AnemicLow red blood cell count.
AnestheticA medication that reduces pain by dulling sensation.
Antacid A drug that aids in protecting the digestive system and relieves heartburn and digestive discomfort.
AntibodyA protein produced by the body to eliminate foreign substances, such as bacteria.
Antigen A foreign molecule or substance, such as a transplant, that triggers an immune response. This response may be the production of antibodies, which, in turn, try to inactivate or destroy the antigen (transplanted organ).
Arteriogram (angiogram)An x-ray of the arteries taken with the aid of a dye.
Atherosclerosis A buildup of fats in the lining of the arteries that may interfere with the flow of blood.
B CellA specialized white blood cell responsible for the body's immunity. B cells play a central role in antibody production.
Bacteria Small organisms (germs) that can cause disease.
Bioavailability A measure of how much of an administered drug is absorbed into the bloodstream, actually reaching the intended site of action in the body.
Brain DeathWhen the brain has permanently stopped working, as determined by a neurological surgeon, artificial support systems may maintain functions such as heartbeat and respiration for a few days.
Cadaveric DonorAn individual who has recently died of causes that do not affect the function of an organ to be transplanted. Either the person or the person's family has generously offered organs and/or tissues for transplantation.
Cellcept®An immunosuppressive drug used with other immunosuppressants to prevent the rejection of the transplanted organ. Also known by its chemical name, myophenolate mofetil.
CholesterolA form of fat that performs necessary functions in the body but can also cause heart disease; cholesterol is found in animal foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.
CrossmatchA test in which donor and recipient blood samples are mixed together. A "positive" crossmatch shows the donor and recipient are incompatible. 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 infection that is very common in transplant recipients; it can affect the lungs and other organs as well; a member of the family of herpes viruses.
DetoxifyTo change a harmful substance into a safer form.
DiabetesA condition in which an insufficient amount of insulin is produced by the pancreas, resulting in high levels of glucose in the blood.
Diastolic The bottom of two blood pressure numbers, which measures blood pressure when the heart is at rest.
EdemaExcess fluid in body tissues; swelling of the ankles, for example, is a sign of edema.
ElectrocardiogramA recording of the electrical activity of the heart.
ElectrolyteGenerally refers to the dissolved form of a mineral such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine, etc.
EnzymeA protein made in the body and capable of changing a substance from one form to another.
GlucoseA type of sugar found in the blood.
GraftAn organ or tissue that is transplanted.
Graft SurvivalWhen a transplanted tissue or organ is accepted by the body and functions properly. The potential for graft survival is increased when the recipient and donor are closely matched, and when immunosuppressive therapy is used.
HeartThe heart is a myogenic muscular organ that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions.
Helper T CellThe specialized white blood cell that tells other parts of the immune system to combat infection or foreign material.
HematocritA measure of the red-blood-cell content of blood.
HirsutismAn excessive increase in hair growth - especially male-pattern hair growth in a female. Hirsutism is a common side effect of corticosteroids and can also occur with cyclosporine therapy, but is easily treated with depilatory creams or other methods of hair removal.
HypertensionHigh blood pressure.
Immune ResponseAny defensive reaction to foreign material by the immune system.
Immune SystemThe system that protects the body from invasion by foreign substances, such as bacteria and viruses, and from cancer cells.
ImmunityA condition of being able to resist a particular infectious disease.
ImmunosuppressionPrevention or suppression of immune response. Transplant patients receive immunosuppressive drugs in order to prevent rejection.
Immunosuppressive AgentsMedications given to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ.
Imuran®An immunosuppressive drug used with other immunosuppressive drugs to help prevent the rejection of a transplanted organ. Also known by its chemical name, azathioprine.
IncompatibleNo likeness or similarity between donor or recipient blood type or organs.
Indiana Organ Procurement Organization (IOPO)IOPO serves as the integral link between the potential donor and recipient and is accountable for the retrieval, preservation and transportation of organs for transplantation. IOPO is an UNOS members as are all Organ Procurement Organizations.
IV or IntravenousRefers to giving medicines or fluids directly through a vein.
IV CatheterA small needle with a hollow tube inserted into a vein and used to give medicines or fluids.
MatchThe compatibility between recipient and donor. In general, the more closely the donor and recipient "match", the greater the potential for a successful transplant.
NeutrophilA type of white blood cell.
NoncomplianceFailure to follow the instructions of one's health care providers, such as not taking medicine as prescribed or not showing up for clinic visits.
Organ PreservationBetween organ procurement and transplant, organs require special methods of preservation to keep them viable. The length of time that organs and tissues can be kept outside the body varies, depending on the organ, the preservation fluid and the temperature.
Organ RejectionAn 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 immune system activity within the body. PRA is higher when more antibodies are being made.
Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP)A type of pneumonia seen primarily in patients whose immune systems are suppressed.
PlateletA small blood cell needed for normal blood clotting.
PotassiumA mineral essential for body function.
PrednisoneA manufactured steroid hormone taken by most transplant recipients to help prevent rejections medication that helps prevent disease.
RejectionAn immune response against grafted tissue, which, if not successfully treated, results in failure of the graft to survive.
RenalRefers to the kidney.
RetransplantationDue to organ rejection or transplant failure, some patients need another transplant and return to the waiting list. Reducing the number of retransplants is critical when examining ways to maximize a limited supply of donor organs.
Sandimmune® (cyclosporin)An earlier formulation of cyclosporine. An immunosuppressive drug used with other immunosuppressive drugs, that acts specifically to inhibit helper T cells, thereby helping prevent the rejection of a transplanted organ. Sandimmune and Neoral are not bioequivalent and cannot be used interchangeably without physician supervision.
SensitizedBeing immunized, or able to mount an immune response, against an antigen by previous exposure to that antigen.
SodiumA component of table salt (sodium chloride); an electrolyte that is the main salt in blood.
StatusIndicates the degree of medical urgency for patients awaiting transplants.
Stricture or StenosisA narrowing of passage in the body.
Survival RatesSurvival rates indicate how many patients or grafts (transplanted organs) are alive/functioning at a set time post-transplant. Survival rates are often given at one, three and five years. Policy modifications are never made without examining their impact on transplant survival rates. Survival rates improve with technological and scientific advances. Developing policies that reflect and respond to these advances in transplantation will also improve survival rates.
SystolicThe top of the two blood pressure numbers, which measures the maximum blood pressure reached as blood is pumped out of the heart chambers.
TriglyceridesA form of fat that the body makes from sugar, alcohol, and excess calories.
T CellsA white blood cell responsible for the body's immunity. T cells can destroy cells infected by viruses, graft cells, and other altered cells.
Tissue TypingA blood test (performed prior to transplantation) to evaluate the closeness of tissue match between donor's organ and recipient's HLA antigens.
Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)A mechanical pump used for blood circulation support. It decreases the workload of the heart while maintaining adequate flow and blood pressure.
VirusA very small agent (germ) that causes infection.
Waiting ListAfter evaluation by the transplant physician, a patient is added to the national waiting list by the transplant center. Lists are specific to both geographic area and organ type: heart, lung, kidney, liver, pancreas, intestine, heart-lung, kidney-pancreas. Each time a donor organ becomes available, the UNOS computer generates a list of potential recipients based on factors that include genetic similarity, organ size, medical urgency and time on the waiting list. Through this process, a "new" list is generated each time an organ becomes available.
White Blood CellsCells in the blood that fight infection; part of the immune system.