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עמוד בית
Mon, 17.06.24

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December 2017
Noam Meiri MD, Amichi Ankri (medical clown), Faten Ziadan MA, Itay Nahmias (medical clown), Muriel Konopnicki MD, Zeev Schnapp MD, Omer Itzhak Sagi MD, Mohamad Hamad Saied MD and Giora Pillar MD PhD

Background: A good physical exam is necessary to help pediatricians make the correct diagnosis and can save unnecessary imaging or invasive procedures. Distraction by medical clowns may create the optimal conditions for a proper physical examination.

Methods: Children aged 2–6 years who required physical examination in the pediatric emergency department were recruited and randomly assigned to one of two groups: physical exam by a pediatrician in the presence of caregivers vs. physical exam with the assistance of a medical clown. Outcome measures consisted of the level of child's discomfort, anxiety, and the quality of the physical examination.

Results: Ninety three children participated. Mean age was 3.3 ± 3.6 years (range 2–6). The duration of the physical exam was similar between the clown and control groups (4.6 ± 1.4 minutes vs. 4.5 ± 1.1 minutes (P = 0.64). The duration of discomfort was shorter in the clown group (0.2 ± 0.6 minutes) than the control group(1.6 ± 2.0 minutes, P = 0.001). In the medical clown group, 94% of pediatricians reported that the medical clown improved their ability to perform a complete physical examination. A trend of less hospitalization in the medical clown group was also noticed (11.3% in the medical clown group vs. 18.3% in the control group, P = 0.1); however, further study is required to verify this observation.

Conclusions: Integration of a medical clown in physical examination improves the overall experience of the child and the caregivers and helps the pediatrician to perform a complete physical examination.

November 2015
Zaher Bahouth MD, Rani Zreik MD, Assaf Graif MD, Ofer Nativ MD, Sarel Halachmi MD and Giora Pillar MD

Background: Erectile dysfunction (ED), a common problem in males of all ages, can be of organic, psychogenic or combined etiology. Organic ED is mainly caused by vascular and neurological disorders. One of the available tests for differentiating organic from inorganic ED is measuring penile tumescence and rigidity during the REM phase of sleep. However, this test lacks the ability to differentiate between a vascular and non-vascular cause of organic ED. 

Objectives: To compare the results of the EndoPAT test and the nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test in patients with erectile dysfunction.

Methods: Twenty patients with ED were recruited for the study. Each participant was evaluated by the SHIM score, RigiScan during polysomnography, and two EndoPAT tests (at the beginning and end of the study).

Results: Seventeen patients had SHIM score ≤ 21; 4 of them had organic ED with a mean EndoPAT score of 1.49, significantly lower than the 1.93 mean EndoPAT score of the 11 patients in the psychogenic ED group (P = 0.047). Two participants had a neurological impairment (spinal trauma and herniated disk). The average SHIM score in the vascular organic group was 6.25 points as compared to 11.69 for the psychogenic group (P = 0.027). The positive predictive value was 43% and the negative predictive value 90%.

Conclusions: EndoPAT could be helpful in excluding organic ED.

 

August 2015
Rafael S. Carel MD DrPH, Inna Brodsky MPH and Giora Pillar MD MPH

Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common health problem with an estimated prevalence of 4% among men, many of whom are undiagnosed and untreated. 

Objectives: To compare demographic characteristics, health profiles, risk factors, and disease severity in Arab and Jewish men with OSA syndrome.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study we retrospectively analyzed clinical data from the medical files of men ≥ 22 years old who were referred to the Rambam Medical Center sleep clinic during the period 2001–2009 with a suspected diagnosis of OSA. OSA severity was measured using the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). Categorical variables were compared using the chi-square test. Relations between OSA severity and a set of independent risk factors were assessed by linear regression analysis.

Results: A total of 207 men were included (39 Arabs, 19%; 168 Jews, 81%). Arab participants were younger than their Jewish counterparts (45.5 ± 8.9 years vs. 49.8 ± 11.8, P = 0.04) and their body mass index (BMI) was higher (33.1 ± 5.1 vs. 30.0 ± 4.4, P = 0.001). OSA severity (AHI score) was higher among Arab men, with low, medium and high severity scores seen in 10%, 33% and 56% of Arab men vs 35%, 29% and 37% of Jewish men, respectively [T(198)=2.39, P = 0.02]. Mean blood oxygen saturation was comparable.

Conclusions: Arab men presenting for evaluation of sleep apnea harbored more severe OSA symptoms, were younger, and had higher BMI compared to Jewish men. Since OSA syndrome evolves for several years until it becomes severe, these findings suggest that Arab men seek medical assistance later than Jewish men with OSA.

 

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.

 

E. Rogev and G. Pillar
 Background: Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. Treatment options are improved sleep hygiene, relaxation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications. Studies examining the effect of hypnotics on insomnia reported that placebo had a substantial beneficial effect. Objectives: To evaluate whether placebo is an effective treatment for insomnia.

Methods: We assessed 25 patients with insomnia who were enrolled in a hypnotic study but prior to the study were asked to undergo two full nights in lab polysomnography studies: with and without a placebo. Although they were not explicitly told that they were receiving a placebo, the participants knew that the results of these studies would determine whether they met the criteria to participate in the pharmaceutical study.

Results: Although the participants acknowledged that they were given a placebo, almost all measures of their sleep improved. With placebo, sleep latency was shortened from 55.8 ± 43.5 to 39.8 ± 58.5 minutes (P < 0.05); total sleep time was extended from 283 ± 72.5 to 362.9 ± 56.3 minutes, and sleep efficiency improved from 59.57 ± 14.78 to 75.5 ± 11.70% (P < 0.05). Interestingly, placebo had no effect on the relative sleep stage distribution (percentage of total sleep time), except for a trend toward increased percentage of REM[1] sleep.

Conclusions: Our findings how a clear and significant beneficial effect of placebo on insomnia, despite participants' understanding that they were receiving placebo. These results emphasize the importance of the patients' perception and belief in insomnia treatment, and suggest that in some cases placebo may serve as a treatment.







[1] REM = rapid eye movements


September 2007
Y. Shachor-Meyouhas, G. Pillar and N. Shehadeh

Background: Diabetes mellitus is associated with microvascular and macrovascular diseases, potentially manifested as endothelial dysfunction. In adults with type 2 diabetes the haptoglobin genotype 1-1 has been shown to have a protective role in inhibiting the development of complications. Although complications from type 1 diabetes are infrequent during childhood, endothelial dysfunction, which is an early marker of vascular complications, may occur.

Objectives: To evaluate endothelial function in adolescents with type 1 diabetes before the development of complications and to test for potential relationships between endothelial dysfunction and haptoglobin genotype.

Methods: The study group comprised 15 adolescents with type 1 diabetes. All underwent a general physical examination, diabetes control evaluation (including HbA1c levels), endothelial function assessment and haptoglobin genotype determination.

Results: There was a significant negative correlation between HbA1c levels and endothelial function (r = -0.48, P < 0.05), and HbA1c was significantly higher in patients with endothelial dysfunction than in those with normal endothelial function (9.9 ± 2.2 vs. 7.7 ± 1.0 mg/dl, P < 0.05). In addition, there was a tendency toward a positive correlation between high density lipoprotein and endothelial function (r = 0.4, P < 0.1). There was no correlation between the haptoglobin genotype and endothelial function.

Conclusions: These results show that even in patients without complications, uncontrolled type 1 diabetes is associated with endothelial dysfunction, which may lead to microvascular complications in the future.
 

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