In this section, we present a dictionary of medical terms used on our website.

Abdominal pain Pain in your tummy that may indicate various conditions of the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, or other organs.
Abscess An accumulation of pus that forms as a defensive reaction to a bacterial infection. It can occur anywhere in the body. Treatment options range from immobilization of the affected area to surgical dissection.
Adjuvant The adjective comes from the Latin verb "adiuvare", meaning "to support", "to help". In medicine, it is used to describe a procedure that is performed after the primary treatment (as a rule, surgery in cancer care) in order to complement and increase its effectiveness.
A chemical compound capable of binding to a specific target protein, such as a receptor. By binding to a receptor, an agonist activates the receptor to produce the desired signal. Agonists may be produced by the body itself (e.g., hormones or neurotransmitters), or they may be substances that mimic or replace the endogenous messenger function.
Anamnesis Information about the patient's history and complaints obtained during the doctor-patient interview. Collecting this information is an important part of the physical examination.
Angiography Visualization of blood vessels using a contrast agent that is injected directly into arteries or veins. This makes them visible on the X-ray image.
Aortography A minimally invasive radiological examination of the aorta, the largest vessel of the human body. It is used to detect abnormal changes, such as aneurysms (wall protrusions), dissections. To perform the procedure, a radiopaque substance is injected into the aorta through a catheter.
Appendectomy Surgical removal of the appendix (cecum). The procedure is used in the cases of inflammation or a malignant process.
Arterial hypertension Abnormally high pressure in the arteries, systolic (during the tension phase of the heart) up to ≥140 mmHg and/or diastolic (when the heart muscle is relaxed) ≥90 mmHg. Along with diabetes, smoking, and high cholesterol, it is one of the four major cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Arthroscopy Joint surgery involving the use of an optical camera - an arthroscope. This minimally invasive procedure is usually performed on large joints, including knees, shoulders, hips, and wrists.
Biopsy Obtaining samples of tissue or fluids from the human body for subsequent laboratory testing. The procedure can be performed with the help of a hollow needle inserted through the skin surface, a device for penetrating into hollow organs of the human body (endoscope), or a scalpel (during surgery).
Biopsy sample A specimen of living tissue obtained in a biopsy. The terms "biopsy" and "biopsy sample" are often used as synonyms in everyday healthcare professionals' communication, although biopsy refers to the process of obtaining the specimen, not the sample itself.
Bypass Creating an alternate passage for blood flow using surgery. In cardiac surgery it is used to restore or improve the oxygen supply to the heart, but it can also be performed on other vessels besides the coronary ones. Grafts are made of the patient’s own arteries or veins.
Carcinoma in situ
(Stage 0 Cancer)
The Latin part of the expression means “in the original place”; in general, the term denotes stage 0 of malignant tumor development, i.e., an epithelial neoplasm that has all the morphological and molecular characteristics of an invasive carcinoma. Since it is separated from the original epithelium by a subcutaneous membrane, there is no contact with blood and lymphatic vessels, and thus no invasion. Carcinoma in situ can remain in a non-invasive stage for several years until it develops into an invasive cancer.
Catheterization A procedure in which catheters are used to probe, empty, fill, or flush hollow organs such as the bladder, stomach, intestines, blood vessels, as well as the ear and heart. Catheters are tubes or hoses of various diameters made of plastic, rubber, silicone, metal or glass. The procedure is performed for diagnostic (examination-related) or therapeutic (treatment-related) purposes.
Chromoendoscopy A supplementary method for diagnostics of the gastrointestinal tract as part of an endoscopic examination. Suspicious tissue areas are stained with biocompatible dyes, which, combined with the use of high-resolution devices or with the possibility of enlarging the image, allows particularly good visualization of the mucosal surface.
ECG The process of obtaining a recording of the heart's electrical activity (electrocardiogram). The movements of the heart muscle during blood pumping are controlled by electrical impulses emanating from a group of cells in the right atrium (sinus node). These impulses are recorded using electrodes attached to the surface of the skin. The results of the study play an essential role in the diagnosis of a number of cardiovascular diseases.
An ultrasound examination of the heart (sonography). It can be used to evaluate the valves, heart walls and pericardium. There are two main types of echocardiography: transthoracic (TTE), which is performed by placing the probe on the patient's chest (chest wall) while he or she is lying on the side, and transoesophageal (TEE) performed with an ultrasound probe inserted into the esophagus.
Electrocoagulation Destruction of tissues by means of a high-frequency electric current. The procedure is used to remove small tumors and other skin neoplasms, as well as to treat warts.
Electrosurgical excision Removal of tissue areas (e.g., small neoplasms such as polyps or papillomas) using high frequency electric current. It is a common procedure in gastroenterology and gynecology.
Endarterectomy A surgical procedure to restore blood flow in arteries or veins that have been disrupted by atherosclerotic narrowings (stenosis). The doctor makes an incision to get access to the problem area to remove clots, atherosclerotic plaques, and endothelium from the vessel. Then the integrity of the vessel is restored using sutures.
Endoscopy Literally means "to look inside". In health care, it is a method of examining internal organs and body cavities using an optical probe (endoscope). The procedure can also include therapeutic manipulations (e.g., removal of stomach or intestinal polyps).
(fibrotic scarring)
A process of pathological tissue remodeling when abnormal new tissue develops instead of healthy connective tissue, similar to a scar on the skin. Fibrosis can affect not only individual tissues or organs, but entire organ systems. It is not a disease as such, but a symptom that can appear in various forms.
Fine needle aspiration Tissue sampling from suspicious masses for subsequent examination, which is performed using a very thin, hollow needle with a very thin syringe. It is used, for example, to detect diseases of the mammary and thyroid glands, lungs, and liver, and is a rather simple and almost uncomplicated diagnostic method.
Gastroscopy An examination of the upper part of the digestive tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) performed with the help of an endoscope. It consists of a movable tube through which the physician can view the inside of the digestive tract using special video optics. Working tools can also be inserted through a small channel inside the tube, for example, to obtain tissue samples (biopsy), or stop bleeding. Using a small ultrasound device at the tip of a special endoscope, the layers of the stomach or intestinal wall can be evaluated (endosonography).
Hemodynamic compensation An increase in heart rate or stroke volume (the amount of blood the heart pumps into the body during contraction).
(ERBB2, CD340)
A specific membrane protein that is a receptor for human epidermal growth factor (found on the cell surface). In 15-30% of malignant breast tumors the number of these receptors is significantly increased, so they are HER2-positive. This means that such breast tumors can be treated with therapy directed against HER2.
Histology 1.The science studying microscopic structure of cells and tissues; a branch of medicine and biology. It aims at early diagnosis and classification of tumors, detection of metabolic disorders, as well as parasitic, bacterial, and inflammatory diseases. 2. Examination of tissue samples taken as part of a biopsy or surgery to determine their biological structure and the presence of abnormal changes.
Hyperplasia Organ or tissue enlargement due to excessive cell multiplication. It can occur as a reaction to an increased stress or hormone influence, and regress after the elimination of the provoking factor. In hyperplasia, unlike hypertrophy, the size of the cells remains unchanged; only their number increases.
Hypervolemia Excessive volume of body fluid, e.g., of blood circulating in the vessels. It can be associated with various diseases and abnormal processes (heart defects, renal failure, increased water intake in diabetes mellitus, etc.). Treatment depends on the cause of the condition.
Hypsarrhythmia An irregular, variable EEG activity with multiple spikes (paroxysmal electrical discharges with multiple peaks) in different parts of the brain. This pattern is characteristic of a type of childhood epilepsy called West syndrome.
IFA Abbreviated from “Indirect Fluorescent Antibody”. The term refers to a method for the qualitative or quantitative detection of proteins, hormones, antibodies, tumor markers, viruses, pharmaceuticals, toxins, and other low molecular weight compounds in body fluids, such as serum, cerebrospinal fluid, and urine. The antibodies used are combined through various procedures with enzymes, whose reaction product is detected by a color change.
Incretins Peptides (small protein-like molecules), which are produced in the small intestine in response to the stimulating effects of glucose and regulate the body's energy balance. They suppress hunger and glucagon production, and stimulate insulin production. These include GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide). Chemical analogs of incretins have become very important in diabetes mellitus therapy.
(to inhibit, inhibiting)
A substance that influences one or more reactions (chemical, biological or physical) in such a way that they are slowed down, stopped or prevented.
Invasive form A cancer development stage involving the spread of the malignant process beyond the primary focus into the surrounding tissues.
Irrigoscopy A radiology procedure to visualize the entire colon all the way to the small intestine. Through a thin probe inserted into the anal canal, a dense contrast agent is injected and air is pressed. The air causes the intestinal mucosa to unfold, which is noticeable by the feeling of fullness. After the colon is completely filled, digital X-rays are taken in various positions.
Malignization The process involving the transformation of normal, growth-controlling cells into uncontrolled growing tumor cells. This change can be initiated, for example, by exposure to chemicals, so-called transforming (oncogenic) viruses or ultraviolet or X-ray radiation. In some cell types, malignant transformation can also be induced spontaneously.
Manifestation of a disease A stage in the development of a disease at which it can be identified by characteristic signs (symptoms) or by examination.
Metaplasia Abnormal replacement of one type of tissue by another. The causes can include chronic inflammations, vitamin A deficiency, hormonal disorders, and environmental issues
Minimally invasive A general term for all types of surgery in which the goal is to keep the area of damage to the body as small as possible by making as few incisions as possible, or which can avoid the use of the heart-lung machine. The tools used for such procedures differ from the ones applied in conventional surgery. The surgeon sees the area to be treated through an endoscope and can perform the surgery with instruments inserted into the body.
Neoadjuvant A derivative of the word "adjuvant", meaning a medical procedure that is done prior to the definitive treatment, such as giving chemotherapy to reduce the size of a tumor before it is surgically removed.
Nephrectomy Surgical removal of the kidney for therapeutic purposes or for organ donation. A distinction is made between partial nephrectomy (partial removal of the kidney) and radical nephrectomy (removal of the entire kidney). Depending on the indications, the operation is performed either as open surgery or laparoscopy.
Parenchym Cellular tissue specific to an organ (e.g., the liver) that ensures its function due to the metabolic processes that occur in it.
Parenteral nutrition A form of artificial nutrition which is used when the patient is unable to eat, and food delivery via a gastric or small intestinal tube is also not possible, so nutrients have to be administered directly into the blood by infusion. For this purpose, a venous access in a peripheral or central vein is created.
Pathogenesis Course of development or process leading to a disease.
Pathology 1.An abnormal, unhealthy condition affecting an organ or system in the human body; the word may be used in the same meaning as disease. 2.A branch of medicine that studies the origin, development, course, and consequences of diseases, including related processes in the body (functional pathology or pathophysiology).
PCR Short for "polymerase chain reaction”. It is an enzymatic laboratory diagnostic method used to quickly obtain copies of a desired segment of DNA. It is used, for example, to detect hereditary diseases and viral infections, clone genes, etc. It is the most sensitive and reliable method for direct detection of pathogens.
Physical examination A routine test which a physician performs using his/her own senses (vision, hearing, touch, smell), or with the help of simple tools (e.g., a stethoscope).
Physical status The physical condition of the human body, an important aspect of medical examination. To determine it, the doctor may evaluate the patient's weight (underweight, normal or excessive), his or her physique, and skin condition.
Regional lymph node Collects lymph (a light-yellow fluid circulating in the body to transport nutrients and get rid of pathogens) from a particular region (organ). An increase in the size of such nodes indicates an infection, inflammation, or malignant process in the respective area of the body.
Relapse Recurrence of the disease after a temporary relief.
Remission The patient's condition, when the symptoms of the disease subside or disappear altogether for a more or less prolonged period of time, which, however, does not mean complete healing.
Renal failure symptoms Manifestations of poor kidney function (particularly in chronic renal disease), such as weight loss, swelling, itching, blood in the urine, etc.
Resection Removal of abnormal tissue, tumor or a whole organ during surgery. In some cases, surrounding tissues are also removed (so-called "single-block resection").
Stent A medical implant that is inserted into a blood vessel when it becomes narrow (stenotic). It is usually a thin wire mesh of metal or synthetic fiber, which supports the arterial wall as a scaffold, providing sufficient lumen width for normal blood flow.
TNM classification Is a classification system that describes the extent of malignant disease according to the size and spread of the primary tumor (T), metastases to regional lymph nodes (N), and distant metastases (M). There are different criteria for each tumor type, which are published and regularly updated by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC).
Trophic changes Functional and structural transformation of tissues resulting from lack of nourishment received from the bloodstream, or denervation (interruption of nerve connections) in some part of the body.
Vena Cavography An imaging procedure that shows the great vena cava of the upper body (upper cavography) or abdomen (lower cavography) using X-rays and a contrast agent. Its technique is similar to phlebography, but involves a larger amount of contrast or a higher flow rate.
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