About HUS

Presented By Marler Clark The nation’s leading law firm representing victims of HUS and other foodborne illness outbreaks.

Glossary

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allograft
Graft derived from an individual of the same species that is sufficiently unlike genetically to interact antigenically

antagonist
In biochemistry, an antagonist acts against and blocks an action.

anticoagulant
Any agent used to prevent the formation of blood clots.

antigen
A protein or carbohydrate substance (as a toxin or enzyme) capable of stimulating an immune response

antibody titers
A measure of proteins of high molecular weight that are produced normally after stimulation by an antigen and act specifically against the antigen in an immune response

anuria
Absence of urine excretion

case fatality rate
The proportion of deaths among a group of persons with a particular condition or disease

basal ganglia
A region consisting of 3 clusters of neurons located at the base of the brain that are responsible for involuntary movements

C-reactive protein
A special type of protein produced by the liver that is only present during episodes of acute inflammation

CT scan
A computerized axial tomography scan is more commonly known by its abbreviated name, CAT scan or CT scan; an x-ray procedure which combines many x-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body

cortical necrosis
Tissue death of the outer layer of the kidney

creatinine
A chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism and transported through the bloodstream to the kidneys. The kidneys filter out most of the creatinine and dispose of it in the urine. As the kidneys become impaired, the creatinine will rise.

dialysis / hemodialysis
Process of removing blood from an artery to purify it (remove wastes or toxins from the blood) and adjust fluid and electrolyte imbalances, adding vital substances, and returning it to a vein (see also peritoneal dialysis)

double-blinded study
A study in which neither the study groups nor the evaluator are aware of who receives the experimental treatment or procedure versus the placebo or comparison treatment

dysphasia
Difficulty in swallowing

electroencephalograph (EEG)
An apparatus for detecting and recording brain waves

effective renal plasma flow (ERPF)
The amount of plasma flowing through the kidney tubules per unit time; differentiated from renal plasma flow which is approximately 10% greater than ERPF

end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
The final stages of a terminal kidney disease or condition when there is complete or near complete failure of the kidneys to function

etiology
The cause of a disease

fibrinolytics
Clot-dissolving drugs

gastric
Relating to the stomach

genotype
The genetic constitution (the genome) of a cell, an individual or an organism

glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
The rate at which blood is filtered through tufts of capillaries in the kidney

glomerulonephritis
A disorder that causes inflammation of the internal kidney structures (specifically, the glomeruli); it may be a temporary and reversible condition, or it may be progressive

glomerular
Pertaining to the glomerulus, a tiny structure in the kidney that filters the blood to form urine.

graft
Placing tissue or organs from one area on the body or from another person or an animal into the patient’s body; in this case transferring a kidney from one person to another

hemiparesis
Muscular weakness or partial paralysis restricted to one side of the body

hemolytic anemia
Anemia caused by excessive destruction (as in chemical poisoning, infection, or sickle-cell anemia) of red blood cells

hemorrhagic colitis
Bloody infection/inflammation of the colon (bowel)

histological
In reference to the minute structure of tissues discernible with the microscope

hyperfiltration
Abnormal increase in the filtration rate of the renal glomeruli

hypertension
High blood pressure

hyponatremia
Deficiency of sodium (salt) in the blood

infarct/infarction
An area of necrosis (death) in a tissue or organ resulting from obstruction of the local circulation by a thrombus or embolus

internal/external capsule
Fibrous express ways that contain nerves to transmit information within certain parts of the brain

in vitro
Outside the living body and in an artificial environment

intravenous (IV)
Within a vein

ischemia
Localized tissue anemia due to obstruction of the inflow of arterial blood (as by the narrowing of arteries by spasm or disease)

leukocyte
White blood cell

leukocytosis
Increase in the number of white blood cells

microangiopathy
A disease of very fine blood vessels

microvascular
Of, relating to, or constituting the part of the circulatory system made up of minute vessels (as venules or capillaries) that average less than 0.3 millimeters in diameter

monoclonal antibody
An antibody derived from a single cell in large quantities for use against a specific antigen

morphologic
Of, relating to, or concerned with form or structure

mortality
The number of deaths in a given time or place; the proportion of deaths in a given population

MRI / magnetic resonance imaging
A radiology technique using magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures

morbidity
The incidence of disease; the rate of sickness (as in a specified community or group)

nephrotic syndrome
A constellation of signs and symptoms including protein in the urine, low blood protein levels, high cholesterol levels, and swelling; results in damage to the kidneys, particularly the basement membrane of the glomerulus

neutrophil
Type of white blood cell, filled with neutrally-staining granules, tiny sacs of enzymes that help the cell to kill and digest microorganisms it has engulfed

oliguria
Reduced excretion of urine

parenteral
Drug or substance, like supplementary nutrition, administration by intravenous, intramuscular, or subcutaneous injection; especially introduced other than by way of the intestines

paresis
Paralysis

pathogenesis
The origin of a disease and the chain of events leading to that disease

peritoneal dialysis
Technique that uses the patient's own body tissues inside of the belly (abdominal cavity) to act as a filter to remove waste products and excess water from the body

plasmapheresis
Separating out the plasma from the whole blood, replacing the plasma, and returning plasma and original blood cells to the patient

platelet
An irregular, disc-shaped element in the blood that assists in blood clotting. During normal blood clotting, the platelets clump together

placebo
An inert or harmless substance used especially in controlled experiments testing the efficacy of another substance (as a drug)

primary
First in order of time or development

proteinuria
Protein in the urine

randomized
Things or persons put in a random order so that every thing or person is equally likely to be selected; study subjects are randomly distributed into groups which are either subjected to the experimental procedure (or use of a drug) or which serve as controls

prodromal
A symptom or set of symptoms that occur before the onset of a disease or condition

prothrombotic
A substance which encourages the production of blood clots

receptor
A structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cell) that selectively receives and binds a specific substance.

rectal prolapse
The falling down or slipping of a the rectum (the terminal part of the intestine) from its usual position

renal
Kidney

retina
The sensory membrane that lines most of the large posterior chamber of the eye; functions as the immediate instrument of vision by receiving the image formed by the lens and converting it into chemical and nervous signals which reach the brain by way of the optic nerve

sequelae
An after effect of disease, injury, procedure, or treatment

serotype / group
A group of intimately related microorganisms distinguished by a common set of antigens

Shiga toxin / Stx
A poisonous product of the E. coli organism; toxins are usually very unstable and can cause damage to cells. Toxins typically induce antibody formation.

sodium
The major positive ion (cation) in fluid outside of cells. When combined with chloride, the resulting substance is table salt. Excess sodium is excreted in the urine. Too much or too little sodium can cause cells to malfunction

tetraspastic
A state of hypertonicity or increase over the normal tone of a muscle, with heightened deep tendon reflexes, affecting all four extremities

thalamus / thalami
The part of the brain that serves to relay impulses and especially sensory impulses to and from the cerebral cortex (the gray matter of the cerebrum that functions chiefly in coordination of sensory and motor information)

thrombocytopenia
Persistent decrease in the number of blood platelets that is often associated with hemorrhagic conditions -- called also thrombopenia

stupor
Decreased mental status or consciousness; loss of alertness

thrombosis
The formation or presence of a blood clot within a blood vessel

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)
A blood disorder characterized by low platelets, low red blood cell count (caused by premature breakdown of the cells), abnormalities in kidney function, and neurological abnormalities; caused by a deficiency in the von Willebrand Factor cleaving protease, known as ADAMTS13. The loss of this enzyme results in large complexes of von Willbrand factor circulating in the blood, which in turn causes platelet clumping and red blood cell destruction.

thrombogenic
Tending to produce a thrombus (a clot of blood formed within a blood vessel and remaining attached to its place of origin)

vascular endothelial growth factor
Substance made by cells that stimulates new blood vessel formation

white matter
Neural tissue that consists largely of myelinated (sheathed) nerve fibers, has a whitish color, and underlies the gray matter of the brain and spinal cord or is gathered into nerves