Glossary

Abscess

Encapsulated collection of pus occurring in areas of inflammation due to bacteria

Anemia

An abnormality of the blood caused by a deficiency of hemoglobin or in the number of red blood cells (erythrocytes)

Colon

The large bowel

Duodenum

First segment of the small bowel

Dysplasia

Abnormal development of tissue. Dysplasia may occur in different degrees of severity and may be considered a precursor of cancer of the bowel

Erythema nodosum

Violet-red thickening of the skin, usually on the arms or legs

Fistula

Abnormal, “short circuit” connection between two bowel segments, between the bowel and the bladder or vagina, or between the bowel and the skin occurring as a result of inflammation

IBD

Inflammatory bowel disease

Ileocecal valve

Valve-like structure forming the junction between the lower segment of the small bowel (ileum) and the colon

Ileum

Final segment of the small bowel

Ileus

Obstruction of the bowel caused by narrowing (stenosis) or paralysis

Immunosuppression

Therapy aimed at inhibiting the body’s immune system

-itis

Suffix denoting inflammation. For example, “colitis” means inflammation of the colon

Jejunum

Middle segment of the small bowel

Osteoporosis

Loss of bone tissue or changes in the overall form of the bone resulting in reduced mechanical strength and a tendency to fracture

Perforation

Formation of a hole in the wall of a hollow organ, such as the bowel

Peritonitis

Inflammation of the membrane lining the inner surface of the abdomen

Pouch

Reservoir for stool that is surgically created from a bowel loop

Relapse

Renewed manifestation of disease symptoms, such as an acute flare-up in IBD

Stenosis

Narrowing of the bowel often caused by inflammation. Over time, longlasting inflammation can result in scar-tissue formation that makes the narrowing permanent

Stricture

Another name for stenosis. Strictures, however, represent narrowing of the bowel that has become permanent due to scar-tissue formation

Stricturoplasty

Surgical procedure to release strictures in the bowel without excision (removal) of the entire segment of narrowed, stenotic bowel

Subileus

Incomplete form of intestinal obstruction or ileus

Toxic megacolon

Complication occurring mostly in patients with ulcerative colitis and involving an acute dilation (ballooning) of the colon

Tumor-Necrosis- Factor (TNF)

Messenger substance in the human body that plays an important role in inflammatory processes

Ulcer

Hole or defect in the mucous membrane lining of an internal organ