Items in AFP with MESH term: Tomography, X-Ray Computed
ABSTRACT: Swift diagnosis and treatment are critical for good outcomes in patients with nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is usually caused by a ruptured aneurysm. This type of stroke often results in death or disability. Rates of misdiagnosis and treatment delays for subarachnoid hemorrhage have improved over the years, but these are still common occurrences. Subarachnoid hemorrhage can be more easily diagnosed in patients who present with severe symptoms, unconsciousness, or with thunderclap headache, which is often accompanied by vomiting. The diagnosis is more elusive in patients who present in good condition, yet these patients have the best chance for good outcome if they are correctly diagnosed at the time of presentation. Physicians should be alert for warning headaches, which are often severe, and headaches that feel different to the patient. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, impaired consciousness, nuchal rigidity, orbital pain, focal neurologic deficits, dysphasia, lightheadedness, and dizziness. The most important risk factors for subarachnoid hemorrhage include cigarette smoking, hypertension, heavy alcohol use, and personal or family history of aneurysm or hemorrhagic stroke. The first step in the diagnostic workup is noncontrast computed tomography of the head. If computed tomography is negative or equivocal, a lumbar puncture should be performed. Subsequent imaging may include computed tomographic angiography, catheter angiography, and magnetic resonance angiography.
ABSTRACT: Pancreatic cancer remains the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Risk factors include family history, smoking, chronic pancreatitis, obesity, diabetes mellitus, heavy alcohol use, and possible dietary factors. Because more than two-thirds of adenocarcinomas occur in the head of the pancreas, abdominal pain, jaundice, pruritus, dark urine, and acholic stools may be presenting symptoms. In symptomatic patients, the serum tumor marker cancer antigen 19-9 can be used to confirm the diagnosis and to predict prognosis and recurrence after resection. Pancreas protocol computed tomography is considered standard for the diagnosis and staging of pancreatic cancer. Although surgical resection is the only potentially curative treatment for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas, less than 20% of surgical candidates survive five years. The decision on resectability requires multidisciplinary consultation. Pancreatic resections should be performed at institutions that complete at least 15 of the surgeries annually. Postoperatively, use of gemcitabine or fluorouracil/leucovorin as adjuvant chemotherapy improves overall survival by several months. However, more than 80% of patients present with disease that is not surgically resectable. For patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease, chemoradiotherapy with gemcitabine or irinotecan provides clinical benefit and modest survival improvement. Palliation should address pain control, biliary and gastric outlet obstruction, malnutrition, thromboembolic disease, and depression.
ABSTRACT: Although routine screening for bladder cancer is not recommended, microscopic hematuria is often incidentally discovered by primary care physicians. The American Urological Association has published an updated guideline for the management of asymptomatic microscopic hematuria, which is defined as the presence of three or more red blood cells per high-power field visible in a properly collected urine specimen without evidence of infection. The most common causes of microscopic hematuria are urinary tract infection, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and urinary calculi. However, up to 5% of patients with asymptomatic microscopic hematuria are found to have a urinary tract malignancy. The risk of urologic malignancy is increased in men, persons older than 35 years, and persons with a history of smoking. Microscopic hematuria in the setting of urinary tract infection should resolve after appropriate antibiotic treatment; persistence of hematuria warrants a diagnostic workup. Dysmorphic red blood cells, cellular casts, proteinuria, elevated creatinine levels, or hypertension in the presence of microscopic hematuria should prompt concurrent nephrologic and urologic referral. The upper urinary tract is best evaluated with multiphasic computed tomography urography, which identifies hydronephrosis, urinary calculi, and renal and ureteral lesions. The lower urinary tract is best evaluated with cystoscopy for urethral stricture disease, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and bladder masses. Voided urine cytology is no longer recommended as part of the routine evaluation of asymptomatic microscopic hematuria, unless there are risk factors for malignancy. (Am Fam Physician. 2013;88(11):747-754.