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Adult Medicine

Elevated liver enzymes and fatty liver

After all other potential causes have been ruled out, I attribute elevated liver enzymes (aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase) to a fatty liver. This, of course, is usually noted on ultrasound or CT scan. How often should the enzymes be checked as part of routine monitoring? When should additional tests be ordered if the enzyme…

Fatty liver treatment

I am seeing fatty liver more frequently as an incidental finding in patients undergoing abdominal ultrasound for GI complaints without a history of alcohol abuse or liver disease (particularly in middle-aged, slightly obese women). Does this progress to a more serious problem if not treated? What is the proper treatment?—Jean Marsalla, ANP, Tucson, Ariz. Nonalcoholic…

Dye binds to proteins altered by prostate cancer fo form PSA.

Popular drugs lower PSA levels

Two of the most commonly used classes of medication—statins and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—may compromise already controversial cancer screenings by lowering serum levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA).

More on antibiotics and oral contraceptives

Two readers ask about taking antibiotics while pregnant.Current research suggests no significant difference in circulating hormones when a woman is taking broad-spectrum antibiotics (other than rifampin) (Item 117-17). The recommendation is that a woman with vomiting, diarrhea, or forgetfulness use a backup method for the duration of antibiotic use (Hatcher RA, Nelson AL, Zieman M,…

Imaging reveals swelling of the wall of the abdominal aorta.

Smoking propels aneurysm risk in women

Smoking raises the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm events nearly ninefold in postmenopausal women and negatively affects cognition in middle-aged adults

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