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עמוד בית
Wed, 29.05.24

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March 2002
Alexander Kagan, MD, Nurit Haran, PhD, Ludmila Leschinsky, MD, PhD, Ruty Sarafian, RN, BA, Dan Aravot, MD, Jaffa Dolberg, RN, Ziv Ben-Ary, MD and Jason Rapoport, MB, BS, MRCP

Background: Leptin is a 16 kDa hormone synthesized by adipocytes and involved in body weight regulation.

Objectives: To determine serum leptin concentrations in heart, liver and kidney transplant recipients.

Methods: We investigated 57 patients: 18 male heart transplant recipients (age 25-69 years) at 1-66 months after transplantation, 6 female and 8 male liver transplant recipients (age 33-70) at 11-73 months after transplantation, and 10 female and 15 male kidney transplant recipients (age 20-61) at 3-138 months after transplantation. All recipients were receiving immunosuppressive therapy, including prednisone 0-20 mg/day, azathioprine 75-125 mg/day, cyclosporin 100-250 mg/day or tacrolimus 2-10 mg/day. The results were compared to those of 10 female and 10 male healthy controls. Morning serum concentrations of leptin were measured with a commercial radioimmunoassay (Linco Research Inc., USA), and serum insulin and cortisol levels were measured by radioimmunoassay.

Results: Patients (both men and women) after heart, liver and kidney transplantation exhibited significantly higher serum concentrations of leptin and leptin/body mass index ratios than controls. Serum leptin concentrations were significantly higher in women than in men and correlated very significantly with BMI[1] in all cases. The multivariate stepwise analyses showed that among parameters including BMI, gender, age, time after transplantation, prednisone dose, hematocrit, serum concentrations of glucose, albumin, creatinine, cortisol and insulin, only BMI, gender, cortisol and insulin were significant independent determinants of serum leptin levels in these patients.

Conclusions: This is the first report showing that, in addition to body mass index and gender, basal cortisol and insulin levels affect the hyperleptinemia in transplant patients. The clinical relevance of hyperleptinemia in these patients will require further investigation.






[1] BMI = body mass index



 
February 2002
Mickey Scheinowitz, PhD, Arkady-Avi Kotlyar, PhD, Shachar Zimand, MD, Ilan Leibovitz, MD, Nira Varda-Bloom, Dan Ohad, Iris Goldberg, PhD, Santiego Engelberg, MD, Nafthali Savion, PhD and Michael Eldar, MD

Background: Previous studies have demonstrated myocardial salvage by basic fibroblast growth factor administration following chronic myocardial ischemia or acute myocardial infarction.

Objectives: To study the effect of bFGF[1] on left ventricular morphometry following coronary occlusion and reperfusion episode in rats.

Methods: bFGF (0.5 mg) or placebo was continuously administered for a period of one week using an implanted osmotic pump. Animals were sacrificed 6 weeks after surgery and myocardial cross-sections were stained with Masson-trichrome and with anti-proliferating cell nuclear antigen antibody.

Results: LV[2] area, LV cavity diameter, LV cavity/wall thickness ratio, and injury size were unchanged compared with control animals. Proliferating endothelial cells were significantly more abundant in injured compared with normal myocardium, but with no differences between animals treated or not treated with bFGF.

Conclusions: One week of systemic bFGF administration following coronary occlusion and reperfusion had no additional effect on LV geometry or cellular proliferation in rats.

________________________

[1]
bFGF = basic fibroblast growth factor

[2] LV = left ventricular

Netta Notzer, PhD and Ruth Abramovitz, MA

Background: The importance of health promotion and disease prevention in health policy and clinical practice is widely accepted in many countries. However, a large number of medical schools do not dedicate a significant part of their curriculum to these aspects. In Israel, there are no reports on the training of the future physician towards his or her role as health promoter in general, or in the areas of cardiovascular and cancer diseases specifically.

Objectives: To examine the preparation of Israel medical students for the role of health promoter in cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Methods: The study was carried out over 2 years in two of the four medical schools in Israel: the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva. The students (n=172, 70% response rate) were surveyed during 1999-2000 by means of a questionnaire, which included assessment of their training towards the role of health promoter, their clinical experiences and exposure to patients at different stages of illnesses at various medical sites, and the specific skills and relevant knowledge they acquired.

Results: Most of the students’ learning experiences occurred in hospitals with patients at the treatment stage and little time was dedicated to prevention, especially in the community. They demonstrated better knowledge, skills and satisfaction with their learning experiences in CVD than in cancer; and reported having insufficient exposure to several common cancer diseases and lacking examining skills for early detection of cancer. The students in Beer Sheva had significantly more interaction with patients at different stages of CVD and acquired more examination skills than the Tel Aviv students.

Conclusions: A change in the curriculum is urgently needed: namely training medical students in community settings and preparing them to promote the well-being of their patients, including prevention. Attention should be given to launching new learning modes in the pre-clinical and clinical curriculum. We propose that: a) pre-clinical courses include prevention techniques in CVD and cancer, problems of cancer patients, and some examining skills; and b) the clinical phase should integrate oncology concepts and total cancer and CVD care into existing clerkships in the hospitals and in the community.
 

January 2002
Ronen Rubinshtein, MD, Eran Bar-Meir, MD, Ahuva Grubstein, MD and Haim Bitterman, MD
December 2001
Shlomo M. Monnickendam MD, Shlomo Vinker MD, Simon Zalewski MD, Orli Cohen MD and Eliezer Kitai MD, and Research Group of the Department of Family Medicine, Tel Aviv University

Background: Patients’ consent to being part of medical education is often taken for granted, both in primary and secondary care. Formal consent procedures are not used routinely during teaching and patients are not always aware of teaching activities.

Objective: To investigate patients’ attitudes and expectations on issues of consent regarding participation in teaching in general practice, and the influence of a student’s presence on the consultation.

Methods: The study took place in 46 teaching practices during the sixth year clinical internship in family medicine. Patients completed questionnaires at the end of 10 consecutive eligible consultations. The questionnaire contained data on the willingness to participate in teaching, the preferred consent procedure and the effects of the student’s presence. The doctors were asked to estimate the sociodemographic level in their clinic area.

Results: A total of 375 questionnaires were returned; the response rate was not affected by the clinic’s sociodemographic level. Overall, 67% of the patients had come into contact with students in the past; 3.2% of the participants objected to the presence of a student during the consultation; 15% would insist on advance notification of the presence of a student, and another 13.9% would request it; 4% stated that the presence of students had a detrimental influence on the physical examination and history; and 33.6% would refuse to be examined by a student without the doctor’s presence.

Conclusion: Most patients agreed to have a student present during the consultation; some would like prior notification; a minority refused the student’s presence. A large minority would refuse to be examined without the tutor’s presence. Our findings need to be taken into account when planning clinical clerkships.

November 2001
Baruch Klin, MD, Lev Zlotkevich, MD, Tifha Horne, MD, Yigal Efrati, MD, Francis Serour, MD and Gad Lotan, MD

Background: Acute scrotal pain in children presents a major diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Epididymitis has been considered uncommon in childhood. The clinical spectrum and therapeutic policy of the acute scrotum in children is continually being reassessed.

Objectives: To determine whether there has been an increase in the incidence of epididymitis in children and to advocate a more selective surgical approach to the acute scrotum.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of 65 children admitted to our department of pediatric surgery with the diagnosis of acute scrotum during a 5 year period.

Results: Of the 65 children admitted with the diagnosis of acute scrotum, epididymitis was diagnosed in 42 (64.6%). The remaining cases included torsion of the testis in 12 patients (18.5%), torsion of the appendix testis in 5 (7.7%), scrotal pain and minimal physical findings in 4 (6.1%), and scrotal hematoma and idiopathic scrotal edema in one patient each. Doppler ultrasound of the groin, color Doppler ultrasound of the testis and testicular nuclide scintigraphy (Tc-99m scan) examinations were performed on 49, 30 and 57 occasions, respectively; the Tc-99m scan was the most effective tool. All the patients with epididymitis were diagnosed before surgical intervention and were treated conservatively.

Conclusions: We observed an increasing frequency of epididymitis in children admitted with the diagnosis of acute scrotum.
 

October 2001
Hagit Cohen, PhD, Lily Neumann, PhD, Moshe Kotler, MD and Dan Buskila, MD

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic, painful musculoske­letal disorder of unknown etiology and/or pathophysiology. During the last decade many studies have suggested autonomic nervous system involvement in this syndrome, although contradictory results have been reported. This review focuses on studies of the autonomic nervous system in fibromyalgia syndrome and related disorders, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome on the one hand and anxiety disorder on the other, and highlights techniques of dynamic assessment of heart rate variability, It raises the potentially important prognostic implications of protracted autonomic dysfunction in patient populations with fibromyalgia and related disorders, especially for cardiovas­cular morbidity and mortality.

Rivka Zissin, MD and Myra Shapiro-Feinberg, MD
August 2001
Alexander Blanjstein, MD, Ilan Cohen, MD, Lidia Diamant, Michael Heim, Israel Dudkiewicz, MD, Amnon Israeli, MD, Avraham Ganel, MD and Aharon Chechick, MD

Background: When encountering complaints of pain in the area of the Achilles tendon, the clinician seldom reaches a correct and precise diagnosis based solely on the grounds of physical examination and standard X-rays.

Objectives: To assess the usefulness of ultrasound in diagnosing pathologies of the Achilles tendon.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of patients presenting at our orthopedic clinics.

Results: Sonography was used to evaluate 41 patients with achillodynia. This modality enabled the diagnoses of 19 abnormal tendons (46%), peritendinous and other lesions a complete rupture in two patients (5%) a partial rupture of the Achilles tendon in 3 (7%) various degrees of calcification of the tendon in 7 (17%) and peritendinous lesions discerned by the tendon’s hypoechoic regions with disorganized arrange­ment of collagen fibrils in 4 patients (10%). Other lesions included tendonitis (3 patients, 7%), retrocalcaneal bursitis (3 patients, 7%), lipoma (1 patient, 2%), and foreign bodies (2 patients, 5%). The mean diameter of the pathological tendons was 10.4 +2.7 mm, while normal tendons measured 5.2 +0.8 mm (P<0.001).

Conclusion: As in many other soft tissue lesions, ultrasonography is a useful tool in the evaluation of the underlying pathology in patients presenting with achillodynia.

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.

July 2001
Michael Mullerad, MD, Tzipora Falik, MD, Ralph Madeb, MD and Ofer Nativ, MD
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