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View Full Version : Use of X in Medical Abbreviations (or Ux of X in Mx Ax)


Alan Smithee
06-18-2007, 03:53 PM
Medical abbreviation are often formed by the initial letter followed by x, so Sx=symptoms, Tx=treatment, Hx=history, etc.

What is the origin of this? Did it originate in Latin, lice so many medical abbreviations and terms? It seems that S., T., and H., would be simpler and no less comprehensible (not that comprehensible matters for Mx Px [medical professionals]).

Jackmannii
06-18-2007, 06:23 PM
Medical abbreviation are often formed by the initial letter followed by x, so Sx=symptoms, Tx=treatment, Hx=history, etc.

What is the origin of this? Did it originate in Latin, lice so many medical abbreviations and terms? It seems that S., T., and H., would be simpler and no less comprehensible (not that comprehensible matters for Mx Px [medical professionals]).Why are you making a bx* tgx over thx?

Besides, S., T. and H. already stand for scurvy, tonsils and hives.

You can't teach a croaker new tricks, at least when the old ones work fine.



*Bx actually is an abbreviation for biopsy.

Qadgop the Mercotan
06-18-2007, 07:18 PM
Ax:
Bx: Biopsy
Cx: Culture (I've seen cervix abbreviated like this too)
Dx: Diagnosis
Ex: Example
Fx: Fracture
Gx:
Hx: History
Ix: Home of the mentats?
Jx:
Kx:
Lx:
Mx:
Nx:
Ox:
Px:
Qx: (means "OK" when used by lensmen)
Rx: prescription
Sx: symptom
Tx: Treatment
Ux:
Vx:
Wx:
Yx:
Zx:

No, I don't know why these were picked.

Musicat
06-18-2007, 07:23 PM
I don't think "X" is limited to medical abbrevs. An "X" can susbsitute for a multitude of letters where the understanding is not ambiguous in the intended target group.

For example, it is also used in amateur radio thusly:

TX = transmit or transmitter WX = weather DX = distance

KarlGauss
06-18-2007, 07:57 PM
. . .

Px:
Px: physical

Indyellen
06-18-2007, 08:35 PM
Px: physical
Also, Px: procedure

Rysdad
06-18-2007, 10:53 PM
Ox: Oxygen, but I've more often seen that as O2

KarlGrenze
06-18-2007, 10:58 PM
I've seen Sx also used as abbreviation for surgery.

brossa
06-18-2007, 11:03 PM
Lx: lymph nodes; lymphatic

Malodorous
06-18-2007, 11:19 PM
Ask Jill (https://academicpursuits.us/mailbag/mrx.html)

AWB
06-18-2007, 11:32 PM
At Domino's Pizza, most combination pizzas have two-letter abbreviations where the 2nd letter is "x":

(Ax) - America's Favorite: Pepperoni, Mushroom, and Sausage
(Bx) - Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger: Bacon, Onion, Ground Beef, and Cheddar Cheese
(Dx) - Deluxe Feast: Pepperoni, Mushroom, Green Pepper, Onion, and Sausage
(Hx) - Hawaiian Feast: Ham, Pineapple, and Extra Cheese
(Mx) - Meatzza Feast: Pepperoni, Ham, Sausage, Ground Beef, and Extra Cheese
(Vx) - Vegi Feast: Mushrooms, Onions, Green Peppers, Black Olive, sometimes Diced Tomato (varies by store), and Extra Cheese; does not contain O-ethyl-S-[2(diisopropylamino)ethyl] methylphosphonothiolate (C11H26NO2PS),also known as VX nerve agent.

Giles
06-19-2007, 01:07 AM
Rx: prescription
That was the original one. It's a Latin manuscript abbreviation, written as "R" with a cross-bar on the tail, for the word "Recipe", meaning "Take" -- as in "Take one pill three times per day" "Take one pound of flour, one cup of butter, etc."

Alive At Both Ends
06-19-2007, 02:22 AM
That was the original one. It's a Latin manuscript abbreviation, written as "R" with a cross-bar on the tail, for the word "Recipe", meaning "Take" -- as in "Take one pill three times per day" "Take one pound of flour, one cup of butter, etc."
I think this was actually not originally "Rx" but the astrological symbol for Jupiter, which looks like a 2 with a bar across the horizontal stroke. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrological_symbols) This was a reference to Jupiter's supposed healing powers in ancient astrology.

GuanoLad
06-19-2007, 05:55 AM
When I was at school, Mx stood for Mathematics.

There was another one too... may have been Px = Physics, but I'm not sure.

Colophon
06-19-2007, 05:59 AM
I think this was actually not originally "Rx" but the astrological symbol for Jupiter, which looks like a 2 with a bar across the horizontal stroke. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrological_symbols) This was a reference to Jupiter's supposed healing powers in ancient astrology.

All these theories are discussed in the SDSAB co0lumn linked to up there a way ;) ^^^^^

Mangetout
06-19-2007, 07:42 AM
Ax:
Bx: Biopsy
Cx: Culture (I've seen cervix abbreviated like this too)...No, no...

A is for Appendectomy, B is for Barium... (http://youtube.com/watch?v=uNWcdsgvhTs) (audio in that link probably not workplace safe)

vetbridge
06-19-2007, 09:55 AM
Also, Px: procedure
Px has always been Prognosis for me!

Joe Mahma
06-19-2007, 10:16 AM
I have seen nurses use Px for problem.

Cub Mistress
06-19-2007, 10:28 AM
Some of the X-style abbreviations have more than one meaning, it all depends on context. It drove me crazy my first semester in nursing school, because it was never explained. I've seen bx to mean biopsy, behavior or bilateral (that was only one time and may have just been that nurse's idea of a great abbreviation.)

athelas
06-19-2007, 11:12 AM
Ix: Home of the mentats?No; Ixians made machines.

Malodorous
06-19-2007, 11:32 AM
Some of the X-style abbreviations have more than one meaning, it all depends on context. It drove me crazy my first semester in nursing school, because it was never explained. I've seen bx to mean biopsy, behavior or bilateral (that was only one time and may have just been that nurse's idea of a great abbreviation.)

The hospital near my house recently said they wouldn't accept doctors test orders with abbreviations because they weren't standardized and so caused too much confusion.

Qadgop the Mercotan
06-19-2007, 04:10 PM
No; Ixians made machines.
Per the canonical book, yes. Per Lynch's film, IX was home to mentats.

Gestalt
06-19-2007, 11:28 PM
Dx: Diagnosis

No, I don't know why these were picked.

This is probably going to sound reeaaallly stupid, but . . .

I always wondered why diagnosis was abbreviated "Dx" as well. Then I heard primary diagnoses referred to as, "differential diagnoses." Then I remembered that with a function of x, the derivates of a function are dx/dt (or whatever it's being differentiated with respect to), d2x/dt2 (sorry, don't know how to do the correct coding), etc. When you take the derivative of a function, you are said to "differentiate" it. So I wondered if the two were related. Any insight?

Gestalt.

The Stafford Cripps
06-21-2007, 03:23 PM
Ax =Assessment
Tx = Transfer (eg from bed to chair)

Alan Smithee
06-21-2007, 04:19 PM
Well we're getting closer to developing the AMA Phonetic Alphabet, but even with Jill's Staff Report on Rx, we aren't any closer to finding the origin of any of these abbreviations. We don't even know if they were influenced by Rx, parallel developments, or totally unrelated. Are they recent coinages, or do they originate in medieval texts?

Jill's Report suggests that Rx may have originated as an abbreviation for Latin recipe formed by placing a crossbar over the tail of the R. Were any of these abbreviations formed that way? Were any abbreviations formed this way?

Ludovic
06-21-2007, 04:34 PM
(not that comprehensible matters for Mx Px [medical professionals]).Rx, what's that?
Rx, not quite yet!

MobiusDick
10-07-2014, 10:39 PM
Rx always means therapy and much of the time, the therapy is pharmacologic, but may be physiologic or involve medical equipment.

So we Rx things like Digoxin for CHF or congestive heart failure. It would be written take one tablet by mouth before eating in the morning and 1/2 tablet in the evenings by mouth before eating.
Rx: Digoxin 500 mgs
Disp # 45 for 45 Days
. __
Sig: T po ac qAM & ss po.ac qPM

Or you could Rx: PT or OT or a CPAP

Ex is equipment not example which is eg

MobiusDick, MD, PhD

robert_columbia
10-07-2014, 10:49 PM
If a patient seeks treatment for erectile dysfunction, does that mean that they are asking for Tx for their Dx? Then the doctor tells them that they just need to stop Jx-ing so much. One time, a farmer got told that until he was willing to Nx the Ox Fx-ing, he would never have ordinary, satisfying Sx.

Senegoid
10-08-2014, 12:12 AM
Some of the X-style abbreviations have more than one meaning, it all depends on context. It drove me crazy my first semester in nursing school, because it was never explained. I've seen bx to mean biopsy, behavior or bilateral (that was only one time and may have just been that nurse's idea of a great abbreviation.)

In my own medical records, I've likewise seen Bx, as used by psychologists, to mean behavior.

I've also seen Ox in my records, but I never figured out what it stands for. In the context, it certainly wasn't referring to O2. Do we have an answer for that yet?

susan
10-08-2014, 12:24 AM
It wasn't an abbreviation. They thought you were an ox.

Gretchion
10-08-2014, 02:11 AM
There's also Zx, which refers to zombie threads

bob++
10-08-2014, 06:04 AM
One more instance of a common language causing problems: As far as I know, none of these abbreviations are used or recognised over here. Doctor's bad writing and ad hoc abbreviations have, however, been causing problems since they first started writing prescriptions.

Double Foolscap
10-08-2014, 07:41 AM
If you use X instead of an I, it means that the cartoon character is dead.

Malacandra
10-08-2014, 08:47 AM
I wx that px who reopen zx thx would just fx ox.

LSLGuy
10-08-2014, 01:43 PM
This is probably going to sound reeaaallly stupid, but . . .

I always wondered why diagnosis was abbreviated "Dx" as well. Then I heard primary diagnoses referred to as, "differential diagnoses." Then I remembered that with a function of x, the derivates of a function are dx/dt (or whatever it's being differentiated with respect to), d2x/dt2 (sorry, don't know how to do the correct coding), etc. When you take the derivative of a function, you are said to "differentiate" it. So I wondered if the two were related. Any insight?

Gestalt.No connection really between the mathematical & the medical here.

A "differential diagnosis" is simply the process of deciding what the patient's problem is by looking at the differences between normality, the patient's current state, and the indicia of all the various diseases or injuries.

Imagine a tree-shaped flow chart starting with high level questions like: is patient breathing?, conscious, bleeding, etc. The asking more detailed questions about whatever. Finally getting down into microminutae about different blood test values or genetic factors. The process of working down the decision tree using the evidence of the patient is the process of differential diagnosis. In other words, discover the correct diagnosis by eliminating all the other diagnoses which have different parameters than your patient has.


In math of course, differentials are (simplifying mightily) about taking two nearby X values and their corresponding Y values then evaluating the ratio between X1-X2 (their difference) versus Y1-Y2 (their difference).

No connection really beyond the high-level meaning of the word difference as embodying some sort of comparison.

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