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Term Definition
P Value The probability that an observed difference between the intervention group and control group is due to chance alone if the null hypothesis is true. The null hypothesis proposes that an intervention has no effect, and that there are no true differences in outcomes between an intervention group and a control group. When P is less than the prospectively determined a-level (typically 0.01 or 0.05), then the null hypothesis is rejected, and statistical significance is said to be achieved for the relevant finding. The a-level is the probability of a false-positive (type I) error. For instance, setting a at the traditionally accepted medical hypothesis testing level of 0.05 implies that investigators, and the medical community, accept that there is a 5% chance of concluding incorrectly that an intervention is effective when it is ineffective in reality (you'll see p< 0.05 or p=a value less than 0.05 in statistically significant findings). Occasionally you'll see an a-level set at 0.01 (tight) or 0.10 (lax).
P/E Price-earnings multiple. Multiple of a company’s current common stock price divided by its diluted annual earnings per share. While a company’s P/E multiple is usually computed using the most recently available stock price, the earnings per share from different annual time period can be used. The most frequently earnings per share that are used in computing P/E are trailing and forward 12 months and current and next fiscal year.
p10 Gene A tumor suppressor gene in the p16 family that is a potential anti-cancer drug target.
p16 Gene A tumor suppressor gene whose protein product is involved in regulating cell growth and division, in the same biological pathway as p53 and Rb. p16 is being explored as potential anti-cancer drug target. Germ-line mutations of p16 are involved in the susceptibility to some familial melanoma and pancreatic cancer.
p38 p38 MAP kinase has a broad range of biological effects in many cell types. In immune system cells, p38 regulates production of the fundamental proinflammatory cytokines, TNF-alpha and IL-1. Inhibiting the molecular activities of p38 MAP kinase has the potential to be of value in a wide variety of inflammatory conditions. Preclinical efforts have mostly focused on rheumatoid arthritis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, adult respiratory distress syndrome, restenosis, allergy, asthma, reperfusion injury, and neuropathic pain. The inflammatory component of Alzheimer disease and certain cancers has also been addressed by anti-p38 MAP kinase inhibition in preclinical investigation.
p53 Gene A tumor suppressor gene which encodes a protein that regulates cell growth and, when working properly, is able to cause cells to destroy themselves. p53 is frequently found to be inactivated or mutated in many tumor cells. For example, p53 is often found to be mutated to an inactive form in the lung cells of smokers with lung cancer by a compound found in tobacco smoke.
Paclitaxel The generic name of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Taxol and Liposome/Elan’s experimental Bromotaxane, the former being indicated in specific scenarios in ovarian carcinoma, non small-cell lung cancer, and Kaposi sarcoma.
Paget Disease Also known as osteitis deformans, Paget disease is a metabolic bone disease characterized by bone destruction and regrowth that results in deformity. Excessive bone tissue breakdown followed by abnormal bone formation results in structurally enlarged but weakened new bone that is filled with an abnormally large quantity of new blood vessels that are also often malformed. Its cause is unknown, but several lines of evidence point toward early viral infection plus genetic predisposition.
Pain Management Clinical intervention designed to alleviate pain or make it, at least, more bearable.
Paliate To moderate the intensity of a disease, disorder, or the symptoms thereof. Often, the term is used in the care of seriously ill people to indicate that the opportunities to inhibit disease progression have been lost, but the opportunities to provide pain and discomfort relief remain.
Pancreas An elongated, lobulated salivary gland of the abdomen, its endocrine portion produces glucose-regulating hormones insulin and glucagon and its exocrine portion produces “juice” containing enzymes useful in digestion.
Pancreatic Islet Cells The cells in the pancreas which secrete the glucose-regulating hormones insulin and glucagon. Specific islet cells are destroyed in patients with type I diabetes.
Pancytopenia A clinically relevant shortage of red (anemia) and white (neutropenia, leukopenia) blood cells as well as platelets (thrombocytopenia).
Parathyroid Hormone Hormone manufactured by the parathyroid gland (behind the thyroid gland in the neck), it is a fundamental regulator of calcium and phosphorus balance. "
Parenteral By means other than the gastrointestinal tract. Not enteral. From para: alongside of, beyond, or aside from and enteric: of or relating to the intestines. Main routes of parenteral administration are intravenous, subcutaneous, and intramuscular, with much development in the areas of transdermal, intramedullary, and pulmonary/inhaled. Main routes of enteral administration are oral (by mouth) and rectal with tube feeding capacity for various bowel segments reserved for those unable to take nutrition by mouth.
Parkinson Disease A neurological disorder characterized by shaking and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination. The disease is associated with damage to specific parts of the brain that control muscle movement.
Parkinsonism The constellation of movement disorder symptoms prompted by pathology of the basal ganglia and extrapyramidal areas of the brain. Parkinsonism can be caused by Parkinson disease, specific drugs or toxins, and conditions related to Parkinson disease.
Partial Response Often used in cancer investigations, a decrease in the amount of detectable cancer of 50% or higher measured using predetermined standards. More precisely, a true partial response in cancer is a decrease in the total cross sectional area of all measurable tumors over 50%. Research in non-cancerous proliferative diseases, rheumatologic diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and others have analogous partial response scales.
PASI Score A standard measurement of the extent of disease in patients with psoriasis. PASI is an acronym for "psoriasis area and severity index." The scoring system can be used to measure a patient's response to marketed or developmental anti-psoriasis therapies. The index's elements include assessing the extent of psoriasis over the various body regions as percent of body surface area, the extent of body region affected, and the extent of psoriatic changes. Results are often issued as comparisons of the proportion of patients in a given treatment group experiencing a given percent change in PASI scores rather than comparisons of the mean or median PASI score for a treatment group.
Pathogen An agent such as a virus or bacteria that causes pathology or disease.
Pathology The study of the fundamental nature, causes, and development of abnormal conditions and the structural and functional changes that result.
Pathophysiology A contraction of the words ""pathology"" and ""physiology,"" and combining their meanings. It is the study of disease associated malfunctions of individuals, organs, tissues, and cells. Pathophysiologic alterations also imply functional changes rather than structural defects. "
Payload A substance attached to a monoclonal antibody to improve its effectiveness. Payloads can be radiation, chemotherapeutics, enzymes, or other molecules.
Pegylation Containing polyethylene glycol (PEG) or having it added. Pegylation is a common chemical strategy for extending the duration of action of compounds.
Penicillin An antibiotic class that targets penicillin-binding proteins in the cell walls of bacteria, inhibiting production of the cell wall. The original antibiotic of the class, penicillin itself, was named for the fungal mold Penicillium notatum from which it is derived. Now, there are several generations of semi-synthetic and synthetic penicillins.
Peptide A chain of amino acids, such as a hormone or a growth factor. Proteins are peptides, although peptides is usually used to refer to short chains of less than 10 amino acids.
Perforin A protein released by cytotoxic T cells which literally pokes holes in the membranes of target cells.
Performance Status A measure of a study subject's degree of disability or symptom severity. Disease-specific, numeric scales are used for these sort of assessments. These measures are often confused with prognostic measurements. A patient’s performance status reflects their functional capacity rather than prognosis.
Perfusion Blood flow, therefore oxygen flow, to tissues and cells.
Peripheral Nerves Nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord that control muscle movement and other functions. Any nerves not in the central nervous system.
Peripheral Neuropathy A classification of disorders involving pathology of nerves, but not including nerves of the brain or spinal cord.
Peripheral Vascular Disease Occlusive, typically atherosclerotic, disease of the vessels of the extremities (more often legs and feet compared to arms and hands). Manifestations can include diminished blood flow and pain while walking or standing.
Peroxidation A molecular reaction that joins oxygen to oxygen; its increased frequency has been implicated in adverse inflammation and aging.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) Members of the nuclear hormone receptor subfamily of transcription factors. PPARs unite with retinoid X receptors (RXRs) to regulate the transcription of various genes. PPARs exist as PPARa, PPARd, and PPARg. PPARg is most well known for its involvement in fat cell (adipocyte) differentiation and regulation of insulin sensitivity. The drug class known as thiazolidinediones normalize elevated plasma glucose levels by activating PPARg, and are used for the management of noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Many companies are trying to improve on the risk-benefit profile of this class of marketed drugs by developing their own PPARg agnonists with different physical chemistries.
P-glycoprotein A protein "pump" found on the cell surface that expels chemotherapeutics from tumor cells. The activities of multiple drugs are diminished by interactions with this protein.
Phage Display A laboratory technique used to screen for particular proteins produced by viruses. Phage display can be used to identify fully human antibodies that bind to a particular target antigen.
Phagocytosis The process of one cell engulfing and digesting another.
Pharmacodynamics A compound’s pharmacologic effect on patients, it includes the study of uptake, movement, binding, and interactions of agents at their tissue and cellular site(s) of action.
Pharmacogenetics The study of genetic contributions to, and causes of, individual variations in drug response. Often, as a colloquialism, referred to as pharmacogenomics.
Pharmacogenomics Genome-wide analysis of the genetic determinants of drug efficacy, toxicity, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics in order to correlate genetic variation with drug response.
Pharmacokinetics Patients’ pharmacologic effects on compounds. Typically these effects are described with the classical properties relating to the movement of drugs within biologic systems: absorption (or uptake), distribution, metabolism, and excretion (or elimination), with toxicology often included (ADME-T). Binding and biotransformation are also considered pharmacokinetic properties.
Pharmacoproteomics High-throughput analysis of proteins correlated with drug efficacy, toxicity, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics in order to correlate protein expression with drug response.
Pharmacotherapeutics (1) Drugs (2) Chemotherapeutics or chemotherapies (3) Treatment of disease by pharmacologically active agents such as (1) or (2).
Phase I Trial The initial phase of clinical trials, performed in order to determine the safety of an investigational drug. For every 100,000 drugs screened, approximately 85 make it to this phase. Approximately 23% of drugs reaching phase I make it to market. This phase typically lasts approximately 1-3 years.
Phase II Trial The second phase of clinical trials, performed in order to determine the clinical effectiveness of an investigational drug. For every 100,000 drugs screened, approximately 70 make it to this phase. Approximately 28% of drugs reaching phase II make it to market. This phase typically lasts approximately 2 years.
Phase III Trial The final pre-FDA approval phase of clinical trials, performed in order to determine, with statistical rigor, the clinical efficacy and longer-term safety of an investigational drug. For every 100,000 drugs screened, approximately 33 make it to this phase. Approximately 60% of drugs reaching phase III make it to market. This phase typically lasts approximately 3-4 years.
Phase IV Trial A post-FDA approval phase of clinical trials, performed in order to determine additional indications for a drug.
Philadelphia Chromosome The genetic rearrangement between chromosomes 9 and 22 found in chronic myeloid leukemia patients, which leads to the abnormal activation of the protein kinase Abl.
Phosphatase An enzyme that removes phosphate groups from proteins and other target molecules.
Phosphodiesterase An enzyme that is a phosphatase that works on diesters in order to hydrolyze only one of the two ester groups. These enzymes play different roles in many cellular processes. Medically important diesters include cyclic nucleotides such as cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Medically important inhibition of phosphodiesterase activity has occurred in the treatment of congestive heart failure, cardiac dysrhythmias, asthma, headaches, erectile dysfunction, and female sexual arousal disorder. Intensive research is ongoing in anti-inflammation, immune modulation, diabetes mellitus, memory, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, and blood clotting disorders, amongst others. Caffeine is a popular phosphodiesterase inhibitor.
Photodynamic Therapy Treatment that destroys proliferative cells with lasers and drugs that become active upon exposure to light. Applications have primarily been in proliferative diseases of the eye and cancer.
Photodynamic therapy Treatment that destroys proliferative cells with lasers and drugs that become active upon exposure to light. Applications have primarily been in proliferative diseases of the eye and cancer.
Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) A compendium, published annually by Medical Economics Company, that provides a primary guide to the use of all prescription drugs available in the United States. The PDR is the most fundamental pharmaceutical resource for physicians, and includes more than 3000 pages of detailed, FDA-approved, prescribing information. Its Companion Guide headlines the PDR resources that augment the main guidebook.
Pick Disease A form of dementia similar, in many ways to Alzheimer, but with a different pattern of brain atrophy.
Placebo A medically inert substance identical in appearance to a substance being studied, administered in order to distinguish between drug effects and suggestive effects of the material under study.
Plaques Patchy area on a body surface or cut surface of an organ, often described by the constituents of the area. Plaque formation on neurons is associated with neurodegenerative disease.
Plasma The liquid portion of the blood and lymphatic fluid.
Plasmid A laboratory vector used to transfer recombinant DNA to a new cell.
Plasminogen The inactive precursor of the fibrinolytic protein plasmin. When circulating plasminogen is converted to plasmin by tissue plasminogen activator, it begins a relentless attack on the fibrinogen fibers that entangle the blood cells caught in a blood clot. Plasmin thus dissolves clots, a process is called fibrinolysis.
Platelet Activating Factor (PAF) A powerful proinflammatory molecule, it is an acetyl glycerol ether phosphocholine made by many kinds of stimulated cells (e.g., basophils, neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, endothelial cells). Interference with its activities during severe inflammation may prove therapeutic.
Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF) A family of several closely related secreted proteins produced by a variety of cells, but most well known for their release from specific granules in platelets. Some of their roles include stimulation of migration and proliferation of fibroblasts, smooth muscle cells, and monocytes in addition to a legion of other pro-inflammatory activities.
Platelets Blood cell fragments that assist in blood clotting.
Pluripotent Stem Cells Stem cells that can develop into most cell types but lack the ability to form an entire organism.
Pneumonia Lung infection.
Polyclonal Antisera A mixture of antibodies with the ability to bind millions of different antigens, but enriched for certain antigens. Polyclonal antisera, a technological precursor to monoclonal antibodies, are made by injecting an animal with a certain antigen, and later purifying antibodies from the blood of that animal.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) A condensation polymer of ethylene glycol and water, they are wax like solids available in a variety of molecular weights, and when attached to some proteins lengthens their plasma half-life, reduces antigenicity and immunogenicity, and reduces sensitivity to proteolytic enzymes. "
Polyglutamate Many glutamates strung together or "polymerized."
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) A fundamental process of molecular genetics that allows analysis of any short sequence of DNA (or RNA) without having to clone it. One may amplify selected DNA sections without having to employ the aid of bacteria and their replication, a process that takes weeks. With PCR such amplification takes only a few hours. Its utilities are myriad: diagnostic, DNA fingerprinting, find bacteria and viruses, study evolution, amplify DNA of individuals from ancient times, etc.
Polymorphism The existence of more than one form (“spelling”) of a DNA sequence, with each form being too frequent in the population to be due to new mutation alone. Examples of polymorphic DNA sequences are (1) genes for sickle cell and thalassemia believed to have prospered because they protect against malaria, (2) nucleotides, SNPs, within the angiotensinogen gene used by Myriad for their CardiaRisk diagnostic, (3) differences in trinucleotide repeat length detected by PCR-based diagnostic regimens in neurodegenerative conditions such as Huntington Disease. Polymorphisms are used as a tool in diagnostics, drug discovery, and for anticipating drug responses.
Polyp A tissue mass, often having a curiously swollen appearance, that develops on and projects from a surface such as the inside wall of a hollow organ or the skin.
Pompe Disease Acid maltase deficiency which leads to buildup of glycogen in all organs, especially the heart. Skeletal muscles can also be affected. This lysosomal storage disease causes progressive muscle weakness and muscle degeneration.
Positive Predictive Value Considering people being tested for a given condition by a particular test, it is the proportion of persons who test positive who truly have the disorder of concern.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) An imaging technique that employs short-lived radioactive substances. The three-dimensional colored images provide information about, especially, metabolic processes unattainable with standard diagnostic imaging. A patient lies on a table within a scanner. Short-lived radiopharmaceuticals discharge positrons from the subject’s body. When positrons encounter electrons within the body, gamma rays are produced. Within the scanner are coils of detectors made up of specific crystals that generate light when struck by a gamma ray. The scanner records these gamma rays, mapping an image of the region of the radiopharmaceutical. As this radiopharmaceutical contains a common body chemical, PET permits the physician to see the location of the metabolic process of concern. A classic example is glucose (the form of sugar the body prefers for energy production) combined with a radioisotope shows where glucose is being utilized in the brain, heart muscle, or a tumor.
Postprandial After a meal.
Potency (1) Pharmacologic: the degree to which a compound exerts a given biochemical effect, series of effects, or aggregate effect. Potency should not be equated with efficacy, as clinical effects of both increasing and decreasing a compound's potency can be therapeutic, adverse, or neutral (2) Clinical: the degree to which erectile function is preserved"
Pouchitis Postoperative inflammation arising in an ileal pouch, a small bowel remnant (post-removal of the colon and rectum) attached to anal musculature in efforts to avoid ostomy voiding.
Preclinical The phase of product development before clinical trials usually involving animal models.
Pre-Diabetes A recently categorized condition of typcially overweight or obese people with impaired glucose tolerance at high risk for the development of type II diabetes mellitus. Many medical organizations feel that this term should become standard diagnostic nomenclature, as these individuals not yet diabetic but with impaired glucose tolerance need to be aggressively targeted for interventions aimed at diabetes prevention.
Preeclampsia Formerly known as toxemia and sometimes referred to as pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia is a condition of pregnancy, typically in the last trimester. The condition is most often characterized by the abrupt onset of hypertension (high blood pressure), leakage of large amounts of the protein albumin into the urine (albuminuria), and edema (swelling) of the hands, feet, and face. It is the most common pregnancy complication, affecting approximately 5-10% of all pregnancies, most commonly in first pregnancies. Risk factors include diabetes, twin gestation, age over 20, and family history. Preeclampsia may be a sign of placental detachment from the uterus or eclampsia, a clinical syndrome featuring seizures and coma in which both the life of mother and fetus are at risk. Current treatment consists of bed rest and sometimes supportive medication not specifically directed at the most fundamental biological processes underlying the disorder. When this treatment is ineffective, the definitive therapy is induction of labor and delivery. Preeclampsia typically resolves within 24 hours after the baby's birth.
Pre-Market Approval Application to the Food and Drug Administration to begin marketing a medical device to the public.
Preprandial Before a meal.
Presenilin 1 A gene on chromosome 14 whose germ-line mutations can predispose a carrier to Alzheimer disease. Its protein product is involved in normal amyloid precursor protein processing, and dysfunction of this gene leads to impaired amyloid precursor protein processing.
Presenilin 2 A gene on chromosome 1 whose germ-line mutations can predispose a carrier to Alzheimer disease. Its protein product is involved in normal amyloid precursor protein processing, and dysfunction of this gene leads to impaired amyloid precursor protein processing.
Pressors Short name for vasopressors.
Prevalence A term used in epidemiology indicating the number of existing cases that occur in a given group of people (population) each year (or other specified period of time). Most often expressed as number of existing cases per 100,000 populations per year. This reflects both the incidence of a condition and its survival rate, a more accurate reflection of the burden of a condition on the health care system.
Preventive Medicine A proactive approach in the practice of medicine with the goal of avoiding diseases or disease complications by methods that include early identification of risk factors for a disease.
Primary Care Physician The physician directing and overseeing an individual’s overall care plan, typically an internist (internal medicine specialist), pediatrician, or family practice physician. "
Primatized An IDEC Pharmaceuticals proprietary technology applied to monoclonal antibodies. Primatized technology uses the Macaque monkey in the manufacture of antibodies, resulting in antibodies that are so close to human structure that they are less likely to provoke an adverse immune response.
PRODAS (Élan) An acronym for Élan’s proprietary Programmable Oral Drug Absorption System, a multiparticulate drug delivery technology based on encapsulation of controlled release tablets in the diameter range of 1.5 to 4mm.
Prodrug A compound whose pharmacologic action depends upon its being converted from an inactive to an active form via metabolic processes within the body. Such conversion is called biotransformation.
Progression-free Survival The time a study subject survives from a predetermined start point, often from diagnosis or first treatment without the disease, without evidence of disease progression. Evidence of disease progression can come in the form of biochemical, imaging, or clinical markers. Any or all these forms of evidence may be required, depending on the trial.
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy A rare, degenerative brain disorder related to Parkinson disease, with early symptoms include falling, difficulty walking, imbalance, and slow movement. The actor Dudley Moore is affected with this disorder. "
ProNet Myriad's name for its proprietary system for high throughput identification of protein-protein interactions.
Prophylactic Preventive measure.
ProSpec Myriad's name for its proprietary mass spectrometry system. Mass spectrometry, an important tool for the future of proteomics, is used to determine extracellular protein interactions and structural information.
Prospective Relating to or effective in the future. A prospective study sets parameters, objectives, and outcomes to be assessed prior to initiation of the study. This ensures that study subjects are as similar as possible, and are treated as similarly as possible, in order to reduce the likelihood of confounding variables leading to erroneous cause and effect conclusions. Properly executed, the prospective, randomized, controlled trial offers the strongest evidence of clinical efficacy or effectiveness of preventive and therapeutic procedures in the clinical setting.
Prostaglandin Any of a variety of hormone-like substances derived from arachadonic acid that function in a wide range of body functions such as contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle, dilation and constriction of blood vessels, blood pressure control, and inflammation.
Prostate A chestnut-shaped gland that surrounds the beginning of the male’s urethra, it secretes a milky liquid into the prostatic urethra as semen is emitted from the seminal vesicle.
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) A glycoprotein (a protein with sugars attached) found in the epithelial cells of the prostate. Some can be detected at low levels in the blood of all adult men, but increased levels may be seen in men with disorders of the prostate including benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer.
Prostate-specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) A prostate specific antigen produced by the membrane of prostate cancer cells. Its role in the normal prostate epithelium is poorly characterized.
Protease An enzyme that degrades proteins and peptides.
Protease Inhibitor (1) One of a class of drugs that mimic a specific protein chain of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that protease normally degrades. This prevents HIV protease from cutting this protein into the shorter pieces that HIV needs to make new copies of itself. Often, although new copies of HIV are still made and make their way through the walls of the infected cells, these new copies are defective and unable to infect other cells. In this manner, this class of agents significantly reduces the quantity of new, infectious HIV copies manufactured inside cells (the viral load). (2) Any drug or naturally occurring substance that inhibits a protease. The most studied naturally occurring class of protease inhibitors are the so-called serpins, or serine protease inhibitors.
Proteasome A large protein complex found inside cells that degrades other proteins.
Protein One of a group of large, complex molecules consisting of chains of amino acids linked together, containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and (often) sulfur.
Protein Kinase A (PKA) A protein involved in intracellular signal transduction in most human cells.
Protein Kinase C (PKC) A protein involved in intracellular signal transduction in most human cells.
Protein Therapeutic A protein produced either by recombinant technology or purified from a human or animal used as a drug. Also includes monoclonal antibodies.
Proteinuria Protein in the urine.
Proteomics Molecular characterization of the proteins found in an organism, with an emphasis on unraveling the systematic interactions of the proteins within the living cell. The technology involves large scale (""high-throughput"") protein separation and identification. Proteomics will provide the link between genomics and drug discovery by elucidating the function and interaction of proteins in vivo and identifying potential therapeutic targets. Proteomic research will depend in part on the development of sophisticated database and information technology tools.
Proto-oncogene A normal (wild-type) gene that plays a role in cell division or proliferation which has the potential to cause tumor formation when mutated.
ProTrap Myriad’s technology designed to screen large numbers of potential drugs for their ability to modulate a given protein’s function.
Provax Antigen Formulation IDEC’s proprietary technology applied to antigen formulation. The Provax antigen is a combination of chemical entities designed to induce cellular immunity in animals that are immunized with protein antigens. Cellular immunity is mediated in part by cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes, which are responsible for direct destruction of virally infected cells and cancer cells. This technology may prove effective in inducing both cellular and antibody immunity. "
Psoriasis A group of disorders all characterized by eruptions of specific types of skin lesions often characterized by dry, flaky skin.
Psoriatic Arthritis Joint inflammation associated with psoriasis. It affects approximately 10% of individuals with psoriasis.
Pulmonary Relating to the lungs, pulmonary arterial circulation, or the orifice leading from the right ventricle of the heart into the pulmonary artery.
Pulmonary Embolus (PE) A blood clot that has made its way into and occluded the lung's pulmonary artery or one of its branches. Most often, the source of embolus is a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the leg --typically, above the knee.
Pulseless Electrical Activity One of several forms of cardiac arrest, charcterized by the presence of an electrical signal on a cardiac monitor without a corresponding pulse generated by contractions of the heart's ventricles. PEA is often associated with a specific and reversible clinical condition.
Pure Red-Cell Aplasia Any of a group of conditions characterized buy the shut down of the manufacture of the precursors of red blood cells in the bone marrow. The marrow continues to manufacture precursors to white blood cells and platelets.
Pyrimidines Thymine (T), cytosine (C), and uracil (U), constituents of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). DNA contains T and C whereas RNA contains U and C. Nucleic acids are made up of purines and pyrimidines.
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