Health Library

Information on Health Conditions and Treatments

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.

  • Test

    Abdominal x-ray

    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.

    An abdominal x-ray is an imaging test to look at organs and structures in the belly area. Organs include the spleen, stomach, and intestines. When the test...

  • Disease

    ABO incompatibility

    Newborn jaundice (producing yellow skin) can have many causes, but the majority of these infants have a condition called physiological jaundice, a natural occurrence in the newborn due to the immature liver.  This type of jaundice is short term, generally lasting only a few days.  Jaundice  should be evaluated by a physician until decreasing or normal levels of bilirubin are measured in the blood.

    A, B, AB, and O are the four major blood types. The types are based on small substances (molecules) on the surface of the blood cells. When people who have...

  • Surgery

    Abortion - medical

    Medical abortion is the use of medicine to end a pregnancy. The medicine helps remove the fetus and placenta from the mother’s womb (uterus). There are...

  • Surgery

    Abortion - surgical

    An abortion performed with dilation and curettage.

    Surgical abortion is a procedure that ends a pregnancy by removing the fetus and placenta from the mother’s womb (uterus). Surgical abortion is not the same...

  • Disease

    Abscess

    An abscess is a collection of pus in any part of the body that, in most cases, causes swelling and inflammation around it.

  • Test

    Abscess scan - radioactive

    Radioactive abscess scan looks abscesses in the body using a radioactive material. An occurs when pus collects due to an infection.

  • Disease

    Absence seizure

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

    An absence seizure is the term given to a staring spell. This type of seizure is a brief (usually less than 15 seconds) disturbance of brain function due to...

  • Disease

    Absent pulmonary valve

    Tetralogy of Fallot is a birth defect of the heart consisting of four abnormalities that results in insufficiently oxygenated blood pumped to the body. At birth, infants may not show the signs of the cyanosis but later may develop episodes of bluish skin from crying or feeding called "Tet spells".

    Absent pulmonary valve is a rare defect in which the pulmonary valve, through which oxygen-poor blood flows from the heart to the lungs (where it picks up...

  • Disease

    Acanthosis nigricans

    This photograph demonstrates the hyperpigmented, brownish, velvety lesions of acanthosis nigricans. This skin condition may occur in skin folds such as the axilla (armpit - pictured here), neck, and other areas. In adults, it may be associated with hormonal problems, internal malignancy, obesity, and drugs.

    Acanthosis nigricans is a skin disorder in which there is darker, thick, velvety skin in body folds and creases.

  • Test

    ACE 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 ACE test measures the level of angiotensin-converting (ACE) in the blood.