Health Library

Welcome to the Scripps health information library. It’s part of our commitment to partnering with you for lifelong wellness.

Here you can read articles on hundreds of health conditions and wellness topics, complete with medical illustrations and links to related symptoms, procedures and conditions.

Visit the library content using the tools below.

  • Disease

    Rabies

    Rabies is an acute viral infection is transmitted to humans by a bite or by the exposure of broken skin to an infected animal's saliva. Immunization given early (preferably within 24 hours but certainly within 72 hours) can usually prevent the disease.

    Rabies is a deadly viral infection that is mainly spread by infected animals.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Radial head fracture - aftercare

    Elbow fracture – radial head

  • Disease

    Radial nerve dysfunction

    The radial nerve travels down the arm and supplies movement to the triceps muscle at the back of the upper arm. It also provides extension to the wrist, and helps in movement and sensation of the wrist and hand.  The usual causes of nerve dysfunction are direct trauma, prolonged pressure on the nerve, and compression of the nerve from nearby body structures.

    Radial nerve dysfunction is a problem with the radial nerve. Damage to the radial nerve leads to problems with movement in the arm and wrist and with sensation in the back of the arm or hand.

  • Disease

    Radiation enteritis

    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.

    Radiation is damage to the lining of the intestines (bowels) due to , a type of cancer treatment.

  • Injury

    Radiation sickness

    Radiation therapy is used to fight many types of cancer.  Radiation targets rapidly dividing cells like cancer cells. Radiation prevents cell division and the replication of DNA (the genetic building blocks).

    Radiation sickness is illness and symptoms resulting from excessive exposure to ionizing radiation. There are two basic types of radiation: ionizing and nonionizing. Nonionizing radiation comes in the form of light, radio waves, microwaves and radar. This kind of radiation usually does not cause ...

  • Special Topic

    Radiation therapy

    Radiation therapy is used to fight many types of cancer.  Radiation targets rapidly dividing cells like cancer cells. Radiation prevents cell division and the replication of DNA (the genetic building blocks).

    Radiation therapy uses high-powered x-rays, particles, or radioactive seeds to kill cancer cells.

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Radiation therapy - what to ask your doctor

    You are having radiation therapy to try to kill cancer cells. You may receive radiation therapy alone or also have other treatments at the same time. Your doctor or nurse may need to follow you closely while you are having radiation therapy. You will also need to learn how to care for yourself ...

  • Surgery

    Radical prostatectomy

    Radical prostatectomy is surgery to remove all of the prostate gland and some of the tissue around it to treat .

  • Test

    Radioactive iodine uptake

    Radioactive iodine uptake test is a type of nuclear test performed to evaluate thyroid function.  The patient ingests radioactive iodine (I-123 or I-131) capsules or liquid.  After a time (usually 6 and 24-hours later), a gamma probe is placed over the thyroid gland to measure the amount of radioactivity in the thyroid gland.  The values are then compared.

    Radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU) is a test of thyroid function. It measures how much radioactive iodine is taken up by the thyroid gland in a certain time period. A similar test is the .

  • Test

    Radionuclide cisternogram

    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 radionuclide cisternogram is a nuclear scan test used to diagnose spinal fluid circulation problems.

  • Test

    Radionuclide cystogram

    Cystography is a detailed study of the bladder, which uses a dye and X-rays.  A catheter is inserted into the bladder in which the dye flows.  When the bladder is full, the catheter is removed and the X-rays are taken. X-rays are also taken when the bladder is empty.  The test is performed to check for the integrity of the bladder, determine the cause of infections and check for tumors or stones.

    A radionuclide cystogram is a special imaging test called a that checks how well your bladder and urinary tract work.

  • Disease

    Ramsay Hunt syndrome

    Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a painful rash around the ear that occurs when the virus infects a nerve in the head.

  • Special Topic

    Rape (sexual assault) - overview

    PTSD is a severe reaction to a traumatic event that involves re-experiencing the event through dreams, recollections or flashbacks. Social support plays a role in protecting people from developing PTSD.

    Rape is defined as sexual intercourse that is forced on a person without his or her permission. It may involve physical force, the threat of force, or it may be done against someone who is unable to give consent. Sexual intercourse may be vaginal, anal, or oral, and may involve the use of a body ...

  • Special Topic

    Rape prevention

    Rape is defined as sexual intercourse forced on a person without his or her permission. The most useful rape prevention tool available is to be more aware about rape. Always trust your instincts if you are somewhere or with someone that does not feel safe and comfortable.

  • Symptoms

    Rapid shallow breathing

    The diaphragm is a thin dome-shaped muscle which separates the thoracic cavity (lungs and heart) from the abdominal cavity (intestines, stomach, liver, etc.). It is involved in respiration, drawing downward in the chest on inhalation, and pushing upward in exhalation.

    A normal breathing rate for an adult at rest is 8 to 16 breaths per minute. For an infant, a normal rate is up to 44 breaths per minute. Tachypnea is the term that your doctor uses to describe your breathing if it is too fast, especially if you have fast, shallow breathing from a lung disease or ...

  • Symptoms

    Rash - child under 2 years

    A rash is a change in the color or texture of the skin. A skin rash can be Bumpy Flat Red, skin-colored, or slightly lighter or darker than skin color Scaly

  • Symptoms

    Rashes

    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.)

    Rashes involve changes in the color or texture of your skin.

  • Disease

    Rat-bite fever

    Rat-bite fever is a rare disease spread by infected rodents.

  • Disease

    Raynaud’s phenomenon

    Raynaud's phenomenon is characterized by fingers becoming white due to lack of blood flow, then blue due to oxygen consumption, and finally red as blood flow returns.

    Raynaud’s phenomenon is a condition in which cold temperatures or strong emotions cause blood vessel spasms. This blocks blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears, and nose.

  • Test

    RBC - urine

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

    The RBC urine test measures the number of red blood cells in a urine sample.

  • Test

    RBC count

    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.

    An RBC count is a blood test that tells how many red blood cells (RBCs) you have. RBCs contain , which carries oxygen. How much oxygen your body tissues get depends on how many RBCs you have and how well they work.

  • Test

    RBC indices

    Red blood cell (RBC) indices are part of the (CBC) test. They are used to help diagnose the cause of anemia, a condition in which there are too few red blood cells. The indices include: Average red blood cell size (MCV) amount per red blood cell (MCH) The amount of hemoglobin relative to the size ...

  • Test

    RBC nuclear scan

    An RBC nuclear scan uses small amounts of radioactive material to mark (tag) red blood cells (RBCs). Your body is then scanned to see the cells and track how they move through the body.

  • Disease

    Reactive arthritis

    Reiter syndrome is a disease which classically consists of inflammation of the joints (arthritis), urethra (urethritis), and eye. Reiter syndrome frequently includes skin manifestations and is thought to be triggered in some people by an infection. This is a fairly typical rash on the feet associated with Reiter syndrome. This type of rash may also appear on the hands.

    Reactive arthritis is a group of conditions that may involve the joints, urethra, and eyes. These areas become swollen and inflamed. It is often in response to infections.

  • Disease

    Reactive attachment disorder of infancy or early childhood

    Reactive attachment disorder is a problem with social interaction that occurs when a child’s basic physical and emotional needs are neglected, particularly when the child is an infant.

  • Special Topic

    Recognizing medical emergencies

    Bleeding from most injuries can be stopped by applying direct pressure to the injury. This keeps from cutting off the blood supply to the affected limb.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Recognizing teen depression

  • Special Topic

    Recovering after stroke

    A happens when blood flow to any part of the brain stops. Each person has a different recovery time and need for long-term care. Problems with moving, thinking, and talking often improve in the first weeks or months after a stroke. Some people will keep improving months or years after a stroke.

  • Test

    Rectal biopsy

    Rectal biopsy can be used to determine the cause of blood, mucus, or pus in the stool. Rectal biopsy can also confirm findings of another test or x-rays, or take a biopsy of a growth found in the colon.

    A rectal biopsy is a procedure to remove a small piece of rectal tissue for examination.

  • Test

    Rectal culture

    A rectal culture test is performed by inserting a cotton swab in the rectum. The swab is rotated gently, and withdrawn. A smear of the swab is placed in culture media to encourage the growth of microorganisms. The test is performed to isolate and identify organisms in the rectum that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and/or disease.

    Rectal culture is a laboratory test to identify bacteria and other germs in the rectum that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and disease.

  • Disease

    Rectal prolapse

    Rectal prolapse may be partial, involving only the mucosa or complete, involving the entire wall of the rectum.

    Rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum falls down and comes through the anal opening.

  • Surgery

    Rectal prolapse repair

    Rectal prolapse repair is surgery to fix a \, in which the last part of the colon (called the rectum) sticks out through the anus.

  • Disease

    Reflux nephropathy

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

    Reflux nephropathy is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged by the backward flow of urine into the kidney.

  • Special Topic

    Reflux wedge

    Reflux board

    A reflux wedge is a device prescribed for use in children who have gastroesophageal . The foam wedge tilts the child upward to prevent or reduce gastroesophageal reflux while the child is lying in bed.

  • Test

    Refraction test

    Normal vision occurs when light is focused directly on the retina rather than in front or behind it.

    The refraction test is an eye exam that measures a person’s prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

  • Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Refractive eye surgery - what to ask your doctor

    Refractive eye surgery helps improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. If you are nearsighted, you have trouble seeing things that are far away. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse.

  • Poison

    Refrigerant poisoning

    A refrigerant is a chemical that makes things cold. This article discusses poisoning from sniffing or swallowing such chemicals. The most common poisoning occurs when people intentionally sniff a type of refrigerant called freon. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or ...

  • Disease

    Reifenstein syndrome

    The male reproductive system, viewed from a sagittal section.

    Reifenstein syndrome is disease that occurs in boys when the body cannot respond the right way to the male sex hormones (androgens). Testosterone is a male sex hormone. This disorder is a type of androgen insufficiency syndrome.

  • Disease

    Relapsing fever

    Relapsing fever is an infection transmitted by a louse or tick. It is characterized by repeated episodes of .

  • Special Topic

    Remembering tips

    Lists, associations, and repeating the information over and over to oneself are good ways of inabling a person to remember information for later use.

  • Special Topic

    Renal

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

    The term “renal” refers to the kidney. For example, renal failure means kidney failure. Related topics: Kidney disease

  • Disease

    Renal and urological disorders

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

    Renal disorders refers to any disease of the kidneys. Urological disorders are diseases of the kidneys/urinary tract. This includes: Kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra Male reproductive organs including the testes, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate, and penis

  • Test

    Renal arteriography

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

    Renal arteriography is a special x-ray of the blood vessels of the kidneys. Renal arteriography is also called renal angiography. See also:

  • Test

    Renal biopsy

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

    A renal biopsy is the removal of a small piece of kidney tissue for examination.

  • Disease

    Renal cell carcinoma

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

    Renal cell carcinoma is a type of kidney cancer that starts in the lining of very small tubes (tubules) in the kidney.

  • Disease

    Renal papillary necrosis

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

    Renal papillary necrosis is a disorder of the kidneys in which all or part of the renal papillae die. The renal papillae are the areas where the openings of the collecting ducts enter the kidney, and where the urine flows into the ureters.

  • Test

    Renal perfusion scintiscan

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

    A renal perfusion scintiscan is a nuclear medicine test that uses a small amount of a radioactive substance to create an image of the kidneys.

  • Test

    Renal scan

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

    A renal scan is a exam in which a small amount of radioactive material (radioisotope) is used to measure the function of the kidneys.

  • Disease

    Renal vein thrombosis

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

    Renal vein thrombosis is a that develops in the vein that drains blood from the kidney.

  • Test

    Renal venogram

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

    A renal venogram is a test to look at the veins in the kidney. It uses and a special dye (called contrast). X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation like light, but of higher energy, so they can move through the body to form an image. Structures that are dense (such as bone) will appear ...

  • Test

    Renin

    This is the typical appearance of the blood vessels (vasculature) and urine flow pattern in the kidney. The blood vessels are shown in red and the urine flow pattern in yellow.

    Renin is a protein (enzyme) released by special kidney cells when you have decreased salt (sodium levels) or low blood volume. Renin increases the amount of angiotensinogen in the blood, which eventually increases blood pressure. It increases the release of aldosterone, a hormone that helps control ...

  • Disease

    Renovascular hypertension

    The kidneys filter wastes and excrete fluid when the pressure of blood in the bloodstream forces blood through the internal structures of the kidney.

    Renovascular hypertension is high blood pressure due to narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys. This condition is also called renal artery stenosis. See:

  • Surgery

    Repair of webbed fingers or toes

    The results of webbed finger repair are dependent on the degree of fusion of the fingers. When joined fingers share a single fingernail, the creation of two normal-looking nails is rarely possible. One nail will look more normal than the other. Some children require a second surgery, depending on the complexity of the syndactyly.

    Repair of is surgery to fix webbing of the toes, fingers, or both. The middle and ring fingers or the second and third toes are most often affected.

  • Disease

    Repeated nightmares

    Repeated are bad dreams that recur frequently and involve the same theme. Nightmares usually begin before the age of 10. They are considered a normal part of childhood, unless they significantly interfere with sleep or development. Nightmares are more common in girls than in boys. They may ...

  • Surgery

    Replantation of digits

    Replantation of an amputated part is ideally performed within 4 to 6 hours after injury, but success has been reported up to 24 hours after the injury if the amputated part has been cooled. During surgery, bone, tendon, ligaments, nerves, and vessels are reattached.  Success depends upon if the blood supply can fully be restored to the amputated portion and if the nerves reattach successfully.  Proper care of the amputated part is vital to successful replantation. Under proper conditions, the long-term prognosis for the restoration of function in an amputated part is quite good.

    Replantation of digits is surgery to reattach fingers or toes that have been cut off (amputated).

  • Special Topic

    Reportable diseases

    Legionnaire's disease was first described in 1976 after an outbreak of fatal pneumonia at a Legionnaires convention. The newly described organism which caused the disease was named Legionella pneumophila, shown in this picture. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Reportable diseases are diseases considered to be of great public health importance. Local, state, and national agencies (for example, county and state health departments or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) require that these diseases be reported when they are diagnosed by ...

  • Special Topic

    Resources

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

  • Special Topic

    Respiratory

    The major passages and structures of the upper respiratory tract include the nose or nostrils, nasal cavity, mouth, throat (pharynx), and voice box (larynx). The respiratory system is lined with a mucous membrane that secretes mucus. The mucus traps smaller particles like pollen or smoke. Hairlike structures called cilia line the mucous membrane and move the particles trapped in the mucus out of the nose. Inhaled air is moistened, warmed, and cleansed by the tissue that lines the nasal cavity.

    The words “respiratory” and “respiration” refer to the lungs and breathing.

  • Disease

    Respiratory acidosis

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

    Respiratory acidosis is a condition that occurs when the lungs cannot remove all of the carbon dioxide the body produces. This causes body fluids, especially the blood, to become too acidic.

  • Disease

    Respiratory alkalosis

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

    Respiratory alkalosis is a condition marked by low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood due to breathing excessively. See also:

  • Disease

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

    Bronchiolitis is an inflammation of the bronchioles (smaller airways that branch off the main airway) usually caused by a viral infection.

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very common virus that leads to mild, cold-like symptoms in adults and older healthy children. It can be more serious in young babies, especially those in certain high-risk groups.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Responsible drinking

  • Disease

    Restless leg syndrome

    Superficial muscles are close to the surface of the skin. Muscles which lie closer to bone or internal organs are called deep muscles.

    Restless leg syndrome is a disorder in which there is an urge or need to move the legs to stop unpleasant sensations.

  • Disease

    Restrictive cardiomyopathy

    Restrictive cardiomyopathy refers to changes in and weakening of the heart muscle, which causes the heart to fill poorly, squeeze poorly, or both.

  • Test

    Reticulocyte count

    In the presence of some anemias, the body increases production of red blood cells (RBCs), and sends these cells into the bloodstream before they are mature.  These slightly immature cells are called reticulocytes, and are characterized by a network of filaments and granules.  Reticulocytes normally make up 1% of the total RBC count, but may exceed levels of 4% when compensating for anemia.

    A reticulocyte count measures the percentage of reticulocytes (slightly immature red blood cells) in the blood.

  • Special Topic

    Retina

    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 retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye. It acts like the film in a camera — images come through the eye’s lens and are focused on the retina. The retina then converts these images to electric signals and sends them via the optic nerve to the ...

  • Disease

    Retinal artery occlusion

    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.

    Retinal artery occlusion is a blockage in one of the small arteries that carry blood to the . The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of the eye that is able to sense light.

  • Disease

    Retinal detachment

    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.

    Retinal detachment is a separation of the light-sensitive membrane in the back of the eye (the retina) from its supporting layers.

  • Surgery

    Retinal detachment repair

    As a result of injury, tumors, or disease, the retina can become completely or partially detached causing diminished vision.  The retina can be repaired by laser, cryoprobe, or surgery.

    Retinal detachment repair is eye surgery to place a detached back into its normal position. A means the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye has separated from its supporting layers. This article describes the repair of rhegmatogenous retinal detachments — retinal detachments that ...

  • Disease

    Retinal vein occlusion

    Retinal vein occlusion is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. The retina is the layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye that converts light images to nerve signals and sends them to the brain.

  • Disease

    Retinitis pigmentosa

    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.

    Retinitis pigmentosa is an eye disease in which there is damage to the . The retina is the layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye that converts light images to nerve signals and sends them to the brain.

  • Disease

    Retinoblastoma

    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.

    Retinoblastoma is a rare, cancerous tumor of a part of the eye called the retina.

  • Disease

    Retinopathy of prematurity

    Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is abnormal blood vessel development in the retina of the eye. It occurs in infants that are born too early ().

  • Test

    Retrograde cystography

    Cystography is a detailed study of the bladder, which uses a dye and X-rays.  A catheter is inserted into the bladder in which the dye flows.  When the bladder is full, the catheter is removed and the X-rays are taken. X-rays are also taken when the bladder is empty.  The test is performed to check for the integrity of the bladder, determine the cause of infections and check for tumors or stones.

    Retrograde cystography is a detailed examination of the bladder in which contrast dye is placed into the bladder through the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

  • Disease

    Retrograde ejaculation

    The male reproductive system, viewed from a sagittal section.

    Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder instead of going out through the urethra during ejaculation.

  • Disease

    Retroperitoneal fibrosis

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

    Retroperitoneal fibrosis is a rare disorder that blocks the tubes (ureters) that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

  • Disease

    Retroperitoneal inflammation

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

    Retroperitoneal inflammation is swelling that occurs in the retroperitoneal space. The retroperitoneal space is in front of the lower back and behind the abdominal lining (peritoneum). Organs in this space include the pancreas, spleen, and kidneys.

  • Disease

    Retropharyngeal abscess

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

    Retropharyngeal abscess is a collection of pus in the tissues in the back of the throat. It is a potentially life-threatening medical condition.

  • Surgery

    Retrosternal thyroid surgery

    The thyroid gland is normally located at the front of the neck. A retrosternal thyroid refers to the abnormal placement of all or part of the thyroid gland below the breastbone (sternum). This article discusses surgery for a retrosternal thyroid.

  • Disease

    Retroversion of the uterus

    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.

    Retroversion of the uterus occurs when a woman’s uterus (womb) tilts backward rather than forward. It is commonly called a “tipped uterus.”

  • Disease

    Rett syndrome

    Rett syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system that leads to developmental reversals, especially in the areas of expressive language and hand use.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Returning to sports after a back injury

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Returning to work

  • Disease

    Reye syndrome

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

    Reye syndrome is sudden (acute) brain damage and liver function problems of unknown cause. The syndrome has occurred in children who have been given aspirin when they have chicken pox or the flu. Reye syndrome has become very uncommon since aspirin is no longer recommended for routine use in ...

  • Special Topic

    Reye syndrome - 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

    Rh incompatibility

    Antibodies from an Rh negative mother may enter the blood stream of her unborn Rh positive infant, damaging the red blood cells (RBCs). The infant responds by increasing RBC production and sending out immature RBCs that still have nuclei. This photograph shows normal RBCs, damaged RBCs, and immature RBCs that still contain nuclei.

    Rh incompatibility is a condition that develops when a pregnant woman has Rh-negative blood and the baby in her womb has Rh-positive blood.

  • Disease

    Rhabdomyolysis

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

    Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle fibers that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents (myoglobin) into the bloodstream. Myoglobin is harmful to the kidney and often causes kidney damage.

  • Disease

    Rhabdomyosarcoma

    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.

    Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancerous (malignant) tumor of the muscles that are attached to the bones. It can occur in many places in the body. The most common sites are the structures of the head and neck, the urogenital tract, and the arms or legs. Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue tumor ...

  • Disease

    Rheumatic fever

    Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that may develop after an infection with group A Streptococcus bacteria (such as or ). The disease can affect the heart, joints, skin, and brain.

  • Disease

    Rheumatoid arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis is another form of arthritis. The body’s own immune system attacks a joint’s synovial membrane, which secretes fluid and lines the joint. The synovium becomes inflamed, produces excess fluid, and the cartilage becomes rough and pitted.  

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It can also affect other organs.The first symptom of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is most often:The correct answer is pain in the joints of the hands and feet. RA often starts in the small ...

  • Test

    Rheumatoid factor (RF)

    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.

    Rheumatoid factor (RF) is a blood test that measures the amount of the RF in the blood.

  • Disease

    Rheumatoid lung disease

    Bronchoscopy

    Rheumatoid lung disease is a group of lung problems related to . The condition can include: Blockage of the small airways (bronchiolitis obliterans) Fluid in the chest () High blood pressure in the lungs () Lumps in the lungs (nodules) Scarring ()

  • Disease

    Rhinophyma

    Rosacea has multiple phases, beginning with flushing of the skin, followed by redness, followed by the development of small blood vessels visible in the skin. The later stage is exhibited by the red blisters on this person's cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. Underlying redness and small blood vessels are also seen.

    Rhinophyma is a large, red-colored (ruddy) nose. The nose has a bulb shape.

  • Surgery

    Rhinoplasty

    Rhinoplasty is surgery to repair or reshape the nose.

  • Poison

    Rhubarb leaves poisoning

    Rhubarb leaves poisoning occurs when someone eats pieces of leaves from the rhubarb 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 ...

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Rib fracture - aftercare

  • Symptoms

    Ribcage pain

    A rib.

    Ribcage pain includes any pain or discomfort in the area of the ribs.

  • Nutrition

    Riboflavin

    Riboflavin, also called vitamin B2, releases energy from carbohydrates. B2 is destroyed by exposure to light, therefore foods with riboflavin should be keep in dark or opaque containers.

    Riboflavin is a type of B vitamin. It is water soluble, which means it is not stored in the body. You must replenish the vitamin in your body every day.

  • Disease

    Rickets

    X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation that can penetrate the body to form an image on film. Structures that are dense (such as bone) will appear white, air will be black, and other structures will be shades of gray depending on density. X-rays can provide information about obstructions, tumors, and other diseases, especially when coupled with the use of barium and air contrast within the bowel.

    Rickets is a disorder caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate. It leads to softening and weakening of the bones.

  • Disease

    Rickettsial pox

    Rickettsial pox is a disease spread by a mite. It causes a chickenpox-like on the body.

  • Test

    Right heart ventriculography

    Right heart ventriculography is a study that images the right chambers (atrium and ventricle) of the heart.

  • Disease

    Riley-Day syndrome

    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.

    Riley-Day syndrome is an inherited disorder that affects nerves throughout the body.

  • Disease

    Ringworm

    This picture shows a skin inflammation of the fingers with multiple blisters (vesicles) caused by an allergic reaction to a fungal infection (tinea corporis). (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Ringworm is a skin infection due to a fungus. Often, there are several patches of ringworm on your skin at once.

  • Special Topic

    Risks of tobacco

    Tobacco use and exposure may cause an acceleration of coronary artery disease and peptic ulcer disease. It is also linked to reproductive disturbances, esophageal reflux, hypertension, fetal illness and death, and delayed wound healing.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Risks of underage drinking

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Risky drinking - tips for cutting back

  • Surgery

    Robotic surgery

    Robotic surgery is a method to perform surgery using very small tools attached to a robotic arm. The surgeon controls the robotic arm with a computer.

  • Disease

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever

    This is the appearance of the rash of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever on the hands and forearms. The rash starts on the hands and feet and later spreads to the trunk. It is caused by a bacteria transmitted to humans by a tick bite. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a disease brought on by a type of bacteria carried by ticks.

  • Surgery

    Root canal

    A root canal is a dental procedure to remove dead or dying nerve tissue and bacteria from inside a tooth.

  • Disease

    Rosacea

    Rosacea is a condition where the area of the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, or eyelids become inflamed. It is a chronic skin disorder that can cause redness, prominent blood vessels, swelling, or skin eruptions similar to acne. Rosacea occurs most often in fair skinned people, particularly those who blush easily. It is also more common in women.

    Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that makes your face turn red and may cause swelling and skin sores that look like .

  • Disease

    Roseola

    A thermometer is a useful aid used to measure body temperature. A thermometer is usually filled with mercury.  Mercury in the tube rises when expanded by an increase in body temperature.

    Roseola is a viral infection that commonly affects infants and young children. It involves a pinkish-red skin rash and high fever.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Rotator cuff - self-care

    There are four muscle tendons that connect to the shoulder that make up the rotator cuff. Together these four tendons stabilize the upper arm bone to the shoulder socket and allow the wide range of motion in the shoulder.

  • Self-Care Instructions

    Rotator cuff exercises

    Anterior shoulder stretch

    Shoulder exercises

  • Disease

    Rotator cuff problems

    An inflammation of the shoulder joint can cause pain and restricted joint movement.

    The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach to the bones of the shoulder joint, allowing the shoulder to move and keeping it stable. Rotator cuff refers to irritation of these tendons and inflammation of the bursa (a normally smooth layer) lining these tendons. A rotator cuff ...

  • Surgery

    Rotator cuff repair

    Rotator cuff repair is a type of surgery to repair a torn tendon in the shoulder. The procedure can be done with a large (“open”) incision or with , which uses small button-hole sized incisions.

  • Test

    Rotavirus antigen test

    A stool sample is obtained to test for a rotavirus infection. Rotavirus is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in children. Children 3 months to 2 years old have the most severe symptoms.

    The rotavirus antigen test detects rotavirus in the feces. Rotavirus is the most common cause of in children.

  • Test

    Routine sputum culture

    A sputum sample is obtained by coughing deeply and expelling the material that comes from the lungs into a sterile cup.   The sample is taken to a labarotory and placed in a medium under conditions that allow the organisms to grow.   A positive culture may identify disease-producing organisms that may help diagnose bronchitis, tuberculosis, a lung abscess, or pneumonia.

    Routine sputum culture is a test of secretions from the lungs and bronchi (tubes that carry air to the lung) to look for organisms that cause infection.

  • Test

    RPR 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.

    RPR (rapid plasma reagin) is a screening test for syphilis. It looks for that are present in the blood of people who have the disease. The test is similar to the venereal disease research laboratory () test.

  • Test

    RSV antibody 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.

    RSV antibody test is a blood test that measures the levels of antibodies (immunoglobulins) that the body makes after an infection with the .

  • Poison

    Rubber cement poisoning

    Rubber cement is a common household glue. Breathing in large amounts of rubber cement fumes or swallowing any amount can be extremely dangerous, especially for a small child. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an ...

  • Disease

    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.)

    Rubella, also known as the German measles, is an infection in which there is a rash on the skin. is when a pregnant woman with rubella passes it to the baby that is still in her womb.

  • Disease

    Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome

    Extra digits may be present as an isolated finding, or they may occur as part of a syndrome, in which case other abnormalities are usually present.  The most common form of polydactyly is an extra little finger.

    Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS) is a genetic disease that involves broad thumbs and toes, short stature, distinctive facial features, and varying degrees of intellectual disability.

  • Disease

    Rumination disorder

    Rumination disorder is a condition in which a person keeps bringing up food from the stomach into the mouth (regurgitation) and rechewing the food.

  • Disease

    Ruptured eardrum

    Ear anatomy

    A ruptured eardrum is an opening or hole in the eardrum. The eardrum is a thin piece of tissue that separates the outer and middle ear. Damage to the eardrum may harm hearing.

  • Disease

    Russell-Silver syndrome

    Russell-Silver syndrome is a disorder present at birth involving poor growth. One side of the body also will appear to be larger than the other.