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When you look at a medical term and attempt to decipher its meaning you begin with the suffix, move to the prefix (if present) and then the root word.

For example: When trying to understand the word pericarditis you would identify itis (meaning inflammation), then peri (meaning around)and then card (meaning heart). Therefore, this word means inflammation around the heart.

Let’s try another one: for example: leukocytopenia - penia (meaning decrease), then leuk/o (meaning white)and finally cyt/o (meaning cell). Therefore, this word means a decrease in white cells.



II. Roots and suffixes used in the Greek and Latin medical terms



Greek and Latin roots English word elements Meaning Examples of medical terms
angi-; vas- angi- blood vessel angiogramma
bio-; vit- bio- life biologia
cardi-; (-cardia) cardi- heart cardiologia
cyt-; (-cytus) cyt-; -cyte cell adenocytus
cyst- cyst- urinary bladder; sac of fluid cystectomia
cholecyst- cholecyst- gallbladder cholecystotomia
kerat- kerat- cornea; horny keratotomia
mast-; (-mastia); mamm- mast-; -masty breast mastographia
encephal- encephal- brain encephalogramma
gastr-; (-gastria) gastr- stomach gastrotomia
colp- colp- vagina colpectomia
enter- enter- small intestine gastroenterologia
physi- physi- nature physiotherapia



Greek and Latin suffixes English word elements Meaning Examples of medical terms
-graphia -graphy recording; X-ray examination angiographia
-gramma -gram record; X-ray film angiogramma
-ectomia -ectomy removal; resection; to cut out cystectomia
-logia -logy science; study biologia
-pathia -pathy any disease; disease process enteropathia
-tomia -tomy cutting; incision; section gastrotomia
-therapia -therapy treatment physiotherapia





1. Build up clinical terms with the given roots and suffixes, explain their meaning:

E.g.: When you join the root gastr(o)- with the suffix –pathia you get the term gastropathia which means “disease process of the stomach”.

· cardi(o)- (-graphia; -gramma; -pathia; -logia);

· angi(o)- (-pathia; -graphia; -logia; -gramma);

· cholecyst(o)- (-pathia; -tomia; -ectomia; -graphia; -gramma);

· mast(o)-; mamm(o)- (-graphia; -ectomia; -gramma);

· cyst(o)- (-graphia; -tomia; -ectomia; -gramma);

· encephal(o)- (-pathia; -gramma; -graphia).


2. Explain the meaning of the following terms:

1) gastrectomia gastrotomia 2) angiogramma angiologia angiopathia angiographia angiocardiographia
3) keratectomia keratotomia 4) cystectomia cystogramma cystographia cystotomia
5) cytologia cytogramma 6) colpotomia enteropathia


3. Give the Greek & Latin variants and explain the meaning of the following terms:

angiogram; cholecystotomy; gastrectomy; colpotomy; encephalogram; enteropathy; cytology; cardiogram; mastopathy; angiology; keratectomy; biology; gastrotomy; cholecystectomy; cytogram; mastectomy


4. Give the Latin spelling of the terms; explain their meaning:

biology; cystography; angiopathy; keratectomy; gastrotomy; colpotomy; enteropathy; mammogram; encephalography; cytogram; cystectomy; cardiology; cholecystogram; keratectomy



5. Form the Greek & Latin clinical terms according to the meaning:

· disease of vessels;

· science of cells;

· removal of stomach;

· science of natural vital processes in the human body;

· disease of small intestine;

· X-ray examination of heart;

· X-ray film of brain;

· X-ray examination of urinary bladder;

· removal of cornea;

· cutting of vagina;

· X-ray film of gallbladder;

· X-ray film of heart;

· science of life;

· disease of breast;

· science of blood vessels.



In this lesson you will:

· Learn new basic roots and suffixes used in the Greek and Latin medical terms.

· Use these component elements to form and understand medical terms.


This lesson is divided into the following sections:

I. Roots and suffixes used in the Greek and Latin medical terms.

II. Exercises.


Date: 2016-03-03; view: 2355

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