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degenerative disease

(dē-jĕn′ĕ-ră-tĭv) An illness resulting from aging, repetitive injury, or other pathological causes.

degenerative joint disease



(dē″gloo-tĭsh′ŭn) The act of swallowing. deglutitive, adj.

Degos disease

ABBR: DD. A rare form of vasculitis that damages small blood vessels. The disease initially results in tissue infarction within the skin, but in some instances causes widespread and occasionally fatal tissue infarction in the gastrointestinal tract and other organs. SYN: malignant atrophic papulosis.


(deg″ră-dā′shŏn) [L. degradatio, a step down] Physical, metabolic, or chemical change from a more complex form to a less complex one. Foods are physically degraded during chewing and then are chemically degraded from complete compounds, such as proteins and starches, to amino acids and sugars, respectively. SYN: biodegradation.


(dē-grăn″ū-lā′shŭn) The release of chemical mediators from preformed storage depots in cells, esp. hematological cells such as neutrophils, mast cells, basophils, macrophages, and platelets.


(dĕ-grē′) [Fr. degree fr L. degradus] 1. A unit of measurement of temperature. 2. A unit of angular measure. 3. A stage of severity of a disease or injury, e.g., second-degree burn. 4. Evidence of academic attainment granted by the institution in which the individual studied.

degree of freedom

ABBR: d.f. In defining the properties of a statistical sample, the number of independent observations in a quantity. For example, if a sample contains a total of 10 children who are being classified by hair color (brown, black, or blond) and it is known that four of the children have blond hair, then there are two degrees of freedom. If, at the beginning of the investigation, the hair color of all the subjects is unknown, there are three degrees of freedom.


(dē″gŭs-tā′shŭn) [L. degustatio] The sense of taste; the function or act of tasting.


(dē-his′ĕns) [L. dehiscere, to gape] 1. A disruption, partial or complete, particularly of a closed wound (esp. a surgical wound), or of an encapsulated anatomical entity. SYN: wound disruption. 2. In dentistry, an isolated area in which the tooth root is denuded of bone from the margin nearly to the apex. It occurs more often in anterior than posterior teeth, and more on the vestibular than the oral surface.

PATIENT CARE: Dehiscence can be lessened by assessing nutritional status and risk factors such as obesity or malnourishment before surgery; by ensuring proper nutrition as time permits; and by providing support for the wound during coughing and movements that strain the incision. Surgically, stay sutures and wound bridges may minimize cases ...

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