ENDEMIC
ENDOMETRIOSIS
E
New lining grows in the artery within a
few weeks of surgery. When narrowing is
widespread,
arterial reconstructive sur-
gery
may have to be performed.
endemic
A term applied to a disease or
disorder that is constantly present in a
particular region or in a specific group
of people.
AIDS
,
for example, is endem-
ic in central Africa. (See also
epidemic)
.
endocarditis
Inflammation of the endo-
cardium (the membrane that lines the
inside of the heart), particularly of the
heart valves. Endocarditis is most often
due to infection with
bacteria
,
fungi
, or
other microorganisms, which may be
introduced into the bloodstream during
surgery or by
intravenous
injection with
dirty needles. People whose endocardi-
um has previously been damaged by
disease are particularly vulnerable to
endocarditis, as are intravenous drug
users and people whose immune sys-
tem is suppressed. Endocarditis is also
a rare feature of some types of
cancer
.
Endocarditis may be either
subacute
or
acute
. In the subacute form, symptoms
are general and nonspecific, although
serious damage may be caused to a
heart valve
;
the sufferer may complain
of fatigue,
feverishness,
and vague
aches and pains. On physical examina-
tion, the only evident abnormality may
be a heart
murmur
. Acute endocarditis,
which occurs less frequently, comes on
suddenly, and causes severe chills, high
fever, shortness of breath, and rapid or
irregular heartbeat. The infection pro-
gresses quickly and may destroy the
heart valves, leading to
heart failure
.
Endocarditis is diagnosed by physical
examination and analysis of blood sam-
ples. Tests on the heart may include
ECG
,
echocardiography
,
and
angiogra-
phy
. Treatment is with high doses of
antibiotic drugs
, which are usually given
intravenously.
Heart-valve surgery
may
be needed to replace a damaged valve.
endocrine gland
A gland that secretes
hormones
directly into the bloodstream
rather than through a
duct
. Examples
include the
thyroid gland
,
pituitary gland
,
ovaries
,
testes
, and
adrenal glands
. (See
also
exocrine gland
.)
endocrine system
The collection of
glands around the body that produce
hormones
. These glands include the
thyroid gland
,
pancreas
,
testes
,
ovaries
,
and
adrenal glands.
Their hormones are
responsible for numerous bodily pro-
cesses, including growth, metabolism,
sexual development and function, and
response to stress. Any increase or
decrease in the production of a specific
hormone interferes with the process it
controls. To prevent under- or overpro-
duction, hormone secretion from many
endocrine glands is regulated by the
pituitary gland
, which is in turn influ-
enced by the
hypothalamus
in the brain
according to a
feedback
mechanism.
endocrinology
The study of the
endo-
crine system
,
including the investigation
and treatment of its disorders.
endodontics
The branch of
dentistry
concerned with the causes, prevention,
diagnosis, and treatment of disease and
injury affecting the nerves and pulp in
teeth
and periapical tissues in the
gum
.
Common endodontic procedures are
root-canal treatment
and
pulpotomy
.
endogenous
Of a disease or disorder
that arises within the body rather than
being caused by external factors. (See
also
exogenous
.)
endometrial ablation
A treatment for
persistent
menorrhagia
(heavy menstru-
al blood loss) that involves endoscopic
examination of the
uterus
(see
endo-
scopy
) and removal of the uterus lining,
the
endometrium
,
by
diathermy
or laser.
endometrial cancer
See
uterus, can-
cer of
.
endometriosis
A condition in which
fragments of the
endometrium
are locat-
ed in other parts of the body, usually in
the pelvic cavity.
Endometriosis is most common in
women aged 25-40 and may cause
infertility
. The cause of endometriosis is
unclear. In some cases, it is thought to
occur because fragments of the endo-
metrium shed during
menstruation
do
not leave the body but instead travel up
the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic
cavity, where they adhere to and grow
on any pelvic organ. These displaced
patches of endometrium continue to
respond to hormones produced in the
menstrual cycle and bleed each month.
This blood cannot, however, escape and
200
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