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antiplatelet therapy

Therapy to prevent the clustering of platelets (platelet adhesion) in the blood, so preventing the formation of clots.

antitussive

Medication to suppress a cough.

antiviral

A substance that acts against viruses, for example and antiviral drug.

ANUG

An abbreviation for acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis - a severe and painful gum infection also known as 'trench mouth'

anuria

A failure of the kidneys to produce urine.

anus

The external opening of the back passage, the rectum.

aorta

The body's main artery, which arises out of the heart and supplies blood to all other parts of the body.

aphasia

Difficulty in understanding and generating speech.

aphthous ulcer

A small, painful sore in the mouth or throat, also known as a canker sore. They are very common and harmless

aplastic anaemia

A rare but serious type of anaemia in which the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the blood are all reduced. It is caused by a failure of the bone marrow to produce stem cells.

apolipoprotein

The protein part of lipoproteins, compounds that function to transport lipids in the bloodstream.

apolipoprotein B

The main protein part of low-density lipoprotein, a compound that functions to transport lipids in the bloodstream.

apoptosis

A natural process of programmed cell death, for example, when cells are old or damaged.

appendicitis

Inflammation of the appendix, a small tube attached to the large intestine.

appendix testis

A small solid projection of tissue on the outer surface of the testis.

ARC

An abbreviation for AIDS-related complex

ARDS

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

areola

The small area of darkened skin surrounding the nipple of the breast

arrhenoblastoma

A rare type of ovarian tumour.

arrhythmia

Any form of disturbance to the heart's normal regular beat

arterial insufficiency

When the amount of blood flowing through an artery is insufficient to meet the needs of the tissue.

arteriovenous fistula

An abnormal connection between an artery and a vein.

arteriovenous malformation

A group of veins and arteries with abnormal connections between the two.

artery

A blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart. Apart from the pulmonary artery and umbilical artery, all arteries carry oxygenated blood.