Items in AFP with MESH term: Glucocorticoids
Long-Acting Beta2 Agonists as Steroid-Sparing Agents - Cochrane for Clinicians
Acute Red Eye - Photo Quiz
ABSTRACT: Red eye is the cardinal sign of ocular inflammation. The condition is usually benign and can be managed by primary care physicians. Conjunctivitis is the most common cause of red eye. Other common causes include blepharitis, corneal abrasion, foreign body, subconjunctival hemorrhage, keratitis, iritis, glaucoma, chemical burn, and scleritis. Signs and symptoms of red eye include eye discharge, redness, pain, photophobia, itching, and visual changes. Generally, viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are self-limiting conditions, and serious complications are rare. Because there is no specific diagnostic test to differentiate viral from bacterial conjunctivitis, most cases are treated using broad-spectrum antibiotics. Allergies or irritants also may cause conjunctivitis. The cause of red eye can be diagnosed through a detailed patient history and careful eye examination, and treatment is based on the underlying etiology. Recognizing the need for emergent referral to an ophthalmologist is key in the primary care management of red eye. Referral is necessary when severe pain is not relieved with topical anesthetics; topical steroids are needed; or the patient has vision loss, copious purulent discharge, corneal involvement, traumatic eye injury, recent ocular surgery, distorted pupil, herpes infection, or recurrent infections.
Management of COPD Exacerbations - Article
ABSTRACT: Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease contribute to the high mortality rate associated with the disease. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of multiple interventions. The first step in outpatient management should be to increase the dosage of inhaled short-acting bronchodilators. Combining ipratropium and albuterol is beneficial in relieving dyspnea. Oral corticosteroids are likely beneficial, especially for patients with purulent sputum. The use of antibiotics reduces the risk of treatment failure and mortality in moderately or severely ill patients. Physicians should consider antibiotics for patients with purulent sputum and for patients who have inadequate symptom relief with bronchodilators and corticosteroids. The choice of antibiotic should be guided by local resistance patterns and the patient's recent history of antibiotic use. Hospitalized patients with exacerbations should receive regular doses of short-acting bronchodilators, continuous supplemental oxygen, antibiotics, and systemic corticosteroids. Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation or invasive mechanical ventilation is indicated in patients with worsening acidosis or hypoxemia.
Topical Treatments for Chronic Plaque Psoriasis - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: Contact dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin condition characterized by erythematous and pruritic skin lesions that occur after contact with a foreign substance. There are two forms of contact dermatitis: irritant and allergic. Irritant contact dermatitis is caused by the non–immune-modulated irritation of the skin by a substance, leading to skin changes. Allergic contact dermatitis is a delayed hypersensitivity reaction in which a foreign substance comes into contact with the skin; skin changes occur after reexposure to the substance. The most common substances that cause contact dermatitis include poison ivy, nickel, and fragrances. Contact dermatitis usually leads to erythema and scaling with visible borders. Itching and discomfort may also occur. Acute cases may involve a dramatic flare with erythema, vesicles, and bullae; chronic cases may involve lichen with cracks and fissures. When a possible causative substance is known, the first step in confirming the diagnosis is determining whether the problem resolves with avoidance of the substance. Localized acute allergic contact dermatitis lesions are successfully treated with mid- or high-potency topical steroids, such as triamcinolone 0.1% or clobetasol 0.05%. If allergic contact dermatitis involves an extensive area of skin (greater than 20 percent), systemic steroid therapy is often required and offers relief within 12 to 24 hours. In patients with severe rhus dermatitis, oral prednisone should be tapered over two to three weeks because rapid discontinuation of steroids can cause rebound dermatitis. If treatment fails and the diagnosis or specific allergen remains unknown, patch testing should be performed.
ABSTRACT: Altitude illness affects 25 to 85 percent of travelers to high altitudes, depending on their rate of ascent, home altitude, individual susceptibility, and other risk factors. Acute mountain sickness is the most common presentation of altitude illness and typically causes headache and malaise within six to 12 hours of gaining altitude. It may progress to high-altitude cerebral edema in some persons. Onset is heralded by worsening symptoms of acute mountain sickness, progressing to ataxia and eventually to coma and death if not treated. High-altitude pulmonary edema is uncommon, but is the leading cause of altitude illness–related death. It may appear in otherwise healthy persons and may progress rapidly with cough, dyspnea, and frothy sputum. Slow ascent is the most important measure to prevent the onset of altitude illness. If this is not possible, or if symptoms occur despite slow ascent, acetazolamide or dexamethasone may be used for prophylaxis or treatment of acute mountain sickness. Descent is mandatory for all persons with high-altitude cerebral or pulmonary edema. Patients with stable coronary and pulmonary disease may travel to high altitudes but are at risk of exacerbation of these illnesses. Medical management is prudent in these patients.
Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis - Article
ABSTRACT: Knee osteoarthritis is a common disabling condition that affects more than one-third of persons older than 65 years. Exercise, weight loss, physical therapy, intra-articular corticosteroid injections, and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and braces or heel wedges decrease pain and improve function. Acetaminophen, glucosamine, ginger, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e), capsaicin cream, topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acupuncture, and tai chi may offer some benefit. Tramadol has a poor trade-off between risks and benefits and is not routinely recommended. Opioids are being used more often in patients with moderate to severe pain or diminished quality of life, but patients receiving these drugs must be carefully selected and monitored because of the inherent adverse effects. Intra-articular corticosteroid injections are effective, but evidence for injection of hyaluronic acid is mixed. Arthroscopic surgery has been shown to have no benefit in knee osteoarthritis. Total joint arthroplasty of the knee should be considered when conservative symptomatic management is ineffective.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Lichen Planus - Article
ABSTRACT: Lichen planus is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease that affects the skin, oral mucosa, genital mucosa, scalp, and nails. Lichen planus lesions are described using the six P’s (planar [flat-topped], purple, polygonal, pruritic, papules, plaques). Onset is usually acute, affecting the flexor surfaces of the wrists, forearms, and legs. The lesions are often covered by lacy, reticular, white lines known as Wickham striae. Classic cases of lichen planus may be diagnosed clinically, but a 4-mm punch biopsy is often helpful and is required for more atypical cases. High-potency topical corticosteroids are first-line therapy for all forms of lichen planus, including cutaneous, genital, and mucosal erosive lesions. In addition to clobetasol, topical tacrolimus appears to be an effective treatment for vulvovaginal lichen planus. Topical corticosteroids are also first-line therapy for mucosal erosive lichen planus. Systemic corticosteroids should be considered for severe, widespread lichen planus involving oral, cutaneous, or genital sites. Referral to a dermatologist for systemic therapy with acitretin (an expensive and toxic oral retinoid) or an oral immunosuppressant should be considered for patients with severe lichen planus that does not respond to topical treatment. Lichen planus may resolve spontaneously within one to two years, although recurrences are common. However, lichen planus on mucous membranes may be more persistent and resistant to treatment.