Colitis Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Colitis article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal cavity: The cavity within the abdomen, the space between the abdominal wall and...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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

Absorption: Uptake. For example, intestinal absorption is the uptake of food (or other sub...

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Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Anatomy: The study of human or animal form, by observation or examination of the living be...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics have no effect on viral...

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Anus: The opening of the rectum to the outside of the body.

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

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Atherosclerosis: A process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-...

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Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the...

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

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Barium: 1. A metallic element belonging to the alkaline earths with an atomic numbe...

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Barium enema: An enema using a white, chalky solution containing barium, in preparation fo...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Blood count: The calculated number of white or red blood cells (WBCs or RBCs) in a cubic m...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Blood urea nitrogen: A measure of the urea level in blood. Abbreviated BUN. Diseases that ...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

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

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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

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CBC: A commonly used abbreviation in medicine that stands for complete blood count, a set...

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Cecum: The first portion of the large bowel, which is situated in the lower-right quadrant...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chills: feelings of coldness accompanied by shivering. Chills may develop after exposure t...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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Circulatory: Having to do with circulation, the movement of fluid in a regular or circuito...

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Clostridium: A group of anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that thrive in the absence of oxygen)...

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Clostridium difficile: A bacterium that is one of the most common causes of infection of t...

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Colitis: Inflammation of the large intestine (the colon). There are many forms of coliti...

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Collagen: The principal protein of the skin, tendons, cartilage, bone, and connective tiss...

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Colon: The long, coiled, tubelike organ that removes water from digested food. The remaini...

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Colon cancer: A malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine (the co...

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Colonoscopy: A procedure whereby a physician inserts a viewing tube (colonoscope) into the...

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Complete blood count: A set values of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These meas...

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

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Creatinine: A chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism. Creatinine...

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Crohn's disease: A chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large ...

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CT scan: Computed tomography scan. Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Dehydration: Excessive loss of body water. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that cau...

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Drain: A device for removing fluid from a cavity or wound. A drain is typically a tube or ...

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Dry mouth: The condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. This is due to...

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Electrolyte: A substance that dissociates into ions in solution and acquires the capacity ...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Enema: Liquid injected into the rectum. An enema may be used for therapeutic (such as to s...

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Esophagus: The tube that connects the pharynx (throat) with the stomach. The esophagus lie...

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

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Feces: The excrement discharged from the 'intestines.

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Food poisoning: The illness resulting from eating food or drinking water containing poison...

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Gastroenterologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases...

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Giardia: A genus of protozoa that infect the gastrointestinal tract of some animals, incl...

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

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Hemorrhoids: Dilated (enlarged) veins in the walls of the anus and sometimes around the re...

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Heredity: The genetic transmission of characteristics from parent to child.

Hernia: A general term referring to a protrusion of a tissue through the wall of the cavit...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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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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Inflammatory bowel disease: A group of chronic intestinal diseases characterized by infla...

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Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion...

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Ischemia: Inadequate blood supply to a local area due to blockage of blood vessels leading...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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

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Large bowel: Another name for the large intestine.

Large intestine: Comes after the small intestine. Large because it is wider than the smal...

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Lightheadedness: A feeling you are "going to faint." Lightheadedness is medically distinc...

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Liquid diet: The Liquid diet is the restriction of solid food intake, and replacement of s...

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

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Lymphocytic: Referring to lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. For example, lymphocyti...

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Lymphocytic colitis: A type of inflammatory disease of the large intestine (colon). The na...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Microscopic: An object so small it cannot be seen without the aid of microscope (for examp...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Mucosa: Having to do with a mucous membrane. For example, the oral mucosa.

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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Muscular: Having to do with the muscles. Also, endowed with above average muscle developme...

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Nitrogen: Element number 7, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is biologically impo...

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Occult: Hidden. For example, occult blood in the stool is hidden from the eye but can be d...

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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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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Parasite: A plant or an animal organism that lives in or on another and takes its nourishm...

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Pathologist: A physician who identifies diseases and conditions by studying abnormal cells...

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral vascular disease: A disease of blood vessels outside the heart. Peripheral vasc...

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Platelet: An irregular, disc-shaped element in the blood that assists in blood clotting....

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Poisoning: Taking a substance that is injurious to health or can cause death. Poisoning i...

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Poor circulation: An inadequacy of blood flow. Inadequate blood flow to a particular area ...

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Potassium: The major positive ion (cation) found inside cells. The chemical notation for p...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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

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Pseudomembranous colitis: Severe inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. Pseudomemb...

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

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Radiologist: A physician specialized in radiology, the branch of medicine that uses ionizi...

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Rectal bleeding: Blood passed rectally. Blood in the stool can be bright red or maroon in ...

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Rectum: The last 6 to 8 inches of the large intestine. The rectum stores solid waste until...

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Red blood cell: The blood cell that carries oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Respiratory rate: The number of breaths per minute or, more formally, the number of moveme...

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Salmonella: A group of bacteria that cause typhoid fever and a number of other illnesses...

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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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Shigella: A group of bacteria that can cause infantile gastroenteritis, summer diarrhea of...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Sigmoid: In human anatomy, the lower colon (the lower portion of the large bowel). Sigmoid...

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Small intestine: The part of the digestive tract that extends from the stomach to the larg...

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Smooth muscle: Along with skeletal and cardiac muscle, one of the types of muscle tissue i...

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Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in the fluid surrounding cells in the body. The ch...

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Spleen: An organ that is located in the upper-left part of the abdomen, not far from the s...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stool: The solid matter that is discharged in a bowel movement.

Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Supportive care: Treatment given to prevent, control, or relieve complications and side ef...

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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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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Tenesmus: Straining to defecate or urinate. Tenesmus refers especially to ineffectual and ...

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

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

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Toxin: A poison produced by certain animals, plants, or bacteria.

Transverse: In anatomy, a horizontal plane passing through the standing body so that the t...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Ulcerative colitis: A bowel disease that is characterized by inflammation with ulcer forma...

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Urea: A nitrogen-containing substance normally cleared from the blood by the kidney into t...

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Vascular: Relating to blood vessels. For example, the vascular system in the body includes...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

Volvulus: Abnormal twisting of a portion of the gastrointestinal tract, usually the intest...

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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White blood cell count (leukocyte count): The number of white blood cells (WBCs) in the b...

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Yersinia: A group of bacteria that appear rod-like under the microscope and include Yer...

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Medical Dictionary