[Fr. point, a prick, a dot fr. L. punctum]
1. The sharp end of any object.
2. The stage at which the surface of an abscess is about to rupture.
3. A minute spot.
4. A position in space, time, or degree.
5. An area of skin that overlies a bony prominence and is subject to pressure injury or ulceration.
A cone of paper used in drying or in keeping liquid medicines in a root canal of a tooth.
active trigger point
A trigger point that is painful without stimulation. Palpation will reproduce the patient’s symptoms.
Any anatomical location used in acupuncture to relieve symptoms or treat disease.
A tender point on the body; a trigger point.
The center of the external orifice of the auditory canal.
SEE: Boas point
The temperature at which a liquid boils. The boiling point of a liquid varies according to the chemicals present in it. Under ordinary conditions water boils at 212°F (100°C) at sea level. To kill most vegetative forms of microorganisms, water should be boiled for 30 min.
SEE: Broca, Pierre-Paul
SEE: Capuron point
point of care
Any location where patient care is provided, e.g., the bedside, radiology suite, emergency room, clinic, or ambulance.
cold rigor point
The temperature at which cell activity ceases.
The point on a tooth that touches an opposed tooth.
1. The point to which rays of light converge.
2. The closest point to the patient on which the eyes can converge as the object is moved closer and closer.
The point in the retina of each eye that, when stimulated simultaneously, results in a single visual sensation.
Any of the fixed points of the skull used in craniometry.
SEE: craniometry for illus
critical point of gases
The temperature at or above which a gas is no longer liquefied by pressure.
critical point of liquids
The temperature above which no pressure may retain a substance in a liquid form.
In an analysis of data, a specified value used to sort continuous variables into discrete categories. It may be set according to its usefulness in predicting abnormal clinical events or arbitrarily.
Blood pressure measurements, for example, are continuous variables: in general, the higher one's pressure, the greater one's risk of congestive heart failure, kidney disease, myocardial infarction, or stroke. The analysis of blood pressure measurements has shown that the risk for these events climbs sharply as systolic blood pressures rise above 139 mm Hg. Therefore hypertension is defined by the cut point of 140 mm Hg, even though lower pressures may be harmful for some patients and higher pressures may be relatively well tolerated by a small number of other patients.
deaf point of the ear
Any of several points or areas close to the external auditory meatus where a vibrating tuning fork is not heard.
point of dispensing
dispensing point Any of the locations to which the public is directed to obtain necessary drugs, vaccines, or supplies during a catastrophe or public health emergency.
Points on the retinas that are unequally paired.
1. The final objective, result, or resolution of an illness, treatment, or research protocol.
2. The measurement or time designated as the completion of an activity.
point of entry
In dental or medical radiography, the location on the face toward which the central ray is directed. Points of entry are typically in the region of the apices of the teeth.
equal pressure point
During forced exhalation, the point at an airway where the pressure inside the airway equals the intrapleural pressure. When the pleural pressure is greater than the pressure inside the airway, it tends to cause bronchiolar collapse.
SEE: Erb, Wilhelm
external orbital point
The prominent point at the outer edge of the orbit above the frontomalar suture.
The point (normally 20 ft [6.1 m]) at which distinct vision is possible without aid of the muscles of accommodation. It may be nearer than 20 ft (6.1 m) according to the degree of myopia. There is no far point in the hypermetropic eye.
The fovea or point on the retina where the visual axes (lines) meet the point of clearest vision.
The temperature at which a substance bursts into flame spontaneously.
The point at which a group of light rays converge.
The temperature at which the liquid phase and solid phase of a substance coexist in equilibrium.
SEE: Melting point.
Guéneau de Mussy point
A cone made of gutta-percha combined with other material that is used in filling root canals of teeth.
SEE: Halle point
hazard analysis and critical control point
A spot on the skin that perceives hot but not cold stimuli.
Any of the circumscribed areas of the body that produce symptoms of an hysterical aura, and eventually a hysterical attack, when rubbed or pressed.
The temperature at which there is equilibrium between ice and air-saturated water at one atmosphere of pressure.
identical retinal points
The points in the two retinas upon which the images are seen as one.
ABBR: IP The particular pH of a solution of an amphoteric electrolyte such as an amino acid or protein in which the charged molecules do not migrate to either electrode. Proteins are least soluble at this point. Thus at the appropriate pH, proteins may be precipitated.
The pH at which a solution of ionized material has as many negative as positive ions.
On the electrocardiogram, the juncture between the end of the QRS complex and the beginning of the T wave (between the representations of ventricular depolarization and repolarization).
The posterior border of the frontal process of the malar bone where bisected by a line tangent to the upper border of the zygoma.
The outlet of the lacrimal canaliculus.
SYN: SEE: punctum lacrimale
SEE: Lanz point
latent trigger point
Any of the trigger points that are not symptomatic when the involved muscle is at rest, but produce pain during palpation. Range of motion and strength may also be limited.
The point at the junction of the outer and middle thirds of an imaginary line from the umbilicus to the anterior superior iliac spine where a trocar may be introduced safely for paracentesis.
The most prominent point on the external tubercle of the malar bone.
point of maximal impulse
ABBR: PMI The point on the chest wall over the heart at which the contraction of the heart is best seen or felt; normally at the fifth intercostal space in the midclavicular line.
maximum occipital point
The point on the occipital bone farthest from the glabella.
SEE: Mayo-Robson point
SEE: McBurney, Charles
median mandibular point
The point on the anteroposterior center of the mandibular ridge in the median sagittal plane.
The temperature at which the solid and liquid phases of a material exist in equilibrium.
SYN: SEE: fusion point
The most anterior point of the midline of the chin.
In electrophysiology, the point overlying a muscle where a minimal electrical stimulus elicits a visible contraction.
SEE: Munro point
ABBR: np The closest point of distinct vision with maximum accommodation. This point becomes more distant with age, varying from about 3 in (7.62 cm) at age 2 to 40 in. (101.60 cm) at age 60.
SYN: SEE: punctum proximum
A point on the pH scale (pH 7.0) that represents neutrality, i.e., the solution is neither acid or alkaline in reaction.
point of no return
A colloquial term for a critical biochemical event that indicates lethal, irreversible changes in cells following ischemic cell injury.
Either of a pair of points situated on the axis of an optical system so that any incident ray sent through one will produce a parallel emergent ray sent through the other.
The most posterior point on the occipital bone.
SEE: Valleix points.
The point immediately anterior to the auricular point.
1. A cutaneous area that can be used for exerting pressure to control bleeding. For control of hemorrhage, pressure above the bleeding point when an artery passes over a bone may be sufficient.
SEE: bleeding for table
2. An anatomical location used in shiatsu (acupressure) to relieve pain or improve the health of organs or tissues.
One of two points so situated that the optical axis is cut by the two principal planes.
point of regard
The point at which the eye is looking.
point of service
A form of extended health care coverage granted to members of managed care plans who opt to pay additional premiums for medical services provided by special panels of providers.
SEE: Set point.
An elongated, tapered silver plug used to fill the root canal in the endodontic treatment of teeth.
SEE: Subnasal point.
A spot over a spinous process very sensitive to pressure.
The center of the base of the anterior nasal spine.
SYN: SEE: spinal point
The point on the skull on the posterior root of the zygomatic process of the temporal bone, directly above the auricular point.
A stimulation point over the clavicle at which contraction of the arm muscles may be produced.
The most rostral point of the superior orbital rim.
A critical concept or fact that an educator wishes to emphasize and to be remembered.
One of the anatomic locations used to identify fibromyalgia. The deep diffuse muscular pain is localized to a number of reproducible (from patient to patient) areas that are tender when palpated. Tender points differ from trigger points in that pain does not radiate to referred areas.
SEE: fibromyalgia for table
thermal death point
In bacteriology, the degree of heat that will kill organisms in a fluid culture in 10 min.
1. An area of tissue that is tender when compressed and may give rise to referred pain and tenderness.
2. An area of the cerebral cortex that, when stimulated, produces abnormal reactions similar to those in acquired epilepsy.
SYN: SEE: trigger zone
The temperature and pressure that allow the solid, liquid, and vapor forms of a substance to exist in equilibrium.
Trousseau apophysiary points
SEE: Trousseau, Armand
SEE: Valleix points
viral set point
The balance in a viral infection between the viral load and the response by the immune system to initial infection. It may be one of the predictors of disease progression in illnesses such as HIV infection.
The center of vision.
The point in the medulla oblongata close to the floor of the fourth ventricle, the puncture of which causes instant death owing to destruction of the respiratory center.
The point on the linea alba of the abdominal wall about 6 to 7 cm below a line connecting the anterior superior iliac spines. Suprapubic puncture of the bladder may be made at this point in obese or edematous people.
Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary Online + App from F.A. Davis and Unbound Medicine. Find 65,000 medical and nursing definitions. Download to iPhone, iPad, and Android. Complete Product Information.