EEG
ultrasound probe is inserted into the
vagina, and it can be confirmed by
laparoscopy
(internal examination using
a viewing instrument).
If the diagnosis is made early on,
treatment using the drug
methotrexate
may be considered. In most cases, sur-
gery, usually
minimally invasive surgery,
is
carried
out
to
remove
the
embryo
(which is usually already dead), the pla-
centa, and any damaged tissue at the site
of the pregnancy. If blood loss is severe,
blood transfusions
may be necessary. An
affected fallopian tube is removed if it
cannot be repaired.
OUTLOOK
It is still possible to have a normal preg-
nancy even if one fallopian tube has
been removed, although the chances
of conception
are
slightly
reduced.
Women with two damaged tubes may
require
in vitro fertilization
to achieve an
intrauterine pregnancy.
ectopic testis
See
testis, ectopic
.
ectropion
A turning outwards of the
eyelid
so that
the inner surface is exposed. Ectropion
is most common in elderly people, in
whom it usually affects the lower lid
and is due to weakness of the muscle
surrounding the eye.
The condition may also be caused by
the contraction of scar tissue in the skin
near either lid. Ectropion often follows
facial palsy
,
w hich causes paralysis of the
muscles around the eye.
Even slight ectropion interferes with
the normal drainage of tears by distor-
tion of the opening of the tear duct.
Chronic
conjunctivitis
may result, caus-
ing redness, discomfort, and overflow
of tears so that the skin becomes damp
and inflamed. Constant wiping tends to
pull the lid farther from the eye.
Surgery to tighten the affected eyelid
may be required.
eczema
An inflammation of the skin, usually
causing itching and sometimes scaling
or blisters. There are several different
types of eczema and some forms are
better known as
dermatitis
(such as con-
tact
dermatitis
and
photodermatitis).
Eczema is sometimes the result of an
allergy
,
but is often of unknown cause.
TYPES
Atopic eczema
Atopic eczema is a chronic,
superficial inflammation that occurs in
people who have an inherited tendency
towards allergy. The condition is com-
mon in babies. An intensely itchy rash
occurs, usually on the face, in the elbow
creases, and behind the knees. The skin
often scales and small red pimples may
appear. Infection may occur if the rash
is scratched, breaking the skin.
For m ild cases,
emollients
(such as
petroleum jelly) help to keep the skin
soft. In severe cases, ointments contain-
ing
corticosteroid drugs
may be used.
Antihistamine drugs
may be prescribed to
reduce itching. Excluding certain foods
from the diet may help to control the
condition. Atopic eczema often clears
up on its own as a child grows older.
Nummular eczema
Nummular
eczema
usually occurs in adults and is of un-
known cause. It produces round, itchy,
scaling patches on the skin that are similar
to those of
tinea
(ringworm ). Topical
corticosteroids may reduce inflamma-
tion, but the eczema is often persistent.
Hand eczema
Hand eczema is usually
caused by irritant substances such as
detergents, but it may occur for no
apparent reason. Itchy blisters develop,
usually on the palms, and the skin may
become scaly and cracked.
Hand
eczema
usually
improves
if
emollients are used and if cotton gloves
with rubber gloves over them are worn
when coming into contact with irritants.
If the eczema is severe, corticosteroids
may be prescribed.
Stasis eczema
Stasis eczema occurs in
people w ith
varicose veins
.
The skin on
the legs may become irritated, inflamed,
and discoloured. The swelling of the
legs may be controlled with compres-
sion bandages or stockings. Application
of ointments containing corticosteroids
may give temporary relief.
GENERAL TREATMENT
To reduce irritation and the risk of
scratching, a soothing ointment should
Atopic eczema
In this example of atopic eczema, the skin on the
backs of the knees is raw and inflamed.
be applied to the affected areas; these
may then be covered with a dressing
to prevent scratching. Absorbent, non-
irritating
materials
(such
as
cotton)
should be worn next to the skin; irri-
tants (such as wool, silk, and rough
synthetics) should be carefully avoided.
EDD
The abbreviation for expected date of
delivery, the date on w hich a baby is
due to be born. The EDD is calculated as
40 weeks from the first day of the
woman’s
last
menstrual
period
(see
period, menstrua
l). In practice, babies are
rarely born exactly on their EDD.
edentulous
A term meaning without
teeth
,
a condi-
tion arising either because the teeth have
not yet grown or because they have fallen
out or been removed by a dentist.
Edwards’ syndrome
A
genetic disorder
,
also known as trisomy
18 syndrome, that is associated with
the presence of a third copy of chro-
mosome 18. Edwards’ syndrome affects
about three times as many girls as boys.
Characteristics of Edwards’ syndrome
include a low birth weight, severe
learn-
ing difficulties
,
low-set and malformed
ears, a small jaw, hand abnormalities,
opacities in the cornea of the eye, con-
genital heart disease (see
heart disease,
congenital
),
hernias,
ventricular septal defect
(a hole between the lower chambers of
the heart), and kidney abnormalities.
Approximately half the babies born
w ith Edwards’ syndrome do not survive
beyond the first week of life. Very few
infants live longer than a year. People
with a family history of Edwards’ syn-
drome
should consider
genetic coun-
selling
before starting a family.
EEG
The abbreviation for electroencephalo-
graphy,
a
method
of recording
the
electrical activity of the
brain
.
A trace of
the activity is displayed on a monitor or
printed out on a moving strip of paper.
In EEG, small electrodes are attached
to the scalp and connected to an instru-
ment
that
records
minute
electrical
impulses produced by the brain’s activity.
By revealing characteristic wave patterns,
an EEG can help in diagnosing different
types of epilepsy and identifying areas
in the brain where abnormal electrical
activity develops. (See also
How electro-
encephalography is done
box, overleaf.)
E
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