List of medical abbreviations: A

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Abbreviation Meaning
ā (a with a bar over it) before (from Latin ante)
A assessment
a.a. of each (from Latin ana ana)
amino acids:
A1C glycated hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c)
Aa. arteria, see Artery
Aag abdominal aortic aneurysm (pronounced "triple-A")
AAD antibiotic-associated diarrhea
AAI acute arterial insufficiency
AAPMC antibiotic-associated pseudomembranous colitis
AAT activity as tolerated
atypical antibody test
AAL anterior axillary line
AAOx3 awake, alert, and oriented, times 3 (i.e., to person, place, and time)
AAOx4 awake, alert, and oriented, times 3 (i.e., to person, place, time, and event)
A/B acid-base ratio
ab abdomen, abdominal
Ab antibody
AB abortion, AB (blood type)
ABC airway, breathing, circulation
aspiration biopsy cytology
ABCD airway, breathing, circulation, disability
asymmetry, borders, color, diameter (features on considering "Is it a malignant melanoma?")
ABCD rating (a staging system for prostate cancer)
airway, breathing, circulation, etc. Refers to priority of needs in emergency situations. Exact spell-out and details after "C" vary by institution, but the "ABCs" theme is recurrent.
Abd abdomen
ABD [abdominal
ABE acute bacterial endocarditis
ABG arterial blood gas
ABI acquired brain injury
ankle brachial pressure index
ABLA Acute Blood Loss Anemia
ABMT autologous bone marrow transplantation
Abn abnormal
ABO Landsteiner's blood grouping system
ABPA allergic broncho-pulmonary aspergillosis
ABPI ankle brachial pressure index
ABT antibiotic therapy
ABVD Doxorubicin (adriamycin), bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine (first-line treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma)
ABX antibiotics
before a meal (from Latin ante cibum)
AC abdominal circumference
assisted controlled ventilation
acromioclavicular joint
antecubital fossa
ACA acinic cell carcinoma
Affordable Care Act

Anterior cerebral artery

ACB aortocoronary bypass
AC&BC air conduction and bone conduction, as in Weber test
Acc accommodation (eye)
ACCU acute coronary care unit
ACD anemia of chronic disease
ACD allergic contact dermatitis
ACDF anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
Ace acetone
ACE angiotensin-converting enzyme
ACEI angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor(s)
ACh acetylcholine
AChE acetylcholine esterase
ACL anterior cruciate ligament
ACLS advanced cardiac life support
ACS altered conscious state
acute coronary syndrome
acute chest syndrome
ACTH adrenocorticotropic hormone
ACP Advance care planning
Advanced Clinical Practitioner
ACPO acute colonic pseudo-obstruction
ACU ambulatory care unit
ad. right ear (from Latin auris dexter)
AD Alzheimer's disease
acute distress
Aortic dissection
right ear (from Latin auris dexter)
as directed
ADA adenosine deaminase
American Dental Association
American Diabetes Association; e.g., "ADA diet"

Americans with Disabilities Act

ADC AIDS dementia complex
ADCC antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity
ADD attention deficit disorder
ADE adverse drug event
ADH antidiuretic hormone
ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
ADHF acute decompensated heart failure
ADHR autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets
ADLs activities of daily living
ad lib as desired (from Latin ad libitum)
adm admission
Adn adnexa (for example, adnexa of the uterus)
ADP adenosine diphosphate
ad part. dolent to the painful parts (from Latin ad partes dolentes)
ADR adverse drug reaction
ADW Ain't Doin' Well
A/E Air entry
A+E Accident and Emergency
AEB as evidenced by (commonly used by nurses)
AED automated external defibrillator
antiepileptic drug(s)
AEM ambulatory electrocardiogram monitoring
AF atrial fibrillation
atrial flutter
amniotic fluid
AF-AFP amniotic fluid alpha fetoprotein
AFB acid-fast bacilli
AFI amniotic fluid index
AFib atrial fibrillation
AFL atrial flutter
AFNTR acute febrile nonhemolytic transfusion reaction
AFO ankle-foot orthosis
AFP alpha-fetoprotein
AFSOF anterior fontanelle soft, open, flat
Ag antigen
AGA anti-gliadin antibodies
appropriate gestational age (see birth weight)
AGC atypical glandular cells
AGES criteria age, grade, extent, size (for tumors)
AGN acute glomerulonephritis
AH auditory hallucinations
a.h. every other hour (from Latin alternis horis)
AHD arteriosclerotic heart disease
AHF antihemophilic factor
AHG antihemophilic globulin
AHH aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase
AHI Apnea-Hypopnea Index[1]
AHR airway hyper-reactivity
AHT antihyaluronic acid test
AI artificial insemination
aortic insufficiency

aromatase inhibitors

AICD automated implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
AID artificial insemination by donor
AIDS acquired immune deficiency syndrome
AIH artificial insemination by husband
AIHA Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
AIHD artificial insemination by pooled husband and donor semen
AIPD acute infectious and parasitical diseases
autoimmune progesterone dermatitis
acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
AIIRB angiotensin II receptor antagonist
AIN allergic interstitial nephritis
AIR anterior interval release
acute inpatient rehabilitation
AIS adenocarcinoma in situ
androgen insensitivity syndrome
AJCC American Joint Committee on Cancer
AjD Adjustment Disorder
AK acanthamoeba keratitis
aka also known as
AKA above-knee amputation
also known as
AKI acute kidney injury, previously called Acute Renal Failure (ARF)
ALA aminolevulinic acid
Alc alco123
ALCAPA anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery
ALF assisted living facility
ALG antilymphocytic globulin
ALI acute limb injury
acute lung injury
Alk phos alkaline phosphatase (sometimes abbreviated as ALP)
ALL acute lymphoblastic leukemia
ALP alkaline phosphatase (sometimes abbreviated as Alk phos)
ALPS autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome
ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neurone disease ('MND), Lou Gehrig's disease or Charcot disease
advanced life support
ALT alanine transaminase
altern. d. every other day (from Latin alterno die)
AMA advanced maternal age (often defined as 35 years or greater)
against medical advice
antimitochondrial antibody
American Medical Association
Amb ambulate
AMC arthrogryposis multiplex congenita
AMI acute mesenteric ischemia
acute myocardial infarction
AML acute myeloid leukemia
AMO advanced medical optics
AMP adenosine monophosphate
Amp ampule
AMPA receptor alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor of the brain
AMS acute mountain sickness
atypical measles syndrome
altered mental status
Amt amount
ANA antinuclear antibody
ANCA antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody
AND allowing natural death
ANDI aberrations of normal development and involution (of breast)
ANF atrial natriuretic factor
ANP atrial natriuretic peptide
ANS autonomic nervous system
Ant anterior
Anti- refers to an antibody to the suffixed antigen
ANTR asymmetrical tonic neck reflex
ANUG acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis
A&O or A/O aware and oriented or alert and oriented
A&Ox3 alert and oriented, times 3 (to person, place, and time)
A&Ox4 alert and oriented, times 4 (to person, place, time, and circumstances) (often used interchangeably with A&Ox3)
AODM adult-onset diabetes mellitus (now called diabetes mellitus type 2)
AOM acute otitis media
AOE acute otitis externa
a.p. before a meal (from Latin ante prandium)
AP action potential
alkaline phosphatase
angina pectoris
area postrema
A&P auscultation and percussion
anatomy and physiology
A/P anatomy and physiology
assessment and plan
APACHE II Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II
APAP paracetamol (aka acetaminophen) (from its chemical name, N-acetyl-para-aminophenol)
automatic positive airway pressure
APC atrial premature contraction
antigen-presenting cell
activated protein C
argon plasma coagulation
APD adult polycystic disease
automated peritoneal dialysis
APKD adult polycystic kidney disease
APECED autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy
APGAR appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, respiration (used to assess newborns)
APH antepartum haemorrhage
APLS antiphospholipid syndrome
APMPPE acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy
applic. applicandus (Latin meaning "to be applied")
appy appendectomy
APP as per protocol (e.g., per institutional clinical protocol or per scientific protocol)
APR abdominoperineal resection
APS autoimmune polyendocrine/polyglandular syndrome
antiphospholipid syndrome
APSAC anisoylated plasminogen streptokinase activator complex
aPTT activated partial thromboplastin time
aq. water (from Latin aqua)
aq. bull. boiling water (from Latin aqua bulliens)
aq. calid. warm or hot water (from Latin aqua calida)
aq. dist. distilled water (from Latin aqua distillata)
aq. gel. cold water (from Latin aqua gelida)
AR aortic regurgitation
attributable risk
ARB angiotensin II receptor antagonist
ARBI alcohol-related brain injury (such as a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or alcohol-related dementia)
ARC AIDS-related complex
ARD absolute risk difference
alcohol-related dementia
ARDS acute respiratory distress syndrome
ARF acute renal failure
Arg arginine
ARM artificial rupture of membranes (also abbreviated as AROM)
ARMD age-related macular degeneration
ARMS alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma
AROM active range of motion
artificial rupture of membranes
ART antiretroviral therapy
assuming room temperature (that is, the patient has died)
assisted reproductive technology
ARVC arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy
ARVD arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia
AS aortic stenosis
ankylosing spondylitis
ASA acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin)
American Society of Anesthesiologists (physical status class)
ASB asymptomatic bacteriuria
ASC ambulatory surgery center
atypical squamous cells
ASCA anti–Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies
ASC-H atypical squamous cells—cannot exclude HSIL
ASCAD arteriosclerotic coronary artery disease
atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance
ASCVD arteriosclerotic vascular disease (arteriosclerosis)
ASD atrial septal defect
autism spectrum disorder
ASGUS atypical squamous glandular cells of undetermined significance
arteriosclerotic heart disease (coronary heart disease)
ASH Asymmetric septal hypertrophy
ASH alcoholic steatohepatitis
ASIS anterior superior iliac spine
ASO antistreptolysin-O
ASOT antistreptolysin-O titre
ASPECTS Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score, ASPECT Score
Ass assessment
AST aspartate transaminase
ASX asymptomatic
A-T ataxia-telangiectasia
AT antithrombin
AT-III antithrombin III
ATA antitransglutaminase antibodies
ATB antibiotic
ATCC ATCC (company) (formerly the American Type Culture Collection)
ATCP Atypical Chest Pain
ATG anti-thymocyte globulin
ATLS Advanced trauma life support
ATN acute tubular necrosis
ATNR asymmetrical tonic neck reflex
ATP acute thrombocytopenic purpura
adenosine triphosphate
antitachycardia pacing
Atp atypical
ATRA all-trans retinoic acid
ATS antitetanus serum, that is, antitetanus immunoglobulins
AU each ear (from Latin auris utraque)
AUC area under the curve (pharmacology)
aur. ear (from Latin auris)
aur. dextro. to right ear (from Latin auris dextrae)
aur. laev to left ear (from Latin auris laevae)
aurist. ear drops (from Latin auristillae)
AUS Artificial urinary sphincter
AV arteriovenous
AVF arteriovenous fistula
AVM arteriovenous malformation
AVN avascular necrosis
atrioventricular node
AVR aortic valve replacement
AVSD atrioventricular septal defect
AVSS Afebrile, vital signs stable
alive and well
associated with
admitted with
Ax axillary
AXR abdominal x-ray
AYA adolescents and young adults
AZT azidothymidine


  1. ^ "What does "AHI" represent?".