Items in AFP with MESH term: Biopsy

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The Generalized Rash: Part II. Diagnostic Approach - Article

ABSTRACT: Although it is important to begin the evaluation of generalized rash with an inclusive differential diagnosis, the possibilities must be narrowed down by taking a focused history and looking for key clinical features of the rash. Part I of this two-part article lists the common, uncommon, and rare causes of generalized rashes. In part II, the clinical features that help distinguish these rashes are described. These features include key elements of the history (e.g., travel, environmental exposures, personal or family history of atopy); characteristics of individual lesions, such as color, size, shape, and scale; areas of involvement and sparing, with particular attention to palms, soles, face, nails, sun-exposed areas, and extensor and flexor surfaces of extremities; pruritic or painful lesions; systemic symptoms, especially fever; and dermatologic signs, such as blanching, and the Koebner phenomenon.


Radiologic Evaluation of Incidentally Discovered Adrenal Masses - Article

ABSTRACT: The increasing use of cross-sectional imaging has led to an increase in the incidental discovery of adrenal masses (adrenal incidentalomas). Although most of these lesions are benign, they often present a diagnostic dilemma. Before creating a management plan, the physician should determine if the lesion is benign or malignant and if the lesion is functioning or nonfunctioning. Incidentally discovered adrenal masses usually are benign adenomas; however, myelolipomas, cysts, hemorrhage, pheochromocytomas, metastases, and adrenocortical carcinomas are also possible. Unenhanced computed tomography and chemical shift magnetic resonance imaging can characterize most adenomas because the lesions have high lipid content. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography can further characterize the adenomas because of the washout characteristics with iodinated intravenous contrast media. Fluorodeoxyglucose– positron emission tomography can be helpful in characterizing some lesions, and biopsy is rarely required. This article summarizes the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria for the use of imaging modalities and biopsy to characterize incidentally discovered adrenal masses.


Cutaneous and Systemic Manifestations of Mastocytosis - Article

ABSTRACT: Mastocytosis is characterized by an excessive number of apparently normal mast cells in the skin and, occasionally, in other organs. Characteristic skin lesions, called urticaria pigmentosa, are present in most patients, but clinical presentation can vary from a pruritic rash to unexplained collapse and sudden death. These lesions are typically tan to red-brown macules that appear on the trunk and spread symmetrically. Patients with mastocytosis often have a long history of chronic and acute symptoms that were unrecognized as mastocytosis. Skin lesions may or may not accompany systemic mastocytosis. Systemic disease may involve the gastrointestinal tract, the bone marrow or other organs. Even when the disease is considered as a possibility by the physician, the diagnosis can be difficult because of special technical requirements necessary for biopsy and because of the problems with biochemical testing. Drug therapy is initiated to stabilize mast cell membranes, to reduce the severity of the attacks and to block the action of inflammatory mediators. The mainstay of therapy is histamine H1 and H2 blockers and the avoidance of triggering factors.


The Evaluation of Common Breast Problems - Article

ABSTRACT: The most common breast problems for which women consult a physician are breast pain, nipple discharge and a palpable mass. Most women with these complaints have benign breast disease. Breast pain alone is rarely a presenting symptom of cancer, and imaging studies should be reserved for use in women who fall within usual screening guidelines. A nipple discharge can be characterized as physiologic or pathologic based on the findings of the history and physical examination. A pathologic discharge is an indication for terminal duct excision. A dominant breast mass requires histologic diagnosis. A breast cyst can be diagnosed and treated by aspiration. The management of a solid mass depends on the degree of clinical suspicion and the patient's age.


Lentigo Maligna Melanoma - Photo Quiz


Shave and Punch Biopsy for Skin Lesions - Article

ABSTRACT: Shave and punch biopsies are essential procedures for physicians who manage skin conditions. These office-based procedures can diagnose questionable dermatologic lesions, including possible malignancies. Approaches include the superficial shave biopsy, saucerization excision, punch biopsy, and elliptical excision. A superficial shave biopsy can be used for raised lesions. A saucerization biopsy may be performed for flat or pigmented lesions. Punch biopsies yield full-thickness samples and can be used for lesions that require dermal or subcutaneous tissue for diagnosis. Indications for biopsy of suspected melanoma remain controversial. Sufficient tissue may be obtained with the quicker, less costly saucerization biopsy or the more time-consuming, invasive elliptical excisional biopsy.


Arcuate, Red Plaques with Pustules on the Trunk - Photo Quiz


Evaluation and Management of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding in Premenopausal Women - Article

ABSTRACT: Up to 14 percent of women experience irregular or excessively heavy menstrual bleeding. This abnormal uterine bleeding generally can be divided into anovulatory and ovulatory patterns. Chronic anovulation can lead to irregular bleeding, prolonged unopposed estrogen stimulation of the endometrium, and increased risk of endometrial cancer. Causes include polycystic ovary syndrome, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, thyroid dysfunction, hyperprolactinemia, and use of antipsychotics or antiepileptics. Women 35 years or older with recurrent anovulation, women younger than 35 years with risk factors for endometrial cancer, and women with excessive bleeding unresponsive to medical therapy should undergo endometrial biopsy. Treatment with combination oral contraceptives or progestins may regulate menstrual cycles. Histologic findings of hyperplasia without atypia may be treated with cyclic or continuous progestin. Women who have hyperplasia with atypia or adenocarcinoma should be referred to a gynecologist or gynecologic oncologist, respectively. Ovulatory abnormal uterine bleeding, or menorrhagia, may be caused by thyroid dysfunction, coagulation defects (most commonly von Willebrand disease), endometrial polyps, and submucosal fibroids. Transvaginal ultrasonography or saline infusion sonohysterography may be used to evaluate menorrhagia. The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system is an effective treatment for menorrhagia. Oral progesterone for 21 days per month and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also effective. Tranexamic acid is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ovulatory bleeding, but is expensive. When clear structural causes are identified or medical management is ineffective, polypectomy, fibroidectomy, uterine artery embolization, and endometrial ablation may be considered. Hysterectomy is the most definitive treatment.


Large, Eroded Penile Mass in a Patient with HIV - Photo Quiz


Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma: A Primary Care Perspective - Article

ABSTRACT: Cutaneous malignant melanoma accounts for 3 to 5 percent of all skin cancers and is responsible for approximately 75 percent of all deaths from skin cancer. Persons with an increased number of moles, dysplastic (also called atypical) nevi, or a family history of the disease are at increased risk compared with the general population. An important tool to assist in the evaluation of potential melanomas for patients and health care professionals is the ABCDE mnemonic, which takes into account asymmetry, border irregularities, color variation, diameter, and evolution. Any suspicious pigmented lesion should be biopsied. Appropriate methods of biopsy can vary, and include deep shave, punch, and excisional biopsy. Regardless of the procedure selected, it is essential that the size of the specimen be adequate to determine the histologic depth of lesion penetration, which is known as the Breslow depth. The Breslow depth is the most important prognostic parameter in evaluating the primary tumor. Because early detection and treatment can lead to identification of thinner lesions, which may increase survival, it is critical that physicians be comfortable with evaluating suspicious pigmented lesions and providing treatment or referral as necessary.


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