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alpha

 [al´fah]
the first letter of the Greek alphabet, α; used to denote the first position in a classification system; as, in names of chemical compounds, to distinguish the first in a series of isomers, or to indicate the position of substituent atoms or groups; also used to distinguish types of radioactive decay, brain waves or rhythms, adrenergic receptors, and secretory cells that stain with acid dyes, such as the alpha cells of the pancreas.
alpha-adrenergic blocking agent (alpha-blocker) (alpha-blocking agent) any of a group of drugs that selectively inhibit the activity of alpha receptors in the sympathetic nervous system. As with beta-adrenergic blocking agents, alpha-blocking agents compete with the catecholamines at peripheral autonomic receptor sites. This group includes ergot and its derivatives, and phentolamine.
alpha chain disease the most common heavy chain disease, occurring predominantly in young adults in the Mediterranean area, and characterized by plasma cell infiltration of the lamina propria of the small intestine resulting in malabsorption with diarrhea, abdominal pain, and weight loss, or, exceedingly rarely, by pulmonary involvement. The gastrointestinal form is immunoproliferative small intestine disease.
alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) a plasma protein produced by the fetal liver, yolk sac, and gastrointestinal tract and also by hepatocellular carcinoma, germ cell neoplasms, and other cancers in adults; elevated levels may also be seen in benign liver disease such as cirrhosis and viral hepatitis. The serum AFP level is used to monitor the effectiveness of cancer treatment.

During pregnancy some AFP crosses from the amniotic fluid to the mother's blood. If the fetus has a neural tube defect, large amounts of AFP will be found in the amniotic fluid and maternal blood. Blood screening tests for serum AFP can thus be done as a first step in the screening process; if test results are positive, further testing is indicated to diagnose the defect.
alpha particles a type of emission produced by the disintegration of a radioactive substance. The atoms of radioactive elements such as uranium and radium are very unstable, continuously breaking apart with explosive violence and emitting particulate and nonparticulate types of radiation. The alpha particles, consisting of two protons and two neutrons, have an electrical charge and form streams of tremendous energy when they are released from the disintegrating atoms. These streams of energy (alpha rays) can be used in treatment of various malignancies. See also radiation and radiation therapy.

α

1. First letter of the Greek alphabet, alpha (α), used as a classifier in the nomenclature of many sciences.
3. In chemistry, denotes the first in a series, a position immediately adjacent to a carboxyl group, the first of a series of closely related compounds, an aromatic substituent on an aliphatic chain, or the direction of a chemical bond away from the viewer.
4. Abbreviation for alpha particle.
5. In chemistry, symbol for angle of optic rotation; degree of dissociation. For terms beginning with this prefix, see the specific term.

[α]


al·pha

(al'fă), The spelling alpha is used in chemical names, the spelling alfa in pharmaceutical names.
First letter of the Greek alphabet, α.

ALPHA

Abbreviation for:
Access to Learning for the Public Health Agenda (Medspeak-UK)
Agenda for Leadership in Programs for Healthcare Accreditation (obsolete)
Antenatal Psychosocial Health Assessment

α

Abbreviation for alpha.

al·pha

(α) (al'fă)
1. First letter of the Greek alphabet; used as a classifier in the nomenclature of many sciences.
3. chemistry Denotes the first in a series, a position immediately adjacent to a carboxyl group, the first of a series of closely related compounds, an aromatic substituent on an aliphatic chain, or the direction of a chemical bond away from the viewer.
4. Alpha (α) particle.
5. chemistry Symbol for angle of optic rotation; degree of dissociation.
References in periodicals archive ?
Clinical factors such as comorbidity, liver cirrhosis, a-Fetoprotein, platelet, ASA classification, and TNM stage were significant for 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival in ANN models as shown in Table 3.
Yang, "Glycoprotein 96 and a-fetoprotein cross-linking complexes elicited specific antitumor immunity," Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals, vol.
The clinical variables used are summarized in [Table 2] and include age, HBsAg, HBeAg, partial thromboplastin time, total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, a-glutamyltransferase, a-fetoprotein, tumor size, cirrhosis, vascular invasion, differentiation, encapsulation, and tumor number.
For the 35 patients with HCC confirmed by liver biopsy, only 17 patients (48.6%) had increased a-fetoprotein concentrations (>20 [micro]g/L) (33); however, 32 (91.4%) of these patients had increased plasma ALB mRNA concentrations (Fig.
We have seen an automated instrument combining chromatography and immunoassay for the analysis of a-fetoprotein with different glycosylations (14).
These authors concluded that both the serum concentration and percentage of monosialylated [alpha]-fetoprotein are potential diagnostic markers for hepatocellular carcinoma with nondiagnostic a-fetoprotein (15,16).
Placenta accreta/percreta/increta: a cause of elevated maternal serum a-fetoprotein. Obstet Gynecol 1992;80:693-4.
Since the serendipitous finding almost 20 years ago of a reduced concentration of maternal serum a-fetoprotein (MSAFP) in an index case of a second-trimester pregnancy complicated by trisomy 18 (1) and the subsequent confirmation of this finding in other pregnancies complicated by trisomy 21, there has been a gradual improvement in trisomy 21 screening efficiency as better markers have been identified.
a-Fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or free [beta]-hCG, and unconjugated estriol have been prospectively evaluated during the second trimester in large populations (1-11).
Application to the determination of a-fetoprotein. Anal Chim Acta 1994;290:159-65.
Heterogeneous enzyme immunoassay of a-fetoprotein in maternal serum by flow-injection amperometric detection of 4-aminophenol.