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Urinary System


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


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.


Suppression of urine formation by the kidney.


Small artery.


Excess of nitrogenous waste products in the blood; uremia.


Bacteria in the urine.


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


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).


Tube for injecting or removing fluids.


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


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


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.


Excision (removal) of the urinary bladder.


Inflammation of the urinary bladder.


Visual (endoscopic) examination of the urinary bladder.


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).


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


Painful urination.


Abnormal accumulation of fluid in tissue spaces.


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


Bedwetting; literally, "in urine."


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

Essential hypertension

High blood pressure due to no apparent cause.


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.


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.


Sugar in the urine.


Blood in the urine.


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.


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.


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


High levels of potassium in the blood.


Low levels of sodium in the blood.

Interstitial nephritis

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


Pertaining to within the bladder


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.


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


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


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.


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.


Inner region of an organ.


Pertaining to the medulla or an organ.


Abnormal condition of kidney stones.


Incision of the kidney to remove a stone.


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


Disease or abnormality of the kidney.


Prolapse of a kidney; floating or wandering kidney.


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.


Urinary frequency at night.


Scanty urination.


an organ's essential and distinctive tissue.


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.


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.


Excessive thirst.


Excessive urination.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


Narrowing of a tubular structure in the body.


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


Inflammation of the trigone of the urinary bladder.


Major nitrogenous waste material in urine.


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


Tube leading from each kidney to the urinary bladder.


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.


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


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

Urethral stricture

Narrowing of the urethra.


Inflammation of the urethra.


Surgical repair of the urethra.

Uric acid

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


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.


Process of expelling urine.

Vesicoureteral reflux

Backflow of urine from the urinary bladder to the ureters.



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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