Glossary

ABO Type - Your blood type. Only certain blood types work together for organ transplant.

Access - A surgically-created place where your body can connect up - to a machine or dialysate bag - for dialysis.

Albumin - A kind of protein found in your blood. When found in the urine, it is an indication of kidney disease.

ARF - Acute Renal Failure - A sudden loss of kidney function caused by illness or injury. Kidneys may recover from this.

Artery - A blood vessel that takes blood from the heart to other parts of the body.

AV Fistula - Arteriovenous Fistula - An access for dialysis created by joining an
artery to a vein under your skin.

AV Graft - Arteriovenous Graft - An access for dialysis which uses a soft, plastic
tube to join an artery to a vein under your skin.

Bladder - A balloon-shaped organ inside the pelvis that holds urine until you are ready to pee.

CAPD - Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis - Doing PD exchanges during the course of your day.

CCPD - Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis - Using a machine to do PD exchanges at night, while you sleep.

CKD - Chronic Kidney Disease - A long, usually slow process where the kidneys lose their ability to function.

Cadaveric or Deceased Donor - Someone who agreed to have their kidney donated after they die.

Creatinine - A natural waste product that it normally filtered out by healthy kidneys. Too much creatinine in your blood means your kidneys are
not doing their job.

Crossmatch - An organ matching test. POSITIVE crossmatch means your immune system would probably attack the donated kidney and reject it. NEGATIVE crossmatch means the donation can take place.

Diabetes - A disease in which a body can’t use sugar (glucose) efficiently. In type 1 diabetes, the body is not able to make enough insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body is resistant to insulin.

Dialysis - A treatment that filters and cleans your blood when your kidneys can’t do it any more.

Dialysate - A cleansing solution used in dialysis.

Dialyzer - The filter in a hemodialysis machine, which removes wastes and excess fluid from blood.

ERSD End-stage Renal Disease - Stage 5 kidney disease, when kidneys are no longer working. Less than 15% kidney function.

Exchange - The process of draining away used dialysate and replacing it with clean dialysate in PD, peritoneal dialysis.

Filter Membrane - An important part of dialysis. A filter membrane lets waste and extra fluid pass out of your body, while blood cells and proteins that your body needs stay in.

Fistula - See A.V. Fistula

GFR or eGFR
Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate A measure of how well your kidneys are working. Glomerulonephritis - A kidney disease caused
by inflammation of the glomeruli. It can be caused by an auto-immune disease or an infection.

Glomerulus - Part of a nephron. The tangled ball of tiny blood vessels where filtering takes place. The plural of glomerulus is Glomeruli.

Hemodialysis - An treatment that filters blood using a dialysis machine and filter cartridge to remove wastes and fluids from blood.

High Blood Pressure - A leading cause of kidney disease. High blood pressure usually means a reading higher than 140/90.

HLA Tissue Type
Human Leukocyte Antigens - Part of your immune system which helps determine whether a donated organ will be a good match for someone
who needs it. “6 out of 6” is the best possible match.

Hypertension - Another word for high blood pressure.

Immune System - The body’s defense system for fighting off and protecting itself from viruses and bacteria.

Immunosuppressive Medications -
Medications that suppress the body’s immune system to keep it from rejecting a donated organ.

Living Kidney Donor - Someone who is willing to give a kidney right away to someone who needs it.

Nephrologist - A kidney doctor.

Nephron - The basic filtering unit in the kidneys where wastes and fluids are removed from the blood.

PD Catheter - A small tube put into your abdomen to allow for PD - peritoneal dialyis.

PD Peritoneal Dialysis - An approach that filters blood INSIDE your body, using your own peritoneum to take out wastes and fluids.

Peritoneum - A membrane that lines the abdomen, surrounding the stomach, intestines and other organs.

Pharmacist - A medical specialist who is qualified to prepare and dispense medications, along with advice and information on how to use them.

PKD Polycystic Kidney Disease -
An inherited kidney disease that causes lots of small cysts to form, filling up the kidneys until they can’t work properly.

Resident - A doctor who is in the last stage of their medical training .

Teaching Hospital - A hospital where medical students follow along with doctors to get practical experience and training.

Transplant or Transplantation - A surgery in which a healthy, donor kidney is put in to take over for failing kidneys.

Tunneled Catheter - A type of access for dialysis created by inserting a narrow tube into a large vein in your neck.

Uremia - The build-up of wastes in blood due to kidney failure, which can make you feel sick.

Ureters - Tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

Urethra - The tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

Urine - Pee, the liquid waste product filtered from the blood by the kidneys.

Vein - A blood vessel that brings blood from other parts of the body back to the heart.

Waiting List - UNOS (The United Network of Organ Sharing) maintains a nation-wide list of people in need of transplants, and helps connect them with donated organs when they become available.