Directory of Diseases

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
PAC/PVC (Premature Atrial Contractions/Premature Ventricular Contractions)

Premature atrial contractions (PACs), also known as atrial premature complexes (APC) or atrial premature beats (APB), are a common cardiac dysrhythmia characterized by premature heartbeats originating in the atria. While the sinoatrial node typically regulates the heartbeat during normal sinus rhythm, PACs occur when another region of the atria depolarizes before the sinoatrial node and thus triggers a premature heartbeat.The exact cause of PACs is unclear; while several predisposing conditions exist, PACs commonly occur in healthy young and elderly people without heart disease, and by themselves are not considered an abnormal finding. PACs are often completely asymptomatic and may be noted only with Holter monitoring, but occasionally they can be perceived as a skipped beat or a jolt in the chest. In most cases, no treatment other than reassurance is needed for PACs, although medications such as beta blockers can reduce the frequency of symptomatic PACs.

A premature ventricular contraction (PVC), also known as a premature ventricular complex, ventricular premature contraction (or complex or complexes) (VPC), ventricular premature beat (VPB), or ventricular extrasystole (VES), is a relatively common event where the heartbeat is initiated in the ventricles rather than by the sinoatrial node, the normal heartbeat initiator. Although a PVC can be a sign of decreased oxygenation to the (heart muscle) often PVCs are benign and may even be found in otherwise healthy hearts. A PVC may be perceived as a "skipped beat" or felt as palpitations in the chest. In a normal heartbeat, the ventricles contract after the atria have helped to fill them by contracting; in this way the ventricles can pump a maximized amount of blood both to the lungs and to the rest of the body. In a PVC, the ventricles contract first and before the atria have optimally filled the ventricles with blood, which means that circulation is inefficient. However, single beat PVC abnormal heart rhythms do not usually pose a danger and can be asymptomatic in healthy individuals.

Palpitations (NOS)

Palpitations are a perceived abnormality of the heartbeat characterized by awareness of heart muscle contractions in the chest: hard beats, fast beats, irregular beats, and/or pauses. They are both a symptom reported by the patient and a medical diagnosis. Palpitations are frequently associated with anxiety, and do not necessarily indicate a structural or functional abnormality of the heart, but they can be a symptom arising from an objectively rapid or irregular heartbeat. Palpitations can be intermittent and of variable frequency and duration, or continuous. Associated symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, headaches, and chest pain.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, a large organ that is behind the stomach . The pancreas secretes enzymes to break down food and metabolize sugar. The most common causes of pancreatitis are alcohol use and gallstones but other causes such as high triglycerides, certain medications, and tumors can also cause it. The inflammation within the pancreas causes the release of enzymes into the bloodstream that can help in the diagnosis of pancreatitis.

Panic Disorder

Produces a life threatening response to an external stimulant that does not exist. The sympathetic nervous system is activated producing a flight or fight response. The heart rate and respiratory rate increases, and the palms become sweaty. Up to 2% of the population have panic disorder (panic attacks). It is often a recurrent disorder. Episodes typically last from 2 to 10 minutes, but can be as long as 1-2 hours.

Paronychia - Finger (Nailbed Infection)

A skin infection that involves the tissues around the fingernail. Bacteria are the most common pathogens, followed by fungi. A paronychia can result from trauma or improper nail and cuticle care. The infection can extend and cause cellulitis of the entire finger.

Paronychia - Toe

A skin infection that involves the tissues around the toenail. Bacteria are the most common pathogens, followed by fungi. A paronychia can result from trauma or improper nail and cuticle care. The infection can extend and cause cellulitis of the entire toe.

Parotitis (Salivary Gland Inflammation)

Just like people can get kidney stones & gallstones, one can also get a salivary gland stone. The parotid gland is a salivary gland that sits near the angle of the jaw and can commonly become blocked by a stone. When this happens one experiences pain and swelling of the gland. Parotitis is a common cause of facial pain and swelling. This will get better once the stone comes out. If you drink concentrated citric juices like lime juice you'll force it to come out. Sometimes the gland becomes infected and you need to take antibiotics such as clindamycin.

Patellar Dislocation (Knee Cap Dislocation)

The knee cap usually glides up and down inside a shallow groove inside the knee joint. Although the knee cap can move side to side across this groove, it does so only slightly. If it slips sideways too far, it can get knocked outside of the groove and dislocate. Once it has dislocated it may get stuck on the side of the knee. The knee usually gets stuck in a semi-bent position and it causes severe pain when moved. A physician has to carefully fully extend the knee and guide the knee cap back in it's place to reduce the dislocation. Patellar dislocations usually occur from a sudden direction change while running or from a direct force on the patella during an injury. If a patella is dislocated a person cannot walk. Occasionally the knee cap dislocates and then spontaneously it relocates itself.

Patellar Fracture

This refers to a 'broken' or fractured knee cap. This injury usually occurs after striking or impacting the knee cap with tremendous force against a hard surface or object. This frequently happens from falling and landing on a knee. Once it is fractured it is difficult for a person to walk or use the injured knee. Many of these fractures require surgery for repair. If you hot your knee against something with a lot of force and there is bruising and swelling on the front of the knee then there could be a patellar fracture.

Patellar Tendon Rupture (Torn kneecap tendon)

This refers to a torn patellar tendon. Tendons are strong fibrous bands that attach muscles to bone. With the use of tendons, muscles can make our bones and body move. The patellar tendon starts on the kneecap and attaches to the lower leg (upper tibia) and is responsible for straightening the leg. It acts like a pulley to kick the leg out. If this tendon is torn then one cannot kick or straighten the leg against force. This tendon can snap from a sudden forceful straightening or kicking out of the leg. It can also tear after being hit or cut. Most people feel a 'snap or a 'pop'. This type of injury requires surgery and physical therapy and must be initially evaluated in an ER.

Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper's Knee)

Patellar tendonitis is inflammation of the patellar or quadriceps tendon. This usually occurs from overuse. Most frequently this happens to people who do a lot of jumping sports like basketball or volleyball. Pain is felt right below or above the kneecap. The pain can feel like and ache and worsens with jumping or squatting. This condition is not dangerous and usually is treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medications.