Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: JAAPA : official journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants


Gluten-free diets have gained popularity with the public at a rate greater than would be expected based on the prevalence of gluten-related disorders such celiac disease, nonceliac gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy. This article reviews gluten-related disorders, indications for gluten-free diets, and the possible health benefits of gluten. Despite the health claims for gluten-free eating, no published experimental evidence supports weight-loss with a gluten-free diet or suggests that the general population would benefit from avoiding gluten.

Concepts: Nutrition, Wheat, Coeliac disease, Gluten, Gluten-free diet, Dermatitis herpetiformis, Rice, Wheat allergy


Hypovitaminosis D is a common syndrome with wellestablished risk factors. Only recently, however, are the expansive implications of vitamin D deficiency becoming recognized, including cardiovascular complications, cancer, and dementia. The increased attention to the role of vitamin D has made its assessment more crucial in comprehensive patient management.

Concepts: Vitamin D, The Canon of Medicine, Vitamin, Vitamins, Hypovitaminosis D


A patient who presented with chest pain, shortness of breath, and a purulent pericardial effusion became hemodynamically unstable after recurrent accumulation of fluid in the pericardial sac despite treatment. Surgical exploration revealed an aortic ulcer created by an ingested porcupine quill that perforated the esophagus. Sharp foreign body ingestion is extremely rare but poses devastating complications, and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with otherwise unexplained chest pain.

Concepts: Medical terms, Pneumonia, Physician, Differential diagnosis


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death among adults in the United States. Despite advances in cardiac care, patients who have CAD and a diagnosis of depression have higher rates of morbidity and mortality. This article examines the epidemiology, clinical presentation, screening tools, and treatment recommendations for these patients.


This article describes the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, diagnosis, and management of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a potentially debilitating autonomic disorder that can have many causes and presentations. POTS can be mistaken for panic disorder, inappropriate sinus tachycardia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Clinician suspicion for the syndrome is key to prompt patient diagnosis and treatment.

Concepts: Medical terms, Medical diagnosis, Syndromes, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Differential diagnosis, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, Sinus tachycardia


Growing demand for services is leading primary care organizations to explore new delivery models. One approach incorporates multiple primary care providers on a team. Effective incorporation of multiple clinicians into teams requires well-defined roles, including the usual provider (who provides the majority of primary care) and supplemental providers (who provide a minority of primary care visits). Using data from the Veterans Health Administration, we examined whether differences in diabetes outcomes exist among patients with different types of primary and supplemental providers (physicians, physician assistants (PAs), and NPs). No clinically meaningful differences were observed based on the profession of the usual provider or supplemental provider, or whether physicians provided supplemental care to patients with PAs or NPs as usual providers. These results suggest that physicians, PAs, and NPs can perform a variety of roles depending on the needs of the organization and patient population.


The unprecedented surge in physician assistants (PAs) and NPs in the ED developed quickly in recent years, but scope of practice and practice patterns are not well described.


Electronic health record data linked with Medicare data from an academic physician group were used to propose a multidimensional characterization of PA and NP roles on panels of primary care patients with diabetes. Seven PA and NP roles were defined based on level of involvement, visits with complex patients, and delivery of chronic care. Findings suggest that PAs and NPs in primary care perform a variety of roles and frequently perform multiple roles within a clinic.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Medical terms, Hospital, Physician, Electronic health record, Primary care, Cultivar


Seasonal affective disorder, which is underdiagnosed in the primary care setting, is a mood disorder subtype characterized by episodic major depression that typically develops in winter when daylight hours are short. Patients with SAD experience increased morbidity and decreased quality of life. This article focuses on recognition and management of this condition. Light therapy is the preferred treatment for SAD because it is safe and easy to administer; light therapy may be combined with pharmacologic therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) also has a positive therapeutic effect when combined with light therapy and may help prevent SAD in subsequent seasons.

Concepts: Sunlight, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Schizophrenia, Major depressive disorder, Seasonal affective disorder, Mood disorder, Depression, Light therapy


Clinicians should be aware of the risk of opportunistic infections in patients who are immunocompromised. Opportunistic infections such as Pneumocystis jirovecii commonly are associated with HIV/AIDS, but less commonly considered in patients receiving immunosuppressive and/or immunomodulating therapies. This case report focuses on the management of an opportunistic infection in an HIV-negative patient on immunosuppressive medications for lymphoma and exacerbation of pulmonary fibrosis.