Medical Terminology for Pathological Conditions

By Beverley Henderson, Jennifer Lee Dorsey

Any medical term can be used in everyday settings like the doctor’s office or hospital. Some, such as those listed here, specifically detail the different kinds of pathological conditions associated with root words.

Root Word What It Means Example(s)
Aden/o Gland Adenomegaly: Enlargement of a gland
Adenitis: Inflammation of a gland
Atri/o Atrium Atriomegaly: Abnormal enlargement of an atrium of the
Carcin/o Cancer Carcinogen: A cancer-producing substance
Cheir/o, chir/o Hand Cheiromegaly: Abnormal enlargement (megaly) of the hand
Cholecyst/o Gallbladder Cholelithiasis: Stones in the gallbladder
Choledoch/o Common bile duct Choledocholithiasis: Stones in the common bile duct of the
Cyan/o Blue Cyanosis: Bluish discoloration of the skin
Cyanotic: Pertaining to or characterized by cyanosis
Cysti, cyst/o Bladder or cyst Cystocele: Hernial protrusion of urinary bladder through
vaginal wall
Dipl/o Double, twice Diplopia: The condition of double vision
Encephal/o Brain Encephalopathy: A disorder or disease of the brain
Hemat/o Blood Hematemesis: Vomiting of blood
Hepat/o, hepatic/o Liver Hepatomegaly: Enlargement of the liver
Hydr/o Water, wet Hydropenia: Deficiency of water in the body (dehydration)
Melan/o Black Melanoma: Black-colored tumor or growth
Necr/o Death Necrosis: Condition of death of a cell
Nephr/o Kidney Nephrolithiasis: Condition of kidney stones
Path/o Disease Pathology: Branch of medicine that deals with the study of
disease and its effects
Forensic pathology: Pathology dealing with personal injury, murder,
and legal issues
Pathologist: Physician who diagnoses diseases by examining tissues
and cells under a microscope. Also performs autopsies.
Pneum/ato, pneum/ono Lungs Pneumoconiosis: Condition of abnormal deposits of dusts or
other matter in the lungs
Salping/o Fallopian tube Hydrosalpinx: Accumulation of fluid in a fallopian tube
Sept/o Infection Septicemia: Toxins or pathogenic organisms in the blood (blood
Ureter/o Ureter Ureterolith: Calculus or stone lodged in the ureter
Urethr/o Urethra Urethrorrhea: Abnormal discharge from the urethra
Viscer/o Viscera (organs) Visceromegaly: Enlargement of internal organs, also called