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 30 names in this directory beginning with the letter M.
magnetic field gradient
In magnetic resonance imaging, a magnetic field that varies with location, superimposed on the main uniform field of the magnet, to alter the resonant frequency of nuclei and allow detection of their spatial position.
mandible
The lower jaw.
maxilla
The upper jaw.
mediastinum
The central part of the chest cavity, behind the sternum and between the two lungs. This space is mostly occupied by the heart and its major blood vessels, and by the trachea and esophagus.
medical radiation physicists
Qualified medical physicists work directly with the doctor in the treatment planning and delivery. They oversee the work of the dosimetrist and help ensure that complex treatments are properly tailored for each patient. Qualified medical physicists are responsible for developing and directing quality control programs for equipment and procedures. They are responsible for making sure the equipment works properly. Medical radiation physicists take precise measurements of radiation beam characteristics and do other safety tests on a regular basis. Qualified medical physicists have doctorates or master's degrees. Qualified medical physicists have completed four years of college, two to four years of graduate school and typically one to two years of clinical physics training. They are certified by the American Board of Radiology or the American Board of Medical Physics.
melanoma
A malignant tumor, usually in the skin, that develops from a pigmented lesion over a period of months or years.
membrane
A thin layer of tissue that covers a surface, lines a cavity, or divides space in the body.
menopause
The point in a woman's life when she stops menstruating, or having periods.
mesentery
Abdominal membrane that connects the intestines to the abdominal cavity.
metabolic rate
The amount of energy or heat expended by the body in a given unit of time as a result of the body's metabolism, or all of its chemical processes.
metabolism
The sum total of all chemical processes in the body that result in growth, energy, waste elimination and other body functions following food digestion and the distribution of nutrients in the blood.
metastasize
To spread to another part of the body, usually through the blood vessels, lymph channels, or spinal fluid.
metastatic tumor
A cancerous tumor formed when cancer cells located elsewhere in the body break away and spread to a new site.
microstent
A small wire mesh tube-like device used to hold open an artery following balloon angioplasty.
mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
A condition in which memory or other cognitive functions are below normal but do not interfere with daily functioning. MCI is considered a transitional state between normal forgetfulness and dementia.
milligray (mGy)
A unit of absorbed radiation equal to one thousandth of a gray, or 0.1 rad.
milliroentgens
One-thousandth of a roentgen (the international unit of exposure dose for x-rays or gamma rays).
modality
A form of application or employment of a therapeutic agent or regimen.
monoclonal antibodies
A laboratory-produced molecule that is engineered to recognize and bind to the surface of cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies mimic the antibodies naturally produced by the body's immune system that attack invading foreign substances, such as bacteria and viruses.
mortality
The rate of death from a particular disease or condition in a defined population.
MR spectroscopy (MRS)
A variation of conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This diagnostic imaging technique measures the concentration of metabolites, which are produced by chemical reactions in the brain and other areas of the body, and displays the results as a graph. The peaks in the graph represent various metabolites. The concentration of these metabolites can be altered by many diseases, including tumor, infections and trauma.
mucous
A slimy substance secreted by glands in mucous membranes. Mucous helps protect and lubricate surfaces within the body.
multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT)
A form of computed tomography technology with a two-dimensional (2-D) detector that produces multiple, thinner slices in a single rotation and a shorter period of time allowing for more detail and additional view capabilities.
multiple myeloma
An uncommon disease that occurs more frequently in men than in women and is associated with anemia, hemorrhage, recurrent infections, and weakness.
musculoskeletal
Relating to muscles and to the skeleton, as, for example, the musculoskeletal system.
myeloma
A tumor of the bone marrow. Multiple myeloma is an uncommon cancer of the white blood cells in the bone marrow that is associated with anemia, hemorrhage, recurrent infections, and weakness.
myocardial infarction
Also known as a heart attack, it occurs when the supply of blood to the heart is blocked. If blood flow is not quickly restored, the section of the heart wall involved may begin to die.
myocardial perfusion scan
The most common cardiac nuclear medicine procedure, which results in imaging of blood-flow patterns to the heart muscles.
myometrium
The muscular walls of the uterus.
myopathy
A muscle disease characterized by muscle weakness that usually results in the deterioration of muscle.