Monday, January 26, 2009

Medical Transcription Guidelines -26

Subscripts and Superscripts

1. Subscripts and superscripts are seldom used by transcriptionists in medical reports because they are not easily executed, even on computer keyboards. Also, on typewritten reports it may be difficult for the reader to determine whether a number is a subscript for one line or a character on the line below it.

2. When a term that would ordinarily have a subscript is written with all characters on the baseline, no spaces or hyphens are used.

A2, P2 A2, P2

V1, V6 V1, V6

3. The most common terms that would have subscripts in medical reports include the following:

blood gases PCO2, PO2

chemical symbols O2, CO2

heart sounds S1, S2, S3, S4

thyroid tests T3, T4

4. The most common terms with superscripts in medical reports are elements such as those used in radiology and radiotherapy. When a term that would ordinarily have a superscript is written with all characters on the baseline, the superscript number that ordinarily precedes the element symbol now follows the symbol, and a space (not a hyphen) is used to separate the letters from the numerals.

technetium 99mTc sulfur colloid

technetium Tc 99m sulfur colloid

iodohippurate sodium 131I

iodohippurate sodium I 131

sodium iodide 125I

sodium iodide I 125

gallium citrate 67Ga

gallium citrate Ga 67

5. A superscript is used occasionally in laboratory data, e.g., when values are given to a certain power. These numbers should be transcribed as dictated.

Dictated: The WBC count was ten to the fifth power.

Transcribed: The WBC count was 105.

Dictated: Red blood cells were five times ten to the sixth power.

Transcribed: Red blood cells were 5 x 106.


  1. Recent technological advancements help medical transcription service providers to offer outstanding service that would meet the rising needs of the healthcare industry. This is such a nice blog for medical transcriptions.Here i have got various useful information about medical transcription

  2. Subscripts and superscripts, symbols, abbreviation and other medical words are very important in the field and I say that one of the best way to ensure that you know them all is to get the right medical transcription training.

  3. You have created a very interesting site. These tips are very useful. Medicinal transcription is still the primary mechanism for a physician to clearly connect with other healthcare providers who access the patient record, to advise them on the state of the patient's health and past/present treatment, and to assure steadiness of care. Thanks.Transcription service

  4. I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work..
    Medical Coding Jobs for Pharmacy Freshers