ECONAZOLE
E
coma
(a state of unconsciousness and
unresponsiveness to stimuli). Levels of
blood
platelets
may fall severely, result-
ing
in
bleeding;
liver
and
kidney
function may also be affected.
TREATMENT AND OUTLOOK
Careful monitoring of blood pressure
and proteinuria throughout pregnancy
is required to enable prompt treatment
of impending eclampsia, and im m edi-
ate delivery, often by
caesarean section
,
together w ith
antihypertensive drugs
and
anticonvulsant drugs
is needed. Patients
may need intensive care to prevent the
development of complications, such as
kidney failure.
Blood pressure often returns to nor-
mal in the months following delivery,
although it may remain high. There is a
risk of a recurrence of eclampsia in sub-
sequent pregnancies.
econazole
An
antifungal drug
used as a cream in the
treatment
of
fungal
skin
infections
(such as
athlete’s foot
and
tinea
) ,
and in
cream or pessary form to treat vaginal
candidiasis
(thrush). Skin irritation is a
rare side effect.
Ecstasy
An illegal
designer drug
,
related to the
amphetamine drugs
.
Ecstasy has a mildly
hallucinogenic effect and generates feel-
ings of euphoria, making users feel alert
and sociable. In most people, the drug
has no ill effects in the short-term, but
repeated use carries a risk of liver dam-
age. The most common side effect is
hyperthermia
(very high body tempera-
ture). Taking the drug causes intense
thirst; drinking large quantities of water
to combat this may result in fatal damage
to the body, including brain swelling
ECT
The abbreviation for electroconvulsive
therapy,
a treatment for very severe
depression
.
ECT is less commonly used
today than it was in the past, since the
introduction of newer, more effective
antidepressant drugs
;
however, the pro-
cedure usually relieves depression more
rapidly than drugs, and it may be life-
saving in severe cases that are resistant
to other forms of treatment.
In this procedure, an electric current
is passed through the brain in order to
induce a
seizure
.
ECT is administered
under a short-lived general anaesthetic
(see
anaesthesia, general
)
and in com-
bination with a
muscle-relaxant drug
,
w hich reduces the physical effects of
the induced seizure. The treatment is
usually given once or twice a week, for
six weeks. Temporary
amnesia
(memory
loss) is a possible side effect.
ectasia
A term that means widening, usually
used to refer to a disorder of a
duct.
For
example, mammary duct ectasia is an
abnormal widening of the ducts that
carry secretions from the breast tissue
to the nipple.
ectomorph
A term formerly used to describe an
individual with a tall, thin body, a low
level of body fat, slender limbs, small
bones, and little muscle mass. (See also
endomorph; mesomorph.)
-ectomy
A suffix that denotes surgical removal.
For example, tonsillectomy is surgical
removal of the tonsils.
ectoparasite
A
parasite
that lives in or on its host’s
skin. An ectoparasite derives nourish-
ment from the skin or by sucking the
host’s blood. Various
lice, ticks, mites,
and some types of
fungi
are occasional
ectoparasites of humans. By contrast,
endoparasites live inside the body.
ectopic
A term used to describe a body struc-
ture that occurs in an abnormal location
or position or a body function that
occurs at an abnormal time.
ectopic heartbeat
A contraction of the heart muscle that is
out of normal timing. An ectopic
heart-
beat
occurs shortly after a normal beat
and is followed by a longer-than-usual
interval before the next one.
Ectopic beats can occur in a healthy
heart and may be symptomless. Multi-
ple ectopic beats can cause
palpitations
(awareness of a rapid or forceful heart-
beat). When occurring after a
myocardial
infarction
(heart attack), such multiple
beats are a sign of damaged heart mus-
cle. They may lead to a condition called
ventricular
fibrillation,
a rapid, unco-
ordinated, potentially fatal heartbeat.
Multiple ectopic beats that are caus-
ing palpitations, or those that occur
after a myocardial infarction, are often
treated w ith an
antiarrhythmic drug.
(See
also
arrhythmia, cardiac.)
ectopic pregnancy
A
pregnancy
that develops outside the
uterus
,
most commonly in a
fallopian
tube
,
but sometimes in an
ovary
,
the
abdominal cavity, or the
cervix
(neck of
the uterus). As the pregnancy develops,
it may
damage
surrounding
tissues,
causing serious bleeding. An ectopic
pregnancy is potentially life-threatening
and requires emergency treatment.
F a llo p ia n t u b e
Location of an ectopic pregnancy
The pregnancy usually develops in the fallopian
tube; occasionally it develops in the ovary, the
abdominal cavity, or the cervix.
CAUSES
The fertilized ovum (egg) may become
stuck in the fallopian tube if there is
a
congenital
abnormality of the tube or
if the tube has been damaged in any
way. Damage is most commonly due to
a pelvic infection (see
pelvic inflammato-
ry disease
)
or from
surgery on the
fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancy has
also been associated with the use of
some types of
IUD
(intrauterine contra-
ceptive
device)
and progestogen-only
oral contraceptives
.
SYMPTOMS
The majority of ectopic pregnancies
are discovered in the first two months,
often before the woman even realizes
that she is pregnant. Symptoms usually
include severe pain in the lower abdo-
men and bleeding from the vagina.
Internal bleeding may cause symptoms
of
shock
,
w hich include pallor, sweat-
ing, and faintness.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Diagnosis is made by a transvaginal
ultrasound
examination,
in w hich an
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