COPD Glossary: NHLBI


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Article title: COPD Glossary: NHLBI
Conditions: COPD, Bronchi, Capillaries, Cyanosis, Dyspnea, Hypoxemia, Postural bronchial drainage
Source: NHLBI

Glossary

Aerosol
A solution of a drug that is made into a fine mist for inhalation.

Airway obstruction
A narrowing, clogging, or blocking of the passages that carry air to the lungs.

Alpha-1- antitrypsin
(See alpha-1-protease inhibitor.)

Alpha-1- protease inhibitor
A substance in blood transported to the lungs that inhibits the digestive activity of trypsin and other proteases which digest proteins. Deficiency of this substance is associated with emphysema.

Alveoli
Tiny sac-like air spaces in the lungs where transfer of carbon dioxide from blood into the lungs and oxygen from air into blood takes place.

Bronchi
Larger air passages of the lungs.

Bronchiole
Finer air passages of the lungs.

Broncho-constriction
Tightening of the muscles surrounding bronchi, the tubes that branch from the windpipe.

Bronchodilator
A drug that relaxes the smooth muscles and opens the constricted airway.

Capillaries
The smallest blood vessels in the body through which most of the oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nutrient exchanges take place.

Cor pulmonale
Heart disease due to lung problems.

Corticosteroids
A group of hormones produced by adrenal glands.

Continuous positive airway
A mechanical ventilation technique used to deliver continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) pressure.

Cyanosis
Bluish color of the skin associated with insufficient oxygen.

Dyspnea
Shortness of breath; difficult or labored breathing.

Elastin
An elastic substance in the lungs (and some other body organs) that support their structural framework.

Elastase inhibitors or Antielastases
Substances in the blood transported to the lungs and other organs which prevent the digestive action of elastases.

Elastin degrading enzymes (elastases)
Substances in the blood transported to the lungs and other organs which digest or breakdown elastin.

Gas exchange
A primary function of the lungs involving transfer of oxygen from inhaled air into blood and of carbon dioxide from blood into lungs.

Hypoventilation
A state in which there is an insufficient amount of air entering and leaving the lungs to bring oxygen into tissues and eliminate carbon dioxide.

Hypoxemia
Deficient oxygenation of the blood.

Hypoxia
A state in which there is oxygen deficiency.

Intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB) machine
A device that assists intermittent positive pressure inhalation of therapeutic aerosols without hand coordination required in the use of hand nebulizers or metered dose inhalers.

Laser
In the context of a therapeutic tool, it is a device that produces a high-intensity light that can generate extreme heat instantaneously when it hits a target.

Lavage
To wash a body organ.

Neonatal
Period up to the first 4 weeks after birth.

Pneumonia
Inflammation of the lungs.

Postural bronchial drainage
Draining of liquids from the lungs by placing the patient in postures (e.g., head below chest) which facilitate liquid flow.

Vaccination
Administration of weakened or killed bacteria or virus to stimulate immunity and protection against further exposure to that agent.

Ventilation
The process of exchange of air between the lungs and the atmosphere leading to exchange of gases in the blood.


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