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List of medical abbreviations

This is a list of medical acronyms and abbreviations. Note that some items in the following list are informal or slang usage among medical or paramedical professionals (e.g., "GOMER").

The US-based Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requires its members to follow a "do not use list":[1]

"Do Not Use" List Official in the United States
Do Not Use Potential Problem Use Instead
U (unit) Mistaken for “0” (zero), the number “4” (four) or “cc” "unit"
IU (International Unit) Mistaken for IV (intravenous) or the number 10 (ten) "International Unit"
Q.D., QD, q.d., qd (daily)
Q.O.D., QOD, q.o.d, qod (every other day)
Mistaken for each other. Period after the Q mistaken for "I" and
the "O" mistaken for "I" (q.i.d. is four times a day dosing)
"every other day"
Trailing zero (X.0 mg)
Lack of leading zero (.X mg)
Decimal point is missed X mg
0.X mg
MS Can mean morphine sulfate or magnesium sulfate "morphine sulfate"
MSO4 and MgSO4 Confused for one another "morphine sulphate" and "magnesium sulfate"
For possible future inclusion in the Official List:
> (greater than)
< (less than)
Misinterpreted as the number "7" (seven) or the letter "L".
Confused for one another
"greater than"
"less than"
Abbreviations for drug names Misinterpreted due to similar abbreviations for multiple drugs Write drug names in full
Apothecary units Unfamiliar to many practitioners. Confused with metric units metric units
@ Mistaken for the number "2" (two) "at"
cc Mistaken for U (units) when poorly written "mL" or "milliliters"
µg Mistaken for mg (milligrams) resulting in one thousandfold overdose "mcg" or "micrograms"

Contents: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Abbrv. Meaning
Δ Diagnosis; Also can mean "change"
ΔΔ Differential diagnosis, i.e. the list of possible diagnoses
# Fracture
#NOF Fracture to the neck of the femur
Ψ Psychiatry
Σ Sigmoidoscopy
x/12 x number of months
x/40 x number of weeks of pregnancy
x/52 x number of weeks
x/7 x number of days
5-HT Serotonin, 5-Hydroxytryptamine


a (a with a bar over it) before, from Latin, ante
A Adenosine
AAOx3 Awake, Alert and Oriented to person, place, and time
A&Ox3 Alert and Oriented to person, place, and time
A&Ox4 Alert and Oriented to person, place, time, and circumstances (often used interchangeably with A&Ox3)
A&W Alive and well
a.a. of each, from Latin, ana ana
AAA Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Pronounced "Triple A"
AAT activity as tolerated
Ab Antibody
ABC aspiration biopsy cytology
ABCD "Asymmetry, borders, color, diameter" features on considering "is it a Malignant Melanoma"?
Abd abdomen
ABG Arterial Blood Gas
ABMT Autologous bone marrow transplantation
ABPI Ankle brachial pressure index
ABVD doxorubicin bleomycin vinblastine dacarbazine First-line treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma.
ABX antibiotics
a.c. before meal, from Latin, ante cibum
ACE Angiotensin converting enzyme
ACEI Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors
Ach Acetylcholine
ACL Anterior cruciate ligament
ACLS Advanced cardiac life support
ACTH Adrenocorticotropic hormone
ad. right ear
ad part. dolent to the painful parts, from Latin, partes dolentes
AD Alzheimer's Disease
ADA Adenosine deaminase
ADC AIDS dementia complex
ADCC Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity
ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
ADH Antidiuretic hormone
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADL activities of daily living
ad lib as desired from Latin, ad libitum
adm admission
ADR Adverse drug reaction
AEM Ambulatory electrocardiogram monitoring
AF atrial fibrillation
AF atrial flutter
AF Amniotic fluid
AFB acid fast bacilli
AFib atrial fibrillation
AFO ankle-foot orthosis
AFP Alpha-fetoprotein
Ag Antigen
AGA Anti-gliadin Antibodies
a.h. every other hour, from Latin, alternis horis
AHF Antihemophilic factor
AHG Antihemophilic globulin
AHH aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase
AI Artificial insemination
AI Aortic insufficiency
AICD Automated implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
AID Artificial insemination by donor
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
AIH artificial insemination by husband
AIHD artificial insemination by pooled husband and donor semen
AIIRB Angiotensin II receptor antagonist
aka also known as
AKA Above knee amputation
ALG Antilymphocytic globulin
ALL Acute lymphocytic leukemia
ALP Alkaline phosphatase
ALPS Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome
ALS Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
ALS Advanced Life Support
ALT Alanine transferase
altern. d. every other day, from Latin, alterno die
AMA Advanced Maternal Age (35 years or greater)
AMA Against Medical Advice
AMA American Medical Association
AMA Anti-mitochondrial Antibodies
AMC Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita
AMI Acute myocardial infarction
AML Acute myelocytic leukemia
AMP Adenosine monophosphate
AMS Acute mountain sickness
AMS atypical measles syndrome
ANA Anti-nuclear antibody
ANCA Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies
ANF Atrial natriuretic factor
ANP Atrial natriuretic peptide
ANS Autonomic nervous system
ANUG Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis
a.p. before dinner, from Latin, ante prandium
AP Alkaline phosphatase
APC Antigen-presenting cell
APAP acetaminophen, paracetamol; from the chemical name N-acetyl-para-aminophenol
APD adult polycystic disease
APKD adult polycystic kidney disease
APECED autoimmune polyendocrinopathy
APH Antepartum haemorrhage
APLS antiphospholipid antibody syndrome
applic. applicandus, from Latin, to be applied
APSAC Anisoylated plasminogen streptokinase activator complex
APS autoimmune polyglandular syndrome
aPTT Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time
aq. water, from Latin, aqua
aq. bull. boiling water, from Latin, aqua bulliens
aq. calid. warm or hot water, from Latin, aqua calida
aq. dist. distilled water, from Latin, aqua distillata
aq. gel. cold water, from Latin, aqua gelida
AR Aortic Regurgitation
ARB Angiotensin II receptor antagonist
ARC AIDS related complex
ARDS Acute respiratory distress syndrome
ARF Acute renal failure
Arg Arginine
ART antiretroviral therapy
ART assuming room temperature, i.e. the patient has died.
ARM Artificial rupture of membranes
ASA Acetylsalicylic acid - commonly known as aspirin
AS Aortic stenosis
ASCAD arteriosclerotic coronary artery disease
ASD Atrial septal defect
ASGUS Atypical squamous glandular cells of undetermined significance
ASCUS Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance
ASL American sign language
ASO Antistreptolysin-O
ASOT Antistreptolysin-O titre
AST Aspartate transaminase
ASX Asymptomatic
ATA Anti-transglutaminase antibodies
ATCC American Type Culture Collection
ATG Antithymic globulin
AT-III Antithrombin III
ATP Acute Thrombocytopenic Purpura
ATP Adenosine Triphosphate
ATP Anti-tachycardia pacing
aur. ear, from Latin, auris
aur. dextro. to right ear, from Latin, auris dextrae
aur. laev to left ear, from Latin, auris laevae
aurist. ear drops, from Latin, auristillae
AVM Arteriovenous malformation
AVR Aortic valve replacement
AZT Azidothymidine also know as Zidovudine


Ba Barium
BAL Bronchoalveolar lavage
BAL British anti-Lewisite
BAL Blood Alcohol Level
BAO Basic acid output
BAT Brown adipose tissue
BCG Bacille Calmette-Guerin (a tuberculosis vaccination)
BCX Blood culture
BBMF "Bone break, me fix" Orthopedic consent form
b.d. Twice daily, from Latin, bis die
BD Bipolar Disorder
b.i.d. Twice daily, from Latin, bis in die
BE Base excess
BGL Blood Glucose Level
BIBA brought in by ambulance
BIB Brought in by
BK Bacterium Koch
BKA Below Knee Amputation
bl.cult Blood culture
bld Blood
BLS Basic Life Support
BMC Bone mass content
BMD Bone mineral density (also termed bone mass measurement)
BMI Body mass index
BMP Blood Metabolic Profile
BMR Basal metabolic rate
BMT Bone marrow transplantation
BNF British National Formulary
BNO Bowel Not Open
BNP Brain natriuretic peptide
BO Bowel Open
BOA Born out of Asepsis
BOI Born on island, ie. a local patient.
BOOP Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia
BP Blood pressure
BP Bipolar disorder
BPAD Bipolar Affective Disorder
BPD Bi-Parietal Diameter
BPD Borderline personality disorder
BPH Benign prostatic hyperplasia
BPM Beats per minute
BPPV Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
BRAT Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, (dry) Toast: acronym for bland diet
BRATY Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, (dry) Toast, Yogurt: acronym for bland diet for children
BRP Bathroom Privileges
BRBPR Bright red blood per rectum
BS Breath or Bowel sounds on auscultation with stethoscope
BS Blood Sugar
BSE Bovine spongiform encephalopathy
BSE Breast self-examination
BSL Blood Sugar Level
BSP Bromsulphthalein
BUN Blood urea nitrogen
BV Bacterial vaginosis
Bx Biopsy


c (c with a bar over it) with, from Latin, cum
C Cytosine
CABG Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery. Pronounced "Cabbage".
CAD Coronary artery disease
CAG Coronary Artery Graft
cAMP cyclic adenosine monophosphate
CA Carcinoma, Cancer
Ca Calcium
CADASIL Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy
CAH Chronic Active Hepatitis
CAH Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
CAT Computed axial tomography
CAPD Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis
CBC Complete Blood Count
CC Cubic centimeter, or Chief Complaint
CCF Congestive cardiac failure
CCK Cholecystokinin same as CCK-PZ (v.i.)
CCK-PZ Cholecystokinin-Pancreozymin
CDP Cytosine diphosphate
CEA Carcinoembryonic antigen
CF Cystic fibrosis
cGMP Cyclic guanosine monophosphate
ChE Cholinesterase
CHD Coronary heart disease
CHE Cholinesterase
CHF Congestive heart failure
CI Confidence interval
CJD Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
CK Creatine kinase
CKD Chronic kidney disease
CLL Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
CME Continuing Medical Education
CML Chronic myelogenous leukemia also called Chronic myeloid leukaemia
CMML Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia
CMP Complete metabolic panel
CMP Cytosine monophosphate
CMS Chronic mountain sickness
CMV Cytomegalovirus
CNS Central nervous system
COAD Chronic obstructive airways disease
COLD Chronic obstructive lung disease
COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CO Cardiac output
CO, C/O Complains Of...
CO Carbon monoxide
CO2 Carbon dioxide
COX-1 Cyclooxygenase 1
COX-2 Cyclooxygenase 2
CP cerebral palsy
CP Chest Pain
CPAP Continuous positive airway pressure
CPK Creatine phosphokinase
CPR Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CREST Calcinosis Raynaud Esophagus Sclerosis Teleangiectasiae
CRF Chronic renal failure
CRF Corticotropin-releasing factor
CRH Corticotropin-releasing hormone
CRI Chronic renal insufficiency
CRP C-reactive protein
CR Complete remission
CS Caesarean section
CsA Ciclosporin A
CSF Cerebrospinal fluid
CT computed axial tomography
CTP Cytosine triphosphate
CTX ceftriaxone, a third-generation cephalosporin antibiotic, Contractions
CVA Cerebrovascular accident
CVC Central venous catheter
CVC Chronic Veinous Congestion
CVD Cardiovascular disease
CVI Cerebrovascular incident
CVP Central venous pressure
CVS Chorionic villus sampling
CVS Cardiovascular System
CVID Common variable immunodeficiency
Cx Microbiological culture
CXR Chest X-ray


DA Dopamine
DBP Diastolic blood pressure
D&C Dilatation and curettage
D&E Dilatation and evacuation
DCBE Double Contrast Barium Enema
DCM Dilated cardiomyopathy
d.d. Differential Diagnosis
DDD Daily Defined Doses
DDx Differential diagnosis
DEXA Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry
DHE Dihydroergotamine
DHEA-S Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate
DIB Dead in Bed
DIC Disseminated intravascular coagulation
DIP Distal interphalangeal joint
DiPerTe Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus
DiTe Diphtheria Tetanus
DJD Degenerative Joint Disease
DKA Diabetic Keto-Acidosis
DPT Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus
DM Diabetes Mellitus
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid
DNI Do Not Intubate
DNR Do Not Resuscitate
DNAR Do Not Attempt Resuscitation
DOA Dead on arrival or Drugs of abuse
DOB Date of birth
DOE Dyspnea on exertion
DOSS Docusate sodium; from the chemical name dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate
DRT Dead right there
DSA Digital Substraction Angiography
DSM Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
DT Diphtheria Tetanus
DTP Diphtheria Tetanus Pertussis
DUB Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
DVT Deep vein thrombosis
Dx Diagnosis


E Ecstasy
E Electrolytes
E Epinephrine
EACA Epsilon-aminocaproic acid
EBM Evidence-based medicine
EBM Expressed Breast Milk
EBV Epstein-Barr virus
EC Enterically Coated
ECG Electrocardiogram
ECMO Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
ED Emergency department
ED Erectile Dysfunction
ED Ectodermal dysplasia
EDC Estimated Date of Confinement (at 40/40 weeks of pregnancy)
EDD Estimated Date of Delivery (at 40/40 weeks of pregnancy)
EDD Estimated date of discharge
EDRF Endothelium-derived relaxing factor aka Nitric oxide
EDTA ethylene-diamine-tetraacetic acid
EEG Electroencephalogram
EEX Electrodiagnosis
EF Ejection Fraction
EGF Epidermal Growth Factor
EKG Electrocardiogram
ELLSCS Elective Lower Segment Caesarian Section
ELISA Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
EmBx Endometrial Biopsy
EMC Encephalomyocarditis
EMD Early Morning Discovery
EMD ElectroMechanical Dissociation
EMF Endomyocardial fibrosis
EMG Electromyography
EMLSCS Emergency Lower Segment Caesarian Section
EMU Early Morning Urine sample (being the most concentrated generally used for pregnancy testing)
ENT Ear Nose and Throat. (Otolaryngology)
EENT eyes, ears, nose, throat
EOM Extra ocular muscles
EOMI Extra ocular movements intact
EPH Edema Proteinuria Hypertension
EPO Erythropoietin
EPS Electrophysiology
ERCP Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography
ESL Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy (also ESWL) - see lithotriptor
ESBL Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase gram negative bacteria
ESR Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
ESRD End-stage renal disease
ESWL Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (also ESL) - see lithotriptor
ET Endothelin
ETT Endotracheal tube
ETOH ethanol or ethyl alcohol
EUS Endoscopic Ultrasonography


FBC Full blood count
FBE Full blood exam
FBG Fasting blood glucose
F/C Fevers or Chills
FDIU Foetal Demise In Utero
FDP Fibrinogen Degradation Products
FEV1 Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 Second
Fe Iron
FF Free Fluids (non-thickened fluids)
FFA Free fatty acids
FFP Fresh frozen plasma
FHR Fetal heart rate
FHT Fetal heart tones
FHx Family History
FIBD Found in Bed Dead
FLK Funny Looking Kid (suggesting an unspecified syndrome, should now be termed "dysmorphic features")
FNA Fine Needle Aspirate
FNC Full nursing care
FOF Found on Floor (Patient fell out of bed)
FOS Full of Stool
FPG Fasting plasma glucose
FSE Fetal Scalp Electrode
FSH Follicle stimulating hormone
FTA-ABS Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Absorption
FTA Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody
FUBAR F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition, originally used to refer to corpses after horrendous (typically battlefield) trauma, but "FUBAR" is now sometimes used to describe very ill patients with little hope of recovery, including those that have not necessarily suffered trauma. Not very politically correct![citation needed]
FVC Forced Vital Capacity (Spirometry test value used in assessment of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
FWB Full weight bearing
FWD Full ward diet
Fx Fracture of a bone


G Gravidity (total number of pregnancies, successful or not)
G6PD Glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase
G Guanosine
GA General anaesthesia
GABA gamma-aminobutyric acid
GC General Condition
GCA Giant cell arteritis
GCS Glasgow Coma Scale
GDLH Glutamate dehydrogenase
G-CSF Granulocyte - Colony Stimulating Factor
GM-CSF Granulocyte-Monocyte - Colony Stimulating Factor
GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease
GFR Glomerular filtration rate
GGT Gamma glutamyl transferase
GGTP Gamma glutamyl transpeptidase
GH Growth hormone
GHRF Growth hormone releasing factor
GI Gastrointestinal
GIT Gastrointestinal Tract
GITS Gastrointestinal therapeutic system
GIFT Gamete intrafallopian transfer
GMC General Medical Condition (i.e., 0 GMC)
GNRH Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone
GDP Guanosine Diphosphate
GMP Guanosine Monophosphate
GOD Glucose Oxidase
GOMER Get Outta My E.R. i.e. patient who frequently presents at the ER near death but manages to pull through each and every time.
GOK God only knows
GORD Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
GOT glutamic-oxalacetic transaminase
GPT glutamic-pyruvic transaminase
GSW gunshot wound see HVLT
GTN Glyceryl trinitrate
GU Genitourinary
GUM Genitourinary medicine (often used more restrictively as alternative to sexually transmitted disease clinic)
GvH Graft-versus-host
GvHD Graft-versus-host disease


HA Hypertonia arterialis
HAD HIV-associated dementia
H/A headache
H&E Hematoxlyn and Eosin standard tissue stain. Sometimes used as noun referring to stained slides--"H&E's showed..."
HAV Hepatitis A virus
Hb Hemoglobin
HBV Hepatitis B virus
HCC Hepato Cell Carcinoma
HCG Human chorionic gonadotropin
HCM Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
HCT Hematocrit
HCTZ Hydrochlorothiazide
HCV Hepatitis C virus
HDL High density lipoprotein
HDL-C High Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol
HDU High Dependency Unit
HDV Hepatitis D virus
HEENT Head Eyes Ears Nose Throat
HES Hydroxyethyl Starch
HEV Hepatitis E virus
HGB Hemoglobin
HH Hiatus hernia
H&H Hemoglobin and Hematocrit
Hib Haemophilus influenzae B
HIV Human immunodeficiency virus
HL Hepatic lipase
HLA Human leukocyte antigens
H&M Hematemesis and Melena
HOCM Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy
HONK Hyperosmolar Non Ketotic Coma
H&P History & Physical
HPI History of Present Illness
HPV Human papillomavirus
HR Heart rate
HRT Hormone replacement therapy
H.S. At bedtime, from Latin, hora somni
HSG Hysterosalpingogram
HSV Herpes simplex virus
HT Hypertension
HTLV Human T-lymphotropic virus
HTN Hypertension
HUS Hemolytic uremic syndrome
HVLT High-velocity Lead Therapy, also see GSW (gunshot wound)
Hx history (of)


I131 radioactive iodine
IA Intra-arterial
IABP Intra-aortic balloon pump
IAI Intra-amniotic infection
IBD Inflammatory bowel disease
IBS Irritable bowel syndrome
IC Intracardiac
ICD Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
ICD-10 International Classification of Diseases-10th Revision
ICH Intracerebral hemorrhage
ICP Intracranial pressure
ICU Intensive care unit
I&D Incision and drainage (how to treat an abscess}
IDA Iron deficiency anemia
IDC Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy
IDC Indwelling catheter
IDDM Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
IDL Intermediate density lipoprotein
IDP Infectious Disease Precautions/ Process
IFG Impaired fasting glycaemia
Ig Immunoglobulin
IGT Impaired glucose tolerance
IHD Ischaemic heart disease
i.m. intramuscular
IMB InterMenstrual Bleed (bleeding between periods)
IMI Intramuscular injection
INF Interferon
INR International normalized ratio
IO Intraosseous infusion
I&O inputs and outputs
IOL Induction of labor
IOL Intraocular lens
IOP Intraocular pressure
IP Interphalangeal joint
IPPV Intermittent positive pressure ventilation
IQ Intelligence Quotient
ISA Intrinsic Sympathomimetic Activity
ISDN Isosorbide dinitrate
ISH Isolated systolic hypertension
ISMN Isosorbide mononitrate
i.s.q. no change (from Latin, in status quo)
IT Intrathecal
ITP Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
ITU Intensive Treatment Unit (or Intensive Therapy Unit)
IUCD intrauterine contraceptive device
IU International units
IUD Intrauterine Death - sometimes confused with intrauterine contraceptive device. Use FDIU or IUFD
IUD intrauterine device - sometimes confused with intrauterine death. We now use IUCD
IUFD IntraUterine Foetal Demise
IUI Intrauterine insemination
IUS IntraUterine System
i.v. Intravenous
IV-DSA Intravenous digital subtraction angiography
IVDU Intravenous drug user
IVF In vitro fertilization
IVP Intravenous pyelogram
IVU Intravenous urogram


JMS "Junior Medical Student" AKA "MS-3"
JVD Jugular vein distension
JVP Jugular venous pressure


K Potassium (from the word Kalium, in turn from "alkali" from Arabic al qalīy = "the calcined ashes")
Kcal Kilocalorie, Calorie
kg Kilogram
KIV Keep in view
KUB Kidneys, ureters, and bladder (x-ray)


L Leukocytes
LABBB Left anterior bundle branch block
LAD Left Anterior Descending coronary artery
LAP Leukocyte alkaline phosphatase
LAR Low Anterior Resection
LAS Lymphadenopathy syndrome
LBBB Left bundle branch block
LCM Lymphocytic meningitis
LDH Lactate dehydrogenase
LDL Low density lipoprotein
LDL-C Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
L-DOPA Levo-DihydrOxyPhenylAlanine
LES Lower esophageal sphincter
LES Lupus erythematosus systemicus
LE Lupus erythematosus (in German Lupus erythematodes)
leu Leukocytes
LFT Liver function test
LGL Lown-Ganong-Levine syndrome
LGM Lymphogranulomatosis maligna
LGV Lymphogranuloma venereum
LH Luteinizing hormone
LIH left inguinal hernia
LLL left lower lobe
LLQ left lower quadrant
LM Left Main
LMP Last Menstrual Period - first day of the menstrual period prior to conceiving, used to calculated Expected Date of Delivery.
LOC Level Of Consciousness
LOL Little old lady ... often LOL in NAD
LORTA Loss Of Resistance To Air (in anesthesiology; when placing epidural, LORTA indicates entrance of needle to epidural space)
LOS Length of stay
Lp Lipoprotein
LP Lumbar puncture
LPL Lipoprotein lipase
LUL Left upper lobe
LUQ Left upper quadrant
LVEDP Left ventricular end diastolic pressure
LVEF Left ventricular ejection fraction
LVF Left ventricular failure
LVH Left ventricular hypertrophy
LV Left ventricle
LVOT Left Ventricular Outflow Track
Ly Lymphocytes
lytes electrolytes


MAO-I Monoamine oxidase inhibitor
MARSA Methicillin and aminoglycoside resistant Staphylococcus aureus
MAS Morgani-Adams-Stokes
MC Metacarpal bone
MCP Metacarpophalangeal joint
MCHC Mean cell hemoglobin concentration
MCH Mean cell hemoglobin
MC&S Microscopy, Culture & Sensitivity, the investigation steps in processing microbiology samples
MCV Mean cell volume
MDS Myelodysplastic syndrome
Mg Magnesium
MgSO4 Magnesium or Magnesium Sulfate
MGUS Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (unknown or uncertain may be substituted for undetermined)
MI Myocardial infarction
MIC Morbus Ischaemicus Cordis
MIC Minimal inhibitory concentration
MLA Myelosis Leucemica Acuta
MM Myeloma multiplex
mod Moderate
MODY Maturity onset diabetes of the young
Mo Monocytes
MOM Milk of magnesia
MOPP Mechlorethamine, Vincristine, Procarbazine, and Prednisone in combination, older treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma.
MPV Mean platelet volume
MRA Magnetic resonance angiogram or angiogrphy
MRI Magnetic resonance imaging
MR Mitral regurgitation
MR Modified release
MRSA Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
MS Mitral stenosis
MS Multiple sclerosis
MS Medical student MS-1, MS-2, MS-3, MS-4 respectively
MSH Melanocyte stimulating hormone
MSO4 Morphine or Morphine Sulfate
MSU Mid Stream Urine sample (used in testing for presence of urine infections)
MT Metatarsal bone
MTP Metatarsalphalangeal joint
MTX Methotrexate
MVP Mitral valve prolapse
MVPS Mitral valve prolapse syndrome


Na Sodium (Latin: natrium)
NAD No Abnormality Detected, i.e. the absence of abnormal signs on examination
NAD No apparent distress.
NE Norepinephrine
Ne Neutrophil granulocytes
Neo Neoplasm
NFR Not For Resuscitation
NGU Non-gonococcal urethritis
NHL Non Hodgkin Lymphoma
NIDDM Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
NK Natural killer cells
NKA no known allergies
NKDA no known drug allergies. This abbreviation is also used in the military of the United States and may be printed on dog tags or a uniform.
NMR Nuclear magnetic resonance
NNH Number needed to harm
NNT Number needed to treat
NO Nitric oxide
NOF Neck of Femur Fracture (refers to Hip fracture)
NOS Nitric oxide synthase
Npl Neoplasm
NPO nil per os (nothing by mouth)
NREM non-Rapid Eye Movement
n.s. not significant
NS Normal Saline
NSAID Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug
NSCC Non Squamous Cell Carcinoma
NSE Neurospecific enolase
NSR normal sinus rhythm
NSRI Noradrenaline-Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor
NSU Non-specific urethritis
NTG Nitroglycerin
N&V nausea & vomiting
NVD nausea, vomiting & diarrhea
NVD Normal Vaginal Delivery


O2 Oxygen
OA osteoarthritis
OB-GYN Obstetrics and gynecology
OCD Obsessive-compulsive disorder
OD right eye from Latin, oculus dexter
OD overdose
od every day, usually regarded as once daily, from the Latin, omni die. Generally written in lower case.
O/E on examination
OGTT Oral glucose tolerance test
om every morning, from the Latin, omni mane. Generally written in lower case.
OME Otitis Media with Effusion - fluid in the inner ear without other symptoms.
on every night, from the Latin, omni nocte. Generally written in lower case.
OP outpatient department
OPPT Oriented to Person Place and Time
OS left eye from Latin, oculus sinister
OS Orthopedic surgery
OSA Obstructive Sleep Apnea
OSH outside hospital
OTC Over-the-counter drug
OTD Out the Door (discharged)
OTPP Oriented to Time Place and Person
OU Both eyes, from Latin, oculi uterque


p (p with a bar over it) after, from Latin, post
P Parturition (total number of live births)
P Phosphorus
P Pulse
PA posterior-anterior
PA Pulmonary artery
PAF Platelet activating factor
PAF Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (meaning intermittent AF)
PAH Pulmonary arterial hypertension
PAI-1 Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1
PAO Peak Acid Output
PAP Papanicolaou stain
Pap Papanicolaou Test (pap smear)
PAT Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia
p.c. After food, from Latin, post cibum
PCI Percutaneous coronary intervention
PCL Posterior cruciate ligament
PCOS Polycystic ovarian syndrome
PCP Pneumocystis pneumonia (formerly Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia)
PCP Primary Care Physician/Primary Care Provider
PCR Polymerase chain reaction
PCWP Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure
PDA Patent ductus arteriosus
PDE Phosphodiesterase
PDT Photodynamic Therapy
PE Pulmonary Embolism
PE Pre-eclampsia
PEEP Positive end expiratory pressure
PEF Peak expiratory flow
PEFR Peak expiratory flow rate
PERLA Pupils Equal and Reactive to Light and Accommodation
PERRLA Pupils Equal, Round, Reactive to Light and Accommodation
PET Positron-emission tomography
PFO Patent foramen ovale
PID Pelvic inflammatory disease
PIH Pregnancy induced hypertension
PIP Proximal interphalangeal joint
PKA Protein kinase A
PKD Polycystic kidney disease
PKU Phenylketonuria
PLT platelets
PMB Post-menopausal bleeding (bleeding after menopause)
PMH [past medical history] or Perimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage
PMI Point of maximal impulse or apical beat
PMN Polymorphonuclear cells, ie Neutrophils
PMR Percutaneous Myocardial Revascularisation
PMR Polymyalgia Rheumatica
PND Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
p.o. By mouth (orally), from Latin, per os
poly Polymorphonuclear cells, ie Neutrophils
POX Peroxidase
PPH Post partum haemorrhage
PPH Primary Pulmonary hypertension
PPI Proton pump inhibitor
PPROM Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes
PPTL Post-Partum Tubal Ligation
p.r. per rectum (as noun: rectal examination)
PRA Plasma renin activity
PRBCS Packed Red Blood Cells
PRIND Prolonged Reversible Ischemic Neurologic Deficit
prn as necessary, from Latin, pro re nata (if used in chronic pain control disparagingly termed "pain relief nil")
PROM Premature Rupture of Membranes
PRP PanRetinal Photocoagulation
PSA Prostatic specific antigen
PSP Phenylsulphtalein
PTB Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Pt. Patient, from Latin patiens, meaning "one who endures" or "one who suffers"
PTA Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty
PTCA Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
PT Prothrombin time
PTH Parathyroid hormone
PTx Pneumothorax
PTT Partial thromboplastin time
PUD peptic ulcer disease
PUVA Psoralen UV A
p.v. per vagina (as noun: vaginal examination with manual examination and speculum inspection)
PVD peripheral vascular disease
PVR Pulmonary vascular resistance
PWP Pulmonary Wedge Pressure
Px, px physical examination
Px Prognosis


q each, every, {from Latin, quaque}
q.a.d. every other day, (from Latin, quaque altera die)
QALY Quality-adjusted life years
q.AM every AM, (from Latin, quaque ante meridiem)
q.d. each day, {from Latin, quaque die}
q.d.s. four times each day, {from Latin, quater die sumendus}
q.h. each hour, {from Latin, quaque hora}
q.h.s. every bedtime, {from Latin, quaque hora somni}
q.i.d. four times each day, {from Latin, quater in die}
q.m.t. every month
q.w.k. weekly
q.o.d every other day


RA Refractory anaemia
RA Rheumatoid arthritis
RAI Radioactive Iodine
RAPD Relative afferent pupillary defect
RBBB Right bundle branch block
RBC Red blood cells
RCA Right coronary artery
RCT Randomized controlled trial
REM Rapid eye movement
RF Rheumatoid factor
RFLP Restriction fragment length polymorphism
RFT Renal function test
Rh Rhesus factor
RhF Rheumatoid factor
RIA Radioimmune assay
RIBA Radioimmunoblotting assay
RICE Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (treatment for a soft tissue injury)
RIMA Reversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase A
RIND Reversible ischemic neurologic deficit
RLQ Right lower quadrant
RNA Ribonucleic acid
RNV Radionuclear Ventriculography
ROM Range of motion
R/O Rule Out
RR Respiratory rate
RRR Regular Rate and Rhythm
ROS Review of systems
RUQ Right upper quadrant
RPR Rapid Plasma Reagin test
RSV Respiratory Syncytial Virus
RV Residual volume
RV Right ventricle
RVF Right ventricular failure
RVSP Right ventricular systolic pressure
Rx medical prescription or Prescription drug


s (s with a bar over it) without from Middle English sans, borrowed from Old French sans, Latin sine
SAH Subarachnoid hemorrhage
SARS Severe acute respiratory syndrome
SBE Subacute bacterial endocarditis
SBP Systolic blood pressure
SBP spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
s.c. subcutaneous from Latin, subcutis
SCC Squamous cell carciona
SCID Severe combined immunodeficiency
Scope Microscope or Endoscope
SD Standard deviation
Segs Segmented cells
SGA Small for gestational age
SGOT Serum Glutamic Oxaloacetic Transaminase
SGPT Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase
SH Social history (personal habits, living situation, job)
SHBG Sex Hormone Binding Globuline
SHx Surgical History
SI International System of Units, Suicidal ideation
SIADH Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone
SIDS Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
SIMV Synchronized Intermittent Mechanical Ventilation
SK Streptokinase
SLE Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
SM Multiple sclerosis from Latin, Sclerosis multiplex
SMA Sequential Multiple Analysis
SMA-7 Serum Metabolic Assay
SMS Senior medical student
SMT Spinal Manipulative Therapy
SNP Sodium Nitroprusside
SNRI Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor
SOAP Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan (How Doctors notes are organized)
SOB Shortness of breath
SOBOE Short Of Breath On Exercise
SOL Space Occupying Lesion
SOOB Send Out Of Bed
SOS Save Our Souls, meaning "in case of emergency"
SP Status post
SPET Single photon emission tomography
SQ Subcutaneous
SR Slow Release
SROM Spontaneous rupture of membranes
SSRI Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
SSSS Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome
SSS Sick Sinus Syndrome
Staph Staphylococcus
STD Sexually transmitted disease
STH Somatotropic hormone
STI Sexually transmitted infection
STI Soft tissue injury
STOP Surgical Termination Of Pregnancy (sometimes Suction Termination of Pregnancy)
Strep Streptococcus
Subq Subcutaneous
SV Seminal Vesicle
SVD Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery
SVI Systemic Viral Infection
SVN Small Volume Nebulizer
SVR Systemic vascular resistance
SVT Supraventricular tachycardia
Sx Surgery or Symptoms
SXA Single energy X-ray absorptiometer
SXR skull x-ray


T&A tonsillectomy with adenoidectomy
TAH Total Abdominal Hysterectomy
TAH-BSO Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy
TB tuberculosis
TBC tuberculosis
TBC Total body crunch
Td Tetanus and Diphtheria
TdP Torsades de pointes
TBI Total body irradiation
TCC Transitional cell carcinoma
t.d.s. Three times a day, from Latin, ter die sumendus
TEE or TOE Transesophageal echocardiogram
TENS Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator
TERN "Intern"
TF Transfer
T/F Transfer
TFTs Thyroid function tests
TGA Transposition of the great arteries
TG Triglycerides
Tg Thyroglobulin
THR Total hip replacement
TIA Transient ischemic attack
TIBC Total iron binding capacity
t.i.d. Three times a day, from Latin, ter in die
TIPS transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt
TKO to keep (vein) open for IV therapy
TKR Total knee replacement
TKVO to keep vein open
TLC Total lung capacity
TMB "Too Many Birthdays" Very frail elderly patient
TNF Tumor necrosis factors
TNM Tumor-Nodes-Metastases
TOE Transoesophageal echocardiogram
TOP Termination of Pregnancy
TPa Tissue plasminogen activator
TPN Total parenteral nutrition
TR Tricuspid regurgitation
TRF Transfer (pronounced "turf")
TRF'd Transferred (Pronounced "turfed", as in "We just turfed Mrs Johnson OTD")
TRH Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone
TS Tricuspid stenosis
TSH Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
TT thrombin time
TTE Transthoracic echocardiogram
TTO To Take Out (medicines given to patient on discharge from hospital stay)
TTP Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
TTS Transdermal therapeutic system
Tu Tumor
TUR Transurethral resection
TURBT Transurethral resection of bladder tumour
TURP Transurethral resection of the prostate
Tx Transplant
Tx treatment


UA Urinalysis
UBT Urea Breath Test
U & E urea and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) blood test, often including creatinine
UC Ulcerative colitis
UD As Directed, from Latin, Ut Dictum
URI Upper Respiratory Infection
URTI Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
US Ultrasound
USG Ultrasonography
USR Unheated Serum Reagin
USS Ultrasound scan
UTI Urinary Tract Infection
UVAL Ultraviolet Argon Laser


VA visual acuity
VAD vincristine adriblastine dexamethasone
VAMP vincristine adriblastine methylprednisone
V-BAC Vaginal Birth After Caesarian
VC Vital capacity
vCJD Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
VD Vaginal Delivery
VDRF Ventilator dependent respiratory failure
VDRL Venereal Diseases Research Laboratory (old test for syphilis}
VE vaginal examination (manual examination)
VEB Ventricular ectopic beat
VRE Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci
VF Ventricular fibrillation
VIP Vasoactive intestinal peptide
VLDL Very low density lipoprotein
VMA Vanillylmandelic acid
VOD Volume of distribution
VPA Valproic acid
VSD Ventricular septal defect
VT Ventricular tachycardia


WAT White adipose tissue
WBC White blood cells
WDWN Well developed, well nourished
WNL Within Normal Limits (Also: We Never Looked)
WPW Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
WWI Walking While Intoxicated


ZIFT Zygote intrafallopian transfer

Latin abbreviations

Some of the following list are considered non-standardized abbreviations because their meanings could be easily misunderstood.

Abbrev. Meaning Latin origin
a.c. Before food ante cibum
a.d. Right ear auris dexter
ad lib. Freely as wanted ad libitum
a.l. Left ear aurix laevus
alt. die Every other day alternus die
alt. h. Every other hour alternus horis
a.m. Morning ante meridiem
a.n. Before the night ante noctum
aq. Water aqua
a.s. Left ear auris sinister
a.u. Each ear auris utro
aurist. Ear drops auristillae
b.d. or bd Twice a day bis die
b.i.d. or bid Twice a day bis in die
gtt. Drop gutta
h. Hour hora
h.s. At bedtime hora somni
i.d. during the day
i.d. the same idem
I.D. Infectious Disease
i.d. intradermal, between layers of the skin
mane In the morning mane
narist. Nasal drops naristillae
Nocte At night nocte
o.c. Eye ointment oculentum
o.d. or od Daily omni die
o.d. Right eye oculus dexter
o.l. Left eye oculus laevus
o.m. In the morning omni mane
o.n. At night omni nocte
o.s. Left eye oculus sinister
o.u. Each eye oculus utro
p.c. After food post cibum
p.m. Afternoon post meridiem
p.o. or po Orally per os
p.r. Rectally per rectum
p.r.n. As occasion requires (as needed) pro re nata
p.v. Vaginally per vaginum
q. every quaque
q.2.h. Every two hours quaque 2 hora
q.4.h. Every four hours quaque 4 hora
q.6.h. Every six hours quaque 6 hora
q.8.h. Every eight hours quaque 8 hora
q.d. or qd Every day quaque die
q.d.s. Four times a day quater die sumendus
q.h. Every hour, hourly quaque hora
q.i.d. or qid Four times a day quater in die
q.q.h. Every four hours quarta quaque hora
q.s. A sufficient quantity quantum sufficiat
s.i.d. or sid Once a day semel in die
Sig. or S. Write on the label signa
SL. Sublingual, under the tongue sub linguam
Stat. Immediately, with no delay statim
t.d.s. Three times a day ter die sumendus
t.i.d. or tid Three times a day ter in die
top. Topically, applied to the skin
ut dict. or u.d. As directed ut dictum
ung. Ointment unguentum

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "List_of_medical_abbreviations". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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