Liver (Liver Disease, Anatomy, and Function) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Liver (Liver Disease, Anatomy, and Function) article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Absorption: Uptake. For example, intestinal absorption is the uptake of food (or other sub...

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Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Adjacent: Lying nearby. Related terms include superjacent, subjacent, and circumjacent. Fr...

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Albumin: The main protein in human blood and the key to regulating the osmotic pressure of...

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Alkaline phosphatase: An enzyme that liberates phosphate under alkaline conditions and is ...

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Ammonia: A colorless gas with a very sharp odor. Made both by humans and by nature, ammoni...

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Anatomy: The study of human or animal form, by observation or examination of the living be...

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Antibody: An immunoglobulin, a specialized immune protein, produced because of the introdu...

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Aorta: The largest artery in the body, the aorta arises from the left ventricle of the he...

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Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the...

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Autoimmune hepatitis: A disease in which the body's immune system attacks liver cells, cau...

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Bile: Bile is a yellow-green fluid that is made by the liver, stored in the gallbladder an...

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Biliary: Having to do with the gallbladder, bile ducts, or bile. The biliary system itself...

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Bilirubin: A yellow-orange compound that is produced by the breakdown of hemoglobin from r...

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Biochemical: Relating to biochemistry, the application of the tools and concepts of chemis...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Carbohydrates: Mainly sugars and starches, together constituting one of the three principa...

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Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body organs. Ex...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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Cirrhosis: Liver disease characterized by irreversible scarring. Alcohol and viral hepatit...

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Costal margin: The lower edge of the chest (thorax), formed by the bottom edge of the rib ...

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Detoxify: To reduce or eliminate the toxicity of a substance or poison. To promote the rec...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Edema: The swelling of soft tissues as a result of excess fluid accumulation. Edema is oft...

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Endocrine: Pertaining to hormones and the glands that make and secrete them into the blood...

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Endocrine gland: A gland that secretes a substance (a hormone) into the bloodstream. The e...

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Enzymes: Proteins that act as a catalysts in mediating and speeding a specific chemical re...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Fats: Plural of the word "fat". See the definition of fat.

Fatty acids: Molecules that are long chains of lipid-carboxylic acid found in fats and oil...

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Gallbladder: A pear-shaped organ located below the liver that stores the bile secreted by ...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Glucose: The simple sugar that is the chief source of energy. Glucose is found in the bloo...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Hemochromatosis: An inherited disorder characterized by abnormally high absorption of iron...

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Hepatic: Having to do with the liver.

Hepatic artery: An artery that distributes blood to the liver, pancreas and gallbladder as...

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Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion...

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Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally h...

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Lipoproteins: Complexes of lipid and protein, the way lipids travel in the blood.

Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Liver biopsy: A procedure in which a small sample of the liver is removed for the diagnosi...

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Liver disease: Liver disease refers to any disorder of the liver. The liver is a large org...

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Lobe: Part of an organ that appears to be separate in some way from the rest. A lobe may b...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Membrane: A very thin layer of tissue that covers a 'surface.

Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the whole range of biochemical processes that occur wit...

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Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. ...

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Microscopic: An object so small it cannot be seen without the aid of microscope (for examp...

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Muscular: Having to do with the muscles. Also, endowed with above average muscle developme...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Pathology: The study of disease. Pathology has been defined as "that branch of medicine...

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Pigment: A substance that gives color to tissue. Pigments are responsible for the colors o...

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Portal vein: A large vein formed by the union of the splenic and superior mesenteric veins...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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Prothrombin: A coagulation (clotting) factor that is needed for the normal clotting of blo...

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Prothrombin time: A test that is done to gauge the integrity of part of the blood clotting...

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Red blood cells: The blood cells that carry oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is...

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Regenerate: To reproduce or renew something that was lost. For example, after an injury, t...

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Rib: One of the 12 paired arches of bone that form the skeletal structure of the chest wal...

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Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Viral hepatitis: Liver inflammation caused by a virus. Specific hepatitis viruses have bee...

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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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Vitamins: The word "vitamin" was coined in 1911 by the Warsaw-born biochemist Casimir Funk...

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Medical Dictionary