Articles

Find answers to your health-related questions in our Ilustrated Health Encyclopedia

  • Test

    C-reactive protein

    C-reactive protein is produced by the liver. The level of CRP rises when there is inflammation throughout the body. This article discusses the blood test done to measure the amount of CRP in your blood.

  • Surgery

    C-section

    The uterus is exposed through the abdominal wall, and an incision is made in the uterine covering. The muscles of the uterus are separated, producinga hole for the delivery of the infant. The infant is delivered through the opening in the uterine wall, after which, the uterus is stitched closed.

    A C-section is the delivery of a baby through a surgical opening in the mother’s lower belly area. It is also called a cesarean section.

  • Test

    C1 esterase inhibitor

    C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH) is a protein found in the fluid part of your blood that controls C1, the first component of the complement system. The complement system is a group of proteins that move freely through your bloodstream. The proteins work with your immune system and play a role in the ...

  • Test

    CA-125 blood test

    The CA-125 blood test measures the level of the protein CA-125 in the blood.

  • Nutrition

    Caffeine in the diet

    Caffeine is a substance that is found in certain plants. It can also be man-made and added to foods. It is a stimulant and a diuretic (substance that helps rid your body of fluids).

  • Poison

    Caffeine overdose

    Caffeine is a substance that exists naturally in certain plants. It can also be produced synthetically and used as an additive in food products. It is a central nervous system stimulant and a diuretic, which means it increases urination. Caffeine occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally ...

  • Poison

    Caladium plant poisoning

    This article describes poisoning caused by eating parts of the Caladium plant and other plants belonging to the Araceae family. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency ...

  • Special Topic

    Calcification

    Cranial calcification is a disorder in which calcium that enters the body, which is usually absorbed by the bones and teeth, is deposited in another area of the body such as the brain.  Calcium deposits in the brain can cause problems in the organ and interfere with brain function.

    Calcification is a process in which calcium builds up in body tissue, causing the tissue to harden. This can be a normal or abnormal process.

  • Test

    Calcitonin

    Calcitonin is a test that measures the amount of the hormone calcitonin in the blood.

  • Test

    Calcium - ionized

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    Ionized calcium is calcium in your blood that is not attached to proteins. It is also called free calcium. All cells need calcium in order to work. Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. It is important for heart function. It also helps with muscle contraction, nerve signaling, and blood ...

  • Test

    Calcium - urine

    The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    This test measures the amount of calcium in urine. All cells need calcium in order to work. Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. It is important for heart function, and helps with muscle contraction, nerve signaling, and blood clotting. See also:

  • Special Topic

    Calcium and bones

    Calcium is one of the most important minerals for the growth, maintenance, and reproduction of the human body. Bones, like other tissues in the body, are continually being re-formed and incorporate calcium into their structure. Calcium is essential for the formation of and maintenance of healthy teeth.

  • Test

    Calcium blood test

    The calcium blood test measures the level of calcium in the blood. This article discusses the test to measure the total amount of calcium in your blood. About half of the calcium in the blood is attached to proteins, mainly albumin. For this reason, the calcium blood test can be misleading, and ...

  • Poison

    Calcium carbonate overdose

    Calcium carbonate is an ingredient that is commonly found in antacids (for heartburn) and some dietary supplements. Calcium carbonate occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of a product containing this substance. This is for information ...

  • Poison

    Calcium carbonate with magnesium overdose

    The combination of calcium carbonate and magnesium is commonly found in antacids, which are medicines that provide heartburn relief. Calcium carbonate with magnesium overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of a substance containing ...

  • Poison

    Calcium channel blocker overdose

    Calcium channel blockers are a class of medication used to treat high blood pressure. Calcium channel blocker occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or ...

  • Poison

    Calcium hydroxide poisoning

    Calcium hydroxide is a white powder produced by mixing calcium oxide (“lime”) with water. Calcium hydroxide poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an ...

  • Nutrition

    Calcium in diet

    Calcium requires adequate vitamin D in order to be absorbed by the body. In the United States, many food sources of calcium such as milk are fortified with vitamin D.

    Calcium is the most plentiful mineral found in the human body. The teeth and bones contain the most calcium. Nerve cells, body tissues, blood, and other body fluids contain the rest of the calcium.

  • Special Topic

    Calcium supplements

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Calcium, vitamin D, and your bones

    Getting enough calcium to keep bones from thinning throughout a person's life may be made more difficult if that person has lactose intolerance or another reason, such as a tendency toward kidney stones, for avoiding calcium-rich food sources. Calcium deficiency also effects the heart and circulatory system, as well as the secretion of essential hormones. There are many ways to supplement calcium, including a growing number of fortified foods.

    Osteoporosis – calcium; Osteoporosis – low bone density

  • Poison

    Calla lily

    This article describes poisoning caused by eating parts of a calla lily plant. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control ...

  • Test

    Caloric stimulation

    Caloric stimulation is a test that uses differences in temperature to diagnose damage to the ear or brainstem.

  • Poison

    Campho-Phenique overdose

    Campho-Phenique is an over-the-counter medication used to treat cold sores and insect bites. Campho-Phenique occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. Inhalation of Campho-Phenique fumes, in large amounts, may also cause ...

  • Poison

    Camphor overdose

    Camphor overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local ...

  • Disease

    Campylobacter infection

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Campylobacter enteritis is an infection of the small intestine with Campylobacter jejuni bacteria.

  • Test

    Campylobacter serology test

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    Campylobacter serology test is a blood test to look for to a bacteria called campylobacter.

  • Disease

    Canavan disease

    Canavan disease is an inherited condition that affects the breakdown and use (metabolism) of .

  • Disease

    Cancer

    Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancerous cells are also called malignant cells.

  • Disease

    Cancer - penis

    The male reproductive structures include the penis, the scrotum, the seminal vesicles and the prostate.

    Cancer of the penis is that starts in the , an organ that makes up part of the male reproductive system.

  • Disease

    Cancer - renal pelvis or ureter

    The kidneys are responsible for removing wastes from the body, regulating electrolyte balance and blood pressure, and stimulating red blood cell production.

    Cancer of the renal pelvis or ureter is cancer that forms in the kidney’s pelvis or the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.

  • Special Topic

    Cancer - resources

  • Disease

    Cancer - vulva

    The female external reproductive anatomy includes the vagina.

    Vulvar cancer is cancer that starts in the . Vulvar cancer most often affects the labia, the folds of skin outside the vagina. In some cases, vulvar cancer starts on the clitoris or in glands on the sides of the vagina opening.

  • Disease

    Candida infection of the skin

    This microscopic film shows a fluorescent stain of Candida. Candida is a yeast (fungus) that causes mild disease, but in immunocompromised individuals it may cause life-threatening illness. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Cutaneous candidiasis is infection of the skin with candida fungus.

  • Poison

    Candles poisoning

    Candles are light sources made from wax with a wick in the middle. Candle poisoning occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally swallows candle wax. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should ...

  • Disease

    Canker sore

    A canker sore is a common form of mouth ulcer, which appears as a painful white or yellow ulcer surrounded by a bright red area. A canker sore sore can be triggered by emotional stress, dietary deficiencies, menstrual periods, hormonal changes, food allergies or trauma in the mouth. Canker sores usually heal without treatment within two weeks.

    A canker sore is a painful, open sore in the mouth. Canker sores are white or yellow and surrounded by a bright red area. They are not cancerous. A canker sore is not the same as a (cold sore).

  • Test

    Capillary nail refill test

    The nail blanch test, also called the capillary nail refill test, is performed on the nail beds as an indicator of tissue perfusion (the amount of blood flow to tissue) and dehydration.

    The capillary nail refill test is a quick test done on the nail beds. It is used to monitor and the amount of blood flow to tissue.

  • Test

    Capillary sample

    Blood is routinely drawn from newborn infants for testing.  Blood is obtained by "heel stick" and collected on a special blotter paper.  Routine testing includes phenylketonuria and blood type.  Many hospitals include other tests such as thyroid function, hemoglobin S (sickle cell disease), or may test for other blood disorders (hemoglobinopathies).  Testing can be tailored to the local population, taking into account race and ethnic background in determining what routine testing should be done.

    A capillary sample is a blood sample collected by pricking the skin. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels near the surface of the skin.

  • Disease

    Caplan syndrome

    Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.

    Caplan syndrome is swelling (inflammation) and scarring of the lungs in people with who have been exposed to mining dust containing coal. The lung disease is called .

  • Disease

    Caput succedaneum

    Swelling and bruising usually occur on the top of the scalp where the head first enters the cervix during birth. This area is called a caput succedaneum and feels like a soft, spongy mass. This infant has a large caput on the right side of the scalp.

    Caput succedaneum is of the scalp in a newborn. It is most often brought on by pressure from the uterus or vaginal wall during a head-first (vertex) delivery.

  • Nutrition

    Carbohydrates

    Complex carbohydrates are made up of sugar molecules that are strung together in long, complex chains. Complex carbohydrates are found in foods such as peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables. Both simple and complex carbohydrates are turned to glucose (blood sugar) in the body and are used as energy. Glucose is used in the cells of the body and in the brain. Any unused glucose is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen for use later.Complex carbohydrate foods provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are important to the health of an individual. The majority of carbohydrates should come from complex carbohydrates (starches) and naturally occurring sugars, rather than processed or refined sugars, which do not have the vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in complex and natural carbohydrates. Refined sugars are often called "empty calories" because they have little to no nutritional value.

    Carbohydrates are one of the main dietary components. This category of foods includes sugars, starches, and .

  • Poison

    Carbolic acid poisoning

    Carbolic acid is a sweet-smelling clear liquid that is added to many different products. Carbolic acid poisoning occurs when someone touches or swallows this chemical. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, ...

  • Poison

    Carbon monoxide poisoning

    Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that causes thousands of deaths each year in North America. Breathing in carbon monoxide is very dangerous. It is the leading cause of poisoning death in the United States. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual ...

  • Disease

    Carbuncle

    The skin is the largest organ of the body.  The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection.  It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature.  The skin contains secretions that can kill bacteria and the pigment melanin provides a chemical pigment defense against ultraviolet light that can damage skin cells.  Another important function of the skin is body temperature regulation. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis constrict. This allows the blood which is warm, to bypass the skin.  The skin then becomes the temperature of the cold it is exposed to.  Body heat is conserved since the blood vessels are not diverting heat to the skin anymore.  Among its many functions the skin is an incredible organ always protecting the body from external agents.

    A carbuncle is a skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles. The infected material forms a lump, which occurs deep in the skin and may contain pus. When there is more than one carbuncle, the condition is called carbunculosis.

  • Disease

    Carcinoid syndrome

    Carcinoid syndrome is the pattern of symptoms that typically are exhibited by people with carcinoid tumors. The symptoms include bright red facial flushing, diarrhea, and occasionally wheezing. A specific type of heart valve damage can occur, as well as other cardiac problems.  Carcinoid tumors secrete excessive amounts of the hormone serotonin.  Surgery with complete removal of the tumor tissue is the ideal treatment. It can result in a permanent cure if it is possible to remove the tumor entirely.

    Carcinoid syndrome is a group of symptoms associated with carcinoid tumors — tumors of the small intestine, colon, appendix, and bronchial tubes in the lungs.

  • Surgery

    Cardiac ablation procedures

    Ablate means “to destroy.” Cardiac ablation is a procedure that is used to destroy small areas in your heart that may be causing your . During the procedure, small wires called electrodes are placed inside your heart to measure your heart’s electrical activity. These electrodes may ...

  • Disease

    Cardiac amyloidosis

    The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

    Cardiac amyloidosis is a disorder caused by deposits of an abnormal protein (amyloid) in the heart tissue. These deposits make it hard for the heart to work properly.

  • Test

    Cardiac catheterization

    Cardiac catheterization is used to study the various functions of the heart or to obtain diagnostic information about the heart or its vessels.  A small incision is made in an artery or vein in the arm, neck, or groin.  The catheter is threaded through the artery or vein into the heart.  X-ray images called fluoroscopy are used to guide the insertion.  When the catheter is in place, dye is injected to visualize the structures and vessels within the heart.

    Cardiac catheterization involves passing a thin flexible tube (catheter) into the right or left side of the heart, usually from the groin or the arm.

  • Poison

    Cardiac glycoside overdose

    Cardiac glycosides are a class of medications used to treat heart failure and certain irregular heart beats. Cardiac glycoside occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. Long-term (chronic) poisoning can occur in patients ...

  • Disease

    Cardiac tamponade

    The external structures of the heart include the ventricles, atria, arteries and veins. Arteries carry blood away from the heart while veins carry blood into the heart. The vessels colored blue indicate the transport of blood with relatively low content of oxygen and high content of carbon dioxide. The vessels colored red indicate the transport of blood with relatively high content of oxygen and low content of carbon dioxide.

    Cardiac tamponade is pressure on the heart that occurs when blood or fluid builds up in the space between the heart muscle (myocardium) and the outer covering sac of the heart (pericardium).

  • Disease

    Cardiogenic shock

    The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

    Cardiogenic shock is when the heart has been damaged so much that it is unable to supply enough blood to the organs of the body.

  • Disease

    Cardiomyopathy

    Dilated cardiomyopathy involves enlargement of the heart muscle and is the most common type of cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump blood efficiently. Decreased heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other body systems.

    Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart muscle or another problem with the heart muscle. It often occurs when the heart cannot pump as well as it should, or with other heart function problems. Most patients with cardiomyopathy have .

  • Special Topic

    Cardiovascular

    The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

    The term cardiovascular refers to the heart (cardio) and the blood vessels (vascular). The cardiovascular system includes: Arteries Arterioles Capillaries Heart Venules

  • Special Topic

    Cardioversion

    Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

    Cardioversion is a method to restore an abnormal heart rhythm back to normal.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Caring for muscle spasticity or spasms

    High muscle tone – care; Increased muscle tension – care; Upper motor neuron syndrome – care; Muscle stiffness – care

  • Disease

    Carotid artery disease

    Carotid artery disease occurs when the carotid arteries become narrowed or blocked. The carotid arteries provide the main blood supply to your brain. They are located on each side of your neck. You can feel their pulse under your jawline.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Carotid artery stenosis - self-care

    The carotid arteries provide the main blood supply to the brain. They are located on each side of your neck. You can feel their pulse under your jawline. Carotid artery stenosis occurs when the carotid arteries become narrowed or blocked. This can lead to stroke. Whether or not your doctor ...

  • Surgery

    Carotid artery surgery

    A carotid arteriogram is an x-ray study designed to determine if there is narrowing or other abnormality in the carotid artery, a main artery to the brain. This is an angiogram of the left common carotid artery (both front-to-back and side views) showing a severe narrowing (stenosis) of the internal carotid artery just beyond the division of the common carotid artery into the internal and external branches.

    Carotid artery surgery is a procedure to restore proper blood flow to the brain. The carotid artery brings needed blood to your brain and face. You have one of these arteries on each side of your neck. Blood flow in this artery can become partly or totally blocked by fatty material called plaque. ...

  • Test

    Carotid duplex

    A carotid arteriogram is an x-ray study designed to determine if there is narrowing or other abnormality in the carotid artery, a main artery to the brain. This is an angiogram of the left common carotid artery (both front-to-back and side views) showing a severe narrowing (stenosis) of the internal carotid artery just beyond the division of the common carotid artery into the internal and external branches.

    Carotid duplex is an test that shows how well blood is flowing through the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries are located in the neck. They supply blood to the brain.

  • Test

    Carpal tunnel biopsy

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is becoming more frequently recognized and may  be occurring more often.  It may result from repetitive motion or the use of devices like computer keyboards.  It affects the median nerve, the nerve that supplies feeling and movement to the thumb and "thumb-side" of the hand.

    Carpal tunnel biopsy is a test in which a small piece of tissue is removed from the carpal tunnel (part of the wrist).

  • Surgery

    Carpal tunnel release

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is becoming more frequently recognized and may  be occurring more often.  It may result from repetitive motion or the use of devices like computer keyboards.  It affects the median nerve, the nerve that supplies feeling and movement to the thumb and "thumb-side" of the hand.

    Carpal tunnel release is surgery to treat . Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain and weakness in the hand that is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist.

  • Disease

    Carpal tunnel syndrome

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is becoming more frequently recognized and may  be occurring more often.  It may result from repetitive motion or the use of devices like computer keyboards.  It affects the median nerve, the nerve that supplies feeling and movement to the thumb and "thumb-side" of the hand.

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which there is excessive pressure on the median nerve. This is the nerve in the wrist that allows feeling and movement to parts of the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.

  • Special Topic

    Carrying angle of the elbow - excessive

    The skeleton consists of groups of bones which protect and move the body.

  • Poison

    Castor oil overdose

    Castor oil is a yellowish liquid often used as a lubricant and in laxatives. This article discusses poisoning from swallowing a large amount (overdose) of castor oil. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, ...

  • Disease

    Cat scratch disease

    Cat scratch disease is an infectious illness associated with cat scratches, bites, or exposure to cat saliva, causing chronic swelling of the lymph nodes. Cat scratch disease is possibly the most common cause of chronic lymph node swelling in children.

    Cat scratch disease is an infection with Bartonella bacteria that is believed to be transmitted by cat scratches and bites.

  • Disease

    Cataract - adult

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye.

  • Surgery

    Cataract removal

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    Cataract removal is surgery to remove a clouded lens () from the eye. Cataracts are removed to help you see better. The procedure almost always includes placing an artificial lens (IOL) in the eye.

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Cataracts - what to ask your doctor

    The lens of an eye is normally clear. If the lens becomes cloudy (opacified) it is called a cataract.

    You are having a procedure to remove a cataract. A cataract occurs when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and starts to block vision. Removing the cataract can help improve your vision. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you take care of your eye after ...

  • Test

    Catecholamines - blood

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    Catecholamines are hormones made by the adrenal glands. These glands are on top of the kidneys. Catecholamines are released into the blood when a person is under physical or emotional stress. The main catecholamines are dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (which used to be called ...

  • Test

    Catecholamines - urine

    The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    Catecholamines are chemicals made by nerve tissue (including the brain) and the adrenal gland. The main types of catecholamines are dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. These chemicals break down into other components, which leave your body through your urine. A urine test can be done to ...

  • Poison

    Caterpillars

    Caterpillars (long, fuzzy, segmented insects) are unable to pierce the skin with their bite. However, their hairs may get into the skin or eyes, causing symptoms in the area where the hairs entered. Problems also can occur if someone breathes in caterpillar hairs that have been released into the ...

  • Disease

    Catheter-related UTI

    A catheter (a hollow tube, often with an inflatable balloon tip) may be inserted into the urinary bladder when there is a urinary obstruction, following surgical procedures to the urethra, in unconscious patients (due to surgical anesthesia, coma, etc.), or for any other problem in which the bladder needs to be kept empty (decompressed) and urinary flow assured.

    A , or “UTI,” is an infection that can occur in your kidneys, in the tubes that take urine from your kidneys to your bladder, or in your bladder. You have an (tube) in your bladder. “Indwelling” means inside your body. This catheter drains urine from your bladder into a bag outside your ...

  • Poison

    Caulking compound poisoning

    Caulking compounds are substances used to seal cracks and holes around windows and other openings. Caulking compound poisoning occurs when someone swallows these substances. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Causes and risks for obesity - children

  • Disease

    Cavernous sinus thrombosis

    The sinuses are hollow cavities within the facial bones.  Sinuses are not fully developed until after age twelve.  When people speak of sinus infections, they are most frequently referring to the maxillary and frontal sinuses.

    Cavernous sinus thrombosis is a in an area at the base of the brain that contains a vein, which carries blood from the brain to the heart. This area is called the cavernous sinus.

  • Test

    CBC

    Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disease in which the red blood cells produce abnormal pigment (hemoglobin). The abnormal hemoglobin causes deformity of the red blood cells into crescent or sickle-shapes, as seen in this photomicrograph.

    A complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following: The number of red blood cells () The number of white blood cells () The total amount of in the blood The fraction of the blood composed of red blood cells () The CBC test also provides information about the following measurements: Average ...

  • Test

    CEA blood test

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    The CEA test measures the level of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in the blood. CEA is a protein normally found in the tissue of a developing baby in the womb. The blood level of this protein disappears or becomes very low after birth. In adults, an abnormal level of CEA may be a sign of cancer.

  • Poison

    Cedar leaf oil poisoning

    Cedar leaf oil is a sweet-smelling oil made from some types of cedar trees. Cedar leaf oil poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance. Young children who smell the oil may try to drink it. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison ...

  • Nutrition

    Celiac disease - nutritional considerations

    Celiac sprue is an inflammatory condition caused by intolerance to gluten, a substance found in wheat and other grains. The inability to digest and process this substances may lead to inflammation of the intestines, vitamin deficiencies due to lack of absorption of nutrients, and bowel abnormalities. Gluten may be found in many foods, especially processed foods and baked goods. Breads, cakes, desserts that use thickeners, alcoholic beverages (except wine), cereals and pastas may all contain gluten.

    is an immune disorder passed down through families. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, or sometimes oats. It may also be found in some medicines. When a person with celiac disease eats or drinks anything containing gluten, the immune system responds by damaging the lining of the ...

  • Special Topic

    Celiac disease - resources

    
Counselors sometimes work with a group of people (support group) to help identify problem issues and direct members towards understanding and personal wellness.

  • Disease

    Celiac disease - sprue

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Celiac disease is a condition that creates inflammation in the small intestine, and damage in the lining. This prevents important components of food from being absorbed. The damage to the lining of the intestine comes from a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, and possibly oats.

  • Special Topic

    Cell phones and cancer

    Several major studies show no link between cell phones and cancer at this time. However, since the information available is based on short-term studies, the impact of many years of exposure is not known. The amount of time people spend on cell phones has increased and will be taken into ...

  • Special Topic

    Cellulite

    The fat layer of skin is located in the subcutaneous layer of tissue called the hypodermis. The thickness of the fat layer, which varies greatly from one person to another, depends on the size and number of fat cells.

    Cellulite is fat that collects in pockets just below the surface of the skin. It forms around the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Cellulite deposits cause the skin to look dimpled.

  • Disease

    Cellulitis

    Cellulitis is a noncontagious inflammation of the connective tissue of the skin, resulting from a bacterial infection. Antibiotics are given to control infection, and analgesics may be needed to control pain. Within 7 to 10 days of treatment cellulitis can be cured.

    Cellulitis is a common skin infection caused by bacteria.

  • Poison

    Centipede

    This article describes the effects of a centipede bite. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at ...

  • Special Topic

    Central line infections - hospitals

    Central line-associated bloodstream infection; CLABSI; Peripherally inserted central catheter – infection; PICC – infection; Central venous catheter – infection; CVC – infection; Central venous device – infection

  • Special Topic

    Central nervous system

    The spinal cord and its peripheral nerves are protected by the vertebral column, a stack of bones which surround and provide support. Between the vertebrae is a fluid-filled disk.

    The central nervous system is composed of the brain and spinal cord. Your brain and spinal cord serve as the main “processing center” for the entire nervous system, and control all the workings of your body.

  • Disease

    Central pontine myelinolysis

    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

    Central pontine myelinolysis is brain cell dysfunction caused by the destruction of the layer () covering nerve cells in the middle of the brainstem (pons).

  • Disease

    Central serous choroidopathy

    The retina is the internal layer of the eye that receives and transmits focused images. The retina is normally red due to its rich blood supply.

    Central serous choroidopathy is a disease that causes fluid to build up under the , the back part of the inner eye that sends sight information to the brain. The fluid leaks from the blood vessel layer under the retina. This area is called the choroid.

  • Disease

    Central sleep apnea

    is a sleep disorder in which breathing stops over and over during sleep.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Central venous catheter - dressing change

    Central venous access device – dressing change; CVAD – dressing change

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Central venous catheter - flushing

    Central venous access device – care; CVAD – care

  • Special Topic

    Central venous line - infants

    Central venous catheter

    A cental venous line (CVL) is a long, soft plastic tube, called a catheter, which is placed into a large vein in the chest. WHY IS A CVL USED? The main reason for a CVL is to deliver nutrients to a baby for a long period of time. It is most often used when attempts to place a percutaneous inserted ...

  • Disease

    Cerebral amyloid angiopathy

    Amyloidosis refers to the extracellular deposition of a protein called amyloid. This protein deposition can affect multiple organs. The deposition of amyloid may be a by-product of normal aging, or may occur with several other conditions. In this picture, we see how amyloidosis can affect the skin as nodular deposits on the fingers.

    Cerebral amyloid angiopathy is a neurological condition in which proteins called amyloid build up on the walls of the arteries in the brain. The condition increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and dementia.

  • Test

    Cerebral angiography

    The major areas of the brain have one or more specific functions.

    Cerebral angiography is a procedure that uses a special dye (contrast material) and x-rays to see how blood flows through the brain.

  • Disease

    Cerebral hypoxia

    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

    Cerebral hypoxia occurs when there is not enough oxygen getting to the brain. The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to function. Cerebral hypoxia refers to the outer part of the brain, an area called the cerebral hemisphere. However, the term is often used to refer to a lack of ...

  • Disease

    Cerebral palsy

    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

    Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that can involve brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. There are several different types of cerebral palsy, including spastic, dyskinetic, ataxic, hypotonic, and mixed.

  • Special Topic

    Cerebral palsy - resources

    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

  • Test

    Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) collection

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear fluid that circulates in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. CSF protects the brain and spinal cord from injury by acting like a liquid cushion.  CSF is usually obtained through a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).  During the procedure, a needle is inserted usually between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae and the CSF fluid is collected for testing.

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection is a test to look at the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. CSF acts as a cushion, protecting the brain and spine from injury. The fluid is normally clear. The test is also used to measure pressure in the spinal fluid. See also:

  • Test

    Cerebrospinal fluid culture

    This picture shows the organism Pneumococci.  These bacteria are usually paired (diplococci) or appear in chains.  Pneumococci are typically associated with pneumonia, but may cause infection in other organs such as the brain (pneumococcal meningitis) and blood stream (pneumococcal septicemia).  (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    A cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture is a laboratory test to look for bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the normally clear fluid that moves in the space around the spinal cord.

  • Special Topic

    Certified nurse-midwife

  • Test

    Ceruloplasmin

    Ceruloplasmin is a copper-containing protein. This article discusses the test to measure the level of this protein in the clear liquid part of the blood (serum).

  • Disease

    Cervical cancer

    The cold cone biopsy is a surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia and is indicated by the presence of precancerous changes in the cervix.

    Cervical cancer is cancer that starts in the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens at the top of the vagina.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Cervical cancer - screening and prevention

    A Pap test is a simple, relatively inexpensive procedure that can easily detect cancerous or precancerous conditions.

    is cancer that starts in the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens at the top of the vagina. There is a lot you can do to decrease your chance of having cervical cancer. Also, tests done by your health care provider can find early changes that may lead to cancer or ...

  • Disease

    Cervical dysplasia

    External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

    Cervical dysplasia refers to abnormal changes in the cells on the surface of the . The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens at the top of the vagina. The changes are not cancer. But they can lead to cancer of the cervix if not treated.

  • Test

    Cervical MRI scan

    A cervical MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan uses energy from strong magnets to create pictures of the part of the spine that runs through the neck area (cervical spine). MRI does not use radiation (x-rays). Single images are called slices. The images can be stored on a computer or printed on ...

  • Disease

    Cervical polyps

    External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

    Cervical polyps are fingerlike growths on the lower part of the uterus that connects with the vagina ().

  • Test

    Cervical spine CT scan

    A computed tomography (CT) scan of the cervical spine makes cross-sectional pictures of the neck. It uses x-rays to create the images.

  • Disease

    Cervical spondylosis

    Cervical spondylosis is a disorder that results from abnormal growth of the bones of the neck and degeneration and mineral deposits in the cushions between the vertebrae. Progressive neck pain is a key indication of cervical spondylosis. It may be the only symptom in many cases. Examination often shows limited ability to bend the head toward the shoulders and limited ability to rotate the head.  The goal of treatment is relief of pain and prevention of permanent spinal cord and nerve root injury.

    Cervical spondylosis is a disorder in which there is abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones of the neck (cervical vertebrae). It is a common cause of chronic neck pain.

  • Disease

    Cervicitis

    External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

    Cervicitis is swelling (inflammation) of the end of the uterus ().

  • Special Topic

    Cervix

    External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

  • Surgery

    Cervix cryosurgery

    External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

    Cervix cryosurgery is a surgical treatment to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue in the .

  • Special Topic

    Chafing

    Chafing of the skin refers to red sore skin that has been irritated by something continuously rubbing against it.  Wear appropriate clean clothes for activities like sports or exercise to avoid chafing.  If chafing occurs, use petroleum jelly or talcum powder as a lubricant on the affected areas of the skin to temporarily alleviate the irritation.

    Chafing is skin irritation that occurs where skin rubs against skin, clothing, or other material.

  • Disease

    Chagas disease

    Triatomid, the kissing bug, can carry Chagas' disease (American trypanosomiasis). (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Chagas disease is an illness spread by insects. It is common in South and Central America.

  • Disease

    Chalazion

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    A chalazion is a small bump in the eyelid caused by a blockage of a tiny oil gland.

  • Disease

    Chancroid

    The male and female reproductive systems, viewed from a mid-sagittal section.

    Chancroid is a bacterial infection that is spread only through sexual contact.

  • Special Topic

    Changes in the newborn at birth

    Changes in the newborn at birth refer to the changes an infant’s body undergoes to adapt to life outside the womb.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Changing your ostomy pouch

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Changing your urostomy pouch

    Urinary pouch; Urinary appliance

  • Special Topic

    Chapped hands

    Chapped hands can be sore and painful. Chapped hands may be soothed by the use of moisturizing lotions and the avoidance of excess exposure to water.  If hands become badly chapped, hydrocortisone creams (available over the counter) can be used to help heal and soothe dry skin.

  • Special Topic

    Chapped lips

    Dry chapped lips can occur in cold and even warm weather.  To avoid chapped lips, use a lip balm with sunscreen when outside in any weather. To soothe dry chapped lips treat with beeswax and phenol (such as Carmex).

  • Disease

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a group of disorders passed down through families that affect the nerves outside the brain and spine. These are called the peripheral nerves.

  • Disease

    Charley horse

    A charley horse is the common name for a muscle spasm. Muscle spasms can occur in any muscle in the body, but often happen in the leg. When a muscle is in spasm, it contracts without your control and does not relax.

  • Disease

    Chediak-Higashi syndrome

    Chediak-Higashi syndrome is a rare disease of the immune and nervous systems that involves pale-colored hair, eyes, and skin.

  • Injury

    Chemical burn or reaction

    The depth of a burn determines its severity. First degree burns damage the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and cause pain, redness and swelling (erythema). Second degree burns damage the epidermis and the inner layer, the dermis, causing erythema and blistering. Damage from third degree burns extend into the hypodermis, causing destruction of the full thickness of skin with its nerve supply (numbness). Third degree burns leave scars and may cause loss of function and/or sensation.

    Chemicals that touch skin can lead to a reaction on the skin, throughout the body, or both.

  • Special Topic

    Chemical dependence - resources

  • Disease

    Chemical pneumonitis

    Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.

    Chemical pneumonitis is inflammation of the lungs or due to inhaling chemical fumes or breathing in and choking on certain chemicals.

  • Symptoms

    Chemosis

    Chemosis is swelling of the eye surface membranes because of accumulation of fluid.  This symptom is often related to an allergic response. Over-the-counter antihistamines, and a cool cloth placed over the eyes, are usually used to try to alleviate the symptoms.

    Chemosis is swelling of the tissue that lines the eyelids and surface of the eye (conjunctiva).

  • Special Topic

    Chemotherapy

    The immune system protects the body from potentially harmful substances. The inflammatory response (inflammation) is part of innate immunity. It occurs when tissues are injured by bacteria, trauma, toxins, heat or any other cause.

    Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, and cancer cells. Most commonly, the term is used to refer to cancer-killing drugs. This article focuses on cancer chemotherapy.The goal of chemotherapy is to:The correct answer is all of the above. Chemotherapy refers to ...

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Chemotherapy - what to ask your doctor

    You are having chemotherapy, medicines used to kill cancer cells. You may receive chemotherapy by mouth, by injection under the skin, through an intravenous (IV) line. Your doctor or nurse may need to follow you closely while you are having chemotherapy. You will also need to learn how to care for ...

  • Disease

    Cherry angioma

    The skin is the largest organ of the body.  The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection.  It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature.  The skin contains secretions that can kill bacteria and the pigment melanin provides a chemical pigment defense against ultraviolet light that can damage skin cells.  Another important function of the skin is body temperature regulation. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis constrict. This allows the blood which is warm, to bypass the skin.  The skin then becomes the temperature of the cold it is exposed to.  Body heat is conserved since the blood vessels are not diverting heat to the skin anymore.  Among its many functions the skin is an incredible organ always protecting the body from external agents.

    A cherry angioma is a noncancerous (benign) skin growth made up of blood vessels.

  • Test

    Chest MRI

    MRI scans

    A chest MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the chest, or thoracic, area. It does not use radiation (x-rays). See also:

  • Symptoms

    Chest pain

    Symptoms of a possible heart attack include chest pain and pain that radiates down the shoulder and arm. Some people (the elderly, people with diabetes, and women) may have little or no chest pain. Or, they may experience unusual symptoms (shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness).Women are more likely than men to have symptoms of nausea, vomiting, back or jaw pain, and shortness of breath with chest pain.

    Chest pain is discomfort or pain that you feel anywhere along the front of your body between your neck and upper abdomen.

  • Test

    Chest tomogram

    The abdomen is the area of the body between the chest and pelvis. Some of the large internal organs comprised in this area are the liver, stomach, kidneys, and intestines.

    A chest tomogram is a picture of the chest area created by moving the x-ray machine in one direction while moving the recording film the other way. This method blurs structures in front of and behind the area of the chest being studied. This allows for a more detailed view of a specific level within ...

  • Surgery

    Chest tube insertion

    A chest tube is used to remove fluid from the space between the lungs and the wall of the chest. The tube is placed between the ribs and into the space between the inner lining and the outer lining of the lung (pleural space).

    A chest tube is a hollow, flexible tube in the chest. It acts like a drain. Chest tubes drain blood, fluid, or air from around your lungs. This allows your lungs to fully expand. The tube is placed between your ribs and into the space between the inner lining and the outer lining of your lung. This ...

  • Test

    Chest x-ray

    This chest x-ray shows adenocarcinoma of the lung. There is a rounded light spot in the right upper lung (left side of the picture) at the level of the second rib. The light spot has irregular and poorly defined borders and is not uniform in density. Diseases that may cause this type of x-ray result would be tuberculous or fungal granuloma, and malignant or benign tumors.

    A chest x-ray is an of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm.

  • Special Topic

    Chicken soup and sickness

    Chicken soup is believed to contain an amino acid that is similar to a drug used to treat some respiratory infections.

  • Disease

    Chickenpox

    This picture shows chickenpox lesions on the chest. A vaccine for chickenpox has been approved for use in the United States. Chickenpox remains a common infectious disease, and most people are familiar with its appearance. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Chickenpox is a viral infection in which a person develops extremely itchy blisters all over the body. It used to be one of the classic childhood diseases. However, it has become much less common since the introduction of the chickenpox vaccine.

  • Special Topic

    Chickenpox (varicella) vaccine - what you need to know

    All content below is taken in its entirety from the CDC Chickenpox Vaccine Information Statement (VIS): http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/varicella.html CDC review information for Chickenpox VIS: Page last reviewed: June 18, 2013 Page last updated: June 18, 2013 Issue date of VIS: ...

  • Special Topic

    Chickenpox vaccine

    This picture shows chickenpox lesions on the chest. A vaccine for chickenpox has been approved for use in the United States. Chickenpox remains a common infectious disease, and most people are familiar with its appearance. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    The chickenpox vaccine protects against . This is a disease that causes a rash, blisters, and fever. Chickenpox is also called varicella.

  • Disease

    Chiggers

    Chigger bites are caused by the larvae of the chigger. The bite produces blisters (vesicles) and bleeding into the skin (purpura). These bites itch intensely and are usually located on exposed areas of the skin where the chigger larvae have access. This photograph demonstrates vesicle formation following the bites.

    Chiggers are tiny, six-legged wingless organisms (larvae) that grow up to become a type of mite. Chiggers are found in tall grass and weeds. Their bite causes severe itching.

  • Disease

    Child abuse - physical

    Physical child abuse or non-accidental child trauma refers to fractures and other signs of injury that occur when a child is hurt in anger. The physical signs of child abuse used to be called battered child syndrome. This syndrome referred to many fractures that occurred at different times in ...

  • Disease

    Child abuse - sexual

    Child sexual abuse is the deliberate exposure of minor children to sexual activity. This means a child is forced or talked into sex or sexual activities by another person. Such abuse includes: Oral sex Pornography Sexual intercourse Touching (fondling)

  • Disease

    Child neglect and psychological abuse

    Child neglect (also called psychological abuse) is a form of child abuse that occurs when someone intentionally does not provide a child with food, water, shelter, clothing, medical care, or other necessities. Other forms of child neglect include: Allowing the child to witness violence or severe ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Child safety seats

    A rear-facing car seat position is recommended for a child who is very young. Extreme injury can occur in an accident because of the immaturity of the bones and ligaments in the neck if the child is facing forward. In a frontal crash a child's head and neck are subjected to great force as the body is strapped in place and the head and neck are pulled away from the body. The head and legs of the child are thrown forward like a rag doll and extreme forces are put on the spinal cord of the child.  In a frontal crash a rear-facing car seat is best, because it cradles the head, neck, and back of the child causing less injury. Therefore, the rear-facing position is recommended for as long as possible for very young children.

    Child car seats; Infant car seats; Car seats; Car safety seats

  • Disease

    Childhood disintegrative disorder

    
Motormental disability in children is generally related to significant central nervous system damage or abnormality. It refers both to lack of intellectual development and motor development. There can be various degrees of intellectual disability, and failure to meet various normal developmental milestones.

    Childhood disintegrative disorder is a condition in which children develop normally through age 3 or 4. Then, over a few months, children lose language, motor, social, and other skills that they already learned.

  • Symptoms

    Chills

    Chills refers to feeling cold after an exposure to a cold environment. The word can also refer to an episode of shivering along with paleness and feeling cold.

  • Surgery

    Chin augmentation

    A chin augmentation is a surgical procedure to reshape or enhance the size of the chin. It may be done either by inserting an implant or by moving or reshaping bones.

  • Disease

    Chinese restaurant syndrome

    Allergic reaction can be provoked by skin contact with poison plants, chemicals and animal scratches, as well as by insect stings. Ingesting or inhaling substances like pollen, animal dander, molds and mildew, dust, nuts and shellfish, may also cause allergic reaction. Medications such as penicillin and other antibiotics are also to be taken with care, to assure an allergic reflex is not triggered.

    Chinese restaurant syndrome is a collection of symptoms that some people have after eating Chinese food. A food additive called monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been blamed, but it has not been proven to be the substance that causes this condition.

  • Special Topic

    Chiropractor profession

  • Disease

    Chlamydia

    Antigens are large molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and some non-living substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles. The immune system recognizes antigens and produces antibodies that destroy substances containing antigens.

    Chlamydia is an infection caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. It is most commonly sexually transmitted.

  • Disease

    Chlamydia infections in women

    External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

    Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). This means chlamydia is passed from one person to another during sexual contact.

  • Disease

    Chlamydial urethritis - male

    The male reproductive structures include the penis, the scrotum, the seminal vesicles and the prostate.

    Chlamydial urethritis is a sexually transmitted illness involving infection of the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder).

  • Poison

    Chlordiazepoxide overdose

    Chlordiazepoxide is a prescription medication used to treat certain anxiety disorders and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Chlordiazepoxide occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for ...

  • Test

    Chloride - urine test

    The urinary system is made up of the kidneys, ureters, urethra and bladder.

    The urine chloride test measures the amount of chloride in urine.

  • Nutrition

    Chloride in diet

    Chloride is found in many chemicals and other substances in the body. It is an important part of the salt found in many foods and used in cooking.

  • Test

    Chloride test - blood

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    Chloride is a type of . It works with other electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and carbon dioxide (CO2). These substances help keep the proper balance of body fluids and maintain the body’s acid-base balance. This article is about the laboratory test used to measure the amount of chloride ...

  • Poison

    Chlorinated lime poisoning

    Chlorinated lime is a white powder used for bleaching or disinfecting. Chlorinated lime poisoning occurs when someone swallows chlorinated lime. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your ...

  • Poison

    Chlorine poisoning

    Chlorine is a chemical that prevents bacteria from growing. Chlorine poisoning occurs when someone swallows or breathes in (inhales) chlorine. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local ...

  • Poison

    Chlorophyll

    Chlorophyll is the chemical that makes plants green. Chlorophyll poisoning occurs when someone swallows a large amount of this substance. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local ...

  • Poison

    Chlorpromazine overdose

    Chlorpromazine is a prescription medication used to treat psychotic disorders. It may also be used for other reasons, such as preventing nausea and vomiting. Chlorpromazine occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. Use of ...

  • Disease

    Choanal atresia

    Choanal atresia is a narrowing or blockage of the nasal airway by tissue. It is a congenital condition, meaning it is present at birth.

  • Injury

    Choking - adult or child over 1 year

    Choking is when someone can’t breathe because food, a toy, or other object is blocking the airway (throat or windpipe).

  • Injury

    Choking - infant under 1 year

    Choking is when someone can’t breathe because food, a toy, or other object is blocking the airway (throat or windpipe). This article discusses choking in infants.

  • Injury

    Choking - unconscious adult or child over 1 year

    Choking is when someone cannot breathe because food, a toy, or other object is blocking the throat or windpipe (airway). This article discusses choking in adults or children over age 1 who have lost alertness (are unconscious).

  • Disease

    Cholangiocarcinoma

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancerous (malignant) growth in one of the ducts that carries from the liver to the small intestine.

  • Disease

    Cholangitis

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Cholangitis is an infection of the common bile duct, the tube that carries from the liver to the gallbladder and intestines. Bile is a liquid made by the liver that helps digest food.

  • Disease

    Choledocholithiasis

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Choledocholithiasis is the presence of at least one gallstone in the common bile duct. The stone may be made up of pigments or calcium and cholesterol salts.

  • Disease

    Cholera

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that causes a large amount of watery diarrhea.

  • Disease

    Cholestasis

    The gallbladder is an organ that normally functions to store bile excreted from the liver. Bile is a solution composed of water, bile salts, lecithin, cholesterol and some other small solutes. Changes in the relative concentration of these components may cause precipitation from solution and formation of a nidus, or nest, around which gallstones are formed. Gallstones can become large and block the opening from the gallbladder or cystic duct. This produces pain in the right upper quadrant or midepigastrum (above the belly button) in the abdomen that feels like cramping.

    Cholestasis is any condition in which the flow of from the liver is slowed or blocked.

  • Disease

    Cholesteatoma

    The tympanic membrane is also called the eardrum.  It separates the outer ear from the middle ear.  When soundwaves reach the tympanic membrane they cause it to vibrate.  The vibrations are then transferred to the tiny bones in the middle ear. The middle ear bones then transfer the vibrating signals to the inner ear. The tympanic membrane is made up of a thin connective tissue membrane covered by skin on the outside and mucosa on the internal surface.

    Cholesteatoma is a type of skin located in the middle ear and skull bone (mastoid).

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Cholesterol - drug treatment

    Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that is present in all parts of the body including the nervous system, skin, muscle, liver, intestines, and heart. It is made by the body and obtained from animal products in the diet.  Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and is needed for normal body functions including the production of hormones, bile acid, and Vitamin D.  Excessive cholesterol in the blood contributes to atherosclerosis and subsequent heart disease. The risk of developing heart disease or atherosclerosis increases as the level of blood cholesterol increases.

    Hyperlipidemia – drug treatment

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Cholesterol - what to ask your doctor

    A heart attack or stroke may occur when an area of plaque (atherosclerosis) ruptures and a clot forms over the location, blocking the flow of blood to the organ's tissues.

    Your body needs cholesterol to work properly. When you have extra cholesterol in your blood, it builds up inside the walls of your arteries (blood vessels), including the ones that go to your heart. This buildup is called plaque. Plaque narrows your arteries and slows or stops the blood flow. This ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Cholesterol and lifestyle

    Saturated fats are found predominantly in animal products such as meat and dairy products, and are strongly associated with higher cholesterol levels. Tropical oils such as palm, coconut, and coconut butter, are also high in saturated fats.

  • Test

    Cholinesterase - blood

    During a cholinestrase test, a needle is inserted into a vein and blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. The sample is taken to the laboratory for evaluation. The lab evaluates the enzymes acetylcholinesterase and pseudocholinesterase, which act to break down acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a critical chemical in the transmission of nerve impulses.

    Serum cholinesterase is a blood test that looks at levels of two substances that help the nervous system work properly. They are called acetylcholinesterase and pseudocholinesterase. Your nerves need these substances to send signals. Acetylcholinesterase is found in nerve tissue and red blood cells. ...

  • Special Topic

    Choosing a primary care provider

    A primary care provider can allow you to establish a trusting relationship with one medical professional over time and maintain continuity in your personal health care. Working as a team you and your primary care physician can work towards preventive health care and follow the best measures needed to achieve and maintain your personal health.

    A primary care provider (PCP) is a health care practitioner who sees people that have common medical problems. This person is usually a doctor, but may be a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner. Your PCP is often involved in your care for a long time, so it is important to select someone with ...

  • Special Topic

    Choosing effective patient education materials

  • Special Topic

    Choosing the right doctor and hospital

  • Special Topic

    Choosing the right health care provider for pregnancy and childbirth

  • Disease

    Choriocarcinoma

    Choriocarcinoma is a quick-growing form of cancer that occurs in a woman’s uterus (womb). The abnormal cells start in the tissue that would normally become the placenta, the organ that develops during pregnancy to feed the fetus. Choriocarcinoma is a type of gestational trophoblastic disease.

  • Test

    Chorionic villus sampling

    The chorion is the portion of fetal membrane that eventually forms the fetal side of the placenta. The chorion contains chorionic villi, which are small finger-like projections. These villi are snipped or suctioned off for study in the procedure. Since the chorionic villi are of fetal origin, examining samples of them can provide the genetic makeup of the fetus. This test is performed to identify congenital defects. Experts use the sample to study the DNA, chromosomes, and enzymes of the fetus. The test can be done before amniocentesis, about 10 to 12 weeks after a missed period.

    Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a test done on some pregnant women. The test is done to screen your baby for genetic problems.

  • Special Topic

    Choroid

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    The choroid is the layer of blood vessels and connective tissue between the (white of the eye) and . It is part of the and supplies nutrients to the inner parts of the eye. Inflammation of the choroid is called .

  • Disease

    Choroidal dystrophies

    The cornea allows light to enter the eye.  As light passes through the eye the iris changes shape by expanding and letting more light through or constricting and letting less light through to change pupil size.  The lens then changes shape to allow the accurate focusing of light on the retina.  Light excites photoreceptors that eventually, through a chemical process, transmit nerve signals through the optic nerve to the brain.  The brain processes these nerve impulses into sight.

    Choroidal dystrophy is an eye disorder involving a layer of blood vessels between the and called the . In most cases, choroidal dystrophy is due to an abnormal gene, which is passed down through families. It most often affects males, starting in childhood. The first symptoms are peripheral vision ...

  • Special Topic

    Chromatography

    Chromatography is a way of separating two or more chemical compounds, such as proteins. There are different kinds of chromatography such as gas, high pressure liquid, or ion exchange chromatography. In general, chromatography takes advantage of the differences in the chemicals you want to separate, ...

  • Test

    Chromium - blood test

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    Chromium is a mineral that affects insulin, carbohydrate, fat, and protein levels in the body. This article discusses the test to check the amount of chromium in your blood.

  • Nutrition

    Chromium in diet

    Chromium is an essential mineral that is not made by the body and must be obtained from the diet.

  • Special Topic

    Chromosome

    Humans have 46 chromosomes. There are a total of 23 pairs of chromosomes or 46 total chromosomes. Chromosomes are made up of long strands of DNA which contain all the body’s genes.

    Chromosomes are structures found in the center (nucleus) of cells that carry long pieces of DNA. DNA is the material that holds . It is the building block of the human body. Chromosomes also contain proteins that help DNA exist in the proper form.

  • Special Topic

    Chronic

    Acute conditions are severe and sudden in onset. This could describe anything from a broken bone to an asthma attack. A chronic condition, by contrast is a long-developing syndrome, such as osteoporosis or asthma. Note that osteoporosis, a chronic condition, may cause a broken bone, an acute condition. An acute asthma attack occurs in the midst of the chronic disease of asthma. Acute conditions, such as a first asthma attack, may lead to a chronic syndrome if untreated.

    Chronic refers to something that continues over an extended period of time. A chronic condition is usually long-lasting and does not easily or quickly go away. Chronic is the opposite of .

  • Disease

    Chronic cholecystitis

    This is a CT scan of the upper abdomen showing cholecystitis (gall stones).

    Chronic cholecystitis is swelling and irritation of the gallbladder that persists over time. The gallbladder is a sac located under the liver. It stores bile that is made in the liver. Bile helps the intestines digest fats.

  • Disease

    Chronic fatigue syndrome

    Chronic fatigue syndrome refers to severe, continued tiredness (). It is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions.

  • Special Topic

    Chronic fatigue syndrome - resources

  • Disease

    Chronic granulomatous disease

    Antigens are large molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and some non-living substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles. The immune system recognizes antigens and produces antibodies that destroy substances containing antigens.

    Chronic granulomatous disease is an inherited disorder in which immune system cells called phagocytes do not function properly. This leads to ongoing and severe infection.

  • Disease

    Chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy

    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

    Chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy involves nerve swelling and irritation (inflammation) that leads to a loss of strength or sensation.

  • Disease

    Chronic kidney disease

    The kidneys are responsible for removing wastes from the body, regulating electrolyte balance and blood pressure, and stimulating red blood cell production.

    Chronic kidney disease is the slow loss of kidney function over time. The main job of the kidneys is to remove wastes and excess water from the body.

  • Disease

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

    A small amount of bone marrow is removed during a bone marrow aspiration.  The procedure is uncomfortable, but can be tolerated by both children and adults.  The marrow can be studied to determine the cause of anemia, the presence of leukemia or other malignancy, or the presence of some "storage diseases" in which abnormal metabolic products are stored in certain bone marrow cells.

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is cancer of a type of white blood cells called lymphocytes. These cells are found in the bone marrow and other parts of the body. Bone marrow is the soft tissue in the center of bones that helps form all blood cells. CLL causes a slow increase in a certain type of ...

  • Disease

    Chronic motor tic disorder

    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

    Chronic motor tic disorder is a condition that involves quick, uncontrollable movements or vocal outbursts (but not both).

  • Disease

    Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)

    A small amount of bone marrow is removed during a bone marrow aspiration.  The procedure is uncomfortable, but can be tolerated by both children and adults.  The marrow can be studied to determine the cause of anemia, the presence of leukemia or other malignancy, or the presence of some "storage diseases" in which abnormal metabolic products are stored in certain bone marrow cells.

    Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is that starts inside bone marrow. This is the soft tissue in the center of bones that helps form all blood cells. CML causes an uncontrolled growth of immature cells that make a certain type of white blood cell called myeloid cells. The diseased cells build up in ...

  • Disease

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    Spirometry is a painless study of air volume and flow rate within the lungs. Spirometry is frequently used to evaluate lung function in people with obstructive or restrictive lung diseases such as asthma or cystic fibrosis.

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. It makes it difficult to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD: Chronic bronchitis, which involves a long-term cough with mucus Emphysema, which involves destruction of the lungs over time Most people with COPD ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - control drugs

    COPD – control drugs

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - quick-relief drugs

    COPD – quick-relief drugs

  • Special Topic

    Chronic pain - resources

  • Disease

    Chronic pancreatitis

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Chronic pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve, gets worse over time, and leads to permanent damage.

  • Disease

    Chronic subdural hematoma

    A chronic subdural hematoma is an “old” collection of blood and blood breakdown products between the surface of the brain and its outermost covering (the dura). The chronic phase of a subdural hematoma begins several weeks after the first bleeding.

  • Disease

    Chronic thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s disease)

    This image shows enlargement of the thyroid gland and extension down behind the breastbone (retrosternal space). The image, called a scintiscan, was generated using a radioactive isotope.

    Chronic thyroiditis is swelling (inflammation) of the thyroid gland that often results in reduced thyroid function ().

  • Disease

    Chylomicronemia syndrome

    Hepatomegaly is enlargement of the liver beyond its normal size.  Certain conditions such as infection, parasites, tumors, anemias, toxic states, storage diseases, heart failure, congenital heart disease, and metabolic disturbances may all cause an enlarged liver.

    Chylomicronemia syndrome is a disorder passed down through families in which the body does not break down fats (lipids) correctly. This causes fat particles called chylomicrons to build up in the blood.

  • Special Topic

    Ciliary body

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    The ciliary body is the structure in the eye that releases a transparent liquid (called the aqueous humor) within the eye. The ciliary body also contains the ciliary muscle, which changes the shape of the lens when your eyes focus on something. This process is called accommodation.

  • Surgery

    Circumcision

    The foreskin is also known as the prepuce.  It is the loose fold of skin on the head of the penis.  The foreskin is the portion of tissue that is removed during circumcision.

    Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin of the .

  • Disease

    Cirrhosis

    Clubbing may result from chronic low blood-oxygen levels. This can be seen with cystic fibrosis, congenital cyanotic heart disease, and several other diseases. The tips of the fingers enlarge and the nails become extremely curved from front to back.

    Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver and poor liver function. It is the last stage of chronic liver disease.

  • Test

    Citric acid urine test

    The citric acid test measures citric acid in urine and is used to diagnose renal tubular acidosis and evaluate renal stone disease.

    Citric acid urine test measures the level of citric acid in urine.

  • Symptoms

    Claw foot

    Claw toe is a deformity of the foot in which the toes are pointed down and the arch is high, making the foot appear claw-like. Claw toe can be a condition from birth or develop as a consequence from other disorders.

    Claw foot is a deformity of the foot. The toe joint nearest the ankle is bent upward and the other toe joints are bent downward. The toe looks like a claw.

  • Symptoms

    Claw hand

    Claw hand is a hand characterized by curved or bent fingers, making the hand appear claw-like.

    Claw hand is a condition that causes curved or bent fingers. This makes the hand appear like the claw of an animal. See also:

  • Test

    Clean catch urine sample

    A clean catch is a method of collecting a urine sample to be tested. The clean-catch urine method is used to prevent germs from the penis or vagina from getting into a urine sample.

  • Special Topic

    Cleaning supplies and equipment

  • Special Topic

    Cleaning to prevent the spread of germs

    Disinfection procedures

  • Disease

    Cleft lip and palate

    Infant hard and soft palates

    Cleft lip and palate are birth defects that affect the upper lip and the roof of the mouth.

  • Surgery

    Cleft lip and palate repair

    Cleft lip and cleft palate repair is surgery to fix birth defects of the upper lip and palate (roof of the mouth).

  • Special Topic

    Cleft palate - resources

  • Disease

    Cleidocranial dysostosis

    Cleidocranial dysostosis is a disorder involving the abnormal development of bones in the skull and collar (clavicle) area. The condition is passed down through families (inherited).

  • Poison

    Clinitest tablets poisoning

    Clinitest poisoning occurs from swallowing tablets used to test how much blood sugar (glucose) is in a person’s urine. Doctors used to use these tablets to determine how well a person’s diabetes was being controlled. These tablets are rarely used today. They are not meant to be ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Clopidogrel (Plavix)

    A heart attack or stroke may occur when an area of plaque (atherosclerosis) ruptures and a clot forms over the location, blocking the flow of blood to the organ's tissues.

    Blood thinners – clopidogrel; Antiplatelet therapy – clopidogrel

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Closed reduction of a fractured bone

    Fracture reduction – closed

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Closed reduction of a fractured bone - aftercare

    Fracture reduction – closed – aftercare; Cast care

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Closed suction drain with bulb

    Jackson Pratt drain; JP drain

  • Poison

    Cloth dye poisoning

    Cloth dyes are chemicals used to color cloth. Cloth dye poisoning occurs when someone swallows large amounts of these substances. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency ...

  • Symptoms

    Cloudy cornea

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    A cloudy cornea is a loss of transparency of the cornea.

  • Symptoms

    Clubbing of the fingers or toes

    Clubbing may result from chronic low blood-oxygen levels. This can be seen with cystic fibrosis, congenital cyanotic heart disease, and several other diseases. The tips of the fingers enlarge and the nails become extremely curved from front to back.

    Clubbing is changes in the areas under and around the toenails and fingernails that occur with some disorders. The nails also show changes.

  • Disease

    Clubfoot

    Clubfoot is the most common congenital disorder of the lower extremity. One or both feet turn downward and inward. Genetic and environmental factors in the development of the fetus are the apparent causes.

    Clubfoot is when the foot turns inward and downward. It is a congenital condition, which means it is present at birth.

  • Surgery

    Clubfoot repair

    Clubfoot repair is surgery to correct a birth defect of the foot and ankle. See also:

  • Disease

    Cluster headache

    The major areas of the brain have one or more specific functions.

    A cluster headache is a type of headache. It is one-sided head pain that may involve tearing of the eyes and a stuffy nose. Attacks occur regularly for 1 week to 1 year. The attacks are separated by pain-free periods that last at least 1 month or longer. Cluster headaches may be confused with other ...

  • Disease

    CMV - gastroenteritis/colitis

    The gastrointestinal system is comprised of the stomach, and the small and large intestines.

    CMV gastroenteritis/colitis is inflammation of the stomach or intestine due to infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV). See also:

  • Disease

    CMV - pneumonia

    Cytomegalovirus is a large herpes-type virus commonly found in humans that can cause serious infections in people with impaired immunity. CMV pneumonia is treated with antiviral medications, which may stop the replication of the virus but will not destroy it.

    Cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can occur in people who have a suppressed immune system. See also:

  • Test

    CMV serology test

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    The CMV serology test determines the presence of to cytomegalovirus (CMV) in the blood.

  • Test

    CO2 blood test

    CO2 is carbon dioxide. This article discusses the laboratory test to measures the amount of carbon dioxide in the liquid part of your blood, called the serum. In the body, most of the CO2 is in the form of a substance called bicarbonate (HCO3-). Therefore, the CO2 blood test is really a measure of ...

  • Disease

    Coal worker's pneumoconiosis

    This chest x-ray shows coal worker's lungs. There are diffuse, small, light areas on both sides (1 to 3 mm) in all parts of the lungs. Diseases that may result in an x-ray like this include: simple coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP) - stage I, simple silicosis, miliary tuberculosis, histiocytosis X (eosinophilic granuloma), and other diffuse infiltrate pulmonary diseases.

    Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis is a lung disease that results from breathing in dust from coal, graphite, or man-made carbon over a long period of time.

  • Disease

    Coarctation of the aorta

    Coarctation of the aorta is a birth defect in which the aorta, the major artery from the heart, is narrowed. The narrowing results in high blood pressure before the point of coarctation and low blood pressure beyond the point of coarctation. Most commonly, coarctation is located so that there is high blood pressure in the upper body and arms and low blood pressure in the lower body and legs. Symptoms can include localized hypertension, cold feet or legs, decreased exercise performance, and heart failure.

    Aortic coarctation is a narrowing of part of the aorta (the major artery leading out of the heart). It is a type of birth defect. Coarctation means narrowing.

  • Poison

    Cobalt poisoning

    Cobalt is a naturally occurring element in the earth’s crust. It is a very small part of our environment and very small amounts are needed for many animals and humans to stay healthy. Cobalt poisoning can occur when you are exposed to large amounts of cobalt. There are three basic ways that cobalt ...

  • Disease

    Cocaine intoxication

    An electrocardiogram is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. This includes the rate and regularity of beats as well as the size and position of the chambers, any damage to the heart, and effects of drugs or devices to regulate the heart.

    Cocaine is an illegal stimulant drug that affects your central nervous system. It is derived from the Erythroxylum coca plant, which is found in abundance in Central America, South America, the West Indies, and Indonesia. It produces a sense of extreme joy by causing the brain to release higher than ...

  • Disease

    Cocaine withdrawal

    Cocaine withdrawal occurs when a heavy cocaine user cuts down or quits taking the drug. Complete abstinence and a serum drug level of zero are not required.

  • Test

    Coccidioides complement fixation

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    Coccidioides complement fixation is a blood test that looks for to the fungus Coccidioides immitis. This fungus causes the disease .

  • Test

    Coccidioides precipitin

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    Coccidioides precipitin is a blood test that looks for to the fungus Coccidioides immitis, which causes the disease .

  • Special Topic

    Cochlear implant

    Ear anatomy

    A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that helps people hear. It can be used for people who are deaf or very hard of hearing. A cochlear implant is not the same thing as a hearing aid because it is surgically implanted and works in a different way. There are many different types of ...

  • Poison

    Codeine overdose

    Codeine is a prescription painkiller. Codeine occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you ...

  • Symptoms

    Cold intolerance

    Cold intolerance is an abnormal sensitivity to a cold environment or cold temperatures.

  • Test

    Cold knife cone biopsy

    External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

    A cold knife cone biopsy (conization) is surgery to remove a sample of abnormal tissue from the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens at the top of the vagina. Abnormal changes in the cells on the surface of the cervix is called .

  • Poison

    Cold wave lotion poisoning

    Cold wave lotion is a hair care product used to create permanent waves (“a perm”). Cold wave lotion poisoning occurs from swallowing, breathing in, or touching cold wave lotion. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If ...

  • Special Topic

    Colds and flus - antibiotics

    Colds and flus are NOT cured by antibiotics.

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Colds and the flu - what to ask your doctor - adult

    Symptoms of the common cold are a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, headache, or other symptoms. Many different germs, called viruses, cause colds. The flu is an infection of the nose, throat, and (sometimes) lungs caused by the influenza ...

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Colds and the flu - what to ask your doctor - child

    Symptoms of the common cold are a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. Your child may also have a sore throat, cough, headache, or other symptoms. Many different germs, called viruses, cause colds. The flu is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by the influenza virus. Below are ...

  • Disease

    Colic and crying

    Colic is crying in a baby that lasts for longer than 3 hours a day and is not caused by a medical problem. Colic occurs in almost all babies to varying degrees. Almost all babies go through a fussy period.

  • Disease

    Colitis

    The large intestine (colon) absorbs most of the fluid from foods.

    Colitis is swelling (inflammation) of the large intestine (colon).

  • Disease

    Collagen vascular disease

    Red, thickened, scaly skin over the knuckles (Gottron's sign) associated with dermatomyositis, an autoimmune disease of the skin and muscles.

    Collagen vascular disease occurs when problems with the immune system affect collagen. Collagen is a tough, fiber-like protein that makes up about a third of body protein. It is part of the structure of tendons, bones, and connective tissues. In a class of diseases known as , the body’s immune ...

  • Disease

    Collapsed lung (Pneumothorax)

    Aortic rupture (a tear in the aorta, which is the major artery coming from the heart) can be seen on a chest x-ray. In this case, it was caused by a traumatic perforation of the thoracic aorta. This is how the x-ray appears when the chest is full of blood (right-sided hemothorax) seen here as cloudiness on the left side of the picture.

    A collapsed lung occurs when air escapes from the lung. The air then fills the space outside of the lung, between the lung and chest wall. This buildup of air puts pressure on the lung, so it cannot expand as much as it normally does when you take a breath. The medical name of this condition is ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Collateral ligament (CL) injury - aftercare

    The location of knee pain can help identify the problem. Pain on the front of the knee can be due to bursitis, arthritis, or softening of the patella cartilage as in chondromalacia patella. Pain on the sides of the knee is commonly related to injuries to the collateral ligaments, arthritis, or tears to the meniscuses. Pain in the back of the knee can be caused by arthritis or cysts, known as Baker’s cysts. Baker’s cysts are an accumulation of joint fluid (synovial fluid) that forms behind the knee. Overall knee pain can be due to bursitis, arthritis, tears in the ligaments, osteoarthritis of the joint, or infection.Instability, or giving way, is also another common knee problem. Instability is usually associated with damage or problems with the meniscuses, collateral ligaments, or patella tracking.

    Medial collateral ligament injury – aftercare; MCL injury – aftercare; lateral collateral ligament injury – aftercare; LCL injury – aftercare

  • Special Topic

    College students and the flu

    Every year, the flu spreads across college campuses nationwide. Close living quarters, shared restrooms, and a lot of social activities make a college student more likely to catch the flu. This article will give you information about the flu and college students. This is not a substitute for medical ...

  • Symptoms

    Coloboma of the iris

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    Coloboma of the iris is a hole or defect of the of the eye. Most colobomas are present since birth (congenital).

  • Poison

    Cologne poisoning

    Cologne is a scented liquid made from alcohol and essential oils. Cologne poisoning occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally swallows cologne. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call ...

  • Disease

    Colon cancer

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    Colon, or colorectal, cancer is cancer that starts in the large intestine (colon) or the rectum (end of the colon). Other types of cancer can affect the colon. These include , carcinoid tumors, , and sarcomas. These are rare. In this article, colon cancer refers to colon carcinoma only.

  • Special Topic

    Colon cancer - resources

  • Special Topic

    Colon cancer screening

    A barium enema in a patient with cancer of the large bowel (sigmoid area).

  • Test

    Colonoscopy

    A sample of colon tissue is obtained during a colonoscopy procedure using special instruments. The specimen is sent to the laboratory and fixed with special stains. The specimen is examined under the microscope for abnormal findings, such as cancer or inflammation..

    A colonoscopy is an exam that views the inside of the colon (large intestine) and rectum, using a tool called a colonoscope. The colonoscope has a small camera attached to a flexible tube that can reach the length of the colon.

  • Disease

    Color blindness

    Color blindness is the inability to see certain colors in the usual way.

  • Test

    Color vision test

    Color blindness is the inability to distinguish the differences between certain colors.  The most common type is red-green color blindness, where red and green are seen as the same color.  Usually Isihara (pseudoisochromatic) plates are used to test color vision. They are made of dot patterns composed of primary colors. These dot patterns represent a symbol that is superimposed on a background of randomly mixed colors.  The test can determine certain abnormalities in a person's color vision.

    A color vision test checks your ability to distinguish between different colors.

  • Disease

    Colorado tick fever

    Diseases are often carried by ticks, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, Lyme disease, and tularemia. Less common or less frequent diseases include typhus, Q-fever, relapsing fever, viral encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever, and babesiosis.

    Colorado tick fever is an viral infection spread by the bite of the Dermacentor andersoni wood tick.

  • Disease

    Colorectal polyps

    The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

    A colorectal polyp is a growth on the lining of the colon or rectum.

  • Surgery

    Colostomy

    Colostomy is a surgical procedure that brings one end of the large intestine out through an opening (stoma) made in the abdominal wall. Stools moving through the intestine drain through the stoma into a bag attached to the abdomen.

  • Test

    Colposcopy - directed biopsy

    External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

    A colposcopy is a special way of looking at the cervix. It uses a light and a low-powered microscope to make the cervix appear much larger. This helps your health care provider find and then abnormal areas in your cervix.

  • Symptoms

    Comedones

    Acne lesions frequently contain pus. This close-up photograph shows small acne pustules with surrounding inflammation (erythema).

    Comedones are small, flesh-colored, white, or dark bumps that give skin a rough texture. The bumps are caused by . They are found at the opening of a sebaceous follicle (pore).

  • Disease

    Common cold

    Structures of the throat include the esophagus, trachea, epiglottis and tonsils.

    The common cold usually causes a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, headache, or other symptoms.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Common cold - how to treat at home

  • Disease

    Common peroneal nerve dysfunction

    Common peroneal nerve dysfunction is a disorder characterized by loss of movement or sensation of the foot and leg caused by damage to the peroneal nerve.

    Common peroneal nerve dysfunction is damage to the peroneal nerve leading to loss of movement or sensation in the foot and leg.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Common symptoms during pregnancy

  • Special Topic

    Communicating with patients

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Communicating with someone with aphasia

  • Disease

    Compartment syndrome

    The median nerve travels through a compartment called the carpal tunnel in the wrist.  The ligaments that transverse the nerve are not very flexible. If there is any swelling within the wrist compartment excessive pressure can be put on structures such as the blood vessels and the median nerve. Excessive pressure can constrict bloodflow and cause nerve damage.  The symptoms from the compression causes pain, loss of sensation, and decreased function in the hand.

    Compartment syndrome is a serious condition that involves increased pressure in a muscle compartment. It can lead to muscle and nerve damage and problems with blood flow.

  • Poison

    Compazine overdose

    Compazine is a drug used to treat severe nausea and vomiting. Compazine occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If ...

  • Test

    Complement

    Complement is a blood test that measures the activity of certain proteins in the liquid portion of your blood. The complement system is a group of proteins that move freely through your bloodstream. The proteins work with your immune system and play a role in the development of inflammation. There ...

  • Test

    Complement component 3 (C3)

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    Complement C3 is a blood test that measures the activity of a certain protein that is part of the complement system. The complement system is a group of proteins that move freely through your bloodstream. The proteins work with your immune system and play a role in the development of ...

  • Test

    Complement component 4

    Complement component 4 is a blood test that measures the activity of a certain protein that is part of the complement system. The complement system is a group of proteins that move freely through your bloodstream. The proteins work with your immune system and play a role in the development of ...

  • Test

    Complement fixation test to C. burnetii

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    The complement fixation test to C. burnetii is used to detect the presence of to Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii) bacteria in the blood. These highly infectious bacteria cause .

  • Disease

    Complex regional pain syndrome

    Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that can affect any area of the body, but often affects an arm or a leg.

  • Test

    Comprehensive metabolic panel

    A comprehensive metabolic panel is a group of blood tests. They provide an overall picture of your body’s chemical balance and metabolism. Metabolism refers to all the physical and chemical processes in the body that use energy.

  • Disease

    Compression fractures of the back

    In a compression fracture the body of the bone tissue of the vertebra collapses.  This can occur because of trauma or a disease process such as osteoporosis or a tumor.

    Compression fractures of the back are broken vertebrae. Vertabrae are the bones of the spine.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Compression stockings

    Compression hose; Pressure stockings; Support stockings; Gradient stockings

  • Special Topic

    Concomitant

    Concomitant means occurring during the same time period. It usually refers to secondary symptoms that occur with a main symptom.

  • Disease

    Concussion

    The major areas of the brain have one or more specific functions.

    A concussion may occur when the head hits an object, or a moving object strikes the head. A concussion is a minor or less severe type of brain injury, which may also be also called a traumatic brain injury. A concussion can affect how the brain works for awhile. It may lead to a bad headache, ...

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Concussion - what to ask your doctor - adult

    You have had a concussion. This is a mild brain injury. It can affect how your brain works for a while. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you take care of your concussion.

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Concussion - what to ask your doctor - child

    Your child has a mild brain injury (concussion). This can affect how your child’s brain works for a while. Your child may have lost consciousness for a while. Your child also may have a bad headache. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you take care of your ...

  • Special Topic

    Condoms - male

    The organs of the normal male reproductive system.

    A condom is a thin cover worn on the penis during intercourse. Using a condom will help prevent: Female partners from becoming pregnant Getting an infection spread through sexual contact, or from giving one to your partner. These infections include herpes, , , , and warts can also be purchased.

  • Disease

    Conduct disorder

    Conduct disorder is a set of ongoing emotional and behavioral problems that occurs in children and teens. Problems may involve defiant or impulsive behavior, drug use, or criminal activity.

  • Symptoms

    Confusion

    Head injury can occur when the head and neck is thrown violently such as in an accident. This type of head injury can also cause injury to the brain by causing it to rebound in the skull. As a result the brain may bleed, swell, and dangerously increase in pressure.

    Confusion is the inability to think as clearly or quickly as you normally do. You may feel disoriented and have difficulty paying attention, remembering, and making decisions.

  • Disease

    Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

    Aldosterone is a hormone released by the adrenal glands. It is part of the complex mechanism used by the body to regulate blood pressure. Aldosterone increases the reabsorption of sodium and the excretion of potassium in the distal tubules of the kidneys. The reabsorption of sodium is accompanied by the reabsorption of water, which raises blood pressure.

    Congenital adrenal hyperplasia refers to a group of inherited disorders of the .

  • Disease

    Congenital afibrinogenemia

    Congenital afibrinogenemia is a rare, inherited blood disorder in which the blood does not normally. It occurs when there is a complete lack (deficiency) of a protein called fibrinogen, which is needed for the blood to clot.

  • Disease

    Congenital antithrombin III deficiency

    Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) affects mainly the veins in the lower leg and the thigh. It involves the formation of a clot (thrombus) in the larger veins of the area.

    Congenital antithrombin III deficiency is a disorder that causes the blood to clot more than normal.

  • Disease

    Congenital cataract

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    A congenital is a clouding of the lens of the eye that is present at birth. The lens of the eye is normally clear. It focuses light that comes into the eye onto the .

  • Disease

    Congenital cytomegalovirus

    Congenital cytomegalovirus is caused when an infected mother passes the virus to the fetus through the placenta. The infant is characteristically born with a rash, a large spleen or liver, jaundice, inflammation of the retina, and a small head.

    Congenital cytomegalovirus is a group of symptoms that occur when an infant is infected with the cytomegalovirus (CMV) before birth.

  • Surgery

    Congenital heart defect - corrective surgery

    The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

    Congenital heart defect corrective surgery fixes or treats a heart defect that a child is born with. A baby born with one or more heart defects has . Surgery is needed if the defect is dangerous to the child’s health or well-being.

  • Disease

    Congenital heart disease

    The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

    Congenital heart disease is a problem with the heart’s structure and function that is present at birth.

  • Disease

    Congenital nephrotic syndrome

    The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    Congenital nephrotic syndrome is a disorder passed down through families in which a baby develops and swelling of the body. Congenital means it is present from birth. However, this group of disorders also includes nephrotic syndrome that occurs in the first 3 months of life. See also:

  • Disease

    Congenital platelet function defects

    Blood clots (fibrin clots) are the clumps that result when blood coagulates.

    Congenital platelet function defects are problems with platelets, one of the blood elements needed for normal blood clotting. Congenital means present from birth.

  • Disease

    Congenital protein C or S deficiency

    Blood clots (fibrin clots) are the clumps that result when blood coagulates.

    Congenital protein C or S deficiency is a lack of proteins C or S in the fluid part of the blood. The proteins are natural substances that help prevent blood clots.

  • Disease

    Congenital rubella

    Rubella is often called three-day measles.  Because of the very effective vaccine, rubella is seldom seen today.  The rubella vaccine is given in combination with measles (rubeola) and mumps.  (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Congenital rubella is a condition that occurs in an infant whose mother is infected with the virus that causes German measles.

  • Disease

    Congenital spherocytic anemia

    Blood is comprised of red blood cells, platelets, and various white blood cells.

    Congenital spherocytic anemia is a disorder of the surface layer (membrane) of red blood cells. It leads to red blood cells that are shaped like spheres, and premature breakdown of red blood cells ().

  • Disease

    Congenital syphilis

    Congenital syphilis is a severe, disabling, and often life-threatening infection seen in infants. A pregnant mother who has syphilis can spread the disease through the placenta to the unborn infant.

  • Disease

    Congenital toxoplasmosis

    Human infection with the toxoplasma gondii protozoan results from ingesting contaminated raw meat or soil, or careless handling of the contents of an infected cat's litter box. An infected pregnant woman can transmit the infection to her fetus (congenital toxoplasmosis).

    Congenital toxoplasmosis is a group of symptoms that occur when an unborn baby (fetus) is infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

  • Special Topic

    Conjunctiva

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that covers the inner surface of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball (the sclera). Inflammation of the conjunctiva is called , which makes the white of the eye appear red.

  • Disease

    Conjunctivitis

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    Conjunctivitis is swelling (inflammation) or infection of the membrane lining the eyelids ().

  • Surgery

    Conscious sedation for surgical procedures

    Conscious sedation is a combination of medicines to help you relax (a sedative) and to block pain (an anesthetic) during a medical or dental procedure. You will probably stay awake but may not be able to speak. Conscious sedation lets you recover quickly and return to your everyday activities soon ...

  • Symptoms

    Constipation

    The addition of fiber in the diet aids in digestion and helps to avoid constipation. Vegetables, fresh fruits (especially dried fruits) and whole wheat, bran, or oatmeal cereals are excellent sources of fiber. To reap the benefits of fiber, it is very important to drink plenty of fluids.

    Constipation is most often defined as having a bowel movement less than 3 times per week. It usually is associated with hard stools or difficulty passing stools. You may have pain while passing stools or may be unable to have a bowel movement after straining or pushing for more than 10 minutes.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Constipation - self-care

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Constipation - what to ask your doctor

    Constipation is when you are passing stools less often than you normally do. Your stool becomes hard and dry, and it is difficult to pass. You might feel bloated and have pain, or you might have to strain when you try to go. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help ...

  • Special Topic

    Consumer rights and responsibilities

    Health care providers range from generalists to providers who specialize in certain areas of the body or disease.  Any category of medicine or care such as cancer or anesthesia can have a specialist.  Nurses also can specialize in certain areas of medical care.

  • Poison

    Contac overdose

    Contac is the brand name for a cough, cold, and allergy medicine that contains several ingredients. Contac occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or ...

  • Disease

    Contact dermatitis

    Poison oak rash on the arm.  Several plants produce toxins that cause skin reaction.  This is the appearance of poison oak dermatitis.  Note the typical linear streaks produced either by scratching or brushing against the plant.  (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance. There are two kinds of contact dermatitis: irritant or allergic. See also:

  • Symptoms

    Contracture deformity

    A contracture is a fixed tightening of muscle, tendons, ligaments, or skin. It prevents normal movement of the associated body part. An injury such as a severe burn can cause contracture of the skin. The skin becomes scarred and nonelastic which limits the range of movement of the affected area.

    A contracture develops when the normally stretchy (elastic) tissues are replaced by nonstretchy (inelastic) fiber-like tissue. this makes it hard to stretch the area and prevents normal movement. Contractures mostly occur in the skin, the tissues underneath, and the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and ...

  • Special Topic

    Contraindication

    A contraindication is a specific situation in which a drug, procedure, or surgery should not be used because it may be harmful to the patient. There are two types of contraindications: Relative contraindication means that caution should be used when two drugs or procedures are used together. (It is ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Controlling your high blood pressure

    To measure blood pressure, your doctor uses an instrument call a "sphygmomanometer," more often referred to as a blood pressure cuff. The cuff is wrapped around your upper arm and inflated to stop the flow of blood in your artery. As the cuff is slowly deflated, your doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the blood pumping through the artery. These pumping sounds register on a gauge attached to the cuff. The first pumping sound your doctor hears is recorded as the systolic pressure, and the last sound is the diastolic pressure.

    Controlling hypertension

  • Disease

    Conversion disorder

    Conversion disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has blindness, paralysis, or other nervous system (neurologic) symptoms that cannot be explained by medical evaluation.

  • Nutrition

    Cooking utensils and nutrition

    Cooking utensils can have an effect on your nutrition.

  • Test

    Coombs test

    The Coombs test looks for that may stick to your red blood cells and cause red blood cells to die too early.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    COPD - how to use a nebulizer

    A nebulizer turns your COPD medicine into a mist. It is easier to breathe the medicine into your lungs this way. If you use a nebulizer, your COPD medicines will come in liquid form. With a nebulizer, you will sit with your machine and use a mouthpiece. Medicine goes into your lungs as you take ...

  • Special Topics

    COPD - managing stress and your mood

    People with have a greater risk for depression, stress, and anxiety. Being stressed or depressed can make COPD symptoms worse and make it harder to care for yourself. When you have COPD, caring for your emotional health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Learning how to ...

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    COPD - what to ask your doctor

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) damages your lungs. This can make it hard for you to get enough oxygen. While there is no cure for COPD, you can do many things to control your symptoms and make your life better. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help ...

  • Special Topics

    COPD and other health problems

    If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you are more likely to have other health problems, too. These are called co-morbidities. People with COPD tend to have more health problems than people who don’t have COPD. Having other health problems can affect your symptoms and treatments. ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    COPD flare-ups

    COPD symptoms can worsen suddenly. You may find it hard to breathe. You may cough or wheeze more or produce more phlegm. You might also feel anxious and have trouble sleeping or doing your daily activities. This problem is called a COPD exacerbation, or COPD flare-up.

  • Nutrition

    Copper in diet

    Copper is an essential trace mineral present in all body tissues.

  • Poison

    Copper poisoning

    This article discusses poisoning from copper. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or a local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

  • Disease

    Cor Pulmonale

    This film shows advanced sarcoid, scarring of the lungs (the light streaking), and cavity formation (the dark areas in the upper right side of the picture).

    Cor pulmonale is failure of the right side of the heart. It is brought on by long-term in the arteries of the lung and right ventricle of the heart.

  • Test

    Cord blood testing

    Cord blood refers to a sample of blood collected from the umbilical cord when a baby is born. The umbilical cord is the cord connecting the baby to the mother’s womb. This article focuses on cord blood testing done to evaluate a newborn’s health.

  • Disease

    Corneal injury

    The cornea is the crystal clear portion of the surface of the eye that lets light enter.  The cornea is well supplied with nerve endings which is why some people can never get used to wearing contacts.

    Corneal injury describes an injury to the cornea. The cornea is the crystal clear (transparent) tissue covering the front of the eye. It works with the lens of the eye to focus images on the retina.

  • Surgery

    Corneal transplant

    Corneal surgery involves replacing the clear covering of the eye (cornea). The surgery is recommended for severe corneal infection, injury, scarring, and for corneas that no longer allow light to pass through. The outcome for corneal surgery is usually very good and transplanted corneas have a long life expectancy.

    The cornea is the clear outer lens on the front of the eye. A corneal transplant is surgery to replace the cornea with tissue from a donor. It is one of the most common transplants done.

  • Disease

    Corneal ulcers and infections

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    The cornea is the clear (transparent) tissue at the front of the eye. A corneal ulcer is an or open sore in the outer layer of the cornea. It is often caused by infection.

  • Disease

    Corns and calluses

    Corns and calluses form on the skin because of repeated pressure or friction. A corn is a small, tender area of thickened skin that occurs on the top or side of a toe. A callus is a rough, thickened area of skin that appears because of repeated irritation or pressure to an area of skin. Calluses usually develop on the palms of the hand and soles of the feet.

    Corns and calluses are thick layers of skin. They are caused by repeated pressure or friction at the spot where the corn or callus develops.

  • Test

    Coronary angiography

    Coronary angiography is performed to detect obstruction in the coronary arteries of the heart. During the procedure a catheter (thin flexible tube) is inserted into an artery in your arm or groin and then threaded carefully into the heart. The blood vessels of the heart are then studied by injection of contrast media through the catheter. A rapid succession of X-rays (fluoroscopy) is taken to view blood flow.

    Coronary angiography is a procedure that uses a special dye (contrast material) and x-rays to see how blood flows through the arteries in your heart.

  • Disease

    Coronary artery fistula

    Coronary angiography is performed to detect obstruction in the coronary arteries of the heart. During the procedure a catheter (thin flexible tube) is inserted into an artery in your arm or groin and then threaded carefully into the heart. The blood vessels of the heart are then studied by injection of contrast media through the catheter. A rapid succession of X-rays (fluoroscopy) is taken to view blood flow.

    Coronary artery fistula is an abnormal connection between one of the coronary arteries and a heart chamber or another blood vessel. The coronary arteries are blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Fistula means abnormal connection.

  • Disease

    Coronary artery spasm

    Angina is a specific type of pain in the chest caused by inadequate blood flow through the blood vessels (coronary vessels) of the heart muscle (myocardium).

    Coronary artery spasm is a temporary, sudden narrowing of one of the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart). The spasm slows or stops blood flow through the artery and starves part of the heart of oxygen-rich blood.

  • imagepage

    Coronary artery stent

    A coronary artery stent is a small, metal mesh tube that is placed inside a coronary artery to help keep the artery open. To place the stent, a small incision is made in the groin area to reach the artery there. A catheter is guided through the groin artery into an area of the coronary artery which ...

  • Disease

    Coronary heart disease

    The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

    Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. CHD is also called coronary artery disease.Coronary artery disease is …The correct answer is all of the above. Coronary artery disease (CAD) and coronary heart disease describe the same ...

  • Test

    Coronary risk profile

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    A coronary risk profile is a group of blood tests used to measure your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The profile can help determine your risk for heart disease. Cholesterol is a soft, wax-like substance found in all parts of the body. Your body needs a little bit of cholesterol to work ...

  • Poison

    Corticosteroids overdose

    Corticosteroids are a type of anti-inflammatory medicine. Corticosteroid overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. Corticosteroids come in many forms, including: Creams and ointments that are applied to the ...

  • Test

    Cortisol blood test

    The cortisol blood test measures the level of cortisol in the blood. Cortisol is a steroid (glucocorticoid) hormone produced by the adrenal gland. Cortisol can also be measured using a .

  • Test

    Cortisol urine test

    A "clean-catch" urine sample is performed by collecting the sample of urine in midstream. Men or boys should wipe clean the head of the penis. Women or girls need to wash the area between the lips of the vagina with soapy water and rinse well. A small amount of urine should initially fall into the toilet bowl before it is collected (this clears the urethra of contaminants). Then, in a clean container, catch about 1 to 2 ounces of urine and remove the container from the urine stream. The container is then given to the health care provider.

    The cortisol urine test measures the level of cortisol in the urine. Cortisol is a steroid (glucocorticoid) hormone produced by the adrenal gland. Cortisol can also be measured using a .

  • Surgery

    Cosmetic breast surgery

    Breast augmentation is a procedure to change the size or shape of the breasts.

  • Surgery

    Cosmetic ear surgery

    Ear anatomy

    Cosmetic ear surgery is a procedure to move very large or prominent ears closer to the head.

  • Disease

    Costochondritis

    The ribs are the skeletal protection for the lungs and the chest cavity.  The ribs and rib muscles expand and contract with normal breathing.

    Costochondritis is an inflammation of a rib or the cartilage connecting a rib. It is a common cause of .

  • Symptoms

    Cough

    The major features of the lungs include the bronchi, the bronchioles and the alveoli. The alveoli are the microscopic blood vessel-lined sacks in which oxygen and carbon dioxide gas are exchanged.

    Coughing is an important way to keep your throat and airways clear. However, too much coughing may mean you have a disease or disorder. Some coughs are dry. Others are considered productive. A productive cough is one that brings up mucus. Mucus is also called phlegm or sputum. Coughs can be either ...

  • Symptoms

    Coughing up blood

    Coughing up blood is the spitting up of blood or bloody mucus from the lungs and throat (respiratory tract). Hemoptysis is the medical term for coughing up blood from the respiratory tract.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Counting carbohydrates

    Complex carbohydrates are made up of sugar molecules that are strung together in long, complex chains. Complex carbohydrates are found in foods such as peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables. Both simple and complex carbohydrates are turned to glucose (blood sugar) in the body and are used as energy. Glucose is used in the cells of the body and in the brain. Any unused glucose is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen for use later.Complex carbohydrate foods provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are important to the health of an individual. The majority of carbohydrates should come from complex carbohydrates (starches) and naturally occurring sugars, rather than processed or refined sugars, which do not have the vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in complex and natural carbohydrates. Refined sugars are often called "empty calories" because they have little to no nutritional value.

    Carb counting

  • Nutrition

    Cow's milk - infants

  • Special Topic

    Cow's milk and children

    Cow's milk is not recommended for infants under less than one year old because the milk contains too much salt and protein.  For infants who are not breastfed, infant formula is given in its place. The carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamin, and mineral content is formulated to be as close to human breast milk as possible.

  • Test

    CPK isoenzymes test

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    The CPK isoenzymes test measures the different forms of creatine phosphokinase (CPK) in the blood. CPK is an enzyme found mainly in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle.

  • Injury

    CPR

    CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is an emergency lifesaving procedure that is done when someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. This may happen after an , heart attack, or drowning. CPR combines rescue breathing and chest compressions. Rescue breathing provides oxygen to ...

  • Injury

    CPR - adult

    CPR is a lifesaving procedure that is performed when someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped, as in cases of , drowning, or heart attack. CPR is a combination of: Rescue breathing, which provides oxygen to a person’s lungs. Chest compressions, which keep the person’s blood ...

  • Injury

    CPR - child (1 to 8 years old)

    CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a lifesaving procedure that is done when someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. This may happen after drowning, suffocation, choking, or injuries. CPR involves: Rescue breathing, which provides oxygen to a child’s lungs Chest ...

  • Injury

    CPR - infant

    CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a lifesaving procedure that is done when someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. This may happen after drowning, suffocation, choking, or other injuries. CPR involves: Rescue breathing, which provides oxygen to the lungs. Chest ...

  • Test

    Cranial CT scan

    Head CT

    A cranial (CT) scan uses many x-rays to create pictures of the head, including the skull, brain, eye sockets, and sinuses.

  • Disease

    Cranial mononeuropathy III

    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

    Cranial mononeuropathy III is a problem with the function of the third cranial nerve that causes double vision and eyelid drooping.

  • Disease

    Cranial mononeuropathy III - diabetic type

    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

    Cranial mononeuropathy III — diabetic type — is usually a complication of that causes double vision and .

  • Disease

    Cranial mononeuropathy VI

    The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.

    Cranial mononeuropathy VI is a nerve disorder. It prevents some of the muscles that control eye movements from working well. As a result, people may see two of the same image (double vision).

  • Special Topic

    Cranial sutures

    The "sutures" or anatomical lines where the bony plates of the skull join together can be easily felt in the newborn infant. The diamond shaped space on the top of the skull and the smaller space further to the back are often referred to as the "soft spot" in young infants.

    Cranial sutures are fibrous bands of tissue that connect the bones of the skull.

  • Disease

    Craniopharyngioma

    Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the pace of chemical activity in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).

    A craniopharyngioma is a benign that develops near the pituitary gland (a small at the base of the brain).

  • Disease

    Craniosynostosis

    The "sutures" or anatomical lines where the bony plates of the skull join together can be easily felt in the newborn infant. The diamond shaped space on the top of the skull and the smaller space further to the back are often referred to as the "soft spot" in young infants.

    Craniosynostosis is a birth defect that causes one or more of the sutures on a baby’s head to close earlier than usual. The skull of an infant or young child is made up of bony plates that allow for growth of the skull. The borders at which these plates intersect are called sutures or suture ...

  • Surgery

    Craniosynostosis repair

    repair is surgery to correct a problem that causes the bones of a child’s skull to grow together (fuse) too early.

  • Disease

    Craniotabes

    Craniotabes is a softening of the skull bones.

  • Test

    Creatine phosphokinase test

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) is an found mainly in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle. This article discusses the test to measure the amount of CPK in the blood.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Creating a birth plan

  • Test

    Creatinine - urine

    The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    The urine creatinine test measures the amount of creatinine in urine. Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine, which is an important part of muscle. Creatinine is removed from the body entirely by the kidneys. Creatinine can also be measured by a .

  • Test

    Creatinine blood test

    A measurement of the serum creatinine level is often used to evaluate kidney function. Urine creatinine levels can be used as a screening test to evaluate kidney function, or can be part of the creatinine clearance test.

    The creatinine blood test measures the level of creatinine in the blood. This test is done to see how well your kidneys work. Creatinine can also be measured with a .

  • Test

    Creatinine clearance test

    A measurement of the serum creatinine level is often used to evaluate kidney function. Urine creatinine levels can be used as a screening test to evaluate kidney function, or can be part of the creatinine clearance test.

    The creatinine clearance test helps provide information about how well the kidneys are working. The test compares the with the . Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine, which is an important part of muscle.

  • Disease

    Creeping eruption

    This photograph shows the front section of the hookworm, and the mouth parts which it uses to feed. The cutting plates, used to attach to the lining of the intestine where they suck blood for nourishment, are visible. Three species of hookworm cause infection in the United States, including this species, Necator americanus. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Creeping eruption is a human infection with dog or cat larvae (immature worm).

  • Disease

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is an organic brain syndrome caused by a protein-like particle called a prion. Loss of brain function resembles Alzheimer's disease, but is very rapid in progression. Complete dementia usually occurs by the sixth month, death follows quickly. There is no known cure.

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a form of brain damage that leads to a rapid decrease of mental function and movement.

  • Disease

    Cri du chat syndrome

    Cri du chat syndrome is a group of symptoms that result from missing a piece of number 5. The syndrome’s name is based on the infant’s cry, which is high-pitched and sounds like a cat.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Cribs and crib safety

  • Disease

    Crigler-Najjar syndrome

    The liver serves a wide variety of body functions, including detoxifying blood and producing bile that aids in digestion.

    Crigler-Najjar syndrome is a very rare inherited disorder in which bilirubin (a substance made by the liver) cannot be broken down.

  • Disease

    Crohn's disease

    Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the intestines caused by immune response to an infection. The lining of the intestine may ulcerate and form channels of infection, called fistulas. Fistulas tunnel from the area of ulceration, creating a hole which may continue until it reaches the surface of the organ, or the surface of nearby skin. These holes typically spread the infection that creates them, and life-threatening conditions such as peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdomen) may occur.

    Crohn’s disease is a disease where parts of the digestive tract become inflamed. It most often involves the lower end of the small intestines and the beginning of the large intestine. It may also occur any part of the digestive system from the mouth to the end of the rectum ...

  • Disease

    Croup

    Structures of the throat include the esophagus, trachea, epiglottis and tonsils.

    Croup is and a “barking” cough. Croup is due to swelling around the vocal cords. It is common in infants and children.

  • Injury

    Crush injury

    A crush injury occurs when force or pressure is put on a body part. This type of injury most often happens when part of the body is squeezed between two heavy objects. Damage related to crush injuries include: (increased pressure in an arm or leg that causes serious muscle, nerve, blood vessel, and ...

  • Symptoms

    Crying - excessive (0-6 months)

    Infants instinctively cry to communicate hunger, thirst, discomfort, tiredness, or loneliness.  However, excessive crying may suggest a disorder that requires treatment.

  • Special Topic

    Crying in childhood

  • Special Topic

    Crying in infancy

    Crying in infancy is described as a loud, high-pitched sound made by infants in response to certain situations. Infants have a cry reflex that is a normal response to some stimuli, such as pain or hunger. Older children and adults cry for emotional reasons such as pain, fear, sadness, or ...

  • Disease

    Cryoglobulinemia

    Blood is comprised of red blood cells, platelets, and various white blood cells.

    Cryoglobulinemia is the presence of abnormal in the blood. These proteins thicken in cold temperatures.

  • Test

    Cryoglobulins

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    Cryoglobulins are abnormal proteins. This article describes the blood test used to check for them. In the laboratory, cryoglobulins come out of blood and form crystals when the blood sample is cooled below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius). Cryoglobulins come in three main types, but in ...

  • Surgery

    Cryotherapy

    Cryotherapy is a method of superfreezing tissue in order to destroy it. This article discusses cryotherapy of the skin.

  • Disease

    Cryptococcosis

    These are Cryptococcus skin lesions.  Cryptococcus is a yeast (type of fungus) that seldom causes infection, but is considered opportunistic (it affects people with weakened immune systems).  Cryptococcus is one of the more common life-threatening fungal infections in AIDS patients.

    Cryptococcosis is infection with Cryptococcus neoformans fungus.

  • Disease

    Cryptosporidium enteritis

    Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite found in contaminated water.  It has been increasingly recognized as the cause of outbreaks of diarrhea when water supplies become contaminated.  In normal individuals, it is a self-limited disease.  Among immunocompromised individuals with AIDS, cryptosporidium can cause severe diarrheal disease, gallbladder disease (cholecystitis), and inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

    Cryptosporidium enteritis is an infection of the small intestine with the parasite Cryptosporidium that causes diarrhea.

  • Test

    CSD skin test

    The CSD skin test determines whether or not a person has been infected with cat scratch disease.  It is performed by injecting a CSD antigen under the skin with a needle.  After 48 to 72 hours the site of injection is evaluated by a physician.  If the test is positive the injection site will show evidence of a reaction.

    The CSD skin test was once used to help diagnose . The test is rarely used today and is not recommended. There are better methods available to diagnose cat scratch disease, such as antibody detection by the EIA test or bacteria detection by a PCR test.

  • Test

    CSF analysis

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear fluid that circulates in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. CSF protects the brain and spinal cord from injury by acting like a liquid cushion.  CSF is usually obtained through a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).  During the procedure, a needle is inserted usually between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae and the CSF fluid is collected for testing.

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis is a group of laboratory tests that measure chemicals in the fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. The tests may look for proteins, sugar (glucose), and other substances.

  • Test

    CSF cell count

    CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) is a clear fluid that circulates in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. A CSF cell count is a test to measure the number of red and white blood cells that are in CSF.

    A CSF cell count is a test to measure the number of red and white blood cells that are in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a clear fluid that circulates in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain.

  • Test

    CSF coccidioides complement fixation

    Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.

    CSF coccidioides complement fixation is a test that check for infection due to the fungus Coccidioides immitis in the cerebrospinal (CSF) fluid. This is the fluid surrounding the brain and spine.

  • Test

    CSF glucose test

    A CSF glucose test measures the amount of sugar (glucose) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a clear fluid that flows in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. See also:

  • Disease

    CSF leak

    Cerebrospinal fluid is the fluid found in and around the central nervous system (CNS) organs, the brain and spinal cord.  It protects the brain and spinal cord by acting like a liquid cushion. The fluid allows the organs to be buoyant protecting them from blows or other trauma.  Inside the skull the cerebrospinal fluid is contained by the dura which covers the brain.  Any trauma or tear in the dura can allow the fluid to leak out creating an emergency situation.

    A CSF leak is an escape of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

  • Test

    CSF myelin basic protein

    CSF myelin basic protein is a test to measure the level of basic protein (MBP) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF is the clear liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. MBP is found in the material that covers many of your nerves.

  • Test

    CSF oligoclonal banding

    CSF oligoclonal banding is a test to look for inflammation-related proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the clear fluid that flows in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. Oligoclonal bands are proteins called immunoglobulins, which suggest inflammation of the central nervous ...

  • Test

    CSF smear

    Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) is a clear fluid that circulates in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. CSF protects the brain and spinal cord from injury by acting like a liquid cushion.  CSF is usually obtained through a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).  During the procedure, a needle is inserted usually between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae and the CSF fluid is collected for testing.

    A cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) smear is an exam of the fluid that moves in the space around the spinal cord and brain. CSF protects the brain and spinal cord from injury.

  • Test

    CSF total protein

    CSF total protein is a test to determine the amount of protein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This test may be helpful in diagnosing tumors, infective polyneuritis (inflammation of several groups of nerve cells), vasculitis, blood in the CSF, and trauma.

    CSF total protein is a test to determine the amount of in your spinal fluid, also called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

  • Test

    CSF-VDRL test

    Venereal disease research laboratory test (VDRL) of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is used to screen for syphilis. CSF is a clear fluid that circulates in the space surrounding the spinal cord.

    The CSF-VDRL test is used to help diagnose . It looks for substances called reagins, which are sometimes produced by the body in reaction to the syphilis-causing bacteria.

  • Test

    CT scan

    CT stands for computerized tomography. In this procedure, a thin X-ray beam is rotated around the area of the body to be visualized. Using very complicated mathematical processes called algorithms, the computer is able to generate a 3-D image of a section through the body. CT scans are very detailed and provide excellent information for the physician.

    A computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body. Related tests include:

  • Test

    Culdocentesis

    External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

    Culdocentesis is a procedure that checks for abnormal fluid in the space just behind the . This area is called the cul-de-sac.

  • Test

    Culture - colonic tissue

    A sample of colon tissue is obtained during a colonoscopy procedure using special instruments. The specimen is sent to the laboratory and fixed with special stains. The specimen is examined under the microscope for abnormal findings, such as cancer or inflammation..

    A colonic tissue culture is a laboratory test to check for disease-causing bacteria, fungi, or viruses in a sample of tissue from the large intestine.

  • Test

    Culture - duodenal tissue

    A duodenal tissue biopsy is performed by inserting a special tube through the nose or mouth down into the duodenum.  When the tube is in place, it suctions out some of the fluid located in the duodenum.  When the procedure is over the tube is removed.  The sample is sent to the laboratory for testing.  The test is performed to see if a bacterial infection is present or if there are any other microoganisms present that could be causing infection.

    A duodenal tissue culture is a laboratory exam to check a piece of tissue from the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) for infection-causing organisms.

  • Test

    Culture - joint fluid

    Synovial fluid analysis is a series of tests performed on synovial (joint) fluid to help diagnose and treat joint-related abnormalities. To obtain a synovial fluid sample, a needle is inserted into the knee between the joint space.  When the needle is in place the synovial fluid is then withdrawn.  The sample is sent to the lab for analysis.

    Joint fluid culture is a laboratory test to detect infection-causing organisms in a sample of fluid surrounding a joint.

  • Disease

    Culture-negative endocarditis

    Endocarditis is an infection and inflammation of the valves in the heart. When the infection cannot be cultured and linked to any causative organism from the bloodstream, it is referred to as culture-negative endocarditis.

    Culture-negative endocarditis is an infection and inflammation of the lining of one or more heart valves in which no endocarditis-causing germs can be identified on a . The reason for this is that certain germs just do not grow well in the laboratory setting, or because some patients have previously ...

  • Disease

    Curvature of the penis

    The male reproductive structures include the penis, the scrotum, the seminal vesicles and the prostate.

    Curvature of the penis is an abnormal bend in the penis that occurs during erection. It is also called Peyronie’s disease.

  • Disease

    Cushing disease

    Striae in the popliteal fossa: Striae or stretch marks result from stretching of the skin, or other influences such as Cushing's syndrome. Most pregnant women experience striae at some point during their pregnancy. This picture shows striae in the popliteal fossa (the area on the back side of the leg at the knee joint). When the striae first appear they have a violaceous (red-purple) color, but over time they take-on a dull white appearance.

    Cushing disease is a condition in which the pituitary gland releases too much adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). The pituitary gland is an organ of the . Cushing disease is a form of .

  • Disease

    Cushing syndrome

    Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the pace of chemical activity in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).

    Cushing syndrome is a disorder that occurs when your body has a high level of the hormone cortisol.

  • Disease

    Cushing syndrome - exogenous

    The hypothalamus is an area of the brain that produces the "controlling" hormones. These hormones regulate body processes such as metabolism, and control the release of hormones from glands like the thyroid, the adrenals and the gonads (testes or ovaries).

    Exogenous Cushing syndrome is a form of that occurs in people taking glucocorticoid (also called corticosteroid) hormones. Other forms of Cushing syndrome include:

  • Disease

    Cushing syndrome due to adrenal tumor

    Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the pace of chemical activity in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).

    Cushing syndrome due to adrenal tumor is a form of . It occurs when a tumor of the releases excess amounts of the hormone cortisol. Other forms of Cushing syndrome include:

  • Disease

    Cutaneous skin tag

    Skin tags are small growths of tissue on the skin's surface.  They are usually benign and painless and do not grow or change.  They can be found most anywhere on the body but are usually located on the neck, armpits, trunk, and body folds.  The growths may be surgically removed by freezing (cryotherapy), or electrically burned off (cautery).

    A cutaneous skin tag is a common skin growth. Most of the time, it is harmless ().

  • Poison

    Cuticle remover poisoning

    Cuticle remover is a liquid or cream used to remove excess tissue around the nails. Cuticle remover poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should ...

  • Injury

    Cuts and puncture wounds

    The essentials of a good first aid kit include a variety of bandages, medications, and equipment to stabilize injuries until proper medical attention can be administered.

    A cut is a break or opening in the skin. It is also called a laceration. A cut may be deep, smooth, or jagged. It may be near the surface of the skin, or deeper. A deep cut can affect tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, or bone. A puncture is a wound made by a pointed object such as ...

  • Poison

    Cyanoacrylates

    Cyanoacrylate is a sticky substance found in many glues. Cyanoacrylate poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance or gets it on the skin. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your ...

  • Disease

    Cyanotic heart disease

    The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

    Cyanotic heart disease is a heart defect, present at birth (congenital), that results in low blood oxygen levels. There may be more than one defect.

  • Disease

    Cyclothymic disorder

    Cyclothymic disorder is a mild form of (manic depressive illness) in which a person has mood swings over a period of years that go from mild to emotional highs.

  • Poison

    Cyproheptadine overdose

    Cyproheptadine is a type of drug called an antihistamine, which is used to relieve allergy symptoms. Cyproheptadine occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or ...

  • Symptoms

    Cyst

    A cyst is a closed pocket or pouch of tissue. It can be filled with air, fluid, pus, or other material.

  • Disease

    Cystic fibrosis

    Clubbed fingers is a symptom of disease, often of the heart or lungs which cause chronically low blood levels of oxygen. Diseases which cause malabsorption, such as cystic fibrosis or celiac disease can also cause clubbing.

    Cystic fibrosis is a disease passed down through families that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body. It is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults. It is a life-threatening disorder.

  • Nutrition

    Cystic fibrosis - nutritional considerations

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a potentially life-threatening disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract. Persons with cystic fibrosis need to eat high calorie and high protein foods throughout the day. This article discusses the nutritional needs for persons with ...

  • Special Topic

    Cystic fibrosis - resources

  • Disease

    Cystic hygroma

    A cystic hygroma is a growth that often occurs in the head and neck area. It is a birth defect.

  • Disease

    Cysticercosis

    The digestive system organs in the abdominal cavity include the liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.

    Cysticercosis is an infection by a parasite called Taenia solium (T. solium), a pork tapeworm that creates cysts in different areas in the body.

  • Disease

    Cystinuria

    The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    Cystinuria is a rare condition in which stones made from an amino acid called cystine form in the kidney, ureter, and bladder. The condition is passed down through families. See also:

  • Disease

    Cystitis - acute

    The female and male urinary tracts are relatively the same except for the length of the urethra.

    Acute cystitis is a bacterial infection of the bladder or lower urinary tract. Acute means sudden or severe.

  • Disease

    Cystitis - noninfectious

    Noninfectious cystitis is irritation of the bladder that is not caused by a .

  • Test

    Cystometric study

    Cystometric study measures the amount of fluid in the bladder when you first feel the need to urinate, when you are able to sense fullness, and when your bladder is completely full.

  • Test

    Cystoscopy

    Cystoscopy is a procedure that uses a flexible fiber optic scope inserted through the urethra into the urinary bladder. The physician fills the bladder with water and inspects the interior of the bladder. The image seen through the cystoscope may also be viewed on a color monitor and recorded on videotape for later evaluation.

    Cystoscopy is a procedure to see the inside of the bladder and urethra using a telescope.

  • Special Topic

    Cytochrome b5 reductase

    Cytochrome b5 reductase is a blood enzyme that serves to maintain adequate iron levels in the red blood cells to maximize their oxygen-carrying capacity.

    Cytochrome b5 reductase is an in the blood. It controls the amount of iron in your red blood cells, and helps the cells carry the normal amount of oxygen. Persons who do not have enough of this enzyme may develop a condition called .

  • Special Topic

    Cytologic evaluation

    In a pleural biopsy, a small piece of pleural tissue in the chest is removed with a needle. The biopsy may distinguish between a cancerous and noncancerous disease. It also can help to detect whether a viral, fungal or parasitic disease is present.

    Cytologic evaluation is the analysis under a microscope of cells collected from a part of the body. This is done to determine what the cells look like, and how they form and function. The test is usually used to look for cancers and precancerous changes. It may also be used to look for viral ...

  • Test

    Cytology exam of pleural fluid

    A of pleural fluid is a laboratory test to detect cancer cells and certain other cells in the area that surrounds the lungs. This is called the pleural space.

  • Test

    Cytology exam of urine

    A catheter (a hollow tube, often with an inflatable balloon tip) may be inserted into the urinary bladder when there is a urinary obstruction, following surgical procedures to the urethra, in unconscious patients (due to surgical anesthesia, coma, etc.), or for any other problem in which the bladder needs to be kept empty (decompressed) and urinary flow assured.

    A cytology exam of urine is a test used to detect and other diseases of the urinary tract.

  • Disease

    Cytomegalovirus retinitis

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is a viral inflammation of the retina of the eye.