Glossary | Eastern Nephrology


The point on the body where a needle/catheter is inserted during dialysis.

Acute often means the sudden onset of disease that lasts a short duration.

Acute renal failure:
Sudden and temporary loss of kidney function.

Acute tubular necrosis (ATN):
A severe form of acute renal failure that develops in people with severe illnesses like infections or with low blood pressure.

Albuminuria may be a sign of kidney disease. It is when a person has more than normal amounts of a protein (called albumin) in the urine.

An organ or tissue transplant from one human to another.

Alport syndrome:
An inherited condition that generally develops during early childhood and is usually more serious in boys than in girls. It can result in kidney disease and lead to end-stage renal disease.

A condition in which a protein-like material builds up in one or more organs and interferes with the normal function of that organ.

Analgesic associated kidney disease:
Loss of kidney function from the long-term use of pain-relieving medications.

The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity of hemoglobin. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body.

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH):
A natural body chemical that slows down the flow of urine.

A condition in which a person stops making urine.

Arterial line:
In hemodialysis, this is the tubing that takes blood from the body to the dialyzer.

Arteriovenous fistula (AVF):
Surgical connection of an artery directly to a vein in patients who will need hemodialysis.

Arteriovenous g (AVG):
Surgical connection of a synthetic hose to an artery on one end and vein on the other.

A blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the body.

Artificial kidney:
Also known as a dialyzer.

Autoimmune disease:
A disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the body itself.



A procedure in which a tiny piece of a body is removed for examination under a microscope.


An organ inside the pelvis that stores urine.

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN):

A waste product found in the blood that comes from the breakdown of food protein.



A mineral that the body requires for strong bones and teeth.


A tube inserted through the skin into a blood vessel or cavity to draw out fluid or infuse fluid.


An illness that develops slowly but lasts a long time.

Chronic kidney disease:

Slow and progressive loss of kidney function.

Congenital nephrotic syndrome:

A genetic kidney disease that develops before birth or in the first few months of life and usually leads to end-stage renal disease.


A waste product from meat protein in the diet and from the muscles of the body.

Creatinine clearance:

A test that measures how efficiently the kidneys remove creatinine and other wastes from the blood.


A donor’s blood must be tested with the recipient’s blood to access compatibility prior to a transplant.


An abnormal sac, which can form in kidneys or on other parts of the body, containing gas, fluid, or a semisolid material.


An amino acid found in blood and urine.

Cystine stone:

A rare form of kidney stone consisting of the amino acid cystine.


A condition in which urine contains high levels of the amino acid cystine.


Inflammation of the bladder, which can cause pain or a burning feeling.


A tool used to examine the bladder.


Diabetes insipidus:

This condition is characterized by frequent and heavy urination, excessive thirst, and an overall feeling of weakness.

Diabetes mellitus:

This condition is characterized by high blood glucose from the body’s inability to use glucose efficiently.


This is a process used to clean wastes from the blood artificially, which is normally done by the kidneys.

Dialysis solution:

A cleansing liquid used in the two major forms of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.


A part of the hemodialysis machine: one section of it holds the dialysis solution, and the other part holds the patient’s blood. It may also be referred to as an artificial kidney.


A person who offers blood, tissue, or an organ for transplantation.

Dry weight:

The ideal weight for a person after a hemodialysis.

Dwell time:

This is the amount of time a bag of dialysis solution remains in the patient following peritoneal dialysis.



Swelling due to too much fluid in the body.


Chemicals in the body fluids that result from the breakdown of salts, including sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride.

End-stage kidney disease (ESKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD):

Total and permanent kidney failure.

Erythropoietin (EPO):

A hormone made by the kidneys to help form red blood cells.


This is the draining of used dialysis solution from the abdomen in peritoneal dialysis.

Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL):

A nonsurgical procedure using shock waves to break up kidney stones.


Glomerular filtration rate (GFR):

A calculation of how efficiently the kidneys are filtering wastes from the blood.


Inflammation of the glomeruli.


Scarring of the glomeruli.


A tiny set of looping blood vessels in the nephron where blood is filtered in the kidney.

Goodpasture syndrome:

An uncommon disease that usually involves bleeding from the lungs, coughing up of blood, and inflammation of the kidneys.


This is a vascular access surgically created using a synthetic tube to connect an artery to a vein in hemodialysis.



A red blood cell sample measurement.


A condition in which urine contains blood or red blood cells.

Hemodialysis (HD):

The use of a machine to clean wastes from the blood after the kidneys have failed.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS):

A disease that destroys red blood cells and affects the blood and blood vessels.


A natural chemical produced in the body and released into the blood to regulate specific functions.


Swelling of the top of the ureter usually due to the blockage of urine.


This is when abnormally large amounts of calcium are found in the urine.


This is when abnormally large amounts of oxalate are found in the urine.


Also known as high blood pressure.


IGA nephropathy:

This is a kidney disorder caused by deposits of the protein immunoglobulin a (IGA) inside the glomeruli within the kidney.

Immune system:

The body’s system for protecting itself from viruses and or any other foreign substances.


This drug is used to suppress the natural responses of the body’s immune system.

Interstitial nephritis:

Inflammation of the kidney cells that are not part of the fluid-collecting units.

Intravenous pyelogram:

An x-ray of the urinary tract.



One of two bean-shaped organs, located near the back, responsible for filtering wastes from the blood.

Kidney failure:

Loss of kidney function.

Kidney stone:

A stone that develops from crystals that form in urine and build up on the inner surfaces of the kidney, in the renal pelvis, or in the ureters.


A measurement of dialysis dose.



A method of breaking up kidney stones using shock waves or other means.

Lupus nephritis:

Inflammation of the kidneys caused by an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus.



A thin sheet or layer of tissue that lines a cavity or separates two parts of the body.

Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis:

A disease that occurs primarily in children and young adults, and results in inflammation that can lead to scarring in the glomeruli.

Membranous nephropathy:

A disorder that hinders the kidneys’ ability to filter wastes from the blood because of harmful deposits on the glomerular membrane.



Surgical removal of a kidney.

Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus:

Constant thirst and frequent urination because the kidney tubules are not responding.


A doctor who treats patients with kidney problems or hypertension.


A tiny part of the kidneys.


This refers to any disease of the kidney.

Nephrotic syndrome:

A collection of symptoms that indicate kidney damage.

Nuclear scan:

A test of the structure, blood flow, and function of the kidneys.



A chemical that combines with calcium in urine to form the most common type of kidney stone.



The bowl-shaped bone that supports the spine and holds up the digestive, urinary, and reproductive organs.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy:

A method for removing kidney stones.

Peritoneal dialysis (PD):

Cleaning the blood by using the lining of the abdominal cavity as a filter.


The membrane lining the peritoneal cavity.


Inflammation of the peritoneum, a common complication of peritoneal dialysis.

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD):

An inherited disorder characterized by many grape-like clusters of fluid-filled cysts that make both kidneys larger over time.


A mineral found in the body and in many foods.


A condition in which the urine contains large amounts of protein, which can be a sign that the kidneys are not functioning properly.


An infection of the kidneys.



Of the kidneys.

Renal agenesis:

The absence or severe malformation of at least one kidney.

Renal cell carcinoma:

A type of kidney cancer.

Renal cysts:

Abnormal fluid-filled sacs in the kidney that range in size from microscopic to much larger.

Renal osteodystrophy:

Weak bones caused by poorly working kidneys.

Renal pelvis:

The basin into which the urine formed by the kidneys is excreted before it travels to the ureters and bladder.

Renal tubular acidosis:

A defect in the kidneys that prevents or alters their normal excretion of acids.

Renal vein thrombosis:

Blood clots in the vessel that carry blood away from the kidney.


A hormone made by the kidneys that helps regulate the volume of fluid in the body and blood pressure.



A mineral found in the body and in many foods.

Struvite stone:

A type of kidney stone caused by infection.



The replacement of a failed organ with a healthy one.



A waste product found in the blood and caused by the normal breakdown of protein in the liver.


Due to kidneys not working appropriately, this is an illness associated with the buildup of urea in the blood.


A tool used for examining the bladder and ureters and also for removing kidney stones through the urethra.


Tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.


The tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside.

Uric acid stone:

A kidney stone that could be caused by a diet high in animal protein.


A test of a urine sample that can reveal many problems of the urinary system and other body systems.

Urinary tract:

The system that takes wastes from the blood and carries them out of the body in the form of urine.

Urinary tract infection (UTI):

This is an illness caused by harmful bacteria growing in the urinary tract.


To release urine from the bladder.


Liquid waste product filtered from the blood by the kidneys, stored in the bladder, and released from the body through the urethra.


Stones in the urinary tract.

URR (urea reduction ratio):

Used to measure the success of dialysis, this is a blood test that compares the amount of blood urea nitrogen before and after dialysis.


Vascular access:

Used to describe the area on the body where blood is drawn for circulation through a hemodialysis circuit.


A blood vessel responsible for carrying blood toward the heart.

Venous line:

In hemodialysis, tubing that carries blood from the dialyzer back to the body.

Vesicoureteral reflux:

An abnormal condition in which urine backs up into the ureters (occasionally into the kidneys) raising the risk of infection.


Meaning to urinate, empty the bladder.


Wegener’s granulomatosis:

An autoimmune disease that damages the blood vessels and causes disease in the lungs, upper respiratory tract, and kidneys.