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Kala-azar

the British pathologist William Boog Leishman who in 1903 wrote about the protozoa that causes kala-azar and the researcher C. Donovan, who made the same discovery independently the same year.

Kyphosis, postmenopausal cervical

An outward curvature (kyphosis) of the cervical vertebrae (the bones of the neck), creating a hump at the back of the neck. This condition, once thought to be a characteristic deformity of older women, was called a dowager’s hump. A dowager was a woman of high social rank whose husband was dead but who had […]

Kyphosis

Outward curvature of the spine, causing a humped back. Treatment includes physical therapy and wearing a back brace, and in some cases surgery. Surgery for kyphosis may involve inserting a metal rod in the spine and restructuring some bones, and it is usually followed by wearing a back cast and then a back brace for […]

Kyphoscoliosis

A combination of outward curvature (kyphosis) and lateral curvature (scoliosis) of the spine. Kyphoscoliosis can be due to musculoskeletal disease or to unknown causes. Treatment includes physical therapy and wearing a back brace, and in some cases surgery. Surgery for kyphoscoliosis may involve inserting a metal rod in the spine and restructuring some bones, and […]

Kyphoplasty

A procedure similar to vertebroplasty, but with the intent of expanding the collapsedvertebra. A surgical instrument is introduced into the spine with a balloon that is inflated to expand the bone. Once this instrument is withdrawn, the space created is then filled with the bone cement mixture. By creating space in this way, kyphoplasty procedures […]

Kwashiorkor

A childhood disease that is caused by protein deprivation. Early signs include apathy, drowsiness, and irritability. More advanced signs are poor growth, lack of stamina, loss of muscle mass, swelling, abnormal hair (sparse, thin, often streaky red or gray hair in dark-skinned children), and abnormal skin that darkens in irritated but not sun-exposed areas. An […]

Kveim test

A skin test for detecting sarcoidosis, a disease of unknown origin that causes inflammation of body tissues, especially the lungs and skin. The Kveim test involves injecting a preparation derived from sarcoid tissue into the skin. A lump developing at the point of injection is a positive result. The test is named for Morten A. […]

Kuru

A slowly progressive fatal disease of the brain that is due to an infectious agent transmitted among people in Papua New Guinea by ritual cannibalism. Kuru is an infectious form of subacute spongiform encephalopathy and is caused by a tiny infectious particle called a prion. It appears to be similar to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (‘mad […]

Kussmaul breathing

Air hunger, or the rapid, deep, and labored breathing characteristic of patients with acidosis (excess acidity of tissues). For example, Kussmaul breathing is seen with the acidosis of diabetes mellitus that is seriously out of control. Treatment is directed toward controlling the underlying disease.

Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth

Denial — Often denial is the first stage. “I can’t be dying. Not me.” Anger — As the disease worsens and denial becomes less possible, there may be anger. “Why me?” Bargaining — “If I do such and such, can I put off death for a while?” Depression — When the bargaining doesn’t work, depression […]

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