Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) article.

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acidosis: Too much acid in the body, a distinctly abnormal condition resulting from the ac...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Acute bronchitis: inflammation of the breathing tubes within the lungs (bronchial tubes or...

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Addiction: An uncontrollable craving, seeking, and use of a substance such as alcohol or a...

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Adjacent: Lying nearby. Related terms include superjacent, subjacent, and circumjacent. Fr...

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Aerobic: Oxygen-requiring. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen to grow. Aerobic exercise requires...

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Aging: The process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environ...

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Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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Airway obstruction: Partial or complete blockage of the breathing passages to the lungs. C...

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Alveoli: The plural of alveolus. The alveoli are tiny air sacs within the lungs where the ...

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Analysis: In psychology, a term for conversation-based therapeutic processes used to gain ...

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Anorexia: An eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. ...

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Anticholinergic: Opposing the actions of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Anticholinerg...

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Antidepressant: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Apnea: The absence of breathing (respiration).

Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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Atypical: Unusual, or not fitting a single diagnostic
category.

Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Bronchitis: Inflammation and swelling of the bronchi. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic.

Bronchopulmonary: Pertaining to both the air passages (bronchi) leading to the lungs and t...

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Bronchoscope: A thin, flexible instrument with a lighted viewing tube that is used to visu...

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Bullae: More than one bulla, a bulla being a blister more than 5 mm (about 3/16 inch) in d...

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Caffeine: A stimulant compound found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa (chocolate), and kola...

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Cannula: A hollow tube with a sharp, retractable inner core that can be inserted into a ve...

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Carbon dioxide: A gas which is the byproduct of cellular metabolism and which collects in ...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest X-ray: A type of X-ray commonly used to detect abnormalities in the lungs. A chest X...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic bronchitis: Inflammation and swelling of the lining of the airways, leading to nar...

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: COPD. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Compress: Cloth or another material applied under pressure to an area of the skin and held...

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Compression: 1. The act of pressing together. As in a compression fracture, nerve c...

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Computerized tomography: Pictures of structures within the body created by a computer that...

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COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Cor pulmonale: Heart disease that results from abnormally high resistance to the passage o...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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Cyanosis: A bluish color of the skin and the mucous membranes due to insufficient oxygen i...

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Cystic fibrosis: A common grave genetic disease that affects the exocrine glands and is ch...

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Deformation: A change from the normal size or shape of an anatomic structure due to mechan...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Dilate: To stretch or enlarge. Also known as dilatate.

Distal: The more (or most) distant of two (or more) things. For example, the distal end of...

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

Dyspnea: Difficult or labored breathing; shortness of breath. Dyspnea is a sign of serious...

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Emphysema: 1) A lung condition featuring an abnormal accumulation of air in the lung's ma...

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Environmental tobacco smoke: Abbreviated ETS. Secondhand smoke. See: ETS.

Enzyme: A protein (or protein-based molecule) that speeds up a chemical reaction in a livi...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Exacerbation: A worsening. In medicine, exacerbation may refer to an increase in the sever...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Flu: Short for influenza. The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract w...

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Forced expiratory volume: The volume of air that can be forced out taking a deep breath, a...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease: See: GOLD.

Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Hemithorax: Half of the thorax or, more simply, one side of the chest.

Hygiene: The science of preventive medicine and the preservation of health. Also commonly ...

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Hypercapnia: A greater than normal level of carbon dioxide in the blood.

Hypoxemia: abnormally low levels of oxygen in the blood. Hypoxemia may be mild to severe a...

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ICU: Intensive care unit. The intensive care unit is a designated area of a hospital facil...

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Immunization: Vaccination. Immunizations work by stimulating the immune system, the natur...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep due to a number ...

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Intensive care: See critical care.

Intervention: The act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the intent of modify...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Lethargy: Abnormal drowsiness, stupor.

Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Lobe: Part of an organ that appears to be separate in some way from the rest. A lobe may b...

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Lumen: A luminous term referring to the channel within a tube such as a blood vessel or to...

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Lung volume reduction surgery: See: Lung reduction surgery.

Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Mechanical ventilation: Use of a machine called a ventilator or respirator to improve the ...

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Metered-dose inhaler: Abbreviated MDI. A device that delivers a measured amount of medicat...

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Morbidity: Illness, disease.

Mortality: A fatal outcome or, in one word, death. The word "mortality" is derived from "m...

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Mortality rate: A death rate. There are a number of different types of mortality rates as,...

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Mucous: Pertaining to mucus, a thick fluid produced by the lining of some tissues of the b...

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Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.

Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Mycobacteria: Plural of mycobacterium.

Mycobacterium: A large family of bacteria that have unusually waxy cell walls that are res...

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Nebulizer: A device for administering a medication by spraying a fine mist. Also known as ...

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Nicotine: An alkaloid (a nitrogen-containing chemical) made by the tobacco plant or produc...

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Nomenclature: A system of names used in a particular discipline, as in medicine and surger...

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Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief ...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Outpatient: A patient who is not hospitalized, but instead comes to a physician?s office, ...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Oxygenation: The addition of oxygen to any system, including the human body. Oxygenation m...

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Pediatric: Pertaining to children.

Periphery: 1. The outside or surface of a structure; the portion outside the centr...

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Physical therapy: A branch of rehabilitative health that uses specially designed exercises...

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Pneumonia: Inflammation of one or both lungs, with dense areas of lung inflammation. Pneum...

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Prevalence: The proportion of individuals in a population having a disease or characterist...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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Prospective: Looking forward. A prospective study or a prospective clinical trial is one i...

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Prospective study: A study in which the subjects are first identified and then followed fo...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulmonary artery: One of the two vessels which are formed as terminal branches of the pulm...

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Pulmonary function test: A test that is designed to measure how well the lungs are working...

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Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart. Pulse is...

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Quality of life: The patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is...

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Receptor: 1. In cell biology, a structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cel...

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Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who has suffered an illness or injury rest...

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Relapse: The return of signs and symptoms of a disease after a remission.

Reservoir: 1. A place where something such as water is kept in reserve.
2....

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Resistance: Opposition to something, or the ability to withstand something. For example, s...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Respiratory failure: Inability of the lungs to perform their basic task of gas exchange, t...

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Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Second-hand smoke: Environmental tobacco smoke that is inhaled involuntarily or passively ...

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Secondhand smoke: Smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette or that is exhaled ...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Sleep apnea: The temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep, often resulting in daytime ...

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Sputum: Mucous material from the lungs that is produced (brought up) by coughing.

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Staging: stagingDoing exams and tests to learn the extent of a cancer, especially whether ...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Tachypnea: Abnormally fast breathing.

Tension: 1) The pressure within a vessel, such as blood pressure: the pressure within t...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Tobacco smoking: The direct inhalation of tobacco smoke, the basis of major health hazards...

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Tomography: The process for generating a tomogram, a two-dimensional image of a slice or s...

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Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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Transplant: The grafting of a tissue from one place to another, just as in botany a bu...

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Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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Ventilation: The exchange of air between the lungs and the atmosphere so that oxygen can ...

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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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Wheezing: A whistling noise in the chest during breathing. Wheezing occurs when the airway...

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Withdrawal symptoms: Abnormal physical or psychological features that follow the abrupt di...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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