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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

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September 2005
I. Greenberg-Wolff, E. Konen, I. Ben Dov, D. Simansky, M. Perelman and J. Rozenman
Background: Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia is increasingly being recognized as a major cause of diffuse infiltrative lung disease. The differential diagnosis of non-infectious diseases that resemble pneumonia should include this entity. Understanding the radiologic features of this entity will help in defining the correct diagnosis, although lung biopsy is needed to provide histopathologic confirmation. Treatment with steroids achieves an excellent response.

Objectives: To present a variety of radiologic findings on high resolution computerized tomography in eight sequential patients with COP[1], together with clinical and pathologic correlation.

Methods: Sequential HRCT[2] examinations of eight patients (four males) aged 53–80 years (mean 65.5 years) with pathologically proven COP were retrospectively analyzed by a consensus of two experienced chest radiologists for the existence and distribution of airspace consolidation, ground-glass opacities, nodular thickening along bronchovascular bundles, small (<1 cm) and large (>1 cm) nodules. The distribution of radiologic findings was classified as unilateral or bilateral, located in the upper, lower or middle lobe, and central or peripheral. Also recorded was the presence or absence of mediastinal lymphadenopathy and pleural effusion. Correlation with clinical symptoms was analyzed.

Results: All eight patients had bilateral airspace consolidations: in two cases consolidations were limited to central fields, in four they were peripheral, and in the remaining two cases they were both central and peripheral. Small nodules were noted in six cases and large nodules in three. Ground-glass opacities were found in four cases. All patients had enlarged lymph nodes (1–1.5 cm) in the mediastinum. Radiologic abnormalities resolved or improved after steroid treatment in all patients.

Conclusions: HRCT findings of bilateral multiple heterogenic lung infiltrates and nodules associated with mild mediastinal lymphadenopathy in a patient with non-specific clinical symptoms are suggestive of COP; in such cases, lung biopsy is indicated. Radiologic resolution of abnormalities correlates well with clinical improvement under adequate steroid treatment.


[1] COP = cryptogenic organizing pneumonia

[2] HRCT = high resolution computerized tomography

August 2005
E. Konen, I. Greenberg and J. Rozenman
 Background: Chest radiography is still the most frequently performed radiologic imaging study. Digital radiography is gradually replacing the conventional systems.

Objectives: To compare the subjective visibility of normal anatomic landmarks in the chest on storage phosphor-based digital radiographs versus conventional screen-film radiographs.

Methods: Digital phosphor-based and screen-film posteroanterior chest radiographs were obtained during 1 year in 140 asymptomatic patients without any known pulmonary disease (119 men, 21 women; mean age 52.1 years, range 23–86). Both sets of films were independently compared by two experienced radiologists in different sessions. The visibility of each of the following anatomic landmarks was graded from 1 to 3: pulmonary fissures, carina, bronchi to left upper lobe, right upper lobe and left lower lobe, bronchus intermedius, anterior and posterior junctional lines, and vessels behind the heart and diaphragm. Additionally, subjective general quality impression of each radiograph was graded similarly. Statistical analyses were performed using the chi-square test. A P value less than 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Visibility with the digital images was statistically significantly higher for the carina, left lower lobe bronchus, bronchus intermedius, and vessels behind the heart and diaphragm. Subjective general quality impression of digital radiographs was also higher (P < 0.001). No significant visibility differences were found for pulmonary fissures or junctional lines.

Conclusion: Subjective visibility of anatomic structures behind the heart and diaphragm and at the hilae is significantly improved with phosphor-based digital radiography compared with conventional screen-film radiography. This suggests that pathologic processes such as pulmonary nodules, masses or consolidations projected over those structures may be more easily and reliably depicted on digital than conventional chest X-rays.

January 2005
Y.S. Brin, H. Reuveni, S. Greenberg Dotan, A. Tal and A. Tarasiuk

Background: Continuous positive airway pressure is the treatment of choice for patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

Objective: To determine the factors influencing treatment initiation with a CPAP[1] device in a healthcare system in which co-payment is required.

Methods: A total of 400 adult patients with OSAS[2] who required CPAP therapy completed questionnaires at three different stages of the diagnostic and therapeutic process: CPAP titration study (stage 1), patient adaptation trial (stage 2), and purchase of a CPAP device (stage 3). Logistic regression was used to analyze the variables influencing CPAP use at the different stages of the diagnostic and therapeutic processes.

Results: Only 32% of the patients who underwent CPAP titration study purchased a CPAP device. The number of subjects who purchased a CPAP device increased gradually as monthly income increased, 28% vs. 62% in the “very low” and “very high” income levels respectively. Reporting for the titration increased in patients with excessive daytime sleepiness and an Epworth Sleepiness Scale score above 9 (odds ratio = 1.9, P = 0.015). Higher socioeconomic status increased reporting to stage 2 (OR[3] = 1.23, P = 0.03) and CPAP purchase (stage 3, OR = 1.35, P = 0.002). Excessive daytime sleepiness increased reporting to stage 2 (OR = 2.28, P = 0.006). Respiratory disturbance index above 35 increased CPAP purchasing (OR = 2.01, P = 0.022). Support from the bed partner, referring physician and sleep laboratory team increased CPAP purchasing.

Conclusions: A supportive environment for a patient with OSAS requiring CPAP is crucial to increase initiation of CPAP treatment. Minimizing cost sharing for the CPAP device will reduce inequality and may increase CPAP treatment initiation.

[1] CPAP = continuous positive airway pressure

[2] OSAS = obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

[3] OR = odds ratio

October 2004
E. Greenberg, I. Treger and H. Ring

Background: Follow-up examinations in a rehabilitation center clinic after stroke are essential for coordinating post-acute services and monitoring patient progress. Of first-stroke patients discharged from our rehabilitation ward to the community 92% are invited for ambulatory check-up once every 6 months.

Objectives: To review patient complaints at follow-up and the recommendations issued by the attending physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the outpatient clinic.

Methods: We extracted relevant data from the records, and assessed the relationship between functional status on admission and discharge (measured by FIM[1]), length of stay, and number of complaints. Patients were divided according to the side of neurologic damage, etiology, whether the stroke was a first or recurrent event, and main clinical syndrome (neglect or aphasia).

Results: Patients' complaints included: decreased hand function (40%), general functional deterioration (20%), difficulty walking (11%), speech dysfunction (10%), various pains (especially in plegic shoulder) (8%), urine control (2%), sexual dysfunction (3%), swallowing difficulties (2%), and cognitive disturbances (2%). Patients received the following recommendations: physiotherapy (52.5%), occupational therapy (37.5%), speech therapy (12.5%), different bracing techniques (22.5%), pain clinic treatment (12.5%), changing medication prescriptions (7.5%), psychological treatment (10%), sexual rehabilitation (5%), vocational counseling (2.5%), counseling by social workers (2.5%), and recurrent neuropsychological diagnosis (2.5%). A reverse correlation was found between the number of complaints and FIM at admission (P = 0.0001) and discharge (P = 0.0003), and between LOS[2] and FIM at admission (P = 0.0001) and discharge (P = 0.004). A direct correlation was found between the number of complaints and LOS (P = 0.029). No relation was found between age, type of stroke, first and recurrent event, and clinical syndromes and patient complaints in the outpatient rehabilitation. Community rehabilitation services met 58% of all recommendations in 62% of patients, mainly physiotherapy and occupational therapy, with 34% of patients waiting for implementation of the recommendations and 4% not available for follow-up.

Conclusions: Follow-up examinations should be an integral part of post-stroke rehabilitation. Rehabilitation treatment in the community must be strengthened.

[1] FIM = Functional Independence Measure

[2] LOS = length of stay

September 2004
D. Greenberg, P. Yagupsky, N. Peled, A. Goldbart, N. Porat and A. Tal

Background: Transmission of Pseudomonas aeruginosa among cystic fibrosis patients attending health camps has been reported previously.

Objectives: To determine the transmission of P. aeruginosa among CF[1] patients during three winter camps in the Dead Sea region in southern Israel.

Methods: Three consecutive CF patient groups were studied, each of which spent 3 weeks at the camp. The patients were segragated prior to camp attendance: patients who were not colonized with P. aeruginosa constituted the first group and colonized patients made up the two additional groups. Sputum cultures were obtained upon arrival, at mid-camp and on the last day. Environmental cultures were also obtained. Patients were separated during social activities and were requested to avoid social mingling. Isolates were analyzed by antibiotics susceptibility profile and by pulsed field gel electrophoresis.

Results: Ninety isolates from 19 patients produced 28 different fingerprint patterns by PFGE[2]. Isolates from two siblings and two patients from the same clinic displayed the same fingerprint pattern. These patients were already colonized with these organisms upon arrival. Two couples were formed during the camp, but PFGE showed no transmission of organisms. All other patients' isolates displayed unique fingerprint patterns and were distinguishable from those of other attendees, and none of the P. aeruginosa-negative patients acquired P. aeruginosa during camp attendance. Environmental cultures were negative for P. aeruginosa.

Conclusions: We were unable to demonstrate cross-infection of P. aeruginosa among CF patients participating in health camps at the Dead Sea who were meticulously segregated.

[1] CF = cystic fibrosis

[2] PFGE = pulsed field gel electrophoresis

March 2004
Y. Fruchtman, D. Greenberg, E. Shany, R. Melamed, N. Peled and M. Lifshitz
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.

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

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
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.

August 2001
Liat Lubish, MD, Shragit Greenberg, MD, Michael Friger and Pesach Shvartzman, MD

Background: Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent malignancies in women, yet one of the most treatable. Early detection is essential to obtain the desired remission and longevity. Numerous studies have shown that periodic screen­ing for breast cancer can reduce mortality by 20-30%.

Objective: To assess the rates, compliance, character­istics as well as barriers in women regarding mammography screening.

Methods: The study group comprised a random sample of 702 women aged 50 or older from 5914 eligible women in two teaching clinics in southern Israel. Phone interviews using structured questionnaires were conducted.

Results: The mean age of the study population was 61 years. The vast majority of the women were not born in Israel. Sixty-three percent of the women had undergone a mammo­graphy screening, 48% in the past 2 years. Monthly self-breast examinations were performed by 12% of the women in the last 2 years. Significant factors associated with undergoing mammography were: more than 7 years since immigration, married, a higher education level, adequate knowledge about breast cancer and mammography, presence of past or current cancer, and cancer in relatives. The main reasons for not being screened was no referral (54%) and a lack of knowledge about breast cancer and mammography (19%) - conditions easily remedied by physician counseling.

Conclusion: The study suggests that promotional efforts should be concentrated on new immigrants and on less educated and unmarried women.

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