Common Abbreviations for Medical Terminology



MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging

CT Scan: Computerized axial tomography

U/S: Ultrasound


MA: Medical Assistant

LPN : Licensed Practical Nurse

RN: Registered Nurse

PA-C: Physician Assistant-Certified

NP: Nurse Practitioner

M.D.: Medical Doctor

D.O.: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

Medication Terms:

PO: By Mouth

SL: Sublingual (under the tongue)

BID: twice daily

TID: three times daily

QID: four times daily

Q4H: every 4 hours

QHS: at bedtime

ASA: Aspirin

Tab: tablet

Cap: capsule 

Other Terms:

P.T. : Prothrombin Time OR Physical Therapy OR Patient

INR: International Normalized Ratio

NKDA: No known drug allergies

NPO: Nothing by mouth

HDL: high density lipoprotein (good cholesterol)

LDL: low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol)

PRN: As needed

Rx: prescription

Tx: treatment

Bx: biopsy

Hx: history

Sx: surgery

Dx: diagnosis

AMA: against medical advice

BP: blood pressure

EKG or ECG: electrocardiogram

H & P: history & physical

IM: intramuscular

SQ: subcutaneous

PPD: purified protein derivative (tb test)

TB test: Tuberculosis test

TIA: Transient ischemic attack

CVA: Stroke

UTI: Urinary tract infection

W/C: wheelchair

Wt: Weight

Ht: Height

Your Body's Systems:

SKELETAL: Bones, axial skeleton, appendicular skeleton, and joints

MUSCULAR: Muscles and tendons

INTEGUMENTARY: Skin, hair, nails, glands in skin

SENSORY: Eyes, ears, nose, skin receptors, and mouth

CARDIOVASCULAR: Heart, blood vessels, and blood

LYMPHATIC: Tonsils, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels, and lymph fluid

RESPIRATORY: Nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs

GASTROINTESTINAL: Mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, pancreas, liver, gallbladder

ENDOCRINE: Hormones, pituitary gland, thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, and gonads

NERVOUS: Brain, spinal cord, ganglia, nerves, and sensory organs

URINARY: Kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra

REPRODUCTIVE: Ovaries, uterine tubes, uterus, and vagina in females: testes, ducts, penis, urethra, prostate in males

(from Medical Terminology for Dummies by Beverley Henderson & Jennifer Lee Dorsey)



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