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עמוד בית
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February 2009
by Lone S. Avnon, MD, Fauaz Manzur, MD, Arkadi Bolotin, PhD, Dov Heimer, MD, Daniel Flusser, MD, Dan Buskila, MD, Shaul Sukenik, MD and Mahmoud Abu-Shakra, MD.

Background: A high incidence of abnormal pulmonary function tests has been reported in cross-sectional studies among patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Few patients have been enrolled in longitudinal studies.

Objectives: To perform PFT[1] in rheumatoid arthritic patients without pulmonary involvement and to identify variables related to changes in PFT over 5 years of follow-up.

Methods: Consecutive RA[2] patients underwent PFT according to American Thoracic Society recommendations. All surviving patients were advised to repeat the examination 5 years later.

Results: PFT was performed in 82 patients (21 men, 61 women). Their mean age was 55.7 (15.9) years and the mean RA duration was 11.1 (10) years. Five years later 15 patients (18.3%) had died. Among the 67 surviving patients, 38 (56.7%) agreed to participate in a follow-up study. The initial PFT revealed normal PFT in only 30 patients (36.6%); an obstructive ventilatory defect in 2 (2.4%), a small airway defect in 12 (17%), a restrictive ventilatory defect in 21 (25.6%), and reduced DLco in 17 (20.7%). Among the 38 patients participating in the 5 year follow-up study, 8 developed respiratory symptoms, one patient had a new obstructive ventilatory defect, one patient developed a restrictive ventilatory defect, and 5 patients had a newly developed small airway defect. The DLco had improved in 7 of the 8 patients who initially had reduced DLco, reaching normal values in 5 patients. Over the study period a new reduction in DLco was observed in 7 patients. Linear regression analyses failed to identify any patient or disease-specific characteristics that could predict a worsening in PFT. The absolute yearly decline in forced expiratory volume in 1 sec among our RA patients was 47 ml/year, a decline similar to that seen among current smokers.

Conclusions: Serial PFT among patients with RA is indicated and allows for earlier identification of various ventilatory defects. Small airways disturbance was a common finding among our RA patients.






[1] PFT = pulmonary function testing



[2] RA = rheumatoid arthritis


January 2007
avital avriel, daniel flusser, mahmoud abu shakra, sima halevi, shaul sukenik, avriel, flusser, abu shakra, halevi, sukenik, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus eythematosus
May 2006
July 2005
S. Codish, S. Dobrovinsky, M. Abu Shakra, D. Flusser and S. Sukenik
 Background: The efficacy of spa therapy in ankylosing spondylitis has not been investigated extensively.

Objective: To study the efficacy of balneotherapy and climatic therapy (climatotherapy) at the Dead Sea area in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

Methods: In a single-blind randomized controlled study, 28 patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis were allocated into two groups of 14 patients each. The first group (the combined treatment group) received balneotherapy (mud packs and sulfur pool) and exposure to the unique climatic conditions of the Dead Sea. The second group (the climatotherapy group) used the fresh water pool and experienced the same climatic conditions. The duration of treatment was 2 weeks and the follow-up period 3 months.

Results: For both patient groups a significant improvement was found in the outcome measures: Bath AS[1] Disease Activity Index (P = 0.002), Visual Analog Scale for pain (P = 0.002) and VAS[2] for spinal movement (P = 0.011). The variability was explained by the effect of time (within group effect) rather than the type of treatment (within group effect). Quality of life, assessed by the SF-36 questionnaire, was very low prior to the study, but improved in terms of pain amelioration in the combined treatment group.

Conclusions: Climatotherapy at the Dead Sea area can improve the condition of patients suffering from long-standing ankylosing spondylitis.


 


[1] AS = ankylosing spondylitis

[2] VAS = Visual Analog Scale


February 2005
S. Sukenik, M. Abu-Shakra and D. Flusser
April 2003
O. Merimsky, M. Inbar, J. Bickels, J. Issakov, Y. Kollender, G. Flusser and I. Meller

Background: The incidence of malignant musculoskeletal tumors during pregnancy is very low. The paucity of data precludes the drawing of solid conclusions regarding a standard approach.

Objectives: To summarize our experience treating 13 pregnant women with malignant soft tissue or bone tumors.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 13 cases of patients with either soft tissue or bone sarcoma that developed or progressed during pregnancy or immediately after delivery.

Results: The clinical presentation of the tumors was either a growing mass and/or increasing pain and disability. Most of the masses were located in the lower part of the body and of considerable size. Treatment given during gestation was limited to wide excision of the mass in the 28th week of gestation in one patient. All the patients reported disease progression during gestation. Vaginal delivery was possible in eight patients with no complications, cesarean section was carried out in three women, spontaneous miscarriage occurred in one and termination of pregnancy was performed in one patient.

Conclusions: The diagnostic and therapeutic approaches should be tailored specifically in every pregnant woman in whom sarcoma is suspected.
 

January 2003
J. Issakov, G. Flusser, Y. Kollender, O. Merimsky, B. Lifschitz-Mercer and I. Meller

Background: Imaging-guided core needle biopsy is a well-established technique for the diagnosis of bone and soft tissue tumors and tumor-like lesions in specialized orthopedic oncology centers.

Objective: To present our results of computed tomography-guided core needle biopsy with assessment of the accuracy of the technique.

Methods: Between July 1998 and October 2000, 215 CT-guided core needle biopies were performed and histologically examined in the Unit of Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. There were 80 soft tissue and 135 bony lesions. All biopsies were performed by the same radiologist and the histologic examination by the same pathologist.  To assess the accuracy of the procedure, we compared the diagnosis at biopsy with the diagnosis after definitive surgery (when available).

Results: Bone core needle biopsy (n = 135) showed malignancy in 89 cases (primary or recurrent bone sarcoma, lymphoma, myeloma, metastatic carcinoma or melanoma). There were 29 benign lesions. In 17 cases the result was inconclusive and an open incisional biopsy was performed. Of the 80 soft tissue biopsies, 35 were malignant (25 soft tissue sarcomas, 6 lymphomas, 4 metastatic carcinomas); 40 were benign (myositis ossificans, neurofibroma, desmoid tumor, schwannoma, hematoma and others), and 5 were inconclusive and followed by an open incisional biopsy. The core needle biopsy histologic diagnosis was compared with that of the definitive surgery and the diagnostic accuracy was 90%. Only three samples initially diagnosed as benign turned out to be malignant. No significant complications occurred during the procedures.

Conclusions: CT-guided CNB[1] of musculoskeletal lesions is a safe and effective procedure that assures sufficient and proper material for histologic examination. The accuracy of this method in our center was 90%. Tumor sampling is extremely important, especially in soft tissue sarcomas, and cores should be taken in different directions, including areas of necrosis. The processing is quick, especially for bone CNB, and diagnosis can be achieved within 24 hours. The material undergoes excellent fixation and the immunostains are reliable.






[1] CNB = core needle biopsy


February 2001
Shaul Sukenik, MD, Ron Baradin, MD, Shlomi Codish, MD, Lily Neumann, PhD, Daniel Flusser, MD, Mahmoud Abu-Shakra, MD and Dan Buskila, MD

Background: Balneotherapy has been successfully used to treat various rheumatic diseases, but has only recently been evaluated for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Since no effective treatment exists for this common rheumatic disease, comple­mentary methods of treatment have been attempted.

Objectives:To assess the effectiveness of batneotherapy at the Dead Sea area in the treatment of patients suffering from both fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis.

Methods: Twenty-eight patients with psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia were treated with various modalities of bat­neotherapy at the Dead Sea area. Clinical indices assessed were duration of morning stiffness, number of active joints, a point count of 18 fibrositic tender points, and determination of the threshold of tenderness in nine fibrositic and in four control points using a dolorimeter.

Results: The number of active joints was reduced from 18.4+10.9 to 9+8.2 (P< 0.001). The number of tender points was reduced from 12.6+2 to 7.1±5 in men (P<0.003) and from 13.1+2 to 7.5+3.7 in women (P<0.001). A significant improvement was found in dolorimetric threshold readings after the treatment period in women (P< 0.001). No correlation was observed between the reduction in the number of active joints and the reduction in the number of tender points in the same patients (r= 0.2).

Conclusions: Balneotherapy at the Dead Sea area appears to produce a statistically significant substantial improvement in the number of active joints and tender points in both male and female patients with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. Further research is needed to elucidate the distinction between the benefits of staying at the Dead Sea area without balneotherapy and the effects of balneotherapy in the study population.

October 1999
Shaul Sukenik MD, Daniel Flusser MD, Shlomi Codish MD and Mahmoud Abu-Shakra MD
 Background: Balneotherapy at the Dead Sea area has been applied in various inflammatory rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. The efficacy of balneotherapy at the Dead Sea area for the treatment of degenerative rheumatic diseases has not yet been formally evaluated.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of balneotherapy at the Dead Sea area in patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knees.

Methods: Forty patients were randomly allocated into four groups of 10 patients. Group I was treated by bathing in a sulphur pool, group 2 by bathing in the Dead Sea, group 3 by a combination of sulphur pool and bathing in the Dead Sea, and group 4 served as the control group receiving no balneotherapy. The duration of balneotherapy was 2 weeks.

Results: Significant improvement as measured by the Lequesne index of severity of osteoarthritis was observed in all three treatment groups, but not in the control group. This improvement lasted up to 3 months of follow-up in patients in all three treatment groups.

Conclusion: Balneotherapy at the Dead Sea area has a beneficial effect on patients with osteoarthritis of the knees, an effect that lasts at least 3 months.

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