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עמוד בית
Thu, 25.07.24

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May 2010
O. Hochwald, E.S. Bamberger, L. Rubin, R. Gershtein and I. Srugo

Background: An outbreak of pertussis occurred in a daycare center with 87.5% vaccination coverage.

Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of the acellular pertussis vaccine and prevention of pertussis after chemoprophylaxis with azithromycin.

Methods: We studied 31 daycare children aged 3–5.5 years exposed to a child with pertussis. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained for Bordetella pertussis culture and polymerase chain reaction initially, and at days 21 and 60 of follow-up, in cases exhibiting symptoms.

Results: Of the 31 daycare children 6 (19%) tested positive for B. pertussis by PCR[1], 4 of whom had not been vaccinated against the disease. Of the two vaccinated children who contracted pertussis, one had milder symptoms and the other was asymptomatic. The incidence of pertussis was significantly lower in the vaccinated group (2/27) than in the unvaccinated group (4/4) (P = 0.000), with efficacy of the vaccine calculated to be 92.5%. Azithromycin chemoprophylaxis was taken only by 14 of the 25 exposed children (56%). On day 21 follow-up, there was no further laboratory-diagnosed B. pertussis cases in any of the exposed children, regardless of whether or not chemoprophylaxis was taken.

Conclusions: Based on the children’s clinical manifestations and PCR findings a pertussis outbreak had occurred in the daycare center studied. Our findings support the importance of pertussis vaccination since all the unvaccinated children in the daycare center contracted the infection.


[1] PCR = polymerase chain reaction
April 2010
O. Waisbourd-Zinman, E. Bilavsky, N. Tirosh, Z. Samra and J. Amir

Background: Streptococcus pneumoniae is now the predominant pathogen causing meningitis. The resistance of S. pneumoniae to penicillin and third-generation cephalosporins has grown steadily.

Objectives: To assess the antibiotic susceptibility of S. pneumoniae isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid of children with meningitis, and determine the antibiotic regimen appropriate for suspected bacterial meningitis in Israel.

Methods:  The study group included 31 children with 35 episodes of meningitis hospitalized from 1998 to 2006. S. pneumoniae isolates from the cerebrospinal fluid were tested for susceptibility to penicillin and ceftriaxone.

Results: Of the 35 isolates, 17 (48.6%) showed resistance to penicillin (minimum inhibitory concentration ≥ 0.12 µg/ml). Only 3 isolates (8.6%) showed intermediate resistance to ceftriaxone (≥ 0.5 and < 2 μg/ml), and none showed complete resistance (MIC[1] ≥ 2 μg/ml). The rates of antibiotic resistance were higher in children who were treated with antibiotics prior to admission (penicillin 88.9% vs. 34.6%, P = 0.007; ceftriaxone 22.2% vs. 3.8%, P = 0.156).

Conclusions:  The rate of penicillin resistance is high in children with S. pneumoniae meningitis in Israel, especially in those treated with oral antibiotics prior to admission. Resistance to ceftriaxone is infrequent though not negligible. On the basis of these findings, current recommendations to empirically treat all children with suspected bacterial meningitis with ceftriaxone in addition to vancomycin until the bacterial susceptibility results become available are justified also in Israel.

[1] MIC = minimum inhibitory concentration

March 2010
I. Kessel, D. Waisman, O. Barnet-Grinnes, T. Zim Ben Ari and A. Rotschild

Background: High frequency oscillatory ventilation based on optimal lung volume strategy is one of the accepted modes of ventilatory support for respiratory distress syndrome in very low birth weight infants. In 1999 it was introduced in our unit as the primary ventilation modality for RDS[1].

Objectives: To evaluate if the shift to HFOV[2] influenced the outcome of ventilated VLBW[3] infants in the neonatal intensive care unit of Carmel Medical Center.

Methods: Data were obtained from the medical charts of VLBW infants born at Carmel Medical Center, and late mortality data were taken from the Israel Ministry of Internal Affairs records. A retrospective analysis and a comparison with a historical control group ventilated by the conventional method were performed.

Results: A total of 232 VLBW infants with RDS were mechanically ventilated, from 1995 to 2003: 120 were ventilated using HFOV during the period 1999–2003 and 102 infants using CV[4] during 1995–1999. The mean gestational age of survivors was 27.4 ± 2 weeks in the HFOV group and 28.4 ± 2 in the conventional ventilation group (P = 0.03). The sub-sample of infants with birth weights <1000 g ventilated with HFOV showed higher survival rates than the infants in the conventional ventilation group, 53 vs. 25 (64.6% vs. 44.6%) respectively (P < 0.05). A trend for lower incidence of pulmonary interstitial emphysema was observed in the HFOV group.

Conclusions: The introduction of HFOV based on optimal lung volume strategy proved to be an efficient and safe method of ventilation support for VLBW infants in our unit.

[1] RDS = respiratory distress syndrome

[2] HFOV = high frequency oscillatory ventilation

[3] VLBW = very low birth weight

[4] CV = conventional ventilation

K. Weiss, A. Fattal-Valevski and S. Reif

Background: Infants who have experienced an apparent life-threatening event typically undergo an extensive evaluation to rule out serious underlying conditions.

Objectives: To evaluate the yield of different tests performed after an apparent life-threatening event and to identify high risk groups in which more extensive diagnostic tests are required.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted in a children's hospital over a 4 year period during which the charts of infants who were admitted with an apparent life-threatening event were reviewed. The yield for each diagnostic test was established according to the ratio of positive results contributing to the diagnosis of the apparent life-threatening event.

Results: The study included 69 infants between the ages of 1 week and 1 year. There were abnormal findings in 36% of the cases. Gastroesophageal reflux was the most common diagnosis (60%). In the remaining patients the diagnosis was either seizures (12%) or respiratory tract infections (28%). Tests used for the diagnosis of cardiac, metabolic and non-respiratory infections had no yield. A positive correlation was found between abnormal test results and abnormal physical examination (P = 0.001), an abnormal perinatal history (P = 0.017), and age older than 2 months (P = 0.002).

Conclusions: The yield of most of the tests performed after an apparent life-threatening event is low, especially in infants with a normal perinatal history and physical examination.

February 2010
O. Kobo, M. Hammoud, N. Makhoul, H. Omary and U. Rosenschein

Background: There are several treatment options for simple bone cysts, with treatment depending mainly on the experience and preference of the surgeon and the extension and location of the cyst.

Objectives: To assess our experience with the surgical treatment of bone cyst lesions in pediatric patients at one institution by the same group of surgeons.

Methods: The study group comprised 60 patients (43 boys, 17 girls) treated surgically for monostatic lesions between January 2002 and July 2007. The mean age at surgery was 11.8 years (range 4–17 years). Mean follow-up was 4.2 years. Most of the lesions were located at the proximal humerus. Patients were divided into five groups according to treatment method: a) corticosteroids (methylprednisolone 40-80 mg) (n=26); b) curettage and bone grafting (fibula or iliac crest) (n=16); c) aspiration of the bone cavity and subsequent bone marrow transplantation (n=10); d) internal preventive fixation using an elastic stable intramedullary nail (n=5); and e) curettage and implantation of a synthetic cancellous bone substitute (pure beta-tricalcium phosphate substitute, ChronOS®, Synthes, Switzerland) (n=3).

Results: Treatment success was evaluated by the Capanna criteria. Successful results were observed in 68% (18 complete healing, 23 healing with residual radiolucent areas), 30% recurrence rate, and no response to treatment in one patient (2%). We recorded recurrence in 50% of the children treated by corticosteroid injection, and one child did not respond to treatment.

Conclusions: The best results were achieved in children treated by curettage and the subsequent use of an osteoconductive material, and in children treated with elastic intramedullary nail fixation. Despite our limited experience with calcium-triphosphate bone substitute, the treatment was mostly successful. Because of the short follow-up, further observation and evaluation are necessary.

L. Migirov, G. Borisovsky, E. Carmel, M. Wolf and J. Kronenberg

Background: Severe hearing impairment can have devastating effects on social integration and vocational opportunities.

Objectives: To investigate how well – or poorly – individuals who underwent cochlear implantation as children integrated into the general Israeli hearing community.

Method: We sent a questionnaire to the 30 subjects ≥ 18 years old who underwent cochlear implants our department from 1990 to 2004 when they were < 18 years of age and had used their device for at least 3 years before replying.

Results: Eighteen implant users responded (14 males), yielding a 60% response rate. Their mean age was 13.3 ± 7.0 years (range 6–17) at implantation and 21.1 ± 3.6 years (range 18–34) when they filled in the questionnaire. Five were attending rabbinical school (yeshiva students), four were in regular military service, five were university students (three also held jobs), two were attending high school, one was employed (and had a university degree), and one had left the yeshiva and was unemployed when he returned the questionnaire. Fourteen respondents use the oral communication mode for conversation and the other 4 use both oral and sign languages. Longer daily implant use was significantly associated with coping with the difficulties in the setting in which they were currently active, with a higher level of satisfaction with their current lifestyle and with recognition of the implant’s contribution to this satisfaction (P = 0.037, P = 0.019 and P = 0.001, respectively).

Conclusions: Advances in cochlear implant technologies enable profoundly deaf implanted children to integrate well into the Israeli hearing society, albeit with a large inter-subject variability.

G. Akler, P. Rotman Pikielny, E. Kots, S. Ish-Shalom and Y. Uziel
January 2010
J. Amir

Lymphadenitis is the most common manifestation of non-tuberculous mycobacteria infection in children. Its frequency has increased over the past few decades. Diagnosis is based on clinical presentation, purified protein derivative skin test, and bacterial isolation. Management options are surgery, antibiotics, or "observation only"; however, the optimal therapy for this condition is still controversial.

December 2009
M. Ephros, B. Friedman, R. Elhasid, Z. Kra-Oz, P. Shaked-Mishan, J. Sattinger and I. Kassis

Background: Adenoviral infection in children undergoing stem cell transplantation is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Identification of adenoviral infection by polymerase chain reaction from blood facilitates accurate and rapid diagnosis and surveillance. The incidence of adenoviral infection among children undergoing SCT[1] in Israel is not known.

Objective: To estimate the incidence of adenoviral infection in pediatric SCT patients and to characterize the morbidity associated with proven infection.

Methods: Blood samples obtained weekly from children who underwent allogeneic SCT were retrospectively tested for adenovirus using standard PCR[2]. A total of 657 samples collected from 32 patients were examined. Correlation was made between the presence of adenovirus in samples and clinical records.

Results: Of the 32 patients 4 had adenoviral infection by PCR (12.5%). Clinical disease was present in all four patients concurrent with positive PCR. Gastrointestinal complaints and abnormal hepatocellular enzymes were uniformly present. One patient died due to disseminated disease. T cell depletion was a significant risk factor for adenoviral infection (P = 0.03).

Conclusions: In the patient population studied, the incidence of adenoviral infection in children undergoing SCT was 12.5%. The combination of gastrointestinal symptoms and abnormal hepatocellular enzymes should raise the suspicion of adenoviral infection, especially when occurring during the first few months after SCT. 


[1] SCT = stem cell transplantation

[2] PCR = polymerase chain reaction

November 2009
N. Fisch, S. Ashkenazi and M. Davidovits

Background: Although febrile urinary tract infections are very common in young children, the need for antimicrobial prophylaxis and evaluation following a first event is controversial.

Objectives: To assess the approach of leading pediatric specialists throughout Israel.

Methods: A questionnaire regarding the approach to antibiotic prophylaxis and diagnostic evaluation following a first event of febrile UTI[1], according to age and underlying renal abnormality, was sent to all 58 directors of departments of pediatrics, units of pediatric infectious diseases and pediatric nephrology in Israel.

Results: Fifty-six directors (96%) responded. Most prescribed prophylactic antibiotics after UTI. Heads of infectious disease departments prescribed less prophylaxis following UTI at the age of 18 months than heads of pediatrics or heads of pediatric nephrology units (34% vs. 72–75%, P = 0.018), but more often in cases of severe vesico-ureteral reflux without UTI. Cephalosporins were used prophylactically more often by directors of pediatrics compared to heads of pediatric nephrology units (71% vs. 38%, P = 0.048); the latter used non-beta-lactam prophylaxis (61% vs. 23%, P = 0.013) more often. Most pediatricians used renal sonography for evaluation; renal scan was used more commonly by pediatric nephrologists.

Conclusions: The administration of prophylactic antibiotics after UTI is still common practice among pediatric opinion leaders, although the specific approach differs by subspecialty. According to up-to-date evidence-based data, educational efforts are needed to formulate and implement judicious guidelines.


[1] UTI = urinary tract infection

August 2009
L. Dotan, M. Icekson, R. Yanko-Arzi, A. Ofek, R. Neuman and A. Margulis

Background: Tissue expansion is a well-recognized technique for reconstructing a wide variety of skin and soft tissue defects. Its application in the pediatric population has enabled the plastic surgeon to achieve functional and aesthetic goals that were previously unobtainable.

Objectives: To review the use of tissue expansion in the pediatric population, with particular emphasis on indication, operative technique, regional considerations and how to avoid complications.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data on 103 expanded flap reconstructions performed in 41 pediatric patients during the period 2003–2006. Tissue expanders were placed on a subcutaneous plane above the fascia and inflated weekly. The expanded skin was used as a transposition flap or a full thickness skin graft for the reconstruction of the involved area. Forty-three tissue expanders were inserted to the head and neck in 21 patients, 45 were inserted to the trunk in 13 patients and 15 were inserted to the groin and lower extremity in 8 patients. Twenty-eight patients had one round of tissue expansion, while 13 patients had two to six rounds. A plastic surgeon, medical student and a lawyer reviewed the patients' photographs and evaluated their aesthetic outcome:

Results: Eighty-six percent of the head and neck reconstructions and 40% of the trunk and extremity reconstructions were graded as having excellent aesthetic outcome, and 11% of the head and neck reconstructions and 37% of the trunk and extremity reconstructions were graded with good aesthetic outcome. The remaining patients were graded with moderate outcome. None of our patients was graded as poor aesthetic outcome. Complications included infection in 6 patients (6%), extrusion in 3 (3%), hematoma in 2 (2%), flap ischemia in one patient (1%), and expander perforation after percutaneous stabbing in one patient (1%).

Conclusions: Tissue expansion is an efficient and valuable technique for reconstruction of large skin lesions and scars.

April 2009
E. Bar-Yishay, E. Matyashchuk, H. Mussaffi, M. Mei-Zahav, D. Prais, S. Hananya, G. Steuer and H. Blau

Background: The forced oscillation technique is a non-invasive and effort-independent technique and is well suited for lung function measurement in young children. FOT[1] employs small-amplitude pressure oscillations superimposed on normal breathing. Therefore, it has the advantage over conventional lung function techniques in that it does not require patient cooperation for conducting respiratory maneuvers.

Objectives: To test the feasibility of the FOT test in preschool children and to compare the results to the commonly used spirometry before and after the administration of bronchodilator therapy.

Methods: Forty-six children (median age 4.9 years, range 1.8–18.3) attending the Pulmonary Clinic at Schneider Children's Medical Center tried to perform FOT and routine spirometry. Results were retrospectively analyzed. 

Results: Of the 46 children 40 succeeded in performing FOT and only 29 succeeded in performing simple spirometry. All but one of the 32 children aged 4 years and above (97%) could perform both tests. Nine of 14 children (64%) aged 4 and less could perform the FOT but only 3 (21%) could perform spirometry. Baseline values of respiratory resistance measured at 6 Hz (R6) negatively correlated with body length (r2 = 0.68, P < 0.005). Twenty-four children performed both tests before and after bronchodilator therapy. A significant concordance was found between the measured responses to bronchodilators by FOT and spirometry (P < 0.01). Only one child had a negative response by FOT but a positive response by spirometry.

Conclusions: The FOT is a simple, non-invasive technique that does not require subject cooperation and thus can be utilized for measuring lung function in children as young as 2 years of age. Furthermore, the FOT was shown to reliably measure response to bronchodilator therapy.

[1] FOT = forced oscillation technique

March 2009
L. Ore, H.J. Garzozi, A. Tamir and M. Cohen-Dar

Background: Uncorrected refractive error is the leading cause of visual impairment in children. In 2002 a screening project was launched in Israel to provide data on the effectiveness of the illiterate E-chart in identifying Jewish and Arab schoolchildren in need of a comprehensive eye examination.

Objectives: To present the aims, design and initial results of the visual screening project and the prevalence of vision abnormality in the study population.

Methods: A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted during 2002–2003 among first- and eighth-graders in 70 schools in northern Israel. The nurse's test included use of the illiterate E-chart to measure visual acuity. The medical examination included vision history, clinical eye examination, VA[1] and retinoscopy. The ophthalmologist's evaluation as to whether a child needed a referral for diagnostic procedures, treatment and/or follow-up was recorded and compared with explicit referral criteria formulated after data collection.

Results: Of 1975 schoolchildren, 31% had abnormal VA, defined as VA worse than 6/6 in at least one eye, and a quarter had VA equal or worse than 6/12 in both eyes. The prevalence of vision abnormality among the children was 22.4% when based on the evaluation of the field ophthalmologist and 26.1% when based on two sets of explicit severity scores and referral criteria.

Conclusions: Vision abnormality is a significant health problem among northern Israeli schoolchildren. This project is unique in scope and importance, providing evidence to assist policy making with regard to vision screening for schoolchildren (including data on test reliability and validity) and optimal VA cutoff level, and confirming the need for clinical guidelines regarding referral criteria.

[1] VA = visual acuity

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