Health and Medicine Encyclopedia - Vol 20

Health and Medicine Encyclopedia

Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

A period of very rapid and regular heart beats that begins and ends abruptly. The heart rate is usually between 160 and 200 beats per minute. This condition is also known as paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. The term paroxysmal means that the event begins suddenly, without warning and ends abruptly. Atrial tachycardia means that the upper chambers of the heart are beating abnormally fast. P…

2 minute read

Parrot Fever - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Parrot fever is a rare infectious disease that causes pneumonia in humans. It is transmitted from pet birds or poultry. The illness is caused by a chlamydia, which is a type of intracellular parasite closely related to bacteria. Parrot fever is also called chlamydiosis, psittacosis, or ornithosis. Parrot fever, which is referred to as avian psittacosis when it infects birds, is caused by Chlamydia…

3 minute read

Partial Thromboplastin Time - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

The partial thromboplastin time (PTT) test is a blood test that is done to investigate bleeding disorders and to monitor patients taking an anticlotting drug (heparin). Blood clotting (coagulation) depends on the action of substances in the blood called clotting factors. Measuring the partial thromboplastin time helps to assess which specific clotting factors may be missing or defective. Certain s…

4 minute read

Patau Syndrome - Definition, Description, Genetic profile, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and management, Prognosis

Patau syndrome, also called trisomy 13, is a congenital (present at birth) disorder associated with the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 13. The extra chromosome 13 causes numerous physical and mental abnormalities, especially heart defects. Patau syndrome is named for Dr. Klaus Patau, who reported the syndrome and its association with trisomy in 1960. Children normally inherit 23 chromosom…

10 minute read

Patent Ductus Arteriosus - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a heart defect that occurs when the ductus arteriosus (the temporary fetal blood vessel that connects the aorta and the pulmonary artery) does not close at birth. The ductus arteriosus is a temporary fetal blood vessel that connects the aorta and the pulmonary artery before birth. The ductus arteriosus should be present and open before birth while the fetus is dev…

10 minute read

Pellagra - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Pellagra is a disorder brought on by a deficiency of the nutrient called niacin or nicotinic acid, one of the B-complex vitamins. Nicotinic acid plays a crucial role in the cellular process called respiration. Respiration is the process by which nutrients (specifically sugar, or glucose) and oxygen are taken in, chemical reactions take place, energy is produced and stored, and carbon monoxide and …

4 minute read

Pelvic Exam - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

A pelvic examination is a routine procedure used to assess the well being of the female patients' lower genito-urinary tract. This is done as part of a usual health screening and prevention tool, and is an element of the total health care for the female patient. During a pelvic exam, cells from the cervix are scraped on a spatula and are tested for abnormalacies. (Illustration by Argosy…

9 minute read

Pelvic Fracture - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

A pelvic fracture is a break in one or more bones of the pelvis. The pelvis is a butterfly-shaped group of bones located at the base of the spine. The pelvis consists of the pubis, ilium, and ischium bones (among others) held together by tough ligaments. With a cavity in its center, the pelvis forms one major ring and two smaller rings of bone that support and protect internal organs such as the b…

5 minute read

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a term used to describe any infection in the lower female reproductive tract that spreads to the upper female reproductive tract. The lower female genital tract consists of the vagina and the cervix. The upper female genital tract consists of the body of the uterus, the fallopian or uterine tubes, and the ovaries. PID is the most common and the most serious con…

10 minute read

Pelvic Relaxation - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Pelvic relaxation is a weakening of the supportive muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor. This condition, which affects women and is usually caused by childbirth, aging, and problems with support, causes the pelvic floor to sag and press into the wall of the vagina. The pelvic floor normally holds the uterus and the bladder in position above the vagina. When the pelvic floor becomes stretched …

3 minute read

Pelvic Ultrasound - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Pelvic ultrasound is a procedure where harmless, high-frequency sound waves are projected into the abdomen. These waves reflect off of the internal structures and create shadowy black and white pictures on a display screen. Ultrasound is performed routinely during pregnancy. Early in the pregnancy (at about seven weeks), it might be used to determine the size of the uterus or the fetus, to detect …

5 minute read

Penicillins - Definition, Purpose, Description, Recommended dosage, Precautions, Side effects, Interactions

Penicillins are medicines that kill bacteria or prevent their growth. Penicillins are antibiotics (medicines used to treat infections caused by microorganisms). There are several types of penicillins, each used to treat different kinds of infections, such as skin infections, dental infections, ear infections, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, and other infections c…

5 minute read

Penile Cancer - Definition, Description, Demographics, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prevention

Penile cancer is the growth of malignant cells on the external skin and in the tissues of the penis. Penile cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells appear on the penis. If left untreated, this cancer can grow and spread from the penis to the lymph nodes in the groin and eventually to other parts of the body. Penile cancer is a rare form of cancer that develops in about one out of 100,000 men …

4 minute read

Penile Prostheses - Definition, Purpose, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks

Penile prostheses are semirigid or inflatable devices that are implanted into penises to alleviate impotence. The penis is composed of one channel for urine and semen and three compartments with tough, fibrous walls containing "erectile tissue." With appropriate stimulation, the blood vessels that lead out of these compartments constrict, trapping blood. Blood pressure fills and hard…

3 minute read

Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangiography - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTHC) is an x-ray test used to identify obstructions either in the liver or bile ducts that slow or stop the flow of bile from the liver to the digestive system. Because the liver and bile ducts are not normally seen on x rays, the doctor injects the liver with a special dye that will show up on the resulting picture. This dye distributes evenly to fill t…

3 minute read

Perforated Eardrum - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

A perforated eardrum exists when there is a hole or rupture in the eardrum, the thin membrane that separates the outer ear canal from the middle ear. A perforated eardrum may cause temporary hearing loss and occasional discharge. The eardrum (tympanic membrane) is a thin wall that separates the outer ear from the middle ear, vibrating when sound waves strike the membrane. The middle ear is connect…

3 minute read

Perforated Septum - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prevention

A perforated septum is a hole in the nasal septum, the vertical plane of tissue that separates the nostrils. The nasal septum is a thin structure in the middle of the nose. In front, it is cartilage, further back it is bone. On either side, it is covered with mucus membranes. The cartilage depends upon the blood vessels in the mucus membranes on either side for its nutrition. If that blood supply …

2 minute read

Pericardiocentesis - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Pericardiocentesis is the removal by needle of pericardial fluid from the sac surrounding the heart for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. The pericardium, the sac (or membrane) that surrounds the heart muscle, normally contains a small amount of fluid that cushions and lubricates the heart as the heart expands and contracts. When too much fluid gathers in the pericardial cavity, the space betwee…

4 minute read

Pericarditis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the two layers of the thin, sac-like membrane that surrounds the heart. This membrane is called the pericardium, so the term pericarditis means inflammation of the pericardium. Pericarditis is fairly common. It affects approximately one in 1,000 people. The most common form is caused by infection with a virus. People in their 20s and 30s who have had a recent upp…

6 minute read

Perinatal Infection - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

An infection caused by a bacteria or virus that can be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy or delivery is called a perinatal infection. Perinatal infections include bacterial or viral illnesses that can be passed from a mother to her baby either while the baby is still in the uterus, during the delivery process, or shortly after birth. Maternal infection can, in some cases, cause com…

10 minute read

Periodic Paralysis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Periodic paralysis (PP) is the name for several rare, inherited muscle disorders marked by temporary weakness, especially following rest, sleep, or exercise. Periodic paralysis disorders are genetic disorders that affect muscle strength. There are two major forms, hypokalemic and hyperkalemic, each caused by defects in different genes. In hypokalemic PP, the level of potassium in the blood falls i…

4 minute read

Periodontal Disease - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Periodontal diseases are a group of diseases that affect the tissues that support and anchor the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal disease results in the destruction of the gums, alveolar bone (the part of the jaws where the teeth arise), and the outer layer of the tooth root. Periodontal disease is usually seen as a chronic inflammatory disease. An acute infection of the periodontal tissue may o…

11 minute read

Peripheral Neuropathy - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

The term peripheral neuropathy encompasses a wide range of disorders in which the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord—peripheral nerves—have been damaged. Peripheral neuropathy may also be referred to as peripheral neuritis, or if many nerves are involved, the terms polyneuropathy or polyneuritis may be used. Peripheral neuropathy is a widespread disorder, and there are many …

20 minute read

Peripheral Vascular Disease - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Peripheral vascular disease is a narrowing of blood vessels that restricts blood flow. It mostly occurs in the legs, but is sometimes seen in the arms. Peripheral vascular disease includes a group of diseases in which blood vessels become restricted or blocked. Typically, the patient has peripheral vascular disease from atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which fatty plaques form in t…

3 minute read

Peritonitis - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Peritonitis is an inflammation of the membrane which lines the inside of the abdomen and all of the internal organs. This membrane is called the peritoneum. Peritonitis may be primary (meaning that it occurs spontaneously, and not as the result of some other medical problem) or secondary (meaning that it results from some other condition). It is most often due to infection by bacteria, but may als…

4 minute read

Pernicious Anemia - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Pernicious anemia is a disease in which the red blood cells are abnormally formed, due to an inability to absorb vitamin B12. True pernicious anemia refers specifically to a disorder of atrophied parietal cells leading to absent intrinsic factor, resulting in an inability to absorb B12. Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, plays an important role in the development of red blood cells. It is found in signifi…

7 minute read

Peroxisomal Disorders - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Peroxisomal disorders are a group of congenital diseases characterized by the absence of normal peroxisomes in the cells of the body. Peroxisomes are organelles within a cell that contain enzymes responsible for critical cellular processes, including oxidation of fatty acids, biosynthesis of membrane phospholipids (plasmalogens), cholesterol, and bile acids, conversion of amino acids into glucose,…

10 minute read

Personality Disorders - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Personality disorders are a group of mental disturbances defined by the fourth (1994) edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as "enduring pattern[s] of inner experience and behavior" that are sufficiently rigid and deep-seated to bring a person into repeated conflicts with his or her social and occupational environment. DSM-IV specifies that the…

17 minute read

Pervasive Developmental Disorders - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Pervasive developmental disorders include five different conditions: Asperger's syndrome, autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD), pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDDNOS), and Rett's syndrome. They are grouped together because of the similarities between them. The three most common shared problems involve communication skills, motor skills…

8 minute read

Pet Therapy - Definition, Purpose, Description, Precautions, Research and general acceptance

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT), also known as pet therapy, utilizes trained animals and handlers to achieve specific physical, social, cognitive, and emotional goals with patients. Studies have shown that physical contact with a pet can lower high blood pressure, and improve survival rates for heart attack victims. There is also evidence that petting an animal can cause endorphins to be released. E…

4 minute read

Peyronie's Disease - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Treatment, Prognosis

Peyronie's disease is a condition characterized by a bent penis. The cause of Peyronie's disease is unknown and the disease is often difficult to treat. For some reason, a thick scar develops in the penis and bends it. Almost a third of patients with Peyronie's disease also have similar contracting scars on their hands, a disease called Dupuytren's contractures. Some ca…

2 minute read

Pharmacogenetics - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms

Pharmacogenetics is the study of how the actions of and reactions to drugs vary with the patient's genes. Genes are the portions of chromosomes that determine many of the traits in every living thing. In humans, genes influence race, hair and eye color, gender, height, weight, aspects of behavior, and even the likelihood of developing certain diseases. Although some traits are a combination…

7 minute read

Phenylketonuria - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a rare, inherited, metabolic disorder that can result in mental retardation and other neurological problems. People with this disease have difficulty breaking down and using (metabolizing) the amino acid phenylalanine. PKU is sometimes called Folling's disease in honor of Dr. Asbjorn Folling who first described it in 1934. Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid. T…

8 minute read

Pheochromocytoma - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

Pheochromocytoma is a tumor of special cells (called chromaffin cells), most often found in the middle of the adrenal gland. Because pheochromocytomas arise from chromaffin cells, they are occasionally called chromaffin tumors. Most (90%) are benign tumors so they do not spread to other parts of the body. However, these tumors can cause many problems and if they are not treated and can result in d…

8 minute read

Phlebotomy - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results

Phlebotomy is the act of drawing or removing blood from the circulatory system through a cut (incision) or puncture in order to obtain a sample for analysis and diagnosis. Phlebotomy is also done as part of the patient's treatment for certain blood disorders. Phlebotomy that is part of treatment (therapeutic phlebotomy) is performed to treat polycythemia vera,a condition that causes an elev…

4 minute read

Phobias - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

A phobia is an intense, unrealistic fear, which can interfere with the ability to socialize, work, or go about everyday life, that is brought on by an object, event or situation. Just about everyone is afraid of something—an upcoming job interview or being alone outside after dark. But about 18% of all Americans are tormented by irrational fears that interfere with their daily lives. They a…

10 minute read

Phosphorus Imbalance - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Phosphorus imbalance refers to conditions in which the element phosphorus is present in the body at too high a level (hyperphosphatemia) or too low a level (hypophosphatemia). Almost all of the phosphorus in the body occurs as phosphate (phosphorus combined with four oxygen atoms), and most of the body's phosphate (85%) is located in the skeletal system, where it combines with calcium to gi…

5 minute read

Photorefractive Keratectomy and Laser-Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) are two similar surgical techniques that use an excimer laser to correct nearsightedness (myopia) by reshaping the cornea. The cornea is the clear outer structure of the eye that lies in front of the colored part of the eye (iris). PRK and LASIK are two forms of vision-correcting (refractive) surgery. The two techn…

11 minute read

Photosensitivity - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

Photosensitivity is any increase in the reactivity of the skin to sunlight. The skin is a carefully designed interface between our bodies and the outside world. It is infection-proof when intact, nearly waterproof, and filled with protective mechanisms. Sunlight threatens the health of the skin. Normal skin is highly variable in its ability to resist sun damage. Natural skin pigmentation is its ma…

3 minute read

Phototherapy - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results

Phototherapy, or light therapy, is the administration of doses of bright light in order to normalize the body's internal clock and/or relieve depression. Phototherapy is prescribed primarily to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a mood disorder characterized by depression in the winter months, and is occasionally employed to treat insomnia and jet lag. The exact mechanisms by which th…

4 minute read

Physical Allergy - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Physical allergies are allergic reactions to cold, sunlight, heat, or minor injury. The immune system is designed to protect the body from harmful invaders such as germs. Occasionally, it goes awry and attacks harmless or mildly noxious agents, doing more harm than good. This event is termed allergy if the target is from the outside—like pollen or bee venom—and autoimmunity if it is …

2 minute read

Physical Examination - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Normal results, Abnormal results

A physical examination is an evaluation of the body and its functions using inspection, palpation (feeling with the hands), percussion (tapping with the fingers), and auscultation (listening). A complete health assessment also includes gathering information about a person's medical history and lifestyle, doing laboratory tests, and screening for disease. The annual physical examination has …

7 minute read

Pica - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative treatment, Prognosis, Prevention, Resources

Pica is the persistent craving and compulsive eating of non-food substances. The puzzling phenomenon of pica has been recognized and described since ancient times. Pica has been observed in ethnic groups worldwide, in both primitive and modernized cultures, in both sexes, and in all age groups. The word pica comes from the Latin name for magpie, a bird known for its unusual and indiscriminate eati…

6 minute read

Pickwickian Syndrome - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

A group of symptoms that generally accompany massive obesity. Pickwickian syndrome is a complex of symptoms that primarily affect patients with extreme obesity. The syndrome is named after a character in a Charles Dickens novel, The Pickwick Papers, who seemed to show some of the traits of this disease. The major health problem that occurs in patients with this disease is sleep apnea. This is caus…

2 minute read

Piercing and Tattoos - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Body piercing and tattoos are a popular form of body art that have been practiced throughout history by various cultures. Various cultures have embraced adorning their bodies with piercings and tattoos throughout history. In Tattoo artist Michael Wilson displaying his own tattoos and piercings. (Photograph by Susan Mc Cartney, Photo Researchers. Reproduced by permission. In today's i…

5 minute read

Pilates - Definition, Purpose, Description, Precautions, Research and general acceptance

Pilates or Physical mind method, is a series of non-impact exercises designed by Joseph Pilates to develop strength, flexibility, balance, and inner awareness. Pilates is a form of strength and flexibility training that can be done by someone at any level of fitness. The exercises can also be adapted for people who have limited movement or who use wheel chairs. It is an engaging exercise program t…

5 minute read

Pinguecula and Pterygium - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Pinguecula and pterygium are both non-malignant, slow-growing proliferations of conjunctival connective tissue in the eye. Pterygia, but not pingueculae, extend over the cornea. The outer layer of the eyeball consists of the tough white sclera and the transparent cornea. The cornea lies in front of the colored part of the eye (iris). Overlying the sclera is a transparent mucous membrane called the…

4 minute read

Pituitary Dwarfism - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Dwarfism is a condition in which the growth of the individual is very slow or delayed. There are many forms of dwarfism. The word pituitary is in reference to the pituitary gland in the body. This gland regulates certain chemicals (hormones) in the body. Therefore, pituitary dwarfism is decreased bodily growth due to hormonal problems. The end result is a proportionate little person, because the h…

9 minute read

Pituitary Tumors - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Pituitary tumors are abnormal growths on the pituitary gland. Some tumors secrete hormones normally made by the pituitary gland. Located in the center of the brain, the pituitary gland manufactures and secretes hormones that regulate growth, sexual development and functioning, and the fluid balance of the body. About 10% of all cancers in the skull are pituitary tumors. Pituitary adenomas (adenoma…

4 minute read

Pityriasis Rosea - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

Pityriasis rosea is a mild, noncontagious skin disorder common among children and young adults, and characterized by a single round spot on the body, followed later by a rash of colored spots on the body and upper arms. Pityriasis rosea is most common in young adults, and appears up to 50% more often in women. Its cause is unknown; however, some scientists believe that the rash is an immune respon…

3 minute read

Placenta Previa - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Placenta previa is a condition that occurs during pregnancy when the placenta is abnormally placed, and partially or totally covers the cervix. The uterus is the muscular organ that contains the developing baby during pregnancy. The lowest segment of the uterus is a narrowed portion called the cervix. This cervix has an opening (the os) that leads into the vagina, or birth canal. The placenta is t…

5 minute read

Placental Abruption - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Placental abruption occurs when the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus prior to the birth of the baby. This can result in severe, uncontrollable bleeding (hemorrhage). The uterus is the muscular organ that contains the developing baby during pregnancy. The lowest segment of the uterus is a narrowed portion called the cervix. This cervix has an opening (the os) that leads into the vagin…

6 minute read

Plague - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Plague is a serious, potentially life-threatening infectious disease that is usually transmitted to humans by the bites of rodent fleas. It was one of the scourges of our early history. There are three major forms of the disease: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic. Plague has been responsible for three great world pandemics, which caused millions of deaths and significantly altered the course of h…

10 minute read

Plasma Renin Activity - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Renin is an enzyme released by the kidney to help control the body's sodium-potassium balance, fluid volume, and blood pressure. Plasma renin activity (PRA), also called plasma renin assay, may be used to screen for high blood pressure (hypertension) of kidney origin, and may help plan treatment of essential hypertension, a genetic disease often aggravated by excess sodium intake. PRA is al…

5 minute read

Plasmapheresis - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results

Plasmapheresis is a blood purification procedure used to treat several autoimmune diseases. It is also known as therapeutic plasma exchange. In an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks the body's own tissues. In many autoimmune diseases, the chief weapons of attack are antibodies, proteins that circulate in the bloodstream until they meet and bind with the target tissue. Once bound,…

4 minute read

Plastic, Cosmetic, and Reconstructive Surgery - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results

Plastic, cosmetic, and reconstructive surgery refers to a variety of operations performed in order to repair or restore body parts to look normal, or to change a body part to look better. These types of surgery are highly specialized. They are characterized by careful preparation of the patient's skin and tissues, by precise cutting and suturing techniques, and by care taken to minimize sca…

8 minute read

Platelet Aggregation Test - Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Preparation, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

Platelets are disk-shaped blood cells that are also called thrombocytes. They play a major role in the blood-clotting process. The platelet aggregation test is a measure of platelet function. The platelet aggregation test aids in the evaluation of bleeding disorders by measuring the rate and degree to which platelets form a clump (aggregate) after the addition of a chemical that stimulates clumpin…

3 minute read

Platelet Count - Definition, Purpose, Description, Aftercare, Risks, Normal results, Abnormal results

A platelet count is a diagnostic test that determines the number of platelets in the patient's blood. Platelets, which are also called thrombocytes, are small disk-shaped blood cells produced in the bone marrow and involved in the process of blood clotting. There are normally between 150,000-450,000 platelets in each microliter of blood. Low platelet counts or abnormally shaped platelets ar…

5 minute read

Platelet Function Disorders - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention

Platelets are elements within the bloodstream that recognize and cling to damaged areas inside blood vessels. When they do this, the platelets trigger a series of chemical changes that result in the formation of a blood clot. There are certain hereditary disorders that affect platelet function and impair their ability to start the process of blood clot formation. One result is the possibility of e…

3 minute read