Medical Glossary

Acute Coronary Syndrome is a term used for any condition brought on by sudden, reduced blood flow to the heart.

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.

Adjuvant is a substance which enhances the body’s immune response to an antigen.

Albumin is a protein that is soluble in water and moderately concentrated salt solutions and is coagulable by heat. It is found in egg whites, blood, lymph, and other tissues and fluids. In the human body, serum albumin is the major plasma protein (approximately 60% of the total).

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) is an inherited condition that causes low levels of, or no, alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) in the blood. AATD is a protein made in the liver and enables normal function of the lungs.

Anti-D Immunoglobulin, also called Rh (D) immunoglobulin, is an injection of Anti-Rhesus antibodies given to a woman whose blood group is Rhesus negative, if there is a chance that she has been exposed to Rhesus positive blood either during pregnancy or blood transfusion.

Antivenom (or antivenin, or antivenene) is a biological product used in the treatment of venomous bites or stings.

Biopharmaceuticals are proteins (including antibodies), nucleic acids (DNA, RNA or antisense oligonucleotides) used for prophylactic or therapeutic purposes.

Cell-based (technology) for the manufacture of influenza vaccines, is a process of growing viruses in animal cells.

C1 Esterase Inhibitor is a protein found in the fluid part of blood that controls C1, the first component of the complement system. The complement system is a group of proteins that move freely through the bloodstream. These proteins work with the immune system and play a role in the development of inflammation.

Chromatography is a technique for separating molecules based on differential absorption and elution. It involves the flow of a fluid carrier over a non-mobile absorbing phase.

Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a neurological disorder which causes gradual weakness and a loss in sensation mainly in the arms and legs.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).

Coagulation is the process of clot formation.

Colloid is a mixture in which one substance of microscopically dispersed insoluble particles is suspended throughout another substance.

Fibrinogen is a coagulation factor found in human plasma that is crucial for blood clot formation.

Fractionation is the process of separating plasma into its component parts, such as clotting factors, albumin and immunoglobulin, and purifying them.

Haemolytic Disease is a disease that disrupts the integrity of red blood cells causing the release of haemoglobin.

Haemophilia is a haemorrhagic cluster of diseases occurring in two main forms:

  1. Haemophilia A (classic haemophilia, factor VIII deficiency), an X linked disorder due to deficiency of coagulation factor VIII.
  2. Haemophilia B (factor IX deficiency, Christmas disease), also X linked, due to deficiency of coagulation factor IX.

Haemostasis (Haemostatic) is the stopping of blood flow.

Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) is a rare but serious genetic disorder caused by low levels or improper function of a protein called C1 esterase inhibitor. It causes swelling, particularly of the face and airways, and abdominal cramping.

Hereditary Emphysema is a physiological condition that results in excessive amounts of white blood cells (neutrophils) to enter the lungs and cause inflammation and chronic lung disease.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a diverse group of DNA-based viruses that infect the skin and mucous membranes of humans and a variety of animals. Some HPV types cause benign skin warts, or papillomas, for which the virus family is named. Others can lead to the development of cervical dyskaryosis, which may in turn lead to cancer of the cervix.

Immunoglobulins (IgG), also known as antibodies, are proteins produced by plasma cells. They are designed to control the body’s immune response by binding to substances in the body that are recognised as foreign antigens (often proteins on the surface of bacteria or viruses).

Influenza, commonly known as flu, is an infectious disease of birds and mammals caused by a RNA virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses).

Intravenous is the administration of drugs or fluids directly into a vein.

Immunohaemotology is the discipline concerned with all aspects of immunology relating to the blood, including blood types and blood disorders.

Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) is an antibody produced by a single clone of cells. Monoclonal antibodies are a cornerstone of immunology and are increasingly coming into use as therapeutic agents.

Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells (a type of white blood cell).

Neurological is the science of nerves and the nervous system.

Neutrophil Infiltration is the diffusion or accumulation of neutrophils (white blood cells) in tissues or cells in response to a wide variety of substances released at the sites of inflammatory reactions.

Perioperative Bleeding is bleeding during an operation.

Plasma is the yellow-coloured liquid component of blood in which blood cells are suspended.

Plasmapheresis is a method of removing blood plasma from the body by withdrawing blood, separating it into plasma and cells, and transfusing the cells back into the bloodstream.

Primary Immunodeficiency (PID) is an inherited condition where there is an impaired immune response. It may be in one or more aspects of the immune system.

Prophylaxis is the action of a vaccine or drug that acts to defend against or prevent a disease.

Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine is a vaccine that offers protection against four different influenza virus strains.

Recombinants are proteins prepared by recombinant technology. Procedures are used to join together segments in a cellfree system (an environment outside a cell organism).

Secondary Immunodeficiency Disease occurs when the immune system is compromised due to an external factor (i.e. not genetic).

Subcutaneous is the administration of drugs or fluids into the subcutaneous tissue, which is located just below the skin.

Von Willebrand Disease (vWD) is a hereditary disorder caused by defective or deficient von Willebrand factor, a protein involved in normal blood clotting.

Warfarin is an anticoagulant used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots.