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עמוד בית
Mon, 28.11.22

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November 2016
Herman A. Cohen MD, Bella Savitsky MPH, Arie Ashkenasi MD and Moshe Hoshen PhD

Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Recently, increases in ADHD prevalence and methylphenidate use have been reported. There is evidence that children and adolescents use ADHD medication only during the school year. 

Objectives: To investigate trends in methylphenidate dispensing over a period of 3 years (2010–2012) at the monthly level and to investigate whether there is any monthly variation, especially during the summer season.

Methods: The database of Clalit Health Services (the largest of the four health funds in Israel) was used to identify (i) patients aged 6–17 years with a diagnosis of ADHD, and (ii) methylpenidate dispensation during the period 2010–2012. 

Results: Among children aged 6–17 years diagnosed with ADHD, 43% were treated with methylphenidate. For the period 2010 to 2012 there was an annual drop in methylphenidate dispensing, beginning in June and continuing through the 2 months of summer vacation, with a 2.5-fold reduction from July as compared to May. This decline was consistently followed by a rise in medications dispensed starting August. A similar small drop was observed during the Passover school vacation. The summer drop decreased over the years.

Conclusions: Our findings showed a decrease in the number of methylphenidate prescriptions dispensed during the summer months and Passover as compared to the rest of the year. However, this phenomenon appears to be decreasing. Given that ADHD is a chronic disease state that can effectively be managed with pharmacotherapy, discontinuation of treatment may be harmful for patients and should be considered only on a patient-by-patient basis.

 

Ayelet Rimon MD, Shelly Shalom MD, Ido Wolyniez MD, Alejandro Gruber, Schachter-Davidov Anita MD and Miguel Glatstein MD

Background: Medical clowns are increasingly used for diminishing pain and anxiety during painful procedures being performed on children in the hospital setting. Cortisol levels rise as a response to emotional distress. 

Objectives: To investigate whether medical clown-assisted interventions to reduce child's distress during venipuncture have an effect on cortisol levels. 

Methods: During a 1 year period, children requiring blood work or intravenous access in the pediatric emergency department were prospectively randomized to either the presence or absence of a medical clown during the procedure. The child's distress was evaluated using the Faces Pain Scale - revised (FPS-R) for the 4–7 year age group and the visual analog scales (VAS) for those aged 8–15 years. Serum cortisol levels were measured in blood samples obtained by venipuncture. 

Results: Fifty-three children aged 2–15 years were randomly assigned to the study group (with medical clown, n=29) or to the control group (without medical clown, n=24). Combined pain scores of the study group and control group were 2.2 and 7.5 respectively (P < 0.001). No difference in mean cortisol levels was found between the study group and the control group at all ages (16.4 µg/dl vs. 18.3 µg/dl, P = 0.65).

Conclusions: In this pilot study, medical clowns reduced the distress from venipuncture in children. No effect on cortisol levels was observed. 

February 2016
Efrat Ben-Shalom MD, Ori Toker MD and Shepard Schwartz MD

Background: Hypernatremic dehydration is a common and potentially life-threatening condition in children. There is currently no consensus as to the optimal strategy for fluid management. Objectives: To describe the relationship between the type, route and rate of fluids administered and the rate of decline in serum sodium (Na+) concentration. 

Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all children under the age of 2 years who were hospitalized with hypernatremic dehydration (serum Na+ ≥ 155 mEq/L) in Shaare Zedek Medical Center during the period 2001–2010. Collected data of 62 subjects included initial and subsequent serum Na+ levels, and rate and Na+ concentration of all intravenous and oral fluids administered until the serum Na+ reached ≤ 150 mEq/L.

Results: Median initial serum Na+ was 159.5 mEq/L (IQR 157–163, maximal value 170). The median rate of decline in serum Na+ until serum Na+ reached 150 mEq/L was 0.65 mEq/L/hr (IQR 0.45–0.95). Forty-two children received hypotonic oral fluids which accounted for approximately one-quarter of all fluids they received. There was no significant difference in the rate of decline in serum Na+ between those who consumed oral fluids and those who did not. Neither was there a correlation between the rate of IV fluids, receipt of oral fluids or the degree of dehydration, with the rate of decline in serum Na+. No child experienced an apparent short-term adverse outcome. 

Conclusions: A cumulative rate of 5.9 ml/kg/hr of IV fluid administration may reduce the serum Na+ to an acceptable rate (0.65 mEq/L/hr). Fluid therapy comprising up to 25% hypotonic oral fluids and 75% IV fluids high in Na+ concentration was not associated with any short-term adverse outcome in our patient population. 

 

December 2015
Aviv Weinstein PhD, Yafa Yaacov BA, Michal Manning BA, Pinhas Danon MD and Abraham Weizman MD

Background: Use of the internet and videogames by children and adolescents has risen dramatically over the last decade. Increasing evidence of internet and videogame addiction among children is causing concern due to its harmful physical, emotional and social consequences. There is also emerging evidence for an association between computer and videogame addiction and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

Objectives: To investigate the relationship between ADHD and internet addiction.


Methods: We compared 50 male schoolchildren, mean age 13 years, diagnosed with ADHD to 50 male schoolchildren without ADHD on measures of internet addiction, internet use and sleep patterns.


Results: Children with ADHD had higher scores on the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), used the internet for longer hours, and went to sleep later than those without ADHD. 


Conclusions: These findings indicate an association of ADHD, sleep disorders and internet/videogame addiction.


 
November 2015
Esther Granot MD and Etienne M. Sokal MD

The major route of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the pediatric age group is vertical, with infection occurring in up to 5% of infants born to mothers positive for HCV-RNA. The natural course of pediatric HCV infection is characterized by a high rate of spontaneous clearance, an asymptomatic clinical course, and normal or mild histologic changes. Cirrhosis is reported in 1–2% of children and progression to severe chronic liver disease and HCC occurs 20–30 years after infection. Treatment with pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN) + ribavirin results in a sustained viral response (SVR) of up to 100% in children with HCV genotypes 2 or 3 but only 45–55% in those infected with genotypes 1 or 4. Treatment is associated with adverse effects ranging from flu-like symptoms, myalgia, anemia and thrombocytopenia, to less commonly observed thyroid-related symptoms, alopecia, neuropsychiatric manifestations and possible long-term effects on growth. Ongoing trials with direct-acting antiviral agents in adults show promising results with treatment regimens of shorter duration and high tolerance. The next few years will likely see these advances introduced to the pediatric population as well. In the meantime, in children with HCV an expectant approach is advocated and treatment should be offered only to those at high risk for more severe, progressive disease. 

October 2015
Bshara Mansour MD and Nael Elias MD MHA

Background: Foreign body aspiration (FBA) is common in the pediatric population and if not diagnosed and treated properly can lead to major complications. 

Objectives: To define the clinical and radiological features of aspirated foreign bodies, characterize the incidence of FBA among the Israeli-Arab population, and evaluate flexible bronchoscopy as a diagnostic tool prior to performing rigid bronchoscopy.

Methods: We reviewed the e-files of 115 children who underwent bronchoscopy for suspected FBA between January 2006 and December 2010 in the pediatric department of the St. Vincent French Hospital, Nazareth.

Results: We identified 44 patients (38.3%) who had foreign body aspiration (mean age 31.2 ± 29 months, males 64%). Organic-type foreign body was seen in 70% of cases and location was equally distributed. Statistically significant correlations were found between the presence of a foreign body and a history of choking, abnormal lung auscultation, and abnormal chest X-ray (P < 0.05). The rate of negative finding in rigid bronchoscopy in our study was as low as 15% (in only 8 of 52 rigid bronchoscopies was the finding negative for FBA). Compared with other centers in our region where rigid bronchoscopy was performed without the preceding flexible procedure, we found that our protocol reduced the rate of negative rigid bronchoscopies.

Conclusions: Introducing flexible bronchoscopy initially in FBA management reduced the rate of negative rigid bronchoscopies.

 

September 2015
Shannon L. Castle MD, Osnat Zmora MD, Stephanie Papillon MD, Dan Levin MD and James E. Stein MD

Background: Gastric bezoars in children are infrequent. Most are trichobezoars. Surgical intervention is sometimes necessary.

Objectives: To describe the clinical findings and radiological workup, as well as treatment and outcome of patients with complicated gastric bezoars who underwent surgery in our institution.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all cases of surgery for gastric bezoars performed in our institution between 2000 and 2010. Data collected included gender and age of the patients, composition and extent of the bezoar, presenting signs and symptoms, imaging studies used, performance of endoscopy, and surgical approach. Outcome was measured by the presence of postoperative complications.

Results: We identified seven patients with gastric bezoars who underwent surgery. All were females aged 4–19 years. Six had trichobezoars and one had a mass composed of latex gloves. Presenting symptoms included abdominal pain, vomiting, weight loss, and halitosis. All patients had a palpable epigastric mass. A large variety of imaging modalities was used. Endoscopic removal was attempted in three patients but failed, and the laparoscopic approach was attempted in one patient and failed. All patients eventually underwent laparotomy with gastrotomy and recovered without complications. 

Conclusions: The presence of gastric bezoars should be suspected in any child with unexplained abdominal pain, vomiting, weight loss, or halitosis, or with a palpable abdominal mass, especially in girls. A variety of imaging modalities can aid in diagnosis. Endoscopic removal might be attempted, although failure of this approach is frequent and must prompt surgical intervention, preferably laparotomy and gastrotomy, which has an excellent outcome.

 

July 2015
Oded Breuer MD, David Shoseyov MD, Eitan Kerem MD and Rebecca Brooks MD

Background: Treatment using inhaled bronchodilators for asthma with a metered dose inhaler attached to a spacer device (MDI+S) was shown to be as efficient as nebulizers. Nevertheless, nebulizers remain the treatment of choice in most hospitals. 

Objectives: To implement a policy change to improve asthma treatment in pediatric wards and the pediatric emergency department.

Methods: The study was performed in the emergency department and pediatric wards of a university medical center. The study group comprised all children admitted with a diagnosis of asthma necessitating treatment. The medical and nursing staff of both the pediatric emergency department and the pediatric wards was trained how to use metered dose inhalers attached to spacers on a regular basis in asthmatic pediatric patients. At a preset date nebulizers were replaced by spacers and their use was monitored by the supervising physician. Salbutamol was administered by metered dose inhaler (100 μg/puff) attached to a spacer device. The number of puffs was determined by severity of disease according to GINA recommendations. After 2 years the outcome and cost analysis were examined.

Results: During 3 years since the initial policy change 92.5% patients were treated with spacers throughout their hospital stay (emergency department and pediatric ward). Costs were reduced by an estimated 63%. 

Conclusions: In view of its many advantages the replacement of nebulizers by MDI+S for the treatment of acute asthma is feasible, if performed in collaboration with the staff, hospital authority and patients.

 

Mauro Calvani MD, Valentino Giorgio MD, Monica Greco MD and Stefano Miceli Sopo MD
November 2014
Alon Nevet MD PhD, Havatzelet Yarden-Bilavsky MD, Shai Ashkenazi MD MSc and Gilat Livni MD

Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) is often used to distinguish bacterial from viral infections. However, the CRP level does have implications, which depend on the clinical scenario and are still under research.

Objectives: To evaluate the distribution of CRP levels in children with primary herpetic gingivostomatitis.

Methods: The electronic database of a tertiary pediatric medical center was searched for all inpatients with a diagnosis of primary herpetic gingivostomatitis without bacterial co-infection. Background and clinical information was collected and CRP levels were analyzed.

Results: The study group consisted of 66 patients aged 8 months to 7.1 years who met the study criteria. The average CRP was 7.4 mg/dl (normal < 0.5 mg/dl). More than a third of the patients had a level higher than 7 mg/dl.

Conclusions: High values of CRP are prevalent in patients with primary herpetic gingivostomatitis, similar to adenoviral infections and some bacterial infections. 

September 2014
Liora Ore MD MPH, Hanna J. Garzozi MD, Naama Schwartz MA and Michal Cohen-Dar MD MPH

Background: The detection and correction of refractive errors is one of the priorities of the World Health Organization Initiative Vision 2020.

Objectives: To determine the factors related to a child having an ocular abnormality (poor vision, refractive error or other abnormality) among schoolchildren in northern Israel.

Methods: A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted among 2113 students aged 6-7 and 13-14 years old in 70 schools in northern Israel. Medical examination included vision history, clinical eye examination and vision testing. If a parent’s informed consent was available, eye drops (cycloplegia) were delivered for fundus and retinoscopy testing. An ophthalmologist was asked to determine the need for the child’s referral for further diagnostic procedures, treatment and/or follow-up. Multivariate analysis was limited to 1708 children, using data pertaining to the ophthalmologist’s decision regarding referral, as well as vision and retinoscopy results.

Results: Vision and/or ocular abnormality was prevalent in 21.5% (95% confidence interval 17.4–26.6%), predominantly among 13-14 year olds and Jewish children. Abnormal clinical findings were found in 5.7% of the students. Retinoscopy showed a higher prevalence of hypermetropia among 6-7 year olds and a higher prevalence of myopia and astigmatism among the 13-14 year olds. The multivariate analysis suggests an independent effect of retinoscopy abnormality (odds ratio = 3.85), vision abnormality (OR [1]= 2.42), Jewish ethnicity (OR = 1.62) and 13-14 year old age group (OR = 1.26) on the ophthalmologist’s referral decision.

Conclusions: Vision and/or ocular abnormality is an important health problem among schoolchildren in northern Israel. The independent effect of ethnicity and age on the ophthalmologist’s referral decision should be further explored.


 





OR = odds ratio 



May 2014
Lidia V. Gabis MD and John Pomeroy MD
Background:  Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) represent a common phenotype related to multiple etiologies, such to genetic, brain injury (e.g., prematurity), environmental (e.g., viral, toxic), multiple or unknown causes. 

Objectives: To devise a clinical classification of children diagnosed with ASD according to etiologic workup.

Methods: Children diagnosed with ASD (n=436) from two databases were divided into groups of symptomatic, cryptogenic or idiopathic, and variables within each database and diagnostic category were compared.

Results: By analyzing the two separate databases, 5.4% of the children were classified as symptomatic, 27% as cryptogenic and 67.75% as idiopathic. Among other findings, the entire symptomatic group demonstrated language delays, but almost none showed evidence for regression. Our results indicate similarities between the idiopathic and cryptogenic subgroups in most of the examined variables, and mutual differences from the symptomatic subgroup. The similarities between the first two subgroups support prior evidence that most perinatal factors and minor physical anomalies do not contribute to the development of core symptoms of autism. Conclusions: Differences in gender and clinical and diagnostic features were found when etiology was used to create subtypes of ASD. This classification could have heuristic importance in the search for an autism gene(s).

March 2014
Kineret Mazor-Aronovitch, Danny Lotan, Dalit Modan-Moses, Akiva Fradkin and Orit Pinhas-Ham
Background: The prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents has increased dramatically in the last few decades. Primary hypertension, a known secondary complication among obese adults, has been considered rare in children.

Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of hypertension and its relation to body mass index (BMI) in obese children aged 9–17 years in Israel.

Methods: Weight, height, BMI, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) (twice) were measured in children attending general and pediatric endocrine clinics. Obesity was defined as BMI ≥ 95th percentile and overweight as BMI ≥ 85th percentile. Pre-hypertension and hypertension were defined as systolic and/or diastolic BP ≥ 90th percentile for age, gender and height and BP ≥ 95th percentile respectively. In children with pre-hypertension or hypertension, repeated measurements were performed.

Results: We evaluated 264 children of whom 152 had BMI ≥ 85th percentile (study group). Their mean age was 12.5 years. The prevalence of elevated BP (both pre-hypertension and hypertension) in the study group was 44.1% and 31% at the first and second measurements respectively, compared to 11.6% and 1.9% in the normal-weight group. Hypertension was documented in 17.2% of the study group at the second measurement.

Conclusions: Elevated BP was diagnosed in 31% of overweight and obese children and adolescents. Increased awareness and early diagnosis and treatment are essential.

November 2013
S. Menascu, U. Kremer, Y. Schiller, I. Blatt, N. Watemberg, M. Boxer, H. Goldberg, I. Korn-Lubetzki, M. Steinberg, and B. Ben-Zeev
 Background: The management of intractable epilepsy in children and adults is challenging. For patients who do not respond to antiepileptic drugs and are not suitable candidates for epilepsy surgery, vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) is a viable alternative for reducing seizure frequency.

Methods: In this retrospective multicenter open-label study we examined the efficacy and tolerability of VNS in patients in five adult and pediatric epilepsy centers in Israel. All patients had drug-resistant epilepsy and after VNS implantation in 2006–2007 were followed for a minimum of 18 months. Patients were divided into two age groups: < 21 and > 21 years old.

Results: Fifty-six adults and children had a stimulator implanted in 2006–2007. At 18 months post-VNS implantation, none of the patients was seizure-free, 24.3% reported a reduction in seizures of ≥ 75%, 19% reported a 50–75% reduction, and 10.8% a 25–50% reduction. The best response rate occurred in patients with complex partial seizures. Among these patients, 7 reported a ≥ 75% reduction, 5 patients a 50–75% reduction, 3 patients a 25–50% reduction, and 8 patients a < 25% reduction. A comparison of the two age groups showed a higher reduction in seizure rate in the older group (< 21 years old) than the younger group.

Conclusions: VNS is a relatively effective and safe palliative method for treating refractory epilepsy in both adults and children. It is an alternative treatment for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, even after a relatively longed disease duration, who are not candidates for localized epilepsy surgery.

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