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The Kidney Failure Glossary L – P


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membrane (MEM-brayn): see semipermeable membrane.

membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) (MEMbruh-noh-proh-LIF-ur-uh-tiv) (gloh-MAIR-yoo-loh-nehFRY-tiss): a disease in which inflammation leads to scarring in the glomeruli, causing proteinuria, hematuria, and sometimes chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease. MPGN occurs primarily in children and young adults.

MPGN (EM-PEE-JEE-EN): see membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis.



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nephrectomy (neh-FREK-toh-mee): surgical removal of a kidney.

nephrologist (neh-FROL-uh-jist): doctor who treats people who have kidney problems or related conditions, such as hypertension.

nephrology (neh-FROL-uh-jee): a branch of medicine concerned with diseases of the kidneys.

nephron (NEF-ron): a tiny part of the kidneys. Each kidney is made up of about 1 million nephrons, which are the working units of the kidneys, removing wastes and extra fluids from the blood.

nephrotic syndrome (nef-ROT-ik) (SIN-drohm): a collection of symptoms that indicate kidney damage. Symptoms include high levels of protein in the urine, lack of protein in the blood, and high blood cholesterol.

nuclear scan (NOO-klee-ur) (skan): a test of the structure, blood flow, and function of the kidneys. The doctor injects a mildly radioactive solution into a patient’s arm vein and uses x rays to monitor its progress through the kidneys.



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osmosis (oss-MOH-siss): movement of water across a semipermeable membrane from a diluted area to a more concentrated area.



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peritoneal cavity (PAIR-ih-toh-NEE-uhl) (KAV-ih-tee): the space inside the lower abdomen but outside the internal organs.

peritoneal dialysis (PAIR-ih-toh-NEE-uhl) (dy-AL-ih-siss): See dialysis.

peritoneum (PAIR-ih-toh-NEE-uhm): the semipermeable membrane lining the peritoneal cavity.

peritonitis (PAIR-ih-toh-NY-tiss): inflammation of the peritoneum, a complication of peritoneal dialysis. See dialysis.

phosphorus (FOSS-for-uhss): a mineral found in many foods, such as beans, nuts, milk, and meat. Too much phosphorus in the blood pulls calcium from the bones.

potassium (poh-TASS-ee-uhm): a mineral and electrolyte found in the body and in many foods.

proteinuria (proh-teen-YOO-ree-uh): a condition in which the urine contains large amounts of protein, a sign that the kidneys are damaged. See albumin and urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio.


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Page last updated: March 23, 2012


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