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Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE (UK). Prophylaxis Against Infective Endocarditis: Antimicrobial Prophylaxis Against Infective Endocarditis in Adults and Children Undergoing Interventional Procedures [Internet]. London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (UK); 2008 Mar. (NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 64.)

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Prophylaxis Against Infective Endocarditis: Antimicrobial Prophylaxis Against Infective Endocarditis in Adults and Children Undergoing Interventional Procedures [Internet].

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3Glossary and abbreviations

3.1. Glossary

Case–control study

Comparative observational study in which the investigator selects individuals who have experienced an event (for example, developed a disease) and others who have not (controls), and then collects data to determine previous exposure to a possible cause.

Cohort study

(also known as follow-up, incidence, longitudinal, or prospective study): An observational study in which a defined group of people (the cohort) is followed over time. Outcomes are compared in subsets of the cohort who were exposed or not exposed (or exposed at different levels) to an intervention or other factor of interest.

Confidence interval

The range within which the ‘true’ values (for example, size of effect of an intervention) are expected to lie with a given degree of certainty (for example, 95% or 99%). (Note: confidence intervals represent the probability of random errors, but not systematic errors or bias).

Economic evaluation

Technique developed to assess both costs and consequences of alternative health strategies and to provide a decision making framework.

Guideline Development Group

A group of healthcare professionals, patients, carers and technical staff who develop the recommendations for a clinical guideline. The NICE Short Clinical Guidelines Team recruits the guideline development group, reviews the evidence and supports the guideline development group. The group writes draft guidance, and then revises it after a consultation with organisations registered as stakeholders.


The degree to which the results of a study or systematic review can be extrapolated to other circumstances, particularly routine healthcare situations in the NHS in England and Wales.


A term used to illustrate the variability or differences between studies in the estimates of effects.

Odds ratio

A measure of treatment effectiveness. The odds of an event happening in the intervention group, divided by the odds of it happening in the control group. The ‘odds’ is the ratio of non-events to events.

Quality-adjusted life year (QALY)

A statistical measure, representing 1 year of life, with full quality of life.

Randomised controlled trial

A form of clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of medicines or procedures. Considered reliable because it tends not to be biased.

Relative risk

Also known as risk ratio; the ratio of risk in the intervention group to the risk in the control group. The risk (proportion, probability or rate) is the ratio of people with an event in a group to the total in the group. A relative risk (RR) of 1 indicates no difference between comparison groups. For undesirable outcomes, an RR that is less than 1 indicates that the intervention was effective in reducing the risk of that outcome.

Sensitivity (of a test)

The proportion of people classified as positive by the gold standard who are correctly identified by the study test.

Systematic review

Research that summarises the evidence on a clearly formulated question according to a predefined protocol using systematic and explicit methods to identify, select and appraise relevant studies, and to extract, collate and report their findings. It may or may not use statistical meta-analysis.

3.2. Abbreviations


American Heart Association


Atrial septal defect


Bacterial endocarditis


Colony-forming units


Congestive heart failure


Confidence interval


Central nervous system


Endoscopic injection sclerotherapy


Endoscopic variceal ligation


Endoscopic variceal sclerotherapy


Ear, nose and throat


Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography


Extra corporeal shock wave lithotripsy






Grown-up congenital heart


Incremental cost effectiveness ratio


Infective endocarditis


Intravenous drug user


Mitral valve prolapse


Native valve endocarditis


Odds ratio


Predisposing cardiac conditions


Prostate-specific antigen


Prosthetic valve endocarditis


Quality-adjusted life year


Randomised controlled trial


Relative risk


Standard error


Transoesophageal echocardiography


Transurethral resection of the prostate


Urinary tract infection


Ventricular septal defect

Copyright © 2008, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

All rights reserved. This material may be freely reproduced for educational and not-for-profit purposes. No reproduction by or for commercial organisations, or for commercial purposes, is allowed without the express written permission of the Institute.

Bookshelf ID: NBK51795


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