ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
The Adult Neck Mass - Article
ABSTRACT: Family physicians frequently encounter neck masses in adult patients. A careful medical history should be obtained, and a thorough physical examination should be performed. The patient's age and the location, size, and duration of the mass are important pieces of information. Inflammatory and infectious causes of neck masses, such as cervical adenitis and cat-scratch disease, are common in young adults. Congenital masses, such as branchial anomalies and thyroglossal duct cysts, must be considered in the differential diagnosis. Neoplasms (benign and malignant) are more likely to be present in older adults. Fine-needle aspiration and biopsy and contrast-enhanced computed tomographic scanning are the best techniques for evaluating these masses. An otolaryngology consultation for endoscopy and possible excisional biopsy should be obtained when a neck mass persists beyond four to six weeks after a single course of a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
Lymphadenopathy and Malignancy - Article
ABSTRACT: The majority of patients presenting with peripheral lymphadenopathy have easily identifiable causes that are benign or self-limited. Among primary care patients presenting with lymphadenopathy, the prevalence of malignancy has been estimated to be as low as 1.1 percent. The critical challenge for the primary care physician is to identify which cases are secondary to malignancies or other serious conditions. Key risk factors for malignancy include older age, firm, fixed nodal character, duration of greater than two weeks, and supraclavicular location. Knowledge of these risk factors is critical to determining the management of unexplained lymphadenopathy. In addition, a complete exposure history, review of associated symptoms, and a thorough regional examination help determine whether lymphadenopathy is of benign or malignant origin. Unexplained lymphadenopathy without signs or symptoms of serious disease or malignancy can be observed for one month, after which specific testing or biopsy should be performed. While modern hematopathologic technologies have improved the diagnostic yields of fine-needle aspiration, excisional biopsy remains the initial diagnostic procedure of choice. The overall evaluation of lymphadenopathy, with a focus on findings suggestive of malignancy, as well as an approach to the patient with unexplained lymphadenopathy, will be reviewed.
ABSTRACT: Although the finding of lymphadenopathy sometimes raises fears about serious illness, it is, in patients seen in primary care settings, usually a result of benign infectious causes. Most patients can be diagnosed on the basis of a careful history and physical examination. Localized adenopathy should prompt a search for an adjacent precipitating lesion and an examination of other nodal areas to rule out generalized lymphadenopathy. In general, lymph nodes greater than 1 cm in diameter are considered to be abnormal. Supraclavicular nodes are the most worrisome for malignancy. A three- to four-week period of observation is prudent in patients with localized nodes and a benign clinical picture. Generalized adenopathy should always prompt further clinical investigation. When a node biopsy is indicated, excisional biopsy of the most abnormal node will best enable the pathologist to determine a diagnosis.
ABSTRACT: Sporotrichoid lymphocutaneous infection is an uncommon syndrome that is often misdiagnosed and improperly treated. Of the several hundred cases seen each year in the United States, the majority are caused by Sporothrix schenckii, Nocardia brasiliensis, Mycobacterium marinum or Leishmania brasiliensis. The "sporotrichoid" disease begins at a site of distal inoculation and leads to the development of nodular lymphangitis. Systemic symptoms are characteristically absent. By recognizing the distinct pattern of nodular lymphangitis and focusing on the diverse but limited etiologies, the physician can obtain the appropriate histologic and microbiologic studies and start targeted antimicrobial therapy. Therapy is generally continued for two to three months after the resolution of cutaneous disease.