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עמוד בית
Fri, 19.07.24

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June 2024
Elias Nasrallah MD, Hussein Zaitoon MD, Marina Zeltser MD, Ran Steinberg MD, Ran Miron MD, Hanna Farah MD, Ranaa Damouni-Shalabi MD, Imad Kassis MD, Halima Dabaja-Younis MD MPH

Background: Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PSA) is an infectious pathogen associated with acute appendicitis; however, it is not consistently addressed by empirical antibiotic therapy, despite potential complications.

Objectives: To investigate the incidence, predictors, and outcomes of PSA-associated acute appendicitis in children.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis involving pediatric patients who underwent acute appendicitis surgery and had positive peritoneal cultures. Clinical, microbiological, and intraoperative data were extracted from medical records.

Results: Among 2523 children with acute appendicitis, 798 (31.6%) underwent peritoneal cultures, revealing 338 positive cases (42.3%), with PSA detected in 77 cases (22.8%). Children with PSA were three times more likely to exhibit high intraoperative grading ≥ 3 (93.4% vs. 76.8%, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.2–8.3, P = 0.023) and nearly four times more likely to have polymicrobial cultures (88.3% vs. 62.1%, 95%CI 1.8–8.0, P < 0.001) than those without PSA in peritoneal cultures. Duration of symptoms did not predict PSA isolation (P = 0.827). Patients with PSA had longer median hospital stays (8 days, interquartile range [IQR] 7–10) than those with other pathogens (7 days, IQR 5–9) (P = 0.004). Antibiotic treatment duration, intensive care unit admission rates, readmission, and mortality were similar between the two groups (P = 0.893, 0.197, 0.760, and 0.761, respectively).

Conclusions: PSA is a common pathogen in children diagnosed with acute appendicitis and positive peritoneal cultures. The likelihood of isolating PSA increases with high-grade intraoperative assessment and in the presence of multiple pathogens in peritoneal cultures, suggests antipseudomonal treatment.

March 2024
Lea Ohana Sarna Cahan MD, Dina Qaraen Saloni MD, Mevaseret Avital MD, Naama Pines MD, Itai Gross MD, Giora Wieser MD, Saar Hashavya MD

Background: Hypothermia, as a sign of serious bacterial infection (SBI) in children and infants older than 90 days is poorly characterized, especially in the post-pneumococcal vaccine era.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of SBI in children and infants presenting to the pediatric emergency department (PED) with reported or documented hypothermia.

Methods: Retrospective data analysis was conducted of all well-appearing children aged 0–16 years who presented with a diagnosis of hypothermia at two tertiary PEDs from 2010 to 2019.

Results: The study comprised 99 children, 15 (15.2%) age 0–3 months, 71 (71.7%) 3–36 months, and 13 (13.1%) > 36 months. The youngest age group had increased length of stay in the hospital (P < 0.001) and increased rates of pediatric intensive care unit admissions (P < 0.001). Empirical antibiotic coverage was initiated in 80% of the children in the 0–3 months group, 21.1% in the 3–36 months group, and 15.4% in > 36 months (P < 0.001). Only one case of SBI was recorded and no bacteremia or meningitis. Hypothermia of unknown origin was the most common diagnosis in all age groups (34%, 42%, 46%), respectively, followed by bronchiolitis (26%) and hypoglycemia (13.3%) for 0–3 month-old children, unspecified viral infection (20%) and otitis media (7%) for 3–36-month old, and unspecified viral infection (23%) and alcohol intoxication (15.2%) in > 36 months.

Conclusion: There is a low incidence of SBI in well-appearing children presenting to the PED with hypothermia and a benign course and outcome in those older than 3 months.

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.

May 2023
Yuval Cavari MD, Olga Yermiahu CCRN MHA, Orna Staretz Chacham MD, Guy Beck Rosen MD MHA, Eitan Neeman MD, Isaac Lazar MD

Carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1; MIM *608307; E.C. 6.3.4.16) is the first rate-limiting enzyme of the urea cycle, an essential metabolic pathway for ammonia detoxification. CPS1 deficiency (CPS1-D) is characterized by severe hyperammonemia during disease exacerbations. During a metabolic crisis, children with CPS1-D are admitted with vomiting, altered mental status, and high serum levels of ammonia. Rapid normalization of ammonia level ameliorates neurological outcome [1,2]. The first-line treatment for hyperammonemia in these patients is ammonia scavengers in combination with citrulline or arginine and high-calorie supplementation while controlling protein intake [1].

February 2023
Yarden Tenenbaum Weiss MD, Michael Friger PhD, Alon Haim MD, Eli Hershkovitz MD

Background: Pediatric patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) are commonly treated with daily multiple insulin injections or an insulin pump. They tend to have higher body mass index-standard deviation scores (BMI-SDS) than non-diabetic children.

Objectives: To identify patterns in the changes in BMI in the 3 years after T1DM diagnosis, and to discover factors that relate to excessive weight gain.

Methods: This retrospective study included clinical and laboratory data for 194 boys and girls aged 2–18 years at the time of diagnosis and at 1, 2, and 3 years after. Their BMI values were compared to non-diabetic children using BMI percentile and z-score (standard deviation) based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts.

Results: Both males and females had low mean BMI-SDS at diagnosis (-0.4499 ± 1.38743 male, 0.3050 ± 1.29887 female) that increased after 1 year (-0.0449 ± 1.14772 male, 0.1451 ± 0.98893 female). Lower glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) at 1 year correlated with higher BMI-SDS (r = -0.215, P = 0.011). No such correlation was found in the following 2 years. The daily dose of basal insulin correlated with higher BMI-SDS at 1 year (r = 0.183, P = 0.026) and 3 years (r = 0.297, P < 0.01). No association was found between the use of an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitoring and higher BMI-SDS.

Conclusions: BMI-SDS of children with T1DM was lower than average at the time of diagnosis and rose higher than average in the 3 years following. Higher BMI-SDS was not significantly associated with sex or ethnicity. The most prominent increase happened in the first year.

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.

Ayelet Shles MD, Giulia Pula MD, Omer Raviv MD, Dania Takagi MD, Hadas Yechiam MD, Ehud Rosenbloom MD

Background: Blood pressure (BP) is routinely measured while triaging children presenting to the pediatric emergency department (PED).

Objectives: To determine whether a medical clown shortens the time to acquire a BP measurement among children undergoing triage in the PED.

Methods: The study comprised 133 children. Patients were assigned to one of two groups: with a medical clown or without a medical clown.

Results: The presence of a medical clown led to a significantly shorter time to acquire a blood pressure measurement (60 ± 23 seconds vs. 81 ± 43.5 seconds, P < 0.001. Clowns had a significant effect on shortening total triage length among children of Jewish ethnicity compared to Arab ethnicity (113 ± 353.6 seconds vs. 154 ± 418 seconds, P = 0.012).

Conclusions: Using medical clowns while measuring BP during triage when used in a culturally appropriate manner shortens time.

October 2022
Osnat Zmora MD, Atara Indursky MD, Baruch Klin MD, Sonia Mendlovic MD

Background: Rare incidence cases are part of the routine work of pediatric surgeons. Cecal anomalies in children are an example of such cases.

Objectives: To describe the presentation, workup, management and outcome of rare cecal anomalies in children and to analyze the skills needed for their successful treatment.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of all cases of cecal anomalies managed by the pediatric surgical service at a tertiary hospital from June 2017 to January 2020. Data regarding demographics, clinical presentation, radiological studies, surgical treatment, pathology, complications, and outcome were collected.

Results: Five cases of cecal anomalies were encountered over a period of 32 months, including a cecal volvulus, cecal duplication, cecal intussusception, and two cecal masses (one ulcerated lipoma and one polyp). All patients, except the patient with cecal duplication, presented acutely and were managed surgically. Long-term follow-up of 17–24 months was unremarkable in all cases.

Conclusions: A wide knowledge base, careful judgment, and creativity enable pediatric surgeons to successfully treat rare conditions such as rare cecal anomalies. These skills should be part of the education of pediatric surgery trainees.

Lee Fuchs MD, Eyal Mercado MD, Paz Kedem MD, Tali Becker MD, Daniel Weigl MD

Background: The growing popularity of trampoline jumping in the past years has led to an increase in trampoline-related injuries. The risk is particularly high in large trampoline parks, which are attended by many individuals of various sizes and ages.

Objective: To describe a tertiary pediatric center experience in Israel.

Methods: The database of a tertiary pediatric medical center was retrospectively reviewed for all trampoline-associated admissions to the emergency department in 2015–2018. Data were collected on patient demographics and injury characteristics with an emphasis on type and venue.

Results: Of the 23,248 admissions for orthopedic trauma during the period, 244 children were admitted for 246 trampoline-related injuries. Injuries involved the lower limb in 130 children (53%), upper limb in 87 (36%), spine in 20 (8%), and other sites in 9 (3%). Almost half of the injuries (113/246, 46%) were fractures, 27% required either closed or open reduction in the operating room. Large trampoline centers were responsible for half of the cases.

Conclusions: Trampoline injuries accounted for 1.05% of all emergency department admissions at a tertiary pediatric hospital in 2015–2018. Nearly half of the trampoline-related injuries were fractures. Large trampoline centers pose a potential risk for more serious injuries. We raise awareness of the risks of trampoline jumping, considering increasing popularity of trampoline parks, and encourage the authorities to implement safety regulations.

February 2022
Yoav Bichovsky MD, Amit Frenkel MD MHA, Evgeni Brotfain MD, Leonid Koyfman MD, Limor Besser MD, Natan Arotsker MD, Abraham Borer MD, and Moti Klein MD
November 2021
Yaniv Faingelernt MD, Eugene Leibovitz MD, Baruch Yerushalmi MD, Eytan Damari MD, Eyal Kristal MD, Raouf Nassar MD, and Dana Danino MD
July 2021
Miri Dotan MD, Elena Zion MD, Haim Ben-Zvi PhD, Havatzelet Yarden-Bilavsky MD, and Efraim Bilavsky MD

Background: Adenovirus infections are prevalent in children. They usually cause a mild self-limited disease. However, this infection can be associated with considerable morbidity and mortality in specific populations, especially among immunocompromised children. Children with Down syndrome are susceptible to a higher frequency and increased severity of viral infections. Little is known about the severity and clinical course of adenovirus infections in children with Down syndrome.

Objectives: To characterize hospitalized children diagnosed with Down syndrome and presenting with adenovirus infection.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of children admitted with adenovirus from January 2005 to August 2014 from a single tertiary pediatric medical center in Israel. Data were compared between patients with and without Down syndrome.

Results: Among the 486 hospitalized children with adenoviral infection, 11 (2.28%) were diagnosed with Down syndrome. We found that children with Down syndrome were more likely to experience a higher incidence of complications (18.2% vs. 2.4%, P = 0.008), a higher rate of admissions to the intensive care unit (36.4% vs. 2.4%, P < 0.001), and more prolonged hospitalizations (17 ± 15.9 days compared to 4.46 ± 3.16, P = 0.025).

Conclusions: Children with Down syndrome who were hospitalized with adenovirus infection represent a high-risk group and warrant close monitoring. If a vaccine for adenovirus becomes available, children with Down syndrome should be considered as candidates

Sharon Tamir MA, Daniel Kurnik MD, Myriam Weyl Ben-Arush MD, and Sergey Postovsky MD

Background: Decisions on medication treatment in children dying from cancer are often complex and may result in polypharmacy and increased medication burden. There is no information on medication burden in pediatric cancer patients at the end of life (EOL).

Objectives: To characterize medication burden during the last hospitalization in children dying from cancer

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study based on medical records of 90 children who died from cancer in hospital between 01 January 2010 and 30 December 2018. Demographic and clinical information were collected for the last hospitalization. We compared medication burden (number of medication orders) at hospitalization and at time of death and examined whether changes in medication burden were associated with clinical and demographic parameters.

Results: Median medication burden was higher in leukemia/lymphoma patients (6 orders) compared to solid (4 orders) or CNS tumor patients (4 orders, P = 0.006). Overall, the median number of prescriptions per patient did not change until death (P = 0.42), while there was a significant reduction for some medication subgroups (chemotherapy [P = 0.035], steroids [P = 0.010]).Patients dying in the ICU (n=15) had a higher medication burden at death (6 orders) than patients dying on wards (3 orders, P = 0.001). There was a trend for a reduction in medication burden in patients with “Do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders (P = 0.055).

Conclusions: Polypharmacy is ubiquitous among pediatric oncology patients at EOL. Disease type and DNR status may affect medication burden and deprescribing during the last hospitalization.

April 2021
Michal Vinker-Shuster MD, Ephraim S. Grossman PhD, and Yonatan Yeshayahu MD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) social-distancing strategy, including 7 weeks of strict lockdown, enabled an extraordinary test of stay-at-home regulations, which forced a sedentary lifestyle on all children and adolescents.

Objectives: To assess the lockdown effect on pediatric weight.

Methods: A retrospective-prospective cohort study at our hospital’s pediatric outpatient clinics following the COVID-19 lockdown. Patients aged 0–18 years visiting the clinic were weighed and previous weight and other clinical data were collected from the medical charts. Weight-percentile-for-age standardization was calculated according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization growth tables. Pre- and post-lockdown weight-percentiles-for-age were compared using paired t-test. Multivariate analysis was conducted using linear regression model.

Results: The study was comprised of 229 patients; 117/229 (51.1%) were boys, 60/229 (26.2%) aged under 6 years. Total mean weight-percentile was significantly higher following the lockdown (40.44 vs. 38.82, respectively, P = 0.029). Boys had a significant post-lockdown weight-percentile rise (37.66 vs. 34.42, P = 0.014), whereas girls had higher baseline pre-quarantine weight-percentile of 43.42, which did not change. Patients younger than 6 years had a significant increase in weight-percentiles (39.18 vs. 33.58, P = 0.021). In multivariate analysis these correlations were preserved.

Conclusions: A general weight gain among children was noted, especially in boys during the lockdown, with substantial effect under the age of 6 years. This collateral side-effect should be considered in further quarantine regulations

Uri Gabbay MD MPH, Doron Carmi MD MHA, Aviva Mimouni-Bloch MD, Bat El Goldstein MD, Lital Keinan-Boker MD MPH, and Joseph Meyerovitch MD

Background: Evaluation of children's anthropometrics poses challenges due to age-related changes. The main focus is on height and weight. However, since weight is height-dependent, body mass index (BMI) is the best surrogate measurement of adiposity. Israel has not developed national growth tables; therefore, researchers and clinicians utilize either World Health Organization (WHO) or U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tables as benchmarks.

Objectives: To evaluate the anthropometrics of Israeli children benchmarked by CDC and WHO tables.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of the 1987–2003 birth cohort (age 4–18 years) from Clalit Health Services databases. Anthropometrics were retrieved twice: at study entry and one year later. We evaluated them as separate cohorts. Gender-specific age-matched median height and BMI were compared with CDC and WHO height and BMI tables.

Results: The study consisted of 15,650, mean age at study entry 9.5 years (range 4–18). Gender-specific median heights of the Israeli children were similar to CDC and WHO values at younger ages, but were slightly shorter than the age-matched CDC and WHO toward the age of final height in both cohorts. However, gender-specific median BMI was considerably and statistically significant higher compared to CDC and WHO values consistently along the entire age range in both cohorts.

Conclusions: Israeli children were slightly shorter toward the age of final height, compared to WHO and CDC. However, BMI in Israeli children was significantly higher compared to the CDC and WHO consistently along the age range, which raises an alarm regarding obesity patterns

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