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 49 names in this directory beginning with the letter C.
C-arm
An x-ray image intensifier.
CA-125
A blood test used to measure levels of a protein that is found in greater concentrations in tumor cells.
calcification
The process by which noncellular material in the body becomes hardened due to deposits of calcium and other materials.
carcinoembryonic antigen
A protein normally found in the tissue of developing babies, but can also be produced by certain types of cancers in adults.
cardiac pacemaker
An electrical device, often implanted, that maintains a normal heart rhythm by stimulating the heart muscle.
cardiologist
A physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
carotid artery
One of the two major arteries running through either side of the neck, which supply blood to the brain.
cathartic
A substance that causes evacuation of the bowel.
catheter
1. A tubular instrument to allow passage of fluid from or into a body cavity. It is often used to drain abscesses. 2. A tube that is inserted through the urethra into the bladder to drain it of retained urine. 3. A flexible, hollow plastic or rubber tube that may be passed into a blood vessel to withdraw fluids or inject medicine or contrast materials.
cecum
A saclike pouch connecting to the point where the small and large intestines join.
celiac disease
Also known as gluten intolerance. A condition in which sensitivity to gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye) may cause pain, diarrhea, inflammation and damage to the small intestine, and inability to absorb certain vitamins.
cephalometric
The measurement of the head.
cerebral
Relating to the brain.
cerebrospinal fluid
Fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and helps to cushion and protect them.
chemotherapy
Treatment of disease by means of chemical substances or drugs; usually used in reference to neoplastic (cancer) disease.
Chiari malformation
A condition in which brain tissue involving the part of the brain called the cerebellum protrudes into the spinal canal.
claudication
Pain, fatigue and cramping in the legs brought on by walking that goes away when at rest.
claustrophobic
A morbid fear of being in a confined place.
closed bone biopsy
Also called needle bone biopsy. An image-guided procedure in which a needle is used to remove a small sample of bone from the body to be examined under a microscope.
clot
To coagulate or turn from a free-flowing liquid to a thickened or semi-solid state.
cluster headache
Headaches that occur in groups, or clusters, over a period of several weeks or months separated by headache-free periods of months or years. Cluster headaches include sharp, penetrating pain around or behind one eye, watering of the eye and a stuffy nose.
CNS prophylaxis
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy that is delivered to the central nervous system (CNS) by means of a lumbar puncture as preventive cancer treatment. Also referred to as central nervous system (CNS) sanctuary therapy.
coagulate
To change from a liquid to a thickened or solid state. Blood that does not flow smoothly through a vessel can coagulate or clot by turning from a free-flowing liquid to a semi-solid gel.
cobalt (Co)
A steel-gray metallic element, atomic no. 27, atomic wt. 58.93320; a bioelement and a constituent of vitamin B12; certain of its compounds are pigments, e.g., cobalt blue.
collodion
A liquid that, on evaporation, leaves a protective film over cuts.
colostomy
Establishment of an artificial opening into the colon.
coma
A state of deep unconsciousness that lasts for a prolonged or indefinite period, caused by severe injury or illness.
computed tomography (CT) angiography
A method of examining blood vessels utilizing x-rays and injection of iodine-rich contrast material (dye).
computer-aided detection (CAD)
CAD is computer software that is used to highlight suspicious features on an image and bring them to the attention of the radiologist.
concussion
Also known as mild traumatic brain injury. An injury to the brain that occurs when the head or body is struck hard enough that the brain bounces against the skull.
congenital
Existing at birth.
congenital heart disease
A heart problem that has existed since birth.
congestive heart failure
A condition in which the heart cannot adequately pump blood forward, leading to a back-up of blood in vessels and an accumulation of fluid in body tissues including the lungs.
constipation
A condition in which bowel movements are infrequent or incomplete.
contusion
A bruise resulting from trauma in which blood seeps into surrounding tissue.
core needle biopsy
A type of biopsy in which a large hollow needle is inserted through the skin to the site of an abnormal growth to collect and remove a sample of cells for analysis. This procedure uses an automated needle, which obtains one sample of tissue at a time and is re-inserted several times.
coronary arteries
The arteries that supply freshly oxygenated blood to the heart muscle.
coronary artery bypass graft surgery
This surgery increases blood flow to the heart by using a vein, or an artery from elsewhere in the body, and using it to divert blood around the area of narrowing or blockage in the coronary arteries of the heart.
coronary artery disease
A condition involving the narrowing of the coronary arteries that carry blood and oxygen to the heart muscle.
Cowden syndrome
A disorder characterized by non-cancerous, tumor-like growths and an increased risk of developing certain cancers.
cranial
Related to the bony skull known as the cranium that holds the brain.
craniofacial
Relating to the face and the cranium (skull that protects the brain).
cryoprobe
An instrument used to apply extreme cold to a selected anatomic area.
CT enteroclysis
CT enteroclysis is a special type of computed tomography (CT) imaging that produces detailed images of the small bowel by infusing contrast material through a tube positioned in the upper small bowel.
cyanosis
A blue coloration in the lips, skin and fingernails as a result of reduced oxygen levels in the blood.
cyclotron
A type of particle accelerator in which charged particles are propelled by an alternating electric field between two large electrodes in a constant magnetic field created by two large magnets. The particles are injected at the center of the magnet and spiral outward as their energy increases. Protons produced in a cyclotron can be used to treat cancer, and cyclotron-produced protons can create radioisotopes for nuclear medical procedures.
cystic fibrosis
An inherited disease in which the lungs, intestines and pancreas become clogged with thick mucus, interfering with normal digestion and breathing.
cystoscopy
This procedure uses a special camera at the end of a tube that allows the doctor to see inside the bladder.
cysts
Abnormal sacs containing gas, fluid, or a semisolid material, with a membranous lining.