Currently, there is no means to eradicate the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from the human body. Thus, drug therapy provides an important mechanism to slow viral replication and its damaging effects on the body. A review of the drugs used in the care of the patient with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is provided, which highlights the significant adverse reactions and interactions associated with their use.
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were first noticed in the US in 1981 and continue to spread today. Initially a disease associated completely with homosexual males, it is increasing in incidence and prevalence among heterosexual males and females, particularly, but not limited to, injection drug users. This disease is much more prevalent among blacks and Hispanics. Podiatric physicians are at risk of acquiring the disease as a result of their frequent use of injections and surgical intervention, particularly involving bone. In addition, the foot is a potential portal of entry for HIV infection because of contamination by blood on the feet of podiatric surgeons and their assistants during surgery.
Foot and nail care specialists spend a great portion of their day using nail drills to reduce nail thickness and smooth foot callouses. This process generates a large amount of dust, some of which is small enough to breathe in and deposit into the deepest regions of the respiratory tract, potentially causing health problems. Foot and nail dust often contain fungi, from both fungally-infected and healthy-looking nails. While the majority of healthy individuals can tolerate inhaled fungi, the immune systems of older, immunocompromised, and allergy-prone individuals often react using the inflammatory TH2 pathway, leading to mucus overproduction, bronchoconstriction, and, in severe cases, lung tissue damage. To protect vulnerable podiatry professionals, wearing a surgical mask, using a water spray suppression system on nail drills, installing air filtration systems, and considering drilling technique can help reduce the exposure to nail dust.
Onychomycosis is a chronic fungal infection of the nail that is recalcitrant to treatment. It is unclear why normally effective antifungal therapy results in low cure rates. Evidence suggests that there may be a plethora of reasons that include the limited immune presence in the nail, reduced circulation, presence of commensal microbes, and fungal influence on immune signaling. Therefore, treatment should be designed to address these possibilities and work synergistically with both the innate and adaptive immune responses.
Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection of the skin. It may occur anywhere on the skin surface but is most common in skinfolds, on the face, and in the genital region. Atypical presentations are usually seen in conditions with altered immunity, but they may occur in immunocompetent patients as well. We present a case of an unusual presentation of molluscum contagiosum lesions (multiple normal and one giant) on the plantar area of the foot in an adult.
Can cimetidine therapy effectively stimulate the body’s immune response against warts? Several clinicians have anecdotally reported success using cimetidine against warts. Previous double-blind studies comparing cimetidine with placebo therapy have failed to statistically and scientifically corroborate those results. Between 1995 and 2002, 216 patients underwent an isolated course of oral cimetidine therapy for verruca plantaris. Our treatment outcomes closely parallel those obtained by other researchers. Cimetidine may be used as a safe, effective, lone treatment modality for verruca in all age groups. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(3): 229–234, 2005)
Foot and nail care specialists spend a great portion of their day using nail drills to reduce nail thickness and smooth foot calluses. This process generates a large amount of dust, some of which is small enough to breathe in and deposit into the deepest regions of the respiratory tract, potentially causing health problems. Foot and nail dust often contains fungi, from both fungus-infected and healthy-appearing nails. Although the majority of healthy individuals can tolerate inhaled fungi, the immune systems of older, immunocompromised, and allergy-prone individuals often react using the inflammatory T helper cell type 2 pathway, leading to mucus overproduction, bronchoconstriction, and, in severe cases, lung tissue damage. To protect vulnerable podiatry professionals, wearing a surgical mask, using a water spray suppression system on nail drills, installing air filtration systems, and considering drilling technique can help reduce exposure to nail dust.
A 53-year-old woman presented with painful swelling of the right forefoot presenting clinically as a metatarsal stress fracture. Radiographs showed destructive changes, and diagnostic imaging revealed an aggressive neoplasm. The lesion was biopsied, and the pathologic diagnosis was metastatic melanoma. A thorough physical examination and advanced imaging did not reveal a primary tumor. Ray resection was performed with en bloc resection of the neoplasm. The patient continues to receive long-term immune stimulation chemotherapy 34 months after the ray resection.
Clinicians caring for chronic wounds can easily overlook nutritional status. Patients with diabetes are at high risk for primary and secondary malnutrition. Although profiles exist defining the extent of the deficiency, the process of wound healing and the interactions of the macronutrients and micronutrients necessary to accomplish it must first be understood. In elderly patients with diabetes, additional factors such as liver and renal function, the interdependence of the immune system, and protein synthesis, also must be considered. This article provides a practical format to assist clinicians in better evaluating this often difficult-to-assess area of care. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(1): 38-47, 2002)
Fever is an active yet nonspecific response of the body to infections and other insults that cause immune cells to release cytokines, resulting in a brain prostanoid–mediated rise in body temperature. The causes, types, clinical management, and postoperative consequences of fever are reviewed in this article. Physicians use fever as a clinical sign for diagnoses and prognoses, but “fevers of unknown origin” continue to be problematic. Fevers that arise 1 or 2 days after surgery are usually due to stress and trauma, but later postoperative fevers often have more serious causes and consequences, such as wound infection. Fever is commonly encountered by podiatric physicians and surgeons, and certain procedures with the lower extremity are more likely to eventuate in fever. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 281–290, 2010)