ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
ABSTRACT: Cirrhosis is a diffuse process characterized by fibrosis and the conversion of normal liver architecture into structurally abnormal nodules. The modified Child-Pugh score, which ranks the severity of cirrhosis based on signs and liver function test results, has been shown to predict survival. Strategies have been established to prevent complications in patients with cirrhosis. Esophageal varices can be identified by endoscopy; if large varices are present, prophylactic nonselective beta blocker therapy should be administered. Alpha-fetoprotein testing and ultrasonography can be effective in screening for hepatocellular carcinoma. Vaccines should be administered to prevent secondary infections. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided, and patients should maintain a balanced diet containing 1 to 1.5 g of protein per kg per day. An extensive assessment should be performed before patients with cirrhosis undergo elective surgery. Before advanced liver decompensation occurs, patients should be referred for liver transplantation evaluation. If advanced cirrhosis is present and transplantation is not feasible, survival is between one and two years.
Diagnosing Pericarditis - Article
ABSTRACT: Pericarditis, or inflammation of the pericardium, is most often caused by viral infection. It can also develop as a result of bacterial or other infection, autoimmune disease, renal failure, injury to the mediastinal area, and the effects of certain drugs (notably hydralazine and procainamide). The clinical features of pericarditis depend on its cause, as well as the volume and type of effusion. Patients with uncomplicated pericarditis have pleuritic-type chest pain that radiates to the left shoulder and may be relieved by leaning forward. Chest radiographs, Doppler studies, and laboratory tests confirm the diagnosis and provide information about the degree of effusion. In most patients, pericarditis is mild and resolves spontaneously, although treatment with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or a short course of a corticosteroid may be helpful. When a large pericardial effusion is produced, cardiac function may be compromised, and cardiac tamponade can occur. In patients with longstanding inflammation, the pericardium becomes fibrous or calcified, resulting in constriction of the heart. Drainage or surgical intervention may be necessary in patients with complicated pericarditis.
ABSTRACT: As many as 30 million Americans have migraine headaches. The impact on patients and their families can be tremendous, and treatment of migraines can present diagnostic and therapeutic challenges for family physicians. Abortive treatment options include nonspecific and migraine-specific therapy. Nonspecific therapies include analgesics (aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and opiates), adjunctive therapies (antiemetics and sedatives), and other nonspecific medications (intranasal lidocaine or steroids). Migraine-specific abortive therapies include ergotamine and its derivatives, and triptans. Complementary and alternative therapies can also be used to abort the headache or enhance the efficacy of another therapeutic modality. Treatment choices for acute migraine should be based on headache severity, migraine frequency, associated symptoms, and comorbidities.
Common Conditions of the Achilles Tendon - Article
ABSTRACT: The Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, is vulnerable to injury because of its limited blood supply and the combination of forces to which it is subjected. Aging and increased activity (particularly velocity sports) increase the chance of injury to the Achilles tendon. Although conditions of the Achilles tendon are occurring with increasing frequency because the aging U.S. population is remaining active, the diagnosis is missed in about one fourth of cases. Injury onset can be gradual or sudden, and the course of healing is often lengthy. A thorough history and specific physical examination are essential to make the appropriate diagnosis and facilitate a specific treatment plan. The mainstay of treatment for tendonitis, peritendonitis, tendinosis, and retrocalcaneobursitis is ice, rest, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but physical therapy, orthoties, and surgery may be necessary in recalcitrant cases. In patients with tendon rupture, casting or surgery is required. Appropriate treatment often leads to full recovery.
Dysmenorrhea - Article
ABSTRACT: Dysmenorrhea is the leading cause of recurrent short-term school absence in adolescent girls and a common problem in women of reproductive age. Risk factors for dysmenorrhea include nulliparity, heavy menstrual flow, smoking, and depression. Empiric therapy can be initiated based on a typical history of painful menses and a negative physical examination. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the initial therapy of choice in patients with presumptive primary dysmenorrhea. Oral contraceptives and depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate also may be considered. If pain relief is insufficient, prolonged-cycle oral contraceptives or intravaginal use of oral contraceptive pills can be considered. In women who do not desire hormonal contraception, there is some evidence of benefit with the use of topical heat; the Japanese herbal remedy toki-shakuyaku-san; thiamine, vitamin E, and fish oil supplements; a low-fat vegetarian diet; and acupressure. If dysmenorrhea remains uncontrolled with any of these approaches, pelvic ultrasonography should be performed and referral for laparoscopy should be considered to rule out secondary causes of dysmenorrhea. In patients with severe refractory primary dysmenorrhea, additional safe alternatives for women who want to conceive include transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, acupuncture, nifedipine, and terbutaline. Otherwise, the use of danazol or leuprolide may be considered and, rarely, hysterectomy. The effectiveness of surgical interruption of the pelvic nerve pathways has not been established.
ABSTRACT: Infectious mononucleosis should be suspected in patients 10 to 30 years of age who present with sore throat and significant fatigue, palatal petechiae, posterior cervical or auricular adenopathy, marked adenopathy, or inguinal adenopathy. An atypical lymphocytosis of at least 20 percent or atypical lymphocytosis of at least 10 percent plus lymphocytosis of at least 50 percent strongly supports the diagnosis, as does a positive heterophile antibody test. False-negative results of heterophile antibody tests are relatively common early in the course of infection. Patients with negative results may have another infection, such as toxoplasmosis, streptococcal infection, cytomegalovirus infection, or another viral infection. Symptomatic treatment, the mainstay of care, includes adequate hydration, analgesics, antipyretics, and adequate rest. Bed rest should not be enforced, and the patient's energy level should guide activity. Corticosteroids, acyclovir, and antihistamines are not recommended for routine treatment of infectious mononucleosis, although corticosteroids may benefit patients with respiratory compromise or severe pharyngeal edema. Patients with infectious mononucleosis should be withdrawn from contact or collision sports for at least four weeks after the onset of symptoms. Fatigue, myalgias, and need for sleep may persist for several months after the acute infection has resolved.
Seborrheic Dermatitis: An Overview - Article
ABSTRACT: Seborrheic dermatitis affects the scalp, central face, and anterior chest. In adolescents and adults, it often presents as scalp scaling (dandruff). Seborrheic dermatitis also may cause mild to marked erythema of the nasolabial fold, often with scaling. Stress can cause flare-ups. The scales are greasy, not dry, as commonly thought. An uncommon generalized form in infants may be linked to immunodeficiencies. Topical therapy primarily consists of antifungal agents and low-potency steroids. New topical calcineurin inhibitors (immunomodulators) sometimes are administered.
ABSTRACT: There is a common misconception that symptomatic tendon injuries are inflammatory; because of this, these injuries often are mislabeled as tendonitis. Acute inflammatory tendinopathies exist, but most patients seen in primary care will have chronic symptoms suggesting a degenerative condition that should be labeled as "tendinosus" or "tendinopathy." Accurate diagnosis requires physicians to recognize the historical features, anatomy, and useful physical examination maneuvers for these common tendon problems. The natural history is gradually increasing load-related localized pain coinciding with increased activity. The most common overuse tendinopathies involve the rotator cuff, medial and lateral elbow epicondyles, patellar tendon, and Achilles tendon. Examination should include thorough inspection to assess for swelling, asymmetry, and erythema of involved tendons; range-of-motion testing; palpation for tenderness; and examination maneuvers that simulate tendon loading and reproduce pain. Plain radiography, ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance imaging can be helpful if the diagnosis remains unclear. Most patients with overuse tendinopathies (about 80 percent) fully recover within three to six months, and outpatient treatment should consist of relative rest of the affected area, icing, and eccentric strengthening exercises. Although topical and systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are effective for acute pain relief, these cannot be recommended in favor of other analgesics. Injected corticosteroids also can relieve pain, but these drugs should be used with caution. Ultrasonography, shock wave therapy, orthotics, massage, and technique modification are treatment options, but few data exist to support their use at this time. Surgery is an effective treatment that should be reserved for patients who have failed conservative therapy.
ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by uncontrolled proliferation of synovial tissue and a wide array of multisystem comorbidities. Prevalence is estimated to be 0.8 percent worldwide, with women twice as likely to develop the disease as men. Untreated, 20 to 30 percent of persons with rheumatoid arthritis become permanently work-disabled within two to three years of diagnosis. Genetic and environmental factors play a role in pathogenesis. Although laboratory testing and imaging studies can help confirm the diagnosis and track disease progress, rheumatoid arthritis primarily is a clinical diagnosis and no single laboratory test is diagnostic. Complications of rheumatoid arthritis may begin to develop within months of presentation; therefore, early referral to or consultation with a rheumatologist for initiation of treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs is recommended. Several promising new disease-modifying drugs recently have become available, including leflunomide, tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, and anakinra. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and nonpharmacologic modalities also are useful. Patients who do not respond well to a single disease-modifying drug may be candidates for combination therapy. Rheumatoid arthritis is a lifelong disease, although patients can go into remission. Physicians must be aware of common comorbidities. Progression of rheumatoid arthritis is monitored according to American College of Rheumatology criteria based on changes in specific symptoms and laboratory findings. Predictors of poor outcomes in early stages of rheumatoid arthritis include low functional score early in the disease, lower socioeconomic status, early involvement of many joints, high erythrocyte sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein level at disease onset, positive rheumatoid factor, and early radiologic changes.
Thyroiditis - Article
ABSTRACT: Thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland that may be painful and tender when caused by infection, radiation, or trauma, or painless when caused by autoimmune conditions, medications, or an idiopathic fibrotic process. The most common forms are Hashimoto's disease, subacute granulomatous thyroiditis, postpartum thyroiditis, subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis, and drug-induced thyroiditis (caused by amiodarone, interferon-alfa, interleukin-2, or lithium). Patients may have euthyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or hypothyroidism, or may evolve from one condition to another over time. Diagnosis is by clinical context and findings, including the presence or absence of pain, tenderness, and autoantibodies. In addition, the degree of radioactive iodine uptake by the gland is reduced in most patients with viral, radiation-induced, traumatic, autoimmune, or drug-induced inflammation of the thyroid. Treatment primarily is directed at symptomatic relief of thyroid pain and tenderness, if present, and restoration of euthyroidism.