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עמוד בית
Sat, 22.06.24

Search results

August 2012
S. Ben Shimol, L. Dukhan, I. Belmaker, S. Bardenstein, D. Sibirsky, C. Barrett and D. Greenberg

Background: Human brucellosis is common in southern Israel among the semi-nomadic Bedouin, a population that consumes unpasteurized dairy products. Though camel milk ingestion is a known mechanism for brucellosis acquisition, only a few reports of sporadic cases have been published in the medical literature.

Objectives: To describe a local brucellosis outbreak in 15 extended Bedouin family members, following ingestion of infected camel milk.

Methods: Data regarding patient’s clinical manifestations, laboratory findings, treatment and outcome were collected from the hospital and the health fund clinics’ computerized database. Camel’s blood and milk were tested for Brucella serology and culture. Cases were defined by positive Rose Bengal test, symptoms correlating with brucellosis, and consumption of infected camel milk.

Results: Fifteen patients were diagnosed with acute brucellosis from March to June 2011. Sixty percent of cases had serum agglutination test titers of 1:160 or higher and 4/8 (50%) had positive blood culture for Brucella melitensis. Arthralgia and fever were the most consistent clinical manifestations. Blood and milk serology and milk culture taken from the female camel were positive for Brucella melitensis.

Conclusions: The treating physicians must consider the possibility of infected camel milk ingestion as the mode of infection, both in sporadic cases and in outbreaks of brucellosis.

November 2011
E. Greenberg, I. Treger and J. Schwarz

Background: Little is known of the risk factor disparities in first stroke among Jewish and Arab patients undergoing rehabilitation in Israel.

Objectives: To investigate the age, gender and risk factor disparities in first stroke among Jewish (immigrant and non-immigrant) and Arab patients undergoing rehabilitation and to compare the prevalence and odds ratio of stroke risk factors in these patients.

Methods: The database of the Department of Neurological Rehabilitation C at Loewenstein Rehabilitation Center was used to investigate first ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients admitted for hospital rehabilitation over a 15 year period, January 1993 to December 2008. Particular attention was paid to age, gender and risk factor disparities.

Results: The 2000 patients with first stroke who were included in the study were grouped as Jewish (immigrant and non-immigrant) and Arab (237 Arabs, 370 non-immigrant Jews and 1393 immigrant Jews). A high percentage of Arab patients were found to have hypertension and diabetes mellitus, while a high percentage of Jewish immigrants had stenosis of the internal carotid artery.

Conclusions: The study demonstrated some differences in the effect of risk factors between the groups. It may be important to address such differences when developing stroke preventative strategies in this population of Jewish and Arab stroke survivors in Israel.

October 2011
T. Wolak, A. Belkin, V. Ginsburg, G. Greenberg, O. Mayzler, A. Bolotin, E. Paran and G. Szendro

Background: Percutaneous angioplasty (PTA) and stenting is an established procedure for the treatment of hypertension caused by atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis. However recently, the decision whether or not to perform this procedure has raised considerable debate.

Objectives: To examine the association between the basic clinical and radiological characteristics of candidates for renal artery PTA and the clinical outcome of the procedure in terms of improvement of blood pressure control and renal function.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all patients who underwent percutaneous transluminal renal artery angioplasty (PTRA) and stent implantation in a tertiary medical center during the period 2000–2007. The clinical and radiological data were extracted from the medical file of each patient. Blood pressure measurements and creatinine level were recorded before the procedure and 1 month, 6 months, 12 months and 18 months after PTRA.

Results: Thirty-two patients were included in the final statistical analysis. The mean age of the study population was 66.6 ± 8.8 years old and 75% were men. There was a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure 1 month after the procedure: 160.5 ± 24.7 vs. 141.8 ± 23.6 mmHg and 83.8 ± 12.9 vs. 68.8 ± 11.8 mmHg respectively (P < 0.001). The reduction in blood pressure was constant throughout the follow-up period and was evident 18 months after the procedure: 160.5 ± 24.7 vs. 135.0 ± 35.1 mmHg and 83.8 ± 12.9 vs. 71.3 ± 16.5 mmHg respectively (P < 0.001). However, no improvement in renal function was observed at any time during the follow-up period. We could not demonstrate an association between clinical or radiological features and the clinical outcome after PTRA.

Conclusions: Our findings show that PTRA[1] can be considered an effective procedure for improving blood pressure control in patients with atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis (ARAS) and resistant hypertension. This research, together with previous studies, strengthens the knowledge that the decline in glomerular filtration rate seen in many patients with ARAS is non-reversible and is not improved by PTRA.

[1] PTRA = percutaneous transluminal renal artery angioplasty

June 2011
O. Chechik, R. inbar, B. Danino, R. Lador, R. Greenberg and S. Avital

Background: The effect of anti-platelet drugs on surgical blood loss and perioperative complications has not been studied in depth and the management of surgical patients taking anti-platelet medications is controversial.

Objective: To assess the effect of anti-platelet therapy on perioperative blood loss in patients undergoing appendectomy either laparoscopically or via open surgery.

Methods: We reviewed the files of all patients > 40 years old who underwent open or laparoscopic appendectomies from 2007 to 2010. Excluded were patients with short hospitalization and no follow-up of hemoglobin level, patients on warfarin treatment and patients who underwent additional procedures. Estimation of blood loss was based on decrease in hemoglobin level from admission to discharge. Risk factors for blood loss, such as anti-platelet therapy, age, gender, surgical approach, surgical time, surgical findings and complications, were analyzed.

Results: The final cohort included 179 patients (mean age 61 ± 14 years, range 40–93) of whom 65 were males. The mean perioperative hemoglobin decrease was 1.59 ± 1.07 mg/dl (range 0–5 mg/dl). Thirty-nine patients received anti-platelet therapy prior to surgery and 140 did not. No significant differences in decrease of hemoglobin level were found between patients receiving anti-platelet therapy and those who were not (1.73 ± 1.21 vs. 1.55 ± 1.02 mg/dl, P = 0.3). In addition, no difference was found between patients on anti-platelet therapy operated laparoscopically and those operated in an open fashion (1.59 ± 1.18 vs. 2.04 ± 1.28 mg/dl, P = 0.29). Five patients required blood transfusions, two of whom were on anti-platelet therapy. Blood loss was significantly greater in patients with a perforated appendicitis and in those with an operative time of more than one hour.

Conclusions: Anti-platelet therapy does not pose a risk for increased blood loss following emergent appendectomy performed either laparoscopically or in an open fashion.

May 2011
L. Shen, Y. Matsunami, N. Quan, K. Kobayashi, E. Matsuura and K. Oguma

Background: Major changes in the evaluation and treatment of curable colorectal cancer (CRC) have emerged in the last two decades. These changes have led to better patient outcome over time.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of these changes as reflected in the difference in long-term outcome of a consecutive group of recently laparoscopically operated curable CRC[1] patients and a consecutive group of patients operated 20 years earlier in the same department.

Methods: Data of the new group were taken from our prospectively collected data of patients who underwent elective laparoscopic surgery for CRC in recent years. Data regarding patients operated on 20 years ago were retrieved from previous prospectively collected data on the long-term survival of CRC patients operated in the same department.

Results: The recently operated group comprised 203 patients and the previous group 199 patients. Perioperative mortality was 0.5% in the new group versus 1.5% in the old group (not significant). There were more early-stage and more proximal tumors in the recently operated group. A Kaplan-Meier 5-year survival analysis revealed no difference between stage I patients of the two groups. However, there was a significant increase in 5-year survival in the new group for stage II (85% vs. 63%, P = 0.004) and for stage III patients (57% vs. 39%, P = 0.01). This trend was maintained after removing the rectal cancer patients from the calculated data.

Conclusions: We have demonstrated improved survival for stage II and III CRC patients over a 20-year period in the same medical center. This change most likely reflects advances both in imaging techniques leading to more accurate staging and in adjuvant treatments.

[1] CRC = colorectal cancer

April 2011
R. Inbar, E. Santo, A. El-Abid Subchi, J. Korianski, Z. Halperin, R. Greenberg and S. Avital


Background: Esophageal perforations and postoperative esophageal leaks are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality and pose a difficult therapeutic challenge. 

Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of removable self-expanding metallic stents (SEMS) as a treatment for postoperative leaks and perforations of the esophagus and stomach.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of all patients in one medical center who underwent temporary insertion of a covered plastic stent for postoperative leaks and perforations of the esophagus and stomach from June 2009 to February 2010. Data were retrieved from hospital and outpatient clinical data charts. Data included indication for insertion, post-insertion outcome including stent complications, and follow-up after stent removal.

Results: The indications for stent insertion were postoperative leak in four patients and postoperative esophagopleural fistula in one patient. Three of the patients had a leak at the gastro-esophageal junction following laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. In all cases the stent insertion was completed successfully. In three patients the stent migrated distally. In two of these three it was repositioned or replaced endoscopically, and in the third it was excreted in the feces. Stents were removed electively after 6 to 7 weeks. All patients recovered fully and were discharged from the hospital.

Conclusions: SEMS insertion may have an important role in the management of postoperative leaks and perforations of the esophagus and stomach and should be considered in such cases.

November 2008
B. Bar-Oz, M. Goldman, E. Lahat, R. Greenberg, M. Avgil, A. Blay, A. Herman, M. Berkovitch

Background: Medication errors are a common cause of morbidity and mortality.

Objectives: To evaluate the rate of acknowledgment of medication errors as reported by physicians working in the community and in hospitals.

Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was sent to 9320 active physicians (about 48% community physicians, 17% hospital physicians and 35% working in both places), with questions on the rate and type of medication errors that they had encountered during their professional career. The questions specified errors in dosage, type of medicine (wrong indication), route of administration and drug interactions.

Results: Only 627 physicians (6.7%) responded. Of these, nearly 79% admitted having made an error in prescribing medication; the majority admitted to more than one error. Physicians with fewer years of experience admitted having made a mistake more than did physicians with more experience (P = 0.019). Pediatricians and geriatricians made more dosage mistakes (P = 0.02), while family physicians and psychiatrists made more mistakes in drug interactions (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: It is possible that indifference, fear of identification, or lack of awareness may have contributed to the low response rate despite the fact that the questionnaire was anonymous. Educational programs should be implemented in medical schools to encourage physicians to report errors before the onset of adverse reactions.

I. Greenberg-Wolff et al

Background: Cardiac computed tomography scans influde several extra-cardiac structures such as mediastinum, lung parenchyma and upper abdominal organs. A variety of abnormalities in those structures might be clinically important and in some cases might explain the patient's complaints.

Objectives: To analyze consecutive cardiac computed tomography examinations for the prevalence and clinical significance of extra-cardiac findings.

Methods: Cardiac CT scans of 134 sequential patients (104 males, 30 females) aged 20–77 years (mean 54 years) with suspected coronary artery disease were prospectively and independently reviewed by a consensus of two radiologists for the presence of lung, mediastinal, pleural, upper abdominal and skeletal abnormalities. CT scans with extra-cardiac abnormalities were divided into two groups: group A – defined as "clinically significant" or "potentially significant findings" – consisted of patients requiring further evaluation or follow-up, and group B – "clinically non-significant findings."

Results: Extra-cardiac abnormalities were found in 103 of the 134 patients (76.8%). Group A abnormalities were found in 52/134 patients (39%), while group B abnormalities were seen in 85/134 (63%). The most common abnormalities in group A were non-calcified lung nodules (> 4 mm) noted in 17/134 patients (13%), followed by enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes (> 10 mm) in 14/134 (10%), diaphragmatic hernia (2 cm) in 12/134 (9%), moderate or severe degenerative spine disease in 12/134 (9%), and emphysema and aortic aneurysm in 6 patients each (4.5%). A malignant lung tumor was noted in one patient.

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of non-cardiac abnormalities in patients undergoing CCT[1]. Clinically significant or potentially significant findings can be expected in 40% of patients who undergo CCT, and these will require further evaluation and follow-up. The reporting radiologist should be experienced in chest imaging and aware of the large variety of non-cardiac findings in CCT that might explain the patient's complaints. 

[1] CCT = coronary computed tomography

May 2008
November 2007
E. Nesher, R. Greenberg, S. Avital, Y Skornick and S. Schneebaum

Background: Peritoneal carcinomatosis is an advanced form of cancer with poor prognosis that in the past was treated mainly palliatively. Today, the definitive approach to peritoneal surface malignancy involves peritonectomy, visceral resection and perioperative intra-abdominal hyperthermic chemotherapy. The anticipated results range from at least palliative to as far as intent to cure. Proper patient selection is mandatory.

Objectives: To determine whether cytoreductive surgery and intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy can extend survival, and with minor complications only, in patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis.

Methods: Twenty-two IPHP[1] procedures were performed in 17 patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis in our institution between 1998 and 2007: 6 had pseudomyxoma peritonei, 5 had colorectal carcinoma, 3 had ovarian cancer and 3 had mesotheliomas. All patients underwent cytoreductive surgery, leaving only residual metastasis < 1 cm in size. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy was administered through four large catheters (2F) using a closed system of two pumps, a heat exchanger and two filters. After the patient’s abdominal temperature reached 41°C, 30–60 mg mitomycin C was circulated intraperitoneally for 1 hour.

Results: The patients had a variety of anastomoses. None demonstrated anastomotic leak and none experienced major complications. Six patients had minor complications (pleural effusion, leukopenia, fever, prolonged paralytic ileus, sepsis), two of which may be attributed to chemotherapy toxicity (leukopenia). There was no perioperative mortality. Some patients have survived more than 5 years.

Conclusions: IPHP is a safe treatment modality for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis. It has an acceptable complications rate and ensures a marked improvement in survival and in the quality of life in selected patients.


[1] IPHP = intraperitoneal hyperthermic perfusion

September 2007
J. Baron, D. Greenberg, Z. Shorer, E. Herskhovitz, R. Melamed and M. Lifshitz
October 2006
S. Avital, H. Hermon, R. Greenberg, E. Karin and Y. Skornick
 Background: Recent data confirming the oncologic safety of laparoscopic colectomy for cancer as well as its potential benefits will likely motivate more surgeons to perform laparoscopic colorectal surgery.

Objectives: To assess factors related to the learning curve of laparoscopic colorectal surgery, such as the number of operations performed, the type of procedures, major complications, and oncologic resections.

Methods: We evaluated the data of our first 100 elective laparoscopic colorectal operations performed during a 2 year period and compared the first 50 cases with the following 50.

Results: The mean age of the study population was 66 years and 49% were males. Indications included cancer, polyps, diverticular disease, Crohn’s disease, and others, in 50%, 23%, 13%, 7% and 7% respectively. Mean operative time was 170 minutes. One patient died (massive pulmonary embolism). Significant surgical complications occurred in 10 patients (10%). Hospital stay averaged 8 days. Comparison of the first 50 procedures with the next 50 revealed a significant decrease in major surgical complications (20% vs. 0%). Mean operative time decreased from 180 to 160 minutes and hospital stay from 8.6 to 7.2 days. There was no difference in conversion rate and mean number of harvested nodes in both groups. Residents performed 8% of the operations in the first 50 cases compared with 20% in the second 50 cases. Right colectomies had shorter operative times and fewer conversions.

Conclusions: There was a significant decrease in major complications after the first 50 laparoscopic colorectal procedures. Adequate oncologic resections may be achieved early in the learning curve. Right colectomies are less difficult to perform and are recommended as initial procedures.

April 2006
U. Abadi, R. Hadary, L.Shilo, A. Shabun, G. Greenberg and S. Kovatz
December 2005
M. Iancovici Kidon, M. Stein, C. Geller-Bernstein, Z. Weisman, S. Steinberg, Z. Greenberg, Z. T. Handzel, Z. Bentwich.

Background: Since 1984, several waves of Ethiopian immigrants have settled in Israel. On arrival they were found to be highly infected with intestinal parasites and to have increased serum immunoglobulin E and eosinophilia. 

Objectives: To study serum IgE [1] levels in Ethiopian children growing up in the environment of Israel . 

Methods: We assessed four groups of children of Ethiopian origin: a) adolescents examined on their arrival to Israel (group 1, n=11); b) adolescents born in Ethiopia and living in Israel for more than 7 years (group 2, n=10); c) children of Ethiopian origin born in Israel, without a history of allergy or asthma (group 3, n=15); and d) asthmatic children of Ethiopian origin born in Israel (group 4, n=8). A thorough clinical interview and examination as well as serum IgE levels, stool parasites and absolute eosinophil count were performed. 

Results: Group 1 (11 newly arrived Ethiopian adolescents) had a mean eosinophil count of 688 cells/ml (0–1739) and a mean serum IgE of 1043 IU/ml (253–2932), P < 0.0009 as compared to group 2. Helminthic parasites were observed in 8/11 individuals; after 1 year of follow-up and anti-parasitic treatment, serum IgE levels did not change significantly. Group 2 (10 Ethiopian born adolescents living in Israel for on average 10 years, 7–15 years) had a normal leukocyte count, MEC [2] 192 cells/ml (range 54–289), serum IgE 142 IU/ml (range 14–399 IU/ml) and no parasites in stool. Group 3 (15 Ethiopian children born in Israel) had a normal leukocyte count, MEC 128 cells/ml (0–324), serum IgE 55 IU/ml (7–189 IU/ml), similar to age-matched Israeli controls. In group 4 (8 Israeli born children of Ethiopian descent diagnosed with asthma), serum IgE showed significant elevation compared to Israeli age-matched asthmatic children (P < 0.005).  

Conclusions: High levels of IgE found in Ethiopian children on arrival to Israel declined to Israeli control levels after several years of living in the new environment. Ethiopian children born in Israel had normal levels of IgE, suggesting that environment is the main factor affecting IgE levels in this population. Israeli born Ethiopian children with asthma had significantly increased serum IgE levels compared to asthmatics of Israeli origin. These findings suggest that both environmental and genetic factors determine the level of serum IgE in these children. 


 [1] Ig = immunoglobulin

 [2] MEC = mean eosinophil count

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