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U&E

The abbreviation for a urea and electrolytes test. This is a standard blood test often used for people who are generally unwell to detect abnormal blood chemistry including kidney failure and dehydration.

ulcer

Any abnormal break in the epithelium, the outer layer of cells covering the open surfaces of the body.

ulceration

The presence or formation of an ulcer - an abnormal break in epithelium, the outer layer of cells covering the open surfaces of the body.

ulcerative colitis

A form of inflammatory bowel disease causing inflammation and ulceration of the colon.

ulcerative proctitis

A type of ulcerative colitis that affects only the rectum.

ulnar neuritis

Compression or irritation of the ulnar nerve as it runs behind the elbow joint.

ultrasonography

The technique of using high-frequency sound waves to produce internal images of the body.

ultrasound

A diagnostic method in which very high frequency sound waves are passed into the body and the reflective echoes analysed to build a picture of the internal organs – or of the foetus in the uterus.

ultrasound scan

The process of using high-frequency sound waves to produce internal images of the body.

unfractionated

Not fractionated; that is, not divided up into separate parts.

unilateral

Involving or affecting only one side.

unstable angina

Chest pain caused by poor blood supply to the heart that comes on unpredictably - not just during exercise.

unstable bladder

A strong desire to pass urine and/or increased frequency of urination due to overactive or irritable bladder wall muscles.

uraemia

The build up of toxic waste products in the blood as a result of renal failure.

urea

A waste product formed from the breakdown of proteins.

urea & electrolyte

Laboratory tests to measure the amount of urea, a breakdown product of protein, and sodium, potassium and bicarbonate (electrolytes), which are essential for the normal function of cells, in the blood.

ureter

A tube that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

ureteric

Relating to the ureters.

ureteric colic

A common and very painful condition caused when a urinary stone passes down the ureter.

ureteric reflux

The flow of urine backwards into the ureters.

ureteric stone

A stone from the kidney that has moved into the ureter.

ureters

Two tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, where it is stored.

urethra

The tube that carries urine from the bladder, and in men also carries semen during ejaculation.

urethral

Relating to the urethra, the tube that connects the bladder to the genitals.