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עמוד בית
Fri, 23.02.24

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July 2000
Raul Colodner, MSc and Yoram Keness, PhD

Background: Many beside urine culture devices have been developed with the aim of reliability, simplicity and use in both the physician’s office and the clinical laboratory. 

Objective: To compare a novel beside urine culture device (DipStreak, Novamed Ltd. Israel) comprising a combination of MacConkey and Colombia CAN blood agar with conventional seeding on the same culture media. 

Methods: A total of 1000 urine specimens sent to our microbiology laboratory were simultaneously processed by both methods. Results were evaluated after 24 and 48 hours incubation at 370C. 

Results: Altogether, 171 (17.1%) and 124 (12.4%) specimens were defined as positive by the conventional method using cutoff values of 104 colony-forming units/ml and 105 CFU/ml respectively; 178 specimens (17.8%) were defined as contaminated. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of DipStreak for urinary tract infection were 98.8%, 98.6%, 96% and 99.6% respectively, using a cutoff value of 104 CFU/ml, and 99.3%, 99.2%, 96% and 99.8 respectively, using cutoff value of 105 CFU/ml. Full agreement between both techniques was 95%. 

Conclusion: The agreement rate between DipStreak and conventional seeding was remarkably high. These results suggest that DipStreak in the agar combination tested in this study is a useful and precise tool for diagnosing urinary tract infection.

March 2000
Amos M. Yinnon MD, Yitzhack Skorohod MD, Yechiel Schlesinger MD and Alan Greenberg BPharm MRPharmS

Background: Cefuroxime is a second-generation cephalosporin antibiotic used widely for the treatment of various infections.

Objectives: To assess the appropriateness of cefuroxime usage as well as the long-term impact of re-feeding the results to prescribing physicians.

Methods: Drug utilization evaluation involved three data-collecting periods, each comprising 6 weeks, during which all patients receiving cefuroxime were evaluated. Results of phase I were distributed to all physicians in a newsletter and departmental lectures; phase II was announced and conducted 6 months later. An identical phase III was unannounced and conducted one year after phase II. The study included all patients receiving cefuroxime during the three phases. The main outcome measure was appropriateness of initiation, and continuation beyond 3 days, of empirical treatment. Appropriateness was determined according to a prepared list of indications based on the literature and the hospital's protocols.

Results: Cefuroxime was initiated appropriately in 104 of 134 patients (78%) in phase I, in 85 of 100 (85%) in phase II, and in 93 of 100 (93%) in phase III (P<0.001). Cefuroxime was continued appropriately after 3 days in 58/134 (43%), 57/100 (57%) and 70/100 (70%) respectively (P<0.001). The total number of appropriate treatment days out of all treatment days increased from 516 of 635 (81%) in phase I, to 450 of 510 (88%) in phase II, to 485 of 509 (95%) in phase III (P<0.001). The principal reason for cefuroxime usage was community-acquired respiratory tract infection.

Conclusion: Drug utilization evaluation may provide valuable data on the usage of a particular drug. This information, once re-fed to physicians, may improve utilization of the particular drug. This positive effect may be prolonged beyond the immediate period of observation.

February 2000
Matti Erlichman MD, Ruth Litt MD, Zachi Grossman MD, Ernesto Kahan MD MPH and IPROS Network

Background: Streptococcal pharyngotonsillitis remains a common illness in children and can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic and management approach of a sample of primary care physicians in the largest sick fund in Israel to streptococcal pharyngotonsillitis in children.

Methods: A questionnaire was mailed to all physicians who treat children and are employed by the General Health Services (Kupat Holim Klalit) in the Jerusalem District. The questionnaire included data on demographics, practice type and size, and availability of throat culture and rapid strep test; as well as a description of three hypothetical cases followed by questions relating to their diagnosis and treatment.

Results: Of the 188 eligible physicians, 118 (62.5%) responded, including 65 of 89 pediatricians (73%) and 53 of 99 family and general practitioners (53.5%). Fifty-six physicians (47.4%) had more than 18 years experience, and 82 (70%) completed specialization in Israel.  Mean practice size was 950 patients. Fifty-three physicians (43%) worked in Kupat Holim community clinics, 25 (21%) worked independently in private clinics, and 40 (34%) did both. A total of 91 (77%) had access to laboratory facilities for daily throat culture. The time it took for the results to arrive was 48 to 72 hours.  For the three clinical scenarios, 90% of the physicians accurately evaluated case A, a 1-year-old with viral pharyngotonsillitis, and 100 (85%) correctly diagnosed case C, a 7-year-old with streptococcal infection.  As expected, opinions were divided on case B, a 3-year-old child with uncertain diagnosis.  Accordingly, 75 (65.3%) physicians did not recommend treatment for case A, compared to 109 (92.5%) for case C.  For case B, 22 (19%) said they would always treat, 43 (36%) would sometimes treat, and 35 (30%) would await the result of the throat culture.  For 104 (88%) physicians the antibiotic of choice for case C was penicillin, while only 9 (7.5%) chose amoxicillin. However, the recommended dosage regimens varied from 250 to 500 mg per dose, and from two to four doses daily.  For case C, 110 physicians (93%) chose a 10 day duration of treatment.

Conclusions: The primary care physicians in the sample (pediatricians, general practitioners and family physicians) accurately diagnosed viral and streptococcal pharyngotonsillitis. However, there was a lack of uniformity regarding its management in general, and the dosage regimen for penicillin in particular.
 

December 1999
Zvi Fireman MD, Victor Gurevich MD, Daniel Coscas MD, Yael Kopelman MD, Arie Segal MD and Amos Sternberg MD
 Background: Chronic occult blood loss from the gastrointestinal tract is widely accepted as a major cause of iron deficiency anemia.

Objectives: To evaluate the diagnostic yield of gastroscopy, colonoscopy and fecal occult blood testing of hospitalized IDA patients, plus follow-up.

Methods: IDA was defined as hemoglobin <12.5 g/dl (men) and 11 g/dl (women), and serum iron <50 g/dl. The study group comprised 90 patients (42% male) with a mean age of 65±15 years and mean Hb 8.1 g/dl.

Results: Gastroscopy and colonoscopy revealed a bleeding source in 28.8% and 14.4% respectively. Gastrointestinal symptoms were found in 23% of patients with diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract and in 15.3% of the lower. The sensitivity of fecal occult blood tests in detecting lesions in the lower and upper GI tracts was 100% and 30.7% respectively. Forty-four patients (48.9%) were discharged from the hospital with IDA of unknown origin. Over the following year, 20 of the 44 patients required further hospitalization, and of these, 13 were found to have anemia. Of the remaining 24 patients who were not hospitalized again, 15 had anemia. Four patients (9%) had significant gastrointestinal lesions and two died during the follow-up.

Conclusions: Fecal occult blood is a sensitive examination for lower but not for upper GI tract lesions.

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IDA= iron deficiency anemia

Tsila Hefer, MD, Henry Zvi Joachim, MD, Joshua Danino MD, and Jacob Brown MD
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