Glossary of terms

Medical Acronyms and Abbreviations Table

We use a lot of medical vernacular on this blog…as such we feel obliged to provide a glossary of medical acronyms and abbreviations (the real one) in addition to the Utopian College TLA dictionary!

AAA abdominal aortic aneurysm
Abdo Abdomen
ABG arterial blood gas
AC alternating current
ACA Anterior cerebral artery
ACE angiotensin-converting enzyme
ACLS Advanced cardiac life support
ACS Acute coronary syndrome
ACTH adrenocorticotrophic hormone
ADH Antidiuretic hormone
ADT adsorbed diphtheria and tetanus toxoid
AED automatic external defibrillator
AF Atrial fibrillation
AFB Acid-fast bacillus
AGAnion gap
AHD Advance health directive
AIDS Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
AION Anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy
AKI Acute kidney injury
ALOCAltered level of consciousness
ALP Alkaline phosphatase
ALS Advanced life support
ALT Alanine aminotransferase
AMIAcute myocardial infarction
AMPLE allergies, medications, past history, last meal, events preceding present injury
ANA antinuclear antibody
AP Anteroposterior
APO Acute pulmonary oedema
aPTT Activated partial thromboplastin time
ARB Angiotensin-receptor blocker
ARDS Adult respiratory distress syndrome
ASD Atrial septal defect
AST Aspartate aminotransferase
ATLS Advanced Trauma Life Support
ATN acute tubular necrosis
AV atrioventricular
b.d. bis die (twice daily)
BLS basic life support
BNF British National Formulary
BPBlood pressure
BSABody surface area
BURP Backwards upwards rightwards pressure
CABGCoronary artery bypass graft
CADCoronary artery disease
CAGECut down? annoyed? guilty? eye opener?
CAP community-acquired pneumonia
CBRchemical, biological, radiological
CCBcalcium-channel blocker
CCUCoronary care unit
CD4+Cluster designation (of antigen) 4+
CDADClostridium Difficile antibiotic-related diarrhoea
CDCCenters for disease control and prevention
CHSClassic heat stroke
CK Creatine kinase
CK-MB Creatine kinase MB isoenzymes
Cl Chloride
CLD Chronic lung disease
CMV Cytomegalovirus
CNS Central nervous system
CO2 Carbon Dioxide
COPDChronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CPAPContinuous positive airways pressure
CPRCardiopulmonary resuscitation
CPUChest pain unit
CRFChronic renal failure
CRPC reactive protein
CSFCerebrospinal fluid
CSMCarotid sinus massage
CSUCatheter specimen of urine
CTComputed tomography
cTnI Cardiac troponin I
CTPAComputed tomography pulmonary angiogram
CTRCardiothoracic ratio
CVACerebrovascular accident (stroke)
CVCCentral venous cannula
CVLCentral venous line
CVPCentral venous pressure
CVSCardiovascular system
CXRChest X-ray
D&CDilation and curettage
DBPDiastolic blood pressure
DCDirect current
DCIDecompression illness
DHFDengue haemorrhagic fever
DIDiabetes insipidus
DICDisseminated intravascular coagulation
DKADiabetic ketoacidosis
DNADeoxyribonucleic acid
DNWDid not wait
DPLDiagnostic peritoneal lavage
DrABCDEDanger, Response, Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, Environment
DUDuodenal ulcer
DVTDeep venous (vein) thrombosis
DVT deep vein thrombosis
E-FASTExtended focused assessment for trauma
EBVEpstein-Barr virus
ECFExtracellular fluid
EDEmergency department
EDHExtradural haemorrhage
EDTAEdetate disodium
eGFREstimated glomerular filtration rate
EHSExertion heat stroke
ELFTsElectrolytes and liver function tests
ELISAEnzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
EMDElectromechanical disassociation
EMSTEarly management of severe trauma
ENTEar, nose and throat
EOMExtraocular muscles
EPA Enduring power of attorney
EPEUEarly pregnancy evaluation unit
EREmergency room
ERCPEndoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
ERPCEvacuation of retained products of conception
ESRErythrocyte sedimentation rate
ESTExercise stress test
ETCO2End-tidal carbon dioxide
FASTFocused assessment by sonography for trauma
FBCFull blood count
FBPFull blood picture
FDPFibrin degradation products
FEV1Forced expiratory volume in 1 second
FFPFresh frozen plasma
FiO2Fraction inspired oxygen concentration
FVCForced vital capacity
G&HGroup and hold
G&SGroup and save
GAGeneral anaesthesia
GABAGamma aminobutyric acid
GBSGuillain–Barré syndrome
GCSGlasgow coma scale
GCSEGeneralised convulsive status epilepticus
GFRGlomerular filtration rate
GGTGamma glutamyl transferase
GHBGamma-hydroxy butyrate
GITGastrointestinal tract
GN Glomerulonephritis
GORDGatro-oesophageal reflux disorder
GPGeneral practitioner
GTN Glyceryl trinitrate
GUGastric ulcer
H1/H2Histamine type 1 and type 2
HAARTHighly active anti-retroviral therapy
HBIGHepatitis B immune globulin
HBOHyperbaric oxygen
Hepatitis B surface antigen
hCGHuman chorionic gonadotropin
HCMHypertrophic cardiomyopathy
HDLHigh-density lipoprotein
HDUHigh dependency unit
HELLPHaemolysis/elevated liver enzymes/low platelets
HEMSHelicopter Emergency Medical Service
HHNSHyperosmolar non-ketotic syndrome
HITSHeparin-induced thrombocytopenia syndrome
HIVHuman immunodeficiency virus
HLAHuman leucocyte antigen system
HOCMHypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy
HPCHistory of presenting complaint
HRHeart rate
HRIGhuman rabies immunoglobulin
HSVherpes simplex virus
HSVHerpes simplex virus
Human tetanus immunoglobulin
HUHounsfield unit
HUS Haemolytic–uraemic syndrome
i.m. (IM)Intramuscular
i.o. (IO)Intraosseous
i.v. (IV)Intravenous
IBD Inflammatory bowel disease
ICC Intercostal catheter
ICFIntracellular fluid
ICHIntracerebral haemorrhage
ICPIntracranial pressure
ICPIntracranial pressure
ICSIntercostal space
ICUIntensive care unit
IDCIndwelling catheter
Ig Immunoglobulin
IHDIschemic heart disease
IJVInternal jugular vein
ILCORInternational Liaison Committee on Resuscitation
INRinternational normalized ratio (of prothrombin time)
INR International normalised ratio
iSBAR Identify, Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation
ITPidiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
ITP Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
IUInternational units
IUCD intrauterine contraceptive device
IVC Inferior vena cava
IVH Intraventricular haemorrhage
IVP intravenous pyelogram
IVU Intravenous urogram
J joule
JVP Jugular venous pressure
JVP jugular venous pressure
KCl potassium chloride
kg Kilogram
kPa kilopascal
KUBKidneys, ureter, bladder (plain abdominal X-ray)
LADLeft axis deviation
LBBBLeft bundle branch block
LDHLactate dehydrogenase
LDL low-density lipoprotein
LFTLiver function tests
LLLLeft lower lobe
LLQLeft lower quadrant
LMALaryngeal mask airway
LMN Lower motor neuron
LMWHLow-molecular-weight heparin
LOCLoss of consciousness
LP lumbar puncture
LRTILower respiratory tract infection
LRTI Lumbar puncture
LUQLeft upper quadrant
LVLeft ventricle
LVFLeft ventricular failure
LVHLeft ventricular hypertrophy
M, C & S microscopy, culture and sensitivity
maneIn the morning
MAOIMonoamine oxidase inhibitor
MAP mean arterial pressure
MAST military antishock trousers
MCAMiddle cerebral artery
MCHMean corpuscular haemoglobin
MCP metacarpophalangeal
MCSMicroscopy, culture and sensitivity
MCVMean corpuscular volume
MDAC multiple-dose activated charcoal
MDI metered-dose inhaler
MDO medical defence organization
mEq/L milliequivalents per litre
METMedical emergency team
MHMalignant hyperpyrexia
MHA Mental Health Act
MHS malignant hyperthermia syndrome
MIMyocardial infarction
mmHg millimetres of mercury
MMSE Mini-Mental State Examination
MOF multi-organ failure
MOFSMultiorgan failure syndrome
MRAMagnetic resonance angiography
MRIMagnetic resonance imaging
MRSAMethicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
MRSEMultidrug-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis
MSAmultiple systems atrophy
MSA Staphylococcus epidermidis
MSOFMultiple system organ failure
MSSMusculoskeletal system
MSUMidstream urine
MSU mid-stream urine
MTPJMetatarsophalangeal joint
NAA nucleic acid amplification
NAC N-acetylcysteine
NAI non-accidental injury
NAIR National Arrangements for Incidents involving Radioactivity
NAPCANNational Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
NBMNil by mouth
NETSNeonatal Emergency Transport Service
neuro Neurological system
NGTnasogastric tube
NGTNasogastric tube
NIBPNon-invasive blood pressure
NIVNon-invasive ventilation
NMDAN-methyl-D-aspartic acid
NMJ Neuromuscular junction
NMS Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
NPA nasopharyngeal aspirate
NPH Neutral protamine Hagedorn (insulin)
NPV Negative predictive value
NSAID Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
NSPCC National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
NSTEMInon-ST elevation myocardial infarction
NTS nose/throat swab
NZ New Zealand
O&G Obstetrics and gynaecology
O2 Oxygen
OD Overdose
OM occipitomental
OPG orthopantomogram
ORS oral rehydration solution
p.r. (PR)per rectum
P2 Pulmonary second sound
PA Posteroanterior
PAC Premature atrial contraction
PaCO2 partial pressure of carbon dioxide (arterial)
PAN Polyarteritis nodosa
PaO2partial pressure of oxygen (arterial)
PCA Posterior cerebral artery
PCI percutaneous coronary intervention (coronary angioplasty)
PCP Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia
PCR polymerase chain reaction
PCV packed cell volume
PE Pulmonary embolus
PEAPulseless electrical activity
PEEPPositive end-expiratory pressure
PEFRPeak expiratory flow rate
PEP post-exposure prophylaxis
PERLAPupils equal react to light and accommodation
PGL persistent generalized lymphadenopathy
pH negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration
PIDPelvic inflammatory disease
PMR Polymyalgia rheumatica
PNDParoxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea
POPer os (by mouth)
PPEPersonal protective equipment
PPIProton pump inhibitor
PPVPositive predictive value
PRNPro re nata (as needed)
PTProthrombin time
PTA post-traumatic amnesia
PTI prothrombin index
PUPPPruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy
PVPer vaginam
PVCPremature ventricular contraction
q.d.s. (QDS)quater in die sumendus (four times daily)
QIDQuater in die (on prescription) Four times daily
r-PA recombinant plasminogen activator
RAPD relative afferent pupil defect (Marcus Gunn pupil)
RBBBright bundle branch block
RBCRed blood cell
RespRespiratory system
RFDS Royal Flying Doctor Service
RLL Right lower lobe
RLQ Right lower quadrant
RNA ribonucleic acid
ROM Range of movement
ROSC Return of spontaneous circulation
RR Respiratory rate
RSRespiratory system
RSI rapid sequence induction
rt-PA recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator
RTA Renal tubular acidosis
RUQ Right upper quadrant
RVRight ventricle
RVHRight ventricular hypertrophy
s second
s.c. (SC)subcutaneous
S3 Third heart sound
SAED Semi-automated external defibrillator
SAH Subarachnoid haemorrhage
SaO2 Arterial oxygen saturation
SARS severe acute respiratory syndrome
SBESubacute bacterial endocarditis
SBP Systolic blood pressure
SCBU special care baby unit
SCIWORA spinal cord injury without radiological abnormality
SCM Sternocleidomastoid
SDH Subdural haemorrhage
SGSpecific gravity
SI International system of units
SIADH Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion
SIDS sudden infant death syndrome
SIRS Systemic inflammatory response syndrome
SJS Stevens–Johnson syndrome
SL Sublingual (medication administration)
SLE Systemic lupus erythematosus
SLR straight-leg raising
SNP sodium nitroprusside
SNRI Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor
SOB Short of Breath
SOL Space-occupying lesion
SPA suprapubic aspirate (urine)
SR Slow release (sustained release)
SS Serotonin syndrome
SSRI Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
SSSSick sinus syndrome
StatStatum (immediately)
STD sexually transmitted disease
STEMIST elevation myocardial infarction
SUDI sudden unexpected death in infancy
SVStroke volume
SVTSupraventricular tachycardia
t.d.s. (TDS)ter in die sumendus (three times daily)
TA transabdominal
TACOTransfusion-associated circulatory overload
TBWTotal body water
TCA tricyclic antidepressant
TDSThree times daily
TENToxic epidermal necrolysis
TFTThyroid function tests
TIATransient ischaemic attack
TMJTemperomandibular joint
TNFTumour necrosis factor
TNK tenecteplase
TOETransoesophageal echocardiogram
TPATissue plasminogen activator
TPNTotal parenteral nutrition
TPRTotal peripheral resistance
TRALITransfusion-related acute lung injury
TSHThyroid-stimulating hormone
TTP thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
TURPTransurethral resection of the prostate
TV transvaginal
u unit
U&E Urea and electrolytes
UA unstable angina
UAPunstable angina pectoris
UF unfractionated (heparin)
UMNUpper motor neuron
UOUrine output
USSUltrasound scan
UTIUrinary tract infection
V/Q ventilation perfusion (lung scan)
VBGVenous blood gas
VBIVertebrobasilar insufficiency
VDK venom detection kit
VEB ventricular ectopic beat (extrasystole)
VFVentricular fibrillation
VICC Venom-induced consumptive coagulopathy
VLDL Very low-density lipoprotein
VREVancomycin-resistant enterococci
VTVentricular tachycardia
VTE venous thromboembolism
WBI whole bowel irrigation
WCCWhite cell count