Carolina Kidney Care Glossary of Terms

Acute Kidney Disease– the rapid loss of the kidneys’ ability to remove waste and help balance fluids and electrolytes in the body

Anemia– a medical condition that occurs when a patient’s blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells and can lead to fatigue, weakness, pale or yellowish skin, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadedness, chest pain, cold hands and feet, or headache

Chronic Kidney Disease– also known as chronic renal failure, chronic renal disease, or chronic kidney failure, is a slow progressive loss of kidney function over a period of several years

Dialysis– kidney dialysis is a life-support treatment that uses a special machine to filter harmful wastes, salt, and excess fluid from the blood

Fistula– hemodialysis fistulas are surgically created communications between the native artery and vein in an extremity. The access that is created is routinely used for hemodialysis 2-5 times per week.

Glomerulonephritis– is inflammation of the tiny filters in your kidneys (glomeruli). Glomeruli remove excess fluid, electrolytes and waste from your bloodstream and pass them into your urine. Also called glomerular disease, glomerulonephritis can be acute — a sudden attack of inflammation — or chronic — coming on gradually.

Interventional Nephrology– a subspecialty that mainly deals with ultrasonography of kidneys and ultrasound-guided kidney biopsy, insertion of peritoneal dialysis catheters and tunneled dialysis catheters as a vascular access for patients undergoing hemodialysis in end stage renal disease patients.

Nephrologist– a physician who specializes in kidney care and treating diseases of the kidneys

Nephrology– the branch of medical science concerned with diseases of the kidneys

Nocturnal Dialysis– turns nonproductive sleep time into hemodialysis treatment time. Patients receive hemodialysis in their dialysis center overnight for 6 to 8 hours while they sleep.

Phlebotomist– healthcare professionals trained to draw blood from a patient for clinical or medical testing, transfusions, donations, or research

Radiologic Technologist– healthcare professionals who perform diagnostic imaging procedures, such as X-ray examinations, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and computed tomography (CT) scans

Renal– relating to or involving the kidneys

Sonographer– healthcare professionals who perform diagnostic sonography (ultrasound) procedures

Ultrasound– also known as Sonography, is a type of medical imaging that uses high-frequency sound waves, also known as ultrasound, to produce images of organs, tissues and blood flow

Vascular Access Care– Also known as hemodialysis. Dialysis is performed by creating an opening in the skin and blood vessel during a short operation so that during dialysis, blood flows out of the access into the dialyzer machine, and once filtered, flows back through the access into the body.