ULCER-HEALING DRUGS
ULTRASOUND SCANNING
Medical treatments of ulcerative colitis
include
corticosteroid drugs
and
sulfa-
salazine
and its derivatives.
Colectomy
may be required for a severe attack that
fails to respond to other treatments, or
to avoid colonic cancer in those people
who are at high risk.
ulcer-healing drugs A group of drugs
that are used to treat or prevent
peptic
ulcers.
The eradication of
Helicobacter
pylori
infection by treatment with
anti-
biotic drugs
and a drug to reduce acid
secretion is now the preferred treat-
ment for peptic ulceration.
Ulcer-healing drugs work in several
ways.
H -receptor antagonists
function
by blocking the effects of histamine,
an action that reduces acid secretion in
the stomach, thereby promoting the
healing of ulcers. Taking
antacid drugs
regularly may be effective in healing
duodenal ulcers because the drugs
neutralize excess acid.
Omeprazole
and
misoprostol work by reducing acid
secretion. Other ulcer-healing drugs,
such as
sucralfate
, are believed to form
a protective barrier over the ulcer,
allowing healing of the underlying tis-
sues to take place.
The choice of ulcer-healing drug dep-
ends on the length of time symptoms
have been present and the appearance
of the ulcer during
endoscopy.
In many
cases of recent onset, a course of acid-
blocking drugs or antacids will give
rapid relief. Recurrent ulcers usually
require treatment with antibiotic drugs.
ulna The longer of the 2 bones of the
forearm; the other is the
radius.
With
the arms straight at the sides, palm for-
wards, the ulna is the inner bone (that
is, nearer the trunk) running down the
forearm on the side of the little finger.
The upper end of the ulna articulates
with the radius and extends into a
rounded projection (known as the
olec-
ranon
process) that fits around the
lower end of the humerus to form part
of the
elbow
joint. The lower end of the
ulna articulates with the carpals
(wrist
bones) and lower part of the radius.
ulna, fracture of A fracture of the
ulna,
1
of the 2 bones of the forearm. Ulnar
fractures typically occur across the shaft
or at the
olecranon
process.
A fracture to the shaft usually results
from a blow to the forearm or a fall onto
the hand. Sometimes the radius is frac-
tured at the same time (see
radius,
fracture of
). Surgery is usually needed
to reposition the broken bone ends and
fix them together using either a plate
and screws or a long nail down the cen-
tre of the bone. The arm is immobilized
in a
cast
, with the elbow at a right-
angle, until the fracture heals.
A fracture of the olecranon process is
usually the result of a fall onto the
elbow
. If the bone ends are not dis-
placed, the arm is immobilized in a
cast that holds the elbow at a right-
angle. If the bone ends are displaced,
however, they are fitted together and
fixed with a metal screw.
ulnar nerve One of the principal
nerves
of the arm. The ulnar nerve, a branch of
the
brachial plexus,
runs down the full
length of the arm and into the hand.
The ulnar nerve controls muscles that
move the thumb and fingers. It also
conveys sensation from the 5th finger,
part of the 4th finger, and the palm.
A blow to the
olecranon
process, over
which the ulnar nerve passes, causes a
pins-and-needles sensation and pain in
the forearm and 4th and 5th fingers.
Persistent numbness and weakness in
areas controlled by the ulnar nerve may
be caused by an abnormal bony out-
growth from the
humerus
. This may be
due to
osteoarthritis
or a fracture of the
humerus, and surgery is needed to
relieve the pressure on the nerve. Per-
manent damage to the ulnar nerve can
result in
claw-hand.
ultrasound Sound with a frequency that
is greater than the human ear's upper
limit of perception: that is, higher than
20,000 hertz (cycles per second). Ultra-
sound used in medicine for diagnosis or
treatment is typically in the range of
1-15 million hertz (see
ultrasound scan-
ning
;
ultrasound treatment
).
ultrasound scanning A diagnostic tech-
nique in which very high frequency sound
waves are passed into the body and the
reflected echoes analysed to build a
picture of the internal organs or of a
fetus in the uterus. The procedure is
painless and considered safe.
U
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