Items in AFP with MESH term: Algorithms

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Respiratory Distress in the Newborn - Article

ABSTRACT: The most common etiology of neonatal respiratory distress is transient tachypnea of the newborn; this is triggered by excessive lung fluid, and symptoms usually resolve spontaneously. Respiratory distress syndrome can occur in premature infants as a result of surfactant deficiency and underdeveloped lung anatomy. Intervention with oxygenation, ventilation, and surfactant replacement is often necessary. Prenatal administration of corticosteroids between 24 and 34 weeks' gestation reduces the risk of respiratory distress syndrome of the newborn when the risk of preterm delivery is high. Meconium aspiration syndrome is thought to occur in utero as a result of fetal distress by hypoxia. The incidence is not reduced by use of amnio-infusion before delivery nor by suctioning of the infant during delivery. Treatment options are resuscitation, oxygenation, surfactant replacement, and ventilation. Other etiologies of respiratory distress include pneumonia, sepsis, pneumothorax, persistent pulmonary hypertension, and congenital malformations; treatment is disease specific. Initial evaluation for persistent or severe respiratory distress may include complete blood count with differential, chest radiography, and pulse oximetry.


Evaluation of Back Pain in Children and Adolescents - Article

ABSTRACT: Back pain is fairly prevalent in healthy children and adolescents. When children or adolescents seek medical care for back pain, it is highly likely that underlying pathology will be identified. Common causes of back pain include nonspecific pain or muscle strain, herniated disk, spondylolysis, scoliosis, and Scheuermann's kyphosis. Less common causes include tumor, infection, and sickle cell crisis. If nonspecific back pain is suspected, treatment may include home-based exercise, physical therapy, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If the history and physical examination suggest underlying pathology, radiography, complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and a C-reactive protein measurement should be performed. Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, or bone scanning may be needed depending on the suspected cause. It is generally accepted that the following factors warrant immediate evaluation: patient age younger than four years, persistent symptoms, self-imposed activity limitations, systemic symptoms, increasing discomfort, persistent night-time pain, and neurologic symptoms.


Diagnosis and Treatment of Otitis Media - Article

ABSTRACT: Diagnostic criteria for acute otitis media include rapid onset of symptoms, middle ear effusion, and signs and symptoms of middle ear inflammation. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis are the most common bacterial isolates from the middle ear fluid of children with acute otitis media. Fever, otalgia, headache, irritability, cough, rhinitis, listlessness, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and pulling at the ears are common, but nonspecific symptoms. Detection of middle ear effusion by pneumatic otoscopy is key in establishing the diagnosis. Observation is an acceptable option in healthy children with mild symptoms. Antibiotics are recommended in all children younger than six months, in those between six months and two years if the diagnosis is certain, and in children with severe infection. High-dosage amoxicillin (80 to 90 mg per kg per day) is recommended as first-line therapy. Macrolide antibiotics, clindamycin, and cephalosporins are alternatives in penicillin-sensitive children and in those with resistant infections. Patients who do not respond to treatment should be reassessed. Hearing and language testing is recommended in children with suspected hearing loss or persistent effusion for at least three months, and in those with developmental problems.


Managing Hypertension Using Combination Therapy - Article

ABSTRACT: Combination therapy of hypertension with separate agents or a fixed-dose combination pill offers the potential to lower blood pressure more quickly, obtain target blood pressure, and decrease adverse effects. Antihypertensive agents from different classes may offset adverse reactions from each other, such as a diuretic decreasing edema occurring secondary to treatment with a calcium channel blocker. Most patients with hypertension require more than a single antihypertensive agent, particularly if they have comorbid conditions. Although the Joint National Committee guidelines recommend diuretic therapy as the initial pharmacologic agent for most patients with hypertension, the presence of "compelling indications" may prompt treatment with antihypertensive agents that demonstrate a particular benefit in primary or secondary prevention. Specific recommendations include treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, diuretics, beta blockers, or aldosterone antagonists for hypertensive patients with heart failure. For hypertensive patients with diabetes, recommended treatment includes diuretics, beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and/or calcium channel blockers. Recommended treatment for hypertensive patients with increased risk of coronary disease includes a diuretic, beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and/or calcium channel blocker. The Joint National Committee guidelines recommend beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and aldosterone antagonists for hypertensive patients who are postmyocardial infarction; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers for hypertensive patients with chronic kidney disease; and diuretic and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors for recurrent stroke prevention in patients with hypertension.


Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women - Article

ABSTRACT: The etiology of chronic pelvic pain in women is poorly understood. Although a specific diagnosis is not found in the majority of cases, some common diagnoses include endometriosis, adhesions, irritable bowel syndrome, and interstitial cystitis. The initial history and physical examination can narrow the diagnostic possibilities, guide any subsequent evaluation, and rule out malignancy or significant systemic disease. If the initial evaluation does not reveal a specific diagnosis, a limited laboratory and ultrasound evaluation can clarify the diagnosis, as well as rule out serious disease and reassure the patient. Few treatment modalities have demonstrated benefit for the symptoms of chronic pelvic pain. The evidence supports the use of oral medroxyprogesterone, goserelin, adhesiolysis for severe adhesions, and a multidisciplinary treatment approach for patients without a specific diagnosis. Less supporting evidence is available for oral analgesics, combined oral contraceptive pills, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, intramuscular medroxyprogesterone, trigger point and botulinum A toxin injections, neuromodulative therapies, and hysterectomy.


Venous Thromboembolism During Pregnancy - Article

ABSTRACT: Venous thromboembolism is the leading cause of maternal death in the United States. Pregnancy is a risk factor for deep venous thrombosis, and risk is further increased with a personal or family history of thrombosis or thrombophilia. Screening for thrombophilia is not recommended for the general population; however, testing for inherited or acquired thrombophilic conditions is recommended when personal or family history suggests increased risk. Factor V Leiden and prothrombin G20210A mutation are the most common inherited thrombophilias, and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome is the most important acquired defect. Clinical symptoms of deep venous thrombosis may be subtle and difficult to distinguish from gestational edema. Venous compression (Doppler) ultrasonography is the diagnostic test of choice. Pulmonary embolism typically presents postpartum with dyspnea and tachypnea. Multidetector-row (spiral) computed tomography is the test of choice for pulmonary embolism. Warfarin is contraindicated during pregnancy, but is safe to use postpartum and is compatible with breastfeeding. Low-molecular-weight heparin has largely replaced unfractionated heparin for prophylaxis and treatment in pregnancy.


Gastrointestinal Complications of Diabetes - Article

ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal complications of diabetes include gastroparesis, intestinal enteropathy (which can cause diarrhea, constipation, and fecal incontinence), and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Patients with gastroparesis may present with early satiety, nausea, vomiting, bloating, postprandial fullness, or upper abdominal pain. The diagnosis of diabetic gastroparesis is made when other causes are excluded and postprandial gastric stasis is confirmed by gastric emptying scintigraphy. Whenever possible, patients should discontinue medications that exacerbate gastric dysmotility; control blood glucose levels; increase the liquid content of their diet; eat smaller meals more often; discontinue the use of tobacco products; and reduce the intake of insoluble dietary fiber, foods high in fat, and alcohol. Prokinetic agents (e.g., metoclopramide, erythromycin) may be helpful in controlling symptoms of gastroparesis. Treatment of diabetes-related constipation and diarrhea is aimed at supportive measures and symptom control. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is common in persons who are obese and who have diabetes. In persons with diabetes who have elevated hepatic transaminase levels, it is important to search for other causes of liver disease, including hepatitis and hemochromatosis. Gradual weight loss, control of blood glucose levels, and use of medications (e.g., pioglitazone, metformin) may normalize hepatic transaminase levels, but the clinical benefit of aggressively treating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is unknown. Controlling blood glucose levels is important for managing most gastrointestinal complications.


Acute Lumbar Disk Pain: Navigating Evaluation and Treatment Choices - Article

ABSTRACT: Acute lumbar disk herniations are the most common cause of sciatica. After excluding emergent causes, such as cauda equina syndrome, epidural abscess, fracture, or malignancy, a six-week trial of conservative management is indicated. Patients should be advised to stay active. If symptoms persist after six weeks, or if there is worsening neurologic function, imaging and invasive procedures may be considered. Most patients with lumbar disk herniations improve over six weeks. Because there is no difference in outcomes between surgical and conservative treatment after two years, patient preference and the severity of the disability from the pain should be considered when choosing treatment modalities. If a disk herniation is identified that correlates with physical findings, surgical diskectomy may improve symptoms more quickly than continued conservative management. Epidural steroid injections can also provide short-term relief.


Evaluation of Scrotal Masses - Article

ABSTRACT: Scrotal masses can represent a wide range of medical issues, from benign congenital conditions to life-threatening malignancies and acute surgical emergencies. Having a clear understanding of scrotal anatomy allows the examiner to accurately identify most lesions. Benign lesions such as hydroceles and varicoceles are often found incidentally by the patient or physician on routine examination. Epididymitis is bacterial in origin, readily diagnosed on physical examination, and treated with antibiotics. Indirect inguinal hernias usually are palpable separate from the normal scrotal contents and are a surgical emergency if strangulation is suspected based on symptoms of abdominal pain, tenderness, and nonreducibility. Testicular swelling may be caused by orchitis, cancer, or testicular torsion. Orchitis is usually viral in origin, subacute in onset, and may be accompanied by systemic illness. Testicular carcinomas are more gradual in onset; the testis will be nontender on examination. Testicular torsion has an acute onset, often with no antecedent trauma; the involved testis may be retracted and palpably rotated, and will be tender on examination. The swollen testis is always a true emergency. Although history and examination may suggest the diagnosis, testicular torsion can be reliably confirmed only with color Doppler ultrasonography, which must be obtained immediately. If torsion is suspected, surgical consultation should be obtained concurrently with ultrasonography, because the ability to successfully salvage the affected testis declines dramatically after six hours of torsion.


Management of Blood Glucose in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus - Article

ABSTRACT: Evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus focus on three areas: intensive lifestyle intervention that includes at least 150 minutes per week of physical activity, weight loss with an initial goal of 7 percent of baseline weight, and a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet; aggressive management of cardiovascular risk factors (i.e., hypertension, dyslipidemia, and microalbuminuria) with the use of aspirin, statins, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; and normalization of blood glucose levels (hemoglobin A1C level less than 7 percent). Insulin resistance, decreased insulin secretion, and increased hepatic glucose output are the hallmarks of type 2 diabetes, and each class of medication targets one or more of these defects. Metformin, which decreases hepatic glucose output and sensitizes peripheral tissues to insulin, has been shown to decrease mortality rates in patients with type 2 diabetes and is considered a first-line agent. Other medications include sulfonylureas and nonsulfonylurea secretagogues, alpha glucosidase inhibitors, and thiazolidinediones. Insulin can be used acutely in patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes to normalize blood glucose, or it can be added to a regimen of oral medication to improve glycemic control. Except in patients taking multiple insulin injections, home monitoring of blood glucose levels has questionable utility, especially in relatively well-controlled patients. Its use should be tailored to the needs of the individual patient.


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