Items in AFP with MESH term: Pregnancy
ABSTRACT: Urinary tract infections are common during pregnancy, and the most common causative organism is Escherichia coli. Asymptomatic bacteriuria can lead to the development of cystitis or pyelonephritis. All pregnant women should be screened for bacteriuria and subsequently treated with antibiotics such as nitrofurantoin, sulfisoxazole or cephalexin. Ampicillin should no longer be used in the treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria because of high rates of resistance. Pyelonephritis can be a life-threatening illness, with increased risk of perinatal and neonatal morbidity. Recurrent infections are common during pregnancy and require prophylactic treatment. Pregnant women with urinary group B streptococcal infection should be treated and should receive intrapartum prophylactic therapy.
ABSTRACT: Down syndrome (trisomy 21) is the most commonly recognized genetic cause of mental retardation. The risk of trisomy 21 is directly related to maternal age. All forms of prenatal testing for Down syndrome must be voluntary. A nondirective approach should be used when presenting patients with options for prenatal screening and diagnostic testing. Patients who will be 35 years or older on their due date should be offered chorionic villus sampling or second-trimester amniocentesis. Women younger than 35 years should be offered maternal serum screening at 16 to 18 weeks of gestation. The maternal serum markers used to screen for trisomy 21 are alpha-fetoprotein, unconjugated estriol and human chorionic gonadotropin. The use of ultrasound to estimate gestational age improves the sensitivity and specificity of maternal serum screening.
ABSTRACT: Sporotrichoid lymphocutaneous infection is an uncommon syndrome that is often misdiagnosed and improperly treated. Of the several hundred cases seen each year in the United States, the majority are caused by Sporothrix schenckii, Nocardia brasiliensis, Mycobacterium marinum or Leishmania brasiliensis. The "sporotrichoid" disease begins at a site of distal inoculation and leads to the development of nodular lymphangitis. Systemic symptoms are characteristically absent. By recognizing the distinct pattern of nodular lymphangitis and focusing on the diverse but limited etiologies, the physician can obtain the appropriate histologic and microbiologic studies and start targeted antimicrobial therapy. Therapy is generally continued for two to three months after the resolution of cutaneous disease.
ABSTRACT: The incidence of malignant melanoma has increased in recent years more than that of any other cancer in the United States. About one in 70 people will develop melanoma during their lifetime. Family physicians should be aware that a patient with a changing mole, an atypical mole or multiple nevi is at considerable risk for developing melanoma. Any mole that is suggestive of melanoma requires an excisional biopsy, primarily because prognosis and treatment are based on tumor thickness. Staging is based on tumor thickness (Breslow's measurement) and histologic level of invasion (Clark level). The current recommendations for excisional removal of confirmed melanomas include 1-cm margins for lesions measuring 1.0 mm or less in thickness and 2-cm margins for lesions from 1.0 mm to 4.0 mm in thickness or Clark's level IV of any thickness. No evidence currently shows that wider margins improve survival in patients with lesions more than 4.0 mm thick. Clinically positive nodes are typically managed by completely removing lymph nodes in the area. Elective lymph node dissection is recommended only for patients who are younger than 60 years with lesions between 1.5 mm and 4.0 mm in thickness. In the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Trial, interferon alfa-2b was shown to improve disease-free and overall survival, but in many other trials it has not been shown to be effective at prolonging overall survival. Vaccine therapy is currently being used to stimulate the immune system of melanoma patients with metastatic disease.
ABSTRACT: According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it has become standard in prenatal care to offer screening tests for neural tube defects and genetic abnormalities. There have been some changes in the recommended method of prenatal screening over the past few years, and research to improve detection rates with better combinations of maternal serum analytes is ongoing. The issues facing physicians are the sensitivity and specificity of multiple serum analyte combinations. The current maternal serum analytes in use in most areas are alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and unconjugated estriol. Measurement of AFP alone can detect the vast majority of neural tube defects and a small portion of trisomy 21-affected pregnancies in patients of all ages. Adding hCG and unconjugated estriol to this screen increases the rate of detection of trisomies 21 and 18. Counseling patients about the risks and benefits of such screening is important to provide a balanced discussion of screening issues.
ABSTRACT: Vacuum extractors have replaced forceps for many situations in which assistance is required to achieve vaginal delivery. Compared with metal-cup vacuum extractors, soft-cup devices are easier to use and cause fewer neonatal scalp injuries; however, they detach more frequently. Vacuum extractors can cause neonatal injury. These devices should be employed when indicated, usually for a nonreassuring fetal heart tracing or failure to progress in the second stage of labor. Complications may be minimized if the physician recognizes contraindications to the use of vacuum extraction. Complete documentation is essential.
Management of Suspected Fetal Macrosomia - Article
ABSTRACT: Fetal macrosomia, arbitrarily defined as a birth weight of more than 4,000 g (8 lb, 13 oz) complicates more than 10 percent of all pregnancies in the United States. It is associated with increased risks of cesarean section and trauma to the birth canal and the fetus. Fetal macrosomia is difficult to predict, and clinical and ultrasonographic estimates of fetal weight are prone to error. Elective cesarean section for suspected macrosomia results in a high number of unnecessary procedures, and early induction of labor to limit fetal growth may result in a substantial increase in the cesarean section rate because of failed inductions. Pregnancies complicated by fetal macrosomia are best managed expectantly. When labor fails to progress as expected, the possibility of fetopelvic disproportion should be considered within the context of the best estimate of the fetal weight.
ABSTRACT: Appropriate management of pregnant patients who have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease can have a major impact on maternal and infant health. The goals of therapy are to properly manage the pregnancy, treat the maternal HIV infection and minimize the risk of vertical transmission of HIV. Early detection of HIV through aggressive screening programs is necessary to initiate timely therapy. Zidovudine therapy given antepartum and intrapartum to the mother and after birth to the newborn has been shown to decrease the risk of vertical transmission. Evidence suggests that more aggressive antiretroviral therapy for the mother, which allows suppression of viral loads to undetectable levels, may be safe and may provide significant additional benefits. However, treatment needs to be individualized, weighing the possible teratogenic risks against the benefits of decreased transmission. Multiple prospective cohort studies support elective cesarean section as an additional means to decrease vertical transmission, but its role in relation to other therapies has not been determined. As in nonpregnant patients infected with HIV, prevention of opportunistic infections and adequate psychosocial support are essential.
Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery - Article
ABSTRACT: Vaginal delivery is a natural process that usually does not require significant medical intervention. Management guided by current knowledge of the relevant screening tests and normal labor process can greatly increase the probability of an uncomplicated delivery and postpartum course. All women should be screened for group B streptococcus; women who test positive should be treated with antibiotics during labor. Routine human immunodeficiency virus screening of all pregnant women, and treatment with antiretroviral medication for those who test positive, can reduce perinatal transmission of the infection. Once a woman is in labor, management should focus on the goal of delivering a healthy newborn while minimizing discomfort and complications for the mother. In a patient who tests negative for group B streptococcus, delaying admission to the labor ward until she is in active labor decreases the number of possible medical interventions during labor and delivery. Once a patient has been admitted to the hospital, providing her with continuous emotional support can improve delivery outcomes and the birthing experience. Epidural analgesia is effective for pain control and should not be discontinued late in labor to reduce the need for operative vaginal delivery. Epidurals prolong labor, but do not increase the risk of cesarean delivery. Research has shown that labor may not progress as rapidly as historically reported; this should be considered before intervening for dystocia. Routine episiotomy increases morbidity and should be abandoned. Once the infant has been delivered, active management of the third stage of labor decreases the risk of postpartum hemorrhage.
Vacuum-Assisted Vaginal Delivery - Article
ABSTRACT: The second stage of labor is a dynamic event that may require assistance when maternal efforts fail to effect delivery or when there are nonreassuring fetal heart tones. Therefore, knowing how to perform an operative vaginal delivery with forceps or vacuum is vital for family physicians who provide maternity care. Vacuum is rapidly replacing forceps as the predominant instrument, but each has advantages and disadvantages, including increased risk of maternal trauma with forceps and increased risk of neonatal cephalohematoma with vacuum. Use of a second instrument if the first one fails is associated with worse outcomes. Routine episiotomy in operative vaginal delivery is no longer recommended. The "ABCDEFGHIJ" mnemonic can facilitate proper use and application of the vacuum device and minimize risks, and practicing the techniques on mannequins can provide an introduction to the skills of operative vaginal delivery.