A 46-year-old former salesman presents to the ER, complaining of black stools for the past few weeks. His past medical history is significant for cirrhosis. He has gained weight recently, especially around his abdomen. He has smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for 30 years and has drunk approximately 10 alcoholic beverages a day for 25 years. He has used IV heroin and smoked crack in the past. He denies any recent use. He is currently unemployed and has never been married. On examination you find a man appearing older than his stated age. His skin has a yellowish tint and he is thin, with a prominent abdomen. You note multiple “spider angiomas” at the base of his neck. Otherwise, his heart and lung examinations are normal. On inspection he has dilated veins around his umbilicus. Increased bowel sounds are heard during auscultation. Palpation reveals diffuse tenderness that is more severe in the epigastric area. His liver is small and hard to palpation and he has a positive fluid wave. He is positive for occult blood on his rectal examination. What cause of black stools most likely describes his symptoms and signs?
A 21-year-old receptionist comes to your clinic, complaining of frequent diarrhea. She states that the stools are very loose and there is some cramping beforehand. She states this has occurred on and off since she was in high school. She denies any nausea, vomiting, or blood in her stool. Occasionally she has periods of constipation, but that is rare. She thinks the diarrhea is much worse when she is nervous. Her past medical history is not significant. She is single and a junior in college majoring in accounting. She smokes when she drinks alcohol but denies using any illegal drugs. Both of her parents are healthy. Her entire physical examination is unremarkable. What is most likely the etiology of her diarrhea?
Irritable bowel syndrome
A 42-year-old florist comes to your office, complaining of chronic constipation for the last 6 months. She has had no nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea and no abdominal pain or cramping. She denies any recent illnesses or injuries. She denies any changes to her diet or exercise program. She is on no new medications. During the review of systems you note that she has felt fatigued, had some weight gain, has irregular periods, and has cold intolerance. Her past medical history is significant for one vaginal delivery and two cesarean sections. She is married, has three children, and owns a flower shop. She denies tobacco, alcohol, or drug use. Her mother has type 2 diabetes and her father has coronary artery disease. There is no family history of cancers. On examination she appears her stated age. Her vital signs are normal. Her head, eyes, ears, nose, throat, and neck examinations are normal. Her cardiac, lung, and abdominal examinations are also unremarkable. Her rectal occult blood test is negative. Her deep tendon reflexes are delayed in response to a blow with the hammer, especially the Achilles tendons. What is the best choice for the cause of her constipation?
radiating to his back. He states it began last night after hours of heavy drinking. He has had abdominal pain and vomiting in the past after drinking but never as bad as this. He cannot keep any food or water down, and these symptoms have been going on for almost 12 hours. He has had no recent illnesses or injuries. His past medical history is unremarkable. He denies smoking or using illegal drugs but admits to drinking 6 to 10 beers per weekend night. He admits that last night he drank something like 14 drinks. On examination you find a young male appearing his stated age in some distress. He is leaning over on the examination table and holding his abdomen with his arms. His blood pressure is 90/60 and his pulse is 120. He is afebrile. His abdominal examination reveals normal bowel sounds, but he is very tender in the left upper quadrant and epigastric area. He has no Murphy's sign or tenderness in the right lower quadrant. The remainder of his abdominal examination is normal. His rectal, prostate, penile, and testicular examinations are normal. He has no inguinal hernias or tenderness with that examination. Blood work is pending. What etiology of abdominal pain is most likely causing his symptoms?
A 76-year-old retired farmer comes to your office complaining of abdominal pain, constipation, and a low-grade fever for about 3 days. He denies any nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. The only unusual thing he remembers eating is two bags of popcorn at the movies with his grandson, 3 days before his symptoms began. He denies any other recent illnesses. His past medical history is significant for coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. He has been married for over 50 years. He denies any tobacco, alcohol, or drug use. His mother died of colon cancer and his father had a stroke. On examination he appears his stated age and is in no acute distress. His temperature is 100.9 degrees and his other vital signs are unremarkable. His head, cardiac, and pulmonary examinations are normal. He has normal bowel sounds and is tender over the left lower quadrant. He has no rebound or guarding. His rectal examination is unremarkable and his fecal occult blood test is negative. His prostate is slightly enlarged but his testicular, penile, and inguinal examinations are all normal. Blood work is pending. What diagnosis for abdominal pain best describes his symptoms and signs?
A 77-year-old retired bus driver comes to your clinic for a physical examination at his wife's request. He has recently been losing weight and has felt very fatigued. He has had no chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, or fever. His past medical history includes colon cancer, for which he had surgery, and arthritis. He has been married for over 40 years. He denies any tobacco or drug use and has not drunk alcohol in over 40 years. His parents both died of cancer in their 60s. On examination his vital signs are normal. His head, cardiac, and pulmonary examinations are unremarkable. On abdominal examination you hear normal bowel sounds, but when you palpate his liver it is abnormal. His rectal examination is positive for occult blood. What further abnormality of the liver was likely found on examination?