Items in AFP with MESH term: Algorithms

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The Limping Child: A Systematic Approach to Diagnosis - Article

ABSTRACT: Deviations from a normal age-appropriate gait pattern can be caused by a wide variety of conditions. In most children, limping is caused by a mild, self-limiting event, such as a contusion, strain, or sprain. In some cases, however, a limp can be a sign of a serious or even life-threatening condition. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can result in significant morbidity and mortality. Examination of a limping child should begin with a thorough history, focusing on the presence of pain, any history of trauma, and any associated systemic symptoms. The presence of fever, night sweats, weight loss, and anorexia suggests the possibility of infection, inflammation, or malignancy. Physical examination should focus on identifying the type of limp and localizing the site of pathology by direct palpation and by examining the range of motion of individual joints. Localized tenderness may indicate contusions, fractures, osteomyelitis, or malignancy. A palpable mass raises the concern of malignancy. The child should be carefully examined because non-musculoskeletal conditions can cause limping. Based on the most probable diagnoses suggested by the history and physical examination, the appropriate use of laboratory tests and imaging studies can help confirm the diagnosis.


Evaluation of Macrocytosis - Article

ABSTRACT: Macrocytosis, generally defined as a mean corpuscular volume greater than 100 fL, is frequently encountered when a complete blood count is performed. The most common etiologies are alcoholism, vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies, and medications. History and physical examination, vitamin B12 level, reticulocyte count, and a peripheral smear are helpful in delineating the underlying cause of macrocytosis. When the peripheral smear indicates megaloblastic anemia (demonstrated by macro-ovalocytes and hyper-segmented neutrophils), vitamin B12 or folate deficiency is the most likely cause. When the peripheral smear is non-megaloblastic, the reticulocyte count helps differentiate between drug or alcohol toxicity and hemolysis or hemorrhage. Of other possible etiologies, hypothyroidism, liver disease, and primary bone marrow dysplasias (including myelodysplasia and myeloproliferative disorders) are some of the more common causes.


Diagnosis and Treatment of Streptococcal Pharyngitis - Article

ABSTRACT: Common signs and symptoms of streptococcal pharyngitis include sore throat, temperature greater than 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C), tonsillar exudates, and cervical adenopathy. Cough, coryza, and diarrhea are more common with viral pharyngitis. Available diagnostic tests include throat culture and rapid antigen detection testing. Throat culture is considered the diagnostic standard, although the sensitivity and specificity of rapid antigen detection testing have improved significantly. The modified Centor score can be used to help physicians decide which patients need no testing, throat culture/rapid antigen detection testing, or empiric antibiotic therapy. Penicillin (10 days of oral therapy or one injection of intramuscular benzathine penicillin) is the treatment of choice because of cost, narrow spectrum of activity, and effectiveness. Amoxicillin is equally effective and more palatable. Erythromycin and first-generation cephalosporins are options in patients with penicillin allergy. Increased group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus (GABHS) treatment failure with penicillin has been reported. Although current guidelines recommend first-generation cephalosporins for persons with penicillin allergy, some advocate the use of cephalosporins in all nonallergic patients because of better GABHS eradication and effectiveness against chronic GABHS carriage. Chronic GABHS colonization is common despite appropriate use of antibiotic therapy. Chronic carriers are at low risk of transmitting disease or developing invasive GABHS infections, and there is generally no need to treat carriers. Whether tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy decreases the incidence of GABHS pharyngitis is poorly understood. At this time, the benefits are too small to outweigh the associated costs and surgical risks.


A Systematic Approach to Managing Warfarin Doses - Improving Patient Care


Helping Needy Patients Get Needed Medications - Improving Patient Care


Fixing Patients vs. Fixing Bicycles - The Last Word


COPD: Management of Acute Exacerbations and Chronic Stable Disease - Article

ABSTRACT: Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are treated with oxygen (in hypoxemic patients), inhaled beta2 agonists, inhaled anticholinergics, antibiotics and systemic corticosteroids. Methylxanthine therapy may be considered in patients who do not respond to other bronchodilators. Antibiotic therapy is directed at the most common pathogens, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis. Mild to moderate exacerbations of COPD are usually treated with older broad-spectrum antibiotics such as doxycycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium. Treatment with augmented penicillins, fluoroquinolones, third-generation cephalosporins or aminoglycosides may be considered in patients with more severe exacerbations. The management of chronic stable COPD always includes smoking cessation and oxygen therapy. Inhaled beta2 agonists, inhaled anticholinergics and systemic corticosteroids provide short-term benefits in patients with chronic stable disease. Inhaled corticosteroids decrease airway reactivity and reduce the use of health care services for management of respiratory symptoms. Preventing acute exacerbations helps to reduce long-term complications. Long-term oxygen therapy, regular monitoring of pulmonary function and referral for pulmonary rehabilitation are often indicated. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccines should be given. Patients who do not respond to standard therapies may benefit from surgery.


Hyperbilirubinemia in the Term Newborn - Article

ABSTRACT: Hyperbilirubinemia is one of the most common problems encountered in term newborns. Historically, management guidelines were derived from studies on bilirubin toxicity in infants with hemolytic disease. More recent recommendations support the use of less intensive therapy in healthy term newborns with jaundice. Phototherapy should be instituted when the total serum bilirubin level is at or above 15 mg per dL (257 micromol per L) in infants 25 to 48 hours old, 18 mg per dL (308 micromol per L) in infants 49 to 72 hours old, and 20 mg per dL (342 micromol per L) in infants older than 72 hours. Few term newborns with hyperbilirubinemia have serious underlying pathology. Jaundice is considered pathologic if it presents within the first 24 hours after birth, the total serum bilirubin level rises by more than 5 mg per dL (86 micromol per L) per day or is higher than 17 mg per dL (290 micromol per L), or an infant has signs and symptoms suggestive of serious illness. The management goals are to exclude pathologic causes of hyperbilirubinemia and initiate treatment to prevent bilirubin neurotoxicity.


Assessment of Microscopic Hematuria in Adults - Article

ABSTRACT: Microscopic hematuria, a common finding on routine urinalysis of adults, is clinically significant when three to five red blood cells per high-power field are visible. Etiologies of microscopic hematuria range from incidental causes to life-threatening urinary tract neoplasm. The lack of evidence-based imaging guidelines can complicate the family physician's decision about the best way to proceed. Patients with proteinuria, red cell casts, and elevated serum creatinine levels should be referred promptly to a nephrology subspecialist. Microscopic hematuria with signs of urinary tract infection should resolve with appropriate treatment of the underlying infection. Patients with asymptomatic microscopic hematuria or with hematuria persisting after treatment of urinary tract infection also need to be evaluated. Because upper and lower urinary tract pathologies often coexist, patients should be evaluated using cytology plus intravenous urography, computed tomography, or ultrasonography. When urine cytology results are abnormal, cystoscopy should be performed to complete the investigation.


Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dyplasia - Article

ABSTRACT: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) is a disorder in which normal myocardium is replaced by fibrofatty tissue. This disorder usually involves the right ventricle, but the left ventricle and septum also may be affected. Although the exact prevalence of ARVD is unknown, it is thought to occur in six per 10,000 persons in certain populations. After hypertrophic heart disease, it is the number one cause of sudden cardiac death in young persons, especially athletes. Patients with ARVD are usually men younger than 35 years who complain of chest pain or rapid heart rate. In some cases, sudden cardiac death is the first presentation. The initial diagnosis of ARVD is based on the presence of major and minor criteria established in 1994. Further confirmation of the diagnosis includes noninvasive studies, such as echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging of the heart, and invasive studies such as ventricular angiography and endomyocardial biopsy. Patients with ARVD are treated initially with antiarrhythmic agents with serious consideration for automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator placement. In patients with persistent symptomatic arrhythmias, radiofrequency ablation, ventriculotomy, or even cardiac transplant may be necessary.


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