Items in FPM with MESH term: Laboratory Techniques and Procedures
ABSTRACT: Identifying the cause of polyarticular joint pain can be difficult because of the extensive differential diagnosis. A thorough history and a complete physical examination are essential. Six clinical factors are helpful in narrowing the possible causes: disease chronology, inflammation, distribution, extra-articular manifestations, disease course, and patient demographics. Patients with an inflammatory arthritis are more likely to have palpable synovitis and morning stiffness; if the condition is severe, they may have fever, weight loss, and fatigue. Viral infections, crystal-induced arthritis, and serum sickness reactions are common causes of acute, self-limited polyarthritis. Because chronic arthritides may present abruptly, they need to be considered in patients who present with acute polyarticular joint pain. Joint palpation can help to distinguish inflammatory synovitis from the bony hypertrophy and crepitus that typically occur with osteoarthritis. Extra-articular manifestations of rheumatologic disease may be helpful in arriving at a more specific diagnosis. Many classic rheumatologic laboratory tests are nonspecific. A complete blood count, urinalysis, and a metabolic panel may provide more useful diagnostic clues. Plain-film radiographs may demonstrate classic findings of specific rheumatologic diseases; however, radiographs can be normal or only show nonspecific changes early in the disease process.
ABSTRACT: Musculoskeletal pain can be difficult for children to characterize. Primary care physicians must determine whether the pain may be caused by a systemic disease. Change in activity, constitutional symptoms such as fevers and fatigue, or abnormal examination findings without obvious etiology should raise suspicion for rheumatic disease. A complete physical examination should be performed to look for extra-articular signs of rheumatic disease, focusing on but not limited to the affected areas. A logical and consistent approach to diagnosis is recommended, with judicious use of laboratory and radiologic testing. Complete blood count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate measurement are useful if rheumatic disease is suspected. Other rheumatologic tests (e.g., antinuclear antibody) have a low pretest probability in the primary care setting and must be interpreted cautiously. Plain radiography can exclude fractures or malignancy; computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are more sensitive in detecting joint inflammation. Family physicians should refer children to a subspecialist when the diagnosis is in question or subspecialty treatment is required. Part II of this series discusses rheumatic diseases that present primarily with musculoskeletal pain in children, including juvenile arthritis, the spondyloarthropathies, acute rheumatic fever, Henoch-SchÃ¶nlein purpura, and systemic lupus erythematosus.
ABSTRACT: Deviations from a normal age-appropriate gait pattern can be caused by a wide variety of conditions. In most children, limping is caused by a mild, self-limiting event, such as a contusion, strain, or sprain. In some cases, however, a limp can be a sign of a serious or even life-threatening condition. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can result in significant morbidity and mortality. Examination of a limping child should begin with a thorough history, focusing on the presence of pain, any history of trauma, and any associated systemic symptoms. The presence of fever, night sweats, weight loss, and anorexia suggests the possibility of infection, inflammation, or malignancy. Physical examination should focus on identifying the type of limp and localizing the site of pathology by direct palpation and by examining the range of motion of individual joints. Localized tenderness may indicate contusions, fractures, osteomyelitis, or malignancy. A palpable mass raises the concern of malignancy. The child should be carefully examined because non-musculoskeletal conditions can cause limping. Based on the most probable diagnoses suggested by the history and physical examination, the appropriate use of laboratory tests and imaging studies can help confirm the diagnosis.
CPT Coding Update for 2003 - Getting Paid
American College of Physicians Issues Guidelines on Laboratory Evaluation of Lyme Disease - Special Medical Reports
Elder Mistreatment - Article
ABSTRACT: Elder mistreatment is a widespread problem in our society that is often under-recognized by physicians. As a result of growing public outcry over the past 20 years, all states now have abuse laws that are specific to older adults; most states have mandated reporting by all health care professionals. The term "mistreatment" includes physical abuse and neglect, psychologic abuse, financial exploitation and violation of rights. Poor health, physical or cognitive impairment, alcohol abuse and a history of domestic violence are some of the risk factors for elder mistreatment. Diagnosis of elder mistreatment depends on acquiring a detailed history from the patient and the caregiver. It also involves performing a comprehensive physical examination. Only through awareness, a healthy suspicion and the performing of certain procedures are physicians able to detect elder mistreatment. Once it is suspected, elder mistreatment should be reported to adult protective services.
ABSTRACT: Mastocytosis is characterized by an excessive number of apparently normal mast cells in the skin and, occasionally, in other organs. Characteristic skin lesions, called urticaria pigmentosa, are present in most patients, but clinical presentation can vary from a pruritic rash to unexplained collapse and sudden death. These lesions are typically tan to red-brown macules that appear on the trunk and spread symmetrically. Patients with mastocytosis often have a long history of chronic and acute symptoms that were unrecognized as mastocytosis. Skin lesions may or may not accompany systemic mastocytosis. Systemic disease may involve the gastrointestinal tract, the bone marrow or other organs. Even when the disease is considered as a possibility by the physician, the diagnosis can be difficult because of special technical requirements necessary for biopsy and because of the problems with biochemical testing. Drug therapy is initiated to stabilize mast cell membranes, to reduce the severity of the attacks and to block the action of inflammatory mediators. The mainstay of therapy is histamine H1 and H2 blockers and the avoidance of triggering factors.
Preoperative Evaluation - Article
ABSTRACT: A history and physical examination, focusing on risk factors for cardiac, pulmonary and infectious complications, and a determination of a patient's functional capacity, are essential to any preoperative evaluation. In addition, the type of surgery influences the overall perioperative risk and the need for further cardiac evaluation. Routine laboratory studies are rarely helpful except to monitor known disease states. Patients with good functional capacity do not require preoperative cardiac stress testing in most surgical cases. Unstable angina, myocardial infarction within six weeks and aortic or peripheral vascular surgery place a patient into a high-risk category for perioperative cardiac complications. Patients with respiratory disease may benefit from perioperative use of bronchodilators or steroids. Patients at increased risk of pulmonary complications should receive instruction in deep-breathing exercises or incentive spirometry. Assessment of nutritional status should be performed. An albumin level of less than 3.2 mg per dL (32 g per L) suggests an increased risk of complications. Patients deemed at risk because of compromised nutritional status may benefit from pre- and postoperative nutritional supplementation.