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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

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 Neck Masses in Adults - American Family Physician

May 15, 2015 - Neck masses are often seen in clinical practice, and the family physician should be able to determine the etiology of a mass using organized, efficient diagnostic methods. The first goal is to determine if the mass is malignant or benign; malignancies are more common in adult smokers ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0515/p698.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

Knee Pain in Adults and Adolescents: The Initial Evaluation - American Family Physician

Nov 1, 2018 - Knee pain affects approximately 25% of adults, and its prevalence has increased almost 65% over the past 20 years, accounting for nearly 4 million primary care visits annually. Initial evaluation should emphasize excluding urgent causes while considering the need for referral. Key ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/1101/p576.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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

Evaluation and Diagnosis of Wrist Pain: A Case-Based Approach - American Family Physician

Apr 15, 2013 - Patients with wrist pain commonly present with an acute injury or spontaneous onset of pain without a definite traumatic event. A fall onto an outstretched hand can lead to a scaphoid fracture, which is the most commonly fractured carpal bone. Conventional radiography alone can miss up ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2013/0415/p568.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

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

Outpatient Diagnosis of Acute Chest Pain in Adults - American Family Physician

Feb 1, 2013 - Approximately 1 percent of primary care office visits are for chest pain, and 1.5 percent of these patients will have unstable angina or acute myocardial infarction. The initial goal in patients presenting with chest pain is to determine if the patient needs to be referred for further ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2013/0201/p177.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

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

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

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

Causes and Evaluation of Chronic Dyspnea - American Family Physician

Jul 15, 2012 - Chronic dyspnea is shortness of breath that lasts more than one month. The perception of dyspnea varies based on behavioral and physiologic responses. Dyspnea that is greater than expected with the degree of exertion is a symptom of disease. Most cases of dyspnea result from asthma, ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0715/p173.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

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

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

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 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

Left Lower-Quadrant Pain: Guidelines from the American College of Radiology ...

Oct 1, 2010 - The differential diagnosis of left lower-quadrant pain includes gastrointestinal, gynecologic, and renal/ureteric pathology. Imaging is helpful in evaluating left lower-quadrant pain, and is generally guided by the clinical presentation. Acute sigmoid diverticulitis should be suspected ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/1001/p766.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

Evaluation of the Patient with Chronic Cough - American Family Physician

Oct 15, 2011 - Initial evaluation of the patient with chronic cough (i.e., of more than eight weeks’ duration) should include a focused history and physical examination, and in most patients, chest radiography. Patients who are taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor should switch to a ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/1015/p887.html

Hemoptysis: Diagnosis and Management - American Family Physician

Oct 1, 2005 - Hemoptysis is the spitting of blood that originated in the lungs or bronchial tubes. The patient's history should help determine the amount of blood and differentiate between hemoptysis, pseudohemoptysis, and hematemesis. A focused physical examination can lead to the diagnosis in most ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/1001/p1253.html

Treatment of Vertigo - American Family Physician

Mar 15, 2005 - Vertigo is the illusion of motion, usually rotational motion. As patients age, vertigo becomes an increasingly common presenting complaint. The most common causes of this condition are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, acute vestibular neuronitis or labyrinthitis, Ménière's ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0315/p1115.html

Management of Erectile Dysfunction - American Family Physician

Feb 1, 2010 - Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common sexual problem in men. The incidence increases with age and affects up to one third of men throughout their lives. It causes a substantial negative impact on intimate relationships, quality of life, and self-esteem. History and physical ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0201/p305.html

Fatigue: An Overview - American Family Physician

Nov 15, 2008 - Fatigue, a common presenting symptom in primary care, negatively impacts work performance, family life, and social relationships. The differential diagnosis of fatigue includes lifestyle issues, physical conditions, mental disorders, and treatment side effects. Fatigue can be classified...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/1115/p1173.html

Chronic Low Back Pain: Evaluation and Management - American Family Physician

Jun 15, 2009 - Chronic low back pain is a common problem in primary care. A history and physical examination should place patients into one of several categories: (1) nonspecific low back pain; (2) back pain associated with radiculopathy or spinal stenosis; (3) back pain referred from a nonspinal ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/0615/p1067.html

Initial Evaluation of Vertigo - American Family Physician

Jan 15, 2006 - Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, acute vestibular neuronitis, and Meniere's disease cause most cases of vertigo; however, family physicians must consider other causes including cerebrovascular disease, migraine, psychological disease, perilymphatic fistulas, multiple sclerosis, and...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0115/p244.html

Evaluation of Back Pain in Children and Adolescents - American Family Physician

Dec 1, 2007 - Back pain is fairly prevalent in healthy children and adolescents. When children or adolescents seek medical care for back pain, it is highly likely that underlying pathology will be identified. Common causes of back pain include nonspecific pain or muscle strain, herniated disk, ...

American Family Physician : Article

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2007/1201/p1669.html

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