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Respiratory Terms

Career Step - MTE

TermDefinition
septum Partition between the two sides of the nasal cavity.
ethmoid Perforated like a sieve, such as the ethmoid bone.
vomer Bone of the nasal septum.
choana (e) Link from external nares to nasopharynx.
turbinates Another name for conchae.
meatus Passageway in the body, especially an opening on the surface.
epithelium Lining of small cavaties.
epistaxis Nosebleed.
olfaction Sense of smell.
olfactory epithelia Lines the olfactory region of the nasal cavity.
paranasal sinuses Air spaces contained by certain bones of the face.
maxillary sinus One of the paired paranasal sinuses located in the body of the maxilla.
frontal sinus One of the paired irregular shaped paranasal sinuses located in the frontal bone.
sphenoid sinus One of the paired paranasal sinuses in the anterior part of the body of the sphenoid bone.
ethmoidal sinus One of the paranasal sinuses located within the ethmoid bone.
auditory Pertaining to the sense of hearing.
eustachian Tube connecting the nasopharynx to the middle ear.
adenoids Pharyngeal tonsils.
laryngopharynx Where the respiratory and digestive systems diverge.
thyroid Gland situated in the lower part of the front of the neck.
cricoid Ring-shaped cartilage making up the lower larynx.
arytenoid Vocal cord cartilage.
bifurcates Divided into two branches.
bifurcation Site where a single structure divides into two.
carina Cartilaginous plate of the trachea.
bronchial tree Another name for pulmonary bronchus.
tertiary Third in order.
bronchioles One of the subdivisions of the branched bronchial tree.
alveolar ducts Small passages connecting the respiratory bronchioles and the alveolar sacs.
alveoli Functional units of the respiratory system.
mediastinal space Space separating the lungs.
mediastinum Mass of tissues and organs separating the two pleural sacs.
lobules Division of lung lobes.
pleura Serous membrane of the thoracic cavity.
visceral Pleura which is adherent to the outer surface of the lung.
parietal Pleura that lines the thoracic wall and diaphragm.
ventilation Process of the exchange of air between the lungs and the ambient air.
inspriation Drawing air inward to the lungs.
diaphragm Partition that separates the abdominal and thoracic cavities.
expiration The relaxation of the chest wall.
diffusion Process of becoming widely spread.
pulmonary alveoli Small outpouchings along the walls of the alveolar sacs where gas exchange takes place.
pulmonology Specialty that deals primarily with problems of the respiratory system.
incentive spirometry Measurement of the breathing capacity of the lungs.
chest pain Any discomfort in the thoracic cavity.
clubbing Enlargement of the ends of the fingers and toes with loss of the nailbed angle. This can be an indication of several pulmonary disorders and is usually examined in conjunction with cyanosis and edema.
congestion Excessive or abnormal accumulation of fluid (such as mucus in the sinuses).
cough A sudden, noisy expulsion of air from the lungs. This is a reflex to keep the airway free of foreign matter.
cyanosis Bluish discoloration, particularly of the nailbeds and perioral area. Again, this may be seen in conjunction with clubbing and edema.
dyspnea Difficulty breathing.
hemoptysis Coughing up blood or bloodstained sputum, usually due to bleeding somewhere in the respiratory tract.
hiccup (hiccough) An involuntary spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm that occurs on inspiration and results in a distinctive sound.
malaise A vague feeling of bodily discomfort and fatigue, not necessarily related specifically to respiratory function.
sputum Matter that is ejected from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea through the mouth. The consistency of this matter can be a major factor in determining the pathology of a respiratory problem.
purulent Containing pus.
rales Usually pronounced "rawls" (but sometimes "rails" or "rals" - rhyming with "pals"). These are discontinuous nonmusical sounds heard primarily during inspiration. They are also called crackles.
rhonchi Continuous dry rattling sounds in the throat or bronchial tube due to a partial obstruction.
stridor A muscial sound,heard with a stethoscope on inspiration.
tachypnea Shortness of breath. Excessive rapidity of respiration or quick, shallow breathing.
wheezing Whistling or wheezing noises associated with breathing; a telltale symptom of asthma.
thoracentesis The surgical puncture of the chest wall in order to aspirate fluid.
percussion Striking a part with short, sharp blows.
hypoxia/hypoxemia Deficiency of oxygen in the blood.
bronchoscopy Examination of the bronchi with a scope.
auscultation Listening for sounds within the body.
anoxia A total lack of oxygen in the blood.
hypercapnia An abundance of carbon dioxide in the blood.
abcess A localized collection of pus buried in tissues, organs, or confined spaces.
adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) Chronic respiratory failure associated with various acute pulmonary injuries. It is characterized by pulmonary edema, respiratory distress, and hypoxemia.
apnea Cessation of breathing.
asphyxia Suffocation. This can be deliberate and traumatic, occur as a result of some obstruction of the airway, or due to some other cause.
asthma This is a condition that is marked by recurrent attacks of paroxysmal dyspnea and it is manifested by wheezing. It can be due to an allergic reaction, strenuous exercise, irritant particles in the air, psychological stresses, or other factors.
paroxysmal A paroxysm is a sudden recurrence of intensification of symptoms.
atelectasis Incomplete expansion of a lung, a shrunken or airless lung. This can be wither acute or chronic and can be complete or partial. This is determined via a chest x-ray.
bronchiectasis An irreversible chronic dilation of the bronchi that is usually accompanied by infection. It is manifested by fetid breath and paroxysmal coughing with the expectoration of mucopurulent matter.
fetid Having a rank or disagreeable smell.
expectoration The act of coughing up and spitting out materials from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea.
bronchitis Inflammation of the mucous membrane lining of the bronchial tubes. Significant contributing factors to this condition are cigarette smoking, pollution, and allergies.
bronchopneumonia An inflammation of the lungs which usually begins in the terminal bronchioles.
bronchiolitis Another name for bronchopneumonia.
bronchoalveolitis Another name for bronchopneumonia.
bronchopneumonitis Another name for bronchopneumonia.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) A generalized term related to persistent airways obstructions. COPD is associated with various combinations of chronic bronchitis, respiratory bronchiolitis, asthma, and/or emphysema.
coccidioidmycosis A fungal disease that infects the respiratory system as a result of the inhalation of spores. Manifested primarily by cold symptoms. Also called "valley fever."
emphysema A pathological accumulation of air in tissues or organs, especially the lungs. In pulmonary emphysema, there is dilatation of the alveoli and destruction of their walls. It is a common cause of disability and eventual death for cigarette smokers.
empyema Accumulation of pus in a cavity of the body. Although there are different types, when the term is used without a qualifier, it refers to thoracic empyema, which is in the pleural space.
epiglottitis Inflammation of the epiglottis.
hemothorax A collection of blood in the pleural cavity. This often results from a blunt or penetrating trauma to the chest wall.
hyaline membrane disease This is a disorder usually affecting premature newborns in which the alveoli are lined by a hyaline material. It usually results in extensive atelectasis and is often fatal.
hyperventilation A state in which there is an increase in the amount of air entering the pulmonary alveoli, which results in a decrease in carbon dioxide tension.
infiltrate Material deposited in organs or cells which are not normal to it, or in excessive quantities. It is also a sign of acute inflammation.
interstitial lung disease When there is an abnormal accumulation of many different cell types in the alveoli and bronchioles, which ultimately leads to progressive destruction of the lung.
laryngitis Inflammation of the larynx. Usually associated with dryness and soreness of the throat, hoarseness, cough, and dysphagia.
papilloma A papilloma is a benign tumor. They are viral in origin and cause hoarseness.
pertussis An acute, highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract, most frequently seen in young children and characterized by paroxysmal coughing. Also called "whooping cough."
pleural effusion Excess fluid in the pleural space. The presence of fluid in the pleural space is usually determined by x-ray and almost always requires a thoracentesis.
serous Fluid that is clear and yellow.
sanguineous Bloody or blood-tinged fluid.
serosanguineous Fluid containing both serum and blood.
pleurisy Inflammation of the pleura. It is usually characterized by pain that is worse with breathing and coughing. The onset is usually sudden.
pneumoconiosis A condition characterized by the permanent deposition of substantial amounts of particulate matter into the lungs. It is also called occupational pneumonia.
anthracosis A common type of pneumoconiosis, also called "black lung."
asbestosis A common type of pneumoconiosis due to the inhalation of asbestos fibers.
berylliosis A common type of pneumoconiosis due to beryllium dust.
silicosis A common type of pneumoconiosis due to sand particles.
pneumonia Also called pneumonitis, this is inflammation of the lung resulting in consolidation, which is defined as a pathologic process where normally aerated lung tissue is converted into a dense, airless mass.
pneumonitis Another name for pneumonia. (Pneumonia can also be viral or fungal in nature.)
consolidation A pathologic process where normally aerated lung tissue is converted into a dense, airless mass.
Hemophilus influenzae This is the second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia. The most serious strain of this is type b, which is usually Hib pneumonia.
Klebsiella pneumoniae This is the most frequent of the gram-negative bacilli and it normally affects already compromised lungs, such as with the very young or the very old, hospital or nursing home patients, immuno-compromised hosts, or alcoholics.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa A gram-negative pathogen.
Acinetobacter A gram-negative pathogen.
Legionella pneumophila Also know as Legionnaires' disease, this only accounts for 1% to 8% of pneumonias. It can occur at any age, and early phase symptoms include headache, malaise, fever, myalgia, and cough which eventually produces mucoid sputum.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae Most common pathogen for children and young adults (5-35), but is otherwise quite rare. Long incubation period (10-14 days), which accounts for its steady spread. Early symptoms also mimic the flue, malaise, dry cough, and sore throat.
Pneumococcus pneumoniae Most common case for bacterial pneumonia. Usually begins with an upper respiratory infection, including congestion. The onset is often a single shaking chill followed by fever, pain with breathing, cough, dyspnea, and sputum production.
Styphylococcus aureus Accounts for approximately 2% of community-acquired pneumonias. Patients at risk: infants, elderly, hospitalized patients, surgical patients, immunosuppressed patients. High mortality 30-40%.
Streptococcus pneumoniae This has become relatively rare since World War I and is usually a complication of influenza, measles, chickenpox, or pertussis.
pneumothorax Free air in the pleural cavity between the visceral and parietal pleurae. It may occur either spontaneously or because of trauma or pathological process.
rhinitis Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose. Often accompanied by rhinorrhea (a runny nose).
rhinorrhea Runny nose.
sarcoidosis Also, called Boeck sarcoid, this is a systemic disease of unknown etiology with the most sever manifestation being granulomatous pneumonitis.
Boeck sarcoid Another name for sarcoidosis.
granulomatous Pertaining to any small nodular aggregation of a certain kind of cells.
sinusitis Inflammation of a sinus. It is usually designated by the name of the sinus that is inflamed.
tonsilitis Inflammation of the tonsils, especially the palatine tonsils.
tracheitis Inflammation of the trachea.
tuberculosis Chronic, recurrent infection most common in the lungs. Disease cased by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Cough, dyspnea, and pleural effusion usually progress over the course of the disease. Highly contagious. Great potential to destroy lung and to kill.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis The gram-positive bacterium that causes tuberculosis.
upper respiratory infection (URI) The common cold. An acute, usually afebrile viral infection of the respiratory tract with inflammation in any or all of the airways, including the nose, paranasal sinuses, throat, larynx, and often the trachea and brohchi.
Wegener's granulomatosis An uncommon disease that usually begins as a localized granulomatous inflammation of the upper and/or lower respiratory tract mucosa.
Created by: EGaboriault