Early St. Louis

3.28.2015

Old Medical Terms and their Definitions

Compiled by P. Davidson-Peters

OLD TERM CURRENT TERM DEFINITION
Apoplexy Stroke The symptom-complex resulting from hemorrhage, or from the plugging of a vessel, in the brain or spinal cord. The term is sometimes also applied to the bursting of a vessel in the lungs, liver, etc.
Bad blood Syphilis A chronic infectious disease, characterized by a variety of structural lesions of which the chancre, the mucous patch, and the gumma are the most distinctive.
Blood poisoning Septicemia An infection characterized by the presence in the blood of bacteria; clinically the term is also used to include toxemia, whether or not there is invasion of the blood by bacteria
Bright's disease Glomerulonephritis A serious kidney disease, the term is applied to any disease of the kidney associated with albu-minuria
Encephalopyosis Cerebral Abscess A collection of soft matter caused by inflammation and collection of infected material coming from local (ear infection, dental abscess, infection of paranasal sinuses, infection of the mastoid air cells of the temporal bone, epidural abscess) or remote (lung, heart, kidney etc.) infectious sources within the brain tissue.
Epistaxis Nosebleed Nasal Bleeding. In rare cases, this condition may lead to massive bleeding and even death.
Erysipelas St. Anthony's Fire A superficial infection of the skin, which typically involves the lymphatic system. Erysipelas is also known as St. Anthony's Fire, an accurate description of the intensity of this rash. Erysipelas was a feared disease in pre-antibiotic days, especially in infants.
Child bed fever Puerperal Sepsis An acute, febrile disease of women in childbed, due to septic infection
Congestion of the Brain Encephalemia Increased volume of the intravascular compartment of the brain; often associated with brain swelling.
Congestive chills Malaria (with diarrhea) A malignant form of malaria, occurring especially in the tropics, and characterized by choleracis symptoms, by coma, or by a tendency to bleed from the various organs.
Congestive fever Malaria A serious, infectious disease spread by certain kinds of mosquitoes. It is common in tropical climates and is characterized by chills, fevers, and an enlarged spleen. These symptoms reappear again and again.
Consumption Tuberculosis, pulmonary Wasting of the body; strictly speaking, tuberculous phyhisis.
Costiveness Constipation Retention and hardness of the feces, from functional inactivity of the intestinal canal, or from abnormalism of the biliary or other secretions.
Cramp colic Appendicitis The archaic term was often used in reference to animals, especially horses. It is the inflammation (and usually infection) of the appendix, a finger-like projection of the first portion of the colon, that often causes right, lower quadrant abdominal pain, fever and loss of appetite.
Croup Laryngitis, Diphtheria A disease or inflammation of the larynx, trachea, etc., of children, of which prominent symptoms are a peculiar cough, difficulty of breathing, and often accompanied by the development of a membranous deposit or exudate upon the parts. There is doubt as to the real nature of the disease, some contending that it is either an acute spasmodic laryngitis or a laryngeal diphtheria, while others believe it a special type of disease.
Dropsy Edema An unnatural collection of serous fluid in any serous cavity of the body, or in the subcutaneous cellular tissue.
Dropsy of the Brain Encephalitis An acute inflammation of the brain, commonly caused by a viral infection
Dry Bellyache Lead poisoning Abdominal pain due to lead poisoning which was sometimes from exposure to lead, such as with printers, or found in water which was stored or ran off roofs, and also contained in rum from the equipment in which rum had been distilled.
Falling sickness Epilepsy A chronic apyretic nervous affection, characterized by seizures or loss of consciousness, with tonic or clonic convulsions - with typical duration of fit from five to twenty minutes.
Fatty liver Cirrhosis of the liver A disease of the liver marked by proliferation and increase of the interstitial connective tissue, which subsequently contracts or shrinks, producing atrophy and degeneration of the parenchymatous substance.
French pox Syphilis An infection characterized by the presence in the blood of bacteria; clinically the term is also used to include toxemia, whether or not there is invasion of the blood by bacteria
Glandular fever Mononucleosis A viral infection causing fevers, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands, especially in the neck. It is usually linked to the Epstein-Barr virus but can also be caused by other organisms such as cytomegalovirus.
Grippe Influenza A contagious, epidemic, inflammatory affection of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, accompanied by a muco-purulent discharge, fever, and prostration. A major epidemic in 1918, it killed an estimated 50 million people.
Jail fever Typhus Any of several similar diseases caused by louse-borne bacteria.
Lock jaw Tetanus A disease characterized by a contraction of voluntary muscles, general or partial, alternating with relaxation more or less complete, arising from an excited state of the spinal cord and medulla oblongata.
Lung fever Pneumonia An acute infectious disease, usually excited by the micrococcus lanceolatus, which produces a specific inflammation resulting in consolidation of the lung. This inflammatory process is divided pathologically into three stages: (1) Stage of congestion; (2) stage of red hepatization; and (3) stage of gray hepatization.
Lung sickness Tuberculosis The infectious disease commonly called consumption or phthisis when the lungs are the seat of the deposits, due to a specific bacillus and characterized by the formation of tubercles in various parts of the body.
Nephritis Nephritis Inflammation of one or both kidneys
Plague/Black death Bubonic plague An acute infectious disease caused by Bacillus pestis; it is marked clinically by high fever, toxemia, prostration, a petechial eruption, and glandular swellings, pneumonia, or hemorrhage from the mucous membranes; it is primarily a disease of rodents and is transmitted to man by fleas which have bitten infected animals.
Podagra Gout A constitutional disease marked by painful inflammation of the joints, with the deposition of fodium urate in and around them, ana generally attended with other constitutional symptoms. It usually affects first the great toe, the attack coming on suddenly in the night. It lasts about a week, and tends to recur at intervals.
Pott's disease Tuberculosis of the spinal vertebrae A presentation of extrapulmonary tuberculosis that affects the spine, a kind of tuberculous arthritis of the intervertebral joints. More precisely it is called tuberculous spondylitis and the original name was formed after Percivall Pott (1714-1788), a London surgeon. It is most commonly localized in the thoracic portion of the spine.
Putrid fever Diphtheria A contagious disease spread by direct physical contact or breathing the aerosolized secretions of infected individuals. It is an upper respiratory tract illness characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane (a pseudomembrane) on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity.
Quinsy Streptococcal tonsillitis An acute inflammation of the tonsils, or quinsy, is a frequent complaint of later childhood, but is comparatively rarely met with during the first few years of life.
Ship fever Typhus An old name for epidemic typhus, which was common in the crowded conditions aboard ship.
Stranger's fever Yellow fever A flavivirus, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Illness ranges in severity from a self-limited febrile illness to severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever. Last known epidemic occurred in New Orleans in 1905.
Winter fever Pneumonia An acute infectious disease, usually excited by the micrococcus lanceolatus, which produces a specific inflammation resulting in consolidation of the lung. This inflammatory process is divided pathologically into three stages: (1) Stage of congestion; (2) stage of red hepatization; and (3) stage of gray hepatization.
Yellowjacket Yellow fever A flavivirus, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Illness ranges in severity from a self-limited febrile illness to severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever. Last known epidemic occurred in New Orleans in 1905.



Hope you find this helpful,



SOURCES:  Old terms & definitions have been taken from the following sources, those most historical being first used- pdp 
  1. Anders, James Meschter, Boston, Leonard Napoleon, A Text-book of Medical Diagnosis, Philadelphia, 1911
  2. Cleveland, C.H., Pronouncing Medical Lexicon: Containing the Correct Pronunciation and ... 1871
  3. Da Costa, Jacob Mendes, Medical diagnosis: With Special Reference to Practical Medicine. A Guide to ... Philadelphia, 1895
  4. Gould, George Milbry, A New Medical Dictionary: Including All the Words and Phrases Used in Medicine, Philadelphia, 1890
  5. Gould, George Milbry, The Practitioner's Medical Dictionary, P. Blakiston's Son & Co., 1910
  6. Gould, George Milbry, The Student's Medical Dictionary, Blakiston Son & Co., Philadelphia, 1910
  7. Kippax, John Robert, Lectures on Fevers: Delivered at the Chicago Homoeopathic Medical College, Chicago, 1884
  8. Online Medical Dictionary, Dept. of Medical Oncology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  9. Rotch, Thomas Morgan, Pediatrics: The Hygienic and Medical Treatment of Children, Philadelphia, 1897
  10. Ruddock, Edward Harris, The homœopathic vade mecum of modern medicine and surgery , London, 1871
  11. Stedman's Medical dictionary, 5th ed, York, Pennsylvania, 1918
  12. Smith, Eustace, A Practical Treatise on Disease in Children, London, 1889
  13. Stevens, Arthur Albert, A Manual of the Practice of Medicine: Prepared Especially for Students, Philadelphia, 1893
  14. Stimpson, William G., Prevention of Disease and Care of the Sick: How to Keep Well and what to Do, U.S. Public Health Service, Washington D.C., 1919
  15. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia