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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.04.24

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December 2014
Nira Varda-Bloom PhD, Avraham J. Treves PhD, Tatiana Kroupnik MSc, Dan Spiegelstein MD, Ehud Raanani MD and Arnon Nagler MD

Background: Non-mobilized peripheral blood contains mostly committed cells with limited numbers of early progenitors. Objectives: To enrich functional progenitor cells from healthy donors and ischemic heart disease patients by short-term culture of mononuclear cells with defined culture conditions.

Methods: Mononuclear cells obtained from healthy donors and ischemic heart disease patients were cultured for 7 days in a cytokine cocktail. We tested the multilineage differentiation capacities and phenotype of cultured cells.

Results: The short-term culture (7 days) of all study groups with a defined cytokine cocktail resulted in two distinct cell populations (adherent and non-adherent) that differed in their differentiation capacities as well as their cell surface markers. Cultured adherent cells showed higher differentiation potential and expressed endothelial and mesenchymal fibroblast-like surface markers as compared to fresh non-cultured mononuclear cells. The non-adherent cell fraction demonstrated high numbers of colony-forming units, indicating a higher differentiation potential of hematopoietic lineage.

Conclusions: This study proved the feasibility of increasing limited numbers of multipotent progenitor cells obtained from the non-mobilized peripheral blood of healthy donors and ischemic patients. Moreover, we found that each of the two enriched subpopulations (adherent and non-adherent) has a different differentiation potential (mesenchymal, endothelial and hematopoietic).

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.  
August 2014
Matti Eskelinen MD PhD, Tuomas Selander MSc, Pertti Lipponen MD PhD and Petri Juvonen MD PhD

Background: The primary diagnosis of functional dyspepsia (FD) is made on the basis of typical symptoms and by excluding organic gastrointestinal diseases that cause dyspeptic symptoms. However, there is difficulty reaching a diagnosis in FD.

Objectives: To assess the efficiency of the Usefulness Index (UI) test and history-taking in diagnosing FD.

Methods: A study on acute abdominal pain conducted by the World Organizati­on of Gast­roentero­logy Research Committee (OMGE) included 1333 patients presenting with acute abdo­minal pain. The clinical history-taking variables (n=23) for each pa­tient were recorded in detail using a prede­fined structured data collection sheet, and the collected data were compared with the final diagnoses.

Results: The most signifi­cant clinical history-taking variables of FD in univa­riate analysis were risk ratio (RR): location of pain at diagnosis (RR = 5.7), location of initial pain (RR = 6.5), previous similar pain (RR = 4.0), duration of pain (RR = 2.9), previous abdominal surgery (RR = 4.1), previous abdominal diseases (RR = 4.0), and previous indigestion (RR = 3.1). T­he sensi­tivity of the physicians’ initial de­cisi­on in detecting FD was 0.44, speci­fi­city 0.99 and effi­ciency 0.98; UI was 0.19 and RR 195.3. In the stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis, the independent predictors of FD were the physicians’ initial decision (RR = 266.4), location of initial pain (RR = 3.4), duration of pain (RR = 3.1), previous abdominal surgery (RR = 3.7), previous indigestion (RR = 2.2) and vomiting (RR = 2.0).

Conclusions: The patients with upper abdominal pain initially and a previous history of abdominal surgery and indigestion tended to be at risk for FD. In these patients the UI test could help the clinician differentiate FD from other diagnoses of acute abdominal pain.

April 2014
George Habib MD MPH, Munir Nashashibi MD and Sara Gips MD
Background: Computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) is considered the method of choice for diagnosing pulmonary embolism (PE). In most patients with impaired renal function, ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) scanning is the preferred modality.

Objectives: To evaluate the predictive value of V/Q scanning in patients with impaired renal function.

Methods: We assessed all patients with impaired renal function who underwent V/Q scanning. The patients studied included those who also had CTPA (group 1) and those who did not (group 2). We recorded the results of V/Q scanning, chest X-rays, CTPA, D-dimer levels, ultrasound of deep veins, and clinical probability for PE (Wells' score) in group 1. CTPA results were considered true results. Anticoagulant treatment was documented in all the patients.

Results: Of the 45 patients in group 1, 12 (22%) had positive CTPA for PE. The positive predictive value (PPV) for patients with high probability results on V/Q scanning for PE was 30%. Restricting results to D-dimer levels ≥ 1000 ng/ml added little to this value. Restricting results to Wells’ score ≥ 7 resulted in 72% PPV. The negative predictive values for low or moderate probability were ~79 % and ~67% respectively. Of the 95 patients in group 2, all those with high probability for PE were treated with anticoagulants.

Conclusions: Patients with impaired renal function and high probability for PE on V/Q scanning had very low PPV for PE. Due to the lack of CTPA studies, patients with high probability for PE on V/Q scanning were treated with anticoagulants.

November 2013
O. Havakuk, M. Entin-Meer, J. Ben-Shoshan, P. Goryainov, S. Maysel-Auslender, E.l Joffe and G. Keren
 Background: Vitamin D has been shown to induce beneficial effects on cardiovascular and renal morbidity by regulating inflammation and tissue fibrosis.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of vitamin D analogues on cardiac function and fibrosis in an animal model of cardiorenal syndrome.

Methods: Unilateral nephrectomy was performed and myocardial infarction induced in rats. Rats were treated with vitamin D receptor activator (VDRA, paricalcitol, 40 ng/250 g x 3/week) versus a vehicle. A third group of animals, which served as the control, underwent sham surgery and received no treatment. After 4 weeks of treatment, cardiac function and fibrosis were assessed by trans-thoracic echo and histology, respectively. As a parameter of systemic inflammation, previously shown to be altered in acute coronary syndrome, T regulatory (Treg) cell levels were measured by flow cytometry. Renal dysfunction was documented by standard laboratory tests.

Results: After 4 weeks of treatment, no significant improvement in cardiac function parameters was noted following VDRA administration. VDRA treatment did not significantly alter Treg cell systemic levels. Consistently, despite a trend toward less extent of myocardial fibrosis, we found no clear beneficial effects of VDRA on myocardial tissue inflammation and remodeling.

Conclusions: Vitamin D treatment showed no beneficial effects on cardiac function parameters and fibrosis in an animal model of cardiorenal syndrome. 

September 2013
S. Tal, V. Guller, S. Goland, S. Shimoni and A. Gurevich
August 2013
O. Kassis, N. Katz, S. Ravid and G. Pillar
 Background: Post-lunch dip is a well-known phenomenon that results in a substantial deterioration in function and productivity after lunch.

Objectives: To assess whether a new herbal-based potentially wake-promoting beverage is effective in counteracting somnolence and reduced post-lunch performance.

Methods: Thirty healthy volunteers were studied on three different days at the sleep clinic. On each visit they ate a standard lunch at noontime, followed by a drink of "Wake up®," 50 mg caffeine, or a placebo in a cross-over double-blind regimen. At 30 and 120 minutes post-drinking, they underwent a battery of tests to determine the effects of the beverage. These included: a) a subjective assessment of alertness and performance based on a visual analog scale, and b) objective function tests: the immediate word recall test, the digit symbol substitution test (DSST), and hemodynamic measurements. The results of the three visits were compared using one-way analysis of variance, with P < 0.05 considered statistically significant.

Results: In all performance tests, subjective vigilance and effectiveness assessment, both Wake up® and caffeine were significantly superior to placebo 30 minutes after lunch. However, at 2 hours after lunch, performance had deteriorated in those who drank the caffeine-containing drink, while Wake up® was superior to both caffeine and placebo. Blood pressure and pulse were higher 2 hours after caffeine ingestion, compared to both Wake up® and placebo.

Conclusions: These results suggest that a single dose of Wake up® is effective in counteracting the somnolence and reduced performance during the post-lunch hours. In the current study it had no adverse hemodynamic consequences.


May 2013
M. Haifler and K. Stav
 Dysfunctional voiding is characterized by an intermittent and/or fluctuating flow rate due to involuntary intermittent contractions of the periurethral striated or levator muscles during voiding in neurologically normal women (International Continence Society definition). Due to the variable etiology, the diagnosis and treatment of DV is problematic. Frequently, the diagnosis is done at a late stage mainly due to non-specific symptoms and lack of awareness. The objectives of treatment are to normalize micturition patterns and prevent complications such as renal failure and recurrent infections. Treatment should be started as early as possible and a multidisciplinary approach is beneficial.

March 2013
S. Eilat-Tsanani, H. Tabenkin, J. Shental, I. Elmaleh and D. Steinmtz
 Background: Radical prostatectomy is one option for treating localized prostate cancer, but it can cause functional impairment of the urogenital system.

Objectives: To describe the outcomes of radical prostatectomy as perceived by the patients, and their ways of coping with them.

Methods: We conducted a qualitative study of 22 men with localized prostatic cancer 1 year after surgery. The key questions related to the effect of the disease and the surgery on their lives and their view on the value of the surgery.

Results: The surgery was perceived as a necessary solution for the diagnosed cancer. All the participants suffered from varying degrees of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Urinary incontinence caused severe suffering. The impaired sexual ability affected relations with partners and led to feelings of shame and guilt and a decreased sense of self-esteem. In retrospect, the participants still viewed the surgery as a life-saving procedure. Faith in the surgeon contributed to their affirmation of the decision to undergo surgery despite the difficulties.

Conclusions: Patients were prepared to suffer the inevitable physical and psychological sequelae of radical prostatectomy because they believed the surgery to be a definitive solution for cancer. Surgeons advising patients with localized prostatic cancer on treatment options should address these difficult issues and provide psychological support, either themselves or in collaboration with professionals.


November 2012
M. Barel

Background: Geriatric assessment (GA) in the elderly is vitally important for determining the optimal management for patients and the appropriate source of its financing. The search for a novel and compact tool stemmed from the clumsiness and complexity of the traditional instruments in scoring and interpretation.

Objectives: To assess the design, application and validity and reliability of a new tool for rapid geriatric assessment in the elderly.

Methods: We measured activities of daily living (ADL) scores using the new tool compared with a well-known (Barthel) index in a population study of 90 elderly subjects (20 males and 70 females) in four long-term care departments of a governmental geriatric center, representing a spectrum of subjects (independent, frail, mentally exhausted, and totally dependent).

Results: There was a good correlation between the two tools, as demonstrated by the correlation curve. The new test was found to be reliable and valid according to the Cronbach and Pearson indexes. Importantly, it took a mean of 5 minutes to complete compared to 20–30 minutes with the traditional tests. The interpretation is simple, unlike the complexity of the other tools.

Conclusions: The new tool for rapid geriatric assessment is able to evaluate the same and additional parameters measured by traditional tests and does so in much less time with equivalent validity and reliability.

September 2012
A. Bar-Shai, B. Tiran, M. Topilsky, J. Greif, I. Fomin Irina and Y. Schwarz

Background: Most studies on asbestos-related diseases describe the associations between exposure and disease and the factors influencing that association. It is recognized that there is a long latency period between exposure and disease, but the health status of affected individuals after long-term non-exposure is uncertain.

Objectives: To describe the changes in pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and computed tomographic imaging of the thorax over a 15 year period after cessation of exposure to asbestos in a cohort of Israeli power plant workers.

Methods: Israeli power plant workers whose PFTs and thoracic CT imaging between 1993 and 1998 revealed asbestos-related disease underwent a second clinical, functional and imaging evaluation up to 15 years later. The two sets of results were compared.

Results: Of the original cohort of 59 males, 35 were still alive, and 18 of them agreed to take part in the current study. The mean length of their exposure was 30 ± 10.06 years (range 7–43 years). Comparison of the initial and follow-up examination findings revealed a significant increase in calcification of the pleural plaques (from 37% to 66%, P = 0.008) and a deterioration in PFTs (P = 0.04). Of the 24 men who died, malignant disease was the cause of death in 53%, mostly in sites other than the respiratory system.

Conclusions: PFTs declined and CT findings worsened in subjects who were formerly exposed to asbestos and had not been exposed to it for over a decade. Continued monitoring of individuals exposed to asbestos, even decades after the cessation of exposure, is recommended.

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