SPRUE, TROPICAL
STAPEDECTOMY
sprue, tropical A disease of the small
intestine that causes failure to absorb
nutrients from food. It occurs mainly in
India, the Far East, and the Caribbean.
Sprue leads to
malnutrition
and mega-
loblastic
anaemia
. It may be due to an
intestinal infection. Symptoms include
appetite and weight loss, an inflamed
mouth, and fatty diarrhoea. Diagnosis is
confirmed by
jejunal biopsy.
Sprue resp-
onds well to
antibiotic drug
treatment
and vitamin and mineral supplements.
sputum Mucous material produced by
cells lining the respiratory tract. Sputum
production may be increased by
respira-
tory tract infection
, an allergic reaction
(see
asthma),
or inhalation of irritants.
squamous cell carcinoma One of the
most common types of
skin cancer
.
Squamous cell carcinoma is linked to
long-term exposure to sunlight. It is most
common in fair-skinned people over 60.
The tumour starts as a small, painless
lump or patch (usually on the lip, ear, or
back of the hand), which enlarges fairly
rapidly, often resembling a wart or ulcer.
Left untreated, the cancer may spread to
other parts of the body and prove fatal.
Diagnosis is based on a
skin biopsy
.
The tumour is removed surgically or
destroyed by
radiotherapy
.
squint An abnormal deviation of 1 eye
relative to the other. Many babies have a
squint because the mechanism for align-
ing the eyes has not yet developed. A
squint that starts later in childhood is
usually due to breakdown of the align-
ment mechanism. Longsightedness is a
common factor. In some cases, the brain
suppresses the image from the deviating
eye, leading to
amblyopia.
In adults, squint may be a symptom of
stroke
,
diabetes mellitus
,
multiple scler-
osis
,
hyperthyroidism
, or a tumour. A
squint in adults causes double vision.
Treatment in children up to 6-7 years
may include covering the normal eye with
a patch to force the child to use the weak
eye. Deviation of the squinting eye may
be controlled by glasses and/or surgery.
Sudden onset of a squint in adults may
have a serious underlying cause and
must be investigated promptly.
SSRIs See
selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitors.
stable A term used in medicine to des-
cribe a patient's condition that is neither
deteriorating nor improving; a personal-
ity that is not susceptible to mental
illness; or a chemical substance that is
resistant to changes in its composition
or physical state, or is not radioactive.
stage A term used in medicine to refer
to a phase in the course of a disease,
particularly in the progression of
cancer
.
staining The process of dyeing specimens
of cells, tissues, or microorganisms in
order for them to be clearly visible or
easily identifiable under a
microscope.
stammering See
stuttering
.
Stanford-Binet test A type of
intelli-
gence test
.
stanozolol A type of anabolic steroid
drug (see
steroids, anabolic
).
stapedectomy An operation on the
ear
to remove the
stapes
and replace it with
an artificial substitute. It is used to treat
deafness
due to
otosclerosis
.
STAPEDECTOMY
S
LOCATION
Middle ear
Eardrum
Bony
Inner ear
overgrowth
Area of
stapes
to be
removed
Base of
stapes
BEFORE SURGERY
Prosthetic
piston
Hole in
bony area
AFTER SURGERY
523
previous page 521 BMA Illustrated Medical Dictionary read online next page 523 BMA Illustrated Medical Dictionary read online Home Toggle text on/off