ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Patients with necrotizing soft tissue infections often present initially to family physicians. These infections must be detected and treated rapidly to prevent loss of limb or a fatal outcome. Unfortunately, necrotizing soft tissue infections have no pathognomonic signs. Patients may present with some evidence of cellulitis, vesicles, bullae, edema, crepitus, erythema, and fever. They also may complain of pain that seems out of proportion to the physical findings; as the infection progresses, their pain may decrease. Magnetic resonance imaging and laboratory findings such as acidosis, anemia, electrolyte abnormalities, coagulopathy, and an elevated white blood cell count may provide clues to the diagnosis. No single organism or combination of organisms is consistently responsible for necrotizing soft tissue infections. Most infections are polymicrobial, with both anaerobic and aerobic bacteria frequently present. Fungal infections also have been reported. Generally, bacterial and toxin-related effects converge to cause skin necrosis, shock, and multisystem organ failure. Aggressive debridement of infected tissues is critical to management. Antimicrobial therapy is important but remains secondary to the removal of diseased and necrotic tissues.
ABSTRACT: Rosacea is a common, but often overlooked, skin condition of uncertain etiology that can lead to significant facial disfigurement, ocular complications, and severe emotional distress. The progression of rosacea is variable; however, typical stages include: (1) facial flushing, (2) erythema and/or edema and ocular symptoms, (3) papules and pustules, and (4) rhinophyma. A history of exacerbation by sun exposure, stress, cold weather, hot beverages, alcohol consumption, or certain foods helps determine the diagnosis; the first line of treatment is avoidance of these triggering or exacerbating factors. Most patients respond well to long-term topical antibiotic treatment. Oral or topical retinoid therapy may also be effective. Laser treatment is an option for progressive telangiectasis or rhinophyma. Family physicians should be able to identify and effectively treat the majority of patients with rosacea. Consultation with subspecialists may be required for the management of rhinophyma, ocular complications, or severe disease. (Am Fam Physician 2002;66:442.)
ABSTRACT: Foot ulcers are a significant complication of diabetes mellitus and often precede lower-extremity amputation. The most frequent underlying etiologies are neuropathy, trauma, deformity, high plantar pressures, and peripheral arterial disease. Thorough and systematic evaluation and categorization of foot ulcers help guide appropriate treatment. The Wagner and University of Texas systems are the ones most frequently used for classification of foot ulcers, and the stage is indicative of prognosis. Pressure relief using total contact casts, removable cast walkers, or "half shoes" is the mainstay of initial treatment. Sharp debridement and management of underlying infection and ischemia are also critical in the care of foot ulcers. Prompt and aggressive treatment of diabetic foot ulcers can often prevent exacerbation of the problem and eliminate the potential for amputation. The aim of therapy should be early intervention to allow prompt healing of the lesion and prevent recurrence once it is healed. Multidisciplinary management programs that focus on prevention, education, regular foot examinations, aggressive intervention, and optimal use of therapeutic footwear have demonstrated significant reductions in the incidence of lower-extremity amputations.
ABSTRACT: This article summarizes the principles of judicious antimicrobial therapy for three of the five conditions--cough, pharyngitis, the common cold--that account for most of the outpatient use of these drugs in the United States. The principles governing the other two conditions, otitis media and acute sinusitis, were presented in the previous issue. This article summarizes evidence against the use of antibiotic treatment for illness with cough or bronchitis in children, unless the cough is prolonged. Although empiric treatment may be started in patients with pharyngitis when streptococcal infection is suspected, the authors recommend withholding antibiotic treatment until antigen testing or culture is positive. There is never any indication for antibiotic treatment of the common cold; it is important to understand the natural history of colds, because symptoms such as mucopurulent rhinitis or cough, even when they persist for up to two weeks, do not necessarily indicate bacterial infection.
Necrotizing (Malignant) External Otitis - Article
ABSTRACT: Necrotizing (malignant) external otitis, an infection involving the temporal and adjacent bones, is a relatively rare complication of external otitis. It occurs primarily in immunocompromised persons, especially older persons with diabetes mellitus, and is often initiated by self-inflicted or iatrogenic trauma to the external auditory canal. The most frequent pathogen is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Patients with necrotizing external otitis complain of severe otalgia that worsens at night, and otorrhea. Clinical findings include granulation tissue in the external auditory canal, especially at the bone-cartilage junction. Facial and other cranial nerve palsies indicate a poor prognosis; intracranial complications are the most frequent cause of death. Diagnosis requires culture of ear secretions and pathologic examination of granulation tissue from the infection site. Imaging studies may include computed tomographic scanning, technetium Tc 99m medronate bone scanning, and gallium citrate Ga 67 scintigraphy. Treatment includes correction of immunosuppression (when possible), local treatment of the auditory canal, long-term systemic antibiotic therapy and, in selected patients, surgery. Family physicians and others who provide medical care for immunocompromised patients should be alert to the possibility of necrotizing external otitis in patients who complain of otalgia, particularly if they have diabetes mellitus and external otitis that has been refractory to standard therapy. Susceptible patients should be educated to avoid manipulation of the ear canal (i.e., they should not use cotton swabs to clean their ears) and to minimize exposure of the ear canal to water with a high chloride concentration. Appropriate patients should be referred to an otolaryngologist.
Common Acute Hand Infections - Article
ABSTRACT: Hand infections can result in significant morbidity if not appropriately diagnosed and treated. Host factors, location, and circumstances of the infection are important guides to initial treatment strategies. Many hand infections improve with early splinting, elevation, appropriate antibiotics and, if an abscess is present, incision and drainage. Tetanus prophylaxis is indicated in patients who have at-risk infections. Paronychia, an infection of the epidermis bordering the nail, commonly is precipitated by localized trauma. Treatment consists of incision and drainage, warm-water soaks and, sometimes, oral antibiotics. A felon is an abscess of the distal pulp of the fingertip. An early felon may be amenable to elevation, oral antibiotics, and warm water or saline soaks. A more advanced felon requires incision and drainage. Herpetic whitlow is a painful infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. Early treatment with oral antiviral agents may hasten healing. Pyogenic flexor tenosynovitis and clenched-fist injuries are more serious infections that often require surgical intervention. Pyogenic flexor tenosynovitis is an acute synovial space infection involving a flexor tendon sheath. Treatment consists of parenteral antibiotics and sheath irrigation. A clenched-fist injury usually is the result of an altercation and often involves injury to the extensor tendon, joint capsule, and bone. Wound exploration, copious irrigation, and appropriate antibiotics can prevent undesired outcomes.
Tick-Borne Disease - Article
ABSTRACT: Tick-borne diseases in the United States include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, babesiosis, Colorado tick fever, and relapsing fever. It is important for family physicians to consider these illnesses when patients present with influenza-like symptoms. A petechial rash initially affecting the palms and soles of the feet is associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, whereas erythema migrans (annular macule with central clearing) is associated with Lyme disease. Various other rashes or skin lesions accompanied by fever and influenza-like illness also may signal the presence of a tick-borne disease. Early, accurate diagnosis allows treatment that may help prevent significant morbidity and possible mortality. Because 24 to 48 hours of attachment to the host are required for infection to occur, early removal can help prevent disease. Treatment with doxycycline or tetracycline is indicated for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and relapsing fever. In patients with clinical findings suggestive of tick-borne disease, treatment should not be delayed for laboratory confirmation. If no symptoms follow exposure to tick bites, empiric treatment is not indicated. The same tick may harbor different infectious pathogens and transmit several with one bite. Advising patients about prevention of tick bites, especially in the summer months, may help prevent exposure to dangerous vector-borne diseases.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Acne - Article
ABSTRACT: Acne can cause significant embarrassment and anxiety in affected patients. It is important for family physicians to educate patients about available treatment options and their expected outcomes. Topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, sulfacetamide, and azelaic acid are effective in patients with mild or moderate comedones. Topical erythromycin or clindamycin can be added in patients with mild to moderate inflammatory acne or mixed acne. A six-month course of oral erythromycin, doxycycline, tetracycline, or minocycline can be used in patients with moderate to severe inflammatory acne. A low-androgen oral contraceptive pill is effective in women with moderate to severe acne. Isotretinoin is reserved for use in the treatment of the most severe or refractory cases of inflammatory acne. Because of its poor side effect profile and teratogenicity, isotretinoin (Accutane) must by prescribed by a physician who is a registered member of the manufacturer's System to Manage Accutane-Related Teratogenicity program.
ABSTRACT: Atypical organisms such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Legionella pneumophila are implicated in up to 40 percent of cases of community-acquired pneumonia. Antibiotic treatment is empiric and includes coverage for both typical and atypical organisms. Doxycycline, a fluoroquinolone with enhanced activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae, or a macrolide is appropriate for outpatient treatment of immunocompetent adult patients. Hospitalized adults should be treated with cefotaxime or ceftriaxone plus a macrolide, or with a fluoroquinolone alone. The same agents can be used in adult patients in intensive care units, although fluoroquinolone monotherapy is not recommended; ampicillin-sulbactam or piperacillin-tazobactam can be used instead of cefotaxime or ceftriaxone. Outpatient treatment of children two months to five years of age consists of high-dose amoxicillin given for seven to 10 days. A single dose of ceftriaxone can be used in infants when the first dose of antibiotic is likely to be delayed or not absorbed. Older children can be treated with a macrolide. Hospitalized children should be treated with a macrolide plus a beta-lactam inhibitor. In a bioterrorist attack, pulmonary illness may result from the organisms that cause anthrax, plague, or tularemia. Sudden acute respiratory syndrome begins with a flu-like illness, followed two to seven days later by cough, dyspnea and, in some instances, acute respiratory distress.
ABSTRACT: When no organic cause for dyspepsia is found, the condition generally is considered to be functional, or idiopathic. Nonulcer dyspepsia can cause a variety of symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Many patients with nonulcer dyspepsia have multiple somatic complaints, as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression. Extensive diagnostic testing is not recommended, except in patients with serious risk factors such as dysphagia, protracted vomiting, anorexia, melena, anemia, or a palpable mass. In these patients, endoscopy should be considered to exclude gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic or duodenal ulcer, and gastric cancer. In patients without risk factors, consideration should be given to empiric therapy with a prokinetic agent (e.g., metoclopramide), an acid suppressant (histamine-H2 receptor antagonist), or an antimicrobial agent with activity against Helicobacter pylori. Treatment of patients with H. pylori infection and nonulcer dyspepsia (rather than peptic ulcer) is controversial and should be undertaken only when the pathogen has been identified. Psychotropic agents should be used in patients with comorbid anxiety or depression. Treatment of nonulcer dyspepsia can be challenging because of the need to balance medical management strategies with treatments for psychologic or functional disease.