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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.04.24

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August 2013
G. Segal, I. Alperson, Y. Levo and R. Hershkovitz
 Background: Predicting mortality is important in treatment planning and professional duty towards patients and their families.

Objectives: To evaluate the predictive value regarding patients' survival once the diagnosis of “general deterioration” replaces an ICD-9 diagnosis upon re-admission.

Methods: In a retrospective cohort case-control study, we screened the records of patients re-admitted at least three times during the past 2 years. For each patient's death during the third hospitalization, we matched (for age and gender) a patient who survived the third hospitalization. We evaluated 14 parameters potentially accountable for increased risk of mortality, e.g., length of stay at each admission, interval to re-admission, etc. We applied a multifactorial analysis using logistic regression to predict the risk of mortality during the third hospitalization as potentially affected by the aforementioned parameters.

Results: The study included 81 study patients and 81 controls. Of the 14 parameters potentially explaining an increased risk of mortality during the third hospitalization, several were found to be statistically significant. The most significant was the diagnostic switch from a specific ICD-9 diagnosis on first admission to the non-specific diagnosis of “general deterioration” at the second hospitalization. In such cases, the risk of death during the third hospitalization was increased by 5300% (odds ratio = 54, P = 0.008). The increased risk of mortality was not restricted to patients with malignancy as their background diagnosis.

Conclusions: At re-admission, a switch from disease-specific diagnosis to the obscure diagnosis “general deterioration” increases the subsequent risk of mortality.


June 2013
O. Ben-Ishay, E. Brauner, Z. Peled, A. Othman, B. Person and Y. Kluger
 Background: Colon cancer is common, affecting mostly older people. Since age is a risk factor, young patients might not be awarded the same attention as older ones regarding symptoms that could imply the presence of colon cancer.

Objectives: To investigate whether young patients, i.e., under age 50, complain of symptoms for longer than older patients until the diagnosis of colon cancer is established.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, patients were divided into two groups: < 50 years old (group 1) and ≥ 50 (group 2). All had undergone surgery for left or right colon cancer during the 1 year period January 2000 through December 2009 at one medical center. Rectal and sigmoid cancers were excluded. Data collected included age, gender, quantity and quality of complaints, duration of complaints, in-hospital versus community diagnosis, pathological staging, the side of colon involved, and overall mortality. The main aim was the quality and duration of complaints. Secondary outcomes were the pathological stage at presentation and the mortality rate.

Results: The study group comprised 236 patients: 31 (13.1%) were < 50 years old and 205 (86.9%) were ≥ 50 years. No significant difference was found in the quantity and quality of complaints between the two groups. Patients in group 1 (< 50 years) complained for a longer period, 5.3 vs. 2.4 months (P = 0.002). More younger patients were diagnosed with stage IV disease (38.7% vs. 21.5%, P = 0.035) and fewer had stage I disease (3.2% vs. 15.6%, P = 0.06); the mortality rates were similar (41.9% vs. 39%). Applying a stepwise logistic regression model, the duration of complaints was found to be an independent predictor of mortality (P = 0.03, OR 1.6, 95% CI 1–3.6), independently of age (P = 0.003) and stage (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Younger patients are more often diagnosed with colon cancer later, at a more advanced stage. Alertness to patients’ complaints, together with evaluation regardless of age but according to symptoms and clinical presentation are crucial. Large-scale population-based studies are needed to confirm this trend. 

March 2013
A. Shauer, I. Gotsman, A. Keren, D.R. Zwas, Y. Hellman, R. Durst and D. Admon
 Acute myocarditis is one of the most challenging diseases to diagnose and treat in cardiology. The true incidence of the disease is unknown. Viral infection is the most common etiology. Modern techniques have improved the ability to diagnose specific viral pathogens in the myocardium. Currently, parvovirus B19 and adenoviruses are most frequently identified in endomyocardial biopsies. Most patients will recover without sequelae, but a subset of patients will progress to chronic inflammatory and dilated cardiomyopathy. The pathogenesis includes direct viral myocardial damage as well as autoimmune reaction against cardiac epitopes. The clinical manifestations of acute myocarditis vary widely – from asymptomatic changes on electrocardiogram to fulminant heart failure, arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Magnetic resonance imaging is emerging as an important tool for the diagnosis and follow-up of patients, and for guidance of endomyocardial biopsy. In the setting of acute myocarditis endomyocardial biopsy is required for the evaluation of patients with a clinical scenario suggestive of giant cell myocarditis and of those who deteriorate despite supportive treatment. Treatment of acute myocarditis is still mainly supportive, except for giant cell myocarditis where immunotherapy has been shown to improve survival. Immunotherapy and specific antiviral treatment have yet to demonstrate definitive clinical efficacy in ongoing clinical trials. This review will focus on the clinical manifestations, the diagnostic approach to the patient with clinically suspected acute myocarditis, and an evidence-based treatment strategy for the acute and chronic form of the disease.


February 2013
R. Thein, S. Tenenbaum, O.Chechick, E. Leshem, A. Chechik and B. Liberman
 Background: Hematogenous osteomyelitis of long bones is rare in adults, especially in the immune competent host. Only a few cases have been described to date.

Objectives: To present a case series of femoral hematogenous osteomyelitis in adults, a rare condition that is difficult to diagnose and may cause major morbidity and mortality.

Methods: We reviewed three cases of femoral hematogenous osteomyelitis that occurred between 2007 and 2009. The course of the disease, physical findings, imaging modalities, laboratory analysis, culture results and functional outcomes were recorded.

Results: In all cases the diagnosis was delayed after symptoms were first attributed to radicular-like pain or lateral thigh pain due to an inflammatory non-infectious source. In all cases infection was caused by an unusual or fastidious bacterium. The pathogen was Haemophilus aphrophilus in one case, and Streptococcus specimens were found in the other two. Pathological fracture occurred in two of the cases despite culture-specific antibiotic treatment and a non-weight bearing treatment protocol. It took five surgical interventions on average to reach full recovery from infection, but residual disability was still noted at the last follow-up.

Conclusions: Clinicians should be aware that although femoral hematogenous osteomyelitis is a rare condition in adults, its ability to mimic other pathologies can result in delayed diagnosis and major morbidity. In our series the pathogen was different in each case and was cultured only from the infected site. Pathological fracture is a devastating complication but we do not recommend prophylactic stabilization at this point.    

O. Halshtok Neiman, S. Sadetzki, A. Chetrit, S. Raskin, G. Yaniv and C. Hoffmann
 Background: MRI differentiation between metastases and high grade gliomas is a challenging task. Contrast enhancement and size of edema do not provide clear-cut differentiators. The differences in the properties of the peritumoral edema between these tumor types may be exploited to distinguish between them, using MRI perfusion sequences, which are capable of imaging edema in the clinical setting and may be a reliable method to make this differentiation.

Objectives: To assess the ability of perfusion-weighted imaging to differentiate between high grade gliomas and brain metastases.

Methods: During 5 months, 21 patients (age 40–85, median age 61, 16 males and 5 females) with either glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) or metastasis (pathology proven), underwent MRI for assessment of the tumor prior to surgery. Most of the scans were done at 3 Tesla. The scans included perfusion-weighted imaging sequences. Perfusion in the tumor, in the peritumoral edema and in normal tissue were assessed using Functool® software. The ratios of tumor perfusion and peritumoral edema perfusion to normal tissue perfusion were calculated and compared.

Results: Bleeding artifact precluded perfusion assessment in four patients. There was no statistically significant difference between the tumor perfusion ratios of high grade gliomas and those of metastases. The edema perfusion ratios were higher in GBM than in metastases (P = 0.007).

Conclusions: Perfusion-weighted imaging of peritumoral edema can help to differentiate between GBM and metastases.

September 2012
E. Kitai, G. Blumberg, D. Levy, A. Golan-Cohen, and S. Vinker

Background: Fatigue is a common complaint in primary care and has a broad differential diagnosis, making the approach complex and often ineffective.

Objectives: To follow the course of adults without a significant known background disease who complain of fatigue for the first time, and to characterize the family physician’s approach.

Methods: The study population comprised a random sample of 299 patients aged 18–45 who presented with fatigue as a first-time single complaint to their family physician. Excluded were patients with chronic diseases or states that may include signs of fatigue. We analyzed the index encounter data, the diagnostic and laboratory tests, the medications prescribed and the one year clinical outcome.

Results: Seventy percent were women, average age 30.5 years, and 69% had no known co-morbidities; 57% of the patients were physically examined at the first visit and most (78.6%) were sent for laboratory analysis. Five percent of laboratory tests were positive. Eighty patients (26.8%) were given a specific diagnosis, with the leading diagnoses being anemia and infectious diseases; 18.7% were given sick leave at the first visit. Fatigue was more common in early summer.

Conclusions: The majority of young healthy patients complaining of fatigue are not diagnosed with an organic physiological disorder. Many of the study patients were sent for laboratory tests but in most cases these tests were not contributory to the diagnosis or management. It seems likely that the most efficient strategy would be watchful follow-up with a minimum of testing.

August 2012
E. Kadmon, D. Menachemi, J. Kusniec, M. Haim, M. Geist and B. Strasberg

Background: The implantable loop recorder (ILR) is an important tool for the evaluation of unexplained syncope, particularly in cases of rarely occurring arrhythmia.

Objectives: To review the clinical experience of two Israeli medical centers with the ILR. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of patients with unexplained syncope evaluated with the ILR at Rabin Medical Center (2006–2010) and Wolfson Medical Center (2000–2009).

Results: The study group included 75 patients (44 males) followed for 11.9 ± 9.5 months after ILR implantation. Patients’ mean age was 64 ± 20 years. The ILR identified an arrhythmic mechanism of syncope in 20 patients (17 bradyarrhythmias, 3 tachyarrhythmias) and excluded arrhythmias in 12, for a diagnostic yield of 42.7%. It was not diagnostic in 17 patients (22.7%) at the time of explant 26 patients (34.7%) were still in follow-up. In two patients ILR results that were initially negative were reversed by later ILR tracings. The patients with bradyarrhythmias included 9 of 16 (56.3%) with surface electrocardiogram conduction disturbances and 2 of 12 (16.7%) with negative findings on carotid sinus massage. All bradyarrhythmic patients received pacemakers the seven patients for whom post-intervention data were available had no or mild symptoms.

Conclusions: The ILR has a high diagnostic yield. Pre-ILR findings correlating with the ILR results are conduction disturbances (positive predictor of arrhythmia) and negative carotid sinus massage results (negative predictor of arrhythmia). Proper patient instruction is necessary to obtain accurate results. Caution is advised when excluding an arrhythmia on the basis of ILR tracings, and long-term follow-up is warranted.

T. Tohami, A. Nagler and N. Amariglio

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a clonal hematological disease that represents 15–20% of all adult leukemia cases. The study and treatment of CML has contributed pivotal advances to translational medicine and cancer therapy. The discovery that a single chromosomal abnormality, the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome, is responsible for the etiology of this disease was a milestone for treating and understanding CML. Subsequently, CML became the first disease for which allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is the treatment of choice. Currently, CML is one of the few diseases where treatment targeted against the chromosomal abnormality is the sole frontline therapy for newly diagnosed patients. The use of directed therapy for CML challenged disease monitoring during treatment and led to the development of definitions that document response and predict relapse sooner than the former routine methods. These methods relied on classical cytogenetics through molecular cytogenetics (FISH) and, finally, on molecular monitoring assays. This review discusses the laboratory tools used for diagnosing CML, for monitoring during treatment, and for assessing remission or relapse. The advantages and disadvantages of each test, the common definition of response levels, and the efforts to standardize molecular monitoring for CML patient management are discussed.

May 2012
E. Moisseiev, D. Goldenberg, D. Gold, M. Neuderfer and Z. Habot-Wilner
April 2012
U. Arad, E. Niv, D. Caspi and O. Elkayam

Monogenic periodic fever syndromes are characterized by recurrent episodes of fever, accompanied by localized inflammatory manifestations. Among them, familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is the most studied and is by far the most prevalent periodic fever syndrome in Israel. We present a diagnostic workup of a patient suffering from a periodic fever syndrome, initially thought to be FMF and characterized by attacks of fever, severe abdominal pain, a migratory erythematous rash and conjunctivitis. The development of periorbital edema presenting as diplopia led to consideration of tumor necrosis factor receptor-1-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS). Genetic tests confirmed the diagnosis. This case should alert us that even in Israel, a patient with periodic fever, not fully consistent with the typical features of FMF, should be evaluated for other periodic fever syndromes.

February 2012
D. Bendayan, A. Hendler, K. Litman and V. Polansky
Background: Interferon-gamma release tests are appealing alternatives to the tuberculin skin test (TST) for latent tuberculosis infection.

Objectives: To determine the yield of the Quantiferon TB Gold test (QFT-G) in the diagnosis of active tuberculosis disease, with a focus on elderly patients, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection, and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB).

Methods: The QFT-G test was performed in 98 patients suspected of having active tuberculosis. The results were evaluated for each subgroup of patients and compared to the results of the TST.

Results: Active tuberculosis was diagnosed in 92 of the 98 patients. Sixteen (17.3%) were elderly patients (over age 70), 15 (16%) were co-infected with HIV, and 14 (15%) had EPTB. QFT-G was positive in 49 patients (53%) and indeterminate in 4. The results were not significantly affected by HIV co-infection (P = 0.17), old age (P = 0.4), or the presence of EPTB (P = 0.4). There was a good correlation between the TST and the QFT-G test (P < 0.001). In EPTB and in the elderly, the QFT-G test appears to be better than the TST.

Conclusions: The QFT-G test is suboptimal in its ability to detect active tuberculosis and should not be used to exclude it.
September 2011
I. Berger

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most prevalent chronic health disorders affecting school-age children. The disorder is the subject of much debate for several reasons, the major one being the diagnostic process, which in some aspects is unstructured and can be relatively easily biased. The impact of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed ADHD on the lives of many children can be severe. Therefore, it is important to understand the complexities of the diagnostic procedure in ADHD, including the cultural bias effect, the limitations of the DSM-IV-TR definitions, the effect of comorbid conditions on the diagnostic process, the gene-environment interactions, and the need to compose an objective, more accurate, and generally accepted diagnostic battery of tests. This review addresses the diagnostic difficulties of ADHD and considers some steps that would make ADHD a more easily identifiable disorder.

July 2011
I. Mor-Yosef Levi, I.Z. Ben-Dov, A. Klimov, G. Pizov and A.I. Bloom

Background: Transjugular kidney biopsy (TJKB) was first described in 1990. Indications for TJKB include uncorrectable bleeding disorders and conditions precluding the prone position. Objectives: To describe our initial experience with TJKB.

Methods: Between February 2008 and December 2009 all patients in whom percutaneous biopsy was contraindicated or unsuccessful underwent image-guided TJKB using a standard set with a 19 gauge core biopsy needle. Prospectively collected data included indication, number of needle passes, contrast dose, tissue yield, and complications.

Results: Twelve patients, age range 15–76 years (mean 55), underwent 14 TJKB procedures. Indications for the transjugular route included bleeding diathesis, dyspnea, ventral hernia, ascites, marked obesity, need for concomitant liver biopsy or concomitant insertion of tunneled dialysis catheter, discrepant kidney size, and failed percutaneous attempt. Thirteen biopsies were performed in 11 patients; in one patient TJKB was abandoned due to unfavorable renal vein anatomy. Four patients were premedicated with desmopressin and one with platelet transfusion, due to prolonged bleeding time. Three to six passes (mean 3.8) were made per biopsy, with an overall yield of 9.6 ± 8.2 glomeruli, providing a definite diagnosis in nine patients and a probable diagnosis in two. In two patients the first biopsy attempt yielded insufficient tissue, necessitating a repeat procedure. There were two minor bleeding episodes not requiring intervention. Serum creatinine was unchanged after the procedure and hemoglobin levels asymptomatically dropped by 0.3 ± 1.0 g/dl within 48 hours, requiring no treatment.

Conclusions: TJKB appears to safely allow adequate tissue diagnosis in patients at increased risk for complications from or contraindications to percutaneous renal biopsy.

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