Abbreviations

AJVR and JAVMA Abbreviations and Technical Terms

Overuse of abbreviations can make text confusing, ambiguous, and frustrating to read. Therefore, we encourage authors to limit abbreviations to those included in the journal’s list of standard abbreviations that should be used without expansion and to standard units of measure, divisions of time, and commonly used routes of administration.

Other abbreviations are acceptable when a long, cumbersome, or awkward word or phrase is used. However, even in these instances, a term should generally be abbreviated in each of the 4 parts of a manuscript (abstract, main text, figures, and tables) only when the abbreviation is used at least 3 times in that part of the manuscript.

  • For abbreviations other than those included in the journal’s list of standard abbreviations, standard units of measure, divisions of time, and commonly used routes of administration, the term must be expanded at first mention, with the abbreviation given in parentheses after the expanded term, in each of the 4 parts of the manuscript in which it appears. The abbreviation is then used without expansion throughout the remainder of that part.
  • All abbreviations should be derived directly from the word or words that make up the expanded term.
  • In addition, to assist authors and readers, we have compiled examples of preferred terminology and abbreviations for technical terms specifically related to the following:

Abbreviations are allowed for figures and tables.

  • Abbreviations in figures should be defined in the legend of the first figure in which they appear.
  • Abbreviations in tables should be defined in the legend or footnotes of the first table in which they appear.
  • A division of time appearing in a table column heading or as a figure axis should be spelled out unless the division is in parentheses.

Except for the abbreviations ELISA, ACTH, EDTA, DNA, and RNA, abbreviations should generally not be used in titles.

Standard abbreviations that should be used without expansion

The following is a list of abbreviations that should be used without expansion in the abstract, main text, figures, and tables.

2-D 2-dimensional or 2 dimensions
3-D 3-dimensional or 3 dimensions
ACTH Adrenocorticotropic hormone
ADP Adenosine diphosphate
ADPase Adenosine diphosphatase
ALP Alkaline phosphatase
ALT Alanine aminotransferase or alanine transaminase
AJVR American Journal of Veterinary Research
AMDUCA Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act
ANCOVA Analysis of covariance
ANOVA Analysis of variance
APHIS Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
approx Approximately (use only in parenthetical expressions)
AST Aspartate aminotransferase or aspartate transaminase
ATCC American Type Culture Collection
ATP Adenosine triphosphate
ATPase Adenosine triphosphatase
AVMA American Veterinary Medical Association
BCG Bacille Calmette-Guerin
bp Base pairs (use only when accompanied by a number)
BUN Blood urea nitrogen
cAMP Cyclic adenosine monophosphate
CBC Complete blood count
CD Clusters of differentiation (use only with a number, such as CD3 or CD79a)
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
cDNA Complementary deoxyribonucleic acid
CFU Colony-forming unit
CI Confidence interval
CNS Central nervous system
CPR Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CSF Cerebrospinal fluid
cRNA Complementary RNA
CT Computed tomography or computed tomographic
D-dimer Dimerized plasmin fragment D
DICOM Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine
DMSO Dimethyl sulfoxide
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid
dNTP Deoxyribonucleotide triphosphate
ECG Electrocardiogram or electrocardiographic
EDTA Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid
eg Latin for “for example” (use only in parenthetical expressions)
ELISA Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
FDA Food and Drug Administration
FeLV Feline leukemia virus
FGF Fibroblast growth factor (use only with a number, such as FGF-19 or FGF-23)
FIP Feline infectious peritonitis
FIV Feline immunodeficiency virus
FLAIR Fluid-attenuated inversion recovery
GABA γ-aminobutyric acid
GFR Glomerular filtration rate
GGT γ-glutamyltransferase
H&E Hematoxylin and eosin
Hct Hematocrit
HEPES N-2-Hydroxyethylpiperazine-N'-2-ethanesulfonic acid
HIV Human immunodeficiency virus
hpf High-power field or high-power fields
HPLC-MS-MS High-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry
HU Hounsfield unit or Hounsfield units
IACUC Institutional animal care and use committee
ICU Intensive care unit
ie Latin for "that is" (use only in parenthetical expressions)
IGF Insulin-like growth factor (use only with a number, such as IGF-1)
IL Interleukin (use only with an alphanumeric descriptor, such as IL-1β or IL-4)
IQR Interquartile (25th to 75th percentile) range
JAVMA Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
kVp Kilovolt peak
LD50 Median lethal dose
LDH Lactate dehydrogenase
MAC Minimum alveolar concentration
MCH Mean corpuscular hemoglobin
MCHC Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration
MCV Mean corpuscular volume
MeSH Medical Subject Headings of the US National Library of Medicine
MIC Minimal inhibitory concentration
MRI Magnetic resonance imaging (Although this abbreviation can be an adjective or a noun, it cannot be used to mean magnetic resonance image. The term MRI image is acceptable. No expansion needed.)
mRNA Messenger ribonucleic acid
m/z Mass-to-charge ratio
NAD Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide
NADH Reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide
NADP Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate
NADPH Reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate
Nd:YAG Neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet [laser]
NIH National Institutes of Health
NSAID Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
OR Odds ratio
PAGE Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
PBS Phosphate-buffered saline
PCR Polymerase chain reaction
PCV Packed cell volume
PDGF Platelet-derived growth factor
PET-CT Positron emission tomography and computed tomography
ppb Parts per billion
ppm Parts per million
ppt Parts per trillion
RBC Red blood cell
RNA Ribonucleic acid
RPMI Roswell Park Memorial Institute
rRNA Ribosomal ribonucleic acid
SARS-CoV-2 Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
SD Standard deviation
SDS Sodium dodecyl sulfate
SE Standard error
SEM Standard error of the mean
SI Système Internationale
STIR Short tau inversion recovery
SUN Serum urea nitrogen
T3 Triiodothyronine
T4 Thyroxine
TCID50 Median tissue culture infective dose
TGF Transforming growth factor (use only with the appropriate descriptor, such as TGF-β1)
tRNA Transfer ribonucleic acid
UPLC-MS-MS Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry
US United States 
USDA United States Department of Agriculture
USP United States Pharmacopeia
UV Ultraviolet
VEGF Vascular endothelial growth factor
WBC White blood cell
WHO World Health Organization

 

Divisions of time

Use the following abbreviations for divisions of time in virgule constructions, figures, and tables:

Millisecond ms
Second s
Minute min
Hour h
Day d
Week wk
Month mo
Year y

 

Routes of administration

The following commonly used administration routes should be abbreviated on first mention:

IA Intra-articular
ID Intradermal
IM Intramuscular
IP Intraperitoneal
IV Intravenous
PO Per os
SC Subcutaneous

 

Technical terms

Many specialized fields have their own terms and abbreviations that are commonly used in the field but not well-known to readers outside that field. Authors should consider whether abbreviating those terms might be confusing for readers and whether using the expanded term, rather than the abbreviation, might improve understandability. In addition, in certain fields, abbreviations may not have been standardized for certain terms. This is especially true in the fields of pharmacology, respiratory physiology, and radiology. The following lists are provided to help standardize abbreviations in these fields.

 

Preferred pharmacologic and pharmacokinetics terminology

The following list provides many of the commonly used pharmacologic and pharmacokinetic terms, although it is not meant to be complete. These terms must be expanded on first mention, with the abbreviation given afterward in parentheses.

α Alpha; Rate constant for the distribution portion of the plasma concentration-versus-time curve, as in: C(t) = A•e–α•t + B•e–β•t (typically reported as h–1)
β Beta; Rate constant for the elimination portion of the plasma concentration-versus-time curve, as in: C(t) = A•e–α•t + B•e–β•t (typically reported as h–1)
λz Terminal rate constant or terminal slope of the concentration-versus-time curve (typically reported as h–1)
AUC Area under the concentration-versus-time curve (typically reported as μg•h/mL)
AUC0–last Area under the concentration-versus-time curve from time 0 to the last measured concentration (typically reported as μg•h/mL)
AUC0–∞ Area under the concentration-versus-time curve from time 0 to infinity (typically reported as μg•h/mL)
AUMC Area under the first moment curve (typically reported as μg•h2/mL)
Cl Clearance or systemic clearance (typically reported as μg•h2/mL)
Cl/F Clearance corrected for bioavailability (typically reported as μg•h2/mL)
C Concentration (typically reported as μg/mL)
C0 Concentration at time 0; Used for an IV dose (typically reported as μg/mL)
Cmax Maximum observed concentration, maximum serum concentration, maximum plasma concentration, or peak concentration (typically reported as μg/mL)
Cmin Minimum observed concentration, minimum serum concentration, or minimum plasma concentration (typically reported as μg/mL)
Css Concentration at steady state, plasma concentration at steady state, or serum concentration at steady state (typically reported as μg/mL)
F Bioavailability (no units [expressed as a fraction] or % [F X 100])
k Rate constant (typically reported as h–1)
k01 Rate constant for absorption into the central compartment; used for non-IV dose (typically reported as h–1)
k10 Rate constant for drug elimination from the central compartment (typically reported as h–1)
k12 Rate constant for drug movement from the central to the peripheral compartment or rate constant for drug movement from compartment 1 to compartment 2 (typically reported as h–1)
k21 Rate constant for drug movement from the peripheral to the central compartment or rate constant for drug movement from compartment 2 to compartment 1 (typically reported as h–1)
ke or kel Elimination rate constant (typically reported as h–1)
ka or kabs Absorption rate constant; used for a non-IV dose (typically reported as h–1)
MIC Minimum inhibitory concentration (typically reported as μg/mL)
MIC50 Minimum inhibitory concentration for 50% of isolates (typically reported as μg/mL)
MIC90 Minimum inhibitory concentration for 90% of isolates (typically reported as μg/mL)
MRT Mean residence time (typically reported as μg/mL) and can include a subscript to indicate the data used for calculations (eg, MRT0–obs)
t1/2 Half-life or apparent elimination half-life (typically reported as min)
t1/2α Distribution half-life; corresponds to ln2/α (typically reported as min)
t1/2β Elimination half-life; corresponds to ln2/β (typically reported as min)
t1/2λ Terminal half-life; corresponds to ln2/λ (typically reported as min)
t1/2 kel or t1/2 ke Half-life for drug elimination (typically reported as min)
t1/2 ka or t1/2 kabs Half-life for drug absorption; used for a non-IV dose (typically reported as min)
tlag Time delay between drug administration and first observed concentration or lag time (typically reported as min)
tmax Time to maximum concentration (typically reported as min)
VdC Volume of distribution of the central compartment; 9sed for an IV dose; equivalent to V1 (typically reported as L/kg)
Vd Volume of distribution (L typically reported as /kg)
Vdarea Volume of distribution calculated using the AUC method; used for an IV dose; equivalent to VZ (typically reported as L/kg)
Vd/F Volume of distribution corrected for bioavailability or volume of distribution per fraction absorbed (typically reported as L/kg)
Vdss Volume of distribution at steady state; used for an IV dose (typically reported as L/kg)
Vdss/F Volume of distribution at steady state corrected for bioavailability or volume of distribution at steady state per fraction absorbed (typically reported as L/kg)

 

For C and related parameters, the text should indicate the sample type for which concentrations were evaluated (concentrations may not always be measured in serum or plasma).

The variable that the rate constant k pertains to should also be mentioned in the text.

Typical reporting units are provided. However, units that are equivalent when conversions are applied are also acceptable (eg, L/kg/h or mL/kg/min for Cl or Cl/F; ng/mL or mg/L for C and related parameters; min–1 for k and related parameters; h for t and t1/2 related parameters; mg/L for MIC data; mL/kg for Vd and related parameters). Units of mL/kg/h are equivalent to mL•h–1•kg–1; the former term is preferred because of its simplicity.

 

Preferred pulmonary and respiratory terminology

For terms in the field of pulmonary and respiratory physiology, the AVMA journals follow the guidelines given in the 11th edition of the AMA Manual of Style (amamanualofstyle.com). The following list provides many of the most commonly used terms we see in manuscripts in this field. Unless otherwise indicated, these terms must be expanded on first mention, with the abbreviation given afterward in parentheses.

CaO2 Arterial oxygen concentration or content
Cc′O2 Pulmonary end-capillary oxygen concentration
CvO2 Mixed venous oxygen content
DLCO Diffusing capacity of lung for carbon monoxide
FEO2 Fraction of expired oxygen
FIO2 Fraction of inspired oxygen
HbCO Carboxyhemoglobin
HbO2 Oxyhemoglobin
PaCO2 Arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (no expansion needed)
PACO2 Alveolar partial pressure of carbon dioxide
PaO2 Arterial partial pressure of oxygen (no expansion needed)
PAO2 Alveolar partial pressure of oxygen
PAO2-PaO2 Alveolar-arterial difference in partial pressure of oxygen
PB Barometric pressure
PCO2 Partial pressure of carbon dioxide (no expansion needed)
PEEP Positive end-expiratory pressure
PEmax Maximum expiratory pressure
PETCO2 End-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide
pHa pH of arterial blood
pHv̄ pH of central (mixed) venous blood
PImax Maximum inspiratory pressure
PO2 Partial pressure of oxygen (no expansion needed)
Pv̄CO2 Mixed venous partial pressure of carbon dioxide
Pv̄O2 Mixed venous partial pressure of oxygen
SaO2 Arterial oxygen saturation of hemoglobin
SpO2 Peripheral oxygen saturation of hemoglobin as measured by pulse oximetry
Sv̄O2 Mixed venous oxygen saturation of hemoglobin
VDS Volume dead space
V̇E Expired minute ventilation
O2 Oxygen consumption per unit time
O2max Maximum oxygen consumption
V̇/Q̇ Ventilation-perfusion ratio
VSD Ventricular septal defect
VT Tidal volume

 

Preferred terminology for naming of radiographic projections

For radiographic projections, the AVMA journals follow the naming convention described by Smallwood et al (Smallwood JE, Shively MJ, Rendano VT, Habel RE. A standardized nomenclature for radiographic projections used in veterinary medicine. Vet Radiol. 1985;26[1]:2–9. doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-8261.1985.tb01105.x).

The following list provides examples of the names for various radiographic projections. These terms must be expanded on first mention, with the abbreviation given afterward in parentheses.

DL-PaMO Dorsolateral–palmaromedial oblique
DL-PlMO Dorsolateral–plantaromedial oblique
DPa Dorsopalmar
DPl Dorsoplantar
DPrL-PaDiMO Dorsoproximolateral–palmarodistomedial oblique
LeD-RtVO Left dorsal–right ventral oblique
LeR-RtCdO Left rostral–right caudal oblique
RD-CdVO Rostrodorsal-caudoventral oblique
RtD-LeVO Right dorsal–left ventral oblique
RtR-LeCdO Right rostral–left caudal oblique
RV-CdDO Rostroventral–caudodorsal oblique

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