Dysmorphology Course
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MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY NOMENCLATURE VOCABULARY GLOSSARY

ROOTS ETYMOLOGY IDEONOMY

Grasping Ideas in Words

Natural Learning and Remembering

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Comment: Notions in words like life, death, wellness, or love incorporate timeless universal notions represented by mythic figures, emblems, icons, legends, ballads, and lullabies. In a way, such complex notions are like an Egyptian cartouche - a capsule of a cluster of ideas represented by a word (continued at the end of the following list of words). 
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~ Abd …; prefix for away as in abduction 

   BONUS - to remember; abd and related - take away, kidnap, rape ... 

   BONUS - to remember; more about abd - abductions, ... 

~ Abducent; e.g.  motor nerves or muscles producing motion away from the anatomical axis or at times referred to as “exterior” motion 

 ~ Abduct; abduction, to move away, kidnap, abduction implies rape, in Spanish rapto is abduct and in Ukrainian implies suddenly (raptovo) 

   BONUS - see abduction

   BONUS - see abducted (open) thighs - oppossite of adducted

~ Abdomen; ventral refers to “vientre” from vento or wind and in medicine to structures anterior to the body axis, poetically known as “bag of winds”, container of “abducted” nutrients and organs, “ventrally from” implies “in front of” 

   BONUS - see nephrosis, ascitis  

   BONUS - see hepatitis, ascitis

   BONUS - see hypotonia

~ Acro~; prefix denoting distal as in acro-megaly, etc. 

   BONUS - to remember; acro, meso, ecto, ...

~ Acrocyanosis; acro=distant, cyanosis=blue like the sky (cielo in Spanish) 

~ Acrodysplasia; abnormalities of distal structures 

~ Acromegaly; enlarged distal structures 

~ Adipose; fatty, aleipha in Greek, olyj or oil in Ukr 

   BONUS - see adiposity

~ Alae nasi; lateral areas (wings) or nostrils 

~ Alcohol; fluid product from natural fermentation of sugars, mainly see ethanol 

~ Alcoholism; *see addiction, implies dependence and negative impacts, *see teratogen. 

~ Allele; alternative form of a gene 

~ Alopecia; lack of hair, opposite of hirsutism 

~ Anamnesis; remembrance or recall of symptoms, signs and circumstances 

~ Andro~; prefix indicative of maleness, as shown next 

~ Androgen; agents that masculinize 

~ Aneurysm; segmental dilatation of an artery, vein or other tubular structures due to 
   flaws of its walls 

~ Angioma; vascular tumor (general term - see hemangiona etc.- see ecatsia) 

~ Anophthalmia; see microphthalmia 

~ Antenna; detector of signals generally invisible and generally by touch 

~ Antepartum; before birth or parturition implying materno-fetal partition  

~ Antihelix; anti=against the helix, implying near; ante=in front of 

   BONUS - see ear landmarks

   BONUS - see protruding ears of an Emperor

~ Antitragus; similar to antihelix, tragus in Greek points to he-goat, as in tragedy 

   BONUS - see ear landmarks

   BONUS - see protruding ears of an Emperor

~ Apathetic, apathy; lacking “pathos” or emotion, sign of mental depression 

~ Apathy; lacking (see) “pathos” or spirit (emotion)

~ Arm; upper limb, body part that holds weapons (armament) 

~ Arthro; arthron implies articulation or joint, as in arthropod, arthritis, …

~ Arthrogryposis; implies multiple congenital joint contractures in diverse body parts 

~ Ascitis; abdomen with fluid, from ascos (Greek for wineskin implying "stink"), in Spanish asco means repugnant or odious odor 

   BONUS - see nephrosis, ascitis  

   BONUS - see hepatitis, ascitis 

~ Asymmetry; lacking expected likeness 

~ Audio; sound as in audible, audience ... 

~ Auricle; external ear, ear lobe 

~ Autosomal; loci or genes located on autosomal chromosomes thus not on the sex chromoses X nor Y 

~ Birth defect; flawed political popular term for congenital anomaly 

~ Blastopathy; abnormalities of the blastula (see blastula)

~ Blastula; early development of a fertilized egg when the morula (solid sphere of cells) develops a cavity (blast), from Greek “blastos” for “sprout”.

~ Bone; hard tissue implying calcified 

~ Cancer; uncontrolled division of abnormal cells spreading in a pattern suggestive of the legs of a crab from Greek “kakinos” or Latin “cancer”.

~ Caviat; be aware, to note 

~ Cele; or coele, in Medicine implies cavity, hernia, swelling.

~ Clone; in essence, a colony and in Medicine group of cells or organisms identical to
   an ancestor

~ Collagen; extracellular "glue" protein, see colloid 

~ Colloid; a gel like substance glue-like

~ Coloboma; gap (like a cut) generally of ocular structures often irides

~ Crease; folding or groove

~ Credo; belief 

~ Cross-bread; preferred term for intra-cohort breading instead of in-breading

~ Cutis; skin 

~ Cutis marmorata; pink marble like skin implying mottled skin 

~ Cupid; mythological emblem mainly denoting temptation driving desire

~ Cupid bow; outline of the vermillion of the upper lip in a shape of an arch, Cupid shot love arrows and humans blow kisses from the upper lip

~ Cupid bow flat or not evident; the sign observed among instances of fetal alcohol effects, syndrome, or spectrum disorders

~ Cyclopia; fused eyes (not a failure of "splitting") 

~ Deformation; external causes of anomalies, dys-morphism

~ Diagnosis; hypothetical label - synthesis of (objective) signs/natural history with (hypothetical) pathogenesis/etiology

~ Disease; mental or physical instability, away from homeostasis 

~ Dis; “rupture” of a process, see more in dys 

~ Disorder; characteristic of malformations and diseases 

~ Disruption; implies external negative impact 

~ Dominant; implies pathology due to the presence of one thus single mutated pathogenic allele

~ Dorsal; often used to denote "supra" (during embryogenesis the occiput may be included in dorsal)

~ Dys~; or dis, prefix for diseased or "anomaly" or ab-normal, note also “dis” 

~ Dysmorphology; study of altered morphology (implicitly disproportions or anomalies, deformities, malformities, ...  

~ Dysplasia; altered tissue formation - normal cells but disorganized - e.g. hamartoma, e.g. polyp, nevus, neurofibroma 

~ Ear; or auricle, also inner, middle and outer or external ears form the auditory system

~ Ectasia; implies distension - dilatation related to altered "flow" in a tubular structure in contrast to aneurysm due to flaws in walls

~ Ectoderm; ecto implies external

~ Edema; from “oid” for “to swell” in Greek

~ Emaciate; “macer” in Latin for thin, lost flesh as per "macerate" 

~ Embryo; an organism during early development and giving rise to a fetus

~ Embryopathy; anomalies of the embryo

~ Epi~; prefix for above as in epi-demiology (pertaining to people)  

~ Epidermis; skin (above the "flesh") 

~ Epicanthus; Epicanthic fold; epi - canthus - skin fold above the (ocular inner) angle 

~ Ethanol; eth and ol denote a chain of two carbons one of which is linked to OH ethyl group (EtOH) expressed by the chemical formula  CH3-CH2-OH; a liquid flammable addictive human psychotoxin (an inhibitor of inhibitions), see alcoholism

~ Ethics; see "ethos", in essence, the “thuth”

~ Ethos (soul), ethnic; natural of a group

~ Ethnos; strictly speaking it denotes a distinct people and points towards ethos and ethics  

~ Etiology; true cause, see Etios 

~ Etios; Greek for spirit pointing to "true" 

~ Eso; Greek for "inward" as in esotropia 

~ Esotropia; inward or convergent strabismus or squint 

~ Etymology; the true origin, mainly of words

~ Exo; Greek for "out" as in exotic, exotropia 

~ Exotropia; outward or divergent strabismus 

~ Face, facade; front, communication organ/devise 

~ Facies; a face that “speaks”, conveys a meaning

~ FAE; fetal alcohol effect, see FAS and FASD

~ FAS; fetal alcohol syndrome, implies full array of concurrent signs, see FASD

~ FASD; fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, implies incomplete array of FAS signs

~ Facoma; see phacomatosis  

~ Facomatosis; see phacomatosis

~ Fertile; capable of reproduction, fruitful, fecund  

~ Fistula; a tubular hallow abnormal canal or tunnel-like between organs or the exterior

~ FTT, failure to thrive, implies delay of mental, physical, growth and maturation 

~ Gender; psychological (personality, behaviour, sexual drived, libido) characteristic of biologic males in contrast to biologic females, see more under "sex"

~ Gene, genius, generator; messenger

~ Genetics; the study of inherited and or hereditary organisms or their components

~ Genome; the totality of genes of an organism

~ Glossa; tongue, language

~ Gyneco-mastia; developed female breast in a male 

~ Hamartoma; circumscribed areas of dysplastic tissues (facomas or phacomas) prone to uncontrolled growth and malignant changes 

~ Hamartomatosis; systemic multiple, generally congenital, benign neoplasia, often pre-malignant, e.g. multiple neurofibromatosis 

~ Hamartosis; see Hamartomatosis 

~ Health; optimal homeostasis of an organism at a particular stage of development and lifespan (includes a mental optimal state)

~ Hemangiona; vascular tumor (general term akin to angioma, see ectasia) 

~ Hermaphroditism; strictly speaking, there is no human hermaphroditism. The term implices the capacity of self-replication (it negates sexual reproduction). However, medical literature uses this term to describe, in most instances, ovo-testes or "mixed gonadal dysgenesis" (a high cancer risk anomalies thus an indication for surgical removal of such gonads). Psuedo-hermaphroditism, male variety (feminized males) and female variety (masculinized females). Personally, I find such "labels" offensive, degrading, arrogant, dogmatic and socially damaging. Personally, since the causes and pathogenesis of such disorders are multiple and complex, an acceptable alternative may be to describe actual clinical features as kindly as possible; gynecomastia for example does not have to be branded as an instance of "feminized male" or a large clitoris be branded as in instance of a pseudohermaphroditism or equally offensive branding as an instance of a "masculinized female". (more in an Overview on this subject)

~ Hirsutism; excess of hair 

~ Holo~; prefix for totality, whole, wholly 

~ Holoprosencephaly; a forebrain undivided into left and right hemispheres

~ Homeostasis; health, stability 

~ Hyper; prefix for excess, see hyper-x,y,z 

~ Hyperplasia; enlargement on the basis of more numerous cells

~ Hypertelorism; increased inter-ocular distance, see telorism 

~ Hypertrichosis; hirsutism or excess of hair, see trichosis 

~ Hypertrophy; enlargement including of cells 

~ Hypotelorism; decreased inter-ocular distance, see telorism 

~ Hypotrichosis; sparse hair, see trichosis, alopecia 

~ Ionizing; energy capable of converting atoms and molecules into ions

~ Implication; plica (fold), “folded in” 

~ IMV; informative morphogenic variant 

~ Iridoschisis, see Coloboma

~ IUGR; intrauterine growth retardation

~ Leukemia; strictly it denotes “white blood”, in Medicine an abnormal malignant excessive proliferation of “white blood cells” (leukocytes)

~ Life; individual organism capable of capturing energy for its perpetuation

~ Limb; extensions of body stalk, populist term "extremities", see Limbus

   BONUS - to remember - limb, limbic, limbus, ...

~ Limber; hypotonia, flexible, agile, pliable, nimble, elastic

  BONUS - to remember - limb, limbic, limbus, ...

~ Limbic; refers to the thalamus and hypothalamus, see Limbus

  BONUS - to remember - limb, limbic, limbus, ...

~ Limbo; oblivion, nowhere, limit or area between paradise and hell according to the    
   Vatican

  BONUS - to remember - limb, limbic, limbus, ...

~ Limbus; limit, edge, border … 

  BONUS - to remember - limb, limbic, limbus, ...

~ Lipid; a wax, fat, sterol, vitamin, glyceride 

~ Locus; position on a chromosome 

~ Lobe; a part of a generally flat and round structure

~ Lobule; a small lobe

~ Macro; big, large as in macro-x,y,z 

~ Macrocephaly; large head 

~ Macrognathia; generally referred to as prognatism 

~ Malar; cheek bone or zygoma, see zygote 

~ Male; in humans the sex (sector of population) capable of producing sperm. Consider a poetic potential link with muscle.

~ Malformation; a failure of morphogenesis (studied by Dysmorphology)

~ Maxillar; vernacular for jaw, cheek bone or malar from Latin "mala" 

~ Micro; small as in micro-x,y,z 

~ Microcephaly; reduced head size by 2 or more standard deviations  

~ Micrognathia; reduced size mandible or chin 

~ Microphthalmia - implies existence of an under-developed and immature ocular globe

~ Monozygotic; origin from one single zygote

~ Morphology; shape, proportions 

~ Muscle; contractile tissue. Note poetry in muscle - masculine - muzh (in Ukrainian males) - mus emerges from mouse and the notion that muscle bundles, when contracting, raise the skin, as if little mice were running under - in Ukrainian "myshi" means "mice". 

~ Mutagen; agent that alters genetic codes, heritable or not 

~ Nature; all living, see life

~ Navel; see umbilicus, a ship is tied to the shore, the baby (ship) is tied to the placenta (attached to the mother)

~ Neuroblast; blast implies source of cells 

~ Neoplasia; new tissue, by implication abnormal or distinct from the original

~ Neurofibromatosis; a systemic multi-tissue defect due to a single autosomal gene mutation 

~ Nomenclature; clue given by a name 

~ Norm; feature observed in the majority (95%) of subjects 

~ Normal, norm; prevalent, optimal 
~ Nosocomial; acquired in a hospital 

~ Nosology; categorization of ailments akin but not identical to natural history  
~ Nostalgia; remembrances with yearning, longing, a sense of loss 
~ Nostology; mental deterioration resulting from senility 

~ Nostril; nares, nasal external opening 
~ Obsession; unwanted intrusive compelling persistent recurring ideas and feelings 
                    may be a prodrome of zeal, mania, madness 
~ Order; best fit, health 

~ Omphalocele; herniated omphalon or navel, umbilical or central abdominal area

~ Omphalon; implies "central" 

~ Oncogene; gene increasing carcinogenesis risk 

~ Organ, organism; inter-dependent parts

~ Palpebral fissure; implies “eye opening size”

~ Parlance; professional jargon 

~ Pathos; implies development of a "sense" or "feeling"

~ Pathogenesis; in Medicine, mechanism generating an anomaly 

~ Pectus; shield, sternum, see pectus-carinatum/excavatum 

~ Pectus carinatum; keel, ridged sternum 

~ Pectus excavatum: cavity, trench, sunken sternum

~ Penetrance; proportion of individuals expressing an inherited gene 

~ Phacomatosis; mostly neuro-cutaneous and/or vascular reflecting neoplastic growth of hamartomatous tissues (see hamartoma) 

~ Philtrum; concavity (fossa) under the nose

~ Phocomelia; foca (seal), melia (limbs)

~ Phrenia; mind, as in oligophrenia

~ Phrenology; study of the mind 

~ Physiognomy; study of facial signals

~ Piggery; enterprise of breading swine (often a resource for Teratology investigations

~ Placenta; a flat, round, and brittle fetal organ (resembling a cheesecake) attached to the uterus and connected per an umbilical cord to a fetus surrounded by membrane

~ Plastos; element in dysplasia, metaplasia, aplasia, ... in Greek - implies "molding" as in "shaping" thus proportions, organization ...  

~ Pleotropism; plethora (multiplicity) of signs caused by a gene mutation 

~ Primacy; most important 

~ Proboscis; tube like nose or snout 

~ Prognathism; prominent jaw or macrognathia 

~ Prolabium; central part of the upper lip

~ Ptosis; fallen 

~ Radiation; energy emitted in waves of subatomic particles

~ Recessive: implies impacts of both alleles (see alternative in "dominant");

~ Regeneration; restoration of destroyed cells with minimal or no flaws

~ Rhino; root for words referring to nose

~ Rudiment; preferred term to underdeveloped, etc. 

~ Schisis; cut, separation, division, gap 

~ Sex; currently implies physical and not mental male vs female dichotomies of attributes indicative of contrasts characteristic of 46,XX compared to 46,XY chromosomal complements

~ Sign; objective evidence of an event

~ Signal; significance or interpretation of a sign 

~ Simian crease; single transverse palmar flexion crease

~ Sinciput; see next

~ Sinciputal; in brief, anterior area of the forehead (site of frontal encephaloceles)  

~ Squint; strabismus - in medical parlance deviated eye/eyes 

~ Sterile; infertile

~ Stigma; a signal or mark generally negative

~ Strabismus; or heterotopia, deviated eye or eyes, see esotropia  

~ Sydney crease; proximal palmar flexion crease reaching the ulnar border 

~ Symptom; perceived sensations by an individual capable of describing and transmitting them for a physician to interpret to what extend symptoms qualify as a sign (see sign)

~ Syn; root for together, joined, confluent as in symphony

~ Syndrome; concurrent characteristic consistent symptoms and signs

~ Synophris; convergent eyebrows  

~ Telorism; distance between paired structures, see hyper-telorism 

~ Teratogen; any environmental cause of developmental anomalies

~ Teratology; discipline concerned with teratogens (see above)

~ Teratoma; a tumor composed of cells derived from each of the three embryonal layers (ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm), implies and independently growing a disorganized mass of cells that may be malignant in nature 

~ Teratothanasia; embryonal or fetal death due to fatal defects

~ Thelarche; onset of postnatal breast (mammary) development usually at puberty (in Greek thele is nipple)

~ Torticollis; implies torsion or twisted neck, related to tort, contort, torture, etc.

~ Torsion; see torture

~ Torture; methods to produce pain inducing contortions

~ Toxin; poison, a cause of death or illness, from organic or inorganic source, implies impacts from miniscule or modest doses (virtually all substances at high doses are toxic – including oxygen)

~ Trichosis; pertaining hair, see hypo-hyper, alopecia 

~ Trisomy; three bodies, here denotes a chromosome in triplicate 

~ Twin dizygotic; two individuals gestated concurrently from two fertilized eggs

~ Twin monozygotic; one of two individuals from the same fertilized egg

~ Umbilicus; or navel, the center of an individual, in humans the attachment site of the placental cord, see navel

~ Usual; among the most frequent, customary, implies “normal”

~ Variant; "different", rare but within the 95% considered as "normal" 

~ Venal; prone to be corrupted, linked to venal, venereal, Venus

~ Venereal; pertaining to genesis, genitals, gene, points toward Venus, implies desire, reproductive organs, etc.   

~ Vermillion; red color, in medicine visible mucosa of lips 

~ Volar (skin); ridged skin (dermatoglyphic ridges), *see cutis, not implication in “volar” or “to fly in Spanish” – primates who “fly” between trees have areas of prehensible areas of the skin that are ridged (hands, feet, tails) – the study of patterns of ridged volar areas is the concern of the science of Dermatoglyphics 

~ X-linked; implies loci on the X chromosome 

~ Y-linked; implies loci on the Y chromosome 

~ Zygote, zygoma: yoked, sperm-egg conjugated


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Comment continued: ... While etymology seeks to uncover linguistic roots of words, ideonomy seeks to illuminate clusters of ideas inherent in words. Perhaps a "play with words" such as "what is the idea in the notion of idea" may be a way for others to learn from you answer, what is "on you mind". 

What follows is an informal repository of brief definitions of medical terms with an emphasis on their inherent "ideas". More expansive presentations often are presented in the format "Word Ideas", as "Overviews", and other alternative styles. The access to these entries can be secured by a general search of the contents of Pandora Word Box by using particular key words. 

W. Wertelecki, M.D.