Items in AFP with MESH term: Physical Examination
ABSTRACT: Approximately 1 percent of primary care office visits are for chest pain, and 1.5 percent of these patients will have unstable angina or acute myocardial infarction. The initial goal in patients presenting with chest pain is to determine if the patient needs to be referred for further testing to rule in or out acute coronary syndrome and myocardial infarction. The physician should consider patient characteristics and risk factors to help determine initial risk. Twelve-lead electrocardiography is typically the test of choice when looking for ST segment changes, new-onset left bundle branch block, presence of Q waves, and new-onset T wave inversions. For persons in whom the suspicion for ischemia is lower, other diagnoses to consider include chest wall pain/costochondritis (localized pain reproducible by palpation), gastroesophageal reflux disease (burning retrosternal pain, acid regurgitation, and a sour or bitter taste in the mouth), and panic disorder/anxiety state. Other less common but important diagnostic considerations include pneumonia (fever, egophony, and dullness to percussion), heart failure, pulmonary embolism (consider using the Wells criteria), acute pericarditis, and acute thoracic aortic dissection (acute chest or back pain with a pulse differential in the upper extremities). Persons with a higher likelihood of acute coronary syndrome should be referred to the emergency department or hospital.
ABSTRACT: Preoperative testing (e.g., chest radiography, electrocardiography, laboratory testing, urinalysis) is often performed before surgical procedures. These investigations can be helpful to stratify risk, direct anesthetic choices, and guide postoperative management, but often are obtained because of protocol rather than medical necessity. The decision to order preoperative tests should be guided by the patient’s clinical history, comorbidities, and physical examination findings. Patients with signs or symptoms of active cardiovascular disease should be evaluated with appropriate testing, regardless of their preoperative status. Electrocardiography is recommended for patients undergoing high-risk surgery and those undergoing intermediate-risk surgery who have additional risk factors. Patients undergoing low-risk surgery do not require electrocardiography. Chest radiography is reasonable for patients at risk of postoperative pulmonary complications if the results would change perioperative management. Preoperative urinalysis is recommended for patients undergoing invasive urologic procedures and those undergoing implantation of foreign material. Electrolyte and creatinine testing should be performed in patients with underlying chronic disease and those taking medications that predispose them to electrolyte abnormalities or renal failure. Random glucose testing should be performed in patients at high risk of undiagnosed diabetes mellitus. In patients with diagnosed diabetes, A1C testing is recommended only if the result would change perioperative management. A complete blood count is indicated for patients with diseases that increase the risk of anemia or patients in whom significant perioperative blood loss is anticipated. Coagulation studies are reserved for patients with a history of bleeding or medical conditions that predispose them to bleeding, and for those taking anticoagulants. Patients in their usual state of health who are undergoing cataract surgery do not require preoperative testing.
ABSTRACT: Patients with wrist pain commonly present with an acute injury or spontaneous onset of pain without a definite traumatic event. A fall onto an outstretched hand can lead to a scaphoid fracture, which is the most commonly fractured carpal bone. Conventional radiography alone can miss up to 30 percent of scaphoid fractures. Specialized views (e.g., posteroanterior in ulnar deviation, pronated oblique) and repeat radiography in 10 to 14 days can improve sensitivity for scaphoid fractures. If a suspected scaphoid fracture cannot be confirmed with plain radiography, a bone scan or magnetic resonance imaging can be used. Subacute or chronic wrist pain usually develops gradually with or without a prior traumatic event. In these cases, the differential diagnosis is wide and includes tendinopathy and nerve entrapment. Overuse of the muscles of the forearm and wrist may lead to tendinopathy. Radial pain involving mostly the first extensor compartment is commonly de Quervain tenosynovitis. The diagnosis is based on history and examination findings of a positive Finkelstein test and a negative grind test. Nerve entrapment at the wrist presents with pain and also with sensory and sometimes motor symptoms. In ulnar neuropathies of the wrist, the typical presentation is wrist discomfort with sensory changes in the fourth and fifth digits. Activities that involve repetitive or prolonged wrist extension, such as cycling, karate, and baseball (specifically catchers), may increase the risk of ulnar neuropathy. Electrodiagnostic tests identify the area of nerve entrapment and the extent of the pathology.
Diagnosis of Urinary Incontinence - Article
ABSTRACT: Urinary incontinence is common, increases in prevalence with age, and affects quality of life for men and women. The initial evaluation occurs in the family physician’s office and generally does not require urologic or gynecologic evaluation. The basic workup is aimed at identifying possible reversible causes. If no reversible cause is identified, then the incontinence is considered chronic. The next step is to determine the type of incontinence (urge, stress, overflow, mixed, or functional) and the urgency with which it should be treated. These determinations are made using a patient questionnaire, such as the 3 Incontinence Questions, an assessment of other medical problems that may contribute to incontinence, a discussion of the effect of symptoms on the patient’s quality of life, a review of the patient’s completed voiding diary, a physical examination, and, if stress incontinence is suspected, a cough stress test. Other components of the evaluation include laboratory tests and measurement of postvoid residual urine volume. If the type of urinary incontinence is still not clear, or if red flags such as hematuria, obstructive symptoms, or recurrent urinary tract infections are present, referral to a urologist or urogynecologist should be considered.
Approach to Acute Headache in Adults - Article
ABSTRACT: Approximately one-half of the adult population worldwide is affected by a headache disorder. The International Headache Society classification and diagnostic criteria can help physicians differentiate primary headaches (e.g., tension, migraine, cluster) from secondary headaches (e.g., those caused by infection or vascular disease). A thorough history and physical examination, and an understanding of the typical features of primary headaches, can reduce the need for neuroimaging, lumbar puncture, or other studies. Some red flag signs and symptoms identified in the history or during a physical examination can indicate serious underlying pathology and will require neuroimaging or other testing to evaluate the cause of headache. Red flag signs and symptoms include focal neurologic signs, papilledema, neck stiffness, an immunocompromised state, sudden onset of the worst headache in the patient’s life, personality changes, headache after trauma, and headache that is worse with exercise. If an intracranial hemorrhage is suspected, head computed tomography without contrast media is recommended. For most other dangerous causes of headache, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography is acceptable.
Edema: Diagnosis and Management - Article
ABSTRACT: Edema is an accumulation of fluid in the interstitial space that occurs as the capillary filtration exceeds the limits of lymphatic drainage, producing noticeable clinical signs and symptoms. The rapid development of generalized pitting edema associated with systemic disease requires timely diagnosis and management. The chronic accumulation of edema in one or both lower extremities often indicates venous insufficiency, especially in the presence of dependent edema and hemosiderin deposition. Skin care is crucial in preventing skin breakdown and venous ulcers. Eczematous (stasis) dermatitis can be managed with emollients and topical steroid creams. Patients who have had deep venous thrombosis should wear compression stockings to prevent postthrombotic syndrome. If clinical suspicion for deep venous thrombosis remains high after negative results are noted on duplex ultrasonography, further investigation may include magnetic resonance venography to rule out pelvic or thigh proximal venous thrombosis or compression. Obstructive sleep apnea may cause bilateral leg edema even in the absence of pulmonary hypertension. Brawny, nonpitting skin with edema characterizes lymphedema, which can present in one or both lower extremities. Possible secondary causes of lymphedema include tumor, trauma, previous pelvic surgery, inguinal lymphadenectomy, and previous radiation therapy. Use of pneumatic compression devices or compression stockings may be helpful in these cases.
Childhood Eye Examination - Article
ABSTRACT: Vision screening in children is an ongoing process, with components that should occur at each well-child visit. The purpose is to detect risk factors and visual abnormalities that necessitate treatment and to identify those patients who require referral to an ophthalmologist skilled in examining children. Screening can reveal conditions commonly treated in primary care and can aid in discussion of visual concerns with parents or caregivers. Vision screening begins with a review of family and personal vision history to identify risk factors requiring referral, including premature birth, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and a family history of strabismus, amblyopia, retinoblastoma, childhood glaucoma, childhood cataracts, or ocular or genetic systemic disease. Visual acuity measurement and external ocular examination are performed to recognize refractive error, childhood glaucoma, and various ocular conditions. Evaluation of fixation and alignment can identify amblyopia or strabismus. Red reflex examination is used to diagnose retinoblastoma, childhood cataracts, and other ocular abnormalities.
ABSTRACT: Although amenorrhea may result from a number of different conditions, a systematic evaluation including a detailed history, physical examination, and laboratory assessment of selected serum hormone levels can usually identify the underlying cause. Primary amenorrhea, which by definition is failure to reach menarche, is often the result of chromosomal irregularities leading to primary ovarian insufficiency (e.g., Turner syndrome) or anatomic abnormalities (e.g., Müllerian agenesis). Secondary amenorrhea is defined as the cessation of regular menses for three months or the cessation of irregular menses for six months. Most cases of secondary amenorrhea can be attributed to polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothalamic amenorrhea, hyperprolactinemia, or primary ovarian insufficiency. Pregnancy should be excluded in all cases. Initial workup of primary and secondary amenorrhea includes a pregnancy test and serum levels of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, prolactin, and thyroid-stimulating hormone. Patients with primary ovarian insufficiency can maintain unpredictable ovarian function and should not be presumed infertile. Patients with hypothalamic amenorrhea should be evaluated for eating disorders and are at risk for decreased bone density. Patients with polycystic ovary syndrome are at risk for glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and other aspects of metabolic syndrome. Patients with Turner syndrome (or variant) should be treated by a physician familiar with the appropriate screening and treatment measures. Treatment goals for patients with amenorrhea may vary considerably, and depend on the patient and the specific diagnosis.
ABSTRACT: Approximately 3 million work-related injuries were reported by private industries in 2011, and primary care physicians provided care for approximately one out of four injured workers. To appropriately individualize the treatment of an injured worker and expedite the return to work process, primary care physicians need to be familiar with the workers’ compensation system and treatment guidelines. Caring for an injured worker begins with a medical history documenting preexisting medical conditions, use of potentially impairing medications and substances, baseline functional status, and psychosocial factors. An understanding of past and current work tasks is critical and can be obtained through patient-completed forms, job analyses, and the patient’s employer. Return to work in some capacity is an important part of the recovery process. It should not be unnecessarily delayed and should be an expected outcome communicated to the patient during the initial visit. Certain medications, such as opioids, may delay the return to work process, and their use should be carefully considered. Accurate and legible documentation is critical and should always include the location, date, time, and mechanism of injury.