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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

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August 2004
A. Horani, J. Ulitsky, Y. Kalish and R. Safadi
February 2004
C. Benbassat, G. Tsvetov, B. Schindel, M. Hod, Y. Blonder and B.A. Sela

Background: Iodine intake is necessary to maintain normal thyroid function and prevent iodine deficiency disorders. In 1990, a resolution calling for universal salt iodination to eliminate iodine deficiency worldwide was taken by the World Health Organization and endorsed by some 130 countries. As of today, very little is known about iodine intake and the prevalence of iodine deficiency disorders in Israel, and iodine enrichment of regular salt has not been authorized.

Objectives: To assess the current level of iodine intake in an unselected group of residents from the Israeli costal area.

Methods: Spot urine samples were collected from three groups: Group A comprising 51 pregnant women attending the Women s Health Clinic at our institution, with a mean age of 32 years and at gestational week 28; group B consisting of 35 healthy subjects, mean age 38; and group C consisting of 16 euthyroid subjects harboring nodular goiters. Tap drinking and mineral water were also analyzed for iodine content. Iodine concentration was measured using the catalytic reduction of ceric ammonium sulfate method.

Results: When considering all groups together the median urinary iodine concentration was 143 µg/L, with 27% of the study population having concentrations under 100 µg/L and 7.8% under 50 µg/L. Values were distributed similarly between sites of residency, and no significant differences were seen between groups. The mean iodine concentration for tap drinking water was 22.8 µg/L (range 0.5–53.5 µg/L) and for mineral water 7 µg/L (range 0–15 µg/L).

Conclusions: Overall, iodine intake appeared to be satisfactory in our study population, however mild deficiency may exist in up to 26% of this group. A nationwide survey is needed to better determine the status of iodine intake in Israel, allowing for recommendations on salt-iodine enrichment in the future.

D. Zamir, I. Leibovitz, I. Polyschuch, T. Reitblat and G. Lugassy
January 2004
N. Hod, Z Maizlin, S. Strauss and T. Horne

Background: Since the early 1970s testicular scintigraphy has been used to diagnose the cause of acute scrotal pain. The advent of Doppler sonography further enhances diagnosis by  providing simultaneous real-time scrotal imaging with superimposed testicular blood flow information.

Objectives: To assess the diagnostic value of Doppler sonography in patients with acute scrotal pain and scintigraphic findings suggestive of testicular torsion.

Methods: Seventy-five patients with acute scrotal pain underwent testicular scintigraphy and Doppler sonography. All patients who had scintigraphic findings suggestive of testicular torsion were included in the study and their files were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: Twenty-seven patients had scintigraphic findings suggestive of testicular torsion. Radionuclide scintigraphy accurately detected all cases of testicular torsion. However, abscess, hematoma, hydrocele and other conditions simulated testicular torsion on scintigraphy, lowering the test specificity. These pathologies were clarified by Doppler sonography that was 95% specific and 86% sensitive for testicular torsion.

Conclusions: Doppler sonography should be used as the first-line modality in the evaluation of patients with suspected testicular torsion. Scintigraphy should be performed only in certain settings of equivocal sonographic findings to prevent false negative sonographic diagnosis.
 

October 2003
Y. Shapiro, J. Shemer, A. Heymann, V. Shalev, N. Maharshak, G. Chodik, M.S. Green and E. Kokia

Background: Upper respiratory tract illnesses have been associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality.

Objective: To assess the influence of vaccination against influenza on the risk of hospitalization in internal medicine and geriatric wards, and the risk of death from all causes during the 2000–2001 influenza season.

Methods: A historical cohort study was conducted using computerized general practitioner records on patients aged 65 years and above, members of “Maccabi Health Care Services” – the second largest health maintenance organization in Israel with 1.6 million members. The patients were divided into high and low risk groups corresponding to coexisting conditions, and were studied. Administrative and clinical data were used to evaluate outcomes.

Results: Of the 84,613 subjects in the cohort 42.8% were immunized. At baseline, vaccinated subjects were sicker and had higher rates of coexisting conditions than unvaccinated subjects. Vaccination against influenza was associated with a 30% reduction in hospitalization rates and 70% in mortality rates in the high risk group. The NNT (number needed to treat) measured to prevent one hospitalization was 53.2 (28.2 in the high risk group and 100.4 in the low risk group). When referring to length of hospitalization, one vaccine was needed to prevent 1 day of hospitalization among the high risk group. Analyses according to age and the presence or absence of major medical conditions at baseline revealed similar findings across all subgroups.

Conclusions: In the elderly, vaccination against influenza is associated with a reduction in both the total risk of hospitalization and in the risk of death from all causes during the influenza season. These findings compel the rationale to increase compliance with recommendations for annual influenza vaccination among the elderly.

September 2003
M. Jmoudiak, M. Itzchaki, I. Hadas-Halpern, M. Hrebicek, K. Hodanova, D. Elstein and A. Zimran
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.

E. Fireman

The induced sputum technique allows sampling of the airways in a non-invasive manner and thus offers a unique opportunity to identify biomarkers of potential clinical utility in respiratory medicine. Sputum cells were originally examined in stained smears and the procedure was applied in both research and clinical settings from the 1950s through the 1970s. The cells, recovered from spontaneous coughing, were used to study lung cancer and respiratory infections and, later on, to diagnose Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus. The method was largely improved by the induction of sputum with aerosol of hypertonic saline and was extended to become part of the assessment of airway inflammation in bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It was recently shown that induced sputum can be used to study interstitial lung diseases and, more specifically, sarcoidosis, non-granulomatous ILD[1], occupational lung diseases and other systemic diseases with lung involvement.

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[1] ILD = interstitial lung diseases

January 2003
M. Roif, E.B. Miller, A. Kneller and Z. Landau
May 2002
Israel Dudkiewicz, MD, Rami Levi, MD, Alexander Blankstein, MD, Aharon Chechick, MD and Moshe Salai, MD

Background: Open reduction and internal fixation are the current trends of treatment for comminuted calcaneal fractures. Assessing treatment results is often difficult due to discrepancy between objective parameters such as range of movement, and subjective results such as pain.

Objectives: To test the reliability of footprint analysis as an adjuvant method of postoperative assessment of patients who sustained calcaneal fractures.

Methods: Dynamic and static footprint analysis was used as an adjuvant method to objectively assess operative results. This method is simple and is independent of the patient’s initiatives. This modality was used in 22 patients followed-up 9–90 months postoperatively.

Results: We found a good correlation between footprint analysis and objective and subjective parameters of results expressed by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society hind foot score. In certain cases, this method can be used to distinguish between uncorrelated parameter results, such as malingering, and workmens’ compensation claims.

Conclusion: We recommend the use of this simple, non-invasive objective test as an additional method to assess the results of ankle and foot surgery treatment.
 

December 2001
Uzi Milman MD, Mordechai Alperin MD, Shmuel Reis MD, Riki Van-Ralte MA and Doron Hermoni MD BSc

Background: Most of the published documents proposing teaching objectives for undergraduate clerkships were prepared by expert bodies. Seldom have the clinical teachers, who are critical to the learning process and to the implementationof the  teaching objectives, been the actual proponents of its core content.

Objective: To develop a national-scale proposal of teaching, objectives for the family medicine clerckship in medical school, using a consensus method and the actual, community-based teachers as the expert body.

Method: The Delphi method was chosen for that purpose. In the first round all 189 family medicine teachers in Israeli medical schools were asked to propose five teaching objectives. In the second round the objectives, which were generatedin the first round, were characterized by key words and were send to the participants as a second round for ranking according to their importance.

Results: A total of 116 family medicine teachers (61.38%) responded in the first round and 91 of the 116 (78.5%) in the second round. They formulated 51 teaching objectives listed in order of importance, covering a wide array of themes and including knowledge, attitude and skills objectives. The most important objectives were common problems in primary care, recognition of the biopsychosocial model, and understanding the importance of the doctor-patient relationship. The structure of the list provides a uniqe insight into the relative importance of each objective in the context of the whole core content of the clerkship.

Conclusions: Constructing a proposal for teaching objectives is feasible using the Delphi method and the field instructors as the selecting body. The process and its results can provide faculty with relevant and important suggestions on the content and structure of the family medicine clerkship.
 

July 2001
Jesse Lachter, MD, Dan E. Orron and Gordon S. Raskin, MD
June 2001
Menashe N. Mukamel, MD, Yosef Weisman, MD, Raz Somech, MD, Zipora Eisenberg, MSc, Jacob Lanman, MD, Itzhak Shapira, MD, Zvi Spirer, MD and Uri Jurgenson, MD

Background: The modest clothing that Orthodox Jewish women wear exposes very little of their skin to sunlight. Under these conditions they may develop vitamin D deficiency, even in sunny Israel.

Objectives: To determine and compare the vitamin D nutritional status in Jewish orthodox mothers to that of non-orthodox mothers who live in the same metropolitan area in Israel.

Methods: 25-Hydroxyvitamin D was measured by compe­titive protein-binding radioassay in the sera of 341 Jewish Israeli mothers (156 orthodox and 185 non-orthodox). The sera were obtained 48-72 hours after childbirth during the late summer of 1998 and the spring of 1999.

Results: The mean (SD) serum concentration of 25-OHD was significantly (P<0.002) lower (13.5 ± 7.5 ng/ml) in the orthodox than in the non-orthodox mothers (18.6 + 9.6 ng/ml). Vitamin D deficiency (<5 ng/ml) and insufficiency (<10 ng/ml) were more common in the orthodox mothers (5.1% and 32.7% respectively) than in the non-orthodox mothers (2.7% and 13%, respectively). In subgroups of mothers supplemented with 400 units of vitamin D daily during pregnancy, vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were less common (2.2% and 13%, respectively) in orthodox and non-orthodox mothers (0% and 8.1%, respectively). Vitamin D insufficiency was more common in the winter than in the summer only among non­orthodox mothers.

Conclusions: The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency in Israeli mothers raises the question whether vitamin D supplements should be given to pregnant women in Israel, at least to orthodox mothers.
 

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