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colloquialism for a vasomotor symptom of the climacteric characterized by sudden vasodilation with a sensation of heat, usually involving the face and neck, and upper part of the chest. Compare: hot flash.
Synonym(s): hot flash
n. Chiefly British
A hot flash.
Mechanism Hot flashes are attributed to central alpha2-adrenergic activity
Aetiology Idiopathic, due to response of autonomic nervous system to decreased oestrogens; they are responsible for osteoporosis, atrophy of vaginal epithelium, leukorrhea and pruritus
Management While hormones—e.g., oestrogens in women and androgens in men—ameliorate symptoms of age-related hormonal decline, they are contraindicated in women with breast cancer, and in men with prostate cancer; megestrol acetate decreases hot flashes by 85%—vs. 20% with placebos. Oestrogen replacement ‘drives’ proliferation of endometrial tissue, which may result in adenomatous hyperplasia and occasionally endometrial carcinoma
Note: Hot flashes occur in eunuchs and in most men who have been acutely deprived of testosterone as in castration, a therapeutic modality for advanced prostate carcinoma; diethylstilbestrol may stop the flashes, but exacerbates cardiovascular disease and blood clots; in Europe, cyproterone acetate is used
flush, flushing (flush) (flush'ing)
1. Sudden redness of the skin.
2. Irrigation of a cavity, or a device such as a feeding tube, with water.
A bright-colored flush over the malar area and cheekbones. It may be associated with any febrile disease.