One of the two
in the knee
that pass over each other to form a
cross. The ligaments form connections
knee joint and prevent
and overstraightening at the knee.
Damage to a large amount of
(usually as a result of a serious acci-
dent), w hich causes
damaged muscles release proteins into
the bloodstream, temporarily im pair-
ing kidney function. As a result, some
excreted in the
urine build up to toxic levels in the
drome may be fatal, but
the kidneys time to recover.
of muscles in the
wrist, fingers, and thumb in people who
walk with a crutch under the armpit.
Crutch palsy is due to pressure on the
supplying these muscles. It does
not occur if elbow crutches are used.
crying in infants
A normal response in babies to needs
thirst. Most healthy babies stop crying
when their needs are attended to. In a
few cases, persistent crying may be due
to a physical cause such as intolerance
of cow’s m ilk or an illness (such as an
ear or throat infection, or a viral fever).
A prefix meaning “ice cold” . It is used
of medical procedures that involve the
use of freezing or low temperatures.
The preservation of living cells or tissue
samples by freezing. The technique is
used to store human eggs for
in vitro fer-
and blood obtained from
people with rare blood groups.
The use of temperatures below freezing
to destroy tissue, or the use of cold
during surgical procedures to produce
between an instrument and an
area of body tissue.
scarring. It is used to treat cancerous
tumours in sites where heavy scarring
can block vital openings, such as in the
the liver, and the intestines. It
may be used in eye operations, for
It is also
commonly used for removing
skin cancers, and to treat
The use of cold or freezing tempera-
tures or substances in treatment. (See
A rare infectious disorder caused by
inhaling the fungus C
, w hich is found especially in soil
contaminated with pigeon faeces. The
most serious form that the infection
can take is
Another form of
infection causes growths in the lungs,
resulting in chest pain and a cough, or
on the skin, causing a rash of ulcers.
Most cases of cryptococcosis occur in
people with reduced immunity, such as
Cryptococcal meningitis is diagnosed
from a sample of spinal fluid. A com bi-
nation of the antifungal drugs
and flucytosine is usually pre-
treat the infection.
in w hich
infected need no treatment.
in w hich the opening
between the upper and lower eyelids is
absent. (See also
descend normally into the scrotum (see
A type of diarrhoeal infection caused
w hich may be spread from
person to person or be transmitted
from domestic animals to people. The
disease causes watery diarrhoea and
sometimes fever and abdominal pain. It
is most common in children but also
occurs in people with AIDS.
In most cases,
the only treatment needed. In people
however, the infection may be much
more severe. Such people may need to
be admitted to hospital for treatment
with intravenous fluids and
The abbreviation for
A noxious powder, also known as CS
gas or tear gas, that is used in aerosol
form as a means of riot control. CS
spray causes severe irritation of the
eyes, airways, and skin, and sometimes
nausea and vomiting. Its
short-lived, usually lasting for only a
A diagnostic technique in w hich the
combined use of a computer and a
sectional images of the body tissues.
A CT (computed tomography) scan-
ner is a machine that is shaped like a
patient’s body The machine contains
one or more X-ray sources and, on the
opposite side, some X-ray detectors.
w hich shows only a few levels of tissue
density, the X-ray detector can register
hundreds of levels of density. It sends
this information to a computer, w hich
processes the data and shows the results
as an image on a monitor. CT images
usually show the body as “slices” , in
w hich the different tissues can be seen
in detail. In some machines, this infor-
the area scanned.
CT scanning has revolutionized the
diagnosis and treatment of
and haemorrhages in the brain,
as well as
procedure is also used to locate and
show tumours, to investigate a wide
range of diseases, and to aid needle
in organs of the trunk.
Newer types of CT scanners use a
spiral technique: the scanner rotates
moved slowly forwards on a bed, caus-
ing the X-ray beams to follow a spiral
course. Images can be made of hollow
organs such as the colon (a procedure
known as “virtual colonoscopy”). For
lowed contrast media (chemicals that
are opaque to X-rays) may be used to
make certain tissues more easily visible.
scanning can be stored digitally or on
conventional X-ray film. (For details of
the procedure, see
Performing a CT scan