Items in AFP with MESH term: Pregnancy

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Chlamydia Trachomatis Infections: Screening, Diagnosis, and Management - Article

ABSTRACT: Chlamydia trachomatis is a gram-negative bacterium that infects the columnar epithelium of the cervix, urethra, and rectum, as well as nongenital sites such as the lungs and eyes. The bacterium is the cause of the most frequently reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States, which is responsible for more than 1 million infections annually. Most persons with this infection are asymptomatic. Untreated infection can result in serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy in women, and epididymitis and orchitis in men. Men and women can experience chlamydia-induced reactive arthritis. Treatment of uncomplicated cases should include azithromycin or doxycycline. Screening is recommended in all women younger than 25 years, in all pregnant women, and in women who are at increased risk of infection. Screening is not currently recommended in men. In neonates and infants, the bacterium can cause conjunctivitis and pneumonia. Adults may also experience conjunctivitis caused by chlamydia. Trachoma is a recurrent ocular infection caused by chlamydia and is endemic in the developing world.


Amenorrhea: An Approach to Diagnosis and Management - Article

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.


Update on Prenatal Care - Article

ABSTRACT: Many elements of routine prenatal care are based on tradition and lack a firm evidence base; however, some elements are supported by more rigorous studies. Correct dating of the pregnancy is critical to prevent unnecessary inductions and to allow for accurate treatment of preterm labor. Physicians should recommend folic acid supplementation to all women as early as possible, preferably before conception, to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Administration of Rho(D) immune globulin markedly decreases the risk of alloimmunization in an RhD-negative woman carrying an RhD-positive fetus. Screening and treatment for iron deficiency anemia can reduce the risks of preterm labor, intrauterine growth retardation, and perinatal depression. Testing for aneuploidy and neural tube defects should be offered to all pregnant women with a discussion of the risks and benefits. Specific genetic testing should be based on the family histories of the patient and her partner. Physicians should recommend that pregnant women receive a vaccination for influenza, be screened for asymptomatic bacteriuria, and be tested for sexually transmitted infections. Testing for group B streptococcus should be performed between 35 and 37 weeks’ gestation. If test results are positive or the patient has a history of group B streptococcus bacteriuria during pregnancy, intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis should be administered to reduce the risk of infection in the infant. Intramuscular or vaginal progesterone should be considered in women with a history of spontaneous preterm labor, preterm premature rupture of membranes, or shortened cervical length (less than 2.5 cm). Screening for diabetes should be offered using a universal or a risk-based approach. Women at risk of preeclampsia should be offered low-dose aspirin prophylaxis, as well as calcium supplementation if dietary calcium intake is low. Induction of labor may be considered between 41 and 42 weeks’ gestation.


Adolescent Health Screening and Counseling - Article

ABSTRACT: Serious health problems, risky behavior, and poor health habits persist among adolescents despite access to medical care. Most adolescents do not seek advice about preventing leading causes of morbidity and mortality in their age group, and physicians often do not find ways to provide it. Although helping adolescents prevent unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, unintentional injuries, depression, suicide, and other problems is a community-wide effort, primary care physicians are well situated to discuss risks and offer interventions. Evidence supports routinely screening for obesity and depression, offering testing for human immunodeficiency virus infection, and screening for other sexually transmitted infections in some adolescents. Evidence validating the effectiveness of physician counseling about unintended pregnancy, gang violence, and substance abuse is scant. However, physicians should use empathic, personal messages to communicate with adolescents about these issues until studies prove the benefits of more specific methods. Effective communication with adolescents requires seeing the patient alone, tailoring the discussion to the individual patient, and understanding the role of the parents and of confidentiality.


Thyroid Nodules - Article

ABSTRACT: Thyroid nodules are a common finding in the general population. They may present with symptoms of pressure in the neck or may be discovered during physical examination. Although the risk of cancer is small, it is the main reason for workup of these lesions. Measurement of thyroid-stimulating hormone can identify conditions that may cause hyperfunctioning of the thyroid. For all other conditions, ultrasonography and fine-needle aspiration are central to the diagnosis. Lesions larger than 1 cm should be biopsied. Lesions with features suggestive of malignancy and those in patients with risk factors for thyroid cancer should be biopsied, regardless of size. Smaller lesions and those with benign histology can be followed and reevaluated if they grow. The evaluation of thyroid nodules in euthyroid and hypothyroid pregnant women is the same as in other adults. Thyroid nodules are uncommon in children, but the malignancy rate is much higher than in adults. Fine-needle aspiration is less accurate in children, so more aggressive surgical excision may be preferable.


When to Order Contrast-Enhanced CT - Article

ABSTRACT: Family physicians often must determine the most appropriate diagnostic tests to order for their patients. It is essential to know the types of contrast agents, their risks, contraindications, and common clinical scenarios in which contrast-enhanced computed tomography is appropriate. Many types of contrast agents can be used in computed tomography: oral, intravenous, rectal, and intrathecal. The choice of contrast agent depends on route of administration, desired tissue differentiation, and suspected diagnosis. Possible contraindications for using intravenous contrast agents during computed tomography include a history of reactions to contrast agents, pregnancy, radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid disease, metformin use, and chronic or acutely worsening renal disease. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria is a useful online resource. Clear communication between the physician and radiologist is essential for obtaining the most appropriate study at the lowest cost and risk to the patient.


Epidural Analgesia for Labor Pain - Cochrane for Clinicians


Exercise During Pregnancy: A Marathon Runner's Story - Close-ups


Thyroid Disease in Pregnancy - Article

ABSTRACT: Thyroid disease is the second most common endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age, and when untreated during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, placental abruption, hypertensive disorders, and growth restriction. Current guidelines recommend targeted screening of women at high risk, including those with a history of thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes mellitus, or other autoimmune disease; current or past use of thyroid therapy; or a family history of autoimmune thyroid disease. Appropriate management results in improved outcomes, demonstrating the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment. In women with hypothyroidism, levothyroxine is titrated to achieve a goal serum thyroid-stimulating hormone level less than 2.5 mIU per L. The preferred treatment for hyperthyroidism is antithyroid medications, with a goal of maintaining a serum free thyroxine level in the upper one-third of the normal range. Postpartum thyroiditis is the most common form of postpartum thyroid dysfunction and may present as hyper- or hypothyroidism. Symptomatic treatment is recommended for the former; levothyroxine is indicated for the latter in women who are symptomatic, breastfeeding, or who wish to become pregnant.


Obesity in Pregnancy - Editorials


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