CPC Practice Exam

Medical Terminology: Abbreviations Q-S

Medical abbreviations that begin with Q-S are listed here.

Medical Abbreviations
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  • Abbreviation: Q
    Meaning: perfusion
  • Abbreviation: q
    Meaning: each, every (from Latin quaque)
  • Abbreviation: q.a.d.
    Meaning: every other day (from Latin quaque altera die)
  • Abbreviation: QALY
    Meaning: quality-adjusted life year
  • Abbreviation: q.AM
    Meaning: every day before noon (from Latin quaque die ante meridiem)
  • Abbreviation: q.d.s.
    Meaning: four times each day (from Latin quater die sumendus)
  • Abbreviation: q.h.
    Meaning: each hour (from Latin quaque hora)
  • Abbreviation: q.h.s.
    Meaning: every bedtime (from Latin quaque hora somni)
  • Abbreviation: q.i.d.
    Meaning: four times each day (from Latin quarter in die)
    (not deprecated, but consider using "four times a day" instead. See the do-not-use list)
  • Abbreviation: q.l.
    Meaning: as much as you like (from Latin quantum libet)
  • Abbreviation: q.m.t.
    Meaning: every month
  • Abbreviation: q.n.
    Meaning: every night
  • Abbreviation: QNS; q.n.s.
    Meaning: quantity not sufficient
  • Abbreviation: QOF
    Meaning: Quality and Outcomes Framework (system for payment of GPs in the UK National Health Service)
  • Abbreviation: q.o.h.
    Meaning: every other hour
  • Abbreviation: q.s.
    Meaning: as much as suffices (from Latin quantum satis or quantum sufficit)
  • Abbreviation: qt
    Meaning: quart
  • Abbreviation: q.v.
    Meaning: which see (from Latin quod vide); as much as you please (from Latin quantum vis)
  • Abbreviation: q.wk.
    Meaning: weekly


  • Abbreviation: RA
    Meaning: refractory anemia; rheumatoid arthritis; right atrium
  • Abbreviation: RAD
    Meaning: reflex anal dilatation; right axis deviation; reactive airway disease; radiation absorbed dose
  • Abbreviation: Rad hys
    Meaning: radical hysterectomy
  • Abbreviation: RAE
    Meaning: right atrial enlargement
  • medical terminology abbreviations band aid
  • Abbreviation: RAI
    Meaning: radioactive iodine
  • Abbreviation: RAIU
    Meaning: thyroid reactive iodine uptake
  • Abbreviation: RAPD
    Meaning: relative afferent pupillary defect
  • Abbreviation: RAS
    Meaning: renal artery stenosis
  • Abbreviation: RBBB
    Meaning: right bundle branch block
  • Abbreviation: RBC
    Meaning: red blood cells, red blood count
  • Abbreviation: RBE
    Meaning: relative biologic equivalent
  • Abbreviation: RBLM
    Meaning: recurrent benign lymphocytic meningitis
  • Abbreviation: RCA
    Meaning: right coronary artery
  • Abbreviation: RCC
    Meaning: renal cell carcinoma
  • Abbreviation: RCM
    Meaning: restrictive cardiomyopathy; right costal margin
  • Abbreviation: RCR
    Meaning: rotator cuff repair
  • Abbreviation: RCT
    Meaning: randomized controlled trial
  • Abbreviation: RD
    Meaning: retinal detachment
  • Abbreviation: RDS
    Meaning: respiratory distress syndrome (see also infant respiratory distress syndrome)
  • Abbreviation: RDW
    Meaning: red cell distribution width
  • Abbreviation: REM
    Meaning: rapid eye movement; roentgen equivalent man
  • Abbreviation: RF
    Meaning: rheumatoid factor; rheumatic fever
  • Abbreviation: RFLP
    Meaning: restriction fragment length polymorphism
  • Abbreviation: RFT
    Meaning: renal function test
  • Abbreviation: r/g/m
    Meaning: rubs/gallops/murmurs (see heart sounds)
  • Abbreviation: Rh
    Meaning: rhesus factor
  • Abbreviation: RHD
    Meaning: rheumatoid heart disease
  • Abbreviation: RhF
    Meaning: rheumatoid factor
  • Abbreviation: RIA
    Meaning: radioimmunoassay
  • Abbreviation: RIBA
    Meaning: radioimmunoblotting assay
  • Abbreviation: RICE
    Meaning: rest, ice, compression, and elevation (treatment for a soft tissue injury)
  • Abbreviation: RIF
    Meaning: rifampin
  • Abbreviation: RIMA
    Meaning: reversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase A
  • Abbreviation: RIND
    Meaning: reversible ischemic neurologic deficit
  • Abbreviation: RL
    Meaning: Ringer's lactate (that is, lactated Ringer's solution)
  • Abbreviation: RLE
    Meaning: right lower extremity
  • Abbreviation: RLL
    Meaning: right lower lobe (of lung)
  • Abbreviation: RLN
    Meaning: recurrent laryngeal nerve; regional lymph node
  • Abbreviation: RLQ
    Meaning: right lower quadrant (of abdomen)
  • Abbreviation: R&M
    Meaning: Routine + microscopic (General analysis of urine)
  • Abbreviation: RML
    Meaning: right middle lobe (of lung)
  • Abbreviation: RN
    Meaning: registered nurse
  • Abbreviation: RNA
    Meaning: ribonucleic acid
  • Abbreviation: RNP
    Meaning: ribonucleoprotein
  • Abbreviation: RNV
    Meaning: radionuclear ventriculography
  • Abbreviation: ROM
    Meaning: range of motion
  • Abbreviation: rupture of membranes
  • Abbreviation: R/O
    Meaning: rule out
  • Abbreviation: ROA
    Meaning: right occipital anterior (see childbirth)
  • Abbreviation: ROM
    Meaning: range of motion
  • Abbreviation: ROP
    Meaning: right occipital posterior (see childbirth); retinopathy of prematurity
  • Abbreviation: ROS
    Meaning: review of systems
  • Abbreviation: ROSC
    Meaning: return of spontaneous circulation
  • Abbreviation: RPGN
    Meaning: rapidly progressing glomerulonephritis
  • Abbreviation: RPR
    Meaning: rapid plasma reagin test
  • Abbreviation: RR
    Meaning: respiratory rate; blood pressure measured with a specific sphygmomanometer; relative risk
  • Abbreviation: RRR
    Meaning: regular rate and rhythm (see pulse)
  • Abbreviation: RS cell
    Meaning: Reed-Sternberg cell
  • Abbreviation: RSI
    Meaning: rapid sequence induction
  • Abbreviation: RSV
    Meaning: respiratory syncytial virus
  • Abbreviation: RT
    Meaning: respiratory therapy; reverse transcriptase
  • Abbreviation: RT-PCR
    Meaning: reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
  • Abbreviation: RTA
    Meaning: renal tubal acidosis
  • Abbreviation: RTC
    Meaning: return to clinic (appointment for outpatient for next medical examination)
  • Abbreviation: RTS
    Meaning: Revised Trauma Score
  • Abbreviation: RUE
    Meaning: right upper extremity
  • Abbreviation: RUL
    Meaning: right upper lobe (of lung)
  • Abbreviation: RUQ
    Meaning: right upper quadrant (see also regions of the abdomen)
  • Abbreviation: RV
    Meaning: residual volume; right ventricle
  • Abbreviation: RVAD
    Meaning: right ventricular assist device
  • Abbreviation: RVF
    Meaning: right ventricular failure
  • Abbreviation: RVH
    Meaning: right ventricular hypertrophy
  • Abbreviation: RVR
    Meaning: rapid ventricular rate (tachycardia)
  • Abbreviation: RVSP
    Meaning: right ventricular systolic pressure
  • Abbreviation: RVT
    Meaning: renal vein thrombosis
  • Abbreviation: Rx or ℞ or Rx
    Meaning: (R with crossed tail) medical prescription or prescription drug
  • Abbreviation: RXN
    Meaning: reaction


  • Abbreviation: s
    Meaning: without (s with a bar over it) (from Middle English sans, borrowed from Old French sans, Latin sine)
  • Abbreviation: S
    Meaning: sacrum
  • Abbreviation: Sx
    Meaning: symptoms
  • Abbreviation: S1
    Meaning: first heart sound
  • Abbreviation: S2
    Meaning: second heart sound
  • Abbreviation: S3
    Meaning: third heart sound
  • Abbreviation: S4
    Meaning: fourth heart sound
  • Abbreviation: S&O
    Meaning: salpingo-oophorectomy
  • Abbreviation: SA
    Meaning: sinoatrial node
  • Abbreviation: SAAG
    Meaning: serum-ascites albumin gradient
  • Abbreviation: SAB
    Meaning: staphylococcal bacteremia; spontaneous abortion (that is, miscarriage)
  • Abbreviation: SAH
    Meaning: subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Abbreviation: SAM
    Meaning: systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve
  • Abbreviation: SAN
    Meaning: sinoatrial node
  • Abbreviation: SAPS II
    Meaning: simplified acute physiology score
  • Abbreviation: SAPS III
    Meaning: simplified acute physiology score
  • Abbreviation: SARS
    Meaning: severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • Abbreviation: SB
    Meaning: small bowel (see small intestine)
  • Abbreviation: SBE
    Meaning: subacute bacterial endocarditis
  • Abbreviation: SBFT
    Meaning: small bowel follow through
  • Abbreviation: SBMA
    Meaning: Spinal Bulbar Muscular Atrophy
  • Abbreviation: SBO
    Meaning: small bowel obstruction
  • Abbreviation: SBP
    Meaning: systolic blood pressure; spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
  • Abbreviation: s.c.
    Meaning: subcutaneous (from Latin subcutis)
  • Abbreviation: SCA
    Meaning: Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Abbreviation: SCC
    Meaning: squamous cell carcinoma
  • Abbreviation: SCD
    Meaning: Sudden Cardiac Death; Sequential Compression Devices; Sickle Cell Disease
  • Abbreviation: SCLC
    Meaning: small cell lung cancer
  • Abbreviation: SCID
    Meaning: severe combined immunodeficiency
  • Abbreviation: SCIWORA
    Meaning: spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality
  • Abbreviation: scope
    Meaning: microscope or endoscope
  • Abbreviation: S.D.
    Meaning: subdermal
  • Abbreviation: SD; σ
    Meaning: standard deviation
  • Abbreviation: SDH
    Meaning: subdural hematoma
  • Abbreviation: SDTI
    Meaning: suspected deep tissue injury
  • Abbreviation: Sed
    Meaning: sedimentation (rate) (see erythrocyte sedimentation rate)
  • Abbreviation: SEE
    Meaning: syphilis elimination effort
  • Abbreviation: Segs
    Meaning: segmented cells
  • Abbreviation: SEM
    Meaning: systolic ejection murmur (see heart murmur)
  • Abbreviation: SERM
    Meaning: selective estrogen receptor modulator
  • Abbreviation: SERT
    Meaning: serotonin transporter
  • Abbreviation: SFA
    Meaning: superficial femoral artery; serum folic acid
  • Abbreviation: SGA
    Meaning: small for gestational age
  • Abbreviation: SG cath
    Meaning: Swan-Ganz catheter (see pulmonary artery catheter)
  • Abbreviation: SGOT
    Meaning: serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase
  • Abbreviation: SGPT
    Meaning: serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase
  • Abbreviation: SH
  • Abbreviation: SHx
    Meaning: social history (personal habits, living situation, job)
  • Abbreviation: SHBG
    Meaning: sex hormone-binding globulin
  • Abbreviation: shob
    Meaning: shortness of breath (see dyspnea)
  • Abbreviation: SHx
    Meaning: surgical history
  • Abbreviation: SI
    Meaning: International System of Units; suicidal ideation; seriously ill; sacroiliac (joint)
  • Abbreviation: SIADH
    Meaning: syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone
  • Abbreviation: SICU
    Meaning: surgical intensive care unit
  • Abbreviation: SIBO
    Meaning: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • Abbreviation: SIDS
    Meaning: sudden infant death syndrome
  • Abbreviation: SIL
    Meaning: squamous intraepithelial lesion
  • Abbreviation: SIMV
    Meaning: synchronized intermittent mechanical ventilation
  • Abbreviation: si op. sit
    Meaning: if needed (from Latin si opus sit)
  • Abbreviation: SIT
    Meaning: stress inoculation training (see posttraumatic stress disorder)
  • Abbreviation: SJS
    Meaning: Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Abbreviation: SK
    Meaning: streptokinase
  • Abbreviation: sl
    Meaning: sublingual
  • Abbreviation: SLE
    Meaning: systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Abbreviation: SLEV
    Meaning: St. Louis virus
  • Abbreviation: SLN
    Meaning: sentinel node biopsy
  • Abbreviation: SLR
    Meaning: straight leg raise (see Lasègue's sign)
  • Abbreviation: SLL
    Meaning: small lymphocytic lymphoma
  • Abbreviation: SLP
    Meaning: Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Abbreviation: SM
    Meaning: multiple sclerosis (from Latin sclerosis multiplex); submucosal
  • Abbreviation: SMA
    Meaning: sequential multiple analysis; superior mesenteric artery; spinal muscle atrophy
  • Abbreviation: SMA-6
    Meaning: six-channel serum multiple analysis
  • Abbreviation: SMA-7
    Meaning: serum metabolic assay
  • Abbreviation: SMS
    Meaning: senior medical student
  • Abbreviation: SMT
    Meaning: spinal manipulative therapy
  • Abbreviation: SMV
    Meaning: superior mesenteric vein
  • Abbreviation: SN
    Meaning: student nurse
  • Abbreviation: SNB
    Meaning: sentinel node biopsy (ductal carcinoma)
  • Abbreviation: SNP
    Meaning: sodium nitroprusside; single nucleotide polymorphism
  • Abbreviation: SNRI
    Meaning: serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor
  • Abbreviation: SNV
    Meaning: sin nombre virus (the most common type of hantavirus)
  • Abbreviation: SO
    Meaning: salpingo-oophoritis
  • Abbreviation: SOAP
    Meaning: subjective, objective, assessment, plan (how physicians’ notes may be organized)
  • Abbreviation: SOB
    Meaning: shortness of breath (see dyspnea)
  • Abbreviation: SOBOE
    Meaning: shortness of breath on exertion
  • Abbreviation: SOL
    Meaning: space occupying lesion
  • Abbreviation: Sol
    Meaning: solution
  • Abbreviation: SOOB
    Meaning: send out of bed
  • Abbreviation: SOS
    Meaning: if needed (from Latin si opus sit)
  • Abbreviation: SP; s/p
    Meaning: status post
  • Abbreviation: SPE
    Meaning: streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin
  • Abbreviation: Spec
    Meaning: specimen
  • Abbreviation: SPECT
    Meaning: single photon emission computed tomography
  • Abbreviation: SPEP
    Meaning: serum protein electrophoresis
  • Abbreviation: SPET
    Meaning: single photon emission tomography
  • Abbreviation: Sp. fl.
    Meaning: spinal fluid (see cerebrospinal fluid)
  • Abbreviation: Sp. gr.
    Meaning: specific gravity
  • Abbreviation: SQ; sq
    Meaning: subcutaneous
  • Abbreviation: SR
    Meaning: slow release (see also Time Release Technology (medicine))
  • Abbreviation: SROM
    Meaning: spontaneous rupture of membranes
  • Abbreviation: SRS
    Meaning: stereotactic radiotherapy
  • Abbreviation: SS
    Meaning: Hemoglobin SS (HbSS) (see in sickle-cell disease = SS disease); subserosal
  • Abbreviation: S/S
    Meaning: signs & symptoms
  • Abbreviation: SSC
    Meaning: secondary sex characteristics
  • Abbreviation: SSKI
    Meaning: potassium iodide solution
  • Abbreviation: SSPE
    Meaning: subacute sclerosing panencephalitis
  • Abbreviation: ssRNA
    Meaning: single-stranded RNA
  • Abbreviation: SSRI
    Meaning: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
  • Abbreviation: SSSS
    Meaning: staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome
  • Abbreviation: SSS
    Meaning: sick sinus syndrome
  • Abbreviation: ST
    Meaning: heat stable; speech therapy
  • Abbreviation: Staph.
    Meaning: Staphylococcus
  • Abbreviation: STD
    Meaning: sexually transmitted disease
  • Abbreviation: stat
    Meaning: immediately (from Latin statim)
  • Abbreviation: STEC
    Meaning: Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (another name for enterohemorrhagic E. coli)
  • Abbreviation: STEMI
    Meaning: ST elevation myocardial infarction
  • Abbreviation: STH
    Meaning: somatotropic hormone
  • Abbreviation: STI
    Meaning: sexually transmitted infection; soft tissue injury
  • Abbreviation: STNR
    Meaning: symmetrical tonic neck reflex
  • Abbreviation: STOP
    Meaning: Surgical termination of pregnancy (sometimes suction termination of pregnancy)
  • Abbreviation: Strep.; Strepto.
    Meaning: Streptococcus
  • Abbreviation: STS
    Meaning: serological test for syphilis
  • Abbreviation: Subq
    Meaning: subcutaneous
  • Abbreviation: Supp
    Meaning: suppository
  • Abbreviation: SUV
    Meaning: Standardized Uptake Value—when used in positron emission tomography (PET) cancer scans—any lesion seen on a scan with a SUV of more than 3 indicates metabolic activity
  • Abbreviation: SV
    Meaning: seminal vesicle; stroke volume
  • Abbreviation: SVC
    Meaning: superior vena cava
  • Abbreviation: SVD
    Meaning: spontaneous vaginal delivery; simple vertex delivery
  • Abbreviation: SVI
    Meaning: systemic viral infection
  • Abbreviation: SVN
    Meaning: small volume nebulizer
  • Abbreviation: SVR
    Meaning: systemic vascular resistance
  • Abbreviation: SVT
    Meaning: supraventricular tachycardia
  • Abbreviation: SW
    Meaning: Sturge-Weber syndrome
  • Abbreviation: Sx
    Meaning: surgery; symptoms
  • Abbreviation: SXA
    Meaning: single energy X-ray absorptiometer
  • Abbreviation: SXR
    Meaning: skull x-ray
  • Abbreviation: Sz
    Meaning: seizure

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.

Consider the abbreviation RR. In one context it's short for respiratory rate, while in another setting it stands for relative risk. You wouldn't want to confuse one with the other!

Abbreviation Example


The medical abbreviation S/S means signs and symptoms.

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