Glossary of terms

Absorption :
the degree and rate at which a drug enters the bloodstream (usually from the small intestine)

Acute Tubular Necrosis (ATN) :
reversible kidney damage resulting in delayed kidney transplant function

Alkaline Phosphatase :
an enzyme produced by liver (and other) cells; elevated blood levels of this substance may indicate abnormal function of the liver or other organs

Allograft :
a graft between two individuals who are of the same species (e.g. human) but have genetic differences

Anaemic :
low red blood cell count

Anaesthetic :
medication that reduces pain by numbing sensation

Antacid :
a drug that aids in protecting the digestive system by counteracting acid in the stomach, relieving heartburn and digestive discomfort

Antibody :
a protein produced by the immune system, to eliminate foreign substances such as bacteria

Antigen :
a foreign molecule, as on the tissues of a transplant that triggers an immune response

Arteriogram (angiogram) :
an X: ray of the arteries.

Atherosclerosis :
narrowing and irregularity of arteries

B Cell :
a specialized white blood cell responsible for producing antibodies as part of the body's immune system

Bacteria :
small organisms (germs) that can cause disease

Biopsy :
the removal and examination of a very small sample of tissue for diagnosis

Bladder :
the part of the urinary tract that stores urine from the kidneys before urination

Cadaveric Donor (also deceased donor) :
an individual who has recently died under circumstances that permit organ retrieval and transplantation

Cholesterol :
a form of fat that performs necessary functions in the body but is associated with cardiovascular disease; cholesterol is found in foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products

Coagulation :
blood clotting

Corticosteroids: a category of immunosuppressive medications that includes prednisone and prednisolone. Corticosteroids are naturally produced by the adrenal gland

Crossmatch :
a test in which donor and recipient blood samples are tested together. A "positive" crossmatch shows the donor and recipient are incompatible, because of antibodies in the recipient patient that would harm the transplant, if it were to go ahead. A "negative" crossmatch shows there is no reaction between the donor and the recipient. This means that the donor and recipient are compatible and the transplant may proceed.

CMV (Cytomegalovirus) :
a virus that is present in most adults, but which can cause diseases in immunosuppressed patients. CMV disease can affect any organ and, although treatable, is a serious complication.

Diabetes :
a disease in which patients have high levels of sugar in their blood

Dialysis :
the process of cleansing the blood of patients whose kidneys have failed. The term ‘dialysis’ refers to both haemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD)

Diastolic :
the lower of the two pressures recorded as blood pressure, signifying the blood pressure when the heart is at not contracted

Oedema :
excess fluid in body tissues

Electrolyte :
refers to the dissolved form of a mineral such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine, etc.

Enzyme :
a protein made in the body and capable of changing a substance from one form to another

Gingival Hypertrophy :
enlargement of the gums. It is a side effect of the medication cyclosporine; it can usually be managed with good oral hygiene

Glucose :
the type of sugar found in the blood

Graft :
an organ or tissue that is transplanted

Graft Survival :
used to signify effective functioning of a transplanted Helper T Cell: the specialized white blood cell that forms part of the immune system to combat infection or foreign material

Haematocrit :
the proportion of a patient’s blood that is occupied by cells (rather than fluid).

Haemodialysis :
a method of dialysis in which blood is purified by circulating through an apparatus outside the body

Hirsutism :
an excessive increase in hair growth, side effect of corticosteroids and cyclosporine

Histocompatibility :
the examination of human leukocyte antigens (HLA) in a patient often referred to as "tissue typing." Tissue typing is routinely performed for all donors and recipients to help match the donor with the most suitable recipients. This helps to decrease the likelihood of "rejecting" the transplanted organ. HLA is a genetically determined series of antigens that are present on many cell types and usually studied on while blood cells.

Hypertension :
high blood pressure

Immune Response :
any defensive reaction to foreign material by the immune system

Immune System :
the system that protects the body from invasion by foreign substances, such as bacteria and viruses, and from cancer cells

Immunity: a condition of being able to resist a particular infectious disease

Immunosuppressive Agents: medications given to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ

Incompatible: no likeness or similarity between donor or recipient blood type or organs

IV, or Intravenous :
refers to giving medicines or fluids directly into a vein

IV Catheter :
a small needle with a hollow tube inserted into a vein and used to give medicines or fluids

Living Related Donor (LRD) :
a blood relative who donates an organ

Match :
the compatibility between recipient and donor

Nephrologist :
a physician who specialised in the treatment of kidney disease

Noncompliance :
failure to follow the instructions, such as not taking medicine as prescribed or not showing up for clinic visits

Orally :
by mouth

Organ Preservation :
the method used to preserve the viability of donor organs during the time between recovery from the donor and implantation in the recipient patient. This is usually achieved by a specialist preservation solution and cooling to ice temperature. Organ Procurement Organization (OPO): In the USA, OPO's serve as the link between the potential donor and recipient. The organization is responsible for the retrieval, preservation and transportation of organs for transplantation.

Organ Rejection :
an attempt by the immune system to reject or destroy what it recognizes to be a "foreign" presence

Panel Reactive Antibody (PRA) :
a way of measuring the likelihood of a patient being compatible with a donated organ, determined by the range and intensity of antibodies present in the blood of the patients.

PCP :
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, a type of severe pneumonia seen primarily in patients whose immune systems are suppressed

Peritoneal Dialysis :
a method of purifying the blood by flushing the abdominal cavity with a specialised solution

Prophylactic Medication :
medication that is given to prevent disease

Rejection :
an immune response against grafted tissue, which, if not successfully treated, results in failure of the graft

Renal :
refers to the kidney

Stricture/Stenosis :
a narrowing of passage in the body

Systolic :
the greater of the two blood pressure numbers, which measures the maximum blood pressure reached as the heart contracts

Thrush :
a fungus infection in the vagina

Triglycerides :
a form of fat in the bloodstream

T Cells :
a white blood cell involved in the body's immunity

Tissue Typing :
a blood test (performed prior to transplantation) to evaluate the closeness of tissue match (see above under HLA)

Urethra :
the tube that drains urine from the bladder to the outside

Ureters :
tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) :
an infection of one or more parts of the urinary tract

Virus :
a very small agent (germ) that causes infection

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Absorption :
the degree and rate at which a drug enters the bloodstream (usually from the small intestine)

Acute Tubular Necrosis (ATN) :
reversible kidney damage resulting in delayed kidney transplant function

Alkaline Phosphatase :
an enzyme produced by liver (and other) cells; elevated blood levels of this substance may indicate abnormal function of the liver or other organs

Allograft :
a graft between two individuals who are of the same species (e.g. human) but have genetic differences

Anaemic :
low red blood cell count

Anaesthetic :
medication that reduces pain by numbing sensation

Antacid :
a drug that aids in protecting the digestive system by counteracting acid in the stomach, relieving heartburn and digestive discomfort

Antibody :
a protein produced by the immune system, to eliminate foreign substances such as bacteria

Antigen :
a foreign molecule, as on the tissues of a transplant that triggers an immune response

Arteriogram (angiogram) :
an X: ray of the arteries.

Atherosclerosis :
narrowing and irregularity of arteries

B Cell :
a specialized white blood cell responsible for producing antibodies as part of the body's immune system

Bacteria :
small organisms (germs) that can cause disease

Biopsy :
the removal and examination of a very small sample of tissue for diagnosis

Bladder :
the part of the urinary tract that stores urine from the kidneys before urination

Cadaveric Donor (also deceased donor) :
an individual who has recently died under circumstances that permit organ retrieval and transplantation

Cholesterol :
a form of fat that performs necessary functions in the body but is associated with cardiovascular disease; cholesterol is found in foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products

Coagulation :
blood clotting

Corticosteroids: a category of immunosuppressive medications that includes prednisone and prednisolone. Corticosteroids are naturally produced by the adrenal gland

Crossmatch :
a test in which donor and recipient blood samples are tested together. A "positive" crossmatch shows the donor and recipient are incompatible, because of antibodies in the recipient patient that would harm the transplant, if it were to go ahead. A "negative" crossmatch shows there is no reaction between the donor and the recipient. This means that the donor and recipient are compatible and the transplant may proceed.

CMV (Cytomegalovirus) :
a virus that is present in most adults, but which can cause diseases in immunosuppressed patients. CMV disease can affect any organ and, although treatable, is a serious complication.

Diabetes :
a disease in which patients have high levels of sugar in their blood

Dialysis :
the process of cleansing the blood of patients whose kidneys have failed. The term ‘dialysis’ refers to both haemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD)

Diastolic :
the lower of the two pressures recorded as blood pressure, signifying the blood pressure when the heart is at not contracted

Oedema :
excess fluid in body tissues

Electrolyte :
refers to the dissolved form of a mineral such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine, etc.

Enzyme :
a protein made in the body and capable of changing a substance from one form to another

Gingival Hypertrophy :
enlargement of the gums. It is a side effect of the medication cyclosporine; it can usually be managed with good oral hygiene

Glucose :
the type of sugar found in the blood

Graft :
an organ or tissue that is transplanted

Graft Survival :
used to signify effective functioning of a transplanted Helper T Cell: the specialized white blood cell that forms part of the immune system to combat infection or foreign material

Haematocrit :
the proportion of a patient’s blood that is occupied by cells (rather than fluid).

Haemodialysis :
a method of dialysis in which blood is purified by circulating through an apparatus outside the body

Hirsutism :
an excessive increase in hair growth, side effect of corticosteroids and cyclosporine

Histocompatibility :
the examination of human leukocyte antigens (HLA) in a patient often referred to as "tissue typing." Tissue typing is routinely performed for all donors and recipients to help match the donor with the most suitable recipients. This helps to decrease the likelihood of "rejecting" the transplanted organ. HLA is a genetically determined series of antigens that are present on many cell types and usually studied on while blood cells.

Hypertension :
high blood pressure

Immune Response :
any defensive reaction to foreign material by the immune system

Immune System :
the system that protects the body from invasion by foreign substances, such as bacteria and viruses, and from cancer cells

Immunity: a condition of being able to resist a particular infectious disease

Immunosuppressive Agents: medications given to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ

Incompatible: no likeness or similarity between donor or recipient blood type or organs

IV, or Intravenous :
refers to giving medicines or fluids directly into a vein

IV Catheter :
a small needle with a hollow tube inserted into a vein and used to give medicines or fluids

Living Related Donor (LRD) :
a blood relative who donates an organ

Match :
the compatibility between recipient and donor

Nephrologist :
a physician who specialised in the treatment of kidney disease

Noncompliance :
failure to follow the instructions, such as not taking medicine as prescribed or not showing up for clinic visits

Orally :
by mouth

Organ Preservation :
the method used to preserve the viability of donor organs during the time between recovery from the donor and implantation in the recipient patient. This is usually achieved by a specialist preservation solution and cooling to ice temperature. Organ Procurement Organization (OPO): In the USA, OPO's serve as the link between the potential donor and recipient. The organization is responsible for the retrieval, preservation and transportation of organs for transplantation.

Organ Rejection :
an attempt by the immune system to reject or destroy what it recognizes to be a "foreign" presence

Panel Reactive Antibody (PRA) :
a way of measuring the likelihood of a patient being compatible with a donated organ, determined by the range and intensity of antibodies present in the blood of the patients.

PCP :
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, a type of severe pneumonia seen primarily in patients whose immune systems are suppressed

Peritoneal Dialysis :
a method of purifying the blood by flushing the abdominal cavity with a specialised solution

Prophylactic Medication :
medication that is given to prevent disease

Rejection :
an immune response against grafted tissue, which, if not successfully treated, results in failure of the graft

Renal :
refers to the kidney

Stricture/Stenosis :
a narrowing of passage in the body

Systolic :
the greater of the two blood pressure numbers, which measures the maximum blood pressure reached as the heart contracts

Thrush :
a fungus infection in the vagina

Triglycerides :
a form of fat in the bloodstream

T Cells :
a white blood cell involved in the body's immunity

Tissue Typing :
a blood test (performed prior to transplantation) to evaluate the closeness of tissue match (see above under HLA)

Urethra :
the tube that drains urine from the bladder to the outside

Ureters :
tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) :
an infection of one or more parts of the urinary tract

Virus :
a very small agent (germ) that causes infection