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aminoglycosides

A type of antibiotic drug.

aminosalicylates

A family of drugs that reduce inflammation.

AML

An abbreviation for acute myeloid leukaemia, a type of leukaemia that occurs most commonly in the over 50 age group.

amnesia

Memory loss.

amoebiasis

A disease caused by a one-celled parasite.

amylase

An enzyme that breaks starch down into sugar.

amyloid

A compound similar to starch, which can build up abnormally in the tissues in a condition called amyloidosis.

amyloid plaque

An aggregation of amyloid (a compound similar to starch) in the tissue of the nervous system.

amyloidosis

A variety of conditions in which a protein called amyloid builds up in organs or tissues.

anaemia

A reduced level of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. Anaemia causes tiredness, breathlessness and abnormally pale skin.

anaesthetic

A medication that reduces sensation.

anal fissure

A small (but intensely painful) tear in the skin of the anus, usually due to passing a hard stool.

analgesics

Another term for painkillers.

androgen

A type of steroid hormone that stimulates male development. Testosterone is an androgen.

aneurysm

An abnormal swelling in the wall of an artery.

angina

A central chest pain caused by insufficient oxygen supply to the heart.

angiodysplasia

A condition in which blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract become enlarged and fragile.

angioedema

A type of reaction caused by allergy.

angiogram

An X-ray image of the blood vessels following the injection of a dye to improve visibility.

angiographic

Relating to X-ray imaging of the blood vessels following the injection of a dye to improve visibility

angiography

X-ray imaging of the blood vessels following the injection of a dye to improve visibility.

angioneurotic oedema

Recurring periods of rapid non-inflammatory swelling that affects the skin, brain, intestinal organs and mucous membranes. in severe cases respiratory swelling can lead to breathing difficulties.

angiopathy

Disease of the blood vessels.

angioplasty

The mechanical widening or clearing of a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel, performed during angiography, which is used to help with visibility.