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Medical Dictionary


windburn (wind′bern)
Erythema of the face due to exposure to wind.

window (win′do) [TA]
1. SYN: fenestra. 2. Any opening in space or time. 3. Radiology. A view especially contrived to accentuate tissue contrast. aortic w. obsolete term for a radiolucent region below the aortic arch on a left anterior oblique chest radiograph, formed by the bifurcation of the trachea and crossed by the left pulmonary artery. aorticopulmonary w. SYN: aortic septal defect. aortic-pulmonic w. SYN: aortopulmonary w.. aortopulmonary w. the indentation of the left side of the mediastinum by the lung partially interposed between the aortic arch and the left pulmonary artery, seen on frontal radiographs of the chest. SYN: aortic-pulmonic w.. cochlear w. SYN: round w.. lung w. CT settings of w. level and width appropriate to showing lung detail. mediastinal w. CT settings of w. level and width appropriate to showing soft tissue structures. SYN: soft tissue w.. oval w. [TA] an oval opening on the medial wall of the tympanic cavity leading into the vestibule, closed in life by the foot of the stapes. SYN: fenestra vestibuli [TA] , fenestra of the vestibule, fenestra ovalis, vestibular w.. round w. [TA] an opening on the medial wall of the middle ear leading into the cochlea, closed in life by the secondary tympanic membrane. SYN: fenestra cochleae [TA] , cochlear w., fenestra of the cochlea, fenestra rotunda. soft tissue w. SYN: mediastinal w.. tachycardia w. in paroxysmal tachycardia of the reentry type, the interval of time (the w.) between the earliest and latest premature activation that can excite the paroxysm. vestibular w. SYN: oval w..

windpipe (wind′pip)
SYN: trachea.

wine (win)
1. The fermented juice of the grape. SYN: vinous liquor. 2. A group of preparations consisting of a solution of one or more medicinal substances in w., usually white w. because of its comparative freedom from tannin. There are no official wines. [Fr. vin; L. vinum] high w. the strong spirit obtained by rectification or redistillation of low w. in making whisky. low w. the first weak distillate obtained from the mash in the process of making whisky. red w. claret, an alcoholic liquor made by fermenting grapes, the fruit of Vitis vinifera, with their skins (which imparts color); has been used as a tonic. sherry w. a w. of amber color, obtained originally from Jerez, Spain, containing about 20% alcohol; used in preparation of medicinal wines.

The anterior appendage of a bird. SYN: ala (1) . angel w. a deformity in which both scapulae project conspicuously. SEE ALSO: winged scapula. ashen w. SYN: vagal (nerve) trigone. w. of central lobule [TA] the lateral winglike projection of the central lobule of the cerebellum; made up of an inferior part [TA], which is the lateral portion of lobule II (of Larsell), and a superior part [TA], which is the lateral portion of lobule III (of Larsell). SYN: ala central lobule [TA] , ala lobulis centralis [TA] , ala cerebelli. w. of crista galli SYN: ala of crista galli. gray w. SYN: vagal (nerve) trigone. greater w. of sphenoid (bone) [TA] strong squamous processes extending in a broad superolateral curve from the body of the sphenoid bone. The greater w. presents these surfaces (facies): 1) cerebral surface: forms anterior third of the floor of the lateral portion of the middle cranial fossa; 2) temporal surface: forms the deepest portion of the temporal fossa; 3) infratemporal surface, forms the “roof” of the infratemporal fossa; 4) orbital surface: forms posterolateral wall of orbit. The greater w. forms the inferior border of the supraorbital fissure, and is perforated at its root by foramina rotundum ovale and spinosum and the pterygoid canal. SYN: ala major ossis sphenoidalis [TA] , ala temporalis. w. of ilium ala of ilium. lesser w. of sphenoid (bone) [TA] one of a bilateral pair of triangular, pointed plates extending laterally from the anterolateral body of the sphenoid bone. Forming the posteriormost portion of the floor of the anterior cranial fossa, their sharp posterior edge forms the sphenoidal ridge separating anterior and middle cranial fossae. The medial end of the lesser w. attaches to the body by means of two pedicles, thus forming the optic canal. The w. itself forms the superior margin of the supraorbital fissure. SYN: ala minor ossis sphenoidalis [TA] , ala orbitalis, Ingrassia process. w. of nose SYN: ala of nose. w. of sacrum ala of sacrum. w. of vomer SYN: ala of vomer.

Felix von, German surgeon, 1852–1931. See W.-Buerger disease.

wink (wink)
SYN: blink. [A.S. wincian]

Jacques B., Danish anatomist, physicist, and surgeon in Paris, 1669–1760. See foramen of W., W. ligament, W. pancreas, W. stars, under star, stellulae winslowii, under stellula.

Thomas Masterman, English physician, 1765–1859. See W. sign.

wintergreen oil (win′ter-gren)
SYN: methyl salicylate.

Wilhelm, Austrian physician, 1835–1917. See W. sound.

Hugo, Austrian ophthalmologist, 1865–1918. See W. rosettes, under rosette.

wire (wir)
Slender and pliable rod or thread of metal. arch w. SYN: archwire. guide w. See guidewire. Kirschner w. an apparatus for skeletal traction in long bone fracture or for fracture fixation. SYN: Kirschner apparatus. ligature w. a soft thin w. of stainless steel used in dentistry to tie an archwire to band attachments or brackets. separating w. a w., usually of soft brass, used to gain separation between teeth. SEE ALSO: separation (2) . wrought w. a w. formed by drawing a cast structure through a die into a desired shape and size; used in dentistry for partial denture clasps and orthodontic appliances.

wiring (wir′ing)
Fastening together the ends of a broken bone by wire sutures. circumferential w. fixation of mandibular fractures by passing wires around a section of bone and intraoral splint; i.e., circummandibular w.. SEE ALSO: circumzygomatic w.. circumzygomatic w. a means of fixation for mandibular fractures in which the mandible is fastened to the zygomatic arches with wire. continuous loop w. the formation of wire loops on both maxillary and mandibular teeth, for the placement of intermaxillary elastics; used in reduction and fixation of fractures. SYN: Stout w.. craniofacial suspension w. a method of w. using areas of bones not contiguous with the oral cavity for the support of fractured jaw segments ( e.g., pyriform aperture, zygomatic arch, zygomatic process of the frontal bone). Gilmer w. a method of intermaxillary fixation in which single opposing teeth are wired circumferentially, and the wires are twisted together. Ivy loop w. placement of a wire around two adjacent teeth to provide an attachment for intermaxillary elastics. perialveolar w. fixing a splint to the maxillary arch by passing a wire through the alveolar process from the buccal surface to the lingual surface. pyriform aperture w. a method of w. from the area of the pyriform aperture for the stabilization of fractures of the jaw. Stout w. SYN: continuous loop w..

Johann G., German anatomist in Padua, 1589–1643. See W. canal, W. duct.

wiry (wir′e)
Resembling or having the feel of a wire; filiform and hard; denoting a variety of pulse.

Arthur, 20th century German pediatrician. See W.-Aldrich syndrome.

Hans, Swiss pediatrician, *1906. See W. syndrome.

Caspar, U.S. biologist, 1761–1818, after whom the W. Institute is named. See W. rats, under rat.

witch hazel (wich haz′l)
SYN: hamamelis.

withdrawal (with-draw′al)
1. The act of removal or retreat. 2. A psychologic and/or physical syndrome caused by the abrupt cessation of the use of a drug in an habituated individual. 3. The therapeutic process of discontinuing a drug so as to avoid the symptoms of w. (2). 4. A pattern of behavior observed in schizophrenia and depression, characterized by a pathological retreat from interpersonal contact and social involvement and leading to self-preoccupation.

witkop (vit′kop)
A favoid condition of the scalp seen in South Africans.

witzelsucht (vit′sel-zukht)
A morbid tendency to pun, make poor jokes, and tell pointless stories, while being oneself inordinately entertained thereby. [Ger. witzeln, to affect wit, + Sucht, mania]

wobble (wah′bl)
In molecular biology, unorthodox pairing between the base at the 5′ end of an anticodon and the base that pairs with it (in the 3′ position of the codon); thus, the anticodon 3′-UCU-5′ may pair with 5′-AGA-3′ (normal or Watson-Crick pairing) or with 5′-AGG-3′ (w.). W. pairings can occur between the unusual base hypoxanthine and adenine, uracil, or cytosine, between uracil and guanine, and between guanine and uracil, when in the 5′ position of an anticodon. SEE ALSO: w. base.

Wohlfahrtia (vol-far′te-a)
A genus of larviparous dipterous fleshflies (family Sarcophagidae), of which some species' larvae breed in ulcerated surfaces and flesh wounds of humans and animals. Important species include W. magnifica, a widely distributed obligatory fleshfly whose tissue-destroying maggots invade wounds or head cavities of domestic animals and humans; W. nuba, a facultative fleshfly of Old World distribution, also found in head wounds or head cavities but not in dermal sores; and W. vigil (W. opaca), which produces cutaneous myiasis in human infants in the northern U.S. and southern Canada by larvae that penetrate the skin and cause infected, boil-like, or furuncular lesions; mink and fox pups in fur farms, and probably rabbits and rodents, are attacked by this species. [P. Wohlfahrt, Ger. medical writer, &dag;1726]

wohlfahrtiosis (vol-far-te-o′sis)
Infection of animals and humans with larvae of flies of the genus Wohlfahrtia.

Gunnar, Swedish neurologist, 1910–1961. See W.-Kugelberg-Welander disease.

A., 20th century U.S. pathologist. See W.-Orton bodies, under body.

John R., Scottish ophthalmologist, 1824–1904. See W. graft, W.-Krause graft.

Julius, German anatomist, 1836–1902. See W. law.

Kaspar F., German embryologist in Russia, 1733–1794. See wolffian body, wolffian cyst, wolffian duct, wolffian rest, wolffian ridge, wolffian tubules, under tubule.

Louis, U.S. cardiologist, 1898–1972. See W.-Chaikoff block, W.-Chaikoff effect, W.-Parkinson-White syndrome.

wolffian (wulf′e-an)
Relating to or described by Kaspar Wolff.

Anton, Bohemian surgeon, 1850–1917. See W. gland.

wolfram, wolframium (wulf′ram, wulf-ram′e-um)
SYN: tungsten. See W. syndrome. [from wolframite]

Emilj F. von, Polish ophthalmologist, 1832–1906. See W. glands, under gland.

wolfsbane (wulfs′ban)
See aconite.

Wolinella (wo-li-nel′ah)
Genus of Gram-negative, microaerophilic bacteria with helical to curved cells; exhibits motility by a single polar flagellum. Isolated from the gingival sulcus and from root canal infections in humans, and from the bovine rumen. Type species is W. succinogenes.

William H., English physician and physicist, 1766–1828. See W. doublet, W. theory.

Moshe, 20th century Israeli neuropathologist, *1914. See W. disease, W. xanthomatosis.

womb (woom)
SYN: uterus. [A.S. the belly] falling of the w. SYN: prolapse of the uterus.

Paul. See W. units, under unit.

Robert, U.S. physicist, 1868–1955. See W. glass, W. lamp, W. light.

wood alcohol (wud)
SYN: methyl alcohol.

wood wool
A specially prepared, not compressed, wood fiber used for surgical dressings.

wool (wul)
The hair of the sheep; sometimes, when defatted, used as a surgical dressing. SYN: lana. w. alcohols w. wax alcohols prepared by saponification of the grease of sheep w. and separation of the fraction that contains cholesterol (not less than 30%) and other alcohols; used to prepare w. alcohols ointment. w. fat the purified, anhydrous, fatlike substance obtained from the w. of sheep. SEE ALSO: adeps lanae. hydrous w. fat SYN: adeps lanae.

B., 20th-century British biochemist. See W.-Lineweaver-Burk plot.

Thomas, English sculptor, 1826–1892. See W. tip.

word salad (werd sal′ad)
A jumble of meaningless and unrelated words emitted by persons with certain kinds of schizophrenia.

M.M.F., 20th century French dermatologist. See W.-Kolopp disease.

work (work)
1. Physical and/or mental effort to achieve a result. 2. That which is accomplished when a force acts against resistance to produce motion.

workaholic (werk-a-hawl′ik)
A person who manifests a compulsive need to work, even at the expense of family responsibilities, social life, and health. [by analogy with alcoholic] Although increasingly recognized as a source of emotional distress, social malfunctioning, and physical illness, the pathologic need of some people to invest all their energy in goal-directed and intensive labor has not been deeply studied, nor is it named or defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). The w. may engage in physical or mental work or a combination of the two, and may work for an individual or a company, be self-employed, or even engage in volunteer activities without remuneration. The typical w. seems incapable of relaxing, and uses work not only as a source of livelihood but also as a form of recreation, substituting it for leisure pastimes such as socialization, hobbies, sports, and artistic and cultural pursuits. In this sense, work assumes the function of an addictive drug. Workaholics tend to postpone or omit meals, stay at work after others have gone home and even keep working until late at night, put in excessive amounts of overtime (sometimes failing to claim due compensation), and abuse nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, and other agents to assuage stress and withstand fatigue. The w. lifestyle is a common feature of various personality disorders, including a compulsion to achieve success, recognition, or advancement in one's chosen field of endeavor; a morbid absorption in the acquisition of wealth; and a need to immerse oneself in work as a distraction from the stresses or dissatisfactions of daily life. Some w. behavior is driven by family, social, or cultural expectations. Many workaholics manifest a compulsion to work even in childhood; some seem to be influenced by the example of a successful, driving parent, relative, family friend, or public figure. In Japan, death from overwork (karoshi) is formally recognized as a compensable form of occupational disorder. Japanese courts have ruled that deaths from heart failure, stroke, and even suicide are examples of karoshi.

Working Formulation for Clinical Usage (WF)
Classification of malignant lymphomas introduced by the National Cancer Institute in 1982, based on the correlation of clinical and histopathologic features of various lymphomas; widely used in clinical practice.

working out (werk′ing)
In psychoanalysis, the state in the treatment process in which the patient's personal history and psychodynamics are uncovered.

working through
In psychoanalysis, the process of obtaining additional insight and personality changes in a patient through repeated and varied examination of a conflict or problem; the interactions between free association, resistance, interpretation, and working out constitute the fundamental facets of this process.

workstation (werk′sta′shun)
A computer or television monitor with controls for studying and manipulating graphical or clinical images.

World Health Organization (WHO)
A unit of the United Nations devoted to international health problems.

Ole, Danish anatomist, 1588–1654. See wormian bones, under bone.

worm (werm)
1. In anatomy, any structure resembling a w., e.g., the midline part of the cerebellum in the forms of “vermis” and “lumbrical.” 2. Term once used to designate any member of the invertebrate group or former subkingdom Vermes, a collective term no longer used taxonomically; now commonly used to designate any member of the separate phyla Annelida (the segmented or true worms), Nematoda (roundworms), and Platyhelminthes (flatworms). Important species include Dracunculus medinensis (dragon, guinea, Medina, or serpent w.), Enterobius vermicularis (seat w. or pinworm), Loa loa (African eye w.), Moniliformis (phylum Acanthocephala, thorny-headed worms), Oxyspirura mansoni (Manson eye w.), Pentastomida (tongue w.), Strongylus (palisade w.), Thelazia (eye w.), and Trichinella spiralis (pork or trichina w.). For some types of worms not listed as subentries here (because they are usually written as one word), see the full name. [A.S. wyrm] caddis w. aquatic larva in the insect order Trichoptera. Manson eye w. SYN: Oxyspirura mansoni. meal w. the larva of beetles of the genus Tenebrio; both larvae and adults are important pests, destroying flour, meal, and other cereal products; they are also intermediate hosts of nematodes of the genus Gongylonema, and of various tapeworms of the genus Hymenolepis.

worm bark
SYN: andira.

wormian (werm′e-an)
Relating to or described by Ole Worm.

Theodore G., U.S. chemist, 1826–1897. See W. test.

wormseed (werm′sed)
1. Santonica. 2. SYN: chenopodium.

wormwood (werm′wud)
SYN: absinthium.

wort (wort)
1. A suffix in the popular names of many plants, such as liverwort, lungwort, woundwort, etc. 2. An infusion of malt. [A.S. wyrt, a plant] St. John's w. a shrubby perennial (Hypericum perforatum) with numerous orange-yellow flowers whose petals may be speckled black along their margins; a herbal antidepressant that compares favorably with standard synthetic psychopharmaceutical agents in the treatment of mild to moderate depression.In medieval folk-medicine this herb, traditionally gathered on the eve of the feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24), was used against various illnesses, including hysteria and epilepsy, as well as witches' spells and diabolical possession. In Europe, St. John's w. is widely prescribed for the treatment of depression. The herb has been shown in placebo-controlled trials to lessen depression, anxiety, apathy, sleep disturbances, insomnia, anorexia, and feelings of worthlessness. EEG studies have shown that it improves sleep intensity without increasing total sleep duration or interfering with REM sleep. In clinical comparisons it was only slightly inferior to the tricyclic agents imipramine, amitriptyline, and desipramine in abolishing depressive symptoms. In addition, memory and other mental functions may be improved instead of being blunted as with prescription antidepressants. No controlled studies comparing the efficacy of St. John's w. with that of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been published. Fewer than 3% of subjects in clinical trials noted any side effects. Those most frequently experienced were gastrointestinal irritation, allergic reactions, fatigue, restlessness, and photodermatitis. The principal active ingredient of St. John's w. is believed to be hypericin, which has been shown in vitro to inhibit the uptake or biodegradation of several neurotransmitters, including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. It also binds to γ-aminobutyric acid receptors on CNS neurons and improves the signal produced by serotonin after it binds to its receptors. Ongoing studies seek to define the psychopharmaceutical potential of this agent more precisely and to confirm the safety of its use. Because it inhibits monoamine oxidase, at least in vitro, its use with other antidepressants is not recommended. It is not considered appropriate during pregnancy or in the treatment of severe depression with serious risk of suicide or of depression accompanied by psychosis.

Claud A., British ophthalmologist, 1869–1936. See W. amblyoscope.

Peter, English chemist, 1727–1803. See W. bottle.

wound (woond)
1. Trauma to any of the tissues of the body, especially that caused by physical means and with interruption of continuity. 2. A surgical incision. [O.E. wund] abraded w. SYN: abrasion (1) . avulsed w. a w. caused by or resulting from avulsion. crease w. SYN: gutter w.. glancing w. SYN: gutter w.. gunshot w. a w. made with a bullet or other missile projected by a firearm. gutter w. a tangential w. that makes a furrow without perforating the skin. SYN: crease w., glancing w.. incised w. a clean cut, as by a sharp instrument. nonpenetrating w. injury, especially within the thorax or abdomen, produced without disruption of the surface of the body. open w. a w. in which the tissues are exposed to the air. penetrating w. a w. with disruption of the body surface that extends into underlying tissue or into a body cavity. perforating w. a w. with an entrance and exit opening. puncture w. a w. in which the opening is relatively small as compared to the depth, as produced by a narrow pointed object. septic w. a w. that has become infected. seton w. a tangential perforating w., the entrance and exit openings being on the same side of the body, head, or limb involved. stab w. a puncture w. produced by the stabbing motion of a knife or similar object. subcutaneous w. an injury or w. extending below the skin into the subcutaneous tissue, but not affecting underlying bones or organs. sucking chest w. SYN: open pneumothorax. tangential w. a perforating w. or seton w. that involves only one side of the part.

Surgery to prevent the contracture of a straight-line scar; the edges of the wound are trimmed in the shape of a W, or a series of W's, and closed in a zig-zag manner.

Abbreviation for Wassermann reaction.

Abbreviation for Wright antigens, under antigen. See low frequency blood groups, Blood Groups appendix.

wrap (rap)
A cover, particularly one that enfolds or encloses. cardiac muscle w. SYN: cardiomyoplasty.


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