Definitions and descriptions

Definitions and descriptions

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There are currently 61 terms in this directory beginning with the letter P.
Pain is the most common symptom of many diseases. It is an unpleasant emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. any pain of moderate or higher intensity is accompanied by anxiety and the urge to escape or terminate the feeling
Painful scrotal swelling (PSS)
PSS is the inflammation of the epididymis and testis, often accompanied with scrotal pain, swelling and tenderness. It is also known as epididymorchitis. The common aetiologies of PSS are Neissseria gonorrhoea and Chlamydia trachomatis.
Pancreas (PAN-kree-us)
1. An endocrine gland located between the curve of the duodenum and the spleen; secretes insulin and glucagon. 2. An exocrine gland that secretes digestive enzymes for the digestion of starch, fats, and proteins
Pancreatic duct (PAN-kree-AT-ik DUKT)
The duct that takes pancreatic juices to the common bile duct
Pancreatitis is an inflammatory process in which pancreatic enzymes auto digest the pancreatic gland leading to functional and morphologic loss of the gland.
Pandemic occurrence
Significantly increased occurrence of an infectious disease within a given time period but without restriction to given localities
Papillae (pah-PILL-ay)
1. Elevated, pointed projections.

2. On the tongue, the projections that contain taste buds
Papillary layer (PAP-i-lar-ee LAY-er)
The uppermost layer of the dermis; contains capillaries to nourish the epidermis
Paradox (PAR-ah-dahks)
Something that does not seem logical and that, therefore, should not be true, but is true.
Paralytic ileus (PAR-uh-LIT-ik ILL-ee-us)
Paralysis of the intestines that may occur following abdominal surgery
Paranasal sinus (PAR-uh-NAY-zuhl SIGH-nus)
An air cavity in the frontal, maxilla, sphenoid, or ethmoid bones; opens into the nasal cavities
Paraplegia (PAR-ah-PLEE-gee-ah)
Paralysis of the legs
Parasite (PAR-uh-sight)
An organism that lives on or in another living organism, called a host, to which it causes harm (from the Greek for “to eat at another’s table”)
Unicellular or metazoan organism living in or on an organism of another species (host) on the expense of the host
Parasympathetic (PAR-ah-SIM-puh-THET-ik)
The division of the autonomic nervous system that dominates during non-stressful situations
Parathyroid glands (PAR-ah-THIGH-royd)
The four endocrine glands located on the posterior side of the thyroid gland; secrete parathyroid hormone
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) (PAR-ah-THIGH-royd)
A hormone secreted by the parathyroid glands; increases the reabsorption of calcium from bones and the absorption of calcium by the small intestine and kidneys
Paronychia is a painful infection that usually occurs at the nail fold. It may occur after injury or minor trauma, and is caused by Staphylococcus aureus. It may also occur as a result of fungal infection.
Passive immunization
This vaccination method involves administration of antibodies produced in a different host. In most cases, homologous (human) hyperimmune sera (obtained from convalescent patients or patients with multiple vaccinations) are used. The passive immunity obtained by this method is limited to a few weeks (or months at most).
Capacity of a pathogen species to cause disease
Is a disease caused by deficiency of a variety of specific factors, nicotinic acid being the most important.
Cardinal signs: diarrhea, dermatitis (sites exposed to sun and pressure) and dementia.
Pentose sugar (PEN-tohs)
A five-carbon sugar (monosaccharide) that is a structural part of the nucleic acids DNA, RNA, and ATP
Pepsin (PEP-sin)
The enzyme found in gastric juice that begins protein digestion; secreted by chief cells
Peptic ulcer disease
Refers to acid related peptic ulceration involving the lower esophagus; stomach and duodenum as a result of active inflammation induced by acid-pepsin leading to disruption of the mucosal integrity causing local defect or excavation
Peptidases (PEP-ti-day-ses)
Digestive enzymes that break down polypeptides to amino acids; secreted by the small intestine
Periapical abscess
This clinical condition arises as a complication of inflammation of the dental pulp or periodontal pocket. The condition may be acute and diffuse, chronic with fistula or localized and circumscribed. It is located in the apical aspect of the supporting bone.
Pericardium (PER-ee-KAR-dee-um)
The three membranes that enclose the heart, consisting of an outer fibrous layer and two serous layers
Perichondrium (PER-ee-KON-dree-um)
The fibrous connective tissue membrane that covers cartilage
This is the progression of the inflammation of gingival into the deep tissue affecting the periodontal membrane causing periodontal pockets, introduction of infection and destruction of periodontium. The damage of the periodontal membrane, periodontal ligaments and eventually alveolar bone leads to formation of pockets which eventually favors more pathogenic bacterial growth. As the destruction continues the teeth becomes loose and may eventually fall out.
Periosteum (PER-ee-AHS-tee-um)
The fibrous connective tissue membrane that covers bone; contains osteoblasts for bone growth or repair
Peripheral (puh-RIFF-uh-ruhl)
Extending from a main part; closer to the surface
Pharyngotonsilitis is an acute inflammation of the pharynx and tonsils, which is characterized by fever and a painful throat.
Pheochromocytoma are neuroendocrine tumors arising from catecholamine producing chromaffin cells of the adrenal medullar but about 15–20% are extra-adrenal in origin
Physical fitness
Physical fitness is the ability to perform physical activities without undue fatigue and is achieved through proper nutrition, moderate to vigorous physical activity, and sufficient rest.
Physiological Bowing/Knocked Knees
Is considered bending of knees at an early age due to early walking and overweight below the age of 2years.
Pityriasis Versicolor
It is a common fungal infection caused by yeast.
Placenta Abruption:
It is bleeding from the placenta site due to premature separation of normally situated placenta from 28 weeks of gestation.

Placenta Praevia
It is an obstetric complication in which the placenta embeds itself partially or wholly in the lower segment of the uterus.

An infectious disease caused by the bactera Yersinia pestis, usually found in small mammals and their fleas. It is transmitted between animals from their fleas. Humans can be contaminated by the bite of infected fleas, through direct contact with infected materials or by inhalation.
Plantar Fasciitis
Planter Fasciitis is a degenerative disease of plantar fascia probably due to overuse trauma that leads to micro tears. Depending on duration of symptoms it can be acute 4-6 weeks, sub acute 6-12 weeks and chronic >12weeks with/without refractory.
Pneumonia is the inflammation of the lung tissue.
Pneumonic plague
Pneumonic plague is the most virulent form and is rare. It is very typically caused by spread to the lungs from advanced bubonic plague. However, any person with pneumonic plague may transmit the disease via droplets to other humans. Untreated pneumonic plague can be fatal.
Portal Hypertension
This is high blood pressure in the hepatic portal system which includes the portal veins and its branches which drains from most of the intestines to the liver. It is indicated when the hepatic venous pressure gradient exceeds 7mmHg, while liver cirrhosis remains the most common.
Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)
Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is the immediate provision of preventive measures and medication following exposure to potentially infected blood or other bodily fluids in order to minimize the risk of acquiring infection.
Post-herpetic Zeuralgia
A complication of shingles (herpes zoster) whereby nerve fibers and the skin is affected .
Postpartum Haemorrhage (PPH)
It is loss of more than 500ml of blood from the genital tract in the first 24 hours after vaginal delivery and more than 1000ml after Caesarean section.
Pregnancy induced hypertension
Gestational hypertension or pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) is the development of new hypertension in a pregnant woman after 20 weeks gestation without the presence of protein in the urine or other signs of preeclampsia.
Premature rupture of membranes (PROM)
It is the rupture of membranes (breakage of the amniotic) before the onset of labor. If rupture occurs before 37 weeks it is called preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM). Prolonged PROM is a case of premature rupture of membranes in which more than 24 hours have passed between the rupture and the onset of labour. Prolonged PROM for more than twelve hours is a risk of ascending infection which can lead to chorioamnionitis (infection of chorion, amnion and amniotic fluid).
A parasitological term: time between infection and first appearance of products of sexual reproduction of the pathogen (e.g., worm eggs in
stool of a host with helminthosis)
This is a disorder of refractive status commonly occurring in older people.

  • It usually starts after the age of 40 years

  • The main complaints is difficulty in reading/ writing or doing near works.

Preservation is a general term for measures taken to prevent microbecaused spoilage of susceptible products (pharmaceuticals, foods).
Number of cases of a disease at a given point in time (sampling date)
Primary defenses.
The main factors in the first line of defense against infection are mechanical, accompanied by some humoral and cellular factors. These defenses represent an attempt on the part of the host organism to prevent microorganisms from colonizing its skin and mucosa and thus stave off a generalized invasion.
Prions (proteinaceous infectious particles)
Prions are protein molecules that cause degenerative central nervous system (CNS) diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru, scrapie in sheep, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) (general term: transmissible spongiform encephalopathies [TSE]).
Probability of manifestation
Frequency of clinical manifestation of an infection in disposed individuals (%)
It is an inflammation of the prostate usually secondary to bacterial infection caused by urinary or STI pathogens.
Protozoa are microorganisms in various sizes and forms that may be free-living or parasitic. They possess a nucleus containing chromosomes and organelles such as mitochondria (lacking in some cases), an endoplasmic reticulum, pseudopods, flagella, cilia, kinetoplasts, etc. Many parasitic protozoa are transmitted by arthropods, whereby multiplication and transformation into the infectious stage take place in the vector.
Pruritic Papular Eruption (PPE)
A skin condition characterized by itchy papular on the extensor area of the upper and lower limbs which is associated with HIV infection.
Pseudomembrenous Colitis
This condition is caused by Clostridium difficile a gram positive, anaerobic bacteria causing antibiotic associated diarrhoea as a result of altered bacterial flora and release of enterotoxins.
It is an inherited inflammatory condition of the skin.
Pyogenic Spondylodiscitis
Spinal infections constitute an important clinical problem that often requires aggressive medical and surgical management to avoid serious complications and long-term sequelae. Common causative agents are S. aureaus, E. coli and Proteus spp.
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