Items in AFP with MESH term: Physical Examination

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Assessing Oral Malignancies - Article

ABSTRACT: Oral cancers account for approximately 3 percent of all cases of cancer in the United States. An estimated 30,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and about one half of them will eventually die of the disease. The most common type of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. Sixty percent of oral cancers are well advanced by the time they are detected, even though physicians and dentists frequently examine the oral cavity. The two most important risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption. The keys to reducing mortality are prevention and control. The earlier any intraoral or extraoral abnormalities or lesions are detected and biopsied, the more lives can be saved. Controversy exists whether screening programs effectively reduce the mortality rate. Specific step-by-step guidelines should be followed to perform an adequate examination of the head and neck.


The Newborn Examination: Part I. Emergencies and Common Abnormalities Involving the Skin, Head, Neck, Chest, and Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems - Article

ABSTRACT: The routine newborn assessment should include an examination for size, macrocephaly or microcephaly, changes in skin color, signs of birth trauma, malformations, evidence of respiratory distress, level of arousal, posture, tone, presence of spontaneous movements, and symmetry of movements. A newborn with one anatomic malformation should be evaluated for associated anomalies. Total and direct bilirubin levels should be measured in newborns with jaundice, and a complete blood count should be obtained in those with pallor or a ruddy complexion. Neurosurgical consultation is necessary in infants with craniosynostosis accompanied by restricted brain growth or hydrocephalus, cephaloceles, or exophytic scalp nodules. Neck masses can be identified by their location and include vascular malformations, abnormal lymphatic tissue, teratomas, and dermoid cysts. Most facial nerve palsies resolve spontaneously. Conjunctivitis is relatively common in newborns. Infants with chest abnormalities may need to be evaluated for Poland's syndrome or Turner's syndrome. Murmurs in the immediate newborn period are usually innocent and represent a transition from fetal to neonatal circulation. Because cyanosis is primarily secondary to respiratory or cardiac causes, affected newborns should be evaluated expeditiously, with the involvement of a cardiologist or neonatologist.


Valvular Heart Disease: Review and Update - Article

ABSTRACT: People with valvular heart disease are living longer, with less morbidity, than ever before. Advances in surgical techniques and a better understanding of timing for surgical intervention account for increased rates of survival. Echocardiography remains the gold standard for diagnosis and periodic assessment of patients with valvular heart disease. Generally, patients with stenotic valvular lesions can be monitored clinically until symptoms appear. In contrast, patients with regurgitant valvular lesions require careful echocardiographic monitoring for left ventricular function and may require surgery even if no symptoms are present. Aside from antibiotic prophylaxis, very little medical therapy is available for patients with valvular heart disease; surgery is the treatment for most symptomatic lesions or for lesions causing left ventricular dysfunction even in the absence of symptoms.


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.


Promoting and Prescribing Exercise in the Elderly - Article

ABSTRACT: Regular exercise provides a myriad of health benefits in older adults, including improvements in blood pressure, diabetes, lipid profile, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and neurocognitive function. Regular physical activity is also associated with decreased mortality and age-related morbidity in older adults. Despite this, up to 75 percent of older Americans are insufficiently active to achieve these health benefits. Few contraindications to exercise exist and almost all older persons can benefit from additional physical activity. The exercise prescription consists of three components: aerobic exercise, strength training, and balance and flexibility. Physicians play a key role in motivating older patients and advising them regarding their physical limitations and/or comorbidities. Motivating patients to begin exercise is best achieved by focusing on individual patient goals, concerns, and barriers to exercise. Strategies include the "stages of change" model, individualized behavioral therapy, and an active lifestyle. To increase long-term compliance, the exercise prescription should be straightforward, fun, and geared toward a patient's individual health needs, beliefs, and goals.


The Newborn Examination: Part II. Emergencies and Common Abnormalities Involving the Abdomen. Pelvis, Extremities, Genitalia, and Spine - Article

ABSTRACT: Careful examination of the neonate at delivery can detect anomalies, birth injuries, and disorders that may compromise successful adaptation to extrauterine life. A newborn with one anatomic malformation should be evaluated for associated anomalies. If a newborn is found to have an abdominal wall defect, management includes the application of a warm, moist, and sterile dressing over the defect, decompression of the gastrointestinal tract, aggressive fluid resuscitation, antibiotic therapy, and prompt surgical consultation. Hydroceles are managed conservatively, but inguinal hernias require surgical repair. A newborn with developmental hip dysplasia should be evaluated by an orthopedist, and treatment may require use of a Pavlik harness. The presence of ambiguous genitalia is a medical emergency, and pituitary and adrenal integrity must be established. Early diagnosis of spinal lesions is imperative because surgical correction can prevent irreversible neurologic damage.


Evaluation and Treatment of Women with Hirsutism - Article

ABSTRACT: Hirsutism is a common disorder, often resulting from conditions that are not life-threatening. It may signal more serious clinical pathology, and clinical evaluation should differentiate benign causes from tumors or other conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, late-onset adrenal hyperplasia, and Cushing's syndrome. Laboratory testing should be based on the patient's history and physical findings, but screening for levels of serum testosterone and 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone is sufficient in most cases. Women with irregular menses and hirsutism should be screened for thyroid dysfunction and prolactin disorders. Pharmacologic and/or nonpharmacologic treatments may be used. Advances in laser hair removal methods and topical hair growth retardants offer new options. The use of insulin-sensitizing agents may be useful in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.


Medical Care for Obese Patients: Advice for Health Care Professionals - Article

ABSTRACT: More than 60 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, and obese persons are more likely to be ill than those who are not. Obesity presents challenges to physicians and patients and also has a negative impact on health status. Some patients who are obese may delay medical care because of concerns about disparagement by physicians and health care staff, or fear of being weighed. Simple accommodations, such as providing large-sized examination gowns and armless chairs, as well as weighing patients in a private area, may make the medical setting more accessible and more comfortable for obese patients. Extremely obese patients often have special health needs, such as lower extremity edema or respiratory insufficiency that require targeted evaluation and treatment. Although physical examination may be more difficult in obese patients, their disproportionate risk for some illnesses that are amenable to early detection increases the priority for preventive evaluations. Physicians can encourage improvements in healthy behaviors, regardless of the patient's desire for, or success with, weight loss treatment.


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.


Acute Dyspnea in the Office - Article

ABSTRACT: Respiratory difficulty is a common presenting complaint in the outpatient primary care setting. Because patients may first seek care by calling their physician's office, telephone triage plays a role in the early management of dyspnea. Once the patient is in the office, the initial goal of assessment is to determine the severity of the dyspnea with respect to the need for oxygenation and intubation. Unstable patients typically present with abnormal vital signs, altered mental status, hypoxia, or unstable arrhythmia, and require supplemental oxygen, intravenous access and, possibly, intubation. Subsequent management depends on the differential diagnosis established by a proper history, physical examination, and ancillary studies. Dyspnea is most commonly caused by respiratory and cardiac disorders. Other causes may be upper airway obstruction, metabolic acidosis, a psychogenic disorder, or a neuromuscular condition. Differential diagnoses in children include bronchiolitis, croup, epiglottitis, and foreign body aspiration. Pertinent history findings include cough, sore throat, chest pain, edema, and orthopnea. The physical examination should focus on vital signs and the heart, lungs, neck, and lower extremities. Significant physical signs are fever, rales, wheezing, cyanosis, stridor, or absent breath sounds. Diagnostic work-up includes pulse oximetry, complete blood count, electrocardiography, and chest radiography. If the patient is admitted to the emergency department or hospital, blood gases, ventilation-perfusion scan, D-dimer tests, and spiral computed tomography can help clarify the diagnosis. In a stable patient, management depends on the underlying etiology of the dyspnea.


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