Version
1.0
Date Updated
Monday, October 19, 2009
Descripton

Glossary of Lay Terms to Use in Preparation of Consent/ Assent/ Permission Forms

A

Abdominal

The body region that contains the stomach, intestines, liver, and other organs

Absorb

To take up fluids, take in

Acidosis

Condition when the blood contains more acid than normal

Acuity

Clearness, especially of vision and airways

Acute

New, recent, sudden

Adenopathy

Swollen glands (lymph nodes)

Adjuvant

Helpful, assisting, aiding

Adjuvant Treatment

Added treatment

Antibiotic

Drug that kills bacteria and other germs

Antimicrobial

Drug that kills bacteria and other germs

Antiretroviral

Drug that inhibits certain viruses

Adverse Effect

Negative side effect

Allergic Reaction

Rash, trouble breathing

Ambul -action -ory

Walk, able to walk

Anaphylaxis

Serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction

Anemia

Decreased red blood cells; low red blood cell count

Anesthetic | general

A drug or agent used to decrease the feeling of pain or eliminate the feeling of pain by putting you to sleep

Anesthetic | local

A drug or agent used to decrease the feeling of pain or by numbing an area of your body, without putting you to sleep

Angina | Angina Pectoris

Pain resulting from insufficient blood to the heart

Anorexia

Condition in which a person will not eat

Antecubital

Area inside the elbow

Antibody

Protein made in the body in response to foreign substance; attacks foreign substance and protects against infection

Anticonvulsant

Drug used to prevent seizures

Antilipidemic

A drug that decreases the level of fat(s) in the blood

Antiitussive

A drug used to relieve coughing

Arrhythmia

Any change from the normal heartbeat (abnormal heartbeat)

Aspiration

Fluid entering lungs

Assay

Lab test

Asthma

A lung disease associated with tightening of the air passages

Asymptomatic

Without symptoms

Axilla

Armpit

B

Benign

usually without serious consequences, but some exceptions exist where there may be serious consequences, such as in the case of a malignant brain tumor (not malignant)

Bid

Twice a day

Binding/ Bound

Carried by, to make stick together, transported

Bioavailability

The extend to which a drug or other substance becomes available to the body

Blood profile

Series of blood tests

Bolus

An amount given all at once

Bone mass

The amount of calcium in a given amount of bone

Bradyarrhythmias

Slow irregular heartbeat

Bradycardia

Slow heart beat

Broncospasm

Breathing distress caused by narrowing of the airways

C

Carcinogenic

Capable of causing cancer

Carcinoma

Type of cancer

Cardioversion

Restoration of normal heart beat by electric shock

Catheter

A tube for withdrawing or introducing fluids

Catheter | indwelling epidural

A tube placed near the spinal cord used for anesthesia during an operation

Central Nervous System | CNS

Brain and spinal cord

Cessation

Stopping

CHD | Coronary heart disease

heart disease

Chemotherapy

Treatment of disease, usually cancer, by chemical agents

Chronic

Continuing for a long time

Cisplatin

A drug used to kill cancer cells

Clinical

Pertaining to medical care

Clinically significant

Of major importance for treating or evaluating patients

Clinical trial

An experiment in patients

Coma

Unconscious state

Complete response

Total disappearance of disease

Congenital

Occurring prior to birth, due to parent's genetic input

Conjunctivitis

Irritation and redness of the thin membrane covering the eye

Consolidation Phase

Treatment phase intended to make a remission permanent, follows induction

Controlled Trial

Study in which the experimental treatment or procedure is compared to the standard/ conventional care (control) treatment or procedure

Cooperative Group

Association of multiple institutions to perform clinical trials

Coronary

Pertains to the blood vessels that supply the heart

CT (CAT) Scan | Computerized (axial) tomography

Computerized series of x-rays

Culture

Test for infection or organisms that could cause infection

Cumulative

Total amount (of individual events, experiences, treatments)

Cutaneous

Relating to the skin

CVA | Cerebrovascular accident Stroke

D

Dermatologic

Pertaining to the skin

Diastolic

Lower number in blood pressure reading; pertaining to resting or relaxation phase of heart beat

Distal

Toward the end, away from the center of the body

Diuretic

"Water pill" of drug that causes increase in urination

Doppler

Sound waves

Double Blind

Study in which neither investigators nor subjects know what drug the subject is receiving

Dysfunction

State of improper function

Dysplasia

Abnormal cells

E

Echocardiogram

Sound wave test of the heart

Edema

Increased fluid

EEG  | Electroencephalogram

Electric brainwave tracing 

Efficacy

Effectiveness

Electrocardiogram | ECG| EKG

Electrical tracing of the heartbeat or heart rhythm

Electrolyte Imbalance

Imbalance of salts or chemicals in the blood

Elevation of Liver Function Tests

Evidence of liver or kidney damage

Emesis

Vomiting

Empiric

Based on experience

Endoscopic Examination

Examination of an internal part of the body with a lighted tube; looking at a part of the body with a lighted tube

Enteral

By way of the intestines

Epidural

Outside the spinal cord

Eradicating

Getting rid of (such as disease)

Evaluated

Assessed; examined for medical condition

External

Outside the body

Extravasate

To leak outside of a blood vessel

F

Fibrillation

Irregular beat of the heart or other muscle

Fibrous

Having many fibers, such as scar tissue

FDA

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the branch of the federal government which approves new drugs

G

General Anesthesia | Also listed under Anesthesia (General)

Pain prevention by induction of drugged sleep, as in surgery

Gestational

Pertaining to pregnancy

H

Hematocrit

Amount of red blood cells in the blood

Hematoma

A bruise, a black and blue mark

Hemodynamic

Related to blood flow

Hemolysis

Breakdown in red blood cells

Heparin Lock

Needle placed in the arm with blood thinner to keep the blood from clotting inside the needle or tubing

Hepatoma

Cancer or tumor of the liver

Heritable Disease

A disease which can be transmitted to a person's children resulting in damage to future children

Histopathologic

Pertaining to the disease status of body tissues or cells

Holter Monitor

A portable machine for recording heart beats

Hypercalcemia

High blood calcium level

Hyperkalemia

High blood potassium level

Hypernatremia

High blood sodium level

Hypertension

High blood pressure

Hypoxia

Low oxygen level in the blood

I

Iatrogenic

Caused by a physician or by treatment

IDE

The license to test an unapproved new medical device; a new device which has not yet been approved by the FDA (Investigational device exemption)

Idiopathic

Of unknown cause

Immunoglobulin

A combination of antibodies from proteins in the blood

Immunosuppressive

Drug which suppresses the body's immune response, used in transplantation and diseases caused by disordered immunity

Immunotherapy

Giving of drugs to help the body's protective (immune) system; usually to destroy cancer cells

Impaired Function

Abnormal function

Implanted

Placed in the body

IND

The license to test an unapproved new drug | Investigational new drug; a new drug which has not yet been approved by the FDA

Induction Phase

Beginning phase or stage of a treatment

Induration

Hardening

Indwelling

Remaining in a given location, such as a catheter

Infarct

Death of tissue because of lack of blood supply

Infectious Disease

Disease which is given (transmitted) from one person to the next

Inflammation

Swelling which is generally painful, red, and feels warm

Infusion

Introduction of a substance into the body, usually into the blood

Ingestion

Eating; taking by mouth

Intermittent

Occurring (regularly or irregularly) between two time points; alternately ceasing and beginning

Internal

Within the body

Interior

Inside of the body

Intramuscular

Into the muscle; within the muscle

Intraperitoneal

Into the abdominal cavity

Intrathecal

Into the spinal fluid

Intravenous (IV)

Into (within) a vein

Intravesical

In the bladder

Intubate

The placement of a tube into the airway

Invasive Procedure

Puncture, opening or cutting into the skin

Investigational Method

A treatment method which has not been proven to be beneficial or has not been accepted as standard care/ conventional care

Ischema Procedure

Decreased oxygen in a tissue (generally because of decreased blood flow)

L

Laporatomy

A procedure in which an incision is made to the abdominal (stomach) wall to enable a physician to look at the organs

Lethargy

Sleepiness

Leukopenia

Low white blood cell count

Lipid

Fat

Lipid Profile | panel

Fat and cholesterol levels in the blood

Local Anesthesia

Making a small area of the body not feel pain

Localized

Restricted to one area; limited to one area | of the body

Lumen

The inside of an organ or any kind of tube shape, such as the inside of a blood vessel or needle

Lymphangiography

An x-ray of the lymph nodes or tissues after injection of dye in lymph vessels (such as the feet)

Lymphoma

A cancer of the lymph nodes (or tissues)

M

Malaise

A vague feeling of general discomfort in the body; feeling bad

Malfunction

Condition in which something is not functioning properly

Malignancy

Cancer or other progressively growing larger and spreading tumor, generally fatal if not successfully treated

Medulloblastoma

A drug used to treat infections caused by parasites or other causes of infections

Metabolize

Process of breaking down substances in the cells

Metastasis

Spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another

MI

Heart attack | Myocardial Infarction

Minimal

Slight

Minimize

Reduce

Monitor

Check on; keep track of; watch carefully

Mobility

Ease of movement; Ability to move around

Morbidity

Undesired result or complication; serious disease

Mortality

Death or death rate

MRI | Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Body pictures created using magnetic rather than x-ray energy

Myalgia

Muscle aches

Mucosa; Mucous Membrane

Lining of tracts that make eating, breathing, urination, and reproduction possible

Myocardial Infarction

Related to the muscle of the heart; heart attack; death of the heart muscle

N

Nasogastric tube

Tube from the nose to the stomach

Necrosis

Death of tissue 

Neoplasia

Tumor, may be non-cancerous or cancerous

Neuroblastoma

A cancer of nerve tissue

Neurological

Pertaining to the nervous system

Neutropenia

Decrease in the main part of the white blood cells

Non-Invasive

Not breaking, cutting, or entering the skin

Nosocomial Pneumonia

Pneumonia obtained in the hospital

O

Occlusion

Closing; obstruction

Oncology

The study of tumors or cancer

Ophthalmic

Related to the eye

Optimal

Best, most favorable or desirable

Oral Administration

Given by mouth

Orthopedic

Related to the bones

Osteopetrosis

Rare bone disorder that has to do with dense bone

Osteoporosis

Bone disorder that has to do with loss of bone leading to increased risk of fracture

Ovaries

Female glands related to reproduction; female organs which release eggs

P

Parenteral

Administration by injection

Patency

Being open

Pathogenesis

The initial cause of a disease

Percutaneous

Through the skin

Perforation

Puncture, tear or hole

Peripheral

Not in the center; not central

Per OS (PS)

By mouth (generally, used with the way that a drug is being taken by you or given to you)

Pharmacokinetics

Study of the way the body absorbs, distributes and gets rid of a drug

Phase I

Initial study of a new drug in humans to determine limits of tolerance and/or to determine effectiveness

Phase II

Second phase of a study of a new drug intended to obtain initial information as to effectiveness

Phase III

Large scale trial to confirm and expand information on safety and effectiveness of a new drug

Phlebitis

Irritation or inflammation of a vein

Placebo

An inactive substance which may be resemble an active agent but has no medical value

Placebo effect

Symptom or change of condition seen when a placebo is given; the symptom or change is not related to an active drug agent

Platelets

Small particles in the blood that help with blood clotting

Potential

Possible

Potentiate

Increase or multiply the effect of a drug or toxin by administration of another drug or toxin at the same time

Potentiator

An agent that helps another agent work better

Prenatal

Before birth

Prophylaxis

A drug given to prevent disease or infection

Prosthesis

Artificial limbs, such as arms and legs

PRN

As needed

Prognosis

Outlook, probable outcomes

Prone

Lying on the stomach

Prospective Study

Study following patients forward in time

Protocol

Plan of study

Proximal

Closer to the center of the body, away from the end

Pulmonary

Pertaining to the lungs

Q

QD

Every day; daily

QID

Four times a day

R

Radiation Therapy

X-ray or cobalt treatment

Random

By chance

Randomization

Assignment of treatment group by chance, similar to tossing a coin (when there are two treatment choices)

RBC

Red blood cell

Recombinant

Formation of new combinations of genes

Reconstitution

Putting back together the original parts or elements

Recur

Happen again

Refractory

Not responding to treatment

Regeneration

Regrowth of a structure or of lost tissue

Regimen

Pattern of administering treatment

Relapse

The return or reappearance of a disease

Remission

Disappearance of evidence of cancer or other disease

Renal

Related to the kidneys

Replicable

Capable of being done again

Resect

Remove or cut out (through surgery)

Retrospective Study

Study looking back over past experience

S

Sarcoma

A type of cancer

Sedative

A drug to calm or make less anxious

Seminoma

A type of cancer of the male reproductive organs

Sequentially

In a row

Software

Computer program

Somnolence

Sleepiness

Spirometer

An instrument to measure the amount of air taken into and exhaled from the lungs

Standard of Care

Treatment plan which the majority of the medical community would accept as appropriate

Staging

A determination of the extent of the disease

Stenosis

Narrowing of a duct, tube, or one of the heart valves

Stomatitis

Mouth sores; inflammation of the mouth

Stratify

Arrange in groups for analysis of results (e.g., stratify by age, sex, etc.)

Stupor

Stunned state in which it is difficult to get a response or the attention of the subject

Subclavian

Under the collarbone

Subcutaneous

Under the skin

Supine

Lying on the back

Supportive Care

General medical care aimed at symptoms, not intended to improve or cure the underlying disease

Symptomatic

Having symptoms

Syndrome

A condition characterized by a set of symptoms

Systolic

Top number in blood pressure; related to the contraction part of the heart beat

T

Teratogenic

Capable of causing forms in unborn fetuses

Testes

Male sex glands; male organs which produce sperm

Thrombosis

Blood clotting within blood vessels

TID

Three times a day

Titration

Little by little alteration of drug dose to determine desired effect or the most effective strength of the drug

T-Lymphocytes

Type of white blood cells involved in immune reactions

Topical

Surface; on the skin

Topical Anesthetic

Applied to a certain area of the skin to reduce pain to a limited area to which applied

Toxicity

Side effects or undesirable effects of a drug

Transiently

Temporarily

Trauma

Trauma; wound

Treadmill

Walking machine often used to determine heart function

U

Uptake

Absorption and incorporation of a substance by living tissue; absorb and incorporate a substance, taking in of a substance by living tissue

V

Valvuloplasty

Plastic repair of a valve, especially of the heart

Varices

Enlarged veins, usually in legs or lining of tube between mouth and stomach

Vasospasm

Narrowing of blood vessels due to spasm of vessel walls

Vector

A carrier, usually an insect, that carries and transmits disease-causing microorganisms

Venipuncture

Entering vein with a needle, generally through the skin

Vertical Transmission

Spread of disease

W

WBC

White blood cells