"The abbreviations, acronyms, and words included in this glossary represent medical device and procedure terminology found in everyday practice. Also included are many colloquial terms and abbreviations frequently encountered on requisitions for radiologic services or in daily conversation. These terms were purposely included because they are often not defined in standard medical texts or dictionaries. The definitions presented herein are the authors’ own, but we believe they conform to general usage. Some meanings vary from locale to locale and from specialty to specialty. Often, terms now in general medical usage originated from the name of a manufacturer or inventor of a particular device. Over time, these terms have acquired a generic meaning of their own, now being applied to a class of devices with the original meaning lost. Examples of this phenomenon include the Jackson-Pratt drain, the Hickman catheter, the Broviac catheter, the Swan-Ganz catheter, the Dobbhoff tube, and the Kirschner wire.
It is surprising that many such terms are not defined or even listed in leading medical specialty textbooks. The package inserts supplied with devices frequently do not cite references that deal with the device’s origin, even when the device carries an inventor’s name. There has also been a recent pernicious increase in the nonstandardized use of common abbreviations in requests for radiologic procedures. Prime examples include the abbreviations ASD and USA. ASD used to mean “atrial septal defect.” Now, it sometimes means “airspace disease.” USA used to mean the United States of America, but some use it to mean “unstable angina.”
The definitions and terms included in this glossary are derived from the authors’ own experience, from discussions with many colleagues, and from information contained in many excellent medical terminology texts. This glossary is also an extension of glossaries found in Radiologic Guide to Medical Devices and Foreign Bodies (St Louis, Mo: Mosby–Year Book, 1994) and Medical Devices, Abbreviations, Acronyms and Eponyms: A Pocket Guide (St Louis, Mo: Mosby, 1994)."