Bifid uvula
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  Bifid uvula

Bifid uvula

   The uvula, the little V-shaped fleshy mass hanging from the back of the soft palate, is cleft or split. Cleft uvula is a common minor anomaly occurring in about 1% of whites and 10% of Native Americans. Persons with a cleft uvula should not have their adenoids removed because, without the adenoids, they cannot achieve proper closure between the soft palate and pharynx while speaking and develop hypernasal speech.


The fleshy mass hanging down from the soft palate above the back of the tongue.

Hard and soft tissue forming the roof of the mouth.

Deviation from normal.

Glandular tissue in the back of the throat that may swell, especially during childhood, obstruct breathing and speaking, and lead to ear infections.

Space behind the mouth that serves as a passage for food from the mouth to the esophagus and for air from the nose and mouth to the larynx.


Cleft (split) in two. See, for example, bifid uvula.


Bicuspid aortic valve
Whereas the normal aortic valve in the heart has three flaps (cusps) that open and close, a bicuspid valve has only two. There may be no symptoms in childhood, but in time the valve may become stenotic (narrowed), making it harder for blood to pass through it, or the valve may start to let blood leak backwards through the valve (regurgitate). Treatment depends on how the valve is working.

Bicycle helmet
A well-known but often neglected device designed to protect the head of a bicyclist.

Bid (on prescription)
"Seen on a prescription, bid means twice (two times) a day. It is an abbreviation for ""bis in die"" which in Latin means twice a day. The abbreviation bid is sometimes written without a period either in lower-case letters as ""bid"" or in capital letters as ""BID"" or with periods as ""b.i.d."" However it is written, it is one of a number of hallowed abbreviations of Latin terms that have been traditionally used in prescriptions to specify the frequency with which medicines should be taken. "

Bietti crystalline dystrophy
A genetic eye disease that leads to progressive night blindness and visual field constriction and is characterized by the formation of crystals in the cornea (the clear covering of the eye), yellow shiny deposits on the retina, and progressive atrophy of the retina and choroid (the back layers of the eye). Average age of onset is 29. Lipid inclusions are present not only in the cornea but also in blood lymphocytes, suggesting a systemic disorder of lipid metabolism. There is no known treatment. The disease is an autosomal recessive trait (the gene is on chromosome 4q35-qter) and is named for G. B. Bietti, an Italian ophthalmologist, who described it in 1937. Also called Bietti crystalline corneoretinal dystrophy.

Cleft (split) in two. See, for example, bifid uvula.

Bifid uvula

Big bone disease
See: Kashin-Beck disease.

Big toe sign
An important neurologic examination based upon what the big toe (and other toes) do when the sole of the foot is stimulated. If the big toe goes up, that may mean trouble.

Body integrity identity disorder.

Bilateral pneumonia
See: Pneumonia, bilateral.

Bile acid
An acid made by the liver that works with bile to break down fats. On a more technical level, bile acids are steroid carboxylic acids derived from cholesterol. The primary bile acids are cholic and chenodeoxycholic acids. They are conjugated with glycine or taurine before they are secreted into the bile.

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