Items in AFP with MESH term: Pain

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Radiologic Evaluation of Chronic Foot Pain - Article

ABSTRACT: Chronic foot pain is a common and often disabling clinical complaint that can interfere with a patient's routine activities. Despite careful and detailed clinical history and physical examination, providing an accurate diagnosis is often difficult because chronic foot pain has a broad spectrum of potential causes. Therefore, imaging studies play a key role in diagnosis and management. Initial assessment is typically done by plain radiography; however, magnetic resonance imaging has superior soft-tissue contrast resolution and multiplanar capability, which makes it important in the early diagnosis of ambiguous or clinically equivocal cases when initial radiographic findings are inconclusive. Computed tomography displays bony detail in stress fractures, as well as in arthritides and tarsal coalition. Bone scanning and ultrasonography also are useful tools for diagnosing specific conditions that produce chronic foot pain.


Chronic Pancreatitis - Article

ABSTRACT: Chronic pancreatitis is the progressive and permanent destruction of the pancreas resulting in exocrine and endocrine insufficiency and, often, chronic disabling pain. The etiology is multifactorial. Alcoholism plays a significant role in adults, whereas genetic and structural defects predominate in children. The average age at diagnosis is 35 to 55 years. Morbidity and mortality are secondary to chronic pain and complications (e.g., diabetes, pancreatic cancer). Contrast-enhanced computed tomography is the radiographic test of choice for diagnosis, with ductal calcifications being pathognomonic. Newer modalities, such as endoscopic ultrasonography and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, provide diagnostic results similar to those of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Management begins with lifestyle modifications (e.g., cessation of alcohol and tobacco use) and dietary changes followed by analgesics and pancreatic enzyme supplementation. Before proceeding with endoscopic or surgical interventions, physicians and patients should weigh the risks and benefits of each procedure. Therapeutic endoscopy is indicated for symptomatic or complicated pseudocyst, biliary obstruction, and decompression of pancreatic duct. Surgical procedures include decompression for large duct disease (pancreatic duct dilatation of 7 mm or more) and resection for small duct disease. Lateral pancreaticojejunostomy is the most commonly performed surgery in patients with large duct disease. Pancreatoduodenectomy is indicated for the treatment of chronic pancreatitis with pancreatic head enlargement. Patients with chronic pancreatitis are at increased risk of pancreatic neoplasm; regular surveillance is sometimes advocated, but formal guidelines and evidence of clinical benefit are lacking.


Multiple Myeloma: Diagnosis and Treatment - Article

ABSTRACT: Multiple myeloma, the most common bone malignancy, is occurring with increasing frequency in older persons. Typical symptoms are bone pain, malaise, anemia, renal insufficiency, and hypercalcemia. Incidental discovery on comprehensive laboratory panels is common. The disease is diagnosed with serum or urine protein electrophoresis or immunofixation and bone marrow aspirate analysis. Skeletal radiographs are important in staging multiple myeloma and revealing lytic lesions, vertebral compression fractures, and osteoporosis. Magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography or computed tomography are emerging as useful tools in the evaluation of patients with myeloma; magnetic resonance imaging is preferred for evaluating acute spinal compression. Nuclear bone scans and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry have no role in the diagnosis and staging of myeloma. The differential diagnosis of monoclonal gammopathies includes monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance, smoldering (asymptomatic) and symptomatic multiple myeloma, amyloidosis, B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Waldenström macroglobulinemia, and rare plasma cell leukemia and heavy chain diseases. Patients with monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance or smoldering multiple myeloma should be followed closely, but not treated. Symptomatic multiple myeloma is treated with chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation, if possible. Melphalan, prednisolone, dexamethasone, vincristine, doxorubicin, bortezomib, and thalidomide and its analogue lenalidomide have been used successfully. It is important that family physicians recognize and appropriately treat multiple myeloma complications. Bone pain is treated with opiates, bisphosphonates, radiotherapy, vertebroplasty, or kyphoplasty; nephrotoxic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided. Hypercalcemia is treated with isotonic saline infusions, steroids, furosemide, or bisphosphonates. Because of susceptibility to infections, patients require broad-spectrum antibiotics for febrile illness and immunization against influenza, pneumococcus, and Haemophilus influenzae B. Five-year survival rates approach 33 percent, and the median survival rate is 33 months.


Pharmacologic Pearls for End-of-Life Care - Article

ABSTRACT: As death approaches, a gradual shift in emphasis from curative and life prolonging therapies toward palliative therapies can relieve significant medical burdens and maintain a patient's dignity and comfort. Pain and dyspnea are treated based on severity, with stepped interventions, primarily opioids. Common adverse effects of opioids, such as constipation, must be treated proactively; other adverse effects, such as nausea and mental status changes, usually dissipate with time. Parenteral methylnaltrexone can be considered for intractable cases of opioid bowel dysfunction. Tumor-related bowel obstruction can be managed with corticosteroids and octreotide. Therapy for nausea and vomiting should be targeted to the underlying cause; low-dose haloperidol is often effective. Delirium should be prevented with normalization of environment or managed medically. Excessive respiratory secretions can be treated with reassurance and, if necessary, drying of secretions to prevent the phenomenon called the "death rattle." There is always something more that can be done for comfort, no matter how dire a situation appears to be. Good management of physical symptoms allows patients and loved ones the space to work out unfinished emotional, psychological, and spiritual issues, and, thereby, the opportunity to find affirmation at life's end.


Symptom Management at the End of Life - Editorials


Challenges in Pain Management at the End of Life - Article

ABSTRACT: Effective pain management in the terminally ill patient requires an understanding of pain control strategies. Ongoing assessment of pain is crucial and can be accomplished using various forms and scales. It is also important to determine if the pain is nociceptive (somatic or visceral pain) or neuropathic (continuous dysesthesias or chronic lancinating or paroxysmal pain). Nociceptive pain can usually be controlled with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs or corticosteroids, whereas neuropathic pain responds to tricyclic antidepressants or anticonvulsants. Relief of breakthrough pain requires the administration of an immediate-release analgesic medication. If a significant amount of medication for breakthrough pain is already being given, the baseline dose of sustained-release analgesic medication should be increased. If pain does not respond to one analgesic medication, physicians should use an equianalgesic dose chart when changing the medication or route of administration. Opioid rotation can be used if pain can no longer be controlled on a specific regimen. The impact of unresolved psychosocial or spiritual issues on pain management may need to be addressed.


Antidepressants and Antiepileptic Drugs for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain - Article

ABSTRACT: The development of newer classes of antidepressants and second-generation antiepileptic drugs has created unprecedented opportunities for the treatment of chronic pain. These drugs modulate pain transmission by interacting with specific neurotransmitters and ion channels. The actions of antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs differ in neuropathic and non-neuropathic pain, and agents within each medication class have varying degrees of efficacy. Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, nortriptyline, desipramine) and certain novel antidepressants (i.e., bupropion, venlafaxine, duloxetine) are effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain. The analgesic effect of these drugs is independent of their antidepressant effect and appears strongest in agents with mixed-receptor or predominantly noradrenergic activity, rather than serotoninergic activity. First-generation antiepileptic drugs (i.e., carbamazepine, phenytoin) and second-generation antiepileptic drugs (e.g., gabapentin, pregabalin) are effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain. The efficacy of antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs in the treatment of neuropathic pain is comparable; tolerability also is comparable, but safety and side effect profiles differ. Tricyclic antidepressants are the most cost-effective agents, but second-generation antiepileptic drugs are associated with fewer safety concerns in elderly patients. Tricyclic antidepressants have documented (although limited) efficacy in the treatment of fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. Recent evidence suggests that duloxetine and pregabalin have modest efficacy in patients with fibromyalgia.


A Clinical Approach to Diagnosing Wrist Pain - Article

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.


Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in Children: Part II. Rheumatic Causes - Article

ABSTRACT: Primary care physicians should have a working knowledge of rheumatic diseases of childhood that manifest primarily as musculoskeletal pain. Children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can present with painless joint inflammation and may have normal results on rheumatologic tests. Significant morbidity may result from associated painless uveitis, and children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis should be screened by an ophthalmologist. The spondyloarthropathies (including juvenile ankylosing spondylitis and reactive arthritis) often cause enthesitis, and patients typically have positive results on a human leukocyte antigen B27 test and negative results on an antinuclear antibody test. Patients with acute rheumatic fever present with migratory arthritis two to three weeks after having untreated group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis. Henoch-Schbnlein purpura may manifest as arthritis before the classic purpuric rash appears. Systemic lupus erythematosus is rare in childhood but may cause significant morbidity and mortality if not treated early. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy may be useful early interventions if a rheumatic illness is suspected. Family physicians should refer children when the diagnosis is in question or subspecialty treatment is required. Part I of this series discusses an approach to diagnosis with judicious use of laboratory and radiologic testing.


Chronic Nonmalignant Pain in Primary Care - Article

ABSTRACT: A systematic approach to chronic nonmalignant pain includes a comprehensive evaluation; a treatment plan determined by the diagnosis and mechanisms underlying the pain; patient education; and realistic goal setting. The main goal of treatment is to improve quality of life while decreasing pain. An initial comprehensive pain assessment is essential in developing a treatment plan that addresses the physical, social, functional, and psychological needs of the patient. One obstacle to appropriate pain management is managing the adverse effects of medication. Opioids pose challenges with abuse, addiction, diversion, lack of knowledge, concerns about adverse effects, and fears of regulatory scrutiny. These challenges may be overcome by adherence to the Federation of State Medical Boards guidelines, use of random urine drug screening, monitoring for aberrant behaviors, and anticipating adverse effects. When psychiatric comorbidities are present, risk of substance abuse is high and pain management may require specialized treatment or consultation. Referral to a pain management specialist can be helpful.


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