Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Some Terms

Etiology. The cause of disease. Disease is either caused by genetic or acquired factors. Disease results from cell injury.

Pathogenesis. How the disease develops. The sequence of events or physiologic processes that result in disease.

What is disease? One definition is: An interruption, cessation, or disorder of body functions, systems, or organs. Another is the pattern of response of a living organism to some form of injury with a resultant alteration in normal function.

For a long list of diseases and information about them go to the disease list at CDC.

Injury. Damage or harm caused to the structure or function of the body.

Infection. A detrimental colonization of a host organism by a foreign species.

Angiogenesis. The process of blood vessel formation.

Apoptosis. Programmed cell death. Usually a normal biological function.

Atherosclerosis. A disease of arteries characterized by chronic inflammation, scarring and cholesterol deposits in large and medium-sized arteries.

Atrophy. A shrinkage in the size of cells, organs and tissues.

Dysplasia. An abnormal development of a body tissue.

Embolism. Obstruction of a blood vessel by an abnormal mass formed elsewhere in the circulation and transported to its point of impaction.

Fibrosis. The formation of fibrous tissuek, usually as a reaction to chronic inflammation.

Gangrene. Combination of tissue necrosis with infection.

Homeostasis. The maintenance of a steady state in respect of physiologic function in the face of environmental variation.

Hyperplasia. An increase in the number of cells in a given population.

Hypertrophy. An increase in the size of individual cells usually due to increase workload.

Hypoxia. A reduction in the supply of oxygen.

Impaction. The lodgement of some abnormal mass in a hollow muscular tube causing blockage of the lumen.

Infarct. An area of tissue necrosis caused by a lack of blood supply to the affected region.

Ischemia. The pathophysiologic state in which the blood supply of an organ or tissue is reduced below its metabolic needs.

Metaplasia. A change in a cell population from one fully differentiated form to another fully differentiated form.

Necrosis. The death of a tissue within a circumscribed area.

Thrombosis. The formation of an abnormal intravascular mass from the constituents of flowing blood.

Thrombus. An abnomal intravascular mass formed from the constituents of flowing blood.

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