Items in AFP with MESH term: Biopsy

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Lymphadenopathy and Malignancy - Article

ABSTRACT: The majority of patients presenting with peripheral lymphadenopathy have easily identifiable causes that are benign or self-limited. Among primary care patients presenting with lymphadenopathy, the prevalence of malignancy has been estimated to be as low as 1.1 percent. The critical challenge for the primary care physician is to identify which cases are secondary to malignancies or other serious conditions. Key risk factors for malignancy include older age, firm, fixed nodal character, duration of greater than two weeks, and supraclavicular location. Knowledge of these risk factors is critical to determining the management of unexplained lymphadenopathy. In addition, a complete exposure history, review of associated symptoms, and a thorough regional examination help determine whether lymphadenopathy is of benign or malignant origin. Unexplained lymphadenopathy without signs or symptoms of serious disease or malignancy can be observed for one month, after which specific testing or biopsy should be performed. While modern hematopathologic technologies have improved the diagnostic yields of fine-needle aspiration, excisional biopsy remains the initial diagnostic procedure of choice. The overall evaluation of lymphadenopathy, with a focus on findings suggestive of malignancy, as well as an approach to the patient with unexplained lymphadenopathy, will be reviewed.


Diagnosis and Management of Acute Interstitial Nephritis - Article

ABSTRACT: Acute interstitial nephritis is an important cause of acute renal failure resulting from immune-mediated tubulointerstitial injury, initiated by medications, infection, and other causes. Acute interstitial nephritis may be implicated in up to 15 percent of patients hospitalized for acute renal failure. Clinical features are essentially those of acute renal failure from any cause, and apart from a history of new illness or medication exposure, there are no specific history, physical examination, or laboratory findings that distinguish acute interstitial nephritis from other causes of acute renal failure. Classic findings of fever, rash, and arthralgias may be absent in up to two thirds of patients. Diagnostic studies such as urine eosinophils and renal gallium 67 scanning provide suggestive evidence, but they are unable to reliably confirm or exclude the diagnosis of acute interstitial nephritis. Renal biopsy remains the gold standard for diagnosis, but it may not be required in mild cases or when clinical improvement is rapid after removal of an offending agent or medication. The time until removal of such agents, and renal biopsy findings, provide the best prognostic information for return to baseline renal function. Corticosteroids appear to provide some benefit in terms of clinical improvement and return of renal function, but no controlled clinical trials have been conducted to confirm this.


Pityriasis Rosea - Article

ABSTRACT: Pityriasis rosea is a common, acute exanthem of uncertain etiology. Viral and bacterial causes have been sought, but convincing answers have not yet been found. Pityriasis rosea typically affects children and young adults. It is characterized by an initial herald patch, followed by the development of a diffuse papulosquamous rash. The herald patch often is misdiagnosed as eczema. Pityriasis rosea is difficult to identify until the appearance of characteristic smaller secondary lesions that follow Langer's lines (cleavage lines). Several medications can cause a rash similar to pityriasis rosea, and several diseases, including secondary syphilis, are included in the differential diagnosis. One small controlled trial reported faster clearing of the exanthem with the use of erythromycin, but the mechanism of effect is unknown. Resolution of the rash may be hastened by ultraviolet light therapy but not without the risk of hyperpigmentation. Topical or systemic steroids and antihistamines often are used to relieve itching.


Evaluation of Palpable Breast Masses - Article

ABSTRACT: Palpable breast masses are common and usually benign, but efficient evaluation and prompt diagnosis are necessary to rule out malignancy. A thorough clinical breast examination, imaging, and tissue sampling are needed for a definitive diagnosis. Fine-needle aspiration is fast, inexpensive, and accurate, and it can differentiate solid and cystic masses. However, physicians must have adequate training to perform this procedure. Mammography screens for occult malignancy in the same and contralateral breast and can detect malignant lesions in older women; it is less sensitive in women younger than 40 years. Ultrasonography can detect cystic masses, which are common, and may be used to guide biopsy techniques. Tissue specimens obtained with core-needle biopsy allow histologic diagnosis, hormone-receptor testing, and differentiation between in situ and invasive disease. Core-needle biopsy is more invasive than fine-needle aspiration, requires more training and experience, and frequently requires imaging guidance. After the clinical breast examination is performed, the evaluation depends largely on the patient's age and examination characteristics, and the physician's experience in performing fine-needle aspiration.


Diagnosis and Treatment of Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinomas - Article

ABSTRACT: Rates of squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas have been increasing, possibly as a result of increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Primary care physicians can expect to diagnose six to seven cases of basal cell carcinoma and one to two cases of squamous cell carcinoma each year. Basal cell carcinomas may be plaque-like or nodular with a waxy, translucent appearance, often with ulceration and telangiectasia. They rarely metastasize and are treated with excision, cryotherapy, electrodesiccation and cautery, imiquimod, 5-fluorouracil, or photodynamic therapy (the latter is not approved for this purpose by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration), although surgery results in the fewest recurrences. Actinic keratoses are scaly keratotic patches that often are more easily felt than seen. They are amenable to any of the destructive techniques described above, with the exception of photodynamic therapy. Squamous cell carcinomas arise from keratotic patches and become more nodular and erythematous with growth, sometimes including keratin plugs, horns, or ulceration. Because they may metastasize, they often are treated with excisional biopsy.


Management of Cervical Cytologic Abnormalities - Article

ABSTRACT: The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology developed guidelines in 2001 for the management of cervical cytologic abnormalities. The guidelines incorporate the Bethesda System 2001 terminology and data from randomized studies of atypical squamous cells, low-grade intraepithelial lesions, human papillomavirus testing, and liquid-based cytology to formulate evidence-based recommendations. Each recommendation is graded according to the strength of the recommendation and the quality of the evidence, and specific terminology is added to highlight management options. The effectiveness of each triage recommendation is determined by the percentage of grade 2 and 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia it detects. Colposcopy, repeat cytology, and human papillomavirus DNA testing are acceptable options in women with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance, but human papillomavirus DNA testing is preferred if liquid-based cytology is used. Colposcopy is recommended for women with a diagnosis of "atypical squamous cells-cannot rule out high-grade intraepithelial lesion." Women with low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions should be referred for colposcopy, and women with high-grade lesions should undergo colposcopy and endocervical assessment. Colposcopy and endocervical sampling are recommended in women with all subcategories of atypical glandular cells. Endometrial sampling and colposcopy are recommended in women older than 35 years with atypical glandular cells and in younger women with unexplained vaginal bleeding. Women with a diagnosis of "atypical glandular cells-favor neoplasia" or adenocarcinoma-in-situ who are not found to have invasive disease on colposcopy should undergo a diagnostic excisional procedure, preferably a cold-knife conization.


Management of Histologic Abnormalities of the Cervix - Article

ABSTRACT: The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology sponsored a consensus conference in 2001 to develop evidence-based guidelines for women with histologic abnormalities of the cervix. The options for management of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 1, 2, and 3 are ranked according to the strength of the recommendation and the quality of the evidence. Follow-up with repeat cytology at six and 12 months or DNA testing for high-risk types of human papillomavirus at 12 months is the preferred management approach for women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 1 and satisfactory initial colposcopy. If results from repeat cytology are reported as atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance or greater, or if DNA human papillomavirus testing is positive for oncogenic types of the virus, repeat colposcopy is preferred. When the initial colposcopy is unsatisfactory, a diagnostic excisional procedure is preferred. Follow-up without treatment is acceptable only in women who are pregnant and adolescents with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 1 who had unsatisfactory colposcopy. Biopsy-confirmed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 and 3 requires treatment except during pregnancy and in compliant adolescents with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 and negative endocervical curettage. When colposcopy is satisfactory, treatment includes ablative or excisional procedures. A diagnostic excisional procedure is recommended in women with biopsy-confirmed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 or 3 and unsatisfactory colposcopy.


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.


Metastatic Carcinoma of the Long Bones - Article

ABSTRACT: Breast, prostate, renal, thyroid, and lung carcinomas commonly metastasize to bone. Managing skeletal metastatic disease can be complex. Pain is the most common presenting symptom and requires thorough radiographic and laboratory evaluation. If plain-film radiography is not sufficient for diagnosis, a bone scan may detect occult lesions. Patients with lytic skeletal metastases may be at risk for impending fracture. Destructive lesions in the proximal femur and hip area are particularly worrisome. High-risk patients require immediate referral to an orthopedic surgeon. Patients who are not at risk for impending fracture can be treated with a combination of radiotherapy and adjuvant drug therapy. Bisphosphonates diminish pain and prolong the time to significant skeletal complications.


Cirrhosis and Chronic Liver Failure: Part I. Diagnosis and Evaluation - Article

ABSTRACT: Cirrhosis and chronic liver failure are leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States, with the majority of preventable cases attributed to excessive alcohol consumption, viral hepatitis, or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Cirrhosis often is an indolent disease; most patients remain asymptomatic until the occurrence of decompensation, characterized by ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, hepatic encephalopathy, or variceal bleeding from portal hypertension. Physical examination of patients with cirrhosis may reveal a variety of findings that necessitate a hepatic- or gastrointestinal-based work-up to determine the etiology. Some patients already may have had laboratory or radiographic tests that incidentally uncovered signs of cirrhosis and its comorbidities. No serologic or radiographic test can accurately diagnose cirrhosis. A significant correlation has been demonstrated between persistently elevated liver function tests and biopsy-proven underlying hepatic disease; thus, a more targeted serologic work-up is indicated in patients whose liver function test results are persistently abnormal. Unnecessary medications and surgical procedures should be avoided in patients with cirrhosis. Referral for liver biopsy should be considered only after a thorough, non-invasive serologic and radiographic evaluation has failed to confirm a diagnosis of cirrhosis; the benefit of biopsy outweighs the risk; and it is postulated that biopsy will have a favorable impact on the treatment of chronic liver disease.


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