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Second Trimester Pregnancy Loss - Article
ABSTRACT: Second trimester pregnancy loss is uncommon, but it should be regarded as an important event in a woman's obstetric history. Fetal abnormalities, including chromosomal problems, and maternal anatomic factors, immunologic factors, infection, and thrombophilia should be considered; however, a cause-and-effect relationship may be difficult to establish. A thorough history and physical examination should include inquiries about previous pregnancy loss. Laboratory tests may identify treatable etiologies. Although there is limited evidence that specific interventions improve outcomes, management of contributing maternal factors (e.g., smoking, substance abuse) is essential. Preventive measures, including vaccination and folic acid supplementation, are recommended regardless of risk. Management of associated chromosomal factors requires consultation with a genetic counselor or obstetrician. The family physician can play an important role in helping the patient and her family cope with the emotional aspects of pregnancy loss.
ABSTRACT: Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in men 20 to 35 years of age and has an annual incidence of four per 100,000. If diagnosed early, the cure rate is nearly 99 percent. Risk factors for testicular cancer include cryptorchidism (i.e., undescended testicles), family history, infertility, tobacco use, and white race. Routine self-examination and physician screening have not been shown to improve outcomes, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and American Cancer Society do not recommend them in asymptomatic men. Patients presenting with a painless testicular mass, scrotal heaviness, a dull ache, or acute pain should receive a thorough examination. Testicular masses should be examined with scrotal ultrasonography. If ultrasonography shows an intratesticular mass, the patient should be referred to a urologist for definitive diagnosis, orchiectomy, and further evaluation with abdominal computed tomography and chest radiography. The family physician's role after diagnosis of testicular cancer includes encouraging the patient to bank sperm because of possible infertility and evaluating for recurrence and future complications, especially cardiovascular disease.
ABSTRACT: Primary care physicians are often asked about easy bruising, excessive bleeding, or risk of bleeding before surgery. A thorough history, including a family history, will guide the appropriate work-up, and a physical examination may provide clues to diagnosis. A standardized bleeding score system can help physicians to organize the patient's bleeding history and to avoid overlooking the most common inherited bleeding disorder, von Willebrand's disease. In cases of suspected bleeding disorders, initial laboratory evaluations should include a complete blood count with platelet count, peripheral blood smear, prothrombin time, and partial thromboplastin time. More specialized yet relatively simple tests, such as the Platelet Function Analyzer-100, mixing studies, and inhibitor assays, may also be helpful. These tests can help diagnose platelet function disorders, quantitative platelet disorders, factor deficiencies, and factor inhibitors.
The Diagnosis of Wheezing in Children - Article
ABSTRACT: Wheezing in children is a common problem encountered by family physicians. Approximately 25 to 30 percent of infants will have at least one wheezing episode, and nearly one half of children have a history of wheezing by six years of age. The most common causes of wheezing in children include asthma, allergies, infections, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and obstructive sleep apnea. Less common causes include congenital abnormalities, foreign body aspiration, and cystic fibrosis. Historical data that help in the diagnosis include family history, age at onset, pattern of wheezing, seasonality, suddenness of onset, and association with feeding, cough, respiratory illnesses, and positional changes. A focused examination and targeted diagnostic testing guided by clinical suspicion also provide useful information. Children with recurrent wheezing or a single episode of unexplained wheezing that does not respond to bronchodilators should undergo chest radiography. Children whose history or physical examination findings suggest asthma should undergo diagnostic pulmonary function testing.
Trigeminal Neuralgia - Article
ABSTRACT: Trigeminal neuralgia is an uncommon disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of lancinating pain in the trigeminal nerve distribution. Typically, brief attacks are triggered by talking, chewing, teeth brushing, shaving, a light touch, or even a cool breeze. The pain is nearly always unilateral, and it may occur repeatedly throughout the day. The diagnosis is typically determined clinically, although imaging studies or referral for specialized testing may be necessary to rule out other diseases. Accurate and prompt diagnosis is important because the pain of trigeminal neuralgia can be severe. Carbamazepine is the drug of choice for the initial treatment of trigeminal neuralgia; however, baclofen, gabapentin, and other drugs may provide relief in refractory cases. Neurosurgical treatments may help patients in whom medical therapy is unsuccessful or poorly tolerated.
Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women - Article
ABSTRACT: The etiology of chronic pelvic pain in women is poorly understood. Although a specific diagnosis is not found in the majority of cases, some common diagnoses include endometriosis, adhesions, irritable bowel syndrome, and interstitial cystitis. The initial history and physical examination can narrow the diagnostic possibilities, guide any subsequent evaluation, and rule out malignancy or significant systemic disease. If the initial evaluation does not reveal a specific diagnosis, a limited laboratory and ultrasound evaluation can clarify the diagnosis, as well as rule out serious disease and reassure the patient. Few treatment modalities have demonstrated benefit for the symptoms of chronic pelvic pain. The evidence supports the use of oral medroxyprogesterone, goserelin, adhesiolysis for severe adhesions, and a multidisciplinary treatment approach for patients without a specific diagnosis. Less supporting evidence is available for oral analgesics, combined oral contraceptive pills, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, intramuscular medroxyprogesterone, trigger point and botulinum A toxin injections, neuromodulative therapies, and hysterectomy.
ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects more than 26 million adults in the United States. Family physicians provide care for most of these patients. Cigarette smoking is the leading risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, although other risk factors, including occupational and environmental exposures, account for up to one in six cases. Patients presenting with chronic cough, increased sputum production, or progressive dyspnea should be evaluated for the disease. Asthma is the disease most often confused with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is based on clinical suspicion and spirometry confirmation. A forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity ratio that is less than 70 percent, and that is incompletely reversible with the administration of an inhaled bronchodilator, suggests chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Disease severity is classified by symptomatology and spirometry. Joint guidelines from the American Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society recommend a single quantitative test for alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency in patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who remain symptomatic despite bronchodilator therapy. Other advanced testing is usually not necessary.
ABSTRACT: Deviations from a normal age-appropriate gait pattern can be caused by a wide variety of conditions. In most children, limping is caused by a mild, self-limiting event, such as a contusion, strain, or sprain. In some cases, however, a limp can be a sign of a serious or even life-threatening condition. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can result in significant morbidity and mortality. Examination of a limping child should begin with a thorough history, focusing on the presence of pain, any history of trauma, and any associated systemic symptoms. The presence of fever, night sweats, weight loss, and anorexia suggests the possibility of infection, inflammation, or malignancy. Physical examination should focus on identifying the type of limp and localizing the site of pathology by direct palpation and by examining the range of motion of individual joints. Localized tenderness may indicate contusions, fractures, osteomyelitis, or malignancy. A palpable mass raises the concern of malignancy. The child should be carefully examined because non-musculoskeletal conditions can cause limping. Based on the most probable diagnoses suggested by the history and physical examination, the appropriate use of laboratory tests and imaging studies can help confirm the diagnosis.
ABSTRACT: Chronic low back pain is a common problem in primary care. A history and physical examination should place patients into one of several categories: (1) nonspecific low back pain; (2) back pain associated with radiculopathy or spinal stenosis; (3) back pain referred from a nonspinal source; or (4) back pain associated with another specific spinal cause. For patients who have back pain associated with radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, or another specific spinal cause, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography may establish the diagnosis and guide management. Because evidence of improved outcomes is lacking, lumbar spine radiography should be delayed for at least one to two months in patients with nonspecific pain. Acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are first-line medications for chronic low back pain. Tramadol, opioids, and other adjunctive medications may benefit some patients who do not respond to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Acupuncture, exercise therapy, multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs, massage, behavior therapy, and spinal manipulation are effective in certain clinical situations. Patients with radicular symptoms may benefit from epidural steroid injections, but studies have produced mixed results. Most patients with chronic low back pain will not benefit from surgery. A surgical evaluation may be considered for select patients with functional disabilities or refractory pain despite multiple nonsurgical treatments.
Calculating Your Costs per Visit - Feature