Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System Abbreviation/Acronym Definitions

Department of Veterans Affairs Acronyms

As a Veteran, looking at your health records can sometimes feel like you’re looking at alphabet soup. Something that should be simple feels as if it’s “ate up like a soup sandwich” as many drill sergeants used to say.

Well, the Western North Carolina VA Health Care System wants to make it easy.

Per system policy, when symbols, abbreviations and acronyms are used in a Veteran’s health record, there must be an explanatory legend or standardized list available to decipher their meaning. When included in information provided to Veterans, abbreviations and acronyms must be explained in language that are easily understood.

Though this legend doesn’t include all the possible abbreviations used in medical documentation, we are committed to the safety of our Veterans, and we want to ensure their understanding of their medical record. If the user of this list has any questions, they are welcome to reach out to their PACT team for clarification.

Abbreviation/Acronym Abbreviation/Acronym Definitions
/F lower complete denture
/P lower partial denture
a.c. before meals
a.d. right ear
a.m. morning; before noon
a.s. left ear
a.u. both ears
aa of each
AAA apply to affected area
AAA abdominal aortic aneurysm
ABF aortobifemoral bypass
ABI ankle brachial index
Abnl abnormal
ABX antibiotics
AC IOL anterior chamber intraocular lens
ACA anterior cerebral artery
ACT acceptance and commitment therapy
ACW acetowhite (change) or leukoplakia
ad lib. as much as desired; freely
ADATC Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center
ADD attention deficit disorder
ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
ADT androgen deprivation therapy
AH/VH auditory hallucination/visual hallucination
AIMS abnormal involuntary movement scale
AIN acute interstitial nephritis
AJ ankle joint
AKA above knee amputation
AKI acute kidney injury
AMD age-related macular degeneration
Amp amputation
amp. ampule
Amph amphetamines
amt. amount
AOx3 alert and oriented in three spheres
APAP acetaminophen
Appy appendectomy
APR abdominoperineal resection
APT antiplatelet therapy
aq. water
AR anterior resection
AT anterior tibialis
ATC around the clock
ATN acute tubular necrosis
AUB abnormal uterine bleeding
AVF arteriovenous fistula
AVG arteriovenous graft
AVM arteriovenous malformation
B bilateral
B buccal
b.i.d. twice a day
b/l bilateral
BA behavioral activation
BAD bipolar affective disorder
BB brachiobasilic
BC brachiocephalic
BDR background diabetic retinopathy
bib. drink
Bilat bilateral
BKA below knee amputation
BLE bilateral lower extremity
BLL bilateral lower lid
BOT base of tongue
BP blood pressure
BPH benign prostatic hyperplasia
BRONJ bisphosphonate related osteonecrosis of the jaw
BRVO branch retinal Vein Occlusion
bucc. inside cheek
BUE bilateral upper extremity
BUL bilateral upper lid
Bup buprenorphine
BWX bitewing
BX biopsy
Bxy biopsy
BZD benzodiazepine
C chills
c. with
c/s culture and sensitivity
Ca cancer
CAD coronary artery disease
CAP carcinoma of the prostate
cap. capsule
CBCT cone beam computed tomography
CBT cognitive behavioral therapy
CBZ carbamazepine
cc cubic centimeter (cm3)
CC chief compliant
CCA common carotid artery
CCE clubbing, cyanosis, edema
cdi clean, dry, and intact
CEA carotid endarterectomy
CEIOL cataract extraction with intraocular lens placement
CFA common femoral artery
CFV common femoral vein
CIA common iliac artery
CIC clean intermittent catheterization
CIDP chronic demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy
CKD chronic kidney disease
CLI critical limb ischemia
cm centimeter
CN cranial nerve (number that follows indicated which nerve
CNS central nervous system
COE comprehensive exam
COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CP chest pain
CPT cognitive processing therapy
CPT Current Procedural Terminology (procedure code book)
CRVO central retinal vein occlusion
CSF cerebral spinal fluid
CSSRS Columbia suicide severity rating scale
CT computerized tomography
CT A/P abdomen & pelvis CT scan
CTA CT Abdomen
CTA CT angiogram
CT-Bx CT scan guided biopsy
CTH CT head
CTO chronic total occlusion
CTR carpal tunnel release
CTS carpal tunnel syndrome
CVI chronic venous insufficiency
CWT compensated work therapy
cx culture
CXR chest x-ray
D distal
d.c. discontinue
D/C discontinue
D/C discharge
DAPT dual antiplatelet therapy
DAW dispense as written
DBT dialectical behavior therapy
DCR distal clavicle resection
DDX differential diagnosis
DEB drug-eluting balloon
DES dry eye syndrome
DF dorsiflexion
DFE dilated fundus examination
dil. dilute
DIPJ distal interphalangeal joint
disp. dispense
div. divide
dL deciliter
DM diabetes mellitus
DME diabetic macular edema
DMI diabetes type 1
DMII diabetes type 2
Dom domiciliary
DP dorsalis pedis
DPH Dilantin (phenytoin)
DPH diphenhydramine/Benadryl
DR delayed-release
DVT deep vein thrombosis
DX diagnosis
EAC external auditory canal
EAM external auditory meatus
EBL estimated blood loss
EBRT external beam radiation therapy
EBUS bronchoscopy with endobronchial ultrasound
EC enteric-coated
ECA external carotid artery
ECC endocervical curettage
ED erectile dysfunction
EEG electroencephalogram
EIA external iliac artery
EMA early morning awakening
EMB endometrial biopsy
EMDR eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
EMG electromyelography
ENB electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy
ENDO endodontist/ endodontic therapy
ENT ear nose and throat
EOD every other day
EOMI extra ocular movements intact
Epi epinephrine
EPS extrapyramidal symptoms
ER extended-release
ERCP endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram
ERM epiretinal membrane
ESRD end stage renal disease (on dialysis)
ESWL extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy
et and
ETOH alcohol
EUA exam under anesthesia
EVAR endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair
FEVAR fenestrated EVAR
ext external
F fever
F facial
f. make; let it be made
F/ upper complete denture
FBR First at Blue Ridge
fem-pop femoropopliteal bypass
FF free fluid
FGA first generation antipsychotic
FL fluoride
fl. fluid
FLAIR fluid attenuated inversion recovery
FMX full mouth series (radiographs)
FNA fine needle aspiration
FOL flexible laryngoscopy
FOM floor of mouth
FPD fixed partial denture
FSGS focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
ft. make; let it be made
FT full thickness
FWB full weight bearing
FX fracture
FXD for 10 days
g grams
GAD generalized anxiety disorder
GAD-7 generalized anxiety disorder – 7
gal gallon
GBS Guillain-Barré syndrome
GBUS gallbladder ultrasound
GDS geriatric depression scale
GI gastrointestinal
GLC glaucoma
gm grams
GN glomerular nephritis
gr. grain
GSV great saphenous vein
GTC generalized tonic clinic
gtt. drop
h. hour
hr. hour
hor. hour
h.s. at bedtime
h/a/p hypermetropia/astigmatism/presbyopia
HA headache
HALNx hand assisted laparoscopic nephrectomy
HbA1c hemoglobin a1c test
HBOT hyperbaric oxygen therapy
HCT hydrochlorothiazide
HCTZ hydrochlorothiazide
HD hemodialysis
HF hot flushes
HH hiatal hernia
HI homicidal ideation
HIDA scan hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid scan
HIV human immunodeficiency virus
HPI history of present illness
HSG hysterosalpingogram
HTN hypertension
HVF Humphrey visual field
Hx history
I incisal
I and D incision and drainage
I&D irrigation and debridement
I/O in and out (catheter)
IBM inclusion body myositis
ICA internal carotid artery
ICH intracranial hemorrhage
ICI intracorporal Injection
ICP intracranial pressure
ID intradermal
IDDM insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
IgA immunoglobulin A
IIH idiopathic intracranial hypertension
IJ internal jugular
IM intramuscular
IM intramural
IMA inferior mesenteric artery
IN intranasal
inf. infusion
inh. inhalation
inj. injection
INR international normal ratio
IOC intra operative cholangiogram
IOP intraocular pressure
IPJ interphalangeal joint
IPP inflatable penile prosthesis
IR immediate-release
ISI insomnia severity index
IUD intrauterine device
IUI intrauterine insemination
IV intravenous
iVATS image-guided video assisted thoracoscopic surgery
IVC inferior vena cava
IVCF inferior vena cava filter
IVF in vitro fertilization
K potassium
kg kilogram
L liter
L left
L lateral
LAI long-acting injectable
Lap LHC laparoscopic left hemicolectomy
Lap RHC laparoscopic right hemicolectomy
LAR low anterior resection
lat lateral
LAVH laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy
lb pound
LBP low back pain
LE lower extremity
LGB lap gallbladder
LHC left hemicolectomy
LIP licensed independent practitioner
liq. liquid
LL laser lithotripsy
LLE left lower extremity
LLL left lower lid
LLL left lower lobe
LMN lower motor neuron
LMTG lamotrigine
LMWH low molecular-weight heparin
LOA lyses of adhesion
LOE limited oral exam
lot. lotion
LPC licensed professional counselor
LRTI ligament reconstruction tendon interposition
LTG lamotrigine
LUE left upper extremity
LUL left upper lid
LUL left upper lobe
LUS lower uterine segment
m meter
M mesial
M medial
Man mandibular (lower)
MAOI monoamine oxidase inhibitor
MAP myopia, astigmatism, presbyopia
Max maxillary (upper)
max. maximum
MBC measurement based care
MBD metabolic bone disease
MBRP mindfulness based relapse prevention
MBSR mindfulness based stress reduction
MCA middle cerebral artery
mcg; μg microgram
MCI mild cognitive impairment
MD medical doctor
MDD major depressive disorder
MDP Medrol dosepak
med medial
MET metabolic expulsion therapy
mg milligram
MGF maternal grandfather
MGM maternal grandmother
MH mental health
MHC Mental Health Clinic
MI motivational interviewing
min. minimum
mL milliliter
mm millimeter
MMN multifocal motor neuropathy
MMSE mini-mental Status exam
MNA middle night awakening
MoCA Montreal cognitive assessment
MPGN membrane proliferative glomerulonephritis
MPJ metatarsophalangeal joint
MRI magnetic resonance imaging
MRONJ medication related osteonecrosis of the jaw
MSA multisystem atrophy
MSE mental status exam
MST military sexual trauma
MTJ mid tarsal joint
MUA manipulation under anesthesia
N nausea
Nav-Bronch electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy
neb. nebulizer
Neg negative
NGB neurogenic bladder
NIV noninvasive vascular studies (e.g. ultrasound, ABI)
Nl normal
NMS neuroleptic malignant syndrome
NNVAMD non-neovascular age related macular degeneration
Noncon without contrast (non-contrast)
NPDR non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy
NPH normal pressure hydrocephalus
NPWT negative pressure wound therapy (aka wound vac)
NSAID nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
NTG normo-tensive glaucoma
NVAMD neovascular macular degeneration”
NVCC Non-VA community care
NVG neovascular glaucoma
NVID neurovascularly intact distally
NWB non weight bearing
Nx nephrectomy
O occlusal
o.d. right eye
o.s. left eye
o.u. both eyes
OC oral cavity
OCC Office of Community Care
OCD obsessive compulsive disorder
OD right eye (oculus dexter)
ODT oral disintegrating tablet
OHTN ocular hypertension
oint. ointment
OMFS oral maxillofacial surgery
ON optic nerve
ORIF open reduction internal fixation
OS left eye (oculus sinister)
OSA obstructive sleep apnea
OSP open simple prostatectomy
OTC over the counter
OU both eyes together (oculi uterque)
OUD opioid use disorder
oz ounce
P&A phenol and alcohol
p.c. after meals
p.m. evening; after noon
p.o. by mouth; orally
p.r. rectally
p.r.n. as needed (for)
p.v. vaginally
P/ upper partial denture
PA prior authorization
PAA popliteal artery aneurysm
PAD peripheral arterial disease
PANO panoramic image
PAOD peripheral arterial occlusive disease
PARL periapical radiolucency
PAs panic attacks
Path pathology
PAU penetrating aortic ulcer
PAX periapical radiograph
PC primary care
PC IOL posterior chamber intraocular lens
PCA posterior cerebral artery
PCP primary care physician
PD Parkinson’s disease
PD personality disorder
PD peritoneal dialysis
PDR proliferative diabetic retinopathy
PE prolonged exposure
PET positron emission tomography
PF plantar flexion
PFM porcelain fused to metal
PGF paternal grandfather
PGM paternal grandmother
PHQ-9 patient health questionnaire – 9
PICA posterior inferior cerebral artery
PID pelvic inflammatory disease
PIPJ proximal interphalangeal joint
PMH past medical history
PNES psychogenic nonepileptic spells
PNx partial nephrectomy
POAG primary open angle glaucoma
POD post-operative day
POE periodic oral evaluation
POM post-operative month
pop popliteal artery
Pos positive
POW post-operative week
PP pin prick
PPD pack per day
ppx prophylaxis
Premed antibiotic premedication
Prep preparation
PRRC Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center
PSP progressive supranuclear palsy
PSRP periodontal scaling and root planning
pt pint
PT partial thickness
PT posterior tibialis
PTA percutaneous transluminal angioplasty
PTSD post-traumatic stress disorder
PVD posterior vitreous detachment
PWB partial weight bearing
q every; per
q.a.m. every morning; every day before noon
q.h.s. every day at bedtime
q.i.d. 4 times a day
q.p.m. every evening; every day after noon
q.s. a sufficient quantity
q.w. every week
q12; q. 12 h.; q12° every 12 hours
q1-2; q. 1-2 h.; q1-2° every 1 to 2 hours
qt quart
qty. quantity
R right
RAA renal artery aneurysm
RAS renal artery stenosis
RBUS renal bladder ultrasound
RC radiocephalic
RCP radical cystoprostatectomy
RCR rotator cuff repair
RCT root canal therapy
REI reproductive endocrinology and infertility
RHC right hemicolectomy
RIS responding to internal stimuli
RLE right lower extremity
RLL right lower lid
RLL right lower lobe
RLS restless legs syndrome
RML right middle lobe
ROH removal of hardware
ROM range of motion
RPD removable partial denture
RPGN rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis
RPR rapid plasma reagent
RRP radical prostatectomy
RSBD REM sleep behavior disorder
RTC return to clinic
RTSA reverse total shoulder arthroplasty
RUE right upper extremity
RUL right upper lid
RUL right upper lobe
Rx prescription
s&s signs and symptoms
s. without
S/P status post
SAD sub-acromial decompression
SAH subarachnoid hemorrhage
SARRTP Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program
SBP systolic blood pressure
SBRT stereotactic body radiation treatment
SC subcutaneous
SCD sequential compression device
SFA superficial femoral artery
SGA second generation antipsychotic
SHPTH secondary hyperparathyroidism
SI suicidal ideation
SIADH syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone
sig. write; label
SIS saline infusion sonohystogram
SL; s.l. sublingually; under the tongue
SLAP superior labrum anterior posterior
SLUMS St. Louis University Mental Status
SM submucosal
SMA superior mesenteric artery
SNRI serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor
SO salpingoophorectomy
SOB shortness of breath
sol. solution
SPT suprapubic tube
SQ subcutaneous
SRI serotonin reuptake inhibitor
SS subserosal
SSN social security number
SSRI selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
stat. immediately
STD sexually transmitted disease
STI sexually transmitted infection
STJ subtalar joint
SubQ subcutaneous
SUD substance use disorder
supp. suppository
susp. suspension
SW social work
Sx surgery
syr. syrup
SZ seizure
T&C tenotomy and capsulotomy
t.i.d. 3 times a day
tab. tablet
tabs tablets
TAD take as directed
TAH total abdominal hysterectomy
TBI traumatic brain injury
TBM thin basement membrane disease
tbsp tablespoon
TCA tricyclic antidepressant
TcPO2 transcutaneous partial pressure of oxygen
TCVC tunneled central venous catheter
TD tardive dyskinesia
TFR trigger finger release
THA total hip arthroplasty
TIA transient ischemic attack
TKA total knee arthroplasty
TL tubal ligation
TLH total laparoscopic hysterectomy
TMA transmetatarsal amputation
TMJ temporal mandibular joint
top. topical
troch. lozenge
TRUS transrectal ultrasound
TSA total shoulder arthroplasty
tsp teaspoon
TURBT transurethral resection of bladder tumor
TURP transurethral resection of the prostate
TVH total knee arthroplasty
u.d. as directed
UC urothelial carcinoma
UDS urine drug screen
UE upper extremity
UFH unfractionated heparin
UMN upper motor neuron
ung. ointment
URS ureteroscopy
US ultrasound
USMC US Marine Corps
  1. dict.
as directed
UTI urinary tract infection
V vomiting
VA vertebral artery
VA visual acuity
VAS visual analogue scale
VATS video assisted thoracoscopic surgery
VBI vertebral basilar insufficiency
VDRL venereal disease research lab test
VED vacuum erection device
VRQ Veteran’s Restoration Quarters
VS vibration sensation
w. with
w/f with food; with meals
w/o without
WNL within normal limits
WP wet prep
WWP warm and well-perfused
XR extended-release
XRT radiation therapy

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