Medical, Surgical, & Viewing Terms and Abbreviations

Medical Careers & Professional Terminology

endocrinology: a specialization in the field of medicine that focuses on the treatment of endocrine system disorders.

endocrinologist: medical doctors who specialize in this field are experts in treating diseases associated with hormonal systems, ranging from thyroid disease to diabetes.

endocrine surgeons: treat endocrine disease through the removal of the affected endocrine gland or tissue.

Some patients experience health problems as a result of the normal decline in hormones that can accompany aging. These patients can consult with an endocrinologist to weigh the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy intended to boost their natural levels of reproductive hormones. In addition to treating patients, endocrinologists may be involved in research to improve the understanding of endocrine system disorders and develop new treatments for these diseases (Betts, et al., 2013).

thyroid specialist: an endocrinologist whose subspecialty is focused on the treatment and disorders of the thyroid gland such as hypothyroidism (too low secretion) and hyperthyroidism (too high secretion).

diabetes specialist: an endocrinologist whose subspecialty is focused on the treatment of diabetic conditions.

Imaging Techniques/Procedures for the Organ System

thyroid scan: This procedure is designed to check the status of the thyroid. In a thyroid scan, a radioactive compound is given and localized in the thyroid gland (Giorgi & Cherney, 2018).

radioactive iodine uptake: Thyroid function evaluated by injecting radioactive iodine and then measuring how much is removed from the blood by the thyroid (MedlinePlus, 2020).

blood serum testing: Blood testing to determine the concentration and the presence of various endocrine hormones in the blood. These tests include the following levels: calcium, cortisol, electrolytes, FSH, GH, glucose, insulin, parathyroid hormones, T3, T4, testosterone, and TSH. All of these can be evaluated with blood serum tests (Betts, et al., 2013).

Surgical Techniques/Procedures Used in the Organ System

Most of the surgeries and procedures performed on the endocrine system involve removal of a gland or an incision into the gland. Once an endocrine gland is surgically removed, due to a tumor or enlargement, hormone replacement treatment is required. Medication is required to artificially or synthetically replace the hormone produced by the gland and the function it regulates (Betts, et al., 2013).

Abbreviations Commonly Used with the Organ System

ACTH: adrenocorticotropic hormone

ADH: antidiuretic hormone

DI: diabetes insipidus

DKA: diabetic ketoacidosis

DM: diabetes mellitus

FBS: fasting blood sugar

FNA: fine needle aspiration

FSH: follicle-stimulating hormone

GH: growth hormone

HbA1C: glycosylated hemoglobin

LH: luteinizing hormone

PRL: prolactin

RAIU: radioactive iodine uptake

TSH: thyroid-stimulating hormone

Thyroid profile: T4, T3, and TSH

T4: thyroxine level

T3: triiodothyronine level

TSH: thyroid-stimulating hormone

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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