Common Medical Abbreviations List (Acronyms and Definitions)
Acronyms and Definitions
A-E Medical Abbreviation
F-J Medical Abbreviation
K-O Medical Abbreviation
P-T Medical Abbreviation
U-Z Medical Abbreviation
ALL: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
AMI: Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack)
B-ALL: B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia
FSH: Follicle stimulating hormone. A blood test for follicle stimulating hormone which is used to evaluate fertility in women.
HAPE: High altitude pulmonary edema
HPS: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. A type of contagious, infectious disease transmitted by rats infected with the virus.
IBS: Irritable bowel syndrome (A medical disease that involves the gastrointestinal tract.)
IDDM: Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes.
MDS: Myelo dysplastic syndrome
NBCCS: Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome
PE: Pulmonary embolism. A type of blood clot in the lungs.
SIDS: Sudden infant death syndrome
TSH: Thyroid stimulating hormone. A blood test for TSH is used to diagnose thyroid disease.
a.c.: Before meals. As in taking a medicine before meals.
a/g ratio: Albumin to globulin ratio.
ACL: Anterior cruciate ligament. ACL injuries are one of the most common ligament injuries to the knee. The ACL can be sprained or completely torn from trauma and/or degeneration.
Ad lib: At liberty. For example, a patient may be permitted to move out of bed freely and orders would, therefore, be for activities to be ad lib.
AFR: Acute renal failure
ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
ADR: Adverse drug reaction. If a patient is taking a prescription drug to treat high blood pressure disease
AIDS: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
AKA: Above the knee amputation.
Anuric: Not producing urine. A person who is anuric is often critical and may require dialysis.
ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
ADH: Antidiuretic hormone
ARDS: Acute respiratory distress syndrome.
ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
ASCVD: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. A form of heart disease.
b.i.d.: Twice daily. As in taking a medicine twice daily.
bld: Blood. Blood was visible on the patient’s scalp.
Bandemia: Slang for elevated level of band forms of white blood cells.
Bibasilar: At the bases of both lungs. For example, someone with a pneumonia in both lungs might have abnormal bibasilar breath sounds.
BKA: Below the knee amputation.
BMP: Basic metabolic panel. Electrolytes (potassium, sodium, carbon dioxide, and chloride) and creatinine and glucose.
BP: Blood pressure. Blood pressure is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
BPD: Borderline personality disorder. A personality disorder.
BSO: Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. A BSO is the removal of both of the ovaries and adjacent Fallopian tubes and often is performed as part of a total abdominal hysterectomy.
C&S: Culture and sensitivity, performed to detect infection.
C/O: Complaint of. The patient's expressed concern.
Ca: Cancer; carcinoma. For example, a patient who undergoing treatment for cancer should assure that they are eating and drinking enough fluids daily, both during and after treatment.
CABG. Coronary artery bypass graft. A surgery involving the heart.
CBC: Complete blood count.
CC: Chief complaint. The patient's main concern.
CDE: Complete dental (oral) evaluation.
cc: Cubic centimeters. For example, the amount of fluid removed from the body is recorded in ccs.
Chem panel: Chemistry panel. A comprehensive screening blood test that indicates the status of the liver, kidneys, and electrolytes.
CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
CT: Chemotherapy. A type of treatment therapy for cancer.
CVA: Cerebrovascular accident (Stroke).
D/C or DC: Discontinue or discharge. For example, a doctor will D/C a drug. Alternatively, the doctor might DC a patient from the hospital.
DCIS: Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. A type of breast cancer. The patient is receiving treatment for Ductal Carcinoma In Situ.
DDX: Differential diagnosis. A variety diagnostic possibilities are being considered to diagnose the type of cancer present in the patient.
DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
DM: Diabetes mellitus.
DNC, D&C, or D and C: Dilation and curettage. Widening the cervix and scrapping with a curette for the purpose of removing tissue lining the inner surface of the womb (uterus).
DNR: Do not resuscitate. This is a specific order not to revive a patient artificially if they succumb to illness. If a patient is given a DNR order, they are not resuscitated if they are near death and no code blue is called.
DOE: Dyspnea on exertion. Shortness of breath with activity.
DTR: Deep tendon reflexes. These are reflexes that the doctor tests by banging on the tendons with a rubber hammer.
DVT: Deep venous thrombosis (blood clot in large vein).
ETOH: Alcohol. ETOH intake history is often recorded as part of a patient history.
ECT: Electroconclusive therapy. A procedure used to control seizures (convulsions).
g: gram, a unit of weight. The cream is available in both 30 and 60 gram tubes.
GOMER: Slang for "get out of my emergency room."
GvHD: Graft vs. host disease. It is complicated by the syndromes of acute and chronic graft-vs-host disease (GVHD).
H&H: Hemoglobin and hematocrit. When the H & H is low, anemia is present. The H&H can be elevated in persons who have lung disease from long term smoking or from disease, such as polycythemia rubra vera.
H&P: History and physical examination.
h.s.: At bedtime. As in taking a medicine at bedtime.
H/O or h/o: History of. A past event that occurred.
HRT: Hormone replacement or hormone replacement therapy.
I&D: Incision and drainage.
IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
ICD: Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
ICU: Intensive care unit. The patient was moved to the intensive care unit.
IM: Intramuscular. This is a typical notation when noting or ordering an injection (shot) given into muscle, such as with B12 for pernicious anemia.
IMP: Impression. This is the summary conclusion of the patient's condition by the healthcare professional at that particular date and time.
ITU: Intensive therapy unit
in vitro: In the laboratory
in vivo: In the body
IPF: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. A type of lung disease.
IU: International units.