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(pĕl′ ĕt) [Fr. pelote, a ball] 1. A tiny pill or small ball of medicine or food. 2. A solid that condenses at the bottom of a centrifuged solution. 3. Any small round object, such as a bit of buckshot or a BB, that may enter the body in gunshot injuries.

cotton p. A small rolled cottonball, less than 3/8 in (about 1 cm) in diameter, used for desiccation or topical application of medicaments, particularly in dentistry; also called pledgets.

foil p. Loosely rolled gold foil used for direct filling in dental restoration. SEE: foil.


(pĕl′ĭ-k'l) [L. pellicula, a little skin] 1. A thin piece of cuticle or skin. 2. Film or surface on a liquid. 3. Scum.

salivary p. The thin layer of salivary proteins and glycoproteins that quickly adhere to the tooth surface after the tooth has been cleaned; this amorphous, bacteria-free layer may serve as an attachment medium for bacteria, which in turn form plaque.


(pĕ-loo′sĭd) [L. pellucidus, very clear, very lucid] Very clear.

pelv-, pelvi-, pelvo-

[L. pelvis, basin, bowl] Prefixes meaning pelvis.


(pel′vik) [L. pelvis, basin + -ic] Pert. to a pelvis, esp. the bony pelvis.

pelvic congestion syndrome

A cause of chronic, nonmenstrual pelvic pain, typically occurring in multiparous women and associated with dilated veins near the ovaries and uterus.

pelvic inflammatory disease

ABBR: PID. Infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and adjacent pelvic structures that is not associated with surgery or pregnancy. PID usually is caused by an ascending infection in which disease-producing germs spread from the vagina and cervix to the upper portions of the female reproductive tract. SEE: chlamydia; gonorrhea.

CAUSES: Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae are the most frequent causes of PID, although anaerobic microorganisms, Escherichia coli, and other microorganisms also are often involved.

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS: The most common symptom is lower abdominal or pelvic pain, typically beginning after the start of a menstrual period. Exquisite tenderness during physical examination of the cervix, fallopian tubes, or ovaries is a common sign. Clear, white, or purulent vaginal discharge is sometimes present. Fevers, chills, nausea, vomiting, vaginal bleeding, dysuria, dyspareunia, or anorectal pain are seen in smaller numbers of patients.

DIAGNOSIS: Distinguishing PID from other causes of lower abdominal or pelvic pain can be difficult. The disease may be confused with appendicitis, diverticulitis, tubo-ovarian abscess, endometritis, ectopic pregnancy, and other serious illnesses. PID is most likely to be found in young, sexually ...

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