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עמוד בית
Mon, 17.06.24

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May 2023
Noa Leybovitz-Haleluya MD, Reli Hershkovitz MD PhD

A 26-year-old female at 28 weeks of gestation with her fourth pregnancy presented with a 24-hour history of diffuse abdominal pain and distension. In addition, she had nausea, vomiting, and constipation. The pain did not respond to analgesics. She had poor prenatal care during her pregnancy. She had previously had three cesarean deliveries. The first cesarean delivery was due to non-progressive second stage of labor, the second was preterm due to abdominal pain and suspected uterine rupture, and the last was due to the previous cesarean deliveries. In her last previous pregnancy, she presented with recurrent milder abdominal pain, which resolved spontaneously.

On examination, she was afebrile, with normal blood pressure and heart rate. Her abdomen was distended, tympanic, and mildly tender to palpation with no tenderness on the cesarean scar and no peritoneal signs. Her laboratory testing was normal except for mild hypokalemia.

March 2020
Tal David Berger MD, Shelly Soffer MD, Tal Vurzel-Harel MD, Ari Silbermintz MD, Hava Fleishaker, Raanan Shamir MD and Noam Zevit MD

Background: The number of investigative esophagogastroduodenoscopies (EGD) in children has increased over several decades, despite their unclear diagnostic yields.

Objectives: To evaluate the indications for performing EGD, their diagnostic yields, and consequences on pediatric patient management.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed of consecutive pediatric patients aged 0–18 years, who underwent EGD between January and August 2014.

Results: During the study period, 547 EGD were performed on 478 children. The most frequent indications were suspected celiac disease, chronic non-specific abdominal pain, persistent Helicobacter pylori infection, and gastrointestinal hemorrhage. The yield of the diagnostic EGD was 59.2%, and the most common new diagnoses were celiac disease (28%), Helicobacter pylori-positive gastritis (16.5%), and Crohn’s disease (5.4%). Of the patients with documented follow-up, 74.1% reported improved symptoms. Procedures performed for chronic unexplained abdominal pain had significantly lower yields (26.2%) and only 39.3% improved at follow-up.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest a general high diagnostic yield for EGD in pediatric patients, stemming mainly from patients in whom a specific condition was suspected a priori. However, the role of the procedure in the diagnosis and management of non-specific gastrointestinal complaints was minor suggesting that EGD may be superfluous for some of these patients.

June 2019
Mark Kheifets MD, Eli Karniel MD, Daniel Landa MD, Shelly Abigail Vons MD, Katya Meridor MD and Gideon Charach MD

Background: Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is under-recognized by clinicians. It is characterized by nausea, severe abdominal pain, and cyclical vomiting in the context of chronic cannabis use. Oral benzodiazepine is a proposed treatment for CHS. It decreases activation of Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptor (CB1) in the frontal cortex, has a sedative and hypnotic effect and reduces the anticipation of nausea and vomiting. These effects on the central nervous system (CNS) might explain its beneficial antiemetic effect for this syndrome.

Objectives: To increase the index of suspicion for CHS, a unique syndrome that requires a unique treatment with benzodiazepines and not antiemetics.

Methods: We describe a series of four patients with documented cannabis use, who were admitted to an internal medicine department of Meir Medical Center due to symptoms consistent with abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. They were initially treated with conventional antiemetics and proton pump inhibitors without response. Intensive investigations were conducted to exclude common and sometimes urgent gastrointestinal or CNS syndromes.

Results: After excluding urgent gastrointestinal and CNS origins for the vomiting, we suspected CHS. All four patients experienced similar symptoms and failure of conventional treatment with antiemetics and proton pump inhibitors. They experienced relief after administration of benzodiazepines.

Conclusions: A high index of suspicion for CHS allows for rapid, appropriate treatment with benzodiazepines, which in turn may lead to cessation of the debilitating symptoms caused by this syndrome.

May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
Shaden Salameh MD MHA, Meir Antopolsky MD, Natalia Simanovsky MD, Eyal Arami MD and Nurith Hiller MD

Background: Acute non-traumatic abdominal pain is typically evaluated by abdomino-pelvic computed tomography (CT) with oral and venous contrast. The accuracy of unenhanced CT for diagnosis in this setting has not been widely studied.

Objectives: To assess the accuracy of unenhanced CT in establishing the etiology of acute non-traumatic abdominal pain.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical and imaging records of patients aged ≥ 18 years who presented to the emergency department (ED) during a 6-month period with acute non-traumatic abdominal pain of unknown etiology, and who were evaluated with non-contrast CT within 24 hours of ED admission. Clinical details were recorded. A presumptive clinical diagnosis and CT diagnosis were compared to the discharge diagnosis which was considered the reference standard. The requirement for informed consent was waived.

Results: Altogether, 315 patients met the inclusion criteria – 138 males (44%) and 177 females (56%); their mean age was 45 years (range 18–90). Clinical diagnosis correlated with the CT findings in 162 of the cases (51%). CT was accurate in 296/315 cases (94%). The leading diagnosis in cases of a mismatch between CT diagnosis and discharge diagnosis was infection mostly in the urinary tract (12/18). Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 91%, 99%, 91% and 85% respectively. The discharge diagnosis was unchanged in the patients who returned to the ED within 1 week of the first admission.

Conclusions: In this study, unenhanced CT proved to be a feasible, convenient and legitimate examination for the evaluation of patients with acute non-traumatic abdominal pain presenting to the ED.

November 2015
Abdel-Rauf Zeina MD, Mika Shapira-Rootman MD PhD, Ahmad Mahamid MD, Jalal Ashkar MD, Saif Abu-Mouch MD and Alicia Nachtigal MD

Background: Plain abdominal radiographs are still performed as a first imaging examination to evaluate abdominal pain in the emergency department (ED), despite uncertainty regarding their utility.

Objectives: To describe the frequency and outcomes of the use of plain abdominal radiographs in the diagnosis of patients presenting with acute non-traumatic abdominal pain in the ED of a medical center. 

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients presenting to the ED with acute abdominal pain during a 6 month period. Further imaging (computed tomography, ultrasonography), when performed, was compared with the abdominal radiography. 

Results: Of 573 consecutive patients, 300 (52%) underwent abdominal radiography. Findings were normal in 88% (n=264), non-specific in 7.3% (n=22), and abnormal in 4.7% (n=14). For those with normal results, no further imaging was ordered for 43% (114/264). Of the 57% (150/264) who had follow-up imaging, 65% (98/150) showed abnormal findings. In 9 (3%) of the 300 patients, abdominal radiography identified bowel perforations and obstructions, and treatment was provided without the need for further radiologic examination.

Conclusions: The use of plain abdominal radiography is still common despite the high rate of false positive results. Efforts are needed to decrease the indiscriminate use of radiography in patients presenting with abdominal symptoms.

 

September 2015
Shannon L. Castle MD, Osnat Zmora MD, Stephanie Papillon MD, Dan Levin MD and James E. Stein MD

Background: Gastric bezoars in children are infrequent. Most are trichobezoars. Surgical intervention is sometimes necessary.

Objectives: To describe the clinical findings and radiological workup, as well as treatment and outcome of patients with complicated gastric bezoars who underwent surgery in our institution.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all cases of surgery for gastric bezoars performed in our institution between 2000 and 2010. Data collected included gender and age of the patients, composition and extent of the bezoar, presenting signs and symptoms, imaging studies used, performance of endoscopy, and surgical approach. Outcome was measured by the presence of postoperative complications.

Results: We identified seven patients with gastric bezoars who underwent surgery. All were females aged 4–19 years. Six had trichobezoars and one had a mass composed of latex gloves. Presenting symptoms included abdominal pain, vomiting, weight loss, and halitosis. All patients had a palpable epigastric mass. A large variety of imaging modalities was used. Endoscopic removal was attempted in three patients but failed, and the laparoscopic approach was attempted in one patient and failed. All patients eventually underwent laparotomy with gastrotomy and recovered without complications. 

Conclusions: The presence of gastric bezoars should be suspected in any child with unexplained abdominal pain, vomiting, weight loss, or halitosis, or with a palpable abdominal mass, especially in girls. A variety of imaging modalities can aid in diagnosis. Endoscopic removal might be attempted, although failure of this approach is frequent and must prompt surgical intervention, preferably laparotomy and gastrotomy, which has an excellent outcome.

 

August 2014
Matti Eskelinen MD PhD, Tuomas Selander MSc, Pertti Lipponen MD PhD and Petri Juvonen MD PhD

Background: The primary diagnosis of functional dyspepsia (FD) is made on the basis of typical symptoms and by excluding organic gastrointestinal diseases that cause dyspeptic symptoms. However, there is difficulty reaching a diagnosis in FD.

Objectives: To assess the efficiency of the Usefulness Index (UI) test and history-taking in diagnosing FD.

Methods: A study on acute abdominal pain conducted by the World Organizati­on of Gast­roentero­logy Research Committee (OMGE) included 1333 patients presenting with acute abdo­minal pain. The clinical history-taking variables (n=23) for each pa­tient were recorded in detail using a prede­fined structured data collection sheet, and the collected data were compared with the final diagnoses.

Results: The most signifi­cant clinical history-taking variables of FD in univa­riate analysis were risk ratio (RR): location of pain at diagnosis (RR = 5.7), location of initial pain (RR = 6.5), previous similar pain (RR = 4.0), duration of pain (RR = 2.9), previous abdominal surgery (RR = 4.1), previous abdominal diseases (RR = 4.0), and previous indigestion (RR = 3.1). T­he sensi­tivity of the physicians’ initial de­cisi­on in detecting FD was 0.44, speci­fi­city 0.99 and effi­ciency 0.98; UI was 0.19 and RR 195.3. In the stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis, the independent predictors of FD were the physicians’ initial decision (RR = 266.4), location of initial pain (RR = 3.4), duration of pain (RR = 3.1), previous abdominal surgery (RR = 3.7), previous indigestion (RR = 2.2) and vomiting (RR = 2.0).

Conclusions: The patients with upper abdominal pain initially and a previous history of abdominal surgery and indigestion tended to be at risk for FD. In these patients the UI test could help the clinician differentiate FD from other diagnoses of acute abdominal pain.

April 2011
O. Eshach Adiv, Y. Butbul, I. Nutenko and R. Brik

Intussuception is the most common cause of intestinal obstruction in early childhood. The cause of most intussusceptions is unknown but it can complicate the course of Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) as a result of the vasculitic process. Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), a most common disease in Israel is also associated with HSP. In a few patients, particularly in children, HSP has been reported to precede the diagnosis of FMF. We describe two patients with an unusual clinical course of severe abdominal pain as a result of intusucception. The correlation between intusucception, HSP and FMF are discussed.
 

February 2011
H. Ityel, Y. Granot, H. Vaknine, A. Judich and M. Shimonov
June 2010
Y.R. Lawrence, R. Pokroy, D. Berlowitz, D. Aharoni, D. Hain and G.S. Breuer

Background: Osler taught that splenic infarction presents with left upper abdominal quadrant pain, tenderness and swelling accompanied by a peritoneal friction rub. Splenic infarction is classically associated with bacterial endocarditis and sickle cell disease.

Objectives: To describe the contemporary experience of splenic infarction.

Methods: We conducted a chart review of inpatients diagnosed with splenic infarction in a Jerusalem hospital between 1990 and 2003.

Results: We identified 26 cases with a mean age of 52 years. Common causes were hematologic malignancy (six cases) and intracardiac thrombus (five cases). Only three cases were associated with bacterial endocarditis. In 21 cases the splenic infarction brought a previously undiagnosed underlying disease to attention. Only half the subjects complained of localized left-sided abdominal pain, 36% had left-sided abdominal tenderness 31% had no signs or symptoms localized to the splenic area, 36% had fever, 56% had leukocytosis and 71% had elevated lactate dehydrogenase levels. One splenectomy was performed and all patients survived to discharge. A post hoc analysis demonstrated that single infarcts were more likely to be associated with fever (20% vs. 63%, p < 0.05) and leukocytosis (75% vs. 33%, p = 0.06)

Conclusions: The clinical presentation of splenic infarction in the modern era differs greatly from the classical teaching, regarding etiology, signs and symptoms. In patients with unexplained splenic infarction, investigation frequently uncovers a new underlying diagnosis.
 

November 2008
R. Shaoul et al

Background: Patients with non-inflamed appendix have been reported to have had more hospitalizations and emotional disorders before and after the operation than patients with acute appendicitis.

Objectives: To compare abdominal pain characteristics, as well as demographic and psychosocial data in children with histologically confirmed appendicitis compared to non-inflamed appendices.

Methods: Charts of children with suspected appendicitis who had undergone appendectomy were retrospectively reviewed for relevant clinical and laboratory data. The patients or their parents were then contacted by phone and were asked to respond to a detailed questionnaire on abdominal symptoms as well as demographic and psychosocial data.

Results: The study group comprised 156 children: 117 with histologically confirmed appendicitis and 39 with normal appendices. Eighty-two patients (53.2%) were located and interviewed: 62 (54%) with appendicitis and 20 (51%) with normal appendices. Of the 82 children, 16 reported recurrent episodes of abdominal pain before or after surgery: 11 (17.7%) in the appendicitis group and 5 (25%) in the normal appendix group. Only six patients fulfilled the formal criteria for the diagnosis of recurrent abdominal pain: 5 (8%) from the appendicitis group and 1 (5%) from the non-inflamed appendix group (not significant). In addition, no significant statistical differences were found between the groups regarding school performance, behavior and social interaction with peers.

Conclusions: We could not demonstrate an increased incidence of recurrent abdominal pain, nor could we identify significant psychosocial morbidity in those children undergoing a non-inflamed appendectomy.

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