CPC Practice Exam

Medical Terminology: Abbreviations B-D

Medical abbreviations that begin with B-D 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
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  • Abbreviation: Bx
    Meaning: biopsy
  • Abbreviation: Ba
    Meaning: barium
  • Abbreviation: BAC
    Meaning: blood alcohol content
  • Abbreviation: BAL
    Meaning: bronchoalveolar lavage; British anti-Lewisite; blood alcohol level
  • Abbreviation: BAO
    Meaning: basic acid output
  • Abbreviation: BAT
    Meaning: brown adipose tissue
  • Abbreviation: BBA
    Meaning: bilateral breast augmentation
  • Abbreviation: BBB
    Meaning: blood–brain barrier
  • Abbreviation: BBB L
    Meaning: left bundle branch block
  • Abbreviation: BBB R
    Meaning: right bundle branch block
  • Abbreviation: BBT
    Meaning: basal body temperature
  • Abbreviation: BC
    Meaning: bone conduction; blood culture
  • Abbreviation: BCC
    Meaning: basal cell carcinoma; blind carbon copy
  • Abbreviation: BCG
    Meaning: bacille Calmette-Guerin (a tuberculosis vaccination)
  • Abbreviation: BCP
    Meaning: birth control pill
  • Abbreviation: BCX; BCx
    Meaning: blood culture
  • Abbreviation: BBMF
    Meaning: "bone break, me fix" (orthopedic consent form)
  • Abbreviation: BD
    Meaning: bipolar disorder; twice a day (from Latin bis in die)
  • Abbreviation: BDD
    Meaning: body dysmorphic disorder
  • Abbreviation: BDI
    Meaning: Beck Depression Inventory
  • Abbreviation: BE
    Meaning: barium enema; base excess
  • Abbreviation: BFP
    Meaning: bundle forming pilus
  • Abbreviation: BGAT
    Meaning: blood glucose awareness training (to help patients with diabetic hypoglycemia)
  • Abbreviation: BGL
    Meaning: blood glucose level
  • Abbreviation: BIB
    Meaning: brought in by
  • Abbreviation: BIBA
    Meaning: brought in by ambulance
  • Abbreviation: BID; bid; b.i.d.
    Meaning: twice a day (from Latin bis in die)
  • Abbreviation: Bilat eq
    Meaning: bilaterally equal
  • Abbreviation: BiPAP
    Meaning: bilevel positive airway pressure
  • Abbreviation: BiVAD
    Meaning: bilateral ventricular assist device (left and right)
  • Abbreviation: BK
    Meaning: bradykinin
  • Abbreviation: BKA
    Meaning: below-the-knee amputation
  • Abbreviation: bl.cult
    Meaning: blood culture
  • Abbreviation: bld
    Meaning: blood
  • Abbreviation: BLS
    Meaning: basic life support
  • Abbreviation: BM
    Meaning: bowel movement; bone marrow
  • Abbreviation: BMC
    Meaning: bone mineral content
  • Abbreviation: BMD
    Meaning: bone mineral density (also termed bone mass measurement)
  • Abbreviation: BMI
    Meaning: body mass index
  • Abbreviation: BMP
    Meaning: blood metabolic profile
  • Abbreviation: BMR
    Meaning: basal metabolic rate
  • Abbreviation: BMT
    Meaning: bone marrow transplantation
  • Abbreviation: BNO
    Meaning: bowel not open
  • Abbreviation: BNP
    Meaning: brain natriuretic peptide
  • Abbreviation: BO
    Meaning: bowel open
  • Abbreviation: B/O
    Meaning: because of
  • Abbreviation: BOA
    Meaning: born out of asepsis
  • Abbreviation: BOI
    Meaning: born on island (i.e., a local patient)
  • Abbreviation: BOM
    Meaning: bilateral otitis media
  • Abbreviation: BOOP
    Meaning: bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia
  • Abbreviation: BP
    Meaning: blood pressure; bipolar disorder; British Pharmacopoeia
  • Abbreviation: BPAD
    Meaning: bipolar affective disorder
  • Abbreviation: BPD
    Meaning: biparietal diameter; borderline personality disorder; bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Abbreviation: BPH
    Meaning: benign prostatic hyperplasia aka benign prostatic hypertrophy
  • Abbreviation: BPM
    Meaning: beats per minute
  • Abbreviation: BPP
    Meaning: biophysical profile
  • Abbreviation: BPPV
    Meaning: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • Abbreviation: BR
    Meaning: bedrest; bathroom
  • Abbreviation: BRA
    Meaning: bilateral renal agenesis
  • Abbreviation: BRAT
    Meaning: The BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, (dry) toast (helps digestion in some GI disorders)[citation needed]
  • Abbreviation: BRATY
    Meaning: another version of the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, (dry) toast, yogurt (helps digestion in some GI disorders)
  • Abbreviation: BRB
    Meaning: bright red blood (color is important as an indicator of source, for example in gastrointestinal bleeding)
  • Abbreviation: BRBPR
    Meaning: bright red blood per rectum
  • Abbreviation: BRCA1 (gene); BRCA1 (protein)
    Meaning: breast cancer 1 (a human gene and its protein)
  • Abbreviation: BRCA2 (gene); BRCA2 (protein)
    Meaning: breast cancer 2 (a human gene and its protein)
  • Abbreviation: BRP
    Meaning: bathroom privileges
  • Abbreviation: BS
    Meaning: breath; breath sound; bowel sounds on auscultation with stethoscope; blood sugar
  • Abbreviation: BSA
    Meaning: body surface area
  • Abbreviation: BSC
    Meaning: bedside commode
  • Abbreviation: BSE
    Meaning: bovine spongiform encephalopathy; breast self-examination
  • Abbreviation: BSL
    Meaning: blood sugar level
  • Abbreviation: BSO
    Meaning: bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
  • Abbreviation: BSP
    Meaning: bromsulphthalein
  • Abbreviation: BT
    Meaning: bleeding time
  • Abbreviation: BTL
    Meaning: bilateral tubal ligation
  • Abbreviation: BTP
    Meaning: breakthrough pain
  • Abbreviation: BUN
    Meaning: blood urea nitrogen
  • Abbreviation: BV
    Meaning: bacterial vaginosis
  • Abbreviation: BVP
    Meaning: biventricular pacing (see artificial pacemaker)
  • Abbreviation: BW
    Meaning: blood work (blood tests); birth weight
  • Abbreviation: Bx
    Meaning: biopsy
  • Abbreviation: BZDs
    Meaning: benzodiazepines


  • Abbreviation: c
    Meaning: (c with a bar over it) with (from Latin cum)
  • Abbreviation: C
    Meaning: cytosine; cervical vertebrae
  • Abbreviation: C1
    Meaning: atlas - first cervical vertebra of the spine
  • Abbreviation: C2
    Meaning: axis - second cervical vertebra of the spine
  • Abbreviation: C-section
    Meaning: cesarean section
  • Abbreviation: CA
    Meaning: carcinoma; cancer
  • Abbreviation: Ca
    Meaning: calcium; carcinoma; cancer
  • Abbreviation: CABG
    Meaning: coronary artery bypass graft surgery (pronounced "cabbage")
  • Abbreviation: CABP
    Meaning: coronary artery bypass procedure
  • Abbreviation: CAD
    Meaning: coronary artery disease
  • Abbreviation: CADASIL
    Meaning: cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy
  • Abbreviation: CAG
    Meaning: coronary artery graft; coronary angiography
  • Abbreviation: CAGS
    Meaning: coronary artery graft surgery
  • Abbreviation: cAMP
    Meaning: cyclic adenosine monophosphate
  • Abbreviation: CAH
    Meaning: chronic active hepatitis; congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Abbreviation: CALLA
    Meaning: common acute lymphocytic leukemia antigen
  • Abbreviation: CAP
    Meaning: community acquired pneumonia
  • Abbreviation: CAPD
    Meaning: continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis
  • Abbreviation: CAO
    Meaning: conscious alert and oriented
  • Abbreviation: CaOx
    Meaning: calcium oxalate
  • Abbreviation: Caps
    Meaning: capsule
  • Abbreviation: CAT / CT
    Meaning: computed axial tomography / computed tomography
  • Abbreviation: Cath
    Meaning: catheter
  • Abbreviation: CBC
    Meaning: complete blood count
  • Abbreviation: CBC/DIFF
    Meaning: complete blood count/differential
  • Abbreviation: CBD
    Meaning: common bile duct
  • Abbreviation: CBE
    Meaning: clinical breast exam
  • Abbreviation: CBS
    Meaning: chronic brain syndrome
  • Abbreviation: CC; cc
    Meaning: cubic centimeter (use mL instead); chief complaint; cardiac catheter; carbon copy
  • Abbreviation: CCCU
    Meaning: critical coronary care unit
  • Abbreviation: CCE; C/C/E
    Meaning: clubbing, cyanosis, and edema (general signs of cardiovascular disease)
  • Abbreviation: CCF
    Meaning: congestive cardiac failure
  • Abbreviation: CCK
    Meaning: cholecystokinin
  • Abbreviation: CCK-PZ
    Meaning: cholecystokinin-pancreozymin
  • Abbreviation: CCP
    Meaning: cyclic citrullinated peptide
  • Abbreviation: CCR
    Meaning: cardiocerebral resuscitation
  • Abbreviation: CCU
    Meaning: coronary care unit; critical care unit
  • Abbreviation: CD
    Meaning: Crohn's disease
  • Abbreviation: CDH
    Meaning: congenital dislocated hip
  • Abbreviation: CDI
    Meaning: central diabetes insipidus
  • Abbreviation: CDMR
    Meaning: cesarean delivery on maternal request
  • Abbreviation: CDP
    Meaning: cytosine diphosphate
  • Abbreviation: CEA
    Meaning: carcinoembryonic antigen; carotid endarterectomy; cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Abbreviation: CF
    Meaning: cystic fibrosis
  • Abbreviation: CFA
    Meaning: colonization factor antigen
  • Abbreviation: CFIDS
    Meaning: chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome
  • Abbreviation: CFR
    Meaning: case fatality rate
  • Abbreviation: CFS
    Meaning: chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Abbreviation: CFTR
    Meaning: cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator
  • Abbreviation: CFU
    Meaning: colony forming unit
  • Abbreviation: CGD
    Meaning: chronic granulomatous disease
  • Abbreviation: cGMP
    Meaning: cyclic guanosine monophosphate
  • Abbreviation: CGN
    Meaning: chronic glomerulonephritis
  • Abbreviation: CH
    Meaning: congenital hypothyroidism
  • Abbreviation: CHD
    Meaning: chronic heart disease; congenital heart disease
  • Abbreviation: ChE
    Meaning: cholinesterase
  • Abbreviation: CHEM-7
    Meaning: a group of blood tests, commonly called a basic metabolic panel (blood urea nitrogen, carbon dioxide, creatinine, glucose, serum chloride, serum potassium, serum sodium)
  • Abbreviation: CHEM-20
    Meaning: a group of blood tests (albumin, alkaline phosphatase, alanine transaminase, aspartate aminotransferase, blood urea nitrogen, calcium - serum, serum chloride, carbon dioxide, creatinine, direct bilirubin, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, glucose test, lactate dehydrogenase, phosphorus - serum, potassium test, serum sodium, total bilirubin, total cholesterol, total protein, uric acid)
  • Abbreviation: CHD
    Meaning: coronary heart disease
  • Abbreviation: CHE
    Meaning: cholinesterase
  • Abbreviation: CHF
    Meaning: congestive heart failure
  • Abbreviation: CHO
    Meaning: carbohydrate
  • Abbreviation: CHOP
    Meaning: cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin (a.k.a. hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine(a.k.a. Oncovin), prednisone (chemotherapy regimen)
  • Abbreviation: Chol
    Meaning: cholesterol
  • Abbreviation: CHS
    Meaning: cannulated hip screw
  • Abbreviation: CHT
    Meaning: congenital hypothyroidism
  • Abbreviation: CI
    Meaning: confidence interval; cardiac index
  • Abbreviation: CIB
    Meaning: cibus (food)
  • Abbreviation: CICU
    Meaning: cardiac intensive care unit
  • Abbreviation: CIDP
    Meaning: chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Abbreviation: CIN
    Meaning: cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Abbreviation: Circ
    Meaning: circumcision; circulation
  • Abbreviation: CIS
    Meaning: carcinoma in situ
  • Abbreviation: CJD
    Meaning: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Abbreviation: CK
    Meaning: creatine kinase; creatinine phosphokinase (formerly CPK)
  • Abbreviation: CKD
    Meaning: chronic kidney disease
  • Abbreviation: CKMB
    Meaning: MB isoenzyme of creatine kinase
  • Abbreviation: CLARE
    Meaning: contact lens acute red eye
  • Abbreviation: CLL
    Meaning: chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Abbreviation: CM
    Meaning: Chirurgiae Magister, Master of Surgery (British and Commonwealth countries medical degree)
  • Abbreviation: CM
    Meaning: Caucasian male
  • Abbreviation: CMD
    Meaning: cystic medial degeneration
  • Abbreviation: CME
    Meaning: continuing medical education
  • Abbreviation: CML
    Meaning: chronic myelogenous leukemia, also called chronic myeloid leukaemia
  • Abbreviation: CMML
    Meaning: chronic myelomonocytic leukemia
  • Abbreviation: CMP
    Meaning: complete metabolic profile; cytosine monophosphate
  • Abbreviation: CMS
    Meaning: chronic mountain sickness
  • Abbreviation: CMT
    Meaning: cervical motion tenderness
  • Abbreviation: CMV
    Meaning: cytomegalovirus
  • Abbreviation: CN
    Meaning: cranial nerves
  • Abbreviation: CNS
    Meaning: central nervous system; Crigler-Najjar syndrome
  • Abbreviation: C/O
    Meaning: complains of...
  • Abbreviation: CO
    Meaning: cardiac output; carbon monoxide; complains of...
  • Abbreviation: COAD
    Meaning: chronic obstructive airways disease
  • Abbreviation: COCP
    Meaning: combined oral contraceptive pill
  • Abbreviation: COH
    Meaning: controlled ovarian hyperstimulation
  • Abbreviation: COLD
    Meaning: chronic obstructive lung disease
  • Abbreviation: Comp
    Meaning: compound
  • Abbreviation: Conj
    Meaning: conjunctiva
  • Abbreviation: COP
    Meaning: cryptogenic organizing pneumonitis
  • Abbreviation: COPD
    Meaning: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Abbreviation: CO2
    Meaning: carbon dioxide
  • Abbreviation: COX-1
    Meaning: cyclooxygenase 1
  • Abbreviation: COX-2
    Meaning: cyclooxygenase 2
  • Abbreviation: COX-3
    Meaning: cyclooxygenase 3
  • Abbreviation: CP
    Meaning: cerebral palsy; chest pain
  • Abbreviation: CPAP
    Meaning: continuous positive airway pressure
  • Abbreviation: CPC
    Meaning: clinical pathological conference
  • Abbreviation: CPD
    Meaning: cephalopelvic disproportion
  • Abbreviation: CPE
    Meaning: Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin
  • Abbreviation: CPK
    Meaning: creatine phosphokinase
  • Abbreviation: CPKMB
    Meaning: creatine phosphokinase heart
  • Abbreviation: CPP
    Meaning: cerebral perfusion pressure
  • Abbreviation: CPPD
    Meaning: calcium pyrophosphate
  • Abbreviation: CPR
    Meaning: cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Abbreviation: CPT
    Meaning: Current Procedural Terminology
  • Abbreviation: CR
    Meaning: complete remission
  • Abbreviation: Cr
    Meaning: creatinine
  • Abbreviation: CrCl
    Meaning: creatinine clearance
    (Note: Looks similar to, but does not mean, the chromium chlorides—CrCl2, CrCl3, CrCl4)
  • Abbreviation: Creat
    Meaning: creatinine
  • Abbreviation: CREST
    Meaning: calcinosis, Raynaud esophagus, sclerosis, teleangiectasiae
  • Abbreviation: CRF
    Meaning: chronic renal failure; corticotropin-releasing factor
  • Abbreviation: CrGN
    Meaning: crescentic glomerulonephritis
  • Abbreviation: CRH
    Meaning: corticotropin-releasing hormone
  • Abbreviation: CRI
    Meaning: chronic renal insufficiency
  • Abbreviation: Crit
    Meaning: hematocrit
  • Abbreviation: CRL
    Meaning: crown to rump length
  • Abbreviation: CRP
    Meaning: C-reactive protein
  • Abbreviation: CRS
    Meaning: congenital rubella syndrome
  • Abbreviation: CRT
    Meaning: cardiac resynchronization therapy (artificial pacemaker)
  • Abbreviation: CS
    Meaning: Caesarean section; culture sensitivity; Churg-Strauss syndrome
  • Abbreviation: C/S
    Meaning: Caesarean section
  • Abbreviation: C&S
    Meaning: culture and sensitivity (antibiogram)
  • Abbreviation: C-spine
    Meaning: cervical spine
  • Abbreviation: CsA
    Meaning: cyclosporin A
  • Abbreviation: CSF
    Meaning: cerebrospinal fluid; colony stimulating factor
  • Abbreviation: CST
    Meaning: contraction stress test
  • Abbreviation: CT
    Meaning: computed tomography
  • Abbreviation: CTA
    Meaning: clear to auscultation; computed tomography angiography
  • Abbreviation: CTP
    Meaning: cytosine triphosphate; cytidine triphosphate; Child-Turcotte-Pugh score
  • Abbreviation: CTS
    Meaning: computed tomography scan; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Abbreviation: CTU
    Meaning: cancer treatment unit
  • Abbreviation: CTX
    Meaning: ceftriaxone (a third-generation cephalosporin antibiotic); contractions
  • Abbreviation: CUC
    Meaning: chronic ulcerative colitis
  • Abbreviation: CV
    Meaning: cardiovascular
  • Abbreviation: CVA
    Meaning: cerebrovascular accident; costovertebral angle
  • Abbreviation: CVAT
    Meaning: costovertebral angle tenderness
  • Abbreviation: CVC
    Meaning: central venous catheter; chronic venous congestion
  • Abbreviation: CVD
    Meaning: cardiovascular disease
  • Abbreviation: CVI
    Meaning: cerebrovascular incident
  • Abbreviation: CVP
    Meaning: central venous pressure
  • Abbreviation: CVS
    Meaning: chorionic villus sampling
  • Abbreviation: cardiovascular system
  • Abbreviation: CVID
    Meaning: common variable immunodeficiency
  • Abbreviation: c/w
    Meaning: consistent with
  • Abbreviation: CWP
    Meaning: coal worker's pneumoconiosis
  • Abbreviation: Cx
    Meaning: microbiological culture
  • Abbreviation: Cx
    Meaning: cervix
  • Abbreviation: CXR
    Meaning: chest x-ray


  • Abbreviation: DS
    Meaning: diagnosis
  • Abbreviation: D5
    Meaning: 5% dextrose
  • Abbreviation: D25
    Meaning: 25% dextrose injections
  • Abbreviation: D4T
    Meaning: stavudine
  • Abbreviation: D5W
    Meaning: 5% dextrose in water - IV fluids for intravenous therapy
  • Abbreviation: d
    Meaning: day(s)
  • Abbreviation: DA
    Meaning: dopamine
  • Abbreviation: DAEC
    Meaning: diffusely adherent Escherichia coli
  • Abbreviation: DAF
    Meaning: decay accelerating factor
  • Abbreviation: DAI
    Meaning: diffuse axonal injury
  • Abbreviation: DALY
    Meaning: disability-adjusted life year
  • Abbreviation: DBP
    Meaning: diastolic blood pressure
  • Abbreviation: DBS
    Meaning: deep brain stimulation
  • Abbreviation: D&C
    Meaning: dilatation and curettage
  • Abbreviation: D/C
    Meaning: discharge; discontinue
  • Abbreviation: D&E
    Meaning: dilation and evacuation
  • Abbreviation: DCBE
    Meaning: double contrast barium enema
  • Abbreviation: DCD
    Meaning: donation after cardiac death
  • Abbreviation: DCCV
    Meaning: direct current cardioversion
  • Abbreviation: DCIS
    Meaning: ductal carcinoma in situ
  • Abbreviation: DCM
    Meaning: dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Abbreviation: DD
    Meaning: differential diagnosis
  • Abbreviation: DDAVP
    Meaning: desmopressin acetate
  • Abbreviation: DDC
    Meaning: zalcitabine
  • Abbreviation: DDD
    Meaning: daily defined doses
  • Abbreviation: DDH
    Meaning: developmental hip dysplasia
  • Abbreviation: DDI
    Meaning: didanosine
  • Abbreviation: DDx
    Meaning: differential diagnosis
  • Abbreviation: D&E
    Meaning: dilatation and evacuation
  • Abbreviation: DES
    Meaning: diethylstilbestrol
  • Abbreviation: DEXA
    Meaning: Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry
  • Abbreviation: DH
    Meaning: developmental history
  • Abbreviation: DHE
    Meaning: dihydroergotamine
  • Abbreviation: DHEA-S
    Meaning: dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate
  • Abbreviation: DHF
    Meaning: decompensated heart failure
  • Abbreviation: DHR
    Meaning: dihydrorhodamine
  • Abbreviation: DHT
    Meaning: dihydrotestosterone
  • Abbreviation: DI
    Meaning: diabetes insipidus
  • Abbreviation: DIB
    Meaning: dead in bed; difficulty in breathing
  • Abbreviation: DIC
    Meaning: disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • Abbreviation: Di-Di
    Meaning: dichromatic diamnionic twins
  • Abbreviation: DIL
    Meaning: drug-induced lupus
  • Abbreviation: DILI
    Meaning: drug-induced liver injury
  • Abbreviation: DIP
    Meaning: distal interphalangeal joint
  • Abbreviation: DiPerTe
    Meaning: diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (combined vaccination)
  • Abbreviation: Dis
    Meaning: dislocation
  • Abbreviation: Disch
    Meaning: discharge
  • Abbreviation: DiTe
    Meaning: diphtheria-tetanus (combined vaccination)
  • Abbreviation: DIU
    Meaning: death in utero (stillbirth)
  • Abbreviation: DJD
    Meaning: degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis)
  • Abbreviation: DKA
    Meaning: diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Abbreviation: dl
    Meaning: deciliter
  • Abbreviation: dL
    Meaning: deciliter
  • Abbreviation: DLB
    Meaning: Lewy body dementia
  • Abbreviation: DLCO
    Meaning: diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide
  • Abbreviation: DLE
    Meaning: disseminated lupus erythematosus (systemic lupus erythematosus)
  • Abbreviation: DM
    Meaning: diabetes mellitus
  • Abbreviation: DMARD
    Meaning: disease-modifying antirheumatic drug
  • Abbreviation: DMD
    Meaning: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Dentariae Medicinae Doctor, (Doctor of Dental Medicine)
  • Abbreviation: DMPA
    Meaning: depot medroxyprogesterone acetate
  • Abbreviation: DMSA
    Meaning: dimercaptosuccinic acid
  • Abbreviation: DMT
    Meaning: dimethyltryptamine
  • Abbreviation: DNA
    Meaning: deoxyribonucleic acid
  • Abbreviation: DNI
    Meaning: do not intubate
  • Abbreviation: DNR
    Meaning: do not resuscitate
  • Abbreviation: DNAR
    Meaning: do not attempt resuscitation
  • Abbreviation: D/O
    Meaning: died of, disorder
  • Abbreviation: DOA
    Meaning: dead on arrival; drugs of abuse
  • Abbreviation: DOB
    Meaning: difficulty of breathing
  • Abbreviation: DOE
    Meaning: dyspnea on exertion
  • Abbreviation: DOL
    Meaning: day of life
  • Abbreviation: DOSS
    Meaning: docusate sodium; from the chemical name dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate
  • Abbreviation: DP
    Meaning: dorsalis pedis
  • Abbreviation: DPH
    Meaning: diphenylhydantoin
  • Abbreviation: DPL
    Meaning: diagnostic peritoneal lavage
  • Abbreviation: DPT
    Meaning: diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT vaccine)
  • Abbreviation: DRPLA
    Meaning: Dentatorubral-Pallidoluysian Atrophy
  • Abbreviation: DRT
    Meaning: dead right there
  • Abbreviation: DS
    Meaning: disease
  • Abbreviation: DS
    Meaning: Down syndrome (trisomy 21)
  • Abbreviation: DSA
    Meaning: digital subtraction angiography
  • Abbreviation: DSD
    Meaning: dry sterile dressing
  • Abbreviation: Dsg
    Meaning: dressing
  • Abbreviation: DSM
    Meaning: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Abbreviation: dsRNA
    Meaning: double-stranded RNA
  • Abbreviation: DT
    Meaning: diphtheria-tetanus (combined vaccination); delirium tremens
  • Abbreviation: DTA
    Meaning: descending thoracic aorta
  • Abbreviation: DTaP
    Meaning: diphtheria–tetanus–acellular pertussis (combined vaccination)
  • Abbreviation: DTP
    Meaning: diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (combined vaccination)
  • Abbreviation: DTR
    Meaning: deep tendon reflex
  • Abbreviation: DTs
    Meaning: delirium tremens
  • Abbreviation: DU
    Meaning: duodenal ulcer (see peptic ulcer)
  • Abbreviation: DUB
    Meaning: dysfunctional uterine bleeding
  • Abbreviation: DVT
    Meaning: deep vein thrombosis
  • Abbreviation: DW
    Meaning: dextrose in water
  • Abbreviation: D5W
    Meaning: 5% dextrose in water
  • Abbreviation: DX; Dx; dx
    Meaning: diagnosis
  • Abbreviation: DZ
    Meaning: disease

Medical Abbreviations
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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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