ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Serum rheumatologic tests are generally most useful for confirming a clinically suspected diagnosis. Testing for rheumatoid factor is appropriate when rheumatoid arthritis, SjÃ¶gren's syndrome or cryoglobulinemia is suspected. Antinuclear antibody testing is highly sensitive for systemic lupus erythematosus and drug-induced lupus. Anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies correlate with lupus nephritis; the titer often corresponds with disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus. Testing for anti-Ro (anti-SS-A) or anti-La (anti-SS-B) may help confirm the diagnosis of SjÃ¶gren's syndrome or systemic lupus erythematosus; these antibodies are associated with the extraglandular manifestations of SjÃ¶gren's syndrome. Cytoplasmic antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody testing is highly sensitive and specific for Wegener's granulomatosis. Human leukocyte antigen-B27 is frequently present in ankylosing spondylitis and Reiter's syndrome, but the background presence of this antibody in white populations limits the value of testing. An elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a diagnostic criterion for polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritis; however, specificity is quite low. ESR values tend to correlate with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis and may be useful for monitoring therapeutic response.
ABSTRACT: Back pain is fairly prevalent in healthy children and adolescents. When children or adolescents seek medical care for back pain, it is highly likely that underlying pathology will be identified. Common causes of back pain include nonspecific pain or muscle strain, herniated disk, spondylolysis, scoliosis, and Scheuermann's kyphosis. Less common causes include tumor, infection, and sickle cell crisis. If nonspecific back pain is suspected, treatment may include home-based exercise, physical therapy, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If the history and physical examination suggest underlying pathology, radiography, complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and a C-reactive protein measurement should be performed. Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, or bone scanning may be needed depending on the suspected cause. It is generally accepted that the following factors warrant immediate evaluation: patient age younger than four years, persistent symptoms, self-imposed activity limitations, systemic symptoms, increasing discomfort, persistent night-time pain, and neurologic symptoms.
ABSTRACT: The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) determination is a commonly performed laboratory test with a time-honored role. However, the usefulness of this test has decreased as new methods of evaluating disease have been developed. The test remains helpful in the specific diagnosis of a few conditions, including temporal arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and, possibly, rheumatoid arthritis. It is useful in monitoring these conditions and may predict relapse in patients with Hodgkin's disease. Use of the ESR as a screening test to identify patients who have serious disease is not supported by the literature. Some studies suggest that the test may be useful as a "sickness index" in the elderly or as a screening tool for a few specific infections in certain settings. An extreme elevation of the ESR is strongly associated with serious underlying disease, most often infection, collagen vascular disease or metastatic malignancy. When an increased rate is encountered with no obvious clinical explanation, the physician should repeat the test after an appropriate interval rather than pursue an exhaustive search for occult disease.