AbsorptionThe degree and speed at which a drug
enters the bloodstream from the small intestine.
Acute Tubular Necrosis (ATN)
Reversible kidney damage resulting in delayed kidney function. Among other
factors, it may be caused by quality of donor organ, time of organ storage
before transplantation, or medications to prevent rejection.
An enzyme produced by liver (and other) cells; elevated blood levels of this
substance may indicate abnormal function of the liver or other organs.
(allogenetic graft or homograft)
A graft between two individuals who are of the same species (eg. human) but
have genetic differences.
Anemic Low red blood cell count.
A medication that reduces pain by dulling sensation.
A drug that aids in protecting the digestive system and relieves heartburn and
AntibodyA protein produced by the body to
eliminate foreign substances, such as bacteria.
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).
An x-ray of the arteries taken with the aid of a dye.
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.
Small organisms (germs) that can cause disease.
A measure of how much of an administered drug is absorbed into the bloodstream,
actually reaching the intended site of action in the body. For example,
medicine is absorbed from the GI tract, travels through the bloodstream, and
reaches the organ tissues, where it works to fight infection, prevent
The removal and examination of tissue for diagnosis.
The part of the urinary tract that receives urine from the kidneys and stores
it until urination.
Blood Urea Nitrogen
A byproduct of protein breakdown in the body.
BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen, a waste product normally excreted by the
kidney. Your BUN value represents how well the kidneys function.
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
Cellcept®An immunosuppressive drug used with other
immunosuppressants to prevent the rejection of the transplanted organ. Also
known by its chemical name, myophenolate mofetil.
CorticosteroidsA category of immunosuppressive
medications that includes prednisone and prednislone.
Creatinine A substance found in blood and urine; it
results from normal body chemical reactions; high blood creatinine levels are a
sign of depressed kidney function.
A 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.
Cyclosporine The immunosuppressive ingredient in
Neoral® (cyclosporine capsules and oral solution for microemulsion) and
Sandimmune® (cyclosporine), an earlier form of cyclosporine. Neoral® and
Sandimmune are not bioequivalent and cannot be used interchangeably without
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.
Detoxify To change a harmful substance into a safer
DiabetesA condition in which an
insufficient amount of insulin is produced by the pancreas, resulting in high
levels of glucose in the blood.
DialysisThe process of cleansing and achieving
chemical balance in the blood of patients whose kidneys have failed. Dialysis
may refer to hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis (PD).
EdemaExcess fluid in body tissues; swelling of
the ankles, for example, is a sign of edema.
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.
GastroenterologistA physician who specializes in the care of
the digestive tract.
A 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.
Helper T Cell The 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
HemodialysisA method of dialysis in which blood is
purified by circulating through an apparatus outside the body (sometimes called
an "artificial kidney”).
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.
HistocompatibilityThe examination of human leukocyte
antigens (HLA) in a patient, often referred to as "tissue typing" or
"genetic matching". Tissue typing is routinely performed for all
donors and recipients in kidney and pancreas transplantation to help match the
donor with the most suitable recipients. This helps to decrease the likelihood
of "rejecting" the transplanted organ.
leukocyte antigens) system
Genetically determined series of antigens that are present on human white blood
cells (leukocytes) and tissues
HypertensionHigh blood pressure.
Any 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
A condition of being able to resist a particular infectious disease.
Prevention or suppression of immune response. Transplant patients receive
immunosuppressive drugs in order to prevent rejection.
Medications 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.
No likeness or similarity between donor or recipient blood type or organs.
Indiana Organ Procurement
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.
A small needle with a hollow tube inserted into a vein and used to give
medicines or fluids.
KidneyOne of the two kidney-bean-shaped organs
located on both sides of the spine, just above the waist. They rid the body of
waste materials and maintain fluid balance through the production of urine.
Donor (LRD)A blood relative who donates an organ.
MatchThe compatibility between recipient and
donor. In general, the more closely the donor and recipient "match",
the greater the potential for a successful transplant.
MicroemulsionA suspension or mixture of tiny droplets
of one liquid in a second liquid, such as the smooth mixture that is formed
when Neoral® (cyclosporine capsules and oral solution for microemulsion)
combines with fluids in the digestive system.
NephrologistA physician who studies the kidney and
treats kidney disease.
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.
Between 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.
An attempt by the immune system to reject or destroy what it recognizes to be a
Antibody (PRA)A way of measuring immune system activity
within the body. PRA is higher when more antibodies are being made.
Carinii Pneumonia (PCP)A type of pneumonia seen primarily in patients whose immune
systems are suppressed.
DialysisA method of purifying the blood by
flushing the abdominal cavity with a dilute salt solution.
A 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
Rapamycin (Rapamune®)Rapamycin belongs to a group of medicines
known as immunosuppressive agents. It is used to lower the body's natural
immunity in patients who receive kidney transplants. When a patient receives an
organ transplant, the body's white blood cells will try to get rid of (reject)
the transplanted organ. Rapamycin works by preventing the white blood cells
from getting rid of the transplanted organ.
RejectionAn immune response against grafted tissue,
which, if not successfully treated, results in failure of the graft to survive.
RenalRefers to the kidney.
Due 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.
(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.
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
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.
A blood test (performed prior to transplantation) to evaluate the closeness of
tissue match between donor's organ and recipient's HLA antigens.
UltrasoundA probe that uses high-frequency sound
waves that pass into the body, are reflected back, to build an image of one's
internal organs that is shown on a monitor.
UrethraA tube that drains urine from the bladder
to the outside.
UretersTubes that drain urine from the kidneys to
Infection (UTI) An infection of one or more parts of the
VirusA very small agent (germ) that causes
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 Cells
Cells in the blood that fight infection; part of the immune system.