This is a discussion thread · 28 replies
We commonly use abbreviations such as Dx for diagnosis, Fx for fracture, Hx for history, Sx for symptoms, Tx for treatment or transplant and so forth. It is quite convenient to use those abbreviations in writing a medical chart.
What I really don't understand is the reason why were those abbreviations such as Dx, Fx, Hx, Sx, Tx created by using "x"? I mean why an alphabet such as "D" followed by "x" means an abbreviation for diagnosis. Why does "x" mean an abbreviation? I can imagine that perhaps "x" means something special. But why should it be "x", not "y"?
Do you agree that this "x" might be somewhat related to the old symbol "Rx" referring to prescription?
I would appreciate it if you would provide me with some more information on my question.
Interesting question! Unfortunatly i don't know the answer either. I'm writing a thesis about pancreas Tx and I'm using that abbreviation hundreds of times, but I can't imagin where it comes from.
a belgian med student
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Rx originates in the Latin. According to Stedmans Concise Medical Dictionary it means " recipe, take; prescription; treatment." It is always the first words on a prescription. They define Dx as "diagnosis" but have no history for the abbreviation. Tabers Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary defines Rx simply as "recipe". Dugas & Knor's Nursing Foundations, A Canadian Perspective defines Rx as "treatment" and Dx as "diagnosis'. Rx was the original form of abbreviation or symbol. These others used today are adulterations and career-specific to health care. They have become acceptable jargon. They are not usually found in medical resource texts. If you check at hospital in North America, most have an 'approved abbreviations' list in the policy manual that allows us to use these forms of words. Be careful when you use these short forms. They can have very different meaning on different hospital units or areas of specialization. For example, Sx generally stands for Schizophrenia here in Western Canada. What are you using it for?
Anonymous:Mabye the x is just meant to mean variable.
Anonymous: The x indicates period. It signifies that the preceding letter is an abbreviation.
Anonymous: Rx originates from "Recipe For..." the name of the compound or medication. "Recipe For" then became abbreviated to "R4" and then to "Rx."
Anonymous: According to my teachers-
years back"x" or "X" stood for the unknown or "woman;s mind." Many studies indicate a movement to eliminate the use of the letter but it is doubtful if that will ever happen to the major languages. This letter has been around at least as long as the Greeks began spelling the name of Christ as "Xristos." "Diagnosis" shares with many medical abbreviations that use the first letter of the basic word but follow it with the "x," thus Dx. Which brings one back to Hemingway's reply as to why he wrote so simply and directly: "The tendency of all language is towards simplicity." [WYSIWYG, FWIW, and SNAFU are ugly looking "terms" but they're just part of this growing slanging of English found on the internet.
Anonymous: From my experience with the medical community over the years is that the 'x' in the abbreviation has more to do with latin than any specific relationship to the word. I don't understand why Prescription then would be Px...