CPC Practice Exam

Medical Terminology: Abbreviations 0-A

Medical abbreviations that begin with 0-A are listed here. Remember that capitalization and punctuation can alter meaning with these abbreviations - ab may not necessarily be synonomous to Ab or AB for that matter.

Medical Abbreviations
0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


  • Abbreviation: Δ
    Meaning: diagnosis; change
  • Abbreviation: ΔΔ
    Meaning: differential diagnosis (the list of possible diagnoses, and the effort to narrow that list)
  • Abbreviation: #
    Meaning: fracture
  • Abbreviation: #NOF
    Meaning: fracture to the neck of the femur
  • Abbreviation: ℞
    Meaning: (R with crossed tail) prescription
  • Abbreviation: Ψ
    Meaning: psychiatry
  • Abbreviation: Σ
    Meaning: sigmoidoscopy
  • medical terminology abbreviations gauzeroll
  • Abbreviation: x/12
    Meaning: x number of months
  • Abbreviation: x/40
    Meaning: x number of weeks of pregnancy
  • Abbreviation: x/52
    Meaning: x number of weeks
  • Abbreviation: x/7
    Meaning: x number of days
  • Abbreviation: 3TC
    Meaning: lamivudine
  • Abbreviation: 5-FU
    Meaning: 5-fluorouracil
  • Abbreviation: 5-HIAA
    Meaning: 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid
  • Abbreviation: 5-HT
    Meaning: 5-hydroxytryptamine, that is, serotonin
  • Abbreviation: 6MP
    Meaning: 6-mercaptopurine


  • Abbreviation: ā
    Meaning: (a with a bar over it) before (from Latin ante); artery
  • Abbreviation: A
    Meaning: adenosine; apical
  • Abbreviation: a.a.
    Meaning: of each (from Latin ana ana); amino acids:
    • A or Ala -- alanine
    • C or Cys -- cysteine
    • D or Asp -- aspartic acid
    • E or Glu -- glutamic acid
    • F or Phe -- phenylalanine
    • H or His -- histidine
    • I or Ile -- isoleucine
    • K or Lys -- lysine
    • L or Leu -- leucine
    • M or Met -- methionine
    • N or Asn -- asparagine
    • O or Pyl -- pyrrolysine
    • P or Pro -- proline
    • Q or Gln -- glutamine
    • R or Arg -- arginine
    • S or Ser -- serine
    • T or Thr -- threonine
    • U or Sec -- selenocysteine
    • V or Val -- valine
    • W or Trp -- tryptophan
    • Y or Tyr -- tyrosine
  • medical terminology abbreviations icepack
  • Abbreviation: A1C
    Meaning: glycosylated hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c)
  • Abbreviation: Aa.
    Meaning: arteria, see Artery
  • Abbreviation: AAA
    Meaning: abdominal aortic aneurysm (pronounced "triple-A")
  • Abbreviation: AAD
    Meaning: antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • Abbreviation: AAPMC
    Meaning: antibiotic-associated pseudomembranous colitis
  • Abbreviation: AAT
    Meaning: activity as tolerated; atypical antibody test
  • Abbreviation: AAL
    Meaning: anterior axillary line
  • Abbreviation: AAOx3
    Meaning: awake, alert, and oriented, times 3 (i.e., to person, place, and time)
  • Abbreviation: A/B
    Meaning: acid-base ratio
  • Abbreviation: ab
    Meaning: abdomen, abdominal; abortion
  • Abbreviation: Ab
    Meaning: antibody
  • Abbreviation: AB
    Meaning: abortion
  • Abbreviation: ABC
    Meaning: airway, breathing, circulation; aspiration biopsy cytology
  • Abbreviation: ABCD
    Meaning: airway, breathing, circulation, disability; asymmetry, borders, color, diameter (features on considering "Is it a malignant melanoma?"); ABCD rating (a staging system for prostate cancer)
  • Abbreviation: ABCs; ABCDs;ABCDEs
    Meaning: airway, breathing, circulation, etc. Refers to priority of needs in emergency situations. Exact spell-out and details after "C" vary by institution, but the "ABCs" theme is recurrent.
  • Abbreviation: Abd
    Meaning: abdomen; abdominal
  • Abbreviation: ABD
    Meaning: army battle dressing
  • Abbreviation: ABE
    Meaning: acute bacterial endocarditis
  • Abbreviation: ABG
    Meaning: arterial blood gas
  • Abbreviation: ABI
    Meaning: acquired brain injury; ankle brachial pressure index
  • Abbreviation: ABMT
    Meaning: autologous bone marrow transplantation
  • Abbreviation: Abn
    Meaning: abnormal
  • Abbreviation: ABO
    Meaning: Landsteiner's blood grouping system
  • Abbreviation: ABPA
    Meaning: allergic broncho-pulmonary aspergillosis
  • Abbreviation: ABPI
    Meaning: ankle brachial pressure index
  • Abbreviation: ABVD
    Meaning: Doxorubicin (adriamycin), bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine (first-line treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma)
  • Abbreviation: ABX
    Meaning: antibiotics
  • Abbreviation: a.c.; AC
    Meaning: before a meal (from Latin ante cibum)
  • Abbreviation: AC
    Meaning: abdominal circumference; assisted controlled ventilation
  • Abbreviation: ACB
    Meaning: aortocoronary bypass
  • Abbreviation: AC&BC
    Meaning: air conduction and bone conduction, as in Weber test
  • Abbreviation: Acc
    Meaning: accommodation (eye)
  • Abbreviation: ACCU
    Meaning: acute coronary care unit
  • Abbreviation: ACD
    Meaning: anemia of chronic disease
  • Abbreviation: ACDF
    Meaning: anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
  • Abbreviation: Ace
    Meaning: acetone
  • Abbreviation: ACE
    Meaning: angiotensin-converting enzyme
  • Abbreviation: ACEI
    Meaning: angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor(s)
  • Abbreviation: ACh
    Meaning: acetylcholine
  • Abbreviation: AChE
    Meaning: acetylcholine esterase
  • Abbreviation: ACL
    Meaning: anterior cruciate ligament
  • Abbreviation: ACLS
    Meaning: advanced cardiac life support
  • Abbreviation: ACS
    Meaning: altered conscious state; acute coronary syndrome
  • Abbreviation: ACTH
    Meaning: adrenocorticotropic hormone
  • Abbreviation: ACPO
    Meaning: acute colonic pseudo-obstruction
  • Abbreviation: ACU
    Meaning: ambulatory care unit
  • Abbreviation: ad.
    Meaning: right ear (from Latin auris dexter)
  • Abbreviation: AD
    Meaning: Alzheimer's disease; acute distress; right ear (from Latin auris dexter)
  • Abbreviation: ADA
    Meaning: adenosine deaminase
  • Abbreviation: ADC
    Meaning: AIDS dementia complex
  • Abbreviation: ADCC
    Meaning: antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity
  • Abbreviation: ADD
    Meaning: attention deficit disorder
  • Abbreviation: ADH
    Meaning: antidiuretic hormone
  • Abbreviation: ADHD
    Meaning: attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Abbreviation: ADHR
    Meaning: autosomal-dominant hypophosphatemic rickets
  • Abbreviation: ADLs
    Meaning: activities of daily living
  • Abbreviation: ad lib
    Meaning: as desired (from Latin ad libitum)
  • Abbreviation: adm
    Meaning: admission
  • Abbreviation: Adn
    Meaning: adnexae (for example, adnexae of the uterus)
  • Abbreviation: ADP
    Meaning: adenosine diphosphate
  • Abbreviation: ad part. dolent
    Meaning: to the painful parts (from Latin ad partes dolentes)
  • Abbreviation: ADR
    Meaning: adverse drug reaction
  • Abbreviation: AED
    Meaning: automated external defibrillator; antiepileptic drug(s)
  • Abbreviation: AEM
    Meaning: ambulatory electrocardiogram monitoring
  • Abbreviation: AF
    Meaning: atrial fibrillation; atrial flutter; amniotic fluid
  • Abbreviation: AF-AFP
    Meaning: amniotic fluid alpha fetoprotein
  • Abbreviation: AFB
    Meaning: acid-fast bacilli
  • Abbreviation: AFI
    Meaning: amniotic fluid index
  • medical terminology abbreviations
  • Abbreviation: AFib
    Meaning: atrial fibrillation
  • Abbreviation: AFL
    Meaning: atrial flutter
  • Abbreviation: AFNTR
    Meaning: acute febrile nonhemolytic transfusion reaction
  • Abbreviation: AFO
    Meaning: ankle-foot orthosis
  • Abbreviation: AFP
    Meaning: alpha-fetoprotein
  • Abbreviation: Ag
    Meaning: antigen
  • Abbreviation: AGA
    Meaning: anti-gliadin antibodies; appropriate gestational age (see birth weight)
  • Abbreviation: AGC
    Meaning: atypical glandular cells
  • Abbreviation: AGES criteria
    Meaning: age, grade, extent, size (for tumors)
  • Abbreviation: AGN
    Meaning: acute glomerulonephritis
  • Abbreviation: a.h.
    Meaning: every other hour (from Latin alternis horis)
  • Abbreviation: AHD
    Meaning: arteriosclerotic heart disease
  • Abbreviation: AHF
    Meaning: antihemophilic factor
  • Abbreviation: AHG
    Meaning: antihemophilic globulin
  • Abbreviation: AHH
    Meaning: aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase
  • Abbreviation: AHR
    Meaning: airway hyper-reactivity
  • Abbreviation: AHT
    Meaning: antihyaluronic acid test
  • Abbreviation: AI
    Meaning: artificial insemination; aortic insufficiency
  • Abbreviation: AICD
    Meaning: automated implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • Abbreviation: AID
    Meaning: artificial insemination by donor
  • Abbreviation: AIDS
    Meaning: acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Abbreviation: AIH
    Meaning: artificial insemination by husband
  • Abbreviation: AIHD
    Meaning: artificial insemination by pooled husband and donor semen
  • Abbreviation: AIPD
    Meaning: acute infectious and parasitical diseases; autoimmune progesterone dermatitis; acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Abbreviation: AIIRB
    Meaning: angiotensin II receptor antagonist
  • Abbreviation: AIN
    Meaning: allergic interstitial nephritis
  • Abbreviation: AIR
    Meaning: Anterior interval release
  • Abbreviation: AIS
    Meaning: adenocarcinoma in situ
  • Abbreviation: AK
    Meaning: acanthamoeba keratitis
  • Abbreviation: aka
    Meaning: also known as
  • Abbreviation: AKA
    Meaning: above-knee amputation; also known as
  • Abbreviation: ALA
    Meaning: aminolevulinic acid
  • Abbreviation: Alc
    Meaning: alcohol
  • Abbreviation: ALF
    Meaning: assisted living facility
  • Abbreviation: ALG
    Meaning: antilymphocytic globulin
  • Abbreviation: ALI
    Meaning: acute lung injury
  • Abbreviation: Alk phos
    Meaning: alkaline phosphatase (sometimes abbreviated as ALP)
  • Abbreviation: ALL
    Meaning: acute lymphoblastic leukemia; allergies
  • Abbreviation: ALP
    Meaning: alkaline phosphatase (sometimes abbreviated as Alk phos)
  • Abbreviation: ALPS
    Meaning: autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome
  • Abbreviation: ALS
    Meaning: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; advanced life support
  • Abbreviation: ALT
    Meaning: alanine transaminase
  • Abbreviation: altern. d.
    Meaning: every other day (from Latin alterno die)
  • Abbreviation: AMA
    Meaning: advanced maternal age (35 years or greater); against medical advice; antimitochondrial antibody; American Medical Association
  • Abbreviation: Amb
    Meaning: ambulate
  • Abbreviation: AMC
    Meaning: arthrogryposis multiplex congenita
  • Abbreviation: AMI
    Meaning: acute mesenteric ischemia; acute myocardial infarction
  • Abbreviation: AML
    Meaning: acute myeloid leukemia
  • Abbreviation: AMO
    Meaning: advanced medical optics
  • Abbreviation: AMP
    Meaning: adenosine monophosphate
  • Abbreviation: Amp
    Meaning: ampule; ampere
  • Abbreviation: AMPA receptor
    Meaning: alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor of the brain
  • Abbreviation: AMS
    Meaning: acute mountain sickness; atypical measles syndrome; Altered Mental Status
  • Abbreviation: Amt
    Meaning: amount
  • Abbreviation: ANA
    Meaning: antinuclear antibody
  • Abbreviation: ANCA
    Meaning: antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody
  • Abbreviation: ANDI
    Meaning: aberrations of normal development and involution (of breast)
  • Abbreviation: ANF
    Meaning: atrial natriuretic factor
  • Abbreviation: ANP
    Meaning: atrial natriuretic peptide
  • Abbreviation: ANS
    Meaning: autonomic nervous system
  • Abbreviation: Ant
    Meaning: anterior
  • Abbreviation: Anti-
    Meaning: refers to an antibody to the suffixed antigen
  • Abbreviation: ANTR
    Meaning: asymmetrical tonic neck reflex
  • Abbreviation: ANUG
    Meaning: acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis
  • Abbreviation: A&O
    Meaning: aware and oriented
  • Abbreviation: A&Ox3
    Meaning: alert and oriented, times 3 (to person, place, and time)
  • Abbreviation: A&Ox4
    Meaning: alert and oriented, times 4 (to person, place, time, and circumstances) (often used interchangeably with A&Ox3)
  • Abbreviation: AODM
    Meaning: adult-onset diabetes mellitus (now called diabetes mellitus type 2)
  • Abbreviation: AOM
    Meaning: acute otitis media
  • Abbreviation: a.p.
    Meaning: before a meal (from Latin ante prandium)
  • Abbreviation: AP
    Meaning: alkaline phosphatase; anteroposterior; angina pectoris
  • Abbreviation: A&P
    Meaning: auscultation and percussion
  • Abbreviation: APACHE II
    Meaning: Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II
  • Abbreviation: APAP
    Meaning: paracetamol (aka acetaminophen) (from its chemical name, N-acetyl-para-aminophenol); automatic positive airway pressure
  • Abbreviation: APC
    Meaning: atrial premature contraction; antigen-presenting cell; activated protein C
  • Abbreviation: APD
    Meaning: adult polycystic disease; automated peritoneal dialysis
  • Abbreviation: APKD
    Meaning: adult polycystic kidney disease
  • Abbreviation: APECED
    Meaning: autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy
  • Abbreviation: APGAR
    Meaning: appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, respiration - used to assess newborns
  • Abbreviation: APH
    Meaning: antepartum haemorrhage
  • Abbreviation: APLS
    Meaning: antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Abbreviation: APMPPE
    Meaning: acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy
  • Abbreviation: applic.
    Meaning: applicandus (Latin meaning "to be applied")
  • Abbreviation: appy
    Meaning: appendectomy
  • Abbreviation: APR
    Meaning: abdominoperineal resection
  • Abbreviation: APS
    Meaning: autoimmune polyendocrine/polyglandular syndrome; antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Abbreviation: APSAC
    Meaning: anisoylated plasminogen streptokinase activator complex
  • Abbreviation: aPTT
    Meaning: activated partial thromboplastin time
  • Abbreviation: aq.
    Meaning: water (from Latin aqua)
  • Abbreviation: aq. bull.
    Meaning: boiling water (from Latin aqua bulliens)
  • Abbreviation: aq. calid.
    Meaning: warm or hot water (from Latin aqua calida)
  • Abbreviation: aq. dist.
    Meaning: distilled water (from Latin aqua distillata)
  • Abbreviation: aq. gel.
    Meaning: cold water (from Latin aqua gelida)
  • Abbreviation: AR
    Meaning: aortic regurgitation; attributable risk
  • Abbreviation: ARB
    Meaning: angiotensin II receptor antagonist
  • Abbreviation: ARC
    Meaning: AIDS-related complex
  • Abbreviation: ARDS
    Meaning: acute (or adult) respiratory distress syndrome
  • Abbreviation: ARF
    Meaning: acute renal failure
  • Abbreviation: Arg
    Meaning: arginine
  • Abbreviation: ARM
    Meaning: artificial rupture of membranes (also abbreviated as AROM)
  • Abbreviation: ARMD
    Meaning: age-related macular degeneration
  • Abbreviation: AROM
    Meaning: active range of motion; artificial rupture of membranes
  • Abbreviation: ART
    Meaning: antiretroviral therapy; assuming room temperature (meaning the patient has passed away)
  • Abbreviation: ARVC
    Meaning: arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy
  • Abbreviation: ARVD
    Meaning: arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia
  • Abbreviation: AS
    Meaning: aortic stenosis; atherosclerosis
  • Abbreviation: ASA
    Meaning: acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin)
  • Abbreviation: ASAP
    Meaning: as soon as possible
  • Abbreviation: ASB
    Meaning: asymptomatic bacteriuria
  • Abbreviation: ASC
    Meaning: ambulatory surgery center; atypical squamous cells
  • Abbreviation: ASCA
    Meaning: anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies
  • Abbreviation: ASC-H
    Meaning: atypical squamous cells - cannot exclude HSIL
  • Abbreviation: ASCAD
    Meaning: arteriosclerotic coronary artery disease
  • Abbreviation: ASCUS; ASC-US
    Meaning: atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance
  • Abbreviation: ASCVD
    Meaning: arteriosclerotic vascular disease (arteriosclerosis)
  • Abbreviation: ASD
    Meaning: atrial septal defect
  • Abbreviation: ASGUS
    Meaning: atypical squamous glandular cells of undetermined significance
  • Abbreviation: ASH; ASHD
    Meaning: arteriosclerotic heart disease (coronary heart disease)
  • Abbreviation: ASIS
    Meaning: anterior superior iliac spine
  • Abbreviation: ASO
    Meaning: antistreptolysin-O
  • Abbreviation: ASOT
    Meaning: antistreptolysin-O titre
  • Abbreviation: ASPECTS
    Meaning: Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score
  • Abbreviation: Ass
    Meaning: assessment
  • Abbreviation: AST
    Meaning: aspartate transaminase
  • Abbreviation: ASX
    Meaning: asymptomatic
  • Abbreviation: A-T
    Meaning: ataxia-telangiectasia
  • Abbreviation: AT
    Meaning: antithrombin; angiotensin
  • Abbreviation: ATA
    Meaning: antitransglutaminase antibodies
  • Abbreviation: ATB
    Meaning: antibiotic
  • Abbreviation: ATCC
    Meaning: American Type Culture Collection
  • Abbreviation: ATG
    Meaning: antithymic globulin
  • Abbreviation: AT-III
    Meaning: antithrombin III
  • Abbreviation: ATN
    Meaning: acute tubular necrosis
  • Abbreviation: ATNR
    Meaning: asymmetrical tonic neck reflex
  • Abbreviation: ATP
    Meaning: acute thrombocytopenic purpura; adenosine triphosphate; antitachycardia pacing
  • Abbreviation: Atp
    Meaning: atapical
  • Abbreviation: ATRA
    Meaning: all-trans retinoic acid
  • Abbreviation: ATS
    Meaning: antitetanus serum, that is, antitetanus immunoglobulins
  • Abbreviation: AUC
    Meaning: area under the curve (pharmacology)
  • Abbreviation: aur.
    Meaning: ear (from Latin auris)
  • Abbreviation: aur. dextro.
    Meaning: to right ear (from Latin auris dextrae)
  • Abbreviation: aur. laev
    Meaning: to left ear (from Latin auris laevae)
  • Abbreviation: aurist.
    Meaning: ear drops (from Latin auristillae)
  • Abbreviation: AV
    Meaning: arteriovenous; atrioventricular
  • Abbreviation: AVM
    Meaning: arteriovenous malformation
  • Abbreviation: AVN
    Meaning: avascular necrosis
  • Abbreviation: AVR
    Meaning: aortic valve replacement
  • Abbreviation: A&W; A/W
    Meaning: alive and well
  • Abbreviation: Ax
    Meaning: axillary
  • Abbreviation: AXR
    Meaning: abdominal x-ray
  • Abbreviation: AZT
    Meaning: azithromycin|azidothymidine

Medical Abbreviations
0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Medical Coding

Medical coding is dependent upon a solid understanding of medical terminology.

To be successful and accurate medical coders must have a solid understanding of common medical terms for various reasons which include:

  • Reading and understanding medical dictation
  • Proper code look up and selection
  • Communicating with physicians, insurance companies, and other medical professionals
  • Understanding human anatomy
  • Appealing claim denials


Medical abbreviations are used all the time in hospitals, clinics and various health institutions.

Many of these abbreviations are well-known and in use outside medical settings, but different institutions can develop internal abbreviations that aren't generally recognized.

Medical abbreviations are used to save time when diagnosing and writing charts. We've tried to put together an exhaustive list of the ones that are in general use.

Consider Context

If you encounter an abbreviation that could have two or more conflicting meanings, consider the context.

This may seem obvious, but if you see the abbreviation af and you are coding notes from an OB/GYN, the physician is most likely referring to amniotic fluid and not atrial fibrillation as would be the case if the notes belonged to a cardiologist.

Abbreviation Example


The medical abbreviation A1C means glycosylated hemoglobin, or hemoglobin A1c.

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