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עמוד בית
Fri, 23.02.24

Search results

September 2015
Sigal Tal MD, Michael Abrahamy MD, Paul Gottlieb MD, Hillel Maresky MD and Anna Ben Ely MD

Background: The practice of administering intravenous contrast to children varies by institution depending on their routine. 

Objectives: To assess the necessity of routine contrast administration in brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of pediatric outpatients referred for chronic headache workups. 

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of consecutive pediatric brain MRI examinations performed during January and February 2014 in 30 pediatric outpatients referred for evaluation of chronic headache. Independent review was performed by two board-certified neuroradiologists. The raters reviewed each MRI first as a non-contrast examination (without seeing the post-contrast images) and then with post-contrast images. 

Results: No abnormalities were found in six patients. One patient had an indeterminate finding of a tubular cerebellar lesion requiring follow-up. In the remaining patients (n=23), the findings were subclinical and included: mucosal thickening in the paranasal sinuses in 9 patients, cystic changes of the pineal gland in 8 (size 2–9 mm), small developmental venous anomalies in 6, non-specific FLAIR hyperintensities in 4, opacification of the mastoids in 2, and telangiectasia in 1 patient. The subclinical cases that were missed on pre-contrast images were: one small developmental venous anomaly, one telangiectasia and one small pineal cyst, none of which hold clinical significance. All kappa inter-rater and intra-rater agreement scores resulted in values above 0.75, excellent agreement according to Fleiss guidelines.

Conclusions: There seems to be little reason to medically justify large-scale use of routine IV contrast administration to evaluate a brain MRI of pediatric patients referred for chronic headache. 


Liana Tripto-Shkolnik MD, Elena Segal MD, Anat Jaffe MD, Sophia Ish-Shalom MD, Rakefet Bachrach MD, Alicia Nachtigal MD and Daniela Militianu MD

Background: Evidence suggests that prolonged bisphosphonate (BP) treatment predisposes to atypical fractures (AF), but the etiology has yet to be determined. Addressing causality begins with case identification, which requires radiological adjudication. However, many trials based their case findings on coded diagnoses. 

Objectives: To investigate the feasibility of case findings by the coding system and the reproducibility of radiological evaluations in two hospitals in Israel, and to compare BP exposure of AF patients to a control group with typical (intertrochanteric of femoral neck) fractures. 

Methods: Diagnostic databases from 2007–2010 were reviewed and admission X-rays of patients were examined in two steps by two radiologists. Fractures were classified as atypical or not atypical according to published criteria. A 2:1 control group was created. Ambulatory drug acquisition was reviewed. 

Results: Of the 198 patients who fulfilled the search criteria, 38 were classified by initial radiological opinion as AF. Subsequent radiological opinion judged 16 as not atypical. Of the AF patients, 80% were exposed to BP. Of those, 81% continued to receive BP treatment for 2.4 years after AF. Only one AF patient was discharged with suspected AF diagnosis. In the control group, 27% were exposed to BP prior to fracture (P < 0.001). 

Conclusions: Thorough radiological revision is mandatory for proper classification of AF, and even when performed there is significant inconsistency in interpretation. Conclusions drawn from trials based solely on coded diagnoses lead to significant bias. BP exposure was significantly higher in the AF group. Caregiver unawareness of AF leads to improper management. 


January 2015
Yael Adler-Levy MD, Simcha Yagel MD, Michael Nadjari MD, Yaakov Bar-ziv MD, Natalia Simanovsky MD and Nurith Hiller MD
Background: Sonographic evaluation of congenital skeletal dysplasias is often challenging. Ultrasound may be limited in demonstrating the skeleton and may overlook specific signs of skeletal abnormality. Computed tomography (CT) with 3D reconstruction was proposed as an aid in the diagnosis of skeletal dysplasias.

Objectives: To describe our experience with 3D-CT imaging for the evaluation of suspected skeletal dysplasias.

Methods: The study group comprised 20 pregnant women carrying 22 fetuses, referred for further evaluation by CT following sonographic suspicion of fetal skeletal dysplasia at 17–39 weeks of gestation. Examinations were performed using various CT protocols. Radiation exposure was decreased during the study period, with eventual lowering of the dose to 1–3 mSv. Meticulous review of the skeleton and long bone measurements were performed on 3D reconstructions. For cases of pregnancy termination, the postmortem diagnosis was compared retrospectively with the CT findings.

Results: Very low dose CT protocols provided excellent diagnostic images. Of 22 fetuses suspected of having skeletal dysplasia on ultrasound, 8 were found by CT to be dysplastic and in 7 the pregnancy was terminated. Postmortem findings, when available, concurred with the CT diagnosis. The remaining 14 fetuses within this cohort were found to be normal according to CT and were carried to term.

Conclusions: 3D-CT may be a valuable complimentary imaging tool to ultrasound for the diagnosis of skeletal dysplasias. Using low dose protocols makes this examination relatively safe, and in the appropriate clinical context may assist in making difficult decisions prenatally.
November 2014
Alex Margulis MD, Ehud Alperson and Allan Billig MD
Background: Cleft lip repair with the Millard technique has undergone many modifications throughout the years, yet analysis of the successes of these various methods is still lacking.

Objectives: To make a quantitative evaluation of the outcomes obtained after unilateral cleft lip surgical repair using the Kernahan and Bauer technique with primary rhinoplasty.

Methods: Five anatomical parameters for evaluating upper lip and nostril symmetry were compared between the cleft and the normal side at least 1 year post-surgery in 23 children who underwent unilateral cleft lip repair with this particular technique.

Results: Surgical success (defined as a 10% or less deviation between the cleft and contralateral side) was achieved for four of the five parameters: distance between oral commissure and peak of cupid’s bow, nasal sill width, distance between peak and lowest point of Cupid’s bow, and vertical distance between the highest point of the philtral column and lowest point of the upper lip. Surgical success was not achieved for the last parameter, namely, length of philtral column.

Conclusions:  Unilateral cleft lip repair using the Kernahan and Bauer technique with primary cleft rhinoplasty is mostly successful when aiming to achieve symmetry between the cleft and the normal side of the upper lip. Success was elusive in achieving symmetry between the philtral columns, despite an overall average difference of only 1.2 mm.  
Ran Stein MD, David Neufeld MD, Ivan Shwartz MD, Ilan Erez MD, Ilana Haas MD, Ada Magen MD, Elon Glassberg MD, Pavel Shmulevsky MD and Haim Paran MD FACS

Background: Discharge summaries after hospitalization provide the most reliable description and implications of the hospitalization. A concise discharge summary is crucial for maintaining continuity of care through the transition from inpatient to ambulatory care. Discharge summaries often lack information and are imprecise. Errors and insufficient recommendations regarding changes in the medical regimen may harm the patient’s health and may result in readmission.

Objectives: To evaluate a quality improvement model and training program for writing postoperative discharge summaries for three surgical procedures.

Methods: Medical records and surgical discharge summaries were reviewed and scored. Essential points for communication between surgeons and family physicians were included in automated forms. Staff was briefed twice regarding required summary contents with an interim evaluation. Changes in quality were evaluated.

Results: Summaries from 61 cholecystectomies, 42 hernioplasties and 45 colectomies were reviewed. The average quality score of all discharge summaries increased from 72.1 to 78.3 after the first intervention (P < 0.0005) to 81.0 following the second intervention. As the discharge summary’s quality improved, its length decreased significantly.

Conclusions: Discharge summaries lack important information and are too long. Developing a model for discharge summaries and instructing surgical staff regarding their contents resulted in measurable improvement. Frequent interventions and supervision are needed to maintain the quality of the surgical discharge summary.  

July 2013
Z. Samra, L. Madar-Shapiro, M. Aziz and J. Bishara
 Background: Clostridium difficile infection is considered the most common cause of nosocomial infectious diarrhea among adults in the developed world. It is responsible for virtually all cases of pseudomembranous colitis. The Tox A/B enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is the most widely used test for the detection of C. difficile toxins A and B. However, it is associated with poor sensitivity and an unacceptable high rate of false-negative results.

Objectives: To evaluate the performance of the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE® assay, designed to simultaneously detect C. difficile-produced glutamate dehydrogenase (GHD) and toxins A and B.

Methods: Using the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE assay, the Tox A/B EIA, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we tested 223 stool specimens from hospitalized patients with antibiotics-associated diarrhea. Sensitivity and specificity, and positive and negative predictive values (PPV, NPV) were calculated for the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test and the Tox A/B EIA against PCR

Results: The C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test had a sensitivity of 83.5% and specificity of 94.3% compared to PCR for Tox A/B, with 93.7% correlation (PPV 98.5%, NPV 91.7%). The Tox A/B EIA yielded corresponding values of 72.1% and 93.1%, with 85.6% correlation (PPV 85.1%, NPV 85.8%).

Conclusions: Given the importance of an early and appropriate diagnosis of Clostridium difficile-associated infection, the C. DIFF QUIK CHEK COMPLETE test may be of huge benefit to practitioners.


May 2013
J.Y. Streifler, G. Raphaeli, N.M. Bornstein, N. Molshatzki and D. Tanne

 Background: Patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) at a high risk of stroke can be identified and should be managed urgently.

Objectives: To investigate whether recognized recommendations are being implemented in Israel.

Methods: An Israeli nationwide registry on patients admitted with stroke and TIA was conducted in all acute care hospitals (NASIS registry) within 2 successive months during 2004, 2007 and 2010. A revised ABCD2 score was applied retrospectively. Patients with TIA were divided into a low risk group (LRG, 0–3 points) and a high risk group (HRG, 4–6 points) and were compared to patients with minor ischemic strokes (MIS, NIHSS score ≤ 5 points).

Results: A total of 3336 patients were included (1023 with TIA: LRG 484, HRG 539, and MIS 2313). LRG patients were younger and had lower rates of most traditional risk factors as compared with HRG and MIS patients. Brain imaging was performed in almost all the patients. Ancillary tests (vascular and cardiac) were overall underused, yet were performed more in LRG (53.2% and 26.9% respectively) than in HRG patients (41.6%, 18.9%). Between periods there was no change in usage of ancillary tests for the LRG and a modest increase in both HRG and MIS patients. For performance of vascular investigations overall, the odds ratio was 1.69 (95% confidence interval 1.42–2.00) comparing 2010 with 2004, but 0.7 (95% CI 0.5–0.9) comparing HRG with LRG. Between periods an increase in statin usage was observed in all groups (OR 2.69, 95% CI 2.25–3.21) but was more marked in MIS patients (OR 3.06, 95% CI 2.47–3.8). 

Conclusions: The approach to TIA risk stratification and management in Israeli hospitals does not follow standards set by current guidelines. Standardized protocols for TIA should be used to assure effective management.



February 2013
E. Ashkenazi, Y. Kovalev and E. Zuckerman
 Portal hypertension is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in liver cirrhosis. Complications of portal hypertension in cirrhotic patients include esophageal and gastric varices, portal hypertensive gastropathy, ascites, hepatorenal syndrome, hepatopulmonary syndrome and portopulmonary hypertension. The hepatic venous pressure gradient should be at least 10 mmHg for esophageal varices to appear, and more than 12 mmHg for acute esophageal variceal bleeding. This article reviews the pathophysiology responsible for portal hypertension and its complications, and the treatments used for esophageal varices in the setting of primary and secondary prophylaxis and during active bleeding.


January 2013
L. Ashkenazi-Hoffnung, P. Merlob, B. Stahl and G. Klinger
 Background: Diclectin (pyridoxine 10 mg and doxylamine 10 mg) has traditionally been used to treat nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP); however, this drug is unavailable in many countries.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a simple bi-daily treatment regimen with the combination of pyridoxine (50 mg twice daily) and doxylamine (25–50 mg) as an alternative treatment for NVP.

Methods: A prospective case-controlled observational study of mother-infant pairs was conducted between February 2008 and December 2010. All women who contacted the Beilinson Teratology Information Service (BELTIS) regarding treatment of NVP were eligible for inclusion. Using data on NVP severity, treatment efficacy and outcomes, we compared the two groups of women: those treated with the combination of pyridoxine and doxylamine (treatment group, n=29) and those treated with metoclopramide (control group, n=29).

Results: Moderate to severe symptoms were present in 97% of the treatment group women vs. 69% of control group women (P < 0.01). Despite increased symptom severity in the treatment group, the combination regimen was efficacious: 20/29 (69%) vs. 18/25 (72%) in the treatment vs. control women respectively (P = 0.65). There were no congenital anomalies in the treatment group. Follow-up was normal for all infants.

Conclusions: Bi-daily combination therapy with pyridoxine and doxylamine for NVP is safe, has comparable efficacy to metoclopramide, and is a treatment alternative in countries where Diclectin is not available. Despite symptoms warranting counseling by a teratology information service, more than a third of women do not take the suggested treatment.


November 2012
D. Mankuta, A. Aziz-Suleyman, L. Yochai and M. Allon

Background: During the horrific war in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the years 1996–2007 the number of casualties is estimated to be 5.4 million. In addition, 1.8 million women, children and men were raped, many as a social weapon of war. Many of these women still suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mutilated genitals.

Objectives: To assess a short-term interventional team for the evaluation and treatment of sexual trauma victims.

Methods: The intervention program comprised four components: training the local staff, medical evaluation and treatment of patients, psychological evaluation and treatment of trauma victims, and evacuation and transport of patients with mutilated genitals. A diagnostic tool for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – the Impact Event Scale (IES) – was used. The psychological treatment was based on EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) principles. Using questionnaires, the information was obtained from patients, medical staff and medical records.

Results: Three primary care clinics were chosen for intervention. Of the 441 women who attended the clinics over a period of 20 days, 52 women were diagnosed with severe PTSD. Psychological intervention was offered to only 23 women because of transport limitations.  The most common medical problems were pelvic inflammatory disease and secondary infertility. Nine patients had their genitals mutilated and were transferred for surgical correction. The 32 local nurses and 2 physicians who participated in the theoretical and practical training course showed improved knowledge as evaluated by a written test.

Conclusions: With the short-term interventional team model for sexual assault victims the combined cost of medical and psychological services is low. The emphasis is on training local staff to enhance awareness and providing them with tools to diagnose and treat sexual assault and mutilation.

August 2012
M. Linder, L. Lev Ari, R. Kurs and Y. Melamed

Background: Patient protection requires the provision of informed consent for participation in medical research. The MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research (MacCAT-CR) is frequently used for screening the capacity of research subjects to consent to participate in research.

Objectives: To evaluate the utility of the Hebrew translation of the MacCAT-CR for the assessment of capacity of patients with chronic schizophrenia to provide informed consent to participate in clinical trials.

Methods: We evaluated the translated MacCAT-CR by comparing the capacity of patients with chronic schizophrenia to provide informed consent to participate in clinical trials. The following standardized neurocognitive assessment tools were used: Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE) and Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), as well as the attending doctor’s assessment.

Results: Twenty-one patients participated. Mean MacCAT-CR score was12 ¡À 10.57 (range 0¨C32), mean FAB score was 9.9 ¡À 4.77 (range 1¨C18), mean ACE was 59.14 ¡À 16.6 (range 27¨C86) and mean doctor’s assessment was 5.24 ¡À 1.18 (range 3¨C7).

Conclusions: The Hebrew-version of the MacCAT-CR helped identify patients with the capacity to provide informed consent for participation in research. Patients with FAB scores ¡Ý 12 tended to score higher on the Hebrew-version of the MacCAT-CR, thus confirming the utility of the Hebrew version of the MacCAT-CR. During the screening process for clinical trials it may be practical to administer the concise FAB questionnaire, and then administer the MacCAT-CR only to those who scored ¡Ý 12 on the FAB.

August 2011
O. Goitein, R. Beigel, S. Matetzky, R. Kuperstein, S. Brosh, Y. Eshet, E. Di Segni and E. Konen

Background: Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is an established modality for ruling out coronary artery disease. However, it has been suggested that CCTA may be a source of non-negligible radiation exposure.

Objectives: To evaluate the potential degradation in coronary image quality when using prospective gated (PG) CCTA as compared with retrospective gated (RG) CCTA in chest pain evaluation.

Methods: The study cohort comprised 216 patients: 108 consecutive patients in the PG CCTA arm and 108 patients matched for age, gender and heart rate in the RG CCTA arm. Scans were performed using a 64-slice multidetector CT scanner. All 15 coronary segments were evaluated subjectively for image quality using a 5-point visual scale. Dose-length product was recorded for each patient and the effective radiation dose was calculated

Results: The PG CCTA technique demonstrated a significantly higher incidence of step artifacts in the middle and distal right coronary artery, the distal left anterior descending artery, the second diagonal, the distal left circumflex artery, and the second marginal branches. Nevertheless, the diagnostic performance of these scans was not adversely affected. The mean effective radiation doses were 3.8 ± 0.9 mSv vs.17.2 ± 3 mSv for PG CCTA and RG CCTA, respectively (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Artifacts caused by the PG CCTA technique (64 MDCT) scanners tended to appear in specific coronary segments but did not impair the overall diagnostic quality of CCTA and there was a marked reduction in radiation exposure. We conclude that 64-slice PG CCTA is suitable for clinical use, especially for acute chest pain "fast track" evaluation targeted at relatively young subjects in a chest pain unit.

February 2011
Y. Naaman, D. Shveiky, I. Ben-Shachar, A. Shushan, J. Mejia-Gomez and A. Benshushan

Background: Uterine sarcoma constitutes a highly malignant group of uterine tumors. It accounts for 2–6% of uterine malignancies and its incidence is 1.7 in 100,000 women. The three most common variants of uterine sarcoma are endometrial stromal sarcoma, leiomyosarcoma and carcinosarcoma. Based on relatively small case series, the literature provides little information on the risk factors, the natural course of the disease and the preferred treatment.

Objectives: To evaluate uterine sarcoma patients treated in a tertiary referral center in Israel over a 20 year period (1980–2005).

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of the charts of 40 uterine sarcoma patients, including their tumor characteristics, stage at diagnosis, treatment modalities, follow-up and survival.

Results: The patients’ mean age was 53 years (range 32–76); 30% of the patients had carcinosarcoma, 55% had leiomyosarcoma and 15% had ESS[1]. Half of the patients presented with stage I disease, 23% stage II, 10% stage III and 15% stage IV. Thirty-nine patients were treated by surgery. Adjuvant radiotherapy was administered to 39% of the patients, adjuvant chemotherapy to 21% and combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy to 9%. The mean follow-up period was 44 months, at which time disease had recurred in 44% of the patients. The disease stage was correlated with the 5-year survival rate, which was 73.1% for stages I-II and 22.2% for stages III- IV.

Conclusions: In accordance with other larger studies our data show that the only prognostic factor that was significantly correlated with prognosis was the stage of the disease at diagnosis. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, survival has not improved over the last 25 years.

[1] ESS = endometrial stromal sarcoma

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