Parents, family and friends who want to understand more about what happened to their child by reading ACD articles published in Medical Journals or autopsy reports may find it a daunting task due to the array of often confusing technical terms used in these documents.

The list of definitions below is far from comprehensive, but hopefully will provide clarification of some medical terms that are not readily available in most standard dictionaries. If you come across some other medical terms you don't understand, please send them to us and we will attempt to get a definition.

Acinar
pertaining to the acinus

Acinus (pulmonary definition)
that part of the airway consisting of the respiratory bronchiole and all of it’s branches

Alveolar
relating to a alveolus

Alveolus
a small cell, cavity, or socket

Anoxia
Absence or almost complete absence of oxygen from inspired gases, arterial blood or tissue

Apnea
absence of breathing

Calice
Plural of calix

Calix
One of the branches or recesses of the branches of the kidney into which the orifices of the malpighina renal pyramids project

Cryptorchidism
failure of one or both of the testicles to descend

Cyanosis
A dark bluish or purplish coloration of the skin and mucous membrane due to deficient oxygenation of the blood

Distal
situated away from the center of the body, or from the point of origin

Dysplasia
abnormal tissue development

Epithelial
relating to or consisting of epithelium

Epithelium
the purely cellular avascular layer covering all the free surfaces, cutaneous, mucous, and serous, including the glands and other structures derived therefrom

Hydronephrosis
dilation of the pelvis and calices of one or both of the kidneys resulting form obstruction to the flow of urine

Hypertrophy
general increase in bulk of a part or organ not due to tumor formation

Hypoxemia
Subnormal oxygenation of aterial blood, short of anoxia

Hypoxia
Decrease below normal levels of oxygen in inspired gases, arterial blood, or tissue, short of anoxia

Idiopathic
denoting a disease of unknown cause

Karyotype
the chromosome characteristics of the individual cell or of a cell line

Labile
unstable, unsteady, not fixed

Lumen
the space in the interior of a tubular structure, such as an artery or the intestines

Necropsy
same as autopsy

Neonate
newborn

Parenchyma
A distinguishing or specific cells of a gland or organ, contained in and supported by the connective tissue framework

Perfuse
to force blood or other fluid to flow from the artery to the vascular bed of a tissue or to flow through the lumen of a hollow structure

Perinatal
Occurring during, or pertaining to the periods before, during or after the time of birth. I.e., before delivery from the 28 th week of gestation through the first seven days after delivery

Perioral
around the mouth

Phenotype
The appearance resulting from the interaction of the genetic makeup of a person with the environment

Pleura
the serous membrane enveloping the lungs and lining the walls of the pleural cavity

Pleural
relating to the pleura

Pneumocytes
another name for an alveolar cell

Prostaglandin
Any of the class of physiologically active substances present in many tissues, with effects such as vasodilation, vasoconstriction, stimulation of intestinal or bronchial smooth muscle, uterine stimulation and antagonism to hormones influencing lipid metabolism

Pulmonary alveolus
one of the thin- walled saclike terminal dilations of the respiratory bronchioles, alveolar ducts, and alveolar sacs across which gas exchange occurs between alveolar air and the alveolar capillaries

Pulmonary hypertension
High blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. Normally, the pressure in the pulmonary arteries is low (compared to that in the aorta). Pulmonary hypertension can irrevocably damage the lungs

Sepsis
Presence of various puss -forming and other pathogenic organisms, or their toxins, in the blood or tissues

Septa
plural for septum

Septum
a thin wall dividing tow cavities or masses of softer tissue

Serous
relating to, containing, or producing serum or a substance having a watery consistency

Tachypnea
rapid breathing

Other Organizations that can provide support and advice for ACD

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