Items in AFP with MESH term: Pregnancy
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.
Immunizations in Pregnancy - Editorials
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.
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.