Abbreviations and Short Form Conventions


The MeSH vocabulary provides a number of shortened forms and abbreviations for the convenience of indexers and previously for searchers as well. For MeSH terms containing certain words or character strings, the short form shown may be used as a replacement. The Abbreviations and Short Forms list provides a convenient reference. When two or more long forms occur in a term, all are abbreviated, e.g., HOSP SURG DEP. Other shortened forms are:

  1. DF (Data Form) abbreviations:
    DF abbreviations are short forms of descriptors found in the indexing annotation. For example, LDH VIRUS is the DF abbreviation for LACTATE DEHYDROGENASE VIRUS. There is no punctuation in DF abbreviations or other designated short forms.

  2. Hyphenated MeSH descriptors and entry terms:
    A hyphenated descriptor or entry term has an alternate form with a space in place of the hyphen. For example, the entry term EPSTEIN- BARR VIRUS may be entered as EPSTEIN BARR VIRUS.

  3. MeSH terms with words ending in ' (apostrophe): or 's or with a ' (prime in chemical names):
    A term having a word ending in 's or ' has an alternate form omitting the ending. For example, the descriptor TURNER'S SYNDROME may be entered as TURNER SYNDROME, COOMBS' TEST as COOMBS TEST. Chemical descriptors with ' have an alternate form omitting the '. For example, the descriptor 3,3'-DICHLOROBENZIDINE may be entered as 3,3-DICHLOROBENZIDINE.

  4. Omitted AND:
    Terms containing the word AND have a short form omitting the AND and all punctuation. For example, ABSTRACTING AND INDEXING may be entered as ABSTRACTING INDEXING. Descriptors containing only a single noun on either side of the word AND may be entered as either of the nouns alone or both. The only descriptors that may not be so shortened are those in which both halves of the expression are themselves MeSH descriptors and the system would interpret the input as one of the individual descriptors and not the combined expression.

    Descriptors or entry terms containing nouns, adjectives, and the word AND have short forms with the first noun and the first adjective (or vice versa depending on the order in the term) but omitting AND and all punctuation. For example:

      Term Short Form
         
             FACILITY REGULATION AND CONTROL        FACILITY REGULATION
             COOKING AND EATING UTENSILS        COOKING UTENSILS

  5. MeSH descriptors and entry terms with a word in parentheses:

    A term having a word in parentheses generally has a short form omitting the word, the parentheses, and all punctuation. For example, PROMOTER REGIONS (GENETICS) may be entered as PROMOTER REGIONS.

  6. Subheading mnemonics:

    For using a topical subheading in online searching, a two-character mnemonic may be substituted.

Abbreviations and Short Forms

  Term Short Form
  ABNORMAL- ABNORM
  ACADEM- ACAD
  ACCESSIBILITY ACCESS
  ADMINISTRATION ADMIN
  ADRENERGIC ADREN
  AGONIST(S) AGON
  ANALY- ANAL
  ANATOM- ANAT
  ANTAGONIST(S) ANTAG
  ASSESSMENT ASSESS
  ASSOCIAT- ASSOC
  BACTERIA BACT
  BIOLOG- BIOL
  BIOSYNTH- BIOSYN
  BLOCK- BLOCK
  CAPACITY CAPAC
  CATHETER- CATH
  CEREBROSPINAL FLUID CSF
  CHEMICAL- / CHEMISTRY CHEM
  CIRCULAT- CIRC
  CLASSIFICATION CLASS
  CLINICAL CLIN
  COAGUL- COAG
  COENZYME A COA
  COMPLICAT- COMPL
  COMPOUNDS CPDS
  CONCANAVALIN A CON A
  CONGENITAL CONGEN
  CYTOLOG- CYTOL
  DEFICIENCY DEFIC
  DENTAL / DENTISTRY DENT
  DEPARTMENT(S) DEP
  DIAGNOS- DIAG
  DIFFERENT- DIFFER
  DISEASE(S) DIS
  DISORDER(S) DIS
  ECONOMIC- ECON
  EDUCATION- EDUC
  EFFECT(S) EFF
  EMBRYOLOG- EMBRYOL
  ENCEPH- ENCEPH
  ENVIRONMENT- ENVIR
  ENZYMOLOG- ENZYMOL
  EPIDEMIOLOG- EPIDEMIOL
  ERROR(S) ERR
  ETHNOLOG- ETHNOL
  ETIOLOG- ETIOL
  EXAMINATION(S) EXAM
  EXPERIMENTAL EXPER
  GENETIC(S) GENET
  GRADUATE GRAD
  -GRAPH- -GR
  HISTOR- HIST
  HOMOLOGOUS HOMOL
  HOSPITAL(S) HOSP
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN(S) IG
  IMMUNOLOG- IMMUNOL
  INDUCED IND
  INDUSTR- INDUST
  INFECT- INFECT
  INFLAMMAT- INFLAMM
  INHIBIT- INHIB
  INJECT- INJECT
  INJUR- INJ
  INNERVAT- INNERV
  INORGANIC INORG
  INSTRUMENT- INSTRUM
  INTRAOPERATIVE INTRAOP
  ISOLATION ISOL
  LEGISLAT- LEGIS
  MANPOWER MAN
  MEDICAL / MEDICINE MED
  METABOLI- METAB
  MICROBIOLOG- MICROBIOL
  MOLECULAR MOL
  MORTALITY MORTAL
  NEOPLAS- NEOPL
  NURSING NURS
  -OLOG- -OL
  ORGANIC ORG
  ORGANIZATION(S) ORGAN
  PARASITOLOG- PARASITOL
  PATHOGENIC- PATHOGEN
  PATHOLOG- PATHOL
  PEROPERATIVE PEROP
  PHARMACEUT- PHARM
  PHARMACY PHARM
  PHARMACOKINETICS PHARMACOKIN
  PHARMACOLOG- PHARMACOL
  PHYSIOLOG- PHYSIOL
  PHYSIOPATHOLOG- PHYSIOPATHOL
  POISONING POIS
  POSTOPERATIVE POSTOP
  PREGNAN- PREGN
  PREOPERATIVE PREOP
  PREVENT- PREV
  PROSTAGLANDIN- PG
  PSYCHOLOG- PSYCHOL
  PULMONARY PULM
  RADIATION RAD
  RADIOGRAPH- RADIOGR
  RADIOLOG- RADIOL
  RADIOTHERAP- RADIOTHER
  RECEPTOR(S) RECEPT
  REGULAT- REG
  REHABILITATION REHABIL
  RELAT- RELAT
  REPLACEMENT REPLACE
  REVIEW REV
  SECONDARY SECOND
  SECRETION(S) SECRET
  SEQUENCE SEQ
  SERVIC- SERV
  SOLUTION(S) SOL
  STANDARD- STAND
  STAPHYLOCOCC- STAPH
  STATISTIC- STATIST
  STREPTOCOCC- STREP
  SUBVALVULAR SUBVALV
  SURG- SURG
  SYNTHETIC SYN
  THERAP- THER
  TOXICITY TOX
  TRANSMI- TRANSM
  TRANSPLANT- TRANSPL
  ULTRASTRUCTUR- ULTRASTRUCT
  UTILIZATION UTIL
  VETERINAR- VET


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Last updated: 18 October 2002