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A&E

An abbreviation for accident and emergency

a1-antitrypsin deficiency

A disease caused by reduced or abnormal production in the body of a particular chemical.

abdomen

The part of the body that contains the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and other organs.

abdominal

Relating to the abdomen, which is the region of the body between the chest and the pelvis.

abdominal angina

Intermittent abdominal pain, frequently occurring after eating, caused by insufficient blood supply to the abdomen

abdominal cavity

The part of the body that contains the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and other organs.

abdominal obesity

Obesity centred around the abdomen, resulting in a high waist circumference.

ABPI

An abbreviation for ankle brachial pressure index

abruption

Placental lining separates from the uterus.

abscess

Infection resulting in a collection of pus walled off by inflamed tissues.

acanthosis nigricans

A rare condition in which dark patches of skin appear in the groin, armpits, neck and other skin folds.

ACE

An abbreviation for angiotensin-converting enzyme

ACE inhibitor

Abbreviation for angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor - one of a class of drugs used to treat cardiovascular conditions.

acellular

Containing no cells.

acetylcholinesterase inhibitors

A group of drugs that increase the levels of a chemical called acetylcholine.

achalasia

Failure of the muscle around the lower opening of the oesophagus (the lower oesophageal sphincter) to relax.

Achilles tendon

The tendon that connects the heel to the muscles of the lower leg.

acne

Inflammation of the oil-producing glands of the skin, leading to spots that may be pus-filled on the face and sometimes the upper body. It classically affects adolescents although it can occur at any age.

acoustic neuroma

A rare, non-cancerous tumour arising from the cells surrounding the auditory nerve.

acromegaly

A condition in which excess production of growth hormone from the pituitary gland in the brain after puberty causes excess growth, especially enlargement of the bones of the hands, feet and jaw

ACTH

An abbreviation for adrenocorticotrophic hormone

Actinomyces

A type of bacteria.

actinomycosis

A bacterial disease causing multiple swellings that may leak pus

acupressure

A complementary therapy derived from acupuncture, which uses finger pressure rather than the fine sterile needles used in acupuncture.