- Jaundice. At least one medical dictionary defines icterus as the presence of jaundice seen in the sclera of the eye. This is incorrect. Icterus is synonymous with jaundice. They are one and the same thing. Curiously, both icterus and jaundice come from the Greek. Icterus is a Latinized (-us) form of the Greek word "ikteros" and to the ancient Greeks signified both "jaundice" and "a yellow bird." It was thought that jaundice could be cured if the patient gazed at the bird. The disease would transmigrate from the jaundiced patient to the hapless bird (JAMA 184: 615, 1963). For related information, see Jaundice.
* * *SYN: jaundice. [G. ikteros]- acquired hemolytic i. i. and anemia occuring in association with a moderate degree of splenomegaly, increased fragility of red blood cells, and increased amounts of urobilin in the urine. SYN: icteroanemia.- cythemolytic i. i. caused by absorption of bile produced in excess through stimulation by free hemoglobin caused by the destruction of red blood corpuscles.- i. gravis jaundice associated with high fever and delirium; seen in severe hepatitis and other diseases of the liver with severe functional failure. SYN: malignant jaundice.- i. praecox a relatively innocent but rapidly developing type of jaundice with mild anemia in the newborn, most frequently caused by ABO incompatibility between mother and fetus.
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* * *ic·ter·us (ikґtər-əs) [L., from Gr. ikteros] jaundice. icteric adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.