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MEDICAL ENGLISH

WORD BUILDING

TERMS PERTAINING TO AS A WHOLE

THE BODY

1 ST YEAR HANDOUTS

BASIC WORD STRUCTURE OF A MEDICAL TERM

Yesterday morning, I woke up with cephalalgia and an onset of laryngitis. I sent my boy

out to play, but soon he came bach lacrimating, with ambilateral abrasions on his

patellae, and a large hematoma on the frontal portion of his cranium.

1.

CEPHALalgia

 

2.

LARYNGitis

3.

ambiLATERal

4.

abRASION

5.

HEMAToma

PREFIX

WORD ROOT

SUFFIX

1.

= head

= pain

2.

= voice box

= inflammation

3.

= both

= side

= adj. ending

4.

= away from

= scratch

5.

= blood

= tumor, mass

CYT + O + LOGY :

cyt = cell o = COMBINING VOWEL (necessary when the suffix starts with a consonant) logy = study of

word root + combining vowel = COMBINING FORM

BASIC RULES:

1. A word root provides the basic meaning of the term.

2. A prefix appears before the word root to change/modify its meaning.

3. A suffix appears at the end of the word providing some additional information.

4. A combinig vowel – usually an o – connects a word root to a suffix.

5. A combining form consists of a word root and a combining vowel.

6. A combining vowel is not used before a suffix starting with a vowel, but it is used

between two roots in compound words (e.g. gastrointestinal).

7. The meaning of a medical term can usually be determined by starting with the suffix

and moving back to the beginning of the word.

COMBINING FORMS: BODY PARTS AND TISSUES

head

= CEPHALO (cephalalgia, hydrocephalus)

skull

= CRANIO (craniotomy)

RHINO (rhinoplasty), NASO (nasal, nasogastric)

brain

= CEREBRO, ENCEPHALO (cerebral, electroencephalogram)

mind

= PSYCHO, PHRENO (psychology, schizophrenia)

eye

= OPHTHALMO (ophthalmoscope), OCULO (periocular)

ear

= OTO (otitis)

nose

mouth

=

= ORO (oral)

tongue

= GLOSSO, LINGUO (glossoscopy, sublingual)

lip

= LABIO (nasolabial)

neck

= CERVICO (cervical)

vertebra, spin. col. = SPONDYLO (spondylosis)

breast

chest

abdomen

heart

lung

stomach

intestine (small)

intestine (large)

liver

kidney

urinary bladder

uterus

= MAMMO, MASTO (mammography, mastectomy) = THORACO (thoracic) = ABDOMINO, LAPARO (laparoscope)

= CARDIO (electrocardiogram) = PULM(ON)O (pulmonal, pulmonary, pulmonic) =

GASTRO (gastritis, gastralgia) = ENTERO (enterovirus) = COLO(NO) (colonoscopy, colostomy) = HEPATO (hepatitis) = RENO, NEPHRO (renal calculi, nephropathy) = CYSTO (cystitis, cystoscopy)

= UTERO, HYSTERO, METRO (uterocervical, hysterectomy, metrorrhagia) = BRACHIO (brachiocephalic) =

PEDO (orthopedics)

(also:PEDO= child – pediatrics)

= DACTYLO (dactylospasm)

arm

foot

finger (toe)

bone

joint

vessel

nerve

gland

cartilage

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

=

OSTEO (osteoporosis) ARTHRO (arthritis)

ANGIO, VASO (angioplasty, angiography, vasodilation) NEURO (neurology, neuralgia) ADENO (adenoneural, adenoma) CHONDRO (chondroma) MYO (myoma, myalgia) DERM(AT)O (dermatitis, dermatosis; dermal/dermic=CUTANEOUS) SARCO (sarcoma) HEM(AT)O (hematology, hemogram=CBC) BILI, CHOLO/E (bilirubinemia, choledochus)

THROMBO (thrombocyte) CYTO (cytology)

muscle

skin

flesh

blood

bile,gall

b. marr., sp. cord = MYELO (myeloma) =

clot

cell

ADDITIONAL COMBINING FORMS

cut

= CISO, SECTIO, TOMO (incision, C-section,

PATHO (pathology, pathogenic)

secrete

tomography) = CRINO (endo-, exocrine)

tumor

= ONCO (oncogenesis)

disease

nature

=

= PHYSIO (physiology)

X-rays

= RADIO (radiologist, radiographer)

S U F F I X E S

1. SUFFIXES DENOTING STATES / DISORDERS / SYMPTOMS

-ALGIA, -DYNIA

= pain (gastralgia, gastrodynia)

-CELE

= hernia, protrusion (enterocele)

-ECTASIS

= dilation, expansion (angiectasis)

-EMIA

= pres. of subst. in blood (proteinemia,

-IASIS, -OSIS, -PATHY

hyperbilirubinemia)

= diseased condition, formation (lithiasis, dermatosis,

nephropathy) (lith=stone)

-LYSIS

= destruction, breaking down (hemolysis)

-MALACIA

= softening (osteomalacia)

-MEGALY

= enlargement (hepatomegaly,acromegaly)

-PENIA

= deficiency, decrease (leukopenia)

-PHOBIA

= fear (hydrophobia, acrophobia, xenophobia)

-PLEGIA

=

paralysis, stroke (paraplegia)

-PTOSIS

=

downward displacement (nephroptosis)

-RRHAGE/-RRHAGIA

= abnormal/excessive flow (hemorrhage)

-RRHEA

= flow, discharge (diarrhea, amenorrhea)

-RRHEXIS

=

rupture, break (angiorrhexis)

-SCLEROSIS

= hardening (arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis)

-SPASM

= involuntary contraction, convulsion, cramp

(enterospasm)

2. SUFFIXES DENOTING DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURES

-GRAM = record (angiogram) -GRAPH = recording instrument (electroencephalograph) -GRAPHY = recording procedure (electrocardiography)

-METER = measuring instrument (thermometer) -METRY = measuring procedure ( spirometry)

-SCOPE

= viewing/examining instrument (endo/cysto/laryngo/

-SCOPY

ophthalmo/laparoscope) = procedure of visual examination (endo/cysto/laryngo/ophthalmo/ laparoscopy)

3.

SUFFIXES DENOTING SURGICAL PROCEDURES

-CENTESIS

= puncture (amniocentesis)

-CLASIA

= to break (osteoclasia)

-DESIS

= binding, fusion (arthrodesis)

-ECTOMY

= surgical removal (tonsill-,nephr-, hyster-, gastr-, mastectomy)

-PEXY

= surgical fixation/fastening in position ( nephropexy,

-PLASTY

orchidopexy) = surg. reconstruction ( mastoplasty, osteoplasty, rhinoplasty,

-RRHAPHY

labioplasty) = suture, stitching ( ureterorrhaphy, colorrhaphy)

-TRIPSY

= crushing, friction (lithotripsy)

-STOMY

= creating an artif. opening ( tracheostomy, colostomy)

-TOMY

= cutting, incision (craniotomy, tracheotomy)

4. SUFFIXES DENOTING DIMINUTIVE FORMS (noun endings)

-ICLE e.g. particle, ventricle, testicle, auricle, ossicle, vesicle

-OLE

e.g.

arteriole

-ULE/-ULA e.g.

venule, venula

5. SUFFIXES DENOTING ADJECTIVAL ENDINGS ( pertaining to / resembling)

-AC

e.g.

cardiac

-TIC

e.g.

asthmatic

-AL

e.g.

dorsal

-EAL

e.g.

laryngeal

-AR

e.g.

lumbar (lumbo=loins)

-OSE

e.g.

adipose (adipo=fat)

-ARY e.g.

mammary

-OUS

e.g.

mucous (muco=mucus)

-IC

e.g.

hepatic

 

-OID

e.g.

lipoid

(lipo= fat)

P R E F I X E S

1. PREFIXES DENOTING POSITION - LOCATION - DIRECTION (place & time)

before, in front

after, behind

ANTE(RO): antenatal, anterolateral

POST(ERO): postmortal, posterolateral RETRO: retroflexion, retropharyngeal

PRE: precancerous, preaortic PRO: prodrome, procurvation

outside

inside, within

EC(TO): ectocytic, ectocardia EXTRA: extracellular, extrahepatic EXO: exocrine

ENDO: endocrine, endoscope INTRA: intravenous, intracranial

above, over, excessive

under, beneath

EPI: epinephrine, epigastric SUPER: superacidity, supercilia SUPRA: suprarenal ULTRA: ultrasonic

INFRA: infracolic, infracostal SUB: subpatellar, subcutaneous

(away) from

to(ward)

AB: abnormal, abscess EX: excision

right

DEXTRO: dextrocardia

AD: adrenal, admedial

left

SINISTRO: sinistrocerebral

surrounding, around - PERI: periarterial, perinatal CIRCUM: circumocular, circumcision

between - INTER: intercostal, intercerebral

middle - MEDI: medial MESO: mesonasal

near, beside, beyond, apart, abnormal - PARA: paracellular, pararenal, parapsychology

through, across - DIA: diameter, diarrhea TRANS: transcutaneous, transmucosal

(on) both (sides) - AMBI: ambilateral AMPHI: amphicranial

2.

PREFIXES DENOTING COLOR

white

= ALB-, ALBUMINO-

(albinism, albuminuria)

 

=

LEUKO- (leukocyte, leukoderma, leukoplakia)

yellow

= CIRRHO- (cirrhosis)

= XANTHO- (xanthocyte)

= LUTEO- (corpus luteum, macula lutea)

 

= FLAVO- (flavobacterium)

red

= ERYTHRO- (erythrocyte, erythema)

 

= RUBEO- ( rubeosis= redness,

rubeola=measles/morbilli,

rubella)

 

(= ospice)

(=rubeola)

purple

= PURPURO- (purpura)

green

= CHLORO- (chloroma)

blue

= CYANO- (cyanosis)

gray

= GLAUCO- (glaucoma) = POLIO- (poliomylelitis)

black

= MELANO- (melanoma)

3. MISCELLANEOUS PREFIXES

ANTI-

= against, opposite (antibiotic, antiseptic, anticoagulant)

CONTRA-

=

(contraindication, contraceptive)

BRADY-

=

slow (bradycardia, bradypnea)

 

TACHY-

= fast, rapid

DYS-

=

poor, bad (dyspepsia, dysfunction)

EU-

= good, easy

MAL-

=

(malformation, malnutrition)

HETERO-

= different (heterogeneous)

HOMO-

= same (homogeneous)

HIDRO-

= sweat (hidrosis)

HYDRO-

= water

 

(hydrophobia, hydrocephalus)

 

JUXTA-

= near, adjoining (juxtaposition)

 

META-

= after, beyond, change (metastasis, metacarpals, metatarsals)

PSEUDO-

= false (pseudomeningitis)

 

SYM-

= together, union (symbiosis, symphysis)

 

SYN-

=

(syndactyly, synchondrosis)

CON-

=

(congenital, contact, contamination)

4. PREFIXES DENOTING NEGATION / NUMBER / MEASUREMENT / SIZE

0

= (apnea, aphasia, aphagia, arrhythmia)

= (anesthesia)

= (immature, imbalance, immobilize, immedicable)

= (insomnia, inactivity, incurable)

A-

AN-

IM-

IN-

½ = HEMI-

(hemiplegia, hemicolectomy)

= (semiflexion, semicomatose)

SEMI-

1

1 st

2

3

4

= (mononuclear, monobrachia, monocardian)

= (unilateral, uniceps, uninephric)

MONO-

UNI-

= PRIMI-

(primipara)

=

BI-

(biarticular, bipolar)

=

DI-

(diplegia, diovulatory)

=

TRI-

(trigone, triceps, trigeminus)

=

QUAD(RI)- (quadriceps, quadrisection, quadrant)

=

TETRA-

(tetraplegic,tetradactyly)

many

all

large

small

= MULTI-

(multipara, multiple)

= POLY-

(polyphobia, polymenorrhea)

= PAN-

(pancytopenia, panarthritis)

= MACRO- (macrocephaly, macrophage, macrorhinia)

= MICRO- (microgastria, microdontia, microglia)

over,

= HYPER- (hypertension, hyperplasia, hypertrophy, hyperglycemia)

above, excessive

under,

= HYPO- (hypothyroidism, hypodermic)

below, deficient

TERMS PERTAINING TO THE BODY AS A WHOLE

1. Structural organization of the body

CELLS

key words:

membrane

mitochondria

nucleus

endoplasmic reticulum

chromosomes

ribosomes

genes

catabolism

DNA

anabolism

karyotype

metabolism

cytoplasm

TISSUES

key words:

histology parenchymal vs stromal tissue

ORGANS AND ORGAN

SYSTEMS

key words: viscus / viscera integumentary

system

respiratory

musculoskeletal

lymphatic

gastrointestinal (digestive / alimentary)

cardiovascular

urinary

endocrine

female reproductive

nervous

male reproductive

sense organs

(see MEDICAL ENGLISH WORKBOOK pp 10-12)

2.

Body cavities

key words: cranial thoracic (mediastinum, pleural) diaphragm spinal abdominal (peritoneum) pelvic

3. Abdominopelvic regions and quadrants

key words: hypochondriac (left and right)

RUQ

epigastric

LUQ

lumbar

(left and right)

RLQ

umbilical

LLQ

inguinal

(left and right)

hypogastric

4. Anatomical division of the back

key words:

spinal / vertebral column (backbone) vertebra, -ae spinal cord intervertebral spaces disk / cartilage pad – slipped disk (discus hernia)

division: cervical (C1-C7) thoracic (T1-T12) lumbar (L1-L5) sacral (S – 5 fused bones) coccygeal (coccyx - 4 fused bones)

5. Positional and directional terms

key words: anterior (ventral) posterior (dorsal) deep superficial proximal distal inferior (caudal)

6. Planes of the body

key words: frontal (coronal) sagittal (lateral) transverse (cross-sectional)

superior (cephalic) medial lateral supine prone afferent efferent

anatomical position