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(ĕp″ĭ-găs′trō-sēl) [″ + ″ + kele, hernia] A hernia in the epigastrium.


(ĕp″ĭ-jĕn′ĕ-sĭs) [″ + genesis, generation, birth] In embryology, the development of specific cells and tissues from undifferentiated cells of the early embryo.


(ep″ĭ-jĕ-net′ik) [epi- + genetic] Pert. to changes in the way genes are activated, expressed, or silenced by a cell or an organism; or to alterations in phenotype that occur without changes in the genotype.


(ĕp″ĭ-jĕ-nĕt″ĭks) Changes in the way genes are expressed that occur without changes in the sequence of nucleic acids. In mammals the most common form of epigenetic change results from methylation (the addition of methyl [-CH3] moieties) to the promoter regions of genes. Although epigenetic changes do not alter the sequence of nucleotides, they are inheritable.


(ĕp″ĭ-glŏt″ĭd-ĕk′tō-mē) [″ + ″ + ektome, excision] Excision of the epiglottis.


(ĕp″glŏt-ĭd-īt′ĭs) Epiglottitis.


(ep″i-glot′ĭs) pl. epiglottides [Gr. epiglōttis, stem epiglōttid-] The uppermost cartilage of the larynx, located immediately posterior to the root of the tongue. It covers the entrance of the larynx when a person swallows and prevents food or liquids from entering the airway. epiglottal, epiglottic, epiglottidean (ep″i-glot′ăl, ep″i-glot′ik, ep″i-glŏ-tid′ē-ăn), adj. SEE: illus.






(ĕp″ĭ-glŏt-ī′tĭs) [″ + itis, inflammation] Inflammation of the epiglottis as the result of infection. The severe swelling above the epiglottis may obstruct air flow and can cause death. Epiglottitis is an emergency and must be treated immediately. SYN: epiglottiditis; supraglottitis. SEE: croup; laryngotracheobronchitis.

 ETIOLOGY: It usually occurs in children, esp. from ages 2 to 5, as a result of infection with bacteria such as Haemophilus influenzae, Type B (Hib), streptococci, and staphylococci. Since most children born in the U.S. are immunized against Hib (which previously was the primary causative agent) the incidence of epiglottitis is declining. Epiglottitis also can affect adults, usually resulting from group A streptococcal infection.

 SYMPTOMS: Children abruptly develop a sore throat, dysphagia, and high fever, usually at night. They are agitated and frightened and want to sit in a tripod position (upright, leaning forward, mouth open). Drooling, muffled voice, dyspnea with substernal and suprasternal retractions, and stridor are common. Severe respiratory distress and cyanosis may develop suddenly. Unlike children with croup, those with epiglottitis have no cough or hoarseness.

 TREATMENT: Epiglottitis is treated with intravenous second- or third-generation cephalosporins, or ampicillin with sulbactam. A specialist in otorhinolaryngology or critical care medicine may need to provide an artificial airway, ...

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