Acute Renal Failure - rapid loss of kidney function that typically can be reversed. 

Anastomosis [uh-nas-tuh-moh-sis] - location where two structures connect either naturally occurring or developed surgically. 

Anemia [uh-nee-mee-uh] - too few red blood cells or the red blood cells are deficient in hemoglobin, resulting in poor health. 

Anesthesia [an-uh s-thee-zhuh] -- loss of sensitivity to pain in all or part of the body for medical reasons. 

Aneurysm [an-yuh-riz-uh m] - a fluid-filled sac in the wall of an artery that can weaken the wall. 

Angiography [an-jee-og-ruh-fee] - x-ray examination of blood vessels after a substance that will show up when X-ray has been injected into the bloodstream.

Angioplasty [an-jee-uh-plas-tee] - a surgical operation to clear a narrowed or blocked artery. 

Arteriovenous fistula (AVF) [ahr-teer-ee-oh-vee-nuh] - the surgical joining of an artery and a vein under the skin for the purpose of hemodialysis. 

Arteriovenous Graft (AVG)  - Dialysis vascular access created by connecting an artery to a vein using a length of Gortex graft material.

Atherosclerosis [ath-uh-roh-skluh-roh-sis] - a common arterial disease in which raised areas of degeneration and cholesterol deposits plaques form on the inner surfaces of the arteries obstructing blood flow. 


Balloon assisted technique - a technique that uses balloons to open narrowed blood vessels. 

Blood clot - a thick mass of coagulated blood

Bruit [broot] -  sound heard inside the body, usually with the aid of a stethoscope, and causes by turbulent blood flow within the heart or blood vessels. 


Chronic Kidney Disease - loss of renal functions that lasts over a long period and sometimes causes a long-term change in the body. 

Conventional Hemodialysis [hee-moh-dahy-al-uh-sis] - method of renal replacement therapy that is usually done at an outpatient dialysis facility 3x/week for 3-4 hours. 


Diabetes [dahy-uh-bee-teez] - a medical disorder, especially diabetes mellitus, that causes the body to produce an excessive amount of urine. 

Diagnostic ultrasound - identifying, or used in identifying, the nature or cause of an illness, disorder, or problem.

Dialysis [dahy-al-uh-sis] - the process of filtering the accumulated waste products of metabolism from the blood of a patient whose kidneys are not functioning properly, using a kidney machine. 

Doppler Ultrasonography - a Doppler ultrasound test uses reflected sound waves to evaluate blood as it flows through a blood vessel.

Dialysis Access - the point on the body where a needle or catheter is inserted to conduct dialysis treatments.


Edema [ih-dee-muh] - a buildup of excess serous fluid between tissue cells

Embolism [em-buh-liz-uh m] - a condition in which an artery is blocked by an embolus, usually a blood clot formed at one place in the circulation and then lodging in another. 

End Stage Renal Disease - final stage of chronic kidney disease where less than 15% functionality remains and renal replacement therapy or renal transplant must begin to sustain life. 


Fistula [fis-choo-luh] - an opening or passage between two organs or between an organ and the skin, caused by, disease, injury, or congenital malformation

Flow rate - the amount of fluid that flows through in a given time

Fluoroscope [flohr-uh-skohp] - an instrument with which x-ray images of the body can be viewed directly on screen

Fluoroscopy [floh-ros-kuh-pee] - is an imaging technique that uses x-rays to obtain real-time moving images of the internal structures of a patient through the use of a fluoroscope. 


Gangrene [gang-green] - a potentially life-threatening condition that arises when a considerable mass of body tissue dies; this may occur after an injury or infection. 

Graft - a piece of living tissue or an organ that is transplanted to a patient's body from another part of the patient's body. Grafts are used to replaced damaged or diseased tissue or organs. 


Hematoma [hee-ma-toh-muh] - a semisolid mass of blood in the tissues, caused by injury, disease, or a clotting disorder 

Hemodialysis [hee-moh-dahy-al-uh-sis] - a method that is used to achieve the extracorporeal removal of waste products such as creatinine and urea and free water from the blood when the kidneys are in a state of renal failure. 

Hypertension [hahy-per-ten-shuh-n] - unusually high blood pressure. Arterial disease can be accompanied by high blood pressure. 


Ischemic [ih-skee-mee-uh] - is a restriction in blood supply to tissues, causing a shortage of oxygen and glucose needed for cellular metabolism (to keep tissue alive).


Kidney [kid-nee] - the organ in invertebrates that filters waste material for excretion 

Kt/V (Urea kinetic modeling) - urea kinetic modeling is an important tool in the measurement of dialysis delivery and therefore, for the assessment of dialysis adequacy. 


Modality [moh-dal-i-tee] - something used in the treatment of a disorder (e.g. surgery or chemotherapy) 


Nephrologist [nuh-frol-uh-jist] - a medical doctor who specializes in kidney care and treating disease of the kidneys. 

Nocturnal Dialysis [nok-tur-nl] - method of renal replacement therapy that is similar to conventional hemodialysis but preformed at night 3-6x/week between 6-10 hour/sessions while patient sleeps in an outpatient center.


Pathology [puh-thol-uh-jee] - the scientific study of the nature, origin, progress, and cause of disease

Percutaneous [pur-kyoo-tey-nee-uh s] - this involves a needle catheter getting access to a blood vessel, followed by the introduction of a wire through the lumen (pathway) of the needle. it is over this wire that other catheters can be placed into the blood vessel

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) [puh-rif-er-uh-l] - a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. 

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)  - is a term used to refer to atherosclerotic blockages found in the lower extremity. 

Peritoneal Dialysis [per-it-toh-nee-uh-l] - peritoneal membrane is a filter to clear wastes and extra fluid from your body and to return electrolyte levels to normal. Unlike in-center hemodialysis, you do not need to travel to a dialysis center for your treatment. Instead, after being trained at a dialysis center, you will do your treatment at home on your own schedule. Peritoneal dialysis can often be done at night, while you are sleeping. 

Plaque [plak] - a small flattened patch or deposit, on the inner wall of an artery in atherosclerosis

Pulmonary embolism [puhl-muh-ner-ee] - a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches by a substance that has traveled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream.


Serum Creatinine [seer-uh-m] [kree-at-n-een] - a breakdown product of creatine phosphate in muscle, and is usually produced at a fairly constant rate by the body (depending on muscle mass). 

Stenosis [sti-noh-sis] - a constriction of narrowing of a duct, passage, or opening in the body

Stent - an open tubular structure of stainless steel or plastic that is inserted into an artery or another bodily tube to keep it from becoming blocked by disease. 

Subclavian vein [suhb-kley-vee-uh n] - a major vein running through the shoulder region which receives blood from the large vein of the upper arm and returns it part of the way towards the heart. 

Superior Vena Cava [vee-nuh key-vuh] - one of the largest veins in the body, it returns blood from the entire upper half of the body to the hearts right atrium. 


Tenckhoff Cathether - dialysis catheter inserted into the abdomen in order to conduct peritoneal dialysis treatments. 

Thrill - a distinct "buzzing" feeling over the fistula, blood flows rapidly through the fistula. One can feel this by placing one's finger over a mature fistula. 

Thrombus [throm-buh s] -  a blood clot, is the final product of the blood coagulation step in hemostasis

Thrombosis [throm-boh-sis] - the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. 


Ultrasound, diagnostic [uhl-truh-sound] - ultrasound imaging, also known as ultrasound scanning or sonography, is a method of obtaining images from inside the human body through the use of high frequency sound waves. The sound waves echoes are recorded and displayed.  


Vascular [vas-kyuh-ler] - relating to fluid-carrying vessels (e.g. blood vessels)

Vein [veyn] - a blood vessel that carries blood to the heart

Venography [vee-nog-ruh-fee] - the examination of somebody's veins by taking an x-ray photograph venogram after injecting a substance that absorbs x-rays

Venous insufficiency - venous insufficiency is a condition in which the veins have problems sending blood from the leg back to the heart. 


X-Ray - a form of electromagnetic radiation, similar to light but of shorter wavelength and capable of penetrating solids and of ionizing gases. 


Listed below is a glossary of terms to help you better understand the conditions and procedures. Please scroll down to find a term you need information on: 

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