List of medical terms/definitions

  • A collection of definitions and explanations for certain scientific terms that families and patients may not be familiar with. The entire website will have certain words that will contain hyperlinks that can be clicked and directed to this page, which will provide them with definitions for these words to assist them in understanding the content.


Biomarker – a substance that is present at a certain level when a person is sick with a specific disease. This substance can be collected from the body and measured so that it functions as an indicator of a disease.

Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) – a group of agents that break down components of the matrix between cells. They are normally present in the body and play a role in tissue remodeling and wound healing. Some types of MMPs are found at higher levels in patients with Takayasu arteritis.

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) – A substance released during an immune response that causes inflammation.

Regulated upon activation normal T expressed and secreted (RANTES) – A substance released after an immune response. It functions to recruit immune cells to the site of inflammation.

Vascular cell adhesion molecules (VCAM) – Molecules found on the outside of cells that make up the large and small blood vessels. They help the cells to stick together.

From GPA

Pentraxin-3 (PTX-3) – Molecules that regulate inflammation.

ANCA (anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies) – Proteins found in immune cells that help target the body’s own proteins.

Proteinase 3 (PR3) – an enzyme that helps produce proteins in immune cells in the body, and also helps the immune cells be identified by the immune system.

Glomerulonephritis – an inflammation of the kidneys, usually caused by the immune system.