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Lupus Dictionary O-Z

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Panniculitis Inflammation of subcutaneous fat
Pericardial effusion Fluid around the sac of the heart
Pericarditis Inflammation of the pericardium
Pericardium A sac lining the heart
Peritonitis Inflammation of the lining of the abdomen
Pernicious anaemia Condition caused by vitamin B12 deficiency & characterised by anaemia & spinal-cord abnormalities
Petechiae Small haemorrhages, or pinpoint lesions, on the skin
Phlebitis Inflammation of a vein
Placebo Inactive substance (such as a sugar pill) given to a patient either for its pleasing effect or as a control in experiments with an active drug
Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) An antimalarial drug used in the treatment of lupus.Usual dose is 1-2 tablets daily(200-400mg)
Possible side effects include - loss of appetite, nausea, indigestion, headache, diarrhoea, itching or rash, rarely hydroxychloroquine may affect the eyes (regular checks can monitor this)
Plasmapheresis Filtration of blood plasma through a machine to remove proteins that may aggravate lupus
Platelet A component of blood responsible for clotting
Platelet count Normal range = 150,000-450,000/cmm
Pleura A sac lining the lung
Pleural effusion Fluid in the sac lining the lung
Pleuritis/pleurisy Irritation or inflammation of the ling of the lung
Polyarteritis A disease closely related to lupus featuring inflammation of medium & small-sized blood vessels
Polymyalgia rheumatica An autoimmune disease of the joints & muscles seen in older patients with high sedimentation rates who have severe aching in their shoulders, upper arms, hips & upper legs
Polymyositis An autoimmune disease that targets muscles
Prednisone; prednisolone Synthetic steroids
Proteinuria Excess protein levels in the urine
Pulmonary hypertension Elevated blood pressure in the lungs
Pulse steroids Very high doses of corticosteroids given intravenously over 1 to 3 days to critically ill patients
Purpura Red spots under the skin - due to 'leaky' small blood vessels or to very low platelet counts
Rash Inflammation of the skin
Raynaud's disease Isolated Raynaud's phenomenon; not part of any other disease
Raynaud's phenomenon Discolouration of the hands or feet (they turn blue, white or red) especially with cold temperatures; a feature of an autoimmune disease
RBC Red blood cell count
Normal range = 4.20-5.80
Remission Quiet period free from symptoms, but not necessarily representing a cure
Rheumatic disease Any of 150 disorders affecting the immune or musculoskeletal systems. About 30 of these are also autoimmune
Rheumatoid arthritis Chronic disease of the joints marked by inflammatory changes in the joint-lining membranes, which may give positive results on tests of rheumatoid factor & ANA
Rheumatologist An internal medicine specialist who has completed at least a 2-year fellowship studying rheumatic diseases
Ro-antibody See anti-SSA
SCLE Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus. A rash, often circular & distributed on the chest, neck & upper arms. Sometimes seen in patients whose blood tests are negative. It is very sensitive to UV light. 
Scleritis Inflammation (and redness) in the white of the eye
Scleroderma An autoimmune disease featuring rheumatoid-type inflammation, tight skin, & vascular problems
Sedimentation rate Test that measures the precipitation of red cells in a column of blood; high rates usually indicate increased disease activity
Septrin An antibiotic - often causes rashes in lupus patients
Serositis Inflammation of the lining (serosa) of organs - usually either pleurisy, pericarditis, or peritonitis
Sjogren's syndrome Dry eyes, dry mouth, & arthritis observed with most autoimmune disorders or by itself (primary Sjogren's)
Synovitis Inflammation of the tissues lining a joint
Systemic Pertaining to or affecting the body as a whole
T cell A lymphocyte responsible for immunologic memory
Temporal arteritis Inflammation of the temporal artery (located in the scalp) associated with high sedimentation rates, systemic symptoms, & sometimes loss of vision
Thrombocytopenia Low platelet counts
Thymus A gland in the neck area responsible for immunologic maturity
Titer Amount of a substance, such as ANA
Tolerance The failure to make antibodies to an antigen
UV light Ultraviolet light. Its spectrum includes UVA (320 to 400 nanometers), UVB (290 to 320 nm), & UVC (200 to 290 nm) wavelengths
Uremia Marked kidney insufficiency frequently necessitating dialysis
Vasculitis Inflammation of the blood vessels
WBC White blood cell count
Normal range = 3.8-11.0

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