Glossary

Term Definition
22q11.2 deletion syndrome A type of 22q11.2-related disorder.
22q11.2-related disorders A group of disorders caused by differences in part of chromosome 22, called the q11.2 region. The symptoms vary widely, even among members of the same family. They can affect a child's growth, feeding, breathing, speaking, hearing, learning and mental health.
25 American Board of Pediatrics points Please note: additional interventions, even if they are within the same portfolio project, may qualify as another MOC project and another 25 MOC points.
3-D CT scan imaging The volumetric display of imaging data. CT data from a high-speed scanner can be post processed on a powerful workstation to create three-dimensional, color-referenced images of the interior of the body for improved diagnosis and understanding.
3-D imaging The volumetric display of imaging data. CT data from a high-speed scanner can be post processed on a powerful workstation to create three-dimensional, color-referenced images of the interior of the body for improved diagnosis and understanding.
3T MRI 3T magnetic resonance imaging. A process that creates high-quality pictures of the inside of the body. MRI uses a large magnet to create these pictures. 3T MRI uses a stronger magnet than regular MRI and creates even better pictures. 3T stands for 3 Tesla.
3T MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) A process that creates high-quality pictures of the inside of the body. MRI uses a large magnet to create these pictures. 3T MRI uses a stronger magnet than regular MRI and creates even better pictures. 3T stands for 3 Tesla.
Abdominal wall The layers covering the belly, including skin, muscles and connective tissue.
ABO-incompatible liver transplants Liver transplants between people with different blood types. An older child's or adult's immune system may attack an organ transplanted from a person with a different blood type. Because a young child's immune system is not yet well developed, their body may accept this type of organ.
ABO-incompatible transplants Transplants between people with different blood types. An older child’s or adult’s immune system may attack an organ transplanted from a person with a different blood type. Because a young child’s immune system is not yet well developed, their body may accept this type of organ.
Absorptive disorders Conditions that affect how well the body can absorb nutrients from food.
Acanthosis nigricans A skin abnormality that involves the development of patches of darker pigmented (colored), thickened (velvety feeling) skin on the neck and eyelids and around the mouth.
Accessory navicular The navicular is a bone on the inside of the midfoot. An accessory navicular is an extra bone or piece of cartilage next to the navicular.
Achilles tendon A large band of strong, fibrous tissue in the back of the lower leg that connects the muscles of the calf to the heel bone.
Acupuncture A method used in traditional Chinese medicine. The healthcare provider stimulates specific points on the body, usually by inserting thin needles through the skin. Research suggests that acupuncture can help manage pain. Researchers are studying if it can help other health conditions.
Acute liver disease Liver damage that results from a sudden illness in a person with no history of liver disease.
Acute liver failure Liver failure (when the liver stops working) that results from a sudden illness rather than a long-standing (chronic) illness.
Acute normovolemic hemodilution A process to limit loss of blood cells during surgery. At the start of surgery, some blood is drained from the bloodstream while fluid (water and minerals) is added. The fluid is used to keep the patient's blood volume normal, even if the patient bleeds during surgery. Any blood that is lost from bleeding is ""thin"" (dilute); it has more fluid and fewer blood cells than normal. As a result, the bleeding patient doesn't lose as many blood cells. At the end of surgery, the blood that was drained from the patient - which is full of blood cells - is returned to the body.
Acute recurrent pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas that comes and goes with periods of feeling normal in between attacks. It happens when digestive juices (enzymes) inside the pancreas irritate and damage the pancreas.
Adenoidectomy A surgical procedure to remove adenoids or lymphoid tissue in the back of the nose.
Adenoids Small lumps of tissue in the back of the nose. They help babies and children fight infection.
Advanced multiparameter flow cytometry The use of multicolored tags for various proteins to identify them among all immune cells.
Advanced practice provider (APP) Also called an APP. An advanced practice provider works closely with doctors and can provide care independently. APPs include advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) and physician assistants (PAs). An APP diagnoses and treats patients and can prescribe medicines. APPs see patients in clinics and in the hospital. Throughout your child's treatment, they answer questions, share advice and teach family members about your child’s condition and care.
Advanced practice providers Also called APPs. Advanced practice providers work closely with doctors and can provide care independently. APPs include advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) and physician assistants (PAs). APPs diagnose and treat patients and can prescribe medicines. APPs see patients in clinics and in the hospital. Throughout your child’s treatment, APPs answer questions, share advice and teach family members about your child’s condition and care.
Advanced practice providers (APPs) Also called APPs. Advanced practice providers work closely with doctors and can provide care independently. APPs include advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) and physician assistants (PAs). APPs diagnose and treat patients and can prescribe medicines. APPs see patients in clinics and in the hospital. Throughout your child’s treatment, APPs answer questions, share advice and teach family members about your child’s condition and care.
Advanced registered nurse practitioners Registered nurses with advanced training and education. They practice independently and work closely with doctors to diagnose, treat and teach patients and families about serious and chronic conditions. Nurse practitioners may see patients in the hospital or for clinic visits.
Advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) Registered nurses with advanced training and education. They practice independently and work closely with doctors to diagnose, treat and teach patients and families about serious and chronic conditions. Nurse practitioners may see patients in the hospital or for clinic visits.
aEEG Amplitude-integrated electroencephalography. A way to record the electrical activity of the brain, sometimes called the brain waves, over hours or days.
aEEG (amplitude-integrated EEG) A way to record the electrical activity of the brain, sometimes called the brain waves, over hours or days.
Airway birth defects that interfere with breathing When your child's airway isn't formed right, it can affect breathing. For example, some children are born with floppy tissue above their voice box (larynx) that partly blocks the opening to the windpipe (trachea). This condition is called laryngomalacia. In other children, weak and floppy walls of the windpipe can block the airway (tracheomalacia). We work with Children's Craniofacial team and their innovative imaging, medical and surgical techniques to treat these conditions.
Alagille syndrome (ALGS) An inherited (genetic) disorder that can affect multiple organs, including the liver. ALGS causes decreased flow of bile, which leads to scarring of the liver.
Alar Related to the nostril.
Albumin A protein made in the liver and found in the liquid part of blood (plasma).
Algorithms In medicine, these are step-by-step guidelines for making treatment decisions. They guide doctors to choose and apply treatments that are likely to get the best results based on the details of the patient's condition, such as their symptoms or test results.
Allergen Things that cause allergic reactions in some people. Examples are pollen, cat dander, certain medicines or peanuts.
Allergies The body’s overreaction to something that is harmless to most people. Things that cause allergic reactions, such as pollen or peanuts, are called allergens. The immune system makes antibodies to fight the allergen. This causes symptoms that can range from minor to life-threatening.
Allergy The body’s overreaction to something that is harmless to most people. Things that cause allergic reactions, such as pollen or peanuts, are called allergens. The immune system makes antibodies to fight the allergen. This causes symptoms that can range from minor to life-threatening.
Alpha-1-AT deficiency An inherited (genetic) disease that causes the body to make too much of a protein called alpha-1-AT. If the liver isn’t able to get rid of it, the extra protein can scar the liver and damage it.
Alveolar bone graft Surgically adding bone to the part of the jaw where the teeth grow (alveolar bone).
Alveolus The part of the jaws where the teeth grow.
American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) membe The ABMS member boards participating in the Portfolio Program are the American Board of Medical Specialties, American Board of Allergy and Immunology, American Board of Anesthesiology, American Board of Dermatology, American Board of Emergency Medicine, American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Medical Genetics, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Board of Otolaryngology, American Board of Pediatrics, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Board of Preventive Medicine, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, American Board of Surgery and American Board of Thoracic Surgery.
Amniocentesis A test done on the amniotic fluid during pregnancy. Using a long, thin needle, doctors remove a small amount of amniotic fluid from the sac that surrounds the baby. Doctors use this fluid to check for certain birth defects and genetic problems. Results can also be used to tell the sex of the baby.
Amniotic fluid The watery liquid that surrounds and protects a baby in the womb during pregnancy. It fills the amniotic sac that holds the baby.
Amniotic sac The fluid-filled sac that surrounds and protects a baby in the womb. It's made of two tough, thin membranes - the amnion, or inner membrane, and the chorion, or outer membrane. The amnion holds the amniotic fluid and baby. The chorion is part of the placenta.
Amplification Used to describe devices that can be used to amplify, or make louder, the hearing that a child has. Examples of amplification are hearing aids, FM systems and cochlear implants.
Amylase blood test A test of a blood sample for amylase, an enzyme that helps digest carbohydrates. It is made in the pancreas and the saliva glands. A high level of amylase in the blood can be a sign that the pancreas is diseased or inflamed.
Amyoplasia A problem with the way a baby forms before birth that causes multiple joint contractures. The name amyoplasia means ""lack of muscle development."" This is the most common form of arthrogryposis.
Anabolic steroid A hormone made in the lab, similar to the body's natural sex hormone testosterone. It can help the body make red blood cells, and sometimes increase the number of platelets and white blood cells. Anabolic steroids are different from corticosteroids, which help control swelling and inflammation. Some athletes use anabolic steroids to build muscle and improve performance. The drugs require a prescription.
Analgesic Any type of medicine that is used to reduce pain.
Anemia A decrease in the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream. Fewer blood cells mean less oxygen is carried by the blood to the rest of the body.
Anencephaly A serious birth defect in which part of the brain and skull does not form.
Anesthesia Medicine to make your child not feel pain during surgeries, tests or other procedures.
Anesthesiologist A doctor who uses medicines to block pain and make your child less aware during surgeries, tests or other procedures.
Anesthesiologists Doctors who use medicines to block pain and make your child less aware during surgeries, tests or other procedures.
Aneurysm A wide spot in an artery, like a bubble. It usually develops from a weakness in the wall of an artery and is present at birth (congenital). Doctors usually find an aneurysm when it breaks open and bleeds.
Aneurysms Wide spots in an artery, like bubbles. They usually develop from a weakness in the wall of an artery and are present at birth (congenital). Doctors usually find an aneurysm when it breaks open and bleeds.
Angiogram A specialized X-ray that helps doctors see blood vessels.
Angiography An X-ray technique that uses a dye injected into the blood vessels to study how blood circulates through the heart. The test allows doctors to measure the degrees of obstruction to blood flow.
Anorexia nervosa In an effort to be thin, people with anorexia often stop eating. This causes them to lose large amounts of weight, which can stop their bodies from working correctly. They may also vomit, take laxatives or exercise too much to control their weight. People with anorexia, like those with other eating disorders, often are very critical of themselves and have negative feelings about food and their body weight, no matter their size.
Anterior fontanelle The ""soft spot"" towards the front of the top of an infant's head between the growing skull bones.
Antibiotic Related to medicine that prevents or fights infections caused by bacteria.
antibiotic medicines Medicines that fight infections caused by bacteria.
Antibiotics Medicines that fight infections caused by bacteria.
Antibodies Blood proteins made by the immune system to help fight invaders (like viruses or bacteria). Antibodies combine with the invaders, which are called antigens. Antibodies are also called immunoglobulins.
Antibody A blood protein made by the immune system to help fight invaders (like viruses or bacteria). The antibody combines with the invader, which is called an antigen. An antibody is also called an immunoglobulin.
Anticoagulants Medicines used to prevent or keep blood clots from getting larger. Anticoagulants work best against clots made up mostly of a protein that forms a mesh to slow blood flow and help clots form (fibrin). Heparin and warfarin are common anticoagulants.
Antiplatelets Medicines used to prevent or keep blood clots from getting larger. Antiplatelets work best against clots made up mostly of sticky cells in blood that clump together to help clots form (platelets). Aspirin is sometimes used as an antiplatelet.
Antithrombotics Medicines used to prevent or keep blood clots from getting larger. Also called blood thinners. Two types of antithrombotics are antiplatelets and anticoagulants.
Anus The opening on the outside of the body, near a child’s bottom, where poop (stool) comes out. It is the end of the digestive tract.
Anxiety Fears and worries that are out of scale with the situation and get in the way of normal day-to-day activities. Often a child has considerable distress and negative thinking and tries to avoid what causes their stress. Physical symptoms may include headaches or stomach aches.
Aorta The largest artery in the body and the primary blood vessel leading from the heart to the body.
Aortic Stenosis A narrowing or obstruction of the valve between the left side of the heart and the aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the body.
Aortic valve The valve that allows blood to flow in and out of the aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the body.
Apathetic personality Seeming to lack emotion or interest, which might come from trouble organizing and processing information and making decisions, rather than not caring.
Apert syndrome A craniofacial malformation syndrome caused by craniosynostosis, or premature closure of one or more of the sutures (joints) that separate the bony plates of the skull. Apert syndrome is caused by mutations in Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 2.
Appendix An outpouching of the large bowel that is the size and shape of a finger. Its purpose and function are not known.
Applied behavior analysis Also called ABA. The study of how a person’s behavior relates to their environment. ABA therapists focus on what happens just before a specific behavior occurs and what happens just after that behavior. ABA therapists teach people more effective ways to learn and to behave, mainly by changing what happens as a result of their behavior. This type of therapy has been proven to help children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism. The goal is to increase helpful behaviors, reduce problem behaviors and build social and communication skills.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) ABA is the study of how a person’s behavior relates to their environment. ABA therapists focus on what happens just before a specific behavior occurs and what happens just after that behavior. ABA therapists teach people more effective ways to learn and to behave, mainly by changing what happens as a result of their behavior. This type of therapy has been proven to help children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism. The goal is to increase helpful behaviors, reduce problem behaviors and build social and communication skills.
Arrhythmia An abnormal heart rhythm.
Arteries They carry blood away from the heart.
Arteriovenous fistula An abnormal connection or pathway between an artery and a vein.
Arteriovenous malformation A tangle of small, abnormal blood vessels that develops before a baby is born. The vessels bleed easily, often without warning and for no clear reason. Usually diagnosed for the first time when it bleeds.
Arteriovenous malformations Tangles of small, abnormal blood vessels that develop before a baby is born. The vessels bleed easily, often without warning and for no clear reason. Usually diagnosed for the first time when it bleeds.
Arthritis An ongoing (chronic) disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.
Arthrography A procedure to insert a needle into a joint to inject dye that makes the joint show up on an X-ray, CT or MRI so doctors can diagnose a problem. An interventional radiologist gives the injection guided by fluoroscopy. Medicine to relieve pain can also be injected into the joint.
Arthrogryposis A problem in which a child is born with joint contractures. Some joints don't move as much as normal. Often the muscles around these joints are thin, weak, stiff or missing. Extra tissue may have formed around the joints, holding them in place.
Articulation The way your child makes sounds.
Astrocytomas Tumors that begin in the brain or spinal cord. They develop from star-shaped cells called astrocytes. They are also called astroglial tumors.
Atherosclerosis Buildup of a fatty substance (plaque) inside blood vessels. Plaque can narrow blood vessels, reducing blood flow. Plaque can also burst, making the blood vessel bleed, which can lead to a clot that blocks blood flow.
Athletic trainer Athletic trainers work with kids, teens, coaches and parents to make sure young athletes are well prepared for activities, properly treated for injuries and can return to play safely and quickly.”
Athletic trainers Athletic trainers work with kids, teens, coaches and parents to make sure young athletes are well prepared for activities, properly treated for injuries and can return to play safely and quickly.
Atria The two (left and right) upper chambers of the heart, which take in blood flow from the veins so it can be pumped to the body and the lungs.
Atrial septal defect A hole in the septum (wall) between the atria (upper chambers) of the heart.
Atrioventricular septal defect A complex condition in which the important structures of the heart are not fully formed at birth.
Atrium One of the two (left and right) upper chambers of the heart, which take in blood flow from the veins so it can be pumped to the body and the lungs.
Audiologist A hearing specialist trained to test hearing. An audiologist also recommends and fits devices to aid hearing.
Auditory brainstem response (ABR, AABR, BAER, BER) Test measuring how well a baby's hearing nerve responds to sounds. To perform the test, special sensors are placed on the baby's forehead and behind each ear. A soft rubber earphone is placed in the baby's ear and sends a series of soft sounds into the sleeping baby's ear. The sensors measure the response of the baby's hearing nerve. The responses are recorded and stored in a computer.
Augmentative and alternative communication Ways people can express themselves without having to speak. Methods can include using facial expressions, gestures, sign language, writing, pictures, electronic devices and other tools.
Aural atresia Indicates the lack of an ear canal, i.e., the development of the middle and outer ear proceeds independently of inner ear development.
Aural habilitation Aural habilitation helps children with hearing problems improve their ability to hear and express themselves.
Auriculocondylar syndrome A genetic condition that causes a small jaw, cleft palate and differences in the outer ear.
Autism Also called autism spectrum disorder. A complex disorder of the nervous system. It affects the way a child thinks, behaves, communicates and interacts with others. It may affect a child very little or very much. Many children with autism have rigid or challenging behaviors.
Autism spectrum disorder A complex disorder of the nervous system. It affects the way a child thinks, behaves, communicates and interacts with others. It may affect a child very little or very much.
Autoimmune In autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks part of the body as though it were an invader, like a virus. Examples of autoimmune conditions that affect children are multiple sclerosis and juvenile diabetes.
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia A group of blood disorders in which the immune system attacks red blood cells, as though they are harmful invaders. This causes a child to have low levels of red blood cells (anemia) because their body can’t make red blood cells fast enough to replace the destroyed cells. Also called AIHA.
Autoimmune hepatitis An ongoing (chronic) liver disease caused by a person’s own immune system attacking their liver cells. The trigger for the immune attack is not well understood, but there is an increased risk in families with other autoimmune diseases.
Autosomal dominant condition A condition caused by a genetic change in one of the 22 nonsex chromosomes wherein only one parent needs to have an abnormal gene for the child to inherit the disease. A person with an autosomal dominant syndrome has a 50 percent chance of passing the syndrome on to the child.
Avoidant personality Limiting or avoiding interaction with people or behaving differently around people out of concern about being judged.
Baclofen pump A device the size of a hockey puck placed under the skin in your child’s belly (abdomen). The pump delivers a medicine called baclofen constantly through a thin, flexible tube (catheter) that is also under the skin, into the fluid around your child’s spine to relax muscles and reduce spasticity throughout your child’s body.
Bacteria Groups of living organisms only seen with a microscope. Each bacterium consists of one cell, but they are very powerful and live nearly everywhere. Some do good things, like help our digestion. Other bacteria cause infections, illness and even death.
Balloon valvulopolasty A procedure in which a catheter (spaghetti-like tube) that has a small deflated balloon at the tip is inserted into a blood vessel, and then is threaded up to the opening of a narrowed heart valve. The balloon is inflated, which stretches the valve open. This procedure cures many valve obstructions.
Bariatric surgery Surgery meant to promote weight loss. There are two kinds of bariatric surgery: restriction and diversion. Restriction means limiting the amount of food you can comfortably eat by reducing the size of the stomach. Diversion means letting food ""skip"" part of the intestinal tract so the body absorbs fewer calories. Diversion also changes the levels of hormones and enzymes in the digestive tract that signal hunger and fullness, so you feel full sooner. People who have bariatric surgery also need to follow eating and exercise guidelines to lose weight and be healthy.
BDL UAT TEST BDL UAT TEST test test test.
Becker muscular dystrophy A genetic muscle disease that happens when the body makes a shortened form of the protein dystrophin that does not work well. The body needs this protein to build muscle and repair muscle damage.
Beckwith-Weidemann syndrome An overgrowth syndrome that causes children to be much larger than normal and at increased risk for tumors, both cancerous and benign. The condition affects many parts of the body, including the tongue and teeth.
Behavior analyst Behavior analysts are health professionals with advanced training in how people behave and how to change it. They may assess your child’s behavior, study how changes affect that behavior and make a treatment plan to improve it.
Behavior analysts Behavior analysts are health professionals with advanced training in how people behave and how to change it. They may assess your child’s behavior, study how changes affect that behavior and make a treatment plan to improve it.
Behavioral activation therapy Also called BAT. A type of therapy to treat depression. It is based on the idea that you can change how you feel by changing what you do. It focuses on doing positive activities as a way to overcome depression.
Behavioral therapist A health professional who works with you and your child to increase positive behavior and reduce behaviors that may cause harm or affect learning.
Behavioral therapists Health professionals who work with you and your child to increase positive behavior and reduce behaviors that may cause harm or affect learning.
Benign A benign tumor is a growth that is not cancer. A malignant tumor is cancer.
Bicoronal synostosis Means that both of the coronal sutures of the skull have fused together, causing an abnormal head shape and potentially increasing pressure on the growing brain.
Bile A liquid made in the liver to help digest fats.
Bioengineering Using math, science and engineering tools to solve problems in biology and medicine. Bioengineers work with researchers, doctors and other health professionals to develop equipment and devices that improve people’s health.
Bioengineers People who use math, science and engineering tools to solve problems in biology and medicine. Bioengineers work with researchers, doctors and other health professionals to develop equipment and devices that improve people’s health.
Biofeedback Biofeedback is a way to train your child to better notice and control what happens in their body.
Biological pathway A biological pathway is a series of actions in a cell that cause a change, such as turning genes on and off or creating a protein.
Biomechanics How your child’s body moves
Biopsy A process that helps surgeons and other doctors diagnose a patient's condition. For example, to find out if a tumor is cancerous or not, they remove a small piece of tissue. A pathologist looks at it under a microscope. The pathologist determines the type of cells present and makes a diagnosis.
Bipolar Disorder A mood disorder in which a child experiences extreme changes in mood from sadness (or depression) and to feeling high (mania). During both the depression phase and the mania phase a child may have irrational anger. These changes affect sleep, appetite, concentration, behavior and place a child at risk for self-harm. These mood changes may be separated by days or months.
Birth-to-3 center A center that provides programs, services and support for babies and toddlers and their families. These centers focus on serving children with developmental delays or disabilities.
Bladder A sac inside the body that stores pee.
Bladder and genital defects Bladder exstrophy happens when a bladder does not close properly as it is forming before birth. The bladder and genitals are split in half, turned inside out and sit outside the body. Bladder exstrophy happens in about 1 in 30,000 babies. Cloacal exstrophy (a form of bladder exstrophy) happens in about 1 in 50,000 to 100,000 births. Within the first week of life, your baby may have one or more surgeries to repair the bladder and/or genitals. Our doctors are national experts in treating complex genital and bladder malformations.
Bladder exstrophy A bladder that is not formed right. In most cases, the bladder and genitals are split in half, are turned inside out and sit outside the body.
Blepharophimosis ptosis epicanthus inversus A genetic condition that mainly affects how the eyelids form.
Blood transfusion Process of giving whole blood or only red blood cells from a donor using an intravenous (IV) line.
Blood transfusions Giving whole blood or only red blood cells from a donor into a child’s vein using a tube called an intravenous (IV) line.
Board certified To be board certified, a healthcare provider must complete extra training in a healthcare specialty and pass a rigorous test, which may include both oral and written exams.
Board-certified To be board certified, a healthcare provider must complete extra training in a healthcare specialty and pass a rigorous test, which may include both oral and written exams.
Body mass index (BMI) An indicator of body fat based on a ratio of a child's weight to their height.
Bone graft Surgery to place new bone into spaces between or around fractures (broken bone) or defects (holes) in bone. New bone to be grafted around fractures or defects can be autografts (taken from the patient's own healthy bone) or allografts (from frozen, donated bone).
Bone marrow The soft tissue in the center of long bones, such as leg bones, that produces red blood cells and many white blood cells.
Bone marrow aspiration or biopsy Using a needle to remove a sample of fluid and cells from the bone marrow to check under a microscope. This check tells doctors whether the bone marrow contains cancer cells.
Bone matrix The main structural material of bone, made up of collagen fibers and other substances.
Bone scan An imaging test used to detect an area or areas of increased activity in bones. Bone scans can help identify fractures, tumors and other bone diseases. Doctors inject a small amount of a radioactive substance into a patient's vein, and then take images that are projected onto a computer screen or an X-ray film.
Bowel Also called intestines. A long, tube inside the body that helps digest food and absorb nutrients and water. The long tube includes the small and large intestine and rectum. The intestines connect the stomach to the anus, the opening on the outside of the body where poop (stool) comes out.
Bowels Also called intestines. A long, continuous tube inside the body that helps digest food and absorb nutrients and water. The long tube includes the small intestine, large intestine and rectum. The intestines connect the stomach to the anus, the opening on the outside of the body where poop (stool) comes out.
Bradycardia A condition that causes the heart to beat too slowly.
Brainstem The bottom part of the brain near the center of the head that connects the brain with the spinal cord. It controls basic body functions, like breathing and heart rate, and it manages messages going back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body.
brainstem auditory evoked response Also called BAER. This test measures how well a child’s hearing nerve responds to sounds. To perform the test, special sensors are placed on the forehead and behind each ear. A soft rubber earphone is placed in the ear and sends a series of soft sounds into the ear. The sensors measure the response of the hearing nerve. The responses are recorded and stored in a computer.
Branchial arches Five ridges that develop in the side walls of the embryo's throat during the fourth and fifth week of fetal development.
Branchial cleft cysts Lumps on 1 or both sides of the neck or below the collarbone. They are present from birth.
Branchio-ocular-facial syndrome A genetic condition with a pattern of features that may include differences in the skin on a child's neck, cleft lip and problems with eye development.
Branchio-oto-renal syndrome A genetic condition with a pattern of features that may include neck cysts, hearing loss, differences in the outer ear and kidney problems.
Bronchomalacia Weak cartilage in the walls of the breathing tubes (bronchi) below the windpipe. This can make it hard to breath out and keep the airways clear.
Bronchoscopy A test that involves putting a small camera down the throat to check the airways (the parts of the body that carry air to the lungs).
Butterfly needle A short, straight, very thin hollow needle with wing-like handles on either side. It is attached to a thin, flexible tube (catheter). It is used for drawing blood and giving medicine into a vein. Also called a winged infusion set.
Cancer The uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Cancer cells can multiply and gather in one spot or spread throughout a person's body by a process called metastasis. Cancer cells can cause disability and death when they prevent important organs from working.
Capillaries The small blood vessels at the ends of arteries that drain into veins.
Cardiac anesthesiologist A doctor who specializes in treating children with congenital heart disease undergoing procedures that require the use of anesthesia.
Cardiac anesthesiologists Doctors who specialize in treating children with congenital heart disease undergoing procedures that require the use of anesthesia.
Cardiac catheterization A procedure that uses catheters (spaghetti-like tubes), guided into large blood vessels using X-ray and ultrasound, to diagnose or treat a number of heart conditions.
Cardiac intensive care unit A hospital area for children with heart problems who need special care. The cardiac ICU staff is highly specialized in helping children, from newborns to young adults, recover from a wide variety of heart conditions.
Cardiac intensivist A doctor specializing in caring for children with heart problems who need to be in an intensive care unit.
Cardiac intensivists Doctors specializing in caring for children with heart problems who need to be in an intensive care unit.
Cardiac interventionist A doctor who specializes in using thin, flexible tubes (catheters) guided through the blood vessels to the heart to treat heart problems.
Cardiac interventionists Doctors who specializes in using thin, flexible tubes (catheters) guided through the blood vessels to the heart to treat heart problems.
Cardiogenic shock Cardiogenic (kar-dee-oh-JE-nik) shock is a condition in which a suddenly weakened heart isn't able to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. The condition is a medical emergency and is fatal if not treated right away.
Cardiologist A doctor who specializes in the heart and heart problems.
Cardiologists Doctors who specialize in the heart and heart problems.
Cardiomyopathy A condition that occurs when the heart muscle does not work as well as it should.
Cardiopulmonary perfusionists Technologists specializing in the circulation of blood outside of the body (extracorporeal circulation). They have special training to operate the heart-lung bypass machine during congenital heart surgery procedures and to provide heart and lung support using ventricular assist devices (VADs).
Cardiovascular training Exercise that works your child’s heart and lungs.
Carpenter syndrome A genetic condition with a pattern of features including premature fusion of multiple skull bones that can cause a ""cloverleaf"" skull that bulges out to the sides. Children with the condition may also have extra fingers and toes, vision problems and intellectual disability.
Cartilage A type of connective tissue that is found in joints, such as the hips, knees, shoulders and elbows. Cartilage helps the bones move and glide smoothly.
Cataract Clouding of the lens of the eye. It causes blurred vision.
Cataracts Clouding of the lens of the eyes. It causes blurred vision.
Catheter A thin, flexible tube used for medical procedures.
Cavernous malformation A tightly packed cluster of tiny blood vessels (capillaries) with walls that are thinner, weaker and less elastic than normal. A child can have more than one malformation. The condition is also called cavernous hemangioma, cavernous angioma and cavernoma.
Cavernous malformations Tightly packed clusters of tiny blood vessels (capillaries) with walls that are thinner, weaker and less elastic than normal. A child can have more than one malformation. The condition is also called cavernous hemangioma, cavernous angioma and cavernoma.
Cell biology The study of cells - the basic units of life - including their structure, what they contain and how they work.
Cell Saver technology An intraoperative cell salvage machine used to collect, clean and return lost blood to a patient during surgery.
Central line A tube that is put into a vein (often in the chest) and is threaded into a larger vein near the heart. A central line can be left in place for weeks or months. It's used to give medicine, fluid, nutrition or blood into the bloodstream.
Central nervous system (CNS) Includes the brain and spinal cord. It is the main ""processing center"" for the body's nervous system - its network of nerves - and controls all that goes on in the body.
Central sensitization Widespread body pain caused by nerves that are more sensitive than normal to painful events, like injury or high pressure, or nerves that sense normal events, like muscle movement or light pressure, as pain.
Central sensitization syndromes Conditions that involve changes in how the brain and spinal cord process pain signals, often causing much more pain than normal.
Central sleep apnea A disorder in which a child briefly stops breathing during sleep because the brain does not send the right signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Cephalogram An X-ray of the face showing the full profile. The cephalogram details the patient's dental occlusion (bite) and the relationship between the occlusion and their skeletal structure.
Cerebellum A part of the brain at the lower back of the head that controls balance and coordinates complex movement.
Cerebral angiogram This procedure requires the skills of a doctor called an interventional radiologist who uses radiology or X-rays to diagnose and treat patients. The radiologist puts a small tube into an artery and threads it up the necessary area of the brain. He injects dye into an artery through the tube to make the vessels visible on an X-ray. The result is a picture of the normal and abnormal blood vessels of your child's brain.
Cerebral palsy A term for a group of brain injuries that can occur while a fetus is in the womb, at birth or shortly after a baby is born.
Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis A blood clot that blocks a vein or channel (venous sinus) that drains blood from the brain. This blood has already delivered oxygen and nutrients to brain cells. It is flowing back to the heart. Even so, this condition can cause a stroke if blood backs up behind the clot. The backup can slow or stop blood flow in the arteries. The backup can also lead to bleeding in the brain. Also called cerebral sinovenous thrombosis.
Cerebrospinal fluid A clear fluid made in the brain's ventricles – the four small pockets in the brain. CSF flows from the ventricles, through the brain and into the space around the brain and spinal cord. It bathes and protects or cushions the brain and spinal cord.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) A clear fluid made in the brain's ventricles — the four small pockets in the brain. CSF flows from the ventricles, through the brain and into the space around the brain and spinal cord. It bathes and protects or cushions the brain and spinal cord.
Cerebrum The part of the brain that deals with reasoning, learning, perception, memory, movement, sensation and emotions. It is the topmost part of the brain and located behind the forehead. The cerebrum has two halves (hemispheres), the right and the left.
Certified Diabetes Educator Also called a CDE. A health professional with extra education and experience in care and prevention of diabetes and prediabetes. The CDE works with you and your child on a plan to lower the risk of developing diabetes or having problems related to it. The plan is tailored to your child and family life, with a goal of keeping your child as healthy as possible.
Certified diabetes educators Also called CDEs. Health professionals with extra education and experience in care and prevention of diabetes and prediabetes. CDEs work with you and your child on a plan to lower the risk of developing diabetes or having problems related to it. The plan is tailored to your child and family life, with the goal of keeping your child as healthy as possible.
Certified lymphedema therapist A healthcare provider with special training to manage lymphedema. At Seattle Children's, we have occupational and physical therapists who are certified lymphedema therapists.
Cervical spinal canal The space inside the bones (vertebrae) of the neck that the spinal cord passes through. Each of these bones has a hole in it shaped like a circle. When the bones are stacked on top of each other, these holes form a tube, or canal.
Cervical spine In the cervical area of the spine, commonly called the neck, and includes the first seven vertebrae.
Cervix The lower, narrow end of the womb (uterus). It opens into the vagina.
Cesarean section Delivering a baby by surgery to take the baby out through the mother's abdomen. Also called a C-section.
CF-related diabetes A form of diabetes that occurs in people with CF where the body doesn’t make enough insulin or use insulin properly. Diabetes is a problem in which a person’s blood glucose (a type of sugar) level is too high. Insulin deficiency in people with CF is primarily due to scars in the pancreas (fibrosis) caused by thick sticky mucus.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease A genetic disease that damages the nerves that carry signals from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and back to the brain and spinal cord from the rest of the body. It can cause weakness, muscle loss, loss of feeling and stiff joints (contractures).
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) An inherited (genetic) disease that causes the nerves that control the muscles of the legs, feet, arms and hands to deteriorate over time.
CHARGE syndrome A genetic condition with a pattern of features that may include defects in the eyes, heart and kidneys; blockage of the back of the nose; hearing loss; and differences in the genitals and outer ear. It often affects nerves that control muscle movement and that send sensory information from the head and neck to the brain.
Chelation therapy A treatment designed to lower the level of iron (or in some cases, other metals) in the body. To perform chelation, doctors historically have given a shot or infusion (through an intravenous line) of a substance that binds to iron. When this substance latches onto iron, it forms a compound that the body can excrete easily in urine. Now there is also a chelation substance that can be taken by mouth.
Chemotherapy A cancer treatment that uses medicine to stop the growth of cancer. It kills the cancer cells or stops them from multiplying. Chemotherapy may be used: 1) To shrink a tumor; 2) After surgery to kill remaining cancer cells and prevent the cancer from coming back; 3) As your child's main cancer treatment with or without radiation.
Chest X-ray A pictures of a child's heart taken using electromagnetic radiation.
Chest X-rays Pictures of a child's heart taken using electromagnetic radiation.
Chiari malformation A problem in which parts of the brain (the cerebellum and sometimes the brainstem and fourth ventricle) come down into the upper neck. These parts squeeze into the space where the spinal cord enters the spine (cervical spinal canal). Crowding may limit the flow of fluid that bathes and cushions the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid). It may also put pressure on the brain and spinal cord.
Chickenpox An infection that causes an itchy rash of red spots. Other symptoms are fever, coughing, fussiness, headache and loss of appetite. The varicella-zoster virus causes it. The illness spreads easily from child to child. A vaccine can prevent it.
Child Life specialist A professional who works with children and families to help relieve tension, express concerns and fears, and feel more in control about their medical experience.
Child Life Specialists Professionals who work with children and families to help relieve tension, express concerns and fears, and feel more in control about their medical experience.
Childhood arterial ischemic stroke Stroke caused by a blood clot or other blockage in a blood vessel in the brain that happens at age 29 days or older. Also called childhood AIS or CAIS.
Chimeric Composed of two or more parts of different origin. Example would be an artificial protein composed of two parts of different natural proteins.
chimeric antigen receptor A molecule made in the laboratory that connects to specific proteins on cancer cells.
chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) A molecule made in the laboratory that connects to specific proteins on cancer cells.
Choledochal cyst A condition present at birth (congenital) where bile (fluid that helps the body break down fats) doesn’t flow well. This can cause liver problems because the tubes (ducts) that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and intestine get bigger than normal (dilate), or pouches form on the tubes.
Cholestatic liver disease A liver condition that scars or causes swelling in the tubes (ducts) that carry bile (fluid that helps the body break down fats). This can reduce or block the flow of bile. Biliary atresia, progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC) and Alagille syndrome are cholestatic liver diseases.
Cholesterol A type of fat. Bodies need cholesterol to build cells and make hormones and the covering that protects the brain and nerves (myelin). Our bodies make cholesterol mostly in the liver. People also get cholesterol by eating certain foods, especially meats and dairy products.
Chondromas Benign (not cancerous) tumors that start in cartilage. Cartilage is a type of connective tissue found in joints. It helps the bones move and glide smoothly.
Chondrosarcomas Cancers that start in cartilage. Cartilage is a type of connective tissue found in joints. It helps the bones move and glide smoothly.
Chordomas A rare type of cancer that can develop anywhere in the bones at the base of the skull or in the spine.
Choroid plexus A network of blood vessels in the ventricles of the brain that makes cerebrospinal fluid.
Choroidal lesion A spot or freckle that occurs inside the eye or on its surface. Choroidal lesions are usually harmless but should be monitored by an ophthalmologist.
Chromosome A threadlike structure found in every cell of the body. Each chromosome contains hundreds of genes. A human cell normally contains 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent. The 23 paired structures in the central part of cells. They are made up of protein and also deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which contains genetic information.
Chromosomes Threadlike structures found in every cell of the body. Each chromosome contains hundreds of genes. A human cell normally contains 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent. The 23 paired structures in the central part of cells. They are made up of protein and also deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which contains genetic information.
Chronic anemia Chronic means a condition lasts a long time. Anemia means the blood has fewer red blood cells than normal or the cells don’t have enough of the protein that carries oxygen (hemoglobin). Sometimes blood loss causes anemia. Anemia also happens because the body doesn’t make enough red blood cells or the cells are destroyed faster than the body can make new ones. Poor diet and a wide range of diseases can cause anemia.
Chronic exertional compartment syndrome Pain, swelling, numbness and weakness brought on when repeated movement raises pressure in muscles wrapped by the same tissue (fascia). Symptoms tend to get worse as your child exercises. Symptoms go away after your child stops and then come back when your child exercises again.
Chronic pain Chronic pain persists over time, often with no clear end point. It may be related to certain chronic diseases and it may have a central sensitization element as well. Chronic pain often involves different processes in the central nervous system than acute pain does.
Chronic pancreatitis Lasting inflammation of the pancreas with frequent or daily symptoms. It happens when digestive juices (enzymes) inside the pancreas irritate and damage the pancreas and the organ is not able to heal.
Cine-MRI A movie made from a series of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans. ( ""Cine"" is pronounced SIN-nee, much like the word ""cinema."") This special MRI takes pictures of structures (anatomy) inside the body, such as the bones and brain. It also captures some details about how the body works (physiology), such as how cerebrospinal fluid flows around the brain.
Cirrhosis A liver condition in which scar tissue replaces healthy tissue over time. This allows less blood to flow through the liver and makes the liver unable to work as well. Cirrhosis can be caused by alcohol use, hepatitis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, diseases that damage or destroy the bile ducts, and metabolic liver disease.
Cleft A gap that occurs in the lip or roof of the mouth when parts of them don't fuse together during pregnancy.
Cleft foot A foot that has a split, often V-shaped, from the toes toward the ankle. The foot might be missing one or more toes and the long bones that would lead to those missing toes.
Cleft lip Has several forms:Bilateral cleft lip is a cleft in both sides of the lip.Complete bilateral cleft lip involves two wide gaps in the upper lip and the alveolus of the upper jaw.Microform cleft is a small notch in the red part of the lip, an incomplete cleft lip.Unilateral cleft is a cleft on one side of the lip.
Cleft palate The condition in which the inside of the nose and mouth are not separated, and there is an opening in the roof of the mouth.
Cleidocranial dysplasia A genetic condition that causes wide seams (sutures) between the skull bones, a large ""soft spot"" at the front of the skull, a small or absent collarbone and extra teeth.
Clinical neurophysiology A medical subspecialty that studies and diagnoses nervous system problems. Providers have special training in EEG and other procedures that measure electrical activity in the brain, spinal cord and nerves.
Clinical outcomes research The study of the results of healthcare practices or treatments. Results may include many factors, such as measures of body functions (like blood pressure), results of lab tests, patients' symptoms and patients' ratings of their care.
Clinical standard work pathway A treatment planning tool, similar to an airplane safety checklist, based on scientific research and expert opinion. It guides the healthcare team in providing care the best way, the same way, to every child with a specific condition.
Clinical studies Research studies that test whether a new medicine, device or treatment is safe and effective. Research with patients helps doctors and researchers find new and better ways to understand, find, control and treat medical conditions.
Clinical study A research study that tests whether a new medicine, device or treatment is safe and effective. Research with patients helps doctors and researchers find new and better ways to understand, find, control and treat medical conditions.
Clinical trial A research study that tests whether a new medicine, device or treatment is safe and effective. Research with patients helps doctors and researchers find new and better ways to understand, detect, control and treat illness and other medical conditions.
Clinical trials Research studies that test whether a new medicine, device or treatment is safe and effective.
Clitoris A small sensitive organ that is part of a girl’s genitals. It is on the outside of her body, just above the opening to the vagina.
Cloaca A condition that happens if the rectum, bladder and vagina do not form right before birth. They share a single opening to the outside of the body instead of each organ having its own opening.
Cloacal exstrophy In babies with this birth defect, the pelvic bones are wider apart than normal. Many pelvic organs have not formed in the typical way. The baby’s bladder and part of their intestines are outside the wall of their belly. The intestine may be shorter than normal, and the anus may not be open. The penis in boys and the clitoris and vagina in girls may be divided in two. Often, babies with cloacal exstrophy have other birth defects, too, such as spina bifida.
Clotting factors Substances in the liquid part of blood (plasma) that help blood to clot and stop bleeding.
Clubfoot A deformity present at birth (congenital). The foot is not able to move well — your child may be unable to move his foot up or down or inward or outward.
Coarctation of the aorta A narrowing or kink in the aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the body.
Cognitive development Refers to the growth process of certain mental abilities that involve reasoning, judgment, intuition, memory and gaining knowledge.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy Treatment based on learning about the relationship between our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It can help your child or teen replace negative or unhelpful thinking with helpful or coping thoughts. This can lead to changes in feelings and behavior.
Coloboma People who are missing a portion of the structure of the eye. The human eye develops between the fourth and 15th week of pregnancy. As it starts to develop, a gap opens on the underside of each eye bud.This gap provides a way for the developing eye to be nourished. This gap, called the optic fissure, has to close before the eye is fully developed. Coloboma is the incomplete closer of the optic fissure.
Colostomy A surgery in which the surgeon creates a small opening (stoma) in the belly. The surgeon cuts through the large intestine (colon), and then brings the upper part of the intestine to the stoma and attaches it. This allows waste to come out of the body into a pouch attached on the outside.
Complex regional pain syndrome Lasting, intense pain in one or more body parts (often an arm, leg, hand or foot), often with skin changes (such as changes in temperature, color or texture). There may also be swelling and changes in hair or nail growth in the painful body parts. Sometimes an injury triggers this syndrome. CRPS is typically thought of as neuropathic, meaning it happens because of a change in nerve function. This syndrome used to be called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).
Complex syndactyly A condition in which the fingers and toes are joined together, or webbed, because the bones in the tips of the digits are fused.
Comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics Also called CBIT. A type of therapy to help children reduce the urge to make repeated motions or sounds (tics). It teaches children how to be aware of their tics and to behave in a different way when they feel the urge to repeat a tic. The approach also changes daily activities to make tics less likely. For example, if tics happen a lot during homework, a child learns to reduce stress ahead of time and while doing homework.
Computed tomography (CT) An X-ray procedure that takes cross-sectional views, or "slices", of the body. It uses special equipment and computers to make pictures that give a multidimensional view of a body part.
Conditioning therapy Treatment that is given before a hematopoietic cell transplant. Done to kill cancer cells and prepare the patient's bone marrow to receive the transplant. This may include chemotherapy, radiation or both.
Congenital Refers to disorders and medical conditions present at birth. They are noticed before birth (prenatal), at birth or even many years later. Causes of congenital disorders include genetic abnormalities or something that happens during pregnancy, such as the mother smoking or drinking alcohol. Congenital disorders range from birthmarks to heart and brain problems.
Congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia Also called CAMT. A rare inherited syndrome (passed on by parent to child). It causes very low levels of blood cells that help blood clot (platelets) and a type of bone marrow cell (megakaryocyte). Most kids with CAMT develop bone marrow failure, where the body cannot make enough red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets.
Congenital bars Bars of bone that connect two or more spine bones (vertebrae) on one side of the spine. During normal development, spinal tissue divides into segments that become vertebrae. If the segments do not divide completely, bony bars may form. As a child grows, bars keep their spine from growing on one side, which causes an abnormal spinal curve.
Congenital muscular dystrophy A genetic muscle disease that causes overall weakness at birth or soon after birth. Muscular dystrophies mainly affect the muscles your child uses to move, such as leg muscles, and sometimes the heart and muscles used in breathing or swallowing.
Congenital myopathy A muscle problem present at birth, usually causing weakness. It may affect muscles that control breathing, feeding and actions like turning over or sitting up.
Congestive heart failure What occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood to the body's other organs.
Conjoined twinning The forming of identical twins whose bodies connect.
Conotruncal anomaly unusual face syndrome Another name for velocardiofacial syndrome.
Constipation Having hard bowel movements (poop) twice a week or less. Ongoing constipation is called intractable constipation.
Constraint-induced therapy Intensive therapy for children with limited movement (motor function) in 1 of their arms. The arm that is not affected is put in a long cast, usually for about 3 weeks. During this time, your child will do intensive training of the arm that has limited function.
Cord blood transplant A transplant of stem cells collected from the umbilical cord of a newborn. Stem cells are immature blood cells that can grow into any of the other types of blood cells that your child needs. Transplants may be used to treat leukemia and other diseases.
Cord blood transplants A transplant of stem cells collected from the umbilical cord of a newborn. Stem cells are immature blood cells that can grow into any of the other types of blood cells that your child needs. Transplants may be used to treat leukemia and other diseases.
Coronal Along a line that runs from the left side of the body to the right side of the body. For example, the coronal suture is a joint where two sets of skull bones (frontal bones in the front and parietal bones on the top and sides) meet. This joint runs from the soft spot (fontanelle) on top of a baby's head to the sides of their head near their temples.
Coronary arteries The arteries that supply blood to the heart.
Cortical dysplasia Refers to abnormalities of the cerebral cortex (a part of the brain). Patches of abnormal brain tissue cause seizures and developmental delays. Larger-than-normal neurons may be involved, causing brain signals to misfire.
Corticosteroid Medicine used to help control swelling (inflammation) in the body by suppressing the immune system.
Corticosteroids Medicine used to help control swelling (inflammation) in the body by suppressing the immune system.
Counts When your child's doctor or nurse talks about ""monitoring your child's counts,"" they are talking about levels of blood cells.
Cranial nerves Twelve pairs of nerves that come from the bottom of the brain and go through openings in the skull to reach other parts of the body. Most cranial nerves go to the head, face or neck. They control many of your child’s senses, such as sight, smell, hearing and taste, as well as touch, pain and movement in this part of the body. One pair of cranial nerves, the vagus nerves, travels through the neck into the trunk, where they connect to some of your child’s glands and other organs, including their heart, lungs and digestive system.
Craniofacial Means involving the skull and face and generally refers to birth defects. Examples are craniosynostosis, cleft lip and palate, and hemifacial microsomia.
Craniofacial microsomia A condition in which part of the face is underdeveloped. The syndrome varies in severity, but always includes poor development of the ear and lower jaw (mandible). It is the second most common birth defect, after clefts.
Craniosynostosis The early closing of one or more of the sutures (joints) that separate the bony plates of the skull.
Craniotomy A surgery that allows a neurosurgeon to get to your child's brain. First, he cuts and removes a piece of bone from the skull. Next he cuts the tough membrane called the dura mater — the membrane that protects the brain. Then he removes or treats the diseased area of the brain such as a brain tumor. The neurosurgeon then closes the dura mater and closes up the skull using the same piece of bone he removed, if possible. Sometimes we use hardware such as micro plates, screws and wires to close the child's skull.
Critical care A branch of medicine that deals with conditions that threaten a patient's life. These may include a sudden illness, a new injury or an intense flare-up of a chronic health problem. It takes a team of providers with special skills and a hospital with advanced tools to offer critical care for children.
Crouzon syndrome A genetic condition with features of craniosynostosis (the early closure of skull sutures) and abnormal development of the eye sockets and midface. There is abnormal fusion between some of the bones of the skull and face that does not allow the bones to grow normally.The features of Crouzon syndrome were first described by the French neurosurgeon Dr. O. Crouzon in 1912. Crouzon syndrome is caused by mutations in Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 2.
Crowd sourcing Using many people, often via the Internet, to give feedback, information or funding for a project.
Cryoablation A procedure that uses a small tube (catheter) to freeze and destroy a tiny piece of heart tissue that is causing an abnormal rhythm (arrhythmia).
CSF A clear fluid made in the brain's ventricles — the four small pockets in the brain. CSF flows from the ventricles, through the brain and into the space around the brain and spinal cord. It bathes and protects or cushions the brain and spinal cord.
CT Computed tomography. An X-ray procedure that takes cross-sectional views, or “slices,” of the body, which can then be processed on a computer for 3-dimensional display and analysis.
CT (computed tomography) An X-ray procedure that takes cross-sectional views, or “slices,” of the body, which can then be processed on a computer for 3-dimensional display and analysis.
CT (computed tomography) scan An X-ray procedure that takes cross-sectional views, or "slices", of the body, which can then be processed on a computer for 3-dimensional display and analysis.
CT (computed tomography) scans An X-ray procedure that takes cross-sectional views or ""slices"" of the body, which can be further post-processed on a computer for 3-dimensional display and analysis.
CT angiogram A specialized X-ray that gives a multidimensional view of blood vessels. Computers and special equipment are used to make the pictures.
CT scan A computed tomography scan, sometimes called a “CAT scan.” The X-ray procedure takes cross-sectional views, or "slices", of the body. It uses special equipment and computers to make pictures that give a multidimensional view of a body part.
CT scans Computed tomography scans, sometimes called “CAT scans.” The X-ray procedure takes cross-sectional views, or "slices", of the body. It uses special equipment and computers to make pictures that give a multidimensional view of a body part.
CTA (computed tomography angiography) A CT scan of the blood vessels. It can be used to diagnose heart problems, vascular malformations and other problems.
CVS (chorionic villus sampling) A test during pregnancy that uses a small sample of cells from the placenta. It checks for disorders related to chromosomes and genes.
Cyanosis A bluish color of the skin caused by decreased oxygen in the blood.
Cyanotic heart disease A congenital (present at birth) heart defect. It causes lack of oxygen within the body, which makes lips, fingers and toes look blue. The organs of the body may also be affected.
Cyclic neutropenia A rare inherited disorder (passed on by parent to child). Children with it have repeated episodes of very low levels of infection-fighting white blood cells (neutrophils). Not having enough neutrophils increases the risk of infection. Other symptoms include fever, sores in the mouth and swollen gums.
Cyst An abnormal, closed sac containing fluid, semi-fluid or solid material. A cyst can happen anywhere in the body including within the brain and on the spinal cord. Doctors often check cysts to make sure they are not cancerous. If a cyst causes symptoms, it may need treatment.
Cystic fibrosis–related liver disease Liver problems caused by the mucus produced by cystic fibrosis (an inherited disease that makes breathing difficult, causes lung infections and prevents normal digestion). When mucus clogs the liver, fluids are not able to flow as they should. This can cause scarring or swelling.
Day surgery Surgery that can be done in a clinic or hospital without having to stay overnight. Also called outpatient surgery or ambulatory surgery.
Deceased-donor liver transplant Transplant done with a liver from a person who has died. The donor gave permission for the donation before their death, or their family gave permission after their death. Surgeons can transplant the whole liver from a deceased donor, or they can transplant only part of the organ if the whole liver is too large for the baby or child who needs it (reduced-size liver transplant).
Deceased-donor liver transplants Transplants done with a liver from a person who has died. The donor gave permission for the donation before their death, or their family gave permission after their death. Surgeons can transplant the whole liver from a deceased donor, or they can transplant only part of the organ if the whole liver is too large for the baby or child who needs it (reduced-size liver transplant).
Decibels (dB) Used to indicate the loudness of a sound in hearing tests. The larger the number, the louder the sound. A 15 dB sound is very soft, and a 100 dB sound is very loud.
Defibrillator A device similar to a pacemaker that sends electrical shocks to the heart to correct abnormal rhythms.
Deformational plagiocephaly Another name for positional plagiocephaly.
Degenerative joint disease Pain, stiffness and swelling in joints that happens when cartilage at the ends of bones breaks down, no longer acting as a cushion. Causes may include joint injuries and overweight. Also called osteoarthritis.
Dehydration Dehydration means that your child’s body doesn't have enough water to keep it working right. Your child loses water by sweating, peeing, having diarrhea or throwing up. If they don’t drink or eat enough to replace lost fluids, they can get sick.
Delayed puberty Puberty is the process of a child’s body changing from child to adult. The changes usually start when girls are between 8 and 13 years old. For boys, the changes start between ages 9 and 14. Delayed puberty means a child passes the normal age range without any body changes. Changes at puberty include growth of underarm and pubic hair, breast development in girls and growth of the penis and testicles in boys. Usually, delayed puberty is a variation of normal. But your child should see a doctor to make sure there is no underlying medical problem.
Depression A mood disorder that can cause a child to feel sad, hopeless, cranky or tired. There can be changes in sleep, appetite and weight. It affects how a child feels, thinks and acts. A child may have trouble doing normal activities or feel life isn't worth living.
Dermal sinus tract A small opening that runs from a child's skin into the brain or spinal canal. It sometimes has a dimple or other abnormality at the skin site. It causes problems if it does not completely close by a baby's birth.
Developmental biology The study of how a living organism grows and develops, including all the processes it goes through during its lifetime.
Developmental delay A term that describes how fast your child is developing compared to others of similar age. A developmental delay means that your child is developing more slowly.
Developmental delays A term that describes how fast your child is developing compared to others of similar age. A child with developmental delays is developing more slowly.
Developmental disabilities Problems affecting the body, mind or both. Most start before a baby is born, but some happen after birth because of injury, infection or other causes. The problems are usually lifelong and can affect everyday life. Blindness, autism and Down syndrome are examples. Most are thought to have a mix of causes, such as genetics, infections or harmful exposures during pregnancy.
Developmental pharmacology The science of understanding the medical effects of medicines.
Deviated septum When the cartilage in the middle of the nose (septum) is off-center (deviated). Instead of forming 2 nostrils of the same size, 1 of the nostrils is smaller than the other. This can make it harder to breathe.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) A condition that happens if your child has high blood sugar (glucose) levels and a buildup of acids (ketones) in the blood. If it is not treated, DKA can lead to loss of consciousness (coma) and brain swelling (cerebral edema). It happens if your child’s body does not have enough of the hormone insulin. It can’t use sugar for energy and starts breaking down fat for energy. This produces ketones and causes the body to become acidic.
Diagnostic angiography A radiologist takes X-rays of blood vessels while dye is injected into them. This helps doctors understand how blood flows through those vessels. It is used to identify aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and other conditions that involve blood vessels.
Diagnostic audiologic evaluation A thorough hearing test conducted by an audiologist (hearing specialist). An in-depth auditory brain ABR test is usually used to determine a baby's hearing status. This test will confirm whether or not hearing problems exist, and if so, to what degree.
Dialysis A way to remove waste and extra fluid from the blood when the kidneys do not work well. There are different types of dialysis. Hemodialysis uses a dialysis machine to filter the blood. Peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of the belly (peritoneum) as a filter.
Dietitian Works with you and your child on a plan for nutritional health, growth and development while in the hospital and at home.
Dietitians Work with you and your child on a plan for nutritional health, growth and development while in the hospital and at home.
DiGeorge syndrome A severe form of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome or velocardiofacial syndrome.
Digestive Related to the system that breaks down food, absorbs nutrients and gets rid of waste. The digestive system includes the tube connecting the mouth and stomach (esophagus), the stomach, intestines and opening where poop leaves the body (anus). These organs are also called the gastrointestinal or GI tract.
Digestive system The body system that breaks down food, absorbs nutrients and gets rid of waste. It includes the tube connecting the mouth and stomach (esophagus), the stomach, intestines, and opening where poop leaves the body (anus). Digestion also involves the pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver.
Digestive tract The parts of the body that help break down food, absorb nutrients and get rid of waste. Also called the gastrointestinal tract or GI tract. It includes the tube connecting the mouth and stomach (esophagus), the stomach, bowels (intestines) and opening where poop leaves the body (anus).
Digit A finger or toe, when talking about body parts.
Digits Fingers or toes, when talking about body parts.
Dilatation A procedure to stretch open a tube-like structure, such as a blood vessel, bile duct or the esophagus, that is blocked or narrowed. An interventional radiologist, guided by ultrasound and fluoroscopy, may do this by threading a balloon into the structure and then inflating the balloon to press against the structure and expand it.
Directed evolution Approach to protein design in which protein variants with desired properties are selected from a large library of variants. Variants emerging from the selection are then randomly mutated, and the selection/mutation process is iterated until the desired properties are optimized.
Distraction osteogenesis A technique that uses a small metal device to slowly lengthen a bone (s) without requiring a bone graft.
Diuretic A type of medicine used to help the kidneys rid the body of water via the urine.
Diuretics Medicines used to help the kidneys rid the body of water via the urine.
DNA A material found in almost all living organisms. It is the carrier of genetic information.
Dolichocephaly of prematurity A kind of positional plagiocephaly in very premature babies involving a long and narrow head.
Doppler ultrasound A noninvasive test that uses sound waves to estimate blood flow through blood vessels. It can help diagnose heart problems, blood clots, blocked arteries, decreased circulation and other problems.
Double inlet left ventricle A rare birth defect that results in the underdevelopment of the heart's left ventricle (lower pumping chamber).
Double outlet right ventricle A rare birth defect that results in the underdevelopment of the heart's right ventricle (lower pumping chamber).
Down syndrome One of the most common genetic defects. It includes a combination of developmental delays and specific facial features. Children with Down syndrome tend to have infections, heart defects, vision and hearing problems and other health issues.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy A genetic muscle disease that happens when the body makes very little or none of the protein dystrophin. The body needs this protein to build muscle and repair muscle damage.
Ductus arteriosus A blood vessel connecting the pulmonary artery (main artery to the lungs) to the aorta (main artery to the body).
Dura mater The leather-like membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. Its role is to protect the brain and spinal cord.
Dysautonomia A problem with the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS controls basic body functions, such as breathing, digestion, the actions of the heart and blood vessels, and the release of hormones.
Dystonia A movement disorder that causes uncontrollable tightening of the muscles. This may make your child jerk or twist at random times, repeat movements or hold an unusual posture.
Early intervention Services to help young children and their families learn to communicate and adjust to living with hearing loss. Services may include assistance in developing communication with your child, parent and sibling support groups, and instruction in different methods of communication.
Ebstein's malformation An abnormally developed tricuspid valve.
Echocardiogram An ultrasound picture of the heart. It can demonstrate the direction of blood flow and define the anatomy of the heart.
Echocardiography A diagnostic test that uses ultrasound waves to make a picture of the heart. It can demonstrate the direction of blood flow and define the anatomy of the heart.
Ectrodactyly-ectodermal dysplasia-clefting syndrom A genetic condition that may include missing or extra fingers or toes; cleft lip; cleft palate; and abnormalities of teeth, hair, nails, skin and sweat glands.
Edema Swelling caused by excess water in the body.
EEG An electroencephalogram. A way to record the electrical activity of the brain, sometimes called the brain waves.
EEG (electroencephalography) A way to record the electrical activity of the brain, sometimes called brain waves.
Ejaculate To discharge semen from the body. Semen is fluid that usually contains sperm – male reproductive cells. Ejaculation usually happens at the moment of sexual climax.
Electrocardiogram Known as an ECG or EKG, is a test that records the electrical activity of the heart to show the rate and rhythm.
Electrocardiography Testing to record the electrical activity of the heart to show the rate and rhythm. The result is called an electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG or EKG.
Electrocorticography (ECoG) Testing to record the electrical activity in the brain by placing electrodes on the surface of the brain. Neurosurgeons perform surgery to open the skull and place the electrodes. This may be done to identify brain areas that control important functions so we can avoid these areas in surgery (electric ""brain mapping"") or to look for clues to a child's seizures. ECoG is also known as intracranial electroencephalography, or iEEG.
Electrodes Carry electrical signals to and from an object. They may be used to monitor brain wave activity or nerve and muscle activity during surgery.
Electroencephalogram Known as an EEG. A test that records the electrical activity of the brain, sometimes called the brain waves.
Electrolytes The minerals that help keep the body's fluid levels in balance. These include sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate. Your child’s body needs these minerals to help their muscles and organs do their work.
Electromagnetic An electromagnetic field happens when a particle with an electrical charge (such as an electron) moves. The field affects nearby objects.
Electromyogram and nerve conduction velocity Tests used to diagnose nerve and muscle problems. The tests measure how well nerves conduct the electrical impulses that control the muscles, and also help doctors assess nerve damage.
Electrophysiologist A doctor who is an expert at interpreting the heart's electrical signals — the electrician of the cardiac world. This specialist also inserts pacemakers and defibrillators.
Electrophysiology A specialized procedure using catheters to diagnose or treat arrhythmias (heart rhythm problems).
Electrophysiology laboratory A laboratory where doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating rhythm disturbances using special catheters placed inside the heart.
ELISA Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay. Method for assaying the amount of a target protein by binding antibodies to it that are linked to an enzyme capable of generating a colored end product. Thus, the more antibody-linked enzyme that is present, the faster and higher the colored end product is produced.
Embolization Procedure to stop blood flow through an artery or vein. This may be when a child has a brain aneurysm, a vascular malformation or heavy bleeding from an injury. An interventional radiologist inserts a small tube (catheter) into a blood vessel. They then thread it to the target area and inject a substance to block the flow through the area.
Embryology The study of how living organisms form and how they grow and develop in the early stages of life.
Empyema A collection of pus in a body cavity.
Encephalitis Swelling (inflammation) of the brain. This rare condition is most often due to an infection. Many types of viruses may cause the infection. Sometimes it results from a bacterial infection. Symptoms include fever, headache, poor appetite and a loss of energy. More serious symptoms include confusion, stiff neck or seizures. Some children have a mild case and fully recover. Others have severe cases and may have permanent problems.
Endocarditis An infection in the heart.
Endocrine The system of glands in your child’s body. They make and release hormones that regulate the body.
Endocrinologist A doctor who specializes in how hormones regulate the body, including the pituitary gland function.
Endocrinologists Doctors who specialize in how hormones regulate the body, including pituitary gland function.
Endocrinology The medical specialty that focuses on how hormones regulate the body, including how the pituitary gland works.
Endoscope A thin, lighted tube with a camera. A doctor uses it to see inside the body through a small opening, such as through the mouth or through a small incision. A surgeon can attach tools to the endoscope to do surgery through small incisions.
Endoscopic procedures Tests or treatments done with an endoscope — a thin, lighted tube with a camera. Doctors and surgeons use the endoscope to see inside the body through a small opening, such as through the mouth or through a small incision. They can attach tools to the endoscope to perform treatment without having to make any incision or without having to make a large incision.
Endoscopic surgery Surgery done through small incisions using a tool called an endoscope. An endoscope is a thin, lighted tube with a camera. A doctor uses it to see inside the body through a small opening. A surgeon can attach tools to the endoscope to do surgery without having to make a large incision.
Endoscopic tests Used to view the interior of an organ.
Enema Putting liquid or gas into the rectum, the part of the large intestine near the opening to the outside of the body. Usually this is done to empty the rectum. Sometimes doctors use the procedure to treat a medical condition, give drugs or take better X-ray images.
Enemas Liquid or gas put into the rectum, the part of the large intestine near the opening to the outside of the body. Usually enemas are given to empty the rectum. Sometimes doctors use them to treat a medical condition, give drugs or take better X-ray images.
Environmental factors Things in our lives that can cause physical changes. For example, radiation may be an environmental risk factor for developing brain tumors.
Enzyme A protein normally made in the body that triggers or speeds up processes like breaking down food or building molecules needed for growth.
Enzymes Proteins normally made in the body that triggers or speeds up processes like breaking down food or building molecules needed for growth.
Ependymoma tumors Develop from ependymal cells. These cells make up supportive tissues that line the ventricles of the brain and the center of the spinal cord.
Epibulbar dermoid A pinkish-white growth on the eye.
Epidemiology The study of a condition in a large population - how common the condition is, who gets it and how it can be controlled.
Epidermoids Benign (not cancerous) tumors that start in the brain or spinal cord. Sometimes called epidermoid cysts.
Epiphysis The end of the bone that makes up a joint.
Epispadias A rare birth defect affecting the opening of the tube that drains urine from the body (urethra). The malformation varies from child to child. In boys with epispadias, the urethra opening usually is on the top or side of the penis rather than the tip. In girls, the opening is usually between the clitoris and the labia or in the belly.
Epstein-Barr virus Also called EBV. A common virus that often causes no symptoms. But it can cause infectious mononucleosis. It also has been linked with certain cancers, including Burkitt lymphoma, immunoblastic lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatograp A way to diagnose and treat problems with the tubes that drain the liver, gallbladder or pancreas without surgery. While your child is asleep (sedated), the doctor gently passes a long, flexible tube with a camera attached to it (endoscope) through your child's mouth and stomach. ERCP combines images from the camera with X-rays so the doctor can look inside your child's body. The doctor can also perform treatment using small instruments passed through the endoscope.
Erythema nodosum A skin condition in which tender, red bumps form under the skin due to inflammation.
Esophagram An X-ray study of the tube that connects the mouth and stomach (esophagus). First, your child swallows a contrast liquid (gastrograffin or barium). The liquid helps the esophagus show up on X-rays.
Esophagus The part of the body that carries food to the stomach, sometimes called the food pipe.
Evidence-based Based on current results from scientific research. Evidence-based methods have been shown in tests or studies to be useful for a certain condition.
Evoked otoacoustic emissions (OAE, EOAE, TEOAE, DP Test that measures how well a child's cochlea, or inner ear works. A soft rubber ear piece is placed in the baby's outer ear and makes a soft clicking sound. Healthy ears will ""echo"" the click sound back to a microphone inside the ear piece that is in the baby's ear.
Ewing sarcoma One of the most common primary bone cancers in children and teenagers. Tumors usually appear in the long bones of the arms and legs.
Excoriation disorder Picking at one's own skin over and over because of a strong urge that is hard to resist.
Exercise testing Also called stress testing, evaluates the body's response to exercise. It can identify a child's limits and detect heart and lung problems.
Exposure and response prevention Also called E/RP. A therapy that helps anxious children stop their cycle of fearful thoughts and repeated behaviors. The therapist exposes a child to what they fear (such as germs) and teaches them other ways to respond instead of doing compulsions (such as washing hands). Over time, a child’s fears and anxiety decrease.
Exposure with response prevention Also called E/RP. A therapy that helps anxious children stop their cycle of fearful thoughts and repeated behaviors. The therapist exposes a child to what they fear (such as, germs) and teaches them other ways to respond instead of doing compulsions (such as, washing hands). Over time, a child’s fears and anxiety decrease.
Express breast milk A way of compressing the breast to make milk come out.
Extracorporeal Means outside the body.
Extracorporeal life support Using devices and treatments to keep a person alive when one or more of their organ systems is failing. Extracorporeal means ""outside the body.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) A method of life support using a heart-lung pump to circulate the blood outside of the body. For when a patient's heart or lungs fail to function properly or need to rest.
Facial clefting A gap or groove in the face that may go from the mouth up into the skull. This birth defect has to do with a problem with how the face formed while a baby was developing in the womb.
Facial tags Tags of skin in front of the ear, also called preauricular tags.
Facio-auriculo vertebral syndrome Another name for hemifacial microsomia.
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy A genetic muscle disease that causes weakness and muscle loss around the eyes, mouth, shoulders, upper arms and lower legs and sometimes the trunk and hips.
FACS Fluorescence-activated cell sorting. A specialized flow-cytometry technique used to sort a heterogeneous mixture of biological cells into two or more populations, based upon the fluorescent characteristics of each cell.
factor V Leiden A change (mutation) in the F5 gene that affects a clotting protein in the blood called factor V. People with the mutation have a higher chance of developing abnormal blood clots in blood vessels.
Failure to thrive A phrase used to describe children whose weight or rate of weight gain is far below that of other children of the same age and sex. The condition has many causes.
Fallopian tubes A pair of tubes that are part of the female reproductive system. Eggs from each ovary travel to the womb (uterus) through these tubes.
Family Service Coordinator Coordinates and schedules appointments, including clinic visits, MRI appointments, laboratory visits, infusions and consultations.
Fanconi anemia Also called FA. A rare, inherited disorder affecting the repair of DNA (the carrier of genetic information in each cell). In some children with FA, their bone marrow is affected and does not make enough healthy blood cells. This can cause low energy, bleeding problems and frequent infections. Some children with FA are born with abnormally formed body parts. Others have growth problems. FA increases the chance of getting certain cancers, including leukemia.
Fatty liver disease (Also called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD.) A broad range of disease, varying from mild to severe, where fat builds up in the liver in overweight children or adults. In earlier stages, it can be reversed with a healthy diet and exercise. If untreated, it can lead to swelling and scarring of the liver (called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH) that prevents the liver from working properly.
Fecal incontinence Frequent accidents or leaking of poop (stool) in children who are past the age of toilet training. Also called encopresis.
Fecal microbiota transplant therapy Taking a sample of microbes from the intestine of a healthy person and putting it into the intestine of someone with a digestive problem. The donor is a close family member - for children, it's usually a parent. The purpose is to improve the balance of microbes in the person who is ill. This method works in reducing infection with certain bacteria (Clostridium difficile, often called C. diff). It might help with other conditions, such as Crohn's disease. Fecal microbiota transplant therapy is also known as stool transplant or feces transplant.
Fertility Ability to become pregnant or to cause pregnancy.
Fetal echocardiogram An ultrasound image of an unborn baby's heart.
Fetal echocardiograms Ultrasound images of an unborn baby's heart.
Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGR3) The family of genes called fibroblast growth factors are important to development of human embryos. They are responsible, for example, for production of blood vessels and the growth of limbs. A change, or mutation, in the gene called fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 causes achondroplasia, the most common type of short-limbed dwarfism.
Fibroids Benign tumors made of fibrous and muscular tissue.
Fibromuscular dysplasia Abnormal cellular development or growth involving the walls of one or more arteries in the body. This can cause stenosis, a narrowing of the artery. Common places for this to occur are the arteries that supply the kidneys with blood and the carotid artery, in the neck, which supplies the brain with blood.
Fibrous dysplasia A rare disorder that causes scar-like (fibrous) tissue to develop instead of normal bone. It may affect 1 or more bones, especially the long bones of the legs, the ribs and the bones of the face and skull. A child with this disorder may also have tan birthmarks and hormone problems.
Filum terminale The very end of the spinal cord.
First and second branchial arch syndrome Another name for hemifacial microsomia.
Fistula An abnormal connection or pathway between one part of the body and another.
Five-year survival rate The percentage of patients with the disease who are alive five years after their disease was diagnosed. Doctors who treat people with cancer use five-year survival rates as a way to measure treatment success.
Fluoroscopy A moving X-ray.
fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) MRI is a process that creates pictures of the inside of the body. An MRI uses a large magnet to create these pictures. With functional MRI, your child moves their hands, looks at pictures, reads or listens to words during the MRI. This shows the parts of the brain used for these functions.
Folic acid Also called folate, it is a B vitamin found in some enriched foods like bread and in vitamin pills. Taken regularly by a pregnant mother, it may prevent her baby from developing myelomeningocele, the most serious form of spina bifida and its associated brain and spine abnormalities.
Fontan The Fontan procedure is surgery to send oxygen-poor blood from the body to the lungs without going through the right ventricle (pumping chamber) of the heart. Instead, blood flows from the body's two main veins (superior and inferior vena cava) into the right atrium of the heart and then to the lungs, skipping the right ventricle, or blood flows from the veins to the lungs without going through the heart at all. This may be done for children whose heart valves or ventricles did not form normally.
Fontan procedure Surgery to send oxygen-poor blood from the body to the lungs without going through the right ventricle (pumping chamber) of the heart. Instead, blood flows from the body's two main veins (superior and inferior vena cava) into the right atrium of the heart and then to the lungs, skipping the right ventricle, or blood flows from the veins to the lungs without going through the heart at all. This may be done for children whose heart valves or ventricles did not form normally.
Foot drop Not flexing the ankle to lift the front of the foot when walking.
Foramen magnum stenosis Opening that is smaller than normal at the base of the skull for the spinal cord to pass through. An opening that is too small can put pressure on the spinal cord.
Franceschetti-Zwalen-Klein syndrome Another name for Treacher Collins syndrome.
Friedreich’s ataxia A genetic disease that damages the spinal cord, the nerves and the part of the brain that coordinates movement and balance. It causes awkward movement and impairs feeling in your child’s arms and legs.
Frontonasal dysplasia A problem with how the head and face formed before birth that causes at least 2 of these signs: Wide-set eyes; broad nose; cleft (gap or groove) in the nose; missing tip of the nose; cleft in the center of the face; gap in bone at the front of the skull; widow's peak hairline
Functional behavior assessment (FBA) FBA is a way to figure out why someone acts in certain ways, such as throwing tantrums or hurting themselves. We find what payoff the behavior has, such as getting attention or avoiding an unpleasant setting. To help us understand, we may ask about the behavior, watch the person or record their behavior on video or by taking notes. Based on what we learn, we make a treatment plan to change the behavior. For example, if a person tantrums to gain attention, we teach a different way to get attention.
Functional cortex Refers to the sections of the brain's cortex and their responsibilities for higher-level brain functions. These functions include, for example, problem solving, processing what we see and understanding language and speech.
Functional MRI Also called fMRI. MRI is a process that creates pictures of the inside of the body. An MRI uses a large magnet to create these pictures. With functional MRI, your child moves their hands, looks at pictures, reads or listens to words during the MRI. This shows the parts of the brain used for these functions.
Fungi Living organisms such as yeasts, mildews, molds and mushrooms. Some types of fungi invade the body and cause disease. An example is yeast causing diaper rash or a vaginal infection. A single organism is called a fungus.
Fungus A living organism such as yeast, mildew, mold or a mushroom. Some types of fungus invade the body and cause disease. An example is yeast causing diaper rash or a vaginal infection. Multiple organisms are called fungi.
Furlow palatoplasty A procedure designed to bring the abnormally positioned muscles of the palate into a more normal position.
Fused suture A suture is a special joint between the bone plates in the skull. A fused suture is one where the bones have grown together. Normally a baby's sutures are not fused. In most children, the skull bones begin to grow together at about age 2 or 3.
G tube A tube through the belly wall into the stomach used for feeding children who cannot feed by mouth.
G6PD deficiency An inherited condition (passed on by parent to child) that causes red blood cells to break down when a person eats certain foods, is under stress, has an infection or takes some types of drugs. The condition happens in children who inherit an abnormal G6PD gene from a parent. This gene affects an enzyme that helps red blood cells work correctly. The enzyme is called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. The condition is more common in males whose families are from certain parts of Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean.
Gait How your child walks or runs.
Gait abnormality Walking in a way that is not typical, such as turning the feet in or out. An unusual gait can result from an injury, a problem with how the body formed or a disease that affects the brain or spinal cord.
Gait training Physical therapy to improve your child’s ability to walk, either on their own or with a walker, braces or other devices that provide support.
Gallium scan An imaging technique that helps doctors locate areas of tumor cells or white blood cells. First, your child receives an injection of radioactive gallium. Over the next few days, the gallium travels through your child's body and tends to collect in areas of cancer activity or inflammation. Then your child returns for the scan. The scan may involve taking pictures from more than one angle or scanning your child's whole body.
Gamma knife A type of radiation therapy that focuses the X-rays very precisely so it can be used to treat very small areas. This helps avoid harm to normal tissue. Despite the ""knife"" in the name, there is no cutting.
Gastroenterologist A doctor with special training in the digestive system and medical problems that affect it. The digestive system breaks down food, absorbs nutrients and gets rid of waste. It includes the tube from the mouth to the stomach (esophagus), stomach, intestines, anus, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver.
Gastroenterologists Doctors with special training in the digestive system and medical problems that affect it. The digestive system breaks down food, absorbs nutrients and gets rid of waste. It includes the tube from the mouth to the stomach (esophagus), stomach, intestines, anus, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver.
Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) happens when food and stomach acid back up into the tube that goes from the mouth to the stomach (esophagus).
Gastrostomy A surgery in which the surgeon makes an opening through the wall of your child's belly and places a tube or a device called a button that goes to your child's stomach. This provides a safe way to give your child nutrition (and medicine, if needed) if they cannot feed by mouth. A gastrostomy is one type of feeding tube.
Gastrostomy button A device used for feeding children who cannot feed by mouth. It goes through an opening in the belly wall into the stomach. It is like a G tube but is flatter and lies against the skin of your child’s belly.
Gastrostomy tube A tube through the abdominal wall into the stomach used for feeding children who cannot feed by mouth.
Gene With chromosomes, genes store and use genetic information during prenatal (before birth) development and throughout a person's life. A gene consists of DNA or RNA. A person's genes can change from exposure to certain substances in the environment. Gene changes can lead to disease not seen before in family members.
Gene expression The way instructions in a gene are used in the body to make things like proteins or chemical messengers such as RNA (ribonucleic acid).
Gene expression profiling A way to determine the genetic makeup of T cells and the tumor targets.
Gene repair An approach to treatment of disease which attempts to restore target cell function by repairing damaged genes in a target cell's genome.
Gene sequencing Figuring out the exact order of the parts of genetic material (bases or nucleotides) in a strand of DNA. Gene sequencing helps find changes in genes that cause disease.
Gene therapy An approach to treatment of disease which attempts to alter or restore target cell function by adding new genes to the target cell's genome.
General anesthesia A substance given to make your child sleep and unable to feel anything anywhere in their body.
Genes With chromosomes, genes store and use genetic information during prenatal (before birth) development and throughout a person's life. A gene consists of DNA or RNA. A person's genes can change from exposure to certain substances in the environment. Gene changes can lead to disease not seen before in family members.
Genetic Related to genes, which are small pieces of DNA that hold instructions for making a certain protein or carrying out a function in the body.
Genetic counseling Talking with a healthcare professional to understand if a child's medical condition may be caused by changes in genes. The genetic counselor also explains testing options, the chances of the condition happening in another pregnancy and how other family members might be affected.
Genetic counselor A healthcare professionals who helps families understand possible genetic causes of a child's medical condition. They also explain the chances of the disorder happening in another pregnancy or how other family members might be affected. Genetic counselors have special training and experience in medical genetics and counseling.
Genetic counselors Healthcare professionals who help families understand possible genetic causes of a child's medical condition. They also explain the chances of the disorder happening in another pregnancy or how other family members might be affected. Genetic counselors have special training and experience in medical genetics and counseling.
Genetic sequencing Figuring out the exact order of the parts of genetic material (bases or nucleotides) in a strand of DNA. Genetic sequencing helps find changes in genes that cause disease.
Genetic testing Tests to find and diagnose medical conditions caused by changes (mutations) in genes or the structures in our cells that hold the genes (chromosomes).
Geneticist A scientist who studies genes and how traits are passed from parents to children. A medical geneticist is a doctor who specializes in identifying and diagnosing genetic conditions.
Geneticists Scientists who study genes and how traits are passed from parents to children. Medical geneticists are doctors who specialize in identifying and diagnosing genetic conditions.
Genetics The study of traits that can be passed from parents to children, how the traits are passed and why traits may vary from person to person.
Genital Related to the reproductive organs, which are also called genitals. In males, the genitals include the penis, scrotum, testes and tubes that store and carry sperm between the organs. Female sex organs inside the body are the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and vagina. The outer part of female genitals is called the vulva. It includes the labia and clitoris.
Genitals The reproductive organs. In males, the genitals include the penis, scrotum, testes and tubes that store and carry sperm between the organs. Female sex organs inside the body are the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and vagina. The outer part of female genitals is called the vulva. It includes the labia and clitoris.
Genome engineering An emerging scientific discipline whose goal is the development of tools and methods for precise manipulation of organism genomes.
Gingivoperiosteoplasty A procedure to close a cleft in the gum.
Glossoptosis An abnormal downward or backward placement of the tongue obstructing the airway, common in Robin sequence.
Goldenhar syndrome A term used to describe children with hemifacial microsomia, dermoids of the eye, cervical spine abnormalities and heart defects. Goldenhar is thought by many to be a severe form of hemifacial microsomia.
Graves disease A disorder of the immune system that causes the thyroid gland to make too much thyroid hormone. An overactive thyroid is called hyperthyroidism.
Groin The crease area where the leg meets the belly, on both sides of the body.
Growing rods Metal rods that support the spine and can be lengthened as your child grows. During surgery, the doctor attaches a rod to bones in your child's spine. About every six months, your child has surgery to lengthen the rod. This may help very young children with scoliosis whose spines are still growing and who are not helped by a back brace.
Growth arrest A serious problem that occurs when the growth plates of a child's bone are injured, often by fractures. Growth arrest means the bone stops developing, which can permanently change how the bone appears or functions.
Growth plate Patch of growing tissue near the end of the long bones in children and young teenagers. Growth plates determine how long children's bones will be once they are mature.
Growth plates Patches of growing tissue near the end of the long bones in children and young teenagers. Growth plates determine how long children's bones will be once they are mature.
Gynecologist A medical doctor who focuses on the reproductive health of girls and women. The doctor has special training and experience in conditions of the uterus, ovaries, vagina and vulva.
Haberman Feeder A special bottle for feeding babies with clefts that works particularly well for babies who are small or premature, or who have cleft palate only.
Hashimoto disease A disorder of the immune system that causes the thyroid gland to make too little thyroid hormone. An underactive thyroid is called hypothyroidism.
Head orthosis helmet A helmet that improves the shape of a baby's skull, taking advantage of rapid infant head growth.
Health equity Giving all people fair opportunities to reach their full health potential.
Health inequities Unfair differences in health between groups of people. The differences come from social, economic, political and cultural differences, and they could be avoided. Many factors may put people at risk for health inequities, like their race or gender, where they live, the language they speak, how much education or wealth they have and their physical challenges.
Hearing loss Hearing loss does not mean a child is deaf. There are varying degrees of hearing loss, ranging from mild to severe-profound (deaf). A diagnostic audiologic evaluation is needed to confirm if a child has a hearing loss, and to determine what degree of hearing loss a child has. It is important to diagnose a hearing loss as early as possible so that early intervention services can begin before 6 months of age.
Hearing screening Determines if an infant's hearing is normal at the time of testing, or if more testing is necessary. A screening test is not the same as a diagnostic evaluation, which defines an infant's hearing more thoroughly. If there are any problems on a hearing screening, the infant's hearing will usually be re-screened. If necessary, after the second screening test, an infant may be referred for a diagnostic audiologic evaluation.
Heart murmur Sounds (whooshing, rasping, blowing) heard from the blood when it moves abnormally through the heart.
Heart murmurs Sounds (whooshing, rasping, blowing) heard from the blood when it moves abnormally through the heart.
Heart transplant A procedure that replaces a weakened heart with a donor heart.
Heart valves Doors that control the flow of blood out of the heart's upper chambers (atria) and lower chambers (ventricles). The heart has four valves — the tricuspid valve (between the right atrium and right ventricle), pulmonary valve (between the right ventricle and pulmonary artery), mitral valve (between the left atrium and left ventricle) and aortic valve (between the left ventricle and aorta).
Hematologist-oncologist Doctors who have special training in diagnosing, treating and preventing blood diseases and cancers.
Hematologists-oncologists Doctors who have special training in diagnosing, treating and preventing blood diseases and cancers.
Hematology The study of blood and the tissues that form blood.
Hematopoietic stem cell A stem cell from which all blood cell types are derived.
Hematopoietic stem cells Stem cells from which all blood cell types are derived.
Hemifacial microsomia Another name for craniofacial microsomia.
Hemimegalencephaly Involves a brain with one side abnormally larger than the other. The abnormal brain tissue causes seizures and movement problems on the opposite side of the body.
Hemivertebrae Spine bones (vertebrae) that did not form completely. The bones may be wedge shaped and cause a sharp angle in the spine. A child may be born with only one or more than one hemivertebra. Hemivertebrae often occur along with congenital problems of the heart, urinary tract or skull bones.
Hemoglobin E or E beta thalassemia Children with this condition make little or no normal hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body. They may develop anemia and need blood transfusions to treat their condition. The blood disorder happens if a parent passes the abnormal genes for both beta thalassemia and for hemoglobin E trait to their child. Both genes affect how the body makes hemoglobin. The condition is more common in people whose families are from India or Southeast Asia.
Hemolytic anemia A condition that happens if red blood cells break down too easily. The body can’t make red blood cells fast enough to replace them. This causes anemia. Because red blood cells carry oxygen around the body, children who don’t have enough may be tired and have low energy. The condition can be inherited (passed on by parent to child) or acquired (happen during a child’s lifetime).
Hemorrhagic stroke Lack of blood flow to part of the brain that prevents brain cells from getting the oxygen and nutrients they need. Hemorrhagic stroke happens if a blood vessel leaks blood because a weak blood vessel bursts; trauma, such as a head injury, tears the wall of a blood vessel; or a child's blood does not clot as well as it should.
Hemostasis disorders Conditions that reduce the body’s ability to stop bleeding. These disorders may involve blood proteins (clotting factors) or cells that help blood clot (platelets).
Hepatologist A doctor who specialize in diseases of the liver.
Hepatologists Doctors who specialize in diseases of the liver.
Herniated disks Flat, round disks between the spine bones (vertebrae) absorb shock and help the bones move against each other. In a herniated disk, the jelly-like substance inside the disk pushes out against the disk's tough cover. Herniated disks may cause pain in the arm or leg or other nerve symptoms, like numbness or weakness.
Hertz (Hz) Used to indicate the frequency of a sound, or the pitch. The lower the number, the lower the pitch. The higher the number, the higher the pitch. A 250 Hz sound is a very low pitch, and an 8000 Hz sound is a very high pitch.
Heterodimeric Composed of two non-identical subunits.
Heterotaxy A birth defect with the heart and other internal organs in different places than normal. Depending on how severe it is, the baby may need surgery or other treatment.
Hippocampal sclerosis Scarring in a deep part of the brain (hippocampus) behind the eyes that is linked with temporal lobe epilepsy.
Holidays Seattle Children's observed holidays are New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.
Holoprosencephaly Abnormal development of the forebrain, so the left and right halves are not completely separate. A child with this disorder may also have a small nose, narrowly spaced eyes, cleft lip or palate and intellectual disability.
Holter monitor A portable electrocardiogram, or ECG, used to record the electrical activity of the heart for 24 hours or longer.
Homing endonucleases Rare-cutting enzymes most often encoded by introns or inteins that promote the spread and persistence of their host elements by specifically inducing double strand breaks in homologous alleles lacking intervening sequences. Homing endonucleases balance long target sites of 14-40 base pairs with tolerance for point mutations at selected positions to arrive at their high specificity of around 1x109, making them essentially gene-specific.
Hormone A chemical produced by the body and carried throughout the body in body fluids. Hormones help control many functions such as metabolism, blood sugar, menstruation and sexual characteristics.
Hormones Chemicals produced by the body. They are carried throughout the body in body fluids. Hormones help control many functions such as metabolism, blood sugar, menstruation and sexual characteristics.
Hydrocephalus Excess spinal fluid buildup in or on the brain.
Hydrops Buildup of fluid in a baby's body that can cause swelling, heart problems, breathing problems and other symptoms. It can occur before birth and in newborns.
Hyperglycemia Hyperglycemia means having high blood sugar or glucose. Insulin is a hormone that helps use sugar for energy. Hyperglycemia happens when your child’s body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it the right way. Factors that may raise blood sugar include diabetes, infections, certain medicines, hormone imbalances or severe illnesses.
Hypermobile Abnormally flexible.
Hypertrophic Means enlarged. The main feature of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an excessive thickening of the heart muscle.
Hypertrophy When tissue, an organ, or an arm or leg grows unusually large.
Hypoallergenic Hypoallergenic means something has less chance of causing an allergic reaction. Skin creams, medicines, medical devices and even artificial body parts can all be specially made to be hypoallergenic.
Hypogonadism Low or no hormones being produced by sex glands (testes or ovaries)
Hypoplastic Means underdeveloped.
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome A serious birth defect that results in the underdevelopment of the left side of the heart.
Hypoproliferative anemia A condition that happens because the bone marrow does not make enough red blood cells. Often it is caused by problems with a hormone (erythropoietin or EPO) that normally helps make red blood cells. It also happens in people with ongoing disease, such as chronic kidney disease.
Hypospadias A condition where the opening of the penis is not at the very tip, but somewhere along the underside. The condition happens in 1 in 250 newborns.
Hypothalamic hamartoma A rare, benign (not cancerous) tumor near the center of the brain on the hypothalamus. This type of tumor may cause epilepsy.
Hypothyroidism A condition in which the thyroid gland fails to make enough thyroid hormone, which is essential for normal bone growth.
Idiopathic constipation Constipation with an unknown diagnosis/reason.
Ileostomy A surgery in which the surgeon creates a small opening (stoma) in the belly. The surgeon cuts through the small intestine, and then brings the upper part of the intestine (ileum) to the stoma and attaches it. This allows waste to come out of the body into a pouch attached on the outside.
iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome Pain at the outside of the knee or up the thigh, linked to the iliotibial band (ITB). The ITB is a tendon that connects the muscles around the hip and buttocks to the bone just below the knee. Often the problem happens from stressing the ITB over and over, such as by running.
Imaging studies Procedures to take pictures of the inside of the body, such as an X-ray, CT (computed tomography) scan or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. Imaging studies allow doctors to look for areas of disease or injury without cutting into the body.
Immune deficiencies Problems in which part of the immune system is missing or doesn't work properly. The immune system includes white blood cells and the lymphatic system (lymph nodes) that serve to protect us from disease. A primary immune deficiency is one that a child is born with. An acquired immune deficiency is one that develops later.
Immune modulation What molecules the T cells use to regulate their activity.
Immune reconstitution The degree of immune function achieved after new bone marrow stem cells are engrafted into a patient. When new bone marrow stem cells are engrafted into a patient, these stem cells must produce new immune cells which merge into a properly functioning immune system. How well the stem cells are able to do this determines the degree of immune reconstitution achieved.
Immune system A network of cells, tissues, and organs that protect the body from infection and disease. The parts of the immune system work together in a series of steps to attack invaders like bacteria and viruses. This is called the immune response.
Immunodeficiency disorders Diseases which affect immune function. They may be primary, in which case they are inherited defects in specific genes involved in immune function, or may occur secondary to viral infections such as HIV.
Immunogeneticists A doctor who specializes in understanding the role of genes in the way the body responds to organ or tissue transplant.
Immunogenetics The study of the role of genes in the way the body responds to organ or tissue transplant.
Immunologist A doctor or scientist who specializes in the immune system - the system that protects the body from infection and fights illness.
Immunologists Doctors or scientists who specialize in the immune system - the system that protects the body from infection and fights illness.
Immunosuppressant A medication used to decrease the body's defenses against a transplanted heart.
Immunotherapies Substances designed to fight a disease using the patient’s immune system.
Immunotherapy Treatment that fights a disease using the patient's own immune system instead of chemotherapy or radiation.
Inborn errors of metabolism Problems with how the body makes, breaks down or uses proteins, fats or carbohydrates. They are caused by genes that are not normal and cannot make the enzymes the body needs.
Incarcerated hernia A constant bulge of tissue that comes out of a hole in the belly and is likely painful. The tissue that has slipped through may be trapped. This can be dangerous and needs treatment right away.
Infections of the bloodstream When bacteria, viruses or fungi enter the bloodstream, this causes an infection called sepsis. Premature and newborn babies are at risk of infection because their immune system has not had enough time to develop.
Inferior vena cava One of the two large veins that brings oxygen-poor blood to the right atrium of the heart from the lower parts of the body. (In anatomy, ""inferior"" means ""lower."") The blood is then pumped to the lungs for oxygenation.
Infertility Not being able to become pregnant or to cause pregnancy.
Inflammation The body’s response to an injury or foreign substance like bacteria. The body releases chemicals and increases blood flow to the area that is infected or injured. Signs of inflammation include redness, warmth, swelling and pain. Inflammation can help heal wounds and control infection. But sometimes it is more general and can be part of some chronic diseases, like inflammatory bowel disease.
Informed consent A process you and your child go through before joining a research study. This is to make sure you both understand the study's purpose, benefits, risks and other options.
Infusion Putting a fluid other than blood into a vein. Examples of infusions are saline solution and chemotherapy medicines.
Inguinal hernia An inguinal hernia is a bulge of tissue near the crease between your child’s belly (abdomen) and inner thigh. This happens if a thin sac holding the intestines does not seal shut before birth. This leaves a hole. Tissue (intestine or, in girls, an ovary) can then slide into the sac and drop into a natural tunnel in the belly wall.
Inguinal hernias Inguinal hernias are bulges of tissue near the crease between your child’s belly (abdomen) and inner thigh. They happen if a thin sac holding the intestines does not seal shut before birth. This leaves a hole. Tissue (intestine or, in girls, an ovary) can then slide into the sac and drop into a natural tunnel in the belly wall.
Institutional review board A group of people that might include doctors, researchers, patient support groups, pharmacists and other experts who review and approve research studies before they begin.
Institutional review board (IRB) A group of people that might include doctors, researchers, patient support groups, pharmacists and other experts who review and approve research studies before they begin.
insulin A hormone that moves food energy from the blood into the body’s cells. If your child’s body does not make enough insulin or does not respond well to it, they may develop diabetes. If that happens, their body will not control a type of sugar called glucose in their blood.
Insulin resistance Cells not taking up blood sugar (glucose) easily because they don’t respond well to the hormone insulin.
Intensivist A doctor who specializes in caring for patients in intensive care.
Intensivists Doctors who specialize in caring for patients in intensive care.
Interrupted aortic arch A birth defect that is an interruption in the aorta, the primary blood vessel leading from the heart to the body.
Intersex Medical conditions that are a type of difference in sex development (DSD). In some children, their genitals do not look typical of a boy or a girl. In other children, there is a mismatch between their sex chromosomes and their genitals. Sometimes a child’s external genitals (penis or vulva) may not match with their internal genitals (testes or ovaries).
Intervening capillaries The small blood vessels at the ends of arteries that drain into veins.
Interventional catheterization Procedures done in the catheterization lab to close holes in the heart, widen narrow blood vessels or close abnormal blood vessels.
Interventional radiologist A doctor who uses radiology or X-rays to diagnose and treat patients.
Interventional radiologists Doctors who use radiology or X-rays to diagnose and treat patients.
Intestine Also called bowel. A long, continuous tube inside the body that helps digest food and absorb nutrients and water. The long tube includes the small intestine, large intestine and rectum. The intestine connects the stomach to the anus, the opening on the outside of the body where poop (stool) comes out.
Intestines Also called bowels. A long, continuous tube inside the body that helps digest food and absorb nutrients and water. The long tube includes the small intestine, large intestine and rectum. The intestines connect the stomach to the anus, the opening on the outside of the body where poop (stool) comes out.
Intracranial hemorrhage Bleeding inside the skull.
Intravenous (IV) IV is an abbreviation for intravenous, which means into a vein. When doctors talk about IVs, they often mean IV lines or needles that deliver medicines, fluids and nutrients directly to a child's bloodstream.
Intravenous immunoglobulins Special parts of the blood (antibodies) that play an important role in fighting infection. These are donated by healthy people and given into a vein (intravenously).
Intraventricular hemorrhage Bleeding inside a brain ventricle. This can happen around the time of birth in babies born early.
Intubate Put a tube down your child's throat into their airway so they can breathe.
Inverted papillomas Masses in or around the nose, often in the spaces inside the cheekbones (maxillary sinuses). They have a low risk of turning into cancer.
Involution A phase of hemangioma development that occurs after the hemangioma stops growing. During involution, the hemangioma shrinks and fades. Involution can last from three to 12 years.
IRB A group of people that might include doctors, researchers, patient support groups, pharmacists and other experts who review and approve research studies before they begin.
Ischemia A deficiency of blood in a body part, usually due to constriction or obstruction of a blood vessel.
Ischemic stroke Lack of blood flow to part of the brain that prevents brain cells from getting the oxygen and nutrients they need. Ischemic stroke happens when a blockage, such as a blood clot, clogs a blood vessel.
Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) A quantitative biophysical technique used to determine thermodynamic properties of biochemical interactions.
ITB syndrome Pain at the outside of the knee or up the thigh, linked to the iliotibial band (ITB). The ITB is a tendon that connects the muscles around the hip and buttocks to the bone just below the knee. Often the problem happens from stressing the ITB over and over, such as by running.
IV IV is an abbreviation for intravenous, which means into a vein. When doctors talk about IVs, they often mean IV lines or needles that deliver medicines, fluids and nutrients directly to a child’s bloodstream.
J tube A soft tube placed through the skin of your child’s belly into the middle part of their small bowel (jejunum). The tube delivers food and medicine if your child cannot eat by mouth. Also called a jejunostomy tube.
Joint Where two bones come together, such as the shoulder, elbow, knee and hip. Joints aid movement.
Joint capsule Soft tissue that surrounds a joint.
Joints Where two bones come together, such as the shoulder, elbow, knee and hip. Joints aid movement.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis Swelling and pain in the joints from the immune system releasing chemicals that damage healthy tissues (autoimmune disease).
Kabuki syndrome A genetic condition that affects many parts of the body, including a child's facial features and eyes. It can cause cleft palate, low muscle tone and defects of the heart or other organs.
Karyotype A blood or tissue sample stained to show chromosomes grouped by size, number, and shape. This helps diagnose conditions caused by changes in chromosomes.
Kawasaki disease A specific group of signs and symptoms that appear in phases and usually affect children under 5 years old. It is generally manifested as rash, fever and eye redness and can affect the heart and its arteries.
Keratitis Inflammation of the cornea caused by irritation and producing watery, painful eyes and blurred vision.
Ketogenic diet A medical treatment to control seizures. It is made up of foods that are high in fat, medium in protein (meat) and very low in carbohydrate (sugar and starch). Your child needs medical appointments and tests before starting this diet. For the first few days of the diet your child stays in the hospital so we can watch their condition.
Ketorolac A type of pain medicine used to reduce moderate pain. It is in the class of pain relievers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories because it reduces chemicals that cause inflammation and pain in the body.
Kidney and urinary birth defects When your child's kidneys or genitals do not develop properly, it affects the body's ability to filter and pass liquids. Some babies, for example, are born with a rare birth defect that involves the location of the opening of the tube that drains urine (urethra). This condition is called epispadias. The way in which the urethra is not formed right varies from child to child. In boys with epispadias, the urethra opening usually is on the top or side of the penis rather than the tip. In girls, the opening is usually between the clitoris and the labia or in the belly rather than below the clitoris.
Kidneys The 2 bean-shaped organs inside the body that filter blood, remove waste and make pee (urine).
Labia Part of a girl’s genitals on the outside of her body, around the opening of the vagina. The labia are flaps of tissue (also called lips). The labia majora are the outer lips. The labia minora are the inner lips. These inner lips have a lot of nerves and influence the sensation during sexual activity.
Lactation consultants Specialists who help moms with breastfeeding or pumping their breasts to provide breastmilk if their baby is too sick to breastfeed. They help with breastfeeding concerns, including pain, low milk production, infection or problems with a baby latching onto the breast. They may be nurses or dietitians.
Lactose intolerance Lactose is a sugar found in milk and milk products. The small intestine makes an enzyme called lactase that breaks down lactose so the body can absorb it. If a child’s body doesn’t make enough lactase, they may have symptoms like bloating, diarrhea and gas after eating or drinking milk or milk products. Most people with lactose intolerance can eat or drink some amount of lactose without having digestive symptoms.
LAGLIDADG homing endonucleases (LHEs) A class of homing endonucleases distinguished by the possession of either one or two copies of the conserved 10-residue LAGLIDADG sequence motif.
Lambdoid Refers to the joint where the bones on the top and sides of the skull (parietal bones) and the bones above the ears (temporal bones) meet the bone at the back of the head (occipital bone).
Laminectomy Surgery that involves removing one or more sides of the back arches of a spinal bone (vertebra). A neurosurgeon performs this surgery to gain access to your child's spinal canal to treat problems such as a tumor or scar tissue inside the canal.
Laparoscopic surgery An operation in which the surgeon makes small ""keyhole"" incisions in the belly and inserts thin metal sleeves, or tubes, called trocars through these incisions. The trocars allow surgeons to insert a small video camera and surgical instruments for the procedure. During a laparoscopic surgery, your child's belly is filled with carbon dioxide (CO2). This creates a space or a bubble in which to do surgery. Surgery is performed by watching a TV monitor and moving the surgical instruments from outside of your child's body. The advantage of this technique is that surgeons don't need to cut through as much tissue as when they make a longer incision. This means your child is likely to heal and recover faster. Laparoscopic surgery is also called minimally invasive surgery.
Large bowel Also called the colon or large intestine. A tube where waste from digested food moves through the body. Water is removed, making poop solid. The tube connects the small bowel to the anus (the opening where poop comes out of the body).
Large intestine Also called the colon or large bowel. A tube where waste from digested food moves through the body. Water is removed, making poop solid. The tube connects the small intestine to the anus (the opening where poop comes out of the body).
Larynx The structure in the body below the mouth and throat (pharynx) and above the windpipe (trachea) that contains the vocal cords.
Lateral facial dysplasia Another name for hemifacial microsomia.
Latex Sap from a kind of tree that is used to make rubber products. Latex is found in many items used in the hospital and at home.
LCL The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is one of four strong, flexible bands of tissue that keep the knee from wobbling or giving out when you move. The knee is a large joint where the shinbone (tibia) meets the thighbone (femur). The LCL is on the outside of the joint and keeps the knee from bending out.
Le Fort I maxillary advancement A procedure to move the upper teeth and surrounding bone into a better position.
Le Fort II nasomaxillary advancement A procedure to move the nose, inner corner of the eyelids and upper jaw to a better position.
Le Fort III midface advancement A procedure to move the cheekbones, nose and upper jaw into a better position.
Lesion Any tissue or organ changes that result from disease or injury. Some lesions are described by whether or not cancer caused them. We describe some by what they look like, their size, their location or their function in the body.
Lesions Any tissue or organ changes that result from disease or injury. Some lesions are described by whether or not cancer caused them. We describe some by what they look like, their size, their location or their function in the body.
Level IV NICU The Washington State Department of Health defines four levels of care for neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The lowest level of care is Level I and the highest is Level IV. Seattle Children's is the first hospital in Washington to have a designated Level IV NICU. NICUs with a Level IV designation must meet all Level III capabilities and be located within an institution capable of surgically repairing complex congenital or acquired conditions. Level IV NICUs must also maintain a full range of pediatric medical subspecialists, pediatric surgical subspecialists and pediatric anesthesiologists who are available at the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Li-Fraumeni syndrome A rare genetic condition that greatly increases the chance of getting several types of cancer, especially in children and young adults. These include cancer of the breast, bones (osteosarcoma), soft tissue (sarcomas) and leukemia.
Ligaments Strong, flexible bands of tissue that hold joints together by connecting one bone to another.
Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy A genetic disease that affects muscles connected to the bones around the shoulders and hips (limb girdles). It causes weakness and loss of muscles used to move the arms and legs.
Lipase blood test A test of a blood sample for lipase, an enzyme that helps digest fats. The pancreas gland makes lipase. A high level of lipase in the blood can be a sign that the pancreas is irritated, hurt or blocked.
Lipids Fats. Lipids can be broken down by the body and used for energy.
Little League elbow Pain at the inside of the elbow that may result from throwing or other arm motions done over and over.
Liver biopsy A process that helps doctors diagnose and stage the condition affecting a person’s liver. The doctor removes a small piece of liver tissue. A pathologist looks at it under a microscope and makes a diagnosis. The team at Seattle Children’s performs liver biopsies on children under anesthesia.
Liver failure When the liver cannot perform its vital functions in the body, such as making chemicals and filtering blood.
Living-donor liver transplants Transplants done with liver tissue from a donor who volunteered to give part of their liver while they are alive. Surgeons can remove part of the liver from a living person because the donor's remaining liver can grow into a whole organ again.
Living-donor transplants Transplants done with tissue from a donor who volunteered to give 1 kidney or part of their liver while they are alive.
Long Q-T syndrome A rare disorder of the heart's electrical rhythm that can lead to sudden death.
Low FODMAP diet A diet that restricts some types of carbohydrates (sugars). Children with irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive problems might try this diet to reduce their symptoms. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.
Lumbar puncture Involves placing a special needle between two spinal bones in the lower back (lumbar vertebrae) and then on into the spinal cord to get a sample of cerebrospinal fluid. This helps doctors diagnose certain diseases.
Lumbar spine Includes the first through fifth spinal bones (lumbar vertebrae) in the lower back. They are immediately below the thoracic vertebrae and just above the sacrum.
Lupus A painful disease that causes a child’s immune system to attack the body’s healthy, normal cells.
Lymph A thick, protein-rich fluid that bathes tissues around the body. This fluid is picked up by lymphatic vessels. These vessels channel the fluid through the lymph nodes and into the large veins that return blood to the heart. Lymph carries important substances, like white blood cells that fight infection and disease.
Lymph node Part of your body's immune system. A bean-like structure that filters fluid and helps fight disease. A network of lymph nodes is spread throughout the body.
Lymph nodes Part of your body's immune system. Lymph nodes are bean-like structures spread throughout the body that filter fluid and serve as centers where the body fights disease.
Lymph system A network of small tubes, or vessels, that pick up lymph fluid from all around the body. These vessels channel the lymph through the lymph nodes and into the large veins that return blood to the heart. White blood cells called lymphocytes travel in the lymph, fighting infection and disease. Lymph also carries proteins and waste from cells.
Lymphangiography A procedure to inject dye into a lymph vessel and track the flow of dye through the lymph system using fluoroscopy (a moving X-ray). An interventional radiologist does this to map the lymph system and find a leak or blockage in the system that's causing lymph to build up in the body. Also called lymphography.
Lymphedema Swelling that happens when fluid called lymph builds up in part of the body, usually an arm or leg. It is caused by a problem with the lymph system, a network of tubes that carries lymph throughout the body.
Lymphography A procedure to inject dye into a lymph vessel and track the flow of dye through the lymph system using fluoroscopy (a moving X-ray). An interventional radiologist does this to map the lymph system and find a leak or blockage in the system that's causing lymph to build up in the body. Also called lymphangiography.
Lymphopoiesis Development of lymphoid cells from bone marrow precursors.
Lymphoscintigraphy A procedure to inject a radioactive tracer into a lymph vessel and track the flow of the tracer through the lymph system using a computed tomography (CT) scan or positron emission tomography (PET) scan. An interventional radiologist does this to map the lymph system and find a leak or blockage in the system that's causing fluid to build up in the body.
Macrodactyly Fingers or toes that are larger than normal due to extra growth of the bones and soft tissue.
Macrostomia A greatly exaggerated width of the mouth, resulting from the failure of the upper jaw and lower jaw processes to merge properly in the first weeks of fetal development in the first branchial arch.
MACS Magnetic cell separation. Selected cells in a heterogeneous population are bound to magnetic beads based on their affinity for molecules on the bead surface. The mixture is run through a magnetized column which retains bead-bound cells, separating them from non-bound cells which flow through.
Malignant Refers to tumors or other cells that have been examined and found to be cancer. Cancer cells can grow rapidly and/or spread to other areas.
Malocclusion A bad bite, a condition in which the opposing teeth do not mesh normally.
Mandible The lower jaw.
Mandibulofacial dysostosis Another name for Treacher Collins syndrome.
Mandibulofacial dysostosis with microcephaly (MFDM A genetic condition causing a small head size, small upper and lower jaws, abnormal outer ear, hearing loss and developmental delays.
Marfan syndrome A genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue of the body and aortic arch.
Mass A lump in the body. Possible causes include: abnormal growth of cells, a cyst, hormonal changes or an immune system reaction. A mass may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
Masses Lumps in the body. Possible causes include: abnormal growth of cells, cysts, hormonal changes or immune system reactions. Masses may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
Maternal-fetal medicine The medical specialty focused on high-risk pregnancies. In some cases, the mother has an ongoing health condition or develops a problem during pregnancy. Sometimes the developing baby has a condition that needs special care before birth or soon after.
Maxilla The upper jaw.
Mead-Johnson Cleft Palate Nurser A soft squeezable bottle for feeding babies with clefts that is inexpensive and readily available in most nurseries.
Mechanical ventilation Breathing support in which a machine blows air (sometimes with extra oxygen) into the lungs of patients who cannot breathe well on their own. The air travels from the machine through a tube that goes into a patient's windpipe, or to a mask or mouthpiece and into the lungs.
Meckel diverticulum A small pocket in the small intestine that is present at birth.
Meconium aspiration Meconium is a baby’s first poop (stool). It is passed in the womb during early pregnancy and mixes with fluid in the amniotic sac. If a baby gasps during or right after delivery, a mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid may be inhaled into their lungs. The inhaled (aspirated) meconium can partly or completely block the baby’s airways. The condition also is called meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS). Most cases are not severe. Doctors check for fetal distress during delivery and for signs of meconium aspiration after birth. If there is a problem, treatment starts immediately.
Medulloblastoma A malignant brain tumor in the cerebellum that is much more common in children than in adults.
Membrane A thin layer of tissue surrounding a body part.
Membranes The thin layers of tissue surrounding a body part, like the brain.
Meninges The three tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord. Its three layers are the dura mater, the arachnoid and the pia mater.
Meningiomas Tumors that start from the tissues (meninges) that cover the brain and spinal cord. The 3 layers of the meninges are the dura mater, the arachnoid and the pia mater.
Meningitis A disease involving inflammation of the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord (meninges), caused by either a virus or bacteria.
Menstruation Also called having a period. The bleeding that happens as the lining of the uterus (womb) passes out of the vagina. Unless a girl or woman is pregnant, she usually has a period each month. Girls start having periods when they go through puberty, at about 12 or 14 years old. Women stop having periods at menopause, usually about age 50.
Mental health therapist A health professional with a master’s degree who diagnoses and treats mental health issues that affect a child’s thoughts, emotions or behavior. There are several types of licensed master’s-level therapists in Washington, including licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), licensed independent social worker (LISW) and licensed mental health therapist. They all provide diagnostic evaluation and therapy.
Mental health therapists Health professionals with a master’s degree who diagnose and treat mental health issues that affect a child’s thoughts, emotions or behavior. There are several types of licensed master’s-level therapists in Washington, including licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), licensed independent social worker (LISW) and licensed mental health therapist. They all provide diagnostic evaluation and therapy.
Mesial temporal sclerosis An abnormality of the brain's temporal lobe associated with seizures.
Metabolic bone diseases Bone conditions that result from problems getting enough of certain nutrients or from problems with the way the body uses nutrients. Some babies are born with genetic mutations that disrupt their metabolism. Some metabolic diseases are acquired after birth.
Metabolic disorders Problems with the way the body changes food into energy. Some babies are born with genetic changes (mutations) that disrupt their metabolism. These disorders allow toxins to build up, and they prevent the processing of essential nutrients needed for growth.
Metabolic disorders and genetic problems Metabolic disorders are problems with the way the body changes food into energy. Some babies are born with genetic mutations that disrupt their metabolism. These disorders allow toxins to build up, and prevent the processing of essential nutrients needed for growth. Chromosomes are the part of cells that contain genes, which carry the genetic information passed from parents to children. Health problems can arise when the number or structure of chromosomes is not normal. For example, Down syndrome occurs when a person is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21. It often leads to lifelong developmental and intellectual delays.
Metabolic liver disease A metabolic disease (when there is a problem with how the body makes, breaks down or uses proteins, fats or carbohydrates) that affects the liver. Glycogen storage disease, alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency and Wilson disease are metabolic liver diseases.
Metabolism The process of the body breaking down food and using or storing the energy.
Metopic The joint in the middle of the forehead where the left and right frontal bones meet. A suture is a special joint between the bone plates in the skull. The metopic suture is also called the frontal suture.
MIBG (metaiodobenzylguanidine) scan An imaging technique that uses a radioactive material called MIBG. The patient receives an injection of a very small amount of MIBG, similar to the amount of radiation in an X-ray. Then a large camera is used to take pictures of structures inside the patient's body.
MIBG scan An imaging technique that uses a radioactive material called MIBG. The patient receives an injection of a very small amount of MIBG, similar to the amount of radiation in an X-ray. Then a large camera is used to take pictures of structures inside the patient's body.
Micro plates Small closures, about 3 to 4 mm long, used to bridge two pieces of skull bone that were removed and replaced during surgery. Tiny screws hold them in place.
Microbiome Healthy people have trillions of bacteria living in their digestive tract, on their skin and in other parts of their body. Together, these bacteria, or microbes, are called the human microbiome. Most of the time, they are harmless or even helpful. In some illnesses, something goes wrong in the relationship between the body and the microbiome.
Micrognathia An abnormal smallness of the lower jaw.
Microsurgery A surgery requiring a microscope.
Microsurgical A surgery requiring a microscope.
Microtia An abnormally small external ear.
Microvascular surgery Surgery on very small blood vessels. Surgeons use a microscope and special tools to reconnect blood vessels that were cut or torn, such as when a finger, hand or arm was injured. The goal is to restore blood flow.
Middle aortic syndrome Narrowing of the main artery (aorta) in the body.
Midface hypoplasia Abnormally slow growth of the upper two-thirds of the face.
Migraine headaches Migraines are recurring, painful headaches along with other symptoms. Your child may also be dizzy, sick to their stomach or sensitive to light, noise, or smells. Often, the pain is throbbing and on both sides of their head. Different things set off migraines in different people. Doctors do not know exactly what causes migraines.
Miller syndrome A genetic condition that can cause a very small lower jaw and cheekbones, a gap in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate) and abnormal outer ear or lower eyelids. A child also may be missing fingers and toes.
Mindfulness Being aware of thoughts and feelings in each moment, without judgment. Mindfulness is a way to reduce stress and cope with pain, difficult emotions or mental health conditions.
Minimally invasive procedure An operation that requires a smaller incision or incisions than traditional surgery.
Minimally invasive procedures An operation that requires a smaller incision or incisions than traditional surgery.
Minimally invasive surgery An operation that requires a smaller incision or incisions than traditional surgery.
Mitral valve The valve that controls blood flow between the heart's left atrium (upper chamber) and left ventricle (lower chamber).
Mitral valve abnormalities Birth defects affecting the mitral valve.
Mitral valve prolapse Enlargement of one or both of the mitral valve flaps.
Mitral valve regurgitation Blood leaking back into the left atrium because the mitral valve does not close well.
Mitral valve stenosis A tightening or narrowing (stenosis) of the mitral valve, reducing blood flow to the left ventricle.
Mitrofanoff channel A tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body, usually near the belly button. The tube is often made from your child’s own appendix. The channel lets your child empty their bladder by placing a small tube (catheter) through the opening in the belly wall.
Modified Atkins diet A medical treatment to control seizures. It is made up of foods that are high in fat, medium in protein (meat) and very low in carbohydrate (sugar and starch). Your child needs medical appointments and tests before starting this diet. It is less restrictive than the classic ketogenic diet. Your child does not need to stay in the hospital to start this diet.
Moebius sequence A rare condition present at birth that affects the facial nerve and other nerves in the skull. Children with this condition cannot smile or frown and may have trouble eating and speaking.
Moebius syndrome A rare condition present at birth that affects the facial nerve and other nerves in the skull. Children with this condition can not smile or frown and may have trouble eating and speaking.
Molecular biology The study of molecules in living organisms, including their structure, what they do and their role in genetics. Genetics looks at how traits can be passed from parents to children.
Molecular genetics The study of how genes work and interact with each other. It focuses on the physical and chemical properties of genes.
Monoclonal antibodies Monoclonal antibodies are specific antibodies that are reprogrammed to attack a cell. It is then cloned to make many copies.
Monoclonal antibody A monoclonal antibody is a specific antibody that is reprogrammed to attack a cell. It is then cloned to make many copies.
Mononucleosis Mononucleosis causes flu-like symptoms that usually go away on their own after a few weeks of rest and plenty of fluids. It is also called mono. The main cause is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Teens and young adults who become infected with EBV often develop mono. Mono is spread by contact with the spit of someone who is infected with the virus. Kissing, coughing or sneezing can spread it.
Morphine A type of pain medicine that is used to reduce moderate to severe pain. It is in the class of pain relievers called narcotics because it is extracted from the opium poppy.
Motility disorders Problems with the movement of food through the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. In a healthy person, the nerves and muscles of the digestive tract work together to move food through the body so it can absorb nutrients and get rid of waste.
Motor function Refers to the ability to move and do physical activities. Small (fine) motor skills involve the body's small muscles, like those in the hands, for activities like handwriting and buttoning shirts and jackets. Large (gross) motor skills involve the larger muscles, like those in the arms and legs, for activities such as throwing a ball and running.
MRA (magnetic resonance angiography) A magnetic resonance image (MRI) of the blood vessels. It can be used to diagnose heart problems, vascular malformation and other problems.
MRI Magnetic resonance imaging. A process that creates high-quality pictures of the inside of the body. An MRI uses a large magnet to create these pictures.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) A process that creates high-quality pictures of the inside of the body. An MRI uses a large magnet to create these pictures.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan A process that creates high-quality pictures of the inside of the body. An MRI uses a large magnet to create these pictures.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans High-quality pictures of the inside of the body, created using a large magnet. The process is called magnetic resonance imaging.
MRI scan A high-quality picture of the inside of the body, created using a large magnet. The process is called magnetic resonance imaging.
MRI scans High-quality pictures of the inside of the body, created using a large magnet. The process is called magnetic resonance imaging.
MRS (magnetic resonance spectroscopy) A way to measure chemicals in the brain. It can help doctors diagnose brain conditions.
Mucopolysaccharidoses A group of diseases in which the body lacks specific enzymes needed to break down complex sugars and recycle them for growth and development or the enzymes do not work properly. Instead, the sugars build up around the body, which can cause a wide range of effects, including problems with how the skeleton forms.
Mucous membrane A membrane rich in mucous glands, such as the lining of the roof of the mouth or nose.
Mucous membranes Membranes rich in mucous glands, such as the lining of the mouth and nose.
Mucus A slimy liquid made inside the nose, airways and digestive tract. It protects and keeps moist the lining of the nose, mouth, lungs, stomach and bowels. Mucus in the nose if often called snot.
Muenke syndrome A rare form of craniosynostosis (premature closure of the fibrous seams in the skull). People with this condition may have an abnormally shaped head, wide-set eyes and flattened cheekbones.
Multiple sclerosis Also called MS. A condition that happens when the body’s immune cells attack the protective covering of nerves in the brain and spinal cord. This harms the nerves’ ability to carry electrical signals that tell the body what to do. It can lead to physical weakness, cognitive problems and chronic pain.
Multiple Sleep Latency Test A daytime nap study following a polysomnogram.
Mumps An illness that causes a puffy face, pain when opening and closing the jaw, fever, and feeling tired and not well. Usually it is a mild infection. Rarely, mumps can lead to swelling or infection in the brain, deafness, or swelling in the testicles or ovaries. A virus causes mumps. The MMR vaccine can help prevent it.
Muscular Dystrophy A group of inherited disorders of the muscles that can cause them to become very weak.
Muscular Dystrophy (MD) A group of inherited disorders of the muscles that can cause them to become very weak.
Myelodysplastic syndrome A pre-leukemia condition. In myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), the bone marrow does not make enough white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. MDS can range from mild to severe.
Myelography An X-ray of the spine taken as dye is injected into the fluid-filled space around your child’s spinal cord. The dye helps doctors see the spinal cord, the membranes that cover it and the nerves that branch off it.
Myelomeningocele An inherited problem in which part of the spinal cord sticks through a gap in the bones of the back. Myelomeningocele is the most serious form of spina bifida and causes problems with the central nervous system.
Myocarditis A heart disease caused by inflammation of the heart muscle.
Myocardium The heart's muscular wall.
Myopia Nearsightedness.
Myotonia Slow release of some muscles after they contract.
Myotonic muscular dystrophy A genetic muscle disease that causes weakness and muscle loss. It may also keep your child from relaxing their muscles when they want, such as to let go of an object after they grip it.
Nager syndrome A genetic condition with a pattern of features that may include a small lower jaw and cheekbones, a gap in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate), outer ear differences, hearing loss and abnormal or missing thumbs.
Nasoalveolar Related to the nose (""naso"") and the part of the jaw where the teeth grow (alveolar bone).
Nasoalveolar molding A nonsurgical method of reshaping the mouth, lip and nostrils to lessen the severity of a cleft before cleft lip and palate surgery.
Nasogastric tube Also called an NG tube. A tube from your child’s nose to their stomach. It carries medicine and food to the stomach if your child cannot eat or swallow.
Nasopharyngeal airway (nasal trumpet) A small tube placed through the nose into the upper airway that keeps the airway open.
Nasopharyngeal stenosis Difficulty breathing through the nose.
Nasopharyngoscopy An exam that uses a flexible fiber optic tube inserted into the nose to see the back of the throat.
Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) A way to measure oxygen levels of blood in your child's brain and kidneys.
Neonatologist A doctor trained specifically to handle complex and high-risk health problems in newborns.
Neonatologists Doctors who specialize in the care of newborns with complex problems.
Neonatology The medical specialty that treats newborns with complex and high-risk health problems.
Nephrologist Doctors who specialize in treating diseases of the kidneys- the organs that help filter waste out of the blood and produce urine.
Nephrology A branch of medicine that treats diseases of the kidneys- the organs that help filter waste out of the blood and make urine.
Nephrotic syndrome A disorder that happens when large amounts of protein get into the urine, leaving low levels in the blood. This causes swelling as water moves into body tissues.
Nervous system There are two main divisions of the nervous system. The central nervous system (CNS) is made up of the brain and spinal cord and is the main control network for our bodies. The CNS is the system through which we think, feel and sense the world. The peripheral nervous system is made up of the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord that carry information to and from the brain.
Neural tube The tissue that develops into a baby’s brain and spinal cord.
Neurodevelopmental Related to how the nervous system forms and grows.
Neurodevelopmental pediatric nurse practitioner A registered nurse with advanced training in assessing and treating children with conditions related to how their nervous system developed.
Neurodevelopmental pediatrician A doctor who evaluates and cares for children with conditions related to the development of the nervous system, including the brain. The doctor has special training to care for children with special needs. These may include developmental delays or problems related to behavior, learning or emotions.
Neurodevelopmental pediatricians Doctors who evaluate and care for children with conditions related to the development of the nervous system, including the brain. The doctors have special training to care for children with special needs. These may include developmental delays or problems related to behavior, learning or emotions.
Neurodevelopmental pediatrics The field of medicine that cares for children with conditions related to how their nervous system developed. Children may have developmental delays or problems related to behavior, learning or emotions
Neurofibromas Non-cancerous (benign) tumors that grow from the coverings of nerves.
Neurofibromatoses (NF) A set of genetic disorders that cause tumors that may grow along the brain, spinal cord or nerves throughout the body. This disorder gets worse with time. It is one of the most common genetic disorders in the United States. Neurofibromatoses are also associated with hyper-pigmentation spots, called ""café au lait"" spots.
Neurogenic bowel and bladder Trouble holding stool or urine in or letting it out when needed because of problems with the nerves that carry signals between the brain and the bowel and bladder.
Neurologic deficits Problems with how your child's body works or what your child can do, caused by decreased function of their brain, spinal cord or nerves. Examples include numbness, weakness, trouble walking or speaking, loss of balance, vision changes, and problems with memory or thinking.
Neurological Refers to the nervous system. Neurology is the branch of medicine dealing with the nervous system and its disorders that are treated medically. Neurosurgery involves neurological disorders that are treated with surgery.
Neurologist Doctors who specialize in conditions that affect the nerves, spinal cord and brain (nervous system).
Neurologists Doctors who specialize in conditions that affect the nerves, spinal cord and brain (nervous system).
Neurology The study of the nervous system.
Neuromonitoring Involves placing electrodes on your child's body and in her brain or spinal cord. These electrodes monitor her nerves during surgery.
Neuromuscular This term refers to the nerves and muscles. Doctors often use the term to refer to the way nerves stimulate the muscles to move.
Neuromuscular scoliosis Curvature of the spine caused by weak or stiff muscles.
Neuronal glial tumors Tumors that appear to be a mix of both mature nerve cells and glial cells. The mature nerve cells are what people generally think of as brain cells. Glial cells make up what's called a 3D matrix for the nerve cells to grow in. These glial cells do not transmit any signals, as other brain cells do.
Neurons Nerve cells, the basic unit of the nervous system. They create signals and send them throughout the body.
neuro-oncologist Doctors who have special training in blood disorders and cancer, and additional training in non-cancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) brain tumors.
Neuro-oncologists Doctors who have special training in blood disorders and cancer, and additional training in non-cancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) brain tumors.
Neuropsychological Related to a child’s brain and behavior. Neuropsychological testing checks how a child’s brain is developing and working. The tests evaluate memory, thinking, language skills, attention, coordination, senses and personality.
Neuropsychologist Doctor of psychology with expertise in evaluating learning, memory, mood and coping with illness or injury. These doctors can help prepare your child to return to school and arrange classroom accommodations.
Neuropsychologists Doctors of psychology with expertise in evaluating learning, memory, mood and coping with illness or injury. These doctors can help prepare your child to return to school and arrange classroom accommodations.
Neuropsychology The study of how the brain works and how it affects a child’s behavior, emotions, thinking and learning.
Neuroradiologist Doctor who has special training in imaging studies of the brain, the spine and spinal cord, the head and neck, and nerves throughout the body. They are radiologists who have completed extra training in these body areas.
Neuroradiologists Doctors who have special training in imaging studies of the brain, the spine and spinal cord, the head and neck, and nerves throughout the body. They are radiologists who have completed extra training in these body areas.
Neurosurgeon A surgeon who specializes in treating conditions that affect the nerves, spinal cord and brain (nervous system).
Neurosurgeons Surgeons who specialize in treating conditions that affect the nerves, spinal cord and brain (nervous system).
Neurosurgery Refers to operations that involve the nerves, spinal cord or brain.
NG tube A tube placed through the nose into the stomach. It can be used to give nutrients if your child cannot eat by mouth, to give medicine, to empty the stomach and to keep gas out of the stomach. Also called a nasogastric tube.
NIRS Near infrared spectroscopy. A way to measure oxygen levels of blood in your child's brain and kidneys.
NIRS (near-infrared spectroscopy) A way to measure oxygen levels of blood in your child’s brain and kidneys.
NJ tube A tube placed through the nose into the middle part of the small intestine (jejunum). It can be used to give nutrients if your child cannot eat by mouth and to give medicine. Also called a nasojejunal tube.
NMES NMES stands for neuromuscular (nerve and muscle) electrical stimulation. It can help “wake up” a muscle after an injury by turning on the link between the muscle and brain again.
nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) A stage of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in which the liver becomes inflamed. This can progress further to scarring of the liver and liver failure if not treated.
Nonbinary Gender that is not only female or only male.
Noncognate Not evolutionarily related.
Non-integrating lentiviral vectors (NIL) A class of virus used to deliver genes to cells that will not integrate into the DNA of the infected cell.
Noninvasive A test or procedure that does not involve cutting into the body.
Non-myeloablative Approach to bone marrow transplantation in which doses of chemotherapy given prior to infusion of new stem cells are of sufficient magnitude to suppress but not entirely ablate host bone marrow hematopoiesis. The intent is to sufficiently suppress host bone marrow function that the new stem cells can efficiently engraft, without so impairing host bone marrow function that the patient becomes markedly susceptible to infection.
Non-NRSA Type of NIH training grant for researchers who do not qualify for NRSA grants. Foreign citizens with appropriate work authorization are eligible for these grants.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Also called NSAID. Medicine that lowers pain, fever and swelling (inflammation). Examples are ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (Aleve).
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs Also called NSAIDs. Medicines that lower pain, fever and swelling (inflammation). Examples are ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (Aleve).
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs Also called NSAID. Medicine that lowers pain, fever and swelling (inflammation). Examples are ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (Aleve).
Noonan syndrome A condition caused by defects in genes that change the way many parts of the body form. Signs and symptoms may include shape and position of the eyes and ears that aren't typical, short stature, sunken chest, heart problems, bleeding problems, delayed puberty and others.
NRSA Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award. Type of NIH training grant to U.S. citizens, nationals or permanent residents.
Nuclear medicine The branch of medicine that uses radioactive substances to diagnose, treat and research illness. A radioactive substance is something that emits radiation.
Nuclear medicine lung scan A test of lung function. A ventilation scan can show parts of the lungs that aren't getting enough air when your child breathes in. A perfusion scan can show parts of the lungs that aren't getting enough blood from the heart.
Nuclear medicine lung scans A test of lung function. A ventilation scan can show parts of the lungs that aren't getting enough air when your child breathes in. A perfusion scan can show parts of the lungs that aren't getting enough blood from the heart.
Nurse coordinator A nurse who is skilled in coordinating care within the team. The nurse will be your main source of education about your child's care.
Nurse practitioner Registered nurse with advanced training and education. They practice independently and work closely with doctors to diagnose, treat and teach patients and families about serious and chronic conditions. Nurse practitioners may see patients in the hospital or for clinic visits.
Nurse practitioners Registered nurses with advanced training and education. They practice independently and work closely with doctors to diagnose, treat and teach patients and families about serious and chronic conditions. Nurse practitioners may see patients in the hospital or for clinic visits.
nutritionist A health professional who works with you and your child on a plan for nutritional health, growth and development. Nutritionists help children who get care in clinics, in the hospital and after they go home.
Nutritionists Health professionals who work with you and your child on a plan for nutritional health, growth and development. They help children who get care in clinics, in the hospital and after they go home.
Obese Having a body mass index (BMI) greater than the 95th percentile. BMI is an indicator of body fat based on a ratio of a child's weight to their height.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder A disorder that consists of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted ideas, thoughts, images or urges that are unpleasant and may cause a child to feel worry, guilt or shame. Compulsions, also called rituals, are behaviors a child feels they must do to ease upsetting feelings or stop something bad from happening.
Obstetric Related to pregnancy and childbirth.
Obstetrician A medical doctor who specializes in pregnancy and childbirth.
Obstetricians Medical doctors who specialize in pregnancy and childbirth.
Obstructive sleep apnea A medical condition in which a child has repeated, brief, temporary breathing pauses (apneas) during sleep. When this happens, their brain signals the body to wake up and restart breathing. This can happen many times each night, which may cause your child to be sleepy or cranky during the day. In most children, sleep apnea is caused by large tonsils or adenoids, which can block their airway. Sleep apnea is also more common in children who are overweight.
Obturator Like a modified dental retainer with a speech bulb or palatal lift attached to the back used to treat velopharyngeal insufficiency.
occupational therapist Sees how well your child can do daily activities like dressing, bathing, eating, playing and school activities. Through play and exercise, they will help your child build upper body strength and coordination to complete daily tasks.
Occupational therapist (OT) Sees how well your child can do daily activities like dressing, bathing, eating, playing and school activities. Through play and exercise, they will help your child build upper body strength and coordination to complete daily tasks.
Occupational therapists See how well your child can do daily activities like dressing, bathing, eating, playing and school activities. Through play and exercise, they will help your child build upper body strength and coordination to complete daily tasks.
Occupational therapists (OTs) See how well your child can do daily activities like dressing, bathing, eating, playing and school activities. Through play and exercise, they will help your child build upper body strength and coordination to complete daily tasks.
Oculo-auriculo-vertebral sequence Another name for hemifacial microsomia. This term is used to describe the entire clinical spectrum ranging from microtia to Goldenhar syndrome.
Oculoplastics Plastic and reconstructive surgery for the eye. This is a specialty within eye health (ophthalmology).
OG tube A tube placed through the mouth into the stomach. It can be used to give nutrients if your child cannot eat by mouth, to give medicine, to empty the stomach and to keep gas out of the stomach. Also called an orogastric tube.
Oncologist Doctors who have special training in treating cancer.
Oncologists Doctors who have special training in treating cancer.
Oncology The study of cancer.
Ophthalmologist An eye doctor. This doctor has special training to treat and prevent problems with the eyes and vision.
Ophthalmologists A medical or osteopathic doctor who specializes in treating eye diseases and vision problems.
Opitz syndrome A genetic condition with a pattern of features that may include widely spaced eyes, cleft lip, a gap in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate) and swallowing problems. Males may have abnormal genitals.
Oral-maxillofacial surgeon A surgeon with special training to do procedures on the head, neck, mouth, face and jaws. The doctor also determines what type of surgery is needed and the best timing. Maxillofacial refers to the upper jaw (maxilla) and face.
Orbits The bony housing of the eye.
Order sets Steps that healthcare teams follow for a specific condition to aid in diagnosis and treatment. Also called templates. They may include details such as tests to perform, medicines to give and when to notify other members of the team about an aspect of the patient's condition.
Oro-facial-digital syndrome A group of related conditions that affect the development of the mouth, teeth, facial features and fingers and toes (digits). Children with these disorders may have tooth problems and a gap (cleft) of the tongue, lip or roof of the mouth (palate).
Orthodontic appliances Devices that apply pressure to the teeth and jaws in order to hold them in place or change their position. Examples are retainers that fit on the roof of the mouth, clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth and wires and rubber bands used with braces.
Orthodontist Doctors who specializes in making teeth straighter and lining up the jaws using devices like braces, retainers and molding plates. Orthodontists complete the same training as dentists and then go on to extra training. They are part of the team that provides care for children with complex conditions that affect the mouth and face, like cleft lip and palate and craniosynostosis.
Orthodontists A doctor who specializes in making teeth straighter and lining up the jaws using devices like braces, retainers and molding plates. Orthodontists complete the same training as dentists and then go on to extra training. They are part of the team that provides care for children with complex conditions that affect the mouth and face, like cleft lip and palate and craniosynostosis.
Orthognathic Related to the study of the causes and treatment of conditions related to malposition of the jawbones.
Orthopedic surgeon Surgeon who specializes in treating conditions that affect the bones, joints and muscles.
Orthopedic surgeons Surgeons who specialize in treating conditions that affect the bones, joints and muscles.
Orthotist A healthcare provider who designs, makes and fits devices to support your child's body, improve their function or correct a body part that did not form normally.
Orthotists A healthcare provider who designs, makes and fits devices to support your child's body, improve their function or correct a body part that did not form normally.
Osteogenesis imperfecta A rare, inherited condition where bones break easily for little apparent reason. It is caused by a genetic problem with bone collagen, part of the framework for bones. Also called brittle bone disease.
Osteoporosis Thin, brittle bones caused by a shortage of calcium and other minerals in the bones. In children, sometimes the shortage happens because of a genetic mutation that keeps bones from becoming as dense as they should early in life. Certain medicines and other diseases can also lead to osteoporosis.
Osteosarcoma One of the most common forms of primary bone cancer in teenagers. Tumors usually occur around the knee.
Osteotomy A break made in a bone or more specifically the operation of dividing a bone or cutting a piece out of a bone in a surgery.
Otolaryngologist A medical doctor who specializes in disorders of the ears, nose, throat and related parts of the head and neck, including the sinuses, voice box and tonsils.
Otolaryngologist (ENT) A medical doctor who specializes in disorders of the ears, nose, throat and related parts of the head and neck, including the sinuses, voice box and tonsils.
Otolaryngologists Medical doctors who specialize in disorders of the ears, nose, throat and related parts of the head and neck, including the sinuses, voice box and tonsils.
Otolaryngology A medical specialty that focuses on the ears, nose and throat.
Otomandibular dysostosis Another name for hemifacial microsomia.
Oto-palato-digital spectrum disorders A group of related disorders that cause hearing loss, a gap in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate), widely spaced eyes and abnormal fingers or toes (digits).
Outcomes The results of healthcare practices or treatments. Results may include many factors, such as measures of body functions (like blood pressure), results of lab tests, patients' symptoms and patients' ratings of their care.
Ovaries The female sex glands, located in the lower belly. Each girl or woman has 2 ovaries. They release eggs and make the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Ovary A female sex gland, located in the lower belly. Each girl or woman has 2 ovaries. They release eggs and make the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Overuse injuries Injuries that happen when repeated positions or motions put too much stress on a part of the body. Factors that can increase your child’s risk for this type of injury include training or practicing intensely without enough rest, doing too much too quickly or not using the right technique.
Overweight Having a body mass index (BMI) between the 85th and 95th percentiles. BMI is an indicator of body fat based on a ratio of a child's weight to their height.
Oxygenation The process of putting oxygen into the blood and carrying it to the body tissues.
Pacemaker A small device that uses a special battery to send electrical impulses to the heart to help it pump properly. An electrode is placed in the heart wall and small electrical charges travel through the lead wire and tell the heart to beat.
Palate The roof of the mouth.
Palpitations Increased awareness of your heartbeat, or feeling that your heart is beating harder than usual, has skipped a beat or is fluttering
Pancreas A large gland behind the stomach. It makes chemicals that help digest food. It also makes insulin and other hormones to help control sugar levels in the blood.
Parathyroid glands Four small glands that control the level of calcium in the body. They are in the neck, near the thyroid.
Parry Romberg atrophy A condition that causes the skin and soft tissues of half of the face to shrink (hemifacial atrophy). As a result, one side of the face looks different than the other, with differences increasing during childhood (progressive facial asymmetry).
Pass A ""Pass"" result on a hearing screening means that a baby has normal hearing on the day of the test. It does not predict how a child will hear in the future. A child's hearing should be re-tested at any time if speech-language milestones are not being met, or if there are parental concerns.
Patellar dislocation When the kneecap comes out of place.
Patent ductus arteriosus A condition of the temporary blood vessel that allows blood to bypass the baby's lungs before birth because the temporary vessel fails to close after the baby is born; ""patent"" means open.
Pathogenesis The origin and development of a disease.
Pathogens Also called germs. Microorganisms that can cause disease, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa.
Pathologist A doctor who specializes in how and why diseases develop. The doctor looks at and tests blood, body fluids and tissues to help diagnose, treat and monitor illness.
Pathologists Doctors who specializes in how and why diseases develop. The doctor looks at and tests blood, body fluids and tissues to help diagnose, treat and monitor illness.
Pathology A branch of medicine that studies how and why diseases develop. It involves looking at blood, body fluids, tissues and other body samples. These studies help your doctor diagnose, treat and monitor illness.
Pediatrician A medical doctor who diagnoses and treats most childhood illnesses. He or she can answer questions about your child's general health.
Pediatricians A medical doctor who diagnoses and treats most childhood illnesses. He or she can answer questions about your child's general health.
Pelvic floor The pelvic floor is made up of muscles and other tissues that form a sling from the pubic bone to the tailbone. They help support the organs in the belly. These muscles also help to control the bladder and bowel.
Pelvis The lower part of the trunk of the body, which joins the legs to the trunk. The pelvic bone is a ring of bones that supports the spine, and includes the hip sockets, sacrum and coccyx.
Penumbra The area around the core or main structure. In stroke, the core is the mass of brain cells that died from lack of oxygen and nutrients. The penumbra is the zone around the core where cells are damaged but still alive. Treatment in the minutes, hours and even days after stroke may help rescue or preserve these cells.
Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography A procedure to X-ray the bile ducts by inserting a needle through the skin into the liver and injecting dye into one of the ducts. An interventional radiologist does this guided by ultrasound and fluoroscopy.
Pericarditis Inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart, which puts pressure on the heart.
Perinatal The weeks immediately before and right after birth.
Perinatal ischemic stroke Stroke caused by a blood clot or other blockage in a blood vessel in the brain that happens before birth or in a newborn age 28 days or younger. Also called PIS.
Perinatologist A doctor specializing in pre-birth.
Peripheral neuropathy A problem with the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord that carry information to and from the brain. It can cause tingling, numbness, weakness, pain and a burning feeling.
PET (positron emission tomography) A method to produce 3-dimensional images using a radioactive tracer. Doctors use PET scans to check for disease in your child’s body. PET scans can help tell cancerous tumors from healthy tissue. They can show how well treatment against tumors is working. PET also shows how different parts of the body are using sugar (glucose) for energy. Sometimes this helps doctors find where seizures start in your child’s brain.
PET (positron emission tomography) scan A test that produces 3-dimensional images using a radioactive tracer. Doctors use it to check for disease in your child’s body. A PET scan can help tell cancerous tumors from healthy tissue. It can show how well treatment against tumors is working. PET also shows how different parts of the body are using sugar (glucose) for energy. Sometimes this helps doctors find where seizures start in your child’s brain.
PET (positron emission tomography) scans Tests that produce 3-dimensional images using a radioactive tracer. Doctors use PET scans to check for disease in your child’s body. PET scans can help tell cancerous tumors from healthy tissue. They can show how well treatment against tumors is working. PET also shows how different parts of the body are using sugar (glucose) for energy. Sometimes this helps doctors find where seizures start in your child’s brain.
PET scan A test that produces 3-dimensional images. Doctors use it to check for disease in your child’s body. A PET scan can help tell cancerous tumors from healthy tissue. It can show how well treatment against tumors is working. PET also shows how different parts of the body are using sugar (glucose) for energy. Sometimes this helps doctors find where seizures start in your child’s brain.
PET scans Tests that produce 3-dimensional images. Doctors use PET scans to check for disease in your child’s body. PET scans can help tell cancerous tumors from healthy tissue. They can show how well treatment against tumors is working. PET also shows how different parts of the body are using sugar (glucose) for energy. Sometimes this helps doctors find where seizures start in your child’s brain.
Pfeiffer syndrome A rare form of craniosynostosis (premature closure of the fibrous seams in the skull). It affects the shape of the head and face because the skull cannot grow normally. The syndrome also affects bones in the hands and feet.
PHACE syndrome A group of problems related to large hemangiomas (collections of extra blood vessels in the skin) and birth defects of the brain, heart, eyes, head or neck, as well as lymphedema (a buildup of lymphatic fluid that causes swelling), most often in the arms or legs.
Phalanges The finger bones and toe bones. Normally, each thumb and big toe has two phalanges. Each of the other fingers and toes has three phalanges. One of these bones by itself is called a phalanx.
Pharynx The tube-shaped part of the body that includes the back of the mouth and the throat. The pharynx connects the mouth and the nasal passages to the food pipe (esophagus) and the windpipe (trachea).
Photons Photons are tiny, wave-like particles of light that are used in X-rays and in traditional (external) radiation therapy.
Physiatrist Physiatry is a branch of medicine that deals with disease or injury that limits what a person can do with their body. Doctors who specialize in this are called physiatrists. They focus on finding and treating the problem and helping the person get back as much function as they can. Physiatry is also called physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Physical Therapist A healthcare professional who sees how well your child can sit, stand and move. They will help your child build strength, balance and coordination. If needed, they will also teach your child to use equipment like crutches or a wheelchair.
Physical therapist (PT) Sees how well your child can sit, stand and move. They will help your child build strength, balance and coordination. If needed, they will also teach your child to use equipment like crutches or a wheelchair.
Physical therapists See how well your child can sit, stand and move. They will help your child build strength, balance and coordination. If needed, they will also teach your child to use equipment like crutches or a wheelchair.
Physical therapists (PTs) See how well your child can do daily activities like dressing, bathing, eating, playing and school activities. Through play and exercise, they will help your child build upper body strength and coordination to complete daily tasks.
Physician assistant (PA) Also called a PA. A physician assistant works closely with doctors and can provide care independently. PAs examine patients and diagnose and treat illnesses. They order and interpret tests, prescribe medicine, assist in surgery and advise patients and families.
Physician assistants Also called PAs. Physician assistants work closely with doctors and can provide care independently. PAs examine patients and diagnose and treat illnesses. They order and interpret tests, prescribe medicine, assist in surgery and advise patients and families.
Physician assistants (PAs) Also called PAs. Physician assistants work closely with doctors and can provide care independently. PAs examine patients and diagnose and treat illnesses. They order and interpret tests, prescribe medicine, assist in surgery and advise patients and families.
PICC line A thin, soft, tube (catheter) that is inserted into a vein that carries blood to the heart. Usually it is put in the upper arm, but sometimes in a leg. The line makes it easier for your child to get long-term treatment with antibiotics, nutrition or medicine into their vein. It also can be used to draw blood for lab tests. PICC stands for peripherally inserted central catheter.
Pierre Robin complex Another name for Pierre Robin sequence.
Pierre Robin sequence Another name for Robin sequence.
Pierre Robin syndrome Another name for Pierre Robin sequence.
Pigeon nipple Can be used with any bottle to feed babies with clefts. It does not require squeezing, has a faster flow than the Haberman or squeeze bottle and works well for slightly older infants.
Pilocytic astrocytomas Low-grade (benign) astrocytomas that happen mainly in children.
Pineal gland A small gland near the center of the brain. It makes a hormone (melatonin) that helps control sleep cycles.
Pituitary A pea-sized gland at the base of the brain that releases hormones that control other glands, like the thyroid gland and adrenal glands.
Pituitary gland A pea-sized gland at the base of the brain that releases hormones that control other glands, like the thyroid gland and adrenal glands.
Placenta An organ that grows in a woman’s womb during pregnancy. Through the umbilical cord it brings nutrients and oxygen to the growing baby and carries away waste.
Plastic surgeon A surgeon who restores and rebuilds facial and body tissues that are misshaped by disease, birth defects, disorders or trauma. The surgeries reduce scarring, restore function and improve appearance.
Plastic surgeons Restore and rebuild face and body tissues that are misshaped by disease, birth defects, disorders or trauma. They reduce scarring and restore function as well as improve appearance.
Platelet A part of blood cells that helps form blood clots. This slows or stops bleeding and helps wounds heal. Platelets are found in the blood and spleen, an organ that is part of the immune system. Also called thrombocytes.
Platelet dysfunction Platelets are small blood cells that clump together after an injury to form a clot and help stop bleeding. Dysfunction means the platelets don’t work right. If platelets don’t form clots, a child may bleed too easily or too much. Taking certain drugs (like aspirin) or having a disease, like von Willebrand disease, may affect how platelets work.
Platelets Parts of blood cells that help form blood clots. This slows or stops bleeding and helps wounds heal. Platelets are found in the blood and spleen, an organ that is part of the immune system. Also called thrombocytes.
Polio An infectious disease caused by a virus. It usually affects young children. It attacks the central nervous system and can cause muscle weakness and paralysis.
Polyps Small growths. Usually they are found in the large intestine (colon) but sometimes affect other parts of the body.
Polysomnogram A sleep study designed to find abnormalities during sleep.
Popliteal pterygium syndrome A genetic condition that often causes cleft lip, cleft palate and webbing behind the knees. It is caused by changes to the IRF6 gene. Also called PPS.
Porencephalic cysts Appear in the brain tissue or ventricles. They are caused by trauma to the area, such as a head injury, stroke or needle tap to the ventricle.
Portal hypertension High blood pressure in the veins in and around the liver. This occurs when the flow of blood through the liver is blocked. As a result, substances that are usually filtered out by the liver may enter the bloodstream.
Positional plagiocephaly Refers to an asymmetric or lopsided head shape typically with flattening in one area caused by an external force or pressure. Positional plagiocephaly is also known as flattened head syndrome, non-synostotic plagiocephaly and postnatal positional plagiocephaly.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan A PET scan is a test that produces 3-dimensional images that can help doctors tell cancerous tumors from other tissues and see how well treatment against tumors is working. A PET scan uses a radioactive tracer.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scans A PET scan is a test that produces 3-dimensional images that can help doctors tell cancerous tumors from other tissues and see how well treatment against tumors is working. A PET scan uses a radioactive tracer.
Preauricular tags or pits Refers to tiny tags or pits of skin that are present in front of the ear and form during early embryonic development. Preauricular malformations are one of the mildest anomalies.
Precocious puberty Puberty is the process of a child’s body changing from kid to adult. Precocious puberty means this process starts sooner than normal — younger than 9 years in boys and younger than 7½ or 8 in girls. Changes at puberty include growth of underarm and pubic hair, breast development in girls and growth of the penis and testicles in boys. Usually, early puberty is a variation of normal. But your child should see a doctor to make sure there is no underlying medical problem.
Presumed perinatal ischemic stroke Term used if stroke symptoms start in a baby after age 28 days and tests suggest the baby had a stroke on or before age 28 days. Also called PPIS.
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) An ongoing (chronic) liver disease caused by inflamed and scarred bile ducts. Bile ducts are tubes that carry bile (the fluid that helps the body break down fats) away from the liver. PSC is thought to be an autoimmune disease (where a person’s immune system attacks part of their own body).
Primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) Looks identical to a medulloblastoma under the microscope. PNETs happen in the upper part of the brain (the cerebrum).
Probiotics Foods or supplements that contain healthy bacteria.
Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFI A group of inherited (genetic) diseases of the liver. The flow of bile (fluid that helps the body break down fats) is reduced or blocked, and the liver isn’t able to clear toxins properly. The condition tends to worsen over time.
Prosthesis A device that replaces part of the body, such as an artificial limb.
Prosthetic Something that replaces part of the body.
Prosthetist A healthcare provider who designs, makes and fits devices that replace a part of the body, such as an artificial limb.
Prosthetists A healthcare provider who designs, makes and fits devices that replace a part of the body, such as an artificial limb.
Protein expression What molecules the T cells are making.
prothrombin 20210 gene variant A change (mutation) in the F2 gene that affects a blood-clotting protein called factor II. This mutation increases the chance of developing abnormal blood clots, especially in veins deep in the leg.
Protons A proton is a positively charged part of an atom (the smallest unit of matter, also made up of neutrons and electrons). Protons are used in a type of precise radiation therapy where they are accelerated at high speeds, separated and ""fired"" at the patient's tumor.
Provider A doctor, clinician, or person who gives health care.
Providers Doctors, clinicians, or people who give health care.
Pseudocysts Pockets of fluid and tissue that may build up around the pancreas in pancreatitis.
Psoriasis A condition in which patches of skin get red and irritated and might flake. The patches might be itchy, dry, raised and thick.
PSSM analysis Position specific search matrices. Method for identifying target sites in large DNA fragments based on properties of the target sites contained in user-defined matrices.
Psychiatric nurse practitioner A registered nurse with advanced training and education in psychiatry. They practice independently and work closely with doctors to diagnose, treat and teach patients and families about mental health issues that affect a child’s thoughts, emotions or behavior. They may provide medicine evaluations, prescribe medicine and help a child talk through problems (psychotherapy). Nurse practitioners are also called advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs).
Psychiatric nurse practitioners Registered nurses with advanced training and education in psychiatry. They practice independently and work closely with doctors to diagnose, treat and teach patients and families about mental health issues that affect a child’s thoughts, emotions or behavior. They may provide medicine evaluations and prescribe medicine. Nurse practitioners are also called advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs).
Psychiatrist A medical doctor who diagnoses and treats mental health issues that affect a child’s thoughts, emotions or behavior. The doctor may provide medicine evaluations, prescribe medicine and help a child talk through problems (psychotherapy). An attending psychiatrist directs a child’s care and supervises psychiatry residents and fellows (licensed doctors who are training in the specialty of psychiatry).
Psychiatrists Medical doctors who diagnose and treat mental health issues that affect a child’s thoughts, emotions or behavior. The doctor may provide medicine evaluations, prescribe medicine and help a child talk through problems (psychotherapy). An attending psychiatrist directs a child’s care and supervises psychiatry residents and fellows (licensed doctors who are training in the specialty of psychiatry).
Psychiatry fellow A medical doctor who has finished adult psychiatry residency and now is training in the specialty of child and adolescent psychiatry.
Psychiatry fellows Medical doctors who have finished adult psychiatry residency and now are training in the specialty of child and adolescent psychiatry.
Psychiatry resident A medical doctor who is training in the specialty of psychiatry. An attending psychiatrist directs a child’s care and supervises psychiatry residents for all clinical work.
Psychiatry residents Medical doctors who are training in the specialty of psychiatry. An attending psychiatrist directs a child’s care and supervises psychiatry residents for all clinical work.
Psychologist A health professional who diagnoses and treats mental health issues that affect a child’s thoughts, emotions or behavior. A psychologist draws from science to treat problems with evidence based talking and behavioral therapy. Psychologists are also trained in administering and interpreting psychological tests (like cognitive tests and questionnaires). A psychologist has a doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) in the study of the mind and behavior (psychology) rather than in the study of medicine. For this reason, they do not prescribe medicine.
Psychologists Health professionals who diagnose and treat mental health issues that affect a child’s thoughts, emotions or behavior. A psychologist draws from science to treat problems with evidence based talking and behavioral therapy. Psychologists are also trained in administering and interpreting psychological tests (like cognitive tests and questionnaires). A psychologist has a doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) in the study of the mind and behavior (psychology) rather than in the study of medicine. For this reason, they do not prescribe medicine.
Psychology fellow A health professional who has earned a PhD or PsyD degree (doctorate) in psychology, has finished an internship and now is completing advanced training. A licensed psychologist supervises psychology fellows for all clinical work.
Psychology fellows Health professionals who have earned a PhD or PsyD degree (doctorate) in psychology, have finished an internship and now are completing advanced training. A licensed psychologist supervises psychology fellows for all clinical work.
Psychology resident A doctoral-level psychology graduate student who is completing a residency – one of the requirements to graduate and become a licensed psychologist. A licensed psychologist supervises psychology residents for all clinical work.
Psychology residents Doctoral-level psychology graduate students who are completing a residency – one of the requirements to graduate and become a licensed psychologist. A licensed psychologist supervises psychology residents for all clinical work.
Psychometrist A technologist who gives tests in a standardized way.
Psychometrists A technologist who gives tests in a standardized way.
Psychosis A serious mental health condition that affects how a person thinks, communicates, behaves and perceives the world around them. Psychosis can cause people to lose touch with reality and to have delusions (strong beliefs that do not match reality) and hallucinations (seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling something that does not exist).
Psychotic disorders Serious mental health conditions that affect how a person thinks, communicates, behaves and perceives the world around them. Psychotic disorders can cause people to lose touch with reality and to have delusions (strong beliefs that do not match reality) and hallucinations (seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling something that does not exist).
Puberty Puberty is the process of a child's body changing from kid to adult. The changes usually start when girls are between 8 and 13 years old. For boys, the changes start between ages 9 and 15. Puberty is pronounced PYOO-ber-tee.
Pulmonary artery The artery that pumps blood to the lungs.
Pulmonary atresia A birth defect that is a missing or obstructed pulmonary valve, the main door controlling blood flow to the lungs.
Pulmonary hypertension A condition due to thickened muscles in the walls of blood vessels that increase resistance to the blood leaving the heart's right ventricle (lower pumping chamber).
Pulmonary stenosis A stenosis (narrowing) of the pulmonary valve of the heart, one of the main valves controlling blood flow to the lungs from the heart.
Pulmonary valve The valve in the right ventricle that controls blood flow from the heart to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen.
Pulmonologist Doctor who specializes in the lungs and lung problems.
Pulmonologists Doctors who specialize in the lungs and lung problems.
Pulse oximetry A test to monitor how much oxygen is being carried in the blood, also called oxygen saturation.
Pyoderma gangrenosum A skin condition in which pus-filled blisters form in the skin and turn into open sores.
Pyruvate kinase deficiency An inherited condition (passed on from parent to child) that causes low levels of red blood cells (anemia). Children with this disorder do not have the enzyme pyruvate kinase. Without the enzyme, their red blood cells break down too easily. This can make children tired and low energy because they need red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Radiation oncologist Doctors who have special training in the use of radiation therapy to treat cancer, tumors and other diseases.
Radiation oncologists Doctors who have special training in the use of radiation therapy to treat cancer, tumors and other diseases.
Radiation therapy The use of beams of energy (usually X-ray or proton beams) to treat tumors. The beams can travel through outer structures, such as skin and bones, to reach the depth of the tumor and kill the tumor cells there.
Radioactive Radioactive materials help doctors diagnose and treat disease. Radioactive atoms are unstable because they have extra particles. When the atom loses these extra particles, it releases a type of energy called radiation. Atoms are the basic units of matter – including people.
Radioactive iodine scan Also called RAI scan. Only thyroid cells take up iodine, so doctors use this test to see how the thyroid looks and works. Your child swallows a small amount of radioactive iodine (I-123). It travels through their blood and collects in the thyroid gland. A special camera linked to a computer makes pictures that show areas in the thyroid that do not absorb iodine in the normal way.
Radiofrequency ablation Also called RFA. A procedure that uses a special catheter or needle to deliver radio waves to heat and destroy tissue. RFA is used to restore normal heart rhythm by destroying a small area of heart tissue that is causing irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia). It also is used to treat some types of cancer.
Radiograph A two-dimensional X-ray image. It is especially good for studying bony tissue, such as the skull and teeth.
Radiographs Two dimensional X-ray images. They are especially good for studying bony tissue, such as the skull and teeth.
Radiologist Doctor trained to use medical imaging technologies, such as MRI and CT scans, to diagnose and treat disease and injury.
Radiologists Doctors trained to use medical imaging technologies, such as MRI and CT scans, to diagnose and treat disease and injury.
Radiology A medical specialty that uses medical imaging technologies, such as MRI and CT scans, to diagnose and treat disease and injury.
Radiosurgery Also called stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). It treats brain abnormalities, tumors and other function disorders. Its 3D (three-dimensional) computer-aided pictures help doctors plan your child's treatment. SRS delivers an exact, very high dose of radiation to the correct site — such as a tumor — while avoiding healthy brain tissue.
RAI scan Also called radioactive iodine scan. Only thyroid cells take up iodine, so doctors use this test to see how the thyroid looks and works. Your child swallows a small amount of radioactive iodine (I-123). It travels through their blood and collects in the thyroid gland. A special camera linked to a computer makes pictures that show areas in the thyroid that do not absorb iodine in the normal way.
Range of motion The movement of a joint from the point where it is completely bent to when it is fully extended.
Rasmussen's encephalitis Long-lasting (chronic) inflammation of one half of the brain. It does not get better or worse over time. The affected side of the brain can cause seizures and weakness on the opposite side of the body.
Recombinant DNA DNA made in a lab by taking genetic material from more than one source and putting it together in a new way. DNA is a material found in almost all living organisms. It carries genetic information. ""Recombinant"" comes from the word ""combine.
Rectum The last part of the large intestine, near the opening to the outside of the body (anus). The rectum stores poop (stool) until it leaves the body.
Recurrence A new episode of cancer after your child has had treatment for the same type of cancer.
Recurrent Disease that came back after treatment.
Recurrent pain Pain that occurs in episodes - it happens for a period of time, then it goes away, and this cycle repeats over and over.
Reduced-size liver transplants Transplants in which surgeons cut away part of the liver to make it the right size before transplanting it. They do this if the donated liver is too large for the baby or child who needs it.
Reducible hernia Tissue that bulges out of a hole in the belly and that comes and goes. You may see it only when your child cries, coughs, strains, runs or stands. It doesn't cause harm right away, but it does need surgery to prevent more serious problems.
Refer A ""Refer"" result means that further testing is necessary to evaluate an infant's hearing. This could mean that a hearing problem may exist, but further testing is needed to confirm. The most common reasons for a ""refer"" result on a hearing screening are birthing debris in the ear canal, middle ear fluid or infection, or a permanent hearing loss (3 in 1000 births).
Refractory Disease that did not respond to treatment.
Regional anesthesia A substance given to block feeling in different parts of your child's body during and after surgery. This type of nerve block allows a lighter level of general anesthesia to be used during surgery. It also reduces your child's stress response to surgery, and allows them to recover without the stress of pain.Regional anesthesia can be given through a single shot before surgery or delivered continuously through a catheter after surgery. A single-shot nerve block provides many hours of pain relief after surgery, while the catheter blocks nerve pain until it is removed.
Registered dietitian Professional who provides individualized dietary assessment and recommendations to promote health and growth during treatment.
registered dietitian nutritionist A professional who provides individualized dietary assessment and recommendations to promote health and growth during treatment.
registered dietitian nutritionists Professionals who provide individualized dietary assessment and recommendations to promote health and growth during treatment.
Registered dietitians Professionals who provide individualized dietary assessment and recommendations to promote health and growth during treatment.
Registries A disease registry is a place where researchers keep information about people who have a certain disease so they can learn more about it. Registries are particularly important for diseases that are rare.
Registry A disease registry is a place where researchers keep information about people who have a certain disease so they can learn more about it. Registries are particularly important for diseases that are rare.
Rehabilitation medicine The field of medicine that helps people regain strength and function after illness, surgery or injury.
Rehabilitation medicine doctors Doctors who have special training in how people adapt to changes after injury or illness or adapt to conditions present at birth that affect function.
Rehabilitation Medicine Physician Doctors who have special training in how people adapt to changes after injury or illness or adapt to conditions present at birth that affect function.
Relapsed Disease that improved with treatment but then got worse.
Remission Period when there are no signs or symptoms of disease.
Respiratory Related to breathing. The body’s respiratory system includes the windpipe (trachea), 2 large tubes (bronchi) with many branches, and the 2 lungs, which contain many tiny air sacs called alveoli.
Respiratory distress syndrome Although there are many causes of breathing trouble in premature infants, the most common is called respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). In RDS, the premature baby's lungs don't produce enough of an important elastic substance called surfactant. Surfactant allows the newborn's lungs to expand properly and stay inflated when the baby takes the first breaths of air after birth. When premature delivery can't be stopped, most moms can be given medicine during the week before delivery to hurry the production of surfactant in their infant's lungs and help prevent RDS. Then, right after birth and during the first two days after, artificial surfactant can be given to the baby if needed. Although most premature babies who lack surfactant will require a ventilator (breathing machine) for a while, the use of artificial surfactant has greatly decreased the amount of time that infants spend on the ventilator.
Respiratory failure Respiratory failure occurs when the lungs do not properly exchange gases. This leads to too much carbon dioxide and too little oxygen in the blood. To keep the gases in balance, some babies need help from machines, such as mechanical ventilators or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines.
Respiratory therapists Team members who specialize in caring for patients who need help with breathing. This includes children who need equipment to support their lungs while they get treatment or heal.
Responsive neurostimulation Uses a device put into a child’s skull to sense when a seizure may be starting. It sends a signal to prevent or stop the seizure. The device is implanted during surgery.
Revascularization surgery Surgery to restore blood flow to part of the body that was not getting enough oxygen-rich, nutrient-rich blood. This may mean moving a piece of a blood vessel from one part of the body to another to create a channel for blood flow or redirecting a blood vessel toward tissue that needs more oxygen.
Reye syndrome Reye syndrome is a very rare but serious illness. Usually it happens in kids who are recovering from a viral infection like a cold, the flu or chickenpox. Studies have linked it to using aspirin products during a viral disease. Because Reye syndrome can be life threatening, it is critical to identify and treat it quickly. Symptoms include frequent vomiting; sleepiness; crankiness; confusion; and problems with eyesight, hearing or speech. Babies may breathe very quickly and have diarrhea.
Rheumatic fever An inflammatory condition that can involve the heart and joints. Most commonly it affects the mitral and/or aortic valves, which control blood flow between the chambers of the heart.
Rheumatic heart disease Caused by strep throat not treated or only partially treated with antibiotics, the disease starts as rheumatic fever.
Rheumatology A medical specialty that deals with diseases of the muscles and joints, including arthritis.
Rhinoplasty Plastic surgery of the nose.
Rickets Soft, weak bones usually caused by a shortage of vitamin D, but sometimes passed down in families.
Right atrium One of the two upper chambers of the heart. It takes in oxygen-poor blood from the around the body through the inferior and superior cava. Next, blood flows into the right ventricle (one of the heart's two lower chambers), which pumps blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen.
Robin Anomalad Another name for Pierre Robin sequence.
Robin sequence A condition present at birth that involves a small lower jaw and a tongue that tends to fall backward toward the throat and block the airway. It is called a sequence because it results from a series of events that occur in early pregnancy. It also has been called other names: Pierre Robin sequence, Pierre Robin syndrome or Pierre Robin complex.
Robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery An operation in which the surgeon performs laparoscopic surgery while sitting at a console a few feet away from the patient and looking at a video monitor through binocular-like lenses. Using hand and foot pedals, the surgeon's movements are translated into real-time actions of three robotic arms — one holds a camera/fiber-optic light and the other two arms hold tiny instruments at their tips. The advantage of this technique over conventional laparoscopic surgery is that the robotic arms give surgeons more degrees of motion than the human wrist, which allows them to perform procedures that require very intricate maneuvers and complex suturing. As with conventional laparoscopic surgery, your child will have a smaller scar and is likely to recover faster after surgery with less pain — and less need for narcotic pain killers that may have unpleasant side effects. In addition, children who have minimally invasive surgeries typically have shorter hospital stays. R
Robot-assisted surgery Also called robotic surgery. Procedures done by a surgeon who uses hand and foot pedals to move robotic arms that hold a camera, light and tiny tools. While operating the robot, the surgeon looks at a video monitor through binocular-like lenses. The robotic arms give surgeons more degrees of motion than the human wrist. This allows for very precise movements and complex suturing.
Robotic surgery Also called robot-assisted surgery. Procedures done by a surgeon who uses hand and foot pedals to move robotic arms that hold a camera, light and tiny tools. While operating the robot, the surgeon looks at a video monitor through binocular-like lenses. The robotic arms give surgeons more degrees of motion than the human wrist. This allows for very precise movements and complex suturing.
Rosetta Design A computer program developed by David Baker's laboratory at the University of Washington for the design and optimization of protein-protein and protein-DNA interfaces.
Saethre-Chotzen syndrome An inherited type of craniosynostosis or early closing of one or more of the sutures (joints) that separate the bony plates of the skull. Saethre-Chotzen syndrome is caused by mutations in the gene TWIST.
Sagittal Along a line that runs from the front of the body to the back of the body. For example, the sagittal suture is a joint where two skull bones (parietal bones) meet. This joint runs from the soft spot (fontanelle) on top of a baby's head to the back of their head.
Sarcoma A form of cancer that begins in the bone or in connective tissue (including muscles, tendons, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves and the soft tissues in and around joints).
SCD The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) removes all grains, dairy (except for yogurt fermented 24 hours), processed foods, sugars and sweeteners except honey. It allows only natural, nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, meats and nuts.
Sclerotherapy When doctors inject a chemical into a vein that causes the vein to get inflamed. This blocks blood flow and makes the vein collapse.
Scoliosis Curvature of the spine. For some children, scoliosis is a small curve of the spine with no symptoms. For others, it happens along with other abnormalities and can be very bad, causing many physical problems. A child with severe scoliosis may need a surgery called spinal fusion. A surgeon puts rods in the child's spine or surgically connects (fuses) vertebrae.
Scrotum A sac below the penis that holds the testes, the glands that make sperm and hormones.
Sedation Small doses of pain medicine and a medicine (sedative) to relax your child, given to keep your child calm and comfortable during procedures such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
Seizures Involve a sudden change in a child's consciousness (awareness), motor activity or physical sensation. Abnormal electrical activity in the brain causes seizures, which can vary in intensity. They are called chronic if they keep happening over time. A seizure can involve many muscle groups or can seem to be as simple as staring into space.
Selective functional movement assessment A set of tests used to see how your child moves, to find the cause of pain and to choose helpful exercises.
Selective mutism Not speaking in certain settings or with certain people. Children with selective mutism can and do speak in some settings and with some people. Often they are shy or feel nervous, afraid or self-conscious in social situations (social anxiety).
Sensory Refers to certain experiences that help us interact with and understand our world. Sound, movement, touch, smell, sight and taste are sensory experiences.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy A procedure to find, remove and examine the sentinel lymph node - the first lymph node where cancer cells are most likely to spread. If cancer cells are found, it means the cancer may have started to spread. This information helps the doctor plan the right treatment.
Separated shoulder The shoulder pulling away from the collarbone.
Sepsis Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It happens if an infection your child already has causes a chain reaction in their body. Without quick treatment, sepsis can quickly cause tissue damage, organ failure and death.
Septum The wall between the chambers of the heart.
Serial casting Using casts to stretch calf muscles and tendons a little bit at a time to improve ankle movement. New casts with slightly different angles are applied 1 to 2 times per week until the range of motion improves.
Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) A group of inherited conditions that cause problems with 2 types of infection-fighting cells. These specialized white blood cells are called T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes. The immune system can’t protect against disease if there are not enough lymphocytes or they don’t work right. SCID is called “combined” immunodeficiency because it affects 2 kinds of immune system cells. There are 14 forms of SCID.
Severe congenital neutropenia (also called Kostman This blood disorder is present at birth. Children with this condition have low levels of infection-fighting white blood cells (neutrophils). This leads to repeated infections and swollen gums. It is caused by changes to genes (mutations) that affect how neutrophils develop.
Shin splints Pain in the muscle on the front of the lower leg, often from running on a hard surface or in shoes that do not absorb shock well or from training too hard or for too long.
Shoulder instability Loose shoulder joint in which the bones move slightly out of place or feel like they might move out of place. This may happen if the shoulder muscles or ligaments (strong, flexible bands that connect bones) have been stretched too far and become weak. Throwing is a common cause of shoulder instability.
Shprintzen syndrome Another name for velocardiofacial syndrome. It's caused by microdeletions on chromosome 22 (22q11.2 deletion).
Shunt A small tube (catheter) that drains fluid from the body or sends fluid in a new direction.
shunts Small tubes (catheters) that drain fluid from the body or send fluid in a new direction.
Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) SPECT is a way to measure tissue changes and blood flow. It makes a picture that can show where a seizure starts in the brain.
Single-event multilevel surgery A surgery to address several joint problems or deformed bones in the hips, knees, ankles or feet at the same time. This approach, also called SEMLS, is followed by intensive physical therapy to get the best results for your child.
Single-ventricle heart defect A birth defect that results in only one pumping chamber in the heart working effectively. Single-ventricle defects are among the most complex congenital (present at birth) heart problems.
Sinus node A special group of cells that send an electrical signal to start the natural pacemaker of the heart.
Sinuses Spaces in bone or soft tissue that normally contain air.
Skeletal dysplasias A group of conditions that affect how the bones and cartilage grow and develop. Also called osteochondrodysplasias. ""Osteo"" means bone. ""Chondro"" refers to cartilage. ""Dysplasia"" means abnormal growth or development.
Skeletal muscle Muscle that attaches to the bones of the skeleton. These muscles move the skeleton.
Skewfoot A form of flatfoot in which the midfoot points toward the outside of the leg and the forefoot (closer to the toes) points toward the inside of the leg. Skewfoot is also called Z foot, S-shaped foot or serpentine foot.
Skin tags Tiny skin protrusions that may have a small narrow stalk connecting the skin bump to the surface of the skin. They are usually painless and do not grow or change.
Small bowel Also called the small intestine. A long, coiled tube inside the body that helps digest food and absorb nutrients. The small bowel connects the stomach to the large bowel.
Small intestine Also called the small bowel. A long, coiled tube inside the body that helps digest food and absorb nutrients. The small intestine connects the stomach to the large intestine.
Social worker Skilled counselors who give families emotional support from diagnosis through care and recovery. They coordinate care between families, the community and the medical team, and help families get the resources they need.
Social workers Skilled counselors who give families emotional support from diagnosis through care and recovery. They coordinate care between families, the community and the medical team, and help families get the resources they need.
Soft tissue All the tissue in the body except bones. This includes ligaments, tendons, muscles, blood, skin and fat.
Soft tissues All the tissue in the body except bones. This includes ligaments, tendons, muscles, blood, skin and fat.
Somatic hypermutation Method utilized by the body to mutate antibody proteins to generate diverse antibody libraries from which high affinity antibodies can be selected. An important component of the body's approach to directed evolution of antibodies during an immune response.
Sonographer A specialist who performs the echocardiogram, the ultrasound of the heart.
Spasticity High muscle tone caused by a problem with the brain, spinal cord or nerves. It can make movement difficult or awkward and can cause pain, distort posture, lead to tight joints (contractures) or change the shape of bones.
Specific Carbohydrate Diet The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) removes all grains, dairy (except for yogurt fermented 24 hours), processed foods, sugars and sweeteners except honey. It allows only natural, nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, meats and nuts.
Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) removes all grains, dairy (except for yogurt fermented 24 hours), processed foods, sugars and sweeteners except honey. It allows only natural, nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, meats and nuts.
SPECT Single photon emission computed tomography. SPECT measures tissue changes and blood flow. It makes a picture that can show where a seizure starts in the brain.
SPECT scans Single photon emission computed tomography. SPECT measures tissue changes and blood flow. It makes a picture that can show where a seizure starts in the brain.
Speech and language pathologist Checks how well your child can speak, understand, read, write and swallow. They will set therapy goals to help your child communicate or swallow better.
Speech and language pathologist (SLP) Checks how well your child can speak, understand, read, write and swallow. They will set therapy goals to help your child communicate or swallow better.
Speech and language pathologists Health professionals who check how well your child can speak, understand, read, write and swallow. They will set therapy goals to help your child communicate or swallow better.
Speech and language pathologists (SLPs) Check how well your child can speak, understand, read, write and swallow. They will set therapy goals to help your child communicate or swallow better.
Speech coordination Putting sounds together.
Speech therapist Also called a speech and language pathologist (SLP). Checks how well your child can speak, understand, read, write and swallow. They will set therapy goals to help your child communicate or swallow better.
Speech therapists Also called speech and language pathologists (SLPs). They check how well your child can speak, understand, read, write and swallow. They will set therapy goals to help your child communicate or swallow better.
Sphincter pharyngoplasty A procedure in which the surgeon moves tissue from the back of the throat closer to the back of the palate. It is designed to treat velopharyngeal insufficiency when the problem is the movement of the back of the throat.
Spina bifida A neural tube defect that happens in the first month of pregnancy. Normally, the neural tube in a fetus develops into its brain and spinal cord. With spinal bifida, the arches of the vertebrae do not grow and close around the spinal cord as they should. This leaves the spinal cord open and unprotected. Often, the meninges and spinal cord protrude out from the child's spine. Myelomeningocele is the most severe form of spina bifida.
Spinal canal The space inside the bones of the spine that the spinal cord passes through. Each bone (vertebra) has a hole shaped like a circle. When the bones are stacked on top of each other, these holes form a tube, or canal.
Spinal column Also called the spine or vertebral column. It includes 33 bones separated by disks and held together by ligaments. The spinal column supports your child's head and encloses and protects her spinal canal and spinal cord.
Spinal cord A long column of nerves that runs through the backbone. It connects the brain with the nerves in the rest of the body so they can communicate.
Spinal muscular atrophy A genetic disease that involves loss of nerves in the spinal cord that send signals to voluntary muscles — the muscles your child controls, like muscles that move their arms and legs. It causes muscles to be weak and get smaller (atrophy).
Spleen An organ near the stomach. It helps to remove germs, like bacteria, from the blood stream. It helps the body fight against certain kinds of infections. The spleen also stores blood and removes old or damaged blood cells from the bloodstream.
Split-liver transplants Transplants in which surgeons carefully divide a single donated liver so the pieces can be transplanted in two different people. Often, a smaller segment (about 1/3) is transplanted in a child, and a larger segment (about 2/3) is transplanted in an adult.
Sports medicine doctors Doctors with special training in preventing and treating bone, joint and muscle conditions that may occur in active play or sports. They also specialize in related topics, like concussion, nutrition, improving athletic performance and returning to play safely.
Sports physical therapists Physical therapists who specialize in preventing and treating injuries related to sports or active play. They design and provide rehabilitation specific to your child’s activity or sport.
Sprains Injuries to ligaments – the strong, flexible bands of tissue that hold joints together by connecting one bone to another.
Statins Medications used to treat high cholesterol.
Stem cell transplant A treatment that replaces blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow that are damaged or missing because of disease or treatment. Blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells are young cells that can grow into any of the types of blood cells your child’s body needs. A stem cell transplant may use a patient’s own stem cells that were saved before treatment (autologous) or stem cells from a healthy volunteer (allogeneic). The patient receives the stem cells through a tube (catheter) into their vein.
Stem cell transplants Procedures that replace blood-forming cells in the bone marrow that are damaged or missing because of disease or treatment. Blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells are young cells that can grow into any of the types of blood cells your child’s body needs. A stem cell transplant may use a patient’s own stem cells that were saved before treatment (autologous) or stem cells from a healthy volunteer (allogeneic). The patient receives the stem cells through a tube (catheter) into their vein.
Stenosis A narrowing.
Stent A tube-shaped device that can be left inside a blood vessel or other tube-like body part (such as a duct that drains fluid) to hold it open.
Stereo EEG A way to record electrical activity directly from a child’s brain. Neurosurgeons place electrodes on the surface of the brain. Pictures from MRI scans guide surgeons as they work. A wand connected to the computerized guidance system tracks the location of tools and allows exact placement of electrodes. Surgeons use robotic tools that fit through tiny holes in the skull.
Stereotactic Using 3-D imaging, such as an MRI or CT scan, to guide a surgical tool or radiation beam to a precise place in the body.
stereotactic computer assisted navigation Equipment and software that neurosurgeons use to plan and perform very precise surgery. With the system, neurosurgeons can align pictures from the patient's scans (such as MRI and CT scans) to plan and guide the surgery, see a patient's brain in detail during surgery and track the exact location of their surgical tools.
stereotactic computer-assisted navigation Equipment and software that neurosurgeons use to plan and perform very precise surgery. With the system, neurosurgeons can align pictures from the patient's scans (such as MRI and CT scans) to plan and guide the surgery, see a patient's brain in detail during surgery and track the exact location of their surgical tools.
Stereotactic radiosurgery Uses precisely focused radiation beams to treat tumors, arteriovenous malformations and other problems.
Stickler syndrome A genetic disorder of connective tissue that results in variable problems with vision, hearing and facial and skeletal development. Many children with Stickler syndrome have cleft palates. Three forms are known and are all caused by mutations in collagen genes.
Strains Injuries to muscles or tendons (the strong bands that connect muscle to bone), usually from being overused, overstretched or partly torn.
Stress echocardiogram A test to measure how well the heart responds to exercise. It uses ultrasound imaging with a regular stress test to record images of the heart before and after exercise.
Stress fracture Cracks or breaks in bone that happen when a person repeats the same position or motion over and over for long periods. Other factors that may increase risk include diet, hormones and bone health.
Stress fractures Cracks or breaks in bone that happen when a person repeats the same position or motion over and over for long periods. Other factors that may increase risk include diet, hormones and bone health.
Stroke Lack of blood flow to part of the brain that prevents brain cells from getting oxygen they need. A stroke may cause lasting brain damage or death. A stroke can happen if a blockage, such as a blood clot, clogs a blood vessel (ischemic stroke) or if a blood vessel bursts and leaks blood (hemorrhagic stroke).
Study protocol A carefully designed plan to keep study participants safe and answer specific research questions.
Sturge-Weber syndrome A genetic disorder of the veins in one half of the brain. It involves facial discoloration and developmental delays. The abnormal blood vessels cause seizures and a stiffening (calcification) of the cortex. Removing these problem areas from the brain often helps.
Subarachnoid spaces They lie between the three membranes protecting the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid moves through these spaces. Delicate connective tissue extends across them.
Submucous cleft A cleft palate covered by the lining or mucous membrane of the roof of the mouth.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) The sudden and unexplained death of a baby who is younger than 1 year old. Sleeping on the stomach may increase the risk of SIDS. Healthy infants younger than 1 year should be put to sleep on their backs.
Superior orbital rim The brow bone.
Supportive pulmonary care A broad range of care options that help your child's lungs work as well as they can. It may include routine visits to the pulmonary clinic. For example, at a routine visit the doctor might adjust the medicines your child takes for high blood pressure in their lungs (pulmonary hypertension) or for asthma-like symptoms. Supportive care may also include care during a hospital stay, like chest physiotherapy or ventilatory management. Chest physiotherapy means using postural drainage, chest vibration, coughing and other methods to improve your child's breathing. Ventilatory management means using a machine to breathe for your child. For children who have a tube that goes through their neck into their windpipe (tracheostomy), supportive care may include other methods, like suctioning, antibiotics and help getting nutrition.
Supraventricular tachycardia When the heart rate is sped up by an abnormal electrical impulse starting in the atria (chambers where the blood comes into the heart).
Sutures The fibrous joints between the bones of a baby's skull. Sutures allow your baby's head to fit through the birth canal, and they allow his skull to expand after birth, when his brain has an initial growth spurt. Sutures slowly grow together (fuse) during childhood, fully closing about age 2 to 3. The fusion process is fully complete in adulthood.
Syncope Light-headedness or fainting caused by insufficient blood supply to the brain.
Syndrome A disease or disorder that has a recognized pattern of symptoms.
Syndromes Diseases or disorders that have a recognized pattern of symptoms.
Syrinx A cyst inside the spinal cord that is shaped like a tube and filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). It may form because the normal flow of CSF is partly blocked and it's easier for CSF to collect inside the spinal cord than to flow around or seep through the blockage.
Systemic lupus erythematosus A disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues (autoimmune disease). It may cause rash; mouth or nose sores; arthritis; inflammation of the lining around organs; and problems with the kidneys, nervous system, immune system and blood.
Systolic heart murmurs Murmurs that occur during the contraction of the heart muscle.
T3 total (triiodothyronine) A blood test to help check for problems with your child’s thyroid gland. Doctors often use the T3 test to diagnose an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). It measures the level of the hormone T3 (triiodothyronine). Some T3 is made directly by the thyroid gland, but most is made in other parts of the body. Thyroid hormones help control growth, body temperature and heart rate.
T4 (thyroxine) A hormone made by the thyroid gland. If your child has symptoms of thyroid problems, their doctor may measure levels of the T4 hormone in your child’s blood. Too much or too little T4 in the blood can mean your child has thyroid disease. Thyroid hormones help control growth, body temperature and heart rate.
Tachycardia An abnormally rapid heart rate.
Targeted therapies Targeted therapies fight cancer by finding a specific substance (target) and attaching to it. The target may be a protein on cancer cells or a substance that helps cancer grow. The different types of targeted therapies affect the target in different ways. They may interfere with the cancer cells’ ability to grow, divide, make repairs or communicate with other cells.
Targeted therapy Targeted therapy fights cancer by finding a specific substance (target) and attaching to it. The target may be a protein on cancer cells or a substance that helps cancer grow. The different types of targeted therapies affect the target in different ways. They may interfere with the cancer cells’ ability to grow, divide, make repairs or communicate with other cells.
Telemedicine Using medical information sent from one place to another electronically to improve a patient’s health.
Temporal artery The main artery that supplies blood to the head, eyes and optic nerve.
Temporal bones Bones above and behind the ears.
Tendinitis Swelling and pain in tendons – the strong bands of tissue that connect muscle to bone.
Tendon A very strong band of tissue that connects muscle to bone.
Tendonitis Swelling and pain in tendons – the strong bands of tissue that connect muscle to bone.
Tendons Very strong bands of tissue that connect muscle to bone.
TENS TENS stands for transcutaneous (through the skin) electrical nerve stimulation. It can help with pain.
Teratomas Tumors made up of several different types of tissue.
Testes Also called testicles. The two oval-shaped glands in boys that sit in the scrotum, or sac, below the penis. They make sperm and produce hormones.
Testicles Also called testes. The two oval shaped glands in boys that sit in the scrotum, or sac, below the penis. They make sperm and produce hormones.
Tetralogy of Fallot A birth defect involving four problems in the structure of the heart; ""tetra"" is Greek for four.
TgAb Also called thyroglobulin antibodies. Antibodies to a protein (thyroglobulin) made by the thyroid gland. Sometimes, the immune system mistakes part of the body for a foreign invader and makes antibodies to attack it. This happens in autoimmune conditions. A blood test can measure levels of these antibodies. The TgAb test helps doctors diagnose autoimmune conditions that affect the thyroid gland.
Thecal sac The area inside the spinal canal containing cerebrospinal fluid and the spinal cord. A tough, protective membrane (the dura mater) surrounds the thecal sac.
Therapeutic hypothermia A treatment done to decrease a baby’s temperature to 33.5° C (about 91° F) for 3 days. This may reduce the amount of brain injury in babies who have had a severe lack of oxygen (asphyxia). Also called whole-body hypothermia or whole-body cooling.
Therapeutic recreation specialists Rehabilitation team members who evaluate your child’s recreation and leisure skills, interests and needs. They will teach your child leisure and play skills. They also will assess your child’s social skills and help your child return to home and school.
Thoracic Refers to the chest.
Thoracic duct embolization A procedure to block a leak in a major lymph vessel (thoracic duct) by injecting small metal coils, glue or both. An interventional radiologist does this guided by fluoroscopy.
Thoracic spine Refers to the twelve vertebrae (T-1 through T-12) located between the cervical vertebrae in the neck area, and the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back area of the spine.
Thoracoplasty Surgery to remove ribs.
Thoracoscopic surgery An operation in which the surgeon makes a small incision (cut) in the chest wall and inserts a narrow tube with a light and a lens for viewing through the incision. Surgeons use thoracoscopy to examine the lungs or other structures in the chest cavity, take a tissue sample, introduce medicine into the lungs or treat fluid buildup around the lungs. The advantage of this technique is that surgeons don't need to cut through as much tissue as when they make a longer incision using traditional ""open"" surgery. This means your child will have a smaller scar and is likely to recover faster after surgery with less pain — and less need for narcotic pain killers that may have unpleasant side effects. In addition, children who have minimally invasive surgeries typically have shorter hospital stays. Thoracoscopic surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery.
Thoracoscopy A procedure that allows surgeons to insert a thin tube called an endoscope inside the chest to examine the lungs and other parts of the chest cavity. Surgeons can also perform procedures, such as taking tissue samples, using thoracoscopy.
Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia is having lower-than-normal levels of the blood cells that help form clots to stop bleeding (platelets). Congenital thrombocytopenia means a child is born with the condition. This happens if a parent passes an abnormal gene to a child. Acquired thrombocytopenia means the condition develops during the child’s lifetime. Causes include exposure to certain viruses, medicines or chemicals. Sometimes a child’s body makes antibodies that destroy their own platelets, a condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).
Thrombocytosis A higher-than-normal level of the blood cells that help form clots to stop bleeding (platelets). Usually this is caused by another condition like cancer or iron-deficiency anemia. If so, it is called secondary or reactive thrombocytosis. Less often, abnormal cells in the bone marrow make too many platelets. This is called “essential thrombocythemia.” Usually it happens because of an abnormal gene.
Thymus A gland in the neck that is part of the immune system. It makes white blood cells, called lymphocytes, that help the body fight infections.
Thyroglobulin antibodies Antibodies to a protein (thyroglobulin) made by the thyroid gland. Also called TgAb. Sometimes, the immune system mistakes part of the body for a foreign invader and makes antibodies to attack it. This happens in autoimmune conditions. A blood test can measure levels of these antibodies. The thyroglobulin antibodies test helps doctors diagnose autoimmune conditions that affect the thyroid gland.
thyroid An organ in the neck that affects your child’s growth and development because it makes hormones that control metabolism and affect growing cells.
Thyroid peroxidase antibodies Antibodies to an enzyme made by the thyroid gland. The enzyme is called thyroid peroxidase or TPO. Sometimes, the immune system mistakes part of the body for a foreign invader and makes antibodies to attack it. This happens in autoimmune conditions. A blood test can measure levels of these antibodies. The thyroid peroxidase antibodies test helps doctors diagnose and monitor autoimmune conditions that affect the thyroid gland.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone Also called TSH. A hormone made by the pituitary gland. TSH makes the thyroid gland produce more hormones. Thyroid hormones help control growth, body temperature and heart rate. If the thyroid is underactive, the pituitary gland makes more TSH. If the thyroid is overactive, the pituitary makes less TSH. If your child has symptoms of a thyroid problem, your doctor may order a blood test to measure TSH levels.
Tic disorder A condition that involves making movements or sounds suddenly, over and over, and without being able to stop. Sometimes tics are linked with another condition, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Tic disorders Conditions that involve making movements or sounds suddenly, over and over, and without being able to stop. Sometimes tics are linked with another condition, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Tilt table test Used to determine the cause of syncope (fainting or lightheadedness). It's performed on a table that tilts the patient upright.
Torticollis A limited range of motion in an infant's neck due to muscle tightness. This is an unnatural condition in which the head leans to one side because the neck muscles on that side are shortened. Toticollis is often associated with positional plagiocephaly.
Total anomalous pulmonary venous return A birth defect that results from the lung veins failing to attach to the heart's left atrium (upper collecting chamber).
Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) TPN is a mixture of nutrients given directly into your child’s bloodstream. The nutrients go through a tiny tube (catheter) placed in a central vein (called intravenous or IV). Sometimes TPN is a long-term or even permanent solution for children with intestinal failure.
Tourette syndrome To be diagnosed with Tourette syndrome, a child must have many different types of tics. Tics are sudden, repetitive movements (motor tics) or sudden, repetitive sounds (vocal tics). Doctors do not know the exact cause of Tourette syndrome, but some research suggests that it occurs when there is a problem with how nerves communicate in the brain.
Townes-Brocks syndrome A genetic condition with a pattern of features that may include abnormally shaped ears, facial and ear tags, hearing loss, malformed thumbs and a blockage of the anal opening.
Trachea The part of the body that carries air to and from the lungs, sometimes called the windpipe.
Tracheomalacia Having weak cartilage around the windpipe (trachea) in the neck. This can make it hard to keep the airway open and cause breathing problems.
Tracheostomy The placement of a breathing tube in the windpipe.
Tracheotomy The operation of making an opening into the windpipe.
Transcatheter ablation A procedure that uses a small tube (catheter) guided through the blood vessels of the leg up to the heart. The catheter is used to destroy a tiny piece of heart tissue that is causing an abnormal rhythm (arrhythmia).
Transesophageal echocardiography A procedure that uses a tube with an echocardiogram transducer on the end of it, passed down a patient's throat and into the esophagus. The esophagus is right behind the heart, and the images can give very clear views of the heart and its structures.
Transfusion The process of giving whole blood or only red blood cells from a donor using an intravenous (IV) line.
Transient erythroblastopenia of childhood (TEC) When the body temporarily makes fewer red blood cells, which are needed to carry oxygen around the body. Doctors aren’t sure why this happens. Most kids recover without treatment in 2 months or less.
Transient ischemic attack Short-term lack of blood flow to part of the brain due to a blood clot or other blockage in a brain artery. Also called a TIA or mini-stroke, this may be a warning sign before a full stroke.
Transposition of the great arteries A serious birth defect in which the origin of the pulmonary artery, which carries blood from the heart to the lungs, and the aorta, which carries blood to the body, are reversed.
Transthoracic echocardiography An ultrasound picture of the heart taken through the chest.
Treacher Collins A rare, inherited, congenital craniofacial condition affecting the bones, jaws, skin and muscles of the face. Treacher Collins syndrome is caused by mutations in the TREACLE gene.
Trichotillomania Pulling out one's own hair over and over because of a strong urge that is hard to resist.
Tricuspid atresia A birth defect that results in the underdevelopment of the tricuspid valve, one of the main valves controlling blood flow between the chambers of the heart.
Tricuspid valve The valve controlling blood flow to the right ventricle.
Triglycerides Triglycerides are made up of fatty acids. The body uses fatty acids for energy and stores them as fat for future energy needs. The body makes triglycerides and absorbs them during digestion.
Trismus A limited opening of the mouth or a prolonged spasm of the jaw muscles, also referred to as lockjaw.
Truncus arteriosus A birth defect in which the two large arteries that leave the heart — the aorta, which carries blood to the body, and the pulmonary artery, which carries blood to the lungs — are combined in one large common artery known as the truncus arteriosus.
Trunk Main part of your child’s body, not including head, arms or legs.
TSH Also called thyroid-stimulating hormone. A hormone made by the pituitary gland. TSH makes the thyroid gland produce more hormones. Thyroid hormones help control growth, body temperature and heart rate. If the thyroid is underactive, the pituitary gland makes more TSH. If the thyroid is overactive, the pituitary makes less TSH. If your child has symptoms of a thyroid problem, your doctor may order a blood test to measure TSH levels.
Tuberous sclerosis A genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, skin and lungs. In the brain, the tumors can cause epilepsy; block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, leading to hydrocephalus; and sometimes turn into cancer.
Tuberous sclerosis (TS) A genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, skin and lungs. In the brain, the tumors can cause epilepsy; block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, leading to hydrocephalus; and sometimes turn into cancer.
Tumor Growth of tissue that forms an abnormal mass. Tumors have no useful function and can crowd healthy tissue. Benign tumors are not cancerous. They grow slowly and do not usually spread. But in the brain, they can squeeze together brain tissue and cause disability and sometimes death. A malignant tumor grows fairly fast, spreads and usually contains cancer cells.
Tumors Growths of tissue that form an abnormal mass. They have no useful function and can crowd healthy tissue. Benign tumors are not cancerous. They grow slowly and do not usually spread. But in the brain, they can squeeze together brain tissue and cause disability and sometimes death. A malignant tumor grows fairly fast, spreads and usually contains cancer cells.
Tympanostomy tube A small plastic tube inserted in the eardrum to improve hearing in children with chronic ear infections or middle ear fluid.
Tympanostomy tubes A small plastic tube inserted in the eardrum to improve hearing in children with chronic ear infections or middle ear fluid.
UCL injury The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is one of the strong, flexible bands of tissue that hold the elbow joint together when you move your arm. It is on the inside of the elbow and holds one of the lower arm bones (ulna) to the upper arm bone (humerus). Throwing is a common cause of UCL injury.
Ulnar collateral ligament injury The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is one of the strong, flexible bands of tissue that hold the elbow joint together when you move your arm. It is on the inside of the elbow and holds one of the lower arm bones (ulna) to the upper arm bone (humerus). Throwing is a common cause of UCL injury.
Ultrasound An imaging technique that uses sound waves to detect structures within the body. A machine translates the findings of the sound waves into a picture. It is commonly used to take images of a fetus in the womb.
Ultrasounds An imaging technique that uses sound waves to detect structures within the body. A machine translates the findings of the sound waves into a picture. It is commonly used to take images of a fetus in the womb.
Umbilical cord A long tube that connects a mother and her unborn baby. It carries oxygen and nutrients to the baby in the womb and carries away waste.
Umbilical hernia An umbilical hernia happens when part of the intestine bulges into the belly button through a weak spot or hole in the wall of the belly. Usually it is harmless, causes no symptoms and goes away on its own. If your child still has an umbilical hernia at age 4 or 5 or if the hole is more than an inch wide, your child’s doctor will talk with you about repairing it.
Umbilical hernias Umbilical hernias happen when part of the intestine bulges into the belly button through a weak spot or hole in the wall of the belly. Usually they are harmless, cause no symptoms and go away by themselves. If your child still has an umbilical hernia at age 4 or 5 or if the hole is more than an inch wide, your child’s doctor will talk with you about repairing it.
Ureters The 2 tubes inside the body that carry pee (urine) from the kidneys to the bladder.
Urethra The tube that drains pee (urine) from the body.
Urinary Related to the system for making, storing and removing pee (urine) from the body.
Urinary tract The system for making, storing and removing pee (urine) from the body. The urinary tract includes the bladder, kidneys and tubes that carry urine (ureters and urethra).
Urinary tract infection (UTI) An infection of the system for making and storing pee (urinary tract). Infection happens when germs (such as bacteria or viruses) multiply in the body and cause disease.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) Infections of the system for making and storing pee (urinary tract). Infection happens when germs (such as bacteria or viruses) multiply in the body and cause disease.
Urologist A doctor with special training in diagnosing and treating children who have problems with their urinary tract, the body’s system for making, storing and removing pee (urine). The doctor also treats problems with the male reproductive organs and children with differences in sex development.
Urologists Doctors with special training in diagnosing and treating children who have problems with their urinary tract, the body’s system for making, storing and removing pee (urine). The doctors also treat problems with the male reproductive organs and children with differences in sex development.
Urology Urology is the diagnosis and treatment of problems with the urinary tract and bladder - the organs involved in reproduction and in making and emptying urine.
Uterus Also called the womb. A hollow organ with muscular walls in the lower belly of girls and women. This is where a baby grows during pregnancy.
UTI A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the system for making and storing pee. Infection happens when germs (such as bacteria or viruses) multiply in the body and cause disease.
UTIs Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are infections of the system for making and storing pee. Infection happens when germs (such as bacteria or viruses) multiply in the body and cause disease.
Vagina One of the female reproductive organs. This muscular tube connects the womb to the vaginal opening on the outside of the body. The tube is lined with mucous membranes.
Valve disease A malfunction of one or more of the heart valves that may cause an obstruction of the blood flow within the heart.
Valvulitis Inflammation of a valve, especially the mitral and/or aortic valve, as a consequence of rheumatic fever.
Van der Woude syndrome A commonly inherited form of cleft lip and palate. Children with this syndrome are born with ""pits,"" or mounds of tissue in the lower lip. They also may have cleft lip, cleft palate or both. The condition is caused by changes in the IRF6 gene.
Vascular anomalies Abnormal blood vessels or lymph vessels that form before a baby is born.
Vascular neurologist Doctor who has special training or experience in conditions of the blood vessels that affect the brain, spinal cord and nerves.
Vascular rings Also called vascular slings, are a birth defect of abnormal arteries surrounding the trachea — the breathing tube that carries air from the lungs — and the esophagus — the tube that carries food from the stomach.
Vascular system The network of blood vessels that runs throughout the body. It consists of arteries and veins.
Vasculitis Inflammation of the blood vessels.
Vein of Galen One of the large blood vessels in the skull that drains the cerebrum — the front part of the brain.
Vein of Galen malformation The vein of Galen is located deep in the brain. A vein of Galen malformation is a ballooning (aneurysm) in this vein. The problem happens because of abnormal connections between arteries and veins deep in the brain.
Veins Veins carry blood back to the heart.
Velocardiofacial syndrome A type of 22q11.2-related disorder.
Velopharyngeal closure The process of closing off the nose from the mouth during speech. During this process, several structures come together, including the velum (soft palate or roof of the mouth), the lateral pharyngeal walls (or side walls of the throat) and the posterior pharyngeal wall (or the back wall of the throat).
Velopharyngeal insufficiency A disorder resulting in the improper closing of the velopharyngeal sphincter (soft palate muscle) during speech, allowing air to escape through the nose instead of the mouth.
Velopharyngeal sphincter The soft palate muscle and muscles of the throat.
Velum The soft palate or roof of the mouth.
Venogram An X-ray taken after injecting dye into a vein in the affected area. The X-ray can show if blood flow is slow. This test also is called venography.
Ventilator A machine that breathes for a person who is not able to breathe on their own.
Ventricle Ventricle (Heart): One of the 2 pumping chambers of the heart. The right ventricle pumps oxygen-poor blood to the lungs, where it absorbs oxygen. The blood then returns to the heart through veins. The left ventricle pumps the newly oxygen-rich blood through the body. (Brain) One of the 4 small pockets in the brain that make, store and circulate cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This fluid flows from the ventricles, through the brain and into the space around the brain and spinal cord.
Ventricles Ventricles (Heart): The 2 pumping chambers of the heart. The right ventricle pumps oxygen-poor blood to the lungs, where it absorbs oxygen. The blood then returns to the heart through veins. The left ventricle pumps the newly oxygen-rich blood through the body. (Brain) The 4 small pockets in the brain that make, store and circulate cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This fluid flows from the ventricles, through the brain and into the space around the brain and spinal cord.
Ventricular assist device A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a mechanical pump a surgeon implants inside or outside your child's chest during open-heart surgery and connects to the heart.
Ventricular assist device (VAD) A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a mechanical pump a surgeon implants inside or outside your child's chest during open-heart surgery and connects to the heart.
Ventricular assist devices (VAD) Ventricular assist devices (VAD) are mechanical pumps a surgeon implants inside or outside your child's chest during open-heart surgery and connects to the heart.
Ventricular fibrillation An abnormal heart rhythm that starts in the heart's pumping chambers (ventricles) and makes the heart beat with very fast, uncoordinated contractions.
Ventricular septal defect A hole in the septum (wall) between the ventricles (lower pumping chambers) of the heart.
Ventricular tachycardia An abnormal heart rhythm that starts in the heart's pumping chambers (ventricles) and makes the heart beat too fast.
Ventriculoperitoneal shunt A tube draining excess fluid from areas within or surrounding the brain into the abdomen.
Vertebrae The 33 bones that make up the spinal column (spine). They enclose and protect the spinal canal, which contains the spinal cord.
Vertical talus The talus is a bone in the ankle below the bones of the lower leg and above the heel bone. Normally, the talus points toward the toes. In vertical talus, it points toward the bottom of the foot, and the forefoot (from the middle of the foot to the toes) points toward the body. This creates a foot with an upside-down arch that looks like the rocker of a rocking chair.
Videoconference A meeting with people at remote locations by means of transmitted sound and visual images.
Videoconferencing Holding a meeting with people who are in different places by sending sound and pictures.
Videofluoroscopic swallowing study A diagnostic procedure done under a moving X-ray (fluoroscopy) that is used to further the clinical understanding of the swallowing process and assess the swallowing mechanism.
Viral hepatitis An infection from a virus that causes swelling (inflammation) of the liver.
Viral myocarditis A heart disease caused by a viral inflammation of the myocardium, the heart's muscular wall.
Visceral hyperalgesia/functional abdominal pain Pain in the stomach caused by nerves that are more sensitive than normal to painful events, like injury or high pressure, or nerves that sense normal events like muscle movement or light pressure as pain.
Vitreous humor The gelatinous substance that fills the cavity behind the lens of the eye.
Wada test Looks at language and memory on one side of the brain at a time. Language (speech) is controlled by one side of the brain (in most people, the left side), and the Wada will tell the doctors which side controls language in your brain. Memory can be controlled by both sides of the brain; the Wada tells which side of your brain has better memory. If the side that controls language or has better memory is where seizures may be coming from, the surgeon may consider performing an fMRI or brain mapping before surgery.
Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome An electrical abnormality of the heart that can affect its ability to pump.
X-linked immunodeficiency (XID) A murine immune deficiency caused by mutations in the protein Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase. XID is a model for the human disease X-linked agammaglobulinemia which is caused by mutations in the same protein.
X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID) Human immune deficiency caused by mutations in the cytokine receptor common gamma chain, a component of multiple cytokine receptors involved in regulating lymphopiesis and immune function. Loss of function mutations in the common gamma chain cause an early failure of T-cell and NK cell development, resulting in severe immune deficient. Commonly referred to as ""Bubble boy syndrome.
X-ray An X-ray is a form of energy that can pass through your child's bone and tissue to create an image. The image created and the exam itself is also called an X-ray. A doctor called a radiologist looks at the image to detect and diagnose conditions in the body.
X-rays An X-ray is a form of energy that can pass through your child's bone and tissue to create an image. The image created and the exam itself is also called an X-ray. A doctor called a radiologist looks at the image to detect and diagnose conditions in the body.
Zygomas The cheekbones, forming part of the orbit of the eye.
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