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 32 names in this directory beginning with the letter B.
B cell
A type of white blood cell (called a lymphocyte) that is an essential component of the immune system. Non Hodgkin B cell lymphoma begins in B cells.
balloon assistance
A vascular treatment technique that uses catheter-guided balloons to open narrowed blood vessels.
barium (Ba)
A naturally occurring metal that is used in barium sulfate, a contrast material. Barium is most commonly used for studying the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
baseline
Initial.
benign
Not cancerous. May also be defined as non-malignant. Benign is also used to describe medical conditions that have a mild course.
beta blocker
A type of medicine used to lower blood pressure, treat chest pain and heart failure, and to prevent a heart attack.
biliary atresia
A condition present at birth in which there is a blockage in the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder.
biologic therapy
Also called biotherapy. A treatment that involves natural or laboratory-made substances designed to boost, direct or restore the body's natural defenses against cancer.
biometrics
Biometrics requires a user to provide a unique identifier, such as a fingerprint or voice sample, which is compared to a stored record before the user can gain access to the computer.
biopsy
1. Process of removing tissue from living patients for diagnostic examination. 2. A specimen obtained by biopsy.
biotherapy
Also called biologic therapy. A treatment that involves natural or laboratory-made substances designed to boost, direct or restore the body's natural defenses against cancer.
bladder
A balloon-like organ where urine is stored before being passed from the body.
bleeding disorder
A condition in which the body's blood clotting mechanism, which turns blood from a free-flowing liquid to a thickened state, is defective.
blood coagulation
Also called blood clotting. A process in which blood changes from a free-flowing liquid to a semi-solid gel.
blood oxygenation
The level of oxygen in the blood.
bone marrow
The soft tissue that fills the cavities of bones in which blood cells are produced.
bore
The center of the cylindrical shaped magnet (often referred to as a doughnut) within an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.
bowel
The part of the digestive system distal to the stomach, consisting of the small and large intestines, that digest and eliminate food.
brain herniation
An often fatal condition that results when brain tissue, fluid or blood vessels are pushed outside the skull.
brain mapping
A medical imaging study of the brain's surface using small electrodes to stimulate a nerve so its electrical response can be measured. By determining the role of specific nerves in a patient, this technique helps surgeons avoid damage to sensitive areas while operating on the brain.
BRCA1 and BRCA 2
Human genes that belong to a class of genes known as tumor suppressors. A mutation of these genes has been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancers.
breast coil
A wire coil placed around the breast that sends and receives radio waves within the magnetic field of an MRI unit to create images.
breast density
A measure of the proportions of fat, connective tissue and breast tissue within the breast. A dense breast has a greater amount of ducts, glands, fibrous tissue and less fat. When mammography is performed, many cancers can be difficult to see in patients with dense breast.
bronchi
The large air passages that lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs.
bronchial tubes
Tubes that carry air from the windpipe into the lungs.
bronchiectasis
A dilation (widening) of the bronchi (the "breathing tubes"), often caused by infection. Serious complications may occur, and some patients require surgical removal of the affected part of the lungs.
bronchitis
Inflammation (swelling) of the mucous membrane of the two subdivisions of the trachea (air tube) that conveys air to and from the lungs.
bronchoscope
An instrument used to examine the trachea and bronchi.
bronchoscopy
Visual inspection of the inside of the trachea and the bronchial passages of the lungs, using a rigid or flexible tube or catheter called a bronchoscope.
bruit
An abnormal sound heard when listening with a stethoscope over an organ or blood vessel such as the carotid artery in the neck.
Budd-Chiari syndrome
A blockage of one or more hepatic veins, which carry blood from the liver back toward the heart.
bursa, pl. bursae
A closed sac or envelope lined with a membrane and containing lubricating fluid, usually found or formed in areas subject to friction; e.g., over an exposed or prominent part or where a tendon passes over a bone.