Defect, atrial septal (ASD): A hole in the septum, the wall, between the atria, the upper chambers of the heart. Commonly called an ASD. ASDs are a major class of congenital cardiac malformation.
- Defect, enzyme
Defect, enzyme: A disorder resulting from a deficiency (or functional abnormality) of an enzyme. For example, newborns are routinely screened for certain enzyme defects, such as phenylketonuria (PKU) and galactosemia.
- Defect, neural tube
Defect, neural tube: A major birth defect caused by abnormal development of the neural tube, the structure present during embryonic life which gives rise to the central nervous system — the brain and spinal cord. Neural tube defects (NTDs) are among the most common birth defects that cause infant mortality (death) and serious disability. There […]
- Defect, ventricular septal (VSD)
Defect, ventricular septal (VSD): A hole in the septum (the wall) between the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles). Ventricular Septal Defect is the most common type of heart malformation (congenital heart disease). At least 1 baby in every 500 is born with a VSD. A VSD lets blood from the left ventricle (where […]
Defensin: A family of potent antibiotics made within the body by neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) and macrophages (cells that can engulf foreign particles). The defensins play important roles against invading microbes. They act against bacteria, fungi and viruses by binding to their membranes and increasing membrane permeability. On a chemical level, the […]
- Defensive medicine
Defensive medicine: Medical practices designed to avert the future possibility of malpractice suits. In defensive medicine, responses are undertaken primarily to avoid liability rather than to benefit the patient. Doctors may order tests, procedures, or visits, or avoid high-risk patients or procedures primarily (but not necessarily solely) to reduce their exposure to malpractice liability. Defensive […]