Glossary try the best to avoid the use of medical terms that could make it more difficult to understand the information on this website. Still, there are a number of terms that can't be avoided and that are useful to know because they are so often used by the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals with whom you might speak. The list below includes the terms used on for which we have provided definitions.

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Term Definition
Toxemia of pregnancy

Also known as: Preeclampsia

A condition during pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and fluid retention. If untreated, it can lead to eclampsia and convulsions that can be life-threatening to the mother and baby.

Toxic megacolon

A rare but serious, potentially life-threatening condition in which all or part of the colon progressively swells and becomes gangrenous, with tissue death resulting from lack of blood supply


Extent or degree to which something is poisonous


Generally, anything that injures, is destructive, or can cause death; specifically, a poisonous substance made within living cells or organisms (plants or animals); may also include some medicines if taken in large amounts and certain metals


In radiology, radioactive isotope (e.g., iodine-131) introduced into the body to allow biological structures to be seen as part of diagnostic X-ray techniques.


(v. translocate) In genetics, movement of one section of a chromosome to a different position on another chromosome resulting in abnormal chromosome structure


Process of removing cells, tissue, or organ(s) from one body and inserting them into another body, especially using surgery


Fluid that has leaked into a body cavity, due to an imbalance between the pressure within blood vessels (which drives fluid out) and the amount of protein in blood (which keeps fluid in); it is a clear fluid with low protein concentration and a limited number of white blood cells.

Tubular adenoma

Also known as: Adenomatous polyp

Abnormal growth of cells that form the glands in the lining of the colon or rectum; while benign, may become cancerous over time


A long, thin hollow tube; in the kidney, a structure that connects to the glomerulus and helps the kidney retain needed small substances (such as water, electrolytes, glucose, calcium) while allowing elimination of waste products. Its contents eventually drain into the collecting system of the kidney as urine.


Also known as: Neoplasm

Growth of tissue characterized by uncontrolled cell proliferation; benign or malignant, localized or invasive

Turner Syndrome

A disorder involving the X chromosomes in females. Normally, there are two functioning X chromosomes in every cell in the female body. In Turner syndrome, one of the X chromosomes is missing or is abnormal, or there are two normal X chromosomes present but in only some of the cells. Women with Turner syndrome usually have underdeveloped female sexual characteristics.

Tyrosine kinase

An enzyme that works by adding phosphate groups to various molecules, changing their function

Tyrosine kinase inhibitor

Drug used to treat certain types of cancer; it inhibits the action of tyrosine kinase, an enzyme involved in cell growth, thus impeding the growth of cancer cells.