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Health Library : Glossary



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narcissistic personality disorder-a condition in which a person has severely overly inflated feelings of self-worth, grandiosity, and superiority over others. People with narcissistic personality disorder often exploit others who fail to admire them, and are overly sensitive to criticism, judgment, and defeat.

nasal-relating to the nose.

National Cancer Institute-the U.S. government agency for cancer research and information. The NCI is one of the National Institutes of Health.

nausea-a feeling or sensation leading to the urge to vomit.

near point of accommodation-the closest point in front of the eyes at which an object may be clearly focused.

near point of convergence-the maximum extent the two eyes can be turned inward.

necrosis-pertaining to the death of tissue.

needle aspiration-a procedure that uses a thin needle and syringe to collect tissue or drain a lump after using a local anesthetic.

needle biopsy-use of a needle to extract tissue, cells, or fluid for microscopic examination.

neoadjuvant therapy-treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy which is given before the primary treatment.

neoplasm-any abnormal growth of new tissue; a proliferation of cells no longer under normal physiologic control. These may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

nephrectomy-surgical removal of the kidney.

nephritis-inflammation of the kidneys.

nephrology-the medical specialty concerned with diseases of the kidneys.

nephropathy-diabetic kidney disease.

nephrotic syndrome-a condition characterized by high levels of protein in the urine, low levels of protein in the blood, tissue swelling, and high cholesterol.

nerve conduction tests-procedure to determine nerve impulse generation.

nerve sparing technique-a surgical technique during a radial prostatectomy in which one or both of the neurovascular bundles controlling erections are spared.

neural plasticity-ability of the brain and/or certain parts of the nervous system to adapt to new conditions, such as an injury.

neural prostheses-devices that substitute for an injured or diseased part of the nervous system to enhance the function. Examples include cochlear implants, which can restore hearing to certain hearing-impaired people and deep brain stimulation, which can improve movement problems in people with Parkinson's disease.

neural stimulation-to activate or energize a nerve through an external source.

neural tube defect-type of birth defect, such as spina bifida, that results from failure of the spinal cord or brain to develop normally in a fetus.

neuralgia-pain in distribution of nerve or nerves.

neuritis-inflammation of a nerve or nerves.

neurofibromatosis-a group of inherited disorders in which non-cancerous tumors grow along several nerves; can affect the development of other tissues, including bones and skin, possibly leading to developmental abnormalities.

neurogenic-of nerve origin.

neurogenic bladder (Also called neuropathic bladder.)-a bladder disorder in which the bladder cannot be completely emptied of urine because of a problem with the nerves connected to the bladder. It can be caused by a tumor or other condition of the nervous system.

neurogenic communication disorder-inability to exchange information with others because of hearing, speech, and/or language problems caused by impairment of the nervous system.

neurological-pertaining to the nervous system.

neuron-a cell specialized to conduct and generate electrical impulses and to carry information from one part of the brain to another.

neuropathology-the pathology of the nervous system.

neuropathy-nerve damage caused by the effects of diabetes.

neurosonography-the use of ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) technology to assess neurological conditions.

neurotransmitters-chemical substances that carry impulses from one nerve cell to another; found in the space (synapse) that separates the transmitting neuron's terminal (axon) from the receiving neuron's terminal (dendrite).

nigral-of or referring to the substantia nigra.

nitroglycerin-a medication used to relax or dilate arteries.

nodule (Also called papule.)-a solid, raised bump.

noise-induced hearing loss-hearing loss that is caused either by a one-time or repeated exposure to very loud sound or sounds at various loudness levels over an extended period of time.

non-Hodgkin lymphoma-a type of lymphoma, a cancer in the lymphatic system; causes the cells in the lymphatic system to abnormally reproduce, eventually causing tumors to grow. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells can also spread to other organs.

noninvasive procedure-a diagnostic effort or treatment that does not require entering the body or puncturing the skin.

nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)-medications that produce fever reducing, analgesic (pain relieving), and anti-inflammatory effects. Examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve).

nonsyndromic hereditary hearing impairment-hearing loss or deafness that is inherited and is not associated with other inherited clinical characteristics.

nonulcer dyspepsia-constant pain or discomfort in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract that is not caused by an ulcer.

norepinephrine-a neurotransmitter found mainly in areas of the brain that are involved in governing autonomic nervous system activity, especially blood pressure and heart rate.

nuclear medicine-a specialized area of radiology that uses very small amounts of radioactive substances to examine organ function and structure.

Nutcracker syndrome-a condition caused by compression of the renal vein between the abdominal aorta and the superior mesenteric artery. This can lead to problems such as blood in the urine.

nutrients-proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals provided by food and necessary for growth and the maintenance of life.

 Sources & References

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