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cryptorchidism, cryptorchism

(krĭpt-or′kĭd-ĭzm, -kĭzm) [″ + orchis, testis, + -ismos, condition] Positioning of one or more testes outside the scrotum, e.g., a failure of the testes to descend into the scrotum.


(krĭp′tō-spŏr-ĭd″ē-ō′sĭs) A diarrheal disease caused by protozoa of the genus Cryptosporidium and often transmitted to humans after exposure to water or food that has been contaminated with cysts found in animal waste. C. parvum is the most common species that infects humans. The typical infection in immunocompetent people is characterized by explosive, watery diarrhea and abdominal cramping, occurring after an incubation period of between 4 and 14 days. Symptoms typically last a week or two but may continue for a month. In immunocompromised people, including cancer chemotherapy patients, those with organ transplants, and people with AIDS, chronic or fulminant infection may be found. Profuse diarrhea and dehydration or infection of the biliary tract occurs often. Treatment for people with normal immune function includes hydration and antidiarrheal drugs. Immunocompromised patients improve most when their immune status is restored. In a small percentage of people, asymptomatic carriage of the organism results in long-term shedding of the parasite in stool.

 When the organism contaminates public water supplies, hundreds of thousands of those drinking that water may develop diarrhea. A water-borne infection with Cryptosporidium caused an estimated 400,000 cases of diarrhea in Milwaukee in the 1990s. This outbreak was attributed to contamination of the municipal water supply by grazing livestock. Resistant to chlorine, cryptosporidial cysts are incompletely removed by standard water-filtration systems. The least expensive method of killing the organism in water is to boil the water. Some types of bottled water that come from above-ground sources may contain cryptosporidia. Water filters effective against the organism are labeled “absolute 1 micron” or “National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified for Standard 53 cyst removal.”

image Stools from affected patients are highly infectious. Standard techniques must be used in handling and disposing of them. SEE: Standard Precautions Appendix.


(krĭp′tō-spor-ĭd″ē-ŭm) A genus of protozoa in the kingdom Protista classed as a coccidian parasite. It is an important cause of diarrhea, esp. in immunocompromised patients, but may cause large outbreaks in the general population when it contaminates supplies of drinking water. SEE: cryptosporidiosis.


(krĭp″tō-zăn′thĭn) A natural carotenoid pigment found in foods, such as orange and orange rind, papaya, egg yolk, butter, and apples. It can be converted to vitamin A in the body. SYN: beta cryptoxanthin.

cry reflex

SEE: under reflex.


(krĭs′tăl) [Gr. krystallos, ice] A solid in which atoms are arranged in a specific symmetrical pattern, forming distinct lattices, with definable fixed angles, faces, walls, and interatomic relationships. Examples include ice and many salts.


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