ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Otitis externa can take an acute or a chronic form, with the acute form affecting four in 1,000 persons annually and the chronic form affecting 3 to 5 percent of the population. Acute disease commonly results from bacterial (90 percent of cases) or fungal (10 percent of cases) overgrowth in an ear canal subjected to excess moisture or to local trauma. Chronic disease often is part of a more generalized dermatologic or allergic problem. Symptoms of early acute and most chronic disease include pruritus and local discomfort. If left untreated, acute disease can be followed by canal edema, discharge, and pain, and eventually by extra-canal manifestations. Topical application of an acidifying solution is usually adequate in treating early disease. An antimicrobial-containing ototopical is the preferred treatment for later-stage acute disease, and oral antibiotic therapy is reserved for advanced disease or those who are immunocompromised. Preventive measures reduce recurrences and typically involve minimizing ear canal moisture, trauma, or exposure to materials that incite local irritation or contact dermatitis.
ABSTRACT: Many sexually transmitted infections are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends screening all pregnant women for human immunodeficiency virus infection as early as possible. Treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy can reduce transmission to the fetus. Chlamydia screening is recommended for all women at the onset of prenatal care, and again in the third trimester for women who are younger than 25 years or at increased risk. Azithromycin has been shown to be safe in pregnant women and is recommended as the treatment of choice for chlamydia during pregnancy. Screening for gonorrhea is recommended in early pregnancy for those who are at risk or who live in a high-prevalence area, and again in the third trimester for patients who continue to be at risk. The recommended treatment for gonorrhea is ceftriaxone 125 mg intramuscularly or cefixime 400 mg orally. Hepatitis B surface antigen and serology for syphilis should be checked at the first prenatal visit. Benzathine penicillin G remains the treatment for syphilis. Screening for genital herpes simplex virus infection is by history and examination for lesions, with diagnosis of new cases by culture or polymerase chain reaction assay from active lesions. Routine serology is not recommended for screening. The oral antivirals acyclovir and valacyclovir can be used in pregnancy. Suppressive therapy from 36 weeks' gestation reduces viral shedding at the time of delivery in patients at risk of active lesions. Screening for trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis is not recommended for asymptomatic women because current evidence indicates that treatment does not improve pregnancy outcomes.
Peritonsillar Abscess - Article
ABSTRACT: Peritonsillar abscess remains the most common deep infection of the head and neck. The condition occurs primarily in young adults, most often during November to December and April to May, coinciding with the highest incidence of streptococcal pharyngitis and exudative tonsillitis. A peritonsillar abscess is a polymicrobial infection, but Group A streptococcus is the predominate organism. Symptoms generally include fever, malaise, sore throat, dysphagia, and otalgia. Physical findings may include trismus and a muffled voice (also called "hot potato voice"). Drainage of the abscess, antibiotics, and supportive therapy for maintaining hydration and pain control are the foundation of treatment. Antibiotics effective against Group A streptococcus and oral anaerobes should be first-line therapy. Steroids may be helpful in reducing symptoms and speeding recovery. To avoid potential serious complications, prompt recognition and initiation of therapy is important. Family physicians with appropriate training and experience can diagnose and treat most patients with peritonsillar abscess. (Am Fam Physician.
Endocarditis Prophylaxis: An Evolution of Change - Editorials
ABSTRACT: A pressure ulcer is a localized injury to the skin or underlying tissue, usually over a bony prominence, as a result of unrelieved pressure. Predisposing factors are classified as intrinsic (e.g., limited mobility, poor nutrition, comorbidities, aging skin) or extrinsic (e.g., pressure, friction, shear, moisture). Prevention includes identifying at-risk persons and implementing specific prevention measures, such as following a patient repositioning schedule; keeping the head of the bed at the lowest safe elevation to prevent shear; using pressure-reducing surfaces; and assessing nutrition and providing supplementation, if needed. When an ulcer occurs, documentation of each ulcer (i.e., size, location, eschar and granulation tissue, exudate, odor, sinus tracts, undermining, and infection) and appropriate staging (I through IV) are essential to the wound assessment. Treatment involves management of local and distant infections, removal of necrotic tissue, maintenance of a moist environment for wound healing, and possibly surgery. Debridement is indicated when necrotic tissue is present. Urgent sharp debridement should be performed if advancing cellulitis or sepsis occurs. Mechanical, enzymatic, and autolytic debridement methods are nonurgent treatments. Wound cleansing, preferably with normal saline and appropriate dressings, is a mainstay of treatment for clean ulcers and after debridement. Bacterial load can be managed with cleansing. Topical antibiotics should be considered if there is no improvement in healing after 14 days. Systemic antibiotics are used in patients with advancing cellulitis, osteomyelitis, or systemic infection.
ABSTRACT: Clostridium difficile infection is responsible for approximately 3 million cases of diarrhea and colitis annually in the United States. The mortality rate is 1 to 2.5 percent. Early diagnosis and prompt aggressive treatment are critical in managing C. difficile-associated diarrhea. Major predisposing factors for symptomatic C. difficile colitis include antibiotic therapy; advanced age; multiple, severe underlying diseases; and a faulty immune response to C. difficile toxins. The most common confirmatory study is an enzyme immunoassay for C. difficile toxins A and B. The test is easy to perform, and results are available in two to four hours. Specificity of the assay is high (93 to 100 percent), but sensitivity ranges from 63 to 99 percent. In severe cases, flexible sigmoidoscopy can provide an immediate diagnosis. Treatment of C. difficile-associated diarrhea includes discontinuation of the precipitating antibiotic (if possible) and the administration of metronidazole or vancomycin. Preventive measures include the judicious use of antibiotics, thorough hand washing between patient contacts, use of precautions when handling an infected patient or items in the patient's immediate environment, proper disinfection of objects, education of staff members, and isolation of the patient.
ABSTRACT: While the choices available for the management of gram-positive, drug-resistant bacterial infections are becoming limited, antimicrobial resistance is becoming increasingly problematic because of the widespread overuse of antibiotics. Linezolid is a synthetic antibiotic belonging to a new class of antimicrobials called the oxazolidinones. Linezolid disrupts bacterial growth by inhibiting the initiation process of protein synthesis—a mechanism of action that is unique to this class of drugs. It is well absorbed with high bioavailability that allows conversion to oral therapy as soon as the patient is clinically stable. It has been approved for certain gram-positive infections including certain drug-resistant enterococcus, staphylococcus, and pneumococcus strains. It is generally well tolerated, with myelosuppression being the most serious adverse effect. As a nonselective inhibitor of monoamine oxidase, caution is recommended when used with adrenergic or serotonergic agents (e.g., tyramine, dopamine, pseudoephedrine, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Judicious use of this medication should help physicians treat patients with multidrug-resistant infections.
Bacterial Vaginosis: An Update - Article
ABSTRACT: Bacterial vaginosis is the most common cause of vaginal discharge. Recent studies have confirmed its association with pelvic inflammatory disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Bacterial vaginosis is treated with oral metronidazole (given either as a single dose or a seven-day course) or clindamycin. Treatment with topical clindamycin or metronidazole is also effective in returning the vaginal flora to normal but may be less effective in preventing the increased incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
ACOG Releases Report on Antimicrobial Therapy in Pregnancy - Special Medical Reports
Case Studies in International Medicine - Article
ABSTRACT: Family physicians in the United States are increasingly called on to manage the complex clinical problems of newly arrived immigrants and refugees. Case studies and discussions are provided in this article to update physicians on the diagnosis and management of potentially unfamiliar ailments, including strongyloidiasis, hookworm infection, cysticercosis, clonorchiasis and tropical pancreatitis. Albendazole and ivermectin, two important drugs in the treatment of some worm infections, are now available in the United States.