PERISTALSIS
PERONEAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY
P
walking as before. Prolonged use of the
arms may also cause pain. Symptoms
then become worse until, eventually,
pain is present even when the person is
at rest and the affected limb is cold and
numb. In the final stage, there is gan-
grene. Sudden arterial blockage may
occur, causing sudden severe pain. Move-
ment and feeling in the limb are lost.
A diagnosis is often based on results
of doppler
ultrasound
or
angiography.
Exercise and giving up smoking are
important aspects of treatment. A
rterial
reconstructive surgery, tyspass
surgery,
or balloon
angioplasty
may be needed.
Amputation
is needed for gangrene,
peristalsis
Wave-like movement caused
by rhythmic contraction and relaxation
of the smooth muscles in the walls of
the digestive tract and the ureters. Peri-
stalsis is responsible for the movement
of food and waste products through the
digestive system and for transporting
urine from the kidneys to the bladder,
peritoneal dialysis
See
dialysis.
peritoneum
The 2-layered membrane
that lines the abdominal cavity and cov-
ers and supports the abdominal organs.
The peritoneum produces a lubricating
fluid that allows the abdominal organs to
glide smoothly over each other, and pro-
tects the organs against infection. It also
absorbs fluid and acts as a natural fil-
tering system. The peritoneum may
become inflamed as a complication of
an abdominal disorder (see
peritonitis).
PERITONEUM
Stomach
Large
intestine
Small
intestine
peritonitis Inflammation of the
peri-
toneum
. Peritonitis is a serious, usually
acute, condition. The most common
cause is
perforation
of the stomach or
intestine wall, which allows bacteria and
digestive juices to move into the abdom-
inal cavity. Perforation is usually the
result of a
peptic ulcer
,
appendicitis
, or
diverticulitis
. Peritonitis may also be
associated with acute
salpingitis
,
chole-
cystitis,
or
septicaemia.
There is usually severe abdominal
pain. After a few hours, the abdomen
feels hard, and
peristalsis
stops (see
ileus, paralytic).
Other symptoms are
fever, bloating, nausea, and vomiting.
Diagnosis is made from a
physical
examination.
Surgery may be necessary
to deal with the cause. If the cause is
unknown, a
laparoscopy
or an explor-
atory
laparotomy
may be performed.
Antibiotic drugs
and
intravenous infu-
sions
of fluid are often given. In most
cases, a full recovery is made. Intestinal
obstruction, caused by
adhesions,
may
occur at a later stage.
peritonsillar abscess A complication
of
tonsillitis.
permanent teeth The 2nd
teeth,
which
usually start to replace the primary teeth
at about the age of
6
. There are 32 per-
manent teeth: 16 in each jaw. Each set of
16 consists of 4 incisors, 2 canines, 4
premolars and
6
molars. (See also
erup-
tion of teeth.)
permethrin A drug included in prepa-
rations used to treat
lice
and scabies.
pernicious anaemia A type of
anae-
mia
caused by a failure to absorb
vitamin
B 12.
Deficiency leads to the production
of abnormal, large red blood cells.
pernio An alternative term for
chilblain.
peroneal muscular atrophy A rare,
inherited
disorder
characterized
by
muscle wasting in the feet and calves
and then in the hands and forearms. The
condition, also known as Charcot-Marie-
Tooth disease, is caused by degeneration
of some peripheral nerves. It is more
common in boys, and usually appears
in late childhood or adolescence. Mus-
cle wasting stops halfway up the arms
and legs, making them look like invert-
ed bottles; sensation may be lost. There
is no treatment, but the sufferer rarely
442
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