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עמוד בית
Sun, 21.04.24

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January 2024
Israel Amirav MD

9 November 2023: Just one month after the tragic events of 7 October 2023, 240 individuals are still held hostage, ensnared by Hamas. Their medical plight is shrouded in silence. In the heart of Tel Aviv, a sea of health professionals gathers before the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) offices pleading for decisive action. Among the medical pleas for help is the haunting image of a young soldier in dire need of his inhaler [Figure 1]. Ron needs it to live. I, a pediatric pulmonologist intimately familiar with respiratory distress, captured that moment.

January 2011
E. Bar-Yishay, A. Avital, C. Springer and I. Amirav

Background: In infants, small volume nebulizers with a face mask are commonly used to facilitate aerosol therapy. However, infants may be disturbed by mask application, causing poor mask-to-face seal and thus reducing the dose delivered.

Objectives: To compare lung function response to bronchodilator nebulization via two delivery devices: hood versus mask.

Methods: We studied 26 recurrently wheezy infants aged 45.8 weeks (95% confidence interval 39.6–52.0). Inhalations of 0.30 mg/kg salbutamol were administered in two alliqots 30 minutes apart using mask and hood in alternating order (M+H or H+M). Response to inhalations was measured by maximal expiratory flows at functional residual capacity at 5 minute intervals after each dose, and area under the VmaxFRC[1] curve was documented.

Results: A small but significant response to salbutamol was observed following the second inhalation with VmaxFRC, improving by 31.7% (7.2–56.2, P < 0.02) and AUC[2] by 425 %min (-154, 1004; P < 0.02). The improvement following salbutamol was similar by both delivery modalities but with a small but significantly better response when H was used after M (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Nebulized salbutamol induced a variable but positive response in wheezy infants. Salbutamol via hood was as effective as conventional face mask delivery. Since it is simple and patient-friendly, it could replace the face mask method particularly with uncooperative infants.

[1] Vmax FRC = maximal expiratory flow at functional residual capacity

[2] AUC = area under the VmaxFRC curve

April 2008
I. Amirav

Background: Based on the outcome of several randomized controlled trials, the orally active leukotriene receptor antagonist montelukast (Singulair®, Merck) has been licensed for treatment of asthma. The drug is favored for treating childhood asthma, where a therapeutic challenge has arisen due to poor compliance with inhalation therapy.

Objectives: To assess the efficiency of and satisfaction with Singulair® in asthmatic children under real-life conditions.

Methods: Montelukast was prescribed for 6 weeks to a cohort of 506 children aged 2 to 18 years with mild to moderate persistent asthma, who were enrolled by 200 primary care pediatricians countrywide. Four clinical correlates of childhood asthma – wheeze, cough, difficulty in breathing, night awakening – were evaluated from patients' diary cards.

Results: Due to under-treatment by their physicians, almost 60% of the children were not receiving controller therapy at baseline. By the end of the study, which consisted of montelukast treatment, a significant improvement over baseline was noted in asthma symptoms and severity, as well as in treatment compliance. The participating pediatricians and parents were highly satisfied with the treatment.

Conclusions: The results of this extensive study show that the use of montelukast as monotherapy in children presenting with persistent asthma resulted in a highly satisfactory outcome for themselves, their parents and their physicians.

March 2008
I. Amirav and M.T. Newhouse

Background: Valved holding chambers with masks are commonly used to deliver inhaled medications to young children with asthma. Optimal mask properties such as their dead space volume have received little attention. The smaller the mask the more likely it is that a greater proportion of the dose in the VHC[1] will be inhaled with each breath, thus speeding VHC emptying and improving overall aerosol delivery efficiency and dose. Masks may have different DSV[2] and thus different performance.

Objectives: To compare both physical dead space and functional dead space of different face masks under various applied pressures.

Methods: The DSV of three commonly used face masks of VHCs was measured by water displacement both under various pressures (to simulate real-life application, dynamic DSV) and under no pressure (static DSV).

Results: There was a great variability of both static and dynamic dead space among various face mask for VHCs, which is probably related to their flexibility.

Conclusions: Different masks have different DSV characteristics. This variability should be taken into account when comparing the clinical efficacy of various VHCs. 


[1] VHC = valved holding chambers

[2] DSV = dead space volume

February 2008
I. Amirav and A. Zacharasiewicz

Management of asthma is currently based on symptoms (in children, usually a second-hand report from parents) and lung function measurements. Inhaled steroids, targeted at controlling airway inflammation, are the mainstay of asthma management. Due to possible side effects they should be used at the lowest possible doses while asthma is adequately controlled. Fractional exhaled nitric oxide is a simple non-invasive method to assess inflammation in asthma and its role in asthma management is increasing in popularity. The present review summarizes recent research on the use of FeNO[1] in monitoring airway inflammation and optimizing asthma management. The addition of FeNO measurements to the conventional assessment of asthma control appears promising. The practicability of including this measuring method into everyday clinical practice is currently being evaluated.

[1] FeNO = fractional exhaled nitric oxide

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