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Glossary of Bone Marrow Transplant Terms

A - F    |   G - I    |   L - R    |   S - Z

A - F

Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) - also called "absolute granulocyte count"
number of white blood cells available in the blood to fight infection.

Allogeneic Transplant
a transplant using a human donor whose bone marrow is a genetic match with the recipient.

a group of medicines used to treat infections.

a protein that helps the body fight foreign substances (antigens) in the body, including bacteria, fungi and viruses.

a foreign substance that stimulates the formation of antibodies in the body.

a blood-separating procedure in which blood is removed from a patient and sent through a special machine which separates and removes certain cells, after which the remaining blood is returned to the patient.

Aplastic Anemia
a blood disorder in which the bone marrow is deficient in producing red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Aspiration (of marrow)
the removal of marrow from the cavities in large bones, achieved by using suction to draw the marrow out through a needle.

Autologous Transplant
a transplant in which a patient's own marrow is removed (aspirated), frozen and re-implanted into the patient at a later date.

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Blood Cells
the building blocks of blood, these cells are formed in the bone marrow:

    Red Blood Cells (also called erythrocytes)
    cells that carry oxygen throughout the body; the volume of these cells is measured in a unit called a hematocrit or HCT

    White Blood Cells
    cells that help the body fight foreign substances; neutrophils are the most important type of white blood cells

    cells necessary to help form blood clots and stop bleeding

Blood Stem Cell Harvest
a procedure in which stem cells are collected from the circulating blood of a patient or donor for use in a transplant.

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Harvest
a procedure in which bone marrow is taken from the pelvic bone (hip area) of a patient or donor for use in a transplant.

Bone Marrow Transplant
a process in which a patient's bone marrow is destroyed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy and then replaced by previously harvested bone marrow from a donor or the patient.

Central Line Catheter
semi-permanent intravenous tubing that is inserted into the large blood vessels that enter into the heart.

drugs used to treat cancer, either by destroying or slowing the growth of abnormal (cancerous) cells.

Complete Blood Count
a blood test that determines the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the blood.

a combination of chemotherapy drugs, and sometimes radiation, given a few days prior to transplant to eliminate cancer cells and destroy the immune system.

a virus that can cause flu-like symptoms; in patients with decreased immunity, it can cause more severe problems such as inflammation of the lungs, liver and intestines.

a preservative used in the freezing of bone marrow and blood stem cells.

growth of transplanted (donor) stem cells in the patient's (recipient's) marrow spaces.

red blood cells.

G - I

one of the major groups of white blood cells, it includes three types of cells: neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils.

infused or transplanted bone marrow and blood stem cells.

Graft-Vs.-Host Disease (GVHD)
a common complication of allogeneic transplants, in which the transplanted stem cells see the patient's own cells as alien and attack them.

Growth Factor (Colony Stimulating Factor)
an injectable drug used to stimulate the development of blood cells (common drugs include Neupogen and Filigrastin).

the collection of stem cells from bone marrow or peripheral blood.

also referred to as packed cell volume (PCV) or erythrocyte volume fraction (EVF), this is a measurement of the percentage of blood volume taken up by red blood cells.

a division of medicine that studies and treats diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues.

Herpes Simplex
a virus that commonly occurs within transplant patients; it can produce small, painful, fluid-filled blisters on the skin and mucous membranes.

Herpes Zoster
a virus that can produce shingles, painful skin eruptions along the underlying nerve routes inflamed by the virus.

a general term for a large loss of blood brought about by injury to blood vessels or by a lack of necessary cells (platelets) to clot blood.

the patient's body.

see Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN).

proteins made by the body that attach to infections and tend to decrease their action; can be given intravenously or orally.

a state of decreased immunity or a lowering of the body's immune response; can occur after receiving chemotherapy.

within or through a vein.

L - R

a general term for all the types of white blood cells.

high-energy X-rays used to kill diseased cells before or during transplant.

a type of white blood cell; B-lymphocytes make antibodies against bacteria; T-lymphocytes attack virus-infected cells directly.

Lymph Node
a gland that produces lymph, the clear fluid that circulates white blood cells and antibodies through the body.

a cancerous condition; the abnormal growth of cells.

minute forms of life such as bacteria, fungi or viruses.

inflammation of the mucous membranes in the lining of the mouth.

a lack of neutrophils.

a type of white blood cell that fights bacteria (also called segs and bands).

the study and treatment of cancer.

blood cells that promote blood clotting.

small red spots under the skin caused by a low platelet count.

a precisely timed and organized approach to treatment of disease.

the reappearance of a disease after a period of remission.

the decrease or disappearance of a disease and its symptoms.


Stem Cells
parent or seed cells, found in the bone marrow or peripheral blood, which produce blood cells.

Syngeneic Transplant
transplant in which the donor is an identical twin.

the infusion of any product derived from blood cells.

Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)
intravenous feedings consisting of fluids high in calories and essential nutrients.

a blood test that assesses levels of antibodies against such things as viruses.

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