Medical Dictionary

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An alphabetical listing of General terms and items.

DA   Dico Tools
Dental Assistant (also CDA)

DAC   Dico Tools
DAC, in accounting, is an acronym for Deferred Acquisition Costs.

DATA (singular DATUM)   Dico Tools
Factual information, especially results of an experiment or clinical trial.

A group of experts that evaluates clinical trials for safety and ethics. DSMBs typically examine interim data as a trial progresses and determine whether it should be stopped or allowed to continue.

DC   Dico Tools
Doctor of Chiropractic

DCH   Dico Tools
Diploma in Child Health

DChO   Dico Tools
Doctor of Ophthalmic Surgery

DCP   Dico Tools
Diploma in Clinical Pathology or Diploma in Clinical Psychology

DDR   Dico Tools
Diploma in Diagnostic Radiology

DDS   Dico Tools
Doctor of Dental Surgery

DDSc   Dico Tools
Doctor of Dental Science

Debulking   Dico Tools
The surgical removal of the excess skin and subcutaneous tissue are removed from a seriously enlarged, stage 3 lymphedema affected limb. Since this procedure does not improve the lymph flow in the affected area, it is no longer commonly performed.

See cirrhosis.

A failure of the liver to compensate for damage or injury; decrease or breakdown of liver function.

Decongestants   Dico Tools
Medications used to relieve the stuffy-nose symptoms of IgE-mediated allergies. Decongestants should be used judiciously; overuse exacerbates the problem (see Allergies).

Dehydration   Dico Tools
To be in the state of having lost water or fluids from the body or moisture from the skin and mucous membranes.

Delayed Onset   Dico Tools
The time between becoming "at risk" for lymphedema and the onset of symptoms.

DELIRIUM   Dico Tools
A state of mental confusion, typically acute and rapid in onset, that may be caused by factors including disease, drug use, or high fever.

See hepatitis D.

A fungus having brown or black melanotic pigment in the cell wall.

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DEMENTIA   Dico Tools
Chronic loss of mental capacity. Dementia may involve progressive deterioration of thinking, memory, and motor function, and may also be associated with personality changes and psychological symptoms such as depression.

The characteristics of a population (e.g., sex, race, age).

Dendrites   Dico Tools
The parts of a neuron that receive signals sent via neurotransmitters from other neurons (see Anxiety).

DENTAL DAM   Dico Tools
A flat square of latex or plastic, traditionally used for dental surgery, that can be used to protect against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases during oral sex.

A double-stranded nucleic acid that encodes genetic information. DNA is made up of four chemical building blocks (nucleotides)

Dependent Edema   Dico Tools
Swelling in the arms or legs that occurs in patients with impaired mobility due to causes such as paralysis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, or the effects of a stroke.

A mood disorder characterized by prolonged sadness or grief.

An infection of hair, skin and nails caused by the keratinophilic fungi of the genera Trichophyton, Microsporum and Epidermophyton which infect hair, skin and nails.

Infection of hair, skin and nails caused by fungi other than dermatophytes.

Removal of toxic (poisonous) substances. Detoxification of the blood is an important function of the liver.

Detrusor Instability   Dico Tools
Involuntary contractions of the detrusor muscle while the bladder is filling, resulting in urgency, frequency, or sometimes incontinence (see Urinary Incontinence).

Detrusor Muscle   Dico Tools
The layer of involuntary muscle in the bladder wall; during urination, it contracts to squeeze urine out of the bladder into the urethra (see Urinary Incontinence).

DEXA / DXA   Dico Tools
DXA (Dual x-ray absorptiometry) is a reference method for determination of bone density, lean and fat mass.

DEXA Bone Scan   Dico Tools
A means of measuring the bone density to detect osteoporosis at a much earlier stage as compared to a standard X-ray. DEXA stands for dualenergy X-ray absorption i.e. X-ray absorption at two different quantum energies or wavelengths.

DFHom   Dico Tools
Diploma from a Faculty of Homeopathy

DHg, DHy, DHyg, DrHyg   Dico Tools
Doctor of Hygiene

Diabetes   Dico Tools
A disorder in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are elevated (see Hypertension).

A disease caused by insufficient insulin production or lack of responsiveness to insulin. Type 1 (insulin-dependent or juvenile-onset) diabetes results from an inability of the body to produce insulin. Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset) diabetes occurs later is life and is associated with decreased insulin production or insulin resistance.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis   Dico Tools
A dangerous condition in which the blood becomes acidic due to a buildup of ketones; it arises during severe insulin deficiency (see Diabetes).

Diabetic Retinopathy   Dico Tools
A degenerative eye disorder in which small blood vessels in the retina initially leak and subsequently become blocked. Very fragile new vessels develop, but they ultimately bleed and cause scarring (see Diabetes).

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Diagnosis   Dico Tools
The identification of a disease.

DIALYSIS   Dico Tools
A method for filtering waste from the blood that replaces the function of the kidneys that are not working properly.

DIARRHEA   Dico Tools
Frequent, loose bowel movements. Diarrhea may be caused by a variety of factors, including microorganisms and as a side effect of certain drugs. Persistent diarrhea can lead to dehydration and inadequate nutrient absorption.

Diastolic Blood Pressure   Dico Tools
The pressure in the arteries while the heart is refilling with blood between beats; the second and lower of the two numbers obtained when blood pressure is measured (see Cardiovascular Health).

Diastolic Pressure   Dico Tools
The second (bottom) reading of a blood pressure measurement, which reflects the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (see Hypertension).

Diathermy   Dico Tools
Physical therapy using high-frequency electric current, ultrasound, or microwave to deliver heat to muscles and ligaments (see Arthritis).

A type of branching of hyphae that is repetitious without pattern; the branches are approximately equal in size and equal the stem from which they originated.

DIETITIAN   Dico Tools
A medical professional specializing in dietetics, the study of nutrition and the use of special diets to prevent and treat disease.

The organs (mouth, pharyrnx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus) associated with ingestion and digestion of food.

DIMORPHIC   Dico Tools
Having two forms.

Dip   Dico Tools
Diplomate or Diploma

DipBact   Dico Tools
Diploma in Bacteriology

DipChem   Dico Tools
Diploma in Chemistry

DipClinPath   Dico Tools
Diploma in Clinical Pathology

DipMicrobiol   Dico Tools
Diploma in Microbiology

DipPhys Or DPhys   Dico Tools
Diploma in Physiotherapy

DipSocMed   Dico Tools
Diploma in Social Medicine

Disability   Dico Tools
In the context of health experience, a disability is a restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal.

Not having the same serostatus, for example a couple in which one partner is HCV positive and the other is HCV negative.

Disorder   Dico Tools
A synonym for disease.

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Distal   Dico Tools
Situated furthest from the beginning of a body structure. The foot is the distal end of the leg; the hand is the distal end of the arm.

DIURETIC   Dico Tools
An agent that increases loss of water from the body through urination.

Diverticula   Dico Tools
Finger-shaped pouches protruding off the colon that often develop with age (see Digestive Health).

Diverticulitis   Dico Tools
When diverticula become inflamed (see Digestive Health).

DLM(ASCP)   Dico Tools
Diplomate in Laboratory Management by the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Registry

DM   Dico Tools
See diabetes mellitus.

DMD   Dico Tools
Doctor of Dental Medicine

DMT   Dico Tools
Doctor of Medical Technology

DN   Dico Tools
Doctor of Nursing

DNA   Dico Tools
See deoxyribonucleic acid.

DNC   Dico Tools
Dermatology Nurse Certified by the Dermatology Nurses' Association (DNA)

DNE   Dico Tools
Doctor of Nursing Education

DNS Or DNSc   Dico Tools
Doctor of Nursing Science

DO   Dico Tools
Doctor of Optometry

DON   Dico Tools
Director of Nursing

Dopamine   Dico Tools
A neurotransmitter that affects movement and influences thought processes, possibly affecting motivation and reward (see Depression).

Dorsal Kyphosis   Dico Tools
An abnormal front-to-back curvature of the mid-to-upper spine that can result from compression fractures of vertebrae. Commonly called dowager's hump (see Osteoporosis).

DOS Or DOSc   Dico Tools
Doctor of Ocular Science

DOSAGE   Dico Tools
The amount of a drug that is given at one time.

A clinical trial in which different doses of a drug are compared to determine which dosage has the best balance of effectiveness and acceptable side effects.

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DOSHA   Dico Tools
One of the three bodily humors (vata, pitta, and kapha,) recognized in Ayurvedic medicine.

See blinding.

Double-blinded   Dico Tools
A doubled-blinded trial produces more objective and unbiased results because neither the research investigators nor the study participants know who is receiving the investigational drug and who is receiving the placebo

Dowager's Hump   Dico Tools
A hump in the upper back (thoracic kyphosis) in an elderly woman with osteoporosis.

DP   Dico Tools
Doctor of Pharmacy (also PharmD and PD)

DPH   Dico Tools
Doctor of Public Health

DPhC   Dico Tools
Doctor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

DPHN   Dico Tools
Doctor of Public Health Nursing

DPM   Dico Tools
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (also DP)

DrMed   Dico Tools
Doctor of Medicine (also MD) NOTE

DrPH   Dico Tools
Doctor of Public Health

A phenomenon that occurs when multiple drugs are taken together or drugs are taken with certain herbs or foods. Drug interactions may enhance or reduce the action of a drug and may increase its side effects.

Dry-powder Inhaler   Dico Tools
A device for delivering inhaled medication that works differently from a metered-dose inhaler. With a dry-powder inhaler, an aerosol of medicine is created by the force of inhalation rather than by a chemical propellant (see Asthma).

DSc   Dico Tools
Doctor of Science

Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA)   Dico Tools
A test in which x-rays limited to two different energies are used to measure bone density and produce an image of the bone; the preferred screening test for osteoporosis (see Menopause, Osteoporosis).

Duct   Dico Tools
A channel in the breast that carries milk from the lobule to the nipple during lactation (see Breast Cancer).

Duodenitis   Dico Tools
Inflammation of the duodenum (see Digestive Health).

Duodenum   Dico Tools
The first part of the small intestine. An ulcer on its inner lining is called a duodenal ulcer.

DVM   Dico Tools
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

DVMS   Dico Tools
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

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DVR   Dico Tools
Doctor of Veterinary Radiology

DVS Or DVSc   Dico Tools
Doctor of Veterinary Science

DX   Dico Tools
Abbreviation for diagnosis.

Dysentery   Dico Tools
An infectious disease of the intestine that causes bloody, mucus-filled diarrhea, which can be accompanied by abdominal pain or cramps, fever, and dehydration from excessive diarrhea. It is caused by enteric infections, usually with Shigella, and can sometimes trigger reactive arthritis.

Lack or loss of normal function.

Dysphagia   Dico Tools
Difficulty swallowing (see Digestive Health).

DYSPLASIA (adjective DYSPLASTIC)   Dico Tools
Abnormal cell or tissue growth.

DYSTHYMIA   Dico Tools
See depression.

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