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Kidneys and the Urinary System Glossary

Terms used to explain Kidneys and the Urinary System can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.

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Anal Canal

anal canal
Function: noun
: the terminal section of the rectum

Anesthetize

anes*the*tize
Function: transitive verb
1: to subject to anesthesia

Antibiotic

an*ti*bi*ot*ic
Pronunciation: \-bī-ˈät-ik; -bē-\
Function: adjective
1: tending to prevent, inhibit, or destroy life
2: of or relating to antibiotics or to antibiosis

Artificial Kidney

artificial kidney
Function: noun
: an apparatus designed to do the work of the kidney during temporary stoppage of kidney function —called also hemodialyzer

BPH

BPH
Function: abbreviation
benign prostatic hyperplasia; benign prostatic hypertrophy

Benign

be*nign
Pronunciation: \bi-ˈnīn\


Function: adjective

1: of a mild type or character that does not threaten health or life <benign malaria> <a benign tumor> compare malignant 1
2: having a good prognosis : responding favorably to treatment <a benign psychosis>

Biopsy

1bi*op*sy
Pronunciation: \ˈbī-ˌäp-sē\


Function: noun
pl -sies
: the removal and examination of tissue, cells, or fluids from the living body

Carcinogen

car*cin*o*gen
Pronunciation: \kär-ˈsin-ə-jən, ˈkärs-ən-ə-ˌjen\


Function: noun
: a substance or agent causing cancer

Chemotherapy

che*mo*ther*a*py
Pronunciation: \-ˈther-ə-pē\


Function: noun
pl -pies
: the use of chemical agents in the treatment or control of disease or mental disorder

Creatinine

cre*at*i*nine
Pronunciation: \krē-ˈat-ən-ˌēn, -ən-ən\


Function: noun
: a white crystalline strongly basic compound C4H7N3O formed from creatine and found esp. in muscle, blood, and urine

Crohn's Disease

Pronunciation: \ˈkrōnz-\
Function: noun
1: chronic ileitis that typically involves the distal portion of the ileum, often spreads to the colon, and is characterized by diarrhea, cramping, and loss of appetite and weight with local abscesses and scarring —called also regional enteritis, regional ileitis

Cystectomy

cys*tec*to*my
Pronunciation: \sis-ˈtek-tə-mē\


Function: noun
pl -mies

1: the surgical excision of a cyst <ovarian cystectomy>
2: the removal of all or a portion of the urinary bladder

Cystocele

cys*to*cele
Pronunciation: \ˈsis-tə-ˌsēl\


Function: noun
: hernia of a bladder and esp. the urinary bladder : vesical hernia

Cystoscopy

cys*tos*co*py
Pronunciation: \sis-ˈtäs-kə-pē\
Function: noun
1: the use of a cystoscope to examine the bladder

Detrusor

de*tru*sor
Pronunciation: \di-ˈtrü-zər, -sər\


Function: noun
: the outer largely longitudinally arranged musculature of the bladder wall —called also detrusor muscle

Dialysis

di*al*y*sis
Pronunciation: \dī-ˈal-ə-səs\


Function: noun
pl -y*ses
Pronunciation: \-ˌsēz\

1: the separation of substances in solution by means of their unequal diffusion through semipermeable membranes; esp: such a separation of colloids from soluble substances
2: either of two medical procedures to remove wastes or toxins from the blood and adjust fluid and electrolyte imbalances by utilizing rates at which substances diffuse through a semipermeable membrane:
a: the process of removing blood from an artery (as of a kidney patient), purifying it by dialysis, adding vital substances, and returning it to a vein —called also hemodialysis
b: a procedure performed in the peritoneal cavity in which the peritoneum acts as the semipermeable membrane —called also peritoneal dialysis

Dialyzer

di*a*lyz*er
Function: noun
: an apparatus in which dialysis is carried out consisting essentially of one or more containers for liquids separated into compartments by membranes

Diarrhea

di*ar*rhea
Function: noun
: abnormally frequent intestinal evacuations with more or less fluid stools

Dimethyl Sulfoxide

Function: noun
1: an anti-inflammatory agent (CH3)2SO used in the treatment of interstitial cystitis —called also DMSO

Edema

ede*ma
Function: noun
pl -mas
also -ma*ta
Pronunciation: \-mət-ə\

: an abnormal excess accumulation of serous fluid in connective tissue or in a serous cavity —called also dropsy

End-stage Renal Disease

end–stage renal disease
Function: noun
: the final stage of kidney failure (as that resulting from diabetes, chronic hypertension, or glomerulonephritis) that is marked by the complete or nearly complete irreversible loss of renal function —called also end-stage kidney disease, end-stage kidney failure, end-stage renal failure

Endometriosis

en*do*me*tri*osis
Pronunciation: \ˌen-dō-ˌmē-trē-ˈō-səs\
Function: noun
1: the presence and growth of functioning endometrial tissue in places other than the uterus that often results in severe pain and infertility see adenomyosis

Enterocele

en*ter*o*cele
Pronunciation: \ˈent-ə-rō-ˌsēl\


Function: noun
: a hernia containing a portion of the intestines

Enuresis

en*ure*sis
Pronunciation: \ˌen-yu-ˈrē-səs\


Function: noun
pl -ure*ses
Pronunciation: \-ˌsēz\
: an involuntary discharge of urine : incontinence of urine

Erythropoietin

eryth*ro*poi*e*tin
Pronunciation: \-ˈpoi-ət-ən\


Function: noun
: a hormonal substance that is formed esp. in the kidney and stimulates red blood cell formation abbr. EPOsee epogen

Fibromyalgia

fi*bro*my*al*gia
Pronunciation: \ˌfī-(ˌ)brō-ˌmī-ˈal-j(ē-)ə\
Function: noun
1: a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, tenderness, and stiffness of muscles and associated connective tissue structures that is typically accompanied by fatigue, headache, and sleep disturbances —called also fibromyalgia syndrome, fibromyositis

Glomerulus

glo*mer*u*lus
Pronunciation: \glə-ˈmer-(y)ə-ləs, glō-\


Function: noun
pl -li
Pronunciation: \-ˌlī, -ˌlē\
: a small convoluted or intertwined mass (as of organisms, nerve fibers, or capillaries): as
a: a tuft of capillaries that is covered by epithelium, is situated at the point of origin of each vertebrate nephron, and normally passes a protein-free filtrate from the blood to the surrounding Bowman's capsule see renal corpuscle
b: the convoluted secretory part of a sweat gland
c: a dense entanglement of nerve fibers situated in the olfactory bulb and containing the primary synapses of the olfactory pathway

Graft

1graft
Pronunciation: \ˈgraft\


Function: transitive verb
: to implant (living tissue) surgically <graft[1]ed a new piece of artery into the ruptured portion of the old artery> intransitive verb: to perform grafting

Hematuria

he*ma*tu*ria
Function: noun
: the presence of blood or blood cells in the urine

Hemodialysis

he*mo*di*al*y*sis
Function: noun
pl -y*ses
Pronunciation: \-ˌsēz\

: see: dialysis 2a

Heparinoid

hep*a*rin*oid
Pronunciation: \-ˌnoid\
Function: noun
1: any of various sulfated polysaccharides that have anticoagulant activity resembling that of heparin

Hypermobility

hy*per*mo*bil*i*ty
Pronunciation: \ˌhī-pər-mō-ˈbil-ət-ē\


Function: noun
pl -ties
: an increase in the range of movement of which a bodily part and esp. a joint is capable <hypermobility of the left temporomandibular joint due to the looseness of the capsular ligaments W. B. Farrar>

IBS

Function: abbreviation
irritable bowel syndrome

IVP

IVP
Function: abbreviation
intravenous pyelogram

Immune System

immune system
Function: noun
: the bodily system that protects the body from foreign substances, cells, and tissues by producing the immune response and that includes esp. the thymus, spleen, lymph nodes, special deposits of lymphoid tissue (as in the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow), lymphocytes including the B cells and T cells, and antibodies

Interstitial Cystitis

Function: noun
1: a chronic idiopathic cystitis characterized by painful inflammation of the subepithelial connective tissue and often accompanied by Hunner's ulcer

Intravenous Pyelogram

intravenous pyelogram
Function: noun
: a pyelogram in which radiographic visualization is obtained after intravenous administration of a radiopaque medium which collects in and is excreted by the kidneys

Lupus

lu*pus
Pronunciation: \ˈlü-pəs\
Function: noun
1: any of several diseases (as lupus vulgaris or systemic lupus erythematosus) characterized by skin lesions

MRI

MRI
Pronunciation: \ˌem-(ˌ)är-ˈī\


Function: noun
: see: magnetic resonance imaging; also: a procedure in which magnetic resonance imaging is used

Malignant

ma*lig*nant
Pronunciation: \mə-ˈlig-nənt\


Function: adjective

1: tending to produce death or deterioration <malignant malaria> ; esp: tending to infiltrate, metastasize, and terminate fatally <malignant tumors> compare benign 1
2: of unfavorable prognosis : not responding favorably to treatment <psychotic reactions with a malignant trend>

Micturition

mic*tu*ri*tion
Pronunciation: \ˌmik-chə-ˈrish-ən, ˌmik-tə-\


Function: noun
: see: urination

Motrin

Mo*trin
Pronunciation: \ˈmō-trən\
Function: trademark
1: used for a preparation of ibuprofen

Mylanta

My*lan*ta
Pronunciation: \mī-ˈlan-tə\
Function: trademark
1: used for an antacid and antiflatulent preparation of aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, and simethicone

Nephrectomy

ne*phrec*to*my
Pronunciation: \ni-ˈfrek-tə-mē\


Function: noun
pl -mies
: the surgical removal of a kidney

Nephron

neph*ron
Pronunciation: \ˈnef-ˌrän\


Function: noun
: a single excretory unit esp. of the vertebrate kidney typically consisting of a Malpighian corpuscle, proximal convoluted tubule, loop of Henle, distal convoluted tubule, collecting tubule, and vascular and supporting tissues and discharging by way of a renal papilla into the renal pelvis

Nocturia

noc*tu*ria
Pronunciation: \näk-ˈt(y)ur-ē-ə\


Function: noun
: urination at night esp. when excessive —called also nycturia

OAB

abbreviation: overactive bladder
Function: noun
1: an overactive bladder (OAB) causes the bladder muscle to contract (squeeze involuntarily). This causes an intense urge to urinate, known as urgency.

Ostomy

os*to*my
Pronunciation: \ˈäs-tə-mē\


Function: noun
pl -mies
: an operation (as a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy) to create an artificial passage for bodily elimination

Pelvic

pel*vic
Pronunciation: \ˈpel-vik\
Function: adjective
1: of, relating to, or located in or near the pelvis <pelvic[1] organs> <pelvic[1] pain>

Pentosan

pen*to*san
Pronunciation: \ˈpent-ə-ˌsan\
Function: noun
1: any of various polysaccharides that yield only pentoses on hydrolysis and are widely distributed in plants

Peritoneal Dialysis

peritoneal dialysis
Function: noun
: see: dialysis 2b

Prolapse

2pro*lapse
Pronunciation: \prō-ˈlaps\


Function: intransitive verb
pro*lapsed
pro*laps*ing
: to undergo prolapse

Prostatitis

pros*ta*ti*tis
Pronunciation: \ˌpräs-tə-ˈtīt-əs\
Function: noun
1: inflammation of the prostate gland

Pudendal Nerve

pudendal nerve
Function: noun
: a nerve that arises from the second, third, and fourth sacral nerves and that supplies the external genitalia, the skin of the perineum, and the anal sphincters

Radiation Therapy

radiation therapy
Function: noun
: see: radiotherapy

Rectocele

rec*to*cele
Pronunciation: \ˈrek-tə-ˌsēl\


Function: noun
: herniation of the rectum through a defect in the intervening fascia into the vagina

Remission

re*mis*sion
Pronunciation: \ri-ˈmish-ən\


Function: noun
: a state or period during which the symptoms of a disease are abated <cancer in remission after treatment> compare arrest cure 1 intermission

Renal

re*nal
Pronunciation: \ˈrēn-əl\


Function: adjective
: relating to, involving, affecting, or located in the region of the kidneys : see: nephric<renal function>

Renin

re*nin
Pronunciation: \ˈrē-nən also ˈren-ən\


Function: noun
: a proteolytic enzyme of the blood that is produced and secreted by the juxtaglomerular cells of the kidney and hydrolyzes angiotensinogen to angiotensin I

Runner's High

run*ner's high
Pronunciation: \ˈrən-ərz-\
Function: noun
1: a feeling of euphoria that is experienced by some individuals engaged in strenuous running and that is held to be associated with the release of endorphins by the brain

Seminal Vesicle

seminal vesicle
Function: noun
: either of a pair of glandular pouches that lie one on either side of the male reproductive tract and that in human males secrete a sugar- and protein-containing fluid into the ejaculatory duct

Sling

sling
Pronunciation: \ˈsliŋ\


Function: noun

1: a hanging bandage suspended from the neck to support an arm or hand
2: a harness esp. constructed for supporting a sick animal in a standing position

Sphincter

sphinc*ter
Pronunciation: \ˈsfiŋ(k)-tər\


Function: noun
: an annular muscle surrounding and able to contract or close a bodily opening see anal sphincter cardiac sphincter precapillary sphincter pyloric sphincter

Stoma

sto*ma
Pronunciation: \ˈstō-mə\


Function: noun
pl -mas

1: any of various small simple bodily openings esp. in a lower animal
2: an artificial permanent opening esp. in the abdominal wall made in surgical procedures <a colostomy stoma>

Tylenol

Ty*le*nol
Pronunciation: \ˈtī-lə-ˌnol\
Function: trademark
1: used for a preparation of acetaminophen

UTI

Pronunciation: \ˌyü-(ˌ)tē-ˈī\
Function: noun
1: a urinary tract infection

Ultrasound

1ul*tra*sound
Pronunciation: \ˈəl-trə-ˌsaund\


Function: noun

1: vibrations of the same physical nature as sound but with frequencies above the range of human hearing compare infrasound
2: the diagnostic or therapeutic use of ultrasound and esp. a noninvasive technique involving the formation of a two-dimensional image used for the examination and measurement of internal body structures and the detection of bodily abnormalities —called also echography, sonography, ultrasonography
3: a diagnostic examination using ultrasound

Urethra

ure*thra
Pronunciation: \yu-ˈrē-thrə\
Function: noun
1: the canal that in most mammals carries off the urine from the bladder and in the male serves also as a passageway for semen

Urethrocele

ure*thro*cele
Pronunciation: \yə-ˈrēth-rə-ˌsēl\


Function: noun
: a pouched protrusion of urethral mucous membrane in the female

Urgency

ur*gen*cy
Pronunciation: \ˈər-jən-sē\


Function: noun
pl -cies
: a sudden compelling need to urinate or defecate

Urinalysis

uri*nal*y*sis
Pronunciation: \ˌyur-ə-ˈnal-ə-səs\


Function: noun
pl -y*ses
Pronunciation: \-ˌsēz\
: chemical analysis of urine

Urinary

uri*nary
Pronunciation: \ˈyur-ə-ˌner-ē\


Function: adjective

1: relating to, occurring in, or constituting the organs concerned with the formation and discharge of urine
2: of, relating to, or for urine
3: excreted as or in urine <urinary sugar>

Urinary Bladder

Function: noun
1: a distensible membranous sac that serves for the temporary retention of the urine, is situated in the pelvis in front of the rectum, receives the urine from the two ureters and discharges it at intervals into the urethra through an orifice closed by a sphincter, is lined with transitional hypoblastic epithelium, and develops from the proximal part of the allantois of the embryo

Void

Pronunciation: \ˈvoid\
Function: transitive verb
1: to discharge or emit <void urine> intransitive verb: to eliminate solid or liquid waste from the body <frequent voiding>

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© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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