March 29th 2023
Among persons with prediabetes who reverted to normoglycemia, only those who remained physically active saw a reduced risk of all-cause death, study authors report.
March 17th 2023
For 2 weeks, a 43-year-old white female had worsening nausea and multiple episodes of vomiting. Her symptoms began with increased malaise and decreased appetite. The emesis was unrelated to meals and was sometimes accompanied by mild abdominal distention. She had occasional fevers but denied any recent contact with ill persons. She also reported a 12-lb weight loss, decreased energy level, and an increased tan complexion over the past several months.
Pyoderma Gangrenosum on Both Legs of a 62-Year-Old WomanNovember 1st 2007
Worsening painful ulcers on both legs prompted a 62-year-old woman to seek medical attention. She had a history of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), demonstrated by the markedly deformed interphalangeal joints in her thumbs (A), and scleroderma-polymyositis overlap syndrome.
A 74-year-old woman presented with a refractory pruritic eruption. Four months earlier, she had sought evaluation of a thickened, slightly crusted 6 3 8-cm patch on her right ankle of 2 months' duration. Contact dermatitis with secondary impetigo from scratching was suspected, and a topical corticosteroid and an oral antibiotic were prescribed.
Diabetes: A Primer on New Drug OptionsNovember 1st 2007
Over the past 20 years, the treatment armamentarium for diabetes has greatly expanded: 8 different classes of non-insulin drugs and 8 different types of insulin are now available. The newer classes of agents include disaccharidase inhibitors, thiazolidinediones, meglitinides, glucagonlike peptide analogs, and dipeptidyl peptidase IV inhibitors.
The Dyslipidemia of Type 2 Diabetes: When and How to TreatSeptember 1st 2007
ABSTRACT: Low-density lipoproteins are the most common atherogenic particles in diabetic dyslipidemia; therefore statins, which dramatically reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, are first-line therapy for patients with diabetes. These agents produce equivalent relative risk reductions in those with and without diabetes but confer greater absolute risk reduction because of the increased incidence of ischemic cardiovascular events in those with diabetes. The LDL cholesterol goal for patients with diabetes who do not have coronary heart disease is below 100 mg/dL. For secondary prevention, the goal is below 70 mg/dL. High-dose statin therapy may be required to achieve these goals. Fibric acids are a reasonable initial option for patients with triglyceride levels above 200 mg/dL and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels below 40 mg/dL; in such patients they reduce risk as effectively as statins. Intermediate-release niacin raises HDL cholesterol levels; the effect is enhanced when niacin is combined with a statin.
Burn Victim With GI Symptoms and FeverAugust 1st 2007
For several days, a 50-year-old man has had copious green stools, vomiting, and fever. His symptoms began shortly after he was discharged from a regional burn center, where he was treated for full-thickness burns that covered 60% of his body surface.
Heart Failure: Part 2, Update on Therapeutic OptionsAugust 1st 2007
ABSTRACT: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and ß-blockers are the cornerstone of heart failure medical therapy; unless contraindicated, start these agents as soon as possible after volume status has been optimized. Aldosterone receptor antagonists, angiotensin-receptor blockers, and a fixed-dose combination of hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate (the last recommended especially for African Americans) can be used as add-on therapy. Prophylactic implantable cardioverter defibrillators reduce long-term mortality in symptomatic patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of 35% or less. Cardiac resynchronization therapy improves symptoms and ventricular remodeling in some patients; indications include wide (more than 20 milliseconds) QRS complex on ECG, impaired LVEF (35% or less), and advanced heart failure symptoms (NYHA classes III and IV) despite optimal drug therapy. Measurement of natriuretic peptides and impedance cardiography both show promise for monitoring patients with heart failure and for guiding therapy, but definitive data to justify their routine use are still lacking.
A large right adrenal mass was noted incidentally on an MRI scan of the lumbar spine, which had been performed for other reasons in a 55-year-old non-obese woman. The bright heterogeneous mass (T2-weighted image) measured 6.2 3 6.2 3 4.1 cm and sat like the head of a serpent on the superior pole of the right kidney. Its margins were smooth, but signal intensity was increased on T2 weighting because of high water content. The left adrenal gland was normal.
Hypertensive Woman With Labile Blood PressureJuly 1st 2007
At a routine blood pressure check, a 63-year-old woman has 2 readings of 165/100 mm Hg. The patient has had essential hypertension since age 41 years. For more than a decade, it was easily controlled with a b-blocker; however, in recent years, her blood pressure has been more variable, with occasional readings of higher than 150/90 mm Hg.
Refractory Ulcer:What to Do Next?June 1st 2007
ABSTRACT: Undiagnosed or persistent Helicobacter pylori infection and surreptitious or unrecognized NSAID use are the most common causes of refractory peptic ulcers. The use of antibiotics, bismuth, or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) suppresses the H pylori bacterial load and may obscure the diagnosis. H pylori infections have also become more difficult to cure because of increased antibiotic resistance. For refractory infection, select an antibiotic based on in vitro susceptibility testing. When this is not available, combination therapy with a PPI, tetracycline, metronidazole, and bismuth is often effective. To detect surreptitious or inadvertent NSAID use, review the drug history in detail. When there is any doubt about such use, check platelet cyclooxygenase function.
Treatment Dilemma: Favorable Lipid Ratio With an Elevated LDLJune 1st 2007
Is it necessary to prescribe lipid-lowering therapy for a patient with a mildly elevated total cholesterol level (240 mg/dL), a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level of 120 mg/dL, and a high high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level of 100 mg/dL?
Low T3 Level: An Indication for Treatment?June 1st 2007
I am an adult psychiatric nurse practitioner, and a significant part of my practice has been the treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism. Whenever a patient has depression and low energy, I measure free T4, free T3, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. In most of the subclinical hypothyroidism I have detected, the TSH level is normal. In many cases, the only level that is low is the free T3. When liothyronine is prescribed for these patients, their symptoms of depression and tiredness decrease and their need for antidepressants has, in a few cases, been eliminated.
Diabetes Care: Are We Asking the Right Questions?May 1st 2007
ABSTRACT: Many patients with diabetes are anxious or fearful about the disease. These negative emotions stem in part from the fact that the patient is responsible for many facets of diabetes management, such as exercise, dietary modification, and blood glucose measurement. For example, failure to adhere to a regimen may engender guilt. Up to 30% of patients with diabetes are depressed, and hemoglobin A1c levels are higher in such patients. Even patients with good metabolic control may not be doing well psychologically. It is thus essential to ask about patients' concerns and fears, identify their psychosocial needs, and provide emotional support.
Preventing Reinfarction: Recommenations for a Heart-Healthy LifestyleMay 1st 2007
ABSTRACT: In addition to appropriate pharmacotherapy and assistance with smoking cessation, a secondary prevention plan should include counseling about a heart-healthy diet, a structured exercise program and/or increased physical activity, and assessment of psychosocial risk factors, such as depression. Advise patients to reduce their intake of salt, sugars, refined carbohydrates, and saturated and trans fats; incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and fish into their diet; and balance caloric intake and physical activity to achieve and maintain a body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2. Cardiorespiratory fitness is the key to cardioprotection; the threshold for improving it in persons with coronary heart disease is about 70% of the mea-sured maximal heart rate. Encourage patients to engage in multiple short bouts of physical activity daily, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking the dog. Among previously sedentary persons, this approach has effects on cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, and coronary risk factors similar to those of a structured exercise program.
Preventing Reinfarction: Basic Elements of an Effective Cardiac Rehabilitation ProgramMay 1st 2007
ABSTRACT: Patients who experience an acute myocardial infarction (MI) are at very high risk for recurrent cardiovascular events. Both site-supervised and home-based cardiac rehabilitation programs can effectively reduce all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Start risk factor reduction as soon as possible; pharmacotherapy is best initiated while patients are still in the hospital. All patients who have had an MI should receive aspirin, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, and a ß-blocker, unless these agents are contraindicated or are not tolerated. Prescribe aggressive lipid-lowering therapy to bring patients' low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels to below 70 mg/dL. For smokers, quitting is the single most important change they can make to reduce future risk of MI.