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Medical Dictionary


punctum, gen. puncti, pl .puncta (pungk′tum, -ti, -ta) [TA]
1. The tip or end of a sharp process. 2. A minute round spot differing in color or otherwise in appearance from the surrounding tissues. 3. A point on the optic axis of an optical system. SEE ALSO: point. SYN: point (1) . SEE ALSO: point, tip, end, center. [L. a prick, point, pp. ntr. of pungo, to prick, used as noun] p. cecum the blind spot in the visual field corresponding to the location of the optic disk. p. coxale the highest point of the crest of the ilium. p. dolorosum Valleix points, under point. p. fixa [TA] SYN: fixed end. kissing puncta a condition in which the upper p. is apposed to the lower p. when the eyes are open. lacrimal p. [TA] the minute circular opening of the lacrimal canaliculus, on the margin of each eyelid near the medial commissure. SYN: p. lacrimale [TA] , lacrimal opening. p. lacrimale [TA] SYN: lacrimal p.. p. luteum SYN: macula of retina. p. mobile [TA] SYN: mobile end. p. ossificationis SYN: ossification center. p. ossificationis primarium SYN: primary ossification center. p. ossificationis secundarium SYN: secondary ossification center. p. proximum (P.p.) SYN: near point. p. remotum (P.r.) SYN: far point. p. vasculosum one of the minute dots seen on section of the brain, due to small drops of blood at the cut extremities of the arteries.

puncture (punk′choor)
1. To make a hole with a small pointed object, such as a needle. 2. A prick or small hole made with a pointed instrument. [L. punctura, fr. pungo, pp. punctus, to prick] Bernard p. SYN: diabetic p.. cisternal p. passage of a hollow needle through the posterior atlantooccipital membrane into the cerebellomedullary cistern. diabetic p. a p. at a point in the floor of the fourth ventricle of the brain that causes glycosuria. SYN: Bernard p.. lumbar p. a p. into the subarachnoid space of the lumbar region to obtain spinal fluid for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. SYN: Quincke p., rachicentesis, rachiocentesis, spinal p., spinal tap. Quincke p. SYN: lumbar p.. spinal p. SYN: lumbar p.. sternal p. removal of bone marrow from the manubrium by needle. tracheoesophageal p. a surgical procedure to restore vocal function in patients who have had a laryngectomy by creating a tracheoesophageal fistula through which the laryngectomee forces air from the trachea into the esophagus to produce sound that is articulated into speech.

pungent (pun′jent)
Sharp; said of the taste or odor of a substance. [L. pungo, pres. p. -ens (-ent-), to pierce]

Abbreviation for pyrexia of unknown (or uncertain) origin, a term applied to febrile illness before diagnosis has been established; also referred to as FUO (fever of unknown origin).

pupa, pl .pupae (pu′pa, -pe)
The stage of insect metamorphosis following the larva and preceding the imago. SEE ALSO: complete metamorphosis. [L. p., doll]

pupil (p) (pu′pil) [TA]
The circular orifice in the center of the iris, through which the light rays enter the eye. SYN: pupilla [TA] . [L. pupilla] Adie p. SYN: Adie syndrome. amaurotic p. p. in an eye that is blind because of ocular or optic nerve disease; this p. will not contract to light except when the normal fellow eye is stimulated with light. Argyll Robertson p. a form of reflex iridoplegia characterized by miosis, irregular shape, and a loss of the direct and consensual pupillary reflex to light, with normal pupillary constriction to a near vision effort (light-near dissociation); often present in tabetic neurosyphilis. SYN: Robertson p.. artificial p. an opening made by excision of a portion of the iris in order to improve the vision in cases of central opacity of the cornea or lens. Bumke p. dilation of the p. in response to anxiety or other psychic stimuli. catatonic p. transient pupillary dilation with absence of pupillary reaction to light and convergence. cat's-eye p. a distorted, elongated p.; usually due to anterior segment anomaly. fixed p. a stationary p. unresponsive to all stimuli. Gunn p. SYN: Marcus Gunn p.. Holmes-Adie p. SYN: Adie syndrome. Horner p. constricted p. due to impairment of sympathetic nerve innervation of the dilator muscle of the p.. SEE ALSO: Horner syndrome. Hutchinson p. dilation of the p. on the side of the lesion as part of a third nerve palsy; often due to herniation of the uncus of the temporal lobe through the tentorial notch. keyhole p. a p. with a coloboma. Marcus Gunn p. relative afferent pupillary defect. SYN: Gunn p.. paradoxical p. paradoxical pupillary reflex. pinhole p. an extremely constricted p.. Robertson p. SYN: Argyll Robertson p.. seclusion of p. (se-kloo′zhun) the condition resulting from posterior annular synechia, in which the iris is bound down throughout the entire pupillary margin, but the p. is not occluded. SYN: exclusion of p.. tadpole-shaped p. an intermittent, brief distortion and dilation of a p. that draws one part of the iris into a peak so that the p. resembles a tadpole; a temporary, benign condition associated with migraine that may leave the patient with Horner syndrome. tonic p. a general term for a p. with delayed, slow, long-lasting contractions to light and to a near vision effort, often with light-near dissociation; due to denervation and aberrant reinnervation of the iris sphincter; seen in various autonomic neuropathies and in Adie syndrome.

pupilla, pl .pupillae (pu-pil′a, pu-pil′e) [TA]
SYN: pupil. [L. dim. of pupa, a girl or doll]

pupillary (pu′pi-lar-e)
Relating to the pupil. p. light-near dissociation a stronger near pupil response than light response; due to weak pupillomotor input, Argyll Robertson pupil, dorsal midbrain syndrome, or to misdirection of ciliary muscle fibers into the iris sphincter. SYN: light-near dissociation. relative afferent p. defect an asymmetry of the pupillomotor input between the two eyes; tested by alternating the light from one eye to the other and comparing the direct light reactions.

The pupils. [L. pupilla, pupil]

pupillography (pu′pi-log′ra-fe)
The recording of pupillary reactions. [pupillo- + G. grapho, to write]

pupillometer (pu′pi-lom′e-ter)
An instrument for measuring and recording the diameter of the pupil. [pupillo- + G. metron, measure]

pupillometry (pu′pi-lom′e-tre)
Measurement of the pupil.

pupillomotor (pu′pi-lo-mo′ter)
Relating to the autonomic nerve fibers that supply the smooth muscle of the iris. SYN: iridomotor. [pupillo- + L. motor, mover]

pupillostatometer (pu′pi-lo-sta-tom′e-ter)
An instrument for measuring the distance between the centers of the pupils. [pupillo- + G. statos, placed, + metron, measure]

pupiparous (pu-pip′a-rus)
Pupae-bearing; denoting those insects that give birth to late-stage larvae that have already passed their larval development within the body of the female, as in flies of the family Hippoboscidae and in the Glossinidae (tsetse flies). [pupa + L. pario, to give birth]

Acronym for pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy, an intensely pruritic, occasionally vesicular, eruption appearing in the third trimester of pregnancy, without effect on the fetus; spontaneous involution occurs within 10 days of term, and recurrence is rare in subsequent pregnancies. Negative lesional immunofluorescence microscopy helps to exclude herpes gestationis.

Abbreviation for purine.

pure (pur)
Unadulterated; free from admixture or contamination with any extraneous matter. [L. purus]

purgation (per-ga′shun)
Evacuation of the bowels with the aid of a purgative or cathartic. SYN: catharsis (1) . [L. purgatio]

purgative (per′ga-tiv)
An agent used for purging the bowels. SEE ALSO: cathartic (2) . [L. purgativus, purging] saline p. epsom salt, Rochelle salt, or any salt having p. properties.

purge (perj)
1. To cause a copious evacuation of the bowels. 2. A cathartic remedy. [L. purgo, to cleanse, fr. purus, pure, + ago, to do]

purging cassia (perj′ing kash′ya)
SYN: cassia fistula.

puriform (pu′ri-form)
Resembling pus. [L. pus (pur-), pus, + forma, form]

purine (Pur) (pur′en, -rin)
The parent substance of adenine, guanine, and other naturally occurring p. “bases”; not known to exist as such in mammals. p.-nucleoside phosphorylase a ribosyltransferase that reversibly catalyzes the phosphorolysis of a p. nucleoside with orthophosphate to produce a p. and α-d-ribose 1-phosphate; an inherited deficiency of this enzyme leads to cellular immunodeficiency. p. ribonucleoside SYN: nebularine.

purinemia (pu-ri-ne′me-a)
The presence of purine or xanthine bases in the circulating blood. [purine + G. haima, blood]

purity (pur′i-te)
The state of being pure, free from contaminants or pollutants. [L. puritas, fr. purus, clean, undefiled] radiochemical p. the proportion of the total activity of a specific radionuclide in a specific chemical or biological form. radioisotopic p. a loose term commonly used to denote radionuclidic p.. radionuclidic p. the proportion of the total radioactivity that is present as a specific radionuclide. radiopharmaceutical p. the sterility and apyrogenicity of a radioactive tracer for human use.

Johannes E. von (Jan E. Purkyne), Bohemian anatomist and physiologist, 1787–1869. See P. conduction, P. images, under image, P. shift, subendocardial conducting system of heart, P. cells, under cell, P. corpuscles, under corpuscle, P. fibers, under fiber, P. figures, under figure, P. cell layer, P. network, P. phenomenon, P.-Sanson images, under image.

Matthaeus G., German surgeon, 1649–1721. See P. method.

puromucous (pu-ro-mu′kus)
SYN: mucopurulent. [L. pus (pur-), pus, + mucus, mucus]

puromycin (pu-ro-mi′sin)
An antibiotic produced by the growth of Streptomyces alboniger; formerly used in the treatment of amebiasis and trypanosomiasis.

purple (per′pl)
A color formed by a mixture of blue and red. For individual p. dyes see specific name. [L. purpura] visual p. SYN: rhodopsin.

purpura (pur′poo-ra)
A condition characterized by hemorrhage into the skin. Appearance of the lesions varies with the type of p., the duration of the lesions, and the acuteness of the onset. The color is first red, gradually darkens to purple, fades to a brownish yellow, and usually disappears in 2 or 3 weeks; color of residual permanent pigmentation depends largely on the type of unabsorbed pigment of the extravasated blood; extravasations may occur also into the mucous membranes and internal organs. SYN: peliosis. [L. fr. G. porphyra, purple] allergic p. nonthrombocytopenic p. due to sensitization to foods, drugs, and insect bites. SYN: anaphylactoid p. (1) . anaphylactoid p. 1. SYN: allergic p.. 2. SYN: Henoch-Schönlein p.. p. angioneurotica an eruption marked by angioneurotic edema, petechiae, and hyperesthesia of the skin and gastric mucous membrane. p. annularis telangiectodes asymptomatic annular lesions, principally of the lower extremities of adolescent males, in which the peripheral portion is composed of p. or petechiae with brawny staining of hemosiderin deposits and minute telangiectasia. factitious p. self-induced, often painful, ecchymoses. fibrinolytic p. p. in which the bleeding is associated with rapid fibrinolysis of the clot. p. fulminans a severe and rapidly fatal form of p. hemorrhagica, occurring especially in children, with hypotension, fever, and disseminated intravascular coagulation, usually following an infectious illness. Henoch p. SYN: Henoch-Schönlein p.. Henoch-Schönlein p. an eruption of nonthrombocytopenic, palpable purpuric lesions due to dermal leukocytoclastic vasculitis with IgA in vessel walls associated with joint pain and swelling, colic, and passage of bloody stools, and occurring characteristically in young children; glomerulonephritis may occur during an initial episode or develop later. SYN: anaphylactoid p. (2) , Henoch p., Henoch-Schönlein syndrome, p. rheumatica, Schönlein p., Schönlein-Henoch syndrome. hyperglobulinemic p. SYN: Waldenström macroglobulinemia. idiopathic thrombocytopenic p. (ITP) a systemic illness characterized by extensive ecchymoses and hemorrhages from mucous membranes and very low platelet counts; resulting from platelet destruction by macrophages due to an antiplatelet factor; childhood cases are usually brief and rarely present with intracranial hemorrhages, but adult cases are often recurrent and have a higher incidence of grave bleeding, especially intracranial. SYN: immune thrombocytopenic p., thrombopenic p.. immune thrombocytopenic p. SYN: idiopathic thrombocytopenic p.. nonthrombocytopenic p. SYN: p. simplex. psychogenic p. a psychosomatic condition similar to autoerythrocyte sensitization syndrome. p. pulicans, p. pulicosa petechiae caused by the bites of insects and animal parasites. p. rheumatica SYN: Henoch-Schönlein p.. Schönlein p. SYN: Henoch-Schönlein p.. p. senilis the occurrence of petechiae and ecchymoses on the atrophic skin of the legs in aged and debilitated subjects. p. simplex the eruption of petechiae or larger ecchymoses, usually unaccompanied by constitutional symptoms and not associated with systemic illness. SYN: nonthrombocytopenic p.. p. symptomatica a petechial eruption in scarlet fever and other exanthemas. thrombocytopenic p. idiopathic thrombocytopenic p.. thrombopenic p. SYN: idiopathic thrombocytopenic p.. thrombotic thrombocytopenic p. a rapidly fatal or occasionally protracted disease with varied symptoms in addition to p., including signs of central nervous system involvement, due to formation of fibrin or platelet thrombi in arterioles and capillaries in many organs. p. urticans p. simplex accompanied by an urticarial eruption. Waldenström p. SYN: Waldenström macroglobulinemia.

purpurea glycosides A, purpurea glycosides B (per′pu-re′a gli′ko-sidz)
The cardioactive precursor glycosides of Digitalis purpurea; they are structurally identical with desacetyl-lanatosides A and B, respectively. SEE ALSO: lanatosides A, B, and C.

purpuric (pur-poo′rik)
Relating to or affected with purpura.

purpurin (per′pu-rin)
1. SYN: uroerythrin. 2. A violet stain related to alizarin by addition of a 4-OH group to alizarin; found in madder root and other members of the Rubiaceae; used to detect calcium salts, boron, and as a histologic stain. SYN: alizarin p..

purpurinuria (per′pu-ri-noo′re-a)
SYN: porphyrinuria.

purr (per)
A low vibratory murmur.

Otmar, German ophthalmologist, 1852–1927. See P. disease.

purulence, purulency (pur′u-lens, -len-se; pur′u-lens)
The condition of containing or forming pus. [L. purulentia, a festering, fr. pus (pur-), pus]

purulent (pur′u-lent, pur′u-)
Containing, consisting of, or forming pus.

puruloid (pu′ru-loyd)
Resembling pus.

pus (pus)
A fluid product of inflammation, consisting of a liquid containing leukocytes and the debris of dead cells and tissue elements liquefied by the proteolytic and histolytic enzymes ( e.g., leukoprotease) that are elaborated by polymorphonuclear leukocytes. [L.] blue p. p. tinged with pyocyanin, a product of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. cheesy p. a very thick almost solid p. resulting from the absorption of the liquor puris. curdy p. p. containing flakes of caseous matter. green p. blue p. when, as sometimes happens, it has more of a green hue. ichorous p. thin p. containing shreds of sloughing tissue, and sometimes of a fetid odor. laudable p. an obsolete term used when suppuration was considered unlikely to lead to pyemia (blood poisoning) but more likely to remain localized. sanious p. ichorous p. stained with blood.

pustulant (pus′choo-lant)
1. Causing a pustular eruption. 2. An agent producing pustules.

pustular (pus′choo-lar)
Relating to or marked by pustules.

pustulation (pus′choo-la′shun)
The formation or the presence of pustules.

pustule (pus′chool)
A circumscribed, superficial elevation of the skin, up to 1.0 cm in diameter, containing purulent material. [L. pustula] malignant p. SYN: cutaneous anthrax. spongiform p. of Kogoj an epidermal p. formed by infiltration of neutrophils into necrotic epidermis in which the cell walls persist as a spongelike network; seen in pustular psoriasis.

pustulocrustaceous (pus′choo-lo-krus-ta′shus)
Marked by pustules crusted with dry pus.

pustulosis (pus-choo-lo′sis)
1. An eruption of pustules. 2. Term occasionally used to designate acropustulosis. [L. pustula, pustule, + G. -osis, condition] p. palmaris et plantaris a sterile pustular eruption of the fingers and toes, variously attributed to dyshidrosis, pustular psoriasis, and unidentified bacterial infection. SYN: acrodermatitis continua, acrodermatitis perstans, dermatitis repens. p. vacciniformis acuta SYN: eczema herpeticum.

putamen (pu-ta′men) [TA]
The outer, larger, and darker gray of the three portions into which the lenticular nucleus is divided by laminae of white fibers; it is connected with the caudate nucleus by bridging bands of gray substance that penetrate the internal capsule. Its histologic structure is similar to that of the caudate nucleus together with which it composes the striatum. SEE ALSO: striate body, lenticular nucleus. [L. that which falls off in pruning, fr. puto, to prune]

James J., U.S. neurologist, 1846–1918. See P.-Dana syndrome.

putrefaction (pu-tri-fak′shun)
Decomposition or rotting, the breakdown of organic matter usually by bacterial action, resulting in the formation of other substances of less complex constitution with the evolution of ammonia or its derivatives and hydrogen sulfide; characterized usually by the presence of toxic or malodorous products. SYN: decay (2) , decomposition. [L. putre-facio, pp. -factus, to make rotten]

putrefactive (pu-tri-fak′tiv)
Relating to or causing putrefaction.

putrefy (pu′tri-fi)
To cause to become, or to become, putrid.

putrescence (pu-tres′ens)
The state of putrefaction.

putrescent (pu-tres′ent)
Denoting, or in the process of, putrefaction. [L. putresco, to grow rotten, fr. puter, rotten]

putrescine (pu-tres′en)
1,4-Diaminobutane;a poisonous polyamine formed from the amino acid arginine during putrefaction; found in urine and feces; in certain cells, p. is a precursor to γ-aminobutyrate.

putrid (pu′trid)
1. In a state of putrefaction. 2. Denoting putrefaction. [L. putridus]

Vittorio, Italian surgeon, 1880–1940. See P.-Platt operation, P.-Platt procedure.

Acronym for oral administration of psoralen and subsequent exposure to long-wavelength ultraviolet light (uv-a); used to treat psoriasis.

Abbreviation for polyvinyl chloride.

Abbreviation for polyvinylpyrrolidone.

Abbreviation for persistent vegetative state.

Abbreviation for pokeweed mitogen.

pyarthrosis (pi-ar-thro′sis)
SYN: suppurative arthritis. [G. pyon, pus, + arthrosis, a jointing]

See pykno-.

See pyelo-.

pyelectasis, pyelectasia (pi-e-lek′ta-sis, pi-e-lek-ta′ze-a)
Dilation of the pelvis of the kidney. [pyel- + G. ektasis, extension]

pyelitic (pi-e-lit′ik)
Relating to pyelitis.


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