Autoclave: A chamber for sterilizing with steam under pressure. The original autoclave was essentially a pressure cooker in which steam tightened the lid.
Autograft: Tissue transplanted from one part of the body to another in the same individual. Also known as an autotransplant.
Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the immune system goes awry and attacks the body itself. Autoimmunity is present to some extent in everyone and is usually harmless. However, autoimmunity can cause a broad range of human illnesses, known collectively as autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases occur when there is progression […]
- Autoimmune disease
Autoimmune disease: An illness that occurs when the body tissues are attacked by its own immune system. The immune system is a complex organization within the body that is designed normally to “seek and destroy” invaders of the body, including infectious agents. Patients with autoimmune diseases frequently have unusual antibodies circulating in their blood that […]
- Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia: A condition in which the immune system attacks the red blood cells, resulting in fewer of these oxygen-transporting cells. See also: Hemolytic anemia.
- Autoimmune hepatitis
Autoimmune hepatitis: A disease in which the body’s immune system attacks liver cells, causing inflammation of the liver (hepatitis). If not treated, autoimmune hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis (scarring and hardening) of the liver and eventually to liver failure.