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Medical Terminology Glossary: [N]
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Narcotic Painkiller which additional has properties of inducing relaxation and sleepiness, typically those medications derived from opium and opium-like compounds.
Nasal Prongs Plastic tubes inserted into the nostrils to provide a measured increased supply of oxygen.
Nasofrontal Duct Channel connecting the frontal sinus with the cavity of the nose.
Nasogastric Tube A plastic tube with a number of openings at the lower end, passed through the nose into the stomach for the purpose of decompressing gas and draining accumulated liquids.
Nasogastric Through the nose into the stomach.
Necrosis Death of tissue.Necrotising An irreversible pathological process causing death of cells or tissue.
Necrotising Fasciitis A serious soft tissue infection generally caused by Group A Streptococci (bacteria), but may also be caused by anaerobic bacteria (Peptostreptococcus, Bacteroides). This infection results in extensive soft tissue destruction (necrosis) of skin, subcutaneous tissue and muscle. Often surgical intervention (debridement) in combination with antibiotic therapy is required. Mortality rate is high particularly if treatment is delayed. Infection is often the result of a skin abrasion or puncture that becomes secondarily infected with Streptococcal bacteria.
Neonatal Jaundice, Physiological Yellow discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes (sclerae), caused by excessive amounts of the breakdown product bilirubin, because of physiological immaturity of the liver.
Neonatal Relating to the first month of an infant's life.
Neoplasm New autonomous growth by proliferation of cells, usually forming a distinct mass but lacking structural organisation, or functional relationship with originating tissue.
Nephrostomy Establishment of a channel (catheter) between the renal pelvis and the exterior through the skin.
Nerve of Latarjet Branch of the vagus nerve which supplies impulses to the muscles of the antrum.
Nerve Root A sheaf of nerve fibres entering and leaving a segment of the spinal cord.
Nerve Block Injection of local anesthetic to temporarily "freeze" a nerve for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.
Nerve Conduction Studies Demonstration of the presence and measurement of the speed of transmission of electrical impulses induced at a distance along a nerve, as a means of investigating the intactness of nerve supply.
Nerve Entrapment Pathological pressure on, or restriction of movement of, a nerve, causing intermittent or continuous malfunction.
Nerves, Cranial Twelve paired nerves which exit or enter through the skull rather than the spinal column.
Neuralgia Pain in the back of the head, originating from injury to nerves of the upper neck.
Neurapraxia (Neuropraxia) Localised loss of conduction of a nerve, without anatomical disruption, and potentially reversible.
Neuroblastoma Malignant tumour consisting mainly of immature nerve cells.
Neurogenic Bladder Malfunctioning of the muscles of the bladder because of damage or interruption to its nerve supply.Neurogenic Originating from damage to the supplying nerves.
Neurologist A professional specialising in the study of the structure, functioning, and diseases of the nervous system (including the brain, spinal cord and all the peripheral nerves.)
Neurolysis Therapeutic freeing of nerve from surrounding adhesions.
Neuroma (Traumatic) A proliferation of supporting (Schwann) and nerve (neurite) cells at the site of injury of a nerve.
Neuromuscular Blockade Therapeutic or pathological paralysis of (voluntary) muscles.
Neuromuscular Pertaining to skeletal muscle and its nerve-supply.
Neuron Nerve cell.
Neuropathic, of Pain Arising from injury to the nerve.
Neuropathy Disease process affecting a nerve.
Neurovascular Pertaining to nerves and blood-vessels.
Neutropenia Pathological reduction in the numbers of the larger and physiologically most numerous class of infection-fighting white blood cells, usually more numerous in generalised bacterial infections.
Neutrophils, Mature Fully-developed forms of this class of infection-fighting White Blood Cell - the proportion of Young to Mature reflects the acuity of the infection.
Neutrophils, Segmented Neutrophils are the larger and physiologically most numerous class of infection-fighting white blood cells, characteristically even more numerous in generalised bacterial infections; segmentation signifies cell division, so a high segmented neutrophil count implies vigorous response.
Neutrophils, Young Not yet fully-developed forms of this class of infection-fighting White Blood Cell - the proportion of Young to Mature reflects the acuity of the infection.
Neutrophils The larger and physiologically most numerous class of infection-fighting white blood cells, characteristically even more numerous in generalised bacterial infections.
Nitrazine Test A bedside litmus-paper test to distinguish liquor from other vaginal fluids.
Nitroglycerine Medication that temporarily dilates (increases the calibre of) coronary arteries.
Nocebo An inert substance which produces adverse effects.
Nodule A roughly spherical or knob-like swelling.
Non Stress Test Short-term continuous fetal monitoring with tocography to assess the health and resilience of a viable fetus.
Non-Q Wave, of Myocardial Infarction Not involving the full thickness of heart muscle, and therefore producing incomplete ECG changes.
Nonpuerperal Outside the period from childbirth to the return of the uterus to normal size, arbitrarily 42 days.
Norepinephrine A chemical transmitter, naturally-occuring in nerves, and used in synthetic form to sustain blood-pressure.
Normal Saline Salt solution at the same concentration as in the body fluids.
Normal Sinus Rhythm Regular rhythm of the heart, at regular rates (depending whether resting or mildly exercising), originating in electrical control by the usual (sino-atrial node) pacemaker of the heart.
Nosocomial Originating in hospital.
Nosology Listing or classification of diseases.
Nuclear Atypia Pathological variation in the histological appearance of the central portion of body cells.
Nucleus 1. The part of a cell that contains genetic material 2. An anatomically and functionally distinct mass of nerve cells within the brain or spinal cord
Nucleus Pulposus The semisolid core of an intervertebral disc.
NX Unknown degree of lymphnode involvement in a malignant process.
Nystagmus Involuntary cyclical movements of the eyeball.
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