Items in AFP with MESH term: Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures

Evaluation of Chronic Dyspnea - Article

ABSTRACT: Chronic dyspnea is defined as dyspnea lasting more than one month. In approximately two thirds of patients presenting with dyspnea, the underlying cause is cardiopulmonary disease. Establishing an accurate diagnosis is essential because treatment differs depending on the underlying condition. Asthma, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, cardiac ischemia, interstitial lung disease, and psychogenic causes account for 85 percent of patients with this principal symptom. The history and physical examination should guide selection of initial diagnostic tests such as electrocardiogram, chest radiograph, pulse oximetry, spirometry, complete blood count, and metabolic panel. If these are inconclusive, additional testing is indicated. Formal pulmonary function testing may be needed to establish a diagnosis of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or interstitial lung disease. High-resolution computed tomography is particularly useful for diagnosing interstitial lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiectasis, or pulmonary embolism. Echocardiography and brain natriuretic peptide levels help establish a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. If the diagnosis remains unclear, additional tests may be required. These include ventilation perfusion scans, Holter monitoring, cardiac catheterization, esophageal pH monitoring, lung biopsy, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing.


Procedural Sedation in the Acute Care Setting - Article

ABSTRACT: Many patients require sedation during diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. Ideally, procedural sedation minimizes the patient's awareness and discomfort while maintaining the patient's safety. Appropriate monitoring by trained personnel is the key to successful procedural sedation. These techniques should be used only by health care professionals skilled in managing complications, including cardiorespiratory compromise. It is important to take a complete history and perform a thorough physical examination, paying special attention to the selection of pharmacologic agents. Common sedative agents include etomidate, ketamine, fentanyl, and midazolam. These have become the agents of choice for procedural sedation because of their ease of use, predictable action, and excellent safety profiles. All patients requiring procedural sedation should be monitored by qualified staff at the bedside until they have recovered to an age-appropriate baseline mental status and function.


Inborn Errors of Metabolism in Infancy and Early Childhood: An Update - Article

ABSTRACT: Recent innovations in medical technology have changed newborn screening programs in the United States. The widespread use of tandem mass spectrometry is helping to identify more inborn errors of metabolism. Primary care physicians often are the first to be contacted by state and reference laboratories when neonatal screening detects the possibility of an inborn error of metabolism. Physicians must take immediate steps to evaluate the infant and should be able to access a regional metabolic disorder subspecialty center. Detailed knowledge of biochemical pathways is not necessary to treat patients during the initial evaluation. Nonspecific metabolic abnormalities (e.g., hypoglycemia, metabolic acidosis, hyperammonemia) must be treated urgently even if the specific underlying metabolic disorder is not yet known. Similarly, physicians still must recognize inborn errors of metabolism that are not detected reliably by tandem mass spectrometry and know when to pursue additional diagnostic testing. The early and specific diagnosis of inborn errors of metabolism and prompt initiation of appropriate therapy are still the best determinants of outcome for these patients.



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