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Helicobacter pylori ( H. pylori )
Bacteria that cause inflammation and ulcers in the stomach.
Hemangioma (haemangioma)
Hemangiomas are abnormally dense collections of dilated small blood vessels (capillaries) that may occur in the skin or internal organs. Hemangiomas are diagnosed by a physical examination. In the case of deep or mixed lesions, a CT scan or MRI scan may be performed to ensure that deeper structures are not involved. Occasionally, a hemangioma may be associated with other rare syndromes. Additional studies should be done to determine if any of these syndromes are present.A hemangioma may be benign (non-cancerous) tumor consisting of dilated blood vessels. When a hemangioma occurs in the liver it is called a hepatic hemangioma. Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy is the only method to distinguish small liver metastases from small haemangiomas.
Hematocrit (Hct)
The percentage of red blood cells in the blood. A low hematocrit measurement indicates anemia.
Hematologist
A doctor who specializes in the problems of blood and bone marrow.
Hematology
The science that studies the blood.
Hematuria
Blood in the urine.
Hemicolectomy
A hemicolectomy is a procedure where a portion of the large bowel is removed due to the presence of cancer. This may involve either the left or right part of the bowel.
Hemoccult (Guaiac) test
A test that checks for hidden blood in the stool.
Hemorrhage
In medicine, loss of blood from damaged blood vessels. A hemorrhage may be internal or external, and usually involves a lot of bleeding in a short time.
Heparin
A drug that helps prevent blood clots from forming. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticoagulants (blood thinners).
Hepatic
Refers to the liver.
Hepatic artery chemoembolization (HACE) (also called TACE)
HACE is the localized treatment of a tumor that spars healthy tissue and organ function. Chemoembolization is used to treat tumors in the liver. The normal liver has a dual blood supply with the hepatic artery supplying 25% and the portal vein supplying the remaining 75%. However, tumors of the liver only receive their blood supply from the hepatic artery. Chemotherapy drugs can be directly injected into the hepatic artery, treating the tumor directly but sparing almost all of the surrounding healthy liver tissue. The artery is then blocked, depriving the tumor of blood supply and "locking" the chemotherapy into the tumor. The normal liver can then receive its necessary blood supply from the portal vein.
Hepatic artery embolization (bland embolization)
Hepatic artery embolization: Another option for tumors that cannot be removed is to reduce the blood flow through the hepatic artery, the artery that feeds most liver cancer cells. This is done by hepatic artery embolization (injecting materials that plug up the artery). Most of the healthy liver cells will be unaffected because they get their blood supply from the portal vein. This procedure involves inserting a catheter into an artery in the groin area and threading it up into the liver. A dye is usually injected into the bloodstream at this time to allow the doctor to monitor the path of the catheter via angiography, a special type of x-ray. Once the catheter is in place, small particles are injected into the artery to plug it up.
Hepatoma
Carcinoma of the liver. A malignant tumor that begins in the liver (primary), as opposed to cancer that has spread from another site.
Hepatomegaly
Enlarged liver.
Herpes simplex
The most common virus that causes sores often seen around the mouth, commonly called cold sores.
Herpes zoster (shingles)
A virus that settles around certain nerves causing blisters, swelling, and pain. This condition is also called shingles.
HIPAA
The Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Privacy rule creates national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information.
Histamine
A naturally occurring substance that is released by the immune system after being exposed to an allergen. When you inhale an allergen, mast cells located in the nose and sinus membranes release histamine. Histamine then attaches to receptors on nearby blood vessels, causing them to enlarge (dilate). Histamine also binds to other receptors located in nasal tissues, causing redness, swelling, itching, and changes in the secretions.
Histochemistry
The study of cells and tissues using both microscopic and chemical staining techniques.
Histological examination
The examination of tissue specimens under a microscope.
Hodgkin’s disease
A cancer that affects the lymph nodes. See Lymphoma.
Hormone
The word hormone originates from the Greek word meaning "I excite." It is a chemical substance produced by an organ or cells of an organ in one part of the body, and carried in the blood or other body fluids to another organ or part of the body; and which has a specific regulatory effect on the activity of the body including growth, metabolism and reproduction.
Hormone receptor
A protein on the surface of a cell that binds to a specific hormone. The hormone causes many changes to take place in the cell.
Hospice
Literal meaning "a place of shelter." Today it refers to supportive care of a terminally ill patient. A program which provides palliative and supportive care for terminally ill patients and their families, either directly or on a consulting basis with the patient's physician or another community agency. Originally a medieval name for a way station for crusaders where they could be replenished, refreshed, and cared for, hospice is used here for an organized program of care for people going through life's "last station." The whole family is considered the unit of care, and care extends through their period of mourning.
Hot flash
A sudden, temporary onset of body warmth, flushing, and sweating (often associated with menopause). Not to be confused with flushing caused by carcinoid syndrome. (See flushing)
Human leukocyte antigen test (HLA)
A special blood test used to match a blood or bone marrow donor to a recipient for transfusion or transplant.
Hyperalimentation
A form of nutrition that is delivered into a vein. Hyperalimentation does not use the digestive system. It may be given to people who are unable to absorb nutrients through the intestinal tract because of vomiting that won't stop, severe diarrhea, or intestinal disease. It may also be given to those undergoing high-dose chemotherapy or radiation and bone marrow transplantation. It is possible to give all of the protein, calories, vitamins and minerals a person needs using parenteral nutrition. Also known as parenteral or total parenteral nutrition (TPN).
Hyperalimentation
The intravenous administration of a highly nutritious solution. See TPN.
Hypercalcemia
Abnormally high blood calcium.
Hyperglycemia
Abnormally high blood sugar,opposite to hypoglycemia abnormally low blood sugar.
Hyperplasia
An abnormal increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue.
Hypertension
Abnormally high blood pressure, opposite to Hypotension, abnormally low blood pressure.
Hyperthyroidism
Too little thyroid hormone. Symptoms include weight gain, constipation, dry skin, and sensitivity to the cold. Also called underactive thyroid.
Hypervascular
Having a large number of blood vessels.