Radiology Terminology

Deciphering Radiology One Term at a Time

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are 41 names in this directory beginning with the letter A.
abdominal aorta
The portion of the largest artery in the body that runs through the abdomen; it supplies oxygenated blood to the abdominal and pelvic organs and the legs.
abscess
A localized infection consisting of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue.
absorption
1. In radiology, the uptake of energy from radiation by the tissue or medium through which it passes. 2. In radiation or medical physics, the number of disintegrations per second of a radionuclide.
acute
Referring to the rapid onset of a disease or condition.
adrenal glands
Small glands that sit atop each kidney and produce hormones important in regulating metabolism, blood pressure and response to stress.
allergy
A hypersensitive reaction to common, often harmless substances, most of which are found in the environment.
allograft
Tissue graft from a separate donor.
amniocentesis
The suction of fluid from the amniotic sac through the use of a needle inserted through the abdomen.
amniotic sac
Membrane filled with fluid within the abdomen that holds the embryo/fetus.
analgesic
A drug that relieves pain.
androgen
A group of hormones produced by both men and women. They are present in much higher levels in men and govern the growth and development of the male reproductive system. In women, they are converted to hormones called estrogens.
anesthesia
Drugs used to induce loss of sensation for the patient in preparation for operative procedures.
anesthetics
Drugs used to induce loss of sensation for the patient in preparation for operative procedures.
aneurysm
A ballooning out of a segment of blood vessel caused by disease or weakness in the vessel wall. It may lead to rupture and serious or fatal bleeding.
angiocardiography
X-ray imaging of the heart, coronary arteries and/or great vessels made visible by injection of a dye directly into the vessel via a catheter. In other instances, CT or MRI can be used to create three-dimensional pictures of blood vessels.
angiogenesis
Formation of new blood vessels.
angiogenesis inhibitors
Drugs that interfere with the growth of blood vessels in the tumor, thus starving the tumor of the nutrients and oxygen it needs to grow. Also called angiostatic therapy.
angiogram
In a conventional angiogram, a dye is injected into the bloodstream and x-rays are taken to visualize the blood vessels. In other instances, CT or MRI can be used to create three-dimensional pictures of blood vessels.
anonymization
The process of removing all indentifiers or codes that directly or indirectly link a sample or data to a specific identifiable person.
anterior fibromuscular stroma
The anterior surface of the prostate.
antibiotics
A class of medications used to treat bacterial infections by killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
antibodies
Substances that neutralize body toxins and bacteria.
anticoagulant therapy
The use of anticoagulant drugs (blood-thinners) to treat blood clots, including those due to pulmonary embolism and deep venous thrombosis in the calf.
antiplatelet drug
A medication that interferes with the normal function of blood platelets and thereby reduces the tendency for blood to clot; commonly called a blood thinner.
aorta
The largest artery in the body; it distributes blood from the heart to the entire body via the circulatory system.
appendiceal lumen
Inside of the appendix where mucus, created by the appendix, travels and empties into the large intestines.
appendicolith
A stone, calcification or calcific deposit in the appendix.
appendix
A wormlike "pouch" several inches long located near the beginning of the large intestine, in the lower right portion of the abdomen. At this time, the role the appendix plays in the human body is not known.
arrhythmia
An abnormal rhythm of the heart.
arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
1. An abnormal connection between arteries and veins that allows blood flow to bypass the small vessels where oxygen and tissue nutrients are exchanged. These unusual malformations may be present at birth or may result from injury or infection. They are often found in the brain and spinal cord, but may occur anywhere in the body. 2. A tangle of dilated blood vessels that disrupts normal blood flow in the brain.
artery
Vessels that carry blood away from the heart.
artifact
In radiology, something artificial that appears on a medical image but is not a part of the living tissue being examined. The image distortion could be due to an obstruction, such as a surgical metal clip, or to a problem with the imaging equipment.
aspirin
A member of the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAID) that reduces pain, fever, inflammation, and blood clotting.
asthma
A condition of the lungs characterized by a narrowing of the airways and excessive mucus; can cause difficulty breathing, wheezing and coughing.
atrophy
A wasting away or gradual decline of tissues, organs, or the entire body.
attenuation
Loss of energy of a beam of radiant energy due to absorption, scattering, beam divergence, and other causes as the beam propagates through a medium.
audit
An information system log that keeps a record of all user activity by user identification.
authentication
Verifying the identity of a person/user to a computer system or assuring that a computer program is a trusted one.
authorization
Access controls that restrict access to a system to only authorized users; access control assigns right and privileges of users to resources via single sign-on databases; auto logoff to prevent someone other than the valid user from continuing a session; physical access control for critical computers to prevent console-based malicious attacks, power interruptions or other threats to security of the systems.
automatic spring-loaded needle
Also called core needle. A spring-loaded device that cuts and retrieves a small tissue specimen in its collecting chamber. It is used for biopsy of many different organs in the body.
axillary lymph nodes
Numerous nodes around the axillary (below the shoulder joint) veins which receive the lymphatic drainage from the upper limb, scapular region and pectoral region (including mammary gland); they drain into the subclavian trunk.