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Treatments & Procedures

Lung Transplant: Glossary of Terms

Allograft (allogeneic graft or homograft) - Transplant tissue acquired from the same species (i.e., human)

Anti-hypertensive drug - A drug that reduces hypertension (high blood pressure)

Atherosclerosis - A disease in which fatty deposits accumulate on the inner walls of the arteries, causing narrowing or blockage that might result in a heart attack - This is commonly known as "hardening of the arteries."

Antibody - A substance that is produced by the immune system in response to specific antigens, thereby helping the body fight infection and foreign substances

Antigen - Substances that might trigger an immune response - An antigen might be introduced into the body or formed within the body (for example, bacteria, toxins, foreign blood cells).

Biopsy - Removing a sample of tissue for examination using a small needle- It is used to determine a diagnosis.

Blood typing - A test that can help establish compatibility between 2 different types of blood -Blood types include A, B, AB, and O.

Catheter - A thin, flexible instrument used to introduce or withdraw fluids from the body - A catheter also might be used to monitor blood pressure.

Chest X-ray - A test used to view the lungs and lower respiratory tract - A chest X-ray might be used for diagnosis and therapy.

Cholesterol - A fatty substance that is acquired in part from certain foods - A high cholesterol level might lead to atherosclerosis.

Complication - The occurrence of diseases or medical problems simultaneously in the body

Coronary angiography (heart catheterization) - A procedure that allows pictures to be taken of the arteries supplying the heart with blood (the coronary arteries) - Angiography shows blockages in the arteries.

Creatinine - A waste product in the blood that is removed by the kidneys and eliminated in the urine - Regular testing of the creatinine level serves as an indicator of how well the kidney is functioning.

Cross matching - A test that establishes the compatibility or closeness of blood between the organ donor and recipient

Cyclosporine level test - A blood test that measures the amount of cyclosporine in the blood - It is based on the amount of cyclosporine measured. A doctor decides what dose of cyclosporine is appropriate for a patient.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) - A common virus that might be present without symptoms in healthy people, but can be a serious condition if present in transplant patients

Deceased donor - An individual who has recently passed away of causes not affecting the organ intended for transplant -Deceased donor organs usually come from people who have willed their organs before death by signing organ donor cards. Permission for donation also can be given by the deceased person's family at the time of death.

Diastolic - The lower number in a blood pressure reading that indicates the pressure in the heart when the muscle is relaxed (the point of least pressure)

Diuretic - A drug that helps the body get rid of excess water by increasing the amount of urine the body excretes

Donor - A person who gives an organ, tissue or blood to another person - A compatible donor is a person who has the same tissue and blood types as the person who receives the organ, tissue or blood.

Echocardiogram - A procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to examine the heart - This procedure might be used for the same purpose as an EKG (electrocardiogram).

Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) - A test that records the electrical activity of the heart - An EKG helps a doctor determine the causes of abnormal heart beat or detect heart damage.

Gallbladder X-ray - An X-ray taken of the gallbladder to determine the presence of gallstones

Gingival hypertrophy - Enlargement of the gums -This is a common side effect of the medicine cyclosporine (Sandimmune). This condition is easily managed with good oral hygiene.

Glucose - A type of sugar found in the blood - Glucose is a vital carbohydrate for the body's metabolism.

Graft - A transplanted tissue or organ (such as the lung or liver)

Herpes - An infection for which transplant patients are at risk - It appears as small sores on the skin, lips, or genitals. When there are no sores, the herpes virus lies dormant (not causing infection) in the body.

Hirsutism - An excessive increase of hair growth, sometimes leading to male-pattern hair growth in a female - This is a common side effect of corticosteroids. It can also occur with cyclosporine (Sandimmune) therapy. Hirsutism can be easily treated with depilatory creams or other hair removal methods.

Hypertension - High blood pressure

Immune system - The body's response mechanism for fighting against bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances - If a cell or tissue (such as bacteria or a transplanted organ) is recognized as not belonging to the body, the immune system will act against the "invader." The immune system is the body's way to fight disease.

Immunosuppression - The use of medicines to suppress the formation of an immune response

Immunosuppressant drug - A drug that prevents the immune system from responding to cells that it recognizes as foreign to the body - These drugs prevent the immune system from recognizing that a transplanted organ, such as a lung, is not the organ a person had when he or she was born.

Infectious disease team - A team of doctors who help control the hospital environment to protect against harmful sources of infection

Intensive care unit (ICU) - A special nursing area devoted to providing continuous and immediate care to seriously ill patients

Intravenous (IV) - Delivery of drugs, fluids, or food directly into a vein

Lower GI (gastrointestinal) series - A series of X-rays used to determine intestinal abnormalities

Lung transplantation - A surgical procedure during which a diseased lung is removed from a patient - The patient is then given a new lung that has been obtained from a deceased person. Transplanting both lungs also is possible.

Noncompliance - Failure to follow instructions given by health care providers, such as not taking medicine as prescribed or not attending follow-up appointments

Opportunistic pneumonias - Several types of pneumonia that don't normally cause disease except under certain circumstances - Lung transplant patients are at risk for contracting these types of pneumonias because they take immunosuppressant drugs.

Ohio Solid Organ Transplantation Consortium (OSOTC) - An organization that establishes and enforces regulations to ensure equality in organ transplantation and fairness in distribution of donor organs

Over-the-counter drug - A drug that can be bought without a prescription - Some common over-the counter drugs are aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol®), ibuprofen (Advil®, Nuprin®), cough medicines, cold and flu medicines, anti-histamines, laxatives, and antacids.

Pharmacologist - A specialist who checks your blood levels to monitor your response to the immunosuppressive medicines

Physical therapist - An expert who can recommend exercises to help you maintain flexibility and regain your strength

Pre-transplant evaluation - A series of interviews and tests for patients who are being considered for a lung transplant -It is the second step in the transplant evaluation process. After this evaluation, the Transplant Team decides if a lung transplant is a suitable treatment.

Pre-transplant screening - A series of interviews and physical exams for patients who are being considered for lung transplant - It is the first step in the transplant process to discover if a patient has any condition that would immediately rule him or her out for a lung transplant.

Pulmonary function test - A test used to reveal lung capacity and function, and to determine the blood's capacity to transport oxygen

Pulmonologist - A staff doctor with extensive training in lung disease - The pulmonologist monitors your lung health during and after your transplant.

Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) - Tests that measure the volume of air that is inhaled and exhaled - PFTs also measure gases, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, in the lungs. The PFTs give information about how severe a patient's lung disease is and the rate at which it is progressing.

Recipient -A patient who receives an organ, tissue or blood from another person

Rejection - An immune response that occurs when a transplanted organ is not the organ in the body at birth - The immune system sees the organ as a foreign "invader" and acts against it. If left untreated, rejection can result in organ failure.

Side effect - An unintended effect of a drug on tissues or organs other than those that the drug benefits

Spirometry test - A breathing test that provides information about the extent of your lung disease and how well your lungs function

Stress test - A test using exercise to evaluate cardiovascular fitness

Systolic - The top number in a blood pressure reading that indicates the force of the heart muscle's contractions as blood is pumped through the heart's chambers

Thrush - A yeast infection for which transplant patients are at risk - It can occur in the mouth or vagina.

Tissue typing - A test that evaluates the compatibility, or closeness, of tissue between the organ donor and recipient

Transplant coordinator - A registered nurse who coordinates all of the events leading up to and following your transplant -The transplant coordinator helps arrange your pre-transplant tests and helps find a suitable donor.

Transplant surgeon - The staff doctor who performs the transplant surgery - The transplant surgeon follows your progress while you are in the hospital, and monitors your post-transplant care after you are discharged.

Trough levels - Refers to the 12-hour period between an evening dose of cyclosporine (Sandimmune) and blood work completed the next morning - Important: Do not take a morning dose of cyclosporine until the blood work has been completed.

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) - An organization that establishes and enforces regulations to ensure equality in organ transplantation and fairness in distribution of donor organs

Upper GI (gastrointestinal) series - A series of X-rays used to determine intestinal abnormalities

Ventilation perfusion scan - A picture of the lungs that shows the blood flow to the lungs and how much air each lung receives - This information helps the Lung Transplant Team decide which lung to transplant.

Ventilator - A machine that helps a patient breathe - For lung transplant patients, a ventilator is used after surgery to help the new lung expand completely.

References

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 7/15/2011…#4214