An iconic language for the Visualization of Concepts in Medicine

Lesson 7 : Additional vocabulary

Circulatory system, blood and renal excretion

In VCM, blood vessels are represented schematically by two horizontal lines. Disorders of the circulatory system are shown in a red square with two lines on the right, symbolizing the blood vessel supplying the organ:

IconExamples
Circulatory system disorder
Coronary disease (vascular disease in the heart)
 
Cerebrovascular disease (vascular disease of the CNS)

Blood pressure-related disorders are represented by adding a double arrow in the blood vessel, symbolizing the pressure:

IconExamples
Blood pressure-related disorders
Hypertension (increased pressure)
 
Intracranial hypertension

Elements in the blood are shown between the two horizontal lines. For blood cells, a white hollow circle represents red blood cells, a solid white circle represents white blood cells, and a rectangle represents platelets. In addition, the pictogram for white blood cells is also used for immunity, and the one for platelets, for clotting.


IconsExamples
 
Blood disorder
 
Red blood cell disorder
Malaria (parasitic infection of red blood cells)
 
Anemia (reduction of red blood cells)
Immune system disorder
Leukemia
 
Immune deficiency (including neutropenia, agranulocytosis)
Coagulation or platelet disorder
Hemophilia, thrombocytopenia
 
Coagulation monitoring (INR,...)
Bone marrow disorder
Tumor of the bone marrow
Spleen disorder
 
 

The substances circulating in the blood are represented similarly:


IconsExamples
 
Glycemia
Hypoglycemia
 
Glycemia monitoring
Lipidemia
Dyslipidemia
Electrolyte disturbances
Natremia disorder
 
Hyperkaliemia
 
Iron monitoring
Plasma concentration of a drug’s active agent
Monitoring of the plasma concentration of a drug’s active agent
 

Renal excretion is represented by a small kidney with the elements or products excreted shown exiting:

Hematuria
Leukocyturia
Renal excretion disorder
Drug renal excretion

Central nervous system, brain function, psychology and behavior


IconsExamples
 
Spinal cord
 
Brain
 
Degenerative brain disease
 
Cerebral activity
Epilepsy
 
Electro-encephalogram (EEG)
Parkinson syndrome, extrapyramidal disorders
 
Cerebral functions
Coma
Sensory functions
 
Motor functions
Paralysis, paraplegia,...
Behavior, psychology
 
Mood
Depression
 
manic disorders
Asthenia
 
Anxiety
 
Vertigo
 
Feeding behavior
Anorexia nervosa
Sexual behavior
 
Language, communication
Language disorder
 

Using several shape modifiers

Several shape modifiers can be used together to represent certain disorders, for example:

Hypertension
Intracranial hypertension
Vascularitis
Nevritis
Tumor pain
Drug addiction
Allergic edema
 

Exercise 1

What do the following icons mean?

(1) Answer: Submit

 

(2) Answer: Submit

 

(3) Answer: Submit

 

(4) Answer: Submit

 

(5) Answer: Submit

 

(6) Answer: Submit

 

(7) Answer: Submit

 

(8) Answer: Submit

Exercise 2

The following text describes the properties of a hypothetical antihypertensive treatment:


This drug is strictly contraindicated for patients with heart failure.

This drug should not be prescribed for patients with unstable angina.

This medicine should not be associated with mefloquine.

This medicine should not be associated with anti-vitamin K.

When taking this medication, it is advised to monitor blood pressure regularly and conduct ECG investigations every two years.

For elderly patients, it is recommended to reduce the dose.

For patients with renal insufficiency, it is recommended to reduce the dose.

In cases of gastrointestinal bleeding, the treatment should immediately be stopped.

 

Answer the questions about the following clinical cases:

Case #1: Mr. X is 73 years old, he is being treated for colon cancer, and by dietary measures for type II diabetes. He also has hypertension. Can you prescribe him the anti-hypertensive drug whose properties are summarized in the text above?

(9-a) Yes Wrong answer!

(9-b) Yes with a dose reduction Wrong answer!

(9-c) Yes with adapted monitoring Wrong answer!

(9-d) Yes with both a dose reduction and adapted monitoring Right answer!

(9-e) No Wrong answer!

 

Case #2: Ms. Y is 42 years old. He takes mefloquine regularly when traveling for professional reasons. His blood pressure is abnormal. Can you prescribe the anti-hypertensive drug whose properties are summarized in the text above?

(10-a) Yes Wrong answer!

(10-b) Yes with a dose reduction Wrong answer!

(10-c) Yes with adapted monitoring Wrong answer!

(10-d) Yes with both a dose reduction and adapted monitoring Wrong answer!

(10-e) No Right answer!