Developmental Disorders of the Lymphatics

An information blog for disorders of the lymphatics. For all articles, please click on "Archives" - Due to spammers, I will no longer allow comments, sorry.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Glossary of the Lymphatics - Page One

Abscess: a localized collection of pus caused by suppuration buried in tissues, organs, or confined spaces. See also septic foci.angulus venosus.

Abduction: The movement of a limb away from the midline of the body such moving the arms outward away from the sides of the body. Compare with adduction.

Academy of Lymphatic Studies: ACOLS - Training school for lymphedema therapists. Founded in 1984 by MLD/CDT certified therapist Joachim E. Zuther and is located in Sebastian, Florida.

Acupuncture: Ancient Chinese practice of puncturing the body (as with needles) at specific points to cure disease or relieve pain. Controversial in treatment of lymphedema because of the possibility of weeping lymphorrhea and infection from entry locales.

Adduction: The movement of a limb toward the midline of the body such moving the arms inward toward from the sides of the body. Compare with abduction.

Adhesion: the abnormal union of surfaces normally separate by the formation of new fibrous tissue resulting from an inflammatory process and/or the growing together of wound edges thereby forming a scar.

Aerobic exercises: Exercises that bring the heart beat and breathing levels to optimum levels for a specific period of time with the intention of increasing the need for oxygen, strengthening both the circulatory system and physiological endurance.

Afferent lymphatic vessels: Vessels that carry lymph into the lymph nodes. Afferent lymphatic vessels enter the nodes at multiple points on their convex surface; efferent vessels leave at the indented hilum.

Allelic: Two alternate forms of a gene.

Alternative medicine: Practices not generally recognized by the medical community as standard or conventional. Includes dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation. See also wholistic medicine

Ambulatory: General term used when a patient is able to walk about, person is self mobile.

Amino acid: A molecule that is a building block of protein

Angion: A lymphatic vessel or channel between two valves in the lymphatic system that carries or conveys lymph fluid. See also lymphangion.

Angulus venosus: Old terminology use to describe the junction of of internal jugular and subclavian veins.

Antibiotic: Chemical substances, produced by living organisms or synthesized (created) in laboratories, for the purpose of killing other organisms that cause disease; some cancer therapies interfere with the body’s ability to fight off infection (they suppress the immune system), so antibiotics may be needed along with the cancer treatment to prevent or treat infections.

Antibody: Protein in the blood that defends against invading foreign agents, such as bacteria; invading agents contain certain chemical substances called antigens – each antibody works against a specific antigen.

Antioxidant vitamin: Vitamins that assist the body is cleansing itself fom waste and radical free agents.

Aquatic therapy: A therapeutic procedure which attempts to improve function through the application of aquatic therapeutic exercises. These procedures require constant attendance of a therapist educated in performing aquatic therapeutic exercises.

Aromatherapist: One who is trained/certified in the alternative medical concept known as Aromatherapy. See Aromatherapy and Lymphedema Treatment.

Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. It is sometimes used in combination with massage and other therapeutic techniques as part of a holistic treatment approach.

Arterioles: The smallest divisions of the arteries located between the muscular arteries and the capillaries.

Atrophy: Weakening or degeneration especially through lack of use. A decrease in size of an organ caused by disease or disuse.

Augmentin: Augmentin is a brand name for the drug amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium and is used in the treatment of lower respiratory, middle ear, sinus, skin and urinary tract infections. For lymphedema patients especially effective and beneficial for cellulitis and lymphangitis infections.

Autosomal: Of or relating to an autosome.

Autosome: Any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome; appear in pairs in body cells but as single chromosomes in spermatozoa.

Axillary dissection: A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes in the armpit (axillary nodes) are removed and examined; often used to determine if breast cancer has spread to the axillary nodes.

Axillary nodes: Lymph nodes found in the armpit that drain the lymph channels from the breast.

Axillary node dissection: A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes in the armpit (axillary nodes) are removed and examined to find out if breast cancer has spread to those nodes and to remove any cancerous lymph nodes.

Bacteremia: The presence of bacteria in the blood. Bacteremia is diagnosed by growing organisms from a blood sample and treatment is with antibiotics.

Bacteria: The small one-celled microorganisms of the class Schizomycetes. Some are round (cocci), rod-shaped (bacilli), spiral (spirochetes), or comma-shaped (vibrios). The nature, severity, and outcome of any infection caused by a bacterium depends on the species.

Bacterial aneurysm: A dilation in a small area of a blood vessel caused by the growth of bacteria. This condition also follows septicemia or bacteremia.

Bacterial endocarditis: A bacterial infection of the lining of the heart. The symptoms are a heart murmor, prolonged fever, bacteremia, enlarged spleen, and blood clot. Prompt treatment with antibiotics is imperative to prevent destruction of the valves and heart failure.

Bacterial plaque: A film made up of microorganisms that cling to the teeth and often cause tooth decay and infections of the gums. This bacteria and tooth/mouth infections may become a serious septic foci for lymphedema patients.

Bacterial resistance: The ability of certain types of bacteria to develop a resistance to the effects of specific antibiotics. One type is referred to as multiple resistant staph aureus.

Bandaging: Bandages and compression aids are utilized in lymphedema treatment to provide pressure to stimulate drainage and fluid reduction.

Basement membrane: An amorphous extracellular layer, which is closely applied to the epithelium. It is composed of three layers; lamina lucida, lamina densa and lamina fibroreticularis, a matrix of Type IV collagen and several glycoproteins.

Basophil: A white blood cell with basophilic granules that is similar in function to a mast cell. Contained/formed in the bone marrow, part of the body's immune system.

Bellisse: Located in Vermont and founded by lymphedema therapist Leslie Bell and Lisa Lindahl, who invented the Jogbra.Created and manufactures the Compression Comfort Bra

Benign: Not cancer; not malignant; main types of benign breast problems are fibroadenomas and fibrocystic changes.

Benzopyrones: Drugs or herbal substances commonly used in Alternative Medicine, falls under the broader class of drugs called flavonoids. Some forms have been found useful in assisting in the treatment of cancers because of their ability to act as inhibitors and suppressants of tumor growths. Other types have been shown to help in the treatment of lymphatic developmental disorders. While these agents have been used for lymphedema in Europe and India there continues to be much debate of their effectiveness. In the United States the FDA has yet to approve their use.

Bilateral: Affecting both sides of the body; for example, bilateral breast cancer is cancer occurring in both breasts at the same time (synchronous) or at different times (metachronous). As in the case with lymphedema affecting both legs or both arms.

Biopsy: Procedure in which tissue samples are removed from the body for examination of their appearance under a microscope to find out if cancer or other abnormal cells are present; can be done with a needle or by surgery.

Blood clot: A thrombus is a clot which forms inside of a blood vessel. If that clot moves inside the vessel it is referred to as an embolus (embolism). The presence of atherosclerotic plaque lining blood vessel walls is a significant stimulus for clot formation. see embolism, thrombosis.

Body mass index: Formula developed to define the relationship between weight and height. Designed to assist in the determination of body fat. There are variables for age

Boil: Localized skin infection, entry foci for cellulitis or lymphangitis - see carbuncle.

BRCA2 gene: One of two genes shown in the 1990's to be implicated in hereditary breast cancer. These two genes are referred to as tumor supressor genes. It is the mutated form of these genes that dramatically increases ones risk of developing breast cancer.

Buck's Fascia Modified: Scrotal reduction surgery. First used in 1969 at the Oregon Health Sciences University.

Bullous pemphigoid antigen: A substance that promotes the adherence of the epithelial cell to the basement membrane.

Capillary bed: The network of capillaries in a particulararea or organ of the body. Exchanges that occur in capillary beds includesthe transfer of oxygon and nutrients in cells. Removal of carbon dioxide and wasters from the cells. As the transfer of fluids take place, white blood cells can then enter the interstitial tissues.

Carbuncle: Dermal inflammation commonly known as a boil. May be site of entry foci for bacterial infections.

Carrier oils: When oils such as sweet almond, grapeseed,evening primrose, aloe vera, or avocado are mixed with pure essential oils they are called carrier oils. Each of these oils, having their own properties and grades, can be used for specific purposes.

Cat scratch disease: An illness that is characterized by chills, slight fever, and swelling of the lymph glands and is caused by a gram-negative bacterium of the genus Bartonella (B. henselae syn. Rochalimaea henselae) transmitted especially by a cat scratch - called also cat scratch fever.

CDP: Complete Decongestive Physiotherapy.CDT: Complete Decongestive Therapy.

Cellulitis: An inflammation of body tissue especially that below the skin characterized by fever and swelling and redness and pain. Common in lymphedema patients and requires immediate antibiotic therapy. See also lymphangitis.

Cervical nodes: One to four nodes lying along the external jugular vein; they drain the skin and superficial structures over the region of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and send efferent vessels to the deep lateral cervical lymph nodes.

Charles Procedure: One of the first used debulking surgeries for lymphedema. Large amounts of fluid-filled subcutaneous tissue removed from affected limb.

Cholestasis: A condition in which little or no bile is secreted or the flow of bile into the digestive tract is obstructed. Associated with hereditary familial lymphedema.

Chorioretinopathy: (CSR) Retinal disorder, characterized by typically by the appearance of a serous blister of fluid in the macula of one eye. Associatd with lymphedema, microcephaly.

Chronic venous insufficiency: A condition in which the vein do not channel the flow of blood adequately. most often this condition is seen in the veins of the lower extremities. Symptoms include leg swelling, leg pain and muscle cramps. This condition can predispose to venous thrombosis.

Chyliferous vessels: The lymphatic vessels of the small intestine. During digestion contain a milk-white fluid, the chyle. See also lacteals/lacteal vessels.

Circulatory system: The organs and tissues involved in circulating blood and lymph through the body. Composed of blood vessel, bloodstream, body, fetal circulation, foetal circulation, heart, liver, lymph, lymph gland, lymph node, node, organic structure, physical structure, pump, ticker, vascular system, vein, vena. The cardiovascular and lymphatic systems together comprise the totality of what is referred to as the circulatory system.

Cisterna chyli: Dilated or widdened beginning of the thoracic lymph duct. It is located near a vetebra in about the middle of the back or the lumbar region. The cisterna chyli receives the two lumbar lymphatic trunks, right and left, and the intestinal lymphatic trunk.

Clinical aromatherapist: One who is certified/trained in the alternative medical concept known as Aromatherapy.

Clinical aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. It is sometimes used in combination with massage and other therapeutic techniques as part of a holistic treatment approach.

CLT-LANA: Certified Lymphedema Therapist-Lymphology Association of North America.

CMS: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, a divisions of the Department of Health & Humans Services (DHHS) of the U.S. government.

Collagen: The major protein of connective tissue, cartilage and bone which has a unique triple helix configuration formed by three polypeptide subunits known as alpha-chains. There are 11 types of collagen. The most common types are Type I, II, III, and IV. Type IV has fewer fibrils and forms the basement membrane.

Comorbidity: Term used in epidmiology to indicate the coexistance of two or more medical diseases. Examples would include lymphedema and cancer; chronic venous thrombosis and edema; lymphoma and leukopenia.

Complementary medicine: Complementary medicine is defined as those techniques which are used while the patient is using conventional ones. These include methods such as chiropractic and osteopathy. Alternative medicine includes techniques which are used to the exclusion of conventional medicine.

Complete Decongestive Therapy: (CDT) The system of lymphedema treatment that includes manual lymph drainage (MLD), compression techniques, and self-care training.

Compression: The act of applying pressure to an area of the body. In lymphedema either the massage pressure that moves lymph or the compression of the therapeutic pump device. Also, compression/support from garments and wraps preventing swelling.

Compressure Comfort Bra: A specialized bra to meet the needs of women with chest and breast lymphedema; also known as the Bellise Bra.

Congenital lymphedema: The form of primary lymphedema that is present from birth; also known as Milroy’s disease or Nonne-Milroy disease.

Congenital: An abnormal condition present at birth; this term is often incorrectly used interchangeably with hereditary.

Contour Sleeve: A cooler, lighter version of the ReidSleeve that is adjusted and held in place with a strip of Velcro. Contralateral:Contralateral: Affecting the opposite side of the body.

Core needle biopsy: Obtaining a sample of tissue from a mass using a special larger needle. The procedure is most often performed in your doctor’s office.

CPT: Current Procedural Terminology; a coding system used to describe medical procedures for insurance coding purposes.

Cyst: A fluid-filled sac. Most cysts are benign (non-cancerous).

Debulking: General term used for surgeries in which subcutaneous tissue is removed from lymphodemous limb. See also Charles Procedure and Thompsons Procedure.

Dehydrate: To loose or remove excessive water/fluid from the body.Dehydration: The loss of large amounts of water/fluid from body tissues.

Dermal flap: Segment of skin used in the Kondolean, Homans-Miller and Thompsons procedure that was actually sewn into the muscle of the lymphedema limb in attempts to draw fluids into the deeper lymphatics. Because of the consistant lack of positive effects usage has largely been discontinued and not recommended.

Dermatofibroma: Slow growing skin nodule. Coompsed generally of fibrotic/fiiberous tissue.

Diethylstilbestrol: (DES) A drug given to pregnant women from the early 1940s until 1971 to help with common problems during pregnancy. The drug has been linked to cancer of the cervix or vagina in women whose mother took the drug while pregnant.

Distichiasis: Double rows of eyelashes. The extra eyelashes grow from glands called the Meibomian glands and may protrude into the cornea, producing severe corneal abrasions. see primary lymphedema

Diuretic: Class of drugs/agents that enable the body to eliminate excess fluids.

Diuretics: A class of diuretic agents (e.g., furosemide, ethacrynic acid)that act by inhibiting reabsorption of sodium and chloride, not only in the proximal and distal tubules but also in Henle's loop. Common definition is an agent that helps the body eliminate excess fluids.

Edematous: Swollen with an excessive accumulation of fluid

Edema: Swelling caused by an abnormal accumulation of fluid in body tissues. Not to be confused with lymphedema.

Efferent lymphatic vessels: Vessels that carry lymph out of the node to continue its return to the circulatory system.

Elastin: A yellow elastic fibrous mucoprotein that is the major protein of elastic structures such as blood vessels.

Elephantiasis: Hypertrophy of certain body parts (usually legs and scrotum); the end state of the disease filariasis. Lymphatic condition generally found in either tropical or sub-tropical regions of the world. Also, may be used to describe Stage III. lymphedema.

Endurance exercises: Activities that increase your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time; also known as aerobic exercises.

Entry wounds: Any opening or break in the skin that will allow bacteria to enter - see entry foci.

Entry foci: Term used to describe bacterial entry into the body. Examples include cuts, scrapes, abrashions, rashes, generally any open area.

Erysipelas: A skin infection that affects the subcutaneous tissues and lymphatic structures. May be marked by redness, swelling, often blisters, fever, pain and swollen lymph nodes. Generally caused by streptococci and treated with antibiotics.

Eosinophil: Component cell of the body's immune system. Contained/formed within bone marrow.

Etiology: The cause or causes of a disease.

Excisional biopsy: Surgery to remove tissue for examination.

Extension: Straightening a limb at the joint. For example, during extension of the leg the knee is straightened and the lower leg is brought forward.

Extremities: The arms and legs.

Lymphedema People


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