Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. A condition characterized by the sudden, abnormal lowering of the platelet count. The cause is unknown, but the immune system seems to play a major role in the process by eliminating the platelets. ITP can lead to dangerously low platelet counts that can be associated with spontaneous bleeding. Purpura are purplish bruises under the skin that are often seen in this condition. ITP requires treatments directed at suppressing the immune system.
- IU (international unit)
An international unit (IU) is an internationally accepted amount of a substance. This type of measure is used for the fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D and E) and certain hormones, enzymes, and biologicals (such as vaccines). The definition of an international unit (IU) is generally arbitrary, technical, and eminently forgettable. For example, an […]
- IUD (intrauterine contraceptive device)
A device inserted into the uterus (womb) to prevent conception (pregnancy). The IUD can be a coil, loop, triangle, or T in shape made of plastic or metal. An IUD is inserted into the uterus by a health-care professional. Of two types of IUDs approved in the U.S., one can remain in place for 10 […]
Intrauterine growth retardation.
- IV (intravenous)
“The glucose was given intravenously.” The word “intravenous” as a noun refers to an intravenous fluid drip, a solution (usually a balanced electrolyte solution) administered directly into the venous circulation. Also called a drip.
1. Intravenous cholangiogram, an X-ray study of the gallbladder. 2. Inferior vena cava, the largest vein coming up below the heart to it. As an IVC filter.