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עמוד בית
Sat, 02.03.24

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June 2018
Raymond Farah, Rola Khamisy-Farah and Nicola Makhoul

Background: Accurate diagnosis of community acquired pneumonia (CAP) is crucial to its proper management and to combating antibiotic resistance. Levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) have been shown to distinguish pneumonia from other pathological conditions and can be used to control the severity of infection during admission.

Objective: To investigate an association between consecutive measurements of CRP and the severity of CAP in hospitalized patients.

Methods: A total of 500 patients with CAP were admitted to the hospital. Traditional markers of inflammation including CRP, leukocyte count, body temperature, were measured on the first, second, and fifth days of hospitalization. Correlations between these measures and the length of the hospital stay were calculated.

Results: Mean levels of CRP, body temperature, and leukocyte count were significantly lower on the second day after hospital admission and even lower on the fifth day. A positive correlation of medium strength was found between the level of CRP on the second day of hospitalization and the length of hospital stay (P < 0.001, rs = 0.447), and a negative correlation was noted between the decrease in CRP level from the first to second day and the length of hospital stay.

Conclusions: CRP levels correlated with body temperature and leukocyte count, traditional markers of inflammation. A greater decrease in CRP level between the first and second day of hospitalization was associated with shorter hospital stay and rapid improvement. These findings support the use of CRP as a marker for the severity and complication of CAP.

April 2018
Anne Graham Cummiskey MBBS, Amit Segev MD, Michael Segel MD, Jonathan Buber MD, Victor Guetta MD, Israel M. Barbash MD, Dan Elian MD, Elad Asher MD, Ori Vaturi MD and Paul Fefer MD

Background: Previous studies have demonstrated the utility of exercise hemodynamics during right heart catheterization (RHC) in the diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction (DD). Little data exists regarding exercise hemodynamics during RHC in symptomatic systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients. 

Objectives: To assess the added diagnostic value of using exercise hemodynamics during RHC in assessment of patients with symptomatic SSc.

Methods: We performed 22 RHCs in 17 SSc patients with dyspnea and/or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Exercise was performed in 15 RHCs using isotonic arm exercises while holding a 1 kg weight in each hand. Measurements of pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP), pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (PAWP), and cardiac output (CO) were taken at rest and during peak exercise. 

Results: Normal resting RHC (PAP 22 ± 3 mmHg, PAWP 11 ± 3 mmHg) was found in seven cases. Of these, exercise induced elevation in PAP was found in three (38 ± 7 mmHg), and exercise induced elevation in PAWP was found in four (24 ± 6 mmHg). Elevated resting PAP was found in 15 (41 ± 11 mmHg) with minor changes in exercise. Of the 22 RHCs, elevation of the PAWP was found in 11 (50%), half of which were in response to exercise. 

Conclusions: In symptomatic SSc patients, exercise hemodynamics provides important information on diastolic dysfunction that is not available with non-invasive testing. Findings on exercise RHC can explain patient symptoms in up to 50% of cases. Earlier and more accurate diagnosis of patient symptoms can aid in tailoring the correct therapy for each.

March 2018
Ran Nagar MD, Sharon Perlman MD, Or Yariv MD, Zvi Kivilevich MD, Benjamin Dekel MD PhD, Reuven Achiron MD and Yinon Gilboa MD

Background: Sonographic assessment of the fetal kidneys is an integral part of the prenatal anatomical survey.

Objectives: To evaluate the fetal renal to abdominal (RTA) ratio throughout pregnancy and to investigate whether this ratio can be a potential diagnostic landmark for congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT).

Methods: Measurements of the anterior-posterior diameters of the fetal kidney and fetal abdomen (APAD) were obtained prospectively. The RTA was calculated as the ratio between them in in two groups: normal population vs. CAKUT cases. RTA in CAKUT cases was compared to RTA in a normal population.

Results: The study group was comprised of 210 women. The mean gestational age for the fetuses was 31 ± 5.6 weeks (range 14–40 weeks). Fetal RTA ratio was found to be 0.28 ± 0.03 throughout pregnancy from early second trimester to term, with high reproducibility of measurements. During the study period the RTA was evaluated in nine cases referred for suspected CAKUT. All cases demonstrated a different ratio according to the renal anomaly. High ratio was observed in one case of overgrowth syndrome (Beckwith Wiedenmann syndrome; 0.47), three cases of infantile polycystic kidney (0.45–0.47), and three cases of a solitary kidney (0.31–0.35), while cases of dysplastic kidneys revealed a low ratio (0.14–0.18).

Conclusions: Prenatal RTA ratio is constant throughout gestation. An abnormal ratio should lead to meticulous renal investigation to rule out kidney disease.

January 2018
Jaber Mustafa MD, Ilan Asher MD and Zev Sthoeger MD

Upper extremity deep vein thrombosis (UEDVT) is defined as thrombosis of the deep venous system (subclavian, axillary, brachial, ulnar, and radial veins), which drains the upper extremities. It can be caused by thoracic outlet anatomic obstruction, such as Paget–Schroetter syndrome, (primary) or by central intravenous catheters (secondary). UEDVT may be asymptomatic or present with acute severe pain and arm swelling. Clinical suspicion should be confirmed by diagnostic imaging procedures such as duplex ultrasound, computed tomography scan, or magnetic resonance imaging. UEDVT is managed by anticoagulant treatment. In addition to that, early thrombolysis aimed at preventing post-deep vein thrombosis syndrome and thoracic outlet decompression surgery should be given to patients with primary UEDVT. Anticoagulation without thrombolysis is the treatment of choice for patients with catheter-related thrombosis. Mandatory functioning catheters can remain in place with anticoagulant treatment. All other catheters should be immediately removed. The management of patients with UEDVT requires an experience multidisciplinary team comprised of internists, radiologists, hematologists, and vascular surgeons. Understanding the risk factors for the development of UEDVT, the diagnostic procedures, and the treatment modalities will improve the outcome of those patients.

November 2017
Iris Eshed MD and Merav Lidar MD

Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most sensitive imaging modality for the detection of sacroiliitis. Diagnosing sacroiliitis on MRI is not always straightforward and can be challenging in some cases.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of alternative diagnoses suggested by MRI and characterize the MR appearance of the most common ones.

Methods: Consecutive MRI examinations of the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) performed between 2005 and 2012 were retrospectively evaluated for the presence of structural and active sacroiliitis findings according to the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society guidelines. Alternative diagnoses, including degenerative changes, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), Osteitis condensans ilii (OCI), septic sacroiliitis/discitis, stress reaction as well as anatomic variants, were registered

Results: We evaluated 281 MRI examinations, 116 males, 165 females, average age 44 ± 15 years. Sacroiliitis was found in 71 examinations (25%) and alternative diagnoses were suggested in 87 (31%) (OCI 8.9%, anatomic variants 5.3%, septic sacroiliitis 5.3%, degenerative findings 4.3%, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis [DISH] 1.5%, stress reaction 0.7%, tumor 0.3%). A normal examination was found in the remaining 123 examinations. Patients with alternative diagnoses were older than those with sacroiliitis (62 vs. 47 years of age, respectively, P > 0.05). Alternative pathologies in the SIJ were significantly more common in females (66) than males (21), P < 0.05.

Conclusions: A substantial proportion of patients with suspected sacroiliitis had normal SIJ while the rest were more commonly diagnosed with other pathologies. A referral by an experienced rheumatologist may improve the sensitivity and specificity of this important examination.

October 2017
Alon Z. Sapir MD, Izzat Khayyat MD, Ron Rabinowitz MD, Arnon Samueloff MD, Lior Drukker MD and Hen Y. Sela MD

Background: Two types of growth curves are commonly used to diagnose fetal growth disorders: neonatal birth weight (BW) and sonographic estimated fetal weight (EFW). The debate as to which growth curve to use is universal.

Objectives: To establish sonographic EFW growth curves for the Israeli population and to assess whether the use of the BW growth curves currently adapted in Israel leads to under-diagnosis of intrauterine growth disorders.

Methods: Biometric data collected during a 6 year period was analyzed to establish sonographic EFW growth curves between 15–42 weeks of gestation for the Israeli population. Growth curves were compared to previously published sonographic EFW growth curves. A comparison with the Israeli BW growth curves was performed to assess the possibility of under-diagnosis of intrauterine growth disorders.

Results: Out of 42,778 sonographic EFW studies, 31,559 met the inclusion criteria. The sonographic EFW growth curves from the current study resembled the EFW curves previously published. The comparison of the current sonographic EFW and BW growth curves revealed under-diagnosis of intrauterine growth disorders during the preterm period. Four percent of the fetuses assessed between 26–34 weeks would have been suspected of being growth restricted; 2.8 percent of the fetuses assessed between 30–36 weeks would have been suspected of having macrosomia, based on the BW growth curves.

Conclusions: New Israeli sonographic EFW growth curves resemble previously published sonographic EFW curves. Using BW growth curves may lead to the under-diagnosis of growth disorders. We recommend adopting sonographic EFW growth to diagnose intrauterine growth disorders.

Amos Neheman MD, Ze'ev Korzets MBBS, Rodica Stackievicz MD, Tomer Itzhaki MD, Giulia Pula MD, Galit Pomeranz MD, Meidad Greenberg MD, Dganit Adam MD and Avishalom Pomeranz MD
August 2017
Yael Yagur MD, Saja Anaboussi MD, Mordechai Hallak MD and Alon Shrim MD

Background: The prevalence of major malformations in the general population is estimated at 5% of all live births. Prenatal diagnosis is an important scientific tool that allows reliable consultation and improves pregnancy outcome. In 2008, congenital malformations were the leading cause of death in Muslim infants and the second cause of death in Jewish infants in Israel. It is known that folic acid consumption prior to pregnancy decreases the rate of several fetal malformations.

Objectives: To assess the folic acid consumption rate and to characterize variables associated with its use among pregnant women attending a rural medical center. 

Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted at our institution. Pregnant women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy or within 3 days postpartum were interviewed. The main variable measured was the use of folic acid. Demographic variables and the rate of prenatal testing were assessed. A secondary analysis of the population that reported no consumption of folic acid was carried out. 

Results: Out of 382 women who participated in the study, 270 (71%) reported consumption of folic acid. Using a multivariate analysis model, we found that maternal education, planning of pregnancy, and low parity were independent predictors of folic acid consumption. Women who were not consuming folic acid tended to perform fewer prenatal tests during pregnancy.

Conclusions: High maternal educational level, planning of pregnancy, and low parity are related to high consumption rates of folic acid. Women who were not taking folic acid performed fewer prenatal tests during pregnancy. 

June 2017
Hagit Schayek PhD, Yael Laitman MSc, Lior H Katz MD, Elon Pras MD, Liat Ries-Levavi PhD, Frida Barak MD and Eitan Friedman MD PhD

Background: Biallelic BLM gene mutation carriers are at an increased risk for cancer, including colorectal cancer (CRC). Whether heterozygous BLM gene mutations confer an increased cancer risk remains controversial.

Objectives: To evaluate CRC and endometrial cancer risk in BLM heterozygous mutation carriers.

Jewish Ashkenazim at high risk for colon or endometrial cancer and endometrial cancer cases unselected for family history were genotyped for the BLMAsh predominant mutation.

Results: Overall, 243 high-risk individuals were included: 97 men CRC patients (55.12 ± 12.3 years at diagnosis), 109 women with CRC (56.5 ± 13.7 years), 32 women with endometrial cancer (58.25 ± 13.4 years) and 5 women with both CRC and endometrial cancer. In addition, 120 unselected Ashkenazi women with endometrial cancer (64.2 ± 11.58 years) were genotyped. The BLMAsh mutation was present in 4/243 (1.65%) high-risk patients; 2 CRC (0.97%) 2 endometrial cancer (5.4%), and 1/120 unselected endometrial cancer patients (0.84%). Notably, in high-risk cases, BLMAsh mutation carriers were diagnosed at a younger age (for CRC 47.5 ± 7.8 years; P = 0.32 ; endometrial cancer 49.5 ± 7.7 years; P = 0.36) compared with non-carriers.

Conclusions: Ashkenazi high risk CRC/endometrial cancer, and women with endometrial cancer have a higher rate of BLMAsh heterozygous mutation compared with the general population. BLMAsh heterozygous mutation carriers are diagnosed with CRC and endometrial cancer at a younger age compared with non-carriers. These observations should be validated and the possible clinical implications assessed.

May 2017
Dvora S. Shapiro MD, Reuven Friedmann MD, Ashraf Husseini MD, Hefziba Ivgi PhD, Amos M. Yinnon MD and Marc V. Assous MD PhD

Background: It is a challenge to diagnosis Clostridium difficile colitis.

Objectives: To determine, among patients who developed nosocomial diarrhea, whether serum procalcitonin (PCT) can distinguish between C. difficile toxin (CDT)-positive and CDT-negative patients.

Methods: This prospective study included 50 adults (>18 years) who developed diarrhea during hospitalization, 25 with a positive fecal test for CDT (study group) and 25 CDT negative (control group).

Results: Baseline demographic and underlying illnesses were similar in both groups. Duration of diarrhea was 6 ± 4 days and 3 ± 1 in the study and control groups, respectively (P = 0.001). Mean blood count was 20 ± 15 and 9.9 ± 4, respectively (P = 0.04). CRP level was higher in the study than in the control group (10.9 ± 7.4 and 6.6 ± 4.8, P = 0.028). PCT level was higher in the study group (4.4 ± 4.9) than the control group (0.3 ± 0.5, P = 0.102). A PCT level > 2 ng/ml was found in 7/25 patients (28%) and 1/25 (4%), respectively [odds ratio 9.33, 95% confidence interval (0.98 to 220), P = 0.049]. Multivariate analysis showed that only duration of diarrhea and left shift of peripheral leucocytes were significant indicators of CDT (P = 0.014 and P = 0.019, respectively). The mortality rate was 12/25 (48%) vs. 5/25 (20%), respectively (P = 0.04).

Conclusions: We found a non-significant tendency to higher PCT levels in patients with CDT-positive vs. CDT-negative nosocomial diarrhea. However, a PCT level > 2 ng/ml may help distinguish between these patients.

January 2017
Eliezer Bronshtein, Ido Solt MD, Moshe Bronshtein MD, Ayala Gover MD, Igal Wolman MD and Zeev Blumenfeld MD

Background: Early prenatal ultrasound is an important part of prenatal screening in Israel. No studies have described the rate of trisomy 21 [T21] identification at 14–17 weeks gestation.

Objectives: To describe the rate of T21 identification by transvaginal sonograms (TVS) at 14–17 weeks gestation. 

Methods: We conducted a historical prospective study. Since 1986, early TVS of 72,000 fetuses at 14–17 weeks gestation have been prospectively recorded together with prenatal screening data at a private ultrasound center (AL-KOL, Haifa). We calculated the fraction of T21 cases by dividing the total number of cases with abnormal sonographic findings by the total number of diagnosed T21 cases. We also examined the percentage of verified T21 cases that had completely normal prenatal screening tests prior to the early prenatal TVS, thus revealing the contribution of this examination to the existing prenatal screening. Fisher’s exact test was used to calculate odds ratios for each sonographic marker. 

Results: Of 137 T21 fetuses, 123 had sonographic markers on early TVS, yielding a prediction capability of at least 89.87%. Of all T21 cases, 14% had completely normal nuchal translucency/first-trimester screening prior to the abnormal 14–17 week TVS findings. Isolated abnormal sonographic findings, which were found to increase the risk for T21, were common atrioventricular septal canal (odds ratio 88.88), duodenal atresia (OR 88.23), nuchal edema (OR 39.14), and hydrocephalus (OR 15.78). Fetal hydronephrosis/pyelectasis was non-significant when isolated (OR 1), and cardiac echogenic focus was associated with a decreased risk (OR 0.13).

Conclusions: Early prenatal TVS at 14–17 weeks may identify almost 90% of T21 and adds 14% to the identification rate at the first-trimester screening.


Marwan Odeh MD, Moshe Bronshtein MD and Jacob Bornstein MD MPA

Background: The congenital absence of salivary glands has been reported in children but never in fetuses with trisomy 21.

Objectives: To determine whether the congenital absence of salivary glands can be detected prenatally between 13 and 16 weeks of gestation in normal and trisomy 21 fetuses using transvaginal ultrasound. 

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of recordings of normal and trisomy 21 fetuses. Inclusion criteria were a single viable fetus and good visualization of the anatomic area of the salivary glands on both sides of the fetal face. All videos were reviewed by one examiner who reported the presence or absence of one or more salivary glands and was blinded to the fetal karyotype.

Results: Of the 45 videos reviewed, 4 were excluded from the study: namely, a non-viable fetus, twin pregnancy, and in 2 there was unsatisfactory visualization of the anatomic area of the salivary glands. Of the remaining 41 fetuses, 24 had trisomy 21 and 17 were normal. In the trisomy 21 fetuses, 8 (33.3%) had congenital absence of one or more salivary glands compared to 1 of 17 normal fetuses (5.9%) (P < 0.05). 

Conclusions: Congenital absence of the salivary glands has a high specificity but low sensitivity for detecting trisomy 21 fetuses.


Boris Knyazer MD, Jenna Smolar MD, Isaak Lazar MD, Eli Rosenberg MD, Erez Tsumi MD, Tova Lifshitz MD and Jaime Levy MD

The identification and prompt diagnosis of Horner syndrome (HS) is essential for preventing permanent damage. HS may arise when a lesion presents anywhere along the three-neuron oculosympathetic pathway that begins at the posterior-lateral nuclei of the hypothalamus all the way through to the orbit. We present four cases and review the literature to familiarize the reader with the identification, diagnosis and treatment of Horner syndrome. The four patients, three adults and one child, were followed for at least 6 months following the initial diagnosis (range 6–18 months). There was partial resolution in three of the four cases, while the fourth resolved completely. There are numerous causes of HS, some of them iatrogenic. While iatrogenic cases of HR are rare in both adults and children, HS is seen more often following surgical procedures. Prompt recognition of the syndrome and correction of the offending agent may prevent permanent damage to the neuronal pathway. It is therefore recommended that practitioners be aware of the risks for development of iatrogenic HS and the signs for early detection.

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