Items in AFP with MESH term: Chronic Disease

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What a Patient's Numbers Don't Tell - The Last Word


A Proactive Approach to Controlled Substance Refills - Feature


The Injured Ankle - Article

ABSTRACT: Ankle injuries are common presenting complaints in both emergency departments and family physicians' offices. Approximately 1 million ankle injuries occur annually in the United States; most of them are sprains resulting from inversion injuries. Treatment options differ according to the grade of injury--grade I and grade II sprains usually respond to rest and immobilization, while grade III sprains require casting or, possibly, surgery. A chronic "ankle" injury should prompt evaluation for other conditions, such as talar dome lesion. Most ankle injuries can be treated adequately in the family physician's office, although some of the more serious injuries should be referred to an orthopedic specialist for further evaluation.


Conjunctivitis - Article

ABSTRACT: Conjunctivitis refers to any inflammatory condition of the membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the exposed surface of the sclera. It is the most common cause of "red eye". The etiology can usually be determined by a careful history and an ocular examination, but culture is occasionally necessary to establish the diagnosis or to guide therapy. Conjunctivitis is commonly caused by bacteria and viruses. Neisseria infection should be suspected when severe, bilateral, purulent conjunctivitis is present in a sexually active adult or in a neonate three to five days postpartum. Conjunctivitis caused by Chlamydia trachomatis or Neisseria gonorrhoeae requires aggressive antibiotic therapy, but conjunctivitis due to other bacteria is usually self-limited. Chronic conjunctivitis is usually associated with blepharitis, recurrent styes or meibomianitis. Treatment requires good eyelid hygiene and the application of topical antibiotics as determined by culture. Allergic conjunctivitis is distinguished by severe itching and allergen exposure. This condition is generally treated with topical antihistamines, mast-cell stabilizers or anti-inflammatory agents.


Office Care of the Premature Infant: Part II. Common Medical and Surgical Problems - Article

ABSTRACT: Medical problems associated with prematurity are frequently complex, and a multidisciplinary approach is often required. Some common problems include the following: (1) anemia, which can be reduced by iron supplementation, (2) cerebral palsy or mental retardation as a result of intraventricular hemorrhage or periventricular leukomalacia, (3) respiratory problems, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia and apnea, (4) visual problems, such as those associated with retinopathy of prematurity, (5) gastroesophageal reflux and (6) surgical problems, including inguinal or umbilical hernia and cryptorchidism. Monitoring of growth and development includes recording the infant's head circumference, weight and length on a growth chart for premature infants. Nutritional status should be assessed at each visit, watching for hyperosmolar problems in infants receiving high-calorie formulas. Consultation with other specialists may be required if abnormalities are identified during follow-up care in the office.


Chronic Bronchitis: Primary Care Management - Article

ABSTRACT: Chronic bronchitis is a clinical diagnosis characterized by a cough productive of sputum for over three months' duration during two consecutive years and the presence of airflow obstruction. Pulmonary function testing aids in the diagnosis of chronic bronchitis by documenting the extent of reversibility of airflow obstruction. A better understanding of the role of inflammatory mediators in chronic bronchitis has led to greater emphasis on management of airway inflammation and relief of bronchospasm. Inhaled ipratropium bromide and sympathomimetic agents are the current mainstays of management. While theophylline has long been an important therapy, its use is limited by a narrow therapeutic range and interaction with other agents. Oral steroid therapy should be reserved for use in patients with demonstrated improvement in airflow not achievable with inhaled agents. Antibiotics play a role in acute exacerbations but have been shown to lead to only modest airflow improvement. Strengthening of the respiratory muscles, smoking cessation, supplemental oxygen, hydration and nutritional support also play key roles in long-term management of chronic bronchitis.


An Office Approach to the Diagnosis of Chronic Cough - Article

ABSTRACT: Chronic cough is a common problem in patients who visit family physicians. The three most common causes of chronic cough in those who are referred to pulmonary specialists are postnasal drip, asthma and gastroesophageal reflux. The initial treatment of patients with cough is often empiric and may involve a trial of decongestants, bronchodilators or histamine H2 antagonists, as monotherapy or in combination. If a therapeutic trial is not successful, sequential diagnostic testing including chest radiograph, purified protein derivative test for tuberculosis, computed tomography of the sinuses, methacholine challenge test or barium swallow may be indicated. By using a standard protocol for diagnosis and treatment, 90 percent of patients with chronic cough can be managed successfully in the family physician's office. However, in some cases it may take three to five months to determine a diagnosis and effective treatment. For the minority of patients in whom this diagnostic approach is unsuccessful, consultation with a pulmonary specialist is appropriate.


'Common' Uncommon Anemias - Article

ABSTRACT: Of the uncommon anemias, "common" types include the anemia of renal disease, thalassemia, myelodysplastic syndrome and the anemia of chronic disease. These conditions may be suggested by the clinical presentation, laboratory test values and peripheral blood smear, or by failure of the anemia to respond to iron supplements or nutrient replacement. The principal cause of the anemia of renal disease is a decreased production of red blood cells related to a relative deficiency of erythropoietin. When treatment is required, erythropoietin is administered, often with iron supplementation. In the anemia of chronic disease, impaired iron transport decreases red blood cell production. Treatment is predominantly directed at the underlying condition. Since iron stores are usually normal, iron administration is not beneficial. Thalassemia minor results from a congenital abnormality of hemoglobin synthesis. The disorder may masquerade as mild iron deficiency anemia, but iron therapy and transfusions are often not indicated. In the myelodysplastic syndrome, blood cell components fail to mature, and the condition may progress to acute nonlymphocytic leukemia. The rate of progression depends on the subtype of myelodysplasia, but the leukemia is usually resistant to therapy.


Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Diagnosis and Management - Article

ABSTRACT: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic, relapsing condition with associated morbidity and an adverse impact on quality of life. The disease is common, with an estimated lifetime prevalence of 25 to 35 percent in the U.S. population. GERD can usually be diagnosed based on the clinical presentation alone. In some patients, however, the diagnosis may require endoscopy and, rarely, ambulatory pH monitoring. Management includes lifestyle modifications and pharmacologic therapy; refractory disease requires surgery. The therapeutic goals are to control symptoms, heal esophagitis and maintain remission so that morbidity is decreased and quality of life is improved.


Urinary Tract Infections in Adults - Article

ABSTRACT: Urinary tract infections remain a significant cause of morbidity in all age groups. Recent studies have helped to better define the population groups at risk for these infections, as well as the most cost-effective management strategies. Initially, a urinary tract infection should be categorized as complicated or uncomplicated. Further categorization of the infection by clinical syndrome and by host (i.e., acute cystitis in young women, acute pyelonephritis, catheter-related infection, infection in men, asymptomatic bacteriuria in the elderly) helps the physician determine the appropriate diagnostic and management strategies. Uncomplicated urinary tract infections are caused by a predictable group of susceptible organisms. These infections can be empirically treated without the need for urine cultures. The most effective therapy for an uncomplicated infection is a three-day course of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Complicated infections are diagnosed by quantitative urine cultures and require a more prolonged course of therapy. Asymptomatic bacteriuria rarely requires treatment and is not associated with increased morbidity in elderly patients.


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