HomeSpinal Cord Injury & Disorders LexiconCommon Medical Terms and AbbreviationsAlphabetical Listing of Medical Abbreviations

1.1. Alphabetical Listing of Medical Abbreviations

This alphabetical listing of medical abbreviations is intended to help you better understand commonly used abbreviations and acronyms in your medical records or used by medical staff as they speak to you, or around you. We hope that you find it helpful.


AAA abdominal aortic aneurysm
A-a gradient alveolar to arterial gradient
AAS acute abdominal series
ABD abdomen
ABG arterial blood gas
AC before eating
ACLS advanced cardiac life support
ACTH adrenocorticotropic hormone
AD autonomic dysreflexia
ad lib as much as needed
ADH anti-diuretic hormone
ADL activity of daily living
AF atrial fibrillation or afebrile
AFB acid-fast bacilli
AFP alpha-fetoprotein
AFO ankle foot orthosis
A/G albumin/globulin ratio
AI aortic insufficiency
AKA above the knee amputation
ALL acute lymphocytic leukemia
ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease)
amb ambulate
AML acute myelogenous leukemia
ANA antinuclear antibody
AOB alcohol on breath
AODM adult onset diabetes mellitus
AP anteroposterior or abdominal perineal
ARDS acute respiratory distress syndrome
ARF acute renal failure
AS aortic stenosis
ASAP as soon as possible
ASCVD atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
ASD atrial septal defect
ASHD atherosclerotic heart disease
ASIA American Spinal Injury Association
AV atrioventricular
A-V arteriovenous
A-VO2 arteriovenous oxygen


BBB bundle branch block
BC bowel care
BCAA branched chain amino acids
BE barium enema
BEE basal energy expenditure
bid twice a day
bilat bilateral
BKA below the knee amputation
BM bone marrow or bowel movement
BMR basal metabolic rate
BOM bilateral otitis media
BP blood pressure
BPH benign prostatic hypertrophy
BPM beats per minute
BRBPR bright red blood per rectum
BRP bathroom privileges
BS bowel or breath sounds
BUN blood urea nitrogen
BW body weight
BX biopsy


c with
C&S culture and sensitivity
CA cancer
Ca calcium
CAA crystalline amino acids
CABG coronary artery bypass graft
CAD coronary artery disease
CAT computerized axial tomography
CBC complete blood count
CBG capillary blood gas
CC chief complaint
CCU clean catch urine or cardiac care unit
CCV critical closing volume
CF cystic fibrosis
CGL chronic granulocytic leukemia
CHF congestive heart failure
CHO carbohydrate
CI cardiac index
CML chronic myelogenous leukemia
CMV cytomegalovirus
CN cranial nerves
CNS central nervous system
CO cardiac output
C/O complaining of
COLD chronic obstructive lung disease
COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CP chest pain or cerebral palsy
CPAP continuous positive airway pressure
CPK creatinine phosphokinase
CPR cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CRCL creatinine clearance
CRF chronic renal failure
CRP C-reactive protein
CRTS certified recreational therapy specialist
CSF cerebrospinal fluid
CSW certified social worker
CT computerized tomography
CVA cerebrovascular accident or costovertebral angle
CVAT CVA tenderness
CVP central venous pressure
CXR chest X-ray


DAT diet as tolerated
DAW dispense as written
DC discontinue or discharge
D&C dilation and curettage
DDx differential diagnosis
D5W 5% dextrose in water
DI diabetes insipidus
DIC disseminated intravascular coagulopathy
DIP distal interphalangeal joint
DJD degenerative joint disease
DKA diabetic ketoacidosis
dL deciliter
DM diabetes mellitus
DNA deoxyribonucleic acid
DNR do not resuscitate
DOA dead on arrival
DOE dyspnea on exertion
DPL diagnostic peritoneal lavage
DPT diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus
DTR deep tendon reflexes
DVT deep venous thrombosis
DX diagnosis


EAA essential amino acids
EBL estimated blood loss
ECD external continence device
ECG electrocardiogram
ECT electroconvulsive therapy
ED erectile dysfunction
EFAD essential fatty acid deficiency
EMG Electromyogram
EMV eyes, motor, verbal response (Glasgow coma scale)
ENT ears, nose, and throat
EOM extraocular muscles
ESR erythrocyte sedimentation rate
ET endotracheal
ETT endotracheal tube
ERCP endoscopic retrograde cholangio -pancreatography
ETOH ethanol
EUA examination under anesthesia


FBS fasting blood sugar
FES functional electrical stimulation
FEV forced expiratory volume
FFP fresh frozen plasma
FRC functional residual capacity
FTT failure to thrive
FU follow-up
FUO fever of unknown origin
FVC forced vital capacity
Fx fracture


GC gonorrhea
GETT general by endotracheal tube
GFR glomerular filtration rate
GI gastrointestinal
gr grain; 1 grain = 65mg
GSW gun shot wound
gt or gtt drops
GTT glucose tolerance test
GU genitourinary
GXT graded exercise tolerance (Stress test)


HA headache
HAA hepatitis B surface antigen
HAV hepatitis A virus
HBP high blood pressure
HCG human chorionic gonadotropin
HCT hematocrit
HDL high density lipoprotein
HEENT head, eyes, ears, nose, throat
Hgb hemoglobin
H/H Henderson-Hasselbach equation or hemoglobin/ hematocrit
HIV human immunodeficiency virus
HLA histocompatibility locus antigen
HJR hepatojugular reflex
HO history of
HOB head of bed
HPF high power field
HPI history of present illness
HR heart rate
HS at bedtime
HSM hepatosplenomegaly
HTLV-III human lymphotropic virus, type III (AIDS agent, HIV)
HSV herpes simplex virus
HTN hypertension
Hx history


I&D incision and drainage
I&O intake and output
ICS intercostal space
ICU intensive care unit
ID infectious disease or identification
IDDM insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
IG immunoglobulin
IHSS idiopathic hypertropic subaortic stenosis
IM intramuscular
IMV intermittent mandatory ventilation
INF intravenous nutritional fluid
IPPB intermittent positive pressure breathing
IRBBB incomplete right bundle branch block
IRDM insulin resistant diabetes mellitus
IT interthecal
ITP idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
IV intravenous
IVC intravenous cholangiogram or inferior vena cava
IVP intravenous pyelogram


JODM juvenile onset diabetes mellitus
JVD jugular venous distention


KAFO knee ankle foot orthosis
KOR keep open rate
KT kinesio therapy or kinesiotherapist
KUB kidneys, ureters, bladder
KVO keep vein open


L left
LAD left axis deviation or left anterior descending
LAE left atrial enlargement
LAHB left anterior hemiblock
LAP left atrial pressure or leukocyte alkaline phosphatase
LBBB left bundle branch block
LDH lactate dehydrogenase
LDL low density lipoprotein
LE lupus erythematosus
LIH left inguinal hernia
LLL left lower lobe
LMP last menstrual period
LNMP last normal menstrual period
LOC loss of consciousness or level of consciousness
LP lumbar puncture
LPN licensed practical nurse
LUL left upper quadrant
LV left ventricle
LVEDP left ventricular end diastolic pressure
LVH left ventricular hypertrophy


MAO monoamine oxidase
MAP mean arterial pressure
MAST medical antishock trousers
MBT maternal blood type
MCH mean cell hemoglobin
MCHC mean cell hemoglobin concentration
MCV mean cell volume
MI myocardial infarction or mitral insufficiency
mL milliliter
MLE midline episiotomy
MMEF maximal mid expiratory flow
mmol millimole
MMR measles, mumps, rubella
MRI magnetic resonance imaging
MRSA methicillin resistant staph aureus
MS multiple sclerosis or mitral stenosis, or morphine sulfate
MSSA methicillin-sensitive staph aureus
MUSE medicated urethral system erection
MVA motor vehicle accident
MVI multivitamin injection
MVV maximum voluntary ventilation


NAD no active disease
NAS no added salt
NCV nerve conduction velocity
NED no evidence of recurrent disease
ng nanogram
NG nasogastric
NIDDM non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
NKA no known allergies
NKDA no known drug allergies
NMR nuclear magnetic resonance
NPO nothing by mouth
NRM no regular medications
NSAID non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
NSR normal sinus rhythm
NT nasotracheal


OB obstetrics
OCG oral cholecystogram
OD overdose or right eye
OM otitis media
OOB out of bed
OPV oral polio vaccine
OR operating room
OS left eye
OT occupational therapy or occupational therapist
OU both eyes


P para
PA posteroanterior
PAC premature atrial contraction
PAO2 alveolar oxygen
PaO2 peripheral arterial oxygen content
PAP pulmonary artery pressure
PAT paroxysymal atrial tachycardia
P&PD percussion and postural drainage
PC after eating
PCWP pulmonary capillary wedge pressure
PDA patent ductus arteriosus
PDR physicians desk reference
PE pulmonary embolus, or physical exam or pleural effusion
PEEP positive end expiratory pressure
PFT pulmonary function tests
pg picogram
PI pulmonic insufficiency disease
PKU phenylketonuria
PMH previous medical history
PMI point of maximal impulse
PMN polymorphonuclear leukocyte (neutrophil)
PND paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
PO by mouth
POD post-op day
PP postprandial or pulsus paradoxus
PPD purified protein derivative
PPMS primary progressive multiple sclerosis
PPS post-polio syndrome
PR by rectum
PRBC packed red blood cells
PRN as needed
PS pulmonic stenosis
PSA prostate-specific antigen
PT prothrombin time, or physical therapy
Pt patient
PTCA percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
PTH parathyroid hormone
PTHC percutanous transhepatic cholangiogram
PTSD post-traumatic stress disorder
PTT partial thromboplastin time
PUD peptic ulcer disease
PVC premature ventricular contraction
PVD peripheral vascular disease
PVR post voiding residual


q every
qd every day
qh every hour
q4h, q6h.... every 4 hours, every 6 hours etc.
qid four times a day
QNS quantity not sufficient
qod every other day
Qs/Qt shunt fraction
Qt total cardiac output


R right
RA rheumatoid arthritis or right atrium
RAD right atrial axis deviation
RAE right atrial enlargement
RAP right atrial pressure
RBBB right bundle branch block
RBC red blood cell
RBP retinol-binding protein
RDA recommended daily allowance
RDW red cell distribution width
RIA radioimmunoassay
RIH right inguinal hernia
RLL right lower lobe
RLQ right lower quadrant
RML right middle lobe
RNA ribonucleic acid
R/O rule out
ROM range of motion
ROS review of systems
RPG retrograde pyelogram
RPMS relapsing-progressive multiple sclerosis
RRMS relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
RRR regular rate and rhyth
RT respiratory or radiation therapy
RTA renal tubular acidosis
RTC return to clinic
RU resin uptake
RUG retrograde urethogram
RUL right upper lobe
RUQ right upper quadrant
RV residual volume
RVH right ventricular hyperthrophy
Rx treatment


s without
SA sinoatrial
SAA synthetic amino acid
S&E sugar and acetone
SBE subacute bacterial endocarditis
SBFT small bowel follow through
SBS short bowel syndrome
SCr serum creatinine
SCI spinal cord injury
SCI/D spinal cord injury and disorder
SEM systolic ejection murmur
SG Swan-Ganz
SGA small for gestational age
SGGT serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase
SGOT serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase
SGPT serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase
SIADH syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone
sig write on label
SIMV synchronous intermittent mandatory ventilation
sl sublingual
SLE systemic lupus erythematous
SMO slips made out
SOAP Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan
SOB shortness of breath
SPMS secondary preogressive multiple sclerosis
SQ subcutaneous
ss one-half
STAT immediately
SVD spontaneous vaginal delivery
SW social worker
Sx symptoms


T&C type and cross
TAH total abdominal hysterectomy
T&H type and hold
TB tuberculosis
TBG total binding globulin
Td tetanus-diphtheria toxoid
TIA transient ischemic attack
TIBC total iron binding capacity
tid three times a day
TIG tetanus immune globulin
TKO to keep open
TLC total lung capacity
TMJ temporo mandibular joint
TNTC too numerous to count
TO telephone order
TOPV trivalent oral polio vaccine
TPN total parenteral nutrition
TSH thyroid stimulating hormone
TT thrombin time
TTP thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
TU tuberculin units
TUR transurethral resection
TURBT TUR bladder tumors
TURP transurethral resection of prostate
TV tidal volume
TVH total vaginal hysterectomy
tw twice a week
Tx treatment, transplant


UA urinalysis
UAC uric acid
ud use as directed
UGI upper gastrointestinal
URI upper respiratory infection
US ultrasound
UTI urinary tract infection
UUN urinary urea nitrogen


VC vital capacity
VCUG voiding cystourethrogram
VMA vanillymadelic acid
VO verbal or voice order
V/Q ventilation perfusion
VSS vital signs stable


WB whole blood
WBC white blood cell or count
WD well developed
WF white female
WM white male
WN well nourished
WNL within normal limits
WPW Wolf-Parkinson-White


XRT X-ray therapy


yo years old


ZE Zollinger-Ellison

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