Glossary: Emergencies in leukaemia

Activated partial thromboplastin time: a measure of the intrinsic and common pathways of coagulation

Blasts: immature cells with characteristic morphological appearances

Coagulopathy: impaired blood clotting

Fibrinolysis: the breakdown of fibrin

Hyperkalaemia: abnormally high levels of potassium in the blood

Hyperlactataemia: abnormally high concentration of resting blood lactate

Hyperleucocytosis: abnormally high levels of white blood cells

Hyperphosphataemia: abnormally high levels of phosphate in the blood

Hyperuricaemia: abnormally high levels of uric acid in the blood

Hypocalcaemia: abnormally low levels of calcium in the blood

Hypoxaemia: abnormally low concentration of oxygen in the blood

Leucostasis: extremely elevated blast cell count and symptomatic decreased tissue perfusion

Leukapheresis: a technique by which white blood cells are removed from the blood, with the main volume being returned to the body

Neutropenia: an abnormally low level of neutrophils (common white blood cells that are important in fighting infection)

Oligura: production of abnormally small quantities of urine

Priapism: prolonged erection of the penis

Prophylaxis: treatment or action to prevent disease

Prothrombin time: an assay assessing the extrinsic and common pathways of coagulation

Sepsis: a potentially life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes damage to its own tissues and organs

Tachypnoea: abnormally rapid breathing

Xanthine: an intermediate in the degradation of adenosine monophosphate to uric acid

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