Glossary: T

tachycardia

rapid heart beat.

tachypnea

rapid breathing.

tamoxifen

a drug used in hormone therapy to treat breast cancer by blocking the effects of estrogen.

taste

sensation produced by a stimulus applied to the gustatory nerve endings in the tongue; the four tastes are salt, sour, sweet, and bitter; some say there is a fifth taste described as savory.

taste buds

groups of cells located on the tongue that enable one to recognize different tastes.

taste disorder

inability to perceive different flavors.

telemetry unit

a small transmitter that is used to send information about the heart via radio transmission to healthcare professionals for evaluation.

temporal arteries

vessels located over the temples on each side of the head, that supply blood to part of the head.

temporomandibular joints (TMJ)

the two joints that connect the jaw to the skull.

tendon

the tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones.

tendonitis

an inflammation in a tendon or the tendon covering.

tenesmus

straining to have a bowel movement.

tennis elbow (also called lateral epicondylitis)

an injury to the tendons on the lateral portion of the elbow that bend the wrist backward away from the palms of the hands.

testicular cancer

straining to have a bowel movement.

testis

one of the pair of male gonads that produce semen; suspended in the scrotum by the spermatic cords.

testosterone

key male sex hormone, which stimulates bone and muscle growth and the development of male sex characteristics

tetanus

an acute, sometimes fatal, disease of the central nervous system; caused by the toxin of the tetanus bacterium, which usually enters the body through an open wound. The tetanus bacterium live in soil and manure, but also can be found in the human intestine and other places.

thalassemia

an inherited blood disorder in which the chains of the hemoglobin (a type of protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues) molecule are abnormal; alpha thalassemia is where a mutation occurs in the alpha chain, while beta thalassemia is where the mutation occurs in the beta chain; signs and symptoms of thalassemias vary from mild (little to no symptoms) to severe (life threatening).

thallium stress test

a study in which a radioactive substance is carried by the blood and its progress through the circulation of a specific body area is followed by x-ray pictures.

thermal burns

burns due to external heat sources which raise the temperature of the skin and tissues and cause tissue cell death or charring. Hot metals, scalding liquids, steam, and flames, when coming in contact with the skin, cause thermal burns.

thoracic spine

the 12 vertebrae between the cervical and lumbar spines that provide attachments for the ribs.

thoracotomy

surgery to view the lung that may be used to confirm cancer, or for chest trauma to detect the source of bleeding.

throat disorders

disorders or diseases of the larynx (voice box) or esophagus.

thrombolysis

the breaking up of a blood clot.

thrombolytic drugs

medication used to dissolve blood clots.

thrombolytic therapy

the use of a medication that dissolves blood clots.

thrombosis

excess clotting which obstructs veins (venous thrombosis) and arteries (arterial thrombosis).

thrombosis, deep-vein

formation of blood clots in veins deep inside the legs.

thrombus

a blood clot.

thyroid scan

uses a radioactive substance to create an image of the thyroid as it is functioning.

thyroplasty

surgical technique to improve voice by altering the cartilages of the larynx. Also known as laryngeal framework surgery.

thyroxine (T4)

a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland which regulates metabolism.

tibia

shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg.

tinea versicolor

common fungal skin infection characterized by white or light brown patches on the skin.

tinnitus

sensation of a ringing, roaring, or buzzing sound in the ears or head; often associated with various forms of hearing impairment.

tissue

group or layer of cells that together perform specific functions.

tissue expansion

a surgical procedure that involves inserting a balloon-like device (called an expander) under the skin. The expander then slowly secretes liquid into the area to be repaired to actually stretch and expand the skin. This serves the function of "growing" extra skin to repair nearby lost or damaged skin.

tissue plasminogen activator (TPA)

a medication used to dissolves blood clots.

tongue

large muscle on the floor of the mouth that manipulates food for chewing and swallowing; the main organ of taste, and assists in forming speech sounds.

tomography

from the Greek words "to cut or section" (tomos) and "to write" (graphein), in nuclear medicine, it is a method of separating interference from the area of interest by imaging a cut section of the object.

tonometry

test to measure intraocular pressure for glaucoma.

topical chemotherapy

chemotherapy given as a cream or lotion placed on the skin to kill cancer cells.

torticollis (Also called wryneck.)

a twisting of the neck that causes the head to rotate and tilt on an angle.

total (or simple) mastectomy

surgery to remove the entire breast (including the nipple, the areola, and most of the overlying skin) and may also remove some of the lymph nodes under the arm, also called the axillary lymph glands.

total gastrectomy

complete removal of the stomach.

total hysterectomy

the removal of the uterus, including the cervix; the fallopian tubes and the ovaries remain.

total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy

the entire uterus, fallopian tubes, and the ovaries are surgically removed.

Tourette's syndrome (TS)

A tic disorder characterized by repeated involuntary movements and uncontrollable vocal sounds. This disorder usually begins during childhood or early adolescence.

toxic epidermal necrolysis

a life-threatening skin disorder characterized by blistering and peeling of the top layer of skin.

toxoplasmosis

an infection caused by a parasite that can lead to serious illness or death in the fetus.

tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF)

condition that occurs when there is a gap between the upper and lower segments of the esophagus, and food and saliva cannot pass through.

tracheostomy

surgical opening into the trachea (windpipe) to help someone breathe who has an obstruction or swelling in the larynx (voice box) or upper throat.

trans fat

vegetable oil that has been treated with hydrogen in order to make it more solid and give it a longer shelf life.

transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

a method of local electrical stimulation to nerve endings under the skin to provide pain relief.

transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)

a diagnostic test that is used to measure the sound waves that bounce off of the heart.

transferrin saturation test (TS)

a type of iron study (blood test) that measures the percentage of transferrin and other mobile, iron-binding proteins saturated with iron.

transient ischemic attack (TIA)

a stroke-like event that lasts for a short period of time and is caused by a blocked blood vessel.

transplantation

replacing a damaged organ with one from a donor.

transrectal ultrasound of the prostate

a test using sound wave echoes to create an image of an organ or gland to visually inspect for abnormal conditions like gland enlargement, nodules, penetration of tumor through capsule of the gland and/or invasion of seminal vesicles. It may also be used for guidance of needle biopsies of the prostate gland and guiding the nitrogen probes in cryosurgery.

transurethral hyperthermia

an investigative procedure that uses heat, usually provided by microwaves, to shrink the prostate.

transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP)

a procedure that widens the urethra by making some small cuts in the bladder neck, where the urethra joins the bladder, and in the prostate gland itself.

transurethral laser incision of the prostate (TULIP)

the use of laser through the urethra that melts the tissue.

transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

a surgical procedure by which portions of the prostate gland are removed through the penis.

transurethral surgery

surgery in which no external incision is needed. For prostate transurethral surgery, the surgeon reaches the prostate by inserting an instrument through the urethra. See below for different types of transurethral surgery.

transvaginal ultrasound (also called ultrasonography)

an ultrasound test using a small instrument, called a transducer, that is placed in the vagina.

transverse colon

part of the colon that extends across the abdomen from right to left.

transverse frictions

deep massage technique used for tendon and ligament conditions.

transverse myelitis

inflammation and swelling along the spinal cord with motor or sensory nerve dysfunction.

trauma

a physical injury or wound caused by an external force of violence, which may cause death or permanent disability. Trauma is also used to describe severe emotional or psychological shock or distress.

travel medicine

a specialized area of healthcare that focuses on the needs of travelers, particularly those who travel to other countries.

traveler's diarrhea

a term used to describe the diarrhea caused by infection with bacteria, protozoa, or viruses ingested by consuming food or water that has been contaminated. Two life-threatening types of traveler's diarrhea are caused by cholera and giardiasis.

tremor

a rhythmical shaking of a limb, head, mouth,

tretinoin

a drug which is chemically related to vitamin A; used to treat acne and other scaly skin disorders.

trichomoniasis

very common type of vaginitis caused by a single-celled organism transmitted during sexual contact.

trichotillomania

hair pulling.

tricuspid valve

the heart valve that controls blood flow from the right atrium into the right ventricle.

trigger finger

an irritation of the digital sheath that surrounds the flexor tendons of the finger. When the tendon sheath becomes thickened or swollen it pinches the tendon and prevents it from gliding smoothly. In some cases, the tendon catches and then suddenly releases as though a trigger were released.

trigger point

hypersensitive area or site in muscle or connective tissue, usually associated with myofascial pain syndromes.

triglyceride

a fat-like substance found in the blood.

triiodothyronine (T3)

a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland which regulates metabolism.

trimester

period of three months.

tropical sprue

condition of unknown cause. Abnormalities in the lining of the small intestine prevent the body from absorbing food normally.

tropical sprue

surgical sterilization procedure in which the fallopian tubes are sealed or cut to prevent sperm from reaching an egg.

tube feeding (also called enteral nutrition)

a way to provide food through a tube placed in the nose, the stomach, or the small intestine. A tube in the nose is called a nasogastric or nasoantral tube. A tube that goes through the skin into the stomach is called a gastrostomy or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). A tube into the small intestine is called a jejunostomy or percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy (PEJ) tube.

tuberculosis (TB)

an infectious disease that was once a major killer worldwide. The predominant TB organism is Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). Spread person-to-person in airborne droplets caused by sneezing or coughing, the bacteria usually infects the lungs. However, due to improved nutrition, housing, sanitation, medical care, and the introduction of antibiotics this century, reported TB cases in the US have declined dramatically.

tumor

abnormal mass of tissue that results from excessive cell division; may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

tunica vaginalis

a thin pouch that holds the testes within the scrotum.

tunnel surgery (also called percutaneous nephrolithotomy)

a small cut is made in the patient's back and a narrow tunnel is made through the skin to the stone inside the kidney. The physician can remove the stone through this tunnel.

tympanometry

a test that allows for air and sound to be directed into the middle ear.

tympanoplasty

surgical repair of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) or bones of the middle ear.

type 1 diabetes

a condition in which the body's immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Insulin allows glucose to enter the cells of the body to provide energy. Persons with type 1diabetes must take daily insulin injections.

type 2 diabetes

a condition in which the body either makes too little insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it makes to convert blood glucose to energy. Type 2 diabetes may be controlled with diet, exercise, and weight loss, or may require oral medications and/or insulin injections.

typhoid fever

a life-threatening bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi); often transmitted by contaminated water, food, or milk.

tyrosine

the amino acid from which dopamine is made.

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