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עמוד בית
Wed, 29.05.24

Search results

January 2024
Maya Schwartz-Lifshitz MD, Stav Bloch Priel MD, Noam Matalon MD, Yehonathan Hochberg MD, Dana Basel MD, Doron Gothelf MD

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused significant global turmoil, including changes in social and societal conduct such as lockdowns, social isolation, and extensive regulations. These changes can be major sources of stress. The first wave of the pandemic (April–May 2020) was a time of global uncertainty. We evaluated symptom severity among 29 Israeli children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Our previous study found that most of these participants did not experience an exacerbation of symptoms.

Objective: To re-evaluate the OCD symptoms of 18 participants from the original group of 29 children and adolescents during three time points: before the pandemic, during the first wave, and 2 years later.

Methods: Obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) were assessed using the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI), a functional questionnaire, and the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-child version (OCI-CV).

Results: OCS in patients did not change significantly during the three time points. Participants reported minimal changes in their general functioning 2 years after the outbreak of COVID-19 and showed minimal change in OCI-CV scale scores.

Conclusions: Our results indicated clinical stability of OCD symptoms among most of the participants.

December 2022
Tanya Ebert MD, Nimrod Goldschmid MD, Edmond Sabo MD, Efrat City-Elifaz MD

Background: School closures due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak affected students physically, socially, and psychologically with an increase in the number of children and adolescent presenting with anxiety, depression, and drug abuse.

Objectives: To examine the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on the mental health of minors during the pandemic period and to characterize the type and number of referrals to a regional psychiatric outpatient clinic.

Methods: This study included 380 children evaluated in an outpatient child psychiatric clinic. They were divided into two groups: before the lockdowns (BLD) (n=248), from January 2019 to February 2020, and during the lockdowns (LD) (n=132), from March 2020 to April 2021.

Results: When comparing the LD to BLD, there was increase in suicide attempts (9.8% vs. 2.8%) and in the use of psychotherapy (81% vs. 56%). There was a decrease in the diagnoses of behavior disorders (29.5% vs. 44.8%) and ADHD (29.5% vs. 50%); as well as a decrease in stimulant usage (22.7% vs. 38%). There was a statistically non-significant increase in the number of children with depression, anxiety, and drug-use disorder.

Conclusions: Many children developed educational, social, emotional, and behavioral gaps during LD, and they lost skills to deal with everyday problems due to social isolation. It is important to follow the long-term impact of the lockdowns and social isolation.

January 2022
Tamar Tzur MD, Yossi Tzur MD, Shaul Baruch MD, Noam Smorgick MD, and Yaakov Melcer MD

Background: A paraovarian cyst (POC) is located between the ovary and the fallopian tube. In many cases POCs are diagnosed and managed as ovarian cysts. But since POC are a distinct entity in their clinical presentation and surgical intervention, they should be better defined.

Objectives: To describe the clinical perioperative and operative characteristics of patients with POCs in order to improve pre-operative diagnosis and management.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of patients with an operative diagnosis of POC between 2007 and 2019 in a single university-affiliated tertiary care medical center was included. Demographic characteristics as well as symptoms, sonographic appearance, surgery findings, and histology results were retrieved from electronic medical records.

Results: During the study period 114 patients were surgically diagnosed with POC, 57.9% were in their reproductive years and 24.6% were adolescents. Most presented with abdominal pain (77.2%). Preoperative sonographic exams accurately diagnosed POC in only 44.7% of cases, and 50.9% underwent surgery due to suspected torsion, which was surgically confirmed in 70.7% of cases. Among women with confirmed torsion, 28.9% involved the fallopian tube without involvement of the ipsilateral ovary. Histology results showed benign cysts in all cases, except two, with a pathological diagnosis of serous borderline tumor.

Conclusions: POC should always be part of the differential diagnosis of women presenting with lower abdominal pain and sonographic evidence of adnexal cysts. If POC is suspected there should be a high level of suspicion for adnexal torsion and low threshold for surgical intervention, especially in adolescent, population who are prone to torsion

September 2021
Edwina Landau PhD, Huda Mussaffi MD, Vardit Kalamaro PharmD, Alexandra Quittner PhD, Tammy Taizi RN, Diana Kadosh MSW, Hadas Mantin MA, Dario Prais MD, Hannah Blau MBBS, and Meir Mei-Zahav MD

Background: Adherence to treatment by adolescents and adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) is often poor.

Objectives: To assess the impact of a focused clinical intervention on adherence in individual patients, including help in problem-solving key barriers to adherence. To implement a patient-centered problem-solving intervention using CF My Way tools. To identify and overcome a selected barrier to adherence.

Methods: Medication possession ratios (MPRs), number of airway clearance sessions, forced expiratory volume (FEV1), body mass index (BMI), and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were measured before and after the intervention.

Results: Sixteen patients with CF, aged 23.4 ± 6.7 years, participated. MPR increased for colistimethate sodium and tobramycin inhalations from a median of 21 (range 0–100) to 56 (range 0–100), P = 0.04 and 20 (range 0–100) to 33.3 (range 25–100), P = 0.03, respectively. BMI standard deviation score rose from -0.37 to -0.21, P = 0.05. No significant improvements were found in FEV1, airway clearance, or HRQoL scores.

Conclusions: The CF My Way problem-solving intervention increased adherence to medical treatments by removing barriers directly related to the needs and goals of young adults with CF

April 2020
Ron Eremenko BSc, Shira Barmatz MSc, Nadia Lumelsky MD, Raul Colodner PhD, Merav Strauss PhD and Yoav Alkan MD

Background: Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common bacterial infection in children.

Early treatment may prevent renal damage in pyelonephritis. The choice of empiric antibiotic treatment is based on knowledge of the local susceptibility of urinary bacteria to antibiotics. In Israel the recommended empiric oral antibiotic treatment are First or second generation cephalosporin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or amoxicillin-clavulanic acid.

Objectives: To describe resistance rates of urine bacteria isolated from children with UTI in the community settings. Identify risk factors for resistance.

Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study of UTI in children aged 3 months to 18 years diagnosed with UTI and treated as outpatients in a large community clinic between 7/2015 and 7/2017 with a diagnosis of UTI.

Results: A total of 989 urinary samples were isolated, 232 were included in the study. Resistance rates to cephalexin, cefuroxime, ampicillin/clavulanate and Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole were 9.9%, 9.1%, 20.7%, and 16.5%, respectively. Urinary tract abnormalities and recurrent UTI were associated with an increase in antibiotic resistance rates. Other factors such as age, fever, and previous antibiotic treatment were not associated with resistance differences.

Conclusions: Resistance rates to common oral antibiotics were low compared to previous studies performed in Israel in hospital settings. First generation cephalosporins are the preferred empiric antibiotics for febrile UTI for outpatient children. Amoxicillin/clavulanate is not favorable due to resistance of over 20% and the broad spectrum of this antibiotic. Care should be taken in children with renal abnormalities as there is a worrying degree of resistance rates to the oral first line antibiotic therapy.

January 2019
Emily Fisher MD MSc, Christine Loock MD, Ariana Melamed BA, Shulamit Blank MD and Gideon Koren MD

Background: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) may be under-recognized and under-diagnosed in Israel. Fewer than 10 FASD diagnoses were reported between 1998 and 2007; however, several hundred diagnoses have been made since. Furthermore, less than 10% of surveyed Israeli pediatricians reported adequate knowledge of FASD.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of suspected FASD, to establish a database as a starting point for epidemiological studies, and to develop FASD awareness for health, social, and educational services.

Methods: A chart review was conducted at an educational facility for children and adolescents with behavioral and learning challenges. The following information was extracted: adoption status, history of alcohol/drug abuse in the biological mother, medical diagnoses, medication use, and information regarding impairment in 14 published neurobehavioral categories. Subjects were classified as: category 1 (highly likely FASD) – impairment in three or more neurobehavioral categories and evidence of maternal alcohol abuse was available; category 2 (possible FASD) – impairment in three or more neurobehavioral categories and evidence to support maternal substance abuse (type/time unspecified); and category 3 (unconfirmed likelihood of FASD) – impairment in three or more neurobehavioral categories and no information regarding the biological family.

Results: Of 237 files analyzed, 38 subjects (16%) had suspected FASD: 10 subjects (4%) in category 1, 5 (2%) in category 2, and 23 (10%) in category 3. Twenty-seven subjects with suspected FASD (69%) had been adopted.

Conclusions: This study is the most comprehensive review of FASD among Israeli children and adolescents in a population with learning and behavior challenges.

February 2018
Noam Shohat MD, Yossy Machluf PhD, Rivka Farkash BSc MPH, Aharon S. Finestone MD MHA and Yoram Chaiter MD MSc

Background: Children and adolescents are commonly referred to an orthopedic surgeon to assess knee malalignment.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of genu varum and valgum among adolescents, and to identify correlates of these conditions.

Methods: A medical database of 47,588 candidates for military service presenting to the northern recruitment center during an 11 year period was analyzed to identify clinical knee alignment. Based on the standing skin surface intercondylar distance (ICD) or intermalleolar distance (IMD), the prevalence rates of genu varum (ICD ≥ 3 cm) and genu valgum (IMD ≥ 4 cm) were calculated. The association of gender, body mass index (BMI), and place of residence to knee alignment was studied.

Results: The rates of genu varum and valgum were 11.4% (5427) and 5.6% (2639), respectively. Genu varum was significantly more prevalent among males than females (16.2% vs. 4.4%, P < 0.001). It was also more prevalent among underweight subjects and less prevalent among overweight and obese subjects (P < 0.001). Genu valgum was significantly more prevalent among females than males (9.4% vs. 2.9%) and in overweight and obese subjects compared to those with normal BMI, while less prevalent in underweight subjects (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that genu varum was independently positively associated with male gender, underweight, and living in a rural area. Genu valgum was independently positively associated with female gender, overweight, and obesity.

Conclusions: This study establishes a modern benchmark for the cutoff and prevalence of genu varum and valgum as well as associations with gender and BMI.

Ori Eyal MD, Asaf Oren MD, Dganit Almasi-Wolker MD, Yardena Tenenbaum-Rakover MD, Marianna Rachmiel MD and Naomi Weintrob MD

Background: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) as the first presentation of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is a serious complication that is preventable.

Objectives: To identify risk factors for DKA at presentation of T1DM to delineate high-risk Israeli populations that could benefit from preventative measures.

Methods: Data for this multicenter retrospective study were collected from the medical files of three pediatric diabetes centers representing three districts in Israel. Inclusion criteria were diagnosis of T1DM, age at diagnosis ≤ 17 years, permanent residency in Israel, and documentation of the presence or absence of DKA at presentation.

Results: The study population included 607 patients of whom 438 met the inclusion criteria. The mean age at diagnosis was 9.1 ± 4.5 years. DKA was present at diagnosis in 156/438 patients (35.6%). The incidence of DKA was different among the three diabetes centers (P = 0.04). The DKA group was significantly younger than the non-DKA group (8.4 ± 4.5 vs. 9.5 ± 4.4, respectively, P = 0.008). DKA was significantly associated with maternal origin (Ashkenazi Jewish origin [lower] vs. non-Ashkenazi, P = 0.04) and with paternal education level (academic [lower] vs. non-academic education, P = 0.04). Stepwise logistic regression showed that maternal Ashkenazi Jewish origin has a protective effect on DKA (odds ratio [OR] 0.4, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.21–0.74, P = 0.004) and that younger age is an independent risk factor (OR 1.06, 95%CI 1.01–1.1, P = 0.02).

Conclusions: A diabetes educational program targeting high-risk population groups may reduce the prevalence of DKA nationwide.

December 2017
Michal Kori MD, Jacob Yahav MD, Rita Berdinstein MD and Haim Shmuely, MD

Background: Empiric treatment for Helicobacter pylori is influenced by antibiotic susceptibility of infecting strains. A rise in the resistance rate to clarithromycin and metronidazole has been reported in pediatric populations.

Objectives: To assess the primary and secondary antibiotic resistance of H. pylori isolates in Israeli children and adolescents.

Methods: A retrospective review of H. pylori isolates cultured from antral biopsies of consecutive children aged 1 to 18 years, who were referred to the Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit, Kaplan Medical Center, over a 2.8 year period, was performed. Antibiotic susceptibility to clarithromycin, metronidazole, amoxicillin, tetracycline, and levofloxacin was determined by E-test. Data on the age of the patient, indication for endoscopy, and antibiotic treatment for H. pylori in previously treated children was collected.

Results: Cultures for H. pylori yielded 123 isolates. In children not previously treated (n=95), the primary global resistance was 38% with resistance to clarithromycin 9.5%, metronidazole 32.6 %, and to both 4.2%. Respective rates of resistance in previously treated children (n=28) were 71% (P = 0.002), 29% (P = 0.02), and 61% (P = 0.007). Simultaneous resistance to both drugs was found in 18% (P = 0.02). All H. pylori strains were susceptible to amoxicillin, tetracycline, and levofloxacin. Past eradication treatment was the only independent risk factor for antibiotic resistance in multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Significantly higher resistance rates were found in previously treated patients, stressing the need to refrain from empiric treatment using the "test and treat strategy." Culture-based treatment strategy should be considered in all previously treated children.

November 2016
Herman A. Cohen MD, Bella Savitsky MPH, Arie Ashkenasi MD and Moshe Hoshen PhD

Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Recently, increases in ADHD prevalence and methylphenidate use have been reported. There is evidence that children and adolescents use ADHD medication only during the school year. 

Objectives: To investigate trends in methylphenidate dispensing over a period of 3 years (2010–2012) at the monthly level and to investigate whether there is any monthly variation, especially during the summer season.

Methods: The database of Clalit Health Services (the largest of the four health funds in Israel) was used to identify (i) patients aged 6–17 years with a diagnosis of ADHD, and (ii) methylpenidate dispensation during the period 2010–2012. 

Results: Among children aged 6–17 years diagnosed with ADHD, 43% were treated with methylphenidate. For the period 2010 to 2012 there was an annual drop in methylphenidate dispensing, beginning in June and continuing through the 2 months of summer vacation, with a 2.5-fold reduction from July as compared to May. This decline was consistently followed by a rise in medications dispensed starting August. A similar small drop was observed during the Passover school vacation. The summer drop decreased over the years.

Conclusions: Our findings showed a decrease in the number of methylphenidate prescriptions dispensed during the summer months and Passover as compared to the rest of the year. However, this phenomenon appears to be decreasing. Given that ADHD is a chronic disease state that can effectively be managed with pharmacotherapy, discontinuation of treatment may be harmful for patients and should be considered only on a patient-by-patient basis.


August 2016
Daniel Hardoff MD, Assaf Gefen MA, Doron Sagi MA and Amitai Ziv MD

Background: Human dignity has a pivotal role within the health care system. There is little experience using simulation-based medical education (SBME) programs that focus on human dignity issues in doctor-patient relationships.

Objectives: To describe and assess a SBME program aimed at improving physicians’ competence in a dignifying approach when encountering adolescents and their parents.

Methods: A total of 97 physicians participated in 8 one-day SMBE workshops that included 7 scenarios of typical adolescent health care dilemmas. These issues could be resolved if the physician used an appropriate dignifying approach toward the patient and the parents. Debriefing discussions were based on video recordings of the scenarios. The effect of the workshops on participants’ approach to adolescent health care was assessed by a feedback questionnaire and on 5-point Likert score questionnaires administered before the workshop and 3 months after. 

Results: All participants completed both the pre-workshop and the feedback questionnaires and 41 (42%) completed the post-workshop questionnaire 3 months later. Practice and competence topics received significantly higher scores in post-workshop questionnaires (P < 0.001). A score of high to very high was given by 90% of physicians to the contribution of the workshop to participants understanding the dignifying approach, and by 70% to its influence on their communicative skills.

Conclusions: A one-day simulation-based workshop may improve physicians’ communication skills and sense of competence in addressing adolescents’ health care issues which require a dignifying approach toward both the adolescent patients and their parents. This dignity-focused methodology may be expanded to improve communication skills of physicians from various disciplines. 


November 2015
Menachem Fisher MD, Izhar ben Shlomo MD, Ido Solt MD and Yechiel Z. Burke MD

We present an overview of the current sexual behavior of adolescents in Israel, including the related social and moral issues, and compare it to that in Western countries. An important factor is the existence of liberal versus conservative views regarding the use of contraception and termination of pregnancy in these young subjects. We describe the current situation where in most cases the medical providers do not provide adequate contraceptive advice to adolescent girls, resulting ultimately in a high rate of unintended pregnancy. In our opinion, it is essential to make effective contraception more accessible to this vulnerable group.

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.


Inbal Mayan MD, Raz Somech MD PhD, Atar Lev MSc, Avner H. Cohen, Naama W. Constantini MD and Gal Dubnov-Raz MD MSc

Background: Several studies have identified associations between low vitamin D concentrations and risk of upper respiratory infections (URI). T lymphocytes have a major anti-viral role, are affected by vitamin D metabolism, and may mediate the link between vitamin D and URIs. Competitive swimmers have a relatively high rate of URIs, alongside a high prevalence of low vitamin D concentration. 

Objectives: To examine the associations linking T cell receptor excision circles (TREC, markers of thymus activity), circulating 25(OH)D concentrations and the effect of vitamin D supplementation, and URI symptoms in young competitive swimmers.

Methods: We tested 82 adolescent swimmers for serum 25(OH)D and TREC concentrations and found that 55 had vitamin D insufficiency. Randomized supplementation of either vitamin D3 or placebo was given for 12 winter weeks. URI symptoms were recorded weekly. The associations between TREC copy numbers, vitamin D and URI burden were examined.

Results: TREC concentrations decreased with the participants’ age (r = -0.346, P = 0.003), with no significant between-gender difference. TREC concentrations did not materially differ among subjects with normal, insufficient or deficient vitamin D status, and were not affected by vitamin D supplementation. No significant correlations were found between TREC levels or their changes during the study period, and mean URI severity or duration. 

Conclusions: Thymus activity, represented by higher TREC levels, was not related to vitamin D concentrations or status, and was not affected by vitamin D supplementation in adolescent swimmers. TREC concentrations were not associated with URI severity or duration in this population.


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