Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) Glossary

Angiomyolipomas (AML) – benign growths in the kidneys. Nearly half of the women with LAM develop AMLs

Bronchodilator – an inhaled medication that relaxes the smooth muscles of the airways and relieves constriction of the bronchi

Diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DCLO) - a test that looks at how well gases are passing from the air sacs of the lungs into the blood, to determine whether the lung is sending enough oxygen into the blood. This test is performed by having the patient inhale a very small amount of carbon monoxide and then measuring the exhaled gas to determine how much carbon monoxide was absorbed during the breath.

Lymph - A clear fluid that travels through lymph vessels carrying immune system cells and tissue waste products

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis - A rare, fatal lung disease that affects women in their childbearing years. In LAM, abnormal smooth muscle-like cells proliferate in the lungs, pulmonary airway, parenchyma, lymphatics, and blood vessels, ultimately leading to respiratory failure.

Lymphatic system - A network of vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph from the body's tissues to the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is part of the body's immune system and helps the body fight infection

Phlegm - Thick mucus from the airways of the body

Pleural effusions – Leakage of air into the space around the lung that can cause the lung to collapse.

Pneumothorax - An abnormal collection of fluid between the thin layers of tissue (pleura) lining the lung and the wall of the chest cavity which can lead to difficulty breathing

Rapamycin - An immunosuppressive drug commonly given to transplant patients to avoid organ rejection. Rapamycin binds to and inhibits a key regulatory protein called the target of rapamycin (TOR).

Tuberous sclerosis complex - complex genetic (inherited) condition characterized by seizures and tumor growth in the brain, kidneys, heart, eyes, lungs and skin. Developmental delay, mental retardation and autism may also be associated with the disease. The disease affects some people severely, while others are mildly affected. Nearly 1 million people worldwide are known to have Tuberous Sclerosis. There are many undiagnosed cases due to the obscurity of the disease and the mild form symptoms may take in some people. Approximately 39 percent of women with TSC also have LAM.

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