Below is a List of some common words used in Pathophysiology

Pathophysiology words and meaning

  1. Metaplasia this is where one cell type is converted to another usually because of continues cells injury
  2. Dysplasia happens when the cells of an organ or tissue changes in size, shape, and arrangement, cytological similar to cancer and may proceed it
  3. Congenital – these are diseases that are present at birth; some congenital disease are related to disease during pregnancy
  4. Hyperplasia– Refers to when the cells undergo mitosis to increase in the number of sizes and the size of an organ, this is in normal process and can also be an abnormal process in the case of goitre when the increase in the number of cells and size of the organ to not increase the function
  5. Hypoxia is not enough oxygen
  6. Anoxia is no oxygen
  7. Ischemia; not enough arterial oxygenated blood flow
  8. Autolysis – when the enzymes come from lysosomes in the dead cells
  9. Heterolysis refers to apoptosis induced by hydrolytic enzymes from surrounding (usually inflammatory) cells
  10. Liquefactive necrosis is when cells death is caused by enzymes
  11. Coagulative necrosis is a type of accidental cell death typically caused by ischemia or infarction
  12. Atrophy is when the cells shrink in size
  13. Hypertrophy is the increased size of the cells
  14. Apoptosis is the programmed cell death
  15. Whooping cough is the acute infection of the respiratory tract
  16. Cystic fibrosis – it is the most lethal autosomal recessive disorder
  17. SIDS is the sudden death of an infant for no apparent cause under the age of 1
  18. Atrial septal defect – this is the foramen ovale does close this allows the oxygenated blood to flow from the left to right atrium staying the pulmonary circulation. the result is that oxygenated  blood is lost in this way never circulates through the body, causing the right of the heart to work harder
  19. Patent ductus – this happens when the ductus arteriosus remaining open letting  blood in the higher pressure aorta shunt back into pulmonary artery  overloading the heart and the pulmonary circuit
  20. Coarctation- is the narrowing of the aorta which happens in the descending artery causing high BP above the constriction and low Bp below it
  21. Cerebral palsy reduced oxygen supply to the brain during the development of the fetus
  22. Spinal Bifida – a congenital disorder where one or more somites do not fuse over the spinal cord leaning an opening through the cord can prolapse
  23. leukaemia – is the excessive proliferation of the lymphocytes
  24. Orchitis – inflammation of one or more testicles
  25. Epididymitis – inflammation of the epididymis caused by prostatitis
  26. Testicular torsion – this is where the testis spins on its axis due to defects in the tunics surrounding
  27. Varicocele – varicose vein developing in the blood supply to the testis
  28. Endometriosis – is the condition where the endometrial tissue grows in many areas other than the uterus
  29. Progesterone – inhibits the contraction of the uterus
  30. Estrogen – can increase uterine construction
  31. Oxytocin – also affects uterine contraction
  32. Braxton hicks contractions – slow, weak periodic rhythmic
  33. Placenta Previa – Placenta that covers the internal Os
  34. Abruptio placenta – premature spontaneous separation of the placenta from the decidua
  35. Eclampsia – is the condition where one or more convulsion happens I a pregnant woman suffering from high Bp
  36. Proteinuria – is the presence of an abnormal amount of protein in the uterus which indicates kidney damage
  37. Keratin ( waterproofing)
  38. Ectoderm – Epidermis
  39. Mesoderm– Dermis
  40. Melanocytes –  synthesise the pigment melanin
  41. Langerhans cells – Antigen presenting cells
  42. Sebum – Attached to the hair follicles is the sebaceous gland which produces sebum, has a role in waterproofing the hair and bactericidal to some bacteria
  43. Heat exhaustion happens because blood volume decreases
  44. Hypothermia – is the below normal body temperature
  45. First degree burns – burns are equivalent to a mild sunburn
  46. Second degree – burns that affect the epidermis but not the dermis, causing blistering and necrosis of the outer most tissue
  47. Third-degree burns – burns that affect both the epidermis and the dermis
  48. Oesophagitis – cased by reflux of acid from the stomach through the cardiac sphincter
  49. Haitus Hernia – happens when part of the stomach slides through the diaphragmatic opening that the oesophagus passes through
  50. Esophageal varices– develop to relieve portal hypertension ( varicose veins) the veins of the oesophagus become large, the blood from the liver uses other channels to get to the heart.
  51. Gastritis – stomach inflammation
  52. Chronic gastritis is the chronic inflammation of the stomach affecting the gastric mucosa
  53. Pernicious anaemia – this is when the cells of the stomach stop producing intrinsic factors and HCL. This results in pernicious anaemia because of IF-binding to vitamin B12 in the stomach because B12 is needed for RBC formation(erythropoiesis)
  54. Peptic ulcer disease breaks in the small intestine and stomach mucosa
  55. Gastric ulcers – peptic ulcers in the stomach
  56. Duodenal ulcer peptic ulcers found on the first part of the small intestine
  57. Gastroenteritis – is the inflammation of both the stomach and the small intestine that can be caused by bacteria
  58. Endotoxins – a toxin produced in the intestine such as those causing food poisoning
  59. Intussusception the blockage of the large intestine due to a tumours or hernias
  60. Volvulus is when the large intestine twists on its mesentery both blocking and cutting off blood supply
  61. Ileus – is the reduction or complete absence of peristalsis happens as a result of peritonitis
  62. Ulcerative colitis – chronic inflammation of the colon
  63. Diverticulitis – inflammation of the out our pockets from the colon due to the diverticular being filled with faeces
  64. Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver
  65. Cirrhosis of the liver is the chronic inflammation of the liver that is irreversible, results in the formation of scar tissue most common causes are alcoholic liver disease
  66. Ascites– fluid build up in the abdominal cavity
  67. Delirium tremens – As a result of the liver’s failure to remove nitrogenous waste
  68. Glomerulonephritis- is the inflammation of the glomeruli due to the formation of the antigen-antibody reaction
  69. Cystitis– is the inflammation of the bladder
  70. Urethritis – is the inflammation of the urethra
  71. Dyspnoea – difficulty breathing
  72. Orthopnoea – where the difficulty breathing is related to body position
  73. Apnoea means not breathing
  74. If dyspnoea is severe, it can lead to low blood oxygen (Hypoxaemia),
  75. Clubbing is related to low oxygen, and poor circulation at the ends of the fingers causes connective tissue hypertrophy
  76. Haemoptysis – coughing up blood
  77. Barrel chest is the sign of the excessive use of the accessory chest muscle
  78. Pneumonia – a general term for inflammation and solidification of the cells of the lungs
  79. Bacterial pneumonia – generally lobar I talking about the consolidation of the whole lobe of the lungs
  80. Viral pneumonia of the lungs affects the alveolar epithelium
  81. Influenza – a viral condition with the rapid onset of chills, fever, headache and general muscle ache
  82. Emphysema – Enlargement of the air sacs that are distal to the bronchial, resulting in the walls but not resulting in fibrosis
  83. Elastase is the enzymes found in the neutrophils that destroys elastin
  84. Iatrogenic – relating to illnesses caused by examination or treatment
  85. Pleural effusions – accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity
  86. Pleurisy – inflammation of the visceral and the parietal pleural
  87. Stenosis – is the abnormal narrowing of a passage in the body
  88. Atherosclerosis ( hardening of the arteries)
  89. Angina pectoris – pain due to ischemia of the myocardium
  90. Pulmonary hypertension – happens when the left ventricle is pumping blood out of the hear this means that blood gets backed back t the lungs causing difficulty breaking. The high Bp strains that left ventricle and causes hypertrophy
  91. An aneurysm – localized dilation of the blood vessel
  92. Hypoxia – not enough oxygen
  93. Ischaemia – is not enough oxygenated arterial flow
  94. Epidural hematoma – accumulation of fluid between the side of the skull and dura matter
  95. Hematoma – a swelling of clotted blood within the tissue
  96. Subdural – accumulation in the subdural space
  97. Cerebral contusions – bruises to the cortex of the brain resulting head trauma. When the confusion happens at impact point it is called a coup, the opposite side it is called a counter coup
  98. Encephalitis is the inflammation of the brain caused by a lot of bacteria or viruses



Porth, C. M. (2004). Study Guide to Accompany Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Hotchkiss, R. S., & Karl, I. E. (2003). The pathophysiology and treatment of sepsis. New England Journal of Medicine348(2), 138-150.

Cines, D. B., Pollak, E. S., Buck, C. A., Loscalzo, J., Zimmerman, G. A., McEver, R. P., … & Barnathan, E. S. (1998). Endothelial cells in physiology and in the pathophysiology of vascular disorders. Blood91(10), 3527-3561.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s