Ascites Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Ascites article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal cavity: The cavity within the abdomen, the space between the abdominal wall and...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Albumin: The main protein in human blood and the key to regulating the osmotic pressure of...

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Alcohol abuse: Use of alcoholic beverages to excess, either on individual occasions (binge...

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Aldosterone: A hormone produced by the outer portion (cortex) of the adrenal gland. Aldost...

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Analysis: In psychology, a term for conversation-based therapeutic processes used to gain ...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Ascites: An abnormal accumulation of fluid within the abdomen. There are many causes of as...

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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Blood count: The calculated number of white or red blood cells (WBCs or RBCs) in a cubic m...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Capillary: A tiny blood vessel that connects an arteriole (the smallest division of an art...

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Catheter: A thin, flexible tube.

Cavities: Holes or structural damage in the two outer layers of a tooth called the enamel...

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CBC: A commonly used abbreviation in medicine that stands for complete blood count, a set...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic pancreatitis: A form of pancreatitis in which there is persistent inflammation of ...

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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Circulatory: Having to do with circulation, the movement of fluid in a regular or circuito...

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Circulatory system: The system that moves blood throughout the body. The circulatory syste...

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Cirrhosis: Liver disease characterized by irreversible scarring. Alcohol and viral hepatit...

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Complete blood count: A set values of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These meas...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Digestive system: The system of organs responsible for getting food into and out of the bo...

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Distention: The state of being distended, enlarged, swollen from internal pressure.

Diuretic: Something that promotes the formation of urine by the kidney. All diuretics caus...

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Drain: A device for removing fluid from a cavity or wound. A drain is typically a tube or ...

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Dyspnea: Difficult or labored breathing; shortness of breath. Dyspnea is a sign of serious...

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Edema: The swelling of soft tissues as a result of excess fluid accumulation. Edema is oft...

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Effusion: Too much fluid, an outpouring of fluid. For example, a pleural effusion is an ab...

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Electrolyte: A substance that dissociates into ions in solution and acquires the capacity ...

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Encephalopathy: Disease, damage, or malfunction of the brain. In general, encephalopathy i...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Fibroma: A benign tumor consisting of a mass of connective tisue cells that have a spindle...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Heart muscle: A type of muscle with unique features only found in the heart. The heart mus...

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Hemoglobin: The oxygen-carrying pigment and predominant protein in the red blood cells. He...

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Hepatic: Having to do with the liver.

Hepatic vein: One of the veins which drains blood from the liver.

Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Hepatosplenomegaly: Abnormal enlargement of the liver and spleen. Hepatosplenomegaly is ty...

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Hyponatremia: Low sodium in the blood. Hyponatremia can be caused by many conditions and w...

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Hypothyroid: Deficiency of thyroid hormone which is normally made by the thyroid gland wh...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Inflammatory response: A fundamental type of response by the body to disease and injury, a...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Internal jugular vein: The deeper of the two jugular veins in the neck that drain blood fr...

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Interventional: Pertaining to the act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the ...

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Interventional radiologist: A radiologist who uses image guidance methods to gain access t...

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Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion...

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Intrahepatic: Within the liver. For example, a liver tumor is an intrahepatic growth.

Jugular: The principal vein in the front of either side of the neck. The word comes from t...

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Jugular vein: The jugular veins are in the neck and drain blood from the head, brain, face...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Liver disease: Liver disease refers to any disorder of the liver. The liver is a large org...

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Liver transplant: Surgery to remove a diseased liver and replace it with a healthy liver (...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Malnutrition: A term used to refer to any condition in which the body does not receive eno...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Membrane: A very thin layer of tissue that covers a 'surface.

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Menstrual cycle: The monthly cycle of changes in the ovaries and the lining of the uteru...

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Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. ...

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Mortality: Susceptible to death.

Mortality rate: A death rate. There are a number of different types of mortality rates as,...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Orthopnea: The inability to breathe easily except when sitting up straight or standing ere...

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Ounce: A measure of weight equal to 1/16th of a pound or, metrically, 28.35 gra...

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Ovary: The female gonad, one of a pair of reproductive glands in women. The ovaries are lo...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pancreas: A spongy, tube-shaped organ that is about 6 inches long and is located in the ba...

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Pancreatic: Having to do with the pancreas.

Pancreatic cancer: A malignant tumor of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer has been called a ...

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Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas. Of the many causes of pancreatitis, the most c...

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Paracentesis: The removal of fluid from a body cavity via a needle, a trocar, a cannula, o...

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Peritoneal: Having to do with the peritoneum.

Peritoneum: The membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers most of the abdominal ...

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Peritonitis: Inflammation of the peritoneum (The peritoneum is the tissue layer of cells l...

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Platelet: An irregular, disc-shaped element in the blood that assists in blood clotting....

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Platelet count: The calculated number of platelets in a volume of blood, usually expressed...

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Pleural: Pertaining to the pleura, the thin covering that protects the lungs. The term "pl...

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Pleural effusion: Excess fluid between the two membranes that cover the lungs (the viscera...

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Portal vein: A large vein formed by the union of the splenic and superior mesenteric veins...

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Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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Radiologist: A physician specialized in radiology, the branch of medicine that uses ionizi...

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Refractory: Not yielding, or not yielding readily, to treatment.

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Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Shunt: 1) To move a body fluid, such as cerebrospinal fluid, from one place to another. 2...

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Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in the fluid surrounding cells in the body. The ch...

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Spleen: An organ that is located in the upper-left part of the abdomen, not far from the s...

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Stent: A tube designed to be inserted into a vessel or passageway to keep it open. Stents ...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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Transfusion: The transfer of blood or blood products from one person (the donor) into the ...

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Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt: A shunt that allows blood from the portal c...

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Transplant: The grafting of a tissue from one place to another, just as in botany a bu...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Viral hepatitis: Liver inflammation caused by a virus. Specific hepatitis viruses have bee...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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White blood cell count (leukocyte count): The number of white blood cells (WBCs) in the b...

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