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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

Ear Pain: Diagnosing Common and Uncommon Causes - American Family Physician

Jan 1, 2018 - Otalgia (ear pain) is a common presentation in the primary care setting with many diverse causes. Pain that originates from the ear is called primary otalgia, and the most common causes are otitis media and otitis externa. Examination of the ear usually reveals abnormal findings in ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/0101/p20.html

Unexplained Lymphadenopathy: Evaluation and Differential Diagnosis - American Family ...

Dec 1, 2016 - Lymphadenopathy is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as medications and iatrogenic causes. The history and physical examination alone usually identify the cause of lymphadenopathy. When the cause is ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/1201/p896.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 Patients with Leukocytosis - American Family Physician

Dec 1, 2015 - An elevated white blood cell count has many potential etiologies, including malignant and nonmalignant causes. It is important to use age- and pregnancy-specific normal ranges for the white blood cell count. A repeat complete blood count with peripheral smear may provide helpful ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/1201/p1004.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

Management of Constipation in Older Adults - American Family Physician

Sep 15, 2015 - Chronic constipation is common in adults older than 60 years, and symptoms occur in up to 50% of nursing home residents. Primary constipation is also referred to as functional constipation. Secondary constipation is associated with chronic disease processes, medication use, and ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0915/p500.html

Acute Diarrhea in Adults - American Family Physician

Feb 1, 2014 - Acute diarrhea in adults is a common problem encountered by family physicians. The most common etiology is viral gastroenteritis, a self-limited disease. Increases in travel, comorbidities, and foodborne illness lead to more bacteria-related cases of acute diarrhea. A history and ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0201/p180.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

Evaluation of the Patient with Hip Pain - American Family Physician

Jan 1, 2014 - Hip pain is a common and disabling condition that affects patients of all ages. The differential diagnosis of hip pain is broad, presenting a diagnostic challenge. Patients often express that their hip pain is localized to one of three anatomic regions: the anterior hip and groin, the ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0101/p27.html

Edema: Diagnosis and Management - American Family Physician

Jul 15, 2013 - Edema is an accumulation of fluid in the interstitial space that occurs as the capillary filtration exceeds the limits of lymphatic drainage, producing noticeable clinical signs and symptoms. The rapid development of generalized pitting edema associated with systemic disease requires ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2013/0715/p102.html

First Trimester Bleeding: Evaluation and Management - American Family Physician

Feb 1, 2019 - Approximately one-fourth of pregnant women will experience bleeding in the first trimester. The differential diagnosis includes threatened abortion, early pregnancy loss, and ectopic pregnancy. Pain and heavy bleeding are associated with an increased risk of early pregnancy loss. ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0201/p166.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

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 the Painful Eye - American Family Physician

Jun 15, 2016 - Eye problems constitute 2% to 3% of all primary care and emergency department visits. Common eye conditions that can cause eye pain are conjunctivitis, corneal abrasion, and hordeolum, and some of the most serious eye conditions include acute angle-closure glaucoma, orbital cellulitis, ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/0615/p991.html

Gas, Bloating, and Belching: Approach to Evaluation and Management - American Family ...

Mar 1, 2019 - Gas, bloating, and belching are associated with a variety of conditions but are most commonly caused by functional gastrointestinal disorders. These disorders are characterized by disordered motility and visceral hypersensitivity that are often worsened by psychological distress. An ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0301/p301.html

Nonoperative Management of Cervical Radiculopathy - American Family Physician

May 1, 2016 - Cervical radiculopathy describes pain in one or both of the upper extremities, often in the setting of neck pain, secondary to compression or irritation of nerve roots in the cervical spine. It can be accompanied by motor, sensory, or reflex deficits and is most prevalent in persons 50 ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/0501/p746.html

Recurrent Abdominal Pain in Children - American Family Physician

Jun 15, 2018 - Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) in children is defined as at least three episodes of pain that occur over at least three months and affect the child’s ability to perform normal activities. RAP is most often considered functional (nonorganic) abdominal pain, but an organic cause is found ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/0615/p785.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

Heel Pain: Diagnosis and Management - American Family Physician

Jan 15, 2018 - The differential diagnosis of heel pain is extensive, but a mechanical etiology is the most common. The specific anatomic location of the pain can help guide diagnosis. The most common diagnosis is plantar fasciitis, which leads to medial plantar heel pain, especially with the first ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/0115/p86.html

Evaluation and Management of Orthostatic Hypotension - American Family Physician

Sep 1, 2011 - Orthostatic hypotension is defined as a decrease in systolic blood pressure of 20 mm Hg or a decrease in diastolic blood pressure of 10 mm Hg within three minutes of standing when compared with blood pressure from the sitting or supine position. It results from an inadequate physiologic...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0901/p527.html

Hirsutism in Women - American Family Physician

Aug 1, 2019 - Hirsutism is the excessive growth of terminal hair in a typical male pattern in a female. It is often a sign of excessive androgen levels. Although many conditions can lead to hirsutism, polycystic ovary syndrome and idiopathic hyperandrogenism account for more than 85% of cases. Less ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0801/p168.html

Evaluation and Management of Neck Masses in Children - American Family Physician

Mar 1, 2014 - Neck masses in children usually fall into one of three categories: developmental, inflammatory/reactive, or neoplastic. Common congenital developmental masses in the neck include thyroglossal duct cysts, branchial cleft cysts, dermoid cysts, vascular malformations, and hemangiomas. ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0301/p353.html

Evaluation and Treatment of Constipation in Children and Adolescents - American Family ...

Jul 15, 2014 - Childhood constipation is common and almost always functional without an organic etiology. Stool retention can lead to fecal incontinence in some patients. Often, a medical history and physical examination are sufficient to diagnose functional constipation. Further evaluation for ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0715/p82.html

Hyperhidrosis: Management Options - American Family Physician

Jun 1, 2018 - Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that affects patients’ quality of life, resulting in social and work impairment and emotional distress. Primary hyperhidrosis is bilaterally symmetric, focal, excessive sweating of the axillae, palms, soles, or craniofacial region not caused by other ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/0601/p729.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

Clinical Evaluation of Bleeding and Bruising in Primary Care - American Family Physician

Feb 15, 2016 - Bleeding and bruising are common symptoms in the primary care setting. The patient history can help determine whether the bruising or bleeding is abnormal. The International Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis has developed a bleeding assessment tool that can be used to indicate ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/0215/p279.html

Diagnosis of Heel Pain - American Family Physician

Oct 15, 2011 - Heel pain is a common presenting symptom in ambulatory clinics. There are many causes, but a mechanical etiology is most common. Location of pain can be a guide to the proper diagnosis. The most common diagnosis is plantar fasciitis, a condition that leads to medial plantar heel pain, ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/1015/p909.html

Evaluation of Chronic Diarrhea - American Family Physician

Nov 15, 2011 - 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, ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/1115/p1119.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

Prevention and Treatment of Motion Sickness - American Family Physician

Jul 1, 2014 - Motion sickness is a common syndrome that occurs upon exposure to certain types of motion. It is thought to be caused by conflict between the vestibular, visual, and other proprioceptive systems. Although nausea is the hallmark symptom, it is often preceded by stomach awareness, ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0701/p41.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

Dizziness: A Diagnostic Approach - American Family Physician

Aug 15, 2010 - Dizziness accounts for an estimated 5 percent of primary care clinic visits. The patient history can generally classify dizziness into one of four categories: vertigo, disequilibrium, presyncope, or lightheadedness. The main causes of vertigo are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0815/p361.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

Diagnostic Approach to Patients with Tinnitus - American Family Physician

Jan 15, 2014 - Tinnitus, a common symptom encountered in family medicine, is defined as the perception of noise in the absence of an acoustic stimulus outside of the body. Because tinnitus is a symptom and not a disease, its underlying cause must be determined to best help patients. Although tinnitus ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0115/p106.html

Peripheral Neuropathy: Differential Diagnosis and Management - American Family Physician

Apr 1, 2010 - Peripheral neuropathy has a variety of systemic, metabolic, and toxic causes. The most common treatable causes include diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, and nutritional deficiencies. The diagnosis requires careful clinical assessment, judicious laboratory testing, and electrodiagnostic...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0401/p887.html

A Systematic Approach to the Evaluation of a Limping Child - American Family Physician

Nov 15, 2015 - A limp is defined as a deviation from a normal age-appropriate gait pattern resulting in an uneven, jerky, or laborious gait. It can be caused by pain, weakness, or deformity as a result of a variety of conditions. Transient synovitis is the most common diagnosis. Other causes of acute ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/1115/p908.html

Differentiation and Diagnosis of Tremor - American Family Physician

Mar 15, 2011 - Tremor, an involuntary, rhythmic, oscillatory movement of a body part, is the most common movement disorder encountered in clinical practice. Rest tremors occur in a body part that is relaxed and completely supported against gravity. Action tremors occur with voluntary contraction of a ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0315/p697.html

Evaluation of Fever in Infants and Young Children - American Family Physician

Feb 15, 2013 - Febrile illness in children younger than 36 months is common and has potentially serious consequences. With the widespread use of immunizations against Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b, the epidemiology of bacterial infections causing fever has changed. ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2013/0215/p254.html

Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy - American Family Physician

Jun 15, 2014 - Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy affects nearly 75% of pregnant women. The exact cause is unknown. In most cases, it is a mild, self-limited condition that can be controlled with conservative measures and has no adverse fetal sequelae. About 1% of women develop hyperemesis gravidarum, ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0615/p965.html

Evaluation of Scrotal Masses - American Family Physician

May 1, 2014 - Scrotal masses are caused by a variety of disorders, ranging from benign conditions to those requiring emergent surgical intervention. Painful scrotal masses require urgent evaluation. Characteristics that suggest testicular torsion include rapid symptom onset, nausea and vomiting, high...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0501/p723.html

Hemoptysis: Evaluation and Management - American Family Physician

Feb 15, 2015 - Hemoptysis is the expectoration of blood from the lung parenchyma or airways. The initial step in the evaluation is determining the origin of bleeding. Pseudohemoptysis is identified through the history and physical examination. In adults, acute respiratory tract infections (e.g., ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0215/p243.html

Nonsurgical Management of Knee Pain in Adults - American Family Physician

Nov 15, 2015 - The role of the family physician in managing knee pain is expanding as recent literature supports nonsurgical management for many patients. Effective treatment depends on the etiology of knee pain. Oral analgesics—most commonly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen—are ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/1115/p875.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

A Diagnostic Approach to Pruritus - American Family Physician

Jul 15, 2011 - Pruritus can be a symptom of a distinct dermatologic condition or of an occult underlying systemic disease. Of the patients referred to a dermatologist for generalized pruritus with no apparent primary cutaneous cause, 14 to 24 percent have a systemic etiology. In the absence of a ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0715/p195.html

Diagnosis of Ear Pain - American Family Physician

Mar 1, 2008 - Many patients in primary care present with ear pain (otalgia). When the ear is the source of the pain (primary otalgia), the ear examination is usually abnormal. When the ear is not the source of the pain (secondary otalgia), the ear examination is typically normal. The cause of primary...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/0301/p621.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

Diagnosis and Management of Adnexal Masses - American Family Physician

Oct 15, 2009 - Adnexal masses represent a spectrum of conditions from gynecologic and nongynecologic sources. They may be benign or malignant. The initial detection and evaluation of an adnexal mass requires a high index of suspicion, a thorough history and physical examination, and careful attention ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/1015/p815.html

Evaluation of Syncope - American Family Physician

Sep 15, 2011 - Syncope is a transient and abrupt loss of consciousness with complete return to preexisting neurologic function. It is classified as neurally mediated (i.e., carotid sinus hypersensitivity, situational, or vasovagal), cardiac, orthostatic, or neurogenic. Older adults are more likely to ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0915/p640.html

Evaluation of Acute Pelvic Pain in Women - American Family Physician

Jul 15, 2010 - Diagnosis of pelvic pain in women can be challenging because many symptoms and signs are insensitive and nonspecific. As the first priority, urgent life-threatening conditions (e.g., ectopic pregnancy, appendicitis, ruptured ovarian cyst) and fertility-threatening conditions (e.g., ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0715/p141.html

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