font size

Definition of Icterus

Icterus: Jaundice. At least one medical dictionary defines icterus as the presence of jaundice seen in the sclera of the eye. This is incorrect. Icterus is synonymous with jaundice. They are one and the same thing.

Curiously, both icterus and jaundice come from the Greek. Icterus is a Latinized (-us) form of the Greek word "ikteros" and to the ancient Greeks signified both "jaundice" and "a yellow bird." It was thought that jaundice could be cured if the patient gazed at the bird. The disease would transmigrate from the jaundiced patient to the hapless bird (JAMA 184: 615, 1963).

For related information, see Jaundice.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3890
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

WebMD Daily

Get breaking medical news.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations