List of medical abbreviations: P

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Abbreviation Meaning
p after (from Latin post)
[letter p with a bar over it]
P parturition (total number of live births)
phosphorus
pulse
post
POSM plasma osmolality
PA posterior–anterior, posteroanterior
pulmonary artery
physician assistant
psoriatic arthritis
P&A percussion and auscultation
PAC premature atrial contraction
pulmonary artery catheter, pulmonary artery catheterisation
PAD peripheral artery disease (aka peripheral artery occlusive disease)
postadmission day (e.g. PAD 6 equals the sixth day of being in hospital)
peripheral airspace disease
PAF platelet activating factor
paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (meaning intermittent AF)
PAH pulmonary arterial hypertension
phenylalanine hydroxylase
PAI-1 plasminogen activator inhibitor 1
PAL posterior axillary line
PALS Pediatric Advanced Life Support (training program)
PAN polyarteritis nodosa
PAO peak acid output
PAOD peripheral artery occlusive disease
PAP Papanicolaou stain
positive airway pressure
pulmonary artery pressure (see pulmonary hypertension)
pulmonary alveolar proteinosis
Pap Papanicolaou test (pap smear)
PAPP-A pregnancy-associated plasma protein A
PARA I indicating a woman with one child (partus = birth)
PARA II indicating a woman with two children (partus = birth)
PAT paroxysmal atrial tachycardia
PBC primary biliary cirrhosis
PBX probiotics
PBF peripheral blood film
p.c. after food (from Latin post cibum)
after meals
PCA patient-controlled analgesia
PCa prostate cancer
PCD postconcussional disorder
primary ciliary dyskinesia
PCI percutaneous coronary intervention
PCIOL posterior chamber intraocular lens
PCL posterior cruciate ligament
PCN penicillin
PCNSL primary CNS (central nervous system) lymphoma
PCO polycystic ovary (see polycystic ovarian syndrome)
PCOS polycystic ovarian syndrome
PCP Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (now called Pneumocystis pneumonia)
primary care physician (also called primary care provider)
PCR patient care report
polymerase chain reaction
PCS post-concussion syndrome
PCT progesterone challenge test
PCV packed cell volume (see hematocrit)
polycythemia vera
PCWP pulmonary capillary wedge pressure
PD Parkinson's disease
peritoneal dialysis
physical diagnosis
personality disorder
program director
PDA patent ductus arteriosus
posterior descending artery
PDD premenstrual dysphoric disorder
PDE phosphodiesterase
PDGF platelet-derived growth factor
PDR Physicians' Desk Reference[(Profilarative Diabetic Retinopathy)]
PDT photodynamic therapy
PDVT postoperative deep-vein thrombosis
PE pulmonary embolism
pre-eclampsia
physical examination
PEA pulseless electrical activity
PEEP positive end expiratory pressure
PEF peak expiratory flow
PEFR peak expiratory flow rate
PEG percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy
PEM protein/energy malnutrition (aka Kwashiorkor)
pen penicillin (Best practice is to avoid drug name abbreviations)
PEP postexposure prophylaxis
PERRL pupils equal, round, reactive to light
PERLA pupils equal and reactive to light and accommodation
PERRLA pupils equal, round, reactive to light and accommodation
Per Vag per vagina
PET positron-emission tomography (cerebral metabolic scan)
PFO patent foramen ovale
PFT pulmonary function test (see spirometry)
PGCS Paediatric Glasgow Coma Scale
PH Pulmonary hypertension
Past history (see also medical history)
PHx past history (see also medical history)
PHN postherpetic neuralgia
PHP Partial Hospitalization Program
PHQ Patient Health Questionnaire
PHTLS prehospital trauma life support
PI present illness
PICC peripherally inserted central catheter
PID pelvic inflammatory disease
prolapsed intervertibral disc
PIG-A phosphatidyl inositol glycan A
PIH pregnancy induced hypertension
PIP proximal interphalangeal joint
PK protein kinase
PKA protein kinase A
PKD polycystic kidney disease
PKU phenylketonuria (PKU card—see Guthrie test)
PLAT tissue plasminogen activator
PLIF posterior lumbar interbody fusion (a type of spinal fusion)
PLT platelets
PM post meridiem (in the afternoon)
PMB post-menopausal bleeding (bleeding after menopause)
PMD primary medical doctor
PMDD premenstrual dysphoric disorder
PMH past medical history (see also medical history)
perimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage
PMI point of maximal impulse or apical beat
point of maximal intensity
PML polyoma virus
progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
PMP Pseudomyxoma peritonei
PMN polymorphonuclear leukocytes, that is, neutrophils
PMR percutaneous myocardial revascularization
polymyalgia rheumatica
proportionate mortality rate
PM&R physical medicine and rehabilitation
PMS premenstrual syndrome
PNA pneumonia
PND paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
postnasal drip
PNH paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
PNM perinatal mortality
PNV Prenatal vitamin
PO by mouth, that is, orally (from Latin per os)
POA (Health Care) Power of Attorney
POC postoperative care
products of conception
Plan of Care
POD postoperative days
poly polymorphonuclear cells, that is, neutrophils
POP pain on palpation
Post posterior (see anatomical terms of location)
POT plan of treatment
POX peroxidase
PP pulse pressure
postpartum, that is, postnatal
PPCS prolonged post-concussion syndrome
PPD packs per day (cigarettes)
postpartum depression, that is, postnatal depression
purified protein derivative or Mantoux test, for tuberculosis testing
PPH postpartum haemorrhage
primary pulmonary hypertension
procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids
PPI proton pump inhibitor
PPROM preterm premature rupture of membranes
PPS post-polio syndrome
Ppt precipitate
precipitating
PPTCT prevention of parent-to-child transmission [of HIV] (government of India initiative)
PPTL postpartum tubal ligation
PPV positive predictive value
PPx prophylaxis
PR prothrombin ratio
p.r. per rectum (as noun: rectal examination)
PRA plasma renin activity
PRBC
PRBCs
packed red blood cells
Preme premature infant (see premature birth)
Prep preparation
PRIND prolonged reversible ischemic neurologic deficit
PRL prolactin
prn
PRN
as necessary (from Latin pro re nata) (if used in chronic pain control, sometimes disparagingly termed "pain relief nil")
as needed
Prog prognosis
PROM premature rupture of membranes
PRP panretinal photocoagulation
progressive rubella panencephalitis
PRV polycythemia rubra vera (see polycythemia vera)
PSA prostate-specific antigen
PSC Primary sclerosing cholangitis
PSGN poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis
PSH psychosocial history
Past medical history (see also medical history)
PSI Pneumonia severity index
PSP phenylsulphtalein
PSS progressive systemic sclerosis (see scleroderma)
PT prothrombin time
physical therapy (physiotherapy)
Pt. patient (from Latin patiens, meaning “one who endures” or “one who suffers”)
PTA percutaneous transluminal angioplasty
post-traumatic amnesia
prior to admission
PTB pulmonary tuberculosis
PTC percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography
PTCA percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
PTD prior to discharge
preterm delivery
PTH parathyroid hormone
PTHC percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography
PTL preterm labor
PTSD posttraumatic stress disorder
PTSS posttraumatic stress syndrome (see posttraumatic stress disorder)
PTT partial thromboplastin time
PTU propylthiouracil
PTx pneumothorax
PUS palindromic units
PUBS percutaneous umbilical blood sample
PUD peptic ulcer disease
PUO pyrexia of unknown origin
PUVA psoralen UV A (photochemical ultraviolet light A waves)
p.v. per vagina (as noun: vaginal examination with manual examination and speculum inspection)
PVC (VPC) premature ventricular contraction
PVD peripheral vascular disease
PVFS post-viral fatigue syndrome
PVR pulmonary vascular resistance
PVS persistent vegetative state
pulmonary valve stenosis
Plummer-Vinson syndrome
PWP pulmonary wedge pressure
Px
px
physical examination
Px prognosis
P-Y pack-years (years of smoking multiplied by average number of packs, or fraction thereof, per day)
PZA pyrazinamide