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RA: Abbreviation for "rheumatoid arthritis"
RABBETING: A word that describes a splintered wound edge.
RABBIT FEVER: Also called ... "tularemia". Viral disease which can be transmitted to humans by animals which are infected.
RABIES: A viral disease that can be transmitted to man via infected animals. Typically, it is fatal if left untreated ... attacks the brain and spinal cord.
RACEMIC: Made from enantiomorphic isomers and therefore optically inactive.
RACHIS: Another word for "spinal column".
RADIATION THERAPY: A method of destroying cancer cells by the use of high frequency radiation.
RADIECTOMY: The excision (removal) of a tooth's root.
RADICULAR: Referring to a "root" ... Also, "directed to the cause" i.e. radical surgery.
RADICULOPATHY: Disease of the spinal nerve roots.
RADI / (O): A combining word-form that means "x-ray".
RADIAL: Referring to the radius (bone of the forearm),
RADIOGRAPH: Another word for an "x-ray picture".
RADIOGRAPHY: Another word for producing an x-ray picture.
RADIOLOGIST: One who uses radiation to diagnose and treat many ailments.
RADIUS: One of the bones of the forearm. The upper end forms the elbow joint, the lower end forms part of the wrist joint.
RADIX: Another word for "root".
RA FACTOR: Abbreviation for "rheumatoid arthritis factor". It is a blood protein of patient's with rheumatoid arthritis. Can be detected by a blood test.
RALE: Ambiguous term for added sound heard on auscultation.
RAMI: Plural of "ramus".
RAMITIS: Nerve root inflammation.
RAMUS: A branch ... an irregularly shaped bone (not as thin as a process).
RANCID: Rotting ... offensive ... decomposing.
RANGE OF ACCOMMODATION: A measurement determined by how far a person can clearly see versus how close the person can see
RANULA: The obstruction of a salivary gland to causes tongue swelling.
RASMUSSEN'S ENCEPHALITIS: A rare and incurable condition of unknown origin ... it causes electrical misfirings that impede brain functions and causes seizures.
RASPATORY: A type of file used in surgery.
RAST: Abbreviation for "radioallergosorbent test" which is performed to detect allergic reactions. It measures specific antibodies produced by the immune system.
RAT BITE FEVER: Also called "Sodokosis". A disease that can be transmitted to humans via infected animals.
RAYNAUD'S DISEASE: Abnormal constriction of blood arteries when exposed to the cold. This constriction prevents blood from reaching the furthest points of the body like fingers, hands, toes and feet that end up turning blue due to lack of oxygen. Associated illnesses sometimes include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma. Medical drugs are often prescribed and include Nitroglycerin, nitrates, Nifedipine. A natural treatment is to swing the arms in a full circle at the beginning of an attack ... this will force the blood into the upper extremities (hand and fingers).
RBC: Abbreviation for ... 1) "Red blood cell" 2) "Red blood count"
RCA: Abbreviation for ... 1) "Right carotid artery". 2) "Radionuclide cerebral angiogram".
RDA: 1. Abbreviation for "recommended dietary allowances". 2. Abbreviation for ... "recommended daily allowance".
RDW: Abbreviation for "red-cell-volume distribution width". It is a measure of anisocytosis.
RE-: A prefix (word part) meaning ... "to do over again".
REACTIVE OXYGEN SPECIES: Free radical and other oxygen species molecules.
REAGENT: A substance that is combined with another to assist in a chemical reaction.
REAMER: Surgical instrument with cutting edges for enlarging or altering the shape of a hole.
RECEPTOR: 1. A sensitive nerve ending. 2. A molecule on the surface of cells which a virus attaches to.
RECEPTOR SITE: Protein structure on the outside of cell membranes that allows cells to identify and function as an attachment site for biological substances.
RECOMBINANT DNA: Altered DNA produced by bioengineering in a test tube (in vitro).
RECONSTITUTION: Combining parts to make a whole.
RECRUDESCENCE: Disease symptoms following a period of inactivity.
RECTAL: Referring to the rectum.
RECTECTOMY: Removal of the rectum.
RECTITIS: Rectal inflammation.
RECTOCELE: Hernia of the rectum.
RECTUM: The final six inches of the intestinal tract that connects to the anus.
RECTUS: Any of small muscles in the body with a straight form.
RECTUS ABDOMINIS MUSCLE: Located on the ventral (back) abdominal wall.
RECTUS SHEATH: Tube like structure that surrounds small muscles in the body with a straight form.
RECUMBENT: Lying down.
RECURRENT: Another word for "reappearing".
RED BLOOD CELLS: The blood cells that carry oxygen to the tissues and organs of the body ... contains hemoglobin. Red blood cells live for approximately four months and then are disassembled by the body.
RED BLOOD CELL COUNT: A diagnostics test that is typically decreased in cases of anemia.
RED CELL DISTRIBUTION WIDTH: Numerical expression that is directly related to the volume of red cells.
REDUCERS: A substance that accepts electrons ... i.e., antioxidants.
REDUCTION: To return something to its normal position.
REESE SHOE: Type of shoe to protect the foot, especially a fractured foot.
REFERRED PAIN: Due to the fact that during the life of a fetus the body organs are located in close proximity to one another. As the body grows and develops the organs separate and migrate to their proper positions. However, nerve connectors that were originally made can cause heart pain to be felt in the arms or gallbladder pain can be felt at the shoulder blades.
REFERRED SENSATION: A feeling caused in one area of the body caused by a stimulus in another part of the body.
REFLEXES: +4 = Very brisk
                +3 = Brisker than average
                +2 = Average, normal
                +1 = Somewhat diminished, low normal
                 0 = No response, may indicate neuropathy
REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY: A combination of symptoms resulting from an injury like a sprain or broken bone. Reduced blood flow to tissues and organs at the injury site results in pain. Severe pain can be the result and early intervention with physical and occupational therapy is highly recommended.
REFLUX: A backward or return flow.
REFLUX ESOPHAGITIS: Inflamed esophagus due to stomach contents backing up into the esophagus.
REFRACTORY: Resistant to treatment.
REGURGITATION: Synonym for "leak". Regurgitation is typically a return of gastric fluids to the mouth from the stomach.
REFRACTA DOSI: To divide dosages.
REFRACTION: A visual test.
REFRACTORY: Being difficult to treat.
REICHMANN'S DISEASE: Abnormally high amount of gastric secretions.
RELAPSE: The reoccurrence of a disease.
RELAPSING FEVER: An infectious disease that alternates periods of fever with periods of normal body temperature.
RELEASE: The point during the viral replication process where the virus particles escape the infected cell.
REMISSION: The disappearance of disease symptoms.
REN / (O): A combining word-form that means "kidney".
RENAL: Referring to kidneys.
RENAL CALCULI: See "kidney stones".
RENAL OSTEODYSTROPHY: Changes in bone tissue that is similar to rickets and osteomalacia ... it is seen in patients with chronic renal failure.
RENIN: An enzyme.
REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY: A chronic pain in the arms, fingers, shoulders, neck of keyboard users. It is believed to be caused by a nerve that passes through the wrist (carpal tunnel). Also called non-specific arm pain (NSAP).
RESECTION: A removal of a tissue or an organ via surgery.
RESIN: A brittle substance made from the secretion of many plants.
RESPIRATION: Another word for "breathing".
RESPONSE RATE: The number of patients who experience a positive result due to a medical treatment (expressed as a percentage).
RESTORATIVE: Something that returns a person to normalcy.
RESUSCITATION: A method to restore breathing after drowning, electric shock and other situations causing the cessation of breathing.
RETARD: To delay.
RETARDATION: The act of delaying.
RETCHING: Failed attempts to vomit.
RETICULAR: Referring to "reticulum".
RETICULUM: A collection of cells that resemble a net.
RETINA: The layer of the eye that sends images to the brain. A retina can become detached and cause blindness and is indicated by flashes of light with a shower of floaters.
RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA: An inherited disease that affects eyesight. Symptoms include poor night vision at first (early adulthood) and slowly progressing to tunnel vision later in life. When the eye is examined, clumps of a dark pigmentation can be seen of the retina. Current treatment (2000) includes large amounts of vitamin A.
RETIN / (O): A combining word-form that means "retina".
RETINACULA: Plural of "retinaculum".
RETINACULUM: A structure that holds an organ or tissue in proper position.
RETINOMALACIA: Softening of the retina.
RETINOPATHY: A disorder of the eye due to alterations in he blood vessels in the retina (the layer of the eye that sends images to the brain).
RETINOSIS: Any condition which causes the retina to degenerate.
RETRACTION: The act of moving backwards.
RETRACTIONS: Term used when testing the lungs. It is the visible sinking-in of the soft tissue of the chest between the ribs, which occurs with increased breathing effort.
RETRACTOR: Surgical instrument. A device used in surgical procedures, which holds back the edges of an incision or tissues to expose organs or other underlying structures.
RETRANSPLANTATION: A second transplant ... required because the first organ was rejected (or other failure mechanism).
RETRO: A prefix (word part) meaning "behind" or "backwards".
RETROFLEX: Flexed from behind.
RETROGRADE: Going from a better to a worse state (declining) ... backward tendency.
RETROINFECTION: An infection passed from fetus to mother.
RETRONASAL: At the rear of the nose.
RETROPERITONEAL: A term used to indicate the area behind the peritoneal sack. This is where the kidneys and ureters are located.
RETROPULSION: A pushing backwards ... involuntary walking in reverse that happens with a Parkinsonian syndrome.
RETROVIRIDAE: Also called ... "retrovirus". Viruses that are similar to the orthomyxoviruses in physical appearance but more complex within their structures. They are single stranded.
RETROVIRUS: Any virus of the family Retroviridae. This virus does not replicate itself in the normal fashion. It is an RNA virus that reproduces in a way that is opposite the typical virus. Reverse transcriptase allows the virus to change viral RNA into DNA (the normal process it to convert DNA to RNA). Some cause diseases such as HIV.
RETZIUS: See "space of Retzius".
REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE: An enzyme found in retroviruses which manufacture double stranded DNA molecules from single stranded RNA (from their genomes).
REVIEW OF SYSTEMS: Head-to-toe verbal review of the patient that covers the following body systems:

        HEENT (head, eyes, ears, nose and throat)

REYE'S SYNDROME: A disease that affects internal organs like the brain and liver. Most cases occur in children between the ages of four and 15 after a viral infection (like chickenpox or the flu). Symptoms occur 4-6 days following the beginning of the viral illness. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, personality change, memory lapses, drowsiness, and irritability. Sometimes the child experiences double vision, paralysis in the arms of legs, speech problems and hearing loss. Brain damage or death may follow. The cause of the disease is unknown but the combination of viral illness and aspirin is known to increase the risk of the disease.
RH: Abbreviation for ... "rhesus" (blood factor).
RHABDOMYOLYSIS: An acute and potentially fatal disease of muscles.
RHACHIS: Another word for "spinal column".
RHAGADES: Cracks in the skin.
-RHAGIA: A Suffix which means ... "bleeding".
RHEUM: Discharge of a watery substance.
RHEUMATIC: Referring to rheumatism ... indefinite term for pains of joint origin.
RHEUMATIC FEVER: Infectious disease that primarily affects children which is characterized by intermittent fevers, painful joints, and inflammation of the valves of the heart and pericardium.
RHEUMATIC HEART DISEASE: Damage to heart valves resulting from rheumatic fever.
RHEUMATIC SYNDROME: A disease that exhibits symptoms which aer similar to a rheumatic disease ... i.e., arthritis.
RHEUMATISM: Joint disease of unknown causes that results in pain and swelling.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: Due to an overactive immune system. Four of the following criteria must be met for a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis ... 1) Morning stiffness. 2) Arthritis of three of more joints. 3) Arthritis of the hand joints. 4) Symmetric arthritis which involves joints on both sides of the body. 5) Nodules over bony prominences under the skin. 6) Abnormal amounts of rheumatoid factor found in blood analysis. 7) X-ray changes of the hands/wrist noted ... erosions or bony decalcification. Surgery can straighten crooked fingers.
RHEUMATOLOGIST: A physician who specializes in muscle and joint illness.
RHEUMATICA: Currently being researched.
RHEXIS: Another word for "rupture". Typically used in connection with blood vessels or organs.
RH FACTOR: A substance existing in the red blood cells of approximately 85% of people.
RHIN / (O): A combining word-form that means "nose".
RHINAL: A word that refers to the nose.
RHINITIS MEDICAMENTOSA: Nasal mucosa inflammation usually due to an improper medication.
RHINITIS: Inflammation that affects the noses internal lining.
RHINOLOGIST: One who specializes in the structures and diseases of the nose.
RHINOVIRUS: The virus that is responsible for the common cold.
RHINOLOGY: A division of the medical industry that deals with the structure and diseases of the nose.
RHINOPATHY: Any nose disease.
RHINOPLASTY: Repair of the nose by surgical techniques.
RHINORRHAGIA: Bleeding from the nose.
RHINORRHEA: Discharge from the nose.
RHINOTOMY: Cutting the nose.
RHIZOTOMY: Cutting the root of a spinal nerve to relieve pain.
RHL: Abbreviation for ... "right hepatic lobe".
RHODOPSIN: A pigment (red) existing in the rods of the eye.
RHOGAM TESTING: Correctly spelled ... "RhoGAM".
RHOMBOID: Referring to a ligament and two sides. Also, rhomboid muscle.
RHONCHUS: An added sound with musical pitch during inspiration or expiration ... rale.
RHUS DERMATITIS: Inflammation of the skin caused by poison ivy, oak or sumac.
RHYTHM STRIP: Readout for cardiac monitor.
RIB: A structure made from bone and cartilage that combine with other ribs to make up the chest cavity (protects organs and other contents).
RIBA: A test that shows the presence of hepatitis C in the blood.
RIBOFLAVIN: Another word for vitamin B2. Riboflavin is a coenzyme involved in the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Also, assists in the manufacture of antibodies, red blood cells and is required for good vision, hair, nails. Deficiencies may lead to mouth sores, bloodshot eyes, skin inflammation, malaise, digestive problems, oily skin, purple skin. See "vitamin B2 for more information.
RIBOSOME: Also called ... "the cells factory". Small particles which exist in a cells cytoplasm and known to contain high amounts of RNA. Protein synthesis occurs from information obtained from "messenger RNA (mRNA).
RICKETS: Disease associated with a lack of vitamin D.
RIEDEL'S THYROIDITIS: Inflammation of the thyroid combined with structures that resemble scar tissue. The cause is unknown and typically affects middle aged and older women. Corrective procedures can include thyroid pills (if hormone production ceases) or surgical removal of the scar like tissue.
RIFT VALLEY FEVER: A disease that resembles "dengue" and results from a mosquito-borne arbovirus.
RIGOR: 1. A violent attack of shivering that may come with chills and fever. 2. A rigid condition of the tissues of the body.
RIGOR MORTIS: The stiffening of muscles that occurs after death.
RIGHT LYMPHATIC DUCT: A vessel that receives lump fluid from much of the right side of the body ... the right side of the head, neck and thorax, the right arm, right lung, right side of the heart, the area of the liver that drains into the right subclavian vein.
RIGIDITY: Stiffness.
RIMA: Another word for a "crack".
RIMA: Abbreviation for ... 1) "Internal mammary artery". 2) Internal mammary anastomosis".
RIMULA: A very tiny crack.
RING BLOCK TECHNIQUE: Currently being researched.
RINGER: The bag an IV fluid comes in.
RINGER'S SOLUTION: An IV solution made up from salt, potassium and calcium boiled in water ... used for dehydration.
RINGWORM: The medical work is "tinea" which means "worm" in Latin. A fungus causes a scaly, flat spot on the face that enlarges to form a ring with red borders and a flesh colored center. Many medicines have been found to treat it.
RINNE TEST: A hearing test using tuning forks.
RISK FACTOR: Something that contributes to an increased chance of developing a disease.
RITTER'S DISEASE: Inflammation of the skin often seen in infants.
RLQ: Abbreviation for ... "right lower quadrant".
RN: Abbreviation for "registered nurse".
RNA: Abbreviation for "ribonucleic acid" ... nucleic acid molecule (one strand). RNA is used to transmit genetic information from the DNA to the rest of the cells. DNA information is copied into RNA that can then be read by the cell's ribosomes. RNA sometimes delivers information to cells which prompts them to make changes in preparation for reproduction. RNA reproduces itself and often mutates because it is often very unstable. This molecule is found in any cell that converts DNA genetic info into protein. Life forms use it as a temporary carrier molecule of the permanently stored information contained in DNA.
RNA PLASMID: Also called ... "killer factors". Typically found in yeasts, they are not fully understood and some scientists consider them viruses.
RNA POLYMERASE: An enzyme which initiates a reaction with ribonucleotides ... resulting in the simple compound taking on a higher molecular weight in accordance with information present in DNA.
RNA SPLICING: Intron removal from RNA transcripts.
RNA TUMOR VIRUS: The viruses that have the ability to cause tumors (retroviruses) ... they are surrounded by an outer covering made from the outer layer of the host cell.
RNA VIRUS: Viruses that use RNA instead of DNA to store genetic information.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER: Caused by a tick bite that produces an intense headache combined with a fever and muscle aches. Often, nausea and vomiting also occur. Symptoms appear approximately a week following the tick bite and two days following the onset of temperature; small red dots appear on the skin that turns into small bruises ... if left untreated, 25% die. But, when treated with the antibiotic Tetracycline deaths reduce to almost zero percent.
ROD(S): Components of the eye contained in the retina which accounts for a persons ability to see in dark lighting conditions ... they transmit black, white and grey information.
RODENT ULCER: A sore typically located in the vicinity of the nose or inner corner of the eye.
ROENTGEN / (O): A combining word-form that means "x-ray".
ROENTGENOSCOPE: Also called ... "fluoroscope". A device used to make visible the patterns caused by x-rays passing through the body.
ROMBERG'S SIGN: Swaying of the body or falling when standing with the feet close together and the eyes closed. Cerebellum test.
RONGEUR: Surgical instrument. Device used to remove fragments of bone ... forceps.
R-ON-T PHENOMENON: A reading seen on EKGs ... it is a premature ventricular complex (QRS) which interrupts the T-wave of he previous beat.
ROS: Abbreviation for ... "reactive oxygen species"
ROSACEA: Common skin condition where small blood vessels surface to cause permanent redness of the face in the vicinity of the cheeks and nose ... it is the most common cause of red noses. The disease starts as redness on the nose and/or cheeks and eventually turns into a permanent, deep red color. Pimples and telangiectasis (small blood vessels which resemble spider webs) appear. Things which make the condition worse includes ... sunlight, stress, spicy foods, alcohol, hot weather, scrubbing the skin and hot beverages. Modern medicine uses metronidazole cream and antibiotics such as tetracycline.
ROSEOLA: Also called "exanthem subitum". It is a childhood disease (caused by the herpes 6 virus) which strikes between the ages of six months and 2-years. At first a fever develops for 3-5 days combined with a feeling of listlessness. Following that, the child feels more energetic but a red rash develops. This is a strange disease in that symptoms appear separately.
ROSE FEVER: Another word for "hay fever".
ROSSBACH'S DISEASE: An abnormally large secretion of gastric fluids.
ROTATOR: A muscle that turns a body part in a circular fashion.
ROTAVIRUS: RNA viruses that are wheel-like in appearance. They cause infant diarrhea throughout the world.
ROTO-ROOTER: A colorful name for an operation ... carotid endarterectomy. The surgeon cuts into a block artery and removes fatty buildup.
ROTOSCOLIOSIS: Deviation of the vertebral column (spine) in a lateral and rotational manner.
ROTULA: Another word for "kneecap".
ROTUND: Term sometimes used to describe the abdomen.
ROULEAU: A cluster of red blood cells on top of one another (lack a stack of pancakes). This condition typically indicates an increase of plasma immunoglobulin.
ROUND LIGAMENT: Special tissue (fibrous) which connects the ends of bones ... round ligament of the elbow joint (oblique ligament), round ligament of the femur (ligament of head of femur), round ligament of liver (ligamentum teres hepatis), round ligament of the uterus (ligamentum teres uteri).
ROUTE OF TRANSMISSION: The method a disease is transmitted.
ROVSING'S SIGN: Pain at McBurney's point that happens due to appendicitis by palpating pressure over the descending colon.
RP: Abbreviation for ... "resting pressure".
-RRHAGIA: A suffix which when added to a word means, "excessive flow".
-RRHAPHY: A suffix which when added to a word means, "to suture".
-RRHEA: A suffix which when added to a word means, "discharge".
-RRHEXIS: A suffix which when added to a word means, "rupture".
RSI: Abbreviation for "repetitive strain injury".
RSV: Abbreviation for "Rous Sarcoma Virus".
RUBEFACIENT: Something which causes the skin to turn red.
RUBELLA: Another word for German measles.
RUBEOLA: Synonymous with "measles" ... do not confuse with rubella.
RUBOR: Redness ... one of the signs of inflammation.
RUBRUM: Another word for "red".
RUBS: Term used during heart exam which means "friction rubs" ... it is a dry grating sound heard with a stethoscope.
RUDIMENTARY: Another word for "basic" ... "elementary".
RUGA: A fold ... crease.
RULE OF NINE: A term used to describe the extent of damage to burn victims.
RUOQ: Abbreviation for ... "right upper outer quadrant".
RUQ: Abbreviation for ... "right upper quadrant".
RUST RING: Often develops in the eye when a metallic foreign body is lodged.
RUGAE: Vaginal wrinkles.
RUMINATION: To "throw up".
RVR: Abbreviation for "Rapid Ventricular Response".
RX: A symbol for "prescription".

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