ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
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.
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.
ABSTRACT: The first step in the evaluation of patients with pleural effusion is to determine whether the effusion is a transudate or an exudate. An exudative effusion is diagnosed if the patient meets Light's criteria. The serum to pleural fluid protein or albumin gradients may help better categorize the occasional transudate misidentified as an exudate by these criteria. If the patient has a transudative effusion, therapy should be directed toward the underlying heart failure or cirrhosis. If the patient has an exudative effusion, attempts should be made to define the etiology. Pneumonia, cancer, tuberculosis, and pulmonary embolism account for most exudative effusions. Many pleural fluid tests are useful in the differential diagnosis of exudative effusions. Other tests helpful for diagnosis include helical computed tomography and thoracoscopy.
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease - Article
ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a common condition associated with metabolic syndrome. It is the most common cause of elevated liver enzymes in U.S. adults, and is diagnosed after ruling out other causes of steatosis (fatty infiltration of liver), particularly infectious hepatitis and alcohol abuse. Liver biopsy may be considered if greater diagnostic and prognostic certainty is desired, particularly in patients with diabetes, patients who are morbidly obese, and in patients with an aspartate transaminase to alanine transaminase ratio greater than one, because these patients are at risk of having more advanced disease. Weight loss is the primary treatment for obese patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Medications used to treat insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and obesity have been shown to improve transaminase levels, steatosis, and histologic findings. However, no treatments have been shown to affect patient-oriented outcomes.
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.
Treatment of Menorrhagia - Article
ABSTRACT: Menorrhagia is defined as excessive uterine bleeding occurring at regular intervals or prolonged uterine bleeding lasting more than seven days. The classic definition of menorrhagia (i.e., greater than 80 mL of blood loss per cycle) is rarely used clinically. Women describe the loss or reduction of daily activities as more important than the actual volume of bleeding. Routine testing of all women with menorrhagia for inherited coagulation disorders is unnecessary. Saline infusion sonohysteroscopy detects intracavitary abnormalities such as endometrial polyps or uterine leiomyoma and is less expensive and invasive than hysteroscopy. Endometrial biopsy is effective for diagnosing precancerous lesions and adenocarcinoma but not for intracavitary lesions. Except for continuous progestin, medical therapies are limited. The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device is an effective therapy for women who want to preserve fertility and avoid surgery. Surgical therapies include endometrial ablation methods that preserve the uterus; and hysterectomy, which results in high satisfaction rates but with potential surgical morbidity. Overall, hysterectomy and endometrial ablation result in the greatest satisfaction rates if future childbearing is not desired. Treatment of menorrhagia results in substantial improvement in quality of life.
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.
Celiac Disease - Article
ABSTRACT: As many as one in every 100 to 200 persons in the United States has celiac disease, a condition resulting from an inappropriate immune response to the dietary protein gluten. The manifestations of celiac disease range from no symptoms to overt malabsorption with involvement of multiple organ systems and an increased risk of some malignancies. When celiac disease is suspected, initial testing for serum immunoglobulin A (IgA) tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies is useful because it offers adequate sensitivity and specificity at a reasonable cost. A positive IgA tTG result should prompt small bowel biopsy with at least four tissue samples to confirm the diagnosis. However, 3 percent of patients with celiac disease have IgA deficiency. Therefore, if the serum IgA tTG result is negative but clinical suspicion for the disease is high, a serum total IgA level may be considered. Screening of asymptomatic patients is not recommended. The basis of treatment for celiac disease is adherence to a gluten-free diet, which may eliminate symptoms within a few months. Patients should also be evaluated for osteoporosis, thyroid dysfunction, and deficiencies in folic acid, vitamin B12, fat-soluble vitamins, and iron, and treated appropriately. Serum IgA tTG levels typically decrease as patients maintain a gluten-free diet.
Atypical Moles - Article
ABSTRACT: Atypical moles can be distinguished visually by clinical features of size greater than 6 mm in diameter, color variegation, indistinct borders, and textured surface. All patients who have atypical moles should be counselled about sun avoidance, screening of family members, and regular skin checks at least once per year. Total body photography and dermoscopy can aid in regular skin monitoring for changes in atypical moles and the emergence of new lesions. The presence of multiple atypical moles increases the risk of melanoma. The greatest risk of melanoma is in patients who have more than 50 atypical moles and two or more family members with melanoma (familial atypical mole and melanoma syndrome). Atypical moles should be removed when they have features suggestive of malignant transformation. Elliptical excision is the preferred removal technique. Removing all atypical moles is neither necessary nor cost effective.
Punch Biopsy of the Skin - Article
ABSTRACT: Skin biopsy is one of the most important diagnostic tests for skin disorders. Punch biopsy is considered the primary technique for obtaining diagnostic full-thickness skin specimens. It requires basic general surgical and suture-tying skills and is easy to learn. The technique involves the use of a circular blade that is rotated down through the epidermis and dermis, and into the subcutaneous fat, yielding a 3- to 4-mm cylindrical core of tissue sample. Stretching the skin perpendicular to the lines of least skin tension before incision results in an elliptical-shaped wound, allowing for easier closure by a single suture. Once the specimen is obtained, caution must be used in handling it to avoid crush artifact. Punch biopsies are useful in the work-up of cutaneous neoplasms, pigmented lesions, inflammatory lesions and chronic skin disorders. Properly administered local anesthesia usually makes this a painless procedure.