Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Laryngomalacia

A labeled anatomical diagram of the vocal fold...
A labeled anatomical diagram of the vocal folds or cords. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Definition:
Laryngomalacia is a softening of the tissues of the larynx (voice box) above the vocal cords. This softening causes the tissues to become floppy, and they may fall over the airway opening and partially block it.

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Laryngomalacia (literally, “soft larynx”) is a very common condition of infancy, in which the soft, immature cartilage of the upper larynx collapses inward during inhalation, causing airway obstruction. It can also be seen in older patients, especially those with neuromuscular conditions resulting in weakness of the muscles of the throat. However, the infantile form is much more common.

There are several types – the mildest may cause no problems, while the most severe can be associated with other abnormalities of the respiratory tract, and with neuromuscular and gastroenterological problems.

Symptoms:
Until the larynx becomes stronger, problems can arise for several reasons:

•The soft limp tissues of the larynx can collapse as the baby breathes in. This interrupts the flow of air and causes noisy breathing, with a sound called stridor, which is a sign of obstructed air flow – in fact laryngomalacia is the commonest cause of stridor in babies. It may be worse if the baby has a respiratory infection.

•In some children, laryngomalacia can interfere with feeding. The effort required to draw air in through the obstructed airway can cause reflux of food from the stomach back up into the oesophagus or gullet.

•There may be other ear, nose and throat problems, and rarely problems with the lungs. Low oxygen levels may disrupt normal growth.

Common symptoms are :-
*Nosy breathing (stridor) – An audible wheeze when your baby breathes in. It is often worse when the baby is agitated, feeding, *crying or sleeping on the back
*High pitched sound
*Difficulty feeding
*Poor weight gain
*Choking while feeding
*Apnea — Breathing stoppage
*Pulling in neck and check with each breath
*Cyanosis — Turning blue
*Gastroesophageal reflux — Spitting, vomiting and regurgitation
*Aspiration – Inhalation of food into the lungs

Causes:
Laryngomalacia is thought to be the result of abnormally slow maturation of the tissues of the larynx, possibly because of genetic factors. This simply means that at birth the baby’s respiratory tract isn’t developed and string enough to cope with the mechanical demands of drawing breath.

Although doctors believe there’s a link between laryngomalacia and gastro-oesophageal reflu, there isn’t a single common mechanism to link these two problems, so several theories exist. In some patients with laryngomalacia, reflux may be the primary cause of their airway problems. In others, it’s an additional factor on top of neurological or anatomical abnormalities.

Reflux is common in babies less than one year old, because the muscular valve at the entrance to the stomach (which holds food in the stomach) may be weak in small infants.

Research suggests that a very large number, if not all, of babies with laryngomalacia also have reflux of gastric acid and digestive enzymes up to the pharynx (back of the throat). This may have detrimental effects on the larynx and tracheobronchial tree (air passages into the lungs). This may cause persistent swelling (oedema) of the larynx lining, which is common in children with laryngomalacia.

There’s no consensus yet about managing this link, but it makes sense to think simple treatments to control reflux could help resolve the laryngomalacia more quickly, too. More interventional treatments such as surgery, with all their inherent risks, are best avoided if possible.

Although laryngomalacia is not associated with a specific gene, there is evidence that some cases may be inherited.

Diagnosis:
Your doctor will ask you some questions about your baby’s health problems and may recommend a test called a flexible laryngoscopy (lar ring os co pee) to further evaluate your baby’s condition.

During this test, done in your doctor’s office, a tiny camera that looks like a strand of spaghetti with a light on the end is passed through your baby’s nostril and into the lower part of the throat where the larynx is. This allows your doctor to see your baby’s voicebox.

After the diagnosis — additional tests:
If laryngomalacia is diagnosed, the doctor may want to do other diagnostic tests to evaluate the extent of your child’s problems and to see whether the lower airway is affected. These tests may include:

X-ray of the neck;
A neck X-ray is done to make sure that your baby does not have other problems below the voice box (in the subglottis, trachea or chest). These are areas that the doctor cannot see during the flexible laryngoscopy.

Airway fluoroscopy;
The doctor may also order a motion picture X-ray of the trachea to make sure that there are no other problems.

Microlaryngoscopy (my crow lar ring os co pee)and bronchoscopy (brawn cos co pee), also known as MLB
This test is done when a neck X-ray shows additional problems in the lower airway. Your child is taken to the operating room and given anesthesia. Then the doctor passes a tiny camera through your child’s mouth and down past the vocal cords (larynx) to look at the area below the vocal folds that may be contributing to the stridor (noisy breathing). The surgeon will take some pictures and will review the results with you afterward.

EGD or esophagogastroduodenoscopy pH probe
This test will be done if your child’s doctor suspects that there may be a more severe problem.

Treatment :
In almost all cases (99 percent), laryngomalacia resolves without treatment by the time your child is 18 to 20 months of age. However, if the laryngomalacia is severe, your child’s treatment may include medication or surgery.

Medication:
Your child’s GI doctor may prescribe an anti-reflux medication to help manage the gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). This is important because your child’s chronic neck and chest retractions from the laryngomalacia can worsen GERD. Also, the acid reflux can cause swelling above the vocal cords and worsen the noisy breathing.

Surgery:
Surgery is the treatment of choice if your child’s condition is severe. Symptoms that signal the need for surgery include:

*Life-threatening apneas (stoppages of breathing)

*Significant blue spells

*Failure to gain weight with feeding

*Significant chest and neck retractions

*Need for extra oxygen to breathe

*Heart or lung issues related to your child’s inability to get enough oxygen

Supraglottoplasty:
In this surgery, extra tissue above the vocal cords is trimmed in the operating room. Your child will be under general anesthesia while the surgeon does a thorough evaluation of the airway and removes the tissue. After surgery, your child will be taken to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and will spend one night with a breathing tube in the nose. If there is not much swelling in this area, and if the surgeon feels it will be safe, the breathing tube will be removed the next day in the PICU. Your child will then be observed for another day to ensure that the airway is safe, and that your child is getting enough oxygen and is drinking normally.

This surgery may not completely eliminate the noisy breathing but it should help to:

*Reduce the severity of the symptoms

*Lessen the apneas (breathing stoppages)

*Reduce the extra oxygen requirements

*Improve swallowing

*Help your child gain weight.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laryngomalacia
http://www.chop.edu/service/airway-disorders/conditions-we-treat/laryngomalacia.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/laryngomalacia.shtml

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Categories
Diagnonistic Test

Urinalysis

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Definition :
Urinalysis is the physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine. It involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds that pass through the urine.

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It is a routine examination of the urine for cells, tiny structures, bacteria, and chemicals that suggest various illnesses. A urine culture attempts to grow large numbers of bacteria from a urine sample to diagnose a bacterial urine infection.


How the Test is Performed

A urine sample is needed. Your health care provider will tell you what type of urine sample is needed. For information on how to collect a urine sample, see:

*24-hour urine collection
*Clean catch urine specimen

There are three basic steps to a complete urinalysis:

1. Physical color and appearance:

*What does the urine look like to the naked eye?
*Is it clear or cloudy?
*Is it pale or dark yellow or another color?

The urine specific gravity test reveals how concentrated or dilute the urine is.

2.Microscopic appearance:

The urine sample is examined under a microscope. This is done to look at cells, urine crystals, mucus, and other substances, and to identify any bacteria or other microorganisms that might be present.

3,Chemical appearance:

A special stick (“dipstick”) tests for various substances in the urine. The stick contains little pads of chemicals that change color when they come in contact with the substances of interest.

Click to See : Urine chemistry

How to Prepare for the Test:
For a regular urinalysis, you are asked to urinate briefly into a plastic cup. When urine is collected for a urine culture, you must provide a “clean catch” sample – one that is not contaminated by skin cells and skin bacteria. This is so the doctor can obtain a sample of urine from inside your bladder, where normally there should be no bacteria. In contrast, there are many bacteria on the skin of a penis or in a vagina. The trick (harder for a woman than a man) is to pee directly into a sterile container without having the stream of urine first touch your skin or the nonsterile tissues of the vagina.

To collect a clean catch sample, you are given a sterile plastic container and asked to wipe off the area around your urethra (where urine exits) with an antiseptic cloth. For women, it’s also helpful to hold the two labia (outer walls) of the vagina apart with one hand when you urinate, so that the stream of urine passes directly into the sterile container. Since the first flow of urine is most likely to be contaminated by bacteria from around the opening of the urethra, first urinate for a moment into the toilet and then use the cup to collect the “middle” portion of your urine stream.

Certain medicines change the color of urine, but this is not a sign of disease. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking any medicines that can affect test results.

Medicines that can change your urine color include:

*Chloroquine
*Iron supplements
*Levodopa
*Nitrofurantoin
*Phenazopyridine
*Phenothiazines
*Phenytoin
*Riboflavin
*Triamterene

Why the Test is Performed :-

A urinalysis may be done:

As part of a routine medical exam to screen for early signs of disease
If you have signs of diabetes or kidney disease, or to monitor you if you are being treated for these conditions
To check for blood in the urine
To diagnose a urinary tract infection
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:

*Acute bilateral obstructive uropathy
*Acute nephritic syndrome
*Acute tubular necrosis
*Acute unilateral obstructive uropathy
*Alkalosis
*Alport syndrome
*Analgesic nephropathy
*Anorexia nervosa
*Atheroembolic renal disease
*Atrial myxoma
*Bladder stones
*Chronic bilateral obstructive uropathy
*Chronic glomerulonephritis
*Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infection
*Chronic renal failure
*Chronic unilateral obstructive uropathy
*Chronic urethritis
*Complicated UTI (pyelonephritis)
*Congenital nephrotic syndrome
*Cystinuria
*Delirium
*Dementia
*Dementia due to metabolic causes
*Diabetes insipidus — central
*Diabetic nephropathy/sclerosis
*Enuresis
*Epididymitis
*Failure to thrive
*Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
*Goodpasture’s syndrome
*Heart failure
*Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS)
*Henoch-Schonlein purpura
*Insulin-dependent diabetes (IDD)
*IgA nephropathy (Berger’s disease)
*Injury of the kidney and ureter
*Interstitial nephritis
*Irritable bladder
*Left-sided heart failure
*Lupus nephritis
*Malignant hypertension (arteriolar nephrosclerosis)
*Medullary cystic kidney disease
*Membranoproliferative GN I
*Membranoproliferative GN II
*Membranous nephropathy
*Myelomeningocele (children)
*Necrotizing vasculitis
*Nephrotic syndrome
*Noninsulin-dependent diabetes (NIDD)
*Orchitis
*Ovarian cancer
*Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)
*Polycystic kidney disease
*Post-streptococcal GN
*Prerenal azotemia
*Primary amyloid
*Prostate cancer
*Prostatitis, acute
*Prostatitis, chronic
*Prostatitis, non-bacterial
*Pyelonephritis; acute
*Rapidly progressive (crescentic) glomerulonephritis
*Reflux nephropathy
*Renal papillary necrosis
*Renal tubular acidosis; distal
*Renal tubular acidosis; proximal
*Renal vein thrombosis
*Retrograde ejaculation
*Rhabdomyolysis
*Right-sided heart failure
*Secondary systemic amyloid
*Stress incontinence
*Systemic lupus erythematosus
*Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)
*Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
*Traumatic injury of the bladder and urethra
*Ureterocele
*Urethral stricture
*Urethritis
*Wegener’s granulomatosis
*Wilms’ tumor

RESULTS:

Normal Results
Normal urine may vary in color from almost colorless to dark yellow. Some foods (like beets and blackberries) may turn the urine a red color.

Usually, glucose, ketones, protein, bilirubin, are not detectable in urine. The following are not normally found in urine:

*Hemoglobin
*Nitrites
*Red blood cells
*White blood cells
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean
For specific results, see the individual test article:

*Bilirubin – urine
*Glucose – urine
*Protein – urine
*Red blood cells in urine test
*Urine ketones
*Urine pH
*Urine protein
*Urine specific gravity

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor might be able to do a urinalysis in his or her office and can give you the results within 10-15 minutes. If the urine is sent to a separate laboratory, it usually takes several hours to get results, so you may not hear from your doctor until the next day. A urine culture takes 24 to 72 hours to complete, so you may not hear results for several days.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/urinalysis.shtml
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003579.htm

http://www.hallvet.com.au/services/urinalysis.html

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Cholangiocarcinoma

Alternative Names: Bile duct cancer

Definition: Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancerous (malignant) growth in the bile duct which drain bile from the liver into the small intestine. Other biliary tract cancers include pancreatic cancer, gall bladder cancer, and cancer of the ampulla of Vater. Cholangiocarcinoma is a relatively rare adenocarcinoma, with an annual incidence of 1–2 cases per 100,000 in the Western world, but rates of cholangiocarcinoma have been rising worldwide over the past several decades.

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Causes
Cancerous tumors of the bile ducts are usually slow-growing and do not spread (metastasize) quickly. However, many of these tumors are already advanced by the time they are found.

A cholangiocarcinoma may start anywhere along the bile ducts. These tumors block off the bile ducts.

They affect both men and women. Most patients are older than 65.

Risk Factors:
Although most patients present without any known risk factors evident, a number of risk factors for the development of cholangiocarcinoma have been described; in the Western world, the most common of these is primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an inflammatory disease of the bile ducts which is in turn closely associated with ulcerative colitis (UC). Epidemiologic studies have suggested that the lifetime risk of developing cholangiocarcinoma for a person with PSC is 10%–15%,  although autopsy series have found rates as high as 30% in this population. The mechanism by which PSC increases the risk of cholangiocarcinoma is not well-understood.
Certain parasitic liver diseases may be risk factors as well. Colonization with the liver flukes Opisthorchis viverrini (found in Thailand, Laos, and Malaysia) or Clonorchis sinensis (found in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam) has been associated with the development of cholangiocarcinoma. Patients with chronic liver disease, whether in the form of viral hepatitis (e.g. hepatitis B or C), alcoholic liver disease, or cirrhosis from other causes, are at increased risk of cholangiocarcinoma. HIV infection was also identified in one study as a potential risk factor for cholangiocarcinoma, although it was unclear whether HIV itself or correlated factors (e.g. hepatitis C infection) were responsible for the association.

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Congenital liver abnormalities, such as Caroli’s syndrome or choledochal cysts, have been associated with an approximately 15% lifetime risk of developing cholangiocarcinoma. The rare inherited disorders Lynch syndrome II and biliary papillomatosis are associated with cholangiocarcinoma. The presence of gallstones (cholelithiasis) is not clearly associated with cholangiocarcinoma. However, intrahepatic stones (so-called hepatolithiasis), which are rare in the West but common in parts of Asia, have been strongly associated with cholangiocarcinoma. Exposure to Thorotrast, a form of thorium dioxide which was used as a radiologic contrast medium, has been linked to the development of cholangiocarcinoma as late as 30–40 years after exposure; Thorotrast was banned in the United States in the 1950s due to its carcinogenicity.

Ricks for this condition include:

* Bile duct (choledochal) cysts
* Chronic biliary irritation
* History of infection with the parasitic worm, liver flukes
* Primary sclerosing cholangitis

Cholangiocarcinoma is rare. It occurs in approximately 2 out of 100,000 people.

Symptoms
* Chills
* Clay-colored stools
* Fever
* Itching
* Loss of appetite
* Pain in the upper right abdomen that may radiate to the back
* Weight loss
* Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)

The most common physical indications of cholangiocarcinoma are abnormal liver function tests, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), which occurs only when bile ducts are blocked by the tumor, abdominal pain (30%–50%), generalized itching (66%), weight loss (30%–50%), fever (up to 20%), or changes in stool or urine color.To some extent, the symptoms depend upon the location of the tumor: Patients with cholangiocarcinoma in the extrahepatic bile ducts (outside the liver) are more likely to have jaundice, while those with tumors of the bile ducts within the liver often have pain without jaundice.
.Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)->     CLICK & SEE
Blood tests of liver function in patients with cholangiocarcinoma often reveal a so-called “obstructive picture,” with elevated bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma glutamyl transferase levels, and relatively normal transaminase levels. Such laboratory findings suggest obstruction of the bile ducts, rather than inflammation or infection of the liver, as the primary cause of the jaundice.  CA19-9 is elevated in most cases

Diagnosis:–
Cholangiocarcinoma is definitively diagnosed from tissue, i.e. it is proven by biopsy or examination of the tissue excised at surgery. It may be suspected in a patient with obstructive jaundice. Considering it as the working-diagnosis may be challenging in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC); such patients are at high risk of developing cholangiocarcinoma, but the symptoms may be difficult to distinguish from those of PSC. Furthermore, in patients with PSC, such diagnostic clues as a visible mass on imaging or biliary ductal dilatation may not be evident.

Exams and Tests:-
Blood tests
Blood tests that show abnormal function.
There are no specific blood tests that can diagnose cholangiocarcinoma by themselves. Serum levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and CA19-9 are often elevated, but are not sensitive or specific enough to be used as a general screening tool. However, they may be useful in conjunction with imaging methods in supporting a suspected diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma.
:

Abdominal imaging
CT scan showing cholangiocarcinomaUltrasound of the liver and biliary tree is often used as the initial imaging modality in patients with suspected obstructive jaundice. Ultrasound can identify obstruction and ductal dilatation and, in some cases, may be sufficient to diagnose cholangiocarcinoma.  Computed tomography (CT) scanning may also play an important role in the diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma.

Tests that show a tumor or blockage in the bile duct:
*Abdominal CT scan
*Abdominal ultrasound
*CT scan-directed biopsy
*Cytology
*Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
*Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTCA)

Liver function tests (especially bilirubin)

Treatment  :-
The goal is to treat the cancer and the blockage it causes. When possible, surgery to remove the tumor is the treatment of choice and may result in a cure. However, often the cancer has already spread by the time it is diagnosed.

Chemotherapy or radiation may be given after surgery to decrease the risk of the cancer returning. However, the benefit of this treatment is not certain.

Endoscopic therapy or surgery can clear blockages in the biliary ducts and relieve jaundice in patients when the tumor cannot be removed.

For patients with cancer that cannot be removed, radiation therapy may be beneficial. Chemotherapy may be added to radiation therapy or used when the tumor has spread. However, this is rarely effective.

Support Groups:-
You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group with members who share common experiences and problems (see cancer – support group).

Hospice is often a good resource for patients with cholangiocarcinoma that cannot be cured.

Prognosis:

Surgical resection offers the only potential chance of cure in cholangiocarcinoma. For non-resectable cases, the 5-year survival rate is 0% where the disease is inoperable because distal lymph nodes show metastases[63], and less than 5% in general. Overall median duration of survival is less than 6 months in inoperable, untreated, otherwise healthy patients with tumors involving the liver by way of the intrahepatic bile ducts and hepatic portal vein.

For surgical cases, the odds of cure vary depending on the tumor location and whether the tumor can be completely, or only partially, removed. Distal cholangiocarcinomas (those arising from the common bile duct) are generally treated surgically with a Whipple procedure; long-term survival rates range from 15%–25%, although one series reported a five year survival of 54% for patients with no involvement of the lymph nodes. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (those arising from the bile ducts within the liver) are usually treated with partial hepatectomy. Various series have reported survival estimates after surgery ranging from 22%–66%; the outcome may depend on involvement of lymph nodes and completeness of the surgery. Perihilar cholangiocarcinomas (those occurring near where the bile ducts exit the liver) are least likely to be operable. When surgery is possible, they are generally treated with an aggressive approach often including removal of the gallbladder and potentially part of the liver. In patients with operable perihilar tumors, reported 5-year survival rates range from 20%–50%.

The prognosis may be worse for patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis who develop cholangiocarcinoma, likely because the cancer is not detected until it is advanced. Some evidence suggests that outcomes may be improving with more aggressive surgical approaches and adjuvant therapy.

Possible Complications :-
*Infection
*Liver failure
*Spread (metastasis) of tumor to other organs.

When to Contact a Medical Professional :-
Call your health care provider if you have jaundice or other symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholangiocarcinoma
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/article/000291.htm

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