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 17 names in this directory beginning with the letter D.
defibrillator
Also called implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD). A pacemaker-like device that continuously monitors the heart rhythm and delivers lifesaving shocks if a dangerous heart rhythm is detected.
definitive treatment
Primary treatment designed to provide a disease cure.
density
Thickness or mass.
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
Acid found in cell nuclei that is the basis of heredity.
dialysis
A method of removing waste materials from the body when the kidneys are not working properly.
diaphragm
1. A plate-like muscular structure that separates the chest from the abdominal cavity. 2. The dividing membrane between the chest and abdominal cavity.
diaphragmatic hiatus
An abnormal opening in the diaphragm.
diarrhea
An abnormally frequent discharge of semisolid or fluid fecal matter from the bowel.
dietitians
Dietitians work with patients to help maintain nutrition. They monitor patients' weight and nutritional problems. Dietitians educate patients and may provide them with recipes and nutritional supplements to improve their nutritional status before, during and after treatment. Dietitians attend four years of college then usually take part in a one-year internship. The American Dietetic Association registers dietitians who have passed a professional examination.
digital certificate
A special secure data file that accompanies an electronic message to verify the identity of the user sending the message, and enabling the user to encrypt the message so that it can only be read by its intended recipient.
digital rectal exam
An examination of the lower rectum and the prostate gland in males to check for abnormalities. The term "digital" refers to the clinician's use of a lubricated finger to conduct the exam.
dilator
A device or substance used to enlarge a hollow structure or opening.
dissection
A tear in the wall of a blood vessel that allows blood under pressure to flow between the layers of the wall, making the tear worse.
diverticulum
A pouch or a pocket-like opening in the bowel wall, usually in the colon. You might think of it as a "bubble" through a weak point in the bowel wall.
dosimetrists
Dosimetrists carefully calculate the dose of radiation to make sure the tumor gets enough radiation. They develop a number of treatment plans that can best destroy the tumor while sparing the normal tissues. Many of these treatment plans are very complex. Dosimetrists work with the doctor and the medical physicist to choose the treatment plan that is just right for each patient. Many dosimetrists start as radiation therapists, then, with very intensive training, become dosimetrists. Others are graduates of one-to-two-year dosimetry programs. The Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board certifies dosimetrists.
ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
A breast cancer that has not spread beyond the lining (epithelium) of the milk ducts into the surrounding breast tissue. While DCIS must be treated to prevent it from developing into an invasive breast cancer, it is not harmful at this stage.
dysphagia
Impaired swallowing.