Medical, Surgical, & Viewing Terms and Abbreviations

Medical Careers & Professional Terminology

diagnostic vascular technologist: technologist that images the vascular system

hematologist: specialist physician that diagnoses and treats blood disorders

medical laboratory technologist: performs complex analyses of tissue, blood, and other body fluids

phlebotomist: professional trained to draw blood

vascular surgeon: surgeon that treats diseases of the blood and lymphatic vessels

Imaging Techniques/Procedures for the Organ System

angiogram: the placement of a catheter in a blood vessel and injection of contrast material while taking x-rays of the vessel

angiography: the process of obtaining an angiogram

angioscope: a miniature fiber-optic endoscope that is threaded into the heart through a catheter; it can be used to view thrombi, plaque, arterial dissections, and other vascular abnormalities

angioscopy: the process of using an angioscope

aortogram: the placement of a catheter in the aorta and injection of contrast material while taking x-rays of the aorta

arteriogram: the placement of a catheter in an artery and injection of contrast material while taking x-rays of the artery

Doppler ultrasound: a noninvasive test that can be used to estimate the blood flow through the blood vessels by bouncing sound waves off circulating red blood cells

venogram: the placement of a catheter in a vein and injection of contrast material while taking x-rays of the vein

Surgical Techniques / Medical Procedures / Diagnostic Procedures / Medications Used with the Organ System

aneurysmectomy: surgical removal of an aneurysm from a blood vessel

angioplasty: a balloon-tip catheter is fed through a blood vessel up to the site of the narrowing; the balloon is inflated to re-open the artery

anticoagulant: a medication that slows or inhibits blood clotting

arterial blood gas: measures blood pH, oxygen, and CO2 levels in a sample of arterial blood, usually taken from the wrist

atherectomy: surgical excision of fatty plaque from a blood vessel

bone marrow aspiration: removal of bone marrow via needle

bone marrow biopsy: a diagnostic test of a sample of red bone marrow

bone marrow transplant: a treatment in which a donor’s healthy bone marrow and its stem cells replace the faulty bone marrow of a patient

coagulation time: the time required by a blood specimen to clot

complete blood count and differential: a collection of blood tests that count the different blood cells (RBCs, WBCs, platelets) and the different types of WBCs (neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils)

embolectomy: surgical removal of an embolus, usually with a balloon catheter

endarterectomy: surgical removal of plaque from a blood vessel

femoropopliteal bypass: surgery that creates a new route for blood between the femoral and popliteal arteries of the leg

hematocrit: a lab test that measures the percentage of red blood cells in a sample of whole blood; it represents how much of the person’s blood is made up of red blood cells by volume

hemoglobin: a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen; abnormal amounts indicate a blood disorder

percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty: a procedure that opens blocked or stenosed coronary arteries using a balloon catheter

phlebectomy: surgical excision of a vein

phlebotomy: incision or puncture of a vein with a needle

thrombolytic therapy: the use of drugs to break up or dissolve blood clots

vasoconstrictor: a substance that constricts blood vessel walls

vasodilator: a substance that dilates blood vessel walls

venipuncture: puncture of a vein to withdraw blood or administer medication or fluids

Abbreviations Commonly Used with the Organ System

ABG: arterial blood gas

BP: blood pressure

CBC/diff: complete blood count/differential

DVT: deep vein thrombosis

Hct: hematocrit

Hgb: hemoglobin

HTN: hypertension

IV: intravenous

PAD: peripheral artery disease

PTCA: percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty

RBC: red blood cell

WBC: white blood cell

Medical Terms Practice

For each card, click the speaker icon to hear the correct pronunciation of the listed term. Practice saying the term to yourself, then attempt to define the term from memory. Click “Turn” to flip the card and see the definition. Use the right and left arrows to toggle through the cards in each set.


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Medical Terminology: An Interactive Approach Copyright © 2022 by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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