Department of Respiratory Services - NGHA - Western Region
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[strike]RT related definition[/strike]

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Post by mazen Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:08 pm

The neurotransmitter of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Symptoms that begin abruptly or over a short period of time. Acute bronchitis usually lasts a week or two.

A chemical substance that simulates the action of a drug or a substance occurring naturally in the body.

Alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT)
An enzyme that normally prevents loss of the lungs' elastic fibres.

A chemical substance that opposes the action on the nervous system of a drug or a substance occurring naturally in the body, combining with and blocking its nervous system receptor.

anticholinergic bronchodilator
This acts on the cholinergic receptor to help dilate (open) the bronchial tubes (airways), to help move air more easily into and out of the lungs.

Describes a drug that treats inflammation.

A chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways often associated with allergy and onset during childhood.

A substance that acts on the sympathetic nervous system allowing the bronchial muscle tissue to relax thus helping to open up the airways..
The state in which bronchial smooth muscle contracts and the airways narrow.

Inflammation of the bronchial tubes and smaller airways (bronchioles); symptoms can include shortness of breath, cough, raspy throat, and/or sputum.

Increase in diameter of the bronchi and bronchioles due to relaxation of airway smooth muscle.

Medication used to relax the muscle bands that tighten around the airways, enabling increased airflow.

Bronchus (bronchi pl)
Either of the two primary divisions of the trachea that lead respectively into the right and left lung.

The term that describes receptors and neurotransmitters of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Chronic means prolonged or usually present. Chronic bronchitis is diagnosed when a person is coughing and producing sputum for most days of at least three months each year, two years in a row.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
A chronic respiratory disorder characterised by chronic airflow limitation, shortness of breath (dyspnea), cough, wheezing and increased sputum production, which can restrict a patient's ability to perform normal daily activities.

Compliance (concordance)
In medical language, the practice of taking one's medication(s) and following medical direction fully and correctly.

Steroid hormones like those made by the body's adrenal glands. In the form of inhaled medications they are generally used to treat asthma and allergies. They function by reducing inflammation.

A bluish discoloration of the skin, due to lack of oxygen.

Dry powder inhaler (DPI)

A device for inhaling respiratory medications that come in powder form.

Difficult or laboured breathing; shortness of breath..


A condition of the lung that causes irreversible damage by weakening and destroying the air sacs within the lungs. As a result, elasticity of the lung tissue is lost, causing airways to collapse and obstruction of airflow to occur.

A periodic worsening of severity and the related symptoms of the disease.

Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1)
The volume of air exhaled in one second. FEV1 is reduced in patients with COPD, as it takes longer for these patients to exhale completely. Trough FEV1 is the measure taken in the morning prior to first dosing of inhaled medications. FEV1 is a key measure of lung function.

Forced Vital Capacity (FVC)
The maximal amount of air that can be exhaled after a maximum inspiration. Forced vital capacity is a key measure of lung function.

The process that causes the biological similarity between parents and their offspring.

Hyperinflation (or 'overinflation')
Hyperinflation is when excess air becomes trapped in the lungs. Static (or chronic) hyperinflation occurs at rest when there is an increase in the volume of residual air in the lungs (ie. air remaining in the lungs when the patient has fully exhaled). Dynamic hyperinflation occurs during exercise or physical activity, when the length of time a patient breathes out (expiration) is insufficient to allow the lungs to fully deflate before the patient breathes in (inspiration). Hyperinflation leads to breathlessness which can restrict a patient's ability to perform normal daily activities and severely impact quality of life.

Inflammation is the immune system's protective reaction to an irritant. Chronic (persistent) inflammation often involves formation of new connective tissue - and thickening of existing tissue - which can create problems. For example, in COPD it can make the airways narrower.

Maintenance therapy
Treatment used on a regular basis to prevent or reduce symptoms.

Metered-Dose Inhaler (MDI)
A device that delivers the required medication in an aerosol form.

Medical Research Council (MRC) Dyspnea Scale
A scale which grades breathlessness and associated disability as indicated by dyspnea levels. The scale runs from Grade 0 = No breathlessness, to Grade 5 = too breathless to leave the house or breathless when dressing.

A thick liquid that moistens and lubricates body tissues, including those in the airways and lungs.

muscarinic receptors
A type of cholinergic receptor that stimulates bronchoconstriction.

Nervous system
The body's system for regulating how it responds to stimuli from both outside and inside. It includes the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and some organs. Two of its major parts are the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.

Obstructive airways disease
Any of the respiratory disorders characterised by narrowed airways, including COPD and asthma.

A measure of someone's cigarette smoking over a lifetime: the number of packs per day times the number of years a person has smoked. E.g. ten pack-years could refer to a smoking history of two packs a day x 5 years.

Parasympathetic nervous system
Part of the nervous system with many functions, including control of the size of the airways. Works together with the sympathetic nervous system. Anticholinergic bronchodilators act on the parasympathetic nervous system and smooth muscle.

Peak expiratory flow rate
A measure indicating how fast air can be exhaled from the lungs.

Of, or pertaining to, the lungs.

Rescue medication
Usually given on as 'as-needed' basis for relief of persistent or worsening symptoms.

The process of breathing which includes the exchange of gases in the blood (oxygen and carbon dioxide).

Respiratory tract
The entire system of organs and tissues involved in breathing; especially the lungs, trachea, bronchial tubes, bronchioles and alveoli.

Spiro meter

A machine for measuring how much air can be inhaled and exhaled in a single breath.

Mucus, phlegm or other substances produced from the respiratory tract.

A family of compounds with many different effects within the body. They may be naturally occurring or be a part of pharmaceutical agents. One important class of steroids (the corticosteroids) are often used in treatment of inflammation.

Sympathetic nervous system
Part of the nervous system with many functions, including control of the smooth muscles around the airways. Works together with the parasympathetic nervous system. Beta-agonist bronchodilators act on the sympathetic nervous system.
A high-pitched whistling sound of air entering or leaving narrowed airways.


Number of posts : 4
Job Title : RT
Registration date : 2008-08-26

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