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Sat, 25.05.24

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February 2019
Lital Oz-Alcalay MD, Shai Ashkenazi MD MSc, Aharona Glatman-Freedman MD MPH, Sarit Weisman-Demri MD, Alexander Lowenthal MD and Gilat Livni MD MHA

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-related bronchiolitis is a common cause of morbidity in young infants. The recommendations for its passive prevention by palivizumab are currently under intensive debate.

Objectives: To elucidate the optimal prevention strategy by studying the morbidity of RSV disease under the current recommendations for palivizumab prophylaxis in Israel.

Methods: We collected demographic and clinical data of all children hospitalized with microbiologically confirmed RSV bronchiolitis during 2015–2016 at Schneider Children's Medical Center. The seasonality of RSV disease was also studied for the period 2010–2017 in sentinel clinics scattered throughout Israel.

Results: Of the 426 hospitalized children, 106 (25%) had underlying diseases but were not eligible for palivizumab prophylaxis according to the current criteria in Israel. Their course was severe, with a mean hospital stay of 6.7 days and a 12% admission rate to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Palivizumab-eligible children who did not receive the prophylaxis before hospitalization had the most severe course, with 22% admitted to the PICU. More children were diagnosed with RSV disease in October than in March among both hospitalized and ambulatory children; 44% of the palivizumab-eligible hospitalized children were admitted in the last 2 weeks of October, before 1 November which is the recommended date for starting palivizumab administration in Israel.

Conclusions: According to the results of the present study we suggest advancing RSV prophylaxis in Israel from 1 November to mid-October. The precise palivizumab-eligible categories should be reconsidered.

July 2016
Meir Kestenbaum MD, Daphne Robakis MD, Blair Ford MD, Roy N. Alcalay MD MSc and Elan D. Louis MD MSc

Background: Only a minority of patients with essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. Data on patient selection factors are useful.

Objectives: To compare the clinical characteristics of ET and PD patients who underwent DBS surgery with those of patients who had not undergone surgery.

Methods: We abstracted data from the electronic medical records of 121 PD and 34 ET patients who underwent DBS surgery at Columbia University Medical Center during the period 2009–2014. We compared this group with 100 randomly selected PD and 100 randomly selected ET patients at the Center who had not undergone DBS surgery. 

Results: Among other differences, age of onset in PD patients who had undergone surgery was younger than in those who did not: 14.9% vs. 3.0% with onset before age 40 (P = 0.003). They had also tried nearly double the number of medications (3.9 ± 1.7 vs. 2.3 ± 1.5, P < 0.001). Interestingly, there was no difference in the proportion of patients with tremor (81.0% vs. 88.0%, P = 0.16). Medical co-morbidities (heart and lungs) were less common in the PD patients who underwent DBS surgery. In the ET group, tremor causing impairment in activities of daily living occurred in all surgical patients compared to 73.0% of non-surgical patients (P < 0.001). The former had tried nearly double the number of medications compared to the latter (3.2 ± 1.7 vs. 1.3 ± 1.3, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: These data add to our understanding of the numerous clinical factors associated with patient referral to DBS surgery. 

 

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