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Medical Dictionary Terms Beginning with A

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A (adenine)

A (adenine): In genetics, A stands for adenine, one member of the A-T (adenine-thymine) base pair in DNA. The other base pair in DNA is G-C (guanine-cytosine).
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A- (prefix)

A- (prefix): Prefix much employed in the health sciences indicating ônot, without, -lessö as, for example, in alexia (not read), aphagia (not eat), aphonia (not voice, voiceless). The ôa-ö usually becomes ôan-ö before a vowel as, for example,
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AA (amino acid)

AA (amino acid): Stands not only for Alcoholics Anonymous but also for amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 amino acids from which proteins are assembled. Of these 20 amino acids, 9 are deemed "essential" in that the human
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AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm)

AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm): Many Americans know that the AAA (&triple A&) is short for the American Automobile Association. Fewer may be aware that it is also the acronym for the American Association of Anatomists, one of a multit
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AAAS (Amer. Assn. for the Advancement of Science)

AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science): . Spoken of as the &triple-AS&, the American Association for the Advancement of Science is an organization concerned not only with the biomedical sciences but with all of the sc
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AAD (American Association of Dermatology)

AAD (American Association of Dermatology): One of a multitude of professional societies in the health arena. The AMA (the American Medical Association) is a better known example in the U.S. Only a small selection of the many health-related organi
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AAFP (American Association of Family Physicians)

AAFP (American Association of Family Physicians): Originally, most physicians in the U.S. (and elsewhere) were family doctors. Then there was a strong move away from family medicine toward the medical specialties in the U.S. The pendulum now has s
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AAO (ambiguity)

AAO (ambiguity): The abbreviation AAO provides an instance of ambiguity or, at least some confusion, since it stands for multiple health-related organizations including the American Association of Ophthalmology, American Association of Orthodontist
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AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)

AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons): The professional organization of American orthopaedists. Literally, the practice of child straightening, orthopaedics is the branch of surgery that is broadly concerned with the skeletal system (b
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AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics)

AAP: Although the abbreviation AAP stands for multiple health-related organizations (including the American Academy of Pedodontics, the American Academy of Periodontology, and the American Association of Pathologists), it also stands (very importa
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Ab- (prefix)

Ab- (prefix): Prefix from the Latin meaning ôfrom, away from, offö as in abduction (movement of a limb away from the midline of the body), ablate (carry or cut away), abnormal (away from normal), absorb (to suck away). "Abs" in the plural is sla
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Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis. The abdomen is separated anatomically from the chest by the diaphragm, the powerful muscle spanning the body cavity below the lungs.
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Abdomen, acute

Abdomen, acute:The abrupt (acute) onset of abdominal pain. A potential medical emergency, an acute abdomen may reflect a major problem with one of the organs in the abdomen such as the appendix (being inflammed = appendicitis), the gallbladder (
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Abdominal aneurysm

Abdominal aneurysm: An aneurysm situated within the abdomen (belly). An aneurysm is a localized widening (dilatation) of an artery, vein, or the heart. At the area of an aneurysm, there is typically a bulge and the wall is weakened and may ruptu
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Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA): A ballooning or widening of the main artery (the aorta) as it courses down through the abdomen. At the point of the aneurysm, the aneurysm usually measures 3 cm or more in diameter. The aneurysm weakens the wall o
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Abdominal cavity

Abdominal cavity: The space between the abdominal wall and the spine. The abdominal cavity is hardly an empty space. It contains a number of crucial organs including the stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, ap
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Abdominal guarding

Abdominal guarding: Tensing of the abdominal wall muscles to guard inflamed organs within the abdomen from the pain of pressurepon upon them. The tensing is detected when the abdomen wall is pressed. Guarding is a characteristic finding in the physical e
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Abdominal hysterectomy

Abdominal hysterectomy: Surgical removal of the uterus (a hysterectomy) done through an incision made in the abdominal wall. As opposed to a vaginal hysterectomy in which the incision is made within the vagina.
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Abdominal muscles

Abdominal muscles: A large group of muscles in the front of the abdomen that assists in the regular breathing movement and supports the muscles of the spine while lifting and keeping abdominal organs such as the intestines in place. Abdominal musc
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Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect a major problem with one of the organs in the abdomen such as: the appendix (being inflammed = appendicitis), the gallbladder (inflammed = cholecystitis)
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