CPC Practice Exam

Medical Terminology: Suffixes

  • Suffix: -ad
    Meaning: Toward
    Example: Cephalad - toward the head medicalterminologysuffixesthermometer
  • Suffix: -algia
    Meaning: Pain
    Example: Cervicalgia - neck pain
  • Suffix: -asthenia
    Meaning: Weakness
    Example: Myasthenia - muscle weakness
  • Suffix: -blast
    Meaning: Immature, forming
    Example: Cytoblast - immature cell
  • Suffix: -cele
    Meaning: Hernia
    Example: Hydrocele - a collection of serous fluid in a sacculated cavity
  • Suffix: -cidal, -cide
    Meaning: Destroying, killing
    Example: Cytocide - an agent that is destructive to cells
  • Suffix: -clasis
    Breaking Example: Osteoclasis - intentional breaking of the bone
  • Suffix: -clast
    Meaning: Breaking instrument
    Example: Cranioclast - an obsolete instrument used for crushing the head of a demised fetus for extraction
  • Suffix: -crine
    Meaning: Secreting
    Example: Apocrine - gland that secretes hormones
  • Suffix: -crit
    Meaning: Separate
    Example: Hematocrit - percentage of volume of blood sample that is composed of cells
  • Suffix: -cyte
    Meaning: Cell
    Example: Leukocyte - white blood cell
  • Suffix: -cytosis
    Meaning: Condition of cells
    Example: Leukocytosis - condition of elevated white blood cells
  • Suffix: -derma
    Meaning: Skin
    Example: Leukoderma - an absence of pigment in the skin
  • Suffix: -desis
    Meaning: Binding
    Example: Pleurodesis - a fibrous adhesion between two layers of pleura
  • Suffix: -dynia
    Meaning: Pain
    Example: Gastrodynia - stomach ache
  • Suffix: -ectasia
    Meaning: Expansion, dilation
    Example: Angiectasia - dilation of a lymphatic or blood vessel
  • Suffix: -ectomy
    Meaning: Removal of
    Example: Splenectomy - removal of spleen
  • Suffix: -edema
    Meaning: Swelling
    Example: Myxedema - hypothyroid characterized by a hard swelling of subcutaneous tissue
  • Suffix: -ema
    Meaning: Condition
    Example: Emphysema - a condition of the lungs involving enlarged air space in connective tissue medicalterminologysuffixespillbottle
  • Suffix: -emesis
    Meaning: Vomiting
    Example: Hyperemesis - excessive vomiting
  • Suffix: - emia
    Meaning: Blood
    Example: Hypokalemia - abnormal low potassium in the blood
  • Suffix: -emic
    Meaning: Relating to blood
    Example: Hyperemic - denoting increased blood flow to a part or organ
  • Suffix: -esthesia
    Meaning: Sensation
    Example: Paresthesia - abnormal sensation, such a tingling
  • Suffix: -form
    Meaning: In the shape of
    Example: Chloroform - used as an inhalant to produce general anesthesia
  • Suffix: -gen
    Meaning: A substance or agent producing, coming to be
    Example: Oxygen - gaseous element essential to plant and animal life
  • Suffix: -genesis
    Meaning: Production of
    Example: Osteogenesis - the production of bone
  • Suffix: -genic
    Meaning: Producing
    Example: Cytogenic - forming or producing of cells
  • Suffix: -globin
    Meaning: Protein
    Example: Hemoglobin - protein of red blood cells
  • Suffix: -globulin
    Meaning: Protein
    Example: Gamma-globulin - a protein in the blood, ie. immunoglobulin
  • Suffix: -gram
    Meaning: A recording
    Example: Arthrogram - imaging of a joint by contrast material
  • Suffix: -graph
    Meaning: Recording instrument
    Example: Cardiograph - an instrument for graphically recording movements of the heart
  • Suffix: -graphy
    Meaning: Process of recording
    Example: Angiography - radiography of blood vessles by contrast agent
  • Suffix: -iasis
    Meaning: Pathological condition or state
    Example: Cholelithiasis - presence of stone in the gallbladder
  • Suffix: -ic
    Meaning: Pertaining to
    Example: Anemic - pertaining to the blood
  • Suffix: -ics
    Meaning: Treatment, practice, body of knowledge
    Example - Pediatric - a medical practice concerned with treatment of children
  • Suffix: -ism
    Meaning: Condition, disease, doctrine
    Example: Hypothyroidism - the condition of having an abnormally low producing thyroid
  • Suffix: -itis
    Meaning: Inflammation
    Example: Dermatitis - an inflammation of the skin
  • Suffix: -kinesia; -kinesis
    Meaning: Movement
    Example: Hyperkinesis - excessive muscular movement
  • Suffix: -lepsy
    Meaning: Condition of
    Example: Epilepsy - condition with having seizures
  • Suffix: -leptic
    Meaning: Having seizures
    Example: Epileptic - person with epilepsy medicalterminologysuffixeacewrap
  • Suffix: -logist
    Meaning: One who practices
    Example: Cardiologist - one who practices medicine of the heart
  • Suffix: -logy
    Meaning: Study, practice
    Example: Pathology - study of diseases
  • Suffix: -lysis
    Meaning: Destruction of
    Example: Paralysis - loss of power of voluntary movement
  • Suffix: -lytic
    Meaning: Destroying
    Example: Hemolytic - agent that is destructive to blood cells
  • Suffix: -malacia
    Meaning: Softening
    Example: Osteomalacia - gradual softening of bone
  • Suffix: -mania
    Meaning: Obsession
    Example: Pyromania - obsessive thoughts regarding fire
  • Suffix: -megaly
    Meaning: Enlargement
    Example: Cardiomegaly - abnormal enlargement of the heart
  • Suffix: -meter
    Meaning: Measuring device
    Example: Thermometer - used for measuring temperature
  • Suffix: -metry
    Meaning: Measurement
    Example: Oximetry - device used to measure oxygen saturation
  • Suffix: -oid
    Meaning: Like, resembling
    Example: Hemorrhoid - varicose condition of the external hemorrhoidal vein
  • Suffix: -oma
    Meaning: Tumor, neoplasm
    Example: Glioma - neoplasm of the brain
  • Suffix: -opia; -opsia
    Meaning: Vision
    Example: Diplopia - double vision
  • Suffix: -opsy
    Meaning: View of
    Example: Autopsy - examination of a dead body's organs
  • Suffix: -osis
    Meaning: Condition, state, process
    Example: Keratosis - any lesion on the skin marked by overgrowths from the horny layer
  • Suffix: -ostomy
    Meaning: Opening
    Example: Tracheostomy - surgical opening in the trachea medicalterminologysuffixesneedle
  • Suffix: -oxia
    Meaning: Oxygen
    Example: Hypoxia - abnormally low levels of oxygen prior to anoxia
  • Suffix: -para
    Meaning: Bearing
    Example: Primipara - woman who has given birth once
  • Suffix: -paresis
    Meaning: Slight paralysis
    Example: Hemiparesis - weakness effecting one side of the body
  • Suffix: -parous
    Meaning: Producing, bearing
    Meaning: Gemmiparous - reproducing by buds
  • Suffix: -pathy
    Meaning: Disease
    Example: Cardiopathy - any disease of the heart
  • Suffix: -penia
    Meaning: Deficiency
    Example: Thrombocytopenia - condition of low numbers of thrombocytes in the blood
  • Suffix: -pepsia
    Meaning: Digestion
    Example: Hyperpepsia - abnormally rapid digestion
  • Suffix: -pexy
    Meaning: Fixation, usually done surgically
    Example: Hysteropexy - fixation of a displaced uterus
  • Suffix: -phage; -phagia; -phagy
    Meaning: Eating, devouring
    Example: Macrophage - a cell that eats invaders
  • Suffix: -phasia
    Meaning: Speaking
    Example: Dysphasia - difficulty in swallowing
  • Suffix: -pheresis
    Meaning: Removal
    Example: Leukapheresis - removal of leukocytes from drawn blood
  • Suffix: -phil; -philia
    Meaning: Attraction, affinity for
    Example: Hemophilia - permanent tendency toward bleeding
  • Suffix: -phobia
    Meaning: Fear
    Example: Agoraphobia - irrational fear of the open or unfamiliar medicalterminologysuffixesgauzestack
  • Suffix: -phonia
    Meaning: Sound
    Example: Dysphonia - altered voice production
  • Suffix: -phoresis
    Meaning: Carrying
    Example: Diaphoresis - perspiration
  • Suffix: -phoria
    Meaning: Feeling, carrying
    Example: Adiaphoria - non-response to stimuli
  • Suffix: -phrenia
    Meaning: Of the mind
    Example: Hebephrenia - a disorganized type of schizophrenia
  • Suffix: -phthisis
    Meaning: Wasting away
    Example: Hemophthisis - anemia
  • Suffix: -phylaxis
    Meaning: Protection
    Example: Anaphylaxis - a sever reaction to an agent the body recognizes as an invader
  • Suffix: -physis
    Meaning: Growing
    Example: Epiphysis - part of a long bone distinct from and growing out of the shaft
  • Suffix: -plakia
    Meaning: Plaque
    Example: melanoplakia - colored patches on the mucous membrane
  • Suffix: -plasia
    Meaning: Formation
    Example: Hyperplasia - an increase of the normal number of cells in an organ
  • Suffix: -plasm
    Meaning: Formation
    Example: Cytoplasm - a substance of protoplasm in a cell
  • Suffix: -plastic
    Meaning: Forming
    Example: Neoplastic - containing a neoplasm or the characteristics of one
  • Suffix: -plasty
    Meaning: Surgical repair
    Example: Dermatoplasty - surgical repair of the skin
  • Suffix: -plegia
    Meaning: Paralysis
    Example: Paraplegia - paralysis of both lower extremities
  • Suffix: -plegic
    Meaning: One who is paralyzed
    Example: Paraplegic - one who has paraplegia
  • Suffix: -pnea
    Meaning: Breath
    Example: Dyspnea - difficult or abnormal breathing
  • Suffix: -poiesis
    Meaning: Formation
    Example: Thrombopoiesis - formation of thrombocytes
  • Suffix: -poietic
    Meaning: Forming
    Example: Erythropoietic - of the formation of red blood cells
  • Suffix: -poietin
    Meaning: One that forms
    Example: Erythropoietin - an acid that aids in the formation of red blood cells
  • Suffix: -porosis
    Meaning: Lessening in density
    Example: Osteoporosis - lessening if bone density
  • Suffix: -ptosis
    Meaning: Falling down, drooping
    Example: Nephroptosis - when the kidney sinks into the pelvis cavity
  • Suffix: -rrhage
    Meaning: Discharging heavily
    Example: Hemorrhage - to bleed heavily
  • Suffix: -rrhagia
    Meaning: Heavy discharge Example: Menorrhagia - Excessive menstrual bleeding
  • Suffix: -rrhaphy
    Meaning: Surgical suturing
    Example: Colorrhaphy - suture of the colon
  • Suffix: -rrhea
    Meaning: A flowing, a flux
    Example: Rhinorrhea - runny nose
  • Suffix: -rrhexis
    Meaning: Rupture
    Example: Angiorrhexis - ruptured blood vessel
  • Suffix: -schisis
    Meaning: Splitting internal body cavity
    Example: Spondyloschisis - failure of fusion of the vertebral arch in an embryo
  • Suffix: -scope
    Meaning: Instrument (especially one used for observing)
    Example: Laparoscope - a scope used for examining the peritoneal cavity
  • Suffix: -scopy
    Meaning; Use of an instrument for observing
    Example: Endoscopy - use of instruments to view an
  • Suffix: -somnia
    Meaning: Sleep
    Example: Hypersomnia - excessive day time sleep
  • Suffix: -spasm
    Meaning: Contraction
    Example: Myospasm - spastic contractions of the muscle
  • Suffix: -stalsis
    Meaning: Contraction
    Example: Retrostalsis - backward motion of the intestine
  • Suffix: -stasis
    Meaning: Stopping, constant
    Example: Cholestasis - a condition where bile flow from the liver is blocked
  • Suffix: -stat
    Meaning: Agent to maintain a state
    Example: Hemostat - an agent that arrests the blow of blood
  • Suffix: -static
    Meaning: Maintaining a state
    Example: Orthostatic - relating to an erect posture
  • Suffix: -stenosis
    Meaning: Narrowing
    Example: Aortic stenosis - a narrowing of the aortic valve
  • Suffix: -stomy
    Meaning: Opening
    Example: Gastrostomy - surgical opening in the stomach (usually for a feeding tube)
  • Suffix: -tome
    Meaning: Cutting instrument, segment
    Example: Dermatome - an instrument for making thin slices of the skin
  • Suffix: -tomy
    Meaning: Cutting operation
    Example: Craniotomy - surgical operation that removes a portion of the skull to access the brain
  • Suffix: -trophic
    Meaning: Nutritional
    Example: Hypotrophic - progressive degeneration of organs and tissue
  • Suffix: -trophy
    Meaning: Nutrition
    Example: Atrophy - a wasting away of the body medicalterminologysuffixesvials
  • Suffix: -tropia
    Meaning: Turning
    Example: Anatropia - deviation of the axis of one eye upward
  • Suffix: -tropic
    Meaning: Turning toward
    Example: Dexiotropic - twisting in a spiral fashion from left to right
  • Suffix: -tropy
    Meaning: Condition of turning toward
    Example: Neurotropy - affinity of certain contrasts mediums for nervous tissue
  • Suffix: -uria
    Meaning: Urine
    Example: Dysuria - painful or difficult urination
  • Suffix: -version
    Meaning: Turning
    Example: Retroversion - a turning backward

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


Suffixes are word parts that are conjoined with a root word.

Suffixes are placed at the end of the root word and end the medical term.

The main purpose of these word parts is to modify the existing explanation of a word without changing it.

Suffix Reference

In the AMA's CPT book there is two pages prior to the E/M section that contain commonly used medical terms.

These pages include full terms, prefixes, suffixes, and root words.

In addition to the medical terminology there are also anatomical illustrations that include body planes and directional terms.

Suffix Example


The root word cardio means heart. The suffix -ology means to study.

The word Cariology means the study of the heart.

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