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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.04.24

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August 2001
Tami Soffer, Yan Press, MD, Aya Peleg, PhD, Michael Friger, PhD, Uri Ganel, MD and Roni Peleg, MD

Background: Complementary medicine incorporates several methods of treatment, all of which aim to promote the health and quality of life of the patient. Public interest and demand for complementary medicine services have increased in recent years in Israel, as they have throughout the western world.

Objective: To characterize patients attending the Com­plementary Medicine Clinic in southern Israel at the completion of its first 2 years of operation.

Methods: Data for 398 patients selected at random from 4,400 patients treated in the clinic were collected retroactively from the patientsq' charts.

Results: Of those who visited the clinic, 68% were women with an average age of 49 years. Patients attending the clinic had higher rates of hypertension (20%), diabetes (6%) and heart disease (7%) than the general population of patients insured at the Clalit Health Services in the southern region. In addition to musculoskeletal problems (47%), the other most common complaint was emotional problems (13%) such as tension and anxiety. Acupuncture and Shiatsu were the most commonly used types of treatment (61%). Homeopathy was used by 7%. Among patients with musculoskeletal problems, there were significantly more men than women (P= 0.02). The mean age was higher (P= 0.07). And more of them were referred by friends or family (P= 0.06) than those with other problems.

Conclusions: Characterizing patients attending a com­plementary medicine clinic is imporant for the planning of marketing and resource management, and can assist primary care physicians in decisions regarding the referral of patients to this type of healthcare.

Irit Chermesh, MD, Ofer Ben-Izhak, MD and Rami Eliakim, MD
July 2001
Noberto Krivoy, MD, Lili Struminger, MSc, Regina Bendersky, MD, Irit Avivi, MD, Manuela Neuman, PhD and Shimon Pollack, MD
June 2001
Philipp von Landenberg, MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD

In diagnosing sepsis the rapid identification of bacteremia at an early stage of the disease is critical for a favorable outcome. Furthermore, it is important that exact information on the stage of the disease be obtained rapidly in order to choose and initiate the appropriate therapy. In recent years many new techniques have been added to the diagnostic tools. In this review we will focus on three new methods for the early diagnosis of sepsis. These are: polymerase chain reaction, which offers the possibility to attain detailed information about the involved bacterial (or viral) species, and the laboratory markers procalcitonin and hypophosphatemia, which are indicators of the presence of infection with gram-negative bacteria. The approaches reviewed here were developed to expedite the diagnosis of especially early sepsis and might be a further step towards the improvement of therapy for sepsis.

April 2001
Sergey Keidar, MD, Liat Ben-Sira, MD, Mark Weinberg, MD, Ariel J. Jaffa, MD, Aviel Silbiger, MD and Itzhak Vinograd, MD

Background: Routine prenatal ultrasound has increased the frequency of prenatal diagnosis of congenital cystic lung malformation, such as cystic adenomatoid malformation, pulmonary sequestration, congenital lobar emphysema, and bronchogenic cyst.

Objectives: To evaluate the methods of postnatal diag­nosis, the optimal age for operation since surgery is always required, and the optimal extent of lung resection.

Methods: The clinical courses of 11 patients with congenital lung cysts who underwent surgical lung resection (8 lobectomies and 3 segmentectomies) were reviewed.

Results: The diagnosis was confirmed by computed tomography scan in all. In nine patients the diagnosis was made prenatally. Chest X-ray was normal postnatally in all patients except for two who had recurrent pneumonia. Post­operative follow-up showed excellent recovery in all operated children. One patient who underwent surgery for CCAM following episodes of severe pneumonia died from another cause 5 months later. Postoperative chest CT scan showed no residual disease in eight patients. In two who had undergone limited resection, tomography showed a small segment of residual disease in one and a suspected residual lesion in the other.

Conclusion: With prenatal ultrasound the true frequency of congenital cystic lung anomaly appears to be higher than previously reported. Postnatal CT is mandatory to confirm or to rule out the diagnosis. The mere presence of cystic lung malformation is an indication for surgery. Complete removal of the affected lung lobe is recommended. Segmental resection may be inadequate. Early operation is tolerated well by infants and small children and we recommend that surgery be performed in children between 6 and 12 months of age.

March 2001
Maurit Beeri, MD, Ziv Haramati, MD, JJT. Azaria Rein, MD and Amiram Nir, MD

Background: Parental knowledge of their child’s heart disease, while often overlooked, contributes to compliance and reduces anxiety. Prior studies have shown that 36% of parental diagnostic descriptions are incorrect.

Objectives: To assess parental knowledge and attitudes among outpatients at a hospital pediatric cardiology clinic.

Methods: Seventy-four families completed a questionnaire in which they described their child’s condition and stated their attitude towards dental hygiene and future prenatal diagnosis.

Results: Eighteen percent of the parents failed to describe their child’s malformation correctly. We found that parental understanding of the heart defect correlated with parental education. Future prenatal diagnosis was considered by 88% of families, and termination of pregnancy by 40%. Only 40% of children were aware of their heart problem. Children of parents who were ignorant about the condition tended to lack knowl­edge themselves. An additional finding was that 68% of Jewish families turn to non-medical personnel for medical advice - an interesting finding not hitherto addressed.

Conclusions: Ignorance of their child’s problem did not correlate with its severity or complexity but rather with parental background: the less educated the parent, the more likely was the problem perceived incorrectly.
 

July 2000
Yichayaou Beloosesky, MD, Avraham Weiss, MD, Avital Hershkovitz, MD and Joseph Grinblat, MD
Raul Colodner, MSc and Yoram Keness, PhD

Background: Many beside urine culture devices have been developed with the aim of reliability, simplicity and use in both the physician’s office and the clinical laboratory. 

Objective: To compare a novel beside urine culture device (DipStreak, Novamed Ltd. Israel) comprising a combination of MacConkey and Colombia CAN blood agar with conventional seeding on the same culture media. 

Methods: A total of 1000 urine specimens sent to our microbiology laboratory were simultaneously processed by both methods. Results were evaluated after 24 and 48 hours incubation at 370C. 

Results: Altogether, 171 (17.1%) and 124 (12.4%) specimens were defined as positive by the conventional method using cutoff values of 104 colony-forming units/ml and 105 CFU/ml respectively; 178 specimens (17.8%) were defined as contaminated. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of DipStreak for urinary tract infection were 98.8%, 98.6%, 96% and 99.6% respectively, using a cutoff value of 104 CFU/ml, and 99.3%, 99.2%, 96% and 99.8 respectively, using cutoff value of 105 CFU/ml. Full agreement between both techniques was 95%. 

Conclusion: The agreement rate between DipStreak and conventional seeding was remarkably high. These results suggest that DipStreak in the agar combination tested in this study is a useful and precise tool for diagnosing urinary tract infection.

May 2000
Lutfi Jaber MD, Tzipora Dolfin MD, Tamy Shohat MD, Gabrielle J. Halpern MB ChB, Orit Reish MD and Moshe Fejgin MD.

Background: A high rate of consanguineous marriages exists within the Israeli Arab community, with approximately half occurring between first cousins. This contributes towards a high incidence of congenital malformations and autosomal recessive diseases, many of which are detectable at prenatal diagnosis.

Objectives: To assess the levels of both awareness and acceptance regarding prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy among a group of Arab women in order to devise the optimal means of providing genetic counseling and general health services.

Methods: A total of 231 Arab women of childbearing age were interviewed 3 days postpartum to assess their knowledge of prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy, their willingness to undergo prenatal diagnosis, and their opinions on termination of pregnancy in the event of a severely affected fetus.

Results: Half the women believed that prenatal testing is not an effective (or accurate) tool for diagnosing an affected fetus. A quarter had poor knowledge on prenatal diagnosis, and a quarter believed that prenatal diagnosis does provide the correct diagnosis. Ninety-five percent said they would agree to undergo prenatal diagnosis; and in the event of a severely affected fetus, 36% said they would agree to a termination of pregnancy, 57% said they would not, and 7% were undecided.

Conclusions: There is a need for special intervention programs, with guidance by health professionals, geneticists and religious authorities, that will inform this population on the increased risk associated with consanguinity, stress the importance and effectiveness of prenatal testing to identify severe congenital malformations, and help them to accept prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy if indicated.

March 2000
Michael Heim, MB CHB, Elinor Goshen, MD, Aharon Chechick, MD, Ilan Cohen, MD and Morris Azaria, MD
February 2000
Yitzhak Lotem MD, Asher Barak MD, Huda Mussaffi MD, Mordechai Shohat MD, Michael Wilschanski MD, Yakov Sivan MD and Hannah Blau MD

Background: Cystic fibrosis is the most common life-limiting autosomal recessive genetic disorder in Caucasians. Typically it is a multisystem disease diagnosed by increased chloride levels on sweat testing, with mortality due mainly to progressive respiratory disease. The clinical spectrum of CF has recently been much expanded.

Genetic testing for mutant CF transmembrane regulator has revealed atypical cases where sweat test results are borderline or normal. In other patients, genetic mutations cannot be identified but abnormal CFTR function is shown using nasal potential difference measurement.

Objectives: To highlight the diagnostic and therapeutic dilemmas in cases of atypical cystic fibrosis.

Methods: We reviewed patients with atypical CF and widely varying phenotype who are managed at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel. 

Results: Two patients had severe lung disease but little expression in other organs. Accurate diagnosis was essential to enable aggressive therapy in a specialized center. Four other patients are in excellent general health but have symptoms limited to male infertility, heat exhaustion, pancreatitis or transient liver dysfunction, while lung disease is minimal. For these patients, careful counseling is needed to avoid unnecessary upheaval, inappropriately aggressive management, and the psychosocial implications of a CF diagnosis. These dilemmas have increased considerably in our center, as in others worldwide.

Conclusion: It is our obligation as clinicians - at the level of both primary physician and referral center - to maintain an ever higher index of suspicion for CF, tempered by a rational program of counseling and management appropriate to the individual.

 

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CF= cystic fibrosis

CFTR= CF transmembrane regulator

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