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Respiratory System

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Term
Definition
upper respiratory tract   includes the nose, pharynx, and larynx  
lower respiratory tract (which organs are included?)   includes the trachea, bronchi, and lungs  
external respiration   exchange of gases between the external environment and the lungs  
internal respiration   exchange of gases between the body cells and the blood  
paranasal sinuses   air cavities within the cranial bones that open into the nasal cavities  
adenoids   lymphoid tissue located on the posterior wall of the nasal cavity; also called pharyngeal tonsils  
Adam's Apple   the largest ring of cartilage in the larynx; also called the thyroid cartilage  
visceral pleura   double-folded serous membrane covering each lung  
parietal pleura   double-folded serous membrane lining the thoracic cavity  
diaphragm   contracts to pull air in; relaxes to push air out  
adenoid/o   adenoids  
alveol/o   alveolus  
bronch/o, bronchi/o   bronchus  
diaphragmat/o, phren/o   diaphragm  
epiglott/o   epiglottis  
laryng/o   larynx  
lob/o   lobe  
nas/o, rhin/o   nose  
pharyng/o   pharynx  
pleur/o   pleura  
pneum/o, pneumat/o, pneumon/o   lung; air  
pulmon/o   lung  
sept/o   septum (wall off, fence)  
sinus/o   sinus  
thorac/o   thorax, chest, chest cavity  
tonsill/o   tonsil  
trache/o   trachea  
atel/o   imperfect, incomplete  
capn/o   carbon dioxide  
hem/o, hemat/o   blood  
muc/o   mucus  
orth/o   straight  
ox/i   oxygen  
phon/o   sound, voice  
py/o   pus  
radi/o   x-rays, ionizing radiation  
somn/o   sleep  
son/o   sound  
spir/o   breathe, breathing  
tom/o   to cut, section, or slice  
a- // an-   absence of, without  
endo-   within  
eu-   normal, good  
poly-   many, much  
tachy-   fast, rapid  
-algia   pain  
-ar // -ary // -eal   pertaining to  
-cele   hernia or protrusion  
-centesis   surgical puncture to aspirate fluid (with a sterile needle)  
-ectasis   stretching out, dilation, expansion  
-emia   in the blood  
-gram   the record, radiographic image  
-graph   instrument used to record; the record  
-graphy   process of recording, radiographic imaging  
-meter   instrument used to measure  
-metry   measurement  
-pexy   surgical fixation; suspension  
-pnea   breathing  
-rrhagia   rapid flow of blood; excessive bleeding  
-scope   instrument used for visual examination  
-scopic   pertaining to visual examination  
-scopy   visual examination  
-spasm   sudden, involuntary muscle contraction  
-stenosis   constriction or narrowing  
-stomy   creation of an artificial opening  
-thorax   chest, chest cavity  
-tomy   cut into; incision  
atelectasis   incomplete expansion (of the lung or portion of the lung)  
bronchiectasis   dilation of the bronchi  
croup   the acute form of laryngotracheobronchitis (LTB); characterized by barking cough, hoarseness, and stridor; may be caused by viral or bacterial infection, allergy, or foreign body; occurs mainly in children  
Mesothelioma   a rare form of cancer most common in the pleura; most often caused by inhalation exposure to asbestos  
pleurisy   alternative term for pleuritis (inflammation of the pleura)  
empyema   alternative term for pyothorax (pus in the chest cavity)  
epistaxis   nosebleed (also called rhinorrhagia)  
acute/adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)   respiratory failure as a result of disease or injury  
asthma   respiratory disease characterized by coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, caused by constriction and inflammation of airways  
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)   progressive lung disease obstructing air flow, which makes breathing difficult; characterized by chronic bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema; often caused by smoking  
coccidioidomycosis (also called valley fever)   fungal disease affecting the lungs and sometimes other organs of the body  
cystic fibrosis (CF)   hereditary disorder of the exocrine glands characterized by excess mucus production in the respiratory tract, pancreatic deficiency, and more  
deviated septum   one part of the nasal cavity is smaller because of malformation or injury of the nasal septum  
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)   chronic progressive lung disorder characterized by increasing scarring; origin unknown; affects adults over the age of 50  
insidious   gradual and subtle onset of disease  
acute   sharp, sudden, short, or severe type of disease  
subacute   between acute and chronic  
chronic   disease that continues for a long time  
reactive airway disease (RAD)   general term, not a specific diagnosis; describes a history of wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath  
influenza (flu)   highly contagious and often severe viral infection of the respiratory tract  
obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)   repetitive pharyngeal collapse during sleep, which leads to transient periods of apnea; can produce daytime drowsiness and elevated blood pressure  
pertussis (whooping cough)   highly contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory tract characterized by an acute crowing inspiration, or whoop  
pleural effusion   fluid in the pleural space caused by a disease process or trauma  
pulmonary edema   fluid accumulation in the alveoli and bronchioles, most often a manifestation of heart failure  
pulmonary embolism (PE)   occurs when foreign bodies are carried to the pulmonary artery, where they block circulation to the lungs  
pulmonary emphysema   loss of elasticity of the alveoli resulting in distension causing stretching of the lung; as a result, the body doesn't receive enough oxygen  
tuberculosis (TB)   infectious bacterial disease, most commonly spread by inhalation of small particles and usually affecting the lungs  
upper respiratory infection (URI)   commonly called a cold; infection of the nasal cavity, pharynx, or larynx usually caused by a virus  
video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)   the use of a thoracoscope and video equipment for an endoscopic approach to diagnose and treat thoracic conditions  
tracheotomy   performed to establish an airway when normal breathing is obstructed  
CT (abbr.)   computed tomography  
MRI (abbr.)   magnetic resonance imaging  
NM (abbr.)   nuclear medicine; uses radiopharamaceuticals, or tracers  
SPECT (abbr.)   single-proton emission computed tomography; an NM technique  
PET (abbr.)   positron emission tomography; often used in oncology and neurology  
sonography (ultrasound)   produces scans using high frequency sound waves; had its beginning during WWI with the development of sonar  
endoscopy   direct examination of a hollow body organ or cavity using a tubular instrument with a light source and a viewing lens called an endoscope  
chemistry studies   usually performed on blood or urine samples to study the chemical reactions that occur in the human body  
PSG (abbr.)   polysomnography  
chest CT scan   computerized radiographic image of the chest performed to diagnose tumors, abscesses, and pleural effusion  
chest radiograph (CXR)   radiographic image of the chest performed to evaluate the lungs and the heart; also called a chest x-ray  
lung ventilation/perfusion scan (VQ scan)   two nuclear scan tests, one to measure air flow throughout the lungs (ventilation) and one to measure circulation to all areas of the lungs (perfusion); used to diagnose pulmonary embolism  
acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear   test performed on sputum to determine the presence of acid-fast bacilli, which cause tuberculosis  
acid-fast   not easily discolored by acid after staining  
sputum culture and sensitivity (C&S)   test performed on sputum to determine the presence of pathogenic bacteria  
arterial blood gases (ABGs)   test performed on arterial blood to determine levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH  
peak flow meter (PFM)   portable instrument used to measure air flow early in forced exhalation; helps monitor asthma  
pulmonary function tests (PFTs)   group of tests performed to measure breathing capacity and used to determine external respiratory function; useful in distinguishing COPD from asthma  
pulse oximetry   noninvasive method of measuring oxygen in the blood by using a device that attaches to the fingertip  
auscultation   the act of listening through a stethoscope for sounds within the body  
percussion   the act of tapping a body surface to determine the density of the part beneath by the sound obtained  
PPD skin test   test performed on individuals who have recently been exposed to tuberculosis; PPD of the tuberculin bacillus is injected intradermally  
PPD (abbr.)   purified protein derivative  
phrenic   alternative term for diaphragmatic  
airway   passageway by which air enters and leaves the lungs as well as a mechanical device used to keep the air passageway unobstructed  
asphyxia   deprivation of oxygen for tissue use; suffocation  
aspirate   to withdraw or suction fluid  
bronchoconstrictor   agent causing the bronchi to narrow  
crackles (or rales)   discontinuous sounds heart primarily with a stethoscope during inspiration that resemble the sound of the rustling of cellophane; heard in heart failure, pneumonia, and pulmonary fibrosis  
mucopurulent   containing both mucus and pus  
nebulizer   device that creates a mist used to deliver medication for giving respiratory treatment  
nosocomial infection   an infection acquired during hospitalization  
paroxysm   periodic, sudden attack  
patent   open, thus allowing the passage of air (or other substance)  
ronchi   low-pitched, with a snoring quality, breath sounds heard with a stethoscope suggesting secretions in the large airways  
sputum   mucous secretion from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea expelled through the mouth  
stridor   harsh, high-pitched breath sound heard on inspiration; indicates acute laryngeal obstruction  
CAP (abbr.)   community-acquired pneumonia  
CPAP (abbr.)   continuous positive airway pressure  
HAP (abbr.)   hospital-acquired pneumonia  
LLL (abbr.)   left lower lobe  
LUL (abbr.)   left upper lobe  
RLL (abbr.)   right lower lobe  
RML (abbr.)   right middle lobe  
RUL (abbr.)   right upper lobe  
SOB (abbr.)   shortness of breath  
BiPAP (abbr.)   bilevel positive airway pressure  
CPT (abbr.)   chest physiotherapy  
DPI (abbr.)   dry powder inhaler  
HME (abbr.)   heat/moisture exchanger  
IPPB (abbr.)   intermittent positive-pressure breathing  
MDI (abbr.)   metered-dose inhaler  
NIPPV (abbr.)   noninvasive positive-pressure ventilator  
PEP (abbr.)   positive expiratory pressure  
SVN (abbr.)   small-volume nebulizer  
VAP (abbr.)   ventilator-associated pneumonia  


   






 
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