Glossary of Medical and Scientific Terms

Anti-lymphocyte globulin
The gamma globulin fraction of antilymphocyte serum; used as an immunosuppressant in organ transplantation. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with antithymocyte globulin.
Antilymphocyte serum (nt-lmf-st, nt-), n. Abbr. ALS
The The globulin fraction of serum from a horse or another animal, usually used in conjunction with other immunosuppressive agents to suppress rejection of grafts or organ transplants.
Azathioprine - (az″ә-thi´o-prēn)
A mercaptopurine derivative used as an immunosuppressant for prevention of transplant rejection in organ transplantation; as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug for treatment of severe, progressive rheumatoid arthritis unresponsive to other agents; and for treatment of a number of autoimmune diseases; administered orally as the base or intravenously as the sodium salt. Immuran (trade name)
Cyclosporine - (si″klo-spor´ēn)
A cyclic peptide from an extract of soil fungi, an inhibitor of t cell function; used as an immunosuppressant to prevent and treat rejection in organ transplant recipients and to treat severe psoriasis and as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug; it is also also administered topically to the conjunctiva in the treatment of chronic dry eye.
Glomerulonephritis (glo-mer″u-lo-nә-fri´tis)
A variety of nephritis characterized by inflammation of the capillary loops in the glomeruli of the kidney. It occurs in acute, subacute, and chronic forms and may be secondary to an infection, especially with the hemolytic streptococcus.
Hemodialysis - (he″mo-di-al´ә-sis)
The use of principles of dialysis for removal of certain elements from the blood while it is being circulated outside the body in a hemodialyzer or through the peritoneal cavity (see peritoneal dialysis, done to remove toxic wastes from the blood of a patient with acute or chronic renal failure. Either the membrane lining the peritoneal cavity (in peritoneal dialysis) or a synthetic membrane (in extracorporeal hemodialysis) may be used as the dialyzing membrane. In the latter, once vascular access has been established, the patient's blood is pumped from the arterial circulation through the hemodialyzer and back into the venous circulation. In the dialyzer, it flows past a cellulosic or synthetic semipermeable membrane while dialysate fluid flows past the other side of the membrane. Small molecules and ions diffuse through the membrane, passing from the side on which the concentration is higher to the side on which it is lower. The dialysate fluid contains no urea or creatinine, so that these constituents are removed at maximum rates. Electrolytes such as sodium and potassium may be removed if necessary. Large molecules and blood cells cannot pass through the membrane and, therefore, stay in the blood. Called also dialysis, kidney dialysis, and renal dialysis. adj., hemodialyt´ic., adj.
Immunosuppression - (im″u-no-sә-presh´әn)
Inhibition of the immune response to unfamiliar antigens that may be present; used in transplantation procedures to prevent rejection of the transplant or graft, and in autoimmune disease, allergy, multiple myeloma, and other conditions. adj., immunosuppres´sive., adj.
Lymphocyte depletion -
Immunosuppression by reduction of circulating lymphocytes or by T-cell depletion of bone marrow. The former may be accomplished in vivo by thoracic duct drainage or administration of antilymphocyte serum. The latter is performed ex vivo on bone marrow before its transplantation.
Lymphocytes - (lim´fo-sīt)
Any of the mononuclear nonphagocytic leukocytes found in the blood, lymph, and lymphoid tissues; they comprise the body's immunocytes and their precursors. They are divided into two classes, B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes, responsible respectively for humoral immunity and cellular immunity. Most are small lymphocytes that have a round or slightly indented, mottled nucleus filling almost the entire cell. When activated by contact with antigen, small lymphocytes begin to expand and change; their cytoplasm enlarges and the nucleus becomes less mottled; they are then referred to as large lymphocytes or lymphoblasts. These cells then multiply and become a variety of specialized cells (memory cells, plasma cells, helper cells, cytotoxic cells, and suppressor cells). adj., lymphocyt´ic., adj.
Nephrectomy (nә-frek´tә-me)
Surgical removal of a kidney, a procedure indicated when chronic disease or severe injury produces irreparable damage to the renal cells. Tumors, multiple cysts, and congenital anomalies may also necessitate removal of a kidney.
Phenotype (fe´no-tīp)
The observable morphological, biochemical, and physiological characteristics of an individual, either in whole or with respect to a single or a few traits, as determined by a combination of the genotype and the environment. adj., phenotyp´ic., adj.
Thoracic duct -
A duct beginning in the cisterna chyli and emptying into the venous system at the junction of the left subclavian and left internal jugular veins. It acts as a channel for the collection of lymph from the portions of the body below the diaphragm and from the left side of the body above the diaphragm.
Uremic - (u-re´me-ә)
An excess in the blood of urea, creatinine, and other nitrogenous end products of protein and amino acid metabolism; more correctly referred to as azotemia. in current usage, the entire complex of signs and symptoms of chronic renal failure. As the glomerular filtration rate falls, serum urea and creatinine rise to very high levels; however, other nitrogenous compounds present in smaller amounts may produce most of the toxic effects. Some uremic symptoms are due to losses of kidney function that do not involve uremia/azotemia. adj., ure´mic., adj.
Ureter- (u-re´tәr) (u´rә-tәr)
The fibromuscular tube, 41 to 46 cm long, through which the urine passes from the kidney to the bladder. As urine is produced by each kidney, it passes into the ureter, which, by contracting rhythmically, forces the urine along and empties it in spurts into the bladder. After being stored temporarily in the bladder, the urine passes out of the body by way of the urethra. adj., ure´teral, ureter´ic., adj.