ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
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.
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.
An Update on Emergency Contraception - Article
ABSTRACT: Emergency contraception decreases the risk of unintended pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse or after suspected failure of routine contraception (e.g., a condom breaking). Oral methods include combined contraceptive pills (i.e., Yuzpe method), single- or split-dose levonorgestrel, and ulipristal. The Yuzpe method and levonorgestrel are U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved for use 72 hours postcoitus, whereas the newest method, ulipristal, is approved for up to 120 hours postcoitus. The copper intrauterine device may be used as emergency contraception up to seven days after unprotected intercourse. It is nonhormonal and has the added benefit of long-term contraception. Advanced provision of emergency contraception may be useful for all patients, and for persons using ulipristal because it is available only by prescription. Physicians should counsel patients on the use and effectiveness of emergency contraception, the methods available, and the benefits of routine and consistent contraception use.
Misoprostol for Incomplete First Trimester Miscarriage - Cochrane for Clinicians
Antenatal Perineal Massage to Prevent Birth Trauma - Cochrane for Clinicians
Intrauterine Devices: An Update - Article
ABSTRACT: Three intrauterine devices (IUDs) are available in the United States: the copper T 380A and two levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs, one that releases 20 mcg of levonorgestrel per 24 hours, and one that releases 14 mcg per 24 hours. All are safe and effective methods of contraception that work predominantly by prefertilization mechanisms. The copper T 380A IUD may be placed in nonpregnant women at any time in the menstrual cycle. The prescribing information for the 20- and 14-mcg levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs advises that insertion occur during the first seven days of menses. Insertion immediately after vaginal or cesarean delivery may be considered with the copper T 380A and the 20-mcg levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs; however, expulsion rates are higher than with delayed postpartum insertion. The prescribing information for both levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs advises a waiting period of six weeks postpartum or following second-trimester pregnancy loss. Current guidelines indicate that IUDs are acceptable for use in nulliparous women, in adolescents, and in women who are breastfeeding. They may also be used in women who have a history of sexually transmitted infection, although screening is recommended. IUDs should not be inserted for at least three months after resolution of a sexually transmitted infection. Neither antibiotic prophylaxis nor misoprostol use before IUD insertion is beneficial. If pregnancy occurs, the IUD should be removed if feasible. Possible side effects of levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs include headaches, nausea, hair loss, breast tenderness, depression, decreased libido, ovarian cysts, oligomenorrhea, and amenorrhea. The main side effect of the copper T 380A IUD is increased menstrual bleeding, which may continue even with long-term use.