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Medical Terminology for

Health Professions

Blood & Lymph Systems
University of Wisconsin La Crosse
Instructor: Amanda Carpenter

Author: Nishele Lenards; Narrator: Melissa Weege

Functions of blood:
Transports oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to body cells
Carries wastes away from the cells
Functions of the lymphatic system:
Protects the body by filtering microorganisms and foreign
particles from the lymph
Supports the activities of the lymphocytes in the immune
Maintains the bodys internal fluid environment as an
intermediary between the blood in the capillaries and tissue
Carries fats away from the digestive organs
Lymphatic System
Combining Forms
Combining form Meaning
-blast (also a suffix)
germ or bud
chyl/o juice
immun/o safe
lymph/o clear fluid
morph/o form
phag/o eat or swallow
plas/o formation
reticul/o a net
splen/o spleen
thromb/o clot
thym/o thymus gland
Anatomical Terms in the blood system
Term Meaning
Terms related to blood fluid
plasma liquid portion of the blood and lymph containing
water, proteins, and cellular components
(leukocytes, erythrocytes, and platelets)
serum liquid portion of the blood left after clotting
Cellular components of blood
erythrocyte red blood cell, which transports oxygen and
carbon dioxide
hemoglobin protein-iron compound contained in
erythrocytes that transports oxygen and carbon
leukocyte white blood cell, which protects the body from
invading harmful substances
granulocytes a group of leukocytes containing granules in
their cytoplasm
Anatomical Terms in the blood system
Term Meaning
Cellular components of blood continued
neutrophil a granular leukocyte, named for the neutral stain of
its granules, that fights infection by swallowing
bacteria (phagocytosis ) (neutr = neither; phil
= attraction for)
another term for neutrophil, named for the many
segments present in its nucleus (poly = many;
morpho = form; nucleus = kernel)
band an immature neutrophil
eosinophil a granular leukocyte, named for the rose-colored
stain of its granules, that increases in allergic and
some infectious reactions (eos = dawn-colored
(rosy); phil = attraction for)
basophil a granular leukocyte, named for the dark stain of its
granules, that brings anticoagulant substances to
inflamed tissues (baso = base; phil = attraction for)
Anatomical Terms in the blood system
Term Meaning
Cellular components of blood continued
agranulocytes a group of leukocytes without granules in their
lymphocyte an agranulocytic leukocyte active in the process of
immunity; the three categories of lymphocytes are T
cells (thymus dependent), B cells (bone marrow-
derived), and NK (natural killer) cells
monocyte an agranulocytic leukocyte that performs
phagocytosis to fight infection (mono = one)
platelets thrombocytes; cell fragments in the blood essential
for blood clotting (coagulation)
Components of the blood
Components of the blood
Anatomical Terms in the lymph system
Term Meaning
Lymph organs
thymus primary gland of the lymphatic system, located
within the mediastinum, that helps maintain the
bodys immune response by producing T
spleen organ between the stomach and diaphragm
that filters out aging blood cells, removed
cellular debris by performing phagocytosis, and
provides an environment for lymphocyte to
initiate immune responses
Lymph Structures
lymph fluid circulated through the lymph vessels
lymph capillaries microscopic vessels that draw lymph from
tissues to the lymph vessels
Anatomical Terms in the lymph system
Term Meaning
Lymph Structures continued
lymph vessels vessels that receive lymph from the lymph capillaries
and circulate it to the lymph nodes
lacteals specialized lymph vessels in the small intestine that
absorb fat into the bloodstream (lacteus = milky)
chyle white or pale yellow substance in lymph that contains
fatty substances absorbed by the lacteals
lymph nodes several small, oval structures that filter lymph from
the lymph vessels; major locations include the
cervical, axillary, and inguinal regions.
lymph ducts collecting channels that carry lymph from the lymph
nodes to the veins
right lymphatic duct receives lymph from the right upper part of the body
thoracic duct receives lymph from the left side of the head, neck,
chest, abdomen, left arm, and lower extremities
Blood & Lymph Circulation
Anatomical Terms in the lymph system
Term Meaning
immunity process of disease protection induced by
exposure to an antigen
antigen a substance that, when introduced into the
body, causes formation of antibodies against it
antibody a substance produced by the body that
destroys or inactivates an antigen that has
entered the body
active immunity an immunity that protects the body against a
future infection, as the result of antibodies that
develop naturally in response to an infection or
artificially after administration of a vaccine
passive immunity an immunity resulting from antibodies that are
conveyed naturally through the placenta to a
fetus or artificially by injection of a serum
containing antibodies
Symptomatic Terms
Term Meaning
anisocytosis presence of red blood cells of unequal size (an
= not, without; iso = equal)
pancytopenia an abnormally reduced number of all cellular
components in the blood
erythropenia an abnormally reduced number of red blood
hemolysis breakdown of the red blood cell membrane
immunocompromised impaired immunologic defenses caused by an
immunodeficiency disorder or therapy with
immunosuppressive agents
immunosuppression impaired ability to provide an immune response
lymphadenopathy enlarged (disease) lymph nodes
lymphocytopenia an abnormally reduced number of
macrocytosis presence of large red blood cells
Symptomatic Terms
Term Meaning
microcytosis presence of small red blood cells
neutropenia decrease in the number of neutrophils
poikilocytosis presence of large, irregularly shaped red blood
cells (poikilo = irregular)
reticulocytosis increased number of immature erythrocytes in
the blood
splenomegaly enlargement of the spleen
Diagnostic Terms
Term Meaning
syndrome (AIDS)
a syndrome caused by the human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that renders
immune cells ineffective, permitting
opportunistic infections, malignancies, and
neurologic diseases to develop; transmitted
sexually or through contaminated blood
anemia a condition of reduced numbers of red blood
cells, hemoglobin, or packed red cells in the
blood, resulting in diminished ability of red
blood cells to transport oxygen to the tissues
iron deficiency anemia a microcytic-hypochromic type of anemia
characterized by a lack of iron, affecting
production of hemoglobin and small red blood
cells containing low amounts of hemoglobin
pernicious anemia a macrocytic normochromic type of anemia
characterized by an inadequate supply of
vitamin B
, causing red blood cells to become
large, varied in shape, and reduced in number
Diagnostic Terms
Term Meaning
aplastic anemia a normocytic-normochromic type of anemia
characterized by the failure of bone marrow to
produce red blood cells
erythroblastosis fetalis a disorder that results from the incompatibility
of a fetus with Rh-positive blood and a mother
with Rh-negative blood, causing red blood cell
destruction in the fetus; a blood transfusion is
necessary to save the fetus
Rh factor the presence or lack of antigens on the surface
of red blood cells, which causes a reaction
between Rh-positive blood and Rh-negative
Rh positive presence of antigens
Rh negative absence of antigens
Diagnostic Terms
Term Meaning
hemochromatosis hereditary disorder with an excessive buildup
of iron deposits in the body
hemophilia group of hereditary bleeding disorders with a
defect in clotting factors necessary for
coagulation of blood
leukemia chronic or acute malignant (cancerous)
disease of the blood-forming organs, marked
by abnormal leukocytes in the blood and bone
myelodysplasia disorder within the bone marrow characterized
by a proliferation of abnormal stem cells (cells
that give rise to different types of blood cells);
usually develops into a specific type of
lymphoma any neoplastic disorder of lymph tissue, usually
malignant, as in Hodgkins disease
Diagnostic Terms
Term Meaning
metastasis process by which cancer cells are spread by
blood or lymph circulation to a distant organ;
metastases is the plural form of the term,
indicating the spread to two or more distant
mononucleosis viral condition characterized by an increase in
mononuclear cells (monocytes and
lymphocytes) in the blood along with enlarged
lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy), fatigue, and
sore throat (pharyngitis)
polycythemia increased number of erythrocytes and
hemoglobin in the blood
septicemia systemic disease caused by the infection of
microorganisms and their toxins in circulating
thrombocytopenia bleeding disorder characterized by an
abnormally decreased number of platelets in
the blood, impairing the clotting process
Diagnostic Tests & Procedures
Test or Procedure Explanation
Blood Studies
incision into or puncture of a vein to withdraw
blood for testing
blood chemistry test of the fluid portion of blood to measure
amounts of chemical constituents (e.g. glucose
and cholesterol)
blood chemistry panels specialized batteries of automated blood
chemistry tests performed on a single sample
of blood; used as a general screen for disease
or to target specific organs or conditions, i.e.,
metabolic panel, lipid panel, arthritis panel
basic metabolic panel battery of tests used as a general screen for
disease: calcium, carbon dioxide, chloride,
creatinine, glucose, potassium, sodium and
blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
Diagnostic Tests & Procedures
Test or Procedure Explanation
Blood Studies continued
comprehensive metabolic
tests in addition to basic panel for
expanded screening purpose: albumin,
bilirubin , alkaline phosphatase ,
protein, ALT, and AST
blood culture test to diagnose an infection in the
bloodstream, by culturing a specimen of
blood to encourage the growth of
microorganisms, which are then identified
erythrocyte sedimentation
rate (ESR)
timed test that measures the rate at which
red blood cells settle through a volume of
partial thromboplastin time
test to determine coagulation defects,
such as platelet disorders
thromboplastin substance present in tissues, platelets, and
leukocytes that is necessary for
Diagnostic Tests & Procedures
Test or Procedure Explanation
Blood Studies continued
prothrombin time (PT) test to measure activity of prothrombin in the blood
prothrombin protein substance in the blood that is essential to the
clotting process
complete blood count
a common laboratory blood test performed as a screen of
general health or for diagnosis, including the following four
component tests (Note: CBC results are usually reported along
with normal values so the clinician can interpret the results based on
the instrumentation used by the laboratory. Normal ranges also may
vary depending on the region, climate, etc.)
white blood count (WBC) a count of the number of white blood cells per cubic millimeter,
obtained by manual or automated laboratory methods
red blood count (RBC) a count of the number of red blood cells per cubic millimeter,
obtained manually or via automated laboratory methods
hemoglobin (HGB) a test to determine the blood level of hemoglobin (expressed in
hematocrit (HCT or Hct) a measurement of the percentage of packed red blood cells in a
given volume of blood
Diagnostic Tests & Procedures
Test or Procedure Explanation
Blood Studies continued
blood indices calculations of RBC, HGB, and HCT results
to determine the average size, hemoglobin
concentration, and content of red blood
cells to classify an anemia
mean corpuscular
(cell) volume (MCV)
calculation of the volume of individual cells
in cubic microns using HCT and RBC
results: MCV = HCT/RBC
mean corpuscular (cell)
hemoglobin (MCH)
calculation of the content in weight of
hemoglobin in the average red blood cell
using HGB and RBC results: MCH =
mean corpuscular (cell)
hemoglobin concentration
calculation of the average hemoglobin
concentration in each red blood cell using
HGB and HCT results: MCHC = HGB/HCT
Note: corpuscular pertains to a blood cell
Diagnostic Tests & Procedures
Test or Procedure Explanation
Blood Studies continued
differential count determination of the number of each type
of white blood cell (leukocyte) in a stained
blood smear; each type is counted and
reported as a percentage of the total
red cell morphology as part of identifying and counting the
WBCs, the condition, size, and shape of
red blood cells in the background of the
smeared slide are noted (e.g.,
anisocytosis, poikilocytosis)
platelet count (PLT) calculation of the number of thrombocytes
in the blood: normal range between
150,000 to 450,000 per cubic millimeter
CBC report
Diagnostic Tests & Procedures
Test or Procedure Explanation
Bone & Lymph Studies
bone marrow aspiration needle aspiration of bone marrow tissue for
pathologic examination
lymphangiogram an x-ray of a lymph node or vessel taken
after injection of a contrast medium
Operative Terms
Term Meaning
bone marrow transplant transplantation of healthy bone marrow
from a compatible donor to a diseased
recipient to simulate blood cell production
lymphadenectomy removal of a lymph node
lymphadenotomy incision into a lymph node
lymph node dissection removal of possible cancer-carrying lymph
nodes for pathologic examination
splenectomy removal of the spleen
thymectomy removal of the thymus gland
Therapeutic Terms
Term Meaning
blood transfusion introduction of blood products into the
circulation of a recipient whose blood
volume is reduced or deficient in some
autologous blood blood donated by and stored for a patient
for future personal use (e.g., upcoming
surgery) (auto = self)
homologous blood blood voluntarily donated by any person for
transfusion to a compatible recipient (homo
= same)
blood component therapy transfusion of a specific blood component,
such as packed red blood cells, platelets,
or plasma
crossmatching a method of matching a donors blood to
the recipient by mixing a sample in a test
tube to determine compatibility
Therapeutic Terms
Term Meaning
chemotherapy treatment of malignancies, infections, and
other diseases with chemical agents to
destroy selected cells or impair their ability
to reproduce
plasmapheresis removal of plasma from the body with
separation and extraction of specific
elements (such as platelets) followed by
reinfusion (apheresis = a withdrawal)
Common Therapeutic Drug Classifications
anticoagulant a drug that prevents clotting of the blood
hemostatic a drug that stops the flow of blood within
the vessel
vasoconstrictor a drug that causes a narrowing of blood
vessels, thereby decreasing blood flow
vasodilator a drug that causes dilation of blood
vessels, thereby increasing blood flow