Items in AFP with MESH term: Diagnostic Imaging
ABSTRACT: The American Urological Association (AUA) convened the Best Practice Policy Panel on Asymptomatic Microscopic Hematuria to formulate policy statements and recommendations for the evaluation of asymptomatic microhematuria in adults. The recommended definition of microscopic hematuria is three or more red blood cells per high-power microscopic field in urinary sediment from two of three properly collected urinalysis specimens. This definition accounts for some degree of hematuria in normal patients, as well as the intermittent nature of hematuria in patients with urologic malignancies. Asymptomatic microscopic hematuria has causes ranging from minor findings that do not require treatment to highly significant, life-threatening lesions. Therefore, the AUA recommends that an appropriate renal or urologic evaluation be performed in all patients with asymptomatic microscopic hematuria who are at risk for urologic disease or primary renal disease. At this time, there is no consensus on when to test for microscopic hematuria in the primary care setting, and screening is not addressed in this report. However, the AUA report suggests that the patient's history and physical examination should help the physician decide whether testing is appropriate.
Imaging of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms - Article
ABSTRACT: Given the high rate of morbidity and mortality associated with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), accurate diagnosis and preoperative evaluation are essential for improved patient outcomes. Ultrasonography is the standard method of screening and monitoring AAAs that have not ruptured. In the past, aortography was commonly used for preoperative planning in the repair of AAAs. More recently, computed tomography (CT) has largely replaced older, more invasive methods. Recent advances in CT imaging technology, such as helical CT and CT angiography, offer significant advantages over traditional CT. These methods allow for more rapid scans and can produce three-dimensional images of the AAA and important adjacent vascular structures. Use of endovascular stent grafts has increased recently and is less invasive for the repair of AAAs in selected cases. Aortography and CT angiography can precisely determine the size and surrounding anatomy of the AAA to identify appropriate candidates for the use of endovascular stent grafts. Helical CT and CT angiography represent an exciting future in the preoperative evaluation of AAAs. However, this technology is not the standard of care because of the lack of widespread availability, the cost associated with obtaining new equipment, and the lack of universal protocols necessary for acquisition and reconstruction of these images.
Neuroimaging in Low Back Pain - Article
ABSTRACT: Patients commonly present to family physicians with low back pain. Because the majority of patients fully or partially recover within six weeks, imaging studies are generally not recommended in the first month of acute low back pain. Exceptions include patients with suspected cauda equina syndrome, infection, tumor, fracture, or progressive neurologic deficit. Patients who do not improve within one month should obtain magnetic resonance imaging if a herniated disc is suspected. Computed tomographic scanning is useful in demonstrating osseous structures and their relations to the neural canal, and for assessment of fractures. Bone scans can be used to determine the extent of metastatic disease throughout the skeletal system. All imaging results should be correlated with the patient's signs and symptoms because of the high rate of positive imaging findings in asymptomatic persons.
Headaches in Children and Adolescents - Article
ABSTRACT: Headaches are common during childhood and become more common and increase in frequency during adolescence. The rational, cost-effective evaluation of children with headache begins with a careful history. The first step is to identify the temporal pattern of the headache--acute, acute-recurrent, chronic-progressive, chronic-nonprogressive, or mixed. The next step is a physical and neurologic examination focusing on the optic disc, eye movements, motor asymmetry, coordination, and reflexes. Neuroimaging is not routinely warranted in the evaluation of childhood headache and should be reserved for use in children with chronic-progressive patterns or abnormalities on neurologic examination. Once the headache diagnosis is established, management must be based on the frequency and severity of headache and the impact on the patient's lifestyle. Treatment of childhood migraine includes the intermittent use of oral analgesics and antiemetics and, occasionally, daily prophylactic agents. Often, the most important therapeutic intervention is confident reassurance about the absence of serious underlying neurologic disease.
Evaluation of Dysuria in Adults - Article
ABSTRACT: Dysuria, defined as pain, burning, or discomfort on urination, is more common in women than in men. Although urinary tract infection is the most frequent cause of dysuria, empiric treatment with antibiotics is not always appropriate. Dysuria occurs more often in younger women, probably because of their greater frequency of sexual activity. Older men are more likely to have dysuria because of an increased incidence of prostatic hyperplasia with accompanying inflammation and infection. A comprehensive history and physical examination can often reveal the cause of dysuria. Urinalysis may not be needed in healthier patients who have uncomplicated medical histories and symptoms. In most patients, however, urinalysis can help to determine the presence of infection and confirm a suspected diagnosis. Urine cultures and both urethral and vaginal smears and cultures can help to identify sites of infection and causative agents. Coliform organisms, notably Escherichia coli, are the most common pathogens in urinary tract infection. Dysuria can also be caused by noninfectious inflammation or trauma, neoplasm, calculi, hypoestrogenism, interstitial cystitis, or psychogenic disorders. Although radiography and other forms of imaging are rarely needed, these studies may identify abnormalities in the upper urinary tract when symptoms are more complex.
Hip Fractures in Adults - Article
ABSTRACT: Patients with hip fracture typically present to the emergency department or their physician's office after a fall. They are often unable to walk, and they may exhibit shortening and external rotation of the affected limb. Frequently, they have hip pain. In some instances, however, patients with hip fracture may complain only of vague pain in their buttocks, knees, thighs, groin, or back. Their ability to walk may be unaffected, and initial radiographic findings may be indeterminate. In these patients, additional studies, such as magnetic resonance imaging or bone scanning, may be necessary to confirm the presence of hip fracture. A high index of suspicion often is required for prompt diagnosis and treatment of an occult hip fracture. Even when a patient is able to walk and has no documented trauma, localized hip pain, or typical shortening and malrotation deformity, the family physician should be alert to the possibility of hip fracture, particularly in a patient who is older than 65 years, presents with nonspecific leg discomfort, and complains of difficulty bearing weight on the affected limb. A heightened suspicion for hip fracture should lead to further diagnostic evaluation, especially if the patient has additional risk factors, such as use of a complicated drug regimen, impaired vision, physical or neurologic impairment, or comorbid condition (e.g., osteoporosis, malignancy). When hip fracture is detected early, appropriate treatment can minimize morbidity and mortality and prevent the rapid decline in quality of life that often is associated with this injury.
ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis, an idiopathic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, is characterized pathologically by demyelination and subsequent axonal degeneration. The disease commonly presents in young adults and affects twice as many women as men. Common presenting symptoms include numbness, weakness, visual impairment, loss of balance, dizziness, urinary bladder urgency, fatigue, and depression. The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis should be made by a physician with experience in identifying the disease. Diagnosis should be based on objective evidence of two or more neurologic signs that are localized to the brain or spinal cord and are disseminated in time and space (i.e., occur in different parts of the central nervous system at least three months apart). Magnetic resonance imaging with gadolinium contrast, especially during or following a first attack, can be helpful in providing evidence of lesions in other parts of the brain and spinal cord. A second magnetic resonance scan may be useful at least three months after the initial attack to identify new lesions and provide evidence of dissemination over time. It is critical to exclude other diseases that can mimic multiple sclerosis, including vascular disease, spinal cord compression, vitamin B12 deficiency, central nervous system infection (e.g., Lyme disease, syphilis), and other inflammatory conditions (e.g., sarcoidosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, SjÃ¶gren's syndrome). Symptom-specific drugs can relieve spasticity, bladder dysfunction, depression, and fatigue. Five disease-modifying treatments for multiple sclerosis have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These treatments are partially effective in reducing exacerbations and may slow progression of disability.
ABSTRACT: A detailed history alone may lead to a specific diagnosis in approximately 70 percent of patients who have wrist pain. Patients who present with spontaneous onset of wrist pain, who have a vague or distant history of trauma, or whose activities consist of repetitive loading could be suffering from a carpal bone nonunion or from avascular necrosis. The hand and wrist can be palpated to localize tenderness to a specific anatomic structure. Special tests can help support specific diagnoses (e.g., Finkelstein's test, the grind test, the lunotriquetral shear test, McMurray's test, the supination lift test, Watson's test). When radiography is indicated, the posterior-anterior and lateral views are essential to evaluate the bony architecture and alignment, the width and symmetry of the joint spaces, and the soft tissues. When the diagnosis remains unclear, or when the clinical course does not improve with conservative measures, further imaging modalities are indicated, including ultrasonography, technetium bone scan, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. If all studies are negative and clinically significant wrist pain continues, the patient may need to be referred to a specialist for further evaluation, which may include cineroentgenography, diagnostic arthrography, or arthroscopy.
ABSTRACT: Although only 32,000 new cases of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas occur in the United States each year, it is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in this country. The overall five-year survival rate is 4 percent, and localized, resectable disease has only a 17 percent survival rate. Risk factors include smoking, certain familial cancer syndromes, and familial chronic pancreatitis. The link between risk of pancreatic cancer and other factors (e.g., diabetes, obesity) is less clear. Most patients present with obstructive jaundice caused by compression of the bile duct in the head of the pancreas. Epigastric or back pain, vague abdominal symptoms, and weight loss also are characteristic of pancreatic cancer. More than one half of cases have distant metastasis at diagnosis. Computed tomography is the most useful diagnostic and staging tool. Ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography may provide additional information. The majority of tumors are not surgically resectable because of metastasis and invasion of the major vessels posterior to the pancreas. Resectable tumors are treated with the Whipple procedure or the pylorus-preserving Whipple procedure. Adjuvant fluorouracil-based chemotherapy may prolong survival. For nonresectable tumors, chemotherapy with gemcitabine prolongs survival. Other agents are being studied. Radiation combined with chemotherapy has slowed progression in locally advanced cancers. Throughout the illness and during end-of-life care, patients need comprehensive symptom control.
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.