Medical Devices, Medical Procedures, and Foreign Bodies:
Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Definitions
by Tim B Hunter, MD, MSc and Mihra S. Taljanovic, MD, PhD
Dacron. Du Pont’s trade name for polyethylene terephthalate polyester fiber. Dacron is a typical condensation polymer and was the first commercial polyester. Sometimes the terms polyester and Dacron are used interchangeably.
Dalkon Shield. A type of intrauterine device. It is no longer marketed because of the high number of pelvic complications associated with its use.
DCP. See dynamic compression plate.
DCS. dorsal column stimulator.
debug. Process of removing errors from a program.
default. A software option in which a particular task or particular settings are chosen in a predetermined fashion.
dental amalgam. An amalgam of silver, tin, and mercury used in dental applications for filling of cavities. It may also contain low concentrations of copper and zinc.
dental bridge. An appliance cemented to adjacent teeth to replace one or more lost or diseased teeth.
dental crown. A specialized cap placed completely over a tooth to cover the tooth, restore its function, and improve its appearance.
dental plate. A plate containing artificial teeth. It is fitted to the shape of the mouth and is usually constructed from metal or acrylic materials.
dental restorations. Another term for dental fillings.
dental veneer. Thin shell custom made and cemented to front side of a tooth to treat such conditions as a discolored tooth, crooked tooth, or chipped tooth.
denture. Artificial replacement for one or more teeth; false teeth.
Denver shunt. A pleuroperitoneal shunt for use in patients with intractable pleural effusion.
Deyerle apparatus. An apparatus with multiple fixation pins and a side plate. It is used for intracapsular hip fractures. \
DF. digital fluoroscopy.
DHS. Dynamic hip screw.
DHT. Dobbhoff or similar “feeding tube.”
diamagnetic. A term applied to any material that creates an induced magnetic field in a direction opposite to an externally applied magnetic field and is repelled by the external magnetic field. It is the opposite of paramagnetic.
Diamond tube. A tube, similar to the Abbott-Rawson tube, used for study of the small intestine.
DICOM. Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine, a detailed specification standard for the exchange of digital images and data between imaging devices. It is an evolution of the ACR-NEMA Standard.
digitalize. Process of administering digitalis to a patient with congestive heart failure. This term should not be confused with the term digitize.
digitize. Conversion of analog data to digital information.
DLC. Diamond-like carbon.
Dobbhoff tube. A type of feeding tube developed by Drs. Dobbie and Hoffmeister. It is now a generic term for any small feeding tube.
Dome card. Refers to one of the video graphics cards manufactured by Dome Imaging Systems (Waltham, MA). Dome cards are often used in PACS systems. The term has come to generically refer to any high performance graphics system.
dome port. A type of vascular access port.
Doppler phenomenon. An eponymous term to describe the apparent change in frequency of a waveform, such as light or sound, whenever the wave source and an observer are in motion relative to each other. If the source and the observer are moving together, the observed frequency is higher than the emitted frequency. If they are moving apart, the observed frequency is lower than the emitted frequency. An important example of the latter case is the “red shift” of visible light and other electromagnetic radiation from distant galaxies, which are receding from our own galaxy, the Milky Way, because of the expansion of the universe. The Doppler phenomenon is used in many medical applications such as color Doppler ultrasound. The phenomenon is named after Christian Doppler (1803–1853), an Austrian physicist and mathematician who first described it.
Dorsal column stimulator. A special type of spinal column (cord) stimulator used to reduce chronic pain or muscle spasticity.
double J stent. See JJ stent.
double-lumen endotracheal tube. A tube used for differential ventilation of the two lungs to accommodate differences in compliance between them.
DR. Digital radiography.
Dual MicroPort, Dual MacroPort. Types of vascular access ports.
DuraPhase. A type of penile prosthesis.
Dutoit staple. A long, slender orthopedic staple for anchoring ligaments and tendons to bone. It is most commonly used as part of a repair for recurrent anterior shoulder dislocations.
Dvorak. This term is not to be confused with the popular composer Anton Leopold Dvorak (1841-1904). Dvorak refers to a keyboard designed by August Dvorak (1894-1975) for maximum speed and ease of use. Its design is opposed to the common QWERTY keyboard arrangement which is in everyday use on most computer keyboards.
Dwyer-Zielke (Zielke) system. A complex orthopedic spine-fixation system used for correcting thoracolumbar scoliosis.
Dx. Diagnosis or disease.
dynamic compression plate (DCP). An orthopedic fracture fixation plate with oval holes designed to provide compression of the fracture as eccentrically placed screws are tightened on either side of the fracture line. DCPs are designed to compress fracture fragments together rather than merely hold them in contact. They are typically used for fractures that are stable.
dynamic hip screw, dynamic compression screw. A dynamic hip screw (and sliding nail plate device) that is part of a fixation system to treat intertrochanteric and femoral neck fractures. There is a side plate, which contains a barrel through which a lag screw can slide. The gliding motion of the lag screw is designed to prevent the screw from perforating the femoral head and entering the hip joint space as the fracture fragments settle. The device also provides fracture fragment compression at the time of its initial placement.
Dynesys device. A posterior lumbar spine stabilization system manufactured by Zimmer Holdings.
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EAP. Expedited Approval Pathway (FDA) for medical devices designed for irreversible, debilitating, or life threatening diseases.
ECD. Expandable corpectomy device. A device placed into a vertebra which helps replace a vertebral body destroyed by tumor, infection, or trauma.
ED. Emergency Department, external device.
EF. External fixation.
Eggers plate. A slotted metallic bone plate designed for maintaining approximation of bone fragments.
elastomer. An elastic, rubber-like substance such as a synthetic rubber or a plastic having some of the physical properties of natural rubber.
Enders nails. Small, flexible intramedullary nails used for fixation of long bone shaft fractures.
Endobutton. A trademark of Smith & Nephew. It is a cortical bone fixation device with a continuous loop suture and no fixation knot. Endobuttons were designed for anterior cruciate ligament repair and fixation but are also used for other ligamentous repairs. There is direct fixation of the repair graft onto a small metallic button like device through which continuous loop suturing is used with the fixation device secured directly to the external surface of cortical bone.
endoprosthesis. A term sometimes applied to a hip prosthesis that consists of a single piece: a press-fit femoral stem with a ball that matches the diameter of the native acetabulum.
endotracheal tube. A tube placed in the trachea to control respiration.
Entriflex tube. A type of feeding tube.
En-tube-Plus. A type of feeding tube.
ER. Emergency Department, Emergency Room, erectile dysfunction.
ERCP. endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram or cholangiopancreatography.
ESKA Jonas Silicone-Silver. A type of malleable penile prosthesis.
esophageal stent. A stent used in the esophagus to traverse tumors or strictures.
Essure. A product of the Bayer group. Essure is used for hysteroscopic tubal sterilization in which micro coils are inserted in the proximal fallopian tubes on each side. This induces a fibrotic reaction with eventual tubal occlusion.
ESWL. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy.
ET. External, endotracheal tube, examination terminal, an extra-terrestrial being.
ETP. Engineering thermoplastic.
ETT. Endotracheal tube, exercise tolerance test.
Ewald tube. A large-bore gastric tube for evacuation and lavage of the stomach. It is typically used in cases of poison ingestion.
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F, Fr. See French scale.
FB. Foreign body.
FDA. United States Food and Drug Administration.
FDASIA. Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (2012).
FDG. Fluorodeoxyglucose, a glucose analog with the positron emitting radioactive isotope fluorine 18 substituted for one of the normal hydroxyl groups in the glucose molecule. F-18 FDG uptake by tissues in PET scanning is a marker for tissue uptake of glucose which is correlated with certain types of tissue metabolism.
FDI. World Dental Federation.
Federal Hydrashok bullet. A .45-caliber bullet that produces characteristic fragments when it deforms in body tissues. It has a hollow point and a post in the center. The copper jacket forms the rim of the bullet tip.
ferromagnetic. A term referring to any material which can form a permanent magnet. Very few substances are ferromagnetic, the most notable being iron, nickel, cobalt, and most of their alloys. Ferromagnetism is the basis for many electromechanical devices, such as electromagnets, electric motors, generators, transformers, and magnetic storage systems.
fine needle aspiration (FNA), fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC), fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB). A popular procedure in which a small needle, typically 20 –23 gauge, is introduced into a lesion and a cells are aspirated for cytological examination.
Finney Flexi-Rod (Flexirod). A type of penile prosthesis.
Fish viscera retainer. A metallic device used to contain viscera inside the abdominal cavity during abdominal surgery.
fixation screws (bone screws). Any type of screw used to approximate two pieces of bone or to attach a plate or rod to a bone.
fixation wire. Any type of wire used to approximate one or more pieces of fractured bone.
Flexi-Flate. A type of penile prosthesis.
Flexiflow tube. A type of feeding tube.
FMC. Full metal case, synonymous with full metal jacket.
FNA, FNAB, FNAC. See fine needle aspiration.
focal zone banding. A sonographic artifact that results from the ultrasound beam having varying intensities along its course.
fold-in, foldover artifact. See wraparound artifact.
Foley catheter. A balloon-tipped catheter used in the urinary bladder.
FOOSH. fall on outstretched hand.
four-poster brace. A type of brace used for external immobilization of the cervical spine.
Fr, F. See French scale.
Frederick Miller tube. A type of intestinal feeding tube.
French scale. A common scale used for denoting the diameter of catheters, tubes, and sounds. Each French unit approximates 0.33 mm in diameter; therefore 18 French is equivalent to a diameter of 6 mm.
FT. Feeding tube.
full metal case (FMC), full metal jacket, ball bullet. A type of bullet in which a metal jacket completely covers the bullet tip. Full metal jacket bullets typically penetrate at least 10 cm before the bullet yaws. With this type of bullet, a large temporary cavity forms only after significant yaw. Under the terms of The Hague Convention of 1899, the jacket of a military bullet must completely cover the bullet tip.
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