Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tackling The Veterinary Terminology: Prefixes (fibro-)

Remember the Spelling Bee? Big words are easier to tackle when you understand how they're put together. Veterinary terms are composed in the same way. Just like with other words, the main parts of a veterinary term are a prefix, a root, and a suffix. The difference is that they typically come more directly from Greek or Latin.

A prefix is placed at the beginning of a word to modify its meaning by providing additional information. It usually indicates number, location, time, or status.
fibro- [ˈfʌɪbrəʊ] - from Latin - relating to fibers

No, it has nothing to do with dietary fiber, even though the concept is similar in plant and animal tissues in the sense that fiber is a structural component. In an animal tissue, fiber is a component of what is called connective tissue, along with cells that maintain it.

Click on illustration for larger view.
Image Memorial University.

The most familiar type are collagen fibers.

A problem starts, when either enough  these fibers replace functional tissues, or when they go haywire.

The normal development of fibrous connective tissue during healing (formation of scars) is called fibroplasia.  

Fibrosis is a development of tough inelastic tissue, which might be good for wound healing, but when enough functional tissue gets replaced by fibrous tissue, it then interferes with normal structure of function of an organ.

Pulmonary fibrosis, for example, is a form of pneumonia, which leads to inflammation and scarring of the air sacs of the lungs and lung tissue. As it builds up, it will reduce the ability of the lungs to function properly. Fibrosis of the liver means that connective tissue replaces normal functional liver tissue.

Fibroma, an abnormal growth, as the suffix indicates, is a benign tumor of the connective tissue. Fibromatosis means a whole bunch of those.

Fibrosarcoma, though, is an aggressive cancer of fibroblasts, the cells that produce collagen and other fibers within the connective tissue.

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Related articles:
Veterinary Suffixes (-itis)
Veterinary Suffixes (-oma) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-pathy)  
Veterinary Suffixes (-osis) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-iasis) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-tomy) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-ectomy)  
Veterinary Suffixes (-scopy) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-emia)
Veterinary Suffixes (-penia)
Veterinary Suffixes (-rrhea) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-cyte) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-blast) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-opsy)
Veterinary Suffixes (-ac/-al)

Veterinary Prefixes (hyper-) 
Veterinary Prefixes (hypo-)
Veterinary Prefixes (pyo-) 
Veterinary Prefixes (myo-) 
Veterinary Prefixes (myelo-)
Veterinary Prefixes (spondylo-)
Veterinary Prefixes (cardio-) 
Veterinary Prefixes (cervic-) 
Veterinary Prefixes (osteo-)

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