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עמוד בית
Wed, 22.05.24

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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. 

 

March 2015
Sigal Tal MD, Nadav Berkovitz MD, Paul Gottlieb MD and Konstantin Zaitsev MD

Abstract

Background: Forensic imaging was officially introduced in Israel in 2011. Religious and cultural opposition to autopsies prevails in most of the population in Israel.

Objectives: To examine the extent to which forensic imaging has been accepted as an adjuvant or partial replacement of forensic autopsy, particularly among those opposed to forensic autopsy.

Methods: The study was conducted in a pediatric population. Data were collected from the National Center of Forensic Medicine and Assaf Harofeh Medical Center during the 18 month period following the introduction of forensic imaging (group A). The data were compared to those of the previous 18 months (group B). The examined parameters were cases submitted, examined, autopsied or imaged depending on family consent.

Results: Consent to autopsy was similar in both groups (A = 56% vs. B = 54%). In group A, consent for imaging was 24% of all cases, and of those imaged 77% underwent autopsy. Of those examined externally only, 16% consented to imaging. For 7% of the total cases in group A, estimation of cause of death was based on virtopsy alone.

Conclusions: In a country with a high level of religious opposition to autopsy, it is a challenge to add forensic to the pediatric forensic investigation. Those consenting to forensic imaging are more likely to be those consenting to autopsy. Consent for forensic imaging only was given in 7% of cases. Greater efforts should be invested to educate and inform the public regarding the benefits of virtual autopsy and the importance of data acquired from forensic images. 

August 2010
C. Vigder, Y. Ben Israel, S.R. Meisel, E. Kaykov, S. Gottlieb and A. Shotan

Background: Guidelines are frequently under-implemented in older patients with heart failure. Octogenerians are often excluded from clinical trials.

Objectives: To characterize the clinical profile of the oldest-old (age ≥ 80 years) heart failure patients hospitalized in a subacute geriatric hospital and to evaluate their management and 1 year outcome.

Methods: Patient characteristics and in-hospital course were retrospectively collected. Diagnosis of heart failure was based mainly on clinical evaluation in addition to chest X-ray results and echocardiographic findings when available.

Results: The study population comprised 96 consecutive unselected heart failure patients hospitalized from January to June 2003. The patients were predominantly women (67%), aged 85 ± 5 years, fully dependent or frail with a high rate of comorbidities. Adherence to guidelines and recommended heart failure medications was poor. Their 1 year mortality was 57%. According to logistic regression analysis, predictors of 1 year mortality were lower body mass index (odds ratio 0.86, 95% confidence interval 0.78–0.96) and high urea levels (OR[1] 1.04, 95% CI[2] 1.02–1.06).

Conclusions: Our study confirms that the management of oldest-old heart failure patients hospitalized in a subacute geriatric hospital was suboptimal and their mortality was exceptionally high.






[1] OR = odds ratio



[2] CI = confidence interval


April 2007
M. Garty, A. Shotan, S. Gottlieb, M. Mittelman, A. Porath, B.S. Lewis, E. Grossman, S. Behar, J. Leor, M. S. Green, R. Zimlichman and A. Caspi

Background: Despite improved management of heart failure patients, their prognosis remains poor.

Objectives: To characterize hospitalized HF[1] patients and to identify factors that may affect their short and long-term outcome in a national prospective survey.

Methods: We recorded stages B-D according to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association definition of HF patients hospitalized in internal medicine and cardiology departments in all 25 public hospitals in Israel.

Results: During March-April 2003, 4102 consecutive patients were recorded. Their mean age was 73 ± 12 years and 57% were males; 75.3% were hypertensive, 50% diabetic and 59% dyslipidemic; 82% had coronary artery disease, 33% atrial fibrillation, 41% renal failure (creatinine ³ 1.5 mg/dl), and 49% anemia (hemoglobin £ 12 g/dl). Mortality rates were 4.7% in-hospital, 7.6% at 30 days, 18.7% at 6 months and 28.1% at 12 months. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that increased 1 year mortality rate was associated with New York Heart Association III–IV (odds ratio 2.07, 95% confidence interval 1.78–2.41), age (for 10 year increment) (OR[2] 1.41, 95% CI[3] 1.31–1.52), renal failure (1.79, 1.53–2.09), anemia (1.50, 1.29–1.75), stroke (1.50, 1.21–1.85), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1.25, 1.04–1.50) and atrial fibrillation (1.20, 1.02–1.40).

Conclusions: This nationwide heart failure survey indicates a high risk of long-term mortality and the urgent need for the development of more effective management strategies for patients with heart failure discharged from hospitals.

 







[1] HF = heart failure



[2] OR = odds ratio



[3] CI = confidence interval


B. S. Lewis, A. Shotan, S. Gottlieb, S. Behar, D. A. Halon, V. Boyko, J. Leor, E. Grossman, R. Zimlichman, A. Porath, M. Mittelman, A. Caspi and M. Garty

Background: Heart failure with preserved systolic left ventricular function is a major cause of cardiac disability.

Objectives: To examine the prevalence, characteristics and late clinical outcome of patients hospitalized with HF-PSF[1] on a nationwide basis in Israel.

Methods: The Israel nationwide HF survey examined prospectively 4102 consecutive HF patients admitted to 93 internal medicine and 24 cardiology departments in all 25 public hospitals in the country. Echocardiographic LV function measurements were available in 2845 patients (69%). The present report relates to the 1364 patients who had HF-PSF (LV ejection fraction ≥ 40%).

Results: Mortality of HF-PSF patients was high (in-hospital 3.5%, 6 months 14.2%, 12 months 22.0%), but lower than in patients with reduced systolic function (all P < 0.01). Mortality was higher in patients with HF as the primary hospitalization diagnosis (16.0% vs. 12.5% at 6 months, P = 0.07 and 26.2% vs. 18.0% at 12 months, P = 0.0002). Patients with HF-PSF who died were older (78 ± 10 vs. 71 ± 12 years, P < 0.001), more often female (P = 0.05) and had atrial fibrillation more frequently (44% vs. 33%, P < 0.01). There was also a relationship between mortality and pharmacotherapy: after adjustment for age and co-morbid conditions, mortality was lower in patients treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (P = 0.0003) and angiotensin receptor blockers (P = 0.002) and higher in those receiving digoxin (P = 0.003) and diuretic therapy (P = 0.009).

Conclusions: This nationwide survey highlights the very high late mortality rates in patients hospitalized for HF without a decrease in systolic function. The findings mandate a focus on better evidence-based treatment strategies to improve outcome in HF-PSF patients.

 







[1] HF-PSF = heart failure with preserved systolic left ventricular function


December 2006
A. Jotkowitz, A. Porath, A. Shotan, M. Mittelman, E. Grossman, R. Zimlichman, B.S. Lewis, A. Caspi, S. Gottlieb and M. Garty, for the Steering Committee of the Israeli Heart Failure National Survey 2003

Background: Despite significant advances in the therapy of heart failure, many patients still do not receive optimal treatment.

Objectives: To document the standard of care that patients hospitalized with HF[1] in Israel received during a 2 month period.

Methods: The Heart Failure Survey in Israel 2003 was a prospective 2 month survey of patients admitted to all 25 public hospitals in Israel with a diagnosis of HF.

Results: The mean age of the 4102 patients was 73 years and 43% were female. The use of angiotensin-converting enzyme/angiotensin receptor blockers and beta blockers both declined from NYHA class I to IV (68.8% to 50.6% for ACE[2]-inhibitor/ARB[3] and 64.1% to 52.9% for beta blockers, P < 0.001 for comparisons). The percentage of patients by NYHA class taking an ACE-inhibitor or ARB and a beta blocker at hospital discharge also declined from NYHA class I to IV (47.5% to 28.8%, P < 0.002 for comparisons). The strongest predictor of being discharged with an ACE-inhibitor or ARB was the use of these medications at hospital admission. Negative predictors for their usage were age, creatinine, disease severity class, and functional status.

Conclusions: Despite the dissemination of guidelines many patients did not receive optimal care for HF. Reasons for this discrepancy need to be identified and modified.






[1] HF = heart failure



[2] ACE = angiotensin-converting enzyme



[3] ARB = angiotensin receptor blocker


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