Items in AFP with MESH term: Adrenal Cortex Hormones
Systemic Corticosteroids for Acute Exacerbations of COPD - Cochrane for Clinicians
Chronic, Draining Perianal Sinuses - Photo Quiz
Tennis Elbow - Clinical Evidence Handbook
Preterm Labor - Article
ABSTRACT: Preventing preterm delivery remains one of the great challenges in modern medicine. Preterm birth rates continue to increase and accounted for 12.7 percent of all U.S. births in 2005. The etiology of preterm delivery is unclear, but is likely to be complex and influenced by genetics and environmental factors. Women with previous preterm birth are at increased risk of subsequent preterm delivery and may be candidates for treatment with antenatal progesterone. Fetal fibronectin testing and endovaginal ultrasonography for cervical length are useful for triage. For the patient in preterm labor, only antenatal corticosteroids and delivery in a facility with a level III neonatal intensive care unit have been shown to improve outcomes consistently. Tocolytic agents may delay delivery for up to 48 hours, enabling the administration of antenatal corticosteroids or maternal transfer. Routine use of antibiotics in preterm labor is not indicated except for group B streptococcus prophylaxis or treatment of chorioamnionitis.
Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis - Article
ABSTRACT: Allergic rhinitis is a common chronic respiratory illness that affects quality of life, productivity, and other comorbid conditions, including asthma. Treatment should be based on the patient’s age and severity of symptoms. Patients should be advised to avoid known allergens and be educated about their condition. Intranasal corticosteroids are the most effective treatment and should be first-line therapy for mild to moderate disease. Moderate to severe disease not responsive to intranasal corticosteroids should be treated with second-line therapies, including antihistamines, decongestants, cromolyn, leukotriene receptor antagonists, and nonpharmacologic therapies (e.g., nasal irrigation). With the exception of cetirizine, second-generation antihistamines are less likely to cause sedation and impair performance. Immunotherapy should be considered in patients with a less than adequate response to usual treatments. Evidence does not support the use of mite-proof impermeable covers, air filtration systems, or delayed exposure to solid foods in infancy.
Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Article
ABSTRACT: Patients with an inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, have recurrent symptoms with considerable morbidity. Patient involvement and education are necessary components of effective management. Mild disease requires only symptomatic relief and dietary manipulation. Mild to moderate disease can be managed with 5-aminosalicylic acid compounds, including olsalazine and mesalamine. Mesalamine enemas and suppositories are useful in treating proctosigmoiditis. Antibiotics such as metronidazole may be required in patients with Crohn's disease. Corticosteroids are beneficial in patients with more severe symptoms, but side effects limit their use, particularly for chronic therapy. Immunosuppressant therapy may be considered in patients with refractory disease that is not amenable to surgery. Inflammatory bowel disease in pregnant women can be managed with 5-aminosalicylic acid compounds and corticosteroids. Since longstanding inflammatory bowel disease (especially ulcerative colitis) is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, periodic colonoscopy is warranted.
A Different Look at Corticosteroids - Article
ABSTRACT: Systemic corticosteroids have been used in the treatment of numerous medical conditions for approximately 50 years. Short-acting products such as hydrocortisone are the least potent. Prednisone and methylprednisolone, which are intermediate-acting products, are four to five times more potent than hydrocortisone. Dexamethasone is a long-acting, systemic corticosteroid; its potency is about 25 times greater than the short-acting products. Corticosteroids reduce the need for hospitalization in patients with croup and decrease morbidity and the incidence of respiratory failure in the treatment of patients with AIDS who have Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Other often overlooked indications for corticosteroids are the treatment of hyperthyroid states, including thyroid storm, subacute thyroiditis and ophthalmopathy of Graves' disease. Systemic steroids can be used as adjuvant analgesics in the treatment of neuropathic and cancer-related pain. They may also decrease mortality in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis and concomitant encephalopathy. Corticosteroids can reduce complications in patients with meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae or Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
ABSTRACT: Atopic dermatitis is a common, potentially debilitating condition that can compromise quality of life. Its most frequent symptom is pruritus. Attempts to relieve the itch by scratching simply worsen the rash, creating a vicious circle. Treatment should be directed at limiting itching, repairing the skin and decreasing inflammation when necessary. Lubricants, antihistamines and topical corticosteroids are the mainstays of therapy. When required, oral corticosteroids can be used. If pruritus does not respond to treatment, other diagnoses, such as bacterial overgrowth or viral infections, should be considered. Treatment options are available for refractory atopic dermatitis, but these measures should be reserved for use in unique situations and typically require consultation with a dermatologist or an allergist.
American Thoracic Society Issues Consensus Statement on Sarcoidosis - Practice Guidelines
ABSTRACT: Psoriasis is characterized by red, thickened plaques with a silvery scale. The lesions vary in size and degree of inflammation. Psoriasis is categorized as localized or generalized, based on the severity of the disease and its overall impact on the patient's quality of life and well-being. Patient education about the disease and the treatment options is important. Medical treatment for localized psoriasis begins with a combination of topical corticosteroids and coal tar or calcipotriene. For lesions that are difficult to control with initial therapy, anthralin or tazarotene may be tried. The primary goal of therapy is to maintain control of the lesions. Cure is seldom achieved. If control becomes difficult or if psoriasis is generalized, the patient may benefit from phototherapy, systemic therapy and referral to a physician who specializes in the treatment of psoriasis.