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עמוד בית
Sat, 02.03.24

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January 2017
Moshe Rav Acha MD PhD, Aharon Medina MD, David Rosenmann MD, Naama Bogot MD, Marc W. Klutstein MD, Adi Butnaru MD and Giora Weisz MD
August 2016
July 2016
Marina Leitman MD, Eli Peleg MD, Ruthie Shmueli and Zvi Vered MD FACC FESC

Background: The search for the presence of vegetations in patients with suspected infective endocarditis is a major indication for trans-esophageal echocardiographic (TEE) examinations. Advances in harmonic imaging and ongoing improvement in modern echocardiographic systems allow adequate quality of diagnostic images in most patients.

Objectives: To investigate whether TEE examinations are always necessary for the assessment of patients with suspected infective endocarditis. 

Methods: During 2012–2014 230 trans-thoracic echo (TTE) exams in patients with suspected infective endocarditis were performed at our center. Demographic, epidemiological, clinical and echocardiographic data were collected and analyzed, and the final clinical diagnosis and outcome were determined. 

Results: Of 230 patients, 24 had definite infective endocarditis by clinical assessment. TEE examination was undertaken in 76 of the 230 patients based on the clinical decision of the attending physician. All TTE exams were classified as: (i) positive, i.e., vegetations present; (ii) clearly negative; or (iii) non-conclusive. Of the 92 with clearly negative TTE exams, 20 underwent TEE and all were negative. All clearly negative patients had native valves, adequate quality images, and in all 92 the final diagnosis was not infective endocarditis. Thus, the negative predictive value of a clearly negative TTE examination was 100%.

Conclusions: In patients with native cardiac valves referred for evaluation for infective endocarditis, an adequate quality TTE with clearly negative examination may be sufficient for the diagnosis.

 

Javier Marco-Hernández MD PhD, Sergio Prieto-González MD, Miquel Blasco MD, Pedro Castro MD PhD, Joan Cid MD PhD and Gerard Espinosa MD PhD
April 2016
Serena Guiducci MD PhD, Silvia Bellando-Randone MD PhD and Marco Matucci-Cerinic MD PhD

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a heterogeneous chronic autoimmune disease that it is very difficult to diagnose in the early phase, resulting in a critical delay in therapy which is often begun when internal organ involvement is already irreversible. The ACR or LeRoy criteria have a low sensitivity for the early phases; these criteria were replaced by the ACR/EULAR 2013 criteria which improved the disease classification. Therefore, the SSc diagnosis may be delayed for several years after the onset of Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP) and even after the onset of the first non-RP symptom. RP, antinuclear antibodies (ANA) positivity, and puffy fingers were recently indicated as “red flags” (by the VEDOSS project) – that is, the main elements for suspicion of SSc in the very early phase of the disease. Confirming the diagnosis requires further tests, particularly nailfold videocapillaroscopy and evaluation of specific disease antibodies (anti-centromere and anti-topoisomerase I). In this way, the VEDOSS project identified patients in the very early phase of disease enabling a ‘‘window of opportunity’’ whereby the physician can act with effective drugs to block or at least slow the progression of the disease. The principal challenge in the fight against SSc is to detect valid predictors of disease evolution in order to treat patients in the early stage of disease. While waiting to find valid predictors, a close follow-up of the patients with the VEDOSS red flags is essential, as is a close collaboration between rheumatologists and general practitioners in order to identify all potential SSc patients as soon as possible.

Chiara Baldini MD, Nicoletta Luciano MD, Marta Mosca MD and Stefano Bombardieri MD

In recent years, salivary gland ultrasonography (SGUS) has emerged as a promising tool for the diagnosis and prognostic stratification of patients with primary and secondary Sjögren’s syndrome. Several studies have emphasized that salivary ultrasonography could be a highly specific tool for the diagnosis of the disease. However, before it can be used in daily clinical practice the SGUS procedure needs standardization and validation in larger disease-control groups. In this review we provide an update on the role of SGUS in the diagnostic algorithm of primary Sjögren’s syndrome.

 

Gian Domenico Sebastiani MD PhD, Immacolata Prevete MD, Annamaria Iuliano MD and Giovanni Minisola MD

Background: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease with a high degree of variability at onset, making it difficult to reach a correct and prompt diagnosis.

Objectives: To present the difficulties faced by the clinician in making a SLE diagnosis, based on the characteristics at study entry of an Italian cohort of SLE patients with recent onset as compared to two similar cohorts.

Methods: Beginning on 1 January 2012 all patients with a diagnosis of SLE (1997 ACR criteria) and a disease duration less than 12 months were consecutively enrolled in a multicenter prospective study. Information on clinical and serological characteristics was collected at study entry and every 6 months thereafter.

Results: Our cohort consisted of 122 patients, of whom 103 were females. Among the manifestations included in the 1997 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria, cutaneous, articular and hematologic symptoms were the most prevalent symptoms at study entry.

Conclusions: Data from the literature confirm that the diagnosis of SLE is challenging, and that SLE is a severe disease even at onset when a prompt diagnosis is necessary for initiating the appropriate therapy.

January 2016
Etty Daniel-Spiegel MD, Micha Mandel PhD, Daniel Nevo MA, Avraham Ben-Chetrit MD, Ori Shen MD, Eliezer Shalev MD and Simcha Yagel MD

Background: Selection of appropriate reference charts for fetal biometry is mandatory to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Most hospitals and clinics in Israel use growth curves from the United States. Charts developed in different populations do not perform well in the Israeli population.

Objectives: To construct new reference charts for fetal biparietal diameter (BPD), head circumference (HC), abdominal circumference (AC) and femur length (FL), using a large sample of fetuses examined at 14–42 weeks gestational age in a medical center and a community ultrasound unit located in two different regions of Israel. 

Methods: Data from the medical center and the community clinic were pooled. The mean and standard error of each measure for each week was calculated. Based on these, reference charts were calculated using quantiles of the normal distribution. The performance of the reference charts was assessed by comparing the new values to empirical quantiles.

Results: Biometric measurements were obtained for 79,328 fetuses. Growth charts were established based on these measurements. The overall performance of the curves was very good, with only a few exceptions among the higher quantiles in the third trimester in the medical center subsample.

Conclusions: We present new local reference charts for fetal biometry, derived from a large and minimally selected Israeli population. We suggest using these new charts in routine daily obstetric practice.

 

November 2015
Alexander Feldman MD, Valeria Shaikis MD, Dante Antonelli MD, Nahum Adam Freedberg MD, Malka Yahalom MD DSc and Yoav Turgeman MD
October 2015
Nadav Sarid MD, Sigi Kay PhD, Avital Angel MD, Luba Trakhtenbrot PhD , Odelia Amit MD, Yair Herishanu MD and Chava Perry MD PhD
July 2015
Smadar Eventov-Friedman MD PhD, Ayala Frumkin PhD, Benjamin Bar-Oz MD and Annick Raas-Rothschild MD
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