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עמוד בית
Sat, 25.05.24

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December 2018
Raviv Allon BsC, Yahav Levy MD, Idit Lavi MA, Aviv Kramer MD, Menashe Barzilai MD and Ronit Wollstein MD

Because fragility fractures have an enormous impact on the practice of medicine and global health systems, effective screening is imperative. Currently, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), which has limited ability to predict fractures, is being used. We evaluated the current literature for a method that may constitute a better screening method to predict fragility fractures. A systematic review of the literature was conducted on computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound to evaluate screening methods to predict fragility fractures. We found that ultrasound had sufficient data on fracture prediction to perform meta-analysis; therefore, we analyzed prospective ultrasound cohort studies. Six study populations, consisting of 29,299 individuals (87,296 person-years of observation) and including 992 fractures, were analyzed. MRI was found to be sensitive and specific for osteoporosis, but its use for screening has not been sufficiently evaluated and more research is needed on cost, accessibility, technical challenges, and sensitivity and specificity. CT could predict fracture occurrence; however, it may be problematic for screening due to cost, exposure to radiation, and availability. Ultrasound was found to predict fracture occurrence with an increased risk of 1.45 (95% confidence interval 1.21–1.73) to fracture. Ultrasound has not replaced DXA as a screening tool for osteoporosis, perhaps due to operator-dependency and difficulty in standardization of testing.

January 2016
Yehuda Hershkovitz MD, Hasan Kais MD, Ariel Halevy MD and Ron Lavy MD

Background: The timing of interval laparoscopic cholecystectomy continues to be a matter of debate. 

Objectives: To evaluate the best timing for performing this procedure after an episode of acute cholecystitis. 

Methods: In this retrospective analysis, we divided 213 patients into three groups based on the time that elapsed since an episode of acute cholecystitis to surgery: Group I: 1–6 weeks, Group II: 6–12 weeks, Group III: > 12 weeks. 

Results: The mean operative time ranged from 50 to 62 minutes, complication rate from 2.6% to 5.9%, conversion rate from 2.6% to 10.8%, length of hospitalization from 1.55 to 2.2 days, and the 30 day readmission rate from 2.7% to 7.9%. There were no statistically significant differences between the study groups in the primary outcome parameters.

Conclusions: Due to the lack of statistically significant differences between the groups, interval laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed safely and without increasing the complication rate within 6 weeks following the acute episode as well as 12 weeks after. However, a trend towards higher conversion and complication rates was observed in Group II (6–12 weeks).

 

December 2015
Adi Abulafia MD, Eli Rosen MD, Ehud I. Assia MD and Guy Kleinmann MD
 

Background: Cataract extraction is the most commonly performed ophthalmic surgical procedure. There is no registry for documenting cataract surgical procedures and the overall risk of its complications over time in Israel.


Objectives: To present trends in the number and type of selected parameters associated with cataract surgical procedures in Israel between 1990 and 2014.


Methods: Questionnaires had been sent annually to all surgical centers in which cataract surgery was performed in Israel during the study period. The trends that were investigated included annual rates, surgical sites, surgical techniques, use of an intraocular lens (IOL) and type and rates of postoperative endophthalmitis (POE). 


Results: A total of 812,112 cataract surgical procedures were reported during the 25 year study period. Responses to the questionnaire increased from 75% in 1990 to 100% in 2006 onwards. The annual number of reported cataract surgical procedures increased from 16,841 (3.5 per 1000) in 1990 to 57,419 in 2014 (6.9 per 1000), representing an increase of 197%. There was a shift from performing the surgery in the public health system to private medical centers. The surgical technique changed from predominantly manual extracapsular cataract extraction (56% in 1999) to predominantly phacoemulsification (98.7% in 2014). POE rates decreased from 0.25% in 2002 to 0.028% in 2014. 


Conclusions: There was a continuous increase in the rate of surgical cataract procedures, and more were performed in private medical facilities. There was also a major shift towards advanced cataract procedures and a decreased rate of POE. 


 
April 2015
July 2014
Boaz Amichai MD, Marcelo H. Grunwald MD, Batya Davidovici MD and Avner Shemer MD

Background: Tinea pedis is a common chronic skin disease; the role of contaminated clothes as a possible source of infection or re-infection has not been fully understood. The ability of ultraviolet light to inactivate microorganisms has long been known and UV is used in many applications.

Objectives: To evaluate the effectivity of sun exposure in reducing fungal contamination in used clothes.

Methods: Fifty-two contaminated socks proven by fungal culture from patients with tinea pedis were studied. The samples were divided into two groups: group A underwent sun exposure for 3 consecutive days, while group B remained indoors. At the end of each day fungal cultures of the samples were performed.

Results: Overall, there was an increase in the percentage of negative cultures with time. The change was significantly higher in socks that were left in the sun (chi-square for linear trend = 37.449, P < 0.0001).

* Louis Brandeis, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1913

Conclusions: Sun exposure of contaminated clothes was effective in lowering the contamination rate. This finding enhances the current trends of energy saving and environmental protection, which recommend low temperature laundry.

September 2012
A. Bar-Shai, B. Tiran, M. Topilsky, J. Greif, I. Fomin Irina and Y. Schwarz

Background: Most studies on asbestos-related diseases describe the associations between exposure and disease and the factors influencing that association. It is recognized that there is a long latency period between exposure and disease, but the health status of affected individuals after long-term non-exposure is uncertain.

Objectives: To describe the changes in pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and computed tomographic imaging of the thorax over a 15 year period after cessation of exposure to asbestos in a cohort of Israeli power plant workers.

Methods: Israeli power plant workers whose PFTs and thoracic CT imaging between 1993 and 1998 revealed asbestos-related disease underwent a second clinical, functional and imaging evaluation up to 15 years later. The two sets of results were compared.

Results: Of the original cohort of 59 males, 35 were still alive, and 18 of them agreed to take part in the current study. The mean length of their exposure was 30 ± 10.06 years (range 7–43 years). Comparison of the initial and follow-up examination findings revealed a significant increase in calcification of the pleural plaques (from 37% to 66%, P = 0.008) and a deterioration in PFTs (P = 0.04). Of the 24 men who died, malignant disease was the cause of death in 53%, mostly in sites other than the respiratory system.

Conclusions: PFTs declined and CT findings worsened in subjects who were formerly exposed to asbestos and had not been exposed to it for over a decade. Continued monitoring of individuals exposed to asbestos, even decades after the cessation of exposure, is recommended.
 

March 2012
D. Levy Faber, L. Anson Best, M. Orlovsky, M. Lapidot, R.Reuven Nir and R. Kremer
Background: Pediatric empyema necessitates prompt resolution and early hospital discharge with minimal morbidity. However, the most effective treatment approach is not yet established.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy of an intrapleural streptokinase washing protocol as a non-operative treatment for stage II pediatric empyema as compared to operative decortications, by the number of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admissions, length of PICU stay and hospitalization duration.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 75 consecutive pediatric empyema cases for the period January 2006 to December 2009. Since July 2007 we have used repeated streptokinase-based pleural washing for stage II patients whose condition did not improve with chest drainage.

Results: Before July 2007, 17 of 23 stage II empyema patients underwent decortication, compared to only 1 of 21 after July 2007. Non-operated children were admitted to the PICU less frequently than those who were operated (83% vs. 31%, P = 0.0006), spent less time in the PICU (2.56 ± 1.92 vs. 1.04 ± 1.9 days, P = 0.0148), with no significant statistical difference in overall hospitalization (13.33 ± 3.69 vs. 11.70 ± 5.74 days, P=0.301).

Conclusions: Using intrapleural streptokinase washing as a non-operative treatment for stage II pediatric empyema yielded comparable success rates to the operative approach, with less morbidity.
Y.A. Schwartz

Dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia normally fire in a continuous manner, maintaining the striatal dopamine concentration at a relatively constant level. In Parkinson’s disease, dopaminergic treatment produces a discontinuous stimulation, inducing an intermittent pulsatile activation of the striatal receptors. Probably the oscillations in the dopamine level in the striatum contribute to the development of motor complications. Treatment with long-acting dopaminergic agents, or providing a more continuous dopaminergic effect in the striatum, has been associated with fewer clinical motor complications. This review describes the state of the art in the clinical approach to achieve the desired continuous dopaminergic stimulation, providing patients with the best clinical effect and probably minimal motor complications.

November 2009
A. Neville, Z. Liss, A. Lahad, B. Porter and P. Shvartzman

Background: Low back pain is a common problem managed by primary care physicians and orthopedic specialists.

Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of new LBP[1] episodes in patients who chose to visit either an orthopedist or a general practitioner.

Methods: All patients visiting the orthopedist or physician during the study period were screened for a new complaint of LBP. After the initial visit the patients were interviewed by phone by means of a structured questionnaire, with a follow-up interview one month later. The study was performed at Clalit Health Services primary care and consultation clinics. A random sample of 125 GPs[2] and 17 orthopedists were chosen. Consecutively recruited were 166 patients who visited the GP and 75 the orthopedist. The main outcome measures evaluated were perceived complaint severity and degree of disturbance to everyday functioning, problem resolution, and health services utilization.

Results: Patients who decided to first visit the orthopedist indicated a higher disturbance to everyday functioning (75% vs. 70%, P < 0.01), were invited for further follow-up visits (6% vs. 51%, P < 0.05) and had more computed tomography and bone scans (20 vs. 3%, P < 0.001 and 9 vs. 2%, P < 0.05, respectively). Health status after one month showed that patients who chose the GP were more likely to have their problem solved (36 vs. 17%, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Symptom resolution for a new LBP complaint was significantly higher in patients who decided on the GP, even when controlling for severity of illness and degree of disturbance to everyday functioning.






[1] LBP = low back pain



[2] GP = general practitioner


June 2007
Z.M. Sthoeger, A. Eliraz, I. Asher, N. Berkman, D. Elbirt

Background: Patients with severe persistent asthma despite GINA 2002 step 4 treatment are at risk for asthma-related morbidity and mortality. This study constitutes the Israeli arm of the international INNOVATE study.

Objectives: To determine the efficacy and safety of Xolair® as an add-on treatment in patients with severe persistent asthma.

Methods: Asthma patients (age 12–75 years) not controlled with high dose inhaled corticosteroids and long-active beta-2 agonists were randomized to receive either Xolair® or placebo for 28 weeks in a double-blind study in two Israeli centers.

Results: Thirty-three patients, 20 females and 13 males, mean age 54 ± 11.7 years, were included in the Israeli arm of the INNOVATE study. There were neither major adverse events nor withdrawals from the study. Xolair® (omalizumab) significantly reduced the rate of clinically significant asthma exacerbations (55% reduction) and all asthma-related emergency visits (53% reduction).
Conclusions: In patients with severe persistent difficult-to-treat asthma, despite regular treatment with LABA[1] and inhaled corticosteroids (GINA 2002 step 4), Xolair® is a safe and effective treatment







[1] LABA = long-active beta-2 agonists


April 2006
W. den Besten, M-L. Kuo, K. Tago, R.T. Williams and C.J. Sherr

The Ink4a-Arf locus, which encodes two distinct tumor suppressor proteins, is inactivated in many cancers. Whereas p16Ink4a is an inhibitor of cyclin D-dependent kinases, p19Arf (p14ARF in humans) antagonizes the E3 ubiquitin protein ligase activity of Mdm2 to activate p53. We now recognize that Arf functions in both p53-dependent and -independent modes to counteract hyper-proliferative signals originating from proto-oncogene activation, but its p53-independent activities remain poorly understood. Arf proteins are highly basic (> 20% arginine content, pI > 12) and predominantly localize within nucleoli in physical association with an abundant acidic protein, nucleophosmin (NPM/B23). When bound to NPM[1], Arf proteins are relatively stable with half-lives of 6–8 hours. Although mouse p19Arf contains only a single lysine residue and human p14ARF has none, both proteins are N-terminally ubiquitinated and degraded in proteasomes. Through as yet uncharacterized mechanisms, p19Arf induces p53-independent sumoylation of a variety of cellular target proteins with which it interacts, including both Mdm2 and NPM. A naturally occurring NPM mutant (NPMc) expressed in myeloid leukemia cells redirects both wild-type NPM and p19Arf to the cytoplasm, inhibits Arf-induced sumoylation, and attenuates p53 activity. Thus, ubiquitination and sumoylation can each influence Arf tumor suppressor activity.






[1] NPM = nucleophosmin


February 2006
A. Ben Nun, M. Soudack and L.A. Best

Background: Thyroidectomy for goiter is a common surgical procedure performed in most hospitals in Israel. Both general and ear, nose and throat surgeons are familiar with thyroidectomy for cervical goiters. In about 1–15% of thyroidectomies, the goiter is intrathoracic and requires somewhat different management. This topic has not been reviewed in the literature recently.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical presentation, preoperative workup, surgical complications and risk of malignancy in retrosternal goiters.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 75 patients who underwent thyroidectomy for retrosternal goiter in the General Thoracic Surgical Department of our institution during a 15 year period, January 1990 to January 2005.

Results: All the patients (41 women and 34 men) were symptomatic at presentation, with choking and dyspnea being the most common complaint. Computerized tomography scan of the neck and chest were obtained before the operation in 71 patients (95%). Ten patients (13%) had a previous partial thyroidectomy. A cervical approach was used in 68 patients (91%). Seven patients (9%) required median sternotomy to complete the operation. One patient (1.3%) died from postoperative respiratory failure. Transient recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy occurred in 5 patients (7%) and permanent RLNP[1] in 3 (4%). The incidence of transient and permanent hypoparathyroidism was 10% and 2.6% respectively. Sixty-six lesions (88%) were benign and 9 (12%) were malignant.

Conclusions: Choking and dyspnea are the most common presenting symptoms of retrosternal goiter. CT scan is an important component of the preoperative evaluation and operative planning. Surgical removal of the thyroid is the treatment of choice and most patients have symptomatic improvement following the operation. Since a substernal thyroidectomy may be technically different from cervical thyroidectomy, a surgical team familiar with its unique pitfalls should perform the procedure.






[1] RNLP = recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy



 
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