CPC Practice Exam

Medical Terminology: Abbreviations K-M

Medical abbreviations that begin with K-M are listed here.

Medical Abbreviations
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  • Abbreviation: K
    Meaning: potassium (from Latin kalium)
  • Abbreviation: KA
    Meaning: ketoacidosis
  • Abbreviation: Kcal
    Meaning: kilocalorie; calorie
  • Abbreviation: KCCT
    Meaning: kaolin cephalin clotting time (see Partial thromboplastin time)
  • Abbreviation: kg
    Meaning: kilogram
  • Abbreviation: KIV
    Meaning: keep in view
  • Abbreviation: KLS
    Meaning: kidney, liver, spleen
  • Abbreviation: KOH
    Meaning: potassium hydroxide
  • Abbreviation: KS
    Meaning: Kaposi's sarcoma; Kartagener syndrome
  • Abbreviation: KSHV
    Meaning: Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus
  • Abbreviation: KUB
    Meaning: kidneys, ureters, and bladder (x-ray)
  • Abbreviation: KVO
    Meaning: keep vein open (with slow infusion)


  • Abbreviation: L
    Meaning: leukocytes; lumbar vertebrae
  • Abbreviation: L&D
    Meaning: labor and delivery
  • Abbreviation: LA
    Meaning: lymphadenopathy; left atrium
  • Abbreviation: LAAM
    Meaning: L-alpha-acetylmethadol
  • Abbreviation: Lab
    Meaning: laboratory
  • Abbreviation: LABA
    Meaning: long acting beta agonist
  • Abbreviation: LABBB
    Meaning: left anterior bundle branch block
  • Abbreviation: LAD
    Meaning: left anterior descending (a coronary artery); leukocyte adhesion deficiency; left axis deviation (see electrocardiogram); lymphadenopathy
  • Abbreviation: LAE
    Meaning: left atrial enlargement
  • Abbreviation: LAH
    Meaning: left anterior hemiblock
  • Abbreviation: LAHB
    Meaning: left anterior hemiblock
  • Abbreviation: Lam
    Meaning: laminectomy
  • Abbreviation: LAP
    Meaning: leukocyte alkaline phosphatase
  • Abbreviation: Lap
    Meaning: laparotomy
  • Abbreviation: Lap appy
    Meaning: laparoscopic appendectomy
  • Abbreviation: LAR
    Meaning: low anterior resection
  • Abbreviation: LARP
    Meaning: left → anterior, right → posterior (path of the vagi as they wander from thorax to abdomen)
  • Abbreviation: LAS
    Meaning: lymphadenopathy syndrome
  • Abbreviation: Lat
    Meaning: lateral
  • Abbreviation: lb; LB
    Meaning: pound or pounds (mass)
  • Abbreviation: LBBB
    Meaning: left bundle branch block
  • Abbreviation: LBO
    Meaning: large bowel obstruction
  • Abbreviation: LBP
    Meaning: low back pain
  • Abbreviation: LBW
    Meaning: low birth weight
  • Abbreviation: LCA
    Meaning: left coronary artery
  • Abbreviation: LCHAD
    Meaning: long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase
  • Abbreviation: LCIS
    Meaning: lobular carcinoma in situ
  • Abbreviation: LCM
    Meaning: lymphocytic meningitis
  • Abbreviation: LCMV
    Meaning: lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus
  • Abbreviation: LCPD
    Meaning: Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease
  • Abbreviation: LCV
    Meaning: leukocytoclastic vasculitis
  • Abbreviation: LCX
    Meaning: left circumflex artery
  • Abbreviation: L&D
    Meaning: labor and delivery (see childbirth)
  • Abbreviation: LDH
    Meaning: lactate dehydrogenase
  • Abbreviation: LDL
    Meaning: low-density lipoprotein
  • Abbreviation: LDL-C
    Meaning: low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • Abbreviation: L-DOPA
    Meaning: levo-dihydroxyphenylalanine
  • Abbreviation: LEC
    Meaning: lupus erythematosus cell
  • Abbreviation: LEEP
    Meaning: loop electrical excision procedure
  • Abbreviation: LES
    Meaning: lower esophageal sphincter; lupus erythematosus systemicus
  • Abbreviation: LE
    Meaning: lupus erythematosus; lower extremity (human leg)
  • Abbreviation: leu
    Meaning: leukocytes
  • Abbreviation: LFT
    Meaning: liver function test
  • Abbreviation: LGA
    Meaning: large for gestational age
  • Abbreviation: LGL
    Meaning: Lown-Ganong-Levine syndrome
  • Abbreviation: LGM
    Meaning: lymphogranulomatosis maligna
  • Abbreviation: LGSIL
    Meaning: low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
  • Abbreviation: LGV
    Meaning: lymphogranuloma venereum
  • Abbreviation: LH
    Meaning: luteinizing hormone
  • Abbreviation: LHC
    Meaning: left heart catheterization
  • Abbreviation: LHRH
    Meaning: luteinizing hormone releasing hormone
  • Abbreviation: Lig
    Meaning: ligament
  • Abbreviation: LIH
    Meaning: left inguinal hernia
  • Abbreviation: LLD
    Meaning: leg length discrepancy
  • Abbreviation: LLE
    Meaning: left lower extremity
  • Abbreviation: LLETZ
    Meaning: large loop excision of the transformation zone
  • Abbreviation: LLL
    Meaning: left lower lobe
  • Abbreviation: LLQ
    Meaning: left lower quadrant
  • Abbreviation: LM
    Meaning: left main
  • Abbreviation: LMA
    Meaning: left mentoanterior (fetal position); laryngeal mask airway
  • Abbreviation: LMCA
    Meaning: left main coronary artery
  • Abbreviation: LMD
    Meaning: local medical doctor
  • Abbreviation: LMP
    Meaning: last menstrual period—first day of the menstrual period prior to conceiving, used to calculate expected date of delivery (EDD)
  • Abbreviation: LMWH
    Meaning: low molecular weight heparin
  • Abbreviation: LN
    Meaning: lymph node
  • Abbreviation: LNG
    Meaning: levonorgestrel
  • Abbreviation: LOA
    Meaning: left occipitoanterior (fetal position); lysis of adhesions
  • Abbreviation: LOC
    Meaning: loss of consciousness (see unconsciousness); level of consciousness (e.g., "altered LOC from head trauma")
  • Abbreviation: LOF
    Meaning: leakage of fluid
  • Abbreviation: LOL
    Meaning: little old lady (often LOL in NAD—see House of God)
  • Abbreviation: LOP
    Meaning: Left Occiput Posterior - Fetal position
  • Abbreviation: LORTA
    Meaning: loss of resistance to air (in anesthesiology; when placing epidural, LORTA indicates entrance of needle to epidural space)
  • Abbreviation: LOS
    Meaning: length of stay
  • Abbreviation: Lot
    Meaning: lotion; Left Occiput Transverse - Fetal position
  • Abbreviation: Lp
    Meaning: lipoprotein
  • Abbreviation: LP
    Meaning: lumbar puncture
  • Abbreviation: LPH
    Meaning: left posterior hemiblock (see heart block)
  • Abbreviation: LPL
    Meaning: lipoprotein lipase
  • Abbreviation: L/S
    Meaning: lecithin to sphingomyelin ratio
  • Abbreviation: LSB
    Meaning: left sternal border
  • Abbreviation: LSIL
    Meaning: low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
  • Abbreviation: LR
    Meaning: lactated Ringer's solution
  • Abbreviation: LRTI
    Meaning: lower respiratory tract infection
  • Abbreviation: LT
    Meaning: heat-labile enterotoxin
  • Abbreviation: LTAC
    Meaning: long-term acute care
  • Abbreviation: LTCS
    Meaning: low transverse cesarean section
  • Abbreviation: LUL
    Meaning: left upper lobe (of lung)
  • Abbreviation: LUQ
    Meaning: left upper quadrant (of abdomen)
  • Abbreviation: LUS
    Meaning: lower uterine segment
  • Abbreviation: LV
    Meaning: left ventricle
  • Abbreviation: LVAD
    Meaning: left ventricular assist device
  • Abbreviation: LVEDP
    Meaning: left ventricular end diastolic pressure
  • Abbreviation: LVEF
    Meaning: left ventricular ejection fraction
  • Abbreviation: LVF
    Meaning: left ventricular failure
  • Abbreviation: LVH
    Meaning: left ventricular hypertrophy
  • Abbreviation: LVOT
    Meaning: left ventricular outflow tract
  • Abbreviation: LWBS
    Meaning: left without being seen
  • Abbreviation: Lx of ch
    Meaning: laxative of choice
  • Abbreviation: Ly
    Meaning: lymphocytes
  • Abbreviation: lytes
    Meaning: electrolytes


  • Abbreviation: M
    Meaning: murmur (heart murmur)
  • Abbreviation: MAC
    Meaning: Mycobacterium avium complex
  • Abbreviation: MAE
    Meaning: moves all extremities
  • Abbreviation: MAHA
    Meaning: microangiopathic hemolytic anemia
  • Abbreviation: MAL
    Meaning: midaxillary line
  • Abbreviation: MALT
    Meaning: mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue
  • Abbreviation: MAOI
    Meaning: monoamine oxidase inhibitor
  • Abbreviation: Mφ
    Meaning: macrophage
  • Abbreviation: MAP
    Meaning: mean arterial pressure
  • Abbreviation: MARSA
    Meaning: methicillin- and aminoglycoside-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Abbreviation: MAS
    Meaning: Morgagni-Adams-Stokes syndrome; meconium aspiration syndrome
  • Abbreviation: MAST
    Meaning: Michigan alcohol screening test
  • Abbreviation: MAT
    Meaning: multifocal atrial tachycardia; microscopic agglutination test
  • Abbreviation: MBSS
    Meaning: modified barium swallow study
  • Abbreviation: MC
    Meaning: metacarpal bone
  • Abbreviation: MCD
    Meaning: minimal change disease
  • Abbreviation: MCP
    Meaning: metacarpophalangeal joint
  • Abbreviation: MCHC
    Meaning: mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration
  • Abbreviation: MCH
    Meaning: mean cell hemoglobin; mean corpuscular hemoglobin
  • Abbreviation: MC&S
    Meaning: microscopy, culture, and sensitivity (the investigation steps in processing microbiology samples)
  • Abbreviation: MCTD
    Meaning: mixed connective tissue disease
  • Abbreviation: MCV
    Meaning: mean corpuscular volume
  • Abbreviation: MDCT
    Meaning: multidetector row computerized tomography
  • Abbreviation: MDD
    Meaning: major depressive disorder
  • Abbreviation: MDE
    Meaning: major depressive episode
  • Abbreviation: MDI
    Meaning: metered dose inhaler
  • Abbreviation: MDS
    Meaning: myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Abbreviation: M/E
    Meaning: microscopic examination
  • Abbreviation: MEDLINE
    Meaning: Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  • Abbreviation: MEN
    Meaning: multiple endocrine neoplasia
  • Abbreviation: MeSH
    Meaning: Medical Subject Headings (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  • Abbreviation: MET
    Meaning: metabolic equivalent
  • Abbreviation: met
    Meaning: metastasis (pronounced like the word met; plural mets)
  • Abbreviation: MFM
    Meaning: maternal and fetal medicine
  • Abbreviation: Mg
    Meaning: magnesium
  • Abbreviation: MG
    Meaning: myasthenia gravis
  • Abbreviation: MGN
    Meaning: membranous glomerulonephritis
  • Abbreviation: MGUS
    Meaning: monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (unknown or uncertain may be substituted for undetermined)
  • Abbreviation: MHA-TP
    Meaning: microhemagglutination assay for T. pallidum
  • Abbreviation: MI
    Meaning: myocardial infarction
  • Abbreviation: MIC
    Meaning: minimum inhibitory concentration
  • Abbreviation: MICA
    Meaning: mental illness and chemical abuse; mentally ill chemical abuser
  • Abbreviation: MICU
    Meaning: mobile intensive care unit / medical intensive care unit
  • Abbreviation: MIF
    Meaning: Müllerian inhibitory factor
  • Abbreviation: MLC
    Meaning: mixed lymphocyte culture
  • Abbreviation: MLE
    Meaning: midline episiotomy
  • Abbreviation: MM
    Meaning: myeloid metaplasia
  • Abbreviation: M&M
    Meaning: morbidity and mortality
  • Abbreviation: MMFR
    Meaning: midmaximal flow rate
  • Abbreviation: MMI
    Meaning: maximum medical improvement
  • Abbreviation: MMK
    Meaning: Marshall-Marchetti-Kranz procedure
  • Abbreviation: MMPI
    Meaning: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
  • Abbreviation: MMSE
    Meaning: mini-mental state examination
  • Abbreviation: MN
    Meaning: membranous nephropathy
  • Abbreviation: MOB
    Meaning: mother of baby
  • Abbreviation: mod
    Meaning: moderate; modified
  • Abbreviation: MODY
    Meaning: maturity onset diabetes of the young
  • Abbreviation: Mo
    Meaning: monocytes
  • Abbreviation: MoM
    Meaning: multiples of the median
  • Abbreviation: MOM
    Meaning: milk of magnesia
  • Abbreviation: Mono-Di
    Meaning: Monochorionic-Diamniotic twins
  • Abbreviation: Mono-Mono
    Meaning: Monochorionic-Monoamniotic twins
  • Abbreviation: MOPP
    Meaning: mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone in combination (older treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma)
  • Abbreviation: MPA
    Meaning: medroxyprogesterone acetate
  • Abbreviation: MPD
    Meaning: Main Pancreatic Duct
  • Abbreviation: MPD(s)
    Meaning: myeloproliferative disease(s)
  • Abbreviation: MPGN
    Meaning: membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis
  • Abbreviation: MPO
    Meaning: myeloperoxidase
  • Abbreviation: MPV
    Meaning: mean platelet volume
  • Abbreviation: MR
    Meaning: medical representative; mental retardation; mitral regurgitation; modified release (compare Time Release Technology, medicine)
  • Abbreviation: MRA
    Meaning: magnetic resonance angiography
  • Abbreviation: MRCP
    Meaning: magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography
  • Abbreviation: MRG
    Meaning: murmurs, rubs, and gallops (see heart sounds)
  • Abbreviation: MRI
    Meaning: magnetic resonance imaging
  • Abbreviation: MRSA
    Meaning: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Abbreviation: MS
    Meaning: medical student (MS-1, MS-2, MS-3, MS-4); mental status (see mental status examination); mitral stenosis; multiple sclerosis
  • Abbreviation: MS-AFP
    Meaning: maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein
  • Abbreviation: MSE
    Meaning: mental status examination
  • Abbreviation: MSH
    Meaning: melanocyte-stimulating hormone
  • Abbreviation: MSK
    Meaning: medullary sponge kidney
  • Abbreviation: MSM
    Meaning: men who have sex with men
  • Abbreviation: MSU
    Meaning: midstream urine sample (used in testing for presence of urinary tract infections); monosodium urate
  • Abbreviation: MSUD
    Meaning: maple syrup urine disease
  • Abbreviation: MT
    Meaning: metatarsal bone
  • Abbreviation: MTBI
    Meaning: mild traumatic brain injury
  • Abbreviation: MTP
    Meaning: metatarsalphalangeal joint
  • Abbreviation: MTX
    Meaning: methotrexate
  • Abbreviation: MVA
    Meaning: motor vehicle accident
  • Abbreviation: MVC
    Meaning: motor vehicle crash
  • Abbreviation: MVo2
    Meaning: mixed venous oxygen concentration
  • Abbreviation: MVP
    Meaning: mitral valve prolapse
  • Abbreviation: MVPS
    Meaning: mitral valve prolapse syndrome
  • Abbreviation: MVR
    Meaning: mitral valve replacement

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, always consider the context.

This may seem obvious, but if you see the abbreviation HL it is usually apparent whether the physician referred to Hodgkin's lymphoma or the patient's hearing level.

Abbreviation Example


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

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