ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Spondyloarthropathies - Article
ABSTRACT: The spondyloarthropathies include ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis (including Reiter's syndrome), psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease-associated spondyloarthropathy, and undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy. These diseases are linked by their association with the HLA-B27 gene and by the presence of enthesitis as the basic pathologic lesion. Additional clinical features include inflammatory back pain, dactylitis, and extra-articular manifestations such as uveitis and skin rash. The history and physical examination are the major diagnostic tools, although radiographic evidence of sacroiliitis is helpful. Therapeutic options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, sulfasalazine, methotrexate, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors. Early recognition and appropriate treatment can help to limit disability.
ABSTRACT: More than one third of children complain of abdominal pain lasting two weeks or longer. The diagnostic approach to abdominal pain in children relies heavily on the history provided by the parent and child to direct a step-wise approach to investigation. If the history and physical examination suggest functional abdominal pain, constipation or peptic disease, the response to an empiric course of medical management is of greater value than multiple "exclusionary" investigations. A symptom diary allows the child to play an active role in the diagnostic process. The medical management of constipation, peptic disease and inflammatory bowel disease involves nutritional strategies, pharmacologic intervention and behavior and psychologic support.
Update on Colorectal Cancer - Article
ABSTRACT: An estimated 129,400 new cases of colorectal cancer occurred in the United States during 1999. The lifetime risk of developing this cancer is 2.5 to 5 percent in the general population but two to three times higher in persons who have a first-degree relative with colon cancer or an adenomatous polyp. Between 70 and 90 percent of colorectal cancers arise from adenomatous polyps, whereas only 10 to 30 percent arise from sessile adenomas. Tumors or polyps that develop proximal to the splenic flexure carry a poorer prognosis than those that arise more distally, in part because of delayed diagnosis secondary to later development of symptoms. The Dukes system is the classic staging method for colorectal cancer; the TNM staging system is more detailed and therefore more useful for surgical purposes. Although screening guidelines vary, most agree that colorectal cancer screening should begin at 50 years of age in patients without a personal or family history of colorectal cancer.
Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Article
ABSTRACT: Patients with an inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, have recurrent symptoms with considerable morbidity. Patient involvement and education are necessary components of effective management. Mild disease requires only symptomatic relief and dietary manipulation. Mild to moderate disease can be managed with 5-aminosalicylic acid compounds, including olsalazine and mesalamine. Mesalamine enemas and suppositories are useful in treating proctosigmoiditis. Antibiotics such as metronidazole may be required in patients with Crohn's disease. Corticosteroids are beneficial in patients with more severe symptoms, but side effects limit their use, particularly for chronic therapy. Immunosuppressant therapy may be considered in patients with refractory disease that is not amenable to surgery. Inflammatory bowel disease in pregnant women can be managed with 5-aminosalicylic acid compounds and corticosteroids. Since longstanding inflammatory bowel disease (especially ulcerative colitis) is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, periodic colonoscopy is warranted.
Evaluation of Chronic Diarrhea - Article
ABSTRACT: Chronic diarrhea, defined as a decrease in stool consistency for more than four weeks, is a common but challenging clinical scenario. It can be divided into three basic categories: watery, fatty (malabsorption), and inflammatory. Watery diarrhea may be subdivided into osmotic, secretory, and functional types. Watery diarrhea includes irritable bowel syndrome, which is the most common cause of functional diarrhea. Another example of watery diarrhea is microscopic colitis, which is a secretory diarrhea affecting older persons. Laxative-induced diarrhea is often osmotic. Malabsorptive diarrhea is characterized by excess gas, steatorrhea, or weight loss; giardiasis is a classic infectious example. Celiac disease (gluten-sensitive enteropathy) is also malabsorptive, and typically results in weight loss and iron deficiency anemia. Inflammatory diarrhea, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease, is characterized by blood and pus in the stool and an elevated fecal calprotectin level. Invasive bacteria and parasites also produce inflammation. Infections caused by Clostridium difficile subsequent to antibiotic use have become increasingly common and virulent. Not all chronic diarrhea is strictly watery, malabsorptive, or inflammatory, because some categories overlap. Still, the most practical diagnostic approach is to attempt to categorize the diarrhea by type before testing and treating. This narrows the list of diagnostic possibilities and reduces unnecessary testing. Empiric therapy is justified when a specific diagnosis is strongly suspected and follow-up is available.