ENDOMETRITIS
E
(known as a “ chocolate cyst” because
of its appearance). Endometrial tissue
may be deposited in the muscular wall
of the uterus
(
myometrium
) ;
this condi-
tion
is
called adenomyosis.
In
rare
cases, there is bleeding from the rec-
tum during menstruation.
DIAGNOSIS AND
TREATMENT
Laparoscopy
(examination of the abdo-
minal cavity with a viewing instrument)
confirms the diagnosis. Certain drugs
(including
danazol
,
progestogen drugs
,
gonadorelin
analogues, or the combined
oral contraceptive
pill) may be given to
prevent menstruation. Local ablation of
the endometrial deposits, using either
laser treatment
or
electrocautery
(the
application of heat produced by an elec-
tric current), may sometimes be needed.
If the woman is fertile, pregnancy
often results in
significant improve-
ment. A
hysterectomy
(surgical removal
of the uterus) and
oophorectomy
(sur-
gical removal of the ovaries) may be
offered if the woman does not have
plans to have children.
endometritis
Inflammation of the
endometrium
(the
inner lining of the uterus)
resulting
from infection. Endometritis is a feature
of
pelvic inflammatory disease
(PID). It
may also be a complication of
abortion
or childbirth, occur after insertion of
an
IUD
,
or be the result of a
sexually
transmitted infection
.
Symptoms of endometritis include
fever,
vaginal
discharge,
and
lower
abdominal
pain.
Treatment
includes
removing any foreign body (such as an
IUD or retained placental tissue) and
antibiotic drugs
.
endometrium
The inner lining
of the
uterus
.
The
endometrium contains numerous
glands
and
gradually
increases in thickness
during the menstrual cycle (see
men-
struation
)
until
ovulation
(release of an
egg from the ovary) occurs. The surface
layers of the endometrium are shed
during menstruation if
conception
does
not take place.
endomorph
A term formerly used to describe an
individual w ith a round head and a
large abdomen; short arms and legs
with slender wrists and ankles; weak
muscular and skeletal development; and
a large proportion of body fat. (See also
ectomorph
;
mesomorph
. )
end organ
The specialized structure occurring at
the end of a peripheral
nerve
that acts
as a receptor for a particular
sensation
.
An example of an end organ is one of
the taste buds in the tongue.
endorphins
A group of pain-relieving
protein
m ol-
ecules that are produced by the body.
Endorphins relieve pain by activating
opiate
receptors in the
nervous system
.
They have a similar chemical structure
to the pain-relieving drug
morphine
. In
addition, endorphins are thought to be
involved
in
the
body’s
response
to
stress, as well as in regulating intestinal
contractions, determining mood, and
controlling the release of certain hor-
mones from the
pituitary gland
.
(See
also
enkephalins
.)
endoscope
A tubelike viewing instrument, with
lenses and a light source attached, that
is inserted into a body cavity for the
purposes of investigating or treating
disorders (see
endoscopy
). Endoscopes
are named according to their use, and
they can be flexible or rigid, depending
on the part of the body to be exam-
ined. A selection of the common types
of endoscope and their uses are shown
in the illustrated box at right.
endoscopy
Examination of a body cavity by means
of an
endoscope
(a rigid or flexible
viewing tube) for the purposes of diag-
nosis and/or treatment. The technique
makes use of both
fibre-optics
and video
technology
and
enables
almost
any
hollow structure in the body to be in -
spected directly. Many procedures that
formerly required major surgery can
now be performed much more simply
and safely by endoscopy.
USES
Endoscopes are named according to the
part of the body for w hich they are
being used (see
endoscopes
box). The
endoscope is inserted via a natural body
opening, such as the mouth or vagina,
or into a small incision. Endoscopy is
also used in diagnosis to inspect hollow
organs. The organ may be photographed
and a
biopsy
(removal of a small sample
of tissue for microscopic analysis) may
be
performed.
Endoscopy
can
be
repeated safely at frequent intervals to
allow monitoring the progress of a con-
dition and the response to treatment.
Many operations are now being per-
formed by passing surgical instruments
down an endoscope. The procedure is
valuable in the treatment of acute emer-
gencies,
such as bleeding
from
the
stomach or the removal of foreign bod-
ies from the lungs. Operations such as
female sterilization, the treatment of
torn ligaments or cartilage w ithin the
knee joint, and the treatment of chronic
infections of the nasal sinuses, are all
routine
endoscopic
procedures.
(See
also
minimally invasive surgery
. )
endothelium
The layer of
cells
that lines the heart,
blood vessels, and lymphatic ducts (see
lymphatic system
) .
Endothelial cells are
squamous (thin and flat), providing a
smooth surface that aids the flow of
blood and lymph and helps to prevent
the formation of thrombi (blood clots).
(See also
epithelium
. )
endotoxin
A
poison
produced by certain
bacteria
that is not released until the death of
those bacteria. Endotoxins cause fever
when
they
are
released
in
infected
people. They also make the walls of the
capillaries
(the smallest blood vessels)
more permeable, causing fluid to leak
into the surrounding tissue. This some-
times results in a reduction in blood
pressure, a condition called endotoxic
shock. (See also
enterotoxin
;
exotoxin
. )
endotracheal tube
A tube that is passed into the
trachea
(windpipe) through the nose or mouth
to enable delivery of oxygen during
artificial
ventilation
or anaesthetic gases
(see
anaesthesia
)
during surgery. An
inflatable cuff around the lower end of
the
endotracheal
tube
prevents
any
secretions or stomach contents from
entering the lungs.
end stage
The most advanced stage of a disease, in
w hich an affected organ or system is no
longer able to carry out its normal
functions. In these circumstances, the
damage done to the body cannot be
reversed; therefore, treatment is aimed
at improving
the patient’s
condition
wherever possible and at relieving the
symptoms (see
palliative care
) .
In some
cases, a machine may be able to take
over the function; for example, in end-
stage kidney failure,
filtering
of the
blood may be carried out by a dialysis
270
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