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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

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September 2003
R. Greenberg, Y. Barnea, S. Schneebaum, H. Kashtan, O. Kaplan and Y. Skornik

Background: Drains are inserted in the dissected axilla of most patients during surgery for breast cancer.

Objective: To evaluate the presence and prognostic value of MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF in the axillary drainage of these patients.

Methods: The study group included 40 consecutive patients with invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast who were suitable for breast-conserving treatment; 20 malignant melanoma patients found to have negative axillary sentinel lymph node served as the control group. The output of the drains, which had been placed in the axilla during operation, was collected, and the presence of MUC1, Met-hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor and b-actin were assessed in the lymphatic fluid by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assays. The data were compared to the pathologic features of the tumor and the axillary lymph nodes, and to the estrogen and progesterone receptors status.

Results: RT-PCR[1] assays of the axillary lymphatic drainage were positive for MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF[2] in 15 (37.5%) and 26 (65%) of the patients, respectively. Patients in whom MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF were not found in the axillary fluid had smaller tumors and less capillary and lymphatic invasion, compared to patients with positive assays (P < 0.02 for all these comparisons). The lymph nodes were negative for metastases in all patients with negative assays (P < 0.001). The presence of MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF showed negative correlations with the estrogen and progesterone receptors (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: MUC1 and Met-HGF/SF can be detected in the axillary fluids of patients with breast cancer. The expression of both tumor markers in the axillary drainage is strongly associated with unfavorable tumor features and can be used as a prognostic factor.






[1] RT-PCR = reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction



[2] HGF/SF = hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor


July 2003
D.D. Enk, I. Anteby, N. Abramson, R. Amer, Y. Amit, T. Bergshtein-Kronhaus, C. Cohen, Z. Greenberg, F. Jonas, S. Maayan, E. Marva, U. Strauss and D. BenEzra

Background: Onchocerciasis results from infestation by the nematode Onchocerca volvulus, and is characterized clinically by troublesome itching, skin lesions and eye manifestations. Since 1992, approximately 9,000 immigrants have arrived in Israel from the Kuwara province of northwest Ethiopia where the prevalence of onchocerciasis is particularly high.

Objectives: To determine whether onchocerciasis is the cause of cutaneous and ocular symptoms among recent immigrants from the Kuwara province in Ethiopia

Methods: We examined 1,200 recent immigrants from the Kuwara province residing at the Mevasseret Zion immigration center outside Jerusalem. Among them, patients with cutaneous signs suggestive of onchocerciasis underwent a skin-snip biopsy and a thorough eye examination.

Results: In the detailed skin examination performed in 83 patients, the most common skin finding was chronic papular onchodermatitis, found in more than 46 patients (55%);depigmentation and atrophy was found in 13 (15%) and 12 (14%), respectively. In 40 patients (48%), living microfilaria were detected in their skin snips. Of the 65 patients who underwent a thorough eye examination, 45 patients (66%) had ocular complaints. Corneal abnormalities were found in 55 of the 130 eyes (42%), active anterior segment intraocular inflammation and live microfilariae were found in 4 eyes (3%) and lens changes in 16 eyes (1 %). Eleven eyes (9%) showed retinal or choroidal changes.

Conclusions: Skin and eye manifestations associated with onchocerciasis are prevalent among symptomatic Ethiopian immigrants to Israel from the Kuwara province.

May 2003
M. Shany

Matrix metalloproteinases are a family of enzymes that degrade different components of extracellular matrix. They play an important role in normal physiologic processes of maintaining tissue integrity and remodeling, as in wound healing, processes of development, and regeneration. However, excessive expression of MMP[1] has been observed in many disease states, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, vascular remodeling in atherosclerosis and aortic aneurysm formation, neoplastic processes, macular degeneration and many others.

______________________________


[1] MMP = matrix metalloproteinases


 
April 2003
S. Behar, A. Battler, A. Porath, J. Leor, E. Grossman, Y. Hasin, M. Mittelman, Z. Feigenberg, C. Rahima-Maoz, M. Green, A. Caspi, B. Rabinowitz and M. Garty

Background: Little information is available on the clinical practice and implementation of guidelines in treating acute myocardial infarction patients in Israel.

Objective: To assess patient characteristics, hospital course, management, and 30 day clinical outcome of all AMI[1] patients hospitalized in Israel during a 2 month period in 2000.

Method: We conducted a prospective 2 month survey of consecutive AMI patients admitted to 82 of 96 internal medicine departments and all 26 cardiac departments operating in Israel in 2000. Data were collected uniformly by means of a hospital and 30 day follow-up form.

Results: During the survey 1,683 consecutive patients with a discharge diagnosis of AMI were included. Their mean age was 66 years; 73% were male. The electrocardiographic pattern on admission revealed ST elevation, non-ST elevation and an undetermined ECG[2] in 63%, 34% and 4% of patients respectively. Aspirin and heparin were given to 95% of patients. Beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were given to 76% and 65% of patients respectively. Among hospital survivors, 45% received lipid-lowering drugs. Thrombolytic therapy was administered in 28% of patients, coronary angiography was used in 45%, and 7% of patients underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention. The 7 and 30 day mortality rates were 7% and 11% respectively.

Conclusions: This nationwide survey shows that one-third of the AMI patients in Israel are elderly (≥ 75 years). The survey suggests that clinical guidelines for the management of patients with AMI are partially implemented in the community. Data from large surveys representing the "real world" practice are of utmost importance for the evaluation of clinical guidelines, research and educational purposes.






[1] AMI = acute myocardial infarction



[2] ECG = electrocardiogram


March 2003
N. Werbin, R. Haddad, R. Greenberg, E. Karin and Y. Skornick

Background: Free bowel perforation is one of the indications for emergency surgery in Crohn’s disease. It is generally accepted that 1–3% of patients with Crohn’s disease will present with a free perforation initially or eventually in their disease course.

Objective: To evaluate the incidence and treatment results of free perforation in patients with Crohn’s disease and based on our experience to suggest recommendations.

Methods: Between 1987 and 1996, 160 patients with Crohn's disease were treated in our department and were followed for a mean period of 5 years.

Results: Of the 83 patients (52%) requiring surgical intervention, 13 (15.6%) were operated due to free perforation. The mean age of the perforated CD[1] was 33 ± 12 years and the mean duration of symptoms to surgery was 6 years. The location of the free perforation was the terminal ileum in 10 patients, the mid-ileum in 2 patients, and the left colon in 1 patient. Surgical treatment included 10 ileocecectomies, 2 segmental resections of small bowel, and resection of left colon with transverse colostomy and mucus fistula in one patient. There was no operative mortality. Postoperative hospital stay was 21 ± 12 days (range 8–55 days). All patients were followed for 10–120 months (mean 58.0 ± 36.7). Six patients (42%) required a second operation during the follow-up period.

Conclusion: The incidence of free perforation in Crohn’s disease in our experience was 15.6%. We raise the question whether surgery should be offered earlier to Crohn’s disease patients in order to lower the incidence of free perforation






[1] CD = Crohn's disease


October 2002
Ashraf Hamdan, MD, Dania Hirsch, MD, Pnina Green, MD, PhD, Avivit Neumann, Tamara Drozd and Yair Molad, MD
September 2002
Dafna Merom, MPH, Anneke Ifrah, MA, MPH, Irit Cohen-Manheim, MSc, Ayelet Chinich, MA and Manfred S. Green, MD, PhD

Background: Despite the controversy regarding the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy, studies in various countries indicate a two- to threefold increase in the use of HRT[1] during the last decade.

Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of HRT use among post-menopausal Jewish women in Israel and to determine the variables predicting current HRT use.

Methods: A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted in 1998 on a random sample of Jewish women aged 45–74. Of 935 women who were located and eligible, 704 (75%) were interviewed by means of a structured questionnaire.

Results: A total of 589 women (85%) were peri-menopausal or post-menopausal.  Ninety-nine of them (16.8%) were currently using HRT and 78 (13.2%) were past users. Higher rates of current use were found among women who had undergone hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy (38%) than among all other women (13.5%).  Among naturally menopausal women the highest rate of current use (25.6%) was found in those aged 55–59.  A multiple logistic regression showed that the variables associated with current HRT use among naturally menopausal women  were: having a regular gynecologist (odds ratio 3.6, 95% confidence interval 1.7–7.5), visiting a gynecologist during the past year (OR[2] 2.9, 95% CI[3] 1.4–6.0), experiencing symptoms of menopause (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.01–3.8), having more than a high-school education (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.04–3.6), and a lower body mass index (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.85–0.99).

Conclusions: The factors associated with HRT use may be markers for other socioeconomic or psychological characteristics. The disparities noted between population subgroups may be indicative of differences in awareness or in the delivery of preventive healthcare services to women in Israel, and as such need to be addressed by the health system.

___________________________


[1] HRT = hormone replacement therapy

[2] OR = odds ratio

[3] CI = confidence interval

July 2002
Manfred S. Green, MD, PhD and Zalman Kaufman, MSc

The appearance of “new” infectious diseases, the reemergence of “old” infectious diseases, and the deliberate introduction of infectious diseases through bioterrorism has highlighted the need for improved and innovative infectious disease surveillance systems. A review of publications reveals that traditional current surveillance systems are generally based on the recognition of a clear increase in diagnosed cases before an outbreak can be identified. For early detection of bioterrorist-initiated outbreaks, the sensitivity and timeliness of the systems need to be improved. Systems based on syndromic surveillance are being developed using technologies such as electronic reporting and the internet. The reporting sources include community physicians, public health laboratories, emergency rooms, intensive care units, district health offices, and hospital admission and discharge systems. The acid test of any system will be the ability to provide analyses and interpretations of the data that will serve the goals of the system. Such analytical methods are still in the early stages of development.

May 2002
Gahl Greenberg, MD, Myra Shapiro-Feinberg, MD and Rivka Zissin, MD
February 2002
Jochanan G. Peiser, MD, MPH and Dan Greenberg, MSc

Background: Acute appendicitis is one of the most common conditions requiring surgical intervention. Open appendectomy has been a safe and effective operation for acute appendicitis for more than a century. Recently, several authors proposed that the new technique of laparoscopic appendectomy should be the preferred treatment for acute appendicitis. However, unlike laparoscopic cholecystectomy, LA[1] has not yet gained popularity.

Objectives: To compare open with laparoscopic appendectomy for length of operation, complications, postoperative pain control, length of hospitalization, and hospital costs.

Methods: A sample of 194 patients who underwent OA[2] and LA during 1995 was randomly selected for the study. Patients' demographic data, preoperative laboratory and physical values, histopathologic diagnosis of removed appendix, mean operating time, length of hospitalization, and postoperative pain control and complications were reviewed.

Results: Acute appendicitis was confirmed in 66% of patients. The groups were similar demographically (gender and mean age). We could not find any statistical differences in intraoperative and postoperative complications and use of antibiotics. The operative time was longer in the OA group (62.4 vs. 57.3 minutes), but the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.075). The hospital stay was 2.5 days in the LA group and 2.7 days in the OA group. Higher operative costs were observed in the LA group.

Conclusion: Laparoscopic appendectomy is comparable to open appendectomy with regard to complications, length of operation, hospital stay, but it is more costly. Laparoscopic appendectomy does not offer any significant benefit over the open approach.






[1] LA = laparoscopic appendectomy



[2] OA = open appendectomy


Eilon Shany, MD, David Greenberg, MD and Eliezer Shahak, MD
January 2002
Manfred S. Green MD PhD, Tiberio Swartz MD MPH, Elana Mayshar JD, Boaz Lev MD, Alex Leventhal MD MPH, Paul E. Slater MD MPH and Joshua Shemer MD

Background: The large number of cases of West Nile fever diagnosed in Israel in 2000 once again brought into focus the confusion that frequently accompanies the use of the term “epidemic”.

Objective: To examine the different definitions of the term “epidemic” and to propose ways in which it can be used to both improve communication among professionals and provide the public with a better sense of the associated risks.

Methods: The literature wes reviewed for the various definitions of the terms “epidemic” and “outbreak”. Sources included popular and medical dictionaries, ancient documents, epidemiology texts, legal texts, and the medical literature.

Result: The term epidemic is variously defined. The broad definition given by epidemiologists - namely, more disease the is anticipated by previous experience - is less meaningful to the general public. In some ways it conflicts with the definitions found in the popular literature, which generally imply danger to the public and a very large number of victims.

Conclusions: The interpretation of the term epidemic may vary according to the context in which it is used. For risk communication, we suggest that every effort be made to add descriptive terms that characterize the epidemic.

December 2001
Hava Tabenkin MD, Revital Gross, Shuli Bramli Greenberg, Dov Steinmetz MD and Asher Elhayany MD MP

Background: The rapidly increasing costs of healthcare pose a major challenge to many governments, particularly those of developed countries. Health policy makers in some Western European countries have adopted the policy of a strong primary healthcare system, partly due to their recognition of the value of primary care medicine as a means to restrain costs while maintaining the quality and equity of healthcare services. In these countries there is a growing comprehension that the role of the family physician should be central, with responsibility for assessing the overall health needs of the individual, for coordination of medical care and, as the primary caregiver, for most of the individual’s medical problems in the framework of the family and the community.

Objectives: To describe primary care physicians in Israel from their own perception, health policy makers' opinion on the role PCPs should play, and patients' view on their role as gatekeepers.

Methods: The study was based on three research tools: a) a questionnaire mailed to a representative sample of all PCPs employed by the four sick funds in Israel in 1997, b) in-depth semi-structured interviews with key professionals and policy makers in the healthcare system, and c) a national telephone survey of a random representative sample of patients conducted in 1997.

Results: PCPs were asked to rank the importance of 12 primary functions. A total of 95% considered coordination of all patient care to be a very important function, but only 43% thought that weighing economic considerations in patient management is important, and 30.6% thought that 24 hour responsibility for patients is important. Also, 60% of PCPs have undergone specialty training and 94% thought that this training is essential. With regard to the policy makers, most preferred highly trained PCPs (board-certified family physicians, pediatricians and internists) and believed they should play a central role in the healthcare system, acting as coordinators, highly accessible and able to weigh cost considerations. Yet, half opposed a full gatekeeper model. They also felt that the general population has lost faith in PCPs, and that most have a low status and do not have adequate training. Regarding the patients’ viewpoint, 40% preferred that the PCP function as their “personal physician” coordinating all aspects of their care and fully in charge of their referrals; 30% preferred self-referral to sub-specialists, and 19% preferred their PCP to coordinate their care but wanted to be able to refer themselves to specialists.

Conclusions: In order to maintain high quality primary care, it is important that all PCPs have board certification. In addition, PCP training systems should emphasize preventive medicine, health promotion, health economy, and cost-effectiveness issues. Efforts should be make to render PCPs a central role in the healthcare system by gradually implementing the elements of the gatekeeper model through incentives rather than regulations.
 

October 2001
Sigal Ringel, MD, Ernesto Kahan, MD, MPH, Revital Greenberg, Shlomo Arieli, MD, Amihood Blay and Matitiahu Berkovitch, MD

Background: Many women stop smoking before or during pregnancy, or while breast-feeding (nursing).

Objectives: To assess the relation between breast-feeding and smoking habits.

Methods: A survey was conducted among 920 women attending family health clinics (group 1) and a maternity department (group 2) on their breast-feeding and smoking habits.

Results: A total of 156 women (16.95%) smoked during pregnancy. A significant correlation was found between breast-feeding and not smoking after delivery (P=0.009 in group 1, P=0.03 in group 2). A higher tendency to nurse was found among women with an uneventful pregnancy, who vaginally delivered a singleton at term weighing 2,500-4000 g, and who received guidance on breast-feeding.

Conclusion: Professional guidance in favor of breast­feeding is crucial to increase the rate of nursing. Encouraging breast-feeding will probably decrease the rate of cigarette smoking.
 

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