• IMA sites
  • IMAJ services
  • IMA journals
  • Follow us
  • Alternate Text Alternate Text
עמוד בית
Fri, 19.04.24

Search results


May 2021
Anat Zalmanovich MD, Ronen Ben-Ami MD, Galia Rahav MD, Danny Alon MD, Allon Moses MD, Karen Olshtain-Pops MD, Miriam Weinberger MD, Pnina Shitrit MD, Michal Katzir MD, Bat-Sheva Gottesman MD, Michal Chowers MD

Background: Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) is an opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients. Clusters of PJP, especially among organ transplant recipients in clinic settings were described. Data regarding nosocomial PJP infection among inpatients are limited.

Objectives: To assess the magnitude and characteristics of inpatient healthcare-associated PJP infection (HCA-PJP) in HIV-negative patients.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of hospitalized PJP patients was performed to identify HCA-PJP. The study was performed at six medical centers in Israel from 2006 to 2016. HCA-PJP was defined as cases of hospital-onset or those with documented contact with a PJP patient. We reviewed and cross-matched temporal and spatial co-locations of patients. Clinical laboratory characteristics and outcomes were compared.

Results: Seventy-six cases of PJP were identified. Median age was 63.7 years; 64% men; 44% hematological malignancies; 18% inflammatory diseases; and 61% steroid usage. Thirty-two patients (42%) were defined as HCA-PJP: 18/32 (23.6%) were hospitalized at onset and 14/32 (18.4%) had a previous encounter with a PJP patient. Time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was shorter in HCA-PJP vs. community-PJP (3.25 vs. 11.23 days, P = 0.009). In multivariate analysis, dyspnea at presentation (odds ratio [OR] 16.79, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.78–157.95) and a tendency toward higher rate of ventilator support (72% vs. 52%, P = 0.07, OR 5.18, 95%CI 0.7–30.3) were independently associated with HCA-PJP, implying abrupt disease progression in HCA-PJP.

Conclusion: HCA-PJP was common. A high level of suspicion for PJP among selected patients with nosocomial respiratory infection is warranted. Isolation of PJP patients should be considered

April 2021
Eytan Damari MD, Alon Farfel MD, Itai Berger MD, Reut Ron, and Yonatan Yeshayahu MD

Background: The effect of extended shift length on pediatric residency is controversial. Israeli residents perform shifts extending up to 26 hours, a practice leading to general dissatisfaction. In early 2020, during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many Israeli hospitals transitioned from 26-hour shifts to 13-hour shifts in fixed teams (capsules) followed by a 24-hour rest period at home. The regulation changes enacted by the Israeli government during the COVID-19 pandemic provided a rare opportunity to assess perception by residents regarding length of shifts before and after the change.

Objectives: To assess perception of pediatric residency in three aspects: resident wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and acquisition of medical education following the change to the shorter shifts model.

Methods: We performed a prospective observational study among pediatric residents. Residents completed an online self-assessment questionnaire before and after the COVID-19 emergency regulations changed toward shorter shifts.

Results: Sixty-seven residents answered the questionnaires before (37) and after (30) the shift changes. The average score was significantly better for the 13-hour shifts versus the 26-hour shifts, except for questions regarding available time for research. There was a positive perception regarding the shorter night shifts model among pediatric residents, with an increase in general satisfaction and improvement in perception of general wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and medical education acquisition.

Conclusions: Following the change to shorter shift length, perception of pediatric residents included improvement in wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and availability of medical education

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.

February 2020
Hussein Zaitoon MD, Ellen Bamberger MD, Liat Yaniv MD, Bracha Mendelson MD, Isaac Srugo MD and Irina Chistyakov MD

Background: The introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine-13 (PCV-13) has reduced the burden of invasive pneumococcal disease.

Objective: To characterize true positive blood cultures of children who presented to our hospital following implementation of the PCV-13 vaccine.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on positive blood cultures of children presenting with fever from 2010–2017. Subjects were divided into two age groups: a younger group 3–36 months and an older group 3–18 years. Patients were classified as either having or not having a focus of infection at the time of their bacteremia. Pneumococcal isolates were typed at Israel's Streptococcal Reference Laboratory.

Results: The samples included 94 true positive blood cultures. Focal infection with concomitant bacteremia was more common than bacteremia without a focus both overall: 67/94 (71%) vs. 27/94 (28.7%), P <0.001 as well as in the two groups: 32/48 (66%) vs. 16/48 (33%), P = 0.02 in the younger group and 35/46 (76%) vs. 11/46 (24%), P = 0.001 in the older group. Streptococcus pneumoniae was the most common pathogen overall, 27/94 (29%), and in the younger group, 21/48 (44%), but rare in the older group, 6/46 (13%). In the latter, Brucella species predominated, 12/46 (26%), along with Staphylococcus aureus 12/46 (26%).

Conclusions: Our findings are consistent with other studies reporting decreased pneumococcal bacteremia, bacteremia primarily accompanying focal infection, and changing etiological agents among PCV-13-vaccinated children. Brucella species was prominent in older children with osteoarticular infections. Ongoing surveillance is warranted to better understand the implications of PCV-13.

January 2019
Ariel S. Berkowitz MD, Tzahi Neuman MD, Shahar Frenkel MD PhD, Ron Eliashar MD, Jeffrey M. Weinberger MD and Nir Hirshoren MD
March 2018
Avinoam Nevler MD, Yaniv Berger MD, Avital Rabinovitz MD, Oded Zmora MD, Moshe Shabtai MD, Danny Rosin MD and Mordechai Gutman MD FACS

Background: Acute appendicitis (AA) is one of the most common indications for emergency abdominal surgery.

Objective: To assess the diagnostic and prognostic value of serum bilirubin and liver enzyme levels in the management of acute appendicitis.

Methods: Consecutive emergency department patients referred for a surgical consult for suspected AA were prospectively enrolled in the study. Data regarding demographic, clinical and laboratory results were recorded. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was performed for all evaluated parameters. Clinical and laboratory markers were evaluated for diagnostic accuracy and correlation to the clinical severity, histology reports, and length of hospital stay.

Results: The study was comprised of 100 consecutive patients. ROC curve analysis revealed white blood cell count, absolute neutrophils count (ANC), C-reactive protein, total-bilirubin and direct-bilirubin levels as significant factors for diagnosis of AA. The combination of serum bilirubin levels, alanine transaminase levels, and ANC yielded the highest area under the curve (0.898, 95% confidence interval 0.835–0.962, P<0.001) with a diagnostic accuracy of 86%. In addition, total and direct bilirubin levels significantly correlated with the severity of appendicitis as described in the operative and pathology reports (P < 0.01). Total and direct bilirubin also significantly correlated with the length of hospital stay (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Serum bilirubin levels, alone or combined with other markers, may be considered as a clinical marker for AA correlating with disease existence, severity, and length of hospital stay. These findings support the routine use of serum bilirubin levels in the workup of patients with suspected AA.

June 2017
Yael C. Cohen MD, Tamar Berger MD MHA, Lora Eshel MD, Dorit Stern MD, Osnat Bairey MD, Pia Raanani MD and Ofer Shpilberg MD MPH

Background: Pulmonary infiltrates (PIs) detected in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) may present a diagnostic challenge due to their wide differential diagnosis, including infection, pulmonary lymphoma and immunochemotherapy-associated pulmonary toxicity.

Objectives: To characterize therapy-associated PIs by positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging.

Methods: We conducted a historical analysis of fluorodeoxyglucose-PET/CT (18F-FDG-PET/CT) PIs in NHL patients treated with combined immunochemotherapy including rituximab. Incidence of PIs, radiological features, patients’ characteristics, underlying NHL type, rituximab/chemotherapy dosing schedules, and symptoms were recorded. Therapy-associated PIs were defined as new or worsening PIs appearing after treatment onset, without evidence of active pulmonary lymphoma or infection.

Results: Among 80 patients who met the pre-specified criteria, therapy-associated PIs were identified in 17 (21%), 6 of whom had accompanying symptoms. Increased FDG uptake was observed in nine, and PI resolution in six. The incidence of PIs was higher in females and in patients with aggressive lymphoma, at advanced stages, and in those who had received treatment consisting of a combination of rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone every 14 days (R-CHOP-14).

Conclusions: This characterization of therapy-associated PIs may support the clinician managing NHL patients. Further prospective studies are needed to establish the role of each therapeutic component and the natural history of this phenomenon.

March 2017
Irina Briskman MD, Assaf Shelef MD MHA, Uri Berger MA, Yehuda Baruch MD MHA, Gali Bar MA, Jack Asherov MD, Artur Lvovski MD, Alan Apter MD and Yoram Barak MD MHA

Background: Deliberate self-harm (DSH) increases the danger of future suicide death and the risk increases with age. Self-harm in older adults is often associated with greater suicidal intent and lethality. 

Objectives: To investigate clinical and psychosocial variables of older patients (age ≥ 65 years) assessed due to DSH, compared with younger adults.

Methods: Patients admitted to the Emergency Department following DSH during an 8 year period were included.

Results: Of 1149 participants, 187 (16.6%) were older adults (age ≥ 65) and 962 (83.4%) were younger adults (< 65). The older adults reported DSH closer to mid-day (P < 0.01) and suffered more frequently from adjustment disorder and depression. Personality disorders and schizophrenia were less commonly diagnosed (P < 0.001). Prescription medication (sedatives and hypnotics) were a more frequent means (88% vs. 71%) of DSH among older patients. Younger patients with DSH used over-the-counter medications (21.9% vs. 6.4%) three times more than did the older patients (P < 0.01). Past DSH was significantly more frequent in younger adults. Following DSH the older patients were frequently admitted for further general hospitalization (P < 0.001). 

Conclusions: Older adults with DSH are a unique group with different clinical characteristics. There is a need for targeted prevention strategies and education of caregivers regarding DSH in older adults.

 

January 2017
Benjamin Spieler BA, Jeffrey Goldstein MD, Yaacov R. Lawrence MD, Akram Saad MD, Raanan Berger MD PhD, Jacob Ramon MD, Zohar Dotan MD, Menachem Laufer MD, Ilana Weiss MA, Lev Tzvang MS, Philip Poortmans MD PhD and Zvi Symon MD

Background: Radiotherapy to the prostate bed is used to eradicate residual microscopic disease following radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer. Recommendations are based on historical series. 

Objectives: To determine outcomes and toxicity of contemporary salvage radiation therapy (SRT) to the prostate bed. 

Methods: We reviewed a prospective ethics committee-approved database of 229 patients referred for SRT. Median pre-radiation prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was 0.5 ng/ml and median follow-up was 50.4 months (range 13.7–128). Treatment was planned and delivered using modern three-dimensional radiation techniques. Mean bioequivalent dose was 71 Gy (range 64–83 Gy). Progression was defined as two consecutive increases in PSA level > 0.2 ng/ml, metastases on follow-up imaging, commencement of anti-androgen treatment for any reason, or death from prostate cancer. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and multivariate analysis was performed using STATA. 

Results: Five year progression-free survival was 68% (95%CI 59.8–74.8%), and stratified by PSA was 87%, 70% and 47% for PSA < 0.3, 0.3–0.7, and > 0.7 ng/ml (P < 0.001). Metastasis-free survival was 92.5%, prostate cancer-specific survival 96.4%, and overall survival 94.9%. Low pre-radiation PSA value was the most important predictor of progression-free survival (HR 2.76, P < 0.001). Daily image guidance was associated with reduced risk of gastrointestinal and genitourinary toxicity (P < 0.005). 

Conclusions: Contemporary SRT is associated with favorable outcomes. Early initiation of SRT at PSA < 0.3 ng/ml improves progression-free survival. Daily image guidance with online correction is associated with a decreased incidence of late toxicity.

 

January 2015
Yaniv Berger MD, Riccardo A Superina MD, Andrew P. Zbar MD, Nora Balint-Lahat MD, Nir Horesh MD and Ron Bilik MD

Background: Congenital hepatic hilar cysts are rare. Some are simple and do not require intervention, but some biliary cystic malformations impose the risk of morbidity and mortality. Objectives: To assess a series of five patients presenting with congenital hepatic hilar cysts. 

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all cases presenting to our pediatric surgical service between January 2010 and December 2012 and found to have a congenital hepatic hilar cyst. Data regarding clinical, radiological, operative and pathological features were analyzed.

Results: Five children with congenital cyst of the hepatic hilum were identified; four of them were diagnosed prenatally. Four children had undergone surgical intervention: one with intrahepatic choledochal cyst, one with epidermoid cyst, and two with biliary atresia and an associated cyst of the common bile duct. In another case of choledochal cyst the treatment was conservative. All children except one had a good prognosis; one child with biliary atresia required liver transplantation.

Conclusions: The differential diagnosis of congenital hepatic hilar cyst includes a broad spectrum of pathologies. It is essential to diagnose biliary atresia as early as possible. Signs such as smaller cysts in association with a hypoplastic gallbladder and direct hyperbilirubinemia may be suggestive of biliary atresia.

November 2014
Joseph Menczer MD, Letizia Schreiber MD, Esther Berger PhD, Erez Ben-Shem MD, Abraham Golan MD FRCOG and Tally Levy MD

Background: Elevated serum levels of the epithelial marker CA125 are occasionally observed in leiomyosarcoma (LMS) patients.

Objectives: To assess the immunohistochemical expression of this marker in the tissue of LMS.

Methods: The consecutive unselected records of all patients with LMS diagnosed during the period 1995–2012 were located and abstracted. After verification of the diagnosis, 4 µm unstained slides were prepared from each case for immunohistochemical staining for CA125. Sections of ovarian carcinoma known to express CA125 were used as positive controls.

Results: We located 17 LMS patients from the period under study. Bleeding was the presenting symptom in 9 patients; the diagnosis was established prior to treatment in 11 patients. The tumor was in an advanced stage in 6 patients, and in 7 unstaged patients it was grossly confined to the uterus. Ten patients died within 14 months after the diagnosis. Serum CA125 levels prior to treatment were assessed in only 8 patients and were above normal limits (> 35 U/ml) in 3 of them. Two of the three with elevated serum levels were in stage III, and the third was an unstaged apparent stage I patient. None of the LMS tissue specimens demonstrated immunohistochemical expression of CA125.

Conclusions: CA125 was not immunohistochemically expressed in the tissue of any LMS tumors examined by us. The origin of elevated serum CA125 in some of these tumors is therefore not in its tissue and remains unknown. 

June 2014
Dana Livne-Segev, Maya Gottfried, Natalie Maimon, Avivit Peer, Avivit Neumann, Henry Hayat, Svetlana Kovel, Avishay Sella, Wilmosh Mermershtain, Keren Rouvinov, Ben Boursi, Rony Weitzen, Raanan Berger and Daniel Keizman

Background: The VEGFR/PDGFR inhibitor sunitinib was approved in Israel in 2008 for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), based on an international trial. However, the efficacy of sunitinib treatment in Israeli mRCC patients has not been previously reported.

Objectives: To report the outcome and associated factors of sunitinib treatment in a large cohort of Israeli mRCC patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of an unselected cohort of mRCC patients who were treated with sunitinib during the period 2006–2013 in six Israeli hospitals. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the association between treatment outcome and clinicopathologic factors.

Results: We identified 145 patients; the median age was 65 years, 63% were male, 80% had a nephrectomy, and 28% had prior systemic treatment. Seventy-nine percent (n=115) had clinical benefit (complete response 5%, n=7; partial response 33%, n= 48; stable disease 41%, n=60); 21% (n=30) were refractory to treatment. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 12 months and median overall survival 21 months. Factors associated with clinical benefit were sunitinib-induced hypertension: [odds ratio (OR) 3.6, P = 0.042] and sunitinib dose reduction or treatment interruption (OR 2.4, P = 0.049). Factors associated with PFS were female gender [hazard ratio (HR) 2, P = 0.004], pre-sunitinib treatment neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio ≤ 3 (HR 2.19, P = 0.002), and active smoking (HR 0.19, P < 0.0001). Factors associated with overall survival were active smoking (HR 0.25, P < 0.0001) and sunitinib-induced hypertension (HR 0.48, P = 0.005). To minimize toxicity, the dose was reduced or the treatment interrupted in 39% (n=57). 

Conclusions: The efficacy of sunitinib treatment for mRCC among Israeli patients is similar to that of international data.

December 2013
Gidon Berger and Richard G. Wunderink
October 2012
R. Karplus, M. Weinberger, R. Zaidenstein, L. Goldshtein, N. Natif and G. Gayer

Background: During an influenza pandemic, clinicians need easily available clinical and laboratory criteria to distinguish influenza from similar respiratory illnesses. We compared A/H1N1/2009-polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive and matched PCR-negative hospitalized patients with suspected H1N1 influenza to identify factors that could assist physicians at patient admission.

Objectives: To identify factors significantly associated with A/H1N1/2009 infection.

Methods: A group of 145 patients with PCR-confirmed A/H1N1 2009 influenza admitted between 27 May 2009 and 3 December 2009 was matched with 145 PCR-negative patients by age, epidemiological week and pregnancy status. Epidemiological and clinical parameters and radiological findings on initial chest X-ray were compared between the two groups.

Results: Asthma (PCR+ 26%, PCR- 12%, P = 0.006) and military service (PCR+ 13%, PCR- 4%, P = 0.15) were associated with PCR-positive status in non-pregnant patients. At presentation, fever, cough, myalgia and fulfilling the pandemic influenza case definition were significantly more frequent in non-pregnant PCR+ patients (62/90/43/59% in PCR+ versus 38/69/30/35% in PCR-). In pregnant patients, fever and fulfilling the case definition were significantly associated with PCR-positive status. Mean leukocyte and absolute lymphocyte counts were significantly lower in both pregnant and non-pregnant PCR-positive patients. Significantly more PCR-negative non-pregnant patients (43% vs. 22% PCR+, P = 0.004) had abnormal chest X-ray (CXR) findings on presentation. In PCR-positive patients, patchy consolidation and interstitial infiltrates were the most common abnormalities.

Conclusions: Under the conditions generated by the A/H1N1/2009 pandemic, radiological findings did not distinguish reliably between influenza and other febrile respiratory illnesses. Asthma, military service, the pandemic case definition (particularly fever, cough and myalgia) and lymphopenia were associated with confirmed H1N1 infection.
 

July 2012
R. Marom, R. Lubetzky, F.B. Mimouni, H. Bassan, L. Ben Sira, I. Berger, S. Dollberg and D. Mandel

Background: Infants with severe intraventricular-periventricular hemorrhage (IVH) have higher absolute nucleated red blood cell counts (aNRBC) at birth (a marker of intrauterine hypoxia) than controls. Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is known to be associated with prenatal and postnatal events. Whether PVL is also linked to intrauterine hypoxia is unknown.

Objectives: To test the hypothesis that infants with PVL have higher aNRBC counts at birth than controls.

Methods: We studied 14 very low birth weight infants with PVL and compared them with 14 pair-matched controls without PVL. Head ultrasound scans were performed in all infants on days 3–5 and 21–25 of life. Paired tests, Fisher exact tests and stepwise logistic regression were performed for analysis.

Results: Groups were similar for gestational age (GA), birth weight (BW), prolonged rupture of membranes (PROM), Apgar scores, IVH, and aNRBC counts. PVL correlated significantly with low partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and IVH (P < 0.01). In logistic regression, when GA, gender, PROM, antenatal steroid therapy, 1 (or 5) minute Apgar scores, IVH grade, nosocomial sepsis, patent ductus arteriosus, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), need for pressors, aNRBC counts and lowest pCO2 were used as independent variables, pCO2 (P = 0.002), IVH grade (P = 0.001), GA (P = 0.038), NEC (P = 0.061) and use of dopamine (P = 0.010) remained in the analysis (total R2 = 68.2%).

Conclusions: In contrast to severe IVH, aNRBC counts do not predict the development of PVL.

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or medical advice on any matter.
The IMA is not responsible for and expressly disclaims liability for damages of any kind arising from the use of or reliance on information contained within the site.
© All rights to information on this site are reserved and are the property of the Israeli Medical Association. Privacy policy

2 Twin Towers, 35 Jabotinsky, POB 4292, Ramat Gan 5251108 Israel