AbsorptionThe degree and speed at which a drug enters the bloodstream from the small intestine.
AllograftAn organ or tissue from another individual.
AllotransplantationTransplantation from another individual, live or cadaver.
Alkaline PhosphataseAn enzyme produced by liver (and other) cells; elevated blood levels of this substance may indicate abnormal function of the liver or other organs.
Anemic Low 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. 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 rejection, etc.
Biopsy The removal and examination of tissue for diagnosis.
Bladder The part of the urinary tract that receives urine from the kidneys and stores it until urination.
Blood Urea NitrogenA byproduct of protein breakdown in the body.
BUNBUN 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 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.
Chronic hyperglycemiaExtended periods of blood glucose levels above normal range.
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.
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.
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 physician supervision.
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 form.
DiabetesA condition in which an insufficient amount of insulin is produced by the pancreas, resulting in high levels of glucose in the blood.
Diabetic LesionsIn nephropathy, microscopic damage to the kidneys; most often the result of chronic hyperglycemia.
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).
DysmetabolismImproper or unbalanced metabolic process.
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.
Euglycemic, NormoglycemiaBoth terms denote blood glucose levels in the consistently normal range.
Exogenous Insulin AdministrationInsulin dosage by injection.
GastroenterologistA physician who specializes in the care of the digestive tract.
GlomerulonephritisA serious kidney inflammation, which may seriously impair kidney function; extreme cases require dialysis or transplant.
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.
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 blood.
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.
HLA (human leukocyte antigens) systemGenetically determined series of antigens that are present on human white blood cells (leukocytes) and tissues
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.
Labile, HyperlabileUncontrolled, "brittle".
MatchThe compatibility between recipient and donor.
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.
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.
Pancreas After Kidney Transplant (PAK)A pancreas transplant that is done some time after the kidney transplant.
Pancreas Transplant Alone (PTA)When a pancreas transplant is done without a kidney transplant.
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.
Peritoneal DialysisA method of purifying the blood by flushing the abdominal cavity with a dilute salt solution.
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.
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.
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.
Simultaneous Pancreas and Kidney Transplant (SPK)A transplant procedure where both a kidney and the pancreas are transplanted at the same time.
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.
Type 1 DiabetesAn autoimmune disease in which the body does not produce any insulin to control an individual's blood sugar, most often occurring in children and young adults. People with type I diabetes must take daily insulin injections to stay alive.
Type 2 DiabetesA metabolic disorder resulting from the body's inability to properly use insulin. It often can be controlled with diet, exercise and oral medication or injection of extra insulin. It is the most common form of the disease.
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.
UremicUremia is the end result of kidney failure--the buildup of unexcreted toxins in the blood.
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.