Thursday, January 17, 2013

MT-2: Some Useful Prefixes

Quick Links to Chapter 2: Basics Lessons
Where Did the Medical Words Come From?
Parts, Parts and More Parts
Useful Suffixes
Some Useful Prefixes
And Some Useful Combining Forms

Some Useful Prefixes

Prefixes come “pre-” meaning before. Here are a few very useful prefixes:

a-, an- = without, none

     apnea: not breathing (usually during sleep) = амьсал зогсох{одышка}
          -pnea: breathing
     anemia: “no” blood, low hemoglobin or red blood cells or both = цус багадалт {анемии}
          -emia: blood condition

endo- = within

     endovascular: within a blood vessel
          vascul/o: blood vessel = судас {кровеносных сосудов}

epi- = above, on

     epidermis: above the dermis
          = арьсны өвчин {эпидермисе}
          dermis: middle layer of the skin
               = {дермис}

ex- = out

Exterior (outside) is a word you might already know. A medical term you might use is:

     excision: to cut out
          = зүсэг, тайралт {обрезание}

exo- = out

Biologist describe insects such as grasshoppers and cockroaches with a hard shell instead of an internal skeleton as having an “exoskeleton”, or an “outside” skeleton.

     exocytosis: release of substances (out) by a cell = эсийн гаднахь үйл явц
          cyt/o: cell

hyper- = excessive, above, more than normal

A very common medical term that many people know is hypertension (high blood pressure = цусны даралт ихсэх). Another example is:

     hyperglycemia: high blood sugar = цусанд саахрын хэмжээ ихсэх

hypo- = deficient, below (when used when talking about a body part), under, less than normal

     hypogastric: below the stomach
     hypodermic: below the skin

Note: Remember, it is hypodermic, not hyperdermic because hyper- means “over, above”.

in- = into, in

Other common words using the prefix in- are inside, interior, and inset.

     incision: cut into

Note: Don't confuse incision with excision. Excision means to cut out, not into.

     micro- = small

Every student might have used a microscope when studying living things in school.

     microbiology: study of very small living things = микробиологи, бичил амин судлал

macro- = large, great

If you were a photographer, you might have a macro lens, a lens that takes pictures very close to an object so that it appears very large in the photograph.

     macrocyte: large red blood cell = цус багадалтын үед илрэх асар том улаан эс

mega- = enlarged, large, larger

     megacolon: enlarged colon = бүдүүн гэдэс өргөсөх төрөлхийн өвчин {мегадвоеточие}

peri- = surrounding, around

Again in mathematics, a student might be asked to measure the perimeter, the measurement around something.

     pericardium: membrane that surrounds the heart
          -um: structure

pro- = before, forward

     prognosis: future of medical condition = тавилан {прогнозирование}

re- = back, backward, again

Students might retake (take again) a test, or return (turn back) something at a store. Other common words that use this prefix are recharge, reborn, recall, repaint, redo, and refund.

     resection: where an an organ is “cut back” or removed = огтлон авах, тайрч авах

retro- = behind

In American slang, someone might describe something as being “retro”, meaning old or behind the times.

     retrocardiac: behind the heart

sub- = below, under

Again, here is a prefix that you might have seen before in words such as submarine (under the water). An example in medicine is:

     subhepatic: pertaining to below/under the liver
          sub- :below, under
          hepat/o: liver
          -ic: pertaining to

trans- = across, through, over, or beyond

Common words that a person might already know are transfusion (transfer of blood from one person to another “across”) and transplant (put or “plant” from one place to another).

     transurethral: through the urethra
          urethr/o: urethra = шээсний сүв {уретры}

Transurethral resection of the prostate (commonly known as a TURP) is a urological operation. It is performed by using a lumen catheter through the urethra and removing tissue from the prostate. This is considered the most effective treatment for BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia).


a-, an-without, noneapnea, anemia
epi-above, onepidermis
hyper-above, more than normal, excessivehyperglycemia
hypo-below, under, less than normal, deficienthypogastric
in-into, inincision
peri-surrounding, aroundpericardium
pro-before, forwardprognosis
re-back, backward, againresection
sub-below, undersubhepatic
trans-across, throughtransurethral

More definitions:
  • excessive: too much, more than normal
  • deficient: not enough, below normal
  • enlarged: to become larger than normal
Medical Terminology
  • apnea: not breathing (usually during sleep)
  • anemia: “no” blood, low hemoglobin/red blood cells/both
  • endovascular: within a blood vessel
  • epidermis: above the dermis
  • excision: to cut out
  • exocytosis: release of substances (out) by a cell
  • hypertension: high blood pressure
  • hyperglycemia: high blood sugar
  • hypogastric: below the stomach
  • hypodermic: below the skin
  • incision: cut into
  • microbiology: study of very small living things
  • macrocyte: large red blood cell
  • megacolon: enlarged colon
  • pericardium: membrane that surrounds the heart
  • prognosis: future of medical condition
  • resection: an an organ is “cut back” or removed
  • retrocardiac: behind the heart
  • subhepatic: pertaining to below/under the liver
  • transfusion: transfer of blood from one person to another “across”
  • transurethral: through the urethra
    Pronunciation Practice:
    = apnea [ap·nea]
    = anemia [a·ne·mia]
    = epidermis [epi·der·mis]
    = excision [ex·ci·sion]
    = exocytosis [exo·cy·to·sis]
    = hypertension [hy·per·ten·sion]
    = hyperglycemia [hy·per·gly·ce·mia]
    = hypogastric [hy·po·gas·tric]
    = hypodermic [hy·po·der·mic]
    = incision [in·ci·sion]
    = microbiology [mi·cro·bi·ol·o·gy]
    = macrocyte [mac·ro·cyte]
    = megacolon [me·ga·co·lon]
    = pericardium [pe·ri·car·di·um]
    = prognosis [prog·no·sis]
    = resection [re·sec·tion]
    = subhepatic [sub·he·pat·ic]
    = transfusion [trans·fu·sion]
    = transurethral [trans·u·re·thral]

    with exercises

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    Useful Suffixes
    Next Lesson
    And Some Useful Combining Forms