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   The American College of Nurse-Midwives. See: Nurse-midwife.



Acinus, pulmonary
"The ending of a tiny airway in the lung, where the alveoli (air sacs) are located. In anatomy, an acinus is a round cluster of cells, usually epithelial cells, that looks somewhat like a knobby berry. The word ""acinus"" means ""berry"" in Latin. (The plural is ""acini"".) There are also acini, round clusters of epithelial cells, in the salivary glands and in the pancreas."

Anterior cruciate ligament.

ACL injury
See: Anterior cruciate injury.

Acne rosacea
This term is actually a misnomer! The appropriate term is simply rosacea which is a chronic skin disease that affects the middle third of the face with persistent redness over the areas of the face and nose that normally blush: mainly the forehead, the chin and the lower half of the nose. The tiny blood vessels in these areas enlarge (dilate) and become more visible through the skin, appearing like tiny red lines (called telangiectasias). Pimples can occur that look like teenage acne. Unlike acne, rosacea is not primarily a plague of teenagers. It occurs most often in adults (ages 30 to 50), especially those with fair skin, and affects both sexes but tends to be more common in women but worse in men. Unlike acne, there are no blackheads or whiteheads in rosacea. When rosacea first develops, it may appear, then disappear, and then reappear. However, in time the skin fails to return to its normal color and the enlarged blood vessels and pimples arrive. Rosacea rarely reverses itself. It lasts for years and, untreated, it worsens. Untreated rosacea can cause a condition called rhinophyma (ryno-fee-ma), literally growth of the nose, characterized by a bulbous, enlarged red nose and puffy cheeks (like the old comedian W.C. Fields). There may also be thick bumps on the lower half of the nose and the nearby cheek areas. Rhinophyma occurs mainly in men.

Acne, adult
Popular name for rosacea. For more information, see: Rosacea.


Combining form relating to hearing. As in acoustic, otoacoustic emission test, and presbyacousia.

Acoustic aphasia
See: Auditory aphasia.

Acoustic nerve
A cranial nerve concerned with hearing, balance and head position. The acoustic nerve is the 8th cranial nerve. It branches into two parts -- a cochlear part integral to hearing and a vestibular part which mediates the sense of balance and head position. Also called the vestibulocochlear nerve.

Acoustic neurinoma
A benign tumor that may develop on the hearing and balance nerves near the inner ear. The tumor results from an overproduction of Schwann cells -- small sheet-like cells that normally wrap around nerve fibers like onion skin and help support the nerves. When growth is abnormally excessive, Schwann cells bunch together, pressing against the hearing and balance nerves, often causing gradual hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and dizziness. If the tumor becomes large, it can interfere with the facial nerve, causing partial paralysis, and eventually press against nearby brain structures, becoming life-threatening.

Acoustic neurofibromatosis
See: Neurofibromatosis type 2.

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