Medical Abbreviations

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This page contains medical abbreviations that radiographers should be familiar with to enable interpretation of request forms.

Medical Abbreviations

0 Not Present OR No abnormality Also in superscript e.g. ……..o
+/- Uncertain/equivocal
+ Present or Noted
++ Present Significantly
+++ Present in Excess eg BMI +++
= Equivalent to

3 OK or satisfactory

A Ankle Jerk/Reflex Hitting the ankle with a patella hammer to test reflexes
AAA Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Dilatation of abdominal aorta
AAL Anterior Axillary Line Imaginary line drawn from the front arm pit down the chest wall
Ab Abortion
ABG Arterial Blood Gas "Sats" Blood test to see how much oxygen there is in the blood (percentage ‘saturation’ with oxygen)
ACD Acid Citrate Dextrose Anticoagulant solution
ACE Angiotensin Converting Enzyme
ACJ Acromio Clavicular Joint
ACL Anterior Clavicular Line or Anterior Cruciate Ligament An imaginary line down the front of the body from the inner end of the collarbone OR a ligament in the knee
ACTH Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
A.d As Directed
A&E Accident and Emergency
AE After Evacuation
A/E Air Entry to Lungs OR
Accident & Emergency

AF Atrial Fibrillation Irregular heart beat
AFM After Fatty meal
AFP Alpha Feto Protein
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
AIIS Anterior Inferior Iliac Spine
AI/R Aortic Incompetence/regurgitation Leaking heart valve.
ALL Acute Lymphatic Leukaemia
ALP Alkaline-Phosphatase
AM After Micturation
AML Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
AMNIO Amniocentesis
ANC Ante-Natal Clinic
ANT Anterior
AODM Adult Onset of Diabetes Mellitus
AP Anterior Posterior
APH Ante Partum Haemorrhage
AoR Aortic Valve Replacement AVR
ARDS Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome
ARF Acute Renal Failure
AS Abdominal System OR Aortic Stenosis Aortic Stenosis is a narrowed heart valve
ASAP As Soon As Possible
ASD Atrial Septal Defect
ASIS Anterior Superior Iliac Spine
ATB Antibiotic
ATN Acute Tubular Necrosis
AV Avascular Necrosis
AVF Arterial Venous Fistula
AVM Arterial Venous Malformation
AVR Atrial Valve Replacement
AXR Abdominal X-Ray

Ba Barium
BaE (BE) Barium Enema
BA Bowel Action
bd/bid Twice a Day
B Biceps Jerk/Reflex Hitting the arm with a patella hammer to test reflexes
BB Battered Baby
BBB Blood Brain Barrier
BCC Basal Cell Carcinoma Skin Cancer – Very Low Malignancy
BCDH Bilateral Congenital Dislocated Hips
BE (BaE) BariumEnema
BFR Bone Formation Rate
BIBA Brought in by Ambulance
BMI Body Mass Index A measure of body size relating to height and weight
B-mode Brightness Modulation (ultrasound)
BMT Bone Marrow Transplant
BNO Bowels Not Opened
BOR Bowels Open Regularly
BOP Base of Penis
BP Blood Pressure
BPd Diastolic Blood Pressure The lower blood pressure (heart relaxed)
BPD Bi-Parietal Diameter
BPH Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
BPs Systolic Blood Pressure The higher blood pressure (heart contracted)
BS Bowel Sounds
BSO Bilateral Salpingo Oopherectomy
BTD Biliary Tract Disease
Bx Biopsy

C Celsius
CA or Ca Carcinoma Cancer
CABG/S or CAG/S Coronary Artery (Bypass) Graft/Surgery Heart surgery to bypass blocked blood supply
Cal Calorie
Cas Casualty
CAT Computed Axial Tomography
CBD Common Bile Duct
CBE Complete Blood Examination
CBP Complete Blood Picture
CCF Congestive Cardiac Failure
CCK Cholecystokinin
CCU Coronary Care Unit
CDH Congenital Dislocated Hip
CFS Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Also called ME
CHD Congenital Heart Disease
CHI Closed Head Injury
CLL Colapsed Lower Lobe
Chronic Lymphatic Leukaemia

Cm Centimetre
CN Charge Nurse
CNC Clinical Nurse Consultant
CNS Central Nervous System
cnts Countss
c/o or C.o Complains of
CO Cardiac Output
COAD Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease Chronic lung disease
COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Chronic lung disease
CPR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Cr Creatinine
CRF Chronic Renal Failure
CRL Crown Rump Length
CRT Cathode Ray Tube
CS Caesarean Section
CSF Cerebro Spinal Fluid
CT or CAT Computerised Axial Tomography Body Scan
CVA Cerebrovascular Accident Stroke
CVD Cerebrovascular Disease
CVP Central Venous Pressure
CVS Cardiovascular System The heart and blood vessels
CX or Cx Cervix OR Cervical Spine Cervix is the neck of the womb
For example, Cx smear = Cervical smear
CXR Chest X-ray

D Dates
dB Decibel
D&C Dilatation and Cutettage
D/C Discharge
DCG Dacrocystogram
D/D Differential Diagnosis
D=E Dates=Exam
D>E Large For Dates
D<E Small for Dates
D+V Diarrhoea and Vomiting
D/H Drug History
DIP, PIP Distal/proximal interphalangeal joints Finger joints
DLE Discoid Lupus Erythematosus A connective tissue disorder
DNA Did Not Attend
DOA Dead on Arrival
DOB Date of Birth
DS Disseminated (Multiple) Sclerosis
DU Duodenal Ulcer
DUB Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding
DUI Driving under the Influence
DVT Deep Vein Thrombosis Blood clot
Dx Diagnosis
DXT Deep X-ray Treatment Radiotherapy

e Electron
EAM External Auditory Meatus Ear canal opening
ECG Electrocardiograph Electrical heart trace
ECT Electroconvulsive Therapy
ED Emergency Department
EF Ejection Fraction
EFW Estimated Fetal Weight
EMLA Local anaesthetic cream used before injections
EMU Early Morning Specimen of Urine
ENG Head engaged (Baby) Head of baby low in pelvis (in Womb)
ENT Ear, Nose & Throat
ERCP Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatogrophy
ES End Systole
E/S Emergency Service
ESR Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate A blood test for inflammation
ETOH Ethanol Alcohol
EUA Evaluate under Anaesthetic
EWS Early Warning Score

F Fhrenheight
FA Fetal Abnormality
FAC Family Advisory Clinic
FB Foreign Body
FBC Full Blood Count
FBE Full Blood Examination
FBG/S Fasting Blood Glucose/Sugar
FBL Faecal Blood Loss
FBP Full Blood Picture
FD Forceps Delivery
Fe Iron
FFD Focal Film Distance
F/H or FH Family History
Fetal heart

FHH/R Foetal Heart Heard/Regular Baby’s heartbeat in the womb
FI For Investigation
FOOSH Fall On Outstretched Hand
FOV Field of View
FROM Full Range of Movement
FSD Focal Source Distance
FSH Folilicle Stimulating Hormone
FT Follow Through
FTD Formal Thought Disorder Psychiatric disorder
FTND Full Term Normal Delivery
FTT Failure to Thrive
FUO Fever of Unknown origin

G Gravida
GA General Anaesthetic
GB Gallbladder
GCS Glasgow Coma Scale Consciousness state; score out of 15
GE Gastric Emptying
GFR Glomerular Filtration Rate
GI or GIT Gastro Intestinal / Tract To do with the intestines
GOR Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux
GORD Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease Back flow of stomach acid into the gullet
GSW Gun Shot Wound
GTT Glucose Tolerance Test
GU or GUT or GUS Genito Urinary / Tract / System Relating to kidneys, bladder & genitals
GU Gastric Ulcer
GUM Genito-Urinary Medicine For sexually transmitted diseases/infections
Gyn Gynaecology

H2O Water
H/A Head Ache
Hb Haemoglobin A measure of blood count (eg in Anaemia)
HBP High Blood Pressure
HC Head Circumference
Hct Haematocrit
HD Hepatic Duct
Hodgkins Disease

HDU High Dependency Unit
HF High Frequency
HH Hiatus Hernia Part of stomach displaced above diaphragm
HI Head Injury
HIV Human Immune Deficiency Virus
HMD Hyaline Membrane Disease
HNPU Has Not Passed Urine
HO or H/O History Of
HOP Head of Pancrease
HR Heart Rate
HRT Hormone Replacement Therapy
History of Radiotherapy

HS Heart Sounds
HSA Human Serum Albumin
HT Height

Hx History (of complaint)
Hz Hertz

I Iodine
IAM Internal Auditory Meatus
IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IC Iliac Crest
ICP Intra Cranial Pressure
ICU Intensive Care Unit
IDDM Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
IDK Internal Derangement of the Knee
IF Intrinsic Factors
IGT or IGTN In Growing Toenail
IH Infectious Hepatitis
IHD Ischaemic Heart Disease
II Image Intensifier
IM Intra Muscular
IMB Intermenstrual Bleeding Vaginal bleeding between periods
Inf Infection
IOFB Intra Occular Foreign Body
ISQ "In Status Quo" - Nothing has Changed
IUCD Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device
IUGR Intrauterine Growth Restriction
IUFD Intrauterine Fetal Demise
IUP Intrauterine Pregnancy
IV Intra Venous
IVC Inferior Vena Cava
Intra Venous Catheter

IVP Intravenous Pyelogram X-ray of kidneys using an injected dye
IVU Intravenous Urogram
Ix Investigations

JODM Juvenile Onset diabetes mellitus
JVP Jugular Venous Pressure Neck Vein – back pressure from the heart

K Knee Jerk / Reflex

Kg Kilogram
K nail Kintscher Nail
Km Kilometre
KUB Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder X-ray or ultrasound of renal track (IVP)
KV Kilo Volts
KVp Kilovolts Peak
K wire Kirschner wire

L Left
LA Local Anaesthetic
LAO Left Anterior Oblique
LAT Lateral
LB Large Bowel
LBD Light Beam Diaphragm
LBP Lower back Pain
LE Lower Extremeties
LFT Liver Function Test Blood tests for liver function
LH Luteinizing Hormone
LIF Left Iliac Fossa
Left groin
LIH Left Inguinal Hernia Hernia of left groin
LK Left Kidney
LKKS Liver, kidney, kidney, spleen Result of examination
LL Lower Limb
LLL Left Lower Lobe
LLQ Left Lower Quadrant
LLZ Left Lower Zone
LML Left Middle Lobe
LOC Loss of Consciousness
LMP Last Menstrual Period
LMZ Left Middle Zone
LN Lymph Node
LOC Loss of Consciousness
LP Lumbar puncture Needle inserted into the spine for diagnostic purposes
LPO Left Posterior Oblique
L/R/ IH Left or Right Inguinal Hernia Hernia of groins
LRTI Lower Respiratory Tract Infection
LS Lymph System
LSCS or LUSCS Lower (Uterine) Segment Caesarean section
LSJ Lumbo-Sacral Joint
LSU Left Side Up
Lt Left
LUL Left Upper Lobe
LUQ Left Upper Quadrant Left upper part of abdomen
LUZ Left Upper Zone
LV Left Ventricle
LVEF Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction
LVSD Left Ventricular Septal Defect
LVF Left Ventricular Failure

m Metre
mA Milli Amps
MA Mental Age
mAs Milli Ampere Seconds
Mane In the Morning
MBA Motor Bike Accident
MBC Maximum Breathing Capacity
M&C (S) Microscopy & Culture Sensitivity of Bacteria Of a sample e.g. urine
MC Metacarpals
MCA Motor Cycle Accident
Multiple Congenital Abnormalities
Middle Cerebral Artery

MCL Mid Clavicular Line An imaginary line down the body from the middle of the collarbone to the described area
MCP Metacarpophalangeal Joint
MCU Micturating Cysto Urethrogram
MCV Mean Corpuscular Volume A measure of the size of red blood cells
MD Mentally Deficient
ME Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Also called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
MET/S Metastases Cancer spread
Mhz Megahertz
MI Myocardial Infarction
Mitral Incompetence
Heart attack OR leaking heart valve (sometimes MR)
mitte or mite Dispense this number of tablets
ML Midline
mm millimetre
MMG Mammogram
MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging Body/Brain Scan
MS Multiple Sclerosis
Mitral Stenosis
Mitral Stenosis is a narrowed heart valve
MSS Musculo-Skeletal System
MSE Mental State Examination
MSU or MSSU Mid-Stream Urine Sample
MTP Metatarso-phalangeal Joint
MU Motor Unit
MVA Motor Vehicle Accident
MVR Mitral Valve Replacement

N Notch (Sternal)
Na Sodium
NAD Nothing Abnormality Detected
NAI Non accidental Injury (Silvermans Disease)
NaI Sodium Iodide
NBI No Bone Injury
NEC Necrotising Enterocolitis
NGT Nasogastric Tube
NHL Non Hodgkins Lymphoma
Nocte At Night
NOF Neck of Femur
NFR Not For Resuscitation
NNU Neonatal Unit
NPO Nil by Mouth
NSS Normal Shape and Size
NSVD Normal Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery
N&V Nausea & Vomiting

O2 Oxygen
OA Osteoarthritis ‘Wear & Tear’ Arthritis
Ob Obstetrics
OBL Oblique
OC/COC (Combined) Oral Contraceptive
OCP Oral Contraceptive Pill
OCT Orthotopic Cardiac Transplant Heart Transplant
o.d. Once a Day
O/E or o.e On Examination
OFD Object Film Distance
O&G Obstetrics and Gynaecology
OGD Oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy endoscopic examination of stomach and duodenum
on At Night
om In the Morning
OM (R/L) Otitis Media
Occipital Mental
Ear infection
OP Out Patient
OPG Orthopantomogram
OR Operating Room
ORIF Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (of fracture)
otc Over the counter (bought medication)

P Pulse

PA Postero-Anterior
Popliteal Artery
Popliteal Aneurysm

PC Post Cibum After a meal
PCB Post Coital Bleeding Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
PCC Post Coital Contraception "Morning after" pill
PCV Pack Cell Volume
PD Pancreatic Duct
Peritoneal Dialysis

PDA Patent Ductus Arteriosis
PE Pulmonary Embolism
Post Evacuation
Pleural Effusion
Blood clot on the lung
PEG Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy
PERLA Pupils equal and reacting to light and accommodation On examination of nervous system/eyes
PET Positron Emission Tomography
PFA Plain Film Abdomen Abdominal X-ray
PF(R) Peak Flow (Rate) Breathing test – speed of expiration
PH Past History
PHx Previous Medical History
PID Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc
Gynaecological infection
Slipped vertebral Disc
PIIS Posterior Inferior Iliac Spine
PIP Proximal Interphalangeal (Joint)
PKD Polycystic Kidney Disease
PM Post Mortem Examination
Post Micturation
Post Meridian

PMH also PHx Previous Medical History
PND Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnoea Short of breath at night
PNS Paranasal Sinuses
PO Per Orim By Mouth
POP Progesterone Only Pill
Plaster of Paris
Private Outpatient
PORT Portable X-Ray
PP Private Patient
Placenta Praevia

PPH Postpartum Haemorrhage
PPs Peripheral pulses Pulses felt for example in the feet, ankles etc…
PR Per Rectum Rectal examination
PPROM Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes
PROM Premature Rupture of Membrane
PSI Post Saline Injection
PSIS Posterior Superior Iliac Spine
PT Pregnancy Test
PTA Prior to Admission
PTB Pulmonary Tuberculosis
PTCA Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty Opening up the main arteries of the heart using a balloon inserted usually near the groin
PTH Parathyroid Hormone
PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTT Prothrombin Time
PU Peptic Ulcer
Passed urine
Per urethra
Peptic Ulcer – Stomach or Duodenal Ulcer
PUD Peptic Ulcer Disease
PUJ Pelviureteric Junction
PUO Pyrexia of Unknown Origin
PV Per Vagina
Portal Vein
Vaginal examination
PVD Peripheral Vascular Disease Arterial disease of the limbs
PYP Pyrophosphate

QA Quality Assurance
QC Quality Control
qds (or) qid Four times a day

R Right
R (R) Respiration (Rate) Rate of breathing in breaths per minute
RA Rheumatoid Arthritis
RAI Radioimmunoassay
RAO Right Anterior Oblique
RAS Renal Artery Stenosis
RBC Red Blood Cell
RCM Right Costal Margin
RDS Respiratory Distress Syndrome Difficulty in breathing – usually in premature babies
RF Renal Failure
RFT Renal (Kidney) Function tests OR
Respiratory Function tests

RHD Rheumatic Heart Disease
RIF Right Iliac Fossa Right lower abdomen
RIH Right Inguinal Hernia Hernia in right groin
RK Right Kidney
R/L Right/Left
RLL Right Lower Lobe
RLQ Right Lower Quadrant
RLZ Right Lower Zone
R/L HC Right/Left Hypochordrium Right/Left upper abdomen
R/LIF Right/Left Iliacfossa Right/Left groin
R/LOL or RLOP Right/Left occipito lateral / posterior Position of baby’s head in womb
RN Registered Nurse
R/O Rule Out
ROI Region of Interest
ROM Range of Movement
Rupture of Membranes

RPO Right Posterior Oblique
RS Respiratory System
RSI Repetitive Strain Injury Usually of wrist
RT Real Time
Radiation Therapy

RTA Road Traffic Accident Car smash
RUL Right Upper Lobe
RUQ Right Upper Quadrant Right upper abdomen
RUZ Right Upper Zone
RV Right Ventricle
RVF Right Ventricular Failure
Rx Prescription or Treatment Usually prescription

S Supinator (jerk /reflex) Hitting the am with a patella hammer to test reflexes
S Size
SAH Subarachnoid Haemorrhage
SB Spina Bifida
Small Bowel

SBA Subacute Bacterial Endocarditis
SBG Serum Blood Glucose Blood Sugar Level
SBO Small Bowel Obstruction
SCJ Sterno Clavicular Joint
SDH Subdural Haematoma
sec seconds
SEP Separation
SI Supero Inferior
SIJ Sacro Iliac Joint
Silvermans Disease Non Accidental Injury (NAI)
SLAP LesionSuperior Labrum Anteroposterior Tear
SLR Straight Leg Raise
SM Systolic Mumur
SMA Superior Mesenteric Artery
SMR Submucosal Resection Nasal operation
SMV Superior Mesenteric Vein
Submento Vertical

SOA Swelling of Ankle
SOB Short of Breath
SOL Space Occupying Lesion Tumour, usually of head
SOF Shaft of Femur
SOM Secretary Otitis Media Middle ear infection/glue ear
SOS In an Emergency
SSD Source Skin Distance
SR Sinus rhythm Normal heart beat
ST Soft Tissue
Stat Immediately
STD Sexually Transmitted Disease
STI Sexually Transmitted Infection
SV Stroke Volume
SVC Superior Vena Cava
SVD Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery Normal delivery
SVT Supra-Ventricular Tachycardia
Sx Symptoms
SXR Skull X-ray

T Triceps Jerk/Reflex
Hitting the arm with a patella hammer to test reflexes
T (usually with a circle with a dot in the centre) Trachea Central Breathing tube not displaced. If displaced, direction of displacement usually indicated by an arrow
TAB Therapeutic Abortion
TAH Total Abdominal Hysterectomy
TATT Tired all the Time
TB Tuberculosis
TCI To come in-date or fact that a person is due to be admitted to hospital
TD Tumour Dose
tds (or) tid Three Times a Day
TFTs Thyroid Function Test
TGC Time Gain Compensation
THR Total Hip Replacement
TIA Transient Ischaemic Attack Small, short lived stroke – often recurrent
TKR Total Knee Replacement
TLC Tender Loving Care Treat only with symptom relief and nursing care, usually meaning that this is all that is needed.
TM or Tm Tympanic Membrane Ear drum
TMJ Tempero Mandibular Joint
TOA Tubo-Ovarian Abscess
TOC Tightness of Chest
TOP Termination of Pregnancy
TPN Total Parental Nutrtion
Trauma Series Cervcal Spine, Chest and Pelvis Xray Frquently requested after major trauma
Ts & As Tonsilectomy and Adenoidectomy
TSH Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
TShR Total Shoulder Replacement
TTO/A To take home/away (medication)
TU(R)P Transurethral (resection) of Prostate Operation on the prostate gland carried out through the penis
TVH Total Vaginal Hysterectomy

U Umbilicus
UA Upper Abdomen
UBI Unknown Basal Insufficiency
UC Ulcerative Colitis
UE Upper Extremity
U&Es Urea and Electrolytes Blood test for kidney function
UL Upper Limb
UO Under Observation
UPJ Ureteropelvic Junction
UR (No) Unit Record (Number)
URTI Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
US or U/S Ultrasound
UT Urinary Tract
UTI Urinary Tract Infection
UVJ Ureterovesical Junction
UWSD Under Water Seal Drainage
UTWB Unable to Weight Bear

VA Vehicular Accident
VDH Valvular Disease of the Heart
VF Ventricular Fibrillation Rapid uncoordinated heart beat usually leading to collapse, and need for defibrillation
VP Ventriculo-Peritoneal (shunt)
VQ Ventilation / Pefusion (Lung Scan)
VSD Ventricular Septal Defect
V/S/TOP Vaginal suction termination of pregnancy
VT Ventricular Tachycardia Fast heart beat
VUJ Vesicoureteric Junction
VUR Vesicoureteric Reflux

WBBS Whole Body Bone Scan
WBC White Blood Cell
WCC White Cell Count
WOB Work of Breath
Wt Weight

X Xiphoid
Xe Xenon
XR X-Ray
XS Excess

Y Yttrium

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These abbreviations are based on a list from the [Royal College of General Practitioners] the professional membership body for family doctors in the UK and abroad.