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Definition of Xanth- (prefix)

Xanth- (prefix): A colorful prefix relating to a yellow color. "Xanth-" is related to the word "xanthic" which has its roots in the Greek word "xanthos" which means yellow.

A number of medical terms trace to "xanthos" including, for example:

  • Xanthelasma: A condition in which tiny (1-2 mm) yellowish plaques that are slightly raised on the skin surface of the upper or lower eyelids. The word "xanthelasma" is made up of "xanth-" from the Greek roots "xanthos" (yellow) and "elasma" (plate) = a yellow plate, so called because these are yellow plaques.
  • Xanthinuria: Literally "yellow urine," xanthinuria is an inherited metabolic disorder in which there is deficiency of an enzyme needed to process xanthine, a yellowish substance found in caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, and related substances. Unchecked, xanthinuria can lead to kidney stone formation and urinary tract disease (due to xanthine stones) and to muscle disease (due to deposits of xanthine in the muscle).
  • Xanthoma: A condition characterized by yellowish firm nodules in the skin that frequently are a sign of an underlying disease such as diabetes or a disorder of fats (lipid disorder or hyperlipidemia). The word "xanthoma" is made up of "xanth-" from the Greek roots "xanthos" (yellow) and "oma" (swelling) = a yellow swelling.

"Xanth" is more than a prefix. It is a combining term and can be at the front, in the middle, or at the end of a word. For example, in "pseudoxanthoma."

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=14975
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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