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Non-invasive method of recording the position and motion of the structures of the heart by echo obtained from beams of ultrasonic waves directed through the chest wall.

Transoesophageal echo uses miniaturized transducers incorporated into special endoscopes. It allows better visualization of some structures and pathology, e.g. aortic dissection, prosthetic valve endocarditis.
Doppler echocardiography uses the Doppler principle (in this case, the frequency of ultrasonic waves reflected from blood cells is related to their velocity and direction of flow) to identify and assess the severity of valve lesions.


Located away from its narmal position, such as an ectopic pregnancy.


The fraction of the ventricular end-diastolic volume that is ejected during cardiac systole. It is usually equal to about 60%,


Electrodes applied to the patient’s scalp pick up small changes in electrical potential which, after amplification, are recorded on paper or displayed on a video monitor. It is used in the investigation of epilepsy and diffuse brain dis-orders.


A needle electrode is inserted percutaneopusly into voluntary muscle. Amplified action potentials are recorded on an oscilloscope. Normal resting muscle shows no activity, and during increasing muscle contractions progressively larger numbers of motor units are recruited. EMG is useful in the diagnosis of primary muscle disease (myopathies and dystrophies, individual motor unit potentials are small) and of lower motor neurone lesions (denervation, spontaneous activity appears at rest).


Based on experience. Empirical treatment refers to treatment given to an individual that is based on the experience of the physician in treating previous patients with a similar presentation. It is not completely ‘scientific’ treatment.


The volume of blood in the ven-tricle at the end of diastole.


Present in a community at all times.


Related to or produced by the body.

:Enzyme-liked immunosorbent assay:

A serologic test used for the detection of particular antibodies or antigens in the blood. ELISA technology links a measurable enzyme to either an antigen or antibody. In this way it can then measure the presence of an antibody or an antigen in the bloodstream.

(Normal range 0.04-0.44 x 109 /L,1-6% of total white cells) occurs in asthma and allergic disorders, parasitic infections (e.g.Ascaris), skin disorders (urticaria, pemphigus and eczema), malignancy and the hypereosinophilic syndrome ( restrictive cardiomyopathy, hepatosplenomegaly and very high eosinophil count).


An outbreak of a disease affecting a large number of individuals in a community at the same time. The number of people affected is in excess of the expected.


The study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states and events in populations.


That part of an antigenic molecule to which an antibody or T-cell receptor responds.


Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. The ampulla of Vater is cannulated, and after injection of radio-opaque contrast medium the pancreatic and common bile ducts (CBD) can be visualized. The sphincter of Oddi may be cut (sphincterotomy) to facilitate the removal of stones and insertion of stents.




The rate of fall of red cells in a column of the acute-phase response. The speed is mainly determined by the concentration of large proteins, e.g. fibrinogen. The ESR is higher in women and rises with age. It is raised in a wide variety of systemic inflammatory and neoplastic diseases. The highest values (>100mm/h) are found in chronic infections (e.g. TB), myeloma, connective tissue disorders and cancer.


Widespread redness of the skin, with scaling.


The illegal act of killing someone painlessly, especially to relieve suffering from an incurable disease.

(Intravenous urography (IVU) or intravenous pyelography (IVP). Serial radiographs are taken of the kidney and the full length of the abdomen, following intravenous injection of con-trast, usually an organic iodine-containing medium.


Developed or originated outside of the body.


Nuclear components that are soluble in saline. Examples are Sm. Ro, La and ribonucleoprotein (RNP) antigen. The presence of serum anti-Sm antibodies is highly specific for SLE. Anti-Ro (SS-A) and anti-La (SS-B) occur in patients with Sjogren’s syndrome and in some patients with SLE.


Fluid rich in protein and cells which has leaked from blood vessels and deposited in tissues.


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