For 30 October 2014 blog, see below
New material on hold
After adding new material religiously for the past 2 and a half years, I will be taking a break to address the simple fact that the terminology on this website is largely invisible to search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo). That comes from one David Pollak, who is my SEO guru. The bad news is that it is likely to take about 6 months before I’m back up and running (and adding) new material. It will be a while before I know if the effort will bear fruit.
By way of explanation
This is the first completely new medical dictionary to come to the market since the Tabers Medical Dictionary was published in the 1940s.
After trying to produce this work with the older text-based model, it became increasingly obvious that a lexicon that serves the needs of physicians and health care workers in the 21st century must be designed and developed from the ground up as a database. This explains the poor implementation (and virtual unusability) of the electronic versions of the standard medical dictionaries (the Dorland’s, Stedman’s and Taber’s medical dictionaries).
For the record, this was the main complaint of my own Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine, which was an iOS App from 2010 until I had it removed in 2014. To access information from text, Mr Computer has the daunting task of sifting through ALL the information in the text, a problem that doesn’t occur with relational database searches. The Concise Dictionary of Medicine and a handful of other text-based eBooks I’ve written over the last few decades are still available on the various eBook stores (iTunes, Kindle, Nook, etc) for those who like the text format and want them on their iPads, tablets, etc. However, database apps are the future and as I go online with the database version of each, I will retire the eBook versions.
I began collecting new medical terms as a hobby in 1984, premised on my belief that the standard medical dictionaries were losing touch with the spoken and working language of medicine.
You’ll find my musings on medical lexicography on the page titled:
New Medical Dictionary
I went live with www.modernmedicaldictionary.com in May, 2012 and blog about 5 terms/day, which derive from a growing database that now has 182,316 entries*
*The Dorland’s Medical Dictionary has less than 124,000 entries.
I’ll be making portions of the database available as iOS/Android apps…the first product, Medical Abbreviations, will be out soon…stay tuned.
Most of the blogged terms fall into one of three general categories:
• Popular terms–e.g., champagne bottle leg, Michael Jackson syndrome(s), Mickey Mouse sign(s), soap bubble pattern, Sutton’s law, etc. I’ve tried to include something for everyone, in particular as relates to the cultural savvy that doctors are expected to have vis-à-vis music, literature, the arts and the world in general. Even if you’re not in health care, the material is “edutaining”, occasionally droll…
• New biomedical terms–e.g., from genomics and molecular biology, evidence-based medicine, informatics, managed care, sport medicine, etc
• Old terms due for burial with comments on usage
I encourage the reader to look over the 4500+ terms now included under LIST OF TERMS separated by letters…you’ll find gems aplenty.
I plan to offer this growing pool of blogged terms as an annual subscription, updated monthly.
Below are the E blogged entries
ear candling, early repolarisation syndrome, ease of association, EASTER, eat for two, Ebola virus, eccentric, ecocide, ECT2, ectoplasm, EDA2R, educationalist, EEF1A1, EFCAB4B, efferocytosis, EGFLAM, egg on a string sign, eggshell calcification, eggshell skull rule, egophony, egosurfing, EGR3, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type 6, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome—musculocontractural type, EIF2S1, EIF2S2, EIF4E, eight-hour hold, Einstein sign, Einstein syndrome, EJM3, elastography, ELAV4, ELAVL1, elbow fat pad sign, elective, electrical storm, electroautophilia, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, electronic health record, electronic siloing, elephant foot appearance, elevator surfing, elite athlete, Elizabethkingia meningoseptica, ELK1, ELL, ELMO1, Elvis culture, emancipated minor, embedded behavioural health, embodied cognition, embouchure dystonia, Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy type 4, emmeniopathy, emopamil binding protein, emotional intelligence, emotional quotient inventory, Empedobacter brevis, empty calories, empty nest syndrome, enamel renal syndrome, enantiopure drug, encrypted English, endocannabinoid signaling pathway, endocrine disruptor, endogamy, endogenous pyrogen, endoheretic, endoleak, endosulfan, endurance training, English disease, enhanced water, enrichment, enrichment design, entheogen, ENUR1, ENUR2, environmental cancer, ENY2, EP300, EPC1, EPCAT, ependymal rosette, EPHB1 , epigenome, epigenomics, epilarynx, epilepsy—childhood absence—susceptibility to—type 4, epilepsy—juvenile myoclonic—susceptibility to—type 5, epileptic encephalopathy—early infantile type 2, epileptic encephalopathy—early infantile—type 8, epileptic encephalopathy—early infantile—type 10, episodic consultation, epistasis, epistaxis, epistemology, epitasis, epitaxis, epoch, eponym, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, equipoise, equiprobable, equivalence margin, equivalence trial, equivocal death, Erasmus Placement, ERCC1, ERCC6, erection ring, Erlenmeyer flask appearance, ERLIN2, erlotinib, erotic asphyxiation, erotica, error catastrophe theory, Erysichthon syndrome, erythrocytosis—familial type 1, erythroid sarcoma, ESCRT complex, esprit de corps, ETAP trial, eteplirsen, ETFDH, ether-à-go-go related gene potassium channel, ethical imperialism, ethylmalonic encephalopathy, ETM2, eugenics movement, Euroblood, European Computer Driving Licence, European Laryngological Society classification, EVEREST, evergreening, EVR3, Ewing sarcoma protein, EWSR1-CREB1, executive monkey, exenatide, exercise-induced hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia, exigency theory, exit strategy, EXOC1, EXOC2, EXOC8, exogamy, exogenous obesity, exome, exon mapping, EXOSC1, EXOSC3, exotic pet, expanded rubella syndrome, expendable child syndrome, explanatory trial, exploding crypt cell, exploding head syndrome, exposure incident, exposure science, EXT1, EXT2, extreme ironing, extreme skiing, extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis, extremophile, exudation cell, EYA1, eye mouth gap, eye of the tiger sign, eyebrow flash, eyebrow threading, eyeliner sign, EYS, EZH2
Format of entries Whilst I believe the format is self-explanatory, I am biased and may be assuming too much. The following few lines are meant to explain the elements found in most of the terms blogged on this website.
• bailout Term or entry name
• SURGERY Area of interest
• Bailout procedure, damage control surgery Synonyms
• The immediate closure… Definition of term
• http://www.omim.org/entry Reference(s)
Note: A lexicon written in the 21st Century cannot, given of the diverse sources from which its material derives, escape some tongue-in-cheek and even outright comedy. I tried to confine the jocularity to the choice of illustrations so as to not diminish the value of the work. For most of the terms, the illustration is on point. For others, I took liberties, such as those taken for genes–e.g., HOMER2, which got a mugshot of Homer Simpson and HIP2, which got an illustration from hipster artist Josh Agle.
Small minds, as they say, easily amused…
If you have a new term that you feel has gotten short shrift in a medical dictionary, shoot me an email at email@example.com and I’ll add it if I agree. And feel free to back-link to this website.
The reader will note that the spelling follows that extant on the other side of the pond. Unless they change the name of the language we speak to American, orthographic principles should follow received pronunciation (Queen’s English).
30 October 2014
assuming ambient temperature
Assuming room temperature, assuming seasonal temperature
Note on usage: Whilst assuming room temperature got far more hits 339,000 on 30/10/2014, (1) it appears to be used light-heartedly (and thus unprofessionally) and (2) it is incorrect in that a body will assume the temperature where it lays, regardless of whether indoors or out, thus making assuming ambient temperature (47,300 hits) the preferred term
FORENSICS A self-explanatory term for the change of a cadaver’s temperature to match that of its surroundings, as occurs after death.
VOX POPULI A term which has been used as a flippant synonym for dying or dead.
METABOLISM inositol-3-phosphate synthase 1, EC 184.108.40.206, IPS, myo-inositol 1-phosphate synthase A1, INOS, INO1, IPS1, MIP synthase A gene (OMIM:611670) on chromosome 19p13.11 that encodes an inositol-3-phosphate synthase, which plays a critical role in myo-inositol synthesis by catalysing the rate-limiting conversion of glucose 6-phosphate to myoinositol 1-phosphate.
CELL BIOLOGY, HAEMATOLOGY Integrin—alpha 2 (CD49B—alpha 2 subunit of VLA-2 receptor), human platelet alloantigen system 5, CD49B, collagen receptor, platelet antigen Br, platelet membrane glycoprotein Ia, platelet glycoprotein GPIa, very late activation protein 2 receptor—alpha-2 subunit, CD49 antigen-like family member B, VLA2 receptor—alpha-2 subunit, BR, CD49b antigen, HPA-5, VLA-2, BDPLT9, VLAA2 A gene (OMIM:192974) on chromosome 5q11.2 that encodes an integrin alpha chain protein which, like all integrins, forms a heterodimer with a beta chain, thereby participating in an array of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, playing a major role in cell migration, organ and tissue development, and differentiation. Alpha 2 beta 1 heterodimers serve as receptors for laminin, collagen, collagen C-propeptides, fibronectin and E-cadherin, and are responsible for adhesion of platelets and other cells to the extracellular matrix, modulation of collagen and collagenase gene expression and organisation of newly synthesised extracellular matrix.
Molecular pathology Defects of ITGA2 have been linked to fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopaenia.
GLOBAL VILLAGE, TERRORISM The commission of suicide to serve a perceived greater cause, in which a person kills him/herself, taking as many others–regardless of the victims’ blameworthiness–of the “opposite” side of the political fence as he/she can, to advance a particular political agenda.
References http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_attackDiscover Oct, 2003, p20-22
DENTISTRY, MICROBIOLOGY A gram-negative, obligate anaerobic, motile and highly proteolytic spriochaete which may be isolated from the oral cavity. Increased amounts of T denticola are linked to periodontitis and periodontal disease.
Diseases linked to T denticola Early-onset periodontitis, necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, acute pericoronitis
Virulence factors Outer-sheath-associated peptidases, chymotrypsin-like and trypsin-like proteinases, hemolysins, hemagglutinatinins, matrix protein binding adhesins, cell-binding adhesins, and an outer-sheath protein with pore-forming properties
References Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 2001;12(5):399-413
image from http://jdr.sagepub.com/content/90/6/691/F2.large.jpg
29 October 2014
cataract 14—multiple types
OPHTHALMOLOGY Cataract—zonular pulverulent 3 A cataract* (OMIM:601885) of genetic origin, which includes zonular pulverulent cataract, among others. Zonular or lamellar cataracts are opacities, broad or narrow, usually consisting of powdery white dots affecting only certain layers or zones between the cortex and nucleus of an otherwise clear lens. The opacity may be so dense as to render the entire central region of the lens completely opaque, or so translucent that vision is hardly affected. Usually sharply separated from a clear cortex outside them, they may have projections from their outer edges known as riders or spokes
*An opacification of the crystalline lens of the eye that frequently results in visual impairment or blindness. Opacities vary in morphology, are often confined to a portion of the lens, and may be static or progressive.
Molecular pathology Defects of GJA3, which encodes a gap junction protein (connexins) that is a component of lens fibre gap junctions, cause cataract 14—multiple types.
CELL BIOLOGY Gap junction protein—alpha 5—40kDa, CX40, connexin 40, gap junction protein—alpha 5—40kD (connexin 40), connexin-40, gap junction protein—alpha 5—40kDa (connexin 40) A gene on chromosome 1q21.1, that encodes an alpha chain of the gap junction protein family (connexins).
Molecular pathology GJA5 mutations has been associated with atrial fibrillation.
CELL BIOLOGY Glyoxalase I, HEL-S-74, aldoketomutase, epididymis secretory protein Li 74, ketone-aldehyde mutase—lactoyl glutathione lyase, S-D-lactoylglutathione methylglyoxal lyase, EC 220.127.116.11, methylglyoxalase, GLOD1, aldoketomutase, GLYI, methylglyoxalase A gene (OMIM:138750) on chromosome 6p21.3-p21.1 that encodes an enzyme which is responsible for the catalysis and formation of S-lactoyl-glutathione from methylglyoxal condensation and reduced glutatione.
As potentially useful as this term might be, it got no more than a handful of hits in secondary sources and is probably best quietly buried near the cemetery wall.
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY A self-explanatory term referring to the changes in the conformation of a protein or other biomolecule in three-dimensional space, which will affect ow well it will bind to its cognate ligand.
Low molecular weight compounds have the potential for correcting temperature folding defects that result in human disease–e.g., the folding defect associated with the DF508 cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) protein.
Reference J Clin Invest. Mar 15, 1997; 99(6): 1432–1444.doi: 10.1172/JCI119302
28 October 2014
OPHTHALMO- LOGY An inherited defect (OMIM:116200) of the crystalline lens which takes various clinical forms, including congenital, zonular pulverulent, nuclear progressive, nuclear pulverulent, nuclear total, total, and posterior subcapsular types. In some cases, cataract 1 is associated with microcornea without any other systemic anomaly or dysmorphism.
*An opacification of the crystalline lens of the eye that often results in visual impairment or blindness. Cataracts vary in morphology, are often confined to a portion of the lens, and may be static or progressive.
Molecular pathology Defects of GJA8, which encodes a calcium and pH-dependent transmembrane connexin protein required for lens growth and maturation of lens fibre cells, cause cataract 1, which includes multiple types of cataract.
Ebola SWAT team
•Special Weapons And Tactics
(1) Prepare hospitals in cities deemed most likely to see new cases of Ebola, a viral infection with a 50% to 75% mortality rate, a task assigned to the Fast Assessment and Support Team (FAST), or
(2) Help a hospital respond to a new case of Ebola, which are known as CERTS—CDC Ebola Response Teams), and consist of 10-20 people who can be sent to any hospital with a new case
OPHTHALMOLOGY Gap junction protein—alpha 8—50kDa, cell surface glycoprotein, CX50, lens fibre protein MP70, connexin-50, CAE1, gap junction alpha-8 protein, lens intrinsic membrane protein MP70, CAE, CZP1, Cx50 A gene (OMIM:600897) on chromosome 1q21.1, that encodes a calcium and pH-dependent transmembrane connexin protein required for lens growth and maturation of lens fibre cells.
Molecular pathology Defects of GJA8, which encodes a transmembrane connexin protein required for lens growth and maturation of lens fibre cells, cause cataract 1, a term that encompasses multiple types of cataract.
HUMAN RIGHTS A WHO term of art for a victim of human trafficking, who is often subjected to physical violence, sexual abuse, psychological trauma, and severe food deprivation. An estimated 2.5 million people are in situations of forced labour due to trafficking; the statistics are unreliable
UN Protocol to prevent, suppress,and punish trafficking in persons
www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4720706c0.html; BMJ 2009;339:642-3
27 October 2014
Today the entire blog is genes/related syndromes. Given that the genome is the future of medicine, a medical dictionary with the modern in its title can’t give the 60+ thousand genes identified by the Human Genome Project short shrift.
EMBRYOLOGY Gap junction protein—alpha 1—43kDa (Connexin 43), GJAL, ODDD, oculodentodigital dysplasia (syndactyly Type III), Connexin 43, AVSD3, CMDR, CX43, HLHS1, ODOD, HSS, SDTY3 A gene on chromosome 6q21-q23.2, which encodes an alpha chain of the gap junction protein family or connexins. GJA1 is the major protein of gap junctions in the heart, which are thought to play a crucial role in the synchronized contraction of the heart and in embryonic development.
Molecular pathology Defects of GJA1 cause:
• Atrioventricular septal defect 3 (OMIM:600309)
• Craniometaphyseal dysplasia—autosomal recessive (OMIM:218400)
• Hallermann-Streiff syndrome (OMIM:234100)
• Hypoplastic left heart syndrome 1 (OMIM:241550)
• Oculodentodigital dysplasia (OMIM:164200)
• Oculodentodigital dysplasia—autosomal recessive (OMIM:257850)
• Syndactyly type 3 (OMIM:186100)
atrioventricular septal defect 3
GENETICS A congenital heart malformation (OMIM:600309) characterised by a common atrioventricular junction coexisting with deficient atrioventricular septation. The complete form entails underdevelopment of the lower part of the atrial septum and the upper part of the ventricular septum; the valve itself is also shared. A less severe form—ostium primum atrial septal defect—is characterised by separate atrioventricular valvar orifices despite a common junction
craniometaphyseal dysplasia—autosomal recessive
GENETICS An osteochondrodysplasia (OMIM:218400) characterised by hyperostosis and sclerosis of the craniofacial bones associated with abnormal modeling of the metaphyses. Sclerosis of the skull may lead to mandibular asymmetry and cranial nerve compression, which may lead to hearing loss and facial palsy.
GENETICS Audrey I syndrome, congenital sutural alopecia, dyscephalia mandibulo-oculofacialis, dyscephalia oculomandibularis-hypotrichosis, Fremerey-Dohne syndrome, François’ dyscephalic syndrome, François syndrome, Hallermann syndrome, Hallermann’s syndrome, Hallermann-Streiff-François syndrome, mandibulo-ocular dyscephalia with hypotrichosis, mandibulo-oculofacial dyscephalia, mandibulo-oculofacial dyscephaly, mandibulo-oculofacial dysmorphia, mandibulo-oculofacial syndrome, oculomandibular dyscephaly, oculomandibulodyscephaly, oculomandibulodyscephaly with hypotrichosis, oculomandibulofacial syndrome, progeria with cataract, progeria with cataract or microphthalmia, progeria with microphthalmia, Ullrich-Fremerey-Dohna syndrome, Ullrich syndrome An autosomal recessive disorder (OMIM:234100) characterised by a typical skull shape (brachycephaly with frontal bossing), hypotrichosis, microphthalmia, cataracts, bird-like face, hypoplastic mandible, beaked nose, micrognathia, skin atrophy, dental anomalies and proportionate short stature, (dwarfism), hypotrichosis, and congenital cataract, occasionally accompanied by mental retardation.
hypoplastic left heart syndrome 1
GENETICS A syndrome (OMIM:241550) due to defective development of the aorta proximal to the entrance of the ductus arteriosus, and hypoplasia of the left ventricle and mitral valve. As a result of the abnormal circulation, the ductus arteriosus and foramen ovale are patent and the right atrium, right ventricle, and pulmonary artery are enlarged.
GENETICS Dysplasia oculodentodigitalis, Gillespie syndrome, Meyer Schwickerath-Weyers syndrome, Mohr syndrome (in part), oculodentodigital syndrome, oculodentoosseous dysplasia, oculodentoosseous syndrome, ODD syndrome, ODDD, ODOD An über rare type of ectodermal dysplasia (OMIM:164200) characterised by typical facies and variable involvement of the eyes, teeth, and digits (fingers/toes).
• Facies Narrow, pinched nose, hypoplastic alae nasi, prominent columella, thin anteverted nares, narrow nasal bridge, and prominent epicanthic folds, giving the impression of hypertelorism.
• Eye Microphthalmia, microcornea.
• Teeth Small and caries-prone.
• Digits Complete syndactyly of 4th and 5th fingers (syndactyly type III) ; third finger may be involved, commonly accompanied by camptodactyly
Other findings include cardiac malformations (rare), iris atrophy, glaucoma, fine fragile hair, conductive deafness, ataxia, spastic paraplegia, bladder and bowel dysfunction.
syndactyly type 3
GENETICS Ring and little finger syndactyly, syndactyly of fingers IV and V A form (OMIM:186100) of syndactyly* characterised by usually complete and bilateral syndactyly between the fourth and fifth fingers, usually limited to soft tissue, but occasionally the distal phalanges are fused. The fifth finger is short with absent or rudimentary middle phalanx. The feet are not affected.
*A congenital anomaly of the hand or foot marked by persistence of the webbing between adjacent digits that are more or less completely attached.
26 October 2014
SOCIAL MEDICINE As originally defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, a baby daddy is the father of a woman’s child, who is not her husband or (in most cases) her current or exclusive partner.
The term has morphed and, in some circles, come to mean the father of a child regardless of whether the mother is engaged or married to the father.
Reference Oxford English Dictionary, in http://www.islandmix.com/backchat/f9/where-do-baby-daddies-come-origins-phrase-162073/
ETHICS, PAEDIATRICS An infant with Down syndrome born in 1982 in Indiana who had a tracheo-oesophageal fistula that required surgery for the infant’s prolonged survival; given the infant’s anticipated poor quality of life; the parents decided to withhold treatment with the approval of the local court and the child died within 6 days
The ensuing ethical debate resulted in an interpretation of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which views as unlawful the withholding of nutritional support or necessary medical treatment from handicapped infants. The Baby Doe Law or Baby Doe Amendment (USCA 42, Chapter 67, Sec. 5106a) passed in 1984 and delineated the specific criteria and guidelines for treating seriously ill and/or disabled newborns, regardless of the wishes of the parents.
PAEDIATRIC SURGERY A 2-week-old premature infant with a hypoplastic left heart syndrome* who survived for 20 days in October 1984 when she a walnut-sized heart from a 71⁄2 month-old baboon was transplanted by paediatric surgeon Leonard Bailey. The heart was rejected shortly thereafter and the baby died at one month of age.
*A condition characterised by hypo- or agenesis of the left ventricle, aortic and mitral valves; the ascending and transverse aorta is narrowed with a diaphragm-like aortic coarctation at the preductal aortic isthmus; postnatal life hinges on adequate blood supply–i.e., is ductus dependent, unrestricted atrial shunting, and a balance between the pulmonary and systemic vascular resistance.
The case opened an ethical can of worms given that Bailey didn’t even bother looking for a compatible (human) baby’s heart, thus placing the exercise squarely in the realm of an experimental procedure for which parents should not volunteer their children. Bailey later successfully performed an allograft heart transplant on an infant, but was criticised by the AMA and various medical journals for his prior monkey business.
SOCIAL MEDICINE Baby-mama, baby mother As originally used, a baby mama is a mother who is not married to the (usually illegitimate) child of the man who sired the child.
The term has morphed in some circles to mean any woman who is carrying or has delivered the child of a particular man, regardless of whether or not she is married to the father. Etymologists are uncertain about the term’s origin, with some pointing to the Caribbean and others pointing to England of the 16th and 17th centuries
ETHICS An anencephalic infant (Theresa Ann Campo) born in 1992 in Florida, whose parents wanted her declared dead at birth–she lived 10 days–in order to donate her organs.
The 2 courts to which the parents appealed rejected their request as (1) Florida law defines brain death as the cessation of brain activity, including the brain stem, which had not occurred in the baby, and (2) It would become a license to prematurely kill an infant for the express purpose of harvesting the organs