Archive for December, 2011

Papillary Muscles

Dec 11 2011 Published by under P

The papillary muscles are the ones that you can find attached to the heart’s ventricles. These muscles’ primary function is to contract so that the mitral and tricuspid valves do not collapse and invert. These muscles attach to the atrioventricular valves via the chordae tendinae. There are actually 5 papillary muscles in the heart, three of which are on the right and two on the left. Prior to ventricular systole, these muscles tend to contract and remain contracted for over a specified duration. When these muscles fail to function properly, some problems would arise. The failure of the papillary muscles to contract would result to the backflow of blood into the atrial cavities. There are also certain conditions which cause the papillary muscles to work properly. When an infarct is present in the heart, the papillary muscles tend to rupture. Ischemia over the heart may also result to a mitral valve prolapse. Heart attack, cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure may all lead to papillary muscle disease.

Ruptured papillary muscles are often an emergency situation. It is imperative to know the complications of ruptured papillary muscles. Following papillary rupture, the blood would backflow into the atria and back to the lungs. Thus, the initial manifestation of a ruptured papillary muscle is difficulty of breathing. Indeed, this is a life-threatening condition that calls for immediate medical attention. It is, however, tough to detect when one has a ruptured papillary muscle. Only through sophisticated tests such as CT scan and MRIs that the condition may be detected. When you suspect that a person is suffering from ruptured papillary muscles as manifested by its symptoms, do not be hesitant to rush to the nearest hospital so as prompt medical treatment can be rendered to avoid further complications. Ruptured papillary muscles can be repaired only through surgery.

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Urine Leukocyte Esterase

Dec 09 2011 Published by under U

Urine leukocyte esterase is a type of diagnostic laboratory examination used to analyze a patient’s urine to detect white blood cells and traces of other compounds signifying the presence of an infection. The test is otherwise known as the LE test or leukocyte esterase test, named appropriately so because the examination involves the identification of a compound in urine known as esterase, an enzyme specifically produced by white blood cells of the immune system.

The detection of esterase in a sample of a patient’s urine is considered to be a positive test result and is thus indicative of an underlying infection in the system, while a negative test results is considered to be normal. The test is especially made use of in conjunction with a urinary nitrite test to diagnose cases of urinary tract infections. Samples deemed to have positive results are then utilized to culture the pathogenic agent which may be present in the urine so treatment appropriate for the causative element may be developed. The LE test is also used for the diagnosis of infections in the form of gonorrhea or amniotic fluid infections. The examination takes a total time of around 24 to 48 hours for the test to undergo complete analysis and yield accurate results.

Additional factors taken into consideration before the completion of the procedure include obtaining a history of any previous infections the client may have that have already been identified. Trichomonas infections for instance are to be taken note of as such a type of infection may affect the results of the LE test and lead to false positive results. The test is also performed while ensuring that the sample is free from vaginal secretions such as menstrual blood or mucus discharges in the case of female patients, as these may also influence the results.

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Biliary Pancreatitis

Dec 08 2011 Published by under B

Biliary Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis is a problem where the pancreas becomes inflamed but with biliary pancreatitis, the pancreatic duct is obstructed with gallstones causing the juices that would normally be released into the small intestine to attack the tissue of the pancreas.

Symptoms or signs of pancreatitis consist of severe abdominal pain in upper abdomen, jaundice, nausea and vomiting, fatty stool production, diarrhea and weight loss. Drinking bouts as well as heavy meals may cause this pain.

Since the juices are blocked and are “digesting” the tissues of the pancreas, it is important to remove the blockage and this normally involves surgery. The surgeon may remove part of the pancreas as well as clear the blockage in the duct. The ducts may also be widened with stents in order to keep this problem from occurring again.

Often medications will be tried first and the physician might recommend a number of various drugs especially to help treat symptoms that are painful. Over-the-counter as well as prescription analgesic drugs can help reduce the inflammation and decrease pain. Also supplements of pancreatic enzyme can help by replacing the enzyme that is being blocked. But the stones are still blocking the duct with the natural enzymes still in some cases attacking the pancreas tissues.

Changes in diet can also help with digestive symptoms. Consuming alcohol must be totally stopped. The fat in the daily diet needs to be decreased to help digestion and lessen levels of fat in the stools. The physician will also advise in some cases eating a number of slight meals during the day, rather than 1 or 2 large meals. Your physician also might recommend a fast for several days in the hospital being monitored and receiving adequate levels of nutrients by IV.

But the blockage of the ducts with the gallstones still needs to be accomplished.

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Atrophic Pancreas

Dec 06 2011 Published by under A

Atrophic pancreas is the wasting away of the pancreas usually from chronic pancreatitis or CP. CP is further defined as an inflammatory disease that is advanced and described by permanent morphologic changes and gradual formation of excessive fibrous tissue replacement of the gland. There is a loss of endocrine and exocrine function caused from the parenchymal and fibrotic damage. The primary symptoms are pain in the abdomen and indigestion which can be socially and physically debilitating.

Because of the therapeutic as well as diagnostic challenges, an interdisciplinary management strategy for treatment is required.

Pathologically the pancreas will become enlarged or atrophic, with or without calcifications or cysts. The ducts can be dilated, strictured or irregular. Essential pathologic features include patchy and irregular loss of ductal and acinar tissue, ductal changes, chronic inflammation and fibrosis. From this point the problems with the pancreas will only get progressively worse.

Heavy as well as prolonged alcohol use is the most common reason for CP. CP that is alcohol-related is linked to calcification that is more extensive, more severe pain, more extensive ductal changes as well as more progression to exocrine and endocrine insufficiency. Most patients will have experienced recurrent episodes of acute pancreatitis for many years before CP even develops.

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Swollen Pancreas

Dec 05 2011 Published by under S

A pancreas that is swollen might or might not be an indication of the existence of a condition that is serious. The enlargement, or swelling of the pancreas is most frequently caused by an inflammation of the pancreas which is a condition referred to as pancreatitis. The growth of a tumor also can cause the pancreas to enlarge or swell, but inflammation is much more likely the cause. If a pancreas is swollen from pancreatitis it is more often only a situation that is temporary as this is a problem that frequently takes care or clears up itself.

The cause of a swollen and inflamed pancreas has threatening implications. Usually the enzymes that are freed by the pancreas do not activate until they enter the small intestines when they start the digesting of food.

But occasionally for unknown reasons, the enzymes might become active prior to leaving the pancreas and start to eat the pancreas itself. An attack of pancreatitis that is mild might cause only minor damage to this organ, but an acute or severe attack, or cases that are chronic can cause substantial damage to the pancreas over time.

Worse problems may occur if the pancreas becomes so damaged that a leak develops and enzymes carried by the blood system or other fluids in the body, begin attacking or digesting other organs.

The lungs and heart and other organs that are closer to the pancreas for instance the kidneys and liver might be affected. When the pancreas is damaged to the degree where production of enzymes is decreased, it can result in malnutrition as the food is being only digested partially.

If the capability to produce insulin is damaged, low levels of insulin can cause diabetes to start.

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Gallbladder Sludge

Dec 04 2011 Published by under G

Gallbladder Sludge: The gallbladder is the storage area for bile that is released into the intestine when needed to help the process of digestion. The problem is that occasionally the gallbladder fails to properly function for instance does not fully expel all of the bile that is needed. This eventually can lead to an accumulation of gallbladder sludge – basically a mixture of cholesterol, calcium particles and bile.

If an individual has gallbladder sludge accumulated in the gallbladder and it has been there for quite some time, the danger is that this can increase the odds of gallstones forming. When this occurs, they can partly or totally block the bile duct that is where the bile releases. This causes pain and is where the individual will first start to experience problems.

There are cases where it is advisable to have surgery in order to have the gallbladder removed. For instance it might be suggested if the individual is having numerous attacks regularly and this stone and/or sludge are leading to pain and inflammation, or possibly blockages.

Other options beside surgery, is a gallbladder flush which is used to flush the stones out as well as the accumulated sludge. This process consist of fasting with apple juice for approximately five days and after that taking Epsom salts, lemon juice, and olive oil mixture for the day of the flush. The individual can also take various herbal supplements to aid the gallbladder in functioning properly and help in elimination of the sludge.

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Precentral Gyrus Function

Dec 04 2011 Published by under P

Precentral Gyrus Function: The brain of vertebrates is composed of different lobes which are the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. Each lobe is responsible for a specific function. The frontal lobe can be further divided into four major cortical tissues: the precentral gyrus, the inferior frontal gyrus, the superior gyrus and the middle gyrus which comprise the frontal gyri. The frontal lobe and the parietal lobe are being separated by the central sulcus. These cortical tissues assume their specific motor functions. The precentral gyrus which is located anterior to the central sulcus and posterior to the precentral sulcus is considered to be the primary motor area. Each of the gyrus corresponds to a specific voluntary movement. So when there is damage to the brain particularly affecting the precentral gyrus, motor functions of the body will surely be affected.

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Trivial Pericardial Effusion

Dec 03 2011 Published by under P

Trivial Pericardial Effusion: So that the beating heart does not create friction with other internal organs, this is being enclosed in a sac called pericardium. This sac should be free from any foreign bodies which include fluids. However, there are certain instances in which fluids tend to build up within the pericardial space. The accumulation of fluid in the pericardium is termed as pericardial effusion.

There are several pathologies that can be associated with pericardial effusion and these include infections, inflammatory diseases such as lupus, cancer, kidney failure and status post heart surgery. As fluid continues to accumulate in this sac, the heart would still keep on pumping. In cases wherein there’s much fluid accumulation in the sac, this is considered to be a trivial pericardial effusion. The symptoms of trivial pericardial effusion may not clearly manifest. Contrary to this, there are also certain instances in which there’s too much fluid build up in the heart. During this time, the heart would already have some pumping failures and there will be poor perfusion towards the different parts of the body, especially the vital organs. This condition is called cardiac tamponade. MRI and CT scan are the most effective modes of diagnosing a possible pericardial effusion though an x-ray may also be able to detect its presence. As with trivial pericardial tamponade, treatment would not be necessary since the fluid accumulation in the pericardial sac would just eventually be absorbed back into the system and symptoms may not be that prominent. Nonetheless, for severe cases of pericardial effusion treatment may be necessary. Often, Non-Steroidal Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are given to halt the ongoing inflammatory process. If the condition doesn’t seem to respond to this, surgery may be indicated. The surgery may be either pericardiocentesis or pericardiectomy.

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Mononeuritis

Dec 02 2011 Published by under M

Mononeuritis is a term referring to the inflammation of only one single nerve. But “mononeuritis multiplex” is a condition of the nervous system involving destruction to at least 2 unconnected nerve areas. It causes impairment to peripheral nerves which are the nerves outside the spinal cord and brain. In actuality it is a grouping of symptoms – a syndrome – not actually a disease. But, certain diseases can cause the nerve damage or injury that can lead to the symptoms of mononeuritis multiplex.

Conditions that are common include blood vessel diseases such as polyarteritis nodosa; connective tissue illnesses such as “systemic lupus erythematosus” or rheumatoid arthritis; as well as diabetes mellitus.

Causes that are less common can include amyloidosis, disorders of the blood such as cryoglobulinemia and hypereosinophilia, infections for instance Lyme disease, leprosy, sarcoidosis, Sjogren syndrome, or Wegener’s granulomatosis.

Symptoms are dependent on what exact nerves are involved and might include loss of bowel or bladder; sensation loss in one or more portions of the body; paralysis in one or more portions of the body; burning, tingling, pain or other atypical sensations in one or more portion of the body; as well as weaknesses in one of more parts of the body.

If the reason or cause of this impairment is found and treated successfully, and if the damage is restricted, a total recovery is possible. The sum of disability can range from no disability to partial or complete damage or loss of function, sensation or movement.

Pain in the nerve can be very uncomfortable and might last for some time. If this happens, the individual might want to see a pain specialist to make certain that all treatment options for pain are available.

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