Online Medical Dictionary

Letter K

Symbol for potassium.
Hyperkalemia: elevated levels of potassium in the blood; must be treated for its effect to induce abnormal arrhythmia. Hypokalemia: low levels of potassium in the blood.
Kanner Syndrome
Kaposi Sarcoma
A cancerous tumour developing in the skin, usually of the arms, legs and hands; mouth; gastrointestinal tract; and respiratory tract. Caused by human herpesvirus 8 and transmitted through saliva; prevalent in immunosuppressed individuals. Kaposi sarcoma is treatable but incurable.
Kartagener Syndrome
A rare autosomal recessive genetic condition impairing the cilia of the respiratory tract, causing the reduced or fully impeded process of mucus clearance from the lungs. Also called primary ciliary dyskinesia and immotile ciliary syndrome, this disorder can damage the respiratory system and cause hearing loss if not treated.
Kearns-Sayre Syndrome
A rare, slowly progressing neuromuscular disorder caused by abnormalities of the mitochondria in DNA, limiting eye movement and in some cases causing heart block, muscle weakness, reduced cognitive abilities, hearing loss and diabetes.
Kegel Exercise
Exercises designed to strengthen the pubococcygeus muscles of the pelvic floor, helpful in preparing the area for pregnancy and childbirth and in preventing prolapse in women.
Collagen composed scarring; an overgrowth developing from the original granulation tissue that forms over the site of an injury, spreading, though not contagious or malignant, often causing pain and itchiness. Keloid is treatable by many active methods and preventative measures.
Corrective eye surgery performed to correct vision by altering the shape of, or ablating (removing), the cornea or corneal tissues by use of excimer laser.
A fibrous, structural protein family key in composing the outer layer of skin, hair and nails.
Inflammation of the cornea, often impairing vision, of which there are several causes including: bacterium, fungi development, or amoebic infection, usually precipitated by use of contact lenses; or viral, associated with the herpes simplex virus.
Callus; an area of the skin that has become hardened in reaction to friction or other repetitive irritation.
The surgical replacement of a diseased or damaged cornea with a partial (lamellar) or full (penetrating) corneal graft. The corneal tissues are removed from a recently deceased donor. The procedure is also termed corneal grafting or corneal transplantation.
Keratotomy (Radial)
A refractive surgical procedure conducted to flatten the cornea in order to correct myopia (shortsightedness).
Keshan Disease
A cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease) caused by a dietary deficiency of the mineral selenium. Can become fatal if selenium supplementation is not implemented.
A bodily state wherein elevated levels of ketones, molecules generated in the process of fat metabolism, are present in the blood. Occurs when the body must turn to fat stores from which to convert energy for lack of carbohydrates in the diet. Prompting the body into ketosis through implementation of a ketogenic diet has caused controversy, as the procedure is believed to put undo stress on the liver and have negative affect on muscle tissue.
Kidney Cancer
Malignancy originating from the kidney, the most common of which are renal cell carcinoma (of the renal tubule), urothelial cell carcinoma (of the renal pelvis) and squamous cell carcinoma. Diagnostics, treatment and prognosis of each form of renal malignancy depends on the type of cancer, its location within the kidney, and the duration for which the cancer has been developing. When developing, kidney cancer can be asymptomatic, but is usually perceived through the detection of a firm mass in the abdomen.
Kidney Stones
Hard crystal aggregations of urinary minerals that form in the kidney and pass through the ureter (the muscular tubes that transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder) where they can usually be passed by the body through the urine stream. If the kidney stones measure larger than 2 to 3 millimetres they can become lodged in the ureter, triggering a muscle spasm and potentially causing blood in the urine stream from damage done to the urinary tract lining. In most cases the stones will be passed naturally. Should intervention become necessary, a variety of pain management medications, diuretics and hydration treatment methods are available. Also referred to as renal calculi or ureterolithiasis.
Kidney Transplant
The surgical replacement of a kidney in the final stage of renal disease with a healthy kidney from the body of a deceased donor, or a living donor related to the individual undergoing kidney transplant or non-related.
Kimmelstiel-Wilson Disease
A disease of the kidneys seen in individuals in whom diabetes mellitus has been long-standing. Kimmelstiel-Wilson disease induces hypertension (high blood pressure) and causes nodular renal lesions, also called Kimmelstiel-Wilson lesions, which can impede kidney functions and ultimately lead to end stage renal failure, necessitating kidney transplantation or chronic kidney dialysis.
Regarding or producing movement.
Kissing Disease
Common name for mononucleosis.
A genus of ubiquitous, pathogenic bacteria with the potential to cause several conditions; most commonly urinary tract infection and pneumonia.
Klumpke Palsy
Paralysis of the brachial plexus, a network of nerve fibers running from the cervical nerve roots of the neck, through the armpit (axilla) into the arm, causing numbness and paralysis of the muscles in the hand, or claw hand. Also called Klumpke paralysis.
Kok Disease
See Hyperexplexia.
Krukenberg Tumour
A malignant ovarian tumour caused by the metastasizing of stomach cancer, and composed of the same malignant cells.
A curvature of the spine causing a humped-back appearance. May be treated surgically or through methods of physical therapy.