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עמוד בית
Sun, 28.05.23

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February 2008
A. Grubstein, O. Benjaminov, D. Ben Dayan, D. Shitrit, M. Cohen and M.R. Kramer

Background: Diseases causing increased pulmonary pressure will subsequently cause a dilation of the pulmonary arteries and right heart chambers.

Objectives: To assess the capability of computed tomography angiography and high resolution CT to diagnose and estimate the severity of pulmonary arterial hypertension as compared with standard means of right heart catheterization, echocardiography and pulmonary function tests.

Methods: The study included 38 patients with PHT[1] who underwent CT angiography and HRCT[2] as part of their routine evaluation. Diagnose included: primary PHT (n=20), Eisenmenger syndrome (n=6), scleroderma (n=3), thromboembolic disease (n=3), and others (n=6). Mean pulmonary artery pressure was 58 mmHg (range 39–92 mmHg) by catheterization and peak systolic pressure 79 mmHg (range 40–135) by echocardiography. Findings for the diameters of the main pulmonary artery and its main branches, the ascending aorta, the right atria and ventricle as well as the position of the interventricular septum were compared with 22 chest CT scans as compared to patients with no known clinical history of pulmonary hypertension, performed for other reasons (trauma, oncology follow-up) during the study period. Correlations were also calculated with recent right heart catheterization, echocardiography and pulmonary function tests of the study group.

Results: Mean main pulmonary artery diameter in the study group was 3.55 ± 0.66 cm, pulmonary artery/ascending aorta ratio 1.2 ± 0.29, right pulmonary artery 2.63 ± 0.49 cm, left pulmonary artery 2.57 ± 0.5 cm. All diameters were significantly different from the control group (P < 0.0001). Main and right pulmonary artery diameters correlated to the pressure measurement by echocardiography (P = 0.001). Bronchial collaterals were found in 11 patients (30%). The position of the interventricular septum correlated well with the echocardiography study.

Conclusions: The size of the main pulmonary artery on CT angiography has a good predictive value regarding the severity of PHT.

[1] PHT = pulmonary arterial hypertension

[2] HRCT = high resolution computed tomography

October 2007
G. Levy, L. Goldstein, A. Blachar, S. Apter, E. Barenboim, Y. Bar-Dayan, A. Shamis and E. Atar

A thorough medical inquiry is included in every aviation mishap investigation. While the gold standard of this investigation is a forensic pathology examination, numerous reports stress the important role of computed tomography in the postmortem evaluation of trauma victims. To characterize the findings identified by postmortem CT and compare its performance to conventional autopsy in victims of military aviation mishaps, we analyzed seven postmortem CT examinations. Musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 57.8% of traumatic findings, identified by postmortem CT. The most frequent findings were fractures of the rib (47%), skull (9.6%) and facial bones (8.6%). Abnormally located air accounted for 24% of findings, for which CT was superior (3.5% detected by autopsy, 100% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001).  The performance of autopsy in detecting injuries was superior (autopsy detected 85.8% of all injuries, postmortem CT detected 53.9%, P < 0.001), especially in the detection of superficial lesions (100% detected by autopsy, 10.5% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001) and solid organ injuries (100% by autopsy, 18.5% by postmortem CT, P < 0.001), and in the detection of musculoskeletal injuries (91.3% for autopsy, 90.3% for postmortem CT, P = not significant). Postmortem CT and autopsy have distinct performance profiles, and although the first cannot replace the latter it is a useful complementary examination.

October 2006
O. Kostiuk, I. Levi, M. Krieger, Y. Assouline-Dayan and I. Barshack
September 2006
R. Yerushalmi, E. Fenig, D. Shitrit, D. Bendayan, A. Sulkes, D. Flex and M.R. Kramer

Background: Endobronchial stents are used to treat symptomatic patients with benign or malignant airway obstructions.

Objectives: To evaluate the safety and outcome of airway stent insertion for the treatment of malignant tracheobronchial narrowing.

Methods: The files of all patients with malignant disease who underwent airway stent insertion in our outpatient clinic from June 1995 to August 2004 were reviewed for background data, type of disease, symptoms, treatment, complications, and outcome.

Results: Airway stents were used in 34 patients, including 2 who required 2 stents at different locations, and one who required 2 adjacent stents (total, 37 stents). Ages ranged from 36 to 85 years (median 68). Primary lung cancer was noted in 35% of the patients and metastatic disease in 65%. Presenting signs and symptoms included dyspnea (82%), cough (11.7%), hemoptysis (9%), pneumonia (5.9%), and atelectasis (3%). The lesions were located in the left mainstem bronchus (31%), trachea (26%), right mainstem bronchus (26%), subglottis (14.3%), and bronchus intermedius (2.9%). Conscious sedation alone was utilized in 73% of the patients, allowing for early discharge. Eighteen patients (50%) received brachytherapy to the area of obstruction. Complications included stent migration (one patient) and severe or minimal bleeding (one patient each). Ninety-four percent of the patients reported significant relief of their dyspnea. Three of the four patients who had been mechanically ventilated before the procedure were weaned after stent insertion. Median survival from the time of stent placement was 6 months (range 0.25–105 months).

Conclusion: Stent placement can be safely performed in an outpatient setting with conscious sedation. It significantly relieves the patient's symptoms and may prolong survival.

July 2006
D. Starobin, M.R. Kramer, A. Yarmolovsky, D. Bendayan, I. Rosenberg, J. Sulkes and G. Fink
 Background: Different exercise tests are used to evaluate the functional capacity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The cardiopulmonary exercise test is considered the gold standard, but the 6 minute walk and the 15 step exercise oximetry tests are considerably less expensive.

Objectives: To determine whether reliable data could be obtained at lower cost.

Methods: The study sample consisted of 50 patients with mild to severe stable COPD]1[. All underwent pulmonary function test and the cardiopulmonary exercise test, 6 minute walk and 15 step exercise oximetry test as part of their regular follow-up visit. Functional capacity was graded according to each test separately and the functional capacities obtained were correlated.

Results: The results showed that most of the patients had severe COPD according to pulmonary function tests (mean forced expiratory volume in the first second 46.3 ± 19.9% of predicted value). There was a good correlation between the cardiopulmonary exercise test and the 6 minute walk functional capacity classes (r = 0.44, P = 0.0013). We did not find such correlation between the 15 step exercise oximetry test and the cardiopulmonary exercise test (r = 0.07, P = 0.64).

Conclusions: The study shows that the 6 minute walk is a reliable and accurate test in the evaluation of functional capacity in COPD patients.


[1] COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

June 2006
D. Prais, Y. Raviv, D. Shitrit, A. Yellin, G. Sahar, D. Bendayan, Y. Yahav, O. Efrati, N. Reichart, H. Blau, I. Bakal, G. Buchman, M. Saute, B. Vidne and M.R. Kramer
 Background: Lung transplantation is a well-established therapeutic option for end-stage lung disease in cystic fibrosis. Although it confers a clear survival advantage, outcome differs among centers according to local experience, patient selection, transplantation procedure, and postoperative care.

Objectives: To evaluate the national Israeli experience with lung transplantation in patients with CF[1].

Methods: We reviewed the medical charts of all CF patients who underwent lung transplantation between January 1996 and June 2005 at the two Israeli centers that performed this procedure.

Results: Eighteen transplantations were performed in 17 patients. Mean patient age at transplantation was 25.3 ± 9.1 years, and mean duration of follow-up in survivors (n=14) was 37.2 months (range 1–113 months). The actuarial survival rate was 88% at 1 year and 74% at 5 years. Pulmonary function, expressed as percent of predicted normal forced expiratory volume in 1 sec, improved from 22.4 ± 8.1% to 76 ± 16.8% at one year after transplantation. Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome was diagnosed in 5 patients (29%), of whom 2 died and 2 are currently candidates for retransplantation. Median time to onset of BOS[2] was 34.2 months (range 17–64 months).

Conclusion: In Israel, the early and intermediate-term results of lung transplantation for cystic fibrosis are encouraging. BOS remains a major complication that threatens long-term outcome.


[1] CF = cystic fibrosis

[2] BOS = bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome

April 2006
D. Bendayan, D. Shitrit and M.R. Kramer

Background: New drugs have significantly improved the prognosis and quality of life of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, PAH[1] associated with autoimmune disease, particularly progressive sclerosis, remains a very serious problem

Objectives: To evaluate whether the course of the disease and survival is significantly different in patients with PAH related to autoimmune disease as compared to other patients with PAH and to determine the prognostic factors in these patients.

Methods: We retrospectively compared 24 patients with PAH associated with autoimmune disease to 42 patients with other causes of PAH. We focused on the clinical and hemodynamic parameters and on the outcome.

Results: The early mortality rate was slightly higher in patients with PAH associated with autoimmune disease (13% after the first year, 25% after the fifth year). The prognostic factor was a shorter distance on the 6 minutes walking distance test (r = 0.2, P = 0.01).

Conclusions: The early detection of PAH associated with autoimmune disease should encourage earlier and more aggressive treatment than in idiopathic PAH.

[1] PAH = pulmonary arterial hypertension

F. Magora, S. Cohen, M. Shochina and E. Dayan

Background: Virtual reality immersion has been advocated as a new effective adjunct to drugs for pain control. The attenuation of pain perception and unpleasantness has been attributed to the patient's attention being diverted from the real, external environment through immersion in a virtual environment transmitted by an interactive 3-D software computer program via a VR[1] helmet.

Objectives: To investigate whether VR immersion can extend the amount of time subjects can tolerate ischemic tourniquet pain.

Methods: The study group comprised 20 healthy adult volunteers. The pain was induced by an inflated blood pressure cuff during two separate, counterbalanced, randomized experimental conditions for each subject: one with VR and the control without VR exposure. The VR equipment consisted of a standard computer, a lightweight helmet and an interactive software game.

Results: Tolerance time to ischemia was significantly longer for VR conditions than for those without (P < 0.001). Visual Analogue Scale (0–10) ratings were recorded for pain intensity, pain unpleasantness, and the time thought about pain. Affective distress ratings of unpleasantness and of time thought about pain were significantly lower during VR as compared with the control condition (P < 0.003 and 0.001 respectively).

Conclusions: The VR method in pain control was shown to be beneficial. The relatively inexpensive equipment will facilitate the use of VR immersion in clinical situations. Future research is necessary to establish the optimal selection of clinical patients appropriate for VR pain therapy and the type of software required according to age, gender, personality, and cultural factors.

[1] VR = virtual reality

February 2004
M. Yigla, M.R. Kramer, D. Bendayan, S.A. Reisner and A. Solomonov

Background: Unexplained pulmonary hypertension is assumed to occur mainly in young adults.

Objectives: To describe the features of the disease in older patients and compare them to those in PHT[1] patients of all ages.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective evaluation of the files of patients over 65 years of age in whom UPHT[2] was diagnosed between 1987 and 1999 at two PHT centers serving a population of 4 million. Patients were followed for survival until March 2003. Clinical variables of the study patients were compared to those in PHT patients of all ages.

Results: The study group included 14 patients, 10 females and four males, with a mean age of 70.5 ± 6.7 years. The calculated mean annual incidence of UPHT for the study population was one new case per year per million persons. Seven patients (50%) had systemic hypertension. The mean interval from onset of symptoms to diagnosis was 8.3 months. At diagnosis, 64% of patients had functional capacity of III-IV according to the New York Heart Association classification, and 43% had right heart failure. Mean systolic pulmonary artery pressure was 80 ± 21 mmHg, peripheral vascular resistance 11.7 ± 7 mmHg/L/min, cardiac index 2.16 ± 0.81, and mean right atrial pressure 10.5 ± 5.9 mmHg. Median survival time was 43 months; survival rates for 1 year, 3 years and 5 years were 92.6%, 50%, 40%, respectively. Compared to data from the U.S. National Institute of Health Registry, UPHT in older patients is more common in females, but the incidence as well as clinical, hemodynamic and survival parameters are similar to those in PHT patients at any age.

Conclusions: UPHT occurs in the elderly more frequently than previously thought, with similar features in PHT patients of all ages. The coexistence of systemic and pulmonary hypertension warrants further investigation.

[1] PHT = pulmonary hypertension

[2] UPHT = unexplained pulmonary hypertension

August 2003
June 2002
Yosefa Bar-Dayan, MD, MHA, Simon Ben-Zikrie, MD2, Gerald Fraser, MD, FRCP, Ziv Ben-Ari, MD, Marius Braun, MD, Mordechai Kremer, MD and Yaron Niv, MD
April 2002
Daniele Bendayan, MD, Gershon Fink, MD, Dan Aravot, MD, Mordechai Ygla, MD, Issahar Bendov, MD, Leonard Bliden, MD, Nir Amiran, MD and Mordechai Kramer, MD

Background: Primary idiopathic pulmonary hypertension is a rapidly progressive disease with a median survival of less than 3 years. Recently its prognosis was shown to dramatically improve with the use of epoprostenol, an arachidonic acid metabolite produced by the vascular endothelium, which increases the cardiac output and decreases the pulmonary vascular resistance and pulmonary arterial pressure. This drug enhances the quality of life, increases survival and delays or eliminates the need for transplantation.

Objective: To review the experience of Israel hospitals with the use of epoprostenol.

Methods: The study group comprised 13 patients, 5 men and 8 women, with an age range of 3–53 years. All patients suffered from arterial pulmonary hypertension. Epoprostenol was administered through a central line in an increased dose during the first 3 months, after which the dose was adjusted according to the clinical syndrome and the hemodynamic parameters.

Results: After 3 months the mean dose was 10 ng/kg/min and the pulmonary artery pressure decreased from 7 to 38%. After one year, the PAP decreased at a slower rate. Two cases required transplantation, three patients died, and seven continued taking the drug (one of whom discontinued). Four episodes of septicemia were observed. Today 10 patients are alive and well and 7 continue to take epoprostenol.

Conclusion: We found that epoprostenol improves survival, quality of life and hemodynamic parameters, with minimum side effects.

March 2001
Jonathan M. Lehmann, MB, Bchir, Ali Shnaker, MD, Daniel Silverberg, MD, Kati Dayan, MD and Misha Witz, MD
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