AAA Abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis. The abdomen is separated anatomically from the chest by the diaphragm, the powerful muscle spanning the body cavity below the lungs. The abdomen includes a host of organs including the stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, appendix, gallbladder, and bladder. The word "abdomen" has a curious story behind it. It comes from the Latin "abdodere", to hide. The idea was that whatever was eaten was hidden in the abdomen.
Pertaining to the aorta, the largest artery in the body.
A weakness in the blood vessel wall that balloons out and may rupture at some point. Aneurysms rarely cause symptoms before the rupture, unless they are large. They do not mimic the symptoms of migraine or cluster headache. It is vital to discover them before they rupture and have catastrophic consequences such as paralysis or death.
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Advanced Cardiac Life Support
This is the more advanced skill set used in resuscitating cardiac arrest patients. This set starts with Basic Life Support, and extends it with invasive techniques such as intubation, specialized drugs, IV access and more sophisticated diagnostic techniques. This skill set is practiced out of the hospital by Paramedics and flight nurses, and in the hospital by most critical care personnel. It is also referred to as ALS and ACLS.
See Acute Myocardial Infarction.
In genetics, A stands for adenine, one member of the A-T (adenine-thymine) base pair in DNA. The other base pair in DNA is G-C (guanine-cytosine). Each base pair forms a "rung of the DNA ladder." A DNA nucleotide is made of a molecule of sugar, a molecule of phosphoric acid, and a molecule called a base. The bases are the "letters" that spell out the genetic code. In DNA, the code letters are A, T, G, and C, which stand for the chemicals adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine, respectively. In DNA base pairing, adenine always pairs with thymine, and guanine always pairs with cytosine. Adenine is also one of the bases in RNA. There it always pairs with uracil (U). The base pairs in RNA are therefore A-U and G-C.
Acinetobacter baumannii. See Acinetobacter.
Spoken of as the "triple-AS", the American Association for the Advancement of Science is an organization concerned not only with the biomedical sciences but with all of the sciences. The AAAS publishes the weekly journal "Science", one of the great scientific periodicals. "Science" carries a remarkable range of new scientific information including, for example, findings from the Apollo mission to Mars as well as reports from the project to map the human genome.
American Association of Dermatology, one of many important professional societies in the health arena. The AMA (the American Medical Association) is a better known example in the US. Only a small selection of the many health-related organizations is given as a sampler in this DICTIONARY.
Aase-Smith syndrome I
A syndrome of congenital malformations (birth defects) characterized by hydrocephalus, cleft palate, and severe arthrogryposis (joint contractures). Other anomalies may include deformed ears, ptosis (drooping) of the eyelids, inability to open the mouth fully, heart defects, and clubfoot. The fingers are thin with absent knuckles, reduced creases over the joints and inability to make a full fist.
The syndrome is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait, transmitted from generation to generation, affecting both males and females. It is named for the American dysmorphologists (birth-defect experts) Jon Aase and David W. Smith.
Aase-Smith syndrome II
A genetic disorder that may be detected during early infancy and is characterized by the presence of three bones (phalanges) within the thumbs (triphalangeal thumbs) rather than the normal two and abnormally reduced production of red blood cells (hypoplastic anemia). The exact cause of the syndrome is unknown. However, most evidence suggests that the disorder is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. The syndrome is named for the American dysmorphologists (birth-defect experts) Jon Aase and David W. Smith. Alternative names for the syndrome include:
Anemia and triphalangeal thumbs
Congenital anemia and triphalangeal thumbs
Hypoplastic anemia-triphalangeal thumbs, Aase-Smith type.
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