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Author:
Diane Manhattan

Revised 2/27/02 JHO


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Glossary of Common Terms

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V-Z

A

American Urological Association (AUA): US national organization of urologists.
Analgesic: medicine with pain relieving qualities
Antibodies: substances which are produced in the body that have a unique capacity to bind to foreign matter, therefore disabling it.
Antispasmodic: a drug that helps in the lessening of spasms.
Augmentation cystoplasty: a surgical procedure in which a piece of bowel replaces portions of a diseased bladder.
Autoimmune: of, or pertaining to, the immune response of a antibody against any of its own tissues.

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B

Biofeedback: a method of learning to modify a particular bodily function, by monitoring it with the aid of a electronic device (i.e., muscle contractions, brainwaves).
Bladder: organ in which urine is collected.
Bladder neck: the area of the bladder where the bladder muscle converges to form the urethra.
Bladder holding protocol: exercises used for patients with urinary frequency that can slowly increase the interval between voids and bladder capacity.
Bladder training: exercise that focuses on changing urinary habits and patterns, same as above.

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C

Catheter: a thin flexible tube that is inserted into the bladder.
Continence: the successful storage of urine.
Chronic: present for a long time.
Cystitis: an infection in the bladder.
Cystectomy: removal of the bladder.
Cystocele: herniation of the urinary bladder into the vagina.
Cystometry: bladder pressure measurement.
Cystoplasty: partial removal of the bladder and replacement with a piece of the bowel.
Cystoscope: a device used to view the inside of the bladder

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D

Detrusor: the outer muscular layer of the bladder, also known as the bladder muscle.
Detrusor hyper reflexia: detrusor instability/over activity or hyperactivity of the bladder muscle.
Detrusor pressure: the pressure in the bladder caused by the contraction of the detrusor muscle.
Distend: to stretch outward.
Dysuria: painful urination.

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E

Ejaculatory duct: tube in the body where sperm are deposited into the urethra.
Endoscope: a procedure done using a slender, tubular optical device to examine a body cavity.
Electromyography (EMG): a technique used to assess the pelvic floor muscles.
Enuresis: involuntary urination.
Epidemiology: the study of the incidence and prevalence of disease in large populations, the factor contributing to the presence or absence of a disease.
Epithelium: any tissue layer covering body surfaces or lining the internal surfaces of body cavities, tube or hollow organ.

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F

Fiberoptic: light technology that enables the doctor to look inside the body.
Fulguration: the drying of tissues by the use of high frequency electric current applied with a needle electrode. Destroy by electricity.

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G

Glycosaminoglycan: (mucin layer, mucpolysaccharide, GAG) the thin sugar based coating of the bladder that protects the underlying layers of the bladder.

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H

Heparin: a drug that helps the prevention of blood clotting and/or dissolving blot clots.
Histamine: a substance that is mainly released by damaged mast cells and is a factor of the inflammatory process.
Hunner's ulcers: a large sore found in the bladder of some IC patients.
Hysterectomy: Surgical removal of the uterus.

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I

Ileal conduit: the surgical procedure of diverting the urine from the bladder.
Ileocytoplasty: a surgical operation producing a permanent artificial opening connecting the ileum and rectum.
Incontinence: the failure to store urine when desired.
Inflammation: redness, swelling and fever in a local area of the body causing pain and disturbed function in reaction to tissue damage or injury.
Interleukins: these are a family of cytokines thathave integral roles in inflammatory/immune responses.
Intravenous pyelogram: X-ray used to visualize the kidneys and ureters.
Intravesical: is when medications are instilled directly into the bladder via a catheter.

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K

Kallikrein Hypotensive proteinase that liberates kinins from blood plasma proteins and is used therapeutically for vasodilatation.
Kidney stones: is the term commonly used to refer to stones, or calculi, in the urinary system.

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L

Lamina propria: the membranous tissue in which separates the bladder lining from the bladder muscle.
L-arginine: an amino acid and nutritional suppliment that has been found effective in treating pain of IC.
Leukotriences: the cells that promote localized inflammation.
Lumen: the canal, duct, or cavity of a tubular organ.

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M

Mast cells: cells which release histamine, naturally occurring throughout the body.
Meatus: the vaginal opening in woman/the tip of the penis in men.
Mucin: see glycosaminoglycans.
Mucopolysaccharide: a carbohydrate molecule, that is distributed in the body, that's binds to water to form a thick gelatinous material to help in the lubrication of joints and the lining of the bladder.
Muscularis: muscle layer of the bladder.
Mucosal layer: innermost tissue of the bladder, also known as the urothelium.

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N

Neurotransmitter: a chemical within the body that facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses.
Neurovascular: relating to or involving nerves and blood vessels.
Nocturia: waking at night to urinate.
Norepinephrine: a hormone that causes the contraction of blood vessels.

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O

Outlet (bladder): refers to the bladder neck, urethra and sphincter as a combined mechanism.
Over active bladder/unstable bladder: frequency, urgency and occasional incontinence, a neurological dysfunction or smooth muscle disease.

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P

Pelvic floor muscles: muscles of the pelvic floor which can weaken as women grow older, leading to stress incontinence.
Perineum: the tissue that is found at the base of the vagina/penis and the anus.
Peripheral Nerve: relating to the spinal nerve.
Periphery: a region in where nerves end (boundary).
Peritoneum: the serious membrane lining the abdominal cavity.
Petechial: nonraised hemorrhage in the skin or in a mucous membrane.
pH: used to describe the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
Prostate: the gland in men that surrounds the urethra, distal to the bladder neck.
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test: a blood test used to detect prostate diseases such as prostate cancer. This should be obtained in men over age 50, and in men over age 40 who have a family history of prostate cancer.
Prostatitic urethra: the part of the male urethra from the base of the prostate gland where it passes through the prostate gland.
Prostatitis: inflammation of the prostate gland.
Prostatodynia: pain or discomfort in the bladder, prostate, perineum and/or the rectum.
Prostatorrhea: an abnormal discharge or secretion from the prostate gland.
Proteinuria: is the presence of abnormal amounts of protein in the urine.
Pubic symphysis: the rather rigid articulation of two pubic bones in the midline of the lower anterior part of the abdomen.
Pyelonephritis: infection in one or both of the kidneys.
Pyuria: the presence of pus in the urine.

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R

Renal pelvis: the location of the kidney where urine collects.
Renal (kidney) failure: when the kidneys are not able to regulate water and chemicals in the body or remove waste products.
Residual: the urine remaining in bladder just after urination.
Retention: the symptom of retaining to much urine in the bladder. Incomplete voiding or complete ability to void.
Retro-pubic: space situated behind the pubis.

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S

Scrotal sac: The "membrane" containing the testicles.
Seminal vesicle: Small gland where sperm are stored.
Serosal layer: the outermost tissue layer of the bladder, known as the tunica serosa.
Serotonin: a substance found in the blood and mucous membranes/nervous tissues and functions as a vasoconstrictor and neurotransmitter.
Sphincter: a circular muscle that closes the urethra when voiding is desired.
Splanchnic nerve: the nerves that provide motor stimuli to the bladder.
Stress incontinence: a symptom of loosing urine with the increase of urine in the bladder when the pressure inside the bladder which causes urination, is greater than the pressure in the urethra. This causes loss of urine when sneezing, coughing, laughing etc. This is caused by the weakening of the tissues that surround the urethra and bladder.
Stricture: used to describe scarring in the urethra that blocks urine flow.
Stroma: the supporting framework of a organ typically consisting of connective tissue.
Submucosal layer: the third layer of the bladder, also known as the lamina propria.
Submucous ulcer: an ulcer laying under and involving the tissue under a mucous membrane.
Suprapubic: above the pubic bone.
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T

Testosterone: The male hormone produced by the testicle that stimulate sexual desire.
Thoracic Nerves: the nerves that lay in the dorsal vertebrae.
Transitional epithelium: the inner part of the bladder that is comprised of three layers of cells, the umbrella cells, intermediate cells and base cells.
Transurethral resection: a surgical procedure that that cuts away enlarged prostate tissue to help maintain an adequate urine outlet in the urethra.
Trigone: a sensitive area in the bladder (where bladder nerves are more concentrated) bounded by, the ureters and the tip of the bladder. Located near the bladder neck which is shaped like a upside down triangle.
Tunic seros: enclosing or covering membrane(tissue).

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U

Umbrella cells: the cells located at the inner surface of the bladder.
Ureters: the tube that drains urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
Urethra: the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside.
Urethral Pressure Profile (UPP): A test that measures pressure along the urethra.
Urethral syndrome: relating to uncertain bladder conditions such as urgency, painful urination, and frequency.
Urethritis: an infection or inflammation of the urethra.
Urge: the feeling of the need to urinate.
Urgency: a sudden onset of the need to urinate.
Urge incontinence:a powerful urge to urinate, which often results in accidental urination.
Urinalysis: laboratory test of urine to detect disease.
Urinary diversion: the surgical procedure where the urine is diverted from the bladder.
Urinary retention: a common urological problem with many possible causes. Urinary retention is the abnormal holding of urine in the bladder.
Urinary sphincter: The "valve" that keeps urine from leaking out of the bladder.
Urinary tract: Term for the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
Urterocolic Implantation: Joining the ureter and the colon the colon.

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V-Z

Vascular: general term describing blood vessels such as arteries or veins.
Vas deferens: the tube carrying sperm from the testicle to the ejaculatory duct and seminal vesicles. This is divided during a vasectomy.
Vesicouretral reflux: a condition when the urine backs up from the bladder through the ureters to the kidneys.
Void: to urinate.

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