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Urinary System

Acetone

Ketone body produced in abnormal amounts in uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, when there is excessive fat breakdown in cells.

Albuminuria

Protein in the urine.

Antidiuretic hormone

Pituitary gland hormone that normally stimulates the kidney to decrease production of urine, preventing excess loss of water. Also called vasopressin.

Anuria

Suppression of urine formation by the kidney.

Arteriole

Small artery.

Azotemia

Excess of nitrogenous waste products in the blood; uremia.

Bacteriuria

Bacteria in the urine.

Caliceal

Pertaining to a calyx (cup-shaped collecting chamber in the central portion of the kidney).

Caliectasis

Dilation or widening of a calyx. This occurs when urine is backed up in the kidney as in hydronephrosis.

Calyx; calyces

Cup-shaped collecting region in the renal pelvis (central section of the kidney).

Catheter

Tube for injecting or removing fluids.

Cortex

Outer region of an organ; renal ______ is the outer region of the kidney.

Cortical

Pertaining to the cortex (outer region of an organ).

Creatinine

Nitrogen-containing waste product of muscle metabolism; excreted by the kidney in urine.

Creatinine clearance test

Measures the rate at which creatinine is cleared from the blood by the kidney.

Cystectomy

Excision (removal) of the urinary bladder.

Cystitis

Inflammation of the urinary bladder.

Cystoscopy

Visual (endoscopic) examination of the urinary bladder.

Cystostomy

New opening of the urinary bladder to the outside of the body.

Diabetes insipidus

Abnormal condition of inadequate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) from the pituitary gland. Patients experience polyuria (excessive urination) and polydipsia (excessive thirst).

Diabetes mellitus

Abnormal condition of no insulin or inadequate insulin secretion from the pancreas. This leads to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and glycosuria (sugar in the urine).

Diuresis

Increased excretion of urine by the kidneys. A diuretic is an agent that increases _______, such as tea, coffee or water.

Dysuria

Painful urination.

Edema

Abnormal accumulation of fluid in tissue spaces.

Electrolyte

Chemical element that carries an electrical charge when dissolved in water. Examples are sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+) and chloride (Cl-).

Enuresis

Bedwetting; literally, "in urine."

Erythropoietin

Hormone secreted by the kidney to stimulate red blood cell production by bone marrow.

Essential hypertension

High blood pressure due to no apparent cause.

Filtration

Process by which some substances, but not all, pass through a filter or other type of material.

Glomerular capsule

Collects the material that is filtered from the blood through the walls of the glomerulus; also known as Bowman capsule.

Glomerulonephritis

Inflammation of glomeruli in the kidney.

Glomerulus; glomeruli

Tiny ball of capillaries (microscopic blood vessels) in the cortex of the kidney. As blood flows through each glomerulus, waste materials and other substances are filtered from the bloodstream.

Glycosuria

Sugar in the urine.

Hematuria

Blood in the urine.

Hemodialysis

Removal of waste materials (urea, creatinine, and uric acid) from the blood in patients whose kidneys have stopped functioning. Blood leaves the body and circulates through a machine that removes wastes before sending the blood back into the body through a vein.

Hilum

Depression or hollow in the surface of an organ, such as the kidney and lung. It is the area where blood vessels and nerves enter and leave the organ.

Hydronephrosis

Abnormal condition of excess backup of fluid (urine) in the kidney.

hyperkalemia

High levels of potassium in the blood.

hyponatremia

Low levels of sodium in the blood.

Interstitial nephritis

Inflammation of the tissue in the kidney that lies between the nephrons (functional units).

Intravesical

Pertaining to within the bladder

Ketonuria

Presence of ketones in the urine. Common in uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, but can occur in anytime the body begins to break down fatty tissue to provide energy as in starvation.

Ketosis

Accumulation of large quantities of ketone bodies (acetones) in the blood; ketoacidosis.

Kidney

One of two bean-shaped organs behind the abdominal cavity on either side of the backbone in the lumbar region.

Lithotripsy

Process of using high-energy sound waves to crush a stone within the kidney or ureter.

Meatal stenosis

Narrowing of the meatus (opening) leading from the urethra to the outside of the body.

Meatus

An opening or passageway. The urinary _______ is the opening of the urethra to the outside of the body and the auditory meatus is the opening of the ear to the outside of the body.

Medulla

Inner region of an organ.

Medullary

Pertaining to the medulla or an organ.

Nephrolithiasis

Abnormal condition of kidney stones.

Nephrolithotomy

Incision of the kidney to remove a stone.

Nephron

Functional unit of the kidney, consisting of a glomerulus, renal tubule, and collecting tubule.

Nephropathy

Disease or abnormality of the kidney.

Nephroptosis

Prolapse of a kidney; floating or wandering kidney.

Nephrostomy

Opening of the kidney to the outside of the body.

Nephrotic syndrome

Group of symptoms that occur due to loss of protein in the urine. Symptoms include edema (swelling of tissues), hypoalbuminemia (loss of protein from the blood), heavy proteinuria, and infection. This condition is also known as nephrosis.

Nitrogenous waste

Substance containing nitrogen and excreted in urine: examples are urea, creatinine and uric acid.

Nocturia

Urinary frequency at night.

Oliguria

Scanty urination.

Parenchyma

an organ's essential and distinctive tissue.

Paranephric

Pertaining to beside or near a kidney.

Peritoneal dialysis

Separation of nitrogenous wastes from the bloodstream by introducing fluid into the peritoneal cavity. Wastes then leave the bloodstream and enter the fluid, which is drained through an abdominal catheter.

Phenylketonuria

Excess of phenylketones in the urine; diagnosed by a PKU test at birth.

Polycystic kidney disease

Kidneys are filled with cysts that prevent normal kidney function.

Polydipsia

Excessive thirst.

Polyuria

Excessive urination.

Potassium

Chemical element that forms salts with other minerals such as calcium and is vital for bodily processes. When dissolved in water, it is an electrolyte whose balance is regulated by the kidney.

Pyelolithotomy

Incision to remove a stone from the renal pelvis of the kidney.

Pyelonephritis

Inflammation of the renal pelvis and kidney; caused by bacterial infection.

Pyuria

Pus in the urine; sign of urinary tract infection (UTI).

Reabsorption

Process in the kidney by which the renal tubules return materials necessary to the body back into the bloodstream.

Renal angiography

X-ray record of blood vessels of the kidney after injecting contrast material.

Renal angioplasty

Surgical repair of blood vessels in the kidney. Narrowed areas of renal arteries are dilated using an inflatable balloon attached to a catheter.

Renal artery

Blood vessel that carries blood to the kidney.

Renal calculi

Kidney stones.

Renal cell carcinoma

Malignant tumor of the kidney in an adult.

Renal colic

Severe pain resulting from stones (calculi) in a ureter or in the kidney (renal pelvis).

Renal failure

Failure of the kidneys to produce and excrete urine.

Renal hypertension

High blood pressure resulting from kidney disease.

Renal ischemia

Condition in which blood is held back from the kidney, often by blockage of renal arteries and arterioles.

Renal pelvis

Central collecting chamber of the kidney.

Renal transplantation

Surgical transfer of a complete kidney from a donor to a recipient.

Renal tubule

Microscopic tube in the kidney where urine is formed after filtration.

Renal vein

Blood vessel that carries blood away from the kidney and back toward the heart.

Renin

A substance (enzyme) synthesized, stored and secreted by the kidney to raise blood pressure. It causes narrowing (constriction) of blood vessels.

Retrograde pyelogram

X-ray record of the kidney, ureters, and urinary bladder after injection of contrast material through a urinary catheter into the ureters.

Secondary hypertension

High blood pressure caused by kidney disease or by other disorders.

Sodium

Chemical element necessary for cellular functioning. As an electrolyte, its blood and urine levels are regulated by the kidney.

Stricture

Narrowing of a tubular structure in the body.

Trigone

Triangular area in the urinary bladder where the ureters enter and the urethra exits.

Trigonitis

Inflammation of the trigone of the urinary bladder.

Urea

Major nitrogenous waste material in urine.

Uremia

Excessive amount of urea and other nitrogenous wastes in the blood.

Ureter

Tube leading from each kidney to the urinary bladder.

Ureteroileostomy

New opening of the ureters to an isolated portion of the ileum that has been removed from its normal location and connected to the outside of the body. It serves as a passageway for urine to leave the body when the urinary bladder is not functioning.

Ureteroneocystostomy

Surgical transplantation of a ureter to a new site in the urinary bladder. This occurs with a kidney transplant.

Urethra

Tube leading from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body.

Urethral stricture

Narrowing of the urethra.

Urethritis

Inflammation of the urethra.

Urethroplasty

Surgical repair of the urethra.

Uric acid

Nitrogenous waste formed when proteins are used in cells. It is excreted by the kidneys in urine.

Urinalysis

Series of tests to evaluate the composition of urine. It includes tests to determine color, appearance, sugar, bacteria, and protein in blood.

Urinary bladder

Hollow container with muscular walls that holds and stores urine until it is discharged from the body. Urinary catheterization is passage of a catheter into the urinary bladder for temporary or permanent drainage of urine.

Urinary catheterization

Passage of a catheter into the urinary bladder for temporary or permanent drainage of urine.

Urinary incontinence

Involuntary passage of urine.

Urinary retention

Inability to pass urine, which is held back in the urinary bladder. Urination is the process of expelling urine; micturition; voiding.

Urination

Process of expelling urine.

Vesicoureteral reflux

Backflow of urine from the urinary bladder to the ureters.

Voiding

Urination.

Voiding cystourethrogram

X-ray record of the urinary bladder and urethra taken while a patient is urinating and after contrast material is injected retrograde through the urethra.

Wilms tumor

Malignant neoplasm of the kidney that occurs in childhood.

Specific gravity

the amounts of wastes, minerals and solids in the urine

Sediment and casts

presence of abnormal particles in the urine (i.e. bacteria, crystals, cells...)

Bladder cancer

Malignant tumor of the urinary bladder

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)

measurement of urea levels in blood

creatinine clearance

measurement of the rate at which creatinine is cleared from the blood by the kidney

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