbrain.) [107]

metabolic disorders - Metabolism is the process your body uses to get or make energy from food. Food is made up of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Chemicals in the digestive system break the food parts down into sugars and acids, the body's fuel. The body can use this fuel right away, or it can store the energy in body tissues, such as your liver, muscles and fat. A metabolic disorder occurs when abnormal chemical reactions disrupt this process. When this happens, there might be too much of some substances or too little of others. A metabolic disorder can develop when some organs, such as the liver or pancreas, become diseased or do not function normally. Diabetes is an example of a metaboolic disorder. [102]

metastasis - the spreading of a disease, especially cancer. to another part of the body [107]

methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) - a strain of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus a that has become resistant to many antibiotics, including methicillin, penicillin, amoxicillin, and cephalosporins.  Often pronounced "mersa." [104]

MIDNIT - one of a variety of mnemonics for the "surgical sieve," a thought process used to structure a differential diagnosis and answers to medical questions. MIDNIT stands for Metabolic, Inflammation, Degenerative, Neoplastic, Infection, and Trauma. [102]

mitosis - a process of cell division [103]

mixed connective tissue disease - a rare autoimmune disorder that causes signs and symptoms of several other connective tissue diseases. People with mixed connective tissue disease experience features of three other diseases — lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis. For this reason, mixed connective tissue disease is sometimes referred to as an overlap disease. Signs and symptoms of these three other diseases usually don't appear all at once. This makes diagnosing mixed connective tissue disease somewhat complicated. Often people with mixed connective tissue disease are first diagnosed with lupus. As the disease progresses and other signs and symptoms become apparent, the diagnosis is corrected. [105]

movement disorder - a group of diseases and syndromes affecting the ability to produce and control movement. [102]

MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) -  a type of magnetic resonance image (MRI) scan that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide pictures of blood vessels inside the body. In many cases, MRA can provide information that cannot be obtained from an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan. MR angiography may be performed with or without contrast material. [102]

MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) - a non-invasive way to take pictures of the body. When a person lies in a scanner, the hydrogen nuclei (i.e., protons) found in abundance in the human body in water molecules, align with the strong main magnetic field. A second electromagnetic field, which oscillates at radiofrequencies and is perpendicular to the main field, is then pulsed to push a proportion of the protons out of alignment with the main field. These protons then drift back into alignment with the main field, emitting a detectable radio frequency signal as they do so. Since protons in different tissues of the body realign at different speeds, the different structures of the body can be revealed.

Certain exams require that a special dye (contrast) be given before the test. The dye is usually given through an intravenous line (IV) in your hand or forearm. The contrast helps the radiologist see certain areas more clearly. Contrast agents may be injected intravenously to enhance the appearance of blood vessels, tumors or inflammation.  Unlike CT scanning MRI uses no ionizing radiation and is generally a very safe procedure.

Patients with some metal implants and cardiac pacemakers are prevented from having an MRI scan due to effects of the strong magnetic field and powerful radiofrequency pulses. MRI is used to image every part of the body, but is particularly useful in neurological conditions, disorders of the muscles and joints, for evaluating tumors and showing abnormalities in the heart and blood vessels. [101]

MRSA - see methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. [104]

multiple sclerosis (MS) - an autoimmune condition in which the body mistakenly directs antibodies and white blood cells against proteins in the myelin sheath that insulates nerve fibers in your brain and spinal cord. This results in inflammation and injury to the sheath and ultimately to the nerves that it surrounds. The result may be multiple areas of scarring (sclerosis). Eventually, this damage can slow or block the nerve signals that control muscle coordination, strength, sensation and vision. [102]

myocardium - the middle and thickest layer of cardiac muscle in the heart wall. [104]

myoclonic jerk (myoclonus) - a quick, involuntary jerk or twitch of a muscle. Usually occurring during early sleep, the brain may interpret the slowing heart and breathing rates as dying and send a pulse to one, or several muscles. Myoclonic jerks which occur during wakefulness may be a symptom of an underlying illness. [102]

Myoviridae - a family of bacteriophages (from "bacteria" and the Greek phagein, "to eat"), or viruses that infect bacteria. [104]

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