LYMPHOGRANULOMA VENEREUM
LYSOZYME
as Milroy's disease. In addition, the dis-
order may occur for no known cause.
Lymphoedema may develop in the arm
following a radical mastectomy. Other-
wise, it usually causes swelling of the
legs, to an incapacitating degree in some
people. There is no known cure. Treat-
ment consists of taking
diuretic drugs
,
massage, wearing an elastic bandage or
compression sleeve, and special exer-
cises; these measures may bring about
some improvement.
lymphogranuloma venereum
A sex-
ually transmitted disease caused by a
chlamydial infection
;
it is most common
in tropical areas. The first sign of this
condition may be a small genital blister
that heals in a few days. There may also
be fever, headache, muscle and joint
pains, and a rash. The
lymph nodes
,
par-
ticularly in the groin, become painfully
enlarged and inflamed.
Abscesses
may
form, and persistent
ulcers
may develop,
on the skin over the affected glands.
Treatment is with
antibiotic drugs
.
lymphoma
Any of a group of cancers in
which the cells of lymphoid tissue (found
principally in the
lymph nodes
and the
spleen
)
multiply unchecked. Lymphomas
fall into 2 categories. If certain charac-
teristic abnormal cells (Reed-Sternberg
cells) are present, the disease is called
Hodgkin's disease. All other forms are
known as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
(See
Burkitt's lymphoma
;
Hodgkin's dis-
ease
;
lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's.
)
lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's
Any can-
cer of lymphoid tissue (found mainly in
the
lymph nodes
and
spleen
) other than
Hodgkin's disease
. In most cases there
is no known cause. Occasionally, the
disease is associated with suppression
of the
immune system
, particularly after
an organ transplant. One type of non-
Hodgkin's lymphoma, known as
Burkitt's
lymphoma
, is thought to be caused by
the
Epstein-Barr virus
.
There is usually painless swelling of
lymph nodes
in the neck or groin. The
liver
and
spleen
may enlarge, and lym-
phoid tissue in the abdomen may be
affected. Many other organs may become
involved, leading to diverse symptoms
ranging from headache to skin ulcera-
tion. Unless it is controlled, the disease
(often marked by fever) progressively
impairs the immune system, leading to
death from infections or an uncontrolled
spread of cancer. Diagnosis is based on
a
biopsy
, usually taken from a lymph
node.
Chest X-ray, CT scanning, MRI,
bone marrow biopsy,
and
lymphangiog-
raphy
of the abdomen may be needed
to assess the extent of the disease.
If the lymphoma is confined to a single
group of lymph nodes, treatment con-
sists of
radiotherapy
. More often, the
disease is more extensive, and in such
cases
anticancer drugs
are given. A
bone
marrow transplant
, together with drug
treatment and/or radiotherapy, may be
performed on some people.
lymphosarcoma
The former name for
a condition that is now classified as a
type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (see
lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's
).
lysergide
see
LSD.
lysis
A medical term for breaking down
or destruction, usually applied to the
destruction of cells by disintegration of
their outer membrane. A common ex-
ample is
haemolysis
, the breakdown of
red blood cells. Lysis may be caused
by chemical action, such as that of an
enzyme,
or by physical action, such as
that of heat or cold. The term lysis is
also occasionally used to refer to a sud-
den recovery from a fever.
lysozyme
An
enzyme
found in tears,
saliva, sweat, nasal secretions, breast
milk, and many tissues. It destroys bac-
teria by disrupting their cell walls.
351
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