- In the wrong place. Out of place. An ectopic kidney, for example, is one that is not in the usual location. The term "ectopic" comes from the Greek "ektopis" meaning "displacement" ("ek", out of + "topos", place = out of place). The first person to use "ectopic" in a medical context was the English obstetrician Robert Barnes (1817-1907) who applied it to an extrauterine pregnancy: an ectopic pregnancy.
* * *1. Out of place; said of an organ not in its proper position, or of a pregnancy occurring elsewhere than in the cavity of the uterus. SYN: aberrant (3), heterotopic (1). 2. In cardiography, denoting a heartbeat that has its origin in some abnormal focus; developing from a focus other than the sinoatrial node. [see ectopia]
* * *ec·top·ic ek-'täp-ik adj1) occurring in an abnormal position <an \ectopic kidney> compare ENTOPIC2) originating in an area of the heart other than the sinoatrial node <\ectopic beats> also initiating ectopic heartbeats <an \ectopic pacemaker>ec·top·i·cal·ly -i-k(ə-)lē adv
* * *ec·top·ic (ek-topґik) 1. pertaining to or characterized by ectopia. 2. located away from normal position, as in ectopic pregnancy. 3. arising in an abnormal site or tissue.
Medical dictionary. 2011.