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In clinical trials, a variable linked to the efficacy (e.g., prolongation of survival) or safety issue of the trial.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


(poynt) [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.

absorbent point

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.

acupuncture point

Any anatomical location used in acupuncture to relieve symptoms or treat disease.

ah-shi point

A tender point on the body; a trigger point.

auricular point

The center of the external orifice of the auditory canal.

Boas point

See: Boas point

boiling 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.

Broca point

See: Broca, Pierre-Paul

Capuron point

See: Capuron point

cardinal point

1. Any of six points determining the direction of light rays emerging from and entering the eye. See: nodal point; principal point
2. 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.

contact point

The point on a tooth that touches an opposed tooth.

convergence point

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.

corresponding point

The point in the retina of each eye that, when stimulated simultaneously, results in a single visual sensation.

craniometric point

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.

cut point

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.

disparate points

Points on the retinas that are unequally paired.

end point

, endpoint
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.

Erb point

See: Erb, Wilhelm

external orbital point

The prominent point at the outer edge of the orbit above the frontomalar suture.

far point

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.

fixation point

The fovea or point on the retina where the visual axes (lines) meet the point of clearest vision.

flash point

The temperature at which a substance bursts into flame spontaneously.

focal point

The point at which a group of light rays converge.

freezing point

The temperature at which the liquid phase and solid phase of a substance coexist in equilibrium.

fusion point

Melting point.

Guéneau de Mussy point

See: Guéneau de Mussy point

gutta-percha point

A cone made of gutta-percha combined with other material that is used in filling root canals of teeth.

Halle point

See: Halle point

hazard analysis and critical control point

See: hazard analysis and critical control point

hot point

A spot on the skin that perceives hot but not cold stimuli.

hysterogenic point

Any of the circumscribed areas of the body that produce symptoms of an hysterical aura, and eventually a hysterical attack, when rubbed or pressed.

ice point

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.

isoelectric point

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.

isoionic point

The pH at which a solution of ionized material has as many negative as positive ions.

J point

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).

jugal point

The posterior border of the frontal process of the malar bone where bisected by a line tangent to the upper border of the zygoma.

lacrimal point

The outlet of the lacrimal canaliculus. Synonym: punctum lacrimale

Lanz point

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.

Lian point

The point at the junction of the outer and middle thirds of a line from the umbilicus to the anterior superior spine of the ilium where a trocar may be introduced safely for paracentesis.

malar point

The most prominent point on the external tubercle of the malar bone.

point of maximal impulse

Abbreviation: 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.

Mayo-Robson point

See: Mayo-Robson point

McBurney point

See: McBurney, Charles

median mandibular point

The point on the anteroposterior center of the mandibular ridge in the median sagittal plane.

melting point

The temperature at which the solid and liquid phases of a material exist in equilibrium.
Synonym: fusion point

mental point

The most anterior point of the midline of the chin.

metopic point


motor point

The point usually about the middle of a muscle where a motor nerve enters the muscle at which a minimal electrical stimulus to the overlying skin will elicit a visible contraction.

Munro point

See: Munro point

nasal point


near point

Abbreviation: 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.
Synonym: punctum proximum

neutral point

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.

nodal point

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.

occipital point

The most posterior point on the occipital bone.

painful points

Valleix points.

preauricular point

The point immediately in front of the auricular point.

pressure 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.

principal point

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.

saturation point

The point at which a solution contains all the solute it can dissolve; the maximum concentration of a solution.
See: saturated solution; supersaturated solution

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.

set point

A homeostatic mechanism that maintains a variable (such as body temperature, body weight, blood glucose level, or hormone levels) within specific limits.
Synonym: settling point See: homeostasis

settling point

Set point.

silver point

An elongated, tapered silver plug used to fill the root canal in the endodontic treatment of teeth.

spinal point

Subnasal point.

spinous point

A spot over a spinous process very sensitive to pressure.

subnasal point

The center of the base of the anterior nasal spine.
Synonym: spinal point

supra-auricular point

The point on the skull on the posterior root of the zygomatic process of the temporal bone, directly above the auricular point.

supraclavicular point

A stimulation point over the clavicle at which contraction of the arm muscles may be produced.

supraorbital point

A neuralgic point just above the supraorbital notch.

take-home point

A critical concept or fact that an educator wishes to emphasize and to be remembered.

tender point

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.

trigger point

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.
Synonym: trigger zone

triple point

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

Valleix points

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.

visual point

The center of vision.

vital point

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.

Voillemier point

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.

end point

, endpoint
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.
See also: point
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
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