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 or forceps. It is used to determine a diagnosis.

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

Bronchoscopy: A procedure that allows for biopsies of the transplanted lung to look for or detect infection or rejection.

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 healthcare 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, antihistamines, 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.

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. There are many types of rejection.

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®) or tacrolimus and blood work completed the next morning. Important: Do not take a morning dose of cyclosporine or tacrolimus 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.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/16/2018.


  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. . Accessed 6/7/2018.Partnering With Your Transplant Team: The Patient’s Guide to Transplantation (
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. . Accessed 6/7/2018.Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network: Glossary (

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy