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The Clarence Dennis Papers


[Clarence Dennis portrait]. 16 July 1949.

ALG (anti-lymphocyte globulin) -- the gamma globulin fraction of anti-lymphocyte serum, which destroys circulating lymphocytes (immune system cells); used as an immunosuppressant to prevent rejection in organ transplantation

Appendicitis -- inflammation of the vermiform appendix (the narrow blind extension of the large intestine, in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen)

Atrial septal defect -- a congenital opening in the wall that normally separates the two upper chambers of the heart, which compromises efficient blood circulation

Atrium -- either of the two upper chambers of the heart, which receives blood from the veins and forces it into the ventricles (lower chambers)

Cardiology -- the study of the heart and its actions and diseases

Embolism -- the sudden obstruction of a blood vessel by an air bubble, blood clot, or other circulating particles.

Endarterectomy -- the surgical removal of atherosclerotic plaque from the inner wall of an artery, to restore full circulation through the artery. In gas endarterectomy, the plaque is removed with high-pressure carbon dioxide gas.

Hemolysis -- breaking of the red blood cells

Heparin -- a muco-polysaccharide sulfuric acid ester found especially in liver tissue, that prevents blood from clotting

Hypothermia -- sub-normal body temperature

Intraaortic balloon pump -- a device used to support circulation by counterpulsation; a balloon is inserted into the thoracic aorta, then inflated during diastole and deflated during systole, to provide enhanced blood flow to the coronary arteries.

Left ventricular assist device -- any device designed to take over all or part of the blood pumping work of the heart's left ventricle

Roller pump -- a blood pump in which flow is maintained by the compression of the tubing containing the blood between a continuously moving roller and a curved back plate. Surgeon Michael DeBakey first designed a roller pump for use in blood transfusion in the early 1930s; John Gibbon and others later modified DeBakey's design for use in heart-lung machines

Suture -- a strand or fiber used to sew parts of the living body, as in surgery

Ulcerative colitis -- one of the principal types of inflammatory bowel disease, consisting of chronic, recurrent ulceration of the colon lining, having an unknown cause.

Ventricle -- a cavity of a bodily part or organ; in the heart, either of two larger lower chambers that receives blood from a corresponding atrium and from which blood is forced into the arteries. The right ventricle pumps blood back to the lungs to be oxygenated, while the left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood out to the body and to the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle.