The GASTROLAB Dictionary

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the GASTROLAB Digestive Dictionary



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S (Abbr) Second (s)

Saccharomyces boulardi A yeast used as a probiotic in the prevention and treatment of diarrhea caused by antibiotic treatment, among others diarrea caused by a clostridium difficile infection (pseudomembranous colitis). The usuas dose is 500 mg twice daily

Salpingitis Inflammation in the Fallopian tubes, usually causd by a bacterial infection. An acute salpingitis causes symtoms resembling appendicitis. Antibiotic treatment is the main treatment. Scars in the Fallopian tubes after salpingitis can cause infertitity.

Salpingo-oophoritis Inflammation in the Fallopain tubes and ovaries.

Sarcome A malignant tumour arising in the bone, cartilage, muscle, blood vessels or some other supportive or connective tissue.

SC (Abbr) Subcutaneous, subcutaneously

SCFA (Abbr) Short Chain Fatty Acids

Schilling test A test used to assess absorption of vitamin B12 from the bowel. In patients with pernicious anaemia the absorption is lower than normal.

Schirmer test A test used in the diagnosis of dry eye and Sjogren´s syndrome. A 25 mm long filter paper strip is placed over the lower lids so that the tabbed ends hook over the lid margin, and the part of the paper moistered by the tear flow during a 5 minute period is measured. Values below 5 mm indicates a high likelyhood of dry aye, and values of 2 mm or below are strongly confirmatory.

Schwachman´s syndrome An inherited syndrome consisting of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency (causing diarrhea and failure to thrive in children), neutropenia, short stature, anaemia, thrombocytopenia and some other symptoms. Pancreatic enzyme supplements are used in the treatment of this syndrome, which is often complicated by infections. The prognosis is quite good.

Sclerosing cholangitis is the most frequent liver complication in ulcerative colitis. Between 2 and 7 % of the patients with ulcerative colitis. It is more common in men than in women. This disease is often suspected when liver enzymes are elevated, and an endoscopic retrograde cholangiography is the best way of confirming the diagnose. Sclerosing cholangitis is treated with ursodeoxycholic acid, which has some effect on the liver enzymes, but has not been shown to improve the long term prognosis. There is an elevated risk of cholangiocarcinoma.


ScopeGuide monitor showing the colonoscope
ScopeGuide is a new device manufactured by Olympus. This instrument displays the position of a colonoscope during an endoscopic examination of the colon, thus making it easier to examine the whole colon and contributing to patient comfort. ScopeGuide is based on magnetic fields inside the colonoscope and picked up by the platelike antenna. No x-ray radiation is needed.

Scrub typhus An acute febrile disease caused by a Rickettsia tsutsugamushi-induced vasculitis, occuring mainly in Asia and Australia. Skin rash is a typical symtom, and gastrointestinal complications are common, with haemorrhage, erosions and ulcers often found in endoscopic examinations.

Secretin A gastrointestinal hormon, usually produced in the duodenum. The main physiologic effect is stimulation of the pancreatic bicarbonate secretion.

SeHCAT A test where Selenium-75 homocholic acid taurine is used in order to measure the bilde acid loss from the enterohepatic circulation, for example when bile acid diarrhea is suspected.

Selenium-75 homocholic acid taurine A synthetic analogue of a bile acid, labelled with a gamma emitting radioisotope 75Se, mainly used in the SeHCAT test in measuring the rate of bile acid loss form the enterohepatic circulation, for example when bile acid diarrhea is suspected.

Semi- (Pre) Half-

Sengstaken-Blakemore tube A balloon-like instrument used as a tamponade of bleeding from oesophageal varices.

Senna A herbal laxative containing sennosides, mainly consumed as tee, extracted from senna leaves and pods from Cassia angustifola and Cassia acutifola growing in India and Egypt. Chronic use of senna can cause (pseudo-)melanosis coli, see melanosis coli.

Sennosides The main ingredient in senna. See senna

SERM (Abbr) Selektive Estrogen Reseptor Modulator, a group of drugs that modify the function of the estrogen receptors. The new drug against osteoporosis, raloxifene, belongs to this group.

SGOT (Abbr) Serum glutamic oxaleacetic transaminase

Sfinkter Ringformad muskel som omger en öppning

Sfinkter ani externus Yttre analsfinktern

Sfinkter ani internus Inre analsfinktern

Sfinkter Oddi Sfinkter vid gallgångens öppning till tolvfingertarmen

Sfinkter Prepylorica Ett ringformat muskelband i magsäcken just framför nedre magöppningen, pylorus

Sfinkter Pylori Den muskelring som omger nedre magmunnen, pylorus

Sfinkterotomi Genomskärning av en sfinkter, helt eller delvis

SGPT (Abbr) Serum glutamatic pyruvic transaminase

Sherlock, Sheila (1918 - 2001)

English professor in medicine, and the leading expert in hepatology in Europe for many years. Sheila Sherlock was president of the International Association for the study of the liver 1958 - 1962 and president of the European Association for the Study of the Liver in 1967. Sheila Sherlock has written several important textbooks about liver diseases.

SI (Abbr) Saturation Index

Sialography An X-ray examination of the salivary glands. Radiopaque contrast medium is injected into the ductal system of the glands, giving an accurate picture of the anatomy of the ductal system.

Siberian ulcer A synonym for Anthrax.

Sibutramine A new drug used in the treatment of overweight. The drug reduces the amount of food eaten by increasing the feeling of satiety and it also enhances the energy use of the body. The drug is usually well tolerated. The main side effects are dry mouth, sleeping disorders constipation, and of course loss of appetite. This medicine is supended in january 2010 due to cardiovascular side effects.

Sicca complex Dry eyes and dry mouth, a typical feature of Sjogren´s syndrome.

Siccus, sicca (lat) Dry

SIED (Abbr) Sociedad Interamericana de Endoscopia Digestiva (Interamerican Digestive Endoscopy Society)

Endoscopic finding in a normal sigmoid colon
Sigmoid colon Part S-shaped last part of the large bowel located in the lower left quadrant, between the descending part of the colon and the rectum. Diverticular disease typically affect the sigmoid colon.

Silymarin An extract from milk thistle with antioxidative properties used in the treatment of alcholic cirrhosis. Earlies studies have shown some effect of this drug in mild alcoholic liver cirrhosis, resent studies have not.

Sister Joseph's nodule A metastatic tumour in the umbilicus, usually caused by an advanced intra-abdominal malignancy and indicating a poor prognosis. Sister Mary Joseph worked in the Mayo Clinic as a surgical assistant from 1890 to 1915 and she noted this umbilical nodule when preparing patients for surgery, and these patients were then found to have a malignant tumour in the stomach, ovary, colorectal area or pancreas.

Sitophobia Fear of eating, usually because eating causes pain.

Sjogren, Henrik (1899 - 1986) An ophtalmologist and professor from Sweden who in 1933 published his thesis "Zur Kenntnis der Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca", describing the syndrome carrying his namen. Henrik Sjogren was the chief of the eye department in Jonkoping and he was awarded with the degree of honour professor at the University of Gothenburg in 1961.

Sjogren´s Syndrome A autoimmun chronic inflammatory disease the typical features of which are diminished lacrimal and salivary gland secretion, resulting in dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) and dry mouth (xerostomia). The patients often suffer from other rheumatic diseases. Patients with celiac disease h/ave a somewhat increased risk of getting Sjögren´s Syndrome, and women are more often affected than men.

SLE (Abbr) Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

SMAS (Abbr) See Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome

A solitary rectal ulcer
Solitary Rectal Ulcer SyndromeMultiple or single ulcers (and sometimes only mucosal injury without any ulcer) in the distal or middle part of the rectum sometimes resembling a rectal cancer in an endoscopic examination. The cause of this syndrome is thought to be an internal or external rectal prolapse and constipation. The main symtoms are lower abdominal pain and blood in the stools. The treatment is that of treating constipation with bulk laxatives and by avoiding straining during defecation. The prognosis is not always favourable and sometimes a rectal prolapse can be treated surgically.

Somatostatin A gastrointestinal hormone produced in the pancreas and the gut. The main physiological effect is reduction of hormonal and intestinal secretions. Somastotatin analogues, for example octreotride amd lanreotide) are used in the treatment of carcinoid tumours.

Sorafenib A drug used in the treatment of hepatocellular cancer (and really the only effective one) and kidney cancer. Trade mark: Nexavar

SP (Abbr) Substance P

Sphincter A muscle ring surrounding an orifice, for example the anal sphincter surrounding the anus

Sphincter of Oddi The sphincter surrounding the common orifice of the common bile duct and the pancreatic duct in the wall of the descending part of the duodenum.

Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction A functional disorder in the Sphincter of Oddi. The Rome II diagnostic criteria for this disorder are: Episodes of severe steady pain located in the epigastrium and right upper abdominal quadrant. Symptom lasts for 30 minutes or more, with pain-free intervals, the pain is steady and severe enough to interrupt daily activities and there is no evidence of structural abnormalities to explain the symptoms.

Sphincterotomy The surgical often partial division of a sphincter. Sphincterotomy of the Sphincter of Oddi (also called papillotomy) can be made endoscopically.

Splenic fever A synonym for Anthrax

Splenomegaly Enlarged spleen.

Sphincter A ringlike muscle band which surrounds an orifice and closes it. From a Greek word which means "that which binds tight".

Sphincter ani interna The inner anal sphincter

Sphincter ani externa The outer ana sphincter

Sphincter of Oddi The sphincter surrounding the opening of the bile duct and pancreatic duct to the duodenum.

Sphincterotomy (Surgical) division of a sphincter

Spontaneuous bacterial peritonitis A bacterial peritonitis occuring in liver cirrhosis patients with ascites without any local infectious source. The bacteria involved is commonly a Gram negative enteric bacteria.

Sprue, Celiac See Coeliac Disease

Squamocellular Papilloma See Squamous Papilloma

A squamous papilloma in the upper part of the oesophagus
Squamous Papillomas, Oesophageal or Squamocellular Papillomas are small benign polypoid lesions, which seldom produce any symptoms and therefore often are found incidentally. There is a very small risk of cancer development so these papillomas should usually be removed at least when found in a young patient.

Square foot A square measure, measuring area. 1 square foot is 0.093 square meters and one square meter is 10.76 square feet.

Square inch A square measure, measuring area. 1 square inch is 6.542 square centimeters and one square centimeter is 0.155 square inches.

Square mile A square measure, measuring area. 1 square mile is 2.59 square kilometers and one square kilometer is 0.386 square miles.

Square yard A square measure, measuring area. 1 square yard is 0.836 square meters and one square meter is 1.196 square yards.

SSAT (Abbr) Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract

S-Tenatoprazole The S-isomer of tenatoprazole, a drug, proton pump inhibitor (PPI), used in the treatment of hyperacidic diseases, especially oesophageal reflux disease. The S-isomer form of this drug, s-tenatoprazole has a prolonged effect compared to the older PPIs and might be slightly more efficient especially in the treatment of severe reflux oesophagitis.

Steroid ulcer A gastric or duodenal ulcer that becomes clinically manifest during steroid (cortison) treatment, and where the treatment perhaps has an etiological significance.

Alexis St. Martin
St. Martin, Alexis (1794 - 1881) A Canadian voyageur, who was badly wounded in a gun accident and as a result of this accident had an artificial opening in the abdominal wall which made direct examination of the stomach possible. Dr. William Beaumont made thorough physiological observations concerning the anatomy och physiology of the stomach from 1825 to 1834, actually the first studies of digestion and movements of the stomach with the stomach in situ. Alexis St. Martin died in 1881.

Stoma An artificial, surgically created, opening between the intestine and the skin. Typical stomas are colostomy, an opening between colon and the body surface, and ileostomy, on opening between the distal small bowel and the body surface.

Stomatitis Inflammation in the mucosa of the mouth

Stool form scale See Bristol stool form scale

Stricture A narrowing of one of the natural channels in the body, usually caused by scarring after ulcer or trauma or by a neoplasm. Oesophageal stricture (narrowing of the gullet causing swallowing difficult) is often caused by a chronic reflux oesophagitis.

Stridor A sound during air inspiration caused by a narrowing in the upper airways, most often in the larynx

Subitus (Lat) Sudden, for example Mors subitum = Sudden death

Superior mesenteric artery syndrome (SMAS) An uncommon diseases caused by a compression of the third part of the duodenum from the abdoman aorta and the superior mesenteric artery. The main symtoms are fullnes after meal, nausea, bilious vomiting and marked weight loss, and weight loss can exacertabe the syndrome causing a circulus vitious. X-ray-examination of the small bowel usually gives the diagnose, showing a distension of the proximal duodenum. Medical treatment is sufficient in mild cases, and weight gain releaves this syndrome. Severe cases of this rare syndrome can require surgical treatment. Synonym: Wilkie´s syndrome, Cast syndrome

Nanna Svartz
Svartz, Nanna (1890 - 1986) A Swedish physician and professor in medicine. Professor Svartz is best known for the invention of a drug, sulfasalazin, used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases since 1939 and still one of the most important drugs in the treatment of these diseases.

Syndrome, cyclic vomiting see Cyclic vomiting syndrome

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