Systemic Scleroderma Glossary of Terms

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

Antigen: A substance that the immune system perceives as being foreign or dangerous. The b...

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the...

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bumps: The raised area of a bump or bruise results from blood leaking from these injured b...

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Calcinosis: An abnormal deposit of calcium salts in body tissues. Examples include the cal...

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Collagen: The principal protein of the skin, tendons, cartilage, bone, and connective tiss...

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Connective tissue: A material made up of fibers forming a framework and support structure...

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CREST syndrome: A limited form of scleroderma, a disease of connective tissue that involve...

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Cutaneous: Related to the skin.

Dermatomyositis: A chronic inflammatory disease of skin and muscle which is associated wit...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

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Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia is due to abnormal nerve or muscle control. It...

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Esophageal: Related to the esophagus.

Esophagus: The tube that connects the pharynx (throat) with the stomach. The esophagus lie...

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Familial: A condition that tends to occur more often in family members than is expected by...

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Gene: The basic biological unit of heredity. A segment of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) need...

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Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

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

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Heartburn: An uncomfortable feeling of burning and warmth occurring in waves rising up be...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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HLA: Human leukocyte antigen, the major human histocompatibility system. HLA typing is don...

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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune response: Any reaction by the immune system. For example, poison ivy can cause an i...

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Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Inheritance: The transmission of a gene from parent to child. The pattern of inheritance i...

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Intestinal pseudo-obstruction: A condition in which the patient has symptoms of intestinal...

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

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Lupus: A chronic inflammatory disease that is caused by autoimmunity. Patients with lupus ...

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

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Pathogen: An agent of disease. For example, Bacillus anthracis is the pathogen that causes...

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Polymyositis: An autoimmune inflammatory disease of muscle that begins when white blood ce...

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Prevalence: The proportion of individuals in a population having a disease or characterist...

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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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Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of joint...

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Sclerodactyly: Localized thickening and tightness of the skin of the fingers or toes. Scle...

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Scleroderma: A disease of connective tissue that causes scar tissue (fibrosis) to form in ...

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Sclerosis: Localized hardening of skin. Sclerosis is generally caused by underlying diseas...

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

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Sporadic: Occurring upon occasion or in a scattered, isolated, or seemingly random way.

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

Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Systemic lupus erythematosus: A chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune di...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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Medical Dictionary