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Chronic Dyspnea: Diagnosis and Evaluation - American Family Physician

May 1, 2020 - Dyspnea is a symptom arising from a complex interplay of diseases and physiologic states and is commonly encountered in primary care. It is considered chronic if present for more than one month. As a symptom, dyspnea is a predictor for all-cause mortality. The likeliest causes of ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2020/0501/p542.html

Chronic Diarrhea in Adults: Evaluation and Differential Diagnosis - American Family ...

Apr 15, 2020 - Chronic diarrhea is defined as a predominantly loose stool lasting longer than four weeks. A patient history and physical examination with a complete blood count, C-reactive protein, anti-tissue transglutaminase immunoglobulin A (IgA), total IgA, and a basic metabolic panel are useful ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2020/0415/p472.html

Office Spirometry: Indications and Interpretation - American Family Physician

Mar 15, 2020 - High-quality, office-based spirometry provides diagnostic information as useful and reliable as testing performed in a pulmonary function laboratory. Spirometry may be used to monitor progression of lung disease and response to therapy. A stepwise approach to spirometry allows for ease ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2020/0315/p362.html

Muscle Weakness in Adults: Evaluation and Differential Diagnosis - American Family ...

Jan 15, 2020 - Although the prevalence of muscle weakness in the general population is uncertain, it occurs in about 5% of U.S. adults 60 years and older. Determining the cause of muscle weakness can be challenging. True muscle weakness must first be differentiated from subjective fatigue or ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2020/0115/p95.html

Urine Drug Tests: Ordering and Interpreting Results - American Family Physician

Jan 1, 2019 - Urine drug testing is an essential component of monitoring patients who are receiving long-term opioid therapy, and it has been suggested for patients receiving long-term benzodiazepine or stimulant therapy. Family physicians should be familiar with the characteristics and capabilities ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0101/p33.html

Anemia in Older Adults - American Family Physician

Oct 1, 2018 - Anemia is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in older adults. Diagnostic cutoff values for defining anemia vary with age, sex, and possibly race. Anemia is often asymptomatic and discovered incidentally on laboratory testing. Patients may present with symptoms related to ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/1001/p437.html

Evaluating Medical Decision-Making Capacity in Practice - American Family Physician

Jul 1, 2018 - Medical decision-making capacity is the ability of a patient to understand the benefits and risks of, and the alternatives to, a proposed treatment or intervention (including no treatment). Capacity is the basis of informed consent. Patients have medical decision-making capacity if they...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/0701/p40.html

Cervical Cancer Screening - American Family Physician

Apr 1, 2018 - Screening in women has decreased the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer. Precancerous cervical lesions (cervical intraepithelial neoplasias) and cervical carcinomas are strongly associated with sexually-transmitted high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which causes ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/0401/p441.html

Evaluation of Suspected Dementia - American Family Physician

Mar 15, 2018 - Dementia is a significant and costly health condition that affects 5 million adults and is the fifth leading cause of death among Americans older than 65 years. The prevalence of dementia will likely increase in the future because the number of Americans older than 65 years is expected ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/0315/p398.html

Tremor: Sorting Through the Differential Diagnosis - American Family Physician

Feb 1, 2018 - Tremor is an involuntary, rhythmic, oscillatory movement of a body part. It is the most common movement disorder encountered in primary care. The diagnosis of tremor is based on clinical information obtained from the history and physical examination. The most common tremors in patients ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/0201/p180.html

Chronic Kidney Disease: Detection and Evaluation - American Family Physician

Dec 15, 2017 - Chronic kidney disease affects 47 million people in the United States and is associated with significant health care costs, morbidity, and mortality. Because this disease can silently progress to advanced stages, early detection is critical for initiating timely interventions. Multiple ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/1215/p776.html

Palpitations: Evaluation in the Primary Care Setting - American Family Physician

Dec 15, 2017 - Palpitations are a common problem in the ambulatory primary care setting, and cardiac causes are the most concerning etiology. Psychiatric illness, adverse effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications, and substance use should also be considered. Distinguishing cardiac from ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/1215/p784.html

Mildly Elevated Liver Transaminase Levels: Causes and Evaluation - American Family ...

Dec 1, 2017 - Mild, asymptomatic elevations (less than five times the upper limit of normal) of alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase levels are common in primary care. It is estimated that approximately 10% of the U.S. population has elevated transaminase levels. An approach based on the ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/1201/p709.html

Hoarseness in Adults - American Family Physician

Dec 1, 2017 - Hoarseness is a common presentation in primary care practices. Combined with other voice-related changes, it falls under the umbrella diagnosis of dysphonia. Hoarseness has a number of causes, ranging from simple inflammatory processes to less common psychiatric disorders to more ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/1201/p720.html

Chronic Cough: Evaluation and Management - American Family Physician

Nov 1, 2017 - Although chronic cough in adults (cough lasting longer than eight weeks) can be caused by many etiologies, four conditions account for most cases: upper airway cough syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease/laryngopharyngeal reflux disease, asthma, and nonasthmatic eosinophilic ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/1101/p575.html

Pleuritic Chest Pain: Sorting Through the Differential Diagnosis - American Family ...

Sep 1, 2017 - Pleuritic chest pain is characterized by sudden and intense sharp, stabbing, or burning pain in the chest when inhaling and exhaling. Pulmonary embolism is the most common serious cause, found in 5% to 21% of patients who present to an emergency department with pleuritic chest pain. A ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/0901/p306.html

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Identifying Patients at Risk of Inflammation or ...

Jun 15, 2017 - NAFLD is defined as hepatic steatosis on imaging or histology in the absence of other etiologies for secondary fat accumulation. It is usually identified during the evaluation of elevated transaminase levels in a patient without heavy alcohol intake, or found incidentally on imaging ...

American Family Physician : Point-of-Care Guides

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/0615/p796.html

Syncope: Evaluation and Differential Diagnosis - American Family Physician

Mar 1, 2017 - Syncope is an abrupt and transient loss of consciousness caused by cerebral hypoperfusion. It accounts for 1% to 1.5% of emergency department visits, resulting in high hospital admission rates and significant medical costs. Syncope is classified as neurally mediated, cardiac, and ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/0301/p303.html

Dizziness: Approach to Evaluation and Management - American Family Physician

Feb 1, 2017 - Dizziness is a common yet imprecise symptom. It was traditionally divided into four categories based on the patient’s history: vertigo, presyncope, disequilibrium, and light-headedness. However, the distinction between these symptoms is of limited clinical usefulness. Patients have ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/0201/p154.html

Evaluation of Jaundice in Adults - American Family Physician

Feb 1, 2017 - Jaundice in adults can be an indicator of significant underlying disease. It is caused by elevated serum bilirubin levels in the unconjugated or conjugated form. The evaluation of jaundice relies on the history and physical examination. The initial laboratory evaluation should include ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/0201/p164.html

Acute Coronary Syndrome: Diagnostic Evaluation - American Family Physician

Feb 1, 2017 - Myocardial infarction (MI), a subset of acute coronary syndrome, is damage to the cardiac muscle as evidenced by elevated cardiac troponin levels in the setting of acute ischemia. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Chest pain is a common ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/0201/p170.html

Acute Monoarthritis: Diagnosis in Adults - American Family Physician

Nov 15, 2016 - Acute monoarthritis can be the initial manifestation of many joint disorders. The most common diagnoses in the primary care setting are osteoarthritis, gout, and trauma. It is important to understand the prevalence of specific etiologies and to use the appropriate diagnostic modalities....

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/1115/p810.html

Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women - American Family Physician

Mar 1, 2016 - Chronic pelvic pain in women is defined as persistent, noncyclic pain perceived to be in structures related to the pelvis and lasting more than six months. Often no specific etiology can be identified, and it can be conceptualized as a chronic regional pain syndrome or functional ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/0301/p380.html

Common Questions About the Evaluation of Acute Pelvic Pain - American Family Physician

Jan 1, 2016 - Acute pelvic pain is defined as lower abdominal or pelvic pain of less than three months’ duration. It is a common presentation in primary care. Evaluation can be challenging because of a broad differential diagnosis and because many associated signs and symptoms are nonspecific. The ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/0101/p41.html

Evaluation of the Solitary Pulmonary Nodule - American Family Physician

Dec 15, 2015 - A solitary pulmonary nodule is a common radiologic finding that is often discovered incidentally and may require significant workup to establish a definitive diagnosis. A solitary pulmonary nodule is a well-circumscribed round lesion measuring up to 3 cm in diameter and surrounded by ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/1215/p1084.html

Dysuria: Evaluation and Differential Diagnosis in Adults - American Family Physician

Nov 1, 2015 - The most common cause of acute dysuria is infection, especially cystitis. Other infectious causes include urethritis, sexually transmitted infections, and vaginitis. Noninfectious inflammatory causes include a foreign body in the urinary tract and dermatologic conditions. ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/1101/p778.html

Preventive Health Care for Men Who Have Sex with Men - American Family Physician

Jun 15, 2015 - Men who have sex with men (MSM) comprise at least 4% of males in the United States. MSM may describe themselves as gay, bisexual, or heterosexual. Because current medical practice does not always facilitate discussion of sexual behaviors, this group of men may face barriers to receiving...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0615/p844.html

Diagnosis of Acute Stroke - American Family Physician

Apr 15, 2015 - Stroke can be categorized as ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, or subarachnoid hemorrhage. Awakening with or experiencing the abrupt onset of focal neurologic deficits is the hallmark of the diagnosis of ischemic stroke. The most common presenting symptoms of ischemic stroke ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0415/p528.html

Colorectal Cancer Screening and Surveillance - American Family Physician

Jan 15, 2015 - Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women. The incidence and mortality rate of the disease have been declining over the past two decades because of early detection and treatment. Screening in persons at average risk should begin at 50 years of age; the U.S. ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0115/p93.html

Disability Evaluations: More Than Completing a Form - American Family Physician

Jan 15, 2015 - According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 billion persons worldwide have a disability. In the United States, more than 56 million American workers have some form of disability; of these, more than 38 million persons have a severe disability. Blacks and Hispanics are among ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0115/p102.html

Prolonged Febrile Illness and Fever of Unknown Origin in Adults - American Family ...

Jul 15, 2014 - Fever of unknown origin has been described as a febrile illness (temperature of 101°F [38.3°C] or higher) for three weeks or longer without an etiology despite a one-week inpatient evaluation. A more recent qualitative definition requires only a reasonable diagnostic evaluation. ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0715/p91.html

Detecting Elder Abuse and Neglect: Assessment and Intervention - American Family Physician

Mar 15, 2014 - Elder mistreatment includes intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or trusted person that harm a vulnerable older person. It can occur in a variety of settings. One out of 10 older adults experiences some form of abuse or neglect by a caregiver each year, and the incidence is ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0315/p453.html

Assessment of Asymptomatic Microscopic Hematuria in Adults - American Family Physician

Dec 1, 2013 - 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 ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2013/1201/p747.html

Evaluation of Nausea and Vomiting: A Case-Based Approach - American Family Physician

Sep 15, 2013 - In the absence of acute abdominal pain, significant headache, or recent initiation of certain medications, acute nausea and vomiting is usually the result of self-limited gastrointestinal infections. Nausea and vomiting is also a common adverse effect of radiation therapy, chemotherapy,...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2013/0915/p371.html

Evaluation of Occult Gastrointestinal Bleeding - American Family Physician

Mar 15, 2013 - Occult gastrointestinal bleeding is defined as gastrointestinal bleeding that is not visible to the patient or physician, resulting in either a positive fecal occult blood test, or iron deficiency anemia with or without a positive fecal occult blood test. A stepwise evaluation will ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2013/0315/p430.html

Common Breast Problems - American Family Physician

Aug 15, 2012 - A palpable mass, mastalgia, and nipple discharge are common breast symptoms for which patients seek medical attention. Patients should be evaluated initially with a detailed clinical history and physical examination. Most women presenting with a breast mass will require imaging and ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0815/p343.html

Diagnostic Approach to Chronic Constipation in Adults - American Family Physician

Aug 1, 2011 - Constipation is traditionally defined as three or fewer bowel movements per week. Risk factors for constipation include female sex, older age, inactivity, low caloric intake, low-fiber diet, low income, low educational level, and taking a large number of medications. Chronic ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0801/p299.html

Hoarseness in Adults - American Family Physician

Aug 15, 2009 - Numerous conditions can cause hoarseness, ranging from simple inflammatory processes to more serious systemic, neurologic, or cancerous conditions involving the larynx. Evaluation of a patient with hoarseness includes a careful history, physical examination, and in many cases, ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/0815/p363.html

Evaluation of Acute Abdominal Pain in Adults - American Family Physician

Apr 1, 2008 - Acute abdominal pain can represent a spectrum of conditions from benign and self-limited disease to surgical emergencies. Evaluating abdominal pain requires an approach that relies on the likelihood of disease, patient history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/0401/p971.html

Diagnosis of Acute Abdominal Pain in Older Patients - American Family Physician

Nov 1, 2006 - Acute abdominal pain is a common presenting complaint in older patients. Presentation may differ from that of the younger patient and is often complicated by coexistent disease, delays in presentation, and physical and social barriers. The physical examination can be misleadingly ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/1101/p1537.html

Assessment of Microscopic Hematuria in Adults - American Family Physician

May 15, 2006 - Microscopic hematuria, a common finding on routine urinalysis of adults, is clinically significant when three to five red blood cells per high-power field are visible. Etiologies of microscopic hematuria range from incidental causes to life-threatening urinary tract neoplasm. The lack ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0515/p1748.html

Diagnostic Approach to Pleural Effusion in Adults - American Family Physician

Apr 1, 2006 - The first step in the evaluation of patients with pleural effusion is to determine whether the effusion is a transudate or an exudate. An exudative effusion is diagnosed if the patient meets Light's criteria. The serum to pleural fluid protein or albumin gradients may help better ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0401/p1211.html

Initial Evaluation of the Patient with Suspected Dementia - American Family Physician

May 1, 2005 - Dementia is a common disorder among older persons, and projections indicate that the number of patients with dementia in the United States will continue to grow. Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia account for the majority of cases of dementia. After a thorough history and ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0501/p1745.html

Jaundice in the Adult Patient - American Family Physician

Jan 15, 2004 - Jaundice in an adult patient can be caused by a wide variety of benign or life-threatening disorders. Organizing the differential diagnosis by prehepatic, intrahepatic, and posthepatic causes may help make the work-up more manageable. Prehepatic causes of jaundice include hemolysis and ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0115/p299.html

Approach to the Adult Patient with Fever of Unknown Origin - American Family Physician

Dec 1, 2003 - Fever of unknown origin (FUO) in adults is defined as a temperature higher than 38.3 degrees C (100.9 degrees F) that lasts for more than three weeks with no obvious source despite appropriate investigation. The four categories of potential etiology of FUO are classic, nosocomial, ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/1201/p2223.html

Diagnosing Acute Monoarthritis in Adults: A Practical Approach for the Family Physician...

Jul 1, 2003 - Acute monoarthritis can be the initial manifestation of many joint disorders. The first step in diagnosis is to verify that the source of pain is the joint, not the surrounding soft tissues. The most common causes of monoarthritis are crystals (i.e., gout and pseudogout), trauma, and ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0701/p83.html

The Adult Neck Mass - American Family Physician

Sep 1, 2002 - Family physicians frequently encounter neck masses in adult patients. A careful medical history should be obtained, and a thorough physical examination should be performed. The patient's age and the location, size, and duration of the mass are important pieces of information. ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0901/p831.html

Asymptomatic Microscopic Hematuria in Adults: Summary of the AUA Best Practice Policy ...

Mar 15, 2001 - The American Urological Association (AUA) convened the Best Practice Policy Panel on Asymptomatic Microscopic Hematuria to formulate policy statements and recommendations for the evaluation of asymptomatic microhematuria in adults. The recommended definition of microscopic hematuria is ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0315/p1145.html

Proteinuria in Adults: A Diagnostic Approach - American Family Physician

Sep 15, 2000 - Proteinuria is a common finding in adults in primary care practice. An algorithmic approach can be used to differentiate benign causes of proteinuria from rarer, more serious disorders. Benign causes include fever, intense activity or exercise, dehydration, emotional stress and acute ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0915/p1333.html

Diagnostic Evaluation of Erectile Dysfunction - American Family Physician

Jan 1, 2000 - Erectile dysfunction, the persistent inability to attain or maintain penile erection sufficient for sexual intercourse, affects millions of men to various degrees. The majority of cases have an organic etiology, most commonly vascular disease that decreases blood flow into the penis. ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0101/p95.html

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