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Epididymitis and Orchitis: An Overview - Article
ABSTRACT: Epididymitis and orchitis are commonly seen in the outpatient setting. Men between 14 and 35 years of age are most often affected, and Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae are the most common pathogens in this age group. In other age groups, coliform bacteria are the primary pathogens. Men with epididymitis and orchitis typically present with a gradual onset of scrotal pain and symptoms of lower urinary tract infection, including fever. This presentation helps differentiate epididymitis and orchitis from testicular torsion, which is a surgical emergency. Typical physical findings include a swollen, tender epididymis or testis located in the normal anatomic position with an intact ipsilateral cremasteric reflex. Laboratory studies, including urethral Gram stain, urinalysis and culture, and polymerase chain reaction assay for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae, help guide therapy. Initial outpatient therapy is empirical and targets the most common pathogens. When C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae are suspected, ceftriaxone and doxycycline are recommended. When coliform bacteria are suspected, ofloxacin or levofloxacin is recommended.
ABSTRACT: Pneumonia is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in nursing home residents, with 30-day mortality rates ranging from 10 to 30 percent. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of nursing home-acquired pneumonia, although Staphylococcus aureus and gram-negative organisms may be more common in severe cases. Antibiotic therapy for nursing home-acquired pneumonia should target a broad range of organisms, and drug-resistant microbes should be considered when making treatment decisions. In the nursing home setting, treatment should consist of an antipneumococcal fluoroquinolone alone or either a high-dose beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitor or a second- or third-generation cephalosporin, in combination with azithromycin. Treatment of hospitalized patients with nursing home-acquired pneumonia requires broad-spectrum antibiotics with coverage of many gram-negative and gram-positive organisms, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Appropriate dosing of antibiotics for nursing home-acquired pneumonia is important to optimize effectiveness and avoid adverse effects. Because many nursing home residents take multiple medications, it is important to consider possible drug interactions.
Acute Otitis Media in Children - Improving Patient Care
ABSTRACT: Bacteria are responsible for approximately 5 to 10 percent of pharyngitis cases, with group A beta-hemolytic streptococci being the most common bacterial etiology. A positive rapid antigen detection test may be considered definitive evidence for treatment; a negative test should be followed by a confirmatory throat culture when streptococcal pharyngitis is strongly suspected. Treatment goals include prevention of suppurative and nonsuppurative complications, abatement of clinical signs and symptoms, reduction of bacterial transmission and minimization of antimicrobial adverse effects. Antibiotic selection requires consideration of patients' allergies, bacteriologic and clinical efficacy, frequency of administration, duration of therapy, potential side effects, compliance and cost. Oral penicillin remains the drug of choice in most clinical situations, although the more expensive cephalosporins and, perhaps, amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium provide superior bacteriologic and clinical cure rates. Alternative treatments must be used in patients with penicillin allergy, compliance issues or penicillin treatment failure. Patients who do not respond to initial treatment should be given an antimicrobial that is not inactivated by penicillinase-producing organisms (e.g., amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium, a cephalosporin or a macrolide). Patient education may help to reduce recurrence.
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.
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: Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that affects up to 480,000 persons in the United States. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, malaise, and arthralgias, and cause considerable morbidity. Speculation about genetic, environmental, dietary, infectious, and immunologic etiologies has led to treatment modalities directed at each theoretic cause, but therapy guidelines are determined by the severity of disease. Use of salicylates and/or antibiotics can be effective in mild to moderate disease, while steroids are the accepted therapy for more severe active disease. Azathioprine and other immunosuppresant drugs can be used as adjunctive therapy for active Crohn's disease and may help to maintain remission. Infliximab, an antibody to human tumor necrosis factor alpha, has proved successful in the treatment of severe refractory disease and generally causes only mild side effects. Therapy for Crohn's disease must involve treating comorbid conditions to improve the quality of life of patients.
ABSTRACT: The most common site of Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection is the urogenital tract. Men with this infection may experience dysuria with penile discharge, and women may have mild vaginal mucopurulent discharge, severe pelvic pain, or no symptoms. Other N. gonorrhoeae infections include anorectal, conjunctival, pharyngeal, and ovarian/uterine. Infections that occur in the neonatal period may cause ophthalmia neonatorum. If left untreated, N. gonorrhoeae infections can disseminate to other areas of the body, which commonly causes synovium and skin infections. Disseminated gonococcal infection presents as a few skin lesions that are limited to the extremities. These legions start as papules and progress into bullae, petechiae, and necrotic lesions. The most commonly infected joints include wrists, ankles, and the joints of the hands and feet. Urogenital N. gonorrhoeae infections can be diagnosed using culture or nonculture (e.g., the nucleic acid amplification test) techniques. When multiple sites are potentially infected, culture is the only approved diagnostic test. Treatments for uncomplicated urogenital, anorectal, or pharyngeal gonococcal infections include cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolones should not be used in patients who live in or may have contracted gonorrhea in Asia, the Pacific islands, or California, or in men who have sex with men. Gonorrhea infection should prompt physicians to test for other sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus.
ABSTRACT: Antibiotic resistance was once confined primarily to hospitals but is becoming increasingly prevalent in family practice settings, making daily therapeutic decisions more challenging. Recent reports of pediatric deaths and illnesses in communities in the United States have raised concerns about the implications and future of antibiotic resistance. Because 20 percent to 50 percent of antibiotic prescriptions in community settings are believed to be unnecessary, primary care physicians must adjust their prescribing behaviors to ensure that the crisis does not worsen. Clinicians should not accommodate patient demands for unnecessary antibiotics and should take steps to educate patients about the prudent use of these drugs. Prescriptions for targeted-spectrum antibiotics, when appropriate, can help preserve the normal susceptible flora. Antimicrobials intended for the treatment of bacterial infections should not be used to manage viral illnesses. Local resistance trends may be used to guide prescribing decisions.
ABSTRACT: The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program recently updated its guidelines for the management of asthma. An evidence-based approach was used to examine several key issues regarding appropriate medical therapy for patients with asthma. The updated guidelines have clarified these issues and should alter the way physicians prescribe asthma medications. Chronic inhaled corticosteroid use is safe in adults and children, and inhaled corticosteroids are recommended as first-line therapy in adults and children with persistent asthma, even if the disease is mild. Other medications, such as cromolyn, theophylline, and leukotriene modifiers, now are considered alternative treatments and should have a more limited role in the management of persistent asthma. The addition of a long-acting beta2 agonist to an inhaled corticosteroid is superior to all other combinations as well as to higher dosages of inhaled corticosteroids alone. Combination therapy with an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta2 agonist is the preferred treatment for adults and children with moderate to severe asthma. Antibiotic therapy offers no additional benefit in patients with asthma exacerbations.