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University  of  Pittsburgh  

 
Clinical  Terminology  for  International  and  U.S.  Students  

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PRS  List  
Prefix,  Root,  Suffix  List  
 
This  list  is  a  tool  to  help  you  decode  complex  medical  terms.    You  first  step  is  to  identify  a  term,  and  then  
separate  it  into  2  or  3  segments  or  syllables.    Then  check  the  left  column  below.  All  of  the  word  
segments  in  the  left  column  are  a  portion  or  segment  of  a  longer  medical  term.    When  you  find  the  
segment  you  are  interested  in,  look  at  the  second  column.  You  will  find  a  brief  meaning  for  that  
segment.  Precede  what  you  read  with  the  words  “pertaining  to”.    Then  check  the  third  column  where  
you  will  find  an  example  of  a  word  using  the  segment  of  interest.      
Now  about  prefixes,  roots  and  suffixes:  You  will  not  be  asked  to  identify  whether  something  is  a  prefix,  
root  or  suffix.    If  you  would  like  to  understand  what  prefixes,  roots  and  suffixes  are  and  how  they  are  
presented,  read  on.  A  prefix  is  seen  at  the  beginning  of  a  word.  In  the  PRS  List  the  prefixes  have  dashes  
after  the  letters  to  signify  the  continuation  of  letters.    Those  that  are  commonly  suffixes  and  occur  at  the  
end  of  medical  terms  have  dashes  at  the  beginning.    Roots  often  refer  to  a  body  part,  e.g.  tendonitis  
decoded  is  ‘tendon’  (body  part  or  root).  Then  the    ‘itis’  is  a  suffix    meaning  inflammation  and  describing  
the  root.    Many  prefixes,  roots,  and  suffixes  are  used  interchangeably.  This  is  not  a  comprehensive  list;  
we  present  only  the  most  common.    If  you  are  not  finding  what  you  need,  let  us  know  on  the  discussion  
board.    Your  study  guide  for  each  week  will  contain  a  list  of  terms  for  practicing  decoding.  The  answers  
will  be  presented  and  discussed  on  the  discussion  board.  
Here  is  a  sample  decoding:    
You  find  the  word  erythrocyte.    You  do  not  know  what  it  means.    
First  break  the  word  into  syllables:  erythro    and    cyte.  
Find  “erythro”  on  the  PRS  list:  pertaining  to  red.    
Find  “cyte”  on  the  PRS  List:    pertaining  to  cell.  
Ah,  ha,  an  erythrocyte  is  a  red  cell.    
Did  you  break  the  code  to  figure  out  that  an  erythrocyte  is?  It  is  a  red  (blood)  cell?  
 
Beginners  Prefix,  Root,  Suffix  List  for  Decoding  Complex  Medical  Terms  
Word  
Segments  

Pertaining  to-­‐-­‐  

Example  

A  
a-­‐-­‐  
ab-­‐-­‐  

absence  of  
away  from  

apnea  
abduct  

S.  Students   acous-­‐-­‐   ad-­‐-­‐   adeno-­‐-­‐   adip-­‐-­‐   an-­‐-­‐   angio-­‐-­‐   ante-­‐-­‐   anti-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐ase   arthro/i-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐asthenia   auri-­‐-­‐   bi-­‐-­‐   blepharo   brachi-­‐-­‐   brady-­‐-­‐   carcin-­‐-­‐   cardio-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐cele   -­‐-­‐centesis   cephal-­‐-­‐   cerebro-­‐-­‐   cholecysto-­‐-­‐   chondro   -­‐-­‐cidal   coagula   contra-­‐-­‐   cranio-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐crine   cryo-­‐-­‐   cutane-­‐-­‐   cysto-­‐-­‐   cyto-­‐-­‐   de-­‐-­‐   dermat-­‐-­‐   dextro-­‐-­‐   dont/ent   dorsi-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐dynia   dys-­‐-­‐   hearing   toward   gland   fat   without   vessel   before   against   enzyme   joint   weakness   ear   B   twice  or  double   eye  lid   arm   slow   C   cancer   heart   pouching   puncture   head   brain   gall  bladder   cartilage   kill   curdle.  clot   opposite   skull   secrete   cold   skin   bladder   cell   D   away  from   skin   right   teeth   the  back   pain   difficulty   acoustic   adduct   adenocarcinoma   adipose  tissue   anuria   angiogram   antepartum   antibiotic   lipase   arthritis   myasthenia   auricular   bilateral   blepharospasm   brachial  plexus   bradycardia   carcinogenic   cardiomegaly   cystocele   amniocentesis   hydrocephalic   cerebral  cortex   cholecystectomy   costochondral  joint   bactericidal   coagulate   contralateral   craniotomy   endocrine   cryosurgery   subcutaneous   cystotomy   cytology   dehydration   dermatological   dextrocardia   dental   dorsal   pleurodynia   dyspnea   2   .University  of  Pittsburgh     Clinical  Terminology  for  International  and  U.

 outside  of   red   sensation   G   stomach   producing   reproduction   old  age   gum   tongue   written.  away   removal   swelling   vomiting   blood  condition   brain   inside   intestine   on.S.University  of  Pittsburgh     Clinical  Terminology  for  International  and  U.  excessive   sleep   low   uterus   I   condition   pertaining  to   abnormal   condition   physician   below   between   within   ectopic  pregnancy   appendectomy   lymphedema   hematemesis   anemia   encephalitis   endoscopy   gastroenterologist   epidural   erythrocyte   anesthesia   gastric   cardiogenic  shock   genital   geriatric   gingival  hyperplasia   glossophanangeal  nerve   electrocardiogram   gynecology   hemoglobin   thyroglobulin   hematocrit   hemiplegia   hemoglobin   hepatomegaly   homeostasis   hydrocephalus   hypertension   hypnotic  medication   hypothyroidism   hysterectomy   anemia   cardiac   cholelithiasis   iatrogenic  fluid  overload   infraclavicular  lymph  nodes   intercostal  space   intracranial  pressure   3   .  drawn   woman   protein   protein   H   blood   half   blood   liver   constant   water   high.  Students   ec-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐ectomy   edema   -­‐-­‐emesis   -­‐-­‐emia   encephalo-­‐-­‐   endo-­‐-­‐   entero   epi-­‐-­‐   erythro   -­‐-­‐esthesio   gastri/o-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐genic   genito-­‐-­‐   geri/o-­‐-­‐   gingiva   glossal   -­‐-­‐gram/ph   gyne-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐globin   -­‐-­‐globulin   hemato-­‐-­‐   hemi-­‐-­‐   hemo-­‐-­‐   hepato-­‐-­‐   homeo-­‐-­‐   hydro/a-­‐-­‐   hyper-­‐-­‐   hypno-­‐-­‐   hypo-­‐-­‐   hyster-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐ia   -­‐-­‐iac   -­‐-­‐iasis   iatro-­‐-­‐   infra-­‐-­‐   inter-­‐-­‐   intra-­‐-­‐   E   out.

 Students   ipsi-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐ismus   iso-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐itis   the  same   spasm   equal   inflammation   ipsilateral   strabismus   isotonic  solution   arthritis   J   juxto-­‐-­‐   next  to   juxtaposition   K   kypho-­‐-­‐   humped   kyphotic  spine   L   labia/o   lacrim   lacta/o-­‐-­‐   laparo   leuko   lingua   lip-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐listhesis   lith/o   -­‐-­‐lysis   lip   tear   milk   abdomen   white   tongue   fat   dislocation   stone   dissolve   mal-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐malacia   -­‐-­‐megaly   melan/o-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐meter   mort-­‐-­‐   my/o-­‐-­‐   myc/o-­‐-­‐   myel/o-­‐-­‐   myel/o   bad   softening   enlargement   black   to  measure   dead   muscle   fungus   spinal  cord   bone  marrow   nasolabial  fold   lacrimal  gland   lactation   laparoscopy   leukocyte   sublingual  gland   lipoma   spondylolisthesis   cholelithiasis   bacteriolytic   M   malodorous   osteomalacia   cardiomegaly   melanous  stool   thermometer   postmortem   myositis   mycotic  toenails   myelogram   myelogenous   N   narco-­‐-­‐   naso-­‐-­‐   neo-­‐-­‐   nephro-­‐-­‐   sleep   nose   new   kidney   narcotic   nasal   neoplasm   nephritis   -­‐-­‐odyn   -­‐-­‐oma   onc/o-­‐-­‐   optic   ortho-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐osis   ossi-­‐-­‐   O   painful   mass.University  of  Pittsburgh     Clinical  Terminology  for  International  and  U.S.  tumor   tumor   eye.  upright   disease   bone   pleurodynia   lipoma   oncology   optic  nerve   orthodontist   psychosis   ossification   4   .  vision   straight.

 Students   oto-­‐-­‐   oxi-­‐-­‐   ear   oxygen   otoscope   oxidation   P   -­‐-­‐paresis   -­‐-­‐pathy   -­‐-­‐pectoris   ped.  pes   -­‐-­‐penia   -­‐-­‐pepsia   per-­‐-­‐   peri-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐phagia   -­‐-­‐phasia   -­‐-­‐phlebo   -­‐-­‐phobia   photo-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐plasia   -­‐-­‐plasty   -­‐-­‐plegia   pleura/o   -­‐-­‐pnea   pneumo-­‐-­‐   post-­‐-­‐   presby-­‐-­‐   procto-­‐-­‐   psyc-­‐-­‐   pyo-­‐-­‐   pyro-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐rrhage   -­‐-­‐rrhaphy   -­‐-­‐rrhoea   sanguine   sarco-­‐-­‐   schiz-­‐-­‐   scler/o   scope   semi-­‐-­‐   somat/o-­‐-­‐   spondylo-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐stalsis   -­‐-­‐stasis/ic   weakness   disease   chest   foot   deficiency   stomach   through   around   eating.University  of  Pittsburgh     Clinical  Terminology  for  International  and  U.  swallowing   speech   blood.  vein   fear  of   light   growth   repair   paralysis   the  ribs   breathing   lung   after   old  age   rectum   mind   puss   fever   R   burst  forth   suturing   out  flowing   S   blood   muscle   split   hard   view   half   body   spine   contraction   stop   hemiparesis   neuropathy   pectoral  muscles   dorsalis  pedis   ostopenia   dyspepsia   percutaneous  insertion   periorbital  fracture   dysphagia   aphasia   phlebotomy   claustrophobia   photophobia   hyperplasia   rhinoplasty   quadriplegic   pleural  cavity   dyspnea   pneumothorax   postmortem   presbyopia   proctology   psychotropic  drug   pyogenic  bacteria   antipyretic  drug   hemorrhage   herniorrhaphy   diarrheal  stool   serosanguinous   sarcoma   schizophrenic  delusion   atherosclerotic  vessels   arthroscopic  knee  surgery   semiconscious  state   somatic  complaint   spondylodiscitis   peristalsis  of  the  intestine   hemostatic  agent   5   .S.

S.University  of  Pittsburgh     Clinical  Terminology  for  International  and  U.  front   bladder   internal  organs   unilateral   urinalysis   V   vasoconstriction   peripheral  venous  catheter   ventral  hernia   vesico-­‐vaginal  fissure   visceral  cavity   X   xero-­‐-­‐   dry   -­‐-­‐zyme   fermentation   xerostomia   Z     enzyme   6   .  Students   -­‐-­‐staxis   stoma-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐stomy   sub-­‐-­‐   super/ra-­‐-­‐   dripping   mouth   opening   beneath   above   epistaxis   stomatitis   colonostomy   subcutaneous   supra  ventricular  tachycardia   T   tachy—   tax   -­‐tension   tetan-­‐-­‐   therm-­‐-­‐   thorax-­‐-­‐   thrombo-­‐-­‐   trans-­‐-­‐   -­‐-­‐tripsy   -­‐-­‐trophy   tympan/o-­‐-­‐   Rapid   coordination   pressure   rigid   heat   upper  chest   blood  clot   across   crushing   development   eardrum   tachycardia     ataxia   hypertension   tetanus   thermometer   thoracotomy   deep  vein  thrombosis   transfusion   lithotripsy  for  kidney  stone   hypertrophy   tympanic  membrane   U   uni-­‐-­‐   uri/o-­‐-­‐   one   urine   vaso-­‐-­‐   ven-­‐-­‐   ventro-­‐-­‐   vesico-­‐-­‐   viscera-­‐-­‐   vessel   vein   belly.