Additional Medical Terms-structure of the body - Medical Terminology(Adaptive*)

The following are additional terms related to the structure of the body. Recognizing and learning these terms will help you understand the connection between a pathological condition, its diagnosis, and the rationale behind the method of treatment selected for a particular disorder.

Signs, Symptoms, and Diseases

Adhesion: Band of scar tissue binding anatomical surfaces that are normally separate from each other

Adhesions most commonly form in the abdomen after abdominal surgery,inflammation, or injury.

Inflammation:Protective response of body tissues to irritation, infection, or allergy

Signs of inflammation include redness, swelling, heat, and pain, commonly accompanied by loss of function.

Sepsis:Body’s inflammatory response to infection, in which there is fever, elevated heart and respiratory rate, and low blood pressure

Septicemia is a common type of sepsis.

Diagnostic Procedures

Endoscopy endo-: in, within -scopy: visual examination

Visual examination of the interior of organs and cavities with a specialized lighted instrument called an endoscope

Endoscopy can also be used to obtain tissue samples for biopsy, perform surgery, and follow the course of a disease, as in the assessment of the healing of gastric ulcers.Endoscopy..)


Figure: Endoscopy.

fluoroscopy fluor/o: luminous, fluorescence -scopy: visual Examination

Radiographic procedure that uses a fluorescent screen instead of a photographic plate to produce a visual image from x-rays that pass through the patient, resulting in continuous imaging of the motion of internal structures and immediate serial images

Fluoroscopy is invaluable in diagnostic and clinical procedures. It permits the radiographer to observe organs, such as the digestive tract and heart, in motion. It is also used during biopsy surgery, nasogastric tube placement, and catheter insertion during angiography.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Radiographic technique that uses electromagnetic energy to produce multiplanar cross-sectional images of the body MRI does not require a contrast medium; however, one may be used to enhance visualization of internal structures. (See Figure MRI scan of the midsagittal section of the head, showing extreme clarity of soft tissue.(E)) MRI is regarded as superior to CT for most central nervous system abnormalities, particularly abnormalities of the brainstem and spinal cord, and musculoskeletal and pelvic area abnormalities.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Medical imaging. (A) Chest radiograph of mediastinum indicating lymphatic enlargement in suspected lymphoma. (B) Ultrasonography of blood flow with color indicating direction. (C) Nuclear scan of the liver and spleen showing a heterogeneous uptake pattern characteristic of lymphoma. (D) CT scan of the eye in lateral view showing a tumor (arrows) below the optic nerve. (E) MRI scan of the midsagittal section of the head, showing extreme clarity of soft tissue. (F) PET scan of the brain in transverse section (frontal lobes at top).

Nuclear scan: Diagnostic technique that produces an image of an organ or area by recording the concentration of a radiopharmaceutical (the combination of a radioactive substance called a radionuclide and another chemical) introduced into the body (ingested, inhaled, or injected)

A scanning device detects the shape, size, location, and function of the organ or structure under study. It provides information about the structure and the function of an organ or system. There is a variety of nuclear scans, such as bone scans, liver scans, and brain scans. (See Figure Nuclear scan of the liver and spleen showing a heterogeneous uptake pattern characteristic of lymphoma(C).)

Radiography:Production of captured shadow images on photographic film through the action of ionizing radiation passing through the body from an external source Soft body tissues, such as the stomach or liver, appear black or gray on the radiograph; dense body tissues, such as bone, appear white on the radiograph, making it useful in diagnosing fractures. see Figure Medical imaging. (A) Chest radiograph of mediastinum indicating lymphatic enlargement in suspected lymphoma is a chest radiograph showing widening of the mediastinum.

Radio pharmaceutical pharmaceutic: drug, medicine -al: pertaining to

Drug that contains a radioactive substance which travels to an area or a specific organ that will be scanned

Types of radio pharmaceuticals include diagnostic, research, and therapeutic.

Scan: Technique for carefully studying an area, organ, or system of the body by recording and displaying an image of the area

A concentration of a radioactive substance that has an affinity for a specific tissue may be administered intravenously to enhance the image. The liver, brain, and thyroid can be examined; tumors can be located; and function can be evaluated by various scanning techniques.

Tomography om/o: to cut -graphy: process of recording

Radiographic technique that produces a film representing a detailed cross section, or slice, of an area, tissue, or organ at a predetermined depth

Tomography is a valuable diagnostic tool for identifying space-occupying lesions, such as those found in the liver, brain, pancreas, and gallbladder. Types of tomography include computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).

Radiographic technique that uses a narrow beam of x-rays that rotates in a full arc around the patient to acquire multiple views of the body that a computer interprets to produce cross-sectional images of that body part (See Figure CT scan of the eye in lateral view showing a tumor (arrows) below the optic nerve.)

Computed Tomography (CT) tom/o: to cut -graphy: process of recording

CT scans are used to detect tumor masses, bone displacement, and accumulations of fluid. CT may be administered with or without a contrast medium.

Radiographic technique combining computed tomography with radio pharmaceuticals that produces a cross-sectional (transverse) image of the dispersement of radioactivity (through emission of positrons) in a section of the body to reveal the areas where the radio pharmaceutical is being metabolized and where there is a deficiency in metabolism

Positron emission tomography (PET) tom/o: to cut -graphy: process of recording

PET is a type of nuclear scan used to diagnose disorders that involve metabolic processes. It can aid in the diagnosis of neurological disorders, such as brain tumors, epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer disease, and abdominal and pulmonary disorders. (See Figure PET scan of the brain in transverse section (frontal lobes at top).)

Type of nuclear imaging study that scans organs after injection of a radioactive tracer and employs a specialized gamma camera that detects emitted radiation to produce a three-dimensional image from a composite of numerous views (See Figure PET scan of the brain in transverse section (frontal lobes at top).)

Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) tom/o: to cut -graphy: process of recording

SPECT differs from PET in that the chemical substance stay in the bloodstream instead of being absorbed into the surrounding tissues. Organs commonly studied bySPECT scans include the brain, heart, lungs, liver, spleen, bones and, in some cases, joints.

Ultrasonography (US) ultra: excess, beyond son: sound -graphy: process of recording

Imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) that bounce off body tissues and are recorded to produce an image of an internal organ or tissue

In contrast to other imaging techniques, US does not use ionizing radiation (x-ray).It is used to diagnose fetal development and internal structures of the abdomen, brain, and heart and musculoskeletal disorders. The record produced by US is called a sonogram or echogram. (See Figure Ultrasonography of blood flow with color indicating direction..)


Ultra high-frequency sound waves and Doppler technology are used to produce audible sound of blood flowing through an artery. A transducer emits and then collects reflected sound waves. If the artery is blocked, little or no sound will be heard.

Medical and Surgical Procedures




Connection between two vessels; surgical joining of two ducts, blood vessels, or bowel segments to allow flow from one to the other (See Figure Anastomosis..)

Cauterize: Process of burning abnormal tissue with electricity, freezing, heat, or chemicals (silver nitrate)

Cauterization is usually performed to destroy damaged or diseased tissues or coagulating blood vessels.

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